Are polls "biased" to boost Obama?

There are still 48 days left before the general election, and none of the debates have happened, but President Obama's poll numbers are on the rise. CBS News political director John Dickerson analyzes the numbers and whether the president's momentum will shift.

(CBS News) On the heels of several new polls showing President Obama opening up big leads over Mitt Romney in key battleground states, some Republicans are accusing pollsters of a Democratic bias -- and suggesting that the recent poll numbers don't tell the real story.

Tuesday, a new Washington Post poll showed Mr. Obama leading Romney by 8 points in Ohio - a spread that indicates a distinct advantage for the president in a state many believe is critical to a Romney victory. A new battleground poll from CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac out Wednesday shows Mr. Obama with a 10-point advantage in the state, as well as a 12-point lead over Romney in Pennsylvania and a 9-point lead over his rival in Florida. If accurate, these numbers signal trouble for Romney in finding a path to 270 electoral votes.

In recent days, however, Romney officials and other conservatives have cast doubt on the polls, saying the polling models favor Democratic candidates. The Romney camp has also suggested that internal surveys show a different picture.

Romney political director Rich Beeson told reporters yesterday that the campaign encountered what he cast as a polling flaw in the nominating contest as well, and that it "has confidence" in its own methodology.

"You saw in the primaries... you know, we used a specific set of data for our primaries. Each week we would go in, and you know, we'd be 10 or 11 down...whether it was Ohio or Michigan or Wisconsin," Beeson said. "We relied on our internal data. We knew where each day at any given point. That's the same thing we're doing now. The public polls are what the public polls are. I kinda hope the Obama campaign is basing their campaign on what the public polls say. We don't. We have confidence in our data and our metrics."

On Wednesday, Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, amplified that message.

"I'm struck by a couple of things," he said on Fox News. "Three swing state polls [are] out today and in every single one of them, they have a Democratic voter participation that is higher than the participation in the electorate in 2008. I don't know anyone on the ground in any of these swing states who believes that there will be a higher Democratic percentage of the electorate in 2012 than there was in 2008."

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