Though I don’t know a whole lot about the methodology of polling for this and that, I find the process interesting. I also find a lot of them – at times – misleading. And some just flat wrong. While they often come very close to an outcome, say in some elections, they can also be twisted this way and that for the purposes of the user.

Case in point. Did you know that Pres. Obama recently polled higher among Republicans than when he was elected? True! Eight points higher. Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor is the source. But the same sampling also found his approval rating overall dropped from 53% to 51%. As I said, those are the numbers. Who uses them – and how – is what you need to be concerned about when interpreting.

I sometimes come up with theories swimming upstream against the national “conventional Beltway wisdom” by taking some of this polling data and tweaking it for my own journalistic ends. Like this.

Repeated polling shows more and more of us want out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Numbers vary a bit from poll to poll but all are now well over 55% and climbing. No matter how the question is asked, the results seems pretty uniform. End both wars. Stop the killing on all sides. Stop spending billions and billions in places that pose no immediate threat to our security in wars which have no winnable outcomes. Take care of massive debt and other problems at home.

Using that data and some other polling on the President’s day-to-day job ranking – which this far from an election doesn’t mean squat – I’ve got a scenario in my head that is at once improbable … and possible.

Nearly all the talking heads – and people fearing for their job security in Congress – say if there is no improvement in the jobs numbers, this administration is toast. Republicans say that a lot though in their time in a House majority they’ve passed three doomed abortion-connected bills and not a word about jobs. Still, they do say it a lot.

My own sense is that employment is not going to get better soon. For many reasons, nearly all of which government by either party can’t do much about. You can’t legislate lasting jobs. Employers have learned to operate cleaner and meaner. Many jobs just no longer exist because of changing technology. And on and on and on.

So, is the President toast for the 2012 election? Maybe. Maybe not.

Have you noticed all the little high-level huddling around the Pentagon and the National Security Council the last week or so? Watching the black limo’s and military staff cars go by it seems like quite a parade.

I’m getting the feeling that one of these days – not sure just which one – there’ll be an announcement regarding those aforementioned countries. Could just be – as we did in Viet Nam, we’ll declare victory, tell the world we’ve fulfilled our obligations and we’re coming home in much larger numbers than anyone has talked about previously.

There’s not a speck of evidence in the day’s news to warrant that idea. Nearly pure speculation on my part. Nearly.

But – it could just be the talking heads are watching the wrong polls and their inbreeding is blinding them to some other numbers dealing with public sentiment on other issues. Having been in the Washington D.C. press corps, I can attest to the lack of knowledge of life outside the Beltway and the herd mentality that dominates daily thinking among the faux literati.

The Obama re-election team is headed by several very intelligent people, some of whom don’t live inside that Beltway, preferring to operate out of a national re-election headquarters in Chicago. Maybe it doesn’t seem so to us in the Northwest, but the air in Chicago is a lot clearer than it is in the District of Columbia. Political air.

You stop pouring billions of dollars into Iraq and Afghanistan month after month, divert the bulk of those hundreds of billions to job retraining and badly needed infrastructure rebuilding in nearly every state, heavily invest in the future of our educational system and, before you know it, life will be better. For everyone.

As I said, polling is an inexact art. Outcomes can be skewed by various users. The next election is about 17 months away which is several lifetimes in the political world. No one knows what surprises await day by day. Or poll by poll.

But suppose – just suppose – a President stops the hemorrhaging of lives and treasure and the national economy becomes the benefactor of a more stable future. More jobs? Sure. Better jobs? Certainly. Voters are going to turn the guy out of office for that? I don’t think so.

I could be as wrong about this as that ol’ part time Alaska governor is about American history. But it’s an interesting alternative to the conventional wisdom. Isn’t it?

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