NBC/WSJ/Marist Run Some Credible Polls … I Lost That Bet

On September 13 the Marist organization began releasing a series of polls for the Wall Street Journal and NBC across the Battleground State.  It’s first set was Ohio, Florida and Virginia and we’re back to where we started this morning ahead of the big debate tonight in Colorado.  Throughout their weekly releases I’ve joked that based on the poll results the race is over and Mitt Romney should drop the “arrogance” of even challenging Obama since these polls were both heavily in favor of Obama and were unassailable (except to us nut-cases on the Right). These sarcastic comments were based on voter samples unrealistic in today’s environment.  Today’s samples are far more credible with the exception of Florida.  As such better conclusions can be drawn about the race.  Obama may not be up 8 in Ohio but he does seem to have a clear advantage.  At the same time while the poll below shows Obama with a 1-point lead in Florida, I’m increasingly confident Romney is likely up 2-3 points in Florida.  Finally Virginia remains a death struggle for both campaigns that will certainly run through election day.  The race is even and it’s anyone’s to win at this point.


Obama leads by 8 overall (51 to 43) and is up 3 with Independents.  Obama gets 6% of Republicans while Romney only gets 2% of Democrats. Those three metrics explain the difference.  The party ID is a better split than the silly D +10 last time.  Today’s D +5 might still be slightly higher than it will be on election day but it does not account for Obama’s 8-point lead.  If Romney is going to win this state he has a lot of wood left to chop.

Party ID is D +5 (Dem 36, Rep 31, Ind 33)
2008 was D +8 (Dem 39, Rep: 31, Ind 30)
2004 was R +5 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind: 25)


Obama leads by 1-point overall (47 to 46) but Romney leads by 6-points with Independents.  Additionally each side garners almost equal amounts of crossover votes 7% of Republicans for Obama and 6% of Democrats for Romney. The party ID is a bit of a joke with a better turnout for Obama than 2008 and the internals on the poll are better for Romney than Obama.  Regardless of the lead this is a good poll for Romney as Florida is probably slipping from Obama’s grasp.

Party ID is D +5 (Dem 37, Rep 32, Ind 29)
2008 was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29)
2004 was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23)


Another tight race in the Old Dominion state.  Obama leads by 2-points overall (48 to 46). Romney leads among Independents by 1-point but Obama picks up a few crossover votes to account for his lead. The party ID improves from the last survey to a more reasonable level for the 2012 electorate pretty much confirming what we have said all along — Virginia is tight as a tick and joke polls like the Washington Post’s and others from two weeks ago have no basis in reality.

Party ID is D +2 (Dem 32, Rep 30, Ind 37)
2008 was D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27)
2004 was R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26)


  1. mdr1972
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    i live outside of Richmond, VA. All i see is Romney stuff everywhere. At the state fair the Romney booth ran out of stickers.

  2. bman77
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    Is there not the possibility that party ID will split evenly or favor the GOP by a point or two. D+5 in Ohio? I thought Rasmussen’s monthly poll showed the GOP with a 4 point party ID advantage in August. Has Rasmussen released anything for September yet?

    • jeff
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink | Reply

      Romney ahead in Florida and probably very slightly ahead in VA. Ohio much closer than what nbc poll says and definitely within striking distance.

      • jeff
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        If it wasnt very close in Ohio BO wouldnt be campaigning there aggressively. Nbc Ohio poll not credible. They are still show BO ahead in NC when the campaign has practically withdrawn resources there. unbelievable!

      • margaret
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        NC: 108,000 ballot requests so far (repubublicans are 53.0% and democrats 26.3%)

        Democrats are all for early voting but Republicans are leading 2:1? NC not going Democrat this year IMHO.

    • Ron
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Rasmussen party ID for September is R +2.6

      • margaret
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Yet I hear he’s using D+3 to D+5 for his polling. Of course the other pollsters were using D+7+, so he’s more moderate. I think all the poll ‘tightening’ has to do with using more moderate turnout models now.

      • Posted October 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        This is actually big news.

        It’s down a bit from the 4.3 high of August, due to the Dem convention and “Clinton Bounce”, but it’s still very good for the Republicans.

        Remember, the DNC and pollster argument was that D+10 samples were perfectly reasonable, because people had “abandoned” Republicans and “flocked” to the Dems after the Dem convention. We can see that this is clearly not true.

  3. Mark Casper
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    One other important point I haven’t heard mentioned in the poll sample problems.

    When we look to exit polls to give us the historic norms in PVI, we must remember they are also proven to lean slightly to significantly towards the D’s. The most comprehensive study was done in 2004…

    ” On average, the exit poll estimates demonstrated an overstatement of the Democratic vote in both the President and Senate races. The average overstatement was slightly larger for Kerry in the Presidential race than for the Democratic Senate candidates.

    Comparison of National Exit Poll vs. Actual Results:

    The national exit poll had a similar Kerry overstatement. The weighted national survey numbers showed Kerry with 51% and Bush with 48%. The final national popular vote margin ended up being 2.5% for Bush. Thus, the national exit poll had an error of 5.5 points on the difference in the Democratic direction which is similar to the 5.0 average from the state surveys.

    Bad data collection led NEP to incorrectly overestimate the John Kerry vote in 26 states. By comparison, the Bush vote was overstated in just 4 states.

    Source … See page 20 … http://www.electionintegrity.org/documents/edison-mitofsky-050119.pdf

    So when we speak of a D+6.5 in 2008 and a tied PVI in 2004 and a D+3.5 in 2000 … we could be looking at a D+2 / R+4 / R+1 as the actual PVI.

    Taking that into account, along with the other factors you have raised … I do not think it is hard to see why I am expecting a R+1 to an R+3 voter base this year.

  4. Posted October 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    OH is closer than +8. The fact that both candidates keep visiting OH, and keep spending crazy cash in OH proves it’s closer than +8. Romney is up +8 in MO, and no prez candidate is campaigning there. Romney is up +5-8 in NC, and no prez candidate is campaigning there. Obama is up +8 in OR, and no prez candidates are campaigning there. Where the candidates go is always the best indicator of where this race is.

    @Greymarch (on twittter)

  5. No Tribe
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Romney can still win without Ohio if he wins Virginia with other states in his column, but he has to win Florida, and Virginia or Ohio, agreed?

  6. WillBest
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Romney isn’t gong to lose FL. If he even thought that was a possibility he would have visited the state in the last 11 days. At the very least he wouldn’t let Obama out spend him there.

    Then again, Romney didn’t immediately release his September fundraising numbers like he has the previous 4 months so they are probably off quite a bit from August. So it could be that he is hurting for cash relatively speaking.

    • margaret
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Romney is apparently heading to Florida on Friday, Obama next week. Hmmm.

      • Posted October 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Dont forget the 3rd debate is in Boca Raton so I expect them both to do the run through florida top to bottom the next couple of weeks.

        I think Grey has a good point…if the +8 was SOLID Obama wouldn’t be spending so much time there….and Romney would be focusing on the other states he has to have. That tells me if it is a 5-8 point lead both consider it soft enough it needs tending to.

        Florida is weird, am I on crack or is this the first time in recent memory in which both candidates haven’t camped out there every other week? Ohio or not that is a huge state for electorals. That tells me that, most likely, Obama’s internal show the state is a very soft lead and that the trends and liklihood is he loses….he doesn’t have to have Florida so he has to make Ohio his firewall (Obama) to keep Romney from the end around.

        Obama has more paths to victory….obviously…he can actually lose 2-4 of the states he won in 08 and still win by a margin. But there is also the possibility that he peaked too soon hoping that late convention would slide him through the election. While not top of mind…I think the whole Libya thing is starting to crack that gleaming shell of Obama across the country and people are starting to see he means well, he inspired a lot of people but me may not be the guy to change Washington from the inside.

  7. Posted October 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting that the “narrative” seems to be shifting away from Obama slowly but surely.

    First it was “Obama will win because he’s up 6-8 pts nationally!”

    Then the national polls started tightening, the concession was made that, yes, the race is close nationally……but Obamas up by 5-10 pts in every swing state!!!

    Now there seems to be another concession…..that Romney IS doing well in swing states, with Ohio now being the last holdout…”Yes it’s very close BUT he’s down in Ohio so he can’t win!”

    On a related note, I wonder which mainstream media pollster will be the first to “crack” and show Romney ahead? ATM they still have Obama clinging to ties or 1-2 pt splits everywhere, wonder if they’ll bite the bullet and admit a Romney lead somewhere…

    • jeff
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Even rasmussen is sticking to. D+3 Model with BO agead by 2. I wonder if hes going to stick to that or switch to an even split model that would probably put romney ahead

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Democrat often ahead of the 2008 record levels).  Then if we were to buy into their explanation, ahead of the first debate mind you, dramatic swaths of previously locked-in voters started completely switching camps and Democrat […]

  2. […] Democrat often ahead of the 2008 record levels).  Then if we were to buy into their explanation, ahead of the first debate mind you, dramatic swaths of previously locked-in voters started completely switching camps and Democrat […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: