Will the Party ID really look like R + 2 or R +3?

The just released Pew Research poll showing Mitt Romney up 4-points has the political blogosphere and twitterverse (can we get one name for the two?) up in arms over the party identification of respondents which was R +2.75 (Dem 32.5, Rep 35.25, Ind 29.5). But is that any more correct than the D +7 or D +10 samples we on the Right have indignantly complained about all election cycle? We have asked this question before and have seen detailed analysis of the trends and historical data which on average has been D +3 since 1980.

But what struck me in the Pew Poll was the party identification is  oddly similar to the current Rasmussen party identification that he releases on a monthly basis. Why do we care how close it is to Rasmussen?  Because he nailed the last two elections despite wild swings in the electorate’s preference.

Rasmussen Reports released his party ID for September last week and commenter “blcjr” took the raw data Rasmussen makes available to show you how trends have changed over time from 2004 through today.  Below is Rasmussen’s month-end party ID for each October in Presidential years and therefore the result immediately before the actual election.  We compared that with the exit polling party ID provided by the Winston Group:

Year Rasmussen Actual
2004 D +1.5 (Dem 38.7, Rep 37.2) D +0 (Dem 38, Rep 38)
2008 D +7.1 (Dem 40.3, Rep 33.3) D +7 (Dem 40, Rep 33)
2012 (Sep) R +2.6 (Dem 34.2, Rep 36.8) ?????

In the two prior Presidential election years Rasmussen essentially nailed the party identification and accurately captured the ground swell in favor of Democrats in 2008.  Not coincidentally Rasmussen called the 2004 election within 1% and nailed the 2008 election on the nose.  If party identification is to Republicans advantaged by near +2.6%, Romney should win overwhelmingly, much like the results we see in today’s Pew Poll with a party identification of R +2.75.

Chart compliments of commenter “blcjr”:

Party identification over time since 2004 through September 2012


  1. TeaPartyPaul
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    You also had this study by Fordham University political scientist Costas Panagopoulos on the MOST accurate 2008 presidential polls. 1) Rasmusson 2) PEW RESEARCH … the two most accurate polls, coming out with Romney leads.

    1T. Rasmussen (11/1-3)**

    1T. Pew (10/29-11/1)**

    3. YouGov/Polimetrix (10/18-11/1)

    4. Harris Interactive (10/20-27)

    5. GWU (Lake/Tarrance) (11/2-3)*

    6T. Diageo/Hotline (10/31-11/2)*

    6T. ARG (10/25-27)*

    8T. CNN (10/30-11/1)


    • damien
      Posted October 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      but rasmussen has it tied 48-48….so we up 2.6 but tied?

      • Posted October 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        No Rasmussen runs his polls different from the current party ID for his own reasons that I’m not up to speed on. Despite him showing a party identification trending Republican at R +2.6, he runs his polls with a Democrat party advantage. And I have to trust him since he obviously does that for a reason and he nailed the last two elections.

      • D. Vargas
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Rasmussen and Pew were NOT the most accurate pollsters in 2008. That list from Fordham was compiled immediately after the election using numbers that where not yet final. Take a look at the FINAL Fordham report showing that Rasmussen and Pew were only mediocre.


        FACT: In 2008, Obama won 53/46. (52.93/45.65)
        FACT: Rasmussen & Pew missed it 52/46.
        FACT: CNN/ORC & McClatchy/Ipsos nailed it 53/46.

  2. damien
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    i think best we can get is even that we got in 2010….off year but still as close as we can get to a lead…unless obama really goes off the rails…

    • Dave Ped
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink | Reply

      I went back and looked at previous elections actual vs. Ras party ID. I used the average for the whole year.

      Year Ave Ras ID Actual Vote R Outperform
      2004 D +2.38 D +0 2.38
      2006 D +4.19 D +2 2.19
      2008 D +8.02 D +7 1.02
      2010 D +1.99 D +0 1.99
      2012 R +2.57 R +4.46* 1.89*

      If you notice the actual R vote has outperformed the average Ras party ID for that year each election by an average of 1.89 (both mid terms and presidential). The current average party ID for 2012 thru September is R +2.57. If R outperformed the average for that year as has happened each election, why would this year be any different? If you apply this to the states, you are talking more R than 2004.

  3. jvnvch
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What I’ve been doing for a very long time is adjusting all polls to 33.3/33.3/33.3. Nothing is written in stone, of course, but I find it helpful to use that as a reference point.

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That’s probably a good starting point.

      • jvnvch
        Posted October 8, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Nobody knows what the turnout will be, anyway. At least that gives you a steady reference point, and you can make further adjustments from there, if warranted. I only use it for the national polling, of course.

  4. John Fisher
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I live in CA and today if you took a poll we would have a new battleground. Gas over $5.00 and climbing.

  5. Andy (Boston)
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wasn’t this poll actually R plus 5, not 2.75?

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Battleground Watch Talking only about the states that matter this election year Skip to content About « Obama +2 in Pennsylvania — Susquehanna Will the Party ID really look like R + 2 or R +3? » […]

  2. […] mirrors Rasmussen’s  party ID expectation and he has nailed the last two general elections (more on that here) so there is a basis for this turnout although I’d model D +2. Drill down on the linked poll […]

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