Romney +1 in Minnesota (Not a Typo) — NMB Research (Glen Bolger)

We’ve blogged Bolger’s polls a few times on this site and a couple things bear repeating every time.

First, Bolger is a a partisan pollster for Republican candidates.  Second, his reputation for accuracy, however, is well-documented. In 2010 Bolger was one of the only people who had Harry Reid up in his Senate re-election bid:

Bolger’s work generally has been spot-on in Nevada — for example, he had Harry Reid ahead of Sharron Angle by 5 percentage points late in the 2010 Senate race, just off the final margin.

We know what happens when you dismiss smart pollsters telling you things may be different on the ground  in Battleground (?) States than the conventional wisdom from Washington DC.

The latest from Glen Bolger shows Mitt Romney leading by 1-point in Minnesota, 46 to 45. This is a 5-point swing from the 4-point lead Obama enjoyed in the October 13 poll by Bolger. In both polls the most troubling thing for the President is his deficit below the 50% mark. As we have shown, Undecideds break strongly for the challenger at rates upwards of 80%.  If Obama hasn’t closed this out by now my election night surprise may just be the cherry on top of an election night dessert:

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are separated by just 1 point in Minnesota, effectively making the race there a toss-up, according to polling taken for the conservative American Future Fund. Romney takes 46 percent of the vote to Obama’s 45 percent in the poll, which was conducted by the GOP firm NMB Research and shared with POLITICO. The Republican presidential nominee is up 13 points among independents, ahead of Obama 49 percent to 36 percent. They survey breaks with recent public data, which has shown Obama maintaining a single-digit edge over Romney, but gives Republicans reason to hope for an upset. Democrats aren’t taking the state for granted at this point, with Obama countering pro-Romney ads (including AFF advertising) and deploying Bill Clinton to campaign there.

In a polling memo, pollster Glen Bolger attributes the closeness of the race to Minnesota’s overwhelmingly white population. “Minnesota is very much a battleground state due the low minority population of the state and President Obama’s problems with white voters. Romney has a good chance to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the election cycle in this state,” Bolger writes. The poll tested 500 likely voters on Oct. 30 and 31 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percentage points

For President Percent
Barack Obama 45
Mitt Romney 46
Other na
Undecided na

69 Comments

  1. Brian
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Romneychev, blue wall, tear down, etc.

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink | Reply

      You’re invited to a Victory Rally with

      Paul Ryan

      & the Republican Team

      Sunday, November 4th, 2012
      Doors Open 1:30 PM | Event Begins 3:30 PM

      Sun Country Airlines
      Minneapolis — St. Paul International Airport
      2005 Cargo Road, Minneapolis, MN 55111

  2. A.D.S.
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think the midwest is going to break, and hard, for Romney.

  3. kyle
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    YESSSSSS! Drinking beer and gambling…now this!!!??? Great night!! 3 days!!!

  4. Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Still have Obama at the top of the table. Guessing you forgot to switch the names.

  5. Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Keith If you right on your blog, Your gonna be the most sought after pollster ever. Get ready for the big bucks to start coming in you will of earned it.

    • Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks but I’m not a pollsters. I’m just pretty good at reading numbers and interpreting their meaning. A useful skill in my neck of the woods.

    • nvClark
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Keith, I know I said I’d stop posting and I will, but as a last aside… Stop being modest, manufacture some kind of bluster and bluff and cultivate a “show me the money” attitude. You may ultimately crash and burn like Nate Silver, but not before you strike a cushy deal with the New York Times or some other major outfit and reap millions in direct payments, traffic, partnership, and affiliate revenue. And why not? The suckers need the next big bubble and who is going to really ding you 10 years later? They won’t even remember you (like no one will remember Nate Silver) but you will be set for life. Am I cynical, yes. But if someone has to be “the next big thing” why not you? If nothing else you can make a real living as a pundit.

      • Commonsenseobserver
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        I’m not sure the NYTimes really care about sound analysis.

      • nvClark
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        All the more reason for Keith to take advantage of any reputation and capital that he gets from this election. They just want the next hot thing. Let him be that for a while. He probably won’t be able to stay hot forever, but he doesn’t need to.

      • Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        “He probably won’t be able to stay hot forever” … puh-shaw!

      • Ron
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Keith, stay centered. Keep a level head and the rest will follow. Think Jay Cost.

      • Colvinus
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        If nothing else: The guys doing this kind of analysis, like Keith, DaveInFlorida, Bob Krumm, Dan McLaughlin, really deserve tons of credit if they all turn out to be right.

        Of course, part of the problem is that so many people (such as myself) figured out on their own that something was very strange with the polling this year. No matter how it all ends up, a lot of people are going to end up looking very wrong.

      • nvClark
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        @Colvinus RE: “Of course, part of the problem is that so many people (such as myself) figured out on their own that something was very strange with the polling this year.”
        A lot of us have had gut feelings Obama was in trouble for a long time. But Keith quantified and substantiated it with real analysis, a hard look at the data, and a really impressive work ethic. The only problem/paradox is that success can be it’s own foil and lead to subsequent failure, just ask Nate Silver who has made several comments about his success and the challenges it brings. Nevertheless, this could be Keith’s golden ticket if he plays it right, and I hope he does.

      • No Tribe
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        Yea, start by writing the online book on this campaign. You can name the names who were wrong and name the names who were right. Canonize it.

      • nvClark
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely, except forget about an online book, get an agent who will find you a publisher.

      • Evan3457
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        If you’re right about Minnesota, Keith, way ahead of anyone, you’ll be so “hot” that Kate Upton will…

        well, no, I guess she still wouldn’t. 😦

  6. Jan
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Just finished watching the Colorado rally. Brilliant speech. There were bits the stump we’ve already heared a few times now, but the new material showed utter confidence Romney is really going to get it done come tuesday. I saw a man who knows he will be the next president and who is humbled by it.

    • TheTorch
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes it was wonderful and Ann seemed much happier and more energised than earlier in the day.

    • Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It was quite a moment when the scoutmaster appeared with the Challenger flag 🙂 GO R&R GO!

  7. TheTorch
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh my what a Poll! This could just be getting sweeter and sweeter.
    3 MORE DAYS! 3 MORE DAYS!

  8. petep
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, we’re not worthy, Keith! We’re not worthy! I thought when I first read your post about Minn I thought “small chance”…..

  9. CHAMP
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Intrade currently gives Romney a 12.5% chance of winning Minnesota. Go put some money down on him. They’re giving you great odds!

    • Adam
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      When I saw it yesterday, intrade was around 67-33 obama to win the presidency. If it stays that tomorrow when I’m not drunk (college football all day), I’m throwing down a Hundy on Romney! $250 profit will cover my week long celebration! 🙂

  10. stuckinmass
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    great news, but you have Obama up in your table

  11. Jim S.
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    CU Boulder model anyone?

    • trux
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That prediction model has been my bulwark (even though some other statistical models show Obama winning). I figured their Minnesota prediction would just end up as part of their standard error margin. But then we started to hear these rumblings and rumors coming through from MN…

      I admit that I am scared of the OFA ground game though.

  12. NHConservative
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Silver must be opening his sabermetrics 101 textbook right about now.

    • Medicine Man
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Nah. It’s not a PPP endorsed poll.

    • nvClark
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sabermetrics refers exclusively to baseball analysis. If Nate Silver is opening a Sabermetrics textbook at this point then he is far more well and truly ****** than I thought. 🙂

      • Medicine Man
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        K. I watched “Money Ball”…I figured I knew it all….lol. Learned something new….

  13. Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Guys, guys, please, return to reality. Romney is not ahead in MN! Sigh, I get it, you really want to believe. But it’s not happening.

    • Colvinus
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I wanna troll with
      The gangsters
      But folks, Minnesota’s much too white and nerdy

    • Medicine Man
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Now Peter, you sound like us in ’08 when BO was inching ahead in Indiana and NC…but a democrat hadn’t won there in decades…never happen.. 😉

      • Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        MM, come on. There is not a single poll all year with Romney ahead in MN in the RCP database. The latest poll from SUSA, which has one of the best records, has O+7. This poll is just to lift GOP hopes but it’s not real.

      • Medicine Man
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        I grant you that I’m skeptical about Minny, but looking at Indiana in 08 at this time, there was only one poll showing Obama up 1 during the last week (Indy Star newspaper). The rest either has McCain up 5 or tied. Again, u have to remember, u r on a site that believes they r over sampling democrats so the average (in our deranged minds of course) is +3 to + 7…. Just a though.

    • Commonsenseobserver
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Proof?

      Oh, I see, you’re just a troll.

      • Medicine Man
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Nah, Peter is more than that…he is our token “devil’s advocate”…or Peter would say…”just ole common sense”

    • nvClark
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Peter, the question is whether we need to “return to reality” or whether you need to join us in reality.

      • bks
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        You’ve got one GOP house poll and you’re saying it’s equal to ten straight independent polls in MN running from O+3 to O+10? Please.

        –bks

      • nvClark
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        No, I’m not basing my opinion on polls at all, I’m basing it on the fact that not only is Romney in MN with ads, and in the region with rallies, so is Obama. It’s either a desperation ploy or he thinks those states are legitimately in play. I’m siding with the latter.

      • Pete
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink

        Your candidate’s campaign doesn’t agree with you, bks

    • No Tribe
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Peter, you gotta show up here election night to ride it out. I know it will be rough on you, but take comfort in that you are among those that got it right.

  14. stuckinmass
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m still skeptical about MN.
    besides, we only want to agonize the MSNBC hosts Tuesday night, we don’t want them to go into cardiac arrest, that’s the easy way out! 😉

    • Medicine Man
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, I’m still skeptical also. I think it is my nature. I like to see hard data (like EV and absentee drop off in Ohio). With that said, him being under 50….Keith is fired up about Minny so…who knows, that’s what makes elections exciting. Kinda like playing the big game. They are not played on paper.

      • stuckinmass
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        yeah, i know Keith has been calling it all along, and the university of Colorado model also puts it in R’s column, but its the only state Reagan couldn’t win, so I’ll believe it when i see it!

    • nvClark
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Actually, if this really does turn into a landslide the very real worry is that the liberals might decide that it’s easier to join us than to beat us and try to inject a watered down version of their agenda into the Republican party a la the tea party only in reverse.

  15. M.White
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The first debate will go down in history as one of the most decisive moments of the 2012 campaign, along with what Obama said yesterday, “vote for revenge” Any goodwill he garnered after the Hurricane from people that are undecided or independants went out the door. That will prove to be a costly mistake 3 days for the election, nasty, snarky and down right rude, and Romney turned it around perfectly, “Vote for love of country” Could not have said it better. Obama gave Romney a priceless nugget! Looked away from the teleprompter and out popped the real Obama which we would have seen much more of if he had been re-elected, see I am saying that as if it’s already in the past. (Seriously…if we think he has been a liberal socialist the first 4 years, imagine for a minute what the next for years could have been, the real Obama would have went full throttle against America turning into devastation!)

    • nvClark
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yep, Obama thought he was being smart, witty, and slick… and he was being slick, just like a banana peel on the floor is slick, and he fell flat on his…

  16. Posted November 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    NBM Research was founded by, is owned by, and employs Neil Newhouse, the Romney Campaign pollster. I’m a little surprised they would be so blatant about this: This is a Romney Campaign poll.

    • Medicine Man
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yep…that needs to be taken into account…is it real or not? One thing (like mentioned) is that they called the Reid race in NV when EVERYBODY on RCP ( you know, the Gospel ) had Angle up and winning. Maybe they have access to some internals then? Seems like lots of things tightening up in the Midwest. WI, MN, Penn…. Lots of money and surrogates from both sides pouring in….follow the money and the people…Rule of thumb.

    • Interested Party
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ummm. OK. So what should we do with PPP and Marist? Same objection.

      PS–the idea is to look inside of each poll at its internals and see if it passes a smell test, i.e., looks kind of like the population being sampled. I really don’t care too much who the pollster is, if they are open to examination of their questionnaire (to see if there are push questions) as well as their methodology. I also look to see if they are someone with a decent track record or someone who knows their electorate (ie Susquehanna in PA).

      Just saying a pollster is D or R to blow them off is not serious. Now if a D pollster like PPP keeps oversampling Ds in every poll they do, or if a D pollster like Marist has Romney up in only 1 of 40 state polls they have done. that tells you something, doesn’t it?

      • Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        Are PPP and Marist run by pollsters for the Obama campaign? If so, then it would be the same objection.

        I don’t dismiss this poll solely because it is by definition, an outlier. I dismiss this poll because a man who is paid by the Romney Campaign released it through an intermediary.

      • No Tribe
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        Roland, do you actually know what the definition of an outlier is? MD polled it at 3% a week ago. They put Obama at 47%

      • Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Here are the last five polls for Minn:

        O+9
        O+7
        O+3
        O+8
        O+5

        O+1 = outlier.

  17. Interested Party
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This has been a very weird polling year.

    By every fundamental measure, O should be done. He’s acting like the Last Days of McCain right now. All of the action is in the blue, with the map to deeper blue expanding at the end. The national polls (larger samples) as well as well respected voter models (Goeas) seem to think he is done. Major pundit figures like Micheal Barone are putting their necks on the line saying that O’s going dahn (as we like to say in Pgh). This isn’t 2004. Kerry wasn’t expanding the map in the final days like this. This isn’t 2000. There is no DUI waiting for us–it’s too late anyway. November surprises only work when there is no early voting.

    Yet we have a rash of polling, summarized and pushed by the RCP average and Nate Silver, that seems to suggest a different story. Axelrod et al are pushing this narrative of a “fundamental” change in the electorate, of a mega-mind voter ID and turnout operation like the world has never seen.

    The MSM has bought it hook, line, and sinker.

    But there are a few problems with the narrative. If the electorate fundamentally changed in 2008, how can you explain 2010? In fact, why isn’t anyone talking about 2010, the most recent national election we have had?

    Strange. If R does win this (not by a little, but by a comfortable margin) what will the polling industry do?

    • No Tribe
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well, 2010 is by definition, an outlier!

      I’m just trying on the argument…

    • Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Maybe the MSM goes off to Narnia for good if the results show what we have been talking about here? It is more likely that they claim they saw it coming all along, while throwing everyone else under the bus.

    • stuckinmass
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      someone ought to start an alternative to the rcp average that doesn’t assume that all polls are created equal!

      but no, if R does win it, i predict nothing changes in terms of polling. everyone will forget how wrong the polls were

      • trux
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink

        That would be Nate Silver…that’s what he does-take polls and give them a certain weight.

  18. Greg from MN
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have lived in MN all my life, and when I saw polls a few weeks back by Star Tribune and St. Cloud State University showing Obama up by 10 and 8 points, respectively, I told my wife I would like to find those putting out the polls and bet my entire life savings that Obama will not win MN by 8 points, let alone 10 points.

    Folks can believe what they want to believe. I am not sure Romeny will win MN but it will certainly be smaller than a 4 or 5 pt race if Obama does win.

    Obama folks must feel the same way. Guess where Clinton is holding a rally tomorrow night? Central MN at St. Cloud State University.

    Top surrogate in MN two days prior to election day = Ruh Roh . . . . .

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      Greg, remember tomorrow afternoon Paul Ryan will be at MSP Sun Country Hanger Rally!

      • Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

        You’re invited to a Victory Rally with

        Paul Ryan

        & the Republican Team

        Sunday, November 4th, 2012
        Doors Open 1:30 PM | Event Begins 3:30 PM

        Sun Country Airlines
        Minneapolis — St. Paul International Airport
        2005 Cargo Road, Minneapolis, MN 55111

    • Pete
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink | Reply

      Quick! Someone in Obama’s campaign should contact Peter and bks right away because theyre about to waste millions of dollars in MN.

  19. EpiphoneKnight
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    One good thing: O isn’t organized here. One bad thing: The Soros secretary of state. MN is a tough nut to crack for that reason. Mitt has to win by more than 1% because Ritchie will just Franken the results in a recount…. unless the electoral votes don’t matter then maybe he won’t bother. O at 45% is abysmal though. One humorous tidbit… MN being white. It’s funny; I’m one of the only white people in my neighborhood. (Arabs, Indians (people from India) make up a lot of it) My wife is a pacific islander fully backing Romney.

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