All Tied Up 47 to 47 in Pennsylvania — Susquehanna Polling & Research

Things sure are interesting in Pennsylvania.  The latest Tribune-Review poll run by Susquehanna Polling has the race tied at 47 a piece.  The candidates are equal in favorability at 48% but Obama’s Unfavorables are higher than Romney’s at 47% versus Romney at 44%.  Right track/wrong track is 38%/56% withe the economy, taxes, spending and the deficit the paramount issues with 71% of voters:

President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney entered the final days of the presidential race tied in a state that the campaigns only recently began contesting, a Tribune-Review poll shows. The poll showed the race for Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes locked up at 47 percent in its final week. Romney was scheduled to campaign in the Philadelphia area on Sunday, and former President Bill Clinton planned to stump for Obama on Monday. The campaigns have begun to saturate the airwaves with millions of dollars in presidential advertising.

“They’re both in here because of exactly what you’re seeing” in this poll, said Jim Lee, president of Susquehanna Polling & Research, which surveyed 800 likely voters Oct. 29-31. Most of the interviews occurred after Hurricane Sandy inundated Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. The poll’s error margin is 3.46 percentage points. Nearly 60 percent of people say the country is on the wrong track, and economic concerns continue to dominate. Almost half of likely voters say economic issues are the primary driver of their choice for president.


  1. HarvardLaw for Romney
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    How on point is Susquehanna? Also, do we know the party split from this sample?

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:35 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’m curious about this as well.
      ~ Brittany

      • Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

        my recollection is that it’s the firm that knows PA well and nailed the Pat Toomey race. GO R&R GO!

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink | Reply

      Susquehenna does polling for the GOP. They nailed Senator Toomey’s election on the nose and was off two points of Governor Corbett’s win in 2010.

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

      Ah, I’m soaking this in. This poll is going to shape the narrative and it’s going to headline in deep blue Pittsburgh and send the media scrambling as they begin to realize that Mitt has a credible, alternate path around OH.

      • Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

        From what I’ve considered that Michael Barone has outlined about the “revenge of the suburbs” against Obama’s destruction of the middle class – it might well be that PA is easier to get 270 because that state did not get pounded with Obama’s character attacks and Mitt + Republicans saved their $$$ for advertising 🙂

    • Ron
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink | Reply

      Susquehanna exactly predicted the Toomey victory and was 1pt. off on Corbett’s victory. In other words, it’s pretty darn exact. It was also right on the mark in 2008 predicting the extent of the Obama win. They predicted he’d win by 8pts and he won by 10.

      The race has tightened a bit since the last polling but Obama’s has gone from Morning-in-America type ads to Bain demonizing and the 47% video. Meanwhile Romney and the GOP pacs are carpet-bombing PA. They are devastating.

      I think we’ll win this state. Obama was caught off guard and was less prepared than he should have been for an all-out assault. He’s also at 47%–a bad place to be for an incumbent. And there are issues people here care passionately about. Catholics in the northeast part of the state are eager to send him a message. The northwest is concerned about the hostility toward fracking for natural gas. And the western part of the state is furious over the war on coal.

    • Ron
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:30 am | Permalink | Reply

      I think the poll is D+6.

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink | Reply

      If Romney wins Pennsylvania, the race is over. If the Obama campaign and the media ignore Susquehanna’s polling, they do so at their peril. Let’s take a quick look at the three most recent major statewide races in Pennsylvania, and how Susquehanna fared compared to their polling counterparts:

      2010 US Senate Race – Susquehanna was the only pollster to nail Pat Toomey’s two-point margin of victory over Joe Sestak. The media-despised Rasmussen Reports was second closest (two points off), while Quinnipiac and Public Policy Polling (the “real” pollsters) were off by three points.

      2010 PA Governor’s Race – Republican Tom Corbett won the race by eight points, 54-46. Susquehanna polled the race within one point, showing Corbett winning by seven points. Rasmussen, PPP, and Quinnipiac reported the same margin, resulting in a four-way tie in correctly predicting the race.

      2008 Presidential Contest – For those shocked at seeing Obama trailing Mitt Romney by four points in the latest Pennsylvania poll, the same polling outfit had Obama defeating McCain by 8 points four years ago. Obama won by 10. Although their final poll was done two weeks before election day, they actually polled within two points of the final results, along with PPP, Quinnipiac, and Survey USA. The results were closer than other state polls done by Rasmussen, ARG, Marist, and Morning Call.

      In the last three statewide contests, Susquehanna had an average margin of error from the actual result of one point, making them Pennsylvania’s most accurate pollster. Romney winning Pennsylvania doesn’t seem out of reach at all. Obama won the state by 10 points in 2008, a smaller margin than he won by in Wisconsin and Nevada, which are now toss-ups. He won by about the same margin in New Hampshire, Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado in 2008 as well; all of those states are now in play. Romney is also benefiting from a lack of early voting in Pennsylvania, depriving union goons the opportunity to drag voters to the polls for weeks before the election.’

  2. Marshmallow Candidate
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    I was hoping this wouldn’t be down to the wire. But if it’s this close, we might have to wait all night for the results.

    • Ron
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      Remember, 47% for an incumbent is bad news. Those undecideds will break for Romney.

  3. Blackcloud
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    If Romney’s rally today can boost support in Bucks County and spill over into the other collar counties, he’s got a decent chance. That’s what it’ll come down to: can he do well enough in the Philly burbs to neutralize Philly, so that the rest of the state can give him the win.

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

      Couple this with poll momentum and it will send the media into a tizzy.

    • Ron
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:23 am | Permalink | Reply

      Philly might not do that well. It’s still in recovery from the storm. It didn’t summon up the necessary votes to defeat Toomey or Corbett in 2010. I don’t think it’s that well organized this time around–especially with the state under total GOP control. There’s also lingering resentment, I think, toward Obama on the part of Rendell’s people.

    • Ron
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Those affluent suburban counties around Philly are right up Romney’s alley. Barone pointed this out. It’s why he thinks R will take PA.

  4. Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hey Keith how confident do you feel about Romney winning tuesday, and out of the swing states which ones do you really feel like he will win. Thanks

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’m cautiously optimistic on Romney winning. Electoral count to be given on Monday

      • Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:44 am | Permalink

        I can’t wait. I just don’t want to be over confident and I know that you will be straight forward with us. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, you my friend are a true american!!!

      • Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:20 am | Permalink

        Thank you for your fine work 🙂 It’s funny that from this site and others the electoral map currently looks like this: and it’s possible that the only swing states Obama takes are Michigan and Nevada when he has limited paths and actually has to run the table. One would never know the apparent state of the race and what’s truly in play from the Obama team @ MSNBC!

      • Porchlight
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        MI and NV are the only swing states projected to go to Obama in the University of Colorado model (Bickers and Berry).

    • Brad
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink | Reply

      If these numbers are real, and we have no reason not to think so, this election is over. Mitt wins PA, he wins the White House.

      • AC
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

        If Romney wins FL, NC, VA, and PA and loses OH, WI, MI, MN, NV, CO, IA, and NH, he can get to 269 by winning ME-02. Where is the Romney spending in Maine? Don’t want to fall just one EV short.

      • Brad
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink

        I don’t see him losing CO and winning PA, but yeah, you wouldn’t want to fall a single EV short.

    • Ron
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:54 am | Permalink | Reply

      What’s interesting is the trend in the whole country compared to ’08. He’s down about 10pts in places like CA and OR. So it’s not just PA or WI. It’s everywhere. People know we’re in a mess. I watched Obama on C-span at a rally of Dems bragging about how he created 5million new jobs and how housing values were going up. Nobody applauded, nobody cheered after each statement. Even his own people know it’s not true.

  5. bks
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    The _Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_ is owned by ultra-conservative Richard Mellon Scaife, and the Susquehanna Poll is a “Gop only” market research company.


    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink | Reply

      And what about all those papers owned by ultra-liberal Warren Buffet? We should dismiss them too right?

      • bks
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:54 am | Permalink

        Maybe. Do you have a Buffet-paper/pollster combo in mind?


      • Pete
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink

        Looking for all of bks’ posts which challenged PPP or Marist results. Will report back when I find anything.

    • Tony
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink | Reply

      The only poll from Susquehanna in 2008, had Obama plus 8. He won by 10.

      • No Tribe
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink

        At the widest, there are 15 states as “battleground” listed on RCP. Obama is only above 50% in two of them. Over and over we’ve seen that Obama does not break 50% and that is going to be the telling mark of a Romney wave.

    • Brad
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      Don’t worry, bks. I’m sure the Philly Inquirer will headline the oh so reputable PPP poll out tonight.

      • bks
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:20 am | Permalink

        Headline it, or pay for it?


      • Brad
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

        As if that makes a difference. Mo has shifted in PA and the upper midwest, embrace it.

      • bks
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:40 am | Permalink

        How do you figure a move from +4 Romney to Tie from the same company is mo for Romney? It looks like a four-point swing toward Obama.


      • Brad
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:50 am | Permalink

        Did you bother looking at their 10/4-6 poll that had O+2 before you asked your question or bother to check the latest PPP polls that move a point despite their decision to jack up Ds and self-identified libs to boot? How about Philly Inquirers polls that shows poll over poll movement? How about Gravis’ recent poll that shows O only up 3 at 48% w/ a D+8 sample? I consider all the data points bks, not just those that force-fit a narrative.

    • edtitan77
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:07 am | Permalink | Reply

      Oh well the Left has NBC and Marist.

    • Ron
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:40 am | Permalink | Reply

      My understanding is that the GOP only uses Susquehanna. It doesn’t control it. By the way, one of Romney’s top campaign pollsters is a guy from Susquehanna Polling.

    • Interested Party
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Come on, bks. Be honest and don’t troll. Who owns/hires PPP? Marist?

      Susquehanna was out in front of this 6 weeks ago. They poll in every PA state senate district. They called Toomey when your vaunted MSM polls were calling Sestak by 4-6 points.

      Bottom line. They are right.

      The only issue at this point is whether the undecideds break for the challenger (like they usually do) or will a supposedly vast turnout machine and changing voter demographic save Obama’s butt from the greatest electoral campaign miscalculation in 150 years.

      • Dave Ped
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        And they know PA very well.

  6. Jim S.
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    At this point if Mitt wins FL-VA-CO-(IA OR NH), he needs just one of the following PA,OH,WI,MN.

    • M. White
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink | Reply

      Left on NC, he has to have that one and he will. I live here in NC and it will go Romney. They are sending Clinton in here tomorrow.

      • Jim S.
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:44 am | Permalink

        At this point I’m assuming that IN and NC are in the bag for Romney.

      • trux
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        That still really bothers me that they are sending Clinton. I want to believe it’s just a head-fake, but can’t quite after OFA’s confidence on early voting numbers.

      • edtitan77
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink

        Early voting has been off the charts in NC. Of all the swing states NC has the highest Black percentage so Mitt has to do extremely well with Whites to overcome may prove difficult we shall see.

      • Porchlight
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Obama hasn’t set foot in NC since the convention. It’s over. NC is done deal for Romney.

  7. M. White
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    I know he will there tomorrow, but I think Romney should have in PA instead of Iowa. This is a much closer race, Obama only at 47%. I hope Romney has not screwed up by not being there more. He should have went Thursday, Friday and Sunday and maybe even Monday. If it’s this close he needs to be in there, PN maybe more favorable to him than Iowa with more electoral votes and if he loses Ohio he could pick up PA and still win. PA has not been saturated with negative ads for months on end like Ohio. I do think he will Ohio but it will be a nail biter. Not sure why Romney isn’t running away with this race all over the country as bad as things are, really makes no sense, but the media narrative as much to do with that, negative Romney all the time on almost all the channels, even cable, and comedy. If he wins it will be an amazing defeat to all! Sure hope and pray enough people still have some common sense!

    • M. White
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:46 am | Permalink | Reply

      “I think it’s always been here for the taking,” Lee said. The question, he said, is whether Romney’s recent play for the state is “a day late and a dollar short.”

      Read more:
      Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

      (This is my point exactly! Sure hope it’s not too late, he really needs it! We’ll just have to see if it fool’s gold or the real deal!)

      • No Tribe
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink

        That article just goes to show you, with the numbers that were spouted by both campaigns, how little has been done in the state. Tiny numbers of field work for this big a state. It’s literally an ad war state.

    • AC
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink | Reply

      I wonder if there will be any last-minute schedule changes. I would like to think that Romney has Florida in the bag and doesn’t need to travel there one more time — as currently scheduled.

      • Medicine Man
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

        Needs the Senate also…(Connie Mack)

      • AC
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:07 am | Permalink

        Who is campaigning with Mack in Florida when Romney and Ryan are not there? Jeb Bush, Gov Scott, Marco Rubio, anybody else?

    • Ron
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      I think not targeting the state helped Mitt in the long run. This summer Obama ran very negative ads blasting Romney–and they went unanswered. Then nothing from either side. Then came the debates and Romney’s numbers began to climb. Still no ads from either side. Then PA came into play and Romney and the pacs began the ad barrage–which only brought Obama into the act with negative ads. When the air war happened, the numbers tightened apparently.

  8. Jake
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    47 all, with that being Obama’s approximate ceiling (with his unfavorables one point off his favorables), would mean that barring a fairly unprecedented breaking of undecideds mostly towards the incumbent, Mitt has to be considered the favorite in Pennsylvania.

    If the white whale is harpooned it’s essentially over for O. He’d have to completely run the table in the remaining swing states.

  9. Patrick M
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    Encouraging poll. Looking forward to the internals.

    BTW: Entertaining interview with a low-information democrat in that link. “Because he’s taken advantage of offshore tax benefits, ‘I don’t trust what he says about keeping jobs in the U.S.'” Umm… what?

  10. Jeni
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    A couple of things about the Rallly in Yardley tomorrow. First, I saw today on MSNBC an interview with Ed Rendell in which he was asked to respond to a tweet Rupert Murdoch sent out saying that Christie needed to come out again for Romney before the election. Rendell’s response (not that I assume it is said with good intentions) was that Romney should have Christie at the Rally tomorrow. My gut is that it’s best to just stay away from the whole Christie thing at this point…no need to remind anyone of the lovefest. Secondly, out of curiousity I checked out PECO’s map outage. There are still 20-50K people out of power in Bucks County, which was likely the area of PA hardest hit by Sandy and is not that far across the river from NJ. Not sure about the optics. Any thoughts?

    • M. White
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink | Reply

      What do you mean about the optics? Just curious, are feeling bad or good about it?

      • Jeni
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

        Not exactly sure what I’m feeling, to be honest. I guess if no one on the other side has raised a stink about the stop, it shouldn’t be a problem. Having visions of MSNBC/CNN faulting Romney for campaigning while people are suffering.

      • Commonsenseobserver
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

        People suffer whether he campaigns or not. The question is, do we want them to suffer even more the next four years?

        It’s not like he’s drawing first responders or important resources away, or anything like that.

    • No Tribe
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yea, it’s about 100K that are still out of power in PA. Clinton is going through the whole state, with two stops in Philly, the next day, and his entourage of security is larger than Romney’s.

      • Jeni
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink

        The power outages in Philly are only “scattered” which means less than 5K. Bucks was hit the hardest as far as power. I do think this was the best place for Romney to go; I just don’t want O to have an opporunity for spin.

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

      No Christie, please. At most, in ads. Then, the leftist love affair with him will backfire, since Christie now has bipartisan credibility. Talking about the spirit of bipartisanship which only Mitt Romney can achieve.

      I doubt that the optics wold be that bad, or else O wouldn’t be sending Clinton to the state and visiting NJ in a blatantly political and useless move.

    • exe
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink | Reply

      I live right next door. 90% of the outages around here are fixed. NBD.

    • AC
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink | Reply

      I think that Christie should issue a press release reiterating his strong support for Romney Ryan. Maybe in exchange Romney could announce a big donation to NJ from his campaign.

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

      I live in NJ. I don’t have power in my home. (I am writing this from my office). I know that Chris Christie won’t be persoanlly clearing the trees from the street in front iof my house, and he won;t be repairing my power personally either. I also know that he won’t be pumping my gas when I wait in line this afternoon for three hours to fill up my car, I do know that the optics of Christie appearing ANYWHERE except in New Jersey fixing stuff for the next week would be terrrible.
      As much as I hate to say it, Christie would be nuts if he did presidential politics today or tomorrow. Optics, optics.

  11. Kardinal11
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh PA. The pretty girl who bats her eyes and flirts with you only to leave with someone else. Philly just makes it too damn hard to ever get that last % even in good years. This is a 4 point swing the wrong way from their last poll. Not good. As the campaigns have turned focus here the Dem voters are coming home. 😦

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

      Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of. If it wasn’t for Philly, PA would go red every time, but these large liberal cities are huge for Democrats. I have lots more to say about that subject that isn’t very nice so I will not!

    • Zang
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t really view it as a 4 point swing. The prior poll was for a Republican organization, and this is an official newspaper poll.

      • Kardinal11
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink

        Zang I don’t understand your point. The prior poll was done by the same company. I doubt they changed their methodology. I think their republican clients were likely paying them for accurate information as well. Plus the newspaper is the conservative foil to the post gazette.

      • Evan3457
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:50 am | Permalink

        PRA recently did two different polls for two different companies in one of the states. I forget which one. They covered the same time period, and showed about a 5 point gap. Different turnout model assumptions, different weightings can give different results to essentially the same electorate.

    • ed
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink | Reply

      I think Barone has it write this time…he calls PA for Romney

      • ed
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

        right…geeeze its late

    • Brad
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      Storm cleanup, people heading back to work with lots to catch up on, lingering power outages may play a role on Tues. turnout.

    • Interested Party
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink | Reply

      Watch the Ed Morrissey inteview with Jim Lee, who runs Susquehanna. They poll in every State Senate district in PA and know them backwards and forwards. They are right on.

  12. Zang
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    Ohio poll:

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink | Reply

      Lots of problems with this poll. Claims 40% already have voted, D+4, 40D/36R/24I (quite disbelievable) where turnout was D+5 according to voter returns in 2008, claims Obama is up 5 in central Ohio where based on indications in Greene, Licking, and Franklin indicate a huge shift to Romney compared to 2008 early voting.

      One thing that I don’t see people mention is Ohio’s state result of Obama 4.5 was 2.5 points to the right of what the final 7 point national win result was. All national polls pretty much have the race dead even. Using this basic extrapolation, that would say that Romney is up 2-3 in Ohio.

  13. cacitizen
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t think it would look good for Christy or Romney. NJ still has Sandy victims with no food, power or water, etc. Romney shouldn’t worry about any of this and just stay focused on his message. Jobs, economy, energy independence, bi partisanship, his track record and looking presidential. If PA citizens are worried about jobs, economy and the war on coal, R’s message should work well. After R wins, there might be opportunities for R and Christy to show off how well they work together, etc. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

    • Kardinal11
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink | Reply

      Christie is irrelevant to this campaign at this point and will only serve to refocus the narrative on his Obama bromance last week. He’s toxic right now IMO.

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

      The damage from Christie has been done. He gave Obama a very good day of press at the worst possible time. Christie was a complete backstabbing jerk. Even Bloomberg (1) Wouldn’t let Obama come to NYC for a photo-op (2) limited his endorsement to a policy issue (Global Warming) that swing voters do not care about. Christie gave personal effusive praise, which does count with independents.

      • M. White
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink

        I agree and have made myself very clear about on previous posts. I will NEVER support Christie, I mean never!

      • Beef
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink

        Chrisite is done as a potential future GOP presidential candidate.

      • Ron
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:15 am | Permalink

        Sadly, both in his keynote address and with this recent love fest with Obama, Christie is showing he isn’t ready for the national stage. He’s too full of himself and has started to believe his good press–and it shows.

    • M. White
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink | Reply

      I completely agree, it would be terrible optics. Romney does not need to tie himself to that right now. Let Christie stay where he is and Romney do his thing. I still say Romney should have been playing in PA last week instead of Iowa.

      • Kardinal11
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

        I think they hit PA at the right time actually. My guess is R/R saw it drifting and wanted to make a late play to catch the dems flatfooted without giving them time to crank their machine up and respond.

      • Tony
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

        No, Romney played it right. If he would have done that, then Clinton, Obama and Biden would have also been in Pa for massive rallies.

      • Jeni
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

        I’m just wondering if they came in too soon (which sounds ridiculous, given the election is Tuesday). I wrote last night that if PA goes O, I will always wonder what may have happened had they done nothing at all. Never underestimate the democratic machine.

      • Bob San Diego
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:00 am | Permalink

        Takes lead time to get a major stump speech set up.

        Once they made the decision to do a big event in Bucks county, they had to announce they were going after PA.

  14. No Tribe
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    Susquehanna did poll ’08, their Oct poll found Obama up 8% and final margin was 10%

    • Jim S.
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink | Reply

      Sounds like it’s within the MoE, and they nailed the 2010 races.

      • Kardinal11
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink

        Susquehanna has a very accurate track record from what I can dig up. My concern would be the movement to O since their last poll. That’s the problem with PA. Somewhere deep down they want to flip but always manage to snap back to form when push comes to shove.

  15. M. White
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:08 am | Permalink | Reply
    Love this article, says all we need to know about Ohio and the stupid Marist Poll! Please read!

    • Jody
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the link.

  16. Pete
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    Without the typical walking around money, the Obama campaign’s GOTV efforts may have helped give PA over to Romney.

    • Jeni
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      I read something about this here last night. i don’t know anything about what’s “normal”. Curious about what that is and why it would be different this time, other than the sheer logistics of lack of time to plan.

  17. No Tribe
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    One thing I believe we’ll see election night is Obama’s final number being his end number as well. As I mentioned above, Obama is above 50% in only two states listed under battlegrounds. If he’s below 49% he’s toast without a doubt:

    MO: 42.6
    AZ: 44
    NC: 46
    VA: 47.6
    FL 47.7
    IA 47.8
    CO: 48.2
    NH: 49
    OH: 49.3
    MN: 49.3
    MI: 49.3
    PA: 49.4
    NV: 50.2
    WI: 50.5

    • Brad
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink | Reply

      O is under 50 in ME (49) per a poll released today. Up 7 overall.

    • Brad
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink | Reply

      He’s also under 50 in OR, and only 53 in CA.

    • Beef
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, but the bulk of those EV’s are right at 49%. This is way too close.

  18. Zang
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink | Reply


    You might find this poll interesting. It is a poll of just Monroe County, PA. Obama carried this county by 20 points in 2008. According to this poll, the race is tied 42-42.

    • Brad
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:20 am | Permalink | Reply

      It’s a RV poll too. 596 adults, 561 RVs, re-weighted to 490.

  19. Tony
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    I believe Romney wins the Bush states in 2004, minus NM and Nevada, but plus NH for 279 EV if I were betting. Wisconsin is the next possibility, which would put him at 289. History tells me Pa and Mn, will stay blue. Iowa is another wildcard, followed by Nevada.

  20. Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Keith and everyone, must read.

    The middle paragraphs are especially eye-opening. I totally missed this.

    • margaret
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      Another good read from a native pollster/business investment advisor from Ohio. Does his math seem sound, as he looks at his projections per county?

      • Brad
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:20 am | Permalink

        Interesting analysis. Math checks out. Assumptions are subjective. His Mitt by 96k votes translates to about a 1.5-2 point win.

      • Blackcloud
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

        The second analysis seems longer on enthusiasm than anything else. It could be right nonetheless, but it’s a bit too giddy for my taste. I’m not sure how you can pick vote totals down to the last place. That seems to me the same kind of false precision Nate Silver traffics in.

    • Publius
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:13 am | Permalink | Reply

      I am skeptical of that study( It assumes that the 47% non primary identifiable early voters are all independents.That may not be the case because a significant fraction may be democrats who didn’t bother to vote in the primary( on account of it being non competitive). In fact the Marist poll that this study is based on lists 32% of the respondents as independents. So how come independents are 47% of early voters ? What if 15% of these are actually democrats, who didn’t vote in the primary and only 32% are independents. Then the conclusions of the analysis are not that positive for Romney.

      Unless we have a way of judging the actual proportion of democrats in the early voting( and I don’t know of any ), in an election as close as this, an analysis based on early voting will remain inconclusive.

  21. PeterJ
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    Something that has bothered me all along with a lot of comments here and elsewhere re Obama not being at or above 50%, is that even when pollsters push leaners, the leftover 1 or 2 percent may be made up of 3rd party protest voters or those who despite being screened really won’t show on election day. So I have had it in the back of my mind that 49% is the new 50% when the 2 candidates are not exactly tied at 49% all. This is only a feeling, and maybe the internals showing popularity going R’s way overcome this.

    Re this Susquehanna poll, we and Jim Lee of Susquehanna will know come election night whether his methodology of weighting by party ID is correct or not. And if he is right as many of us believe, then there is even more reason to be hopeful since if other posters used the same methodology there would be even more data points showing RR tied or ahead in PA.

  22. AC
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    I wanted to repeat this for those who are just looking at the bottom of this thread. If Romney wins FL, NC, VA, and PA and loses everything else (OH, WI, MI, MN, NV, CO, IA, NH), he can get to 269 by winning ME-02. Where is the Romney spending in Maine? We don’t want to fall just one EV short.

    • trux
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:32 am | Permalink | Reply

      They are spending a fair amount of money there.

      • AC
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:10 am | Permalink

        Do you have any web links? I’ve heard very little news out of Maine.

  23. Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:43 am | Permalink | Reply


  24. MikeP
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Have you guys checked out the internals to the Frank Marshall poll done in PA, independents are going for RR by 16%, however the party ID is D+13 (and Obama is only leading by 4 pts?).

    • Bob San Diego
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink | Reply

      The D+13 was RV. They used d+6 after their LV screen.

      • MikeP
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:33 am | Permalink

        My bad, must have missed that

  25. Bob San Diego
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    “I’m not sure how you can pick vote totals down to the last place.”

    I’m no expert but it appears he took 2008 results and extrapolated them for the big counties – tht wuld explain the exact numbers.

    Looks like he kind of wagged it on the small counties.

  26. Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    I wonder what all the Lib’s who have been drinking Li’l Abner’s Kickapoy Joy Juice, stronger than regular Kool Aid, are going to feel and react after Romney’s big time wins. Especially in states they think they have a lock on. Could be some harry caray’s.

  27. Jeni
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t know if this means anything, but just checked e-mail and the Romney event in PA has been moved up 1/2 hour (from 5:30 to 5:00). Doors opening a half hour earlier as well. I don’t know anything about his travel schedule. Is it possible he could be adding another event somewhere?

  28. Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Susquehanna had Romney up 4 in PA 3 weeks ago

  29. jeff
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Given Sandys effect on Philly in depressing vote and the fact thatt Obama has not had time to organize a strong GOTV this spells doom for him.

  30. Evan3457
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    There are only two pieces of good news in this poll:

    1. Most of it was taken at the height of the post-Katrina bounce, the 1st two days after the storm, the 30th and 31st.
    2. Obama still at 47%.

  31. SK
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    The Susquehanna Poll has shown that PA can be taken.Now today’s rally will show the energy levels and enthusiasm of the People of Pennsylvania. I expect a massive crowd equalling Ohio Rally and this will become the talking point till the day of elections. The rally response will be the best poll on PA voters taken less than 24 hr to polls

  32. John
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    Like I posted yesterday the most recent data point we have regarding national and state political sentiment is the 2010 off year elections. It was a republican tsunami helped along by tremendous independent (Tea Party) votes for republican candidates. This FACT is being completely ignored by the pollsters and nearly all political analysts. It’s as if 2010 never happened. Michael Barone mentioned this in his mini-landslide prediction but going by the poll weightings and discussion of them you would think the 2010 election was a draw or Dems won more seats. What has seriously changed for the positive in this country since 2010 that would change perspectives? Overall economy same or worse, debt worse, take home pay down, health insurance premiums up, Obamacare mandates against Catholics and other groups, Iran closer to nukes, rest of mideast in turmoil. About the only positive is Osama Bin Laden was killed in 2011 but Al Qaida is becoming more of a problem overall in the world. Gallup, Rasmussen, Pew are still getting the 2010 signal in the national assesment of political sentiment with R+. Not quite as large as in 2010 but it is there and ALL the polls seem to be ignoring it. This is why Romney is close/tied in states like WI, PA, MN. They all elected republican house, senate, governors and state legislators. 2010 has not disappeared, it has just gone underground for while but will emerge on Tuesday Nov 6 2012 in a big way!!!

  33. NHConservative
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Columbia Dispatch released a poll today with O 50 R 48. I can’t find the internals. I’m hoping someone can a breakdown the logic on it.

    • JGS
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      Here are the parts I found most interesting:

      “Obama leads by 15 points among the 40 percent-plus of voters who say they have or will cast an early ballot. Romney leads by 11 points with those who plan to vote on Election Day. Through Friday, more than 1.6 million Ohioans had cast an early ballot. ”

      So a 15-point lead among “the 40 percent-plus who say they have OR WILL cast an early ballot” would equate to a 6-point Obama lead among that 40%, but a Romney 11-point lead among the remaining 60% “who plan to vote on Election Day” would equate to a 6.6-point Romney lead among that 60% (11 X .6), wouldn’t that give Romney a 0.6 point overall win (6.6 – 6.0)? And how would that produce a 2-point margin for Obama on those figures?

      “The mail poll of 1,501 likely Ohio voters Oct. 24 through yesterday has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. The partisan breakdown of those who returned the poll: 40 percent Democrat, 36percent Republican, 21 percent independent, and the rest divided among the other four political parties recognized in Ohio.”

      So a D+4 voter ID advantage for Dems, vs. D+5 in 2008, and R+5 in 2004 — seems like a bit shaded to the Dems, if overall national turnout is R+1 as predicted by Rasmussen, Ohio will be R+3 based upon propensity of Ohio to be slightly more Republican than the nation as a whole (which shows up in election after election, where Ohio’s vote comes in anywhere from 1 to 3 points more Republican than the nation as a whole).

      Curious as to Keith’s take on this poll.

      • Medicine Man
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        Actually, those numbers, along with the CNN numbers that show RR has a 13 point lead of point not yet voted (along with the absentee requests differences) leads me to have quiet confidence regarding Ohio.

      • Eric
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        According to the Secretary of State for Ohio as of the end of the day Friday 1.6 voters have voted in Ohio. This represents 28% of the number of people that voted in 2008. 2012 turnout should be higher than 2008 turnout just do to small population growth.

        Turnout in 2000 for Ohio: 4.5 million voters
        2004: 5.6 million voters
        2008: 5.6 million voters
        2012: ???

        In 2004, the Kerry and Bush campaigns concentrated heavily on Ohio and turning out voters, thus the huge jump from 2000 to 2004. In 2008 turnout dropped back to normal levels or may have even been below normal due to Republicans refusing to vote for McCain. 2012 should surely be higher than 2008 turnout. That means that less than 28% of voters in Ohio have already voted. The real figure may be around 26% or so.

        In 2008, 29.7% of Ohio voters voted early. 2012 should get close to that % once ballots continue to stream in during the next few days.

        If you run those numbers (simple algebra):
        15% lead for Obama times 30% of voters + 11% lead for Romney times 70% of voters = X
        (-.15)(.3) + (.11)(.7) = X
        (-.045) + (.077) = X
        .032 = X

        X = 3.2%

        So, the numbers from their poll point to a 3.2% lead for Romney in Ohio.

      • JGS
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Except the story refers to the “40 percent-plus of voters who say they have OR WILL cast an early ballot.” If that “40 percent-plus” includes 12% who haven’t YET voted early but say they are going to do so, and that cohort reports by a 15-point margin that they are likely to support Obama, it would not be methodologically sound to transmute that 12% into the cohort that will be voting on election day (a cohort that, according to the poll, reports by an 11-point margin that they are likely to support Romney). That’s why I did the math the way I did it above, which shows a 0.6% victory margin for Romney rather than the 3.2% you came up with. Still, how the poll gets to a 2% Obama lead on its own described internals is extremely puzzling to me.

      • Eric
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        less than 30% of voters have voted early. Maybe 25-26% have already voted. It’s reasonable to expect maybe another 5% to vote early between today and Monday. 29.7% early voted in 2008. 40% would be a really high number of early voters given that 90% of absentee ballot requests have already been returned. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot has already passed for Cuyahoga County. That deadline was Saturday morning. This means that 90% of early voters or so have already early voted. Only 10% are left. That would point to all early voters being around 30%.

        The poll oversampled early voters because they re-weighted their poll to a pre-determined demographic model. That model favors Democrats and explains why there are too many Democrats in the poll. Since Democrats tend to early vote, it also overstates the number of early voters. We know this to be true because we can look up the numbers from the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.

      • JGS
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Well, the poll goes all the way back to 10/24, so a respondent interviewed on 10/24 who hadn’t yet voted as of 10/24 may well have voted by now or may yet vote between now and election day. I have no doubt that there is D oversampling, probably because of the early voting confusion, but wouldn’t this all get swept up into the D+4 party identification figure?

        Finally, the Dispatch has now posted the information linked above, and as best I can tell, it shows only a 7% margin for Obama among the 422 respondents who reported that they had already sent in their absentee ballots, and a 23% margin for Obama among the 122 respondents who reported that they voted early in person. The total number of respondents was 1,469, so let’s do a little bit of math to see what their poll shows Obama’s actual blended advantage is among those who say they have already voted (not those who say they WILL vote early, but those who say they already have).

        422/1469 = 28.7% — .287 X .07 Obama margin = .02009
        122/1469 = 8.3% — .083 X .23 Obama margin = .01909

        The sum of these two is a net 4% Obama advantage for Romney to make up, among the 63% of the respondent poll not included in the foregoing calculation. (The proof of the over-sampling of early voters is the fact that 37% of these respondents claimed to have already voted early, whereas we know that it’s more like 28%.) Even ignoring the overweighting, this would require Romney to have only a 6.4% advantage with the remaining 37% of the pool.

        A final metric as to whether this poll is overweighted with Democrats. Obama beat McCain by 4.6 points in OH in 2008 (51.5% to 46.9%). However, among this respondent group, of those who reported voting in 2008 for one of the main Presidential candidates, 730 reported having voted for Obama, vs. 618 who reported having voted for McCain. That is a difference of 8.7% (54.15% vs. 45.85%), so this pool is too rich in Obama voters relative to McCain voters.

      • JGS
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        Sorry, with the remaining 63% of the pool.

      • JGS
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        And a difference of 8.3%, not 8.7%. It’s still early out here in CA.

  34. TheTorch
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have just been looking at the event schedule for Romney / Ryan and The Surrogates on the website. Have you seen how many events they have listed for the 4th in addition to the Victory Rallies! This is like a strike team going in for the kill!

    • SK
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink | Reply

      This is carpet bombing of Battle grpund states like a Blitzkreig or like Marine Landings in occupied zone. Whosoever thought of this strategy has picked up winning style

      • JGS
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Gangnam style.

  35. Interested Party
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    The polls, at least, tell us the races everywhere will be exceedingly close. R’s momentum has not stalled in the polls, it just gave the appearance on being stalled by an oversampling of early voters in the likely voter screens.

    O’s turnout machine may or may not be real, but election fundamentals are election fundamentals. R will likely win the battle of election day by a lot. What looks close now has a distinct possibility of being a comfortable win for R.

    I think the two biggest stories of this election will be (1) the unreliability of state polls in a state with a lot of early voting; and (2) the miscalculation by O not to seriously contest PA.

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