Tag Archives: bias

Senator Sharon Angle Agrees With Nate Silver: Barack Obama has an 84% Chance of Winning

Nate Silver has his usual spin on outrageously absurd election outcome odds:

President Obama is now better than a 4-in-5 favorite to win the Electoral College, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. His chances of winning it increased to 83.7 percent on Friday, his highest figure since the Denver debate and improved from 80.8 percent on Thursday.

He shows a bunch of polls from a murder’s row of bad polling where Obama is leading and maps out three arguments where they could be wrong.  After arguing and dismissing the first two he concludes:

That leaves only the final source of polling error, which is the potential that the polls might simply have been wrong all along because of statistical bias.

You don’t say!

The FiveThirtyEight forecast accounts for this possibility…I do not mean to imply that the polls are biased in Mr. Obama’s favor. But there is the chance that they could be biased in either direction…My argument, rather, is this: we’ve about reached the point where if Mr. Romney wins, it can only be because the polls have been biased against him. Almost all of the chance that Mr. Romney has in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, about 16 percent to win the Electoral College, reflects this possibility.

Silver makes such pronouncements with outlandish statistical weights as if it is nearly unbelievable that the poll results could be wrong.  One of the main purposes of this blog was to look at the exact same polls, analyze the internal data and test whether the poll data match up with the poll results.  We found that time after time after time the results unequivocally do not match up with the internal data.  Thanks to Sean Davis, we are reminded this was the identical situation only 2 years ago is probably the highest profile race where a deeply unpopular Senate Majority leader was behind in nearly every poll yet still won.

Out of 14 polls between October 1 and election day, Sharon Angle led in 12 of those polls.  Her average lead on election day according to Real Clear Politics was +2.6.  She lost by -5.6 points — an 8.2 point swing.  The polls were not just wrong, but WAY wrong.  Could anyone analyzing the internals of these polls see this?  Why yes they could. But even in the highest profile contest of the cycle, almost no one did such an analysis. The few who did, Democrat pollster Mark Mellman, Republican pollster Glen Bolger and liberal reporter/columnist Jon Ralston, all consistently said the polls were wrong — and each was largely ignored until proven correct on election day.  Why did they know this?  Because they looked at the data in the polls and said the internal information does not reflect the top-line results and the Nevada electorate on election day will not reflect what these polls are indicating. They were right and the polls were wrong … by A LOT.

Today we have an identical dichotomy where the stat gurus like Nate Silver say Obama has an 84% chance of winning because that is what the top-line poll numbers tell him.  Nate Silver called the Nevada Senate race incorrectly because the poll data was wrong.  His accuracy is predicated on accurate polls.  Mountains of evidence says today’s Presidential polls are equally as wrong as the Nevada Senate polls.

Critics of the polls on the Right, like myself, of whom even Silver concedes offer “intellectually coherent” critiques say the results on November 6 will be very different. Maybe Nate Silver is correct and Barack Obama will be re-elected President on November 6.  But any analysis of the data in those same state polls he relies on says the voting preference of Independents, the increased turnout of Republicans, the decreased turnout of Democrats, the change in favor of Republicans in early voting, Romney’s favorability on the election’s top issue (economy) and numerous other factors will result in President Romney on November 6.  United States Senator Sharon Angle from Nevada may disagree.

We Ask America’s Fabulously Awful Poll of Nevada (and Missouri)

It is still comical to see these gawd-awful poll internals presented as credible polls. When We Ask America first burst onto the scene Leftys cried they were a partisan pro-Republican polling form because they were owned by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. By that they cried foul because this was sponsored by a business association of manufacturers and anyone pro-Business had to be a biased Republican outfit.

Now We Ask America time and again comes out with poll results impossible to believe that get passed off as credible. In Missouri, where Mitt Romney allegedly only leads by 3-points, he outpaces Obama among Independents by 16-points. This must be the huge Democrat wave we are seeing in the Show Me State that led President Obama to not even campaign in a state he lost by only 4,000 votes in 2008. A state with such a Democrat fervor the most unelectable Republican this cycle has pulled to even with the incumbent Democrat in the Senate race.

But we don’t blog Missouri so we’ll move on to Nevada with a comical lead for Obama of 10.5-points with Mitt Romney favored among Independents by 15.4-points. The Nevada Democrat party is doing laps around the state GOP party right now on voter registration erasing all of the gains the GOP made ahead of the Ron Paul takeover, but this is ludicrous. Nevada’s Democrat advantage at the voting booth was 8-points in 2008 (Dem 38, Rep 30, Ind 12) flipping the GOP advantage in 2004 of 4-points (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26). Based on the absurd Obama lead and Romney’s margin with Independents, the survey has to have a 20+ point advantage of Democrats surveyed. Truly astonishingly awful. Definite winner of most in-the-bag pollster of the day.

Why Party ID Matters

I meant to blog this a couple days ago but I’ve been “busy” …

Jim Geraghty at National Review’s Campaign Spot nicely laid out the argument why party ID in matters in polling. This is a hotly contested issue especially since some pollsters weight their polls based on party identification and some do not.  Geraghty also does a great job laying out the mischaracterization many in the media make to defend this practice. The don’t have a good answer for our critique so they change the question to answer something they can defend.

First, the basics: Most Democrats are going to vote for the Democratic candidate, most Republicans are going to vote for the Republican candidate, and the independents are usually going to split somewhat evenly. So the proportion of the three groups more or less determines which candidate the polls are going to show ahead. No one claims to be able to predict, with absolute certainty, what the partisan makeup is going to be on Election Day. But we do have a range from recent history — from even in 2004 and a seven percentage point advantage for Democrats in 2008.

Now Geraghty lays out the biggest gap in defenders of current sampling

If a pollster believes that the electorate will be even more heavily Democratic in 2012 than it was in 2008, I’m willing to hear those arguments, but I think it’s a tough case to make.

Now the argument for why turnout will not meet or exceed 2008.  Something I have argued many times:

The last presidential cycle was a perfect storm for Democrats — an unpopular GOP incumbent, frustration over wars overseas, a terrifying economic meltdown, a Republican nominee who had spent much of his recent career fighting his own party and who openly admitted he wasn’t focused on economics, the first African-American major party nominee in U.S. history… This year you have Obama running as an incumbent in an extremely tough economy, a more aggressive GOP nominee, the grassroots energy of the Tea Parties, a huge change in each party’s financial resources, the novelty of making history wearing off, and now our embassies under siege in the Middle East… And then there is the shift in the number of voters who are registered voters in each party

Defenders of the polling mischaracterizing our complaints about sample sizes (I think I got so fired up I commented in Cilizza’s comment section here)

Yet our objection keeps getting misstated and twisted by poll defenders time and again. Here’s Chris Cillizza, claiming the complaints are “a series of false assumptions none bigger than that because the country has been virtually evenly divided on partisan lines for the past decade or so that the party identification question should result in something close to a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans.” No. I do not demand an even split, nor do any of the other folks paying attention to this factor. I do think that a split of D+7 or more is excessive, and that a D+3 or D+4 divide — halfway between the GOP peaks of 2004 and 2010, and the Democrat peak of 2008 — is more likely.

The reality

Because for much of this year, in quite a few national polls, we’ve seen Romney winning almost all the Republicans and hold a lead among independents, and still trail Obama, because Obama is winning almost all the Democrats, and Democrats make up such a large share of the sample. Possible? Sure, anything’s possible. But if a pollster is going to offer a hypothetical electorate that looks different from everything we’ve seen before, I’d like to know why they think this is the case…What we see in the most disproportionate poll samples is confirmation bias. To many people covering this race, Romney should be trailing badly, Republicans are flailing desperately, and Obama is running an exponentially better campaign. Thus, it makes perfect sense for the electorate to be even more heavily Democrat than it was in 2008.

It’s Official: Quinnipiac Says We’re All Democrats, Obama Still Losing Independents

There is no question in my mind that Barack Obama has promised to hire Quinnipiac to be his official pollster in his next election.  That’s the only explanation for polls consistently sampling an electorate that only exists in David Axelrod’s fantasy world. It’s nothing new that the Obama campaign aggressively lobbies polling outfits for turnout models they favor but Quinnipiac gets the gold star for going the extra mile in the audition to be Obama’s pollster for his 3rd term.  Today’s polls would have you believe we as a nation are so full of Justin Bieber level love for the Democrat party, we’re about to send 300+ into the House of Representatives not 190. But we should have seen this coming considering the way Quinnipiac indicted itself in the earlier discussion of party ID.

It’s latest swing state poll of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania is the most consistently absurd sampling of any I’ve seen this cycle. With results like these CBS and New York Times must find their joint effort with Quinnipiac to be the most smashing marriage since Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.


Party ID is D +9, (Dem 36, Rep 27, Ind 33).  This compares to D +3 in 2008 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29) and R +4 in 2004 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23). With a sampling like this Obama should have a 15-point lead. But Romney leads by 3 with Independents so Obama’s lead is only 9. Also check out the favorable/unfavorable of the two political parties.  Democrats are above water +6 at 49 Favorable/43 Unfavorable whereas Republicans are deeply under water -12 at 38 Favorable/50 Unfavorable. This must mean its Congressional delegation to the House of Representatives is overwhelmingly Democrat right?  But the Florida House delegation is made up of 19 Republicans and and 6 Democrats. And a Democrat Tsunami isn’t hitting the Florida delegation any time soon.  This electorate used to sample for Quinnipiac poll won’t exist on election day in Florida any time soon despite the hopiest of hopey wishes from Team Obama.


Party ID is D +9 (Dem 35, Rep 26, Ind 35). This compares to D +8 in 2008 (Dem 39, Rep 31, Ind 30) and R +5 in 2004 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind 25).  Romney leads with Independents by 1 but is down overall by 10 because Quinnipiac called all the shop stewards at GM plants across Ohio since the Obama re-election team was busy answering the Washington Post’s survey. This is for a state that less than 12-months ago went to the polls in a very pro-Union turnout and also voted to REPEAL Obamacare by a margin of 66 to 34.  Suddenly they’re all rushing into the arms of Obama because his war on coal keeps Ohioans unemployed by banning fracking of the Utica shale?  Ohio may be tough terrain for Romney but this sampling reflects as much reality as Kate Upton coming over to wake me up every the morning … It ain’t happening.


Party ID  is Dem +11 (Dem 39, Rep  28, Ind 27). This compares to D +7 in 2008 (Dem 44, Rep 37, Ind 18) and D +2 in 2004 (Dem 41, Rep 39, Ind 20). Well someone needed to challenge that Susquehanna poll showing a two point race in Pennsylvania because after the vigorous defense of their polling methodology someone may get the notion that Barack Obama isn’t most popular of popular Presidents in the history of all Presidents throughout the entire Universe. Thankfully for Team Obama Quinnipiac was up to the challenge finding an electorate right out of Ed Rendell’s party machine making it seem like Pennsylvania didn’t reject nearly every Democrat state-wide and turn over the House and Senate to Republicans. Romney leads by 1-point with Independents but is down 11 in this poll not worthy of blogging but I needed the exercise.

Obama’s National Lead Based Entirely on Over-Sampling Democrats

I went to great lengths to debunk the over-sampling of Democrats in polling used across polling outfits.  As a brief reminder, they use the prior election as their base model (7 percentage points more Democrats than Republicans) for consistency sake but not for accuracy sake.  Only Rasmussen Reports aggressively surveys the public to get a sense of current party affiliation and weights his polls accordingly.  This is why, despite hysterical protests from the Left, Rasmussen consistently calls the Presidential races better than his competitors. One of the commenters, greymarch, mentioned some good work by @NumbersMuncher showed the +3.1% lead for Obama in the current (September 15) Real Clear Politics average of national polls was based on polls where Democrats were being oversampled by on average +6.1%. Now we have this disparity in graphic detail:

As you can see the X-Axis is the % over-sampling either way: movement to the left is Republican over-sampling while movement to the right is Democrat over-sampling. The Y-Axis is the attendant Obama lead which loosely correlates to how greatly Democrats are over-sampled. The real take-away which I have mentioned the times I blog national polls is that many of those national polls are HORRIBLE for Obama, namely the ABC/Washington Post and CBS/New York Times polls where you have large Democrat over-samplings but rather small leads for Obama. This means if Obama doesn’t meet or beat his stellar 2008 turnout advantage he’s in for a drubbing on election day.

These over-samplings serve a few purposes but mainly drive down enthusiasm for Republicans while assisting the Obama campaign with “bandwagon” supporters who simply like being on the winning team (they’re real and they count). If pollsters in conjunction with the Obama campaign create a negative feedback loop for Republicans such that the marginal voter doesn’t show up (definitely a well documented top priority for the Obama campaign) and assist with the bandwagon voter — a small but meaningful voter in close elections — then Obama can create the perfect storm he needs to eek out a close victory following one of the worst four-year performances for any President in modern times (Carter is the only arguable comparable).

That is the what and why pollsters are doing the massive Democrat over-sampling this election cycle.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As mentioned in the comments section, Rasmussen Premium subscribers know that Rasmussen Reports polls are weighted D +1, not not D -2 (or R+2 however you like it) like the original chart posted.  @NumbersMucher has a chart reflecting this corrected information and the chart above reflects the corrected data.

Thoughts on Polling Firm Foster McCollum White & Associates

A polling firm is only as good as their reputations and “Foster McCollum” is comparatively new on the national scene compared to a Gallup, Rasmussen or Quinnipiac.  It doesn’t make them any more or any less credible but it does mean they have less of a track record to check for a “house bias” as Nate Silver measures it.  Obviously they generated a lot of buzz (most of it negative) for their Florida poll showing Romney up +15 points in a race that has been a toss-up for either candidate depending on the week.  I credit the polling firm’s President Eric Foster for meeting the controversy head on by addressing the poll’s findings and unusual sample sizes by reaching out and posting a public comment on my post.  Foster offered great detail and an explanation that helps readers to more credibly look at the results.

A few people have taken shots at me because I have referred to the firm as a “Democrat Polling firm.” I came to this conclusion based on how they have been referred to previously. Here is Business Insider interviewing the President of the firm regarding the Presidential contest: “Democratic Pollster: Obama’s Negative Tone And Messaging Is Going To Lose Him Michigan.” Real Clear Politics also identifies them with a (D) designate after their name (Side note: I need to find out the right way to refer to them. RCP calls them Baydoun/Foster). Feel free to dismiss my posts as partisan because of the labels I ascribe to some firms, but dismiss me and apparently Foster McCollum at your own peril.

In the above linked “Democratic Pollster” piece, Foster McCollum’s President claims Obama may lose Michigan at a time  (mid-June) when genuinely biased Public Policy Polling had Obama leading by an incredible 14 points. The pro-Obama media was derisively laughing at the Romney campaign trying to compete in Michigan claiming the state was part of an impregnable “blue wall.” Today the Real Clear Politics Average is Obama +3.3.  It appears President Eric Foster knew a lot more about what the poll numbers were telling him than either the conventional wisdom or PPP were representing.

Additionally, in my quick search I came across their polling for the Republican primary in Michigan which was a razor thin win for Romney in his “home” state.  The final results were Romney winning by 3 points over Santorum 41 to 38.  The evening before the primary Foster McCollum released its poll (a time most precarious because you have no excuses if you’re way off) and it showed Rick Santorum closing fast, erasing an 8 point deficit and closing to within just over 2% of Romney — nearly the exact outcome.  They also had the order correct: Romney, Santorum, Paul and Gingrich and almost each candidate’s final vote percentage within the margin of error. Romney’s total was 0.6% above the margin of error.  For a primary election that is damn accurate.

None of this means the much talked about Florida poll is definitely correct.  In my humble opinion it reflects a best case scenario for the Republicans where their base is fired up and the Democrats are resigned to defeat (basically an inverse of 2008 which is how Obama won North Carolina and Indiana).  But they called the GOP Michigan primary spot on, they forecast  Michigan exactly as it has played out and the big take-away from the Florida poll was that seniors are trending towards Romney after the Ryan pick and that is exactly what is happening.

New NBC/WSJ Poll Shows Obama +4 Nationally … But Not Really

I’ll make this brief since my focus is the Battleground States and not national polls. Here is the lead from thoroughly biased Neil King:

Heading into next week’s Republican convention, Mitt Romney remains within striking distance of President Barack Obama but faces steep challenges in inducing voters to warm up to him as a candidate, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found. The poll found that Mr. Obama’s lead over Mr. Romney narrowed to 48% to 44%, down 2 percentage points from a month earlier and within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.

In the poll, 45% of the respondents identified themselves as Democrats or leaning toward the party, while 39% said they identified with, or were leaning toward, the Republican Party.

Another waste of time poll from NBC and the Wall Street Journal.

First, they polled registered voters.  In 2010 registered voter polls over-represented Democrat support by 4 points according to Nate Silver at the New York Times.

Second, the party ID in this poll was Democrats 45 and Republicans 39 or D +6.  In 2008 the Democrat advantage on election day was D +7 and every poll, no matter the state, shows reduced enthusiasm among Democrats — and not marginally (i.e. 1 percentage point).

So according to the Nate Silver calculations on registered voter polls combined with a survey almost certainly over-representing Democrats, the reality is Mitt Romney is probably leading.  But honest polling is not NBC’s nor Neil King’s forte.  To read his write up, you would think Americans view Mitt Romney as the devil incarnate.  But that is why Neil King and NBC news shows have such little credibility. At least it wasn’t the comically absurd D +11 like the last NBC/WSJ poll.

In this overly pro-Democrat poll:

  • 54% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy, highest all year
  • Mitt Romney wins 0 percent of blacks in latest WSJ/NBC News poll
  • Only 31% polled say they’re better off than they were four years ago

One More Reason I Don’t Blog PPP Polls

Multiple times I have pointed out that PPP polls are laden with pro-Obama and pro-Democrat bias. This is not an independent organization who happens to be Democrat leaning, they are a pro-Democrat polling firm with an agenda.

Today’s Missouri poll showing embattled Senate nominee Todd Akin leading Claire McCaskill by 1 point is a perfect example of this bias. Democrats greatly benefit if Akin stays in the race since he is both deeply flawed and now mortally wounded.  These flaws were the reason Democrats spent millions during the primary campaign to assist Akin to victory.  Now the only way Akin stays in the race is if he thinks he can still win.  So PPP runs a poll at their own expense, not for a paying client, that surveys Republican turnout far higher than it has ever been in order to construct a result to their liking. The party ID in Missouri in 2008 was D +6 (Dem:40, Rep: 34, Ind: 26). In 2004 the split was R +1 (Dem: 35, Rep: 36, Ind: 29).  Today’s poll? R +9!!! (Dem: 30, Rep: 39, Ind: 32).

This is a poll designed to give Akin comfort that he can still win despite the near unanimous consensus of conservative, moderate, Tea Party and establishment Republicans telling him to bow out. This was not a poll to gauge actual Missourians reaction to Akin’s idiocy.  It was an advocacy poll to buoy the candidate in order to help the Democrats.  I do not care to waste my time having to greatly scrutinize every single poll from an unabashedly biased source.  Hence I do not and will not blog PPP polls even if I like the results.

Media Misrepresentations: Paul Ryan Hurts Romney in Ohio and Florida

Water-carriers for Obama in the media like Chuck Todd on today’s Meet the Press and multiple print media hacks parrot the lie that Paul Ryan’s medicare proposals will hurt Romney’s chances in states with large elderly populations like Pennsylvania, Iowa and Florida. To write or say such lies, they have two ignore to incontrovertible truths:

First, Paul Ryan’s changes to medicare do not affect ANYONE 55 years of age or older.  So the current version of medicare is completely unchanged for “seniors” and soon-to-be “seniors.”

For future Medicare beneficiaries who are now under 55 or younger (those who first become eligible on or after 1 January 2021), the proposal creates a standard Medicare payment to be used for the purchase of private health coverage. Currently enrolled Medicare beneficiaries and those becoming eligible in the next 10 years (i.e. turning 65 by 1 January 2021) will see no changes in the current structure of their Medicare benefits.

Second, a 2011 survey shows “seniors” actually FAVOR Paul Ryan’s plan over Barack Obama’s plan:

A new (April 27, 2011)  Gallup/USA Today poll contains a counter-intuitive finding: the age group most receptive to House Budget Chair Paul Ryan‘s plan to deal with the budget – seniors. The poll finds 48 percent of seniors (those 65 and over) support Ryan’s plan over President Obama‘s plan, while 42 percent back the president. That’s the highest total among the age groups tested – a 47 percent plurality between the ages of 50 and 64 backed Ryan, and a 45 percent plurality of those between 30-49 backed Ryan.

Those two fact do not stop hacks in the media furthering lies that Ryan’s plans hurt Romney in Battleground states with large senior populations:

Analysis: Pick could lose Romney Ohio, Fla.

Ryan, a lawmaker from Janesville, Wis., who chairs the House budget committee, has pressed for a sweeping overhaul of Medicare’s current fee-for-service plan into a system in which the federal government would subsidize private insurance plans so seniors could buy their own policies. Although Ryan has stressed his Medicare plan would not go into effect for a decade, it could prove toxic with many older voters.

Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said that, by picking Ryan, Romney’s “ chances have been irreparably harmed in Florida. The majority of Floridians understand the importance of Social Security and Medicare.”Romney appears to understand the potential danger of Ryan’s Medicare plans. The Romney campaign has advised its surrogate speakers that there are differences between Romney and Ryan on some of the major issues, including Medicare revisions and reforming entitlements.

The author also says Ryan could hurt Romney in Ohio since local Senator Rob Portman would have been more popular in Ohio than Ryan. But no matter, except for the fact that Ryan’s plan isn’t unpopular with seniors and Ryan has Ohio ties while also greatly assisting in Wisconsin, let’s stay with the premise Ryan actually hurts Romney.

Continue reading

Battleground State Impact: Paul Ryan’s Appeal to Independents in Pennsylvania

Obama surrogates in the media regularly spout presumptuous conclusions against the Romney campaign following any meaningful news event. In this article alone, despite the fact that the Ryan Budget would not impact any medicare for people 55 and older, this author repeats the Democrats’ lie without the slightest bit of scrutiny. Additionally, even prior to the invigorating Paul Ryan announcement, plenty of people at MSNBC (among others) repeatedly write-off Pennsylvania as a safe Democrat state.  Do you know who does not like the state is a safe win for Obama? Pennsylvania Democrats, that’s who.

As Democrats eagerly leapt to cast Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick as an extremist, at least one Pennsylvania Democrat warned Saturday that Paul Ryan’s appeal shouldn’t be underestimated. T.J. Rooney, former chairman of the Pennsylvania Democrats who was at the helm in 2008, called on his party to avoid belittling Ryan and take him as a threat. “Democrats need to worry more about what we need to do to win, to reinvent the intensity to the extent we can of four years ago.”

In Pennsylvania, a blue-leaning state Romney would love to make competitive, the choice of conservative Ryan as a running mate may sway the undecided independents that Democrats are counting on him turning off. Rooney said Ryan will turn off many seniors in Pennsylvania for his proposal to shift Medicare to a voucher-like system. But the 8 or so percent of undecided voters that could swing the election “may find his views not as disturbing as others,” he said. Ryan, he said, has advanced some controversial ideas that are unpopular with many seniors. But, he said, those are “not a death knell for independents.”

But in a campaign cycle that already feels exhaustive, that’s focused almost exclusively on the past, be it Romney’s business record or Obama’s first term, voters are eager for someone to tell them how to move the country forward. As founder of the embattled “Ryan budget” proposal — passed in the Republican House, but killed in the Democratic-led Senate — that would change Medicare payments, slash funding for safety-net programs and slice taxes for the wealthiest Americans, Ryan sets the stage for a substantial debate on the philosophical differences between the two parties.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, a Democrat, said Ryan comes across as reasonable, courageous and energetic and may give Romney a quick boost in the polls. But in Pennsylvania, a state with one of the nation’s highest percentages of senior citizens, Ryan’s position on Medicare won’t sit well.

Obama +6 in Wisconsin (If He Exceeds 2008 Turnout Advantage) — Quinnipiac/New York Times

So the Badger State has undertaken a political metamorphosis since 2008 with Republicans gaining controls of every branch of state government in 2010. Additionally, every seat was re-litigated thanks to expensive and contentious recall elections that divided the state, and republicans still retained control (even the flip of the state Senate has flipped back). Yet, despite the dramatically changing landscape, the fact that Romney is competing in Wisconsin complete with a “plug ‘ play” ground game flipping every Governor Scott Walker recall headquarters to Romney Victory centers the day after the recall, Quinnipiac/New York Times survey Wisconsin as if the 2012 turnout will exceed the 2008 Democrat wave. Sweet.

The party ID in this survey was Democrat 34, Republican 27, Independent/Other 39 or D +7. In 2008 the party ID split was D +6 (39-33-29) and in 2004 the party ID was R +3 (35-38-27). As you can see, the over-sampling of Democrats continues with a party split greater than it was in 2008 and not remotely close to 2004 which is the election everyone is comparing 2012 to. Independents are 10 percentage points higher than either previous election which may be a trend but is a curious over-sampling as well.

That said, in yet another survey that expects Barack Obama’s 2012 turnout advantage to exceed his historic 2008 wave (contrary to every piece of actual evidence today), the President holds a 6-point lead over Mitt Romney 51 – 45 in Wisconsin:

For President Percent
Barack Obama 51
Mitt Romney 45
Undecided/Other 4

Can’t wait to see what the polling of the DNC looks like come October.

Romney +5 in Colorado — Quinnipiac/New York Times

We’ve seen what happens when the  Quinnipiac/New York Times surveys of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and  Virginia over-sample Democrats as if a repeat of the Democrat wave in 2008 is coming — Barack Obama leads.  But what happens if the survey split the party ID somewhere between the 2008 Democrat wave turnout and the 2004 tight re-election of George Bush? Turns out Mitt Romney leads, at least in Colorado, and likely most of the other Battlegrounds.

That said, in the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado, Governor Romney holds a 5-point lead over Barack Obama 50 – 45 in Colorado.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 45
Mitt Romney 50
Undecided/Other 5

The party ID was Democrat 27, Republican 32, Independent/Other 41 or R +5. In 2008 the party ID split was R +1 (30-31-39) and in 2004 the party ID was R +9 (29-38-33). As you can see, this survey splits the difference between the two recent Presidential elections which is a fair sampling. The increase in Independents/Other may be a little high, but is close enough to the prior surveys.

Funny what happens when pollsters attempt to accurately represent the likely voter turnout in November, Romney leads by 5 percentage points. You think that explains why they consistently dishonestly over-sample Democrats everywhere else? Nah.

Obama +4 in Virginia (If His Turnout Exceeds 2008) — Quinnipiac/New York Times

The Quinnipiac New York Times marriage got off to a rough start when they massively oversampled Democrats in the August 1 surveys of Florida, Ohio and PennsylvaniaToday’s poll in Virginia has much the same problems with a large over-sampling of Democrats expecting and even bigger Democrat wave than 2008 and a strange party ID configuration with nearly 50% of those polled being neither Democrat nor Republican (highly unlikely in Virginia).

That said, in the #1 Battleground state this year, President Obama holds a 4-point lead over Mitt Romney 49 – 45 in Virginia.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 49
Mitt Romney 45
Undecided/Other 5

The party ID was Democrat 30, Republican 23, Independent/Other 48 or D +7.  In 2008 the party ID split was D +6 (39-33-27) and in 2004 the party ID was R +4 (35-39-26). As you can see, the over-sampling of Democrats continues with a party split greater than it was in 2008 and not remotely close to 2004 which is the election everyone is comparing 2012 to.  Additionally, Independents were 40% of the survey (“Other/Don’t know” was the extra 8 points), far higher than the 27% in 2008 and 26% in 2004.  As I joked about previously, at the rate they are going these days, pollsters are going to be sampling the DNC by October to find polls where Obama is competitive.

Quinnipiac Suveys the DNC, Finds Obama Leading

I made a joke about polling the DNC previously but it is truly unbelievable how ridiculously biased some survey samples are in these polls. The jointly issued Quinnipiac University/ CBS News/New York Times poll of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania released today has such an over-sampling of Democrats it is almost hard to believe.  For example,the survey asks the following question:

Did you vote for Barack Obama or John McCain in 08?

  • The Florida survey was pro-Obama by 13-points.  In 2008 he won the state by 3 points.
  • The Ohio survey was pro-Obama by 15 points, he won the state by 4 points.

Now people’s memories get fuzzy and plenty of times people claim they voted for the winner regardless of their actual vote so that skews the # somewhat.  Although with Obama’s lack of popularity there is plenty of voter’s remorse these days to balance that out.

Making it worse, party ID was again a massive over-sample of Democrats.

  • The Florida party ID was Democrat 36, republican 27 and Independent 32 of D +9 when the party ID in 2008 was D +3 and in 2004 it was R +4.  In 2010 it was dead even.
  • The Ohio party ID was Democrat 35, Republican 27 and Independent 32 or D +8. In 2008 party ID was D +8, in 2004 it was R +5 and in 2010 it was dead even.

At the same time, this survey in the Florida Senate race shows Bill Nelson leading by 7 points when most every other poll has Connie Mack IV leading by 5-6 points.  Just last week a Survey USA poll had Obama +6 in the state and also had Mack leading +6.  Now Quinnipiac comes out with a poll showing Obama up +6 (and over 50%) but also shows Bill Nelson leading by +7?

Way to blow your credibility right out of the gate.

I think I’ll pass getting too worked up over these clearly biased polls.

Update: I forgot to look at Pennsylvania but Hot Air did the work for me:

Now let’s take a look at the partisan breakdown (D/R/I) in the sample data for each state, and compare them to 2008 and 2010 exit polling:

  • Pennsylvania: CBS/NYT 38/32/26, 2008 44/37/18, 2010 40/37/23

Pennsylvania’s numbers (D+6) come closest to a rational predictive model, somewhere between 2008′s D+7 and 2010′s D+3, but still looking mighty optimistic for Democratic turnout.

The Dwindling Gender Gap and Obama Campaign Lies

Democrats generally enjoy an advantage among women voters who also tend to vote more reliably than men.  Despite the fact that the gender gap goes both ways with men disproportionately voting Republican, the always unhelpful to Republicans media spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about the women’s vote and Republicans alleged inability to appeal to women.  Unfortunately for that narrative, the gender gap is both dwindling and in actuality only appears among single women (a majority of married women vote Republican). Even worse for the Democrats, the overall gender gap among women voters in shirking even further despite Democrats routinely debunked claim of Republicans “war on women“. This has led the Obama campaign repeatedly air an wholly dishonest abortion ad:

President Obama is airing another television ad in swing states attacking Republican Mitt Romney’s position on abortion that repeats false claims from an earlier spot. What gives? A look at the dwindling gender gap in just one of the states where the ad is running gives it away.

In Virginia — ground zero for the so-called “war on women” because of anti-abortion initiatives in the state capitol — Obama was running ahead of Romney in Quinnipiac University polls in March and June, largely because of monster leads among women. The gender gap was 13 points in March and 16 points in June. Then came July’s survey, which found the candidates deadlocked at 44 percent each. The gender gap had shrunk to only 5 points.

The ad is so bad, it has been rebuked by even fact-checkers who are no friend to Republicans like Politifact:

The ad from the Obama campaign said Romney “backed a bill that outlaws all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.” The Obama campaign provides virtually nothing to back that up, however. It has no evidence that Romney explicitly opposed the exception for rape and incest. While he supported the “human life amendment,” there are many versions and the most recent ones allow abortion after rape or incest. And it’s worth noting that in 2011, Romney declared that has said he supports those exceptions. In its effort to appeal to women, the Obama campaign has twisted Romney’s position to a ridiculous degree. We rate the claim Pants on Fire.

The new spot is airing in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, Nevada and Ohio and starts in Colorado on Monday.

NBC/Wall Street Journal Thinks 2012 Democrat Wave to be Bigger than 2008 Wave

At least, that’s what you would have to believe to give any credibility to this nearly worthless poll just released by NBC/Wall Street Journal. Their latest poll showing Obama up 6 points nationally among registered voters has a composition was 46 percent were Democrats/ leaning Democrat, while 35 percent were Republicans/leaning Republican and 19% Independent/other or D +11.  In 2008, an unquestioned huge Democrat year with a popular candidate at the top of the ticket, the Democrat party ID advantage was D +7.  There is a near-zero percent chance the electorate in November 2012 will look anywhere near that level of Democrat representation.  My personal guess is closer to D +2 (Remember, in 2004 the party ID was exactly even between Democrats and Republicans).   As such, the top-line poll results of Obama leading by 6 percentage points is instantly  worthless.  Incredibly hilarious and simultaneously horrible for the Obama campaign is the fact that “highly interested” voters surveyed favor Romney +2 in a poll that massively over-samples Democrats:

In the presidential horserace, Obama leads Romney by six percentage points among registered voters, 49 percent to 43 percent.

In a smaller sample of registered voters living in 12 battleground states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin), the incumbent president’s lead over Romney is eight points, 49 to 41, which is essentially unchanged from June.

But among high-interest voters across the country – those indicating a “9” or “10” in interest on a 10-point scale – Romney edges Obama by two points, 48 percent to 46 percent.

There is plenty of interesting data within this poll (as in Obama’s negative ad war is driving both candidates approval down), but the numbers that everyone cares most about have the least credibility among everything else in this poll.

Bottom line: In a poll that massively over-samples Democrats, Romney is LEADING by 2-points among highly interested voters but is trailing by 6-points among “registered voters.”  Every talking head who tries to report this poll as a win for Obama is ludicrous. At this rate the Obama re-election hacks in the media will be polling the DNC in November to find a survey showing Obama competitive.

The Reason Romney Doesn’t Respond Agressively to Every Bain Attack

The invaluable Jay Cost goes in-depth on the full “Obama re-election mode” trap set for Romney by the media regarding the Bain attacks:

Talking about the rotten economy is bad for this president. So, the media – following cues from the Democratic party – has pursued an alternative storyline: Mitt Romney is rich! He worked at a firm dealing in high finance! His money is invested overseas! To be clear, these are legitimate storylines to pursue. [However] the timing of these otherwise legitimate inquiries is biased. There was a bad narrative out there for the Democratic party, but it has been replaced with a bad narrative for the Republican party.

We can perceive media bias on a whole different level when we start asking ourselves, “Why is the public discourse revolving around this question at the moment? Whom does this help?” This is where we can often see the alliance between the mainstream media and the Democratic political class. Journalists do not bend facts to support their ideological allies, but they ask questions that help them.

The incredible 2004 contrast

Exactly eight years ago job growth was anemic and an incumbent president was up against a fabulously wealthy Massachusetts politician. What was the media talking about then? Was it about the sources and uses of the politician’s wealth, or was it about the “jobless recovery” we were going through?

2008 Obama Election mode

Four years ago Barack Obama ran for the White House built on the premise that he could build bridges to the opposition. This was belied by his background in radical urban politics, as well as his coziness with seedy, pay-to-play fraudsters ensconced within the Chicago Democratic machine. However, the mainstream media not only avoided asking tough questions about that background, but effectively labelled such inquiries as racist.

The Romney tactic

All of this is why the Romney campaign must tread very carefully with the Bain attacks. Because the media is looking to advance the storyline the Obama campaign desires, a direct response is going to be counter-productive. It only feeds the beast for that much longer, as the media will then lustily cover the “controversy” between the two sides.  That’s not to say these attacks cannot or should not be countered. It’s just of question of how and when that should happen. Romney should not try to plead his case to the media, in the hopes that it will be a fair judge of who is right and who is wrong. It will not be. Instead, the best approach is to use his own resources to get his own message out. For what it’s worth, I think that is precisely what Team Romney is up to. It plans to use the GOP convention as its launching point — not to rebut Obama’s attacks item by item, but to tell Romney’s story in his own terms. Then, through the general election campaign, the argument will be: Obama has failed and Romney’s background proves he can do better.

Is Romney’s timing on this questionable? Perhaps, but there has been no movement in the head-to-head polls — either nationwide or in the crucial battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, where Obama has been spending all that money. Why should Romney deviate from his strategy if Obama’s attacks are having no ostensible effect? Whatever Romney does, he cannot take the media’s bait on this. Despite how effective establishment journalists are at utilizing a neutral news frame, they are not neutral. They are looking to keep this story on the front page as long as possible, and if Romney tries to respond directly to the charges, he is playing right into their — and Obama’s — hands.

WSJ Picks Up on Manufactured Non-Story of Romney Visiting Colorado “Red” County

I first put the equivalent comment in Sara Burnett’s comment section, but the liberal commentator bots refused to publish it (UPDATE: Hours later it made it through).  Now Neil King in the Wall Street Journal repeats her non-story asking the same non-question:  Why is Romney visiting “Red” towns/Counties in Colorado?

We’ll see if they publish my comment. Here is largely what I told each writer:

What a manufactured story.  Obama has a bus tour of deep blue towns and that is smart “base vote” campaigning.

“President Obama’s two-day bus trip starting Thursday through Northern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania is a trip largely through places he won before and where he’ll need to succeed again. This is no swing-county tour; this is a lot of need-to-have, not nice-to-have territory for any Democrat hoping to win these states. “

Romney’s bus tour, on the other hand, was of decidedly Battleground Counties but that’s not worthy of a contrasting mention in this non-story:

New Hampshire: Romney visits the towns of Stratham and Milford. Stratham is located in Rockingham County, in the southeastern most portion of the state. Barack Obama narrowly carried Rockingham in 2008, defeating Sen.  John McCain by about 1 percentage point. Milford is located in Hillsborough County, another blue county in 2008.  Obama carried this one by a margin of about 3 percentage points.

Pennsylvania: Weatherly and Quakertown are located in Carbon County and Bucks County, respectively, two counties that went blue the last time around. Obama won Carbon County by roughly 2 percentage points and carried Bucks County by about 9.

Wisconsin: Romney will stop at a manufacturer in Janesville, Wis. Janesville is located in the blue Rock County. Obama carried Rock County by almost 30 percentage points in 2008. More recently, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett carried this county in the recent recall election in the state, beating Republican Governor Scott Walker 56 percent to 43 percent.

Iowa: Davenport is located in Scott County, where Obama won with about 57 percent of the vote in 2008,  a double-digit margin over McCain, who received 42 percent of the vote.

Michigan: Romney will be stopping in Frankenmuth, in Saginaw County and in the city of Dewitt, which is located in Clinton County–Obama carried Saginaw and Clinton, although he narrowly eeked out McCain in the latter county, scoring roughly 50 percent of the vote to McCain’s 49 percent.

Now Romney works his base in Colorado because contrary to Obama campaign and media parroting, it wasn’t the Hispanic vote that carried Obama to victory in Colorado it was the white vote:

[C]ontrary to conventional wisdom, Latinos did not swing the state from red to blue in 2008. According to exit polls, John McCain managed 38 percent of the Latino vote. In 2004, George W. Bush pulled in 30 percent. The real action was with white voters, who gave McCain just 48 percent of the vote compared to 57 percent for Bush.

Obama’s 9 percentage point gain (versus Kerry in 2004) among the voting bloc representing 80%+ of overall voter turnout won the state.

This is the secure your base phase of the campaign.  Swing voters tune in after labor day.

If Romney is still limiting his Colorado visits to deep red counties in October then it is a story.  Right now it’s manufactured tripe.

Labor Unions and the Battlegrounds

The political world was understandably focused on Wisconsin this past week and spinning the results often presents more confusion than clarity.  But a big lesson was the impact of unions on state election outcomes.  The Wall Street Journal presents some incredible research on unions’ potential election impact in three Battleground states–Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia–in a post-Wisconsin world:

The one sure loser in the Wisconsin recall was organized labor. There is reason for Mr. Obama and the Democrats to be concerned about the decline of union power, particularly if Wisconsin is indeed some kind of turning point. It would suggest unions may be of less help to the Democrats in states they need to win, particularly in the 2012 issue environment.

Using the latest electoral breakdown from political analyst Charlie Cook, union membership by state unmistakably correlates to the likelihood a state votes Democrat or Republican:

Electoral Probability % of Union Workers
“solid Democratic” 17.7%
“likely Democratic” 15.1%
“lean Democratic” 14.6%
“toss-ups” 9.1%
“likely Republican” 7.6%
“solid Republican” 6.2%

That walk down the ladder in support is even more pronounced when you look at membership in public unions [the union at the crux of the Wisconsin controversy]– an orderly progression through “solid Democratic” to “solid Republican” states.

If only it were that simple. The Battleground states of Ohio, Colorado and Virginia illustrate the complexities of union membership translating to electoral wins:

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The Fight for Colorado’s Hispanic Vote

When looking at Colorado it is hugely important to remember that Barack Obama won the state by winning the white vote, not the Hispanic vote.  Thankfully the WSJ mentions the hugely important fact that McCain actually eroded Democrat support among Colorado Hispanics in 2008 compared to 2004–contrary to what the Obama campaign would have you believe.

Unfortunately, if you click on the actual article, the Wall Street Journal devotes ~75% of the ink to Obama and mentions pro-Obama arguments throughout while mentioning “oh by the way” Romney would like to talk about the bad economy and the unusually high unemployment for Hispanics, but we’ll go back to writing more about Obama. Also, despite the reflexive mention of negative opinions on immigration any time a reporter mentions Romney and Hispanics, no where is there any mention of Obama’s huge unpopularity with Hispanics over dramatically increased deportations.  They also mention multiple times a national poll showing Obama’s continued support among Hispanics but never mention those same polls show the key weakness Obama is worried about — Hispanics are unenthusiastic about Obama.  Do you think maybe the deportation issue might be affecting Hispanic enthusiasm? Since that would hurt Obama, we’ll just leave it out while making certain to mention the overwhelming Obama preference many times. The slanted journalism is pretty ridiculous. Despite the pro-Obama shading throughout, there is a lot of good data in the article:

Both sides say Colorado, with its nine electoral votes, is up for grabs, and likely to come down to a few thousand votes. Mr. Obama got 67% of the Latino vote nationally in 2008, up sharply from the 53% the last Democratic nominee, Sen. John Kerry, garnered in 2004. But in Colorado, Mr. Obama’s share was 62%, a number his campaign hopes to boost to 70% this year to offset signs of wobbly support among young voters, independents and moderates. Recent surveys in the state show the race to be close, well within the polls’ margin of error, even with Mr. Obama preserving a strong edge among Hispanics. Obama’s challenge among Hispanics is pretty simple: overcoming apathy — while nearly a fifth of the population, Hispanics in Colorado typically make up just over a tenth of the electorate. The Obama health-care overhaul, tuition assistance for college students, the reduction of ATM fees—these are some of the top themes that resonate with fence-sitting Hispanics, according to an Obama supporter.

Consistent with every other state, the Romney campaign–having only recently secured the nomination–is beginning its general election roll-out:

The team backing the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, is just getting started and rolled out his national Hispanic leadership team this week slamming President Obama repeatedly—including in a new Spanish-language Web ad—for the high national jobless rate among Hispanics, now at 11%, compared with 8.2% overall. The nascent Romney campaign here sees Colorado as particularly promising, noting that it was the one battleground state where GOP nominee Sen. John McCain picked up a larger share of Hispanic support in 2008 than President George W. Bush had in 2004, according to exit polls. “We intend to do whatever we can to build on that,” said James Garcia, who ran the McCain campaign in Colorado and was dispatched from Boston last month to do the same for Mr. Romney. So far, the campaign has two offices in the state.

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Who Thinks Democrats Will Have A Record Turnout? Franklin & Marshall Apparently (EDIT: Or Maybe not)

August 16, 2012 Update:  I hotly complained about the voter registration breakdown in this Franklin & Marshall poll which was D: 50, R: 37, I: 12. While I knew the difference between “party registration” and “party ID” I found it unthinkable that a 13% voter registration advantage for the Democrats.  I was wrong. My complaints were due to the Democrat party ID in 2008 was Dem: 44, Rep: 37, Ind: 18 of D +7 — a record year for Democrats, and up from D: 41, R: 39, I: 20 or D +2 in 2004.  My criticism of the party registration in the Franklin & Marshall poll was unfounded.  Democrats in Pennsylvania continue enjoy a party registration advantage exactly as Franklin & Marshall survey.  Maybe more Democrats will cross over in 2012 and maybe reduced Democrat enthusiasm for Obama will keep them home, but as it stands Franklin & Marshall’s methodology is correct.

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In a “Quick Hits” post Wednesday I linked to the Franklin & Marshall poll showing Obama with a commanding +12 point lead in Pennsylvania. Great news for Obama, right? Not so much it turns out. The internals in this poll tell a very different story such that despite the double digit lead, the poll should be of grave concern for the Obama campaign. Really.

A lot of things looked odd in the demographic breakdowns in the poll:

  • Despite the gender gap with men for Obama — he lost men by 1-point to McCain–in this poll he was beating Romney by +7
  • While most polls have Romney outpacing Obama on fixing the economy (or no worse than even), this poll has Obama up  +6
  • Among the all-important Independent voter, Obama leads by an incredible +22%

If those polling margins are accurate, not only will Obama win Pennsylvania, but he will probably win 400 electoral college votes.

Luckily for the Romney campaign, the oversampling of Democrats is so ludicrous it renders the Obama lead of +12 irrelevant as this poll fails in every way to reflect the likely turnout in November.

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Batlleground Quick Hits: Virginia, Michigan, Nevada, $$$$$ and more

Looky Here: Wisconsin Exit Polls Showed Romney-Obama Tied

The Dean of conservative (and liberal for that matter) election watching did what everyone else in the media was too lazy to do — applied the exit poll adjustments to the Presidential race that they did for the gubernatorial race. And look what he found:

The Wisconsin exit poll evidently reported the race for governor in the recall ballot as 50%-50%. With 92% of the vote in, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s excellent website reports the score as 54%-46% Walker. Let’s say that’s the final results: only 13% of precincts from Milwaukee County and 3% of precincts from Madison’s Dane County—the Democrats’ two reservoirs of big majorities—remain uncounted. It has been emblazoned on mainstream media that the exit poll also showed Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney in the state 51%-45%. But if you think the exit poll was 4% too Democratic—and that’s in line with exit poll discrepancies with actual vote results over the last decade, as documented by the exit poll pioneer, the late Warren Mitofsky*—that result looks more like 49%-47% Romney. Or assume the remaining Milwaukee County precincts whittle Republican Governor Scott Walker’s margin over Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to 53%-47%, which looks likely, the Obama-Romney numbers would look like 48%-48%.(emphasis added)

This is in a state that Obama carried 56%-42% in 2008. But those putative numbers also look very much like the numbers in 2000, when Al Gore carried Wisconsin 47.8%-47.6% over George W. Bush, or the numbers in 2004, when John Kerry carried Wisconsin 49.7%-49.3% over Bush.

Although Barone read the compression to 7% as the final margin for Walker’s race correctly, I’m not sure his 6% mention of the Obama exit poll lead is correct.  I saw it as 7%.  Either way, this still confirms that the grossly inaccurate exit polls — when appropriately adjusted — confirm what most of us believed: Wisconsin is a toss-up state and smack dab in the middle of the Presidential Battleground.

Demographics Watch: Hispanic Entrepreneurs

When it comes to targeting various minority groups, each campaign has it’s own view on what issues are important to Hispanics, issues which not coincidentally happens to also be each campaign’s strength. For Obama, his ads focus on healthcare and education reform.  The Romney ads focus on the economy and federal deficit. Oddly missing from either campaign is any discussion on immigration since both campaigns score low with Hispanics on that issue.  The latest Romney ad raises the economic difficulties and increased Hispanic unemployment versus Obama’s claims we are on the “right path.”

CNNMoney takes a look at both Romney supporters and detractors among Hispanic entrepreneurs. As we see throughout the article, the author is unable to discuss Romney and Hispanics without layering in immigration at nearly every turn (even though neither campaign is talking about it). And despite the fact that the focus is supposed to be on Romney and Hispanic business interests, the article spends 2/3 of the space on immigration and anti-Romney sentiments over immigration without ever mentioning Obama’s huge unpopularity with Hispanics on immigration (59% oppose Obama’s policy). But they are certain to mention Obama’s verbal support for the Dream Act (also failing to mention he’s never lifted a finger to actually pass it). As for Romney’s support:

Romney’s experience in private equity resonates with Abraham Abramovich, whose main gripe is regulation. Abramovich employs 29 people at several gas stations and car wash centers in Florida. Just one of his gas stations — albeit his most troublesome one — requires 27 licenses. “It’s amazing what you have to do,” Abramovich said. “That’s the biggest handicap I have to running the business.” To resolve that, Abramovich is willing to put aside his worries about the delays and difficulties of the country’s immigration system. As a Peruvian who traveled to the United States several times before finally making this his home, he supports the Dream Act and hopes for an immigration policy overhaul. But that can wait.

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Political Hit Pieces I Hope are True

Politico.com writes a hard hitting piece warning of the “scary” amounts of money being raised and spent by GOP-friendly, non-campaign groups to sway voters in the coming election. In addition to the headline grabbing fundraising numbers, I love their phrasing throughout the article which reads like a war correspondent in a losing battle (as if there was a question which side Politico is on in this race). Here is one of their hard-hitting “scoops”:

POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections – twice what they had been expected to commit.

And what will those dastardly Kochs spend this money on?

[F]unding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states…In targeted states, the groups’ activities will include TV, radio and digital advertising; voter-turnout work; mail and phone appeals; and absentee- and early-ballot drives.

Ummmmm, yes please!

Now, some of this is news and Politico does some very helpful reporting on the focus areas of the different groups:

  • American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (GPS) — two-thirds of their spending on advocacy related to the presidential race, and the rest relating to House and Senate races.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce — congressional races, with the House as the top priority – what organizers call “the first insurance policy” if Obama were to get reelected.
  • YG Action Fund — started by aides of Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy. No focus area identified. Notably this PAC backed Indiana Senator Richard Lugar’s losing primary.
  • American Action Network — congressional races but also backed Lugar in the primary.
  • Congressional Leadership Fund — Speaker John Boehner’s group. No focus area mentioned.
  • Restore Our Future — Presidential general election solely for Mitt Romney
  • FreedomWorks — backed challengers in GOP congressional primaries with a focus on issue advocacy, campaign ads and organizing
  • Republican Jewish Coalition — largest, most expensive, most sophisticated outreach effort ever undertaken in the Jewish community
  • Club for Growth — congressional races

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