Tag Archives: enthusiasm

“That’s when you know you’re gonna win” — Mitt Romney to Pittsburgh fans at airport

Mitt Romney arrived in Pittsburgh for his final rally. He was greeted by hundreds of fans across the street from the tarmac at an airport garage trying to get a glimpse of the next President. He waved to them and according to the press got a little choked up saying “That’s when you know you’re gonna win”:

Compare and Contrast: Romney in New Hampshire versus Obama in Ohio

Compliments to Shane in the comments section and props to Breitbart for the photo:

Romney in Manchester, New Hampshire with Kid Rock

Obama in Columbus, Ohio with Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen

Draw your own conclusions.

Manchester, New Hampshire Represent!

Romney Rally packs the house!




It’s a Little Crowded at the Romney Rally in Newport News, Virginia

10 O’Clock at night in 40 degree weather on a Sunday night and Romney’s packing the house (or in this case hangar):

Waiting for Romney to deplane:

30,000 at Romney Rally in Bucks County, Pennsylvania

I’ll use this post to update as pictures and info comes across:

This was the line to get in a couple hours ago and then in a photo by Kevin Sheridan, the nighttime swarm:

Now below are photos from earlier that I would have gotten to if not for so many computer problems today. Check out our on-the-scene reporter jackgdovin’s flickr page for these awesome shots of the line to get in:

Ryan Rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota Today! (Nov 4) 3:30pm

Putting their money where my mouth is, the next Vice President is heading into the Democrat stronghold of Minneapolis, Minnesota to rally the Romney-Ryan troops. Let’s pull off the election night shocker and paint this purple state red!

Paul Ryan & the Republican Team in Minneapolis!

When: Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Doors Open 1:30 PM | Event Begins 3:30 PM

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

The Sun Country Airlines hangar is located just off Hwy 77 (Cedar Road)on the west side of Terminal 2-Humphrey at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

To register for the event, click here.

Additional parking with shuttle service to the event site will be available at the corner of 24th Avenue and East 82nd Street across from the Mall of America

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

Questions: TeamMN@MittRomney.com | (612) 547-9841
For Important Campaign Updates: Text (MN) to GOMITT (466488)

Video of Huge Crowd at Romney Rally in Colorado

Sorry I can’t embed it here.  Only Youtube videos.

Link here.

Enthusiasm

Report from the Ryan Rally in Pennsylvania:

And for the report from Obama’s Ohio rally:

Crowd shot from the Ryan Rally:

30,000 for Romney-Ryan Rally in West Chester, Ohio

This is going to be a big one.  Will try to post photos and info as I can. This is how it starts, we’ll see what shows up as the night progresses and we get official estimates.  For a 360 degree view compliments of Mark Halperin, click here. Video of the crowd as far as the eye can see.

Line of the night:

Dropping the Hammer: Paul Ryan Rally in Minnesota on Sunday

I REALLY wanted to go all Dave Chappelle with the headline but quite honestly too many people read the blog now and the Patton reference this morning was about as far as I can push it these days:


Another Day, Another Washoe County Win for Republicans in Early Voting

For the fourth consecutive day Republicans outpaced Democrats in Washoe County in-person early voting.  Republicans cast 3613 votes for a 39.4% share while Democrats cast 3429 ballots for a 37.4%.  The expected Thursday ramp-up increased turnout 19% over the Thursday result with 9162 ballots cast. Republicans now trail in-person early voting by 646 ballots. But the net gain of 184 ballots extends Republicans overall lead with the combined absentee and mail-in early ballots.  The aggregate Washoe lead now stands at 375 more ballots cast by Republicans than Democrats, a far cry from the 12k advantage Democrats enjoyed in 2008.  Washoe’s going red people … get used to it.  If Romney is winning a majority of the Independent vote and the Clark GOP keeps its close . . .

Big contrast in the running tallies

2012 thru Day 12 2008 Through Day 12
Dem – 39700 (40.9%) Dem – 43357 (47.86%)
GOP – 39054 (40.3%)
GOP – 31711 (34.99%)
NP – 18202 (18.8%) NP – 15570 (17.18%)

We see the election over election change in Democrat turnout is down -3657 ballots while the change in GOP turnout is up +7343, a net 11,000 gain for the GOP versus 2008. The enthusiasm gap continues to grow in Washoe County and Democrats are on the run in Reno. Having erased Obama’s early vote advantage, this type of swing will go a long way to erasing Obama’s overall ~23k vote Washoe County win in 2008, half of which came from the early vote.

Clark County Sunday Early Voting Keeps It Interesting

Sunday is understandably  a slow day in early voting so today’s low results are not a big shock but the trends in Clark County get more intriguing by the day.  Democrats cast 11,248 ballots while Republicans cast 8272, for a 2976 ballot advantage.  As it stands Democrats have a 45,675 advantage in partisan ballots cast in 2012, down from 56,298  at the same point in 2008 — a -10,623 election-over-election reduction.  Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Sunday results is that for the first time this year in Clark County, the Democrats had a lower turnout than the comparable day in 2008 — a seriously bad sign is this all-important County.  The trend line for the Democrats (added below) is troubling as well. While Republicans slowly but steadily are picking up their pace of the overall turnout, the Democrats continue to drop with reasonable consistency.  This is all the more ominous considering the turnout in Clark County next week is expected to increase by as much as 40% more than the average daily weekday turnout in 2012. If Democrat turnout continues this slide or has more days under-performing its 2008 results, Republicans could see dramatic swings in the ballot differential heading into election day.  The other area of concern is the continued pickup in the Independent/Other category. Sunday’s steep fall-off of Democrats was met by continued gains in this group. The increased contribution from the Independent/Other category is one of the hidden stories in Nevada early voting so we will watch it closely:

NOTE: This is an updated chart. Thanks to nvClark and  rcl_in_vain the comments for catching some data issues.

The Clark County model

Consistent with what we wrote for Washoe County, we are going to administer some “final” tweaks to the Clark model.  Many of the model’s original assumptions were made using only one day’s actual data plus a few trends gleaned from the 2008 results.   We now have 9 days data of actual 2012 turnout which gives us a better sense of what is actually happening on the ground in Nevada.  Therefore we are going to use the 2012 weekday average Democrat turnout (14,817) from last week as the base for the expected ramp-up in 2012 turnout during the coming week. The daily ramp-up percentage will be the differential between the 2008 first week average daily gross turnout (22,862) and daily 2nd week gross turnout (Mon: 134%, Tues: 140%, Wed: 155%, Thur: 168%, Fri: 195%). With dramatic increases in turnout crescendoing throughout the second week it becomes that much more imperative for Republicans to outpace Democrats during the stretch run.  The expected daily growth rate of the GOP turnout, unlike in Washoe, has held relatively stable and stands at +2.7% reflecting the current day-over-day rate in 2012. Increases in this area can have sizable impacts on the final results so we will cautiously adjust this as needed. With these new assumptions, the model expects the Democrats to end early voting with a  66,685 advantage in ballots cast — down from 83,633 in 2008.

Enthusiasm for Romney in Marion, Ohio? You Betcha!

In Iowa, Disappointment with Obama Runs Deep

These are not the articles President Obama wants to read:

In Iowa, a rural state of outsized political importance, retired nurse Pauline McAreavy is among thousands eager to vote against President Barack Obama after four years of disappointment. McAreavy holds a personal grudge against the president that dates back to 2008, when she hosted Obama’s supporters for three weeks in the Midwestern state that nurtured his improbable White House dreams. She never got a thank you note for her small role in helping land Obama in the White House, but McAreavy’s antagonism goes deeper, the product of broken promises and accumulated disillusion with the “hope” promised by the man who has billed himself an “adopted son” of Iowa. “Obama gave us this ‘no red, no blue state’ America,” said McAreavy, 78. “I was fooled, I kick myself everyday,” she said. “I said: ‘In four years I’ll get you buddy — and I’m going to.'”

Breaking up with Obama

McAreavy is among many voters in midwestern Iowa — which kicks off the presidential nominating contests every four years — who have abandoned their allegiance to Obama’s platform. Their lack of support, revealed in two dozen interviews with Iowa County residents, is at the heart of the president’s challenge in seeking a second term in what has become a very tightly contested White House race. Sweeping in front of her house in Williamsburg, McAreavy recalled how she had thought Obama would bring a politically divided country together and that electing the first African American president of the United States would be “wonderful” for this country. “He didn’t, he tore us more apart. I did feel maybe the world didn’t like America, but the world hates us more now than they did before!” she said.

One way street with 2008 voters

Many voters who chose Obama last time around are quick to vent frustration over the discrepancy between what they had hoped from a historic Obama presidency and what actually transpired. Almost no McCain voters, meanwhile, seem ready to cast a ballot for the Democrat. Even if Obama wins the state of Iowa and the entire election this year, the victory will be narrow and will lack the sweet taste of 2008. Back then, Obama got 54 percent of vote in Iowa against 44 percent for McCain. But in this race, no poll gives him more than 51 percent, and Romney is only two points behind, on average.

Despondent Democrats

[T]he president’s supporters — and there are still legions of them — are gloomy. Many cite Republican control of the House of Representatives and its sizeable contingent in the Senate as extenuating circumstances. All search for excuses. “Every election it’s the lesser of two evils,” said Williamsburg librarian Carol Uhlmann, a 72-year-old registered Democrat…Inside the Williamsburg Public Library, a woman playing with a young girl has already decided not to vote for Obama, like she did four years ago. “I’m going to go with the change,” said the woman, who would only give her first name Ann.

Embracing Romney

[D]isenchantment with Obama is not the only factor explaining Romney’s impressive climb up the polls, as the Republican steadily builds his base of support while softening his public image. Romney was not the first choice for Sarah, an 89-year-old Lutheran, because he is of Mormon faith. But she has grown accustomed to the him thanks to repeated campaign appearances that are a tradition in Iowa, which likes to see its candidates up close, shake their hands and look them in the eyes. Sarah said she became especially comfortable after seeing Romney’s large family — he has five sons — on television. And she is far from being alone. National polls by the Washington, DC-based Pew Center show that Romney’s favorability ratings jumped from just 37 percent in July to 50 percent in October.

Youth vote

Even young people, among Obama’s most ardent supporters in 2008, appear disillusioned. Sam Tracy, who delivers beer in Marengo, said he plans to abstain from voting, disgusted by the political impasse in Washington. In 2008, the registered Independent proudly cast a vote for Obama in an election that made the history books. “Based on what we were coming from, there was a lot of enthusiasm for Obama, but now that he’s in office, the shine has worn off,” Tracy said.

Clark County Day 7 Early Vote: Republicans Strike Back

The Clark County early vote story continues to drive intrigue in Nevada.  The Obama campaign would love to put the state out of reach but Team Nevada answered the challenge on Friday with the Republican’s best turnout relative to the total early vote of any day over the last two elections.  Democrats cast 13,862 ballots versus Republicans  who cast 10,161. The Republican’s relative percentage of the Democrat’s vote was 73% — also its best performance over the two elections. Next week will be the big test for both parties but after a few days of nominal declines the GOP turned things around with gusto.  The key will be to continue closing the gap and maintain a rate of growth relative to Democrats that keeps them within striking distance statewide. Independents held their ground reminding both parties there is a sizable chunk of the electorate that can meaningfully alter the outcome of the election while the rest of us focus on party performance. Anecdotal, a Gravis Marketing survey released yesterday had Mitt Romney up 35-points with Independents in Nevada.   Just sayin …

The Clark County model

After a couple days of largely flat to sagging growth, Republicans shot up well past the model’s expectation at 73% versus the model’s 65%.  We won’t change any growth rate until after Sunday’s #s but if they can continue to rise over the weekend, they should be in great shape heading into next week. As a small hint if we adjusted the model to reflect the current growth rate it would shave over 10k off Democrats final margin from yesterday. The weekday average for Democrat turnout was 14,818 only 2.5% greater than our estimate of 14,446.  We will likely use the weekday average as the basis for our estimate of the expected ramp up in turnout next week as that reflects actual 2012 enthusiasm.

The current lead for Democrats in ballots cast stands at 37,935, down -10,366 compared to the same point in 2008. Interestingly when you look at the Republicans dramatically improved early voting pace at Day 9 in 2008 the GOP hit turnout of 211,151 and trailed by 56,298.  This year the GOP hit 211351 on Day 7 and trial by just 37935.  So they have shaved as much 18,363 off the Democrats margin through their dramatically improved performance.

Finally, as I wrote in the Washoe write-up earlier, from my source out west :

Just wanted to update you on Clark’s numbers. We should start seeing movement towards [the GOP] next week. The thing the press doesn’t pick up on is that most of the early vote locations are mobile so they move from supermarket to supermarket, community center to community center for a 1,2 or 3 day period. Starting today and next week we start getting locations in our strong areas so the results should narrow.

Something to keep an eye on going forward.

Live Stream: Romney Rally in Canton on a Cold Friday Night Packs the House

And Jan hooks us up with a live stream of the event: http://www.newsnet5.com/subindex/news/news_livestream1

Stephanie also lets us know at the top of the foxnews.com website, they are live streaming the event as well: http://www.foxnews.com/

I’ll update this post with photos or info as it comes across.


Ohio Early Voting in One Tweet

From our old friend Adrian Gray:

This doesn’t even touch the 15-18 point swing in the Independent vote from 2008 to today among other metrics breaking Romney’s way.

Look Who Made it Into the Toldeo Blade — Our Very Own Battlegroundwatch.com Reporters

In a great write-up for the Romney Rally in Defiance, Ohio the Toledo Blade ran a fantastic picture gallery and wouldn’t you know it they spied our very own intrepid reporters whooping it up with the masses:

Mark sent us a couple other photos from the incredible event. First we have Romney on stage speaking to the crowd and next we have our reporters Claire, Hannah and Nick with Ohio Congressman Bob Latta. Many thanks to our for the on-the-scene report!

Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan @ Red Rocks, CO Tuesday Oct 23

Romney Draws 12,000 in Defiance, Ohio; Population 16,484–Obama Draws 12,000 in Cleveland; Population: 393,806

Romney rally in Defiance, Ohio:

RT @scottwfoster: Estimated crowd count at Romney’s Defiance, OH rally: 12k. Estimate at Obama’s Cleveland rally: 12k. #ohio#decision2012

— Sarah Huisenga (@SarahH_CBSNJ) October 26, 2012

This first fantastic photo is by our own Battlegroundwatch.com correspondent Mark White who previously provided the Sidney, Ohio photos.  Just amazing


The photo on the left is  the next generation we’re all fighting for, our team of intrepid reporters: Claire, Nick and Hannah.  The middle photo is from NBC. The third in this row is from the Romney campaign.


“This must be what momentum looks like” — Des Moines Register

When reporters start write-ups like that you something special is going on:

Cedar Rapids, Ia. – This must be what momentum looks like.

It was a dramatic entrance into Iowa for Mitt Romney on Wednesday – as stirring music played, his campaign airplane touched down at the Eastern Iowa Airport, taxied toward a hangar and parked just 50 feet behind the stage, his campaign motto “Believe in America” visible along its fuselage.

Romney stepped down the jetway to meet a cheering, chanting crowd of more than 3,000 and deliver a high-energy speech that was by turns sharply critical of incumbent President Barack Obama and confidently optimistic about the nation’s future under new leadership.

Namely, him.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, reeled off a litany of troubles facing the country, from debt and deficits to the weak economy.

“But the American people can overcome those challenges if they’re led by leaders who will tell them the truth and lead with integrity and I will.”

Romney’s appearance capped off one of the busier days of the Iowa presidential campaign, and comes amidst a frenzied final push to Election Day. Obama appeared in Davenport Wednesday morning at the start of a two-day trip that will take him to six battleground states. Romney’s rally followed high-profile visits from other national Republicans, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

The pro-Romney roars at times where deafening inside the sheet metal structure – despite the fact many of the attendees had been in place for hours, and some were turned away at the door per the fire marshal’s warning about the building’s maximum occupancy. (emphasis added)

Romney Rally in Reno, Nevada Wednesday (Oct 24) 11:15am

Mitt Romney once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die . . . at least I believe that’s the next Obama campaign accusation for Romney. See for yourself tomorrow:

Victory Rally with Mitt Romney & The Republican Team!

When: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Doors Open 9:15 AM | Event Begins 11:15 AM

Where: Reno Events Center, 400 North Center Street, Reno, NV 89501

To register for the event, click here.

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

For questions, contact us at: TeamNV@mittromney.com | (702) 900-2079
For Important Campaign Updates: Text NV to GOMITT (466488)

Romney Rally at Red Rocks, Colorado — Live Feed, Capacity Crowd

I believe 9600 is the capacity and the event has been sold out since shortly after it was announced.

For those like the panoramic shots: http://360.io/nRThPH

Thanks to John in the comments section, here is the actual live video feed: http://www.9news.com/news/article/295708/339/LIVE-VIDEO-Romney-Ryan-at-Red-Rocks-

Who Says There is an Enthusiasm Problem for Obama? His campaign manager Jim Messina

Is Obama’s Ohio Firewall Really Just a Maginot Line?

@NumbersMuncher (real name Josh Jordan) has the best read of the morning over at National Review’s “The Corner” where he dismantles the argument that Obama has any advantage in Ohio. The entire piece is a must read:

First, he breaks down the party ID in Ohio from 2008 of D +8 is wrong; the real spread was D +5.

Last cycle was a wave election and Barack Obama took Ohio by 4.6 percent, 51.5 to 46.9. The exit polls showed a split of 39 percent Democrats, 31 percent Republicans, and 30 percent independents. If that had been the actual turnout, according to exit polls’ measurement of how members of each party said they voted, Obama would have won 52.8 to 45.6, for a 7.2 percent margin victory, substantially bigger than the margin by which he actually won. This means that the exit polls were off a little, which is unsurprising since they are, after all, just polls. But we have actual vote totals to compare these polls to. If you use the exit-poll numbers for reported voting by party and then look at what kind of a turnout by party you’d need to get to the actual state vote tally, you come out with this breakdown: 37.5 percent Democrats, 32.5 percent Republicans, and 30 percent Independents (that gives you a vote of 51.6 percent for Obama and 46.9 percent for McCain — pretty close to actual results). So while the 2008 exit polls show an eight-point Democrat advantage, in reality it was likely closer to five percent.

Independents have swung 16-points in favor of Romney versus Obama’s 2008 performance.

In 2008 Obama beat John McCain by 8 percent among independents in Ohio. Of the seven current RCP polls that give independent numbers, Romney is up by an average of 8.7 percent.

Turnout in 2012 will not meet 2008 levels

Of the seven current RCP polls in Ohio, the average Democratic advantage in party ID is 5.5 percent. That is, if we assume 2008 advantage was D+5, as explained above, then the average poll in Ohio right now assumes a 2008-level turnout. While anything is possible on November 6, there are not many people on either side thinking Obama can match his 2008 turnout advantage.

Early voting favors Republicans versus 2008

[F]rom CNN today: “Four years ago, Democrats made up about 42 percent of the early and absentee vote while Republicans made up 22 percent. Through Wednesday, however, the margin has narrowed: Democrats account for 36 percent of the early and absentee vote while Republicans make up for 29 percent.” The current polls have been seriously inflated for Democrats because they’re reporting Obama with 30+ percent leads in early voting (which is then automatically counted in “likely voter” samples), which seems to be vastly overestimating the Democratic advantage among these voters. As CNN explains, Romney is making huge gains from 2008.

Conclusion

Obama won in 2008 largely because of a healthy lead among independents and a highly enthusiastic base’s turning out votes. Right now Romney is leading big with independents, has a more enthusiastic base, and is drawing crowds in Ohio that rival Obama’s. While he is down 2.5 points in the polls, the average poll is assuming 2008 turnout which is unlikely to repeat itself this year. Adding the fact that early voting is trending more Republican than in 2008, there is a lot of reason for optimism that this race is much closer than the current polls suggest. Not bad for a candidate who was declared dead in the state just a few weeks ago.

Just an outstanding deconstruction of the media/Obama spin on his Ohio firewall

Reporter Finds First Five Students at Columbus, OH Obama Rally Are Romney Supporters

This is rich (h/t @mattmargolis):

The cheering midst of a rally featuring President Barack Obama and a largely college-age crowd of 15,000 on the Oval at Ohio State University would not seem a likely place to encounter those not in the president’s corner. Yet, the first five students approached at random by a Dispatch reporter on Oct. 9 turned out to support Republican Mitt Romney and his aspirations of replacing Obama in the White House.

It’s not 2008 any more:

The must-vote adoration and enthusiasm for Obama isn’t what it once was among 18- to 29-year-old Millennials in central Ohio, a must-win area in a must-win state for presidential hopefuls. This is not 2008, when two-thirds of the youth vote broke big for Democrat Obama and his message of change amid the accompanying offer of making history by electing the first black president. This is 2012, with Obama running on a recession-riddled record. Job prospects are iffy for even educated young Ohioans. Some fear their generation is in danger of failing to match or better their parents’ now-dinged lifestyles.

Columbus and demographics

Millennials, an increasingly diverse and growing group representing 16 percent of Ohio’s population, are coveted by both Obama and Romney, with both making college campuses a frequent stop. And the biggest of them all, Ohio State and its 56,387 main-campus students, rests in the heart of Franklin County, which cast 50 percent of the presidential vote in a 20-county swath of central Ohio four years ago. Obama chose OSU, in fact, to kick off his re-election campaign at a May 5 rally…Franklin County typically is vital turf in presidential elections, with successful Democrats such as Obama relying on six-figure wins to overcome the GOP votes cast by the reliably Republican counties dominating central Ohio.

About that enthusiasm gap — Youth vote

But, courting and turning out the votes of youth, who are less reliable in going to the polls than older voters are, is proving more difficult this time around — a trend that could work against Obama’s re-election chances. National polls suggest Obama still enjoys a near 20 percentage-point advantage over Romney among young adults, but their enthusiasm has waned, leaving them less likely to vote than in 2008. Polling late last month by the Pew Research Center found young voters, who have cast a majority of their votes for Democrats in the past three presidential elections, are significantly less engaged than in 2008. Sixty-three percent of young registered voters plan to cast ballots this year, compared with 72 percent four years ago. And 61 percent call themselves “highly engaged” this year, down from 75 p ercent in 2008.

Herb Asher, a professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State, said youthful excitement over Obama has been tempered by the “real world and reality” of governing during tough times…Asher expects Obama to be a favorite again with Millennials in central Ohio but adds a footnote: “The real question is not so much the level or loyalty of support but turnout. … The youth vote is an integral part of his strategy and extremely important here.”

“Massive”/”Huge” Crowds for Romney-Ryan Rally in Daytona, Beach, Florida

UPDATE:  Crowd size estimated at 10,000:

The estimated 10,000 people packed around the Bandshell for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on Friday night included Volusia County farmers, out-of-state bikers and families who drove for hours just to see the Republican ticket in person.

A consensus seems to be forming in the press about tonight’s crowd at the Romney-Ryan Rally in Daytona, Beach, Florida (no #s released yet):

— (Washington Post) Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) October 20, 2012

And traveling press secretary Rick Gorka is doing some of my style of campaigning with a little trash talk:

// Even Romney himself is taking the cue:

Election Night Surprise: Why Minnesota Will Turn Red on November 6

Minnesota has crept into the news cycle recently with senior campaign surrogates stumping in the state and campaign dollars flowing to a state once thought out of reach for Republicans this cycle. I received a lot of push-back over my conclusion regarding Minnesota’s competitiveness based on Rochester, Minnesota being a top 10 ad market this week. Upon closer inspection, however, the evidence keeps piling up that the Land of 10,000 Lakes should be on everyone’s radar for an election night surprise.

The latest is a poll released yesterday from SurveyUSA gives President Obama a 10-point lead over Mitt Romney, 50 to 40.  Romney leads by 3-points among Independents 45 to 42 with 4% are voting 3rd party and 6% are Undecided.  Shouldn’t a 10-point lead definitely mean it is not a Battleground? If you believe that, you must be new to this blog.  A 10-point lead would largely be safe at this juncture if the poll were an honest representation of Minnesota today (and remember other polls have it as close as 4). But this SurveyUSA poll is far from a fair representation of the Minnesota electorate.  Before I get too deep into this flawed poll I give SurveyUSA credit for making all of the data available unlike too many other polling firms.   This allows critics to make their own judgements on what is lying beneath the top-line numbers and justify their criticism with facts and figures and not just flippant calls of bias.

Party ID

The biggest issue with the poll is the Party ID.  I understand polling firm do not weight their polls by party ID, but when they re-weight their polls based on age, race, etc and the outcome of respondents is a party ID disparity that defies all logic and reason, that means something is deeply wrong with the sample group they gleaned their answers from.   This poll specifically has a disgraceful disparity between Democrats and Republicans surveyed. The Party ID is D +10 (Dem 37, Rep 27, Ind 30).  This compares to 2008 of D +4 (Dem 40, Rep 36, Ind 25) and 2004 of D + 3 (Dem 38, Rep 35, Ind 27).  First and foremost we see a Democrat advantage in the sampling 2.5x greater than that the 2008 peak of hopey-changey.  This is ludicrous for many of the enthusiasm reasons often cited:

Basically, for the above reasons there is a dramatically increased probability Republicans will vote with greater propensity in 2012 than they did in 2008 while the inverse is true for Democrats.  But that is only one of the reasons this poll and party ID are ludicrous.

The Changing Minnesota

Minnesota is no ordinary state politically. The most important thing to know about Minnesota is the state is rapidly changing in favor of Republicans and has been for years.  Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics did the seminal work in this regard. His state-by-state analysis of voting trends shows that over the last 8 elections the performance of Republican candidates in Minnesota has steadily gotten closer to the candidate’s national performance. That is, when a Republican Presidential candidate got 50.1% of the vote in 1980, you could expect them to get 43% in Minnesota.  In 2008, the under-performance versus the national shrunk to 1%, meaning had John McCain received 51% of the national vote, he could have expected to get 50% of the vote in Minnesota.

If we apply only the most superficial analysis of Minnesota today and we see Mitt Romney leading  in the national average by only a few points, let alone as much as 7-points, it would seem more than likely he would carry Minnesota based solely that lead and the 30-year trend in Republicans favor shown above.

Party ID Recent History

This brings me back to the Party ID issue. In 2008 Minnesota’s political affiliation change was unlike most of America. Between 2004 and 2008 we saw Battleground States experience wide swings in their party ID as citizens bought into the magnetic story of Barack Obama.  States like Ohio saw its Party ID swing 13-points in favor of Democrats; Nevada swung 12-points in favor of Democrats; North Carolina swung 12-points in favor of Democrats; Virginia swung 10-points; New Hampshire 9-points; and on and on all towards the Democrats.  Minnesota’s party affiliation, however, only swung 1-point towards the Democrats.  This was smaller than every party affiliation move among even the most remote of contested state.  This lack of change during the Democrat tidal wave of 2008 is a major component of hidden Republican strength demonstrated in the chart above.  Minnesota is, and has been, a state trending steadily Republican even in the face of the incredible Democrat wave seen in 2008.

Republicans have surged in local politics

But more than just a macro statistical argument, Republicans have made dramatic strides at the ballot box. Over the last four years Minnesota caught the 2010 midterm wave for the GOP and flipped both houses of its state legislature, and in dramatic fashion:

  • Republicans gained a State Senate majority of 55/45 which was a dramatic shift from the 31/69 disparity previously (based on percentages not actual seats)
  • Republicans also gained a State House e majority of 54/46 which was also a dramatic shift from the 35/65 split previously (based on percentages not actual seats)
  • At the Federal level, Republicans picked up one seat balancing out the Congressional delegation at 4 for each party

Despite all of these substantial moves in favor of the Republican party, polls like SurveyUSA’s D +10 turnout still show up and is the basis for people to argue Minnesota is out of reach this election.

But what if Minnesota is not D +10 or anywhere near that?

Below I breakdown the exact same SurveyUSA poll.  First, as they have it with D +10.  Second with the 2008 party ID of D +4 and then prospectively with an even party breakdown for all of the reasons outlined above.  I use with the same number of Independents for the 2012 estimate that SurveyUSA found in their poll although I suspect Independents will be even higher on election day. Pollsters, campaigns, or individuals can make their own assumptions, these are just mine.

This following needs to be clear up front:

  • Party ID does not equal 100% in the SurveyUSA poll so I make Other 6%. Also, the “Other” category in the survey was unusually high at 6% but instead of eliminating that I shaved 3% from the two major parties for 2008 and 2012 est. Also the Other voters overwhelmingly supported 3rd party candidates in the poll so their impact on this analysis is small.
  • The vote total also does not equal 100% because of Undecideds which are also 6%. Due to space constraints I put Undecideds and Other on the same line which can look, when reading from left-to-right, like there are 106% of voters.  But this is not Cook County, it is just labeled that way so you know where the numbers come from.  “Other” turns out to be +1% for each candidate and Undecideds are expected to break at least 2/3 for the challenger which is +2 for Obama and +4 for Romney. Note: adding in Undecideds to the SurveyUSA poll gives the candidates final totals of Obama 52 and Romney 44.

Calculating the vote

  • The vote totals are calculated through the following formula: (Rep Party ID x Rep Party support %) + (Dem Party ID x Dem Party support %) + (Ind Party ID x Ind Party support %) + (Other Party ID x Other Party support %) + (Undecided x Expected %) = vote total
  • For example, with  President Obama in the SurveyUSA Party ID section this breaks down as (27 x .06) + (37 x .93) + (30 x .42) + (6 x .17) + (6 x .33) = 51.7 or 52

Scenario 1: Survey USA Party ID 27 37 30 6 [6] Vote Total
Republicans % Democrats % Independents % Other % Undecided %
Obama 6 93 42 17 33  51.7
Romney 89 4 45 17 66  44.0
Scenario 2: 2008 Party ID 33 37 25 6 [6]
Republicans % Democrats % Independents %  Other % Undecided %
Obama 6 93 42 17 33  49.9
Romney 89 4 45 17 66  47.1
Scenario 3: 2012 Party ID est. 32 32 30 6  [6]
Republicans % Democrats % Independents % Other %  Undecided %
Obama 6 93 42 17 33 47.3
Romney 89 4 45 17 66 48.2

Our three scenarios produce the following results:

  • Party ID  D +10: Obama wins by 8
  • Party ID D +4: Obama wins by 3
  • Party ID even: Romney wins by 1

The point of running these scenarios is the initial read of an Obama 10-point lead based on a D +10 party affiliation is folly. With Undecideds factored in that lead drop to 8 even in this unrealistic scenario. If there is no party affiliation shift from 2008 despite the overwhelming evidence provided, Romney is only down 2.8 points with an unconsolidated base (think a visit might help?) as well as conservative estimates on Undecideds.  If, however, Republicans have burnished their brand and the enthusiasm issue is as meaningful as polling would indicate, the decades-long steady rise in Republican performance in Minnesota should deliver a victory for Romney on November 6.  Enhancing every one of these scenarios is the prospect of a decided national popular vote victory for Romney evidenced by the national tracking polls from Gallup and Rasmussen Reports. If that happens, deep purple Minnesota will turn red on election night.

About that Enthusiasm Gap…The Shrinking Obama Crowds

We blogged the comedy of the Obama campaign previously claiming their small crowds were on purpose.  Now the press are saying even the small Obama crowds are likely an exaggeration:

Obama is rallying today in Manchester, New Hampshire.

~10,000 Rally for Romney in Leesburg, Virginia

I’m getting 2 numbers being reported for the crowd size: 8k and between 10-15k but either way this is a great crowd in the Battleground hotbed of Loudoun County on a 55 degree Wednesday night: