Rosencrantz and Gildenstern may have stopped flipping coins but the Marist organization’s ability to run 37 Battleground State polls and have Obama winning 36 of them in a race he’s probably losing may be the greatest in-kind contribution to any one campaign in history. It’s a Bachelorette rose ceremony between Prince Charming and Sloth from the Goonies. It’s a Chippendales competition between Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley. The judges may go through all the machinations of fairness but the outcome is all but certain. When you think of the expense of polling (national polls run ~$50k, state polls a bit less) NBC and WSJ should have to file the cost of these polls with the Federal Elections Commission. I’m genuinely flummoxed. I can’t decide whether to mock these polls or bury them. I’m feeling generous since I have a home today but really if Romney wins on Tuesday Marist should no longer remain a polling organization. These aren’t independent snap-shots of states, they are press releases on behalf of a preferred candidate.
It bears repeating what I wrote on early voting in my last Marist undressing:
Early voting is creating a unique problem for polling organizations this year in that the results will skew in favor of the party with the higher early turnout, in this case the Democrats. This built in early voting bias to polls greatly diminishing the polls actual value since you know up front one party’s partisans are over-sampled. Since Democrats tend to vote early, you see the Democrat candidate typically leading by wide margins in early voting according to many polls. When it comes to polling results, all voters who said they already voted make it through the likely voter screen and end up in the final results. This means a sizable pro-Democrat segment of those polled are guaranteed to make it through the likely voter screen. This inherently over-samples Democrats which practically guarantees a favorable result for Democrats. This is how a poll consistently shows Democrat turnout levels at or greater than the best in a generation turnout Democrats enjoyed in 2008 despite mountains of evidence saying otherwise. Of course, Marist has magnificently achieved these outrageous party IDs well before early voting which just goes to prove the old axiom: foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of feeble minds.
Obama leads by 6. The party ID a D+9 (snicker). This compares to D +8 in 2008 (Dem 39, Rep 31, Ind 30) and R +5 in 2004 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind 25). There is no chance the Democrat turnout advantage will exceed Obama’s 2008 best in a generation turnout which we write as D +8 based on the CNN party ID generally used. This is even though the actual 2008 party ID was really only D +5 making this D +9 that much more ludicrous. Here is the key graph on early voters: “In Ohio, 35 percent say they have already voted or plan to do so, and Obama is leading them, 62 percent to 36 percent. Yet Romney is up among Election Day voters in the Buckeye State, 52 percent to 42 percent.” If your survey disproportionately samples a voting bloc who favors one candidate by 26-points that candidate is likely going to win that poll. MSDNC claims they re-ran the poll with the party ID split between 2008 and 2004 elections and that resulted in an Obama 3-point lead. Well, by all means release the details for how Democrats, Republicans and Independents voted. I’ll re-run the poll myself and post my model on the blog so you can see what I did and I GUARANTEE Obama will not have a 3-point lead. If anyone found how the parties voted let me know because I didn’t see it.
Addendum: Meant to include this. Reason # 10,000 to love Jake Tapper. His critics (and he has them) are way off-base with this guy:
@mmurraypolitics So your poll has the president doing better in Ohio this year than he did in 2008. *coughs*—
Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 03, 2012
Obama leads by 2. The party ID is D +2. In 2008 it was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29). In 2004 it was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23). Here is the key graph on early voting: “In the Sunshine State, 63 percent say they have already voted or plan to do so before Election Day, and Obama is winning them, 53 percent to 46 percent. But Romney is ahead among Election Day voters in Florida, 52 percent to 40 percent.” The closer early vote preference ends up with a closer party ID difference. It’s still skewed towards Obama’s 2008 turnout which IS NOT HAPPENING but it at least looks close at D +2. Republicans had a net-gain in voter registration of a quarter-million, Obama’s coalition (youth and Hispanics) is both unenthusiastic and no longer as supportive, and the early voting advantage has been severely mitigated. Romney will win this state by at least 5-points. The only question is whether he can drag Connie Mack across the finish line with him.