Tag Archives: NBC/WSJ

Oh Marist, You Scamp: Obama Wins 36 of 37 Battleground Polls

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.

Ohio

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:

Florida

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.

Marist, You Magnificent Bastard!

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.

Final thoughts on Marist before moving on to the states: I’d argue Marist has been the absolute worst polling outfit this election cycle.  Completely in the tank with Pro-Democrat turnout models arriving at unrealistic results in nearly every survey.  The race for much of the last month has been a dead heat across the Battlegrounds with Romney arguably pulling slightly ahead.  But I saw a statistic this morning that in the dozens of Battleground state polling done by Marist for NBC and the WSJ Mitt Romney led in only one of those polls.  If true and Romney wins the election, no one should ever pay for, read or blog a Marist poll again.  A truly disgraceful showing.  But this is nothing new for Marist.  As I reminded readers two weeks ago thanks to Jay Cost at The Weekly Standard, Marist has a fairly bad track record of over-sampling Democrats.  Immediately before the 2010 mid-terms they released a national survey claiming that among likely voters the country was split right down the middle 46 to 46 voting between the Democrats and Republicans up for Congress (~60% of the way down). As history showed, the election results were quite different from what Marist was seeing. Republicans won the popular vote 52 to 45 netting 63 seats in the House of Representatives.  As the Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone wrote “you could argue that this is the best Republican showing ever.”  Marist?  Nice knowing you.

Wisconsin

President Obama leads by 3-points, 49 to46 with 2% voting third-party and 3% Undecided

Party ID is D +5 (Dem 34, Rep 29, Ind 35).  This compares to 2008 of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 29) and 2004 of R +3 (Dem 35, Rep 38, Ind 27) in 2004.  A very aggressive turnout in favor of the President comparable to his 2008 performance which seems highly unlikely.  Same party ID as their survey a week ago. Another early vote phenomenon favoring Democrats. According to NBC’s First Read, “25 percent say they have already voted or will do so before Election Day, and those voters are breaking to Obama by a 59 percent to 39 percent clip.” This is consistent with yesterday’s Marquette Law School poll (that somehow I missed — totally hiding behind the Hurricane Sandy excuse for as long as I can btw) showed Obama leads among early voters, 56-36%. Survey too many Democrats and you get a Democrat leading, not much more to it.  At the same time, IF Team Obama mobilizes his ground troops to repeat the 2008 turnout advantage, congratulations on your re-election.  I simply believe the overwhelming evidence that shows 2008 was the exception and not the rule for party turnout.

New Hampshire

President Obama leads by 2-points, 49 to47 with 1% voting third-party and 3% Undecided

The party ID is D +1 (Dem 27, Rep 26, Ind 47). In 2008 it was D +2 (Dem 29, Rep 27, Ind 45) and in 2004 it was R+7 (Dem 25, Rep 32, Ind 44). This still strongly shades toward Democrats but quite honestly anything is possible for New Hampshire in my book.  I never know how to read this electorate and I’m always pleasantly surprised when the GOP does well in the state.  It’s just my deep blue New England bias that always makes this state so surprising to me. Objectively though this is a turnout result strongly favors Democrats and Obama only leads by 2 so all-in-all not the worst poll for Romney.

Iowa

President Obama leads by 6-points, 50 to44 with 2% voting third-party and 4% Undecided

It cracks me up how quickly the Obama surrogates disclaim these large Iowa leads. Obviously they are worried about over-confidence but when both sides say a poll is way-off, it’s not worth spending time simply saying “we agree.”

The party ID is D +3 (Dem 34, Rep 31, Ind 34). This compares to 2008 of D +1 (Dem 34, Rep 33, Ind 33) and 2004 R +2 (Dem 34, Rep 36, Ind 30).  A highly unlikely scenario considering every metric between voter registration, early voting proclivity and enthusiasm dramatically favors Republicans versus the 2008 comparison.  This is a state with aggressive early voting and Democrats dominating so this is again one of the ways where you end up with screwy party IDs that greatly diminish the polls overall value as indicative of state sentiment. According to the First Read write-up, “In Iowa, according to the poll, 45 percent of respondents say they have already voted early or plan to do so, and Obama is winning those voters by nearly 30 points, 62 percent to 35 percent.”

NBC/WSJ/Marist Grudgingly Concede Nevada and Colorado Are Close

The worst polling alliance of this cycle comes back for a few more surveys and gives it the old college try to keep Obama close as the race begins slipping away in Colorado.  The Nevada poll skews towards the Democrats but otherwise seems to be a fair poll:

Colorado

  • Dead heat at 48 to 48 with 2% Undecided
  • Party ID: D +1 (Dem 34, Rep: 33, Ind: 32) versus 2008 R +1 (Dem 30, Rep: 31, Ind: 39) and R +9 (Dem: 29, Rep: 38, Ind: 33) in 2004
  • Colorado is trending Democrat but I highly doubt the Obama machine will achieve a 2pp greater margin than 2008.  Probably too many Dems and Reps and not enough Inds
  • Racial demos in the poll: White 77%, Hispanics 16%, Blacks 3%.  This compares to 2008 of White: 81%, Hispanics: 13%, Blacks: 4%.  A 4pp decline in the White vote?  Highly doubtful as well as the sizable rise in Hispanics 3%.
  • Playing with the racial make-up which again is a conscious choice of polling organizations is their latest attempt to make Obama poll far better than reality.
  • Even with the two above advantages heavily weighted towards Obama, he can remains below 50% and can do no better than a tie.
  • Romney’s personal favorability is +1 48 to 47 even after half-a-billion dollars in negative ads

Nevada

  • Obama +3, 50 to 47 with 2% Undecided
  • Party ID is D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33 , Ind 27) versus 2008 of D +8 (Dem 38, Rep 30, Ind 26) and 2004 of R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26)
  • Still skewed towards the Democrats record turnout in 2008 when Obama was battling an unarmed opponent who gave up on contesting the state.  Good luck with that one on Nov. 6
  • Racial demos: White 70%, Hispanics 16%, Blacks 7%.  This compares with 2008 of White: 69%, Hispanics 15%, Blacks 10%.  Fairly reasonable break-down.  The key will be whether the enthusiasm gap depresses Hispanic turnout
  • Romney’s personal favorability is +2 48 to 46 even after half-a-billion dollars in negative ads

NBC/WSJ National Poll Tied at 47 — Real Story Hidden in the Mess of a Write-up

UPDATE:  And we have our answer.  On this morning’s “Daily Rundown” Chuck Todd displayed a graphic showing President Obama garnering only 36% of support from White “likely voters” versus 59% for Mitt Romney.  This contrasts as I speculated below with his support of 38% among White registered voters.  At 36% support among whites Obama is finished. [End update]

Let’s start with the screaming headline if the President’s name was O’Bama and he was a White Irishman: PRESIDENT BELOW 50% TWO WEEKS BEFORE ELECTION …sub-headline: No President has ever won re-election with support this low

But this is the press’ dream President/candidate so we’ll analyze the poll for what it is, an incumbent President stuck at ~47% in every poll, in every month, in every contested state.  This election may be remembered as the 47% election between Obama’s unmoving support level as well as  Romney’s remark.

As for the poll, it looks decent from a make-up standpoint.  They don’t provide the likely voter party ID but Chuck Todd tweeted out it was D +3 while the registered voter sample was D +6 (RV #s confirmed in the data).  The racial make-up was clean at 74% White, 12% Black, 8% Hispanic, 2 % Asian.

Now for the ugliness if you are President Obama:

This demographic information is from the First Read write-up which I would give a “F” if I were an English teacher grading this.  They mix in registered voter preferences with likely voter preferences and rarely distinguish which is which.  Conflating these two groups makes it impossible to draw decent conclusions.  Journalism FAIL. Of course they’ll never provide this raw data to the public so we are left to rely on their shoddy journalism:

  • Obama leads among African Americans (92 percent to 5 percent) — close to the historic average of 90% and not the absurd 95% he got in 2008
  • Latinos (winning about seven in 10 of them) — why did they not give us the #?  But that phrasing means 68 or 69%, barely higher than his 67% in 2008
  • Romney, meanwhile, has the edge among seniors (60 percent to 35 percent) — but Chuck Todd incessantly told me Paul Ryan would hurt Romney with seniors?  I told you otherwise
  • Romney lead with whites (55 percent to 38 percent)– Here we are below the magic 40% mark which is the danger zone for Obama.  But again, you already knew that

For some professionally incompetent reason they now switch to likely voters

But Romney’s gender gap narrows when you move from registered voters to likely voters —

  • Obama’s lead with women shrinks to eight points (51 percent to 43 percent)
  • Romney’s advantage with men grows to 10 points (53 percent to 43 percent)

These likely voters #s on the gender gap are a big freaking deal. Democrats gap with women almost always exceeds Republicans gap with men and Obama even won the male vote in 2008. Are we to assume the prior #s are all registered voter preferences?  If so, is Obama at 35% among whites in the Likely Voter screen?  That’s a huge story buried in this incompetently written paragraph on racial demographic preferences in the NBC/WSJ poll. Why even give the registered voter numbers?  Any reasonable observer wants to know the likely voter preferences.

Just as bad for Obama is that his support is softer than Romney’s (Question 14). Of each candidate’s support:

  • Romney: 84% will definitely vote for him, 10% will probably vote for him and 6% are just leaning towards him
  • Obama: 82% will definitely vote for him, 9% will probably vote for him and 8% are just leaning towards him and 1% are not sure

Fewer “definite,” fewer “probably,” more “leaners” and an unsure … not a good place for an incumbent.

NBC/WSJ/Marist Survey CodePink in Iowa and Wisconsin, Find Obama Leading

I’m going to feel bad when the Marist Poll service goes out of business due to lack of reliability after this cycle’s monstrously awful polls (I won’t really).   You can read my previous take-downs of the least reliable poling outfitl this cycle here, here and here.

I’m still waiting on the detailed crosstabs but based on the released info from MSNBC, today’s doozies include Iowa and Wisconsin:

Iowa

President Obama leads by 9-points (which explains why he’s still campaigning heavily there) 52 to 43.  Two percent are voting Other and 4% are undecided.

  • 34% of those surveyed already voted which compares to 18% of Iowans who have actually voted early
  • Half of actual early voters are Democrats giving rise to a massive over-sampling of Democrat early voters

Party ID is D +2 (Dem 33, Rep 31, Ind 35). This compares to 2008 of D +1 (Dem 34, Rep 33, Ind 33) and 2004 R +2 (Dem 34, Rep 36, Ind 30).  A highly unlikely scenario considering every metric between voter registration, early voting proclivity and enthusiasm dramatically favors Republicans versus the 2008 comparison.

Addendum: Now they tell us …

Ya think? Duh.

Wisconsin

President Obama leads by 6-points 51 to 45.  Only one percent are voting Other and 3% are Undecided.

The party ID was D +5 (Dem 33, Rep 28, Ind 38). This compares to 2008 of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 29) and 2004 of R +3 (Dem 35, Rep 38, Ind 27) in 2004.  Again a very aggressive turnout in favor of the President comparable to his 2008 performance which seems highly unlikely,

UPDATE: Healthy reminder from Jay Cost at The Weekly Standard.  Marist has a fairly bad track record of over-sampling Democrats.  Immediately before the 2010 mid-terms they released a national survey claiming that among likely voters the country was split right down the middle 46 to 46 voting between the Democrats and republicans up for Congress (~60% of the way down). As history showed, the election results were quite different from what Marist was seeing. Republicans won the popular vote 52 to 45 and gaining 67 seats in the House of Representatives.  As the Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone wrote that “you could argue that this is the best Republican showing ever.”  Marist?  Nice knowing you.

NBC/WSJ/Marist Make In-kind Contribution to Obama Re-Elect Efforts in Ohio, Florida and Virginia

I’ll go to my grave saying these have been consistently some of the worst polls for accuracy and reliability of the election season.  In one breath NBC and other media analysts will tell us the entire electorate is locked in and has been for months  due to the exorbitant ad spending and saturation of the limited markets. In the next breath they will tell that the party IDs of these polls with gaudy Democrat turnout advantages are accurate because they reflect the mood of the voter (i.e. in a D +10 sample in a Battleground state, that just means the state is trending overwhelmingly Democrat often ahead of the 2008 record levels).  Then if we were to buy into their explanation, ahead of the first debate mind you, dramatic swaths of previously locked-in voters started completely switching camps and Democrat voters were becoming Republican voters which explained how party IDs began to drift closer to parity.

Today, if we stay with their deeply flawed argument, following the worst Presidential debate performance ever (think about that for a second), the unholy alliance of NBC/WSJ/Marist wants us to believe the voters of Ohio have switched back to super outstanding,march on the picket line, unions forever Democrats of their previously wholly unrealistic and unreliable polls.  No thank you.  Also, the pollsters messed with the racial weightings in Florida and Virginia, something they definitely subjectively re-weight polls for, all to the advantage of Obama (shocking, I know).  But Ohio is over 80% White so they just polled GM auto plants for their politically balanced sample.  After the below tripe, I have to believe Romney is up by at least a point or two in Ohio because these polls are so awful they must be hiding a lot of stink for Obama out there in the Battlegrounds

Ohio:

Obama leads by 6 overall (51 to 45) while Romney is up 7% with Independents (yea, right). The party ID last week was D +5 following the absurd D +10 on September 13.  Today’s party ID laughs at last week’s party ID with a cosmically awful D +11 — you can’t make this shit up. After giving them some credit for finding a slightly better sample group last week, this one has to rank among the worst of the election season.  This is money well spent as an in-kind contribution to the Obama re-election campaign and nothing more.

Party ID is D +11 (Dem 40, Rep 29, Ind 29)
2008 was D +8 (Dem 39, Rep: 31, Ind 30)
2004 was R +5 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind: 25)

Florida:

Obama leads by 1-point overall (48 to 47), the same lead as last week while Romney leads by 5-6-points with Independents, same as last week. Here is where more high comedy comes in.  In last week’s Florida poll, the race Demographic percentages for likely voters was White 68, Hispanics 15, Blacks, 13.  This week we have 5% less Whites and 5% more Hispanics: White 63, Hispanics 20, Black 13.  The thing to remember about the re-weighting by race, this is a variable the pollsters CHOOSE.  Marist made a conscience decision dramatically shift the racial demographics this week just like Gallup which of course hides the decline in support for President Obama.  Even in the survey one-month ago the White percentage was 67% but then suddenly White Mitt Romney voters decided to stay home after the debates? (If these were Obama voters staying home he’d be down 10-points). The demos in 2008 were White 71, Black 13, Hispanic 14. Just another in-kind contribution to the Obama re-elect campaign. The party ID remains a bit of a joke like last week with a better turnout for Obama than in 2008.  Regardless, this is a poll run at the behest of David Axelrod which is what NBC/WSJ/Marist should just say up front.

Party ID is D +4 (Dem 37, Rep 33, Ind 29)
2008 was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29)
2004 was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23)

Virginia:

One of their few consistent polling efforts, the Old Dominion state remains a tight race.  Romney reverses Obama’s previous 2-point lead and takes a slim 1-point advantage (48 to 47). Romney leads among Independents by 8-points (50 to 42) but Obama picks up a few crossover votes to account remaining competitive.Of course they coincidentally played with the racial make-up this week dropping Whites -3% and adding Hispanics by +2% just because why not?  It’s Columbus weekend let’s act like the race is closer than it is by arbitrarily screwing with the race demos.  This was the least egregious of the three but still unworthy of any consideration for serious polling. The party ID remains at a more reasonable level of D +2, far better than the D +6 they tried to pass off in mid-September.  As with every reasonable Virginia survey, the state is tight as a tick.

Party ID is D +2 (Dem 30, Rep 28, Ind 40)
2008 was D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27)
2004 was R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26)

NBC/WSJ/Marist Run Some Credible Polls … I Lost That Bet

On September 13 the Marist organization began releasing a series of polls for the Wall Street Journal and NBC across the Battleground State.  It’s first set was Ohio, Florida and Virginia and we’re back to where we started this morning ahead of the big debate tonight in Colorado.  Throughout their weekly releases I’ve joked that based on the poll results the race is over and Mitt Romney should drop the “arrogance” of even challenging Obama since these polls were both heavily in favor of Obama and were unassailable (except to us nut-cases on the Right). These sarcastic comments were based on voter samples unrealistic in today’s environment.  Today’s samples are far more credible with the exception of Florida.  As such better conclusions can be drawn about the race.  Obama may not be up 8 in Ohio but he does seem to have a clear advantage.  At the same time while the poll below shows Obama with a 1-point lead in Florida, I’m increasingly confident Romney is likely up 2-3 points in Florida.  Finally Virginia remains a death struggle for both campaigns that will certainly run through election day.  The race is even and it’s anyone’s to win at this point.

Ohio:

Obama leads by 8 overall (51 to 43) and is up 3 with Independents.  Obama gets 6% of Republicans while Romney only gets 2% of Democrats. Those three metrics explain the difference.  The party ID is a better split than the silly D +10 last time.  Today’s D +5 might still be slightly higher than it will be on election day but it does not account for Obama’s 8-point lead.  If Romney is going to win this state he has a lot of wood left to chop.

Party ID is D +5 (Dem 36, Rep 31, Ind 33)
2008 was D +8 (Dem 39, Rep: 31, Ind 30)
2004 was R +5 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind: 25)

Florida:

Obama leads by 1-point overall (47 to 46) but Romney leads by 6-points with Independents.  Additionally each side garners almost equal amounts of crossover votes 7% of Republicans for Obama and 6% of Democrats for Romney. The party ID is a bit of a joke with a better turnout for Obama than 2008 and the internals on the poll are better for Romney than Obama.  Regardless of the lead this is a good poll for Romney as Florida is probably slipping from Obama’s grasp.

Party ID is D +5 (Dem 37, Rep 32, Ind 29)
2008 was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29)
2004 was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23)

Virginia:

Another tight race in the Old Dominion state.  Obama leads by 2-points overall (48 to 46). Romney leads among Independents by 1-point but Obama picks up a few crossover votes to account for his lead. The party ID improves from the last survey to a more reasonable level for the 2012 electorate pretty much confirming what we have said all along — Virginia is tight as a tick and joke polls like the Washington Post’s and others from two weeks ago have no basis in reality.

Party ID is D +2 (Dem 32, Rep 30, Ind 37)
2008 was D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27)
2004 was R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26)

NBC/Wall Street Journal National Poll Shows Tight Race; Obama +3

The absurd 6-8 point leads for Obama has dissipated as many of us told you they would since in reality the leads were never that high to begin win. President Obama leads 49 to 46 in the latest NBC/WSJ national poll while three percent remain Undecided and two percent chose one of the third parties.  The party ID was D +6 (Dem 32, Rep 26, Ind 40).  That’s too few Republicans and likely too many Independents. Reminder 2008 was D +7 and 2004 was perfectly even between the two parties.

A lot of interesting internals:

  • Right track/Wrong track is under water at 40/43
  • Obama Job Approval positive at 49 Approve/48 Disapprove
  • Approval on handling the economy remains under water at 46 Approve/51 Disapprove
  • Approval on handling foreign policy continues to take a hit with 49 Approve/ 46 Disapprove. In Mid-August he was 54/40
  • Only 44% think the economy will improve over the next 12 months
  • However 57% think the economy is recovering while 39% think it is not recovering
  • Net Disapproval over Obama’s handling of the Embassy attacks: 45 Approve/46 Disapprove
  • Are you better off than four years ago? 37% Better/40% Worse
  • Mitt Romney rates 1% higher on handling the economy but Barack Obama leads by 13% on leading the country
  • Both candidates have similar support of their base with 81% definitely voting for Romney and 80% definitely voting for Obama
  • From Adrian Gray: NBC/WSJ sample had been 16% age 18-29 for last four polls. Now 21%? (was 18% in 2008)

Fun with Polls: NBC/WSJ/Marist Complete the Cycle Without Finding Romney Leading Any State — Race OVER!

We’ve gone after this unholy alliance of polling hard over the last few weeks and not without cause. Now I blog their aggressive samplings of Democrats more out of sadness than anger.  They spent a lot of money to bolster President Obama and it seems like even these fiascos of polls are coming back to reality with closer races despite the turnout models with 0% chance of occurring on election day.

This week we have New Hampshire, Nevada and North Carolina.

New Hampshire — Obama leads by 7; 51 to 44, one vote other and 4 Undecided

Party ID is even with Dem 25, Rep  25, Ind 47.  This compares to 2008 D +2 (Dem 29, Rep 27, Ind 45) and 2004 of R +7 (Dem 25, Rep 32, Ind 44).  A shade high on Democrats since the state is probably R +2 or R +3.  But a good poll for the President.

Nevada — Obama leads by 2; 49 to 47, one vote other and 3 Undecided

Party ID is D +7 (Dem 38, Rep 31 , Ind 30) versus 2008 of D +8 (Dem 38, Rep 30, Ind 26) and 2004 of R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26). Again with the repeat of the once-in-a-generation turnout from 2008 that almost certainly will not be repeated.  But with such an aggressive turnout model Obama only leads by 2?  Very bad poll for him.  I’ll turn it over from here to a guy who knows a lot more about Nevada politics and polls than me, Jon Ralston:

  • Looked at full demos for NBC/WSJ/Marist. Look good. Dems may not like, but could argue it favors them. although the Hispanic sample may be slightly high (20 percent)
  • Latinos in NBC/WSJ/Marist are 62-36 in NV for Obama. 2 percent undecided.

North Carolina I will barely mention considering it is such a Battleground Obama refuses to campaign there and they are pulling all their money out of the state.  So I’m certain this poll is accurate … not. Obama leads (of course) leads by 2 and the party ID is D +8 in a state I will bet you $1000 will be pro-Republican on election day.  Split was R +1 in 2004 and since 2008 the Democrat Party has embarrassed itself statewide the likes of which few parties have imploded. One of the states with a large missing White vote is North Carolina.  This state is not a Battleground regardless of what polling the DNC tells these news outlets.

NBC/WSJ/Marist Question Why Romney is Even Still Bothering to Campaign

Last week I said the race was over because NBC/WSJ/Marist polled the DNC and that’s what they told me. Now I think Mitt Romney needs to drop out.  His arrogance and relentless gaffes are bringing down the national economy and if we could just let President Obama get back to work, we’d all have jobs forever, pay raises to make Chicago teachers blush, and Islamsists wouldn’t hate us so much (do you think they’re protesting Romney challenging Obama?  Could be).

We’ll break down the party IDs first since that is where most of the noise comes from.

Colorado: Obama leads by 5 (50 to 45) with 4 Undecided

  • Party ID: D +2 (Dem 34, Rep: 32, Ind: 32) versus 2008 R +1 (Dem 30, Rep: 31, Ind: 39) and R +9 (Dem: 29, Rep: 38, Ind: 33) in 2004
  • After the peak of hopey-changey in 2008, Obama is going to stretch his turnout margin another 3 percentage points?  Not happening
  • Too many Democrats, too few Independents — can’t see how Inds voted but it is pro-Romney based soley on the top-line Obama lead (I wrote that too quickly, Inds should be close and probably slightly for Obama).
  • Also 3% drop in White demographic. Fairly aggressive for Colorado when Hispanics are only up 1% in the survey and African-Americans are down 1%

Wisconsin: Obama leads by 5 (50 to 45) with 4 Undecided

  • Party ID: D +5 (Dem 33, Rep 28, Ind 38) versus 2008 D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 29) and R +3 (Dem 35, Rep 38, Ind 27) in 2004
  • Nearly full hopey-changey in a state going through a full political transformation over the last two years and a popular native son on the opposition ticket in a swing district? Hmmm
  • Too few Republicans and too many Independents.  Can’t wait to see how they voted
  • Race demographics are clean

Iowa: Obama leads by 8 (50 to 42) with 7 Undecided

  • Party ID: D +5 (Dem 36, Rep 31, Ind 33) versus D +1 (Dem 34, Rep 33, Ind 33) in 2008 and R +2 (Dem 34, Rep 36, Ind 30) in 2004
  • In the state with probably the least movement this year, a large evangelical base and massively increased Rep voter registration Team Obama will have a FAR superior turnout than 2008?  Keep dreaming
  • Too many Dems and too few Reps
  • Race demographics are mostly clean with a shade high on the white vote but in Iowa that doesn’t have the same impact  (state is 90%+ white) as elsewhere in the country

More to come when I get Independents.

UPDATED: NBC/WSJ Poll Not More Reasonably Sampled — 7% More Democrats Sampled (Same as 2008 Turnout)

President Obama leads by 5% (50-45) among likely voters in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal national survey. The party ID split of their sample-size has 5% more Democrats 7% more Democrats than Republicans among registered voters (see important update below). Barack Obama led by 6% among registered voters.  They do not give the likely voter breakout.  This oversampling of Democrats is the same as the Democrats 2008 advantage and a notch worser than their August survey that sampled 6% more Democrats. In general these national surveys seem to give Obama a 1% lead for every over-sampled Democrat which means Independent voters, base enthusiasm and turnout, turnout, turnout will be key in this election. Frustratingly, for questions like job approval, right track.wrong track, etc.  they only give results for registered voters which tend to inflate Democrat results

Highlights from the survey among registered voters:

  • Obama breaching the 50% threshold is a big deal since that is the magic # and he rarely hits that mark
  • Obama job approval at 50% which would be a good threshold if this were likely voters (for reference at this point in 2004 George W Bush was at 53% among likely voters)
  • Right track/Wrong track for direction of the country is 39/55 or -16, continues to be bad for Obama but better than -19 last month
  • Approve/Disapprove Obama on the economy is 47/51 or -4, improved from -10 last month
  • Approve/Disapprove handling foreign policy is 49/46 or +3, but down sharply from +14 last month

UPDATE: Great point brought up in the comments by “YepEvenMoreSkewed” (love the name): The real party ID is Democrats +7.  What the pollsters did was press the voters which way they lean which is not the equivalent to the 2008 D +7 baseline we have complained about.  If you exclude leaners and leave them as Independents the party ID becomes Democrats: 32, Republicans: 25, Independents, 38.  That is a very low # of Republicans surveyed. Also I never found how Independents voted which is an important barometer to better gauge the election and offset some of the noise trying to re-weight polls. I’ll keep digging.

The Bush Tax Cuts Popularity Unchanged (if not more popular) Since 2004

In the incredibly pro-Democrat poll below showing a Democrat over-representation by 11 percentage points, the “Bush tax cuts” are negligibly less popular than they were when the voter ID was perfectly even in 2004 (Question 30 in the survey).

According to the NBC/WSJ survey 4 percent fewer find the tax cuts better for the economy while 2 percent more find the tax cuts worse for the nation’s economy. To state the obvious, in a poll where Democrats are over-represented by 11 percentage points, a net six-point swing means absolutely nothing for those arguing for repealing the “Bush tax cuts”. Expect the GOP to further dig their heels in on the Democrats attempts to raise taxes in an election year, even on only the top few percent of tax payers:

Do you think the tax cuts originally passed by George W. Bush’s administration have been good for the nation’s economy, bad for the nation’s economy, or have they made no difference?

2012 2004
Good for nation’s economy 37 Good for nation’s economy 41
Bad for nation’s economy 34 Bad for nation’s economy 32
Made no difference 24 Made no difference 25
Not sure 5 Not sure 3

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.