Tag Archives: Pew Research

Will the Party ID really look like R + 2 or R +3?

The just released Pew Research poll showing Mitt Romney up 4-points has the political blogosphere and twitterverse (can we get one name for the two?) up in arms over the party identification of respondents which was R +2.75 (Dem 32.5, Rep 35.25, Ind 29.5). But is that any more correct than the D +7 or D +10 samples we on the Right have indignantly complained about all election cycle? We have asked this question before and have seen detailed analysis of the trends and historical data which on average has been D +3 since 1980.

But what struck me in the Pew Poll was the party identification is  oddly similar to the current Rasmussen party identification that he releases on a monthly basis. Why do we care how close it is to Rasmussen?  Because he nailed the last two elections despite wild swings in the electorate’s preference.

Rasmussen Reports released his party ID for September last week and commenter “blcjr” took the raw data Rasmussen makes available to show you how trends have changed over time from 2004 through today.  Below is Rasmussen’s month-end party ID for each October in Presidential years and therefore the result immediately before the actual election.  We compared that with the exit polling party ID provided by the Winston Group:

Year Rasmussen Actual
2004 D +1.5 (Dem 38.7, Rep 37.2) D +0 (Dem 38, Rep 38)
2008 D +7.1 (Dem 40.3, Rep 33.3) D +7 (Dem 40, Rep 33)
2012 (Sep) R +2.6 (Dem 34.2, Rep 36.8) ?????

In the two prior Presidential election years Rasmussen essentially nailed the party identification and accurately captured the ground swell in favor of Democrats in 2008.  Not coincidentally Rasmussen called the 2004 election within 1% and nailed the 2008 election on the nose.  If party identification is to Republicans advantaged by near +2.6%, Romney should win overwhelmingly, much like the results we see in today’s Pew Poll with a party identification of R +2.75.

Chart compliments of commenter “blcjr”:

Party identification over time since 2004 through September 2012

Romney +4 Nationally — Pew Research (careful on the Party ID though)

It’s only one national poll and the election is still a month away but the respondents are all post-debate and Romney clearly did a great job “making the sale.” Pew Research just released a poll of 1,112 likely voters (so good sample size) showing Mitt Romney leading 49 to 45.  The entire poll is good for Romney with one exception, the party ID is a BIG Republican turnout of R +2.75 (Dem 32.5, Rep 35.25, Ind 29.5).  This would be a record turnout for Republicans beating the 2004 turnout of dead even between the two parties.  Oddly enough though, the party ID almost exactly mirrors Rasmussen’s  party ID expectation and he has nailed the last two general elections (more on that here) so there is a basis for this turnout although I’d model D +2. Drill down on the linked poll because there is plenty to look at (especially Obama’s support among White voters) in this comprehensive survey:

Mitt Romney no longer trails Barack Obama in the Pew Research Center’s presidential election polling. By about three-to-one, voters say Romney did a better job than Obama in the Oct. 3 debate, and the Republican is now better regarded on most personal dimensions and on most issues than he was in September. Romney is seen as the candidate who has new ideas and is viewed as better able than Obama to improve the jobs situation and reduce the budget deficit. In turn, Romney has drawn even with Obama in the presidential race among registered voters (46% to 46%) after trailing by nine points (42% to 51%) in September. Among likely voters, Romney holds a slight 49% to 45% edge over Obama. He trailed by eight points among likely voters last month.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 45
Mitt Romney 49
Other/Don’t Know 6