Tag Archives: polls

The Internal Polls That Made Mitt Romney Think He’d Win

Turns out the bad polling was the internal Romney polls not the publicly available polls:

It’s no secret that the Romney campaign believed it was headed for victory on Election Day. A handful of outlets have reported that Team Romney’s internal polling showed North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia moving safely into his column and that it put him ahead in a few other swing states. When combined with Ohio, where the internal polling had him close, Romney was on track to secure all the electoral votes he needed to win the White House.

The numbers include internal polls conducted on Saturday, November 3, and Sunday, November 4, for Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, and New Hampshire. According to Newhouse, the campaign polled daily, then combined the results into two-day averages. The numbers for each day along with the averages are displayed in the chart below, followed by the actual result in each state:

Together, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Iowa go most of the way toward explaining why the Romney campaign believed it was so well-positioned. When combined with North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia—the trio of states the Romney campaign assumed were largely in the bag—Romney would bank 267 electoral votes, only three shy of the magic number. Furthermore, according to Newhouse, the campaign’s final internal polls had Romney down a mere two points in Ohio—a state that would have put him comfortably over the top—and Team Romney generally believed it had momentum in the final few days of the race.

Fascinating stuff.

Combatting the Polling Problem

In addition to fixing a clearly broken brand and attracting more voters, Republicans need to address getting blind-sided by their own internal polling:

In the weeks before Election Day, both Republicans and Democrats were nervous about their poll numbers. Both sides of the aisle have smart pollsters, they reasoned, so how could the numbers that Democrats were seeing diverge so sharply from the numbers the Republicans were seeing? Deep down, I wrote at the time, both parties secretly worried that their side was missing the boat.

What went wrong:

“Everyone thought the election was going to be close. How did [Republicans] not know we were going to get our ass kicked?” lamented Rob Jesmer, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “I don’t understand how we didn’t know. That’s the part that’s most puzzling and frustrating and embarrassing.”

The underlying causes of the errant numbers are the assumptions that the pollsters made about the nature of the electorate. Most pollsters believed the electorate would look something like the voters who turned out in 2008, just with slightly lower numbers of African-Americans, younger people, and Hispanics heading to the polls.

But exit polls actually showed a much more diverse electorate than the one forecast. Black turnout stayed consistent with 2008, Hispanic turnout was up, and younger voters made up a higher percentage of the electorate than they had four years ago. White voters made up 72 percent of the electorate, according to the exits, down 2 points from 2008 and a continuation of the two-decade long decline in their share of the electorate.

That meant that even though Mitt Romney scored 59 percent of the white vote — a higher percentage than George W. Bush won in 2000 and 2004, higher than Ronald Reagan in 1980 and matching George H.W. Bush’s 1988 score, when he won 426 electoral votes in 40 states — it wasn’t enough to overcome the 80 percent support that Obama scored among nonwhite voters.


Pollsters should fix voter screens, used to weed out of their samples irregular voters who aren’t likely to vote. Including only likely voters often leads to a more Republican-heavy sample. But in an era of fine-tuned turnout machines and get-out-the-vote drives, even those irregular voters are likely to show up. Polling all registered voters, rather than those most likely to make it to the polls, would at least give Republicans an idea of the worst-case scenario.

Pollsters should also control more for age, gender, and race than for party identification. One prominent party pollster pointed to a late survey conducted for Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock that showed him leading Democrat Joe Donnelly by 2 points. That survey, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, showed that 56 percent of Indiana’s electorate would be over age 55. Exit polls revealed that number to be vastly overstated; only 43 percent of the electorate was over 50.

The party-identification question gets to the heart of another misperception that pollsters make. Tell almost anyone that Romney would have won self-identified independent voters by 5 points and logic would dictate that Romney would win a clear victory. But Democratic pollsters say that metric is flawed, and that many Republicans remain so disaffected by their own party that they refuse to identify with it. Instead, some say that pollsters should look at self-described ideology, rather than party identification. Indeed, Obama beat Romney among the 41 percent of voters who call themselves moderate by 15 points.

Pollsters also recognize that Americans’ daily routines are changing, something that has an impact on their surveys. About one-third of all households do not have a landline, according to the National Health Interview Survey, meaning that a significant swath of the electorate is available to pollsters only by cell phone. The percentage of younger Americans who don’t have a landline is almost double that. Pollsters who don’t include a sufficient number of cell-phone respondents in their surveys risk missing out on younger voters — voters most likely to back Democrats, thus skewing polls to the right.

If Media Don’t Like Poll Results, They Have the Results Changed

Since NBC/WSJ/CBS/New York Times/ABC pay for the poll why should they have to report results running counter to their politics?  John Podhoretz at Commentary Magazine has the scoop:

A stunning tale today in the Salt Lake Tribune, however, reveals the dirty little secret of polls paid for by the media. The results are, in effect, owned by the media, and the media can insist that they be rejiggered.

The Tribune published a poll done by the respected Mason-Dixon firm that showed a 10-point lead for the county’s Republican candidate for mayor. The poll was released on Thursday. Later, editors for the paper objected to the results on the grounds that the poll had an insufficient number of Democrats in its sample:

Tribune editor Nancy Conway acknowledged the problem. “We are as concerned about this as anyone,” she said Monday. “As soon as we understood there was a problem we worked to correct it. “We had no reason to doubt the poll until we saw others conducted over the same period and could see differences in the numbers. That raised questions,” Conway said. “We contacted our pollster who did additional research on Salt Lake County demographics and found there was indeed a flaw. “We knew right then that we needed to correct our mistake and that’s what we are doing,” Conway said.

And so it was done, as the story explains.

These are stunning admissions:

To recap: A newspaper pays for a poll. It doesn’t like the look of the results. So it asks the pollster to reexamine them and alter them by changing his “weights.” He does so; he may agree with the call (as the Mason Dixon pollster says he does in the story) or he may be simply serving the interests of his paying client.

And it will do so based on the partisan split—the very controversy that is dismissed so cavalierly by media types. We only know about this one because of the highly unusual circumstances of its revision. The question you have to ask yourself now is: How many times does this happen before a poll is published?

But people like myself have been called every conspiratorial wacko name in the book for looking at the data, saying it is obviously wrong and charging the polling organizations with either incompetence or bias.  Turns out it is both.

Dead Heat in Ohio: 49 to 49 — Rasmussen

You can’t get any closer than that. The latest from Rasmussen Reports shows Mitt Romney and President Obama deadlocked at 49 a piece in Ohio.  Did Obama cannibalize his voters? Is Romney’s margin with Independents enough to win the day? We’ll find out tomorrow but for now it’s anyone’s ballgame in Ohio:

The pivotal presidential state of Ohio remains all tied up on the eve of Election Day. The final Election 2012 Rasmussen Reports survey of Likely Ohio Voters shows Mitt Romney and President Obama each earning 49% support. One percent (1%) favors some other candidate in the race, and another one percent (1%) is undecided. Ohio is still one of eight Toss-Up states in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections, along with Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin. Polls in Ohio close at 7:30 pm Eastern tomorrow. If Romney wins Virginia and Florida, he also will need to win either Ohio or Wisconsin to be on track to capture the White House.

The race in Ohio was tied late last week after Romney posted a slight 50% to 48% advantage a few days earlier. The candidates have been within two percentage points of one another or less in every survey in Ohio since May. Forty percent (40%) of likely voters in the Buckeye State have already voted. Obama leads 60% to 37% among these voters. Ninety-three percent (93%) have made up their minds whom they will vote for, and it’s Obama 50%, Romney 49% in this group. Helping to explain the closeness of the race here is that the candidates run nearly even when Ohio voters are asked whom they trust more in several key policy areas. Romney has a three-point edge over the president in voter trust when it comes to the economy, a two-point lead in the area of job creation and is ahead by one point with regards to energy policy. But Ohio voters trust Obama more by four points when it comes to housing issues and by two points in the area of national security. The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Ohio was conducted on November 4, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 49
Mitt Romney 49
Other 1
Undecided 1

Romney +2 in Virginia — Rasmussen

In a state that I though would be a knife fight into election day, Virginia remains very close with Rasmussen showing a 2-point lead for Romney 50 to 48. It’s likely that Romney has opened a significant enough lead to call this state earlier in the evening tomorrow than I would have thought a few months back but people still have to show up and you never know the results so don’t get cocky:

Mitt Romney still earns 50% support in Virginia just before Election Day. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters shows Romney with 50% of the vote to President Obama’s 48%. One percent (1%) likes another candidate, and another one percent (1%) is undecided. This is unchanged from two weeks ago and the week before that when it was Romney 50%, Obama 47%. Virginia which is critical to Romney’s fortunes in the election remains a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections as it has been in surveys for months.  Polls close in Virginia tomorrow at 7 pm Eastern. The results from the state will be an early indicator of how the election is going: If Romney loses Virginia, he is unlikely to win the election.

Ninety-three percent (93%) of the state’s voters say they have made up their minds how they will vote, and the race is 50%-50% among these voters. Romney has the support of 90% of Virginia Republicans and leads 58% to 37% among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties. The president has 93% backing from the state’s Democrats. Virginia voters trust Romney more when it comes to handling the economy by a 51% to 45% margin. The challenger leads the president by two points – 49% to 47% – in terms of voter trust when it comes to national security and energy policy. These numbers are essentially unchanged from two weeks ago.

While the economy remains the number one issue on voters’ minds as they go to the polls,  neither candidate has convinced voters in the state that he is clearly the better alternative.  Forty-six percent (46%) think the economy will get better if Romney is elected and Republicans take over Congress, but only slightly fewer (40%) say the same is true if Obama is reelected and Democrats take charge of Congress.  Thirty-eight percent (38%) expect the economy to get worse if Romney wins, compared to 43% who predict a worsening economy if the president wins. This, too, has changed little. The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Virginia was conducted on November 4, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 48
Mitt Romney 50
Other 1
Undecided 1

Obama +3 in Pennsylvania — Muhlenburg/Morning Call

Pennsylvania just gets more and more interesting. Are we going to have multiple election night surprises? The Muhlenburg/Morning Call poll of the Keystone State shows President Obama clinging (bitterly?) to a 3-point lead 49 to 46 with only 3% Undecided (Question 11). Without pushing Undecideds, Obama holds a 2-point lead, 48 to 46, 2% are voting third-party and 5% remain Undecided (Question 10). This begs the question on motivation and who among these late Undecideds ultimately shows up at the polls potentially swaying the outcome.

The Party ID is D +4 (Dem 46, Rep 42, Ind 11). In 2008 party ID was D +7 (Dem 44, Rep 37, Ind 18) while in 2004 it was D +2 (Dem 41, Rep 39, Ind 20). The poll might be a little light on Independents but otherwise one of the more fair party splits in Pennsylvania this entire cycle. Romney leads by 5-points among Independents 48 to 43. As we pointed out earlier, George Bush barely lost Pennsylvania in 2004 while losing Independents by 17-points (58 to 41). Tuesday is going to be very interesting around these parts.

On issues Romney leads on the economy and deficit while Obama holds a similar margin on handling medicare. Gender Gap: Men favor Romney +4, Women favor Obama +8. Racial demographics are interesting with a bump up in whites compared to 2008 — a return of the missing white vote? Otherwise this poll demographically is generous to Romney. Demographics: Whites support Romney 52 to 43, Non-Whites support Obama 79 to 19

For President Percent
Barack Obama 49
Mitt Romney 46
Other 2
Undecided 3

Romney +1 in Michigan — Foster McCollum White Baydoun (FMWB)

The latest from FMWB shows a neck-and-neck race in Michigan with Mitt Romney nosing out to a one point lead (really 0.6), 47 to 46 with 2% Undecided. A lot of naysayers want to down-play FMWB’s results but this polling firm only gets criticized because they provide full transparency unlike the other firms. They give you all the ugly data underneath the poll results which lets you know how the sausage really gets made. I have blogged my own thoughts on the firm when they first showed up on my radar and notably they provide a FMWB Public Opinion Polling Modeling Reliablity Press Release for those who want to dismiss results. Dismiss them if you will but we’ll all know on Tuesday night who was polling the electorate and who was polling Narnia:

Who are you most likely to vote for in the Presidential election – Democratic President Barack Obama, or Republican Nominee, Governor Mitt Romney, another candidate, or are you undecided?

Republican Nominee Mitt Romney 46.86%
President Barack Obama 46.24%
Another candidate 4.94%
Undecided 1.96%

Foster McCollum White Baydoun (FMW)B, a national public opinion polling and voter analytics consulting firm based in Michigan and representing the combined resources of Foster McCollum White & Associates (Troy Michigan) and Baydoun Consulting (Dearborn Michigan) conducted a telephone-automated polling random survey of Michigan registered and most likely November 2012 General election voters for Fox 2 News Detroit to determine their voting and issue preferences on the Presidential election.

The margin of error for this total polling sample is 2.24% with a confidence level of 95%.

Monroe County, Pennsylvania Tied at 42 (Obama Won by 17 in 2008)

Hat-tip to reader Zang for the heads -up.

I’ll cut the small town paper some slack for running a registered voter poll since the survey area was so limited. Between the major parties, only 68k people voted in Monroe County in 2008. It’s neighbor slightly South, Bucks County, cast 329k votes in 2008.  But this type of poll result speaks volumes to the change in sentiment and the golden opportunity for Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania. As John Ekdahl of the Breitbart team regularly points out George Bush barely lost Pennsylvania in 2004 while losing Independents by 17-points (58 to 41).  Mitt Romney is leading with Independents in Pennsylvania today so there are plenty voter shifts in preference to be hopeful. Maybe that’s why 20,000 people are expected to rally for Romney in Bucks County later today?  We shall see.

Among Monroe County voters, the race for president is statistically a dead heat, an exclusive East Stroudsburg University/Pocono Record poll reveals. In a poll of 490 registered voters, 42.2 percent said they support President Barack Obama and 42 percent said they support Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The poll’s margin of error was +/-4.4 points.

  • Economy: Respondents overwhelmingly cited the economy as the biggest issue in the race. Presented with a list of eight topics and asked to rank the most important, the economy was No. 1 for 83 percent of respondents. Pocono voters who cited the economy as most important supported Romney by about 5 points over Obama.
  • Independents and Undecided: Among independents, Romney led Obama 41 to 34 percent. However, nearly 21 percent of independents polled in Monroe County said they were undecided “again showing how close the race is and how easily it could turn either way,” McGlynn noted. Young people had the highest rate of being undecided. Among those in the 18-to-24 bracket, 34.4 percent were undecided. And among those in this age group who made a selection, Romney was favored 42.3 percent to 17.9 percent for Obama. [note the youth sample was rather small so inferences lack some weight]
  • Gender Gap: Romney led among men by 7.5 percent, Obama’s lead among women was 4.3 percent. Analysts said the Romney lead among men is offset by a slightly larger population of women in the county.
  • Seniors: Middle-aged and senior voters were the most set in their candidate choices. Overall, those 65 and older slightly favored Romney, while those 25 to 64 slightly favored Obama.
  • Base support: Almost 80 percent of those identifying themselves as Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans said they were voting for their respective party candidates.
  • Poll shortcomings: Respondents skewed heavily older, female and white. Also, pollsters relied on calling land lines randomly selected from published telephone numbers. [when you’re polling a rural county, this is what you deal with]
  • Chris Christie Effect: “Since this poll was conducted, President Obama has received high marks for his response to Hurricane Sandy and demonstrated some bipartisanship with his collaboration with Gov. Chris Christie on recovery efforts in New Jersey. This could sway some undecideds in the president’s favor,” wrote ESU political science professor Adam McGlynn.

All Tied Up 47 to 47 in Pennsylvania — Susquehanna Polling & Research

Things sure are interesting in Pennsylvania.  The latest Tribune-Review poll run by Susquehanna Polling has the race tied at 47 a piece.  The candidates are equal in favorability at 48% but Obama’s Unfavorables are higher than Romney’s at 47% versus Romney at 44%.  Right track/wrong track is 38%/56% withe the economy, taxes, spending and the deficit the paramount issues with 71% of voters:

President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney entered the final days of the presidential race tied in a state that the campaigns only recently began contesting, a Tribune-Review poll shows. The poll showed the race for Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes locked up at 47 percent in its final week. Romney was scheduled to campaign in the Philadelphia area on Sunday, and former President Bill Clinton planned to stump for Obama on Monday. The campaigns have begun to saturate the airwaves with millions of dollars in presidential advertising.

“They’re both in here because of exactly what you’re seeing” in this poll, said Jim Lee, president of Susquehanna Polling & Research, which surveyed 800 likely voters Oct. 29-31. Most of the interviews occurred after Hurricane Sandy inundated Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. The poll’s error margin is 3.46 percentage points. Nearly 60 percent of people say the country is on the wrong track, and economic concerns continue to dominate. Almost half of likely voters say economic issues are the primary driver of their choice for president.

All Tied up 47 to 47 in New Hampshire — Granite State Poll

New Hampshire is Romney’s last stop on the campaign trail and it may just be the state to put him over 270.  The latest from the WMUR Granite State poll shows a dead heat at 47 with 4% Undecided.  This is the umpteeth poll where the President fails to get above 50%, an unquestionably bad sign for any incumbent.  Romney leads among Independents by 22-points 54 to 32.  Winning the Independents is how you win New Hampshire so quite honestly I’m surprised it’s tied … but by now we know what that means.  Unfortunately no Party ID was given. Thanks to MikeP’s eagle eyes, we see the party ID is D +3 (Dem 42, Rep 39, Ind 19). In 2008 it was also D +2 (Dem 29, Rep 27, Ind 45) and in 2004 it was R+7 (Dem 25, Rep 32, Ind 44).  Note the consistently high % of self-identified Independents in 2008 and 2004. Now we know the Granite State Poll has far too few Independents and even too many Democrats. If Romney solidly wins Independents this state is turning red on November 6:

Mitt Romney has closed the gap with Barack Obama in the Granite State, and the two are now locked in a dead heat. In the most recent Granite State Poll, 47% of likely New Hampshire voters say they will vote for Obama, 47% say they will vote for Romney, 2% prefer some other candidate, and 4% are undecided. When undecided voters are asked which candidate they lean toward, Obama and Romney remain tied, with 48% for Obama, 48% for Romney, 2% for some other candidate, and 3% remain undecided. Obama has lost considerable support since 2008 as only 87% of 2008 Obama voters say they will vote for him this time while 94% of McCain voters say they will vote for Romney. Romney runs strongest in the vote rich Manchester area and in towns along the Massachusetts border while Obama gets more support in the North Country and in the Connecticut River valley. There is a pronounced gender gap, but neither candidate benefits. Obama leads among women by 58% to 40% while Romney leads among men, 57% to 38%.

Both candidates have secured their bases — Obama currently has the support of 95% of New Hampshire Democrats, and Romney has the support of 95% of Republicans. Independents are breaking heavily to Romney — 54% say they will vote for Romney while only 32% say they will vote for Obama. “The movement of Independents to Romney is the most significant factor in his making this race a dead heat,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the UNH Survey Center. “Two weeks ago, independents were divided in who they would support.”

For President Percent
Barack Obama 47
Mitt Romney 47
Other 2
Undecided 4

Romney +1 in Minnesota (Not a Typo) — NMB Research (Glen Bolger)

We’ve blogged Bolger’s polls a few times on this site and a couple things bear repeating every time.

First, Bolger is a a partisan pollster for Republican candidates.  Second, his reputation for accuracy, however, is well-documented. In 2010 Bolger was one of the only people who had Harry Reid up in his Senate re-election bid:

Bolger’s work generally has been spot-on in Nevada — for example, he had Harry Reid ahead of Sharron Angle by 5 percentage points late in the 2010 Senate race, just off the final margin.

We know what happens when you dismiss smart pollsters telling you things may be different on the ground  in Battleground (?) States than the conventional wisdom from Washington DC.

The latest from Glen Bolger shows Mitt Romney leading by 1-point in Minnesota, 46 to 45. This is a 5-point swing from the 4-point lead Obama enjoyed in the October 13 poll by Bolger. In both polls the most troubling thing for the President is his deficit below the 50% mark. As we have shown, Undecideds break strongly for the challenger at rates upwards of 80%.  If Obama hasn’t closed this out by now my election night surprise may just be the cherry on top of an election night dessert:

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are separated by just 1 point in Minnesota, effectively making the race there a toss-up, according to polling taken for the conservative American Future Fund. Romney takes 46 percent of the vote to Obama’s 45 percent in the poll, which was conducted by the GOP firm NMB Research and shared with POLITICO. The Republican presidential nominee is up 13 points among independents, ahead of Obama 49 percent to 36 percent. They survey breaks with recent public data, which has shown Obama maintaining a single-digit edge over Romney, but gives Republicans reason to hope for an upset. Democrats aren’t taking the state for granted at this point, with Obama countering pro-Romney ads (including AFF advertising) and deploying Bill Clinton to campaign there.

In a polling memo, pollster Glen Bolger attributes the closeness of the race to Minnesota’s overwhelmingly white population. “Minnesota is very much a battleground state due the low minority population of the state and President Obama’s problems with white voters. Romney has a good chance to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the election cycle in this state,” Bolger writes. The poll tested 500 likely voters on Oct. 30 and 31 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percentage points

For President Percent
Barack Obama 45
Mitt Romney 46
Other na
Undecided na

Reuters/Ipsos Finds the Wardobe, Polls Virginia, Ohio, Florida and Colorado

I’m tempted not to blog these polls.  Reuters/Ipsos polled Virginia, Ohio, Florida and Colorado and have a likely voter screen but the internal data they provide is the registered voter information.  WHO CARES?  THEY ARE NOT VOTING.  THAT IS WHY YOU HAVE A LIKELY VOTER SCREEN.

For example, in the very first state you see two very curious things among the worthless registered voter group.  Allegedly Romney only gets 87% of the Republican while Obama gets 93% of the Democrat vote.  Highly suspect in a state breaking hard for Romney right now.  Next we see Obama, not Romney, leads by 12-points among Independents 39 to 23.  Who did they poll? Northern Virginia “Independents” Chuck Todd and John Harwood? Was this Virgil Goode’s hometown?  These polling organizations are just wasting time at this point.  I’ll give you the data but these are just more unrealistic polls to feed into the Obama narrative.


Obama leads by 3-points, 48 to 45. Third party candidates get 2% and 5% remain Undecided

The party ID is D +3 (Dem 33, Rep 30, Ind 33). This is at least is in between the last two Presidential elections but a shade  closer to the 2008 turnout of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27).  In 2004 the 2004 turnout was R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26).  Also Independents are a little low but the polling results on Independents as indicated above is bizarre to the point of disqualifying.


Obama leads by 1-point, 46 to 45.  Third party candidates get 3% and 6% remain Undecided.

Reuters make the long-distance call to Marist in Narnia to come up a “representative” sample of Ohio. The party ID was D +9 (Dem 38, Rep 29, Ind 29). This compares to D +8 in 2008 (Dem 39, Rep 31, Ind 30) and R +5 in 2004 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind 25).  And as we have shown you numerous times, the real 2008 party ID was really D +5. Obama leads among Independents by 23-points 46 to 23.  Umm-hmm. Just because Obama’s entire victory in 2008 was based on his phenomenal early vote advantage and it has completely disappeared in 2012 doesn’t mean he isn’t going to BEAT his 2008 performance.  Silly me to complain.  I must be a poll-truther.


All tied up 47 to 47 with 2% voting third-party and 5% Undecided

The party ID is R +1 (Dem 35, Rep 36, Ind 25).  Seems to be a fair split between the previous 2 Presidential elections. In 2008 it was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29). In 2004 it was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23). Funny how Obama doesn’t lead when polls don’t overwhelmingly sample Democrats. Independents support Obama 49 to 28 and Kate Upton is grilling me a steak in my kitchen right now.  Yea, that’s the ticket.  Too few Independents are sampled in this survey but like I wrote earlier, this poll has non-sensical numbers throughout it and I need to get to that steak or Kate gets grumpy so on to the next state.


Romney leads by 2-points 47 to 45 45 with 4% voting third-party and 4% Undecided

The party ID is R +3 (Dem 27, Rep 30, Ind 41). A fair party ID that splits 2008 R +1 (Dem 30, Rep: 31, Ind: 39) and R +9 (Dem: 29, Rep: 38, Ind: 33) in 2004.  The slight shade towards Democrats is plausible in a state trending that way. What do you know, a fair party ID and Romney’s winning.  I’m on pins and needles wondering what we will see on Tuesday! (I’m not really) Romney leads among Independents by 13-points, 38 to 25.  Even showing Romney winning this is dumb since it is registered voters and there are no many not choosing a candidate.  But Notre Dame won despite doing everything humanly possible to not win so I’ll be nice and go see how Kate and my steaks are doing.

Half-Time Poll Time:

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.

Romney +6 in Florida — Mason-Dixon

Miami Herald/Mason-Dixon show Mitt Romney with  a 6-point lead 51 to 45 in Florida:

Mitt Romney has maintained a solid lead over President Barack Obama in the latest Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of likely voters who favor the Republican by six percentage points. Romney’s strengths: independent voters and more crossover support from Democrats relative to the Republicans who back Obama, according to the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.  Romney’s crossover appeal is fueled by strong support in rural North Florida, a conservative bastion where a relatively high percentage of Democrats often vote Republican in presidential election years. “I’m pretty convinced Romney’s going to win Florida,” said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker, who conducted the 800-likely voter survey from Tuesday through Thursday. “Will it be fivepoints? Maybe. Will it be three points? Possibly,” Coker said, of what he expects Romney’s margin will be. “I don’t think it’s going to be a recount … I don’t think we’re going to have a recount-race here.”Romney is winning handily among men, marginally losing with women voters and has outsized support among non-Hispanic whites. He’s essentially winning on the issues as well: the economy, Medicare, foreign policy and looking out for the middle-class.

Interestingly, the party ID may have been D +4 which is very pro-Obama:

Across Florida, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by 4.5 percentage points — about the same margin as the proportion of respondents in this poll.

And in another anecdote why Florida is slipping away from Obama:


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.


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:


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.

Obama +5 in Michigan — Rasmussen

Rasmussen Reports has the latest in Michigan and President Obama is showing some daylight with only a few days left.  The President sports a 5-poimt lead 52 to 47:

President Obama continues to earn over 50% of the vote in Michigan in the final days of the campaign, but his lead over Mitt Romney in the state is down to five points. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Michigan Voters shows Obama with 52% support to Romney’s 47%. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and another one percent (1%) is undecided. This Michigan survey of 750 Likely Voters was conducted on November 1, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points

For President Percent
Barack Obama 52
Mitt Romney 47
Other 1
Undecided 1

Ohio Tied 49 to 49 — Rasmussen

Rasmussen Reports has the latest in Ohio — ground zero for the 2008 election.  The race is all knotted up at 49 a piece leaving few Undecided voters to turn the election:

With four days to go, President Obama and Mitt Romney are tied in the critical battleground state of Ohio. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters finds Obama and Romney each with 49% support. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, while one percent (1%) is undecided. Ohio remains one of eight Toss-Up states in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections. Obama won the Buckeye State in 2008 by a 52% to 47% margin.

At the beginning of the week, Romney held a slight 50% to 48% advantage. It was the first time Romney has taken even a modest lead in the race of Ohio’s 18 Electoral College votes since late May, but the two candidates have been within two percentage points of one another since then. Forty percent (40%) of Ohio voters say they have already cast their ballots, and among these voters, the president has a comfortable 56% to 41% lead. Both candidates earn better than 90% support from voters in their respective parties. The president is ahead 50% to 41% among voters not affiliated with either major political party.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 49
Mitt Romney 49
Other 2
Undecided 1

Challenging the Polls: What is Everyone Fighting Over?

There have been some fantastic pieces the last couple of days analyzing the divergent polls and how partisans seem to be choosing whichever data supports their candidate and arguing for its veracity over the contrary. Today, a great many Republicans look at Mitt Romney’s lead in national polls and point to that as the reason for his expected election victory.  Democrats look at the state polling (since that is where the actual electoral votes come from) and say Obama still has the electoral college advantage regardless of any deficit in national polls.  Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics had a great non-partisan column on national polls versus state polls and how looking at each can lead to opposite conclusions:

The RCP Average currently has Mitt Romney up by 0.8 points nationally. He has held this lead fairly consistently ever since the first presidential debate. Given what we know about how individual states typically lean with respect to the popular vote, a Republican enjoying a one-point lead nationally should expect a three-to-four-point lead in Florida, a two-to-three-point lead in Ohio, and a tie in Iowa. Instead we see Romney ahead by roughly one point in Florida, and down by two in Ohio and Iowa.

That would give the Presidency to Mitt Romney.  But if you reverse engineer the state polls to a national turnout you arrive at a different conclusion:

Since the national vote is a collection of state votes, polls of all states should collectively approximate the national vote (since errors should be randomly distributed, they should cancel out). This is done by a simple weighted average…[T]here are several good arguments for favoring the state polling: (1) you have more polls — a much larger collective “n”; (2) you compartmentalize sampling issues — pollsters focused exclusively on Colorado, for example, seem less likely to overlook downscale Latinos than pollsters with a national focus; and (3) the state pollsters were better in 1996 and 2000, two years that the national pollsters missed (although the truly final national pollsters in 2000 got it right, suggesting that perhaps there was a late shift in the race)…After adding the totals up, the results were plain: If the state polls are right, even assuming Romney performs as well as Bush 2004 did in the states without polling, Obama should lead by 1.18 points in the national vote. Given the high collective samples in both the state and national polling, this is almost certainly a statistically significant difference. It’s also a larger margin than all but one of the polls in the national RCP Average presently show.

But national versus state polls isn’t the only debate. Actual poll results versus the data within those same polls may even be the more contentious (and valuable) debate this cycle. Enter Baseball Crank with a fantastic look at modeling election outcomes based on polls versus looking at the actual data that makes up the polls to forecast election winners:

Mathematical models are all the rage these days, but you need to start with the most basic of facts: a model is only as good as the underlying data, and that data comes in two varieties: (1) actual raw data about the current and recent past, and (2) historical evidence from which the future is projected from the raw data, on the assumption that the future will behave like the past.

[A]n argument Michael Lewis makes in his book The Big Short: nearly everybody involved in the mortgage-backed securities market (buy-side, sell-side, ratings agencies, regulators) bought into mathematical models valuing MBS as low-risk based on models whose historical data didn’t go back far enough to capture a collapse in housing prices. And it was precisely such a collapse that destroyed all the assumptions on which the models rested. But the people who saw the collapse coming weren’t people who built better models; they were people who questioned the assumptions in the existing models and figured out how dependent they were on those unquestioned assumptions. Something similar is what I believe is going on today with poll averages and the polling models on which they are based. The 2008 electorate that put Barack Obama in the White House is the 2005 housing market, the Dow 36,000 of politics. And any model that directly or indirectly assumes its continuation in 2012 is – no matter how diligently applied – combining bad raw data with a flawed reading of the historical evidence.

Nate Silver’s much-celebrated model is, like other poll averages, based simply on analyzing the toplines of public polls…My thesis, and that of a good many conservative skeptics of the 538 model, is that these internals are telling an entirely different story than some of the toplines: that Obama is getting clobbered with independent voters, traditionally the largest variable in any election and especially in a presidential election, where both sides will usually have sophisticated, well-funded turnout operations in the field. He’s on track to lose independents by double digits nationally, and the last three candidates to do that were Dukakis, Mondale and Carter in 1980. And he’s not balancing that with any particular crossover advantage (i.e., drawing more crossover Republican voters than Romney is drawing crossover Democratic voters). Similar trends are apparent throughout the state-by-state polls, not in every single poll but in enough of them to show a clear trend all over the battleground states.

If you averaged Obama’s standing in all the internals, you’d capture a profile of a candidate that looks an awful lot like a whole lot of people who have gone down to defeat in the past, and nearly nobody who has won. Under such circumstances, Obama can only win if the electorate features a historically decisive turnout advantage for Democrats – an advantage that none of the historically predictive turnout metrics are seeing, with the sole exception of the poll samples used by some (but not all) pollsters. Thus, Obama’s position in the toplines depends entirely on whether those pollsters are correctly sampling the partisan turnout.

Battlegroundwatch clearly falls into the Baseball Crank category of looking at the internals and taking the conclusions wherever they lead us.  Following this methodology Baseball Crank concludes thusly with which we have no disagreement:

I stand by my view that Obama is losing independent voters decisively, because the national and state polls both support that thesis. I stand by my view that Republican turnout will be up significantly from recent-historic lows in 2008 in the key swing states (Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado) and nationally, because the post-2008 elections, the party registration data, the early-voting and absentee-ballot numbers, and the Rasmussen and Gallup national party-ID surveys (both of which have solid track records) all point to this conclusion. I stand by my view that no countervailing evidence outside of poll samples shows a similar surge above 2008 levels in Democratic voter turnout, as would be needed to offset Romney’s advantage with independents and increased GOP voter turnout. And I stand by the view that a mechanical reading of polling averages is an inadequate basis to project an event unprecedented in American history: the re-election of a sitting president without a clear-cut victory in the national popular vote. Perhaps, despite the paucity of evidence to the contrary, these assumptions are wrong. But if they are correct, no mathematical model can provide a convincing explanation of how Obama is going to win re-election. He remains toast.

Obama +2 in Colorado — CNN/ORC International

State polls are still filing in down the home stretch.  CNN/ORC International’s latest has Obama leading in Colorado 50 to 48. The party ID is D +2 (Dem 33, Rep 31, Ind 35). This compares to 2008 of R +1 (Dem 30, Rep 31, Ind 39) and 2004 R +9 (Dem 29, Rep 38, Ind 33). Colorado is trending Democrat but this is an unusually pro-Democrat turnout compared to the last two elections.  Not good news for the President.

The poll’s Thursday release also came just two hours after Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP running mate, headlined a rally in Greeley, Colorado. The top line results of the CNN survey are very similar to an American Research Group poll conducted this past weekend which had Romney at 48% and Obama at 47%, and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll conducted last week which suggested the race was tied up at 48%.  “If you didn’t know why President Obama and Paul Ryan are here today, and Mitt Romney is coming Saturday, now you know,” said CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, who was reporting Thursday from Colorado. As in most swing states, there is a fairly big gender gap, with the CNN poll indicating Romney ahead among men by 10 points and Obama winning women by 13 points.  In the battle for crucial independent voters, the poll indicates the president has a 49%-47% edge.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 50
Mitt Romney 48
Gary Johnson 1
Undecided 1

Romney +1 in Iowa — Rasmussen

The latest from Rasmussen Reports in Iowa shows an airtight race with Mitt Romney leading 49 to 48:

Iowa remains neck-and-neck in the closing days of Election 2012, with Mitt Romney now showing a one-point lead. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Iowa Voters finds the Republican challenger with 49% support, while President Obama earns 48% of the vote. Two percent (2%) like someone else in the race, and one percent (1%) is undecided. The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Iowa was conducted on October 30, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 48
Mitt Romney 49
Other 2
Undecided 1

Romney – Obama Dead Heat in Wisconsin, 2% Undecided — Rasmussen

The latest from Rasmussen Reports in Wisconsin shows it is anybody’s race at this point:

Wisconsin which may prove to be the key to the entire presidential contest remains a tie less than a week before Election Day. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Wisconsin Voters finds President Obama and Mitt Romney each earning 49% support. Two percent (2%) remain undecided.  Wisconsin remains a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections. Obama carried Wisconsin by a 56% to 42% margin in 2008.

The race in the Badger State was also tied last week after the president has led there in most surveys since October of last year. During that time, Obama has earned 44% to 52% of the vote, while Romney’s support has ranged from 41% to 49%.

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.


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.


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.”

Romney +1 in Iowa — The Hawkeye Poll

A tight race with plenty of Undecided voters show how Iowa is clearly up for grabs based on the latest University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll.  Obama leads by 2 with Independents, 41.9 to 40.2:

Romney leads among likely voters, though, with 45.2 percent of the vote compared to 44.4 percent for Obama, with 6 percent undecided and 4.3 percent preferring a third party candidate. The margin of error for the survey of 320 Iowans is 5.6 percent. “Our results show Romney making advances and perhaps taking the lead in Iowa, and that the race continues to be close and within the margin of error,” says Frederick Boehmke, associate professor of political science in the UI CLAS and faculty adviser of the Hawkeye Poll. “It appears that the final result will be determined by each campaign’s ability to turn out supporters and to capture the votes of those last few undecided voters.”

While both candidates show strong support among their respective bases, Obama has a slight lead among self-described independent voters with 41.9 percent of independents supporting him compared to 40.2 percent who back Romney. “Iowa remains up for grabs and it’s understandable and worthwhile for both candidates to continue to spend time here in the remaining few days of the campaign,” says Tim Hagle, UI associate professor of political science.

The race stays tight across different sectors of the electorate as well, with Romney leading among men by 46.3 percent to 43 percent and Obama leading among women 45.9 percent to 44.1 percent.

Romney +5 in Virginia, Romney +26 with Independents — Roanoke College

In the latest poll of Virginia from Roanoke College, Mitt Romney leads by 5-points, 49 to 44 with 5% Undecided. Among the Undecided, 27% are leaning towards Romney and 9% towards Obama.  The party ID is D +4 (Dem 35, Rep 31, Ind 30). This compares to 2008 of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27) and 2004 of R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26). Maybe a shade towards the Democrats but at least it is between the past two elections.

Interesting how Roanoke has a similar lead among Independents as Quinnipiac, but a 7-point swing towards Romney.  Did they not get the memo to cheerlead their lungs out for Obama? Oh wait, Roanoke isn’t party to the DC cocktail circuit so they will have to rely on their reputation which makes the play it straight and this is an awful poll for the President.

From the at the cross-tabs:

  • Each side locks down its base with ~95% support
  • Romney leads with Independents by +26 which explains the lead in the poll
  • Obama support among Whites is an awful 33%
  • Obama support among Blacks is 89%, approximately the historical norm for a Democrat but well-off his lofty 2008 levels of ~96%
  • Obama leads by only 1-point among women 48 to 47
  • Romney leads among men 52 to 39
  • Obama job approval is at 44%
  • Third party candidates get 4% of the vote but when pressed to pick Obama or Romney, Obama leads 56 to 37 among these voters
  • Obama is viewed favorably 48 to 46
  • Romney is viewed favorably 49 to 39

CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac Survey Narnia, Find Obama Leading

We’re six days out from the finish line so there’s not much time left for the press to get in their final push for their preferred candidate. Lucky for the Left there is the wonderfully incompetent trio of CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac to rush into the fray and magically find polls with Obama winning just close enough that when it flips on election day they can shout “Margin of Error!” and head back into their cocoon.

The economy remains the paramount issue in this election with ~50% saying it is the top priority and ~20% saying it is the #2 priority across all three states polled.  No other topic is even close.  Despite this the lead questions in the survey were “which candidate cares about the needs and problems of people like you?”, “who cares about the middle class?” and “who cares and understands the needs and problems of women in the workplace?”  I’m not making this up. These are straight out of Obama stump speeches. For the uninitiated, polling is as much art as it is science and question order greatly affects responses of those surveyed.  PPP does this in a very biased way all the time which which is among the countless reasons I will never blog them. In the Q-poll, even in their pro-Obama wave of questions, when they get to whether candidate X is a strong leader, Obama still solidly lags Romney polling at ~56% while Romney polls ~64 across the 3 states.

After 9 straight ostensibly pro-Obama questions, they ask about the economy which again is the TOP issue in everyone’s book and happens to be THE issue in every Romney stump speech.  With 9 questions ramping up good feelings about Obama, Romney barely leads on this issue in Florida and Virginia and trails by one in Ohio.  Well done Quinnipiac. Now, if you’ll just survey far more Democrats than have ever shown up at the polls in these state the Death Star may finally be fully operational and Obama can pull out an election that he is almost assuredly losing right now.  On to the states!

Florida: The Lion

  • Obama leads +1 at 48 to 47 with 3% Undecided; Romney leads with Independents by 5
  • Party ID wasD +7 (Dem 37, Rep 30, Ind 29). In 2008 it was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29). In 2004 it was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23). Good show Quinnipiac!  In a state with a GOP governor and massive increases in congressional delegations, popular GOP Senator, and strong state house swings to the GOP since 2008, you found Democrat strength equal to 2008 while Republican flight since 2004 continues unabated. You found the Democrat identification advantage in your survey more than doubles the advantage they enjoyed in 2008 despite a nearly net 300,000 swing towards Republicans in voter registrations. Your Florida poll is unassailable…at least in Narnia.
  • Obama job approval +1 at 49/48 … if Quinnipiac surveyed only Dade County and even there I’d double check the numbers

Ohio: The Witch

  • Obama leads +5, 50 – 45 with 4% Undecided; Romney leads with Independents by 6
  • The party ID was D +8 (Dem 37, Rep 29, Ind 30). 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 meet 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 +8 that much more implausible. How many statistics on changes in enthusiasm favoring Republicans, unrealistic Democrat demographic assumptions and elimination of Obama’s early vote advantage do you need to see before they start polling an electorate dissimilar to 2008 when their dream candidate fulfilled their liberal inner guilt and healed a nation or whatever BS they were peddling at the time? Quinnipiac is not going to let silly facts get in the way of its mission to buck up the Lefties and turn this contest into a horse-race. One more piece to the puzzle before the Death Star is complete.
  • Obama job approval +3 at 50/47 — Can you imagine what it would be if they surveyed Ohio?

Virginia: The Wardrobe

  • Obama leads by 2, 49 – 47 with 3% Undecided; Romney leads with Independents by 21
  • The party ID is D +8 (Dem 35, Rep 27, Ind 35). This compares to 2008 of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27) and 2004 of R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26). Who knew the blue wave continues so far South of the DC Beltway?  Certainly not Virginia and certainly not Governor Creigh Deeds. Just because Virginia flipped its state delegation dramatically in favor of Republicans doesn’t mean the voters turned their back on Democrats, it’s just there must have been a good TV rerun of Martin Sheen spouting non-sensical liberal tripe on the Left Wing that distracted Democrats from voting.  Good thing Quinnipiac found these ultra-micro-targeted hidden Democrats only Project Narwhal knows about because otherwise, without those gnomes (Step 1: Call random #s only in Fairfax County, Step 2: ???, Step 3: Obama wins!) I’m not sure we’d have a fully operational Death Star. Come November 6, we’ll see how well those gnomes delivered for this survey of a fantasy electorate.
  • Obama job approval flat at 49/49 — Really?  49% with a D +8 turnout in a state closer to even D/R?  Suuuuuuuure.

Franklin & Marshall Wastes Your Time With a Registered Voter Poll

It is one freaking week before the election, why is Franklin & Marshall releasing a poll where they have the likely voter data, but only provide breakdowns of the registered voter segment? WASTE. OF. TIME.

Obama leads +4 in Pennsylvania and Romney leads +16 with Independents. That’s about all you need to know. Everything else wastes your time so I stopped breaking down the poll after Independents. Hooray for Franklin & Marshall!

Franklin & Marshall have regularly polled the Pennsylvania Presidential contests and always with interesting results. President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 4-points among likely voters, 49 to 45. There are a few odd numbers within this result though. First President Obama has a 4-point lead among registered voters as well as likely voters which seems a little since Democrats polls as much as 4-points above the typical like likely voter result. Additionally, the likely voter screen was extremely strict shaving off 36% of the registered voters. This would normally bode well for Republicans yet there was no change in the result.


Mitt Romney leads by 16-points among Independents, 48 to 32. Curiously although both sides lock down their bases Mitt Romney trails overall by 4 despite that enormous margin with Independents.

Obama +3 in Michigan — Detroit News

It is so on in the Great Lakes State.  Obama remains under 50%, leading 47.7 to 45 with 4% Undecided:

Mitt Romney is within striking distance of Barack Obama in Michigan in the final days before the election, buoyed by more who are convinced the Republican is a viable alternative to the president, with the ability to turn around the economy. Obama’s lead over Romney has shrunk to just under 3 points, 47.7 percent to 45 percent, with 3.8 percent undecided, according to a new Detroit News/WDIV Local 4 poll of likely voters. Obama’s lead was 6.7 points earlier this month and has eroded to within the poll’s 3.8 percentage point margin of error. It’s the smallest advantage for the Democratic president during the Michigan campaign.

“Mitt Romney’s numbers … are where they would need to be if he hopes to pull off an upset next week,” said Richard Czuba of Glengariff Group Inc., which conducted the poll. “But the question is: Is there enough for a final push?”

The Obama campaign Tuesday announced its first network TV ads will begin airing this week in Michigan. Neither candidate had bought airtime here, but earlier Tuesday, Romney’s super PAC launched a $2.2 million advertising final blitz in Michigan. That brings Restore Our Future’s investment in Michigan post-primary up to nearly $10 million, according to the PAC — which until now had been unanswered by the Obama campaign.


Obama +7 in Minnesota — KTSP/SurveyUSA

Don’t have the cross-tabs yet but this was the firm that had a D +9 poll two weeks ago with Obama leading by 10. The 2008 party ID was D +4 and in 2004 it was D +3. As soon as the details are released I’ll be certain to break down these results.

From Tom Hauser, Chief Political Reporter for KSTP-TV, St. Paul / Minneapolis:

KSTP/SurveyUSA: Obama 50% Romney 43% Other/undecided 7%. Obama had 50% to 40% lead two weeks ago. Margin of error +/-4.2

Party ID

This poll was D +7 (Dem 37, Rep 30, Ind 28). This compares to 2008 of D +4 (Dem 40, Rep 36, Ind 25) and 2004 of D + 3 (Dem 38, Rep 35, Ind 27).


Tied 41-41 among independents.

When you adjust for the unrealistically high Democrat turnout and an even split among Independents, this race is highly competitive, consistent with the actions of both campaigns sending top surrogates to the state and putting ad dollars to work.  This is going to be a fun state to watch on election night.

Romney +2 in Ohio — Rasmussen

Ohio remains neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney showing a 2-point advantage, 50 to 48, in the latest from Rasmussen Reports:

The race for Ohio’s Electoral College votes remains very close, but now Mitt Romney now has a two-point advantage. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters shows Romney with 50% support to President Obama’s 48%. One percent (1%) likes some other candidate, while another one percent (1%) remains undecided. Ohio remains a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections. Based on the current projections, Romney would have to win Wisconsin if he loses Ohio in order to move into the White House.

The candidates have been locked in a very tight battle in Ohio since August. A week ago, Romney and Obama were tied in the Buckeye State with 48% support each. This is the first time Romney has taken even a modest lead in the race. Nearly one-in-three Ohio voters (32%) have already cast their ballots. Obama leads 62% to 36% among these voters. Romney has a large lead among those who still plan to vote. The question of who wins Ohio may come down to whether enough Romney voters get to the polls on Election Day to overcome the president’s lead among early voters.

Among all Ohio voters, Romney now has a 12-point lead over the president in voter trust – 53% to 41% – when it comes to the economy. Last week, he had just a seven-point advantage among voters in the state when they were asked which candidate they trusted more to deal with the economy. Romney’s also trusted more by eight points in the areas of job creation and energy policy but leads Obama by just two when it comes to housing issues. National security has been an area where the president has typically had an advantage over Romney this year. But, the Republican challenger now has a 52% to 42% advantage on the issue.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 48
Mitt Romney 50
Other 1
Undecided 1