Tag Archives: PPP

Quick Hits

Lots of good stuff out there that doesn’t fit neatly in this blog or merit a full post so I thought it was time for another one of these:

Calif. official whose agency under-reported unemployment stats was Obama campaign donor.

Volunteer to get out the vote in Florida tonight: Join the FreedomWorks Grassroots team for a comprehensive look at the best techniques for getting out the vote.

Ben over at Ace of Spades volunteered for the Romney using the election day task force link in the sidebar. They sent him an online training course that took 10 minutes. He provides tons of info in you’re so inclined.

Things on the ground in New Hampshire are looking up. First hand report over at the Powerline Blog. (h/t Housebroken Dad)

Attempts to diminish GOP early voting gains in Ohio are being met with rightful derision by Moe Lane. (h/t Medicine Man)

@NUmbersMuncher has a great post at Natiponal Review’s The Corner regarding the Romney lead with Independents in EVERY national poll, typically averaging +8.3%. (h/t No Tribe)

PPP is scrambling to rehabilitate its reputation with a few reasonable polls down the stretch since election “look backs” always focus on the later polls released in the cycle.

One More Reason I Don’t Blog PPP Polls

Multiple times I have pointed out that PPP polls are laden with pro-Obama and pro-Democrat bias. This is not an independent organization who happens to be Democrat leaning, they are a pro-Democrat polling firm with an agenda.

Today’s Missouri poll showing embattled Senate nominee Todd Akin leading Claire McCaskill by 1 point is a perfect example of this bias. Democrats greatly benefit if Akin stays in the race since he is both deeply flawed and now mortally wounded.  These flaws were the reason Democrats spent millions during the primary campaign to assist Akin to victory.  Now the only way Akin stays in the race is if he thinks he can still win.  So PPP runs a poll at their own expense, not for a paying client, that surveys Republican turnout far higher than it has ever been in order to construct a result to their liking. The party ID in Missouri in 2008 was D +6 (Dem:40, Rep: 34, Ind: 26). In 2004 the split was R +1 (Dem: 35, Rep: 36, Ind: 29).  Today’s poll? R +9!!! (Dem: 30, Rep: 39, Ind: 32).

This is a poll designed to give Akin comfort that he can still win despite the near unanimous consensus of conservative, moderate, Tea Party and establishment Republicans telling him to bow out. This was not a poll to gauge actual Missourians reaction to Akin’s idiocy.  It was an advocacy poll to buoy the candidate in order to help the Democrats.  I do not care to waste my time having to greatly scrutinize every single poll from an unabashedly biased source.  Hence I do not and will not blog PPP polls even if I like the results.

Is Romney Already Ahead? Probably

Easily my biggest pet peeve in polling is dishonest sampling to achieve a certain outcome (invariably in favor of a Democrat).  Jim Geraghty over at National Review is regularly on top of these embedded biases and has a fantastic post explaining the party ID bias in most every poll thus far in the early phases of the general election. The actual post spends some time demonstrating how Pew polls have skewed on average +5 in favor of Democrat presidential contests since 1992 (which then skews the real Clear Politics average).  But what interested me even more was the overall oversampling this election season:

On another polling annoyance, I turn to your favorite punching bag PPP-D.  Here is the trend with PPP-D.  They do a terrific job polling our primaries (this is not sarcasm).  Their closing polls are usually okay.  But their tracks, should be involving a Republican versus Democrat race be viewed with healthy skepticism.  The latest poll release in NC showing Obama +1 indicated a Democrat advantage of +12.  I don’t know what they are smoking over there but I want some (just kidding) . . .
As I tracking every public poll, I have found it amazing on how many pollsters are oversampling Democrats. On average, every poll is indicating a partisan ID similar to 2008.  Based on my analysis, the average gap is +6.4% Democrat which compares to the +7% which was in 2008.  Alas, for the RCP poll average to be correct you have to assume the self-identified party preference turnout will be similar to 2008, if the turnout is similar to 2004 or 2000 or 2010, Obama’s polling leads may as well be part of his “story telling.”  For  the pollsters that look at preference, Rasmussen has indicated that the self-identified party ID (for Adults – not likely voters) is about +1.4% Republican.

Based on my track if the election were held today Romney wins by 5 percentage points.

Geraghty then makes a slight defense of PPP

I’ll make a quite modest defense of PPP on North Carolina, in noting that there are a lot of conservatives down there who are still registered Democrats. The margin in the 2008 exit polls was 42 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican. According to the latest voter-registration statistics, the state has 2,729,427 registered Democrats (43.4 percent) 1,972,428 registered Republicans (31.3 percent) and 6,284,428 total registered voters. Of course, not all registered voters actually cast ballots each year, and quite a few of those registered Democrats are pretty conservative. So yes, D+12 is probably too disproportionate, but the parties will probably not be evenly split on Election Day, even if Romney wins handily.

Now I am fully on board with this analysis, although I’m thinking Romney is more likely up only 2-3 points. But overall it is hard to argue with the substance of these critiques. And it would also explain the seeming desperation out of the Obama campaign and the odd passiveness of the Romney campaign.  Maybe the internals for both campaigns are telling a very different story than the biased public polling we are left to digest?

Democrat Perspective: Pennsylvania is a Swing State

This is a state we have featured before: Why Obama Will Win Pennsylvania, but my how things have changed. At the time Scott Rasmussen polled Pennsylvania as Obama up only +6, but the Left always dismisses him even when he calls Presidential elections (2008, 2004, etc.) more accurate than any pollster.  Left leaning media outlets happily and prematurely moved Pennsylvania out of the toss-up status (even though we disagreed). But since that time former Democrat Governor Ed Rendell stated that Pennsylvania was in play, Quinnipiac weighed in with a poll saying Obama +6 (the same as Rasmussen) and the Romney campaign decided to turn the state into a dog fight. Now the Left is grudgingly coming to the same conclusion as Democrat William Galston writes in The New Republic:

The past month has seen the momentum of the 2012 presidential election shift significantly. The national race is now in a virtual dead heat, and most key swing states are within the margin of error. And most important, it appears that Mitt Romney has expanded the playing field to include some states previously thought to be securely in President Obama’s column—including, in my view, Pennsylvania.

Galston then looks at polling results from Battleground states since June as well as the national average to conclude with so many states in play, the fact that Pennsylvania is in play makes it a Battleground state. Now I take great issue with his Nevada numbers since credible polling has it no higher than +2 for Obama and only the hugely biased PPP has it at +6, but nonetheless the story remains the same– the electoral map is widening and Obama is on his heels.

Obama Romney Obama 2012 Margin Obama 2008 Margin
National 45.2 44.7 0.5 7.3
Nevada 48 42 6.0 15.5
Colorado 46.5 45.5 1.0 9.0
Iowa 46 47 (1.0) 9.5
Wisconsin 46 45 1.0 13.9
Ohio 45 48 (3.0) 4.6
Virginia 47.7 45.0 2.7 6.3
North Carolina 46 48 (2.0) 0.3
Florida 47 47 2.8

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Quick Hits from Florida: Ann Romney, Obama +4 and Illegal Vote Purge

ABC News does a nice write-up on Mrs. Romney’s campaign swing through Florida even though there wasn’t much campaigning:

While visiting a therapeutic horse riding facility here, Ann Romney said Tuesday night’s results in Wisconsin were “pretty exciting.” Mrs. Romney is on a three-day tour of Florida, campaigning for her husband, but there wasn’t much talk of politics Wednesday at the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association. Instead she was focused on her favorite past time: horses. She credits horseback riding for easing her symptoms from multiple sclerosis; diagnosed with MS in 1998, she says it’s now in remission. Romney met with patients who, like her, ride as a form of therapy to rid themselves of symptoms of a variety of illnesses and disabilities, including children suffering from cerebral palsy and other adult MS patients.

She continues campaigning in the Sunshine State tomorrow with a stop in Pensacola. She will tour the breast cancer unit of the Woodlands Center for Specialized Medicine. Romney was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008  but is now cancer-free.  Tuesday, she addressed a group of women in Miami in a much more overtly political event where she touted her husband’s credentials and openly tried to woo voters in this battleground state.

The popular Mrs. Romney’s visit couldn’t come at a better time.  A Public Policy Poll released yesterday showed President Obama with a +4 point lead. Now, PPP polls results have been shown to consistently skew in favor of Obama, but I doubt it is off by 10-ponts which is the difference from a Quinnipiac poll had Romney up +6 two weeks ago. Something seems amiss between these two reputable polling outfits.

Also making headlines in the state are the lawsuits over Florida’s attempt to purge illegal voters from its rolls:

Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is positioning itself for a showdown with the U.S. Department of Justice for demanding that Florida cease searching for and purging noncitizen voters. The DOJ gave Florida until Wednesday to respond to a letter, sent last week, that said the purge probably ran afoul of two federal voting laws. Florida will respond, but it probably won’t quit its effort and will likely ask the DOJ to clarify its interpretation of the federal laws it cited.

National Review picks up on a key detail in this controversy — the Federal government won’t assist Florida in correcting its voter lists:

Florida secretary of state Ken Detzner sent a letter to DOJ Wednesday afternoon refusing DOJ’s directive. The enclosures included with the letter, e-mails between Florida and the Department of Homeland Security, make it clear that the Department of Homeland Security is violating federal law. DHS has refused to comply with Florida’s request first made in September 2011 to provide citizenship information on registered Florida voters. DHS is required by 8 U.S.C. §1373 to “respond to an inquiry by a . . . State, or local government agency, seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status of any individual . . . by providing the requested verification or status information.”

Democrat Perspective: Why Obama Will Win Pennsylvania

In the second installment of “Democrat Perspective” we’re going to take a look at the Keystone State. I will readily admit that this is one of the least likely GOP wins among the Battleground states (Michigan is probably the least likely) but the state is still close enough to be a consensus Battleground. Evan McMurray, the political editor at Ology, had a reasoned essay explaining “Why Mitt Romney Will Lose Pennsylvania“:

Pennsylvania is getting further and further out of reach for Mitt Romney, putting additional pressure on him to win one of the eight so-called super swing states in November. But more important, the Pennsylvania’s movement away from its flirtation as a swing state shows how changing demographics—and some well-placed, anti-Bain Capital ads—put the state back in the blue.

Although I was immediately concerned that the argument would be overly-weighted to the suspect demographic arguments Democrats keep trumpeting, Mr. McMurray weighed in heavily on more data driven arguments:

Public Policy Polling has Obama up a solid 50/42 despite the president’s disapproval rating actually being one point underwater

Reconciling this disparity McMurray identifies the Obama campaign strategy:

How do voters elect a candidate they don’t particularly like? By hating his opponent: Keystoners have a real problem with Mitt Romney, who has an approval deficit of 14 points, 37/51. Voters may not be thrilled with Obama, but they’re more than happy to vote for him over Romney.

Now demographics:

  • PA has seen “strong growth in college graduates and skilled service industries and increased diversity due to a burgeoning Hispanic population” — all Obama groups
  • Eastern half of the state has been trending away from its rust belt roots — a demo with shrinking support for Obama but importantly a shrinking demo
  • Still central to the state’s vote results, though, are white working class voters who did not disproportionately turn on Obama in 2008 despite his “bitter clingers” comment — he won enough in 08 to carry the state

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Beware Funny Polling #s — Party ID Usually Tells the Story

Two polls out from admitted Democrat leaning polling groups tell more good news for the Obama campaign.

First is the Project New America poll giving Barack Obama a 48 – 44 lead in Colorado (this is the organization run by the son of Obama campaign chief David Axelrod). Highlighted in the release is the 27 point lead Obama has with “Unaffiliated” voters in this survey.  27 points with “Independents”?  Something seems seriously amiss considering a 27 point lead among Independents should give the President an overwhelming lead in just about any state except the deepest of red states.  Yet in this Battleground state this 27 point advantage only translates to a 4 point lead in a survey with a margin of error of +/-4 points.  Unfortunately no party ID was provided so we are only left to speculate how such an overwhelming performance by the president with the swing vote in Colorado does not translate into a runaway lead. Hmmmm.

Next we have the respected though left-leaning Public Policy Polling results from a Michigan survey giving Obama a commanding lead of 53 – 39 (negligibly tighter than previous polls).  Thankfully they provide the party ID so observers can glean insights into potential oversampling.  As we’ve discussed previously, pollsters try to replicate the expected party ID on election day so the survey comes as close as possible to portraying actual results.  In 2004 the national party ID was perfectly split between the parties (34 – 34) with the equivalent number of Republicans voting as Democrats. In 2008, a Democrat wave year, a disparity of 8 more Democrats than Republicans (36 – 28) developed or D +8.  This PPP poll, much like the oversampled D +8 NBC-Marist polls previously discussed, has a party ID as follows: Democrats 38 Republicans 28 Independent 34 or D + 10. This poll would be credible if you expect another Democrat wave election in 2012 and one in Michigan even greater than the 2008 national average of D + 8.  I, and any fair reader of the current political climate, do not expect 2012 to have anywhere near the favorable Democrat momentum witnessed in 2008 which dramatically diminishes any credence we would lend to these results.

The devil is always in the details but the media will never tell you that … unless the GOP candidate is leading.