November 5, 2012

I don’t do polls. But some of you do. So.

“Parsing the Polls,” Michael G Franc:

Last week, the Gallup Organization provided more fodder for the debate over whether this year’s polls are skewed due to a systematic over-representation of Democrats in the samples. If Gallup has it right, Governor Romney’s lead may be several percentage points greater than the most recent round of polls suggests.

Gallup reviewed all of its interviews with “likely voters” conducted since October 1. Its conclusion: “The composition of the electorate for the 2012 presidential election is looking quite similar to what it was in 2008 as well as 2004.” Indeed, whether the sample is broken out on the basis of race, gender, level of education, or geographic location, the percentage of likely voters in each subset is no different than it was four years earlier.

But Gallup uncovered one very significant shift in this year’s voting electorate. There has been a remarkable movement toward the Republican party. As Gallup reports:

The largest changes in the composition of the electorate compared with the last presidential election concern the partisan affiliation of voters. Currently, 46% of likely voters identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 54% in 2008. But in 2008, Democrats enjoyed a wide 12-point advantage in party affiliation among national adults, the largest Gallup had seen in at least two decades. More recently, Americans have been about as likely to identify as or lean Republican as to identify as or lean Democratic. Consequently, the electorate has also become less Democratic and more Republican in its political orientation than in 2008. In fact, the party composition of the electorate this year looks more similar to the electorate in 2004 than 2008.

If anything, Gallup understates the case. In 2008, Democrats enjoyed a decisive ten-point advantage in partisan affiliation, 39 percent to 29 percent. When undecided voters were pushed to choose a party, the Democrats’ edge grew by another two points, to 54 percent to 42 percent. Yet in the Gallup polls conducted since October 1, the two parties have pulled even, with Republicans actually ahead by a statistically insignificant percentage point, 36 percent to 35 percent. After being pushed to choose a party, likely voters give the Republicans a further boost, resulting in an overall three-point advantage of 49 percent to 46 percent.

If you are keeping score, in slightly less than four years President Obama has presided over an eleven-point decrease in his party’s standing with the American people, 15 points if you include those voters who “lean” one way or the other.

— Or, as JHo has so cleverly called it, “a reverse mandate”.

The Pew Research Center has posted party identification data going all the way back to 1929. The data series suggests that this deterioration in the Democrats’ standing with American voters is nearly unprecedented. The only comparable meltdown occurred during the tumultuous years of the Vietnam War and the birth of the Great Society under LBJ, when the Democrats also suffered an eleven-point loss relative to their Republican rivals.


To be sure, the most recent spate of national polls include more Republicans than did the surveys conducted earlier in October. Nevertheless, they still give more advantage to the Democrats than Gallup’s aggregate data suggest should be the case. ABC/Wall Street Journal’s most recent poll, for example, includes 34 percent Democrats and 30 percent Republicans, the Investors Business Daily poll sets the Democrats’ advantage at seven points (38 percent to 31 percent), and an Associated Press survey comes in two percentage points more Democratic than Republican.

Correcting these polls so that there was a Republican edge in the sample of voters consistent with Gallup’s finding would hand Romney a lead between five to ten points. Imagine the run on smelling salts at Mother Jones and MSNBC if that were to happen?

I suppose I could enjoy a good giggle over a run on smelling salts.  But honestly?  I’d rather they just protested by cutting out their tongues.  After all, wasn’t the Ellen James Society also indignant about a war on women, to the point that they radicalized and mutilated themselves for a perverse and myopic ideology?

I dunno.  Seems to have that hip nostalgic referential factor the well-read sophisticates like to draw on to express their disdain for the rank and file temper tantrums of flyover country and angry white males.  Which is a plus for them.

Whereas for us?  They wouldn’t have tongues!

It’s a win / win!

(h/t JHo)


Posted by Jeff G. @ 8:55am

Comments (44)

  1. Who knew Gallup was so racist?

  2. Speaking of doing polls. Expect tomorrow’s exit polls to try to do you

    swordfish style.

    Don’t let them.

  3. More polling nonsense.

    Now, if CNN has to give Democrats an 11 point advantage just to hold Romney to a tie….

  4. We all know what’s happening here. The pollsters feed the mostly MFM customers. The MFM wants to hear that Obama is ahead, because that’s the wish they want fulfilled.

    You always give the customer what he wants.

  5. Also, it’s a way to discourage Romney voters.

  6. To say nothing of encouraging Obama voters.

  7. Nice try, MSM. Showing cherry-picked polls that are heavily padded with Dems isn’t going to discourage broken glass voters.

  8. Rassmussen Summary of Party Affiliation
    Oct 2012– 39.1%( R ) 33.3%(D) 27.5%(I) . . . . +5.8%( R )

  9. Conservative Tom Scocca‘s skin hurts:

    I’m voting for Barack Obama on Election Day. This fact will appear on Slate’s list of which candidates its writers are voting for, a list which will almost certainly look like the 2008 list, which is to say an almost unbroken string of “Obama.” People will look at this list—Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama—and they will say, Look at the Slate writers, inside their bubble.

    And they will be wrong. There is a real, airtight bubble in this election, but it’s not Obama’s. As a middle-aged white man, in fact, I’m breaching it. White people—white men in particular—are for Mitt Romney. White men are supporting Mitt Romney to the exclusion of logic or common sense, in defiance of normal Americans. Without this narrow, tribal appeal, Romney’s candidacy would simply not be viable. Most kinds of Americans see no reason to vote for him.

    This fact is obfuscated because white people control the political media

  10. why are white men not considered part of “normal Americans”? (rhetorical of course)

    And yes, Slate writers are just like university liberal arts departments — nestled in their little enclaves, oblivious to reality because they don’t actually know any normal people.

  11. Who the fuck is Tom Scocca?

    More importantly, why should anyone care who the fuck Tom Scocca is?

  12. Doesn’t this article make Tom Scocca a racist?

    The only people who are constantly taking a head-count by skin color are liberals and racists. Is it just too darned hard for Scocca to admit that Obama is an epic fail at presidenting and that people with brains want him as far away from the levers of power as possible?

    I ask rhetorically, of course.

  13. Is Slate still around? What happened to Rockhead? And does Fred Flintstone still work there?

  14. Scocca’s voting for Obama so that he’s not racist like the Republican white men are.

    So, he’s an abnormal (irregular?) white guy.

  15. How anyone who has paid even merely a modicum of attention to Wisconsin politics the last four years or so can believe Obama will win Wisconsin is quite beyond my ken. Yet we see more than a few so disposed. It’s easy to account for those who are Obama devotees (they’re mostly self-deceiving morons, where they aren’t paid to deceive). It’s the nominal conservatives who make for the puzzle. What can they possibly be seeing? Or are their goofy, off-the-wall visions of an Obama victory in Wisco more akin to a glee at watching horror movies, than a matter of seeing something serious?

  16. typical Republican doom and gloom arising from a collective inferiority complex sdferr

  17. If so, that’s a habit they would do well to lose.

  18. I’ll lose it when Wisconsin goes for Romney in the only poll that counts.

  19. I will never lose my capacity for expecting the American people to underwhelm me.

  20. Well, it is true that nobody ever got rich betting against the stupidity of the American people.

    My guess is, collectively we’re not as stupid as Republicans fear and Democrats desire.

    At least not yet.

  21. You expect Obama to take badgerland cranky-d? Just from a generalized distrust of humanity, so to speak, and not from a positive sign of any sort?

    But if any state has demonstrated the spirit of the tea party movement (and not to diminish the efforts in other states), it’s Wisco. I mean, Russ Feingold replaced with Ron Johnson, wow. David Obey, gone! Herb Kohl quitting. Scott Walker in. A republican House and Senate in 2010. Fight after fight brought by the Dems and defeated by the conservative people of Wis. slogging their way through a fight they didn’t ask for when they could easily have said enough already and walked away.

    Ignoring them is a lot like the treatment the media gives the tea partyers. It not only doesn’t do justice to the tea partyers, it’s an impending bolt from the blue to the progressives who refuse to see the world as it is.

  22. Your papers? We already have your stinking papers and we’ll know what you do.

  23. I’m expecting an election like 2010.

    Before the 2000 election, there was much discussion and consternation over predictably low voter turnout. Even later, when Iraqi’s had their first real post Saddam election, there were comparisons in turnout that disgusted and embarrassed Americans (or should have). My own theory is that a huge chunk of the country, mostly the middle class, were complacent; they were living comfortably, the country was sound, and politics was something you could take or leave. Being self reliant, and mostly repelled by politics, very many chose to leave it.

    That all changed in 2008. The sleeping giant woke up, because politics would no longer allow them to leave it. The TEA Party, the 2010 election, what happened in Wisconsin, the huge Romney rallies, traditional blue states up for grabs…all a result of people waking up to their peril.

    I predict a landslide for Romney, and a disappointed Republican establishment in two years when they discover that isn’t enough to lull the giant back to sleep. If Obamacare isn’t gone by 2014, for example, there will be a third party, and they better know that.

    The fight has only begun with a Romney victory, I’m hoping all classical liberals know it.

  24. I predict a landslide for Romney, and a disappointed Republican establishment in two years when they discover that isn’t enough to lull the giant back to sleep. If Obamacare isn’t gone by 2014, for example, there will be a third party, and they better know that.

    They know it. Like the media knows Obama is losing. But like the media, they refuse to admit that it’s true.

  25. Which of our great American newspapers will reprise The Chicago Tribune’s 11/3/48 performance? Will New Media beat them to it?

  26. Bill Whittle, speaking my language. A final plea.

  27. With respect to Mr. Whittle — while I appreciate his sincerity and his good-faith efforts to talk me out of my position, I maintain that the time for his argument was during the primaries. I will not play along with, nor reward, a political party that responds to the nation’s hour of crisis by shoving Mitt the Inevitable down my throat.

    The choices presented to me include a life sentence of hard labor, and a life sentence of not-quite-as-hard labor. I refuse to play along. The GOP made a choice to offer Mittenz to me; I make a choice to refuse. If Obama winds us winning Minnesota and a second term, it will not be because I made a principled stand. It will be because the GOP refused to.

    I will vote for Mike Rowe on the morrow, and I will sleep soundly that night.

  28. I completely respect that position, Squid, and would not try to talk you out of it. I will also not blame anyone else for what would clearly be the failure of the GOP to recognize its soon to be former constituents if Obama wins.

  29. I already voted so all I can do tomorrow is panic and or hope Halo 4 comes in the mail to take my mind off it. And if it’s a 2000 type tie that festers for weeks while people argue about the legality of magical new rules for just the counties that favor them, then my head may just blow up ‘Scanners’ style. And who’s gonna clean my ceiling fan blades off then?

  30. My advice is to take tomorrow off. Spend the day drinking while you fortify refurbish your bunker mancave.

    And stay the hell away from the news.

  31. I heard the governor of NY signed something saying any New Yorker can vote anywhere. Hows that going to work? Without huge fraud I mean.

    Luckily, NY isn’t in play nationally anyways.

  32. I didn’t know that, Lee. I’ll have to ask my BIL about it since he lives upstate.

  33. Ah. Thanks, nr.

  34. Squid, if Obama wins, and what I think is going to happen happens, I can’t say I’ll have much respect for your stance (though I’ll defend your right to it).

    If Romney wins, I think the larger the margin of victory, the more leverage we’ll have to control Mitt, and beat back the left. I could be wrong about that though, and a close win may better keep Mitt beholden, although I think it would still embolden the proggs and make them infinitely harder to deal with.

    Your vote, no one can kick, but you ARE getting Romney or Obama. Mike Rowe doesn’t have a hope, and except for the ones that voted for him, will remain unknown.

  35. The reason I ignore the polls is because I remember how Carters re-election was a sure thing.

  36. If Romney wins, I think the larger the margin of victory, the more leverage we’ll have to control Mitt, and beat back the left. I could be wrong about that though, [you are] and a close win may better keep Mitt beholden, [it won’t] although I think it would still embolden the proggs and make them infinitely harder to deal with.

    The proggs are going to do what proggs always do, regardless of who wins or by what margin.

  37. levin’s pep talk tonite was boffo

  38. I doubt Obama’s victory or loss will have much influence on the GOP one way or the other tomorrow so I won’t base my vote on that.

  39. Btw, I seldom sleep that soundly. It’s not my conscience that keeps me awake. It’s my concern for the future and how it’ll affect those I worry over.

  40. What’s your prediction, bh?

  41. The Packers will take the top wild card spot in the NFC, leigh.

  42. Alright! I called that one, too!

  43. Don’t have a serious prediction, btw. Not in terms of electoral votes anyways. Obama will lose though.

    If I’m wrong I’ll have picked a really shitty time to invest as I have been doing over the last few months. It’ll suck to be me but I’ll have plenty of company, I guess.