Gallup shows tie in generic Congressional ballot

posted at 8:48 am on September 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, while discussing the avalanche of bad poll numbers for Democrats with Andrew Malcolm, he warned that the Democrats and the media would eventually find a poll to support the idea that Republican momentum would slow or reverse.   That prediction proved wise when, just an hour or so later, Gallup announced its latest results showing Democrats had erased a six-point GOP lead in their generic Congressional ballot poll.  Oddly enough, though, the underlying enthusiasm numbers haven’t budged:

Republicans and Democrats are tied at 46% among registered voters in Gallup’s weekly tracking of congressional voting preferences, marking a shift after five consecutive weeks in which the Republicans held the advantage. …

Last week marked the return of President Barack Obama from his 10-day vacation, and included his national address to announce the official end of combat operations in Iraq. The president’s three-day job approval rating rose to 47% for Aug. 29-31 — a level it had reached only once since mid-July. Last week also brought media commentary in the aftermath of conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck’s massive rally in Washington, D.C. It is not clear if these or other factors affected Americans’ voting preferences as measured by the generic ballot.

Actually, it’s not clear anything has changed.  The WaPo/ABC and WSJ/NBC polls surveyed registered and likely voters in the same time period and came up with much different numbers.  This isn’t the first time this summer that Gallup’s results showed startling and sudden swings, either.  They made eyebrows pop in July when two successive polls showed Democrats taking a sudden and substantial lead in the Congressional ballot — the only pollster to find such a swing — and just as suddenly put the Republicans ahead outside of the margin of error.

Even more strangely, the enthusiasm numbers for voters have barely budged.  The GOP holds its largest advantage in that for the year:

There has been no change in the advantage Republicans hold over Democrats on motivation to vote in the fall elections. Republicans remain twice as likely as Democrats to be “very enthusiastic” about voting, tied with the previous week’s measure as the largest such advantage of the year.

If the enthusiasm numbers for voters haven’t changed, then how did Democrats erase a six-point deficit in just one week?  Something is seriously wrong at Gallup this summer, and I’m not the only one to notice it.  NBC’s Chuck Todd tweeted yesterday after this release about the lack of reliability in the Gallup figures:

We specifically advise our colleagues to be leery of Gallup. Most, if not all, NBC news shows avoid.


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By next week there will be polls showing that President Hendrix and the ‘rats have 105% approval, so why even hold an election they will ask?

Bishop on September 8, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Maybe Gallup is a Lib???

EL on September 8, 2010 at 8:54 AM

crayon scribbles

cmsinaz on September 8, 2010 at 8:54 AM

How conveeeenient.

Firefly_76 on September 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Who pays for these types of polls?

NoNails on September 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Republicans and Democrats are tied at 46% among registered voters, WHO DRIVE A PRIUS, THINK McDONALD’S IS A SECRET RIGHT-WING PLOT AND HAVEN’T BATHED REGULARLY SINCE 1965 in Gallup’s weekly tracking of congressional voting preferences,

mankai on September 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM

We specifically advise our colleagues to be leery of Gallup. Most, if not all, NBC news shows avoid.

I just saw a dour looking UpChuck Todd tell Tim Kaine he thinks barring a miracle the House and Senate are both lost. Kaine just responded, well, he was “supposed to lose….” when he ran.

Broken glass, people.

Marcus on September 8, 2010 at 8:56 AM

When NBC is warning about inaccuracy and potential bias,you know you have jumped the shark.

Gallup should be embarrassed,but like most of the MSM,probably won’t be.

Baxter Greene on September 8, 2010 at 8:57 AM

When even NBC News wants nothing to do with a poll that shows a favorable outcome for Dems, you know that pollster needs to get his act together.

Doughboy on September 8, 2010 at 8:57 AM

So is the implication here that Gallup is deliberately skewed? I know, no one can answer that, but it’s food for thought nevertheless.

jeanie on September 8, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Where is the chief epicenter where Gallup takes its polls, San Francisco or the state of Vermont?

pilamaye on September 8, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Gallup: Mondale tied with Reagan heading into the Fall!

mankai on September 8, 2010 at 9:00 AM

I guess with Gallup we should be grateful they allowed the Republicans to be “tied” with the Dems.

sandee on September 8, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Way back in the days of Captains Quarters, we researched and debated Gallup and came up with the conclusion that this polling organization not only could not be trusted, but was actually a part of the Liberal machinery…

Keemo on September 8, 2010 at 9:03 AM

I doubt that Gallup is deliberately skewed, or that there is even anything wrong with their methodology.

However, I suspect someone in management is seeing polls that should be double-checked as being obvious statistical outliers, and likely for cost-cutting measures, goes with them anyway, rather than incur the expense of redoing the poll.

JohnGalt23 on September 8, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Again, it needs to be said — the dirty little secret about polling is you have no way to judge the truth of any poll except for the one immediately before the election, so pollsters can tweak any result before that to slant the numbers one way or another, with no real-world way to show if they were right or wrong.

If you’re headed towards a loss of epic proportions like the Democrats are right now, you can’t run a poll showing the Democrats with a lead in the general ballot or Obama with a 61 percent approval rating because that’s so much of an outlier folks are going to demand to see the methodology, but a deviation like this will be a 1-2 day story before being forgotten, while the DNC can at least send out “We’re turning it around” fundraising e-mails to their donors based on the Gallup results.

jon1979 on September 8, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Vote, take the final poll, they are all lies anyway.

tarpon on September 8, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Gallup is the liberal nutjob gift that keeps on giving. In the Gallop poll, over 80% of liberals thought Hendrix was talking about Obama when he was singing about being talked about like a dog. Amazing statistic.

volsense on September 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM

What never ceases to amaze about a push-poll hack organization like Gallup is how Zero keeps steadily declining from 42 percent on a previous month to dropping to 42 percent on a current month and will likely drastically decline even further next month to 42 percent. Zero has managed to decline each month for at least the past year with the Gallup number hardly ever changing. Samplings have gone from cooked, to overcooked, to scorched, to burning the cinders.

viking01 on September 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM

viking01 on September 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Isn’t that something? As if those orgs have drawn a line in the virtual sand, and you know they have, that says PBHO will go no further.

PBHO could strangle a puppy during his next SOTU speech, declare himself a disciple of Satan, wear a shirt that says ‘I Love Al Queda’, and declare he is going to nuke Texas, and his bootlicking followers would STILL peg his numbers at 42%.

Bishop on September 8, 2010 at 9:16 AM

viking01 on September 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM

That is to boost the ‘confidence’ side of the libs. They maintain they are the mainstream, steadfastly refuse to believe their fellow citizens are more conservative both in number and in their belief.

So you have the pre-baked evidence to show they can ‘speak’ much louder.

Sir Napsalot on September 8, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Gibbs got hold of the crayons over at Gallup.

KeepOhioRed on September 8, 2010 at 9:18 AM

A tie is a win for us…look at Florida, 25% more dems are on the voters roles, and the Republicans out voted them by 25%.
The dems are not showing up at the polls…so even if they are “even” we are anywhere from 5% to 25% ahead because of actual voter turnout.
We are fired up, and the other dogs are sitting on the porch…

right2bright on September 8, 2010 at 9:24 AM

The primaries (for the most part) are over. Anyone who hasn’t already decided how they are going to vote, is an idiot. If you can be swayed at the last minute by an October Surprise perhaps you shouldn’t be voting in the first place.

I understand that Gallup has a political agenda to keep. But if their polls are shown to be inaccurate, propping up unwinnable candidates. Will anyone use them in the future? Having a political opinion is one thing. At the end of the day you still have to produce a reliable product. Even liberals have to pay the light bill. Hopefully after this election cycle, they’ll start having to pay their own way.

Tommy_G on September 8, 2010 at 9:24 AM

By next week there will be polls showing that President Hendrix and the ‘rats have 105% approval, so why even hold an election they will ask?

Bishop on September 8, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Maybe they can just “deem and pass” their reelections.

Kevin71 on September 8, 2010 at 9:25 AM

viking01 on September 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Beck started saying during the Van Jones dust-up that if Ogabe ever gets below 42% he is finished. Surprisingly he can’t break that glass floor.

darwin-t on September 8, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Be afraid..be very afraid..get out and walk precincts, work for candidates, contribute, work phone banks all the while watching this beatific lassitude fall over your Democrat counterparts..

..nothing less than 50 seats, old son.

The War Planner on September 8, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Interesting how Gallup is using a three-day poll to get their figures. I expect Gallup to have at least one weekend day in their poll to cook the numbers, and, sure enough Aug 29-31 is a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. People gainfully employed (or trying to be) usually are out and about on weekends which skews the numbers towards those for whom the weekend are just another couple of days. I’d like to know what time of day on weekdays Gallup is polling and if “Yeah, sure lemme get back to Okra Winfrey, Montel and Jerry Springer …. mmm-kay mistah Gallup?” counts as one click for Zero?

viking01 on September 8, 2010 at 9:27 AM

They polled Detroit and Cleveland between 11:00 A.M and 3:00 P.M.

Late enough for the slackers to be out of bed but not so late that their totally stoned and unable to respond.
Two of Pinnochio, the “Cousin Eddie” Presidents, favorite places to visit when in trouble, like a million person health care protest in DC or bad numbers on the economy front!

dhunter on September 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM

So, when Gallup suddenly shows R’s at +8 next week, will
they miraculously become the most reliable, accurate outfit there is?

Bad numbers for us = bad polling, dismiss.
Good numbers for us = dead-on accurate, celebrate!

Right?

Bat Chain Puller on September 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM

PBHO could strangle a puppy during his next SOTU speech, declare himself a disciple of Satan, wear a shirt that says ‘I Love Al Queda’, and declare he is going to nuke Texas, and his bootlicking followers would STILL peg his numbers at 42%. Bishop on September 8, 2010 at 9:16 AM

His bootlicking followers are into baby killing not puppy killing.

Mojave Mark on September 8, 2010 at 9:30 AM

When they steal some elections they will have some polling data to point to as evidence supporting Demoncratic strength.

Metanis on September 8, 2010 at 9:31 AM

The only poll that counts is in November. And even that poll is going to be divided into individual House and Senate races.

Here in MN I will be pleasantly surprised if the Republicans can pick up one seat in the House. Giddy if they can pick up two.

We don’t have a Senate race.

jpmn on September 8, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Bat Chain Puller on September 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM

The answer is no. Why would we trust them after these numbers, Either way they are obviously wrong. They don’t mesh with any other pollsters out there which makes them highly suspicious.

sandee on September 8, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Democrat 1: Listen! do you hear that?

Democrat 2: Sounds like a…like a GALLUP!

D1: Must be the cavalry

D2: Yeah! Coming to rescue us from certain massacre!

D2: YES!!

cartooner on September 8, 2010 at 9:33 AM

The War Planner on September 8, 2010 at 9:27 AM

DO NOT go to the polls alone take a previously unengaged, non-voter or Dem convert with you. Carry voter registrations and absentee ballot requests in your car for folks not registered or too busy or intimidated or unable to go to the polls. Get absentee ballots for grandma and grandpa in the nursing home or any others unable to get to the polls and fill them out for them. DO NOT let the nice nurse F & C Union Member help them.

Don’t let your vote count for 1 make it count for 3 or more and BURY THE BASTAR..!

dhunter on September 8, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Funny: Gallup has Dems/Reps tied(?) – but doesn’t discuss how Independents are likely to vote on Nov 2. This seems like a very large “oversight”.

alwyr on September 8, 2010 at 9:35 AM

So, when Gallup suddenly shows R’s at +8 next week, will
they miraculously become the most reliable, accurate outfit there is?

Bad numbers for us = bad polling, dismiss.
Good numbers for us = dead-on accurate, celebrate!

Right?

Bat Chain Puller on September 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Do you always ask such idiotic questions?

Vince on September 8, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Beck started saying during the Van Jones dust-up that if Ogabe ever gets below 42% he is finished. Surprisingly he can’t break that glass floor.

darwin-t on September 8, 2010 at 9:26 AM

..sure he has. Several times in the RAZ DT he’s hit 42% and 41% (5/28 and a stretch around 6/15-6/18).

It’s only a question of time after his party gets their asses handed to them in November that his numbers will crumble in the 30s. Then it’s “bombs away!”

The War Planner on September 8, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Good numbers for us = dead-on accurate, celebrate!

Right?

Bat Chain Puller on September 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM

I do celebrate the “chief political analyst of MSNBC” not being able to spin any good news anymore. This is the guy who decreed the mosque story “over” within 24 hours of his Messiah making his about-turn.

Marcus on September 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM

If Gallup skews from Dems +6 on one week to RNC +8 the next my main question would be how should a so-called polling organization vary 14 points from week to week (major world disasters excepted) and still call itself worthy of little more than a top ranking on National Laughing Pointing Day?

Crap push-polling is still crap polling; whether it serves to boost morale at the DNC or to boost complacency at the RNC it’s still crap.

viking01 on September 8, 2010 at 9:38 AM

So, when Gallup suddenly shows R’s at +8 next week, will
they miraculously become the most reliable, accurate outfit there is?

Bad numbers for us = bad polling, dismiss.
Good numbers for us = dead-on accurate, celebrate!

Right?

Bat Chain Puller on September 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Wrong. Gallups survey has been making dramatic swings all summer. That’s the reason for suspicion, even at NBC.

KeepOhioRed on September 8, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Could it be that GE agreed to pander for ” the one ” and since CAP n TAX could still happen under the EPA , NBC still has an obligation to GE to shamelessly promote and spin OBAMA ?

ELMO Q on September 8, 2010 at 9:43 AM

It’s all about the RCP average Ed. Told you all of the last two years. These large swing polls come out to keep the RCP average in check. Regardless of four polls with a minimal change, one large change poll brings the average down. This is so simple a third grader could do the math.

THE CHOSEN ONE on September 8, 2010 at 9:44 AM

“eyebrows pop”? Yikes!

KS Rex on September 8, 2010 at 9:56 AM

We specifically advise our colleagues to be leery of Gallup. Most, if not all, NBC news shows avoid.

They prefer the KOS polls.

katiejane on September 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Perhaps I was a little too subtle earlier… here’s a direct question:

If Gallup starts showing good numbers for us, is the Hot Air crowd going to be crowing about it?

We’ll see.

Bat Chain Puller on September 8, 2010 at 10:09 AM

…in fact, in the last Gallup poll before the 1994 elections (in which Republicans gained 54 House seats), the Democrats had a two-point lead on the generic ballot.

-Yuval Levin at NRO Corner

Bat Chain Puller on September 8, 2010 at 10:13 AM

even though todd says to ignore, it won’t stop tingles from highlighting it

cmsinaz on September 8, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Darn, and I used to like Chuck Todd. Where, oh where, do I go for my journalistic heroes?

Besides here.

manwithblackhat on September 8, 2010 at 10:19 AM

I guess a GOP victory will be unexpected, eh?

John Deaux on September 8, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Geeze. Sounds to me as if Gallup is desperately clinging to their numbers,(guns) and skews (bibles). LOL

capejasmine on September 8, 2010 at 10:30 AM

PBHO could strangle a puppy during his next SOTU speech, declare himself a disciple of Satan, wear a shirt that says ‘I Love Al Queda’, and declare he is going to nuke Texas, and his bootlicking followers would STILL peg his numbers at 42%.

Bishop on September 8, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Thread winner.

fossten on September 8, 2010 at 10:35 AM

F. Chuck Todd: The “DeWalt” of media tools in D.C.

David2.0 on September 8, 2010 at 10:39 AM

If you look at this link:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/127439/Election-2010-Key-Indicators.aspx

you will see that Democrats go for the D and Republicans go for the R 93/5. Indies go for the R 49/33 (R+16). Somehow the numbers come out even overall though. Looks like a huge Dem oversample to me.

besser tot als rot on September 8, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Good! Let the Dems get complacent so that some of them won’t go out and vote, and further energize the Republicans!

I like this poll result!

JannyMae on September 8, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Democrats must REALLY be desperate if they feel the need to crow about one “generic ballot” poll that shows them EVEN. And, of course, not only do they ignore Rasmussen showing R+12 (48R/36D), but also the “liberal” ABC/WaPo poll showing R+13 (53R/40D). The RCP average still shows R+6.7, which should be enough to re-take the House.

I don’t know what’s wrong with Gallup lately, but their polls seem to be swinging wildly all over the map, much more unstable than other polling organizations. Neither Obama nor the Democrats did anything earth-shattering lately, no Republicans have made any major gaffes, the economic news has been bad, so there’s no real REASON for a Dem uptick with Gallup, while Republicans have been gaining with other polling organizations. It’s probably statistical noise–an unusually liberal sample for Gallup this week, after an unusually conservative sample last week.

Dems shouldn’t crow about the swing in Gallup (from D-10 to zero) any more than Republicans should crow about the swing in Rasmussen (from R+6 to R+12) over the SAME period of time. What is important is not the week-to-week swing for one polling organization (they’re not sampling the same people every week) but the LONG-TERM trend in the AVERAGE polling numbers, which has been slowly trending Republican all summer.

Steve Z on September 8, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Perhaps I was a little too subtle earlier… here’s a direct question:

If Gallup starts showing good numbers for us, is the Hot Air crowd going to be crowing about it?

We’ll see.

Bat Chain Puller on September 8, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Probably! We shouldn’t crow any more than the other side about the swing in one poll, but look at the overall trend.

Steve Z on September 8, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Serves to keep up R enthusiasm, as if they needed an excuse. I can see November from my house, and it cannot get here fast enough.

txmomof6 on September 8, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Occam’s Razor –someone entered data in the wrong columns in all instances.

JPlunket on September 8, 2010 at 11:15 AM

… and just yesterday Ed chastized me for questioning why ANYONE believes these polls …

These are NOT the pollsters of the past. An unbiased poll is a hard thing to find. In California, they simply do not exist.

Freddy on September 8, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Gallup has ALWAYS been a tool of the Left. It’s like Wikipedia, anyone can change it to sound like what they want to hear.

griv on September 8, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Way back in the days of Captains Quarters, we researched and debated Gallup and came up with the conclusion that this polling organization not only could not be trusted, but was actually a part of the Liberal machinery…

Keemo on September 8, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Exactly. They used to be the Gold Standard of polling, but something happened, and I think I know what it is.

Until they ended the relationship a couple of years ago, Gallup had been polling partners with…CNN.

Gotta be a connection there…

Del Dolemonte on September 8, 2010 at 11:32 AM

If Gallup starts showing good numbers for us, is the Hot Air crowd going to be crowing about it?

We’ll see.

Bat Chain Puller on September 8, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Yes, it will show that even they can’t cook the books enough to show how devastating/overwhelming the conservative machine is, during this election.
Eventually, all the polls will show what the internals show…the dems are going down in record numbers.

right2bright on September 8, 2010 at 11:48 AM

It’s all about the RCP average Ed. Told you all of the last two years. These large swing polls come out to keep the RCP average in check. Regardless of four polls with a minimal change, one large change poll brings the average down. This is so simple a third grader could do the math.

THE CHOSEN ONE on September 8, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I agree with you, Chosen One… I check RCP daily, and there is always at least one poll that is significantly different from the others (and always in the direction of showing Obama’s numbers in a more positive light). The outlier rotates among CNN, Gallup, CBS, etc., but there is always one poll that skews the average. There is no way that this is an accident. It has been consistent since Obama’s poll numbers have started falling. They are protecting The One as best they can… and rotating which pollster it will be, so no one particular poll is consistently on the wrong side of things.

squeek71 on September 8, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Overload. The ruling class culture simply cannot handle what’s going on in America. Their cognitive circuitry is spazzing and shorting out. The Gallup polling irregularities are just another manifestation of how need and delusion and denial among the elites lead to breakdown of system integrity. They need to find favorable news or news which helps them blot out the narrative-busting truths coming their way.

rrpjr on September 8, 2010 at 11:58 AM

If the enthusiasm numbers for voters haven’t changed, then how did Democrats erase a six-point deficit in just one week?

That’s not the deficit that Democrats should be concentrating on.

Johnny 100 Pesos on September 8, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Gallup is destroying their name, much like liberal old media outlets have destroyed their organization for the cause of international socialism. Gallup has descended into the same gutter as PPP (Piss-Poor Polling) and the Pew organization.

slickwillie2001 on September 8, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Wonder how much oversampling of democraps was required to get these numbers? The liberals will resort to anything to dampen republican enthusiasm and to raise democrap morale to ward off the thumpin’ they’re about to get in two months time. I’m surprised the DNC isn’t required to list Gallup as a coordinated party under the Federal Election Rules Regime cause it carries water for the democraps year after year.

eaglewingz08 on September 8, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Rush just spent a minute or two demolishing the myth that November’s election will be a ‘revolt against the incumbents’, as some democratics are now spinning.

slickwillie2001 on September 8, 2010 at 2:37 PM