Gallup: Hey, Republicans are back up 5

posted at 10:12 am on September 14, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Why go on a roller coaster?  It’s not the destination, it’s the ride — right?  Keep that in mind as we plumb the ever-entertaining and decreasingly informative Gallup generic Congressional survey.  This week starts with an odd-numbered day, which means Republicans must be leading again.  Voila!

Forty-eight percent of registered voters favor Republican congressional candidates and 43% favor Democratic candidates in Gallup’s national generic ballot for the week of Sept. 6-12.

Registered-voter preferences for Congress since the beginning of August have averaged 48% for Republican candidates and 43% for Democratic candidates, identical to this week’s results. While there have been a few instances in recent months when the Republicans were not ahead to at least some degree — including in mid-July, when the Democrats were up by six percentage points, and last week, when the parties were tied at 46% — the broad picture has generally been positive for the Republicans.

Currently, 90% of Democratic voters plan to vote for the Democratic congressional candidate in their district, while 96% of Republicans favor the Republican, matching the highest level of Republican loyalty Gallup has found all year. Independents continue to favor Republican over Democratic candidates, now by a 10-point margin, 44% to 34%.

Why is this decreasingly informative?  First, Gallup has been unreliable even within its own trending.  Republicans lead by six, then Democrats lead by five, and then Republicans go back up by six, and then it’s suddenly even.  Six Flags doesn’t provide this kind of thrills and chills.

Next, why is Gallup still using a registered voter survey?  That’s a weak sample type in presidential election years, where turnout gets to about 60% in a good cycle.  It’s even less informative in midterms.  Ninety percent of Democrats support Democrats in this election, but how many are likely to vote?  Independents favor the GOP by ten, but how many of them are likely to show up at a voting booth on November 2nd, and which independents are most likely to show up?

With seven weeks to go before the election, those are the answers needed to build a turnout model for a likely voter screen.  Gallup seems disinterested in doing so, though, while their competitors have all shifted to likely-voter screens and turnout models.

Gallup did find increased enthusiasm among Democratic voters this week, but that still leaves them 18 points behind the GOP.  Yet, even with that narrowing from the 23-point gap in the last three surveys, Gallup still shows the GOP adding five points to the topline gap.  In other words, Gallup is a mess.


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The only poll which matters is the one on election day.

catmman on September 14, 2010 at 10:16 AM

This means we’re at least +10!!

abobo on September 14, 2010 at 10:16 AM

catmman on September 14, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Yeah, I went for the obviously cliched, easy comment…

catmman on September 14, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Why go on a roller coaster? It’s not the destination, it’s the ride — right?

I like roller coasters when I want to loose my wallet, my loose change and my groceries…. Yeah similar to politics and polls.

Electrongod on September 14, 2010 at 10:19 AM

How far out do they have to start posting “accurate” polls so they can claim relevancy in next election cycle? 6 weeks? 8 weeks?

Johnnyreb on September 14, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Why go on a roller coaster? It’s not the destination, it’s the ride — right? Keep that in mind as we plumb the ever-entertaining and decreasingly informative Gallup generic Congressional survey.
==========================

The Perception/Deception Polling ride,me thinks!

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Gallup can be compared to other polls, but that still doesn’t empirically prove anything — they can be outliers all the way up until the final week of October and there’s no way to show if they’re right or wrong until the last poll before voters actually vote in November. So if someone or some group within the organization wants to fiddle with the numbers to create a more exciting race and/or higher hopes on the Democratic side, there’s no way to call them on it, other than point out any gaming of the internal numbers.

jon1979 on September 14, 2010 at 10:24 AM

After what has been done to our country in the last 18 months, I’m surprised it’s not 99% in favor of somebody else — allowing for 1% of the people who are mentally ill. There must be more mentally ill people than I first realized.

ClanDerson on September 14, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Ohio Players Love Rollercoaster 1976 Disco Funk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLWBY3cD2Vs

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 10:28 AM

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 10:28 AM

canopfor – I can’t wait until November 2nd for the Magic Carpet Ride

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEEzbFxEbB8

yoda on September 14, 2010 at 10:35 AM

90% of Democratic voters plan to vote for the Democratic congressional candidate in their district

I call bullshxt! :0>
CAN. NOT. WAIT. TO. VOTE. GOP.
Dems are voting GOP this year (and IMO every year until the DLC Middle Way is restored)

ginaswo on September 14, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Gallup used to be the Gold Standard for polling. That all went out the window when they partnered with CNN.

Even though the two are no longer associated, CNN’s stench remains. Sorta like the Smelly Car episode from “Seinfeld”.

Del Dolemonte on September 14, 2010 at 10:37 AM

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 10:28 AM
=========================================
canopfor – I can’t wait until November 2nd for the Magic Carpet Ride

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEEzbFxEbB8

yoda on September 14, 2010 at 10:35 AM

yoda: Oh me too,superb tune,how have you been!?

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 10:37 AM

canopfor, yoda
I cannot wait for the Ballroom Blitz on Election Day

ginaswo on September 14, 2010 at 10:38 AM

You just destroyed Allahpundits day. It so looks forward to any poll that can looks bad on Conservatives or Palin.

WoosterOh on September 14, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Polls open here in sunny western NY at noon. I will be happily casting my vote with the conservatives. Woooo Hoooo! Come on NOvember! Sorry, got carried away.

sicoit on September 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Gallup did find increased enthusiasm among Democratic voters this week, but that still leaves them 18 points behind the GOP.

is that the “Justin Bieber effect?”….

ted c on September 14, 2010 at 10:56 AM

canopfor, yoda
I cannot wait for the Ballroom Blitz on Election Day

ginaswo on September 14, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Love me some Sweet!

mankai on September 14, 2010 at 10:58 AM

With seven weeks to go before the election, those are the answers needed to build a turnout model for a likely voter screen. Gallup seems disinterested in doing so, though, while their competitors have all shifted to likely-voter screens and turnout models.

With all the wild fluctuations in the Gallup generic-ballot poll, it seems like they’ve lost interest in statistics.

Even Quinnipiac, which usually trends left of actual election results, has now adopted a likely-voter screen. I was actually sampled in a Q-poll the other night in CT, and the pollster asked (for both the senatorial and gubernatorial election) whether I would “definitely vote”, “probably vote”, or “not vote” in each election, and also whether I would either “definitely vote” for a candidate or “maybe change my mind”.

Interestingly enough, with 7 weeks to go, the Q-poll showed Linda McMahon closing the gap on Dick Blumenthal for Senate, now only down 51-45. The reported results didn’t say how much of that was firm support, or from people who could change their mind. This could get interesting…

Steve Z on September 14, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Makes sense to me the always accurate Rassmussen poll has it +12 , others say +10 , and Gallop gets a phone call from a few union thugs after speaking to people in the White House ,and the SPLIT the difference
Propaganda can only work if it is SOMEWHAT believable

ELMO Q on September 14, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Bracing for the next wave of unemployed: Dem Aides Could Face Massive Layoffs

Partly just for the sheer joy of it, but also a reminder that with the votes also comes control of those powerful, -too-powerful committees.

slickwillie2001 on September 14, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Perhaps they base their polling results on the Fibonacci sequence. (Spiral Out!)

loudmouth883 on September 14, 2010 at 11:13 AM

As of last week, we had agreed to ignore Gallup.

Uh… we did agree, didn’t we?

Bat Chain Puller on September 14, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Gallup, DNC polling, but they always try to fix it up after they can’t push poll the other pollsters..

tarpon on September 14, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Gallup is not trying to predict the election, they are trying to tell you what Americans think about it – the same way they want to tell you what Americans think about religion, or whether football is the number one sport or not.

Gallup’s brand is “public opinion” not making political predictions based on sampling.

vimrich on September 14, 2010 at 11:20 AM

yoda: Oh me too,superb tune,how have you been!?

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Great! Had to say hi to my good Canadian friend.

ginaswo on September 14, 2010 at 10:38 AM

ginaswo – You got that one right!!! It’s going to be a blitz!!!!!

yoda on September 14, 2010 at 11:22 AM

So, Gallup is showing Republicans +5 this week? That means it’ll be a tie next week. This is easy…

joejm65 on September 14, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Republicans up by 5–of course they are– today is Tuesday isn’t it?
Really though, what is up with Gallup this year?

DDT on September 14, 2010 at 12:17 PM

canopfor, yoda
==================
I cannot wait for the Ballroom Blitz on Election Day

ginaswo on September 14, 2010 at 10:38 AM

ginaswo: Sorry for the late response,I love Sweet,yup,thats
gonna be a hoot!:)

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 12:48 PM

canopfor, yoda
——————–
I cannot wait for the Ballroom Blitz on Election Day

ginaswo on September 14, 2010 at 10:38 AM
======================
Love me some Sweet!

mankai on September 14, 2010 at 10:58 AM

mankai:U-Betcha:)

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 12:50 PM

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
~John Adams

Send_Me on September 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM

You do have to wonder why they don’t use a likely voter screen seven weeks out from the election. Is Gallup really that hurting for money that they can’t do an addition 500 interviews per sample?

JohnGalt23 on September 14, 2010 at 2:09 PM