Race tightening in CBS/NYT/Q-polls of FL, OH, WI

posted at 9:21 am on August 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Those swing state polls continue to narrow for Barack Obama.  While a new CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac series on three key states show Obama in the lead, in two of the three the races have dropped into a virtual tie.  Even in the third, the sample suggests that Mitt Romney may be closer than the poll states:

New CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll numbers from three important swing states show a tight presidential race getting tighter.

The poll shows President Obama’s lead in Florida is down to just three points. Mr. Obama had a six-point lead there at the end of July.

The president is still leading Mitt Romney by six points in Ohio. In Wisconsin, home state of Romney’s running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s now in a virtual tie with the president with just two points between them.

Let’s just cut to the chase.  What do the partisan splits in the samples look like?  Let’s lay out all three states and compare the D/R/I of this poll to 2008 and 2010:

  • Florida: 34/28/32; 2008 37/34/29, 2010 36/36/28
  • Ohio: 34/26/34; 2008 39/31/30, 2010 36/37/28
  • Wisconsin: 32/28/33; 2008 39/33/29, 2010 37/36/28

Once again, we have a significant under-representation of Republicans in all three states, especially against the 2010 model.  And yet, Barack Obama doesn’t seem to be faring too well even with the boost.

Perhaps that’s because Obama keeps talking about everything except what actually concerns voters most in this election (via JWF):

 A majority of voters in the crucial battleground states of Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio say the economy and health care are “extremely important” issues with regard to how they will cast their votes this fall, according to a new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll.

The survey, conducted from August 15-21, suggests that voters in all three states consider the economy the most important issue in this election: 60 percent of likely voters characterized that issue as “extremely important” in Florida, while 59 percent in Ohio and 54 percent in Wisconsin said the same.

The top five in all three states:

  • The economy
  • Health care
  • Medicare
  • Budget deficit
  • Taxes

Curiously, abortion, gay marriage, and Seamus the Roof-Ridin’ Dog didn’t make the cut.  If Obama wants to keep talking about this holy trio of Democratic agenda items, he’s likely to need D+20 sample bumps to keep himself competitive by November 2nd … er, 6th.


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The University of Cincinnati’s “Ohio Poll” was just released putting the presidential race at Obama 49, Romney 46. No partisan breakdown is given, but Romney’s winning independents 51-39.

The poll also shows Josh Mandel only one point behind Sherrod Brown.

steebo77 on August 23, 2012 at 10:19 AM

ROmney winning independents 51%-39% means Romney is going to win Ohio…It is that simple…

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Also. Hillary wouldn’t have abandoned Obama if she though he had a reasonable chance to win. I’d bet that Team Clinton has done some real polling and they know what is going on.

oldroy on August 23, 2012 at 10:26 AM

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Ds show up at the polls slightly more greaterly than Rs, by about 4%, generally, widely. That information is dangerous as a predictor because it’s too general and too wide as a trend. But Ds are also more likely to “fill out pieces of paper” telling pollsters what they think, so their part of the sample tries to be more bigger in any case.

Adjust the actual sample down to about 4% in your head to get a meaningful number. Ignore any statisticians around you that have heart-attacks when you do it; you are breaking some rules; but at least you can get an idea of what is actually going on.

You can become more going-onerly than before.

All of that could be wrong.

If you want to see one of the biggest piles of misinformation outside of Wikipedia’s historical profiles, check this Yahoo Answer :)

Axe on August 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM

ROmney winning independents 51%-39% means Romney is going to win Ohio…It is that simple…

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I see now that the responses for independents carry a footnote:

Note: Number of respondents is 75 or less. Additional caution should be taken when interpreting the findings of this subgroup because of the potential for larger variation.

The overall sample size was 847. That puts independents at 8.9% of the electorate in this poll. Weird.

steebo77 on August 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM

RCP just moved Montana from “Leans Romney” to “Likely Romney” (no surprise there) and Connecticut from “Likely Obama” to “Leans Obama.”

steebo77 on August 23, 2012 at 10:34 AM

As for the Senate… as long as we get 51 votes then use reconciliation to repeal obamacare just like they used it to pass it!

LevinFan on August 23, 2012 at 10:36 AM

How in the heck is Obama still leading in Ohio? These polls frustrate me. He should not be getting this level of support!

Laura722 on August 23, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Free stuff, persistent white guilt, women who can’t get Akins ugly face out of their minds. That’s why election models showing that Romney can or will win are ridiculous.

Robb on August 23, 2012 at 10:39 AM

That’s why election models showing that Romney can or will win are ridiculous.

Robb on August 23, 2012 at 10:39 AM

As always, just a little ray of sunshine.

kingsjester on August 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM

RCP also updated Senate ratings this morning.

FL: Toss Up >>> Leans Dem
MO: Toss Up >>> Leans Dem
NV: Toss Up >>> Leans GOP
OH: Leans Dem >>> Toss Up

steebo77 on August 23, 2012 at 10:42 AM

As for the Senate… as long as we get 51 votes then use reconciliation to repeal obamacare just like they used it to pass it!

LevinFan on August 23, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Looking at realclearpolitics Senate race stats, I”m not sure that is a given by any means. I think the best we could hope for is 51, but realistically it’s 49 or 50.

oldroy on August 23, 2012 at 10:43 AM

oh baby, popcorn has never tasted so good as it does right now.

jake49 on August 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Axe on August 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I have made my own elections prediction model for 2012. My model is based on vote by RACE. In this model I am assuming the same percentage participation per Race as in the 2008 elections… The main metric in this model is how many “White Voters” who voted for Obama in 2008 are going to switch and vote for Romney in 2012.Based on this Romney is going to win the following battleground states if the following percentage of White voters who voted for Obama in 2008 switch and vote for Romney in 2012:
Florida (10% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Ohio (11% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Virginia (13% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
North Carolina (7% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Indiana (3% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Colorado (13% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Iowa (10% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
New Hampshire (13% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Wisconsin ( 17% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Minnesota (15% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Nevada ( 22% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Michigan (21% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Pennsylvania
(23% of Obama 2008 White Voters switch and vote for Romney in 2012)
Also in the model I am assuming that in 2012 Obama receives the same percentage of “Black Votes” and “Hispanic Votes” that he received in 2008.

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I see now that the responses for independents carry a footnote:

Note: Number of respondents is 75 or less. Additional caution should be taken when interpreting the findings of this subgroup because of the potential for larger variation.
The overall sample size was 847. That puts independents at 8.9% of the electorate in this poll. Weird.

steebo77 on August 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Thanks for the info…Yes 8.9% independents is really small in this poll sample…

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I have made my own elections prediction model for 2012. My model is based on vote by RACE. In this model I am assuming the same percentage participation per Race as in the 2008

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM

What a bunch of racists. :) /sarc

oldroy on August 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM

As always, just a little ray of sunshine.

kingsjester on August 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Perhaps preferable, for now, to a full-blown Sunny Day Biden.

de rigueur on August 23, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I don’t know… maybe saving the US auto industry and preserving the US manufacturing base along with it impressed some voters. After all, there are just a few automotive jobs in Ohio.

bayam

So, what you’re saying is he’s lying to them and they’re buying it?

xblade on August 23, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I have made my own elections prediction model for 2012. My model is based on vote by RACE [...] [I]n the model I am assuming that in 2012 Obama receives the same percentage of “Black Votes” and “Hispanic Votes” that he received in 2008.

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Wish that didn’t make any sense. It does, but I wish it didn’t.

BTW — I was kinda talking past you there, butting-in a little. I probably should have quoted like this or something:

vpaddy123 on August 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I wanted to address the idea of the consistent Democrat oversampling in a cursory way.

About your model: I don’t even know how to go about trying to buffer it or disprove it. :) Your percent change is what it would take, right? As opposed to what is expected? It is showing the threshold required to get there …

Axe on August 23, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Pennsylvania 23% — lol

Ah well

Axe on August 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM

New CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll numbers from three important swing states show a tight presidential race getting tighter

p h a r t…!!! opps! Better results than their poll!

KOOLAID2 on August 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM

tommyhawk on August 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Are you by any chance Akin’s campaign manager because the things you say are just ignorant. Oh, and if you are, could you please tell him to drop out? Thanks!

tims472 on August 23, 2012 at 11:01 AM

About your model: I don’t even know how to go about trying to buffer it or disprove it. :) Your percent change is what it would take, right? As opposed to what is expected? It is showing the threshold required to get there …

Axe on August 23, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Yes you are right… My percent change is what it would take rather what is expected… Currently the the national polls, with all their problems and bias against Republicans, are still showing that Obama is losing approximately 15% to 18% of the “White Voters” who voted for him in 2008. If you apply the 15% to 18% “White Voters” switch on the battleground states in my prediction model then Romney is going to win the following battleground states: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, New Hamphsire, Wisconsin, and Minnesota…

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM

I would suggest there are a lot of TP like me who hang up on pollsters.

wukong on August 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Pennsylvania 23% — lol

Ah well

Axe on August 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Yes and that is why I think it would be hard for Romney to win Pennsylvania… Up to 20% switch of Obama “White Voters” in 2008 to Romney in 2012 is possible but 23% is unlikely…

mnjg on August 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Notably, the poll also found a substantial, and increasing, enthusiasm gap. The Pubs were 50% more enthusiastic about voting than were the Dems. This makes the Q-poll sample ludicrous.

paul1149 on August 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM

The Akin thing will be a dead issue by Nov. 6th. Even if the Dems bang that gong through the convention and past.

It’s the economy, dog-eater…

Grace_is_sufficient on August 23, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Notably, the poll also found a substantial, and increasing, enthusiasm gap. The Pubs were 50% more enthusiastic about voting than were the Dems. This makes the Q-poll sample ludicrous.

paul1149 on August 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM

THIS.

Some Obama voters won’t cross over to vote for Romney. But they won’t be casting votes for Zero again, either.

Momentum–it’s all on the Republicans’ side.

Grace_is_sufficient on August 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM

My prediction is that Obama’s suburban women voters are apathetic, that is why the War on Women rhetoric. Even if these women are made afraid of Romney and Republicans, they might not go vote for Obama again.

They don’t have any money at home, and many of their husband’s don’t let them forget on any day of the week that it’s Obama’s fault.

They also may be seeing first hand that people getting the free stuff seem to have the same cash to spend as those who don’t get a free check or free food at home.

Especially when they see the kids from the affordable housing showing up in new cars, spending more, and also, women are aware that other women have boyfriends and dad’s living in the home, but the family is lying about it. They hear that some kids in the class get a SSI check for their ADHD and see the parents spending it on lifestyle they can’t afford.

They also know that some people are working for cash and that their husbands are paying a lot in taxes, when they could use to keep the money for their own children.

It makes a sensitive women feel like not talking about politics and they say things like, politicians all do the same thing. After all Obama has surely done all the things militarily that George Bush had to do, couldn’t close Gitmo, didn’t improve THEIR school, didn’t improve the jobs situation…so politicians don’t matter, so Whatever! on election day.

A lot of women are telling me “They are all the same.”

Fleuries on August 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I was one of the Floridians polled. Relatedly, they either called the day of or the day after our primary election in which the ballot was heavy on races among Democrats. Even those technically non-partisan had some big time, well funded local Democratic candidates on the ballot, namely in school board and county commmission races. Turnout was an anemic 10.7% with two Scott-appointed Republicans on the current School Board of Broward County either winning outright in a landslide or forcing a November run off (and she had more votes). The candidate who won outright represents an even heavier than normal number of Democratic precincts in Broward, and since we’re by far the most liberal county in Florida (I’m one of Wasserman Schultz’s constituents)the results opened a lot of eyes. I’m not saying it’s shifting right, but enthusiasm is way down among one of the voting blocs the Democrats heavily rely upon. As for the poll, the results for what was important were exactly how I answered.

SoFlaCon on August 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Is it time to adjust the Dem sample upwards again?

Gunlock Bill on August 23, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Is it time to adjust the Dem sample upwards again?

Gunlock Bill on August 23, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Or, maybe just adjust the Rep sample downwards again.

Gunlock Bill on August 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I just read the full summary on the Quinnipiac polling site here. These excerpts were interesting, and in my opinion, important:

“Florida’s efforts to remove people from the voter rolls will prevent ineligible people from voting, 65 percent of voters say, while 28 percent say it will suppress voting…Florida voters disagree with the claim that the state’s efforts to look for those who are not American citizens and on voter rolls is aimed at suppressing minority turnout on Election Day,” Brown said. “By more than 2-1 they see the effort as one aimed at stopping those who are ineligible to vote from casting a ballot.”

SoFlaCon on August 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I wonder if Republicans are just refusing to answer their phones or what exactly is going on. At some point the people doing the polls either have to get the demographics right or risk looking stupid.

Terrye on August 23, 2012 at 1:39 PM

I wonder if Republicans are just refusing to answer their phones or what exactly is going on. At some point the people doing the polls either have to get the demographics right or risk looking stupid.

Terrye on August 23, 2012 at 1:39 PM

When it gets closer to Election Day, they will clean up their polling. No one will remember how far off they were in the first nine months of the year, and in 2016 Allahpundit will once again be fretting and wringing his little lace kerchief over every single slanted poll again.

Adjoran on August 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I don’t know what makes anyone think Indiana is a battleground state – Obama will lose big, probably 15% or more. There is nothing Obama can do to stop it – even if Romney started killing puppies on live prime time TV. Obama is so disliked.

Romney has a better chance of winning California than Obama does of winning Indiana.

Zomcon JEM on August 23, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Unless pollsters make drastic increases in the amount of supporting statistical information about their polls, you will not be able to learn anything meaningful until after the election, if then.

Many people look at the “Caller ID” number or name that shows up on the phone before deciding to pick up. This leads to elimination of a class of people’s opinions who don’t want to hear telemarketing pitches or leading questions. Even if Pollsters told us how many “no answer” and “decline to talk” were encountered during the reported survey, there is no way to apportion those selected “dead” results.

Tea Party Types are especially guarded regarding to whom they will talk. A multiplier could be factored in to increase answer percentages for those likely to fall into that category, except there is no real definition of a Tea Party Member except those who are fed up with the status quo, abhor Political Correctness, and are tired of continually increasing government interference with our lives and property. Store lines at the recent Chick FilA buy-in day (and days following) were people who were expressing Taxed Enough Already” concepts. They were all races and colors, poor, rich and middle class. They will in voting lines, with vigor on November 6.

In short, the polling coming from the Major Media is crap, it is misleading, it oversamples Democrats and fails to account for the number of Democrats and Independents who will not be voting for Obama this time.

RobBert on August 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

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