Which polls are, or aren’t, legitimate?

posted at 6:45 pm on September 26, 2012 by Allahpundit

I want to hear from commenters on this, as I think all bloggers are dealing with some variation of this problem right now. Standard practice on the site is for Ed and I to post any poll that we think you’ll find interesting, whether the numbers are good or bad; normally the readers are fine with that, if only because they can use the thread to goof on me for being a dirty, dirty eeyore. But for two months every four years, the calculus changes for some and they start screeching that posting bad numbers is an act of treason that might actually damage the GOP nominee’s chances. And in fairness to those readers, there’s a wisp of truth in that, sort of. As pollster John McLaughlin said to Jim Geraghty:

What Obama and his allies are doing now: “The Democrats want to convince [these anti-Obama voters] falsely that Romney will lose to discourage them from voting. So they lobby the pollsters to weight their surveys to emulate the 2008 Democrat-heavy models. They are lobbying them now to affect early voting. IVR [Interactive Voice Response] polls are heavily weighted. You can weight to whatever result you want. Some polls have included sizable segments of voters who say they are ‘not enthusiastic’ to vote or non-voters to dilute Republicans. Major pollsters have samples with Republican affiliation in the 20 to 30 percent range, at such low levels not seen since the 1960s in states like Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and which then place Obama ahead. The intended effect is to suppress Republican turnout through media polling bias. We’ll see a lot more of this.

The “anti-Obama voters” whom McLaughlin has in mind are swing-state undecideds who either voted for Obama in 2008 or stayed home and are now persuadable by Romney due to their disgruntlement over Hopenchange. They’re low-motivated fence-sitters. People who read partisan blogs every day are not. My guess is that our readership consists of two groups: 99 percent of you would walk barefoot through a snowstorm to get to your polling place to vote for Romney even if I was following you in an Eeyore costume, rattling chains and moaning, “Dooooon’t vooooote.” (I won’t actually do that, except maybe to Ed.) The other one percent are media types and/or liberals who are curious about what righty bloggers are saying on a particular issue. Neither of those groups will be discouraged by poll news, whether good or bad for their guy. Nor should they be: In case there’s any ambiguity as to the point of posting these polls, needless to say it’s not to discourage anyone from voting for Romney. You must vote, and the worse the numbers are, the more determined you should be to get out there because the deficit will have to be made up in higher turnout. Ed and I have spent four years explaining why another four years of Hopenchange dreck would be terrible; why you’d suddenly lose your determination to vote O out now because of bad numbers from the NYT or wherever is utterly beyond me.

The point of posting polls is to track trends in the race and try to get a rough sense of which states will ultimately decide the election, which strategies are working or aren’t, whether one side or the other has momentum, etc. Sometimes, like today, you get some highly dubious samples and you toss them out. Sometimes you don’t. My question is, if for some reason you’re not convinced that partisan blog readerships are essentially immune from being discouraged by polls, what should the rule be on filtering them? There seem to be three schools:

1. The “give us everything” crowd. These are the people who want the good and the bad. They’ll decide for themselves whether a poll is credible or not, but they want the data so that they can make a judgment.

2. The “give us bad news too but make sure you debunk it” crowd. They’ll accept discouraging numbers if a case can be made against the partisan split in the pollster’s sample to debunk it. Ed and I oblige on that whenever we can, but I’m not sure what to do with a poll like, say, today’s Gallup tracker, which has Obama suddenly out to a 50/44 lead among registered voters. Five days ago we were high-fiving over Gallup when they had Romney tied. Is the poll suddenly less credible now than it was then? Rasmussen seems to be the gold standard in credibility on the right, but what should we do if Romney’s numbers tick down there too? And what are we to do with the fact that Romney’s own pollster recently told Guy Benson that he’s expecting a national turnout advantage on election day of something like D+3? Should we be demanding a more even sample from pollsters than even Team Mitt is?

3. The “give us only good news” crowd. They think that posting bad numbers legitimizes those numbers and gives them wider reach, even if there’s an effort to debunk the sample. Essentially, they want a total blackout on downers until election day in the interest of leaving nothing to chance. Question: Does it mitigate the problem if we post a downer poll and post thoughtful analyses like Jay Cost’s and Brandon Gaylord’s that challenge the assumptions of the downer polls lately? If it doesn’t mitigate it, what are we to make of the fact that conservative warriors like Newt Gingrich, Erick Erickson, and Michael Walsh all seem to think that Romney’s campaign is underperforming and that the polls are a reflection of that? (Read Walsh’s conclusion, especially.) Is that higher or lower treason than posting a bad poll in the first place?

Those three schools broadly represent the spectrum of opinion on whether a partisan news site should be more newsy or more partisan. Group one wants to know what’s driving the news, even if it doesn’t trust the underlying data; group three wants victory above all else, even if that means suspending normal operations and ignoring bad news entirely. Group two wants a compromise. I prefer group one, especially since I think the fears of influencing the race by posting glum polls is baseless, but I have a lot of sympathy for group three even though they tend to be the nastiest with their criticism. We all want to win (even Eeyore!), and if you’re a sports fan, you know the special agony of being heavily invested in a contest whose outcome you’re helpless to influence. You’re not helpless in this one, of course — you can vote, and should — but the idea that merely mentioning bad news might sink Romney’s chances when we have fully seven weeks and four debates still to go is like sincerely believing that the Yankees lost because you forgot to wear your rally cap.

Like I say, I’m interested in reading your comments. I’ll leave you with this, from senior Romney advisor Ed Gillespie. Quote: “We have a no-whining rule in Boston about coverage in the media.” Click the image to watch.

Update (Ed): I was thinking about writing a post along these same lines after my analysis of the WaPo/ABC polls in Ohio and Florida.  I’m in Camp One, at least theoretically, and I’d hope most of our readers would be as well.  Otherwise, if we’re blowing sunshine up your skirts all year long and then it doesn’t end well, we’re all going to have that apocryphal Pauline Kael moment and wonder what happened.  I have sympathy for Camps Two and Three, and in practice I’d say we’re probably Camp One Point Seven Five anyway.

Polling really isn’t that mysterious, as I tried to explain in this post yesterday, but there is one other thing to keep in mind: you can have a good, predictive poll sample and still get the wrong conclusion.  Talking to 1,000 likely voters in Florida with a D+1 split is still just talking to 1,000 out of 8.2 million voters, roughly the number of ballots cast in the 2008 presidential election in that state.  There is a ton of math and statistical analysis that can estimate how well a poll can predict an outcome, but it’s a snapshot in time, and it can still come up with an outlier even with the most predictive sample.  That’s why it pays to watch all of the polls, even the ones with questionable samples, and keep an eye on intraseries trending at least as much as a single outcome. (RCP is a great resource for that purpose — as well as a great site overall.)

Just to reaffirm what AP wrote, we’re going to err on the side of more coverage rather than less.  That means not all of the news will be rosy, but you won’t get blindsided by the ups and downs that way, either.  One final thought to leave you with: we probably have a 42/42 split of die-hard partisans, with the middle 18% still open to be convinced.  Wait until after the first debate for numbers to actually start firming up.


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Ladies and gentlemen: choose your category!

thatsafactjack on September 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Agrees with me, legit, Disagree with me, Bad

astonerii on September 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I’ll leave you with this, from senior Romney advisor Ed Gillespie. Quote: “We have a no-whining rule in Boston about coverage in the media.”

Then you lose.

And adopting the enemy’s terminology of whining undercuts legitimate media criticism from Romney’s side.

This guy needs to be fired.

forest on September 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

gallup

GW_SS-Delta on September 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield/2012/09/26/quinnipiac-pollster-admits-probably-unlikely-electorate-will-feat

HEWITT: Do you expect Democrats, this is a different question, do you, Peter Brown, expect Democrats to have a nine point registration advantage when the polls close on November 6th in Florida?

BROWN: Do I think…I think it is probably unlikely.

lorien1973 on September 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I’m just worried about a preference cascade, like the uncomfortably gleeful way every ratings-hungry and self-serving pundit is pouncing on Romney and his campaign right now. If crappy polling data keeps getting promulgated, the media runs with it, and each time that happens, more and more voters get peeled off.

KingGold on September 26, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Report on the legit polls, good or bad. If the weighting/partisan sampling is ridiculous, don’t bother.

echosyst on September 26, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I do agree that media narratives and polls can swing dumb voters and people like our Republican pundits (Bill Krystol et al). It sows the seeds of doubt and nobody wants to back a loser.

echosyst on September 26, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Any poll that has a weight anywhere close to 2008 is immediately discarded. For example, in Ohio, the supposedly bad polls have a Democrat weight of five points more than 2008. That is not reality. Discard any polls with national turnouts of anywhere near D+7

picklesgap on September 26, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Which polls are, or aren’t, legitimate?

Let’s make this simple. The poll on November 6, 2012 is legitimate. The rest are not.

besser tot als rot on September 26, 2012 at 6:52 PM

forest on September 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Overreact much?

KingGold on September 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Its pretty simple IMO.

Right now Obama is ahead. Every poll has him ahead, so he’s ahead. PERIOD. The gap is narrower than most polls indicate.

Nobody knows what the electorate will be in Nov. It probably won’t be the D+7 Obama had in 2008, and anything less than D+2 probably means a Romney win.

I am worried about Ohio. I have no idea why Ohio would vote for Romney other than they may not be happy with their Governor. The auto-bailout is not a sufficient reason.

Ca97 on September 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM

The fact that ABC News lead off with the bad poll numbers from CBS News tells you this is nothing but a scam job by the media.

brewcrew67 on September 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

today’s Gallup tracker, which has Obama suddenly out to a 50/44 lead among registered voters.

If you look at polls as, at least, internally relevant, this is disturbing.

I think it’s obvious that Romney is behind. Not so far behind as to make it unwinnable; but it’s getting close. He needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

Romney certainly isn’t acting like this is the case, though. But then, what would that look like?

lorien1973 on September 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

If crappy polling data keeps getting promulgated, the media runs with it, and each time that happens, more and more voters get peeled off.

That’s a legit concern, but whether a blog posts or doesn’t post on it doesn’t affect that. The NYT and CNN etc etc are running with it no matter what Hot Air says. In an odd way, I think group three is flattering us by thinking our reach — or any blog’s reach — is much, much, much greater than it is. Blogs speak to a few thousand like-minded readers. You guys are all voting Romney, no matter what. What’s the harm in mentioning the Gallup tracker, then?

Allahpundit on September 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

You should post most polls (with the exception of PPP, which is worthless). However, a fair interpretation should mandate highlighting the crosstabs up front.

milcus on September 26, 2012 at 6:55 PM

the TURNOUT poll is the one that matters!

Call me NOT COMFORTED in the Romney camp efforts.

“Pay no attention to the polls”………an excuse for your candidate NOT making the sale.

PappyD61 on September 26, 2012 at 6:55 PM

As far as I’m concerned, the only “legitimate” poll will be on November 6th (though the Democrats will certainly strive to undermine that legitimacy, as they normally do).

All these other polls are just candy.

malclave on September 26, 2012 at 6:55 PM

If you look at polls as, at least, internally relevant, this is disturbing.

I think it’s obvious that Romney is behind. Not so far behind as to make it unwinnable; but it’s getting close. He needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

I agree that the Gallup poll is newsworthy, but I guarantee you that some people will grumble about it being mentioned. Even though I wrote a whole post a few days ago about the Gallup numbers being encouraging when Romney was tied.

Allahpundit on September 26, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Rasmussen is the only pollster worth anything and the only poll that should be taken seriously on this site. The others are liberal media fabrications designed to get Obama re-elected and are not legit.

nazo311 on September 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

. You guys are all voting Romney, no matter what. What’s the harm in mentioning the Gallup tracker, then?

Allahpundit on September 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

That’s it. In a nutshell.

thatsafactjack on September 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

You can ignore specific numbers from polls you feel are slanted, but when there are clear trends (gallup, even Quinnipiac), those should not be ignored.

IMO, it’s beyond hard to believe that only Rasmussen is right in seeing a tied national race.

I still wish Conservative blogs would be tougher in wondering where all the GOP/Romney money is going. Negative ads work, and Romney has been hammered for months now. It’s inevitable that they take a toll.

And as someone earlier mentioned, it looks like the “preference cascade” is happening now and benefiting Obama. Romney will need a debate TKO to shake up the race.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Give us Gallup and Rasmussen for accuracy and trends.

Give us the others for entertainment purposes only.

aunursa on September 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

I am ignoring all polls but Rasmussen. I hear so many poll reports each day that I have a hard time believing all are credible.

And Ed Gillespie had better figure out how to get around the socialist media. I don’t think he is succeeding.

Philly on September 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Ed and I oblige on that whenever we can, but I’m not sure what to do with a poll like, say, today’s Gallup tracker, which has Obama suddenly out to a 50/44 lead among registered voters. Five days ago we were high-fiving over Gallup when they had Romney tied. Is the poll suddenly less credible now than it was then?

I know what you mean, but the strict answer to the question would have to be “yes” — that poll is suddenly less credible now than it was then.

Axe on September 26, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Post them all.

Jay Cost’s analysis was good today. And so was Geraghty’s from yesterday.

We’re gaining in registration. And these polls are reflecting 2008 or worse sampling which is impossible. With that said, I still think Romney has some ground to make up… just not the high single digits these joke polls are giving us.

dforston on September 26, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Minimum give us 2010 numbers, and even those will be too skewed towards the dems…they will not vote in force anymore than 2010, and more than likely less %…

right2bright on September 26, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Can I add a #4? How about only give us polls that bother to do it properly?

Sure, a +19 poll is fun to laugh at, but why should oversamplers and polls that don’t give breakdowns be rewarded with getting their names out there like they actually have something useful to say?

In some ways by posting every “bad” (sloppily run) poll the blogs do the work that is intended – to misinform or discourage.

If this site wants to post all the polls (and since you asked for opinions in your first sentence), then I’d recommend that breakdowns be included and be explicit if there isn’t one offered.

kim roy on September 26, 2012 at 6:57 PM

I think we should go all sciency and stuff.

Just choose 3 of the pollsters who got it right in the last election( close to). Not 3 that got it right in the last final days, but 3 who were more consistent than the others.

Should be easy enough to see which ones had the most credibility considering they are past the elections( 2008, 2010) and they had been polling for months prior…

Just my 2 pence.

Alinsky on September 26, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Give it all to me but let me see the internals… That being said It doesn’t look as good as I would like right now..

sandee on September 26, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Allahpundit on September 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not in the crowd that says that we should keep a lid on bad news. I am most definitely in the crowd that says that now that the battle lines are drawn, people ought to pick a side, be loyal to that side, and stick their “concerns” in a drawer unless there’s some critical failure going on. Which is why I have equally as little patience for Gingrich and Erickson right now as I do for Scarborough, Brooks, and Noonan. If they think they can run a better campaign, they should go out and run one.

The media’s current kick appears to be exploiting the cracks in the vast rightwing conspiracy by pitting Nervous Nellie righties against Romney. And it’s troubling, to say the least. Believe it or not, these lazy media people do report if the righty blogosphere is awash in negativity.

KingGold on September 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I’m just worried about a preference cascade, like the uncomfortably gleeful way every ratings-hungry and self-serving pundit is pouncing on Romney and his campaign right now. If crappy polling data keeps getting promulgated, the media runs with it, and each time that happens, more and more voters get peeled off.

KingGold on September 26, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Agreed, it depresses volunteers, donors and voters for Romney and does the opposite for Obama. Most people want to vote for the winner so they can celebrate the day after the election and if they assume Obama is a sure thing, they’ll move in that direction. If, in the end, Romney wins, then it serves as a foundation to pull a post 2000 Florida rant that the Republican isn’t the legitimate winner because the result was so far off the polls that he must have cheated to win.

jnelchef on September 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Why do people who analyze these polls believe what the polling group says about the demographics of the sample?

GaltBlvnAtty on September 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

One thing I’ve learned is to ALWAYS examine the sampling. I think RCP is losing credibility by posting some the most ridiculously skewed polls that I have ever seen. I think any poll that is to be believed must pass the ‘smell test’ before it is included in a general average.

People are not stupid. Obama and his media just think they are. They will do ANYTHING to save their “creation”.

On November 6th, when people must choose between the “lesser of two evils”, I am certain that they will weigh out freedom vs. communism and vote Obama out.

Key West Reader on September 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I agree that the Gallup poll is newsworthy, but I guarantee you that some people will grumble about it being mentioned. Even though I wrote a whole post a few days ago about the Gallup numbers being encouraging when Romney was tied.

Allahpundit on September 26, 2012 at 6:55 PM

That site, unskewedpolls.com bugs me the most.

They “unskew” the polls to Ras’s voter ID or whatever and every poll is turned into a Romney win. Either every poll is -that- wrong or Ras’s voter ID number is totally hosed and Romney is in very bad shape.

Occam’s Razor suggests the latter.

lorien1973 on September 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I’m not so much worried about good news or bad news. I want an accurate picture. I want to see a polling sample that is likely to materialize on election day. Polls are not only oversampling Democrats, they are undersampling Independents in many cases and are basically useless. I want to see polls that aren’t useless.

I would say to give us polls with the proper caveats. If a poll is wildly skewed, say so. Personally it seems that places like unskewedpolls.com are going too far in the opposite direction. They show Romney+7.8 today. I believe it is somewhere closer to 5.

The purpose of the polling seems to me to be to give the media something to write about to try to suppress Romney fundraising. No need to donate, Romney’s hopelessly behind, you’re just wasting your money … blah blah blah. Or it is designed to get the Romney campaign to spend money in places where it doesn’t need to. Either way I believe it is designed to have a financial impact on the campaign. OFA has probably already been warned “don’t take these numbers seriously” and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these pollsters aren’t providing the Obama campaign with “real” data properly weighted.

Here’s a question I would like the answer to: What percentage of registered Democrat voters requested absentee ballots this year in states that have not changed their absentee voting since 2008 compared to the percentage in 2008? That might give some indication of Democrat enthusiasm. I am not talking about absentee ballots actually returned, just requested. If a smaller percentage of Democrats requested absentee ballots in 2012, we might expect the same turnout delta at the polls.

crosspatch on September 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Put me in group one, with an added request to please unmercifully mock these ridiculous D+7 and up polls. The left can’t bear ridicule, and these polls are so pathetically deserving of it.

Laura Curtis on September 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

99 percent of you would walk barefoot through a snowstorm to get to your polling place to vote for Romney even if I was following you in an Eeyore costume, rattling chains and moaning, “Dooooon’t vooooote.” (I won’t actually do that, except maybe to Ed.)

Note to our Salem overlords: I would pay very good money for video of this.

pookysgirl on September 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Good stuff AP. I thought about and I’m on the same page as you. Your best line:

Ed and I have spent four years explaining why another four years of Hopenchange dreck would be terrible; why you’d suddenly lose your determination to vote O out now because of bad numbers from the NYT or wherever is utterly beyond me.

+100

maineconservative on September 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

As for the veracity of the polls, I give you this little gem from last June.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pchwcD4IPzs&feature=player_embedded

paulus1 on September 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I say carry on as you have been reporting. That way we have the choice to believe or not. I, personally, choose not to put too much weight on any poll, but do like to see the trends. The only one that matters, of course, is 6Nov2012.

Sasha List on September 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

you are not a dirty dirty eeyore Allah

you’re alright in my book

cmsinaz on September 26, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Give us everything, with an analysis of the voter model.

obladioblada on September 26, 2012 at 7:02 PM

paulus1 on September 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Walker was ahead in polling. His victory was just a matter of how large.

lorien1973 on September 26, 2012 at 7:02 PM

If Obama should lose in November will there be ritual suicides at MSNBC?

paulus1 on September 26, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Anything over D+4 is bogus.

RedRedRice on September 26, 2012 at 7:02 PM

1. The “give us everything” crowd. These are the people who want the good and the bad. They’ll decide for themselves whether a poll is credible or not, but they want the data so that they can make a judgment.

Count me in here.

As I’ve commented in other threads today, I am highly skeptical of this meme that’s being pushed that every single pollster, everywhere, is engaged in a massive conspiracy to cover up the fact that Romney is ahead by 5-10 points. If he actually wins by that much, I’ll admit that I’m wrong, but I find it highly unlikely he’s going to. There are too many polls showing major collapses in local races as well, especially in the Senate with trouble brewing in FL and WI.

Frankly, this head in the sand stuff helps no one and I’m tired of watching people (including our hosts) be called traitors and secret democrats for having the temerity to post bad news.

Furthermore, if we buy in to the conspiracy theory that every pollster everywhere is engaged in this massive coverup, then we aren’t pressuring the Romney campaign to make the necessary changes in their strategy to win. Head in the sand is a Democrat game, we should live in reality instead of retreating to fantasyland.

Doomberg on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

What Obama and his allies are doing now: “The Democrats want to convince [these anti-Obama voters] falsely that Romney will lose to discourage them from voting. So they lobby the pollsters to weight their surveys to emulate the 2008 Democrat-heavy models. They are lobbying them now to affect early voting.

Right.

It’s the early voting states they’re trying to influence, although there is an inconsistency to an undecided voter voting…early.

Wethal on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Any poll with Obama with less than 50% is a good poll. No worries.

faraway on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

i get a little eeyorish myself on these skewed polls, there are ALOT of gullible people who will take these polls to heart which scares the crapola out of me

cmsinaz on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Polls are like a-holes. Everyone’s got one.

The real poll will be Election Day.

Popcorn and ice-cold Yueng lings.

…..and the Snoopey Dance.

1921 C DRUM on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

If you were ahead by 9 or 10 points in Ohio then why in the hell would you be spending valuable time and money there.

logman1 on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

I want to hear from commenters on this, as I think all bloggers are dealing with some variation of this problem right now

Depends on what you think turnout will be. Supposedly, likely voter screens are supposed to handle this problem by posing questions to registered voters in such a way as to determine whether or not they’re likely to vote (which is what almost all people are at this point using).

The question then is how useful you think the screening method is. Intensity is always going to be hard to measure. The one thing that the GOP has going for it is that while pollsters identify more people openly identifying as Democrats, GOP registration has been showing net gains vis-a-vis the Democrats.

Regardless, there’s been a clear movement towards Obama in the past week across swing-state polling, including in OH, NC, IA, and CO, with OH having moved sufficiently towards Obama that the RCP average now has the race as Obama 265, Romney 191, meaning that Romney would either need to win every single swing state, or that he could win everything except New Hampshire, tie with Obama in the electoral college, and then win by having the House of Representatives vote for him to be president.

The explanation for the recent movement is obvious: the 47 percent remark. This strikes me as something that the talking heads simply don’t want to face, and are talking circles around so they won’t have to confront the fact that the heartland is a populist heartland.

Stoic Patriot on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Anything more than a 4-5 percent +D sample is questionable for sure.

AP do you know if we saw some of these outlandish D+ samples 4 years ago?

CW on September 26, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Along with each poll, include the D/R/I breakdown highlighted and/or in a conspicuous place (i.e. next to the poll results) — or indicate if the pollster did not provide the breakdown.

aunursa on September 26, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I am waiting to see the monthly registration numbers that rasmussen will have next week. Also, Florida only lost last time by 240k and repubs have closed the registration gap by that amount.

brut4ce on September 26, 2012 at 7:04 PM

mitt needs to listen to steve hayes

GO FOR THE JUGULAR MITT

it doesn’t matter what the focus groups and lsm will say…

cmsinaz on September 26, 2012 at 7:04 PM

* gaining in Rep. registrations
* dominating in enthusiasm measurements
* leading in cash on hand
* Nov 2010 and Gov Walker results still most recent indicators
* Obamacare polls are a disaster
* Foreign policy WAS going to be Blightbringer’s debate strength
* $4 gas/UE-8%
//////////////////////////////////////////////

Still sticking with unskewedpolls.com assessment, Romney by 7%

hillsoftx on September 26, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I’m in group #2. Isn’t that what Hot Gas is already doing? Posting the occasional bad poll, but qualifying it with an analysis of the sample? I know Ed does that regularly.

Look, we need to chill the F out about all of these polls. We’ve got less than 6 weeks til Election Day. The only way Obama wins is to demoralize the GOP base while ramping up his own voters. There’s not much we can do about the latter. If he does somehow get 2008-level turnout amongst Dems, he’ll win(although it’ll be closer). But I’m very skeptical about his ability to do that given how he can’t seem to get any of his fellow Dems over the finish line in other races since 2009.

On the other hand, we CAN control whether or not we and our friends and relatives vote. Just make sure between now and November 6, you get to the polls and bring along as many people as possible(who you know beforehand will vote for Romney, of course). I still firmly believe it all comes down to turnout. If we show up in 2010-level numbers, Romney and the GOP will do very well this November.

Doughboy on September 26, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I trust Rasmussen. Pew was pretty close in their final poll but were way off in all polls up to the last poll in favor of Obama. Rasmussen was accurate. Gallup had Obama +13 points which was 6 points high in their final poll:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/107674/Gallup-Daily-Election-2008.aspx

So I trust Gallup for trending but not for margins. Gallup is probably polling Obama 5 points higher than reality right now.

crosspatch on September 26, 2012 at 7:04 PM

If it doesn’t mitigate it, what are we to make of the fact that conservative warriors like Newt Gingrich, Erick Erickson, and Michael Walsh all seem to think that Romney’s campaign is underperforming and that the polls are a reflection of that?

I’d simply like to add that it takes a lot of brass for the candidate who made his bones in the GOP primary railing against pervasive and omnipresent media bias to discount that as the primary reason Obama is maintaining his small lead.

KingGold on September 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Stoic Patriot on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Wishcasting.

CW on September 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Blogs speak to a few thousand like-minded readers. You guys are all voting Romney, no matter what. What’s the harm in mentioning the Gallup tracker, then?

Allahpundit on September 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Au contraire my dear eeyore. I send many people here who have not yet made up their minds who to vote for.

That said, far be it from me to deign to tell you what and what not to post.

Flora Duh on September 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

“Agreed, it depresses volunteers, donors and voters for Romney and does the opposite for Obama. Most people want to vote for the winner so they can celebrate the day after the election and if they assume Obama is a sure thing, they’ll move in that direction.”

That’s 100% correct, and is happening here in WI. The WI GOP “victory centers” are having trouble getting enough people to volunteer, which is the complete opposite of what happened with the Walker recall, when the campaign was inundated with people that wanted to help in any way they could.

And this is happening because Romney/Ryan/Thompson aren’t visible on TV at all. The whole election has “Bob Dole” written all over it, when people had given up before the first debate.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I am highly skeptical of this meme that’s being pushed that every single pollster, everywhere, is engaged in a massive conspiracy to cover up the fact that Romney is ahead by 5-10 points.

Doomberg on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Really? This is the same media that said Romney had a bad week, after we had a terror attack on 9-11… and it was preplanned… and then covered up

What else do you need?

faraway on September 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

For swing state polls, it’s helpful if you include the state’s 2008 D/R/I Election Day turnout to compare with the current poll’s D/R/I.

aunursa on September 26, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I’m category 1. Give the polls to me, and I’ll decide. I like to analyze them. Jay Cost covered the issues with polling in his article today.

DrStock on September 26, 2012 at 7:06 PM

No whine rule. I like the sound of that. Any takers?

jazzmo on September 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

“… I think group three is flattering us by thinking our reach — or any blog’s reach — is much, much, much greater than it is.”

Allahpundit on September 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Now that’s just crazy talk…!

… Where did you want me to stand again?

Seven Percent Solution on September 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

I feel like I have commented plenty on this subject, but lets try this one more time.
1. The media will create legitimate fabrications to empower their allies.
2. Bad news polls are fine but even here we are 40 days out and although every day feels like a death match, it really isn’t.(By the way this is why we see the relentless msm attacks on Romney such as today’s Ryan nonsense)
3. Any poll similar to 2008 is goat manure.
4. Any poll where Romney is winning swing state independents but losing is also goat manure.
5. Calm down about everything,
6. The race will be tight at the end but I would take Romney at 51 and change to Obama 48 and change.
7. We are clearly favored to easily hold the house.
8. We can win, just vote. 9,
9. Thanks god I haven’t seen any of that “Gulp” nonsense, I find it tedious and really does demoralize or at least annoy some people.

rob verdi on September 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

f we lose this election the GOP needs to go the way of the Whig Party and we need to start over and kick all the old crows and heads out

Conservative4ev on September 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Note to our Salem overlords: I would pay very good money for video of this.

pookysgirl on September 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Yes, and amen.

Laura Curtis on September 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

category 1! group 2 and 3 will only exacerbate the ridiculous echo chamber of hot air and make it unbearable to readers that still get news for other news sources.

nathor on September 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I dont mind Hot-Air discussing polls, because I dont believe them anyway. No matter if the news is good or bad for my side. Its just bogus junk-science.

“We have a no-whining rule in Boston about coverage in the media.”

This is somewhat stupid. That progressives control the MSM has only one upside for Republicans and conservatives: that it can be used as a means to portray Republicans as the honest underdogs in a rigged game and to portray the Democrat-media complex as corrupt and unethical. But you have to make the effort to actually use it.

Ignoring that these people will do everything to bring you down, while protecting your opponent is nothing but unileteral disarmament. Looks like much of the McCain spirit survives in the Romney campaign.

Valkyriepundit on September 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

You want to know how well the dirty polling is going? look at the comment totals on this very site- you can sense the negativity! It’s natural to want to see your candidate even or ahead in the race, and it’s very discouraging to see even, “friendly FOX” siting these ridiculous polls. AS THOUGH THEY WERE GOD”S WORD! I am more than annoyed that all three of the “pundits” on Special Report saying that Romney needs to stop wasting his time in Ohio. Excuse me? Perhaps their own internal polling as well as the various Superpac polling begs to differ.

It isn’t the polling that is making me nuts, it’s Romney not ripping Obama a new one EVERY time he’s in front of a microphone. Obama is garbage- he’s a self admitted liar, and Romney won’t go all “Newt Gingrich in the primary debates on him”. I hope that if Ohio seriously does go Obama, that not a single conservative ever buys a car made in that mistake by the lake state, again.

BettyRuth on September 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Why should we believe in polls that are done by the legacy media outlets when a large majority of Americans don’t trust the legacy media outlets themselves..?

d1carter on September 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Libtard propagandist, right on que.

wargamer6 on September 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

FOX just showed poll results with 92% voting Romney would win Ohio.

scalleywag on September 26, 2012 at 7:09 PM

The thing I am most curious about is something that pops up in these comments every time the Hot Air writers post something about polls. More than a few commenters claim that the polls themselves are being deliberately manipulated to produce a false/misleading result.

I’m not talking about the complaints over sample weighting. I’m talking about the outright accusations that 1) the polls are phony, 2) the people doing the polls know that they’re phony and 3) that the pollsters are deliberately promulgating data to produce results that they know to be false, in order to somehow influence how voters will cast their ballots on Election Day.

What I’d like to know is: where’s the evidence?

Has there ever been any poll-taker or analyst at any polling organization –whether it’s an avowedly-partisan or a straight-ahead nonpartisan company– that has come forward to support this charge with any proof? Surely, if that was the case, the mainstream media as well as fringy blogs like this one would be all over it.

As it stands, the claims of conspiratorial falsification seem unsupported. I can understand hating a poll result that’s not to your liking, or having complaints about methodology, but when you’re accusing an organization of outright fraud, you should have at least a shred of proof of that. Does anybody have some?

Drew Lowell on September 26, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Also, it’s good strategy to cast doubt on the polls, even if they’re accurate. If the argument is that over weighting is a propaganda tactic, then it’s to Romney’s benefit to play the perceptions game.

RedRedRice on September 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Doug Schoen says that polling more of an art than science…I agree. I don’t pay very much attention to polling in this highly politically charged environment…

d1carter on September 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

So you are volunteering. Thanks.

CW on September 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

The results of any survey do not mean much without knowing the survey methodology used. Who is in the target population? How large is the sample and how is it selected? How closely does the sampling frame match the target population? How are the results weighted? The percentage of error normally reported is just the statistical sampling error. There are eight other complete categories of survey errors that are rarely reported. Survey meteorologist have been wondering why political surveys are so inaccurate for years.

bob4096 on September 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Allah,
I chose to be in group one, though sometimes I can be in group three, but I can also choose group two, though as I have stated I mainly choose group one… does this help clarify what you are looking for :)

uncommon sense on September 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM

That site, unskewedpolls.com bugs me the most.

They “unskew” the polls to Ras’s voter ID or whatever and every poll is turned into a Romney win. Either every poll is -that- wrong or Ras’s voter ID number is totally hosed and Romney is in very bad shape.

Occam’s Razor suggests the latter.

lorien1973 on September 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

What? No it doesn’t.

And Romney is winning. Nothing’s changed since the beginning. An incumbent is consistently polling less than 50% with any sample that even tries to mirror the party affiliations reasonably expected on election day.

The election is close; the incumbent has no mandate; anyone still undecided is someone unable to commit to the incumbent, even this late, and they will vote for the challenger as always.

Romney wins.

Jesus/Tebow 2012

Axe on September 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Scott Rasmussen is the only one with the cajones to put his name behind his work. The rest of the pollsters hide behind their corporate names and play with their samples until it’s Election Day (when they have to actually do their jobs in order to keep their professional credibility intact). See Research 2000 for an example.

blammm on September 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM

The WI GOP “victory centers” are having trouble getting enough people to volunteer, which is the complete opposite of what happened with the Walker recall, when the campaign was inundated with people that wanted to help in any way they could.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

So WI is in play? Wow, that’s amazing. That certainly wasn’t the case 4 years ago when Obama won the state by a 13.9 percent margin.

Kataklysmic on September 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Drew Lowell on September 26, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Hmmm really don’t see that in this thread but thanks for playing.

CW on September 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Really? This is the same media that said Romney had a bad week, after we had a terror attack on 9-11… and it was preplanned… and then covered up

What else do you need?

faraway on September 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Absolutely no way to square the two, and as I said previously, even the pundits on our side are bypassing the media slant and boo-hooing the polls.

BettyRuth on September 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Don’t forget that the MSM and their precious One have drummed it into America’s psyche that if you don’t “like” the One and if you won’t vote for the One, then you are rrrrrracist.

/whenever I am polled, I loves me some Obama. Oh, yes I do.

Key West Reader on September 26, 2012 at 7:12 PM

So, is this considered polling of the HA readers…? heh

d1carter on September 26, 2012 at 7:12 PM

I can’t help you, AP. I’m all over the place, just like the polls.

Some days I’m content and confident that Obama’s days are numbered and there’s absolutely NO WAY people would vote for him again because he’s such a lying, smug, bloodless, incompetent, narcissistic, devious, piece of crap who is trying (and nearly succeeding) to bring this country to its knees. Other days I’m nearly catatonic from the realization that Obama is going to win and it’s America whose days are numbered.

I guess give me all the polls along with a case or ten of Guinness.

IrishEi on September 26, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Really? This is the same media that said Romney had a bad week, after we had a terror attack on 9-11… and it was preplanned… and then covered up

What else do you need?

faraway on September 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Fox News is working to defeat Romney? The Wall Street Journal is working to defeat Romney? And obviously the MSM is totally corrupt – there’s reams of well-documented evidence for such – but not all these polling agencies are run by the MSM. And even Rasmussen shows Romney and Obama tied at best.

I just don’t see much evidence for this supposed pollster conspiracy. I think the Romney campaign is genuinely in trouble and needs to change course.

Doomberg on September 26, 2012 at 7:12 PM

f we lose this election the GOP needs to go the way of the Whig Party and we need to start over and kick all the old crows and heads out

Conservative4ev on September 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

And just what would that accomplish besides empowering the Democratic Party for a generation?

The GOP is steadily moving rightward in its policy stances. If that’s not fast enough, the problem is with you. As Reagan said, “a political party cannot be all things to all people.”

KingGold on September 26, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Drew Lowell on September 26, 2012 at 7:09 PM

I would like you though to please explain the thinking behind a recent poll with a D+17 sample. Now go ahead spin like a top.

CW on September 26, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Then you lose.

And adopting the enemy’s terminology of whining undercuts legitimate media criticism from Romney’s side.

This guy needs to be fired.

forest on September 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Spoken like someone who whines quite a bit…

JohnGalt23 on September 26, 2012 at 7:13 PM

What I’d like to know is: where’s the evidence?
Drew Lowell on September 26, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Kataklysmic on September 26, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Great post Allah.

I have to say that we wouldn’t be having this discussion if there wasn’t a good deal of manipulation in many of these polls, which there most definitely is.

With that and media bias, it’s to the point where the Politburo is running Pravda in this nation.

We all need to get out and vote, regardless and encourage those we know who will push the button for R-squared to do the same on election day.

Corporal Tunnel on September 26, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Allah, you’ve left out one important facet to group one (my group). We don’t just want the data to “make a judgment” about the poll. We want it so that we can go out and attempt to persuade those voters in Camps Two and Three, (and even your lonely Camp Eeyore) that all is not lost despite what the media claims. I suspect that most of your serious readers are here to arm for the fight- not just read about the battle plan. By helping us understand the good (and the bad) in polling, we can more effectively argue for our side, and be more effective in our efforts to get Romney elected.

Komsomoletz on September 26, 2012 at 7:14 PM

This isn’t really rocket science Allahpundit. Report whatever you feel is necessary. Let the chips fall where they will fall.

bgibbs1000 on September 26, 2012 at 7:15 PM

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