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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Even Karl Rove said today the polls are not making any sense. He said there are all kinds of people who voted for Obama in 2008 who are now not going to vote for him. But there is nobody who said they voted for McCain in 2008 who now want to vote for Obama.

It’s beyond me. Everything in my gut is telling me these polls are wrong. It make absolutely no sense. If Obama gets re-elected, then it no longer makes a bit of difference what a President does. The worse freaking President in history and he’s going to breeze through re-elction? I have spoken to black people who are voted Obama in 08 and swear they aren’t voting for him again! All you have to do is look out the freaking window and see the nation is melting.

Now here is a website that has un-skewed polls. Heck.. I don’t know if they’re any good or not. But they’ve all got Romney ahead. For whatever they’re worth.

All I know too is that everything is corrupted today. Everything from the weather channel to the mainstream media so why in the world is it so hard to believe that polls are corrupted too. Especially after the DOJ harasses Gallup for putting out a poll with Romney ahead.

One thing polls can do though.. ones that show Obama ahead.. it can give Obama pretext to accuse the GOP of fraud and attack the election results. We have a Marxist as President folks. He is capable of anything.

Here is the link to the unskewed polls. There is also some info. on polling. http://www.unskewedpolls.com/

JellyToast on September 26, 2012 at 9:48 PM

And that’s why November 7 is NOT the end, but the beginning of some real work in either cleaning up the GOP of beginning a viable conservative party.

kim roy on September 26, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Heh. These brave, brave souls who will support Romney wholeheartedly and then talk about shanging the GOP or forming some alternative. LOL Gotta love it. All it would take is a few more blasts of “do you want the commies to win????? Why do you want to destroy the only alternative we have or will ever have to averting a win by Cuomo or Hillary??????” and the brave souls will be right back in GOPe-soldier mode. I heard the same crap in the wake of 2008: “No more voting for squishes!!!! This is IT!!!! The media will not dictate who our nominee will be AGAIN!!!!!!!” And here we are. Again.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Today’s batch:

Propaganda Revisited: We Wuz Robbed! The Way We Should’ve Fought World War II! – Part III

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/09/propaganda-revisited-we-wuz-robbed-way_26.html

Resist We Much on September 26, 2012 at 9:50 PM

OT – Don’t know if anyone has mentioned it but Greta has Ann Romney on tonight.

ccrosby on September 26, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Thanks for the reminder!

bluefox on September 26, 2012 at 9:50 PM

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvEOdIaw0fPNdHVOZnFENDdDYVFTRi1UMlgxQ0F4OVE#gid=0

Has this spreadsheet been updating???

Someone posted this last night, it looks good for Romney so far…

MGardner on September 26, 2012 at 9:47 PM

How do you read it?

Conservative4ev on September 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Camp 1, show it all. AND SHOW the D/R/I split, don’t make us go look it up.

JustTruth101 on September 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

It’s beyond me. Everything in my gut is telling me these polls are wrong. It make absolutely no sense.

JellyToast on September 26, 2012 at 9:48 PM

It makes perfect sense. Many of us “troll ‘nista socon truecon O-bot socialist commie” have been saying it for years. It’s simple: you have to provide people with a stark, distinctive choice. You can’t constantly run for the mushy middle.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Veteran from the old days of Usenet political newsgroups, where we had the same arguments in the late 1990′s, checking in here.

One has to consider the source of the “poll”. When George Gallup started the Gallup Poll in the 1930s, he did so based on an unbiased polling model that would not favor any Party.

But since 1988 Gallup has not been owned by anyone named Gallup. If you do a web search, the wiki entry for “The Gallup Organization” states:

The Gallup family sold the firm to Selection Research, a research firm headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1988.

Curiously, Selection Research has no wiki page of its own.

For the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Gallup was rated 17th out of 23 polling organizations in terms of the precision of its pre-election polls relative to the final results.

Del Dolemonte on September 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM

A primer from iowahawk:

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2008/10/balls-and-urns.html

lymond on September 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM

That’s what he would do if he truly wanted to win. IMO, he’s more concerned about losing gracefully.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 7:58 PM

No, no. I think he really wants to win. That’s what Romney would do if he weren’t a moderate and afraid of alienating moderate voters. I told you this was going to happen. And we still get the Romney supporters with their “the Death Star is now ready to go fully operational!!!!!” crap.

Here’s the essential problem: when you come right down to it, Romney’s biggest problem with Obama is this: Obama is president and Romney is not.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 9:56 PM

If Mitt Romney had internals showing him leading in OH, VA or FL, they would be leaked to someone

daveyandgoliath on September 26, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Who would they be leaked to, Davey?

F-

Del Dolemonte on September 26, 2012 at 9:57 PM

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvEOdIaw0fPNdHVOZnFENDdDYVFTRi1UMlgxQ0F4OVE#gid=0

Has this spreadsheet been updating???

Someone posted this last night, it looks good for Romney so far…

MGardner on September 26, 2012 at 9:47 PM

How do you read it?

Conservative4ev on September 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

It show how many democrats vs republicans have requested absentee ballots in Ohio 2008 vs 2012…

As you can see there has been a big swing toward Republicans…

MGardner on September 26, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Funny how the liberals are sooooo concerned about disenfranchising voters that they fight against showing an ID. But then it’s okay with them to actually encourage pollsters to lie to the American public while the MSM carries water for Obama all day long – hoping to disenfranchise voters.

katablog.com on September 26, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Has this spreadsheet been updating???

Someone posted this last night, it looks good for Romney so far…

MGardner on September 26, 2012 at 9:47 PM

How do you read it?

Conservative4ev on September 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

It appears that he updated it today. Read the original post if you would as it had a little more info on it.

bluefox on September 26, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Give me an example of me going truly, sincerely “hyper-spastic” over a poll. I don’t mean shtick, where I’m doing the “dude, I’m nervous” eeyore routine. I mean a genuine example of me saying, “No fooling, guys, I think we’re finished” or something like that.

Allahpundit on September 26, 2012 at 7:28 PM

You are very pessimistic and for the author who ranks second on this forum in term of postings you are not helping at all.

However I can help you here to make more scientific and realistic posting about the polls.

I have this “Poll adjustment Calculator” that you can download from the link below. You can use it to adjust the Party ID breakdown to reflect a more realistic party ID breakdown on Elections Day and get the more realistic poll results. You can use it to adjust any state or national poll. It is a simple Excel Program…

http://www.fileconvoy.com/dfl.php?id=g0f9a1c6111e9b12e14951111d0a0649192bfc3

The first section is to enter the results from a media poll, including % of democrats, % of Republicans, % of Independents, enter % Obama, % Romney, % Undecided, % Others for each of these groups ( i.e. demorats, Republicans, Independents)…

The second section is to t adjust the % democrats, % Republicans, % of Independents to match a more realistic elections turnout for each group. The worst case scenario would be democrats + 3% over Republicans but the most probable scenario is % republicans = % democrats on elections day. Make sure that when you do the adjustments for each of these group that they add to 100%.

The third section is the assignment of the % of undecided to each Romney and Obama. So you need to enter the % of undecided for Romney and those for Obama. Historically the undecided go 2:1 for the challenger…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Romney’s biggest problem with Obama is this: Obama is president and Romney is not.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 9:56 PM

No, Romney’s biggest problem is that you’re having a hissy fit, and so are going to vote for someone who will only get 0.5% of the popular vote nationwide, and has about as much chance winning the Presidency this year as Andy Williams.

Del Dolemonte on September 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

You are very pessimistic and for the author who ranks second on this forum in term of postings you are not helping at all.

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Not “helping”? What do you mean, that the writers here are supposed to be propaganda artists?

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

It makes perfect sense. Many of us “troll ‘nista socon truecon O-bot socialist commie” have been saying it for years. It’s simple: you have to provide people with a stark, distinctive choice. You can’t constantly run for the mushy middle.

ddrintn

Yes, bogus polls with bogus 9-10 point democrat skews wouldn’t exist if only the people were being given a stark, distinctive choice, lol.

xblade on September 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM

No, Romney’s biggest problem is that you’re having a hissy fit, and so are going to vote for someone who will only get 0.5% of the popular vote nationwide, and has about as much chance winning the Presidency this year as Andy Williams.

Del Dolemonte on September 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Which is saying pretty much the same thing. Romney is sucking wind because a lot of people apparently feel the way I do. And I’ve never said how I’m going to vote.

F-

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Yes, bogus polls with bogus 9-10 point democrat skews wouldn’t exist if only the people were being given a stark, distinctive choice, lol.

xblade on September 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM

No, you wouldn’t have to be looking for a cheap self-validation buzz from polls if we had a stark choice, lol.

And really now. Those polls showing Romney to be a juggernaut two years ago, what happened???

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:07 PM

“If Mitt Romney had internals showing him leading in OH, VA or FL, they would be leaked to someone

daveyandgoliath on September 26, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Who would they be leaked to, Davey?”

Well, Reid leaked…not even leaked, really just gave…to a respected newspaper reporter in Vegas. The Romney camp could pick any conservative they wanted; maybe someone from NRO? The fact is they would not let these horrible polls stand if their internals showed them winning. They know these results depress the base, lower the donations and scares off volunteers. IMO, the Romney internals are bad, but not as bad as the MSM polls.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina said last week that he doesn’t look at national polls, the swing state polls are what’s important.

Then bam…we get three swing state polls with heavily skewed samples favoring Obama. This has to be coordinated and organized.

Some of us can recognize this…others still believe an assassinated American ambassador on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 was just a spontaneous mob reacting to a you tube video.

monalisa on September 26, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Meh. I’m just inclined to believe that polls reflect opinion at best. Sure there’s polls on certain issues you can almost take to the bank, but the last few cycles make me more skeptical than ever about what I hear from ‘trusted sources’ in the media.

I’m not an undecided voter, and wherever I see the possibility or need to bolster someone to vote their heart despite seemingly overwhelming odds, I will. It’s easy to feel despair, but the only real antidote to that is action, and the most effective action we can all take is to vote.

It’s that simple. Don’t overthink it or allow yourself, your friends, or your family to feel that their vote doesn’t matter-unless of course they’re democrats in which case agree with them that yeah, Obama’s got it in the bag and they can make other plans for Nov 7!

CitizenEgg on September 26, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Those three schools broadly represent the spectrum of opinion on whether a partisan news site should be more newsy or more partisan.

Is blogging a partisan poll result newsy, or is it just spreading the other side’s partisan poll result?

jaime on September 26, 2012 at 10:11 PM

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:07 PM

OK, I’m semi-new to this site, but who did you want to be the nominee?

ccrosby on September 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Asking for an opinion on polls? OK here goes. This is being posted at the end so no one will likely read it any way.

A wise man once said that

“Statistics is THE answer in search of the proper question”. “Polles are THE Statistical answer to a properly provided question”.

Without providing the raw data to be openly examined by peer review, all polls should be approached as suspect.

jpcpt03 on September 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Then bam…we get three swing state polls with heavily skewed samples favoring Obama. This has to be coordinated and organized.

monalisa on September 26, 2012 at 10:10 PM

So you would prefer a poll in Ohio with an R +5 sample? Come on. The fact is, Romney at this moment in all reality is probably trailing in Ohio and Florida, and certainly in Pennsylvania.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:13 PM

OK, I’m semi-new to this site, but who did you want to be the nominee?

ccrosby on September 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Anybody but Romney or Huntsman would’ve been in the catbird seat by now. And their faith has nothing to do with it.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM

I get the feeling they are so eager to tell themselves they’re non-racists who think the “correct” way that they will do anything, including destroy the country, to get that pat on the head.

I’m worried that Ohio and Michigan and Minnesota are full of those types of people. They can vote for big union socialism and tell themselves that they’re morally superior while doing it.

Django on September 26, 2012 at 8:12 PM

The sad part is that younger generations (possibly their own kids and grand kids) will pay the price for their stupidity…as you said, they are older and I guess they can still afford their own political inanity, but their grand kids will have very few choices, and none of them good….this type of long term blindness or opacity kills me…

jimver on September 26, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I’m wondering what to do about someone I know on FB who is posting those “We survived Bush. You will survive Obama’s” photos, with various “facts” after them, e.g. “solar power in the U.S. has been demonized as a Left Wing conspiracy. Uh, huh. Right. She is a high school acquaintance of mine, and has had serious congenital medical problems her entire life. She apparently is so enamored now with the fact that she is covered for those preexisting conditions that she is apparently not thinking ahead to the fact that when the Death Panels kick in, she’s going to be on that short list precisely because of them.

PatriotGal2257 on September 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Lies, damned lies, and statistics/polls.

Russ86 on September 26, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Can either Ed or Allah, in a post or article, discuss campaign internal polling? I’d like to know what the two campaigns are seeing in polling that voters and pundits are not seeing. How is campaign internal polling different from MSM sourced polling?

Cavalry on September 26, 2012 at 8:20 PM

.
The “internal polling” done by the campaigns bears as much resemblance to the polls being discussed here as a Formula One race car does to the original Ford Model T.

The campaigns are constantly sampling social media data, satellite/cable viewing trends (if you are on Time Warner Cable and you switch channels when one of their campaign commercials comes on, they can get a report on the number of times that happens – or doesn’t), internet data regarding trending web sites and which articles are being read/forwarded/shared, targeted focus groups, random draw focus groups, etc., etc., etc. …

As you may have guessed already, this costs an enormous amount of money.

Any publicly published poll is as valuable as the amount of data the pollster shares.

Rasmussen does the most data sharing AND provides the most rigorous development and reporting of supporting data to screen the raw data he receives.

A campaign’s “internal polling” is right at the top of its confidential information list. It shows the campaign where to spend money, how to spend money and when to spend money.

Noitce the Obama campaign is not spending ANY MONEY telling anyone what he is going to be doing in his second term if elected. They know (and have known since last May) that they cannot win a single vote by being positive. ALL they have left is to go ALL negative, ALL the time nd hope to suppress turnout for Romney.

Any time a campaign claims they are sharing their “internal polling” – the odds are 99-1 they are lying. It would be the equivalent of a NFL team giving an opposing team a copy of their playbook.

PolAgnostic on September 26, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Not “helping”? What do you mean, that the writers here are supposed to be propaganda artists?

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

What I mean is that when they post a poll it is better to make a good analysis about it and my “Poll adjustment Calculator” that I posted the link to download above would help a lot in making a very skewed poll much more accurate when realistic party ID breakdown is applied to it. Go ahead download it and try it… It is more scientific than 95% of the polls that you are seeing…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Seriously, what is the point of these poll threads…other than to argue about the veracity of the polls???

I’ll make a guess here and say 90% of the people that post here already know for a fact who they’re voting for….

Which in turn leads us to ‘What is the point of daily/weekly polls?’

I’ll make a guess here and say 70% of the people in this country know for a fact who they’re going to vote for.

Which in turn leads us back to ‘What is the point of daily/weekly polls?’

Well, we apparently have a certain percentage of people ‘that can vote’ that are simply going to vote for which ever guy that’s polling the best when the time comes…”I don’t care what the guy stands for, I want to be on the winning side”.

I don’t know if this is true..

but I can’t come up for a better reason for these much ballyhooed weekly/daily/hourly polls…

Which brings us back to a point I made waaay upthread…What’s to prevent these polling companies from skewing their numbers??? What’s to prevent them from making them up out of whole cloth???

There’s no law against it. The only way to hold them to account is election results.

But at this point in time, why wouldn’t they be trying to steer ‘undecided voters’ in the direction of the people paying the bills?

The campaigns do their own polling…and again, I’d hazard a guess that their polling methods are just a tad more accurate than these dog$hit public polls…but that’s just me…

BigWyo on September 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM

They know (and have known since last May) that they cannot win a single vote by being positive. ALL they have left is to go ALL negative, ALL the time nd hope to suppress turnout for Romney.

PolAgnostic on September 26, 2012 at 10:17 PM

In other words, Romney’s tactics in the primaries.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Anybody but Romney or Huntsman would’ve been in the catbird seat by now. And their faith has nothing to do with it.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Did Reagan have it in the bag in September or even October? Absolutely not… He did not have it in the bag, according to the polls, until Elections Day….

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Did Reagan have it in the bag in September or even October? Absolutely not… He did not have it in the bag, according to the polls, until Elections Day….

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Reagan had it more “in the bag” than Bush Sr would have by September or October.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/09/rove-romney-is-winning-independents-media-has-him-down-9-points-video/

Well this makes me feel better

Conservative4ev on September 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM

It is excellent that some big campaign experts (like Rove) on our side are pushing against these insanely biased polls including the Romney campaign pollsters and advisors..
Folks, make no doubt about it, this is Obama and his media final strategy to demoralize us by unleashing these very biased poll and make the narrative that the campaign is over and Obama has already won… Of course we have to push hard against these lies, we have too…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:24 PM

“So you would prefer a poll in Ohio with an R +5 sample? Come on. The fact is, Romney at this moment in all reality is probably trailing in Ohio and Florida, and certainly in Pennsylvania.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:13 PM”

People like to talk about what their “gut” tells them. Well, here’s what my gut tells me. Is there the level of enthusiasm for Obama that there was in 08? Not even friggin’ close. Back then, you couldn’t go near the lakefront without being approached by someone wanting you to register to vote and Obama signs were plastered on streetlights. None of that this year. And going to a UW Badger football game meant seeing student after student after student with an Obama button on. This year so far I’ve seen one. Lawn signs were all over, many in swing districts. This year, barely any.

All that said, there aren’t many Romney signs in WI, either. The defining factor in this election is the over-the-airwaves slaughter that’s going on. Watching Survivor on CBS…Obama ads come on. Watching Ghosthunters on Syfy…Obama ads come on. Romney ads…as usual, none to be found.

So my gut analysis is that if Romney had good attack ads that aired at a parity with Obama’s, this would be a dead heat where anyone could win. But when you have ceded TV to your opponent, as Romney has done, you are committing political suicide. People may not be enthused about Obama, but when all you see on TV is how Godawful Mitt Romney is, he looks good in comparison.

Last I saw, Obama was outspending Romney by a 90-10 margin on cable television. That is just flat-out unacceptable.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Reagan had it more “in the bag” than Bush Sr would have by September or October.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM

In September and October 1980 there was no way that Reagan had it in the bag according to the polls back then, not even close…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM

“Any time a campaign claims they are sharing their “internal polling” – the odds are 99-1 they are lying. It would be the equivalent of a NFL team giving an opposing team a copy of their playbook.”

If all you get are generalities (as with Preibus saying Romney “was within a field goal”), then it’s spinning crap. But Reid leaked detailed internals to Ralston that went county by county and why he was winning and by how much. Ralston said he was convinced due to the level of specificity.

Would Team Romney let the day-to-day poll pounding in the press stand if his internals showed something completely different? C’mon, guys, this stuff is common sense. He’s losing. End of story.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:32 PM

That’s what he would do if he truly wanted to win. IMO, he’s more concerned about losing gracefully.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 7:58 PM

In that case, you might need a lesson.

itsspideyman on September 26, 2012 at 10:35 PM

“Reagan had it more “in the bag” than Bush Sr would have by September or October.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM

In September and October 1980 there was no way that Reagan had it in the bag according to the polls back then, not even close…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM”

Reagan may not have had it in the bag, but he was ahead and in MUCH better shape than Romney. I will continue to post this whenever someone tries to say Reagan was not leading in Sept/Oct 1980…

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/debunking-a-myth-reagan-was-leading-carter-long-before-that-final-october-debate/

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned before, it likely has, but the obvious major problem with the samples being so heavily favoring Democrats is that if Romney wins, we’ll be treated to large, loud cries of the election being stolen because it will be hard to believe Romney could win when they saw polls indicating Obama was up by a few percentages. This won’t be fun either way.

Chad_ on September 26, 2012 at 10:35 PM

pokedinmygummy has apparently got his dose of Pedialite…

BigWyo on September 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Kipling talked about the Bandar-Log, the monkees that walked in the trees and longed to be part of the animals that roamed the forest. They spent a great deal of time desperately attempting to be noticed by the other animals, and would throw coconauts at them. Victory for them would be when a animal on pursuit would turn and look at them.

In honor of our Clay brain friends, I bring you

The Road Song of the Bandar-Log

Here we go in a flung festoon,
Half-way up to the jealous moon!
Don’t you envy our pranceful bands?
Don’t you wish you had extra hands?
Wouldn’t you like if your tails were–so–
Curved in the shape of a Cupid’s bow?
Now you’re angry, but–never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!

Here we sit in a branchy row,
Thinking of beautiful things we know;
Dreaming of deeds that we mean to do,
All complete, in a minute or two–
Something noble and wise and good,
Done by merely wishing we could.
We’ve forgotten, but–never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!

All the talk we ever have heard
Uttered by bat or beast or bird–
Hide or fin or scale or feather–
Jabber it quickly and all together!
Excellent! Wonderful! Once again!

Now we are talking just like men!
Let’s pretend we are … never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!
This is the way of the Monkey-kind.

Then join our leaping lines that scumfish through the pines,
That rocket by where, light and high, the wild grape swings.
By the rubbish in our wake, and the noble noise we make,
Be sure, be sure, we’re going to do some splendid things!

itsspideyman on September 26, 2012 at 10:39 PM

The pols get accurate 1-2 weeks before the election. That’s when everyone tightens their model because those final predictions are what the polling orgs are judged on. Until then I’ll take +-3-5% as being non determinative.

Either way, the Prophet of Allah, Allahpundit (let none dishonour his name), is right. These polls matter to the die hards. The fence sitters aren’t OCD on poll #s.

BoxHead1 on September 26, 2012 at 10:44 PM

polls

BoxHead1 on September 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Bush was up by 7 this time in 2004 RCP and ended up winning by 2…

You will see these polls tighten as the late undecided votes naturally favor the challenger…

The RCP average will be under 2 within 3 weeks…

MGardner on September 26, 2012 at 10:46 PM

How about leading the headline with R/D/I sampling even before anything else? MoE matters too. Even my high school psych AP teacher told us to ignore anything with an MoE above 3.0%. Even 3.1%. There’s just too much variation in those.

321mdl on September 26, 2012 at 10:46 PM

PatriotGal2257 on September 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Nice to see you again:-) Well, since your friend has had medical
issues and is happy for the pre-existing coverage, it would be hard to throw cold water. Even tho you and I know what Obamacare is all about. Explaining to her would perhaps make her feel bad and it really wouldn’t change anything, tho, would it? Obamacare unless it’s repealed will be there for all of us. I’d just pray for her and maybe give her a couple of things that Romney would be able to change for the better.

I know it’s a difficult situation, but you are pretty good at coming up with the right thing to do. Wishing you the best with your friend.

bluefox on September 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina said last week that he doesn’t look at national polls, the swing state polls are what’s important.

Then bam…we get three swing state polls with heavily skewed samples favoring Obama. This has to be coordinated and organized.

Some of us can recognize this…others still believe an assassinated American ambassador on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 was just a spontaneous mob reacting to a you tube video.

monalisa on September 26, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Good point, no one believes NYT polls today, not even Democrats, they are part the propaganda machine…

MGardner on September 26, 2012 at 10:49 PM

“Bush was up by 7 this time in 2004 RCP and ended up winning by 2…”

And Bush would have won by a bigger margin if he hadn’t tanked in the first debate. I doubt Obama will do that badly.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:49 PM

“How about leading the headline with R/D/I sampling even before anything else? MoE matters too. Even my high school psych AP teacher told us to ignore anything with an MoE above 3.0%. Even 3.1%. There’s just too much variation in those.”

That would be true if the polls were split between those that showed Obama ahead and those that showed Romney with the lead. The problem is that every poll but Ras shows Obama winning, so the MOE doesn’t really matter.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:50 PM

In September and October 1980 there was no way that Reagan had it in the bag according to the polls back then, not even close…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Reagan had a huge convention bounce (20 point lead in July), a narrower lead from April onwards, a consistent 5 point lead in Sept/Oct, and Carter was below 45% since May 1980. Romney isn’t Reagan. Obama’s a worse president than Carter, but Romney had no convention bounce, excites no one, Obama’s never polled below 45%, and Romney’s only lead was in Oct 2011.

But, if only those meanie TrueCons would cheer more for Romney he’d be the same as Reagan, amirite?

sauldalinsky on September 26, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Other than Media fodder, polls up to this point are meaningless. Even Rasmussen won’t be including “leaners” in his polls until October 1st. I think it won’t be until then that things begin to become clear.

GT on September 26, 2012 at 10:51 PM

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/09/rove-romney-is-winning-independents-media-has-him-down-9-points-video/

Well this makes me feel better

Conservative4ev on September 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Oh yeah nobody can dispute landslide Rove.

bgibbs1000 on September 26, 2012 at 10:51 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. 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

..rob, permission to cut this out and put it on the fridge?

I am of the school that Allah and Ed can publish whatever they damn well please. I find Ed’s analysis of polls to be nonpareil. I would only add that GumbeyAndPokeMe has made some valid points here tonight but the goddam scatterplot link DOES NOT REFLECT THE MILIEU OF THE 1980 ELECTION. (It’s getting old anyway.) In 1980, we only had the suffocating coverage of the alphabet and dead-tree media. Most of us had no clue Reagan was leading or trailing. Most of us just wanted to vote that incompetent man out of office.

In a way, we are in the same situation except with a surfeit of data.

I will not let this stuff get me down; I am not discouraged; I will bank and contribute; I will vote for Romney:

http://www.mittromney.com/call-home-landing

The War Planner on September 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM

BigWyo on September 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Would really love one of you pole boys to address this.

BigWyo on September 26, 2012 at 10:53 PM

In reference to the Carter/Reagan polling in 1980…..

http://themonkeycage.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/trialheats1980.png

GT on September 26, 2012 at 10:54 PM

And Bush would have won by a bigger margin if he hadn’t tanked in the first debate. I doubt Obama will do that badly.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:49 PM

The debate could be important. It’s a chance to get O on record blaming all the worlds problems on that evil 12 minute trailer that blasphemed his prophet Muhamed.

BoxHead1 on September 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM

And Bush would have won by a bigger margin if he hadn’t tanked in the first debate. I doubt Obama will, do that badly.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:49 PM

We will see…

I think Romney will win the debates as he went through a primary and Obama did not…

You can practice all you want but their nothing like the real thing…

But just loooking at the raw data, historically about 4 points have gone toward the challenger from the incumbents convention to election day…

MGardner on September 26, 2012 at 10:58 PM

It’s beyond me. Everything in my gut is telling me these polls are wrong. It make absolutely no sense.

JellyToast on September 26, 2012 at 9:48 PM

I agree! I live on the OH/MI border and I can count on one hand how many Obama signs/bumper stickers I see. Toledo, OH is a big Democrat/union city tied to the auto industry. Unless people are still voting for Obama but aren’t enthused enough to broadcast it? We can only hope they stay home on election day!

wolverinefan on September 26, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Then there is this from Gallup back in 1980 which put Carter ahead of Reagan until the last few weeks….

http://sas-origin.onstreammedia.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/t-dkcxx_tu6z010eqv-sdw.gif

GT on September 26, 2012 at 10:59 PM

And Bush would have won by a bigger margin if he hadn’t tanked in the first debate. I doubt Obama will do that badly.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Hah, Obama without his teleprompter will crash and burn. The left wing spin on Bush they dummy aside, at least he didn’t get into Harvard on affirmative action and had better grades than John Kerry. Obama is dumber than dirt.

sauldalinsky on September 26, 2012 at 10:59 PM

What I mean is that when they post a poll it is better to make a good analysis about it and my “Poll adjustment Calculator” that I posted the link to download above would help a lot in making a very skewed poll much more accurate when realistic party ID breakdown is applied to it. Go ahead download it and try it… It is more scientific than 95% of the polls that you are seeing…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:17 PM

You ever taken her out for a spin before springing on us in a crucial time like this? Can you prove where its worked before?

Robb on September 26, 2012 at 11:00 PM

I went to the Romney rally today. Mitt was enthusiastic and the crowd was on fire! I was glad to see many young people.

wolverinefan on September 26, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Anybody but Romney or Huntsman would’ve been in the catbird seat by now. And their faith has nothing to do with it.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM

That didn’t really answer my question. Were you leaning towards, Newt, Santorum, Perry, Cain, Paul?

Just trying to get a feel of where you are coming from. It’s easy to criticize, but standing for something takes a spine, and not just a mouth. No offense intended.

ccrosby on September 26, 2012 at 11:03 PM

You ever taken her out for a spin before springing on us in a crucial time like this? Can you prove where its worked before?

Robb on September 26, 2012 at 11:00 PM

No need to spin it… Just apply a “REALISTIC” party ID breakdown that will be closer to the party ID breakdown on elections day rather than assuming this insane over sampling of democrats or under sampling of Republicans and independents as the media polls are doing….

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM

“Hah, Obama without his teleprompter will crash and burn. The left wing spin on Bush they dummy aside, at least he didn’t get into Harvard on affirmative action and had better grades than John Kerry. Obama is dumber than dirt.

sauldalinsky on September 26, 2012 at 10:59 PM”

On the day of the debate, Bush had been out surveying hurricane (iirc) damage and came out that night tired and unprepared and got his clock cleaned. That debate re-set the race and it was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way, with Bush holding a one or two point lead in most polls.

Romney needs a “game change” debate to get the race close again.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Romney needs a “game change” debate to get the race close again.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Doesnt matter, msm will call him mean if he’s aggressive, timid if he’s nice, and unqualified if he says something goofy.

Robb on September 26, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Wow… don’t sugar-coat it, tell us how you really feel. You could at least show some gratitude to 2 terrific people who bust their butts to make HA what it is… personally, I expected you to get the ban-hammer for this, but I guess they are more magnanimous than I would be in their shoes.

The question(unanswered by you) was not asked to give you carte blanche to spew your self-righteous declaration of their intelligence nor their work ethic, which, on both counts, you are utterly mistaken. Answer the question.

OT – Did I just feed a troll?

TASS71 on September 26, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Shut your hole, you slobbering sycopant clown.

/LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!1!!

rayra on September 26, 2012 at 11:13 PM

In other words, Romney’s tactics in the primaries.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Behold casual readers, the uninformed troll.

The troll adds no insight, no intellect …

… only their cry of pain at outcomes other than the one they wanted.

Once upon a time, I had a fellow who had made a pile of money during the dot.com craze telling me he wanted to run for the U.S. Senate.

I told him he was not suited for it by personal disposition.

He started to take umbrage – even as I continued by observing,

“I have seen you around your family. Your kids are young and you are too protective of them to be able to subject them to the level of harassment a national campaign would subject them to on a daily basis. Politics is a contact sport. The families are not off limits despite whatever illusions you have in that regard. Stay out of politics, at least until your kids are grown. You and they will have much happier lives.”

Politics IS a contact sport. Anyone who gets their emotions in front of their intellect will be happier if they stay far away.

I have noted a lot of people doubting Romney’s campaign approach.

It is so easy … so tempting … and so letting your emotions get out in front of your intellect.

There are so many things NOT be remarked upon which indicate how much trouble Obama is in … but I’ll just mention one.

Rasmussen has been tracking party identification. Take note of the Republican vs Democrat split and compare it to historical trends.

Then consider all the nonsense posted on this and other sites by the trolls touting the skewed polls – which are completely ignoring this one trend which would have any Republican professional guardedly optimisitic …

… and any Democratic professional pi$$ing their pants.

PolAgnostic on September 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Hotgas had epic pollercoaster threads from the primary…So I wouldn’t expect that to change.

*shrug*

workingclass artist on September 26, 2012 at 11:22 PM

As for me I’m voting for Romney & if he can stop the bleeding,initiate a repeal of Obamacare,give the all clear to Gone Galt businesses so they can grow and invest again and have a coherent foreign policy that will be a nice start.

workingclass artist on September 26, 2012 at 11:27 PM

The polls are meaningless. Take it to the bank, Obama is going to lose. The youth and black vote are not going to be anywhere near the levels of 2008. The only reason the Dems won in 2008 is because these two voting blocks went in and pulled the big red Democrat lever. If you ask them, they’ll tell you he is a great president, but since we have already had our first black president, their attitude is “been there, done that”.
If you don’t believe me, just look at occupy wall street. If they can get more than a dozen people at one of their rallies they are lucky. That’s the only indicator you need. Besides that, if Obama were winning as easily as these polls would have you believe, would they still be attacking Romney as much as they are doing? The Republicans will retain control of the House, have a slim chance of getting a majority in the senate, and will definitely win the White House.

bandutski on September 26, 2012 at 11:28 PM

Would Team Romney let the day-to-day poll pounding in the press stand if his internals showed something completely different? C’mon, guys, this stuff is common sense. He’s losing. End of story.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 10:32 PM

If the internals are showing Boston that Romney is ahead then the right strategic move would be to keep that to themselves and let the journ-o-lists and the general public believe that he is losing so they don’t have any need to get out and vote or donate to support Obama.

AP – In response to your questions, please keep doing the analysis of all significant polls, good or bad. These are very useful to keep up to date with what is actually going on (as distinct to what the press is reporting). For example, why did Gallup jump to O+6 in one day, in what is a seven day tracking poll, after O+3 the day before and tied four days ago?

Upstreamer on September 26, 2012 at 11:40 PM

I think all the polls are garbage. Over 131 million people voted in 2008. Now think, how many have come and gone in 4 years? People have been turning 18 since then. People have died or left leaving no forwarding address. People have lost jobs and houses and who knows what else. So unless you can document or read the minds of 131 million people, plus the millions more who didn’t vote, how can you know what’s out there?

Is it possible that all the so-called experts with their crystal balls can admit that maybe things are different than what they’re all so damned convinced they are? It’s all a matter of interpretation anyway–their interpretations, their conclusions. Sorry, but what the blank do they know? I don’t see anything out there in cold hard reality carved in stone that proves anything.

Imagine if they figured presidential polls the way they do TV ratings (and I wouldn’t vouch for there being a difference). Here’s how Tues night’s ratings at ZAP2IT are interpreted: NBC’s The Voice wins the night over CBS’s NCIS based on a 4.2 to 4.1 “rating” of viewers in the 18-49 age group. However in real numbers, 20.48 million people watched NCIS compared to 11.57 million viewers for the The Voice. So if you were talking about viewers as voters, we know The Voice wasn’t even close (64%-36%). And I also think that NCIS viewers are a lot more likely to vote, and vote conservative, than viewers of The Voice.

I get it that the “rating” of the 18-49 age group determines the rates for commercial time during the shows but it doesn’t give an accurate picture of who’s really watching what. And if Obama hangs around another 4 years, how relevant is that age group going to be to advertisers if fewer and fewer have jobs and therefore no money to spend?

stukinIL4now on September 27, 2012 at 12:32 AM

I think that’s the wrong adjective, if we’re talking about election polls. The polls that are predictive are the ones taken in the last 14 days before an election.

Those are the polls that will be remembered, the ones that build a pollster’s reputation with campaigns, PACs, institutes, and so forth.

We’ll see what the polling organizations do this year. Some of them, at least, will try to put out accurately predictive polls.

J.E. Dyer on September 27, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Even tho this isn’t what you are asking for, thot you may find it helpful.

bluefox on September 26, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Yes, it was helpful.

Democrat absentee ballot requests in OH down by 131,000. “Other” requests down 73,000. Republican requests down only 15,000 from 2008.

Part of this may be due to fewer military overseas.

crosspatch on September 27, 2012 at 1:06 AM

I think the problem isn’t one that is in all cases intentional. Now, this 10 point Obama lead in key states is a joke and almost has to be intentional manipulation, but most are not.

The problem is the sample and the response rate, the percentage of people contacted who agree to be surveyed. In the mid-80s, when there were only a handful of polling firms, the response rate was in the 75%+ range. Recently Pew Research reported that the rate had declined to 39% in 1997 and is currently an abysmal 9%.

Now, it is still statistically possible to get a true random sample with such a low rate, but only if the refusal rate is spread relatively evenly through the population. But I suspect it is not, and Tea Party and conservatives who mistrust media and polls are disproportionately represented among the refuseniks.

This would account for the drastically Democratic skew: no one has seriously contended that the nation, which is unsatisfied with Obama’s performance on the debt, deficit, economy, jobs, and believes the nation is headed in the wrong direction by an almost 2-1 margin, is going to be MORE Democratic than in the wave election of 2008, or that Democratic enthusiasm among the core groups which contributed to Obama’s 2008 margin (but are now disparately affected by his poor economic performance) – blacks, young people, and single women – will equal that of the “hope & change” campaign.

Many of these polls show Romney leading among independents, but are so weighted by Democrats that Obama still leads. If that is what they are finding honestly in their samples, it means our side just isn’t playing the game anymore.

Adjoran on September 27, 2012 at 1:42 AM

The New York kingmakers realized they couldnot capture the 1944 Republican nominationcither with Willkie or with the same type of last-minute blitz they had used in 1940. This timethey went into action earlier. They discoveredand developed a new political weapon: the GallupPoll. Dr. George Gallup began asking a lot of questions of a very few people, and — funny thing — he usually came up with answers thatpleased the New York kingmakers.

The Gallup Poll has been used repeatedly asa subtle propaganda machine to sell the Repub-licans on the false propositions that the GOP cannot win unless it (1) continues the New Dealforeign policy and (2) names candidates who will appeal to left-leaning Democrats and liberals.

- From Chapter Six, “The Pollsters and the Hoaxers”, of Phyllis Schlafly’s 1964 book: A Choice Not an Echo – The Inside Story of How American Presidents Are Chosen

Polls have been used as an instrument of propaganda since before many of us were born.

ITguy on September 27, 2012 at 1:56 AM

Sorry, preview wasn’t working, so I submitted it and now I see that the copy-paste didn’t work perfectly. Let’s try that again…

The New York kingmakers realized they could not capture the 1944 Republican nomination either with Willkie or with the same type of last-minute blitz they had used in 1940. This time they went into action earlier. They discovered and developed a new political weapon: the Gallup Poll. Dr. George Gallup began asking a lot of questions of a very few people, and — funny thing — he usually came up with answers that pleased the New York kingmakers.

The Gallup Poll has been used repeatedly as a subtle propaganda machine to sell the Republicans on the false propositions that the GOP cannot win unless it (1) continues the New Deal foreign policy and (2) names candidates who will appeal to left-leaning Democrats and liberals.

- From Chapter Six, “The Pollsters and the Hoaxers”, of Phyllis Schlafly’s 1964 book: A Choice Not an Echo – The Inside Story of How American Presidents Are Chosen

Polls have been used as an instrument of propaganda since before many of us were born.

ITguy on September 27, 2012 at 2:01 AM

I’d like the partisan sample in every headline in national polls, and state polls I’d like poll result and partisan sample + 2010/08/06/04 turnout for that state in the lead sentence. And a cheeseburger, please, for which I will gladly repay you on Tuesday.

motionview on September 27, 2012 at 2:18 AM

*snip*

The problem is the sample and the response rate, the percentage of people contacted who agree to be surveyed. In the mid-80s, when there were only a handful of polling firms, the response rate was in the 75%+ range. Recently Pew Research reported that the rate had declined to 39% in 1997 and is currently an abysmal 9%.

Now, it is still statistically possible to get a true random sample with such a low rate, but only if the refusal rate is spread relatively evenly through the population. But I suspect it is not, and Tea Party and conservatives who mistrust media and polls are disproportionately represented among the refuseniks.

*snip*

Many of these polls show Romney leading among independents, but are so weighted by Democrats that Obama still leads. If that is what they are finding honestly in their samples, it means our side just isn’t playing the game anymore.
Adjoran on September 27, 2012 at 1:42 AM

.
Excellent post and you have made what I think are the key comments regarding the polls this year.

I have been pondering this 9% and the only difference I would note from your statements is I believe it to be impossible to achieve a meaningful result with a 9% participation rate.

You can screen and select this small of a percentage to generate estimated percentages BUT the margin of error you would have to allow for (given the difficulty of identifying actual Republican/conservative/Tea Party participants) would be in the neighborhood of +/- 25.0 % (the decimal point and zero just added for clarity) which makes the whole exercise worthless to anyone.

My take is polling, as it has been done for 70+ years now, is broken by the 9% level and may never return as a useful tool unless it is done on a much more inclusive basis and would cost a least an order of magnitude more.

I hope you stop back by and read my comments at some point.

PolAgnostic on September 27, 2012 at 2:31 AM

Allah “Do HA readers want to be treated like political adults?”

Most respondents “Noooooooo…give us more Erika Johnsen”

callingallcomets on September 27, 2012 at 5:00 AM

I am from the first school of political polling information. Give it to me straight and honest, with some good, fair analysis.

As for those people who allow polls to determine their voting strategy: please go find another country to destroy with your apathy.

MississippiMom on September 27, 2012 at 8:59 AM

In other words, Romney’s tactics in the primaries.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Behold casual readers, the uninformed troll.

The troll adds no insight, no intellect …

… only their cry of pain at outcomes other than the one they wanted.

Once upon a time, I had a fellow who had made a pile of money during the dot.com craze telling me he wanted to run for the U.S. Senate.

I told him he was not suited for it by personal disposition.

He started to take umbrage – even as I continued by observing,

“I have seen you around your family. Your kids are young and you are too protective of them to be able to subject them to the level of harassment a national campaign would subject them to on a daily basis. Politics is a contact sport. The families are not off limits despite whatever illusions you have in that regard. Stay out of politics, at least until your kids are grown. You and they will have much happier lives.”

Politics IS a contact sport. Anyone who gets their emotions in front of their intellect will be happier if they stay far away.

I have noted a lot of people doubting Romney’s campaign approach.

It is so easy … so tempting … and so letting your emotions get out in front of your intellect.

There are so many things NOT be remarked upon which indicate how much trouble Obama is in … but I’ll just mention one.

Rasmussen has been tracking party identification. Take note of the Republican vs Democrat split and compare it to historical trends.

Then consider all the nonsense posted on this and other sites by the trolls touting the skewed polls – which are completely ignoring this one trend which would have any Republican professional guardedly optimisitic …

… and any Democratic professional pi$$ing their pants.

PolAgnostic on September 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Behoild, casual reader, the blathering ‘bot gasbag. When they can’t refute what you say, they just mumble “troll” and then sometimers cover up their failure with a lot of verbiage. Sometimes they’ll just call you some other naughty name and slither away.

ddrintn on September 27, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Reagan had it more “in the bag” than Bush Sr would have by September or October.

ddrintn on September 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM

In September and October 1980 there was no way that Reagan had it in the bag according to the polls back then, not even close…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM

We don’t know. I suspect he did. The thing is, people knew who Reagan was and what he stood for. There really wasn’t much doubt or fill-in-the-blank, and Reagan most certainly wasn’t considered a moderate, Dem Lite alternative to an incompetent lib president. Reagan represented a wholesale course change.

ddrintn on September 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM

I am part of Camp #2; but, rather the a total debunking, I prefer an indication toward the appropriate grains of salt.

My larger concern is that the apparent dissonance between these trumped-up polls and the results of the election will be rationale upon which the riots in the aftermath will be based.

Droopy on September 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM

In September and October 1980 there was no way that Reagan had it in the bag according to the polls back then, not even close…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Reagan had a huge convention bounce (20 point lead in July), a narrower lead from April onwards, a consistent 5 point lead in Sept/Oct, and Carter was below 45% since May 1980. Romney isn’t Reagan. Obama’s a worse president than Carter, but Romney had no convention bounce, excites no one, Obama’s never polled below 45%, and Romney’s only lead was in Oct 2011.

But, if only those meanie TrueCons would cheer more for Romney he’d be the same as Reagan, amirite?

sauldalinsky on September 26, 2012 at 10:50 PM

LOL. Ouch.

ddrintn on September 27, 2012 at 9:15 AM

I’m in Camp 2. The rigged polls are part of the story of this election.

But, yes, double down on debunking them.

WannabeAnglican on September 27, 2012 at 9:15 AM

A recent poll posted in our lib paper in MT showed R ahead 51 to 42. It was done by Lee Newspapers/Mason Dixon. Hope this helps a little.

Kissmygrits on September 27, 2012 at 9:23 AM

“Bush was up by 7 this time in 2004 RCP and ended up winning by 2…”

Exactly. Incumbents tend on average to drop significantly in the polls between the end of their convention to Election Day, so the fact that Obama and Romney are essentially tied right now is very bad news for Obama.

eyedoc on September 27, 2012 at 9:36 AM

I think the polls are accurate, but only to a point. There is probably some Dem oversampling, but the reality is, Obama is leading right now.

In the end, this may help Romney. Soon, he will have to go for broke. Go big or go home. He’s going to have to come out fighting and destroy Obama the same way he did Santorum, Gingrich, and Perry in the primaries. I don’t understand the weak ads he’s been running – well, from what I’ve seen of them online. I don’t live in a contested state, so I don’t see presidential ads on TV.

On its face, the Romney campaign looks inept, but their performance in the primaries suggests otherwise. My guess is the Romney campaign is counting on a last minute death star blitz to obliterate Obama, in the final weeks of voting when it will hopefully be too late for the president to fight back. If the Romney campaign can overcome voter fatigue, this may work.

My sense is still that Romney wins in November.

The Bringer on September 27, 2012 at 9:36 AM

The debates mean nothing – Sabato has gone over and indicates they move very little at all due to debate performance and dissipate quickly thereafter.

Mitt will outperform Obama in the debates but I doubt by enough to matter – Obama always hurts himself when he goes non-scripted.

What we don’t know, and can’t know is how Romney feels about his position in the swing states – if he is waiting to spend more on TV until later or just going for the ground game which is a Rove favorite ploy.

The only thing I will say about all this polling – and this is for Gumby in particular – the disconects in the polling internals with the final results make no sense. We can complain about splits all we want – but ther are a number of things we know over months of polling. Independents are in Romney’s camp, including in the swing states. Voter enthusiasm is in the GOP favor. ObamaCare is still terribly unpopular, even amongst independents. Obama has a narrower favorable gender gap than 2008, theyouth vote gap is also narrower. The black vote is depressed compared to 2008. Obama is losing catholics by anywhere from 5-10 points. Ras says 85% of the people don’t believe Obama’s Libya explanation. I could go on.

I realize individual state races can vary off these points and that is how the president is elected, not in the general vote. But when everything I just listed is generally understood to be factual, across many pollsters – how do you come up with models showing 2008 turnout or better? How do you deliberately oversample women? Ala Sherlock Holmes, when all other explanations are unsatisfactory and disproven, only that which remains must be true.

Psych Ops.

Zomcon JEM on September 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

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