Pew poll: Romney erases eight-point deficit, now leads by four among likely voters

posted at 4:53 pm on October 8, 2012 by Allahpundit

From a 51/43 lead for O last month to a 49/45 lead for Mitt now. Remember when the media said the debates won’t matter?

Most exciting poll of the last year? Or most exciting poll of the last four years?

Romney now ties Obama in being regarded as a strong leader and runs virtually even with the president in willingness to work with leaders of the other party. And by a 47% to 40% margin, voters pick Romney as the candidate who has new ideas

Romney has made progress on the issues. He and Obama now run about even on dealing with health care, Medicare, foreign policy and taxes. Obama led on most of these issues by significant margins in September. Romney also holds a significant 49% to 41% advantage on improving the job situation, despite the fact that most of the interviewing was conducted after the October jobs report, which showed the unemployment rate falling below 8%…

By a 37% to 24% margin, more swing voters say Romney would improve the job situation. Swing voters favor Romney on the deficit by a two-to-one (41% vs. 20%) margin.

We’ve come a long, long way when the avatar of Hopenchange is a distant second on the question of which candidate represents “new ideas.” The polling on jobs is significant too, not only on its own terms but because some of this data was compiled over the weekend, after the news about Friday’s “good” unemployment numbers broke. In fact, among swing voters, 54 percent now say they agree with the statement “Obama doesn’t know how to turn the economy around” versus just 39 percent who disagree. If O can’t put a dent in that this month, he’s in trouble, especially since those numbers partly reflect a “good” jobs report.

Some of Mitt’s improvement here is mind-boggling. Note the amazing shift in women and voters aged 18-49, in particular:

Romney’s favorable rating is now at 50 percent, up five points since last month and one point higher than the guy who’s banking on his alleged likability gap to push him over the edge in a close race. In fact, Mitt rates higher than O even though swing voters are far more likely to say that Obama “connects well with ordinary Americans.” Evidently, Romney cut so impressive a figure at the debate that voters like him slightly more than Obama notwithstanding the fabled “who’d you rather have a beer with?” test.

The one caveat here is the sample. Among registered voters, it’s 34.7R/34D/31.3I; among likelies, it’s probably a few points more Republican than that. Romney’s pollster and Scott Rasmussen have each said they’re expecting a sample of D+3 or so on election day, so this is a rare poll that’s actually a bit redder than it should be — although even that’s a testament to Romney’s debate performance. Party ID tends to shift a bit as each side builds momentum; that’s why the samples after the Democratic convention were a little bluer than usual. What’s happening here, I think, is that some chunk of the audience that watched the debate was sufficiently impressed by Mitt that they’re now identifying as Republican this week. If Ryan does well on Thursday and Romney follows through in his last two debates, maybe that identification will solidify and we’ll get a redder turnout on November 6 than even Team Mitt is expecting. At the very least, perennial Republicans are so energized by Romney’s ass-kicking that they may show up in even greater numbers than expected. Check out the fundraising haul Mitt saw the first 48 hours after the Denver debacle. Good lord.

Update: With today’s Politico poll showing Obama up one and the race tied in both Rasmussen’s and Gallup’s trackers, O’s lead in the poll of polls is down to just half a point.


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I understand that polling a different .004% of the population six times over three months is more accurate than doing it once. That is math, at which conservatives are (still) notoriously bad.

Constantine on October 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

tom daschle was right. You did not disappoint. The statement above would earn you an “F” in any statistics/probability class in the known universe. And I’m just talking about your understanding of probability theory, not your childish attempt to sideswipe conservatives with a cheap shot.

HTL on October 8, 2012 at 10:03 PM

I have a long memory.. and I never forgive when people die from somebody being stupid, especially when I knew some of the survivors.

mark81150 on October 8, 2012 at 7:48 PM

And I knew plenty who weren’t survivors.

Why should I support anyone who contributed to their deaths?

Solaratov on October 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Constantine: I can assure you, from a mathematical standpoint, that six polls over three months are not necessarily any more accurate than a single poll in that time period.

To illustrate:

On the one hand, I have six samples drawn from a population. The population mean is 50. The mean of those six samples is 47.

I then have a different sample, drawn from the same population. The sample mean is 49.

Which is more accurate?

Scott H on October 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

You’re about as lame as our trolls get…congrats.
God this is getting pathetic.
CW on October 8, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Anybody have anything substantive to say? CW seems to be tapped out.

Constantine on October 8, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Anybody have anything substantive to say? CW seems to be tapped out.

Constantine on October 8, 2012 at 10:13 PM

You’re ignoring a lot of good comments, pal.

hawkdriver on October 8, 2012 at 10:15 PM

You’re ignoring a lot of good comments, pal.
hawkdriver on October 8, 2012 at 10:15 PM

I believe the tweet I cited a few comments back put the fear o’ God into the poor lad:

“Markos Moulitsas ‏@markos
This week’s dkos/SEIU weekly poll has Romney in the lead. Bulk of calls were made Thu & Fri, after R’s post-debate bounce. Details Tuesday
10:46 AM – 8 Oct 12″

whatcat on October 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM

whatcat: Heh. Something tells me that the second sentence there is meant for mitigation.

Scott H on October 8, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Pssst apart? I think you mean a part. As you at least twice made this error I can only assume that you have not been a blogger or a user of the English language long.

CW on October 8, 2012 at 10:03 PM

like i said earlier,some of you people are no different than the smarmy smart azz posters at kos. no wonder the GOP is shrinking. sorry for my FU spelling and punctuation!!

svs22422 on October 8, 2012 at 10:26 PM

tom daschle was right. You did not disappoint. The statement above would earn you an “F” in any statistics/probability class in the known universe. And I’m just talking about your understanding of probability theory, not your childish attempt to sideswipe conservatives with a cheap shot.
HTL on October 8, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Wow, the known universe? Really? Because I said it’s less accurate to poll 2,200 people once than to poll 13,000 people over time?

Your “known” universe must be an alternate one.

Constantine on October 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Constantine on October 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Now you guys don’t like the polls?

hawkdriver on October 8, 2012 at 10:31 PM

whatcat: Heh. Something tells me that the second sentence there is meant for mitigation.
Scott H on October 8, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Yeah, but between the Kos, SIEU and TPM all agreeing with Pew that Romney is leading Obama, it’s so much fun watching Dem heads going “POP!”.
:D

whatcat on October 8, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Constantine on October 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Now you guys don’t like the polls?
hawkdriver on October 8, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Obviously the kid is one of those far-rightwing poll-deniers we’ve been hearing so much about!
;-)

whatcat on October 8, 2012 at 10:33 PM

svs22422 on October 8, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Stop with the cheap critique and contribute something of value then, if you think the conversation is too low brow.

Mitsouko on October 8, 2012 at 10:38 PM

I don’t see what everyone is so surprised about. Obama is still losing Independents, party ID, party enthusiasm, gender gap, catholics in comparison to 2008. None of that changed due to the debate. WHat changed? The pollsters realized Obama was an empty suit and began changing their models to reflect their opinion of reality. How do you get any real traction on historical polling when 60% of the population doesn’t trust the media at all and less than 10% of the people will even talk to a pollster. H*ll, Gallup is polling to see who actually believes the jobs number. Feel like you added 900,000 jobs last month? Give me a break.

And we expect any of it to matter? Romney is ahead. Watch Virginia, Florida and Ohio. That is the only danger left that is reasonable to watch out for.

I hope this is the death of political polls – they are worthless.

Zomcon JEM on October 8, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Your “known” universe must be an alternate one.

Constantine on October 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Heh. This is the guy who wants substance. Yeh right.

The irony. You have nothing Costanza.

What a joke.

Ed , AP we need a better class of troll please.

CW on October 8, 2012 at 10:59 PM

I was just wondering, you may have missed my earlier question. Whats the plan?

Bmore on October 8, 2012 at 9:06 PM

please ask again,thanks.

svs22422 on October 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Okay, What is your plan. P.S. for someone who has been here a long time you sure are slow at communicating on these threads. Oh and one other thing. You really should learn how to format your stuff better. Capitalization would be a good starting point. Also when you quote someone here to respond to them, I believe the proper technique is to boxquote the persons comment you are responding to. Then may your reply, of course you may already or should I say should already know these things about HA having been here so long. At any rate I am just trying to be helpful and not in anyway criticizing you. So just to make doubly, triply , quadruply sure you have seen my question as it appears you are having some kind of difficulty seeing it, here you go.

What is your plan, svs22422?

Bmore on October 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM

CW on October 8, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Normally I would agree with you on that CW. I am kinda smitten with this new girl. She seems awfully sweet. ; ) A bit naive, but hey, that ain’t always a bad thing.

Bmore on October 8, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Normally I would agree with you on that CW. I am kinda smitten with this new girl. She seems awfully sweet. ; ) A bit naive, but hey, that ain’t always a bad thing.

Bmore on October 8, 2012

Seems kind of odd she comes here wanting substance yet exhibiting one herself. BTW I don’t believe she wants to actually discuss anything really. She just chooses posts that she can use to avoid doing just that.

CW on October 8, 2012 at 11:12 PM

CW on October 8, 2012 at 11:12 PM

I think that’s about right. Has lorien met up with her yet? ; )

Bmore on October 8, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Anybody have anything substantive to say? CW seems to be tapped out.

Constantine on October 8, 2012 at 10:13 PM

You have no credibility here. I’ve taken you on dozens of time, but you skip away, tra-la-la.

John the Libertarian on October 8, 2012 at 11:31 PM

You have no credibility here. I’ve taken you on dozens of time, but you skip away, tra-la-la.
John the Libertarian on October 8, 2012 at 11:31 PM

The kid took a merciless beating tonight, he’s down for the count.

whatcat on October 8, 2012 at 11:45 PM

no wonder the GOP is shrinking. sorry for my FU spelling and punctuation!!

svs22422 on October 8, 2012 at 10:26 PM

…wow!….you actually call your peni$…”the GOP”!…that’s giving it an unusual name!

KOOLAID2 on October 9, 2012 at 12:00 AM

midgeorgian on October 8, 2012 at 8:04 PM

…dumb fluke #30

KOOLAID2 on October 9, 2012 at 12:03 AM

f sheep!!

svs22422 on October 8, 2012 at 8:22 PM

…wow!…all I asked you was if you had just awaken from a deep sh!t…and now you’re into bestiality?…wow!

KOOLAID2 on October 9, 2012 at 12:09 AM

Wow, the known universe? Really? Because I said it’s less accurate to poll 2,200 people once than to poll 13,000 people over time?

Constantine on October 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Yes, exactly. The fact that you don’t know why you’re wrong is just a testament to your level of ignorance on the subject. At a 95% confidence level, the difference in the size of the confidence interval between a sample of 2,200 and 13,000 is minimal, and one’s ability to infer anything about the population sampled is completely obscured by the effects of the changes in the set of independent variables over time.

For example, if you took a poll in 1900 that showed T.R. up over William Jennings Bryan 56/44, and another in 2012 that showed Romney up 60/40 over Obumbles, you cannot say that in 1956 the mean results were Romney 30, T.R. 28, Bryan 22, Obumbles 20, and that your confidence interval is narrower for that combined result than for either survey independently.

HTL on October 9, 2012 at 12:14 AM

What is your plan, svs22422?

Bmore on October 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Well seeing as to how I was very polite to you and you never bothered to answer. I’ll take that as what it makes you appear to be. See you again. Next time I may forgo my usual politeness ass hole.

Bmore on October 9, 2012 at 1:54 AM

I’m worried about Biden’s oratory. What if Prebus is right? What if Slow Joe has been faking it? Actually, if Ryan dosen’t demolish him then I might not vote. I won’t be able to trust my instincts. I so strongly believe that biden’s credo is fake it until you make it. And he made it and is still faking it. I can’t believe that Ryan can be beat by Slow Joe. Joe will go after Medicare right out of the gate but Ryan should be ready. He needs to be cautious because Slow Joe is pretty old. He’s been in politics well into the last century. That means he knows something about surviving.

I drink if Joe mentions Trains, Diner, Biker, 7/11 and anything clean and articulate.

BoxHead1 on October 9, 2012 at 3:53 AM

or HomeDepot.

BoxHead1 on October 9, 2012 at 3:59 AM

I said back in August that this election seemed to have similar characteristics to the 1980 Reagan / Carter race.

In 1980, I clearly recall that Carter was ahead in the polls, and then as now, the MSM was cheerleading Carter (some things never change). But as I lived my life, the polls didn’t seem to reflect the opinions of the hundreds of people from all walks of life with whom I was dealing at the time. A significant majority couldn’t wait to see Carter voted out.

Sure enough, in the final two weeks or so before the election, there was a significant swing to Reagan and he won big.

I have the same feeling this time around. The polls don’t seem to match the true sentiment of the people around me, and I live in a dark blue district where Republicans are elected about as often as I win the lottery. Sure, there are a lot of Obama signs and stickers, but Romney signs have been springing up in yards like mushrooms growing overnight. And there are empty chairs in many yards now. Romney bumper stickers far out number Obama around the city. I haven’t seen that before.

The volunteers of 2008 with Obama signs lining the sides of the roads have not returned. This is a completely different environment than 2008 or 2010.

Here’s my take. I believe that so many people threw caution to the wind and sold their souls to support Obama in 2008, that there is a real reluctance to admit that they were scammed by a con artist. We saw some of the buyers remorse in 2010. Although it was a mid-term Congressional election, Obama’s policies were very much the issue then and Obama hasn’t pivoted as Clinton did to bring back disaffected voters.

I think this is why the polls grudingly keep Obama in the hunt or in a slight lead.

But before the sacred alter of the polling booth, I believe a large number of voters are going to confess their sins of 2008 and vote for Romney.

A lot can change in the next three and a half weeks, but I think this is shaping up as a rerun of the 1980 scenario.

BMF on October 9, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Skewed polling skepticism:
That was then…

chumpThreads on October 9, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Yes, but that’s not the deficit I want him to fix!

Browncoatone on October 9, 2012 at 10:32 AM

“I said back in August that this election seemed to have similar characteristics to the 1980 Reagan / Carter race.

In 1980, I clearly recall that Carter was ahead in the polls, and then as now, the MSM was cheerleading Carter (some things never change).”

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

gumbyandpokey on October 9, 2012 at 10:50 AM

What is your plan, svs22422?

Bmore on October 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Well seeing as to how I was very polite to you and you never bothered to answer. I’ll take that as what it makes you appear to be. See you again. Next time I may forgo my usual politeness ass hole.

Bmore on October 9, 2012 at 1:54 AM

Hey, Bmore, you know I love ya, but you might be just a bit unfair here. I dunno about you or svs, but between 11:03 PM and 1:54 AM, I usually go to bed. ;-)

Mary in LA on October 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM

HTL on October 9, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Wow! I’ve only ever taken one statistics class in my entire life, but I learned enough to be pretty darn sure that you just blew Constantine completely out of the water.

Mary in LA on October 9, 2012 at 3:24 PM

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