Did Gallup change its sampling under pressure from the Left?

posted at 1:21 pm on October 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Jay Cost thinks so, and it appears that Gallup may have at least tacitly admitted it.  The Left has critiqued Gallup’s samples, accusing it of continually oversampling white voters and creating an artificial handicap for Barack Obama’s approval and support numbers.  David Axelrod made the loudest noise, but Jay cites a column from Mark Blumenthal at HuffPo as more influential, and it was HuffPo that first noticed the change as well:

Over the summer Mark Blumenthal of Huffington Post wrote a critique of Gallup’s daily presidential job approval poll. The point of which was that Gallup was over-sampling whites and thus understating President Obama’s position in the adult population. I responded by arguing that Blumenthal’s case was underdeveloped and less-than-met-the-eye, and that was basically where things stood.

Until, that is, this week. President Obama enjoyed a bounce in his Gallup job approval number after the Democratic National Convention, as was to be expected, but there was a twist: it did not disappear. And while Gallup on average had found Obama’s job approval around 47 percent with adults through most of 2012, for the last five weeks it has been regularly above 50 percent. Yesterday, it stood at 53 percent, a number we have not really seen since 2009.

Unusual. So, what’s going on? Alan Abramowitz of Huffington Post and The Democratic Strategist noticed that Gallup has increased its share of nonwhites from 27 percent the week of the convention to 32 percent last week, a nearly 20 percent boost. In other words, Gallup seemed to have tweaked its methodology with just weeks to go until Election Day to reflect the criticism that has come from the left.

Gallup pollster Frank Newport acknowledged the change:

As we began this election tracking program on Oct.1, our methodologists also recommended modifying and updating several procedures. We increased the proportion of cell phones in our tracking to 50%, meaning that we now complete interviews with 50% cell phones and 50% landlines each night. This marks a shift from our Gallup Daily tracking, which has previously been 40% cell phones. This means that our weights to various phone targets in the sample can be smaller, given that the actual percentage of cell phones and cell-phone-only respondents in the sample is higher. We have instituted some slight changes in our weighting procedures, including a weight for the density of the population area in which the respondent lives. Although all Gallup surveys are weighted consistently to census targets on demographic parameters, we believe that these improvements provide a more consistent match with weight targets.

The Hill also picked up on the debate:

President Obama’s job approval rating spiked this month, according to Gallup’s daily tracking survey, but the jump may be the result of a shift in the polling outlet’s survey methodology.

Since late 2011, President Obama has held steady at just under 50 percent saying they approved of the job he was doing and just under 50 percent saying they disapproved.

Earlier this month, the trend line moved in favor of the president, and on Thursday it sat at 53 percent positive and 42 negative — a greater job approval rating than Obama enjoyed after the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

However, this movement may have been provoked by a change in the pollster’s methodology, without which the president may have seen no change in job approval.

Pollsters routinely test and adjust their models.  After all, the value in polling is their ability to predict voter behavior, and that requires a model of the electorate that closely parallels the actual turnout on a future Election Day.  In order to get to the highest level of accuracy, pollsters have to keep analyzing turnout trends and adjust their survey and weighting techniques to match.

However, as Jay points out, it’s unusual for a pollster to make those adjustments just five weeks before the election itself:

What I can say is that it’s problematic to alter one’s methodological approach to polling elections just five weeks before the biggest election in a generation. In fact, I think this is a highly inopportune time to make such a change; do it in the summer of 2012 or the winter of 2013, but for goodness sake not the fall of 2012!

It is even more problematic to make the shift but not spell out in detail the political effect of it. One utility of the Gallup tracker was that it enabled comparisons across time. Those are now difficult to accomplish because we have to assume what effect these methodological shifts have had. My guess is that it has moved the needle toward Obama by maybe 3 points on job approval, but we cannot know for sure. We also have no idea the extent to which this changes the Romney-Obama head-to-head among registered or likely voters.

What Gallup should have done is similar to what the Bureau of Labor Statistics does when it adjusts the unemployment rate to account for new Census data: Give the number as it is now calculated and as it would have been calculated absent the change, so everybody can know exactly what effect the changes in assumptions have had. Newport fails even to acknowledge whether and how this methodological change helped one side over the other, let alone its extent.

I’d raise an eyebrow about the 50% cell-phone respondents as well as the shift in ethnic demographics, and perhaps even more. That would tend to oversample younger voters who are more likely to only have a cell phone, a demo that has a notoriously poor turnout ratio in elections, and probably more city-dwellers than suburban or exurban.

But let’s take a look at the ethnicity demos as compared to the last two big election cycles.  In 2008, when  Barack Obama reportedly energized and motivated legions of previously-diffident non-white voters, the exit polls showed 74% of the vote to have come from white voters.  Two years later in the 2010 midterms, white voters accounted for 77% of the vote — not that far off from each other, when considering the margin of error.  That puts the non-white participation  group somewhere between 23-26% of the vote.

Of course, Gallup can argue that this only applies to their general-population survey, which is where they derive presidential approval ratings.  However, the likely-voter calculations may still be impacted by those general population assumptions, since Gallup isn’t performing separate surveys for their numbers, but are using subsets for RV an LV results.  The latest Census Bureau data gives Gallup some support for their general-population adjustment, though.  Their 2011 population estimate for the US is 311.6 million people, of which 197.5 million are non-Hispanic whites, which makes 63.3% of the population. Still, the point of political polling — especially this close to the election — is to offer predictive results, and the disparity between previous turnout models and these changes make Gallup less valuable for that purpose, not more so.  I’d like to know specifically whether Gallup has made similar adjustments to its RV and LV methodologies — and if so, why.

It seems that Gallup’s original demographic calculation (27%) would come closer to a predictive model for electoral purposes, or perhaps even slightly optimistic for Democrats, considering the enthusiasm difference between 2008 and today.  Chuck Todd reported on this very phenomenon in NBC/Marist polling conducted before the first debate:

Let me go to an important voting group for the president, young voters. Look at this engagement level: 52% now they call themselves, voters 18 to 34, call themselves extremely interested in this election. Four years ago it was 72%. That 20 gap. The president wins young voters by huge margins. He’s winning them by some 20-plus points. But if you don’t have this kind of enthusiasm, they’re not going to show up to the polls.

And then let me give you this last one here, because this is, I think, the most important one. And that’s Hispanics. The President’s winning Hispanics by 50 points. He hit the 70% mark. However, look at this in terms of interest in the election. 59% now, it was 77%. What does that mean? President got 65%, I believe, of Hispanics four years ago.

So even though he’s going to get more Hispanics, if less of them turn out, it’s a net zero. And yet, you look at Republican enthusiasm, up, senior enthusiasm, up. It’s a huge problem. And by the way, all of this, pre-debate.

Now, it’s entirely possible that Gallup sees the reverse trend and has adjusted its demographic weighting accordingly.  If so, they will have accurate predictions of the turnout and the vote in less than four weeks.  However, this kind of enthusiasm tsunami among non-white voters has been entirely missed by every other pollster in the business, none of whom have shown that Obama will turn out non-white voters at a rate that will make them five points larger in the 2012 election than in 2008.  And until someone shows data that predicts an 18.5% increase in the ratio of non-white:white voters in 2012 over 2008 (which is what a five-point uptick would be), the impression that this late methodology shift leaves is that Gallup has its thumb on the scales, regardless of their motive for doing so.


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It has before.

Bmore on October 11, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Wobbly

aunursa on October 11, 2012 at 1:23 PM

By any means necessary.

kingsjester on October 11, 2012 at 1:23 PM

One way to make sure you don’t lose credibility is to make sure you don’t have any.

Flange on October 11, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Ah, another thread to be hijacked by you know who in 4,3,2…

jimver on October 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Thats a nice polling company you got there…

BobMbx on October 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM

jimver on October 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Hopefully, not.

kingsjester on October 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM

One way to make sure you don’t lose credibility is to make sure you don’t have any.

Flange on October 11, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Absolutely infallible logic :)… It works every time for the media…the polling business is following suit…

jimver on October 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM

GALLUP (SCP)……..(State Controlled Polling).

goodbye credibility.

PappyD61 on October 11, 2012 at 1:28 PM

HIDE THE DECLINE.

portlandon on October 11, 2012 at 1:28 PM

people, of which 197.5 million are non-Hispanic whites, which makes 63.3% of the population

Aww, we are getting extinct :)…

jimver on October 11, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Two can play that game. Romney team should approach Gallup honchos, behind the scene, and quietly explain them that the investigation *will* be continued when Romney wins the race, unless they change the methodology back. Let ‘em sweat over it.

Archivarix on October 11, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Gallup, motorcycle, shark…..some assembly required.

NapaConservative on October 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

nice what happens when you have the DOJ on your buttcheeks.

Thanks for the breakdown Ed.

CoffeeLover on October 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

You’re fired” — Big Bird

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Mitt could gain a few votes just by promising never to send a form letter to the families of fallen troops.

Speakup on October 11, 2012 at 1:37 PM

What you’re seeing now is just a sudden wave in the roiling, noisome sea of leftist pressure the Gallop Poll floats in all the time.

Knott Buyinit on October 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM

They should have a poll that polls whether or not polls should be polled, by pollsters who’ve been polled about polling pollsters before they conduct a poll about polling polls.

This shit is beginning to get ridiculous.

OhEssYouCowboys on October 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM

The Left is going all-in for Obama.

They have corrupted the media, pollsters, surrogates, a news network, and the BLS. Just for Obama’s re-election.

They know what is at stake.

Do we?

faraway on October 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM

get out there and get us a hockey stick dammit!!!

ted c on October 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM

In other words, safely ignore all Gallup polling.

blue13326 on October 11, 2012 at 1:39 PM

ya think, I’m sure Axelrod made them an offer they couldn’t refuse, *wink, wink

DebraChicago on October 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Has Ed Morrissey mastered the Drudge technique of adding a question mark at the end of an unsubstantiated claim to supposedly validate it?

Alpha_Male on October 11, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Is Gallop the one that Holder is suing?

Cindy Munford on October 11, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Employees at the venerable Gallup polling firm suggested they felt threatened by Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod when he questioned the methodology of a mid-April poll showing Mitt Romney leading the president – according to internal emails published Thursday.

That poll showed Romney leading Obama 48-43 percent.

The exchange, according to emails published by The Daily Caller, started when Axelrod sent a tweet saying the tracking poll was “saddled with some methodological problems” and directing followers to a National Journal story in which a professor suggested outdated sampling.

According to the email chain titled “Axelrod vs. Gallup,” the White House in addition asked that a Gallup staffer “come over and explain our methodology,” which was apparently perceived as a subtle threat.

A Gallup official said in an email he thought Axelrod’s pressure “sounds a little like a Godfather situation.”

“Imagine Axel[rod] with Brando’s voice: ‘I’d like you to come over and explain your methodology…You got a nice poll there … would be a shame if anything happened to it… .’”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/06/emails-suggest-axelrod-leaned-on-gallup-after-unfavorable-poll/#ixzz290tXPf9F

DebraChicago on October 11, 2012 at 1:41 PM

“Nice polling company you have there, shame if anything happened to it.”

jnelchef on October 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM

the more they try to prop up the choomer, the more they’re gonna suffer on Nov 6 when reality sets in…

RedInMD on October 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Yes it is Cindy.

DebraChicago on October 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Alpha_Male on October 11, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I imagine it is just an invitation to discuss.

Cindy Munford on October 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM

DebraChicago on October 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Gee, I wonder if that could have had any effect?

Cindy Munford on October 11, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Wonder why the US presidential tracking polls were all showing Romney leading Obama until the DOJ brought a lawsuit against left-leaning Gallup Polls? Under the guise of attacking Gallup because it (according to the Obama-Holder wholly-owned US Department of “Justice”) presented “the government [with] inflated estimates of the number of hours that it would take to perform its services, even though it had separate and lower internal estimates of the number of hours that would be required.”

Suing a company for an “estimate” of services the government didn’t like? Now, that’s really a new one! All said government needed to do was get a quote from another polling company before making its decision. However, the reality is that member-in-chief of the Obama goon squad—David Axelrod—had both the audacity and Goebbels-like behavior to threaten polling companies for not offering more positive polls (a snarling Axelrod questioned Gallup’s entire “methodology”). After the Axelrod emails went out, Holder filed a lawsuit against Gallup polling. For Dictator-in-Chief Obama and his top minions…things happen immediately.

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/49463

DebraChicago on October 11, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Gee, I wonder if that could have had any effect?

Cindy Munford on October 11, 2012 at 1:43 PM

It’s how ALL 3rd rate banana republic dictators roll ; )

DebraChicago on October 11, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Nothing that The Rod is trying to do to Mitt is working, so, he’s trying to influence the polls.

kingsjester on October 11, 2012 at 1:45 PM

It’s strange that Republicans can object to polling which increases the representation of non-Whites, which inevitably shifts the numbers to the left, but not object to policies that year after year and decade after decade shift the demographics and the numbers in the real electorate to be less White, which inevitably shifts the actual election results and social and political power to the left.

How can you keep in mind at the same time the fantasy that non-Whites are natural conservative and the reality that the more of them you sample the more left-leaning the results are going to be?

How can you be scared of the mere shadow of coming changes, and act as though the changes themselves are harmless and not to be resisted?

David Blue on October 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Did Gallup change its sampling under pressure from the Left?
============================================================

From what I’ve seen,lately,in the past few days on internet
twitter chatty-talk,it appears so!!

canopfor on October 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM

And then let me give you this last one here, because this is, I think, the most important one. And that’s Hispanics. The President’s winning Hispanics by 50 points. He hit the 70% mark. However, look at this in terms of interest in the election. 59% now, it was 77%. What does that mean? President got 65%, I believe, of Hispanics four years ago.

If 77% of Hispanics turned out in 2008 and Obama won them 65-35, Obama netted 23.1% of the total Hispanic population over McCain.

If only 59% of Hispanics turn out in 2012 and Obama wins them 70-30, he will net 23.6% of the total Hispanic population. Even if Hispanics were 20% of registered voters, a net gain of 0.5% among Hispanics translates to 0.1% of the electorate–not much, and certainly not worth skewing poll samples by 5% of the electorate!

Steve Z on October 11, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Gee David, is that anything like 95% of blacks who vote for Obama simply because he’s black and SURELY not because of the STELLAR work he and the NAACP and CBC and other slave masters have performed in keeping blacks on the DEM plantation all these decades?

DebraChicago on October 11, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Suing a company for an “estimate” of services the government didn’t like? Now, that’s really a new one! All said government needed to do was get a quote from another polling company before making its decision. However, the reality is that member-in-chief of the Obama goon squad—David Axelrod—had both the audacity and Goebbels-like behavior to threaten polling companies for not offering more positive polls (a snarling Axelrod questioned Gallup’s entire “methodology”). After the Axelrod emails went out, Holder filed a lawsuit against Gallup polling. For Dictator-in-Chief Obama and his top minions…things happen immediately.

If you don’t like the message, Minitrue shoots the messenger.

Steve Z on October 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Welcome to Barry’s Banana Republic. We can only hope we get a reasonably accurate vote count in November.

TarheelBen on October 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM

They could have threatened another lawsuit..?

d1carter on October 11, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Gallup cooks their numbers worse than the BLS.

During the Clintoon years when Bubba was busy boinking the hired help and selling secrets to the ChiComs Janet “Barbecue” Reno didn’t even have to threaten.

viking01 on October 11, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Books: Cooked.

Along with the new jobless numbers.

iurockhead on October 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Hey David Blue, how come blacks will vote 95% for Obama even with THESE “results?”

For months, the presidential candidates have been trying to court the middle class, extending offers of tax cuts, lower gas prices and better schools. The message: America does well when the middle class does well. The corollary: We feel your pain.

But much less attention has been given to the black middle class, which since the recession and slow recovery has suffered massive decreases in wealth and high rates of home foreclosures. Blacks overall are experiencing a 13.4 percent unemployment rate, according to figures released Friday, much higher than the national rate of 7.8 percent.

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project recently released a report projecting that 68 percent of African-Americans reared in the middle of the wealth ladder will not do as well as the previous generation.

In August, the National Urban League’s State of Black America 2012 report found that nearly all the economic gains that the black middle class made during the last 30 years have been wiped out by the economic downturn.“This is a very dire situation,” said Valerie Rawlston Wilson, an economist with the National Urban League Policy Institute. “Even for blacks who have college degrees, we’ve seen a doubling of their unemployment (rate) between 2007 and 2010.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/us-black-middle-class-is-suffering-2012-10#ixzz290wsmajh

DebraChicago on October 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Amen kj @1:23

cmsinaz on October 11, 2012 at 1:59 PM

The only cell phone numbers they have are Obama Phones.

derft on October 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Gallup discovers there’s an iron fist inside that velvet glove.

rbj on October 11, 2012 at 2:01 PM

It’s called Affirmative Action polling.

Wigglesworth on October 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Public choice theory is often used to explain how political decision-making results in outcomes that conflict with the preferences of the general public. For example, many advocacy group and pork barrel projects are not the desire of the overall democracy. However, it makes sense for politicians to support these projects. It may make them feel powerful and important. It can also benefit them financially by opening the door to future wealth as lobbyists. The project may be of interest to the politician’s local constituency, increasing district votes or campaign contributions. The politician pays little or no cost to gain these benefits, as he is spending public money. Special-interest lobbyists are also behaving rationally. They can gain government favors worth millions or billions for relatively small investments. They face a risk of losing out to their competitors if they don’t seek these favors. The taxpayer is also behaving rationally. The cost of defeating any one government give-away is very high, while the benefits to the individual taxpayer are very small. Each citizen pays only a few pennies or a few dollars for any given government favor, while the costs of ending that favor would be many times higher. Everyone involved has rational incentives to do exactly what they’re doing, even though the desire of the general constituency is opposite. Costs are diffused, while benefits are concentrated. The voices of vocal minorities with much to gain are heard over those of indifferent majorities with little to individually lose.

MichaelGabriel on October 11, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Hold on a minute.

The methodology change is to the general population job approval poll. That’s not a turnout model. It’s a general marker on how the nation as a whole rates the president, not if they are or are not going to vote for him.

If the approval and the vote polls are both predictive of turnout then they should track hand in glove, the underlying premise being those who approve of Mr. O’s job will be voting for him. The polls don’t. Latest vote poll R 49%/O 47%. Latest Obama approval poll 52%. That’s a 5-point lag in the vote poll. The beep-up in the population poll has been ginned up by the change to methodology.

You bet it looks like Gallup has its thumb — and a length of navy-grade chain — on the scales.

DGB

Damian Bennett on October 11, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Unprecedented is becoming the new normal

STL_Vet on October 11, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Unprecedented is becoming the new normal

STL_Vet on October 11, 2012 at 2:09 PM

along with unexpected ; )

DebraChicago on October 11, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Ahhh…back to not trusting polls.

verbaluce on October 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Public choice theory

The special interest minorities will nibble at the body of the public majority until it becomes infected and dies.

It’s what happens in Atlas Shrugged.

It’s what will happen under Barack Obama.

MichaelGabriel on October 11, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Ahhh…back to not trusting polls.

verbaluce on October 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM

One that’s been possibly blackmailed, Chicago Politics Style?

You betcha, Skippy.

kingsjester on October 11, 2012 at 2:19 PM

The election is the only poll that matters, so you can bet Axelrod has a strategy to game that too.

MTF on October 11, 2012 at 2:21 PM

This is right out of the Democratic party playbook: keep recounting until you like the results, then stop.

Fred 2 on October 11, 2012 at 2:21 PM

As we began this election tracking program on Oct.1, our methodologists also recommended modifying and updating several procedures……
…….Although all Gallup surveys are weighted consistently to census targets on demographic parameters, we believe that these improvements provide a more consistent match with weight targets.

Translation: we polled our methodologists and found that they favor Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, and since Obama’s numbers have been tanking after Romney exposed his dismal debating skills……..well…….

Those are now difficult to accomplish because we have to assume what effect these methodological shifts have had.

We don’t have to assume. Most of the electorate—now paying attention—-understand perfectly what a methodological shift is…….a credibility fart stinking up the polling process.

Rovin on October 11, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Of course Gallup’s decision to make this radical change in sampling has absolutely nothing to do with the IRS deciding to do tax audits of polling companies during the run-up to the November election.

Socratease on October 11, 2012 at 2:25 PM

You’re comparing apples to oranges when you look at Gallup’s sample and the Census data. The Census shows roughly equal numbers of blacks and hispanics, while Gallup shows roughly twice as many blacks. This is because something like half of what the Census calls ‘hispanic’ self-report as ‘white’ to the Gallup pollsters (and to exit pollsters).

The change in Gallup’s sample is completely indefensible. The fact that they initially tried to hide it is indefensible.

The fact that, in spite of Gallup’s blatant, deliberate skewing of their results to favor Obama, Romney is STILL tied or leading indicates that this will likely be a blow-out election.

Texastoast on October 11, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Still, the point of political polling — especially this close to the election — is to offer predictive results

Then why not just have one poll of likely voters?

Nonfactor on October 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM

The Chicago Way.

Vile, vile scumbags.

Right Mover on October 11, 2012 at 2:39 PM

welcome to North Korea.

acyl72 on October 11, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Unusual. So, what’s going on? Alan Abramowitz of Huffington Post and The Democratic Strategist noticed that Gallup has increased its share of nonwhites from 27 percent the week of the convention to 32 percent last week, a nearly 20 percent boost. In other words, Gallup seemed to have tweaked its methodology with just weeks to go until Election Day to reflect the criticism that has come from the left.

That is absolute insanity. In 2008 the Whites were 74% of the votes so in 2012 they are going to be at least 74% of the vote because of the much energized Republican base (expectation is 76% to 78%)… If they are samplig minorities at 32% of the vote then they are expecting Whites to be only 68% of the electorate. Right there that a 4 points advantage for Obama…

I cannot wait for November 6 when the reality will finally crush these fools and their polls…

mnjg on October 11, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Gallup hasn’t really been Gallup for decades, ever since its founder George Gallup sold the company. And in the intervening years they have been corrupted by their partnership with the totally corrupt CNN. Of course, CNN then threw them under the bus so they could hire a Clinton-friendly “pollster” just in time for Hillary’s 2007 run for President. What were her “qualifications” for that job, again?

Not your grandfather’s Gallup Poll, and not your father’s either.

Del Dolemonte on October 11, 2012 at 2:52 PM

After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology back in Sept, Obama’s Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit that appears damning on its face.

The Daily Caller is withholding the identities of the Gallup officials to protect them from potential retaliation from Obama’s campaign and his administration.

Dollayo on October 11, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Verb – I haven’t stopped trusting them. I believe they have been understating Romney’s strength for quite some time. I think they are doing that right now. I think we are just a little bit away from the acknowledgement that Ohio is gone for Obama. Even his 63/37 absentee ballot split (of those turned in) when compared to the current “election day turnout forecast” (Romney by 10) put Romney over the top in Ohio. That is if you believe a 5% absentee ballot request edge turns into a 26 point advantage.

I have not studied Suffolk, but if his comment that that NC, VA and FL are gone – along with the internals of this crazy NBC poll – Romney has won the election if his base turns out as predicted. I figure in that scenerio Obama will lose either MI or PA, and the rest of the swings – giving Romney about a 100 electoral vote win. And of the big three states that will vote in lock step for Obama – two of them are bankrupt (IL has pretty much admitted it) and will have the disadvantage as having provided no justification for Romney to help them at all because the dems are so solid there and Romney will have no GOP support to help them.

I am liking the way this is looking. I will enjoy watching all the national dems crying. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people.

Zomcon JEM on October 11, 2012 at 3:03 PM

If the approval and the vote polls are both predictive of turnout then they should track hand in glove, the underlying premise being those who approve of Mr. O’s job will be voting for him. The polls don’t. Latest vote poll R 49%/O 47%. Latest Obama approval poll 52%. That’s a 5-point lag in the vote poll. The beep-up in the population poll has been ginned up by the change to methodology.

Gallup measured the approval based on Adults where as the head to head contest is measured based on Likely voters… However still it is insane to assume that minorities are going to make up 32% of the total vote in 2012 an Whites only 68% of the total vote… In 2008 Whites were 74% of the electorate and blacks/hispanics where only 22% of the electorate… In fact in 2012 Whites would be at least 74% of the electorate and probably more due the very energized Republican base…

mnjg on October 11, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Did the Obama administration turn Gallup? I don’t know but I know these Chicago thugs had the juice to turn Roberts, a supreme court justice, so they probably did.

Certif on October 11, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Typical leftists. Don’t adjust your views to fit reality, just bend reality to fit your views.

Hard Right on October 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Clueless in Chicago

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Ahhh…back to not trusting polls.

verbaluce on October 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM

…Ahhhh.but NO CHANGE for you!…still sh!tting!

KOOLAID2 on October 11, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Obama and company will be pulling out all the stops. Between the voter fraud they’re setting up with all the lawsuits, haranguing the polling companies, and keeping the press in their hip pockets, I can’t imagine anything they wouldn’t do, and right in the open too!.

bflat879 on October 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

This is a good article because it informs us of another way that these polls are fudged, or ‘adjusted’ so that the sample sizes and makeup conform to initial assumptions of one or two people in the polling company.

It’s almost as bad as the ‘global warming’ crap.

slickwillie2001 on October 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I don’t really get it. Seems as though Gallup is going out of their way to get less relevant numbers. I think they’re conceding the point to these critics, they’ll show just how wildly nuts these kinds of adjustments are, and they’ll go back to their original methodology after the election.

Nethicus on October 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Nethicus on October 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

So a polling organization is made less relevant by getting a more accurate sample of the population in an opinion poll?

Nonfactor on October 11, 2012 at 5:29 PM