Final CBS/NYT/Q-polls in OH, FL, VA show Obama up …

posted at 8:41 am on October 31, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

We’re down to the final week of the election, where we’d normally expect to see pollsters fine-tuning their samples in order to get the most predictive survey results ahead of the election.  It’s refreshing, therefore, to see the CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac partnership decide to buck that trend and stick with consistency.  Their polls in the most hotly contested swing states of Ohio, Florida, and Virginia all show Barack Obama edging Mitt Romney — as long as voter turnout resembles Obama’s big win in 2008:

President Obama has maintained a five-point lead in the crucial swing state of Ohio, according to a new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll of likely voters. The survey found that Mitt Romney has gained ground in Florida and Virginia, where the race is now effectively tied.

Mr. Obama now leads Romney 50 percent to 45 percent among likely voters in Ohio – exactly where the race stood on Oct. 22. His lead in Florida, however, has shrunk from nine points in September to just one point in the new survey, which shows Mr. Obama with 48 percent support and Romney with 47 percent. The president’s lead in Virginia has shrunk from five points in early October to two points in the new survey, which shows him with a 49 percent to 47 percent advantage.

What do the samples look like? Here’s the breakdown for each state, with 2008 and 2010 exit polling in parentheses (2009 in VA’s case):

  • FL: 37/30/29 (37/34/29, 36/36/29)
  • OH: 37/29/30 (39/31/30, 36/37/28)
  • VA: 35/27/35 (39/33/27, 33/37/30)

In each of these three states, the CBS/NYT/Q-poll shows Republicans at a lower percentage level of turnout than in the 2008 election.  If one makes that assumption, it’s not too difficult to be guess that Obama might be ahead.  However, that’s exactly the opposite of what all other polls rating enthusiasm are telling us what the electorate will look like on Tuesday.  In fact, it’s not even what this poll shows, with Republican enthusiasm +16 over Democrats in Florida, +14 in Ohio, and +7 in Virginia.

Let’s take a look at the two key demographics in this election in each of the three states and compare them to 2008.  First, let’s start with independents:

  • FL: Romney +5, 2008: Obama +7
  • OH: Romney +6, 2008: Obama +8
  • VA: Romney +21, 2008: Obama +1

Next, let’s look at the overall gender gap in these polls and compare to 2008:

  • FL: Obama +1, 2008: Obama +9
  • OH: Obama +11, 2008: Obama +11
  • VA: Obama +1, 2008: Obama +11

Only in Ohio has Obama managed to maintain a significant gender gap.  In all three states, he’s lost ground by double digits in the gap with independents.  In all three states, Republican enthusiasm is significantly higher than Democratic enthusiasm.  I’d say that the only possible way Obama could be leading under those circumstances is to seriously undercount Republicans.

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If Romney’s GOTV effort was “as good, if not better” than Obama’s, he would be ahead in the early voting. And, instead, Obama is kicking his a**.

gumbyandpokey on October 31, 2012 at 11:09 AM

So why’s Obama -6 on early voting vs +15 in 2008?

Chuck Schick on October 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Silver is a hack. I am really disappointed in him. He just puts number together until he gets the result he wants.

Zomcon JEM on October 31, 2012 at 11:40 AM

You pay the consequences when your hero calls for cutting FEMA to win conservative votes and then sees the aftermath of a major hurricane. There isn’t a governor in a state hit hard by the storm hoping to see disaster funding spread out across the country, state by state, rather than keeping it concentrated at the national level to maximize its effectiveness in times of emergency. What a stupid idea.

bayam on October 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM

If the general public knew anything about what Obama had done to FEMA they would be horrified.

He decided that the work could be done by recent college grads in AmeriCorps.

In the process of scaling back the current FEMA employees (which was done by letting everyone go and making everyone reapply) he managed to let go of numerous people that had 15+ years on the job.

Because of the huge mess he created, there are people with 6 months of experience now being deployed to NY while other people with 5+ years of experience were labeled as trainees and not deployed.

People that know nothing about FEMA should be very hesitant about using that as some sign of how great a job Obama is doing.

JadeNYU on October 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Nate Silver is an actual statistician. His record for accuracy is quite good.

The yabbo who started unskewed is a partisan hack who simply cooks the numbers to suit himself and as a sop to Romney supporters.

chumpThreads on October 31, 2012 at 11:11 AM

He blew 2010 pretty bad.

Chuck Schick on October 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

He blew 2010 pretty bad.

Chuck Schick on October 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Get out of the bubble he predicted the democrats would lose big and they did.

Ric on October 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Republicans, on the other hand, have been far more critical of polls…until Romney is in the lead, then the polls are gospel.

Ok, to quote Chump Threads: “And I’m out!”

chumpThreads on October 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Uh huh… For months you leftists have used wildly skewed left polls as a club to beat anyone who dared speak out against Obama’s second coronation and crowing….. ARE YOU CRAZY…. SEE SEE the POLLS show Obama is invincible, and forget the D+11 samples.. OF COURSE they’re fair.. and the 08 turnout is nothing compared to the numbers of dead voters,.. um new.. NEW voters that we’ll find who can’t wait to vote against that serial killer/zombie/vampire/evil corporate monster… Romney..

So as the same polls suddenly, without any explanation as to why their samples are closer to reality.. show Mitt in the lead..

and you and yours are whining we cannot use that very same club..

to smack sense into you..

Why not, it’s not as if you and yours have shown any civility or decency, (Romney gave my wife cancer,.. anyone?… a Felon.. a tax cheat?.. aw come on..)

so now you are sniffing and sobbing real sobs, we use your own weapon against you..

Well, it was you and yours who granted these polls minus Rass and now Gallop since they went rogue on you.. the Godlike status as law giver and last word on the truth.

You and yours did that..

so just man up and take your beating, with the same rules you established, the same tools.. your side stated are never wrong.

Our caring about their accuracy isn’t why they hurt when we use them against you. It was your shilling for their accuracy when Mitt was behind that stings.

and you know it.

Because if the accuracy was never questioned by us, but by you, it wouldn’t now make your previous pandering to these polls so painful.

mark81150 on October 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Get out of the bubble he predicted the democrats would lose big and they did.

Ric on October 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Any idiot could do that. You, perhaps.

His model right before election day said 70% chance the GOP wouldn’t get more than 60 seats, which they did. He was prediciting 45 right up to the last week or so, then switched to 54. Rasmussen had 55.


Chuck Schick on October 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

FYI ric, hot off Twitter:

Sean Davis [email protected]

And btw, Nate Silver botched the CO and NV races in 2010. But don’t worry, state polling is the infallible gold standard of polling.

Nate Silver’s performance in 2010 should’ve made him a lot more humble about the infallible predictive power of state polling. It didn’t.

Chuck Schick on October 31, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Lol! The Hackfest continues! Desperation on High! So, when you unskew these ridiculous things, Romney’s up 4-6 points. What childish morons!
Addendum on the fight against the Obama Enemy media:

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 31, 2012 at 12:50 PM

What is crazy about these numbers is how they weighted them. Looking at the actual percentages in the sample (of the people they reached), they dropped the weighted GOP percentage of 30% by 1.9% from the actual responses (the actual raw number was 30.9% of the total) and boosted the Dem percentage of 37% by 1.3% (the actual raw number was 35.7%). WTF? They got too many Republicans on the phone, so they had to re-engineer the numbers? Somehow, I don’t see that as likely. No wonder the numbers are screwy. (The numbers for the “other/DK” group are a bit off, too; they came out to 3.3, which they rounded up to 4%, but that’s not as stupid as the Dem and Rep adjustments.)

Horologium on October 31, 2012 at 12:54 PM

D’oh, my previous post had an error; the GOP weighted number was 29%, not 30%, but the 1.9% change is correct.

Horologium on October 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

And one last clarification: I was talking about the poll numbers from the Ohio poll; I didn’t look at the FL and VA polls, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they applied a similar tweak.

Horologium on October 31, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Hahahahaha…these children are whistling down the alley.

Jaibones on October 31, 2012 at 1:07 PM

ShadowsPawn on October 31, 2012 at 10:21 AM, regarding gumpyandpokey:

Again, let us get this straight. No one here respects your analysis (if you can call it that)

Not no one. I don’t post much here because I’m not interested in the gutter-level responses this site is famous for, but I give gumbyandpokey credit for tirelessly pointing out the obvious.

What I don’t understand is the endless back-and-forth about whether or not a poll is accurate or believable, especially when we’re only days away from actual results. A lot of folks around here are making some pretty bizarre claims about the future that will almost certainly result in embarassment for them.

Drew Lowell on October 31, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Republicans, on the other hand, have been far more critical of polls…until Romney is in the lead, then the polls are gospel.

Ok, to quote Chump Threads: “And I’m out!”

chumpThreads on October 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

He is in the lead, turd. In evey single poll that counts. Not in the dem polls but the those ones are affected badly by serious reality distortion fields …

jimver on October 31, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Drew Lowell on October 31, 2012 at 3:20 PM

You sound better when you are invisible/quiet, when you talk you sound like a gumbey clone. And then again, maybe you are just that.

jimver on October 31, 2012 at 4:28 PM