Poll analysis: No, the hurricane didn’t beat Romney

posted at 4:21 pm on November 13, 2012 by Allahpundit

I know you’re bored with post-election number-crunching but (a) ruling out silly force-majeure explanations makes the “how can we reform the GOP?” debate easier and (b) I wrote on this last week and feel obliged to follow up. My working theory then was that even low-information voters aren’t easily impressed enough to let the glorified presidential photo op that is “storm crisis management” swing a national election. And the exit poll data seemed to back that up. Notwithstanding the alarming 15% chunk of voters who said O’s hurricane response was the “most important factor” in their vote, it turned out that very late deciders broke only a bit more heavily for O than earlier deciders did. The hurricane may have padded his margin slightly but it didn’t swing the outcome.

Now here’s Sam Wang, one of the statistical modelers who called the election beforehand, “unskewing” the national polls by noting that O outperformed their predictions by roughly 2.4 points on average on election day. If you add that 2.4 points to the national poll averages in October, then you realize a few things:

– President Obama led national opinion on every single day of the final two months of the campaign.

– During this period, the only event to meaningfully move national opinion was Debate #1, which led Mitt Romney to close two-thirds of a 6-point gap between him and President Obama – overnight. Some of this gain was reversed in the closing two weeks of the campaign.

– Sandy’s measurable effect on opinion was no more than 1.0%, and even this might have reversed by Election Day.

So Bickers and Berry’s claim that “the president clearly benefited from the ‘October surprise’ of Superstorm Sandy” is unsupported by data.

Wang’s graph of the unskewed national polls shows a small blip towards O over the last few days following the storm but then a slight trend back towards Romney, suggesting a small but fleeting Sandy bounce. At the Journal, though, Gerald Seib argues that Obama’s poll uptick in the election’s closing days actually began a few days before Sandy made landfall, not after:

The picture emerges from a look back at the averages of polls conducted in the nine most hotly contested battleground state polls compiled by Realclearpolitics.com. Between Oct. 2 and Oct. 26, Mr. Romney gained ground in all nine of those states, though not enough to take a clear lead in any except North Carolina.

But then, between Oct. 26 and Oct. 30—the day the hurricane hit the East Coast—the Romney move up came to a halt. In that period, his support was flat in polling in four of the battleground states, he actually lost a point in his support in three of them, and gained a single point in two.

In other words, Mr. Romney had hit a plateau just before the hurricane shook up the political system.

Seib’s conclusion didn’t seem to match up with the RCP national poll average that I looked at last week, which showed Obama surging back into the national lead right around October 29-30 — just as Sandy was making landfall on the east coast. That coincidence made me think that maybe the storm did help push O’s numbers upward. But if you look at the national poll averages at HuffPo and TPM, which are based on a slightly different sample of national polls than RCP’s average is, then it makes more sense. Here’s what HuffPo’s looks like:

The first thing worth noting: Unlike RCP’s average, HuffPo’s average never showed Romney in the lead, a result that jibes with Wang’s “unskewed” model. The second thing worth noting is that, while Romney got within two-tenths of a percentage point on October 21, Obama’s lead started expanding the very next day — fully a week before Sandy made landfall. By October 27, two days before landfall, it was up to six-tenths of a percent. TPM’s national-poll average had the race closer but if you zoom in there, you find a similar result, i.e. that Obama passed Romney on October 26 and maintained his lead to the end. Not that any of these national numbers matter; the lesson of the election is that the state polls were more trustworthy. The point is, though, that both state and national seem to show a late break towards O, presumably fueled by undecideds finally making up their minds, that started before Sandy struck and created an opportunity for him to play Concerned Leader. The million-dollar question is why. Why couldn’t Romney close the deal with fencesitters?

If you missed Karl’s post last night about the flawed national polls, now’s the time to catch up. Gallup, it seems, may have been tripped up, ironically, by the fact that it screened its sample of registered voters too rigorously to try to find likely voters. In the past that was necessary because turnout on election day tended to show a redder electorate than you’d expect from a sample of registered voters. There were more Democrats out there, but GOPers could make up the difference because they were likelier to vote. Obama’s achievement this year was to turn out enough “irregular voters” that the electorate ended up looking like a poll of registereds, not likelies. In fact, go compare Gallup’s own tracking polls of likely voters versus registered voters and see how they did. Among likelies, the final poll was Romney by one. Among registereds, the final poll was … Obama by three. Gallup had the correct answer all along. They, and we, just made the wrong assumption about turnout.


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Conservatism is a secular philosophy for governance, there is no inherent link between conservatism and spirituality.

WolvenOne on November 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM

.
And morality is overrated, yes?

FlaMurph on November 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM

right2bright on November 13, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Really sick and tired of the, “He got less votes than McCain,” wail.

This isn’t really surprising, 2008 had a much much much higher turnout. It was, after all, a “historic,” election, first black man and all. Polling all year suggested turnout was going to be lower than 2008, so this wasn’t a surprise at all.

WolvenOne on November 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Basically, YOU are fringe, and the fringe cannot win elections!

WolvenOne on November 13, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Akin’s position on abortion is not the mainstream pro-life position. The largest increase in pro-life support comes from youth. Your attempt to echo the media and the Left’s views on abortion are a loser.The failure to present a principled pro-life position by the “etch a Sketch” campaign left voters at home.

Basically, you are Left, and the Left wins elections with the Dumocrats. The landscape is littered with me-too Republican losers who fit your bill.

vilebody on November 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM

No many of us will never forget back stabbing Establishment Republicans that stab us in the back year after year.

Steveangell on November 13, 2012 at 5:37 PM
Well enjoy your purist pity party. What you don’t seem to understand is that with four more years of Obama, you just took ten steps backwards to acheiving your fantasy government team.

salem on November 13, 2012 at 5:44 PM

You seem to have just given up. Obama and the Democrats won and will always win.

That is what Establishment Republicanism leads to. Despair and loss.

Conservative values can win big in 2014 and 2016. If given a chance but if the Establishment continues it’s lock on the party all is lost. The Establishment just proved they will always lose to the Democrats. Every single time since Nixon.

Steveangell on November 13, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Akin’s position on abortion is not the mainstream pro-life position. The largest increase in pro-life support comes from youth. Your attempt to echo the media and the Left’s views on abortion are a loser.The failure to present a principled pro-life position by the “etch a Sketch” campaign left voters at home.

Basically, you are Left, and the Left wins elections with the Dumocrats. The landscape is littered with me-too Republican losers who fit your bill.

vilebody on November 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM

No only your deluded representation of his position is a loser.

He took back that statement. But you live in an alternate reality where his poorly worded statement was his real belief. Where he championed that every day of his life. That is simply not reality.

Sure he is pro life but that can win in at least half of the country. It is a fringe issue and one he admitted he would have no power to change anything on. Although he might have been able to roll back some of Obama’s changing making abortion easier and cheaper.

Steveangell on November 13, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Conservatism is a secular philosophy for governance, there is no inherent link between conservatism and spirituality.

WolvenOne on November 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM

This is a profoundly ignorant statement. Have you read no Burke, Kirk or Weaver? Conservatism recognizes the role of religion within society. It conserves the framework of Constitutional government that recognizes the freedom of conscience of believers and non believers. It is not a secular ideology. You echo all the cant of the Left regarding theocracy etc.

vilebody on November 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

vilebody on November 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM

I’m the left? Dude, that is hilarious. I read John Locke for fun!

I KNOW that isn’t the mainstream pro-life position, that is kind of my POINT! Most less politically active people don’t really KNOW what the mainstream pro-life position is. So by putting out his own fringe view on abortion and airing it for the world to see, Akin provided the media with an excellent opportunity to portray all Republicans in an extremist light.

If, Akin had stepped down, been forced out, this likely wouldn’t have mattered much. However, low information really accept that the party doesn’t have control over these things. So long as Akin was around, the media could portray him as a typical accepted Republican.

The fact that many people continued to support Akin, and screamed that Obama was a traitor, didn’t help matters any.

Akin was an easy target, and the media never lets up on easy targets.

WolvenOne on November 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Mourdock’s rape and abortion statement was made on October 23. On that date, according to the Huffpo Polls, Mitt trailed by .3%. By November 1, the margin had increased to 1.5%.

Basilsbest on November 13, 2012 at 6:28 PM

When given the choice of one of two Democrats the people always hire the real one. Romney basically in the last debate agreed with Obama on nearly every policy. Romney was Obama lite.

Steveangell on November 13, 2012 at 6:16 PM

.
Stop eating from the Pravda Media crock of shiite.
It was the liar, President Revenge, who agreed to, and with, Romney’s positions.

Unless you really do think Ocommie doesn’t want Iran to develop Nukes and that he will protect Israel. Ocommie LIED HIS ASS OFF IN THOSE DENATES- and no one in the media challenged the ass clown.

Except Palin.

FlaMurph on November 13, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Not a big fan of Kirk, I tend to borrow a good chunk of my Philosophy from Barry Goldwater, whom is often credited with shaping the modern conservative movement. Goldwater, however, lamented the fact that the conservative movement in general HAD to ally with Religious social conservatism to win elections. He believed that to be self destructive in the long term, and I’m inclined to agree.

WolvenOne on November 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

If, Akin had stepped down, been forced out, this likely wouldn’t have mattered much.
Akin was an easy target, and the media never lets up on easy targets.

WolvenOne on November 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

.
GOP Shoulda gone Womano y Womano.

Fight fire with fire. Women are a way more easier demo to attract to the side of freedom, yes even before Latino’s, and putting up a crusty Old white guy against even a crook like McCaskill was a mistake.

Chic fights is where its at. A level vagyna playing field.

FlaMurph on November 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM

WolvenOne on November 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

John Locke was not a conservative. He was a social contract theorist , who was important to many of the Founders, but not a conservative. I’d suggest reading Leo Strauss’ Natural Right and History for more insight.

Your take on Akin is contradictory. The Media screams bloody murder on Akin, finding their “radical right” moment, and you agree that he should be jettisoned. Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan would never have gotten out of bed if this was the attitude of “conservatives” in 1964, 1976 and 1980.

vilebody on November 13, 2012 at 6:37 PM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ………..

Wake me when the NAVAL GAZING is over.

It doesn’t matter what you THINK you’re learning through this “lessons learned” naval gazing, I guarantee you, they aren’t lessons that will carry over to the next election.

And, by the way, when every single voting district in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–dozens of them–and at least 9 voting precincts in Cleveland Ohio, come back with ZERO votes for Romney?

You know there’s a problem and it isn’t with your freakin’ POLLING, Bubba.

It’s with the COUNTING. Something is rotten in Denmark–or as they say in Peoria, CLEVELAND.

There is no way on God’s green earth that Romney got fewer votes than McCain in Ohio.

Okay? You got that? No freakin’ way.

mountainaires on November 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Did Palin not running really send you this far into dementia?

kim roy on November 13, 2012 at 5:17 PM

He was a huge Perry supporter, actually, and started to sour on the GOP shortly after his defeat if memory serves. He moved into the Perry camp sometime before the primaries began in earnest.

Doomberg on November 13, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Not sure why I’m remembering him being a Palinista. Perhaps before she bowed out and then he became a Perry supporter.

Thanks for the clarification.

kim roy on November 13, 2012 at 6:43 PM

WolvenOne on November 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Russell Kirk wrote a campaign speech for Barry Goldwater that clarifies where Barry stood in the early 60s.

I’m not much of a Goldwater man post 1970, when he became decidedly libertarian.

http://www.imaginativeconservative.org/2012/11/the-best-presidential-campaign-speech.html

vilebody on November 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM

You can keep telling yourself that Mitt failed because he wasn’t a bible thumping southerner, but you’re telling yourself a complete bed time story. The fact of the matter is, candidates like Akin are WILDLY out of the mainstream, and damage anybody even vaguely close to them.

So you’re arguing for a successful, or even rational use of Guilt by Association?

Giving into the herd mentality of the left is going to do no more to re-establish our republic on solid foundations. It’s pathetic that so many people think that appealing to appearances will have an effect toward getting us on the right foundational track eventually.

If you’ve lost it to “Vote with your lady parts” and can’t get the country back, then there is little hope. Aiken doesn’t even equal the Dem who worried about Guam tipping as a party embarrassment.

It’s because the PRESS plays this “Everybody Denounce a Conservative” game at every interview for a couple of days that it even gets so much traction in the first place.

Axeman on November 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

No many of us will never forget back stabbing Establishment Republicans that stab us in the back year after year.

Steveangell on November 13, 2012 at 5:37 PM

They don’t bother stabbing us in the back anymore. They are running at us and stabbing us in the chest. They don’t care if we see them or not.

portlandon on November 13, 2012 at 6:54 PM

This election started in the PRIMARIES where Romney attacked conservatives and conservative values. There was no reason to expect ALL Gingrich and Santorum voters to simply forget. No clearer statement could be made than pushing the Tea Party to the back of the bus at ‘their Republican party’ convention. Remember that vote to grab even more power for centralized control of the party over the objections on the floor?

Remarkably, at one point in a primary debate in Iowa, Romney claimed he was going to eliminate the department of education. In the last couple of weeks of the campaign, Romney claimed he wanted an entirely new federal education program. How could Romney expect to carry Iowa?

Many conservatives had no idea what a President Romney would stand for, so they stayed home.

Freddy on November 13, 2012 at 4:39 PM

You have a poor memory. In the primaries Mitt took the most conservative position of any on Immigration. Gingrich, Perry and Santorum attacked Romney for being a rich capitalist. Palin demanded that Romney produce his tax returns.

Thomas Sowell never supported Romney and never gave Romney credit for appointing Bork as a Judicial Appointments advisor and The Stache as a foreign policy advisor.

No offence to pygmies but Mitt had to contend with too many in the party, especially in the punditry.

Many conservatives foolishly claim they had no idea what a President Romney would stand for, so they stayed home and re-elected Obama.

Basilsbest on November 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM

They don’t bother stabbing us in the back anymore. They are running at us and stabbing us in the chest. They don’t care if we see them or not. portlandon on November 13, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Paranoia is a mental disorder.

Basilsbest on November 13, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Right me Mitt lost.

But conservatives are blamed not the Establishment Candidate Conservatives said by 60% they did not want.

But sure I am the immature one.

Steveangell on November 13, 2012 at 5:21 PM

We the people nominated Mitt. People like you never accepted our choice. The Democrats wholeheartedly supported their nominee even though as a man he can’t hold a candle to our choice. Those of you who didn’t wholeheartedly support Mitt should be the last to complain. You – along with Akin and Mourdock – cost us the election,

Basilsbest on November 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

So the unicorns were based in reality while we who thought Romney could win were living in rainbow land?

Sherman1864 on November 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM

The Press never believed the hurricane would affect the election.

They just used that as cover to make the fraud more believable.

sartana on November 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM

We the people nominated Mitt. People like you never accepted our choice. The Democrats wholeheartedly supported their nominee even though as a man he can’t hold a candle to our choice. Those of you who didn’t wholeheartedly support Mitt should be the last to complain. You – along with Akin and Mourdock – cost us the election,

Basilsbest on November 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

You assured us he was electable. He never was.

Mitt Romney lost to the most beatable President in 60 years. Simply a fact.

Mitt said he would get the middle and put his finger out at the conservatives. Mitt Romney thought he could give the conservatives the finger and still win. He is responsible for them not voting for him. You do not give someone the finger then expect them to vote for you. He did this with Akin. He did this at the convention when the Tea Party was never mentioned and they were locked out of the center when the most important two votes occurred. He expects to get no back lash to these actions. He is insane if that be the case.

Steveangell on November 13, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Romney didn’t turn out the Republican/anti-Obama vote. Period.
Why, one might ask, if the economy is floundering, illegals are flooding, and O’s Big Government is suffocating?
It is axiomatic that there needs to be an emotionally compelling reason for change. The perception among center-right serfs is that life in America isn’t that bad, regardless of what Hannity, Limbaugh, and Levin say. Furthermore Romney didn’t have the chops to change their minds. Mormon!

Randy

williars on November 13, 2012 at 7:55 PM

. The largest increase in pro-life support comes from youth.

That requires some form of proof.

A Axe on November 13, 2012 at 8:27 PM

You have very strong opinions. Unfortunately, they are unsupported by acts. Elevating the Tea Party would have reduced Romney’s chances, not enhanced them.

It’s no party being a political party: The Democrats, while slightly more popular than unpopular, are near their record lows. The Republicans are underwater. And the Tea Party political movement has slipped to its weakest favorability on record in ABC News/Washington Post polls.

Those lackluster results indicate the public’s continued discontent, political and economic alike. They also follow allegiance: The Democratic Party’s better rating reflects the fact that more Americans consider themselves Democrats than Republicans.
See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

All told, 49 percent see the Democratic Party
favorably, 42 percent unfavorably — somewhat more positive than negative, but a far cry from its recent highs. The GOP, whose allegiance has waned in the past decade, gets a negative score of 39-53 percent. And just 32 percent see the Tea Party favorably, 9 points off its peak in spring 2010.

Self-identified Democrats and Republicans are broadly positive about their chosen parties, by 89 and 84 percent respectively in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. Among independents, that plummets to about four in 10 for both parties.

The difference is that 32 percent of Americans in this survey identify themselves as Democrats, vs. 25 percent as Republicans, levels that have held essentially steady the past three years. That’s down for the GOP, which achieved parity with the Democrats in 2003 but has lost ground since.

(Independents now predominate, accounting for 39 percent in this survey.)

Intensity of sentiment is another challenge for the Republican Party: Substantially more Americans see it “strongly” negatively than strongly positively, 33 percent vs. 18 percent, while the Democratic Party breaks even (28 percent on both sides).
On the other hand, because fewer Democrats are registered to vote, the Democratic Party slips among registered voters to 48-46 percent, favorable-unfavorable, essentially an even split. The GOP, though, remains underwater among registered voters, 42-53 percent.

The Democratic Party’s favorability rating, as noted, is very near its record lows, 48 percent about a year ago and 47 percent in a 1984 survey, and well down from its highs, including 58 percent in 2008, 64 percent in 2000 and 60 percent in 1996. The GOP, similarly, is a mere 3 points from its own recent low in popularity, in June 2009, and far from its peak, 63 percent, last reached in 2002.

TEA PARTY — For its part, the Tea Party political movement has lost popularity; a record low 32 percent see it positively, down from a high of 41 percent in March 2010. Forty-six percent now rate it negatively.
Part of that, though, reflects increased indecision. Negative views of the Tea Party are lower than their peak, 52 percent, in January 2011; nearly a quarter instead now have no opinion of the movement, up 10 points in the same period.

Educate yourself Angell

Basilsbest on November 13, 2012 at 8:36 PM

I got a pollster call today asking, among other things, if Chris Christies appearance with President Obama helped him (yes) and if Christie should run for president in 2016 (yes).

Also asked is the GOP too conservative etc.

Dash on November 13, 2012 at 9:10 PM

…imagine that!…a poll…and no gummeandpoleyou !…I’m so glad you all spent so much energy refuting his posts for months!

KOOLAID2 on November 13, 2012 at 10:48 PM

I got a pollster call today asking, among other things, if Chris Christies appearance with President Obama helped him (yes) and if Christie should run for president in 2016 (yes).

Also asked is the GOP too conservative etc.

Dash on November 13, 2012 at 9:10 PM

You want Fat Bass Turd for president? Why?

slickwillie2001 on November 13, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Kind of a tough sell pushing job growth when 51% of those motivated to get to the polls aren’t interested in working.

kg598301 on November 13, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Basilsbest on November 13, 2012 at 8:36 PM

How stupid do you think we are.

Statistics can be made to say anything you want.

We blew away the Democrats in 2010 with the Tea Party. The Establishment and the Democrats worked to bad mouth the Tea Party and the result. 2012 the Democrats blew away the Republicans and the worst President with the worst economy still won. Anyone but Romney could have beaten him.

But sure 2010 never happened.

Steveangell on November 13, 2012 at 11:45 PM

We lost by less than 5 points. People are acting like Obama won in a landslide, he didn’t. He won because he got a large turnout of racist black voters who voted for him because he is black.

Dollayo on November 14, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Allahpundit forgot to add the required:

I am Chris Christie and I approve this message,
Christie 2016 (Which is not possible without an unsuccessful Romney/Ryan 2012)

All I know is what I have experienced. Momentum for Romney gaining in a close election days before voting and Christie provides a beautiful photo op for President OBAMA, caring bipartisan president. Even Bloomberg and Cuomo said it was not the time for Presidential visits as people were suffering and visit would interfere with relief efforts. Ask the people of New York and New Jersey how FEMA and Hurricane response is going but stand back when you do.

Christie and Obama biggest phonies in the world.

Chris Christie made a self serving nomination speech at the convention that was all about him and stuck the knife into Romney and Ryan and all of us just before the election because it is all just about him.

Natebo on November 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM

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