Green Room

Oh My: Romney Leads 52/46 Among Early Voters Nationally?

posted at 10:55 pm on October 29, 2012 by

This data point was flagged by Breitbart’s John Nolte, who was initially thrown off by the mundane, nothing-to-see-here headline, “In US, 15% of Registered Voters Have Already Cast Ballots.”  But then there’s this, fresh from Gallup:


Am I missing something, or is this a rather significant development?  Isn’t early voting supposed to be Democrats’ secret weapon, with which they run up the score, then dare the GOP to catch up on Election Day?  And unlike the snapshot national polls that we obsess over each day (many of which are based upon samples of 800-1,200 respondents), this survey has a massive sample size of 3,312 registered voters.  Of those who say they’ve already voted nationwide, the D/R/I is 33/37/29, or R+4.  Glance over that chart one more time.  If those stats are even close to representative of the 2012 electorate, Obama is going to lose.  Right?  Or have I managed to blind myself to a glaring caveat or two?


UPDATE
– I suppose Obama could be cleaning up in swing state early voting, and Romney’s apparent lead is being banked in places where it won’t ultimately matter.  But as Josh Jordan has written, major national trends and CW in the battlegrounds have to collide at some point.  It will be interesting to hear Team O’s spin on this…though they may just shout “outlier,” as they have with much of the Gallup data in recent weeks.

UPDATE II- Two more reasons I’m taking something of a “too-good-to-be-true” approach to this poll: (1) I just can’t reconcile it with the numerous other polls showing a close race.  And this election at least feels like a close race.  (2) Gallup’s write up seems decidedly nonchalant about their own information.  Here’s a direct quote: “Political impact of early voting looks minimal…Thus far, early voters do not seem to be swaying the election toward either candidate.”

UPDATE III – But wait, there’s more.  Here are Gallup’s stats from October 28, 2008: Obama led in early voting by 15 points (55/40).  His election day edge was just three points.  He ended up winning by seven points.  One more note.  According to Gallup, by 10/28/08, the percentage of Americans who said they’d already voted or planned to vote early was 33 percent.  Four years later, that number sits at…33 percent.

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it got better – in that article he he basically said that the 30% having voted in Ohio is bunk too.

WashingtonsWake on October 29, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Who are you, and what have you done with eeyore pundit?

TexasDan on October 29, 2012 at 11:02 PM

I actually lost my mind for about 15min after reading this and started tweeting #DemocratCollapse and #GOPWave… i’m better now, but i was ebullient for a moment there.

WashingtonsWake on October 29, 2012 at 11:02 PM

ME LIKEY!!

Ltlgeneral64 on October 29, 2012 at 11:03 PM

I want NJ and CT to turn…purple. Total Dem failure is OPTIMAL

ParisParamus on October 29, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Or have I managed to blind myself to a glaring caveat or two?

I don’t think so.

Yesterday I read or saw someone talking about the fact that the RNC has been concentrating on getting low propensity voters to vote early. That is smart because they’re the ones who would not crawl across broken glass to vote.

About 30 minutes before I read this post, I saw this:

In OH, IA, NV, Democrats May Be ‘Cannibalizing’ Their Election Day Votes By Promoting Early Voting

… according to the RNC’s numbers, more of the Democratic voters in Ohio, Iowa, and Nevada than Republican voters are the kinds of voters that would likely vote on Election Day if they hadn’t prior. From the RNC:

Many of the Democratic ballots are from high propensity voters who would almost certainly be voting on Election Day – meaning that President Obama is cannibalizing his turnout on November 6th. Governor Romney’s early voting effort has been, and will continue to be, focused on low propensity voters, which means his Election Day turnout will not be negatively impacted by the early vote program.

INC on October 29, 2012 at 11:07 PM

I know it’s kind of a new thing, but are there any similar early voting stats from 2008 or even 2004 for comparison?

Gingotts on October 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Gingotts — Yeah, I was searching for previous years’ data, which could lay down some important markers. But I seem to recall many stories about Obama kicking McCain’s rear end in early voting last cycle. In any case, the second and third columns of the chart above also suggest that Romney is building an insurmountable lead. Which is exactly why I’m taking something of a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ approach to this poll.

Guy Benson on October 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM

And this election at least feels like a close race.

It is very hard to figure out what an election “feels like” when Democratic party partisans are calling the tune at 80% of the mainstream media outlets.

You try to mentally shut out the propaganda, but it’s impossible.

Dextrous on October 29, 2012 at 11:33 PM

And this election at least feels like a close race.

Well yes and no.

We keep on hearing that it’s a close race.

We keep on seeing close polls.

But …

Aren’t the Dems acting batsh!t crazy for a close race?

PackerBronco on October 29, 2012 at 11:33 PM

Here’s another take on the race.

Was at our local Hallmark Store and they had a display of ‘Presidential Playing Cards’ – pix of Obama, Biden and such. The display was full of packs of Obama playing cards. I looked at it a while when the sales lady said, “We’re sold out of the Romney playing cards.”

WC on October 29, 2012 at 11:33 PM

I knew Obama was in trouble by which books are on the hot table at the bookstore.

In 2008 it was all Obama the Great.

Now they are all Obama the Terrible.

fossten on October 29, 2012 at 11:43 PM

Republicans traditionally prefer to vote on Election Day, while Democrats dominate early voting.

The fact that Romney leads with landslide proportions in early voting is an extremely bad omen for Dems.

Norwegian on October 29, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Here’s another take on the race.

Was at our local Hallmark Store and they had a display of ‘Presidential Playing Cards’ – pix of Obama, Biden and such. The display was full of packs of Obama playing cards. I looked at it a while when the sales lady said, “We’re sold out of the Romney playing cards.”

WC on October 29, 2012 at 11:33 PM

BWWWAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

kcd on October 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM

WC on October 29, 2012 at 11:33 PM

what state and region, if you’d share.

In Arizona, no big thing; Los Angeles, then it’s news.

Jimmy Doolittle on October 29, 2012 at 11:58 PM

I know it’s kind of a new thing, but are there any similar early voting stats from 2008 or even 2004 for comparison?

Gingotts on October 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM

There is an Ohio spread sheet that is being updated from SOS and counties and is compared to 2008. This should give you an idea of how Ohio is doing.

2012 vs 2008 Ohio absentee / early voting

Ronaldusmax on October 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM

I love it- the playing cards! AND they werent terrorist cards!

poljunkie51 on October 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Gingotts — Yeah, I was searching for previous years’ data, which could lay down some important markers. But I seem to recall many stories about Obama kicking McCain’s rear end in early voting last cycle. In any case, the second and third columns of the chart above also suggest that Romney is building an insurmountable lead. Which is exactly why I’m taking something of a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ approach to this poll.

Guy Benson on October 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Yeah, I can agree there. Of course there have been a fair share of those “too-good-to-be-true” signs these past couple of weeks, too. At times it takes some discipline to keep the “cautious” part of our cautious optimism.

Where I’m mostly curious is due to the odd mix of states where early voting is permitted. It includes all of the plains states and about half of the South, where Romney will clean up, but also CA, IL, the OH and IA swing states where the numbers are being analyzed daily, the mail-in voters in WA, OR… It’s difficult to tell with that varied mix if a six point spread in early voting really is indeed indicative of a six point spread on election day as the poll suggests, or if the collective PVI of those states is such that Romney would be expected to have such a lead at this point in a close race.

Oh well, maybe too good to be true, maybe not. I suppose as long as we’re showing on the 52 end of that 52-46 split, I can’t complain.

Gingotts on October 30, 2012 at 12:08 AM

Gingotts, go back and check my updates, especially #3.

Guy Benson on October 30, 2012 at 12:10 AM

I’m inclined to believe this is close to accurate, or at least closer than most other pollsters. Most pollsters only ask this question on a state level, and are only asking a small subset of an already small sample. So, for example, they’ll have a 600-800 person poll, and of that only 20% of the respondents will have voted early. That’s too small of a sample to really give an accurate idea how early voting is going.

This, on the other hand, is a REALLY big sample. yes, its national instead of of state, but in none of these states would these sort of results be a real surprise. Republicans are doing better among early voters in the past, and Romney is carrying independents. Between the two he very would could be up in early voting, its perfectly conceivable.

WolvenOne on October 30, 2012 at 12:12 AM

I think the reason the MSM is saying this race is virtually tied is because if they were truthful it would depress the Dems and wreak havoc on all the down ticket races.

Conservalicious on October 30, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Oh well, maybe too good to be true, maybe not. I suppose as long as we’re showing on the 52 end of that 52-46 split, I can’t complain.

Gingotts on October 30, 2012 at 12:08 AM

Ain’t that the truth! I’d be happy if the early voting was tied so this is a bonus.

Mitsouko on October 30, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Gingotts on October 30, 2012 at 12:08 AM

It would also include Nevada, I assume…

spinach.chin on October 30, 2012 at 12:21 AM

Also, don’t discount the fact that this result closely tracks their national numbers.

spinach.chin on October 30, 2012 at 12:23 AM

Gingotts, go back and check my updates, especially #3.

Guy Benson on October 30, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Aha… Thank you, great info there. Again adds to that too good to be true feeling, but the idea that election day numbers will be even more favorable to us than early voting does work to instinct too.

Also works with what Adrian Gray just tweeted about Colorado numbers, where we currently have a greater early vote margin than 2004.

Gingotts on October 30, 2012 at 12:24 AM

Gallup’s write up seems decidedly nonchalant about their own information.

Gee, I wonder why? :P

Mr. Prodigy on October 30, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Gee, I wonder why? :P

Mr. Prodigy on October 30, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Because they don’t want to get sued by Holder again?

forest on October 30, 2012 at 12:29 AM

I think the reason the MSM is saying this race is virtually tied is because if they were truthful it would depress the Dems and wreak havoc on all the down ticket races.
Conservalicious on October 30, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Good point.

NebCon on October 30, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Back during the 2000 elections I was in a bar watching the returns. I got up on my chair and announced I would buy everyone a shot if Bush won. Luckily for my wallet we didn’t find out until days later. This year I’d be willing to buy drinks for everyone all night if Romney wins.

The Notorious G.O.P on October 30, 2012 at 12:37 AM

I just can’t reconcile it with the numerous other polls showing a close race. And this election at least feels like a close race.

Feels like a close race? No, it feels like dam about to break. FL is Romney’s. NC is Romney’s. VA is Romney’s. CO is Romney’s. WI, MI and MN are trending Romney’s way. NH looks like Romney will take it. Obama isn’t doing as many events as Romney. He didn’t have a single event on the 28th. Romney, Paul and Ann had 7 events in one day recently (I think it was yesterday). PA looks close. And Romney just took a 2 point lead in the lastest Rasmussen OH poll. Obama can’t break 50. Watch if Maine and Oregon don’t flip as well.

MrX on October 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM

“FL is Romney’s.”

Really?

NumbersMuncher ‏@NumbersMuncher
SurveyUSA FL poll has a tie @ 47%, was O+1 last time. Romney up 5 w/ indies. Sample is D+5 (was D+3 in 08, even in 2010).

gumbyandpokey on October 30, 2012 at 12:47 AM

NumbersMuncher ‏@NumbersMuncher
NPR national poll has Romney up 1, 48-47 (was O+7 last month). Romney up 12 w/ independents. Sample is D+4.

gumbyandpokey on October 30, 2012 at 12:49 AM

“FL is Romney’s.”

Really?

NumbersMuncher ‏@NumbersMuncher
SurveyUSA FL poll has a tie @ 47%, was O+1 last time. Romney up 5 w/ indies. Sample is D+5 (was D+3 in 08, even in 2010).

gumbyandpokey on October 30, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Obama has essentially pulled all his people out of FL in favor of Ohio. So yes, FL is gone for Obama.

MrX on October 30, 2012 at 12:54 AM

“FL is Romney’s.”

Really?

NumbersMuncher ‏@NumbersMuncher
SurveyUSA FL poll has a tie @ 47%, was O+1 last time. Romney up 5 w/ indies. Sample is D+5 (was D+3 in 08, even in 2010).

gumbyandpokey on October 30, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Seems like you have answered your own question, poked.

bayview on October 30, 2012 at 1:06 AM

There have been whisperings of Dems being more likely to lie and say they will vote early or have already voted, skewing other polls. The reason I bring this up is that the plan to vote early stands out. Already voted and plant to vote on election day are both R+6 while plan to vote early is listed as even.

midgeorgian on October 30, 2012 at 1:14 AM

http://elections.gmu.edu/early_vote_2012.html

Quickly looking over the (incomplete) early voting stats, it’s hard to see where republicans could be running up the score besides Texas and Tennessee and Georgia. And there’s no evidence that they are running up the score either. I would presume that at least Texas, and probably Tennessee have decidedly mixed early voting demographics.

Another positive point is the 18-29 group. Only 7% have already voted.

DavidR on October 30, 2012 at 1:15 AM

There have been whisperings of Dems being more likely to lie and say they will vote early or have already voted, skewing other polls. The reason I bring this up is that the plan to vote early stands out. Already voted and plant to vote on election day are both R+6 while plan to vote early is listed as even.

midgeorgian on October 30, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Of course there is always the possibility of there being a “reconciliation” of the numbers in the GOP enthusiasm gap. Perhaps that is making GOP voters excited enough that we’re far more open to early voting than usual, while the less interested lefties aren’t hurrying, but will show on election day nonetheless.

It would break the trend of early voting being more of a Dem thing, and most seem to believe that it is the left cannibalizing more of their electorate with the early vote, but that’s how you’d reconcile a six point early voting edge with the perception of a close race.

Not that I’m saying that’s what’s happening. I think it’s more possible that nerves and recent history are simply making us less comfortable in admitting that we actually could have a wave election going our way. Many of us can’t even remember seeing a Republican get 300 electorate votes or a Democrat conceding on election night.

Gingotts on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 AM

0 at best will win 18 states, 43 to 44%. It’s the best he will do.

Bmore on October 30, 2012 at 2:24 AM

This is just the beginning…Romney will win big, and all the MSM will wonder how they missed it…and who is the Ben Gazi guy Fox keeps talking about…and where is that car race being held, you know the one they call Fast and Furious? Is it NASCAR, if so that explains it because they are nothing but a bunch of rednecks…

right2bright on October 30, 2012 at 2:27 AM

There have been whisperings of Dems being more likely to lie and say they will vote early or have already voted, skewing other polls. The reason I bring this up is that the plan to vote early stands out. Already voted and plant to vote on election day are both R+6 while plan to vote early is listed as even.

midgeorgian on October 30, 2012 at 1:14 AM

The dems don’t meet at the Piggly Wiggly and decide what to do…I doubt there are any “plans” by the public…now the DNC may have plans, but whatever they are, if they are to be told to the voters, we would all know…

right2bright on October 30, 2012 at 2:30 AM

Well the problem is we are thrown off by polls like Rasmussen. With tiny subsamples of 240 telling us 1/3 of OH voters have already voted and its 2:1 Obama. Preposterous. OH publishes their real numbers so there is no need to rely upon polling. Only 17.4% of OH voters have voted so far.

In all of 2008 only 29.7 voted early. Saying 1/3 have already voted early this far out is silly.

Take away: do not believe polls with tiny subsamples when it comes to early voting.

mitchellvii on October 30, 2012 at 3:24 AM

Um, why is this supposed to be hugely important…? This particular factoid was taken from the Oct.22-28 daily tracking poll which predicts Romney will win an epic landslide victory, 51%-46%. The early voting stats are broadly in line with this.

I think a more relevant questions is, does it make sense to pin your hopes on a single opinion poll outlier? The table below summarizes the latest national tracking poll of every pollster since November 17.

================================================
POLLSTER MARGIN (Obama minus Romney)
================================================
Gallup -5
Monmouth -3
AP-GfK -2
Rasmussen -2
PPP (D-Americans United for Change) -1
ABC/Post 0
ARG 0
DailyKos/SEIU/PPP (D) 0
NBC/WSJ 0
Pew 0
UPI/CVOTER 0
IBD/TIPP 1
Ipsos/Reuters (Web) 1
Politico/GWU/Battleground 1
CBS 2
YouGov/Economist 2
Democracy Corps (D) 3
Washington Times/JZ Analytics 3
================================================
AVERAGE 0

As you can see, Gallup sticks out like a sore thumb … and even if you count their result, the consensus of all pollsters is the candidates are tied! And the state polls definitely suggest Obama has the advantage.

MARCU$

mlindroo on October 30, 2012 at 3:27 AM

Here is the conclusion from all polling at this point:

Obama must EXCEED his 2008 turnout advantage to win. The electorate is now R+3 and Romney is winning the crossover battle by 4 points. Obama simply cannot win.

This will be a 5 to 9 point national victory. EVs will fall in line.

mitchellvii on October 30, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Perhaps the cautious nature of the Gallup comments are less about fear from the Justice department and more about not wanting to affect the outcome of the election.

A lot of the media has seemed to abandoned just reporting the news and now makes news in the way they present stuff. Gallup, not trying to put their thumb on the scale, just reports the numbers without trying to put too much spin on it, one way or the other.

Perhaps the media could learn from Gallup. Or perhaps the independence and integrity of Gallup have not gone by the wayside, the way it seems to have for much of the media and what we are seeing is some of the last vestiges of unbiased reporting by a major organization.

Grinch on October 30, 2012 at 3:32 AM

Mlindro,

You just proved why Obama cannot win. The vast majority of those polls assume a 2008 turnout model and the best Obama gets is a tie.

2012 will NOT be a 2008 turnout model for many many reasons.

Obama is not popular
Unemployment is high
Republicans are 40 points more enthusiastic than 2008
Democrats are 10 points less enthusiastic than 2008
McCain was broke, Romney is not.
Romney’s GOTV apparatus is exponentially better than McCains

The electorate in 2008 was D+11. It is now R+3. If Obama does not EXCEED 2008 he loses. Its over. You just proved it.

mitchellvii on October 30, 2012 at 3:34 AM

Its interesting that the GWU/Battleground voter model predicts a 52/47 Romney win as well. Final national polls will shift massively to Romney. In 2008 Pew shifted their final poll by 8 points in one week.

mitchellvii on October 30, 2012 at 3:37 AM

With all this news, we may want to consider sending a sympathy card to Gumbo over at NY Belleview Hospital . . .

BigAlSouth on October 30, 2012 at 5:23 AM

Why is this so hard to believe? 2010 was not a fluke, people.

Doughboy on October 30, 2012 at 6:04 AM

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