Friday, December 21, 2012

Rubio leads 2016 field in first outing from Harper Polling (R)

Harper Polling is a new Republican firm designed to be the GOP's answer to the well-known Public Policy Polling (D). Politico recently did a piece on the new group regarding the Democratic edge in the polling and data departments. Well, it seems they're already up and running, as they've released their first numbers regarding the 2016 Republican primary:

Marco Rubio:  34%
Chris Christie:  18%
Condoleeza Rice:  14%
Rand Paul:  8%
Allen West:  5%
Scott Brown:  3%
Undecided:  18%

Rubio leads the pack, confirming the PPP poll from two weeks ago that had Rubio ahead, albeit by a much smaller margin. Though the likely reason for the large disparity is in the candidates that were polled. Harper Polling included a few unconventional candidates in exchange for likely candidates like Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, or Rick Santorum. PPP only polled likely candidates.

PPP results from 12/6/2012:
Rubio:  18%
Christie:  14%
Bush:  12%
Ryan:  12%
Huckabee:  11%
Rice:  8%
Palin:  7%
Rand Paul: 7%
Santorum: 4%
Other/Undecided:  7%
*Note Rick Santorum is in last place. That's a precarious position for the runner-up to the 2012 GOP nomination, as I wrote about here.

From Harper Polling, regarding the 2016 poll:
Rubio is strongest in the South and West.  There’s some logic in that.  He’s a son of the South, for those who count Florida as the South.  The Hispanic appeal may run a bit stronger out West.  In the Northeast, he and Christie run virtually tied at 29-27%.  The Midwest may ultimately be the harder nut to crack for Rubio.   His working class background may be his strongest connection to the industrial Midwest.

The Chris Christie primary voter appears to lean more toward the middle.  Along with Condi Rice, his voters are more likely to support exceptions to the no-new-taxes pledge and they believe that compromise is better for the country.  They are less likely to watch Fox News and support TEA party goals.

Speaking of the TEA party.  It is the foundation of Rubio’s support.  Approaching half of all TEA supporters (43%) are voting for him.  If I’m one of the other guys, it can’t stay that way.  Somebody has to eat away at that base for Rubio.

Despite Media focus on Guns, Americans have other ideas for dealing w/ school shootings

 Protestors interrupt NRA president Wayne LaPierre today during a press conference addressing the Newtown, CT shootings. (Credit: Getty)

In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, Gallup has some interesting poll findings. Despite a media that has been all-gun control, all-the-time since the tragic December 14th shooting, the American public apparently thinks there are better ways to respond:

Great news for Bay State's recent Senate Loser: Brown poised for comeback

The Mass Inc. Polling Group, a Massachusetts based polling firm, had excellent news today for soon-to-be ex-Senator Scott Brown (MA). Their popular Governor, Deval Patrick, would trail Brown by 7 points in a hypothetical special election Senate race:

Brown (D):  47%
Patrick (R):  40%
Other/Unsure:  13%

The result is miraculous for two reasons: 1. Sen. Brown just lost a protracted, heated battle to Elizabeth Warren by 7 points.  2. Deval Patrick is quite popular in his home state, sporting a 60/26% favorable/unfavorable rating.

For what it's worth, Brown is quite popular in the Bay State himself, with a 58/28% rating, and leads every other possible challenger by as little as 15 points and as much as 27 points. But honestly, how many people would have guessed he'd be leading the popular blue-state Democratic Governor by near double digits in a hypothetical election, especially considering that he only defeated Martha Coakley in 2010 51-47%? Not many. But the survey results look even better for Brown when you take a closer look at the internals.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Paul Ryan vs. Hillary Clinton 2016? Not Even Close, says Purple Strategies Poll

Poll nerds will be thrilled to already see some new 2016 horse race numbers from Purple Strategies. For the record, Purple Strategies fared pretty well in the 2012 election, per the NYTimes Nate Silver. To start off, they've decided to pit failed-VP nominee Paul Ryan against hugely popular Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and few will be surprised by the result.

Clinton: 53%
Ryan: 36%
Unsure/Other: 11%

Clinton stomps Ryan by 17 points. Not only that, but she dominates him in nearly every metric. She carries women by 24 pts (57-33%) and men by 9 points, 49-40%. Obama lost "men" to Romney 52-45%. Both Hillary and Ryan are strong with their base. The problem for Ryan, however, is that he's losing big among Independents (53-36%), and his base is outnumbered by Hillary's base by 10 points in this poll. In other words, the Purple Strategies likely voter sample identified as 40% Democrat, 30% Republican, and 29% Independent, or D+10. During the election just 6 weeks ago, voters identified as just 6% more Democratic than Republican. The last Presidential election in which Democrats and Republicans were at near-parity was in 2004, when both parties made up 37% of the electorate.

Presidential election results by congressional district.

Pic of 2008 Presidential election results by district. Courtesy of CQ Politics, 2009.

Cook Political Report editor David Wasserman recently tweeted the following:
Of course, what David is referring to is the "congressional district method" of awarding electoral college votes. Forty-eight of the fifty states award their electoral votes based on the winner of their state at-large. Maine and Nebraska award delegates according to the winner of each individual congressional district, awarding two bonus electoral votes to the statewide popular vote winner.

Wasserman's tweet struck me as intriguing given that Romney lost the national popular vote by a fair margin of 3.7 points. How could this be?

The most obvious answer is gerrymandering, the process by which political parties manipulate geographic congressional boundaries for political gain. But the bizarre result still had me wondering how the gerrymandering process would have effected presidential results throughout history, in the event all 50 states adopted the Maine/Nebraska EV rule.

Below is a chart comparing actual electoral college votes to what the vote would have been had all states adopted the Nebraska/Maine method of apportioning electoral votes:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nikki Haley in REAL Trouble in South Carolina Re-election Bid

For a time in 2010, Nikki Haley's star was one of the brightest in the GOP. She was another beautiful, articulate, but most importantly, conservative female rising through the ranks to become her state's top executive. She received early endorsements from party figure-heads like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. She won the Republican's gubernatorial primary, avoiding a run-off by just 1% in a crowded field, only to win the run-off 51-35%. South Carolinians appeared to genuinely like Haley, despite her surprisingly close 51-47% finish in the 2010 Governor's race, a year when Republicans made huge gains across the country. But then there were issues involving marriage infidelity, claims that she was too focused on the national spotlight, and most recently, a huge state-wide hacking scandal. A new Public Policy Polling survey confirms the SC public has taken note of her missteps:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hillary Clinton (and Ashley Judd!) shockingly strong in DEEP red Ky., per PPP

Public Policy Polling is out with a new poll in Kentucky that has some pretty interesting findings. You know a poll is good when the biggest news IS NOT that Hollywood actress Ashley Judd (D) trails Libertarian/Tea-Party darling incumbent Sen. Rand Paul (R) by just 1 point (in a state Obama lost last month 61-38%, no less)! No, the biggest news out of this poll is the fact that Sec. of State Hillary Clinton would lead BOTH home-state Sen. Paul and national rising star Marco Rubio, 47-42% and 48-40%, respectively.

The result, according to PPP President Dean Debnam, shows just how competitive Democrats could be for the third presidential election cycle in a row:

Harsh realities for 'Palin 2016' bid

Public Policy Polling is out with a new national survey of voter's opinion regarding a number of potential 2016 presidential contenders. Americans seem to have high regard right now for Gov. Chris Christie, Condoleeza Rice, and Hillary Clinton. Their favorable/unfavorable numbers are 48/26%, 51/29%, and 57/36% respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin clock in with the worst favorability ratings of those tested, at 30/40% and 33/56% respectively.

The -23 point favorability rating for Palin would give pause to anyone considering a run for President, and indeed, may be the reason why she didn't throw her hat in the ring in 2012. Below is a chart of Governor Sarah Palin's national favorability ratings, starting in the months before the historic 2010 GOP take over of Congress (a feat that was largely accredited to Palin's primary-advocacy on behalf of Tea Party candidates across the nation):

Palin's favorable / unfavorable rating since September, 2010

All fav/unfav ratings can be found at argojournal & pollster

As you can see from the chart, an examination of the last two years of Palin's favorable/unfavorable rating indicates she saw her highest popularity around the time of the Tea Party take over of Congress. But even then, her favorability only averaged 38%/51% by the end 2010.  Her ratings took a notable dip across the board early the next year following the tragic Tuscon shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords, when Palin and the Tea Party movement were called out for blame by the national media (rather unfairly). Her fav/unfav score SINCE the shooting has averaged 31%/57% (a net 13 pt drop from her average prior to Tuscon).  Unfortunately for the former Alaska Governor, Tuscon appears to have been a pivotal moment in her political career. Before then, her mediocre favorability may have been overcome with a concerted, smart public relations push. Since then, negative sentiment regarding Sarah Palin seems to have deepened and become more entrenched.

Fact is, fairly or unfairly, for good or for bad, Sarah Palin is not a well-liked national politician. Sure, she has a strong base of support among Americans who identify as "Republican" (66/25% per the new PPP poll) or "Conservative," (65/24%) but it stops there, rather haltingly. Moderates & Liberals hold an overwhelmingly negative view of Palin (16/74% and 9/80%, respectively). Independents in the PPP survey view Sarah Palin unfavorably by a 51-38% margin, despite disapproving of the job Barack Obama is doing as president by a staggering 22 points (37/59%)! That's a problem for any candidate for high office.

Just to show you HOW big of a problem it is, the below charts examine what it would take for Palin's favorability rating to break even in the PPP survey. How many Republicans or Conservatives would have to exist in the electorate for Palin's favorable rating to exceed her unfavorable rating (something it hasn't done since before 2010)? The PPP poll finds Americans identifying as 29% Liberal, 32% Moderate, and 39% Conservative. The libeal/conservative gap is roughly similar to what exit polls found on election day, 2012, when 25% identified as Liberal, 41% as moderate, and 35% as Conservative, though the 39% Conservative finding by PPP is historically high (NOT high enough for Palin to break even). How high would that conservative number have to be? Very high:

Nate Silver on Hillary Clinton in 2016

Nate Silver is up with a post on why Hillary Clinton would be formidable in 2016, and it's not because her favorability ratings are exceptionally high:

But if Mrs. Clinton runs for president in 2016, one thing is almost certain: she won’t be as popular as she is right now. Recent polls show that about 65 percent of Americans take a favorable view of Mrs. Clinton, while only about 30 percent have a negative one. Those are remarkably high numbers for a politician in an era when many public officials are distrusted or disliked.
But part of the reason for Mrs. Clinton’s high numbers is that, as secretary of state, she has remained largely above the partisan fray that characterizes elections and fights over domestic policy.

The coolest thing  about the Silver article is the chart that compiles information on Hillary's favorable/unfavorable rating since 1992:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

PPP promotes findings of Republican fringe; glosses over poor job approval for Obama

Public Policy Polling is out with their first post - election take on the American pulse, testing everything from President Obama's job approval rating, to feelings on various political celebrities such as Nate Silver and General David Petraeus. In case you were wondering, Nate Silver's favorability rating is 12% favorable, 10% unfavorable, while 77% are unsure of either who he is or how they feel about him). In a post titled: "Republicans not handling election results well", PPP blogger Tom Jensen fails to make mention of President Obama's abysmally low 37/59% job approval rating with Independents. Not to mention the President's rating with ALL voter's is an unimpressive 50/47%. In fact, it is historically poor when compared to past presidential job approval ratings.

Take, for example, PPP's measure of how Barack Obama was doing at a similar point after his first election (albeit, a little later) in North Carolina: by a 66/25% margin, North Carolinians approved of President elect Obama's transition into office . Granted, the survey questions are different, but they both measured a level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with Barack Obama shortly after winning a general election. Not only that, but Independent voters gave him a 65/24% approval rating in the days just before his 2009 inauguration, a very far cry from his post-2012 election rating of 37/59%.

North Carolina: Net Change in Obama's margin against GOP, 2008-2012, county-by-county

Net change of 0 - 2% = light pink               Net Change of 0 - 2% = very light blue
                   2.01 - 4% = pink                                          2.01 - 4% = light blue
                   4.01 - 6% = red                                            4.01 - 6% = blue
                   6.01 - 8% = dark red                                    6.01 - 8% = dark blue
                   8.01% + = very dark red                              8.01% + = very dark blue

Above is a county-by-county map of North Carolina, shaded to represent where President Obama experienced his largest net percentage margin gain & losses against his Republican contender from 2008 to 2012. The red counties are the counties where Obama did worse against Romney than he did against McCain. Likewise, the blue counties are the counties where Obama performed STRONGER against Romney than he did against McCain. The lighter the shade of red or blue, the slighter the difference in the net margins between Obama & his opponent from '08 to '12. The darker shades of red or blue represent where Obama/GOP saw their largest gains from 2008 to 2012.

Monday, December 3, 2012

UPDATE #2: Christie vs. Booker, New Jersey Governor's race 2013

Public Policy Pollling (D) became the third pollster in the last week to test a hypothetical Chris Christie (R) vs. Cory Booker (D) 2013 gubernatorial run. On the bright side for Booker, he performs much stronger against Christie in the PPP poll (only trails 50-36%), as opposed to the Rutgers (54-34%) and Quinnipiac (53-35%) poll. On the down side, Booker, a popular Democrat in a blue state, still trails the Republican incumbent by double digits.
Similar to the Rutgers and Q-poll, PPP again finds Christie performing exceptionally well with Independents  AND Democrats. In fact, Booker only attracts 57% of Democrats, nearly 30% LESS than the scandal-ridden former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine (D) did against Christie in 2009. This is almost certainly due to the strong positive marks NJ residents give their Governor on his handling of Hurricane Sandy. But are those strong positive feelings likely to last until election day, 2013?  As I've explored here and here, below is a table showing what the PPP poll would look like had they found Booker attracting 86% of the Democratic vote (the amount Corzine attracted in 2009):

Thursday, November 29, 2012

2013 VA. Gov: With Warner (D) & Bolling (R) out, looks like McAuliffe (D) vs. Cuccinelli (R)

Quinnipiac released a 2013 Virginia Governor's poll on November 14th, showing tight races between the presumed Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe and his two likely Republican opponents, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli. Though with Bolling indicating yesterday he would not seek the Republican nomination for Governor (and Mark Warner indicating the same), the race seems all but set between McAuliffe and Cuccinelli. McAuliffe was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2009 Democratic primary for Governor, and lost to Creigh Deeds (D) (50-26%), the man who eventually went on to lose to Gov. McDonnell (R) in the general election, 59-41%. Ken Cuccinelli is the state attorney general who earned the reputation among Democrats as a Republican boogey man by filing suit on behalf of his state against Obamacare. This tweet from NBC's Chuck Todd sums up insiders view of a potential McAuliffe / Cuccinelli match-up:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

UPDATE: Christie vs. Booker, New Jersey Governor's race 2013

Yesterday I proposed that Cory Booker may not want to give up yet on the NJ Governorship in 2013, considering Christie's inflated numbers with Democrats and Independents in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll.

Today, Quinnipiac released their own poll on a hypothetical Booker v. Christie race, and found nearly the exact same result as Rutgers; Christie leads 53-35% (he led 53-34% in the Rutgers poll). Also like the Rutgers poll, Christie is dominating among Republicans and Independents, while siphoning off a fair number of Democrats - 20%, to be exact (26% in the Rutgers poll).

But like last night's post, the results look a bit different in the event Booker is able to do at least as well among Democrats as John Corzine (D) in 2009. The Rutgers poll showing Christie up 53-34% became a 2 point Booker lead (46-44%) if the poll is reweighted to show Booker receiving 86% of the Democratic vote (the percentage obtained by Corzine in '09). Does the same thing happen to the Quinnipiac poll when reweighted to Corzines '09 numbers?:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why Cory Booker may want to give the 2013 NJ Governor's race another glance

As survey after survey pours out of New Jersey confirming Chris Christie (R) as one of the most popular Governors in America, the likelihood of popular Democratic mayor Cory Booker entering the 2013 gubernatorial race has dropped.

Once thought to be somewhat vulnerable to a challenge from a strong Democrat, Chris Christie now leads all of his challengers by at least 19 points, including the much hyped, rising Democratic star,  Cory Booker. A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll of New Jersey, taken Nov 14-17, shows the boisterous New Jersey Governor receiving a 19 point bounce in his personal favorability rating following a mega-storm that left millions throughout the northeast stranded and without power. Just one month earlier, before Sandy struck, and 1 month after his keynote speech at the RNC, Christie was barely above water with New Jersey voters. His favorability rating was an unimpressive 48/42%, and more voters said they'd rather NOT reelect him (47-44%). Seven weeks later, and Christie's favorability rating has surged to 67/25%, representing a net 36 point net increase. Now, Voters DO want to see him reelected, 59-32%, and a recent Fairleigh Dickinson poll shows his job approval rating at  77%.

Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Youth Vote: Anomaly or permanent Democratic voting bloc?


In 2008, election watchers were surprised when voters under age 30 turned out in record breaking numbers to support Barack Obama's first presidential bid (by record breaking margins, as well). But they were down right aghast when Team Obama, despite an abundance of polling data indicating youth enthusiasm was down, managed to increase turnout amongst this historically unreliable voting block. But is this voting block on a consistent rise in the same way white voters have been on a consistent decline? Are 18-29-year-olds a permanent constituency of the Democrats, or does history suggest there's a path for GOP inroads?

18-29 yr-old voting patters, 1976-2012

2016 Democratic primary: Absent Hillary, no clear front-runner in New Hampshire

With the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic primary about 40 months away, Public Policy Polling is out with a survey revealing some interesting (or not so interesting, depending on who is running) top line results. In the event Sec. of State Hillary Clinton chooses to run, she seems poised to win her second NH primary in a row, but by a much larger margin than her 39-37% victory over Barack Obama in 2008. She leads a crowded 2016 field by a WHOPPING 60%, with 2nd place Joe Biden at 10% - amazing considering he is now a two-term Vice President.

"Given the choices of Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley, Deval Patrick, Brian Schweitzer, Mark Warner, and Elizabeth Warren, who would you most like to see as the Democratic candidate for President in 2016?
  • Hillary Clinton 60%
  • Joe Biden 10%
  • Andrew Cuomo 7%
  • Elizabeth Warren 4%
  • Deval Patrick 3%
  • Martin O'Malley 0%
  • Brian Schweitzer 0%
  • Mark Warner 0%
  • Someone else/Not sure 15%"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

ELECTION 2012: State-by-state changes in party I.D.

While national partisan identification may have shifted 1 point from the 2008 election to the 2012 election, that spread wasn't consistent everywhere. Some states saw larger shifts than others, usually in favor of the Republicans, but certainly not always. Nationally, 38% of voters identified as Democrats (down 1 pt from 2008), 32% identified as Republicans (same as 2008), and 29% identified as Independent (also, same as 2008).

Below is a chart showing the shift in national party ID per state since 2008. Note that some states are missing due to the "National Election Pool's" decision to cut back on exit polling in 2012 as a cost saving measure. As a result, on 31 states featured exit poll results, as opposed to all 50 states in 2008.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rick Santorum's rough road to the 2016 nomination

A new article from the Christian Post reports that an anonymous evangelical leader close to the Santorum team has confided that the 2012 GOP runner-up is taking steps to run in 2016:

"Rick's getting ready [sic] organized and is not going to be behind the eight-ball when it comes to fundraising and building a grassroots organization," the anonymous source said. "I think you'll see and hear a lot from Rick in the next 12 months."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The likely make-up of the 2016 Iowa Caucus electorate could determine who runs

The Republican field in 2016 looks wide-open for the moment, according to Public Policy Polling (D). In newly released polls of Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida,  politicos ranging from Mike Huckabee, to Chris Christie, to Jeb Bush come out at the top of the pack. With the Iowa Caucuses just three years away, lets take a look at some different turnout scenarios based on past exit polling. The information below provides a more detailed look at the Iowa PPP results, extrapolated from their ideological I.D. findings.

PPP results extrapolated from Ideological I.D. findings:
"VCon"= very conservative; "SCon" = somewhat conservative; "Mod" = moderate; "SLib" = somewhat liberal; "VLib" = very liberal

How Exit Polls changed as election night wore on

One interesting feature of the 2012 general election is the fact that historically unreliable EARLY exit poll data actually proved to be more favorable to Romney than Obama, going against the popular notion that early numbers tend to favor Democrats. Several metrics, ranging from Party ID, to views of government, to race/ethnicity showed  more promising numbers for Romney earlier in the night, only to magically change as more and more returns were actually counted.

For example, just two hours before the first polls closed on the East Coast, politico reporter Jamie Dupree tweeted the following:  
"41% say the government should do more - 53% say the government is doing too much; it was flipped 51-43 in 2008"

But by the time the night was over, that 12 point lead for those thinking the government is doing TOO much had dwindled to just an 8 point, 51-43% lead.

Jon Karl of ABC News also provided some flawed preliminary exit poll data. See these tweets from just before 6 pm E.S.T., election night 2012:

"In two ABC prelim exit polls, Romney slightly edges Obama on handling of the economy and the deficit (51-47 and 50-46 percent)"

"In our ABC preliminary exit poll, voters give Obama the edge over Romney on who is more in touch with them (52-44)"
 What were the actual numbers? In the end, Romney's edge over Obama on the economy and deficit was NOT the 4 points early exit data indicated. In fact, it wound up being just 1 point, 49-48%, and just 2 points on the budget deficit (49-47%). Meanwhile, the number who felt the President was more in touch with them than Romney grew from an 8 point deficit to a ten point deficit (53-43% for Obama).

The difference between early, preliminary exit poll data, and the final result was evident in several other places, but perhaps none more consequential than partisan identification. At about 6:05pm, E.S.T., one hour before the first polls closed on the East Coast, CNN provided viewers with (and I tweeted) the preliminary Party ID data:

Monday, November 12, 2012

2016 Not Looking Any Better for Republicans

Days before the polls closed on November 6, 2012, the Obama team was predicting publicly that the electorate would be less white than in 2008, and they were right. Their argument went like this:

"Since the campaign began, Team Obama has assumed that whites would make up 72% of voters, down from 74% in 2008. (The logic: This percentage has decreased in every U.S. election, and the minority population continues to grow.) On the other hand, Republicans counter that due to greater GOP enthusiasm, the white percentage could very well stay the same as in 2008 -- or even be a tick higher. And according to our NBC/WSJ pollsters, the final outcome here could sway the election. If you assume that both sides maximize their margins (Romney wins whites by 20 percentage points and Obama wins minority voters by 60 percentage points), whites making up 75% of the electorate would give Romney the edge with the popular vote by a fraction of a point. But if the white percentage is 74%, Obama would win the popular vote by a fraction of a point. And if it’s 73%, Obama wins by one point. Bottom line: Watch the white percentage in tomorrow night’s exit polls; it will tell you more about where Virginia or Iowa or Colorado or Wisconsin will go." 

Seems awfully prophetic in retrospect.

Further evidence that something has to do be done about the GOP / non-white voter divide

Mitt Romney won a larger percentage of the white vote than George W. Bush in 2004, but that wasn't enough to overcome massive deficits with non-white voters. Perhaps the best example of this lies with the Latino vote. Romney lost the third largest voting block by an astonishing 44 points (71-27%). Compare this to 2004, when Bush ran just 9 points behind John Kerry among a group that made up  8% of the electorate (44-53%). Or compare it to the 2008 Democratic landslide in which McCain lost the Latino vote by 36 points, or 67-31%.

Considering that current tallies have the national popular vote at about 50.6% for Obama, and 47.8% for Romney, how well would Mitt Romney have had to do with Latinos in order to overcome Obama in the national popular vote?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A look at 2012 Demographics

Myself and others speculated that if the GOP won white voters by about 20 points or more, that would offset any gains for Democrats from white turnout being held at 2008 levels (when they made up 74% of the electorate). And indeed, Romney performed much better among white voters than John McCain four years earlier, winning the largest voting block 59-39%. McCain only carried the group by 12%.

But what many did not count on (myself included) was a full 2% drop in the number of white voters in the electorate. That, coupled with 2008-like African American turnout, increased Latino turnout, and a stronger Obama margin with Latinos led to Romney's demise.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Early Exit poll Ohio Result

Early Exit poll Ohio results:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

38D              35.34  (93%)            2.28    (6%)
31R               1.55    (5%)             29.14  (94%)
31I                13.33   (43%)          16.43   (53%)
                      50.22%                     47.85%   

Early Exit Poll Virginia results.

Early Exit poll Virginia results:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

37D              35.15  (95%)            1.85    (5%)
33R               1.65    (5%)             31.02  (94%)
31I                12.71    (41%)          16.43    (53%)
                      49.51%                      49.3%    

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Obama / Romney Ceilings in Virginia using past turnout

Gov. Bob McDonnell and Michele Bachmann join Mitt Romney on stage at a rally in Portsmouth, Virginia last May. Photo courtesy of Mark Makela/Reuters
Quinnipiac University has released their final round of swing state polling in Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, and the top lines aren't very pretty for Mitt Romney. Specifically, in the state of Virginia, Obama leads Romney by two points, 49-47%. But a glance at the internals should raise some eye brows. First of all, how does Obama manage to beat Romney in the state of Virginia while losing Independent voters by a 57-36% margin, or 21 points? Simple: by finding a Virginia electorate that is even MORE Democratic than the electorate that voted in 2008. Quinnipiac's party ID finding for their final Virginia poll is 35% Democrat, 27% Republican, 35% Independent, or D+8. In 2008, turnout was D+6 (39D/33R/27I).

Who are we to argue with poll findings? But I would propose that Quinnipiac's party ID findings certainly represent Obama's ceiling in Virginia, and probably Romney's floor.

What would Mitt Romney's ceiling look like in Virginia, using the Quinnipiac poll findings? Given that no statewide election was held in Virginia in 2010, I'll look to the 2009 Governor's race and the 2004 Presidential race for a example of Mitt Romney's ceiling in Virginia. In both years, Virginia turnout was R+4.
Here is what the Quinnipiac poll would look like reweighted to 2009/2004 Virginia turnout.

Quinnipiac poll weighted to 2009 Virginia turnout:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

33D              31.68  (96%)            0.99    (3%)
37R               2.22    (6%)             34.41  (93%)
30I                10.8    (36%)           17.1    (57%)
                      44.7%                        52.5%

Friday, October 26, 2012

Another D+9 party ID finding in Ohio, this time from ARG

Large Romney rally in Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 4, 2012. Photo found at
What's with all the polls out of Ohio showing a D+9 electorate? Earlier this week, Time/CNN released a poll showing Obama leading in th Buckeye state by 5 points, with a D+9 sample. Today, the American Research Group releases an Ohio poll showing Obama leading Romney 49-47%, with likely voters self-identifying as 43% Democrat, 34% Republican, and 23% Independent. That's significantly MORE Democratic than the Ohio electorate in the wave election year of 2008, when turnout was D+5. Even more startling than the ARG party ID is Romney's numbers with Independents: he's leading Obama by 21 points yet still trails by 2.

Assuming ARG's party ID finding is NOT an accurate representation of the Ohio electorate this November, what would the ARG poll look like reweighted to 2008 partisan ID?

ARG poll reweighted to 2008 Ohio turnout:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

37.5D            32.625 (87%)         3.375     (9%)
32.5R            3.25     (10%)          28.6      (88%)
30I                10.8     (36%)          17.1      (57%)
                     46.675%                  49.075%

If Obama is fortunate enough to have the 2012 electorate resemble the 2008 electorate, Romney would LEAD the Ohio ARG poll 49-47%, a reversal of Obama's actual lead in the poll.

In 2010, a strong Republican year, the Ohio electorate was TIED between Democrats and Republicans at 36D/36R/28I. Here is what the ARG poll would look like if Romney is able to bring out Republicans in full force, as in 2010:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CNN/Time confirms Obama's Ohio lead, but is it really 5 points?

Obama campaign kick-off in Columbus, Ohio, May 5, 2012. Photo courtesy of Scott Olson/Getty Images

The CNN/Time poll released this afternoon showing Obama ahead 49-44% also finds Ohio likely voters identifying as Democrats at a historically high net rate when compared to past exit poll numbers. Per the poll's findings, 37% of respondents were Democrats, 28% Republican, and 29% Independent, or D+9. Just for fun, lets reweight the poll to 2008 turnout (D+5), per exit polls and Josh Jordan of NRO.

Time/CNN poll reweighted to 2008 Ohio turnout per CNN exit polls:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

37.5D            34.5    (92%)           2.25      (6%)
32.5R            3.575   (11%)          27.625  (85%)
30I                11.4     (38%)          15.9      (53%)
                       49.475%                   45.775%     

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Romney +2 with a survey sample similar to 2008 turnout

PPP tweet from Sep. 30, 2012.
PPP (D) recently joined the swarm of pollsters releasing daily presidential tracking polls, and today's numbers showed Romney moving ahead of Obama among likely voters nationally, 49-47%. Obama and Romney were tied on Monday, 48-48%. A quick glance at the poll's internals reveal that Romney's 2 point national lead comes despite poll respondents having a strong Democratic lean (D+6, 41D/35R/24I%). That's only one point less Democratic than national turnout in 2008, according to CNN Exit polls.

So how does Romney get to a 2 point lead when Democrats outnumber Republicans by roughly the same margin as 2008? By winning Independents (50-41%), and by keeping Obama at a surprisingly low number with his own base (81%). Romney captures 87% of Republicans, as well as 16% of Democrats. Obama only attracts 11% of Republicans.

Since most can agree that D+6 is on the high end of the spectrum in terms of Democratic turnout, here's a look at the PPP survey reweighted to a likely best-case turnout scenario for Romney: 37% Dem, 37% Rep, 26% Ind - the turnout numbers from the 2004 election, per CNN.
PPP daily tracker weighted to 2004 CNN exit poll party ID:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

37D               29.97   (81%)          5.92    (16%)
37R               4.07     (11%)          32.19   (87%)
26I                10.4   (40%)            13.26   (51%)
                      44.44%                     51.37%

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Hampshire: UNH/WMUR poll shows Big Obama lead and Big Democratic sample

President Obama addresses a Manchester, New Hampshire crowd with home-state Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Gov. John Lynch (D). Photo found here.
University of New Hampshire / WMUR poll, taken October 17-21st, 2012 of 773 likely New Hampshire voters. MoE: 3.5%.

Obama - 51%  (+1 from last poll)
Romney - 42%   (-2 from last poll)

Partisan identification of likely voters:
Democrat - 46.1%
Republican - 38.9%
Independent - 15.0%

Among Democrats:
Obama - 94%
Romney - 2%

Among Republicans:
Obama - 4%
Romney - 91%

Among Independents:
Obama - 39%
Romney - 37%

UNH / WMUR poll weighted to 2008 New Hampshire exit poll party ID:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

29D               27.26   (94%)          0.58     (2%)
27R               1.08     (4%)            24.57   (91%)
45I                17.55   (39%)          16.65   (37%)
                      45.89%                     41.8% 

UNH/ WMUR poll weighted to 2004 New Hampshire exit poll party ID: 

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

25D               23.5   (94%)          0.5     (2%)
32R               1.28     (4%)            29.12   (91%)
44I                17.16   (39%)          16.28   (37%)
                      41.94%                     45.9%           

OHIO: Obama leads Romney 49-47% if Quinnipiac Poll is re-weighted to 2008 turnout numbers, leads 51-45% w/ 2004 turnout.

Rural Ohio, a region of the state Obama-Biden lost to McCain-Palin in 2008, 54-43%. Photo courtesy of
Quinnipiac is out with a new poll of Ohio showing Obama with a strong 5 point lead, 50-45%. There are two potential bright spots for Romney, however: 1) Despite Obama's strong lead in the state, it is only half as strong as it was in Quinnipiac's pre-debate poll. Then, Obama led Romney 53-43%. 2) Quinnipiac finds likely voters identifying as 35% Democrat, 26% Republican, and 34% Independent, for a party ID of D+9. That finding indicates that Democratic turnout in 2012 would be near double the turnout in 2008, a wave Democratic year in which Democrats shattered turnout records. Party ID in 2008 was D+5. What happens to the Quinnipiac poll when it is reweighted to 2008 turnout?

Quinnipiac poll weighted to 2008 Ohio turnout:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

37.5D            34.875 (93%)          1.875    (5%)
32.5R            1.95     (6%)            30.225  (93%)
30I                12.6     (42%)           14.7     (49%)
                       49.425%                  46.8%

If the Quinnipiac party ID finding of D+9 happens to be incorrect this November, and turnout reverts back to 2008 levels, Obama would lead Romney by just 49-47% in the Q-poll. Again, that is the case simply by reweighting to 2008, which will be no easy feat for the President the second time around. On the other end, here is what happens to the Q-poll if you re-weight to 2004 Ohio turnout numbers, when the electorate was  R+5 (35D/40R/25I)?  

Quinnipiac poll weighted to 2004 Ohio turnout:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

35D            32.55  (93%)            1.75    (5%)
40R            2.4      (6%)              37.2    (93%)
25I             10.5   (42%)             12.25   (49%)
                   45.45%                     51.2%

Sunday, October 21, 2012

PPP IOWA poll better news for Romney than it appears.

Obama campaigns at a wind energy farm in Oskaloosa Iowa, Aug. 14, 2012. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press.
PPP is out with a brand new poll of Iowa showing Obama leading Romney by 1 point, 49-48%. More fascinating than the top line itself is the fact that PPP finds Iowa likely voters identifying as 41% Democrat, 34% Republican, and 25% Independent, or D+7. This means Iowa voters are currently identifying as Democrats in a much higher proportion than they did four years ago, when Democratic enthusiasm and fervor greatly outmatched Republicans.

Why, then, is the Iowa electorate looking so significantly more Democratic in a year when most polling suggests enthusiasm lies with the GOP? The answer is far from clear, but a good argument can be made that D+7 in Iowa this November is unlikely. Look no further than 2008 Iowa exit polls, when party ID was 34D/33R/33I, or D+1. And that was in a strong Democratic year. In 2004, when George W. Bush won nationally by 2.5 points and carried Iowa 49.9 - 49.2%, turnout was R+2 (34D/36R/30I). Also, while midterms are not the best barometer for presidential turnout, the 2010 Iowa Governor's race saw an R+4 electorate (31D/35R/34I). So unless Democratic enthusiasm spikes well above 2008 levels, the D+7 electorate PPP finds in Iowa seems very unlikely.

What would the PPP poll look like if it were re-weighted to 2008 CNN exit polling?

PPP poll weighted to 2008 Iowa turnout:
Party ID        Obama                    Romney

34D              29.24  (86%)            4.42    (13%)
33R              3.3      (10%)             28.71  (87%)
33I               14.19   (43%)            16.83   (51%)
                      46.73%                    49.96%

Now you can see why this poll is better news for Mitt Romney than it might appear. If Democrats are able to repeat their 2008 turnout performance in Iowa, Romney would lead the PPP poll 50-47%. On the other end of the spectrum, assume November turnout resembles the 2010 Iowa electorate (R+4). What happens to the PPP poll when re-weighted to GOP-friendly turnout numbers?

PPP poll weighted to 2010 Iowa turnout (Governor's race):

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SurveyUSA shows Ohio is no "firewall" for Obama. Romney behind only 1 pt in 2008-scenario

Paul Ryan, his wife and mother campaign in Owensville, Ohio with Governor John Kasich (R), Sen. Rob Portman, and his wife, on Sep. 12, 2012. Photo found here.
Survey USA is out with a new poll showing Obama leading Romney in Ohio, the President's "firewall," by a 45-42% margin. 3% choose someone other than Obama or Romney, and 9% are undecided. Poll findings indicate that 39% of Ohio likely voters self-identify as Democrats, 32% identify as Republican, and 26% identify as Independent. Both Obama and Romney are attracting equal portions of their base, while Romney captures Independent voters by 8 points, 41-33%. As a result, it's easy to see that we're dealing with a Democratic friendly poll sample, given that Romney leads strongly with Independents, yet still trails the President overall. In the Democratic year of 2008, Ohio partisan identification was D+8 according to CNN exit polls. But poll-nerd/analyst @NumbersMuncher points out that the actual Ohio partisan ID in 2008 was closer to D+5, or 37.5D/32.5R/30I. He explains it here:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Romney performing well in Pennsylvania in 2008-style electorate

Obama, Romney at the Alfred E. Smith dinner, Oct. 18, 2012. Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
PPP just released a Pennsylvania poll showing Obama leading Romney by 7 points, 51-44%. The President led 52-40% last month. PPP also finds 48% of Pennsylvania likely voters identifying as Democrats, 37% identifying as Republican, and 15% identifying as Independent. If that finding is correct, then Pa. voters are identifying as Democrats (D+11) by the highest margin of the last 4 national elections (D+3 in 2010, D+7 in 2008, D+5 in 2006, D+2 in 2004).

Putting aside that 48% of likely Pa. voters are currently identifying as Democrats, what happens to the PPP poll if election day turnout looks more like 2008, when Democrats broke turnout records throughout the country (44D/37R/18I)?

PPP poll weighted to 2008 CNN Pennsylvania exit poll:
Party ID        Obama                    Romney

44D               34.32 (78%)             7.04   (16%)
37R               5.18  (14%)               29.97 (81%)
18I                9.18    (51%)            7.38   (41%)
                       48.68%                       44.39%

Obama's 7 point lead becomes a 49-44% lead.

Now, assume Republicans get lucky in Pa. and have an election night that resembles 2010 turnout (40D/37R/23I). Here's how the PPP poll would look:   

PPP poll weighted to 2010 CBS Pa. Gov. exit poll:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

40D               31.2 (78%)              6.4     (16%)
37R               5.18  (14%)             29.97 (81%)
23I                11.73 (51%)             9.43   (41%)
                       48.11%                     45.8%

ARG Virginia poll is better news for Romney than it appears

The American Research Group just released a Virginia poll showing Romney leading the President 48-47%. ARG finds likely voters self-identifying as 40% Democrat, 35% Republican, and 25% Independent (D+5). Those party ID numbers closely mirror Virginia's D+6 party ID from 2008.

But what happens to the ARG poll if Virginia turnout more closely resembles that of the 2009 Governor's race? (Virginia had no major statewide race in 2010). Partisan identification in November of 2009 was 33D/37R/30I, or R+4. Statewide turnout in 2004 was also R+4.

ARG poll weighted to 2009 CNN Va. Gov exit poll:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

33D               29.7 (90%)              2.31   (7%)
37R               1.11  (3%)               33.67 (91%)
30I                12     (40%)             15.6   (52%)
                         42.81%                   51.58%  

UNSKEWING The Washington Post / ABC poll

WashingtonPost / ABC is out with a new poll showing Obama leading Romney nationwide by 3 points, 49-46%, among likely voters. Nothing seems too peculiar about the top line, other than the fact that it's the first national poll to show Obama with a modest lead post Denver-debate. But what is peculiar is the surprisingly high number of respondents identifying as Democrats as compared to Republicans. The poll's partisan identification is 35% Democrat, 26% Republican, and 33% Independent, or D+9.

If turnout actually reflects the Washington Post poll's findings, then we can expect to see the most Democratic electorate in modern history this November, even more so than the record breaking Democratic turnout we saw just 4 years ago (which was D+7).

In light of this difficult to trust finding, let's "unskew" the poll, and reweight it to 2010 and 2004 turnout (which was TIED among the two major political parties). To be specific, 2010 party ID broke down like this: 35D/35R/30I. Here's what the ABC numbers would look like reweighted to this party ID:

ABC/WashingtonPost poll weighted to 2010 CNN national exit poll:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

35D              31.85 (91%)            2.8    (8%)
35R               2.45   (7%)             32.55 (93%)
30I                12.6  (42%)             14.4  (48%)
                       46.9%                    49.75%  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pew result has pollsters scratching heads, Republicans ecstatic, and Democrats livid.

Pew Research just released a poll taken Oct. 4-7th (entirely AFTER the Denver debate) showing Mitt Romney surging into a 49-45% lead among likely voters, and a 46-46% TIE among registered voters. The top line seems even more miraculous when you consider where the race stood at the time of Pew's last national poll on Sept. 12-16 (Obama led Romney 51-43% among likely voters, and 51-42% among registered voters).

Even beyond the top line result, the Pew poll is receiving a lot of attention for their internal finding that likely voters nationwide identified as 36% Republican, 31% Democrat, and 30% Independent, or R+5. This number may seem unrealistic to a lot of exit poll watchers, given that it indicates an electorate 5 points more Republican than 2004 AND 2010 turnout, both thought to be strong Republican years. Though, to be fair, Pew's September poll found an electorate that was 39D/29R/30I, or D+10. In other words, Pew found a NET 15 POINT SWING in partisan identification over the course of just three weeks.

For the sake of argument, assume for a moment that turnout in November looks more like 2008 than Pew's post-debate findings. In that case, the Pew poll results would look like this:

Pew poll weighted to 2008 CNN national exit poll:

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

39D               36.66 (94%)           1.95   (5%)
32R               2.24   (7%)             29.12 (91%)
29I                12.18 (42%)           13.34  (46%)
                       51.08%                   44.41%

Pair of Rasmussen swing-state polls show that despite debate victory, Obama maintains small lead.

The poll results for Mitt Romney have been a bit mixed in the aftermath of the Denver debate. Surveys are nearly unanimous in their agreement that Romney won the debate, and in a big way. But polling since last Wednesday has sent mixed signals regarding the size of his debate bounce. After an initial bump on Rasmussen of about 4 points, the two are tied again today amongst leaners (48-48%). The President was ahead 50-45% before the debate, per Gallup, but is tied in today's 3 day rolling average.  PPP has released two state polls (in WI and Va) that show Romney gaining on the President, though still behind.

And then you have Rasmussen's Colorado and Iowa polls out today. The president leads Romney in both states, 49-48% in the former, 49-47% in the latter. The last Rasmussen Colorado poll from September 17th showed Romney ahead of Obama, 47-45%, while the September 19th Iowa poll found Romney ahead 47-44%. If you buy Rasmussen's numbers, the poll results indicate Romney has actually done worse in Colorado and Iowa since the debate.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Post Denver Debate, Virginia remains in Obama's favor, per PPP (50-47%).

Despite saying overwhelmingly that Mitt Romney won the debate last Wednesday (61-28%), Virginia continues to give President Obama the lead by a 50-47% margin. That's a slight improvement from PPP's last poll in mid-September that showed the President ahead by 5 points, 51-46%.

The poll finds likely voters in Virginia identifying as 38% Democrat, 32% Republican, and 30% Independent (D+6). That matches the Democrats turnout advantage in the state in 2008, which was measured  at 39D/33R/27I. But in 2004, CNN exit polls found a much more Republican electorate than 2008 (35D/39R/26I).  And even more recently, in the 2009 Governor's race, the Virginia electorate was much more reminiscent of 2004 than 2008 (33D/37R/30I, or R+4).

So what would the PPP poll have looked like had they weighted their partisan sample to reflect the 2009 Virginia Governor's race exit poll numbers?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Despite survey respondents being 8pts more Democratic than GOP, Obama only leads 50-47% in CNN poll

The new CNN poll becomes the fourth of the day to show the Obama/Romney race w/in 3 points. CNN has Obama ahead among likely voters 50-47% (ARG has Obama at 49-46%, ABC/WashPo has Obama at 49-47%, and Politico/Battleground has Obama at 49-47% - not to mention today's Rasmussen Tracker has Obama ahead 50-47%, and Gallup shows a 49-45% Obama lead). In other words, it seems like a pretty safe bet to say that Obama is heading into the first debate with a 3 point lead, and is awfully close to 50% nationally.

Like the PPP NC poll released last night, and the ARG NC poll released this morning, a large Democratic advantage in partisan identification neutralizes Mitt Romney's strong lead with Independent voters (49-41%). CNN's survey finds voters identifying as 37% Democrat, 29% Republican, and 34% Independent (D+8), the same net Democratic partisan advantage from 2008. But if the electorate in November resembles the 2010 national electorate, the CNN numbers flip from a 3 point Obama advantage to a 4 point Romney advantage (50-46%):

In contrast to nearly every pollster since the DNC, today's Politico / Battleground poll finds electorate closer to 2010 than 2008

Today's  POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters has Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 49-47%. The poll was taken September 24-27.

Among Democrats, Obama wins 94% to Mitt Romney's 5%. Among Republicans, Romney wins 91% to Obama's 5%. Among Independents, Romney leads 47-43%. Partisan identification for the poll is closer to 2010 party ID than 2008, at D+2 (43D/41R/15I). If turnout looks closer to 2008, as most polls have found since the DNC, the Battleground poll would look like this:

Obama leads Romney nationally 49-46% in survey that finds a D+6 electorate.

ARG just released their national poll, and it finds Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan dropping one point from the previous ARG poll 10 days ago. They now trail Obama-Biden 49-46%. The poll was taken September 27-30.

Much like their NC poll, ARG finds that likely voter party ID is very similar to 2008 turnout (38D/32R/30I; D+6). Here are the ARG numbers, re-weighted to 2008's D+7 partisan identification.

ARG has Romney leading 50-46% in NC, despite finding a D+10 electorate

The American Research Group is out with a new poll of North Carolina likely voters, and the news is good for Mitt Romney, relatively speaking. In a survey that was conducted Sep 28-30, Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by 4 points, 50-46%. But like the PPP NC poll released last night, a closer look at the numbers reveals even more good news for Romney: Mitt leads Obama by 4 points and hits 50% in a survey that finds NC likely voters self identifying as 43% Democrat, 33% Republican, and 24% Independent (D+10). That's an awfully Democratic electorate for Mitt to be leading by four points. 2008 CNN exit polls in North Carolina showed party ID to be D+11 in a year of historic Democratic turnout. Still, Obama carried the state by just 0.4%. Here is what the ARG poll would look like if the partisan identification were re-weighted to match 2008 NC turnout.

Even with a D+14 electorate, Obama and Romney are TIED w/ NC LVs, 48-48%. Romney leads by 18 w/ Indys.

Public Policy Polling finds Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tied among North Carolina likely voters in their new poll taken Sept 27-30, 2012. Obama led 49-48% in their poll from earlier this month. But a look at the internals sheds light on why NC is still such a tough state for Barack Obama to carry.

The President can only manage a tie with Mitt Romney, despite the fact that PPP finds the NC likely voter pool to be 14 points MORE Democratic than Republican. In 2008, when Barack Obama carried the state by less than half a point, Democrats outnumbered Republican voters by just 11 points, for a party ID of 42D/31R/27I. PPP, however, finds the NC electorate to be 48% Democrat, 34% Republican, and 19% Independent, or D+14. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

PPP shows tightening in Ohio race, Obama leads 49-45%, Party ID shifted 3 pts to GOP (D+5)

PPP just released what feels like their 3rd Ohio poll in a week. This time, they're finding a tightening in the head-to-head match-up, as well as a tightening in the partisan identification numbers:
It's a mistake to think based on recent polling in Ohio that the race there is over. Obama is not popular in the state, with 48% of voters approving of him to 49% who disapprove. Among voters who remain undecided there just 13% think he's doing a good job to 65% who give him poor marks. That doesn't mean those folks will move to Romney en masse because they don't particularly like him either (a 26/37 favorability rating) but it does mean there's potential for the race there to get within tossup range over the final five weeks.

 PPP finds Ohio likely voters self-identifying as 41% Democrat, 36% Republican, 23% Independent, or D+5. In PPP's last Ohio poll from September 18, Ohio party ID was D+8 (and Obama led 50-44%). What would PPP's poll look like under a 2010 turnout senario?:

Another Ohio poll shows Romney collapse, trails Obama 51-42%

The Columbus Dispatch Ohio poll finds Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by near double digits, 51-42%.  The mail-in poll was taken over the course of ten days (Sept 19-29) and appears to confirm the results of another awful poll from earlier this week. It also confirms the consensus finding amongst pollsters that the Ohio electorate is going to look remarkably similar to the 2008 electorate (D+8). The partisan identification for the likely voters in this particular Ohio poll is 43% Democrat, 35% Republican, and 20% Other (D+8).

Here's the Columbus Dispatch poll, re-weighted to match 2008 CNN exit poll findings on party identification in Ohio:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Re-weighting the PPP Michigan poll

The hope of carrying his home state of Michigan is another dream PPP crushed for Mitt Romney with the release of their NRDC Action Fund paid-for poll. Mitt Romney is losing the state by 9 points, 51-42%. That is somewhat of an improvement over John McCain's 16.4 point thumping in 2008. Michigan is similar to Ohio in that PPP finds Democrats in their likely voter sample outnumbering Republicans by 11% (41D/30R/29I). That is remarkably similar to the electorate that turned out to vote in 2008, which was D+12 (41D/29R/29I). As a result, it's easy to assume that re-weighting to the 2008 turnout numbers would yield essentially the same result as PPP, with Obama leading 51-41%.

Unfortunately, CBS did not take an exit poll of the Michigan Governor's race in 2010, and CNN has taken the data off their website. In light of this, I'll look to the 2004 Michigan CNN exit polls as a point of comparison between the electorate then, and the electorate as PPP finds it in Michigan today.  The party ID in Michigan 8 years ago was 39D/34R/27I.

Romney's 17 point lead w/ Indys in PPPs OHIO poll could be his saving grace

The NRDC Action Fund must have been thrilled after receiving the results from PPP's swing-state project. Obama leads. . . well, everywhere, and by strong margins. Even in states that have been historically very close, he seems to be pulling away. That is the case with PPP's newly released Ohio poll (note the poll was taken September 14-18, 2012). The President leads Mitt Romney 50-44%, the widest margin between the two candidates since May of 2012, when Mitt trailed Obama in Ohio 50-43%. But as always, the devil lies in the details, or, erhh, the crosstabs.

How exactly is Obama leading by 6 points in a state John McCain only managed to lose by 4.6 points? Because Obama is attracting a larger portion of his Democratic base (89%), than Romney (85%), and because 8% MORE Democrats than Republicans now say they'll show up to vote in Ohio in November. To be precise, PPP finds Ohio voters self identifying as 41% Democrat, 33% Republican, and 26% Independent, or D+8. That is the SAME net margin of Democrats to Republicans that voted in Ohio four years ago, when party ID was 39D/31R/30I. But much like the Virginia and Pennsylvania polls discussed here and here, Romney is destroying Obama amongst Independent voters. In Ohio, he carries them by 17 points, 51-34%. So although the PPP partisan ID findings are practically the same as 2008 exit poll results, lets re-weight the poll to fit 2008 turnout. The main reason i'm choosing to do this is because PPP finds Independent voters making up 4% less of the electorate this November than they did in 2008 (26% vs. 30%). Because Romney's lead among Independents is so large, I'm curious to see how the '08 numbers would change the poll result, if at all: