Friday, September 28, 2012

Missouri will swing Republican this November, according to new poll, unless we see 2008-like turnout from Democrats

Chilenski Strategies / Missouri Scout (a pollster I know nothing about) has a new poll out (and one of the rare ones that weights for party I.D.). Also, by new, I mean it was just released today. But be aware that the survey was taken 7 days ago. Of course, normal concerns apply, like the fact that this poll does not sample cell-phone-only voters, and the fact that the entire survey was completed over the course of one day. But either way, lets take a look at their numbers, and lets apply them to various turnout scenarios.

The actual poll states that it samples "registered voters who are likely to participate in the November 2012 election." (p. 33). I'm not sure how else to interpret that other than as a "likely voter." If you're registered to vote, and "likely" to vote in the November 2012 election, how are you not a likely voter?


That being said, Chilenski Strategies weights this survey sample to an R+1 partisan identification, 35% Republican, 34% Democrat, 31% Independent. That's a good deal less Democratic than 2008 exit polls measured in Missouri (40D/34R/26I, D+6). And that Dem-friendly electorate is the only way Obama is able to win Missouri, using Chilenski Strategies crosstabs:

If current poll predictions are correct, and turnout this November is equal to or greater than Democratic turnout in 2008, then Obama would be winning Missouri 48-47%, according to this poll. Obama lost the state to McCain by less than 1 pt four years ago. If Missouri falls to Obama by any margin on election night, it wouldn't be a stretch to predict Obama the winner . But what if turnout in November looks more like the 2010 midterm turnout, when Democrats made up 34% of the Missouri electorate, Republicans 37%, and Independents 28%?

If the GOP is fortunate enough to have November's electorate resemble 2010, then Romney should be on his way to a victory. He leads in Missouri under such a scenario, 50.2 - 43.5%, a noted improvement from John McCain's 49.4 - 49.2% victory in 2008 (the narrowest margin of victory of all 50 states that year), and a slight improvement from the party ID of the poll sample.

If you average partisan turnout in Missouri from the 2010 and 2008 elections, and re-weight the Chilenski Strategies poll to those turnout numbers, here is what you get:

 Missouri''s partisan identification would be D+1.5 (37D/35.5R/27I) under this scenario. If you re-weight the Chilenski poll to these numbers, Romney leads Obama by 3 points, or 49-46%. Would a 3 point win in Missouri imply a national Romney victory? That truthfully depends, but I doubt it.

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