Thursday, September 27, 2012

NBC / Marist Nevada poll has Obama leading by 2 points. In a 2010-style electorate, Romney wins 49-47%

The three NBC/Marist polls released today had one bit of good news for Romney - Nevada is apparently a two point race, with Obama leading 49-47% amongst likely voters. Why is it good news that Romney is trailing two points in a state with just 6 electoral college votes? Because Obama carried it 55-43% in 2008, and because Romney currently trails there by an average of 4 pts. And much like the party ID of the Connecticut PPP poll released earlier today, the Marist poll found Nevada voters identifying with political parties in a similar fashion from four years ago. The party ID for the Nevada Marist poll is 38% Democrat, 31% Republican, and 30% Independent. In 2008, it was 38D/30R/32I. So as of now, the state of the race in Nevada is remarkably similar to 2008. Democrats plan to turnout by a net 7 points more than Republicans, and that gives Obama a 2 point lead.

Assume though that turnout in Nevada reflects the more GOP-friendly turnout that took place in the 2010 midterms. That year, partisan identification looked like this: 35D/33R/32I (D+2). If you accept the Marist crosstabs as true, but replace their partisan identification findings with 2010 Nevada exit polling findings, the numbers look like this:

Romney takes a 2 point lead over Obama, 49-47%, by re-weighting Marist poll numbers to 2010 partisan turnout.  Without going through the math, it's clear that if you were to re-weight the Marist poll to a 2008-2010 partisan identification average, the Nevada race is tied.

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