Monday, October 15, 2012

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%  

Off year Gubernatorial elections aren't necessarily reflective of a general election electorate, but if the GOP is fortunate enough to see such turnout, Romney would lead the ARG poll 52-43%. That's approaching George W. Bush's margin against John Kerry in 2004. But what if turnout is an average of the ARG poll finding, and the 2009 Governor's race? Such a party ID would be 36.5D/36R/27.5I, and Romney would still lead 50-45%.

Party ID        Obama                    Romney

36.5D            32.85 (90%)           2.555   (7%)
36R               1.08  (3%)              32.76 (91%)
27.5I              11     (40%)           14.3   (52%)
                       44.93%                  49.615%   

Either way, ARG's 1 point lead for Romney is better news than it appears, given the strongly Democratic electorate he's performing in.

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