"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How to Think About Polls II

This is from John Nolte at Breitbart's Big Government site.   It mostly gibes with what I said below:

Eight Reasons the Pro-Obama Pollsters Are Wrong
1. Republicans Can't Wait to Vote: First off, there's no question Republicans are much more energized to vote than they were in 2008 -- a year in which Republicans were demoralized and stayed home. The energy that saw Republicans make sweeping gains everywhere in the 2010 midterms hasn't diminished. If anything, the energy to send Obama home with his ObamaCare has increased. But that's instinct talking, not numbers. So here are some numbers…
2. Romney's Winning Independents: Numbers pollsters can’t tweak or weight (without committing outright fraud) all that looks great for Republicans. Romney is winning Independents by close to double digits (Obama won Indies by 8 points in '08), he's winning more Democrats than Obama is Republicans; Romney's also closed the gender gap to a place where Republicans have won national elections before.
3. Romney Beats Obama On Favorability: According to the Real Clear Politics poll of polls, Romney beats Obama in favorability.
4. Polls Show Republicans Will Turn Out In Record Numbers: Thanks to a mammoth 9,000 person likely voter poll, we can have confidence that the 2012 electorate will look even more Republican than it did in 2004:
 In 2008, 54% of likely voters identified as Democrat or lean Democrat. 42% of likely voters identified as GOP or lean GOP. In other words, the electorate, including independents who lean towards a particular party, was D+12. This year, however, the Democrat advantage has disappeared. 49% of likely voters today identify as GOP or lean GOP. Just 46% of likely voters are or lean towards the Democrats. This is a 15-point swing towards the GOP from 2008 to an outright +3 advantage for the GOP. By comparison, in 2004, when Bush won reelection, the electorate was evenly split, with each party getting support from 48% of likely voters.
The difference between a D+3 and R+3 electorate is the difference between a Romney win and a Romney landslide.
5. Romney Is Doing Well With Early Voting: Early voting also shows gains for Romney. Contrary to CorruptMedia spin, where data is available, Romney's over-performing with early voters in a number of crucial swings states. Two polls (Pew and Gallup) also show Romney beating Obama in early voting by a seven-point margin.
6. Polls Show Republicans Are More Enthusiastic: Finally, and this is what's most ironic, some of the same polls (like yesterday's from Quinnipiac) that predict Obama will enjoy a huge D+5 or better turnout advantage also show that Republicans beat Democrats on the question of intensity by double digits.
Riddle me that.
7. Romney Has a Fantastic Ground Game: As far as ground game, there's no question Obama has a sophisticated operation, but even Chuck Todd admits Romney's ground game is better than the one Karl Rove employed in 2004 that allowed Bush to win 2004 while losing Independents. Furthermore, polls that look objectively at ground game metrics show no advantage for Obama.
8. Motive: Let's also look at the pollsters' motivations. All Gallup and Rasmussen do is poll; that's how they make their living. They have to get it right, and right now both show Romney up nationally and Rasmussen shows him up in enough states to win the electoral college. Many of the pollsters showing Obama in a stronger position are tied to universities and media outlets. They have an agenda above and beyond getting it right, and polling is merely a side business.

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