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Funky Gallup

Now that the election is entering its final days, I had expected the polls to start tightening the race in order to reflect actual demonstrated conditions. For several days this has been happening in a number of major polls, but today Gallup posted a surprising number; they show Obama leading McCain by double-digit margins in all three models of their polling.

I will admit that when I first saw this, I was shocked and a bit dismayed. For all the criticism I have thrown at them, Gallup has always appeared to me to be the most professional of the polling outfits, and it they showed such a strong and consistent Obama surge at the end, then maybe I was wrong and we should expect a rout to conclude on Tuesday.

Then my brain kicked in and said , 'hold on there, wait just a minute'. You see, there are some weird things going on here with Gallup, and yes they are important. First off, Gallup used to be simple enough; they took a poll and announced the results and internals, just as they have for decades. But this year, Gallup is running three different models, one in which they have admitted punching in inflated youth and minority race participation at unprecedented levels (their 'expanded voter' model). They stepped back from that when it became obvious that this model was giving numbers which did not jibe with any reasonable judgment, and tossed out a 'traditional' model which played the numbers with a more nominal weighting. So, for some time now we have seen three models, which have tossed out a range of support in which the 'expanded' model favors Obama more than the 'traditional' model. Yet today we see Gallup claiming 52-41 Obama in its Daily Tracking of all registered voters, 52-42 in the 'expanded voter' model, and 52-42 in the 'traditional voter' model.

Now, stop and think about why that almost has to be bogus. First, Gallup is saying that McCain lost 5 points of support and Obama gained 3 points of support in just 5 days. Does that heavy swing of support make sense? And if it does, why does Fox say McCain gained six points in the last week?

And why does Zogby show that McCain led Obama in Friday's one-day polling, yet claim that in three-day tracking he's still down by 5 points?

You get the idea; the volatility of the polls is a warning sign that they are not to be trusted. The trends are going different directions, and they do not even always agree with their own headlines.

Weird.

But Gallup is getting a trip to the woodshed for today's stunt. You see, they're not being honest with you and I think I can prove it.

- continued -

Gallup has been using three different models for their reports. The first one just takes registered voters and only weights it for Census norms. The second is the 'expanded' model which weights the results to show heavy participation by blacks and young voters. The third model is what they are calling the 'traditional' model, but in fact this is not the same as past years, but is just the 'expanded' model with the extra black and youth votes reweighted back to historical norms, but which fails to adjust for assumptions made in the polling process and respondent pool construction.

Now think about this. Gallup claims to be using three models, yet is claiming they are producing identical results, as well as showing volatile changes in both candidates' support levels going into the weekend. How is this possible? The only way this can be possible, is that Gallup is claiming that youths and black voters are voting the exact same way as voters overall. There's no real way that the math works out, otherwise.

And what does Gallup say about youths and the black vote? Well, starting with the youth vote, there is not much to say. Gallup has admitted that the youth vote is not doing anything special this year.

So we should be seeing the 'expanded' model recede a bit, not show Obama's lead growing, at least not because of the kids. What about the black vote? Gallup is all kinds of geeked about the black vote this year, saying they expect about a three percent increase from 2004 participation. OK, I can agree with that, but since Gallup has said they were already weighting blacks more heavily in their 'expanded' model, how do they explain that model surging this week, and why would the other models change as well? Frankly, the most likely possibility is that Gallup has recognized that their polling methodology used this year was in line with the 'expanded' model they made so much of earlier this year, and they are simply reinforcing the oversamples in anticipation of a rout which may not in fact exist.

Gallup is also getting goofy on another count: Early Voting. We've been hearing three things all this season about turnout - first, that we should expect around 130 million voters this year, that early voting will top 30% of all voting, and that the youth and black vote will break records this year. Gallup is reporting that as of October 31, 27% of their respondents say they have already voted and another 8% say they will vote early. Got those numbers? OK, with them in mind, let's go visit Dr. McDonald again.

Dr. Michael McDonald at George Mason University has been tracking the early voting results. Now, we are not going to see exit polling data before the polls close on November 4, much less the actual election results, but we are getting some interesting details. Once again, I recommend everyone spend some time at his site to see the numbers for yourself.

OK, so looking at the numbers as of Saturday at 5:54 PM Texas time, we see that a total of 22,498,237 votes have been cast in early voting, known absentee and in-person votes combined. Now, if Gallup is right and 27% of the voters have done it already, that projects a total national vote of 83,326,804 voters, or a drop of 33% from 2004's voting tallies. Dr. McDonald's numbers come from the states' official offices, so they're as reliable as you will find. So, you have a choice of believing that only 83 million people are going to vote this year, or Gallup is wrong to claim that 27% of the voters voted early. If the actual tally is 130 million, then the early voters only made up about 17% of the total voters, and November 4 is going to be a madhouse.

And about that 8% who have not yet voted but plan to vote early? If we're going to get to 130 million, then the 17% who have voted early did so over about a two-week period so far, or just about 8.5% a week. With that pace, three days of potential 'early' votes would project about another 3.6% of eligible voters will actually vote early, assuming the same early voting conditions exist.

So, Gallup's assumptions about early voting may not be as big as they expected. Before I discuss what that means for November 4 conditions, let's consider the black vote and the early voting so far.

Dr. McDonald shows that nine states are reporting voting by party affiliation, and three by racial demographic (only North Caroline is reporting results by age group, and as was reported earlier, the kids are not showing up this year either) . Among black voters, turnout where reported is indeed healthy.

Georgia is reporting that 35.1% of its early voters are black (versus 29.9% of the population and 25.7% of all registered voters), Louisiana is reporting that 36.3% of its early voters are black (versus 31.7% of its population and 31.2% of all registered voters), and North Carolina is reporting that 26.3% of its early voters are black (versus 21.7% of its population and 20.7% of all registered voters). So for those three states, early voting is averaging 4.8% ahead of population levels and 6.7% ahead of registration totals. Given the 11% representation of blacks relative to the total voter participation in 2004, an increase of 6.7% to that demographic would raise their portion of the total voter poll to 12%. Therefore, the demonstrated performance by blacks in early voting this year does not justify the heavy weighting used by Gallup.

Now, let's look at that early voting number. Nine states are reporting participation by party affiliation. Here's how that turns out so far:

Colorado: D 37.7%, R 35.9% (registration 32.8% D, 33.1% R)
Florida: D 45.6%, R 37.8% (registration 42.0% D, 36.1% R)
Iowa: D 47.3%, R 28.8% (registration 32.4% D, 27.8% R)
Louisiana: D 58.5%, R 28.4% (registration 52.5% D, 25.3% R)
Maine: D 42.9%, R 28.2% (registration 31.1% D, 28.1% R)
Nevada: D 49.6%, R 33.0% (registration 44.0% D, 35.6% R)
New Mexico: D 53.4%, R 32.9% (registration 50.1% D, 31.7% R)
North Carolina: D 51.8%, R 30.0% (registration 44.8% D, 34.3% R)
West Virginia: D 59.4%, R 31.5% (registration 55.7% D, 29.2% R)

For these nine states on average, the democrats are early voting at a rate 2.6 points higher than their registration, while republicans are early voting at a rate 3.4 points lower than their registration. Since the early voting currently represents 17% of the anticipated turnout this year, this works out to a total voting advantage by party of 1.02 points. Obviously, if the democrats enjoy a similar +2.6 to -3.4 turnout advantage in actual voting on November 4th, this would inflate their party advantage (assuming democrats support Obama in equal degree that republicans support McCain) by six points, which appears to explain Gallup's sudden shift: Gallup has decided that the trend in early voting will be reflected in the November 4th turnout, which is a dangerous assumption, for the following reasons:

1. The 6-point advantage for democrats is reported in just 9 states out of 34 which have early voting; there is no clear information on party participation on the other 25 states which have early voting, and these numbers may be significantly different.

2. The record on early voting is too short to establish a statistically valid trend, but even the last two elections have shown significantly different levels of participation in voter turnout by party between early and election-day voting. There is no basis for presuming that early voting turnout will be reflected the same way on November 4.

3. Obama has urged his supporters all year long to vote early, while McCain has not made the same push. A slightly higher percentage of republicans this year than democrats have stated an intention to vote on November 4 rather than early.

4. Voters who participate in early voting will not also be participating in election-day voting. This datum is significant with regard to black voters. Black voters have been shown to be participating in the three states which release that detail, at a rate 6.7 points ahead of registration proportions. While increased participation overall by blacks may produce a modest increase (roughly 1 percent) to Obama's support, the ceiling level of the black voter demographic necessarily means that black voter participation will decline significantly on November 4. Consequently, even if all other conditions are the same, republican participation on November 4 should be expected to improve measurably.

In conclusion, Gallup is assuming that because some democrats in some states are showing up strong in early voting, that this means a blow-out is coming. In truth the lower-than-expected totals of actual voting, combined with reports that no state so far is reporting blow-out numbers, demonstrates that the election is highly volatile and far from over, and depends as it has all along on the three key components of voter turnout, who wins the independent voter support, and which way the undecideds break. Don't be fooled, this race is still red hot.


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Comments (97)

Could you comment on the re... (Below threshold)
Carl Hardwick:

Could you comment on the reported undecideds in polls this year? They seem to number 7-14% this election cycle, is that percentage high compared to other elections this close to election day?

Thanks for commenting on th... (Below threshold)
chai:

Thanks for commenting on this depressing Gallup poll number. I've followed your poll analysis for weeks, and think you know what you are talking about. Thanks again....

My unscientific reason the ... (Below threshold)
kp:

My unscientific reason the polls are off
1. Pollers are also followers, when one over polled that made the others believe their overpolling was right
2. They do not believe republican could possibly be enthusiastic. They live in a bubble area and do not see what most Americans see.
3. They do not beliewe in the PUMAS. I do.
They are over sampling, they do not thank republicans will show up and definetly cannot imagine democrates not voting for the one.
McCain/Palin definetly Win

Another interesting analysi... (Below threshold)
Jeff C.:

Another interesting analysis. I know there isn't much history on early voting, but another data point might be 2004 early voting party percentage vs. registration. Jim Geraghty had a post on it yesterday that seemed to show the percentages are similar to last year.

For an Obama rout, there has to be some combination of the following:

1) High Democratic Turnout - the high African-American early voting percentages could indicate this but your analysis shows that alone won't make a huge difference.

2) Depressed GOP turnout - although the media is doing their best to ensure it, I don't see many signs of it. Gov. Palin wouldn't still be drawing 10-20K at rallies if the base had given up.

3) Obama winning independants by a large margin - none of the polls I have seen seem to show this

4) GOP crossover votes to Obama - many polls higher Dem loyalty than GOP loyalty but it doesn't seem intuitive. It would indicate the PUMAs are a non-factor and defies past history when the GOP has virtually always had a higher loyalty. We all remember Reagan Democrats. I don't ever recall hearing about Clinton Republicans.

One minor nit that I hope doesn't make it too obvious I'm a nerd engineer. When discussing a change in a percentage (say from 20% to 25%) it is an increase of 5 *percentage points*. If you say it is an increase of 5%, it would only be a change from 20% to 21% as 20 x 1.05 = 21.

Then there is always the po... (Below threshold)
Bob Dillon:

Then there is always the possibility that the folks at Gallup hoping for a self-fulfilling prophecy, by pushing the double-digit blowout scenario two days before election day to discourage Republicans from voting.

Bob D.

WHAT THE HELL IS ON DRUDGE:... (Below threshold)
captaindawg:

WHAT THE HELL IS ON DRUDGE: "CIVILIAN NATIONAL SECURITY FORCE"?????????

WTF, are the brownshirts coming? Is this country about to turn into some kind of nazi hell?

Jeff C, when I refer to 'po... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Jeff C, when I refer to 'point changes', I am saying that's the change in overall results, while percentage chanegs, if I did not goof, are meant to refer to internal changes. Thus, a 6% advantage in early voting only translates to a 1 point increase in national opportunity for the democrats, ceteris paribus.

Rather than doing all that ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Rather than doing all that hard marth and playing with the biased numbers simply do this.

Anytime before the day prior to the election add 7% to the republican number and take 1% from the democratic number to reflect what will actually happen.

WIthin 24 hours of the election add 5% to republicans and still take 1% from the democrats.

Then your numbers will be much more accurate than any of the polling groups like Zogby, Gallup and Rasmussen.

I'm not sure this part hold... (Below threshold)
joshin:

I'm not sure this part holds true in the age of ACORN:
"Voters who participate in early voting will not also be participating in election-day voting."

I agree with KP....on his c... (Below threshold)
Rndguy:

I agree with KP....on his conclusions and would just add:

Operation Chaos is also not taken into consideration. That will cause an increase in DEM registrations when there were hundreds of thousands if not millions of REPUBS who switched to keep Hillary in the fight.

When you have a spread of 3.8-13 something is fishy.....Either way I agree with DJ turn out is key on the REPUBS side and from what I am hearing in IA (where I live) and from ACE of Spades there is very HIGH excitement on the REPUB side...even from young adults....THAT is something that gives me hope....

Everyone wants to have coffee or a stiff drink available for Tuesday night. I think I am going to need a pink drink that begins with Pepto handy instead.

Everyone I know is really f... (Below threshold)

Everyone I know is really fired up to beat Obama. They realize what a disaster his election would be for this country. Look for a huge McCain vote from suburban and rural area.

I agree; I think the pollst... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I agree; I think the pollsters assume all Dems. are turning out to vote for The One, and that's not the way it will play out--how much, we don't know.

On the CIVILIAN NATIONAL SECURITY FORCE, I'm not sure what it is since it just popped up out of no where, but perhaps it's similar to the thing that was set up in Nicaragua under Ortega's new regime recently. They call theirs "Councils of Citizen Power." It is the regime's attempt to indoctrinate and control party activists.

Given what we know about Obama's radical past, for those of us who actually take the time to read of it, I can see him trying something similar, put starting out as if it's some natinal civilian peace corp or some such.

I have a question. Let's s... (Below threshold)
kp:

I have a question. Let's say at the beginning of the election one reliable polling company over samples a group (ex. democrates) Making other companies think they should also oversample that group. Which reinforces the original polling place and now all the polls are off. Could that explain the weird percentages.

Interesting break down. Tha... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Interesting break down. Thanks for the inside look. Makes me feel better, it ain't over till it's over...Something smells fishy with these numbers. ABC at halftime of the Texas-Texas Tech game Sat. night showed a Wahington Post poll with Obama at 53-42 (or maybe 52-43), I forget which, and then Charlie Gibson says, our poll found "there were very few undecideds left"... Pure voter supression operation, even during the damn football game. Can't avoid it.

One thing about this Gallup... (Below threshold)
naguszed:

One thing about this Gallup poll. It was taken on a Friday which was also Halloween.

I think the numbers for this will be strange because of trick-or-treating.

I went house to house in Oh... (Below threshold)
Joe:

I went house to house in Ohio today for about 5 hours. I visited about 105 homes and all of them were so exicted about voting for MacCain, except for one guy. MaCain's signs outnumbered Obama's signs about 7 t0 1. I was very encouraged and I think we are about to witness a huge upset on Tuesday.
Keep up the hard work and May God bless you all.

DJ has done his usua... (Below threshold)
Larry:


DJ has done his usual great job of analysis. I just called a buddy of mine in PA, a person who worked for Santorim at one point. He says that McCain's pollster in PA is jumping up and down with joy. Anyway, I referred him to DJ for analysis.

One of the things that needs discussing is the voter turnout effort Obama has organized. He needs early voting in massive numbers for it to work. There is only so much you can do in one day with paid workers.

Gibson is a pompous ass. He... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Gibson is a pompous ass. He doesn't want to have to eat crow over his snooty interview with Palin. All the major networks want Obambi to win so that he can get rid of their competition with censorship and the "Fairness Doctrine".

Santorum ... (Below threshold)
Larry:

Santorum

Are you practicing your lat... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Are you practicing your latin Larry?

hey dawg - I emailed tip @ ... (Below threshold)
Larry:

hey dawg - I emailed tip @ wiz. . . a couple of hours ago when I saw the YouTube video. If it isn't a very good fake, I have decided to go into the Brown Shirt manufacturing business.

LarryI think you may... (Below threshold)
captaindawg:

Larry
I think you may have a winning business strategy there. I didn't mean to threadjack, but this is insane. Attacks on first and second amend. rights? Needing some kind of new constitution? Domestic thug-squads? How blind are we?

DJ, I think there is an add... (Below threshold)

DJ, I think there is an additional data point in the lack of Republican early voting.

I will not vote early because I'm afraid my vote will be stolen by Democrat operatives. I remember 2000, when the Florida Democrats tried to have the military ballots thrown out, and the mysterious boxes of ballots found in the trunk of a car in New Mexico that all ended up for Gore. Only on Election Day are the proper checks and balances in place to secure my vote.

I live in Colorado and will be a poll watcher on Tuesday. At our training session last week, the room was overflowing with volunteers.

Early voting is unsafe, and I'd only do it if I had to.

Frazetta girlThat'... (Below threshold)
captaindawg:

Frazetta girl

That's probably pretty smart. I wouldn't vote early even if I could.

DJ,Thank you for t... (Below threshold)
ASD:

DJ,

Thank you for this analysis. I have been following your posts for a few weeks now and truly appreciate your thorough analysis. When I saw Gallup's numbers this afternoon I was wondering what you would have to say about how both the EV and LV numbers line up so exactly. Thanks for your explanation!

Gallup was wrong about EVER... (Below threshold)
Dustin:

Gallup was wrong about EVERYTHING in 2004, especially with the 4 biggest toss-up states. They Predicted Kerry would win Florida by 3 (he lost by 3) and that Kerry would win Ohio by 4 (he lost by 2)

Gallup predicted Bush would win Pennsylvania by 4 (he lost by 2)and Wisconsin by 8 (he lost by 1).

So in these 4 states, Gallup was off by 6%, 6%, 6%, and 7%. Ironically, Gallup actually accurately predicted the Bush total victory fairly closely, but they achieved their results through obviously faulty polling data, making their correct result more luck than crack-shot polling work. Additionally, Gallup would have been fairly close in predicting the final electoral total, but by total accident as Bush won the states they thought Kerry would win and vice versa.

I've also noticed Gallup isn't releasing state polls in 2008 as they had in 2004. They were partnered with CNN last election, but CNN seems to have dumped them after their shoddy work last time, and are now using Opinion Research Corp.

The CIVILIAN NATIONAL SECUR... (Below threshold)
Patricia:

The CIVILIAN NATIONAL SECURITY FORCE, is extacly what Chavez has created in Venezuela, listen to me, EVERYTHING OBAMA IS DOING, AND HIS CAMPAIGN TACTIS, ARE RIGHT OUR OF HUGO CHAVEZ NARCICIST TOTALITARIAN DICTATOR HANDOBOOK, exactLy the same, I am wrinting form Caracas, so I know what I am talking about.

PatriciaI'm not su... (Below threshold)
captaindawg:

Patricia

I'm not sure why this is not obvious to all

I stopped reading after a f... (Below threshold)
Winston Smith:

I stopped reading after a few paragraphs of inaccurate statements. The "traditional likely voter model" was not rolled out because the expanded LV model didn't work out. It was the LV model they were using in the first place.

Now, the expanded LV model does NOT have a significantly elevated youth turnout. How do I know this? Well, I could read the item YOU LINK TO in your own article.

No wonder the people who read this site are clueless. People, if you want poll analysis from someone with a clue, read fivethirtyeight.com.

This is wishful thinking, not analysis. Anyone who buys this handwaving is going to feel pretty stupid on election night.

Nice try Winston. Of cours... (Below threshold)
Jeff C.:

Nice try Winston. Of course those "Montana is in play!" (Bush won 2004 by 20 points) or "McCain in jeopardy of loosing Arizona!" (after being re-elected to the Senate with 70+% of the vote term after term) articles are so convincing.

In 2006, a week before the election, every poll said the Dems would win Congressional vote by 11 to 21 points (see realclearpolitics 2006 archives). Of course they did win, but it was only 7.5 points. The worst offenders were the MSM polls (Newsweek, CNN, NYT/CBS) which predicted the 20 point win. In hindsight, the fact that anyone took them seriously is remarkable. But since the Dems did win, the fact that the winning percentage was wildly overstated was forgotten.

Nobody here guarantees a McCain win. However, we don't believe polls based on a 8-10% Dem lead in party weighting when it hasn't happened since Lyndon Johnson. We don't believe polls with 15 to 20% of Republicans voting for Obama when something like that hasn't happened in our lifetime. We don't believe polls with 90+% of Dems voting Obama with the PUMAs and historical averages closer to mid-eighty per-cent.

Two things are crystal clear. First, the MSM is completely in the tank for Obama and are motivated to depress Republican turnout by portraying this as over. Second, turnout models with no historical backing aren't justified based on warm, fuzzy feelings for hope and change.

What I wonder about is the ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

What I wonder about is the extent to which party-weighting in current polls are based on the 2006 turnout, when the Republican base really was disillusioned and less enthusiastic than they are now.

The theory that Operation Chaos might have tilted party registration in some areas is true, but if that were an influence on current polling, then polls should be showing more "Democrats" who are planning to vote for McCain. I just don't see that.

The ACORN mess is very rele... (Below threshold)
Lummox JR:

The ACORN mess is very relevant here. First of all if early voters are tracking 2.6% ahead of Democratic registration, by definition they'd have to fall below actual registration on Election Day. But throw in the fact that many of the registrations are bogus and thus will never translate into actual votes, and that percentage of votes below registration on Election Day will definitely be much higher. The Chaos/PUMA situation also means votes cast by registered Democrats could still end up going for McCain, and everything I'm hearing suggests the PUMA vote is strong.

Based on the known facts I make these predictions: The media will not mention the ACORN problem and will say that Democratic turnout is far lower than they predicted on Election Day in spite of any adjustments for early voting. On November 5, maybe as soon as Tuesday night, the mythical Bradley Effect will be touted as the reason the polls so badly misjudged the result. (I have no doubt that no matter who wins, the polls will have proven to be wrong.)

Pardon me for my 2-cent. I ... (Below threshold)
nononsense08:

Pardon me for my 2-cent. I am completely clueless on how the poll numbers are calculated. But one thing that stands out very clear to me. That is, after his +$4M-infomercial Wednedsday night, the RCP numbers for both Obama and McCain barely moved. That tells me Obama just wasted $4M for nothing.

I also appreciate Dr. McDon... (Below threshold)

I also appreciate Dr. McDonald's work, but I think you are making some bad assumptions about that site.

OK, so looking at the numbers as of Saturday at 5:54 PM Texas time, we see that a total of 22,498,237 votes have been cast in early voting, known absentee and in-person votes combined. Now, if Gallup is right and 27% of the voters have done it already, that projects a total national vote of 83,326,804 voters, or a drop of 33% from 2004's voting tallies. Dr. McDonald's numbers come from the states' official offices, so they're as reliable as you will find. So, you have a choice of believing that only 83 million people are going to vote this year, or Gallup is wrong to claim that 27% of the voters voted early. If the actual tally is 130 million, then the early voters only made up about 17% of the total voters, and November 4 is going to be a madhouse.

The bad assumption here is that "as reliable as you will find" is the same as "reflective of reality". For example, Alaska has early voting. It is reported to be very heavy. However, Dr. McDonald's total for Alaska early voting is 0 because he has no official report of data from that state. Other states with this same problem are Vermont, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. Also, some states only have data from certain cities or counties, such as Illinois or Arizona. Perhaps you believe that Arizona has had fewer than 32,000 early votes cast or that Illinois is under 500,000, but I don't think that is reality. Even when states are reporting fully, the site is not always up to date, as looking down the far right-hand column will show.

Finally, even in the states where early voting is not generally allowed, absentee ballots can still be cast and I'm guessing that Gallup is counting these as already cast. The site generally has 0 for all these numbers. So, while Gallup's number is still probably high, it's certainly not as high as you make it out to be by pretending that 22,498,237 is an accurate count of all early voting. In any event, the choice is certainly not "only 83 million people are going to vote this year" or "Gallup is wrong to claim that 27% of the voters voted early". That's simply not backed up by even a cursory examination of Dr. McDonald's site.

Just to add something else.... (Below threshold)
Rndguy:

Just to add something else.

Please keep in mind that:

1) Op. Chaos
2) PUMA

Are real events that are happening.

Another real event that is missing that is a known quanity when it comes to polling for Obama is this: On average during the primaries Obama had an average of 7% overpolling. Which means to me that if you look at any number for Obama he (to me) has a MOE of 7%.

So with that said....Take Rassmusen...Obama +5, could be McCain +2.....Zogby...Obama 5.7...could be McCain +1.3. TIPP is Obama +3.8 could be McCain +4.8 (Obama is under 50% in this poll w.9% unsure).

Keep in mind too that McCain's internal pollster confirms most of what DJ has been saying. His 'models' do not show Obama getting 50%, now that can be cryptic to say that Obama can't win or Obama will not have a majority much like Clinton. Who knows.....the funny part is Obama's internal pollster is silent...The only person who has rung the panic button for The One is Rendell from PA......That is VERY telling to Obama's situation.

Someone will have big time egg on their face when this is all over....

You have to remember that e... (Below threshold)

You have to remember that even Republican experts such as Karl Rove are looking at the electoral college figures, and not the daily popular vote figures. It is of course the electoral vote figures that really count, and according to Karl Rove, Obama is on track to win at least 311 electoral votes, McCain 157, and 70 are considered as tossup that a closer popular vote could potentially swing towards McCain is some cases. The fact of the matter is that McCain has little options to pull Obama below this 300+ electoral vote total on Tuesday and is highly unlikely to win because of this.

John McCain has focused a great deal of energy on some desperate attempt to pull off a win Pennsylvania like Hillary Clinton achieved during the primary season. However, the best polls put him down there by at least 4-10 points, so this is highly unlikely as well. McCain is simply without any good options to win this election, and his frail hope is that state by state polls, including those who have already voted in which Obama leads by at least 9 points have been all wrong. That takes a lot more faith then I personally have.

The fact of the matter is that this election will likely look very similar to the 1980 election with a 300+ electoral win by Obama, and a popular vote breakdown similar to the Reagan win over Carter in favor of Mr. Obama. Ed Rollins and other Serious Republican strategists are really looking forward to 2012 and writing this election off.

Ed Rollins "a serious repub... (Below threshold)
Rndguy:

Ed Rollins "a serious republican?" Phalease..Please keep in mind he didn't do a good job getting Huckster the nomination. Bad choice there. He was good in the 80's he is not so good in the new century with new demographics.

Rove is dealing with PUBLIC polls when he is adding up numbers, he is not looking at internal polls that the campaigns have. Your theory that Rove knows all is simply wrong...

Let us discect your theory Paul....

1) Rendell of PA has pushed on more than one occasion a "all hands on deck" panic button. He himself as recently as Friday said.."Don't believe the public polls". He knows his state and his words give us an insight to his state. Without PA Obama doesn't win the White House. Rendell knows that...as a result the "panic" button was pushed.

2) McCain's internal pollster has Iowa a deadheat and Obama never reaching 50% nationally with four days to go. With PA within the MOE. His anaylsis supports Obama's travel. So I think McCain's internal pollster is more on track that public polling. Also McCain internal pollster says that Party ID will be in the 3-6% range. Not the average 8-10% range in the public polls.

3) Obama is known to be overpolled by 7% in the primaries. That is a big number.

4) Weighting in the public polls is way outnumbered to DEMS. This is because of Operation Chaos. Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Repubs registered to vote Dem to vote for Hillary. Most of these did not change back to Repubs and are counted in the Party ID that DJ has been talking about. You are counting 100% of Dem registered as an automatic vote for Obama. I caution you on the line of thinking.

5) 3.8 to 14 point spread in public polls. Now anyone who can anyalize information should be able to tell, that in a presidential race there shouldn't be that spread.

6) 80% non-response rate as reported by McCain's internal pollsters. If you know anything about polling a 80% non-response rate is not good. It doesn't allow for a good cross-section to be obtained and thus your poll is skewed given the responses. I bet you dollar to doughnuts that most of those 80% are republicans, republican leaning independents and PUMA's.

7) 20-30% of Dems will not vote for an african american nominee. AP reported that. You take the 20% (low end) add that with 20% of Dems (mostly PUMA's) who won't vote for Obama and that spells disaster for Obama.

8) The young vote has not materialized for Obama in early voting. Now here I can give you some comfort Paul. If young voters come out in force for Obama, McCain is in trouble, however there is no historical precident for this. My case in point Rock the Vote(1992, 1996, 2000, 2004) was a total flop.

Therefore with facts like these I don't think you can be confident. There are just too many historic variables that can't be accounted for in public polling. Also there is no poll out there that anyone should be as confident to think The One is in the driver seat! Unless you want to believe in polls that are putting garbage in..and then reporting garbage out.

For me, I look at boots on the ground. Repubs are ENERGIZED and that scares you Paul and your post is an attempt to dampen that down (as said in an various posts by Obama campaign staffers). Because when we are ENGERGIZED Dems almost always loose! So look out on Tuesday, I think the silent majority will show out in force! So as the ole cliche on TV says..Stay Tuned!


Nice try to dampen my spirits Paul, but your post didn't work. The informaiton I know gives me great comfort and I am still ENGERGIZED!

Early voting in Fl has been... (Below threshold)
denise:

Early voting in Fl has been VERY heavy. My husband is a registered Democrat but hasn't voted Dem. since college. Since we have been married (happily I may add) for 41 years, that was a LONG time ago.
We both voted McCain/Palin, so his early vote may look like a Dem. vote cast, it wasn't.
There is another factor not mentioned. I have never had so many emails asking for prayers for an election as I have had this year. The values voters are praying and voting!

I don't necessarilty believ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

I don't necessarilty believe in any Bradley Effect. But, it does serve as a great excuse for all pollsters who may be way off come election day. They just simply blame there bad polls on the Bradley Effect, and their reputation is kept in tact in there eyes.

It should also be add the P... (Below threshold)
Dogs of War:

It should also be add the Pumas are very energized to GOTV for Mac. The pumas are in Ohio, PA, NV. etc. They are also phone banking as well. They are doing this without much coordination from the RNC and Mac. To get a idea of what the Pumas are doing I recommend reading some of there sites.

The polls are totally BOGUS... (Below threshold)
Geo:

The polls are totally BOGUS. IGNORE them and VOTE. Even on Nov 4 IGNORE THEM. JUST VOTE

Remember this? RCP was way off in the primaries. By 15 points in a tiny state.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/nh/new_hampshire_democratic_primary-194.html

McCain/Palin
Sarah you go girl!

GEO...Nice Link...That is a... (Below threshold)
Rndguy:

GEO...Nice Link...That is almost the numbers we are seeing today from some public pollsters! Very nice!

Also remember that the "you... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Also remember that the "youth vote" registration and excitement came mostly on the anti-war sentiment. With the Iraq war not being in the news nearly as much now, plus the fact that we are winning there, the youth aren't as jazzed up. If there was mass chaos and war casulties adding up in Iraq everyday, I'd worry more about the young vote coming out in droves for Obama. The fact is that young voters don't pay taxes or have a 401K, so they don't care as much as peace and love.

Rndguy, I think the only re... (Below threshold)

Rndguy, I think the only real drama on election day is whether John McCain can manage to hang on to both Missouri and Indiana.

When the polls close at 7pm Eastern time on Tuesday, and Georgia only narrowly goes for McCain, Indiana is real close and Obama wins in Virginia, you'll know that McCain is highly unlikely to win this thing.

When 7:30 comes around and both North Carolina and Ohio go for Obama, you can stick a fork in this election. It's all over for McCain.

If McCain manages wins in Indiana and Missouri, then it will break down as 353 to 185, but if McCain loses these two states, then Obama wins by the wider 375 to 163 to margin.

You can print this out and post it on your refrigerator door.

I live in the bluest of the... (Below threshold)
Sharon:

I live in the bluest of the blue states: Massachusetts.I have not seen many Obama/Biden signs at all and they are usually matched by McCain/Palin signs nearby. Yesterday afternoon, in broad daylight,someone took my McCain sign and also Jeff Beatty who is running against Kerry. How petty is that? They have so little confidence in their candidate that a yard sign is threatening. Everyone whispers when they say they are supporting McCain so they don't have to worry about their car being keyed.

You can print this... (Below threshold)
pvd:
You can print this out and post it on your refrigerator door.

Paul, you're long on predictions and short on evidence (other than polling that DJ has already deconstructed repeatedly). I'll keep it posted on the fridge because it gives me a chuckle that the other team is either clueless or over-confident or both.

The numbers from early polling are similar to those in 2004 in places like Iowa and Florida, the youth vote is partying on campus and hasn't made it to the polls and the AA vote in NC is tapering back to normal levels.

Add in the fact that McCain is spending twice as much as Obama on highly targeted advertising in key areas and I think that you are in for a very large surprise on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I expect that the followers of the Obamamessiah will be wailing about Diebold and voter suppression rather than face the truth that their guy, in the perfect climate for a Democrat, blew it.

Paul, the naivete of your b... (Below threshold)
Lummox JR:

Paul, the naivete of your belief in the public polls is cute, but it's time to come back to reality, buddy. Have you been reading DJ's posts at all? While it's possible Obama could win 300 electoral votes, the only info supporting that contention is a set of polls so disastrously bogus that they can't even largely agree with each other. As DJ has repeatedly said, that doesn't mean Obama isn't still ahead anyway, but you can't trust an aggregate of the polls in a situation like this.

From what I've been seeing, the most reliable data available shows McCain winning Virginia hands down, and he's likely to pull in Florida and Ohio. To my mind Pennsylvania is the biggest wild card. If PA falls red on Tuesday night, Obama is toast--it will mean most of the other close states have gone to McCain as well.

And since when do polls close at 7? Maybe this has changed in some states recently, so I could be wrong on this, but as far as I know every state in the Union has the polls open till 9 PM local time. Mine (NY) certainly does; it says so right on my postcard from the Board of Elections.

"Voters who participate in ... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

"Voters who participate in early voting will not be voting on election day." I hope to hell you're right, but don't depend on it!

Paul...My father told me on... (Below threshold)
Rndguy:

Paul...My father told me once.

You can never expect to impart reason on someone is unreasonable. If you try you will fail everytime!

I am going to stick with my reasoning! Oh yeah...I am still ENERGIZED!

For me the big problem is t... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

For me the big problem is that the traditional and expanded models produce the same results. Logically this is impossible since the expanded model presumes a gigantic turnout of new Obama leaning voters. My best guess is that Gallup adjusted both, but retained their bias toward a landslide of ACORNs.

pvd,Polls and earl... (Below threshold)

pvd,

Polls and early voting results are the preliminary evidence. Of course, the election two days from now will be the final evidence one way or another. While DJ's evaluations of poll data have pushed him in one, unsurpising direction, most people's agree with the polls that have not showed McCain ahead for over a month in the popular vote, and with Obama having enough electoral votes to win easily. And, as documented here, I have a little history with DJ and election prediction results. Read that over and let me know which of us has the better track record. Seriously, you're believing the analysis of someone that held the belief that the Republican primary would end in a brokered convention days before Super Tuesday and that the current adjusted state polls showed McCain within striking distance in New York and ahead in Vermont.

On the other hand, if you do believe that, please visit my retail website, www.bridgesforsale.com. I think we can do some business.

I don't see how Gallup, or ... (Below threshold)
Lummox JR:

I don't see how Gallup, or any of the polls really, could properly account for the ACORN factor (let alone the Chaos/PUMA factor) without abandoning questions of registration and asking instead which party the respondents voted for in several past elections. ACORN fraud is literally impossible to factor out without knowing exactly how extensive the problem is, but it can't be factored out 100% even then because some (but not many, I think) of the bogus registrations will turn into bogus votes.

While all that information ... (Below threshold)

While all that information is fascinating to read and digest, it also does not take into consideration the PUMA factor.

How many of those early voters are PUMA Democrats who are voting against Sen Obama in hopes of a Republican win so that Sen Clinton can challenge President McCain in four years?

One point that has NEVER been discussed by the polling organizations when looking at newly registered Democrats this year, especially during the primaries, was the number of cross-over Republicans who re-registered as Democrats in order to vote AGAINST either Sen Obama or Sen Clinton. The Republican primaries were decided surprisingly early, and so many Republicans chose to cross over.

I too am from Massachusetts... (Below threshold)
Mary:

I too am from Massachusetts and can tell you there are more McCain/Palin signs out than Obama/Biden. Maybe that is because we are central Mass, and not Boston area. However, my mother in California is reporting the same thing in her area. While I don't expect McCain to win MA, I can tell you it won't be double digits as the polls currently show. Enough people are SCARED of what Obama will be bringing. It far outweighs any ambivalence they had toward McCain. The vote feels like we are voting for a way of life, not just a President.

1. This article is geared t... (Below threshold)
15isTheBest Author Profile Page:

1. This article is geared towards an intellectual crowd. Now, there are more intellectual Dems than Reps. What this will do at most, is scare Dems into turning out more.
2. The logic in this article is on the level of Not-Really-Intelligent Design or Too-Creative Creationism: fallacious and faulty. So, good luck with reasoning your self into some sorta hope (what did McHalliburton say about that again) but barring massive voting machine hacking, you simply lost this time. har har har. Deal with it!

PS. All those who claim that Obama lost their vote because of something he did or say (clingin g to guns?) .... Yeah rrrrrright!!! AS IF you were EVER gonna vote for Obama!!! See, this is the repuKKKes problem: You think we're as stupid as you are. We're way smarter, just look at the difference in teen pregnancies in red vs. blue states:
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/03/081103fa_fact_talbot?currentPage=all

McCains 52 flip flops
http://forum.fok.nl/topic/1207217 (links are in english)
or unsorted:
http://www.therxforum.com/showthread.php?t=593495

@PaulThe name of y... (Below threshold)

@Paul

The name of your website is an oxymoron.

joe,Many, if not m... (Below threshold)
pvd:

joe,

Many, if not most, polls had Kerry leading by substantial margins in early October only to find that the end result was different than the polling. Indeed, polling appears to be getting less reliable as people either refuse to answer or lie about their stated positions.

However, numbers from the various secretaries of state in those states that allow early voting indicate that the numbers thus far are not different from 2004, that the youth are not voting in heightened numbers and the AA vote can only expand to a limited degree to help Obama as AA traditionally vote Democrat in the 85-95 percent range already and is already shifting to a more traditional turnout model.

Also, looking at internals for the polls that indicate 8-14 percent differences in party ID, it becomes very hard to take the polls seriously. The weightings of the polls are mostly educated guesses, a "secret sauce" if you will, that skews the poll. It is clear that not everybody is using the same "sauce" hence the incoherence that we see in the numbers.

So, in places that are already voting in the only poll that counts, the evidence is that the Obama affect is over-rated by traditional polling companies. Given that the polls swing by large margins over small periods of time (volatility) without any underlying cause and that they sharply disagree among themselves (national polling should be closing on a consensus but instead the range in huge), I am inclined to believe that the polling has been incompetent, incorrect, biased or negligent - take your pick. I tend to believe that the pollsters are master marketers selling a product and, as such, are more concerned with revenue than with their product with the understanding that it is not the best product that sells but the best marketing of a product.

On Wednesday, we'll know. But I do think that Democrats are in for a rude surprise

PSOh and:The ... (Below threshold)
15isTheBest Author Profile Page:

PS
Oh and:
The pop vote is really a useless figure. See 2000!!!
the most important numbers are Nevada, Virginia, Colorado and NewM. where Obama leads in the doubles or high singles.

YOU guys can really take that popvoted and stick it where ever. Nothing sweeter than losing the pop vote while winning the EC votes!!! Ha ha

15isTheBest, if your post i... (Below threshold)
pvd:

15isTheBest, if your post is indicative of the superior intellectual capability of the left, I am even more confident than I was.

And since you are, to all appearances, a troll, this will be my last comment to you.

Rndguy,I do see th... (Below threshold)

Rndguy,

I do see that you have stopped making your error-filled claim that "with 35% of the EV total, the "Central Plains" were only 7% of the sample". I do appreciate that.
Let's take a look at some of your other points. You don't actually provide any references, so I'll just take them at face value, even though you have proven to be not very good at interpreting articles that you have read in the past.

1&2) Any good organization doesn't just rest and coast to the finish, especially in an election. I suppose you expect Obama to simply take victory laps at this point, even if his polling shows him comfortably ahead. If you're opponent has publicly said that he is going after PA, then scramble all hands and make that the battleground. If you think it's a total and complete waste of his resources, it's even better to make it look like it is contestable. Even if McCain's internal polls are right (and there are also public polls that don't show Obama with 50%), I don't see you saying that they're showing McCain is winning.

3) I'll withhold comment until I see the numbers on this.

4) This is a rather questionable claim for a few reasons. Most major polls weight their party affiliation based on polling data, not voting data, so Republicans that voted in the primary would have no effect. Also, if Limbaugh was able to have this large of an effect on Republican primary voters, he probably could have kept McCain, who he definitely did not want, from being the Republican nominee. Finally, Operation Chaos was in effect for only a few states, but state polling in states where it was not in effect also are favoring Obama and Democrats.

5) Yes, some polls are definitely bad, However, you are theorizing that they are all wrong. Not a single one shows a McCain lead in the popular vote or electoral vote.

6) I bet you dollar to doughnuts that most of those 80% are republicans, republican leaning independents and PUMA's. Why? What is your basis for believing this? Also, if this is McCain's internal non-response rate, how does it compare to other pollsters?

7) Since you provide no link, I can't be sure exactly where this comes from, but this article reports that number at 6% of all voters, though they do say it could be as high as 20%, dues to the nature of the question.

8) If you read DJ's Gallup links above, they've already moved their weighting of the youth vote to be approximately what it was in 2004. They still show Obama up by 10% after that reweighting.

Crazy nut cases out there! ... (Below threshold)
Ed K:

Crazy nut cases out there! Who benefits from tight polls two days before the election? Who's been benefiting from these wild swings in the polls, always gyrating back to "it's close" or 'It's tied" ?
The media folks! They are playing you to the final minuet of ad time they can sell! CNN/ABC/CBS polls are done by the very same people that stand to gain by getting everyone in a watching frenzy - get them Neilson numbers up boys - we need tight polls! Gallup and the rest of the "independants" get paid by the same media. Shut the noise off, put the paper down, vote as you will and go take the family out for the day.

Eeeeek! Why does Zogby now ... (Below threshold)
chai:

Eeeeek! Why does Zogby now say O is up by 5?????????????? per Hot Air

I agree with Ed K on "getti... (Below threshold)
nononsense08:

I agree with Ed K on "getting out TO VOTE"! Don't let anyone - the media, the polls, etc. - demoralize and dispirit you. REMEMBER TO VOTE FOR YOUR CANDIDATE ON NOVEMBER 04. YOUR VOICE (VOTE) MATTERS, NOT THE POLLS NOR THE MEDIA.

pvd,Many,... (Below threshold)

pvd,

Many, if not most, polls had Kerry leading by substantial margins in early October only to find that the end result was different than the polling.

We've already passed early October, so late October/early November is probably a better corollary at this point. On 10/21/2004, AP/IPSOS has Kerry over Bush 49% to 46% among likely voters. Zogby had Bush up by 1%. The Washington Post had Bush with a 3 point lead. On 10/30 Newsweek had Bush up by 6%.Fox did two polls around the same time that showed Bush up by 5% and up by 2%.Do you seriously see parallels between these two scenarios? There were a number of polls that showed Kerry up, I'll agree, but There were a lot that showed Bush up, as well. Is there a single, national poll showing McCain up? Few even show him within the margin of error?

However, numbers from the various secretaries of state in those states that allow early voting indicate that the numbers thus far are not different from 2004
Didn't I already take DJ to task for this, in this very thread? Look only at the states that have reported all their numbers and are completely up to date. North Carolina reports as of 11/2 that 2,661,110 have voted (DJ's link). That's 74.9% of the total that voted in 2004 in the general election. That year, 30.8% early voted, so more than twice as many people early voted there this year. Louisianna reported after their early period ended on 10/28 went to 13.6 of the 2004 total, from 6.5% that year. Tennessee, the only other one I see that Dr. McDonald has marked as complete, went to 63% of the 2004 total from 47.3%.
if you will, that skews the poll. It is clear that not everybody is using the same "sauce" hence the incoherence that we see in the numbers.
As I pointed out above, in 2004, there was just as much incoherence at this point, but it was over who would win. This year, the incoherence seems to be over by how much Obama will win.
Polls or no polls, do I thi... (Below threshold)
newton:

Polls or no polls, do I think McCain is going to win this thing?

Nope. I don't.

But I voted early here in TX, and so did my husband. And we both voted for McCain nonetheless.

It's simply a question of Taking a Stand.

Screw the polls! I hung up on two pollster organizations a month or two ago. It felt good!

<a href="http://www.ibdedit... (Below threshold)
ace:

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/series13.aspx?src=POLLTOPN

I give up trying to figure the polls.

Today's IDB/TIPP has it as a dead heat.

Just vote.

pvd said: "15isTheBest, if ... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

pvd said: "15isTheBest, if your post is indicative of the superior intellectual capability of the left, I am even more confident than I was. And since you are, to all appearances, a troll, this will be my last comment to you."
You just keep clinging to those fallacious hopes, comfort-food reasoning, now ya hear?

Ha, ha, you just think all Dems are trolls, yep, go on doing that, that exempts you from the burden of thinking up a response. Kinda cowardly. Deal with it, you lost.
You wrecked the economy, on the crazy notion that millionaires need more govt protection than the under 100,000 dollar a year crowd!! How sick is that?
Now pay the price. I hope that you earn more than 250K, coz if you're sacrificing your tax-dollars to give to millionaires ... that's insane.

Oh wait, I forgot, overturning Roe v Wade, stopping gay marriage ... yes, THAT'S gonna get jobs back.

Oh and,McTorture i... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

Oh and,

McTorture is now 6 to 7 points down in PA, OH and VA, are you still counting on racists to bail you out? Since Obama is totally playing on your turf, there's no hope for you. If he wins CO,NM and NV, he does't even need PA, or FL!!!

Barring a massive hacking of the (repub-made) Diebold voting machines, you won't win. Even killing Obama won't help u, come to think of it, that will ensure a 50 state defeat to you.
Maybe a Palin assasination will put you over the top ... so if yer a "REAL AMERICAN", then ... it's not like you lack the guns. So, who's patriotic enough?

And I will guarantee you, if there are lawsuits challenging some outcomes, we have STILL more money, so lenghty sueing won't be a problem.

15isthebest, if you are so ... (Below threshold)
ace:

15isthebest, if you are so confident, why are you so angry?

Why am I so angry?Wo... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

Why am I so angry?
Wow.

I'm angry because 4000 US soldiers died for nothing, angry because of Gitmo, coz we're now torturers and lying about that, coz of 1 million dead Iraqis (oh wait, those aren't PEOPLE, right?) And this country has been sliding towards fascism, and you were standing there cheering and applauding.
I'm angry because you're supposed to be the anti-tax-raise party, but you were cheerleading another 5 TRILLION DOLLARS in deficit. That's 5000 BilLLION DOLLARS, FYI.
I'm angry because you're cheerleading that McCain will INCREASE THE DEFICIT by 1,500 BILLION DOLLARS more than Obama.
I'm angry because McCain used to be the anti-torture repub, but now he's all for it.
Got that?

The most Obama can do is stop the bleeding. He won't bring heaven on Earth, but after Bush, it will SEEM like it.

Oh, and I'm ALSO angry beca... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

Oh, and I'm ALSO angry because the repubs have the unbelievable gall to try to strip mostly black voters from their vote in Ohio, simply because ... they had to move because of the crisis. They were renters whose landlord didn't pay the bank.

<a href="http://www.cbsnews... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/02/politics/washingtonpost/
main4563584.shtml?source=mostpop_story


"The senator from Arizona has not been in front in any of the 159 national polls conducted over the past six weeks. His slender hopes for winning the White House now depend on picking up a major Democratic stronghold or fighting off Obama's raids on most of the five states President Bush won four years ago that now lean toward the Democrat. He also must hold onto six other states that Bush won in 2004 but are considered too close to call."

Energize that.

Or, you can start boohooing about the leftwing media. Yep.

That same media that gave McProTorture a total pass on his military past:
- THE most important reason that mcLame didn't go home in Vietnam? BECAUSE THAT WAS THE STANDING ORDER!!! It would've been insubordination had he done otherwise.
- that same media that gave McKeatingFive a pass on his role in this corruption scandal. Keating lost 3.4 billion dollars in taxpayer money, and McCain intimidated Federal investigators to lay off on Keating ...
- Or on his connection to Hagee, terrorist G. Liddy, his 480,000 dollar donation to Khalidi, to Iran-Contra operative Singlaub
- Or on Sarah Palin'-Arounds treacherous anti-American, unpatriotic connection to the Alaska Independent Party!
- Or on her ethical breaches, good to see where all that executive experience was good for: hiring her unqualified, incompetent friends to the Alaska govt. Wonder who would've been her "Heckofajob, Brownie" FEMA director?

Whatever

<a href="http://www.cbsnews... (Below threshold) The polls do not reflect ju... (Below threshold)
beachnan:

The polls do not reflect just how many Dems will be voting McCain this year. I have never voted Republican on a national level for 36 years. This year will be different. I can also vouch for 9 family members, all Dems, who will be voting McCain. BO has too little experience, too many radical friends, and too many radical beliefs to be POTUS. Ignore the polls. Get out and vote, and wait for the surpised expressions of MSM on Tuesday, who has been in the tank for BO since the beginning. PUMA!

montana!I will giv... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

montana!

I will give you that Obama went to Arizona, just to rattle McNotEvenYourHomeStateIsNOT-Save, and out of sheer meanness, and to show him who's boss, who is the election pauper, and to show him what he can do, but ... Montana?!?

Crackers me up.


http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/02/cnn.electoral.map/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

Joe, while you're miles ahe... (Below threshold)
Lummox JR:

Joe, while you're miles ahead of 15 here in the coherence department, I can't find anything compelling in your logic. Gallup's numbers don't make sense without overestimating the youth vote; their three totally different models are in complete agreement, which is ridiculous. Nothing about the media-accepted polls and what those mean for the electoral votes jibes at all with the campaigns' behavior. DJ isn't saying McCain is gonna win this thing, but he is saying that the polls not only don't make sense, but the fact that they all gravitate toward Obama can't tell you anything because you can't aggregate garbage data.

It seems to me that most of your argument, after stripping out any past history you may have with DJ, stems from the bogus idea that at least one of the polls must be right. Why must they? Invalid is invalid; it doesn't mean their margin of error is merely higher than they think, but the average is somewhere on target. Did you miss what DJ said about colinearity? If one of these polls happened to point to the right data it would literally be by complete accident. The idea that dozens of polls can't be wrong only assumes they're not cribbing off each other's assumptions, models, and biases. It's also assuming that biases inherent in response rates, in any response pool, and even in party affiliation (ACORN/Chaos/PUMA) are not a factor. The polls don't meet basic mathematic requirements for their results to be in any way meaningful. Since they're all invalid, you can't just say "Well, if they're all saying Obama's ahead he must really be ahead." An very large number of monkeys is unlikely to type you up so much as a below-average limerick.

I can't speak to your credentials but I'll trust the guy who knows what "confidence level" means over the one who believes garbage data affirms his beliefs any day. Doesn't mean you're wrong that Obama will win big, but if you're right it won't be on the polls.

Joe, while you're miles ... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

Joe, while you're miles ahead of 15 here in the coherence department

LOL, that's just great. Without saying why I'm not coherent, you sheer desperation is shining through. Only morally corrupt repubes can call anger about Bush' war crimes, and his bankrupting the economy, 'incohorent'

Have you ever thought that Gallup might not reveal ALL about their methodology??? Your really think that you can see accurately in their kitchen?

also, those who cling to Zogby for some reason as a sign of hope for McCain remember that he was the only pollster with a double digit error in de primaries, so don't make me laugh.

Consider this the last dire... (Below threshold)
Lummox JR:

Consider this the last direct thing I say to you, 15, but the point is Joe is at least sticking to the topic and staying rational about it. You seem to want to rant about war crimes and Iraq and use cutesy epithets like "repubes" (what is this, grade school?) and rave about how your political opponents are evil. We get it--you're not pulling the lever for McCain. No one asked you to. I think Joe's wrong but I respect him for trying to communicate on an intelligent level. You're pretty much just here to be obnoxious.

Simply my few words of caut... (Below threshold)
nononsense08:

Simply my few words of caution for this November 4. McCain or Obama, I fear there will be troubles in the streets of the USA.

If McCain wins, there is a good chance of a few riots and lootings, as the MSM has raised the black hope so high that an Obama's defeat will be equated to injustice. Remember Simi Valley and the LA riot.

If Obama wins, there is a good chance of some rednecks/bigots driving around, shooting at anyone who does not look white.

SO, GET OUT AND VOTE BUT BE ALERT! BEST OF LUCK!

Hey, I was asked why i'm ma... (Below threshold)
15ISTHEBEST:

Hey, I was asked why i'm mad, and seeing my buddies get killed for no good reason, while Halliburton operatives & Halliburton secretaries sleep in Iraqi 5-star hotels, while we sleep in moldy tents in Iraq, makes me mad. Deal with it.

The topic is the election, and why you bitterly cling to Guns and innovative Gallup-polling. The reason I'm mad has EVERYTHING TO DO with the election.
Bottom line:
ALL the polls, even Rasmussen and Ipsos have Obama winning, and that has been the case for several weeks now. So to illogically grasp at some straws like "ooh the 3 Gallup polls are different, yet the same" makes no sense.
159 polls in the last couple of weeks, and in NONE of them mcLoser won.

I've noticed that you didn't even react to the points I made, instead you hide behind "you don't stick to the topic". You act like a coward on this. idk what you're like otherwise, but on this yer a yelly belly.

I make points, but you don't have clue what to say to them, instead you resort to namecalling.

I was betrayed by Bush, those Iraqis weren't glad to see me. You can go f yourself if you have problems with that.

Either address my points about the polling or shut up.

Bottemest line: YOU LOST!

If Obama wins, there is ... (Below threshold)
15ISTHEBEST:

If Obama wins, there is a good chance of some rednecks/bigots driving around, shooting at anyone who does not look white.

yah. just don't count on them not shooting back. My friend Jose Zapata smuggled some excellent AkayVorteeZefens, which my local distributor Kim Park Seong, supplies to us on a discount .. ;)
This election has definitely united US, we get shooting lessons from nice Texan friend Bruce Van Exel, so ... BRING IT ON.

Who is this guy? He is cree... (Below threshold)
chai:

Who is this guy? He is creepy!
81. Posted by 15ISTHEBEST | November 2, 2008 8:18 PM | Score: 0 (0 votes cast)

Paul,Just read som... (Below threshold)
Myronhalo:

Paul,

Just read some of your posts. You told me to put them on my refrigerator door, but I will just put them where they belong / in the John.

Paul,PS: I'm not ... (Below threshold)
Myronhalo:

Paul,

PS: I'm not a paid staff member for the McCain campaign. I'm just an average guy giving my opinions. Some of us have regular jobs.

Hey 15ISTHEBEST"Pr... (Below threshold)
Myronhalo:

Hey 15ISTHEBEST

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
Wouldn't it be good to be a little more humble, just in case?

Just in case what? in case ... (Below threshold)
15isTheBest:

Just in case what? in case whites turn out to be overwelmingly liar and racists?

The Bradley effect could take 2 forms:
White Democrats who lie to pollsters
White repubes who refuse to be polled completely.
Then again, there might be a reverse Bradley effect:
White repubs who are afraid to admit to their neighbours that they will vote Obama.
And there's a cell-phone effect:
the poor and blacks don't have landlines
And there could be a weekend effect:
Young voters don't wanna spend their weekend standing in line for early voting, but will come out in droves on monday and tuesday.

Lummox JR,<blockquote... (Below threshold)

Lummox JR,

Gallup's numbers don't make sense without overestimating the youth vote; their three totally different models are in complete agreement, which is ridiculous.
Actually, convergence of all models makes just as much sense if they reweighted the new model to lower the youth vote and left the traditional model the same. This makes even more sense, since they actually said that's what they had done. Both are changing a factor that one had different than the other, and so either would bring them closer together.
DJ isn't saying McCain is gonna win this thing
He has said (and reiterated at least twice) that the Republican candidate would win in 2008. That seems to be the same as saying that McCain is going to win. Perhaps there is a Republican candidate I don't know about.
It seems to me that most of your argument, after stripping out any past history you may have with DJ, stems from the bogus idea that at least one of the polls must be right.
You and DJ and I all agree that at least some of the polls must be wrong, given their margin of error and results. I also wouldn't say that at least one poll must be right. Certainly, if McCain wins, they will all have been wrong. However, you seem to believe that they all must be wrong. While I seriously doubt that any poll could release its internals after the election and have been exactly right about each and every weighting, I think that some of them will have been pretty close. Close enough to be a meaningful predictor of the election outcome.
Did you miss what DJ said about colinearity?
No, not at all. Of course, the first thing that I believe is that he is wrong about the weightings being incorrect across the board. If I'm right, that renders his collinearity argument moot. However, I'm also interested in knowing what two or more variables he believes are strongly (and linearly) correlated. If you had a study where you were considering factors for poverty and you included low educational achievement and low IQ, you would have a problem with collinearity, since low IQ and low educational achievement are already related and so you're double counting. What are the variables here that are the same way within the polls or across the polls?
The idea that dozens of polls can't be wrong only assumes they're not cribbing off each other's assumptions, models, and biases.
If they were seriously cribbing off each other's assumptions, then they would be a lot closer. As DJ has lamented, the internals of many of these polls are secret and considered to be proprietary. Polls done by dedicated polling organizations poll separately to determine the proper weightings. That's why the weightings also move independently over time.
It's also assuming that biases inherent in response rates, in any response pool, and even in party affiliation (ACORN/Chaos/PUMA) are not a factor.
Certainly, if people lie to pollsters systematically, and that is different across groups, then that will bias polls, but I'd have to see some evidence that is actually happening. Chaos was in the past, and Limbaugh isn't currently telling people to lie to pollsters as far as I know. PUMA's are happy, gleeful even, to tell pollsters that they're voting for McCain. ACORN makes no sense at all, since fake registrations don't answer polls. As I said above, most polling organizations base their party weightings on separate polls, not registrations or primary voters.


The polls don't meet basic mathematic requirements for their results to be in any way meaningful.

DJ seems to believe (and you seem to agree) that, as an amateur, he is not only better at analyzing this data than some professionals; he believes that he is better than all of them. He believes that all of their models and statistical analyses are invalid. I find that to be a rather suspect notion, especially given his past history of not being better than me, a complete amateur. Look at this thread. I pointed out his easily spotted methodological problem in using Dr. McDonald's data. I have every reason to believe that his other analysis is fraught with the same kind of systematic errors, given that his data comes up with completely unbelievable results such as McCain being up in Vermont or within 5 points in New York. Yes I do think that these varied corporations, with all of their different, independent polling, methodologies, models, and statistical professionals might have a somewhat better idea than DJ about the validity of their models. I know it's a radical notion. You have an awfully easy time dismissing all of this polling with just a declaration that it is invalid garbage based on little actual evidence.

Doesn't mean you're wrong that Obama will win big, but if you're right it won't be on the polls.
Did you mean that even if a poll gets the result within 1 percentage point that they were definitely wrong about how they got there? What do they need to have gotten right in order to have been correct in their projections? If their weighting of Democrats to Republicans to Independents matches post-election results, and they got the result right, then were they correct? What else could they do to be correct in a way that you would accept?
"Young voters don't wanna s... (Below threshold)
nononsense08:

"Young voters don't wanna spend their weekend standing in line for early voting, but will come out in droves on monday and tuesday."

Pardon my ignorance. Didn't early voting already end on Friday 10/31? In my area, the local TV stations announced that early voting ended on 10/31. So, who will "come out in droves on monday"?

nononsense08,Each ... (Below threshold)

nononsense08,

Each state sets it's own rules for early voting. For a lot of states, it ended on Friday. In Ohio, for example, it extends through today.

Time to add the polling fol... (Below threshold)
steve m:

Time to add the polling folks to growing list of of untrustworthy sources of information. 2008 became the year the Lame Stream Media dies, n ow we can say with all honesty it is also the year the polling donkeys died as well. The polls are most certainly lying!

If Gallup is still tweaking... (Below threshold)
Lummox JR:

If Gallup is still tweaking their models at this late date, they're throwing past results to the wind and it becomes impossible to track data among the changed models. Nevertheless the math just isn't there for three disparate models to agree.

I think that some of them will have been pretty close. Close enough to be a meaningful predictor of the election outcome.

Some could perhaps end up being close, but how can a lag indicator be a meaningful predictor? And it's silly to say mere closeness in the result equals valid predictive ability.

What are the variables here that are the same way within the polls or across the polls?

The low response rate introduces a lot of these problems. In one of DJ's posts he mentioned the incredibly low response rate, and how the response pool grossly oversampled jobless voters and people who aren't even registered to vote. Likelihood to respond tends to correlate a great deal to how likely a person is to actually be home (and not busy), and people with a greater emotional investment in a candidate are more likely to respond as well.

If they were seriously cribbing off each other's assumptions, then they would be a lot closer.

Not necessarily; it's likely just be enough to put them in the same neighborhood. We're talking about a highly volatile set of input data to begin with. Without the full internals released, though, we can't seriously confirm the legitimacy of their assumptions.

Certainly, if people lie to pollsters systematically, and that is different across groups, then that will bias polls, but I'd have to see some evidence that is actually happening. Chaos was in the past, and Limbaugh isn't currently telling people to lie to pollsters as far as I know. PUMA's are happy, gleeful even, to tell pollsters that they're voting for McCain. ACORN makes no sense at all, since fake registrations don't answer polls. As I said above, most polling organizations base their party weightings on separate polls, not registrations or primary voters.

You're assuming more or less direct correlation in the response pool to the actual voter pool, or at least a response pool of enough size and quality that re-weighting by historical norms could give an accurate picture of the voting pool, and there's significant evidence that this isn't the case. But the point I'm addressing is that even if the poll data is itself of high quality--for which there is zero evidence at all--then to extrapolate onto the voter base the pollsters have to estimate registration and turnout, and the numbers for both are highly exaggerated for Democrats.

If a PUMA tells a pollster they're voting for McCain, this basically translates to a lower percentage of Democrats supporting Obama. But if that percentage ends up multiplied by an estimated voter turnout among Democrats that is way higher than reality, it still looks like Obama's ahead. One must also account for the fact that the PUMA vote is highly organized, making it a bigger factor among likely voters. Yet we still have no solid information on how "likely voters" are determined by most polls, or whether their models for such are even based on reality.

Yes I do think that these varied corporations, with all of their different, independent polling, methodologies, models, and statistical professionals might have a somewhat better idea than DJ about the validity of their models. I know it's a radical notion. You have an awfully easy time dismissing all of this polling with just a declaration that it is invalid garbage based on little actual evidence.

The problem is if they had real validity, they'd be agreeing on the order of 95%. They don't, hence, no validity. But if that's not evidence enough, DJ has gone into detail about what the wording and order of the poll questions (when it's been released) does to bias them, how the low response rates have skewed the results, how the respondent pool has incredibly low quality, and especially how the weighting by party affiliation (when it's been released) has been completely wacky. How is that not evidence enough? Heck, I don't believe NY is within 5 points either, but then when DJ pointed out his reweighting led to that conclusion he said he thought that was erroneous as well--it's just indicitive of the severely poor quality of the polling data.

Did you mean that even if a poll gets the result within 1 percentage point that they were definitely wrong about how they got there? What do they need to have gotten right in order to have been correct in their projections? If their weighting of Democrats to Republicans to Independents matches post-election results, and they got the result right, then were they correct? What else could they do to be correct in a way that you would accept?

If several polls stayed in general agreement with each other over time--enough to meet 95% confidence, so say three or four of the polls--and released their full internal data, weighted results by historical models, and had quality methodology such as neutral poll questions and full compliance with NCPP standards, then they would obviously meet the criteria for good polling. If they had stuck with this methodology all along and showed a fairly good level of self-consistency on a regular basis rather than a lot of erratic swings, all the better. Nothing remotely like any of this is happening in the polls.

It's not enough for the poll's results to be on the money, and it's not enough even for their weighting to be pretty good. If the methodology isn't sound, the poll is no good even if it came to the right result, because it got there more or less by accident. If the methodology is sound, which to confirm at all means the internal data has to be available for independent review and has to meet NCPP standards, then I would consider the poll relatively trustworthy.

Lummox, I now thank you as... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

Lummox, I now thank you as I have thanked DJ, for creating understanding along with the esoterics and math of campaign polling.

I find it rather amusing to see strangers showing up at Wizbang the day before the election to rant, harangue, and discourage us. It's almost as if they were assigned here. I wonder if other righty blogs are fairing the same and wondering there, as I am heree, just where these legends-in-their-own-minds came from.

Thanks for the kind words, ... (Below threshold)
Lummox JR:

Thanks for the kind words, though I can't claim I've analyzed this anywhere near as deeply as DJ has. I like math and statistics and just find the discussion over the polls fascinating, and as a programmer by trade I know exactly why junk data can't be aggregated.

That said, here's an interesting experiment. Several commenters have noted how Obama consistently polled 7% over where he actually ended up in the primaries. If you look at CNN's poll map (electoral calculator here), right now if you do a quick-and-dirty adjustment by 7% in every state, you get a result of 286 electoral votes for McCain. This has him winning MO, ND, MT, IN, NC, FL, NV, of course AZ (no way is that a battleground state), and OH, VA, and PA, with CO in a dead heat. I don't believe for one second that's an accurate calculation, but it's an interesting peek for those who are willing to ascribe some validity to the polling data while allowing for the likelihood of bias and the PUMA effect. Food for thought, for whatever it's worth. As I've said before this is garbage data to begin with; applying a de-garbaging fudge factor is a numbers game, not a real correction.

i JUST don't get it. Obama... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

i JUST don't get it. Obama has led consistently on ALL polls, not the most. Also, NOWAY this:

"Several commenters have noted how Obama consistently polled 7% over where he actually ended up in the primaries"

keep dreaming. Actually the exact opposite has happened. But you cling to those false hopes now.

"people with a greate... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

"people with a greater emotional investment in a candidate are more likely to respond as well."
Duh, I could make the same argument about people who are scared of a black man. Or do you mean that Sarah Pallin and Jo the P. haven't energized the base?


"ACORN makes no sense at all, since fake registrations don't answer polls."
ACORN is a non-issue, since the ballots with ake names were REPORTED by Acorn, not 'discovered' by CNN or election officials.

"The problem is if they had real validity, they'd be agreeing on the order of 95%."
You don't offer any reason of why this should be. They use different samples! Even people with the same etnic, socio-economic background, age, gender, can be diametrically opposed. They could have had bad experiences with either black or older white people, so....?

"You're assuming more or less direct correlation in the response pool to the actual voter pool, or at least a response pool of enough size and quality that re-weighting by historical norms could give an accurate picture of the voting pool, and there's significant evidence that this isn't the case."
Nonsense. You are denying the validity of ANY poll, the complete skill of polling, while the polls have never collectively mispredicted the presidency in over 50 or 60 years at least. Dewey was just predicted by ONE organization. Please show 'significant evidence' then.

"But the point I'm addressing is that even if the poll data is itself of high quality--for which there is zero evidence at all--then to extrapolate onto the voter base the pollsters have to estimate registration and turnout, and the numbers for both are highly exaggerated for Democrats."
Says you, without any proof. The high quality is demonstrated that polls have never gotten it wrong with just a week to go. Obama has consistenly led in EVERY POLL for six weeks now. THE story of this election is the great stability of the polls.

On a related side note: Democratic turnout was higher in Florida 2000, but around Dem votes were successfully suppressed by K. Harris and co. For many, many years Repubs have terrorized black Democrats into not voting.

I guess the grapes are sour... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

I guess the grapes are sour. Congratulations to everyone, especially the majority of whites, who made this possible.

"Several commenters have... (Below threshold)
15isthebest:

"Several commenters have noted how Obama consistently polled 7% over where he actually ended up in the primaries"

Oh, really?

What fewer remember is what happened in South Carolina. In that case, the Pollster projection had Obama winning by 15 points--but he won by 29. That 14-point error was actually of greater magnitude than the mistake in New Hampshire, if less noticeable because the polls hadn't picked the wrong horse.
South Carolina was not the only state in which Obama overperformed his polls. They significantly underestimated Obama's margin in essentially every Southern state, including Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina, as well as a couple of states outside the South, like Wisconsin, Indiana and Oregon. On balance, the polling during the primaries underestimated Obama's support by 3.3 points when compared to the Pollster averages in those states. And yet, a belief in the Bradley effect persists. Why? People are confusing voters exhibiting racist behavior with voters lying about their intentions to pollsters.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/165030/output/print




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