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I made a mistake in yesterday's post. Big enough that it needs its own post to address, but I also note that the critics themselves made a goof. What happened was, I took the most recent published overall results from Gallup, and applied them to the most recent party-specific results presented by Gallup, and walked each back by weeks to show the progression of results. Since the party-centric data was not aligned with the overall data, I did in fact submit an erroneous comparison. Here's how that data should be presented (LD = liberal democrat, MD = moderate democrat, CD = conservative democrat, IN = independent, LMR = liberal/moderate republican, CR = conservative republican) :

August 10: 47% Overall, 91% LD, 79% MD, 67% CD, 22% IN, 19% LMR, 6% CR
August 17: 46% Overall, 88% LD, 78% MD, 68% CD, 24% IN, 16% LMR, 6% CR
(loss of 1% overall against gains in 2 categories, losses in 3 categories)
August 24: 45% Overall, 91% LD, 78% MD, 63% CD, 29% IN, 13% LMR, 5% CR
(loss of 1% overall against gains in 2 categories of 3% or more, losses in 3 categories, 2 of 3% or more)
August 31: 49% Overall, 93% LD, 81% MD, 77% CD, 23% IN, 14% LMR, 4% CR
(gain of 4% overall against gains in 4 categories, 2 of 3% or more, losses in 2 categories, 1 of 6% or more)
September 7: 44% Overall, 93% LD, 81% MD, 70% CD, 29% IN, 16% LMR, 3% CR
(loss of 5% overall against gains in 2 categories, 1 of 6% or more, losses in 2 categories, 1 of 7% or more)
September 14: 45% Overall, 93% LD, 81% MD, 66% CD, 27% IN, 10% LMR, 3% CR
(gain of 1% overall against gains in no categories, losses in 3 categories, 1 of 4% or more)

This is a milder shift, but as I said before, this still shows that the Gallup Organization shifted party affiliation weights on a regular basis, invalidating the statistical impetus of voter responses. The last week in particular, where Obama's overall support is alleged to have increased when he stayed steady or lost ground in every category. Looking now to McCain:

August 10: 42% Overall, 5% LD, 13% MD, 20% CD, 33% IN, 70% LMR, 90% CR
August 17: 44% Overall, 6% LD, 14% MD, 23% CD, 34% IN, 75% LMR, 89% CR
(gain of 2% overall against gains in 6 categories, 2 by 3% or more, losses in 1 category)
August 24: 45% Overall, 6% LD, 13% MD, 26% CD, 31% IN, 77% LMR, 91% CR (gain of 1% overall against gains in 4 categories, 1 by 3% or more, losses in 2 categories, 1 by 3% or more)
August 31: 43% Overall, 4% LD, 11% MD, 15% CD, 29% IN, 78% LMR, 94% CR
(loss of 2% overall against gains in 2 categories, 1 by 3% or more, losses in 4 categories, 1 by 11% or more)
September 7: 49% Overall, 4% LD, 12% MD, 21% CD, 28% IN, 78% LMR, 94% CR
(gain of 6% overall against gains in 2 categories, 1 by 6% or more, losses in 1 category)
September 14: 47% Overall, 5% LD, 12% MD, 24% CD, 32% IN, 85% LMR, 95% CR
(loss of 2% overall against gains in 5 categories, 3 by 3% or more, losses in no categories)

Again, look closely at the last week, where McCain's overall support is alleged to have decreased when he stayed steady or gained ground in every category. There's no way an unbiased reader can call that a clean poll, with all due respect to Gallup. This was spin, and no question about it. The main point of my poll report remains correct, therefore, though I expect the trolls to whine all the same. It's what they do.

(Overall support as reported by Gallup, at

(Party-specific support as reported by Gallup, at


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Comments (20)

It doesn't suprise me. Usua... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

It doesn't suprise me. Usually the samples in these polls are taken from bigger cities and usually skews to the left. More often than not these "polling organizations" use polls to make news rather than use it as a reflection of public opinion.

i can't remember in the last 2 Bush elections, Bush ever being ahead in the polls, yet he still won both elections. Same here. If the polls are showing a dead heat, the dems are in big big big trouble. Essentially take a poll and minus 5pts off the dem and give it to the republican and it's probably a more accurate representation of people's opinion than these crap polls that are put out every day/week/month or whenever they come out.

Thanks for the update, DJ. ... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the update, DJ.

Great post DJ.I'm ... (Below threshold)

Great post DJ.

I'm most impressed that you will own up to a mistake and write such a detailed correction, to say nothing of the distractions you must face with the aftermath of the hurricane.

Please keep posting these poll analyses.

The polls defy what we see,... (Below threshold)

The polls defy what we see, hear and feel. I'm impressed with your smack down of the pollsters. Rush has been on this for the last few cycles. "Figures don't lie, liars figure!"

Thanks DJ for posting this.... (Below threshold)

Thanks DJ for posting this. I have long suspected that people's views don't really change all that much but the polls methodology is the variable in flux. It is so easy to manipulate the data to get the story the media wants.

Professional wrestling has more credibility and honesty than political reporting.

I note that at least one co... (Below threshold)

I note that at least one comment was from someone who had access to private campaign polls. I have often wondered how they are different.

Good job DJ.

I agree with Dave. I still... (Below threshold)

I agree with Dave. I still remember from the last election (when Kerry lost) that people were sooooo surprised when the actual results didn't match the exit polls. Ergo, there MUST have been voter fraud.

Then again, in that particular case, 1 poll is more important than the other. The vote being the most important poll.

Thanks, DJ, you're the grea... (Below threshold)

Thanks, DJ, you're the greatest!

DJ,Please keep up ... (Below threshold)


Please keep up the good work. I used to go to Polipundit which seems like years ago just to read this sort of analysis. They got rather boorish after awhile though, so i'm glad I can still find your poll analysis here.

Thanks! Many of us appreciate you we just don't always get the chance to say it.

Again, look closely at t... (Below threshold)

Again, look closely at the last week, where McCain's overall support is alleged to have decreased when he stayed steady or gained ground in every category.

No, you're still wrong. Look at the numbers again. At the beginning of the Sept 8 - 14 time period, McCain was just below his highest numbers at 48% (9/8 - 9/10). He then dropped to 47% for the rest of the time period (9/11 - 9/14). The high numbers match the increase in party ID specific support.

You made a mistake in your presentation of data by posting it as one date, while it's an aggregate of support over an entire week. So the numbers you post for September 14 are actually the average of September 8 - 14. The increase you see in the 8 - 14 period is compared to that of the Sept. 1 - 7 period, for much of which McCain's overall support was down in the 42 - 44% range compared to Obama who was at 48 - 50% following the Democratic convention. The changes you are seeing in party ID support match the data from the overall support numbers if you look at the same time periods, even if a bit goofily because you're looking at 7 day averages along with 3 day averages.

Once Gallup releases the party ID specific numbers for the September 15 - 21 period, I'll bet we see them match up with the overall support numbers we've seen this week. Note, yet again, when McCain's numbers really tumbled in most polls; starting around September 14, when the banking world began its collapse. It would be no surprise if this week's news pushed people across the spectrum both away from McCain, and from identifying as Republican. Fair or not, it's true.

I'm sure you will continue to dismiss legitimate criticism of your analysis as trolling, apparently preferring that people don't bother to look at the numbers and rather tell you what a great job you're doing, but some of us do know how polling works and how to read the data. Party ID data averages from two to one week ago do not refute overall data today. Things change.

I'm sure you will conti... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I'm sure you will continue to dismiss legitimate criticism of your analysis as trolling, in my mind.

Fixed that for you, Mantis.

You're welcome.

That was quite informative.... (Below threshold)
Dr. B:

That was quite informative. I am registered independent and was largely for Obama several months ago. After hockey season, I had nothing left to do but work and research the candidates. McCain still bugs the hell out of me, but I am absolutely terrified of the plans Obama has to cripple the country.

DJ, you da best!So... (Below threshold)

DJ, you da best!

Some non partisan political pundit the other night on O'Reilly said (and this is what I've always been thinking) is that those undecideds would more likely be breaking for McCain, because if Obama hasn't convinced them by now, with all the positive coverage, then he ain't ever going to convince them.

That means we win. Yipeee!

Soooooo Mantis - ove... (Below threshold)

Soooooo Mantis - over here now eh. . . Here is the answer to your comment on DJ's other post. . .



Ok, I am back. Here is what you said again:

"Calling a radio station is not stifling debate. It is joining the debate. Doing so in an organized fashion may be annoying, but it doesn't prevent anyone from doing or saying anything. "

And here is the rebuttal:


Ok, the guy is convservative. That does not automatically dispute his facts. Do read the link to the Tribune story.

Kurtz is a conservative leaning guy. He was there doing research. At the time of the radio program, he was unable to get access to information he wanted to research. Someone in the Obama campaign thought this guy appearing on radio to plead his case to get access was a bad idea that needed to be nipped in the bud.

That was stupid.

Please read the Obama emails. Please note that the Obama campaign was asked to provide a spokesperson for equal time and they rejected it. Please note that WGN is a liberal talk station.

The same thing happened when Freddoso was scheduled. There was plenty of time in between for someone with a brain to tell headquarters that attempting to stifle debate was a bad idea. So I have to assume that stifling debate is well thought of all the way to the top; Obama.

A Democratic Congress wants to put the Fairness Doctrine back into play. This means an end to the debate on talk radio and INCLUDES liberal leaning pundits, not just Limbaugh and Hannity. So then we just get MSM as our sole source of information plus the internet?

Talk radio, right or left or inbetween, is one of the few places where some topic gets extensive play, not just sound bites like you get on almost all MSM programs. Not everyone is a reader. Not everyone has the time at home to go to the Internet and research. We don't need those who would stifle free speech to kill it.

Yet that is what the Libs want to do.

Again, mantis, the Obama campaign was offered time and they refused. They wanted to stop or disrupt the program, not offer reasoned rebuttal.

I believe my case is made. What say you?

Ugh...Graphs are your frien... (Below threshold)

Ugh...Graphs are your friends.
Pie chart perhaps?

Thanks for explaining so ef... (Below threshold)

Thanks for explaining so effortlessly and effectively to this member of the mathematically challenged.

Massive Democrat Vote Fraud... (Below threshold)

Massive Democrat Vote Fraud is coming.

Maybe I'm dense, but I stil... (Below threshold)

Maybe I'm dense, but I still don't see that this proves what you seem to be indicating. Even if all the numbers you state are accurate, how does anything you say establish that Gallup is intentionally shifting party weights, rather than party weight simply being different in different random samples?

I realize as this isn't on ... (Below threshold)

I realize as this isn't on the front page, nobody is going to read it (or very few anyway)... but DJ just got a shout out from 'El Rushbo' for this here article!!!


one very important factor t... (Below threshold)

one very important factor that was not included is, obama doesnt poll well. Remember in PENN, they said that obama had a lead against Clinton, yet she wiped the floor with obama face. same as texas, ohio, california. There are a small percentage of voters that WILL NOT admit to anyone conducting polls who'll they vote for. Either they say undecided opr just plain say obama. every poll is see i automatically spott mcain 9-10 points. Thats the silent majority that will go his way no matter what. The dems and obama are screwed.






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