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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

OTP: October 2012-THE RACE: As Candidates Prep, Attention in DC split between politics and baseball

While President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney bone up in Nevada and Colorado for Wednesday’s opening debate, back in the nation’s capital attention is split between the hard-fought presidential race and baseball playoffs.

The Nationals won the first division baseball championship for a Washington team since 1933 by clinching the National League East race Monday night.

Washington, D.C., has the only ballpark where so many Cabinet members, politicians and other luminaries routinely gather and where fans now are openly rooting for a particular president — one who served more than a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt.

“Let Teddy Win” banners and buttons are everywhere. Fans like 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona say it’s time for Roosevelt’s 500-plus losing streak to end.

[...]

“Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town,” McCain said in a video played in the stadium Monday night. “But you can overcome that.”

The October 2012 “OT: Politics” thread starts ... now.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:14 PM | 6119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, politics

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   1. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4251274)
“Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town,” McCain said in a video played in the stadium Monday night. “But you can overcome that.”


funny thing is that many on the far-right regard Teddy as having been a commie pinko lib...
   2. spycake Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4251276)
Joe K: what's you preferred source for 2008 party ID numbers? Is CNN okay? Or do you have another source?
   3. zonk Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4251277)
Sooo...

final turn?
   4. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4251278)
spycake - thanks. Just what I was looking for. Give me a few minutes.
   5. The District Attorney Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4251281)
final turn?
That is often where Teddy slips up.
   6. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4251288)
Please explain how there could be a net shift of 2008 independents toward Dems, and a net shift of 2008 Republicans toward independents, with only a net +1 increase for the Dems in the Dem/GOP party ID split.


1: Indies move to Dems
2: Repubs move to Indies
3: Only a +1 increase for dems

There are many ways to answer this
such as:

1: Indies move to Dems (+0.5)
2: Repubs move to Indies (+0.5)

effect is net +1 for Dems

or:

1: Indies move to Dems (+1)
2: Repubs move to Indies (+1)
3: Dems move to Repubs (-1)

effect is net 1 for Dems

you also have people dying, people turning 18, etc etc etc.
   7. spike Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4251292)
You have the patience of Jude to read the posts, let alone respond.
   8. spike Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4251296)
final turn?

And most curiously, a point at which many in both parties are convinced they enjoy a small but significant lead. Someone is going to be most surprised by the outcome.
   9. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4251298)
Jude? Wasn't it Job?
   10. zonk Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4251299)
And most curiously, a point at which many in both parties are convinced they enjoy a small but significant lead. Someone is going to be most surprised by the outcome.


Partisans on both sides might believe that, but the 'pros' -- however worthless you might want to consider them -- seem to be in agreement on who has the lead.
   11. Srul Itza Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4251300)
I asked him what America should do to counter terrorists. His response: "First, we have to understand them."


I agree. So would Sun Tzu. If you want to destroy your enemy, it is very useful to first understand him. It is much easier fighting a known quantity than an unknown quantity.
   12. The District Attorney Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4251302)
Jude? Wasn't it Job?
I dunno, that "nah, nah nah, NAH nah nah nah" fadeout takes forever.
   13. dr. scott Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4251309)
Someone should rewrite the song, call it "Hey Job", and have it by about the guy from arrested development. Its got to be easy to rhyme with Segway.
   14. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4251313)
Joe K. -

Let's do this with a hypothetical population of 1000 voters.

In 2008, the election was 53-46-1 (All numbers will be listed D-R-Ind/Other).

The party breakdown was 39/32/29 - so lets call it 390 Dems, 320 Reps, 290 Ind/Other.
The breakdown in the latest CNN poll (Sept 28-30; this is what we'll call "2012" below) is 37-29-34.

The 39% Dems went 89-10-1 in 2008 - so 347-39-4 from our pop. of 1000.
The 37% Dems are 93-6-1 in 2012 - 344-22-4

The 32% Reps went 9-90-1 in 2008 - 29-288-3
The 29% Reps are 4-96-0 in 2012 - 12-278-0 (we're rounding here on the ind/other)

The 29% Ind went 52-44-4 in 2008 - 151-128-11
The 34% Ind are 41-49-10 in 2012 - 139-167-34

Let's tally it up for 2012:

Dems: 344+12+139 = 495 or 49.5% - rounds to 50%
Reps: 22+278+167 = 467 or 46.7% - rounds to 47%

That's the math. Happy now?


   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4251317)
It also depends, a lot, on how things go the next four years if Obama wins. If the economy is humming along and no major wars or terrorist attacks or scandals have hit during a second Obama adminsistration, I'd say the Democrat in 2016 will do okay. If any of those things isn't true, they'll probably get shellacked.

Maybe so, but the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history sure didn't seem to hurt Bush after 2001.

------------------------------------------

Historically, voters keep the incumbent during wartime and vote against the incumbent during weak economic times. If Obama wins, he'll be bucking history rather than being the latest in an electoral trend.

It's not always that cut and dried. The Democrats got thrown out in the middle of the Korean War, LBJ didn't even try to run for re-election after the Tet Offensive, and Kerry was one state away from beating Bush in 2004.
   16. spike Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4251318)
Partisans on both sides might believe that, but the 'pros' -- however worthless you might want to consider them -- seem to be in agreement on who has the lead.

Oh I concur - it's just interesting to watch the counter narrative developed by the party fed to and then repeated by the partisans who provide all of the volunteer capital and a non-trivial part of the financial capital, as it were. They cannot be allowed to disengage.

Jude? Wasn't it Job?

Indeed it was.
   17. booond Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4251323)
That's the math. Happy now?


Wow, Paul Ryan said it would take a long time to explain.
   18. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4251325)
Someone should rewrite the song, call it "Hey Job", and have it by about the guy from arrested development. Its got to be easy to rhyme with Segway.


It was G.O.B. (pronounced like the biblical Job).
George Oscar Bluth Jr.

/AD fan
   19. spike Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4251326)
Wow, Paul Ryan said it would take a long time to explain.

Perhaps Paul has met Joe.
   20. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4251328)
The Democrats got thrown out in the middle of the Korean War


Well, the actual incumbent wasn't running, and the guy the Republicans were running was in the top 10 of all time American War leaders/heroes (possibly top 3 with George Washington and Unconditional Surrender Grant)
   21. UCCF Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4251329)
Someone should rewrite the song, call it "Hey Job", and have it by about the guy from arrested development. Its got to be easy to rhyme with Segway.

It was G.O.B. (pronounced like the biblical Job).
George Oscar Bluth Jr.

/AD fan


Like the guy in the $6000 suit is going to take song writing advice from the guy who can't even spell his name right? C'MON!
   22. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4251330)
It is a new month ;) and I am still hoping for Joe's explanation for the D/R numbers the pollsters keep getting. Well that and more clarification (I even gave examples) on who is and who is not a freeloader (Not from Joe I admit).

Joe K, thanks for the new month thread.
   23. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4251334)
LBJ didn't even try to run for re-election after the Tet Offensive


and in 1864 detailed news of the Cold Harbor fiasco was allegedly deliberately suppressed until after the election- while the nearly simultaneous Atlanta campaign was hyped to the heavens...

historical counterfactual- if there were video/movie cameras in 1864- and the battle of Cold Harbor and aftermath was BROADCAST- Lincoln loses to McClellan- more serious counterfactual- if Northern Papers ran detailed pictorials of the Cold Harbor battle and aftermath- Lincoln loses.
   24. BDC Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4251337)
Wartime elections are hard to generalize about, because there haven't been that many of them. 1864, 1944, 1952, 1968, 1972, 2004, and 2008, as mentioned, would qualify, and you've got incumbent parties losing three of the seven, twice certainly because disaffection with a long and purposeless war was a factor (1968 and 2008); and Ike as well made "I will go to Korea" a campaign talking point, largely because voters suspected that nobody had a good idea why we were in that war anymore either, and he'd be a good leader to sort it all out. Nixon had greatly reduced American troop levels in Vietnam, pulling the teeth of the McGovernite opposition to the war. That leaves 1864 and 1944, and one hopes to hell we never have to generalize from either experience again …
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4251346)
The Democrats got thrown out in the middle of the Korean War

Well, the actual incumbent wasn't running, and the guy the Republicans were running was in the top 10 of all time American War leaders/heroes (possibly top 3 with George Washington and Unconditional Surrender Grant)


If the actual incumbent with his 29% approval rating had been running, the result wouldn't have been any better. And if the Korean War had been ended with a clear cut victory instead of having a protracted stalemate all during the election campaign, the chances are that Eisenhower wouldn't have even bothered to run, since "I will go to Korea" was his major campaign theme.

The point is that to say that "voters keep the incumbent during wartime" is a bit of an oversimplification. At the very least, you have to distinguish "popular wars that look like they're going well" from "stalemates whose rationale gets harder and harder to explain with each passing day".

EDIT: coke to Bob
   26. BDC Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4251352)
Interesting counterfactual, Sycophant. Some historians argue (Charles Bracelen Flood, most recently, in a book called Grant's Final Victory) that the aftermath of Cold Harbor, where Grant continued to advance on Richmond after staggering losses, actually improved Union morale at the front. I guess it would depend on how it was spun back home; but communications weren't primitive in 1864, and censorship was not as good; people learned a lot about the battle anyway. The Union Army had justified confidence in Grant, and they voted for Lincoln. Now, if Grant had retreated after Cold Harbor, he might well have cost Lincoln the election; but then he wouldn't have been Grant. But people had become inured to death; as long as it seemed to lead to progress strategically, they ultimately accepted it. (Or again, many historians would argue; there are dissenters, I'm sure.)
   27. spike Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4251354)
histpriacl counterfactual- if there were video/movie cameras in 1864- and the battle of Cold Harbor and aftermath was BROADCAST- Lincoln loses to McClellan-

I am going to take issue with this one - for the same reason Bush won with video in 2004, not to mention Grant ordered it, not Lincoln, and the South was still losing badly regardless of the outcome, and even more so by the time the election rolled around. Video would have shown the tragedy of Cold Harbor, but also the impossible situation the COnfederacy was in. Despite McLellan's personal disaffection for the Peace Democrat platform, it would have sunk him regardless.
   28. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4251371)
1864, 1944, 1952, 1968, 1972, 2004, and 2008,


Shouldn't 1914 and 1940 count, based on how much the early goings of WWI and WWII would have dominated US headlines? Both of those elections saw the incumbent win.
   29. The District Attorney Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4251372)
1864, 1944, 1952, 1968, 1972, 2004, and 2008, as mentioned, would qualify, and you've got incumbent parties losing three of the seven
And in those three, the party was in fact nominating a different guy. I'm sure that "trust the person who's been running the war to keep running it" is a much more persuasive pitch than "trust a different person from the same party to run the war."

But are we arguing that this is a war election? It clearly isn't. I don't think it will be a foreign policy election at all, which is a shame from my point of view because I think it'd help Obama if it were, but I don't think it will be.
   30. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4251378)
that the aftermath of Cold Harbor, where Grant continued to advance on Richmond after staggering losses, actually improved Union morale at the front


Before Grant the Union tendency- especially in that theatre- was to pull back after getting its nose bloodied- and Cold Harbor was a bit worse than a bloody nose- Grant had run straight into a clothesline- some of his predecessors (McClellan, Hooker etc etc) likely would not have just broken off the offensive, they would have called for a general retreat- Grant didn't, he hit a wall, and he dug in come hell or high water- he ordered Meade to stay in contact with Lee, no matter what no matter where Lee went, or tried to do- and Meade did that- and that essentially suffocated Lee, there was nothing he could do.

Plus until Grant there was no progress in that Theatre- even after a major victory at Gettysburg that state of the war seemed unchanged- the immediate aftermath was that the "lines" re-set to where they wee before Lee's offensive- except there really were no lines, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac would sporadically engage and disengage- when Grant came in- they engaged- and stayed that way- Lee would try to disengage, pull back, regroup, try something- Grant wouldn't let him- the result was that Lee was visibly being ratcheted back. Grant was taking losses, but you could see the lines on the maps moving and see that the Union was WINNING- and winning meant that an end was in sight- when a war is stalemate it's very easy to see it going on endlessly - so yes if you are a soldier you can the death toll rising- but you cold also see an END. For the Confederate soldier the contra was true- their death toll up to, and they could see an end- but that end involved them losing-

and directly contrary to Southern "lost cause" mythology- when the southerners actually saw that it was a lost cause- that they were losing- recruitment plummeted and desertions began- not enough to cause a sudden and systemic collapse, but enough to make the war situation completely hopeless.
   31. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4251379)
And yet, despite higher unemployment, lower household income, higher underemployment, etc., etc., you keep claiming that people are "better off" now because of things like the stock market indices. Very strange.
If you think the rallying cry for the GOP should be "Taking our country back to 2008!", I'd be okay with that.
   32. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4251380)
Let's tally it up for 2012:

Dems: 344+12+139 = 495 or 49.5% - rounds to 50%
Reps: 22+278+167 = 467 or 46.7% - rounds to 47%

That's the math. Happy now?

I appreciate that rundown, but it was just a restatement of the polls' underlying math. I never claimed the polls' math was bad; I claimed Johnny Sycophant's math was bad.

Johnny and others have claimed there's been a sizable shift of 2008 independents to the Dems, and a sizable shift of 2008 GOP to the independents, all of which netted only a +1 gain for the Dems. Additionally, they claimed this is occurring because people "identify with the winner," but these polls are showing a bigger Dem advantage in 2012 but projecting a smaller margin of victory for Obama. Either the math is bad or the theory is bad (or both). Clearly, if an 8-point Dem advantage only yields a 3-point Dem victory, then people aren't "identifying with the winner" at a net positive rate.
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4251381)
Maybe so, but the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history sure didn't seem to hurt Bush after 2001.


That's because Democrats helped to declare war on Iraq.
   34. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4251382)
If you think the rallying cry for the GOP should be "Taking our country back to 2008!", I'd be okay with that.

And if Obama starts "reminding" the middle class how much better off they are now compared to 2008, I'd be OK with that.

***
That's because Democrats helped to declare war on Iraq.

Hey, hey, they want people to forget about how the "stupid" George W. Bush "tricked" them into Iraq.
   35. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4251383)
So where are the much ballyhooed micro-BTFs we kept hearing about?
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4251385)
Shouldn't 1914 and 1940 count, based on how much the early goings of WWI and WWII would have dominated US headlines? Both of those elections saw the incumbent win.

You must mean 1916, not 1914, which was a by-election year. And in both 1916 and 1940, the incumbent vowed not to involve the United States in the overseas conflict.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4251388)
Maybe so, but the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history sure didn't seem to hurt Bush after 2001.

That's because Democrats helped to declare war on Iraq.


Alas, there's a lot of truth to that, although it wasn't the Democrats who were the originators of the WMD myth.
   38. BDC Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4251393)
Shouldn't 1914 and 1940 count, based on how much the early goings of WWI and WWII would have dominated US headlines? Both of those elections saw the incumbent win

Neither one saw an opponent who really posed a sharp alternative – or for that matter, an incumbent who was pressing the war as an issue. FDR was strongly internationalist, but stopped well short of campaigning for a declaration of war, and Wendell Willkie basically agreed with his policies. Wilson was internationalist too, but so was his GOP opponent Charles Evans Hughes; the stronger disagreement was between Wilson and William Jennings Bryan, who was his pacifist ex-Secretary of State. And in any case, that disagreement within the Democratic Party led Wilson to campaign on the slogan "He Kept Us Out of War," which doesn't really fit the image of an incumbent wartime leader.

Edit: Andy & I even on the Cokes now :)
   39. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4251394)
And if Obama starts "reminding" the middle class how much better off they are now compared to 2008, I'd be OK with that.

You are basically insinuating here that one or more of the following is true:

1) Obama caused the economy to crash and/or it wouldn't have crashed had he not been elected (which you can't possibly believe)
2) That an economy that has crashed but not had the effects trickle out to regular people yet and has literally nowhere to go but down before anything good will happen is somehow better than an economy that is (albeit very sluggishly) on the upswing.
3) That the election of John McCain would have resulted in a speedier recovery
   40. BDC Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4251397)
Very interesting elaboration of the 1864 political/military situation in #30, Sycophant.
   41. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4251399)
Johnny and others have claimed there's been a sizable shift of 2008 independents to the Dems

bzzt. nope never made that claim, what I said was that a shift like that could explain was you saw as an anomaly

and a sizable shift of 2008 GOP to the independents

bzzt. nope, never made that claim

all of which netted only a +1 gain for the Dems.


Bzzzt nope, that was YOUR claim.

Additionally, they claimed this is occurring because people "identify with the winner,"

other people have claimed this yes, I didn't and don't
if an 8-point Dem advantage only yields a 3-point Dem victory


all that means is that "indies" are going 5 points for Repubs
or it means that Dems are voting 85-15 for Obama while Repubs are voting 90-10 for Romney and Indies are...


Joe Joe Joe...
   42. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4251401)
It is a new month ;) and I am still hoping for Joe's explanation for the D/R numbers the pollsters keep getting. Well that and more clarification (I even gave examples) on who is and who is not a freeloader (Not from Joe I admit).

I don't have an answer for your poll question. I just believe polls that show a Dem+8 advantage but only show a 3-point Obama lead are suspect. Are we really supposed to believe that 5 points more Dems than GOPers are defecting? It seems absurd to me, both theoretically and mathematically, that Obama could be losing support among Dems and be underwater among independents while facing a more unified GOP, but somehow maintain a 3-point edge and an 8-point party ID edge.

Joe K, thanks for the new month thread.

Yet another handout for you freeloaders.*

Seriously, no problem. All thanks should be directed to Sr. Furtado.


(* NOTE: This was a joke.)
   43. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4251409)
Roadkill kitchen

Thank goodness they got stopped before they served the #2 with fried rice
   44. zonk Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4251413)
Maybe so, but the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history sure didn't seem to hurt Bush after 2001.

That's because Democrats helped to declare war on Iraq.

Alas, there's a lot of truth to that, although it wasn't the Democrats who were the originators of the WMD myth.


Well, the majority of House Democrats voted against the Iraq AUMF (something like 130 opposed/80 for). The Senate vote was much more even -- a slim majority of Senate Dems "for", but significant number voted nay (I want to say it was something like 27-24).

The problem was that the most visible Democrats -- all of whom had designs on the 2004 Pres primaries -- all voted yes so as not to appear 'weak'... Shame on them absolutely.

There were plenty of Dems trying to slam on the breaks, even a slight majority of the party as whole... but it was a lost cause the moment those librul media types like Judith Miller decided to trade in their pens, notepads, and reporting for pom-poms.
   45. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4251414)
bzzt. nope never made that claim, what I said was that a shift like that could explain was you saw as an anomaly

Your hypothetical had Dems with 42 percent party ID in 2012 and Obama winning independents by only 1 point in 2008. If you want people to interpret your hypotheticals at face value, you should try to have them make more sense.

Bzzzt nope, that was YOUR claim.

It wasn't "my claim"; it was straight out of the CNN poll we've been discussing.

all that means is that "indies" are going 5 points for Repubs
or it means that Dems are voting 85-15 for Obama while Repubs are voting 90-10 for Romney and Indies are...

If a substantial percentage of 2008 Republicans haven't shifted to independent, then why would independents be going for Romney in 2012 after going solidly for Obama in 2008? Remember, the claim here has been that independents "identify with the winner."
   46. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4251415)
The 39% Dems went 89-10-1 in 2008 - so 347-39-4 from our pop. of 1000.
The 37% Dems are 93-6-1 in 2012 - 344-22-4

The 32% Reps went 9-90-1 in 2008 - 29-288-3
The 29% Reps are 4-96-0 in 2012 - 12-278-0 (we're rounding here on the ind/other)

The 29% Ind went 52-44-4 in 2008 - 151-128-11
The 34% Ind are 41-49-10 in 2012 - 139-167-34


One thing to note here is that the number of Democrats has not actually increased; it has decreased less than the number of Republicans.

Here's a hypothetical set of shifts that could lead to this:

20 Dems who voted 3-17-0 in 2008 stopped identifying as Dems: the latter 17 because they didn't even bother to vote for Obama, the former 3 perhaps because Obama has disappointed them. Suppose in 2012, these 20 now-I's will break 0-17-3. Obama has lost a bit of support among these people.

30 Reps who voted 17-10-3 in 2008 stopped identifying as Reps: the 17 had voted for Obama and the 3 had voted 3rd-party anyway; the rest, perhaps, were Tea Party types who were turned off by Bush's profligate spending (TARP, et al.) but are still generally conservative. Suppose that 5 of the 2008 Obama supporters shift to 3rd-party, as do 2 McCain supporters; these now-I's will break 12-8-10: Obama has lost support among these folks.

So the 2012 I's were 139-167-34; subtracting out the 12-25-13 of the new-I's, people who were Independent in both 2008 and 2012 would be expected to split 127-142-21. Here, Obama has lost support among true independents, as I think we'd all expect, given the economy.
   47. Zach Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4251423)
The party breakdown was 39/32/29 - so lets call it 390 Dems, 320 Reps, 290 Ind/Other.
The breakdown in the latest CNN poll (Sept 28-30; this is what we'll call "2012" below) is 37-29-34.


I know this isn't your model, so I don't want to jump on you. But it strikes me as implausible that Obama could be doing 16 points worse among independents and still get a voting population that is *more* Democratic than in 2008. Looking at the number, he's -16 among independents, -11 among Republicans, +8 among Democrats.

I've been out of the country for the entire Obama administration, so I can't claim any particular insight into the mood of the electorate. But it seems to me that such a big cratering in soft supporters would show up in turnout, as well.
   48. Belfry Bob Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4251427)
Let's get back to the baseball part of the article. If the Nats have 'taken over the town', I can't see it. They have been placing 2-for-1 coupons in the Post every day since mid-August. I own an ice cream store in Gaithersburg and don't see any curly W's around here anywhere, much less everywhere...was at local mall yesterday and saw one kid wearing a Nats cap. When they clinched the playoffs, I made an ice cream in Nats colors, a red-colored vanilla with a white marshmallow swirl and chocolate-covered peanuts. Had to toss it out after a week, and there was still 2/3 of the batch left. (I do lots better making 'Black and Gold' for Steelers fans.)

I'm not saying the Nats don't have a following; of course they do. But it's not as rabid as the radioheads, TV folks, and reporters (especially Boswell) make it out to be. Maybe that will come, but it's not here yet.
   49. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4251430)
You are basically insinuating here that one or more of the following is true:

1) Obama caused the economy to crash and/or it wouldn't have crashed had he not been elected (which you can't possibly believe)
2) That an economy that has crashed but not had the effects trickle out to regular people yet and has literally nowhere to go but down before anything good will happen is somehow better than an economy that is (albeit very sluggishly) on the upswing.
3) That the election of John McCain would have resulted in a speedier recovery


I believe most conservatives go with option 3.

There are also some who dispute that the economy had nowhere to go but down (in #2)- those people are wrong... there seems to be a belief that if NOTHING was done the decline would have magically stopped itself as badly run companies went under and well run companies cherry picked the salvageable assets- I shouldn't say magical- that's how it works in normal economy- 2008 was not "normal" you had a cascading/domino effect going through the entire financial sector- the belief that the Government/Fed should have done nothing I think largely comes from people who grossly underestimate what had happened and what was happening.

an economy that is (albeit very sluggishly) on the upswing.
Personally I don't think we are in a "normal" up/down- boom/bust cycle, I think the economy is re-setting itself/ re-adjusting (correcting) to the fact that the nature of the US economic activity has changed so much the past few decades, I think we are at temporary ledge/plateau, and the business cycle has not in fact restarted- we are in either a recession or a recovery as has been commonly known- I think a business cycle will re-assert itself at some point- and at that time we'll either start out by heading up (recovery) or down (recession)
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4251433)
If a substantial percentage of 2008 Republicans haven't shifted to independent, then why would independents be going for Romney in 2012 after going solidly for Obama in 2008? Remember, the claim here has been that independents "identify with the winner."
And that identification causes them to tell pollsters that they're Democrats. An increase in the rightward lean of independents fits perfectly with the "identify with the winner" strategy. Left-leaning independents decide to call themselves Dems, so you're left with a more right-leaning body of independents. That all follows quite easily.
   51. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4251434)
But it strikes me as implausible that Obama could be doing 16 points worse among independents and still get a voting population that is *more* Democratic than in 2008.


The 2012 CNN split isn't exactly "more Democratic" - it's more independent, with more Republicans shifting to independent than Democrats. This is at least somewhat consistent with statements from Tea Partiers that they are not allied with a particular party, but are disgusted with both (even if they then end up voting more Republican).
   52. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4251437)
It seems absurd to me, both theoretically and mathematically, that Obama could be losing support among Dems and be underwater among independents while facing a more unified GOP, but somehow maintain a 3-point edge and an 8-point party ID edge.

Taking the CNN 2008 and most recent poll numbers for what they're worth - there are fewer Dems, but he's actually gaining support among the ones still there. He has basically the same support, in essence, among Dems overall.

There are more independents in general. Some Dems have gone, some Reps have gone. From the CNN numbers, it's about 60/40 Reps that now identify Ind (again, taking these numbers at face value). This has skewed the Indys to Rep, plus he's lost a few more along the way.

Meanwhile, even though the GOP is more unified, their ranks have shrunk more than the Dems - so there's actually slightly *fewer* theoretical voters who are both a) IDing Rep and b) supporting Romney.

This is why I wanted the numbers, because it's a bit of a paradox - but the math is sound.

   53. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4251441)
I know this isn't your model, so I don't want to jump on you. But it strikes me as implausible that Obama could be doing 16 points worse among independents and still get a voting population that is *more* Democratic than in 2008. Looking at the number, he's -16 among independents, -11 among Republicans, +8 among Democrats.

Zach - can you explain to me where you got these numbers? I'm not following you.
   54. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4251442)
I've been out of the country for the entire Obama administration, so I can't claim any particular insight into the mood of the electorate.


I live in the country and I have never had as much trouble gauging the mood of the electorate as now.
All the "indicators" so to speak seem to all be pointing in different directions, no overall trend.
   55. zonk Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4251450)
Interesting post from TPM's Brian Beutler regarding the 'fiscal cliff' -- and the liberal giggling over Obama/Schumer's statements that a Romney loss will 'embolden' GOP moderates to be more amendable to cutting deals...

If the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, it’ll give President Obama about $4 trillion in revenue over the coming 10 years. That’s way, way more than he asked for, more than he presumably wants, more than the economy can easily bear, and so everyone will have a great deal of incentive to negotiate backwards from it.

Alternatively, House Democrats and Republicans could pass legislation Harry Reid maneuvered through the Senate a few weeks back that extends all the Bush tax cuts, except those benefitting only higher income people. Yes, that would require Republicans to fully cave and affirmatively vote for higher revenue. But by giving Obama the bare minimum he’s asking for, it would also likely limit the damage — to about $800 billion over 10 years. Thus far and no further.

Politically, that would be a very heavy lift for John Boehner — which helps explain why Harry Reid’s pushing so hard for it and why Boehner himself recently said he wouldn’t support it even if Obama wins.

But if you’re a conservative and your ultimate goal is to keep federal revenues as low as possible, it’d be the easiest and smartest move, even if it’d also be a symbolically distasteful gesture. And, moreover, since Senate Democrats already passed the bill, Mitch McConnell et al might not mind the idea of leaving this all up to the House.


This strikes me as not exactly crazy...

Absent some action- taxes are going up by a decent clip (especially when you factor in the payroll tax return to norm)...

Increasingly, it looks likely that the Dems will hold the Senate at something approximating their current margin. The GOP will almost certainly hold the house, probably with a downside of 10 seats at worst.

This cycle is a particularly tough cycle for Team D in the Senate -- all those narrow 2006 wins up, lots of red states with retiring blue senators... the 2014 cycle looks a fair bit easier -- at least, even up -- and the 2016 is going to put a lot of potentially vulnerable Republican Senators up for reelection.

I think there's a very good chance that McConnell does just toss the bag of dog doo in Boehner's lap... and Boehner will be faced with a tough choice.

Barring some sort of lameduck deal - the next congress won't be talking about avoiding raising taxes - they'll be working with tax rates that already jumped... so the discussion will be cutting taxes.

Presumably, the Democrats won't be in any mood to give away anything on the top bracket -- they'll have every reason to hold firm on the lower brackets, arguing that they are giving the GOP their blessed "tax cuts" -- just not all the ones they want.
   56. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4251452)
Personally I don't think we are in a "normal" up/down- boom/bust cycle, I think the economy is re-setting itself/ re-adjusting (correcting) to the fact that the nature of the US economic activity has changed so much the past few decades, I think we are at temporary ledge/plateau, and the business cycle has not in fact restarted

I agree with this part, which is why I object to people claiming that people are better off now than in 2008. I believe people can make a good-faith argument that what millions of people had in 2008 was the result of irrational exuberance and was essentially ill-gotten and/or undeserved. I also believe that the economy of 2012 is to some extent the "new normal," since the recession was structural rather than cyclical. If Obama were to say, "We're all a little worse off, but it had to happen," I would actually respect that position as being a brutal truth. But for Obama & Co. to make the absurd claim that people are better off despite higher unemployment, lower household income, higher underemployment, etc., etc., is the height of political flimflammery. ("You're better off because you're worse off" is an absurdity.)
   57. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4251458)
And that identification causes them to tell pollsters that they're Democrats. An increase in the rightward lean of independents fits perfectly with the "identify with the winner" strategy. Left-leaning independents decide to call themselves Dems, so you're left with a more right-leaning body of independents. That all follows quite easily.

No, it doesn't, at least not with the set of numbers in that poll.

The CNN poll, compared to 2008 exit data, shows more people identifying as Dems but a smaller projected margin of victory for Obama. That means Obama is losing ground in the "identify with the winner" department.
   58. spike Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4251460)
The GOP will almost certainly hold the house, probably with a downside of 10 seats at worst.

Sam Wang has Dems at 74% chance to take house - 10/1
   59. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4251464)
The 2012 CNN split isn't exactly "more Democratic" - it's more independent, with more Republicans shifting to independent than Democrats. This is at least somewhat consistent with statements from Tea Partiers that they are not allied with a particular party, but are disgusted with both (even if they then end up voting more Republican).

In terms of party ID, yes, it's "more Democratic." The Dem part of the pie is now bigger relative to the GOP part.
   60. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4251469)
Taking the CNN 2008 and most recent poll numbers for what they're worth - there are fewer Dems, but he's actually gaining support among the ones still there. He has basically the same support, in essence, among Dems overall.

There are more independents in general. Some Dems have gone, some Reps have gone. From the CNN numbers, it's about 60/40 Reps that now identify Ind (again, taking these numbers at face value). This has skewed the Indys to Rep, plus he's lost a few more along the way.

Meanwhile, even though the GOP is more unified, their ranks have shrunk more than the Dems - so there's actually slightly *fewer* theoretical voters who are both a) IDing Rep and b) supporting Romney.

This is why I wanted the numbers, because it's a bit of a paradox - but the math is sound.

Sorry, but that math is not sound. There's no way a net one-point shift from GOP to independent was enough to turn independents from solidly Obama in 2008 to solidly Romney in 2012.
   61. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4251472)
In terms of party ID, yes, it's "more Democratic."


Not really. In 2008, 39% of voters identified themselves as Democrats according to Joe C.'s numbers (post 14). In 2012, 37% of voters identified themselves as Democrats. 37 is a smaller number than 39, and one can get from 39 to 37 without anybody shifting TO Dem.
   62. Zach Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4251475)
The 2012 CNN split isn't exactly "more Democratic" - it's more independent, with more Republicans shifting to independent than Democrats.

I admit it's arithmetically possible. I just don't buy it. In 2008, the generic Congressional Ballot was Democrats by 10.7 points. In 2010, it was Republicans by 6.8 and this year the real clear politics average has Republicans by 1.

Using the numbers in #14, you get Obama 50%, Romney 47%

If you use the same percentages of the vote as #14 but keep the 2008 D/R/I populations, you get Obama 49.5, Romney 47.27 -- basically the same.

If you use the turnout from the 2010 elections (D/R/I = 35/35/29), you get Obama 45.8, Romney 49.9

If you average the 2008 and 2010 vote shares, you get Obama 47.6, Romney 48.6.

   63. zonk Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4251476)
Personally I don't think we are in a "normal" up/down- boom/bust cycle, I think the economy is re-setting itself/ re-adjusting (correcting) to the fact that the nature of the US economic activity has changed so much the past few decades, I think we are at temporary ledge/plateau, and the business cycle has not in fact restarted- we are in either a recession or a recovery as has been commonly known- I think a business cycle will re-assert itself at some point- and at that time we'll either start out by heading up (recovery) or down (recession)


Thing is, though -- corporate profits are and have been just fine for a couple years now. I know it's wrong to just look at the markets to judge business activity, and it's absolutely my liberal leanings that cause me to say this, but ---

I look at it from the labor perspective... We've had a continuation of the trouncing organized labor has been experiencing for decades - in fact, a spread of it into a previously isolated sector (public employee unions). Perhaps we've finally also reached the peak of outsourcing/offshoring.

In short - there's a lot of downward pressure on wages over the last generation. It's not the restart/reset of the business cycle that concerns me - it's how do we reset wage growth?

The simple fact is that we're not all -- not even most of us, going to be entrepreneurs -- nor are most of us any time soon going to get our income from 'investing'.

What out there convinces anyone of any ideological stripe that any policy changes are going to suddenly cause companies to return wage concessions that they've won over the last 20-30 years?

I suppose I'm ignoring the housing situation and the role that equity spending played in consumer spending during the previous generation, but the fact remains -- I don't see a situation where wages rise until two things happen:

1) Snapper-esque protectionism in some form -- corporate tax penalties for offshoring, etc

2) A cease to the organized movement to shrink union power

What we need is wage growth... a humming job market will only go so far to accomplish that.
   64. Greg K Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4251477)
Speaking as someone who is grateful for these politics threads and has learned a great deal from many of the posters here...

There's gotta be something more interesting to talk about than this voter ID (edit: by that I mean how they identify) polling business, surely?
   65. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4251478)
There's no way a net one-point shift from GOP to independent was enough to turn independents from solidly Obama in 2008 to solidly Romney in 2012.


I don't understand your objection here. It's almost certainly the case that people who self-identified as Independent in both 2008 and 2012 are less supportive of Obama today than they were four years ago. Obama is doing worse in this CNN poll (+3, per #14) than he did four years ago (+7). Is somebody here suggesting otherwise?
   66. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4251481)
Not really. In 2008, 39% of voters identified themselves as Democrats according to Joe C.'s numbers (post 14). In 2012, 37% of voters identified themselves as Democrats. 37 is a smaller number than 39, and one can get from 39 to 37 without anybody shifting TO Dem.

The 2008 split was Dem+7 and the CNN poll was Dem+8. Are you really arguing that 8 is smaller than 7?

Otherwise, what's the theory here? If Obama has theoretically lost support among Dems (i.e., the 2-point party ID decrease), lost support among Republicans, and lost support among independents to the point that he's actually underwater compared to 2008, then how is he winning handily in these polls?
   67. spike Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4251482)
I admit it's arithmetically possible. I just don't buy it.

You are not the first to express this as the basis of your opposition - and yet, the data is there, from multiple samples and multiple polling firms, that were collected the same way in previous elections with relative accuracy.
   68. zonk Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4251484)
The GOP will almost certainly hold the house, probably with a downside of 10 seats at worst.

Sam Wang has Dems at 74% chance to take house - 10/1


...and in my moments of irrational exuberance, I love to hear Wang's wishcasting... but I just don't see it. IIRC, the Dems have 4 or 5 retiring seats that are, at best, lean R districts. They had an overall poor recruiting cycle, particularly in places like PA and CA. They got a bit of redistricting help in Illinois and California -- but in CA, got hurt by the "top two" GE ballot rule and the aforementioned recruiting problems. Whatever gains they might expect in IL - and they have an outside shot at +3, but more likely +2 or +1 -- are going to be offset by some brutal new maps in NC and PA.

I think the only real thing Team Blue has to look forward to in the House is the possibility of an entertaining battle for the Speaker's gavel on the GOP side...
   69. Zach Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4251487)
Zach - can you explain to me where you got these numbers? I'm not following you.

Using only the numbers in #14:

The 39% Dems went 89-10-1 in 2008 -> 89-10=79 point favorite among Dems
The 37% Dems are 93-6-1 in 2012 -> 93-6=87 points
87-79=8 point improvement since 2008 among Dems.

The 32% Reps went 9-90-1 in 2008 ->9-90=-81
The 29% Reps are 4-96-0 in 2012 -> 4-96=-92
-92+81=-11 points among Reps

The 29% Ind went 52-44-4 in 2008 ->52-44=8
The 34% Ind are 41-49-10 in 2012 ->41-49=-8
-8-8=-16 points among Independents

   70. phredbird Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4251489)
When they clinched the playoffs, I made an ice cream in Nats colors, a red-colored vanilla with a white marshmallow swirl and chocolate-covered peanuts.


two scoops in a cup, please.
   71. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4251490)
I don't understand your objection here. It's almost certainly the case that people who self-identified as Independent in both 2008 and 2012 are less supportive of Obama today than they were four years ago. Obama is doing worse in this CNN poll (+3, per #14) than he did four years ago (+7). Is somebody here suggesting otherwise?

Well, it seems like you have been. How is it possible that Obama has lost support among Dems, lost support among Republicans, and lost support among independents, but has lost less than 3 points relative to his landslide 2008 win? In a zero-sum game, all of those Obama losses should be accruing to Romney, shouldn't they?
   72. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4251491)
You are not the first to express this as the basis of your opposition - and yet, the data is there, from multiple samples and multiple polling firms, that were collected the same way in previous elections with relative accuracy.

Polling response rates are way down compared to 2008. Claiming the methodology and samples are the same is unsupported by the facts.
   73. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4251494)
Sorry, but that math is not sound. There's no way a net one-point shift from GOP to independent was enough to turn independents from solidly Obama in 2008 to solidly Romney in 2012.


What do you think I'm arguing? You said:

It seems absurd to me, both theoretically and mathematically, that Obama could be losing support among Dems and be underwater among independents while facing a more unified GOP, but somehow maintain a 3-point edge and an 8-point party ID edge.

And I answered that:

Same number of Dems pro-Obama as 2008, though fewer Dems total, as support for Obama is higher within group.
Lots more independents. Among new Indys in 2012, there are more 2008 Reps than 2008 Dems. Also, previous Ind voters shifting slightly away from Obama.
Larger drop in Reps than Dems since 2008, leading to slight drop in total Reps supporting Romney than McCain.

What am I missing?

I admit it's arithmetically possible. I just don't buy it.


So what would you postulate is actually happening? Because the numbers themselves are what they are, and are consistent across polls oevr time and among firms.


   74. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4251500)
What we need is wage growth... a humming job market will only go so far to accomplish that.

And yet, your party wants more and more low-skilled immigration.

It's always strange when people recognize a problem and then propose "solutions" that only serve to exacerbate the problem.
   75. Zach Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4251502)
You are not the first to express this as the basis of your opposition - and yet, the data is there, from multiple samples and multiple polling firms, that were collected the same way in previous elections with relative accuracy.

I know all of this. And, like I said, I don't claim to have any special insight into the electorate. It just seems very strange to me that your support can crater among 2/3 of the population without affecting turnout at all -- the projected 2012 R/D/I fractions are just as favorable to Obama as 2008 was.

Take this for what it's worth, but if you take my midpoint estimates in #62 (Obama 47.6, Romney 48.6) you get a net 6.8 point shift downwards for Obama relative to 2008. That's very similar to a 9.7 point shift in the generic Congressional ballot.
   76. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4251503)
The 2008 split was Dem+7 and the CNN poll was Dem+8. Are you really arguing that 8 is smaller than 7?

Otherwise, what's the theory here? If Obama has theoretically lost support among Dems (i.e., the 2-point party ID decrease), lost support among Republicans, and lost support among independents to the point that he's actually underwater compared to 2008, then how is he winning handily in these polls?


See my #46. It's just arithmetic. And winning by 3 points isn't exactly "handily". He's down 4 points from 2008 according to CNN; what about that is inconsistent with him losing support across the board?
   77. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4251504)
And I answered that:

Same number of Dems pro-Obama as 2008, though fewer Dems total, as support for Obama is higher within group.
Lots more independents. Among new Indys in 2012, there are more 2008 Reps than 2008 Dems. Also, previous Ind voters shifting slightly away from Obama.
Larger drop in Reps than Dems since 2008, leading to slight drop in total Reps supporting Romney than McCain.

What am I missing?

From the polls I've seen, Romney is doing better among Republicans than McCain did. Also, if Obama is only getting the same number of Dem votes but fewer Republican votes and far fewer independent votes, that should add up to more than a 2-point shift toward Romney. In a zero-sum game, defections from Obama must accrue to Romney, unless Obama is losing votes only to third-party candidates, which seems highly unlikely.
   78. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4251505)
Using only the numbers in #14:

The 39% Dems went 89-10-1 in 2008 -> 89-10=79 point favorite among Dems
The 37% Dems are 93-6-1 in 2012 -> 93-6=87 points
87-79=8 point improvement since 2008 among Dems.

The 32% Reps went 9-90-1 in 2008 ->9-90=-81
The 29% Reps are 4-96-0 in 2012 -> 4-96=-92
-92+81=-11 points among Reps

The 29% Ind went 52-44-4 in 2008 ->52-44=8
The 34% Ind are 41-49-10 in 2012 ->41-49=-8
-8-8=-16 points among Independents


That's a weird way of looking at those numbers - e.g. for the Dems, isn't that really a 4 point swing, not 8? - but okay, I get it now.

Whoever is saying "more Democratic" is just looking at the number of people who ID as Dem (37%) vs Rep (29%). In 2008, it was 39% to 32%. In that sense, yes, it is more "Democrat", in that the ratio of Democrats to Republicans is greater now than it was in 2008 (once again, taking these numbers at face value and not considering the uncertainty in them).

Whether you call the electorate as a whole "more Democratic", given the rightward shift in independents - now it's foggy at best.
   79. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4251511)
There's gotta be something more interesting to talk about than this voter ID (edit: by that I mean how they identify) polling business, surely?


The whole let's look at Voter ID and pull everything from that is in fact a waste of time. I am more than open to most anything else.

How about Presidential Debate predictions. I predict a whole pile of semi-lame zingers from Romney (at least one will hit and drive a news cycle or two). Not much from Obama but reinforcing the message (he is an OK debater, but not great and their is not reason to do much but play defense).

There will be a mini-flurry of Romney on the comeback trail. In a week not much will be changed - maybe a shift of a percent to Romney.

Then the GOP panic sets in and soft money begins moving down ballot (note: I hope this doesn't happen, I want that money wasted on a national race, not doing work in the Senate and House elections).
   80. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4251513)
I know all of this. And, like I said, I don't claim to have any special insight into the electorate. It just seems very strange to me that your support can crater among 2/3 of the population without affecting turnout at all -- the projected 2012 R/D/I fractions are just as favorable to Obama as 2008 was.

Not only "just as favorable," but even more favorable. Somehow, we're supposed to believe that more people are identifying as Dems vs. GOP in 2012 compared to 2008, but these same polls project Obama's margin of victory to be at least 3 points smaller. It's bizarre.
   81. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4251514)
And, like I said, I don't claim to have any special insight into the electorate. It just seems very strange to me that your support can crater among 2/3 of the population without affecting turnout at all -- the projected 2012 R/D/I fractions are just as favorable to Obama as 2008 was.
But those 2/3 aren't a consistent group. Identification is fluid, so you can't compare and think you're going entirely like to like.

If you look at breakdowns by gender or by other categories for which like to like comparisons are possible, the numbers seem pretty normal.
   82. Zach Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4251515)
So what would you postulate is actually happening? Because the numbers themselves are what they are, and are consistent across polls oevr time and among firms.

It's my understanding that the polling firms use the D/R/I fraction as an extraneous variable -- it's based on what they think will happen, rather than being taken directly from the polling data. My guess is that their expected turnout has 2008 weighted in heavily -- it's the most recent presidential election, and half of the ballot remains unchanged.

I'm not disputing that if the Dems really do turn a 7 point turnout advantage into an 8 point advantage, they will be looking very good. I just don't think that will happen. I think Obama will get about the same share of the vote as the generic congressional ballot, which looks very close right now. It's worth noting that in 2008, he actually ran behind the generic Democrat -- democrats in general finished +10.7, while Obama was about +7.
   83. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4251519)
It's my understanding that the polling firms use the D/R/I fraction as an extraneous variable -- it's based on what they think will happen, rather than being taken directly from the polling data.
This is incorrect. The large majority of polling firms do not weight by Party ID. It's taken directly from the polling data.

I linked and quoted a bunch of stuff on this in the previous thread. The best discussion is by Pew.
   84. Zach Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4251520)
That's a weird way of looking at those numbers - e.g. for the Dems, isn't that really a 4 point swing, not 8? - but okay, I get it now.

I believe that's the convention people use when talking about polls -- they care about net, so they always subtract one number from the other. They will also frequently compare a candidate to the generic vote in a particular district, and compare districts by comparing their generic votes.
   85. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4251525)
Pew Research Center: Party Affiliation and Election Polls:
The changeability of party affiliation is one key reason why Pew Research and most other public pollsters do not attempt to adjust their samples to match some independent estimate of the “true” balance of party affiliation in the country. In addition, unlike national parameters for characteristics such as gender, age, education and race, which can be derived from large government surveys, there is no independent estimate of party affiliation. Some critics argue that polls should be weighted to the distribution of party affiliation as documented by the exit polls in the most recent election. But the use of exit poll statistics for weighting current surveys has several problems.

First of all, a review of exit polls from the past four elections (including midterm elections) shows the same kind of variability in party affiliation that telephone opinion polls show. Why is an exit poll taken nearly two years earlier a more reliable guide to the current reality of party affiliation than our own survey taken right now?

Second, most pollsters sample the general public – even if they subsequently base their election estimates on registered voters or likely voters in that poll. But the exit polls are sampling voters. We know that the distribution of party affiliation is not the same among voters as it is among the general public or among all those who are registered to vote. How can the exit polls provide an accurate target for weighting a general public sample when they are based on only about half (or less) of the general public?
And Nate Silver from 2008 on party ID weighting:
1. Polls that show changes in party ID composition are not "cooked", "rigged", or "biased". Changes in party ID composition may occur for a variety of reasons, including random chance, response bias, temporary changes in party affiliation, and longer-term changes in party affiliation. It is possible that, if the partisan ID composition of a poll shifts rapidly from week to week (more so than is likely from random chance alone, and more so than is precipitated from external events), this may be an indictment of a pollster's methodology -- that the pollster is having difficulty getting a good, random sample. But the notion that credible pollsters like Gallup or SurveyUSA are deliberately rigging their samples is patently ridiculous. Polling is a very competitive industry, with relatively low barriers to entry; they would go out of business in a hurry if they did this.

2. The decision a pollster faces is whether or not to weight its sample by party ID. In fact, the whole point is that pollsters like Gallup and SurveyUSA do not weight their samples by party ID -- they just tally the results, and let the chips fall where they may. So in some sense accusing them of "cooking" their samples has it backward; what you're really arguing is that they should weight their samples, presumably in a way that is more favorable to your preferred candidate.
   86. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4251526)
The simple fact is that we're not all -- not even most of us, going to be entrepreneurs -- nor are most of us any time soon going to get our income from 'investing'.

I've been nothing but an "entrepreneur" for nearly my entire adult life, and I've been invested in the stock market as soon as I had enough surplus income to do so. And I fail to see why my financial future isn't tied into the ability of middle class people to afford my $15 - $400 posters, or buy the products that in the long run will sustain my stock investments. Prosperity that's not built on a foundation of strong working class and middle class wages and salaries is a bogus sort of "prosperity", and that's exactly what the zillion varieties of "trickle-down" theorists can't seem to get through their Barry Bonds-sized skulls.
   87. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4251528)
But those 2/3 aren't a consistent group. Identification is fluid, so you can't compare and think you're going entirely like to like.

Party ID isn't that fluid; both parties have been within 5-point ranges in the 30s for years. Regardless, these polls are showing a net increase in Dem party ID vs. GOP party ID, but a decrease in Obama's projected margin of victory. That makes little sense.
   88. The District Attorney Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4251529)
I predict a whole pile of semi-lame zingers from Romney (at least one will hit and drive a news cycle or two).
To me, if people don't like my candidate on a personal level, I would not want him trying to do "zingers." I think it will be interpreted as Romney being a smarmy smartass. It's kind of like Bobby Valentine can't get away with making sarcastic comments to his players that Terry Francona probably could, because the players don't like one guy and they liked the other.

As Romney's handler, the message I'd want to get across is that Romney has respect for Obama and thinks he means well, but that Obama simply doesn't know how to fix the economy and Romney does. (The potential issue is that you do have to back that up with some sort of, y'know, ideas for fixing the economy. But you at least now are arguing within a framework that people will buy.)
   89. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4251530)
This is incorrect. The large majority of polling firms do not weight by Party ID. It's taken directly from the polling data.

And the polling data is showing that the 2012 electorate will be even more Dem than the 2008 electorate, while Obama is underperforming his 2008 numbers by at least 3 points. Very strange.
   90. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4251533)
Polling Conspiracy Update: More proof of a liberal plot to skew the results towards Obama:

The RCP Obama spread just shot up from 3.3 to 4.0, but the best part was that the jump was caused by a 9 point Obama lead by that noted Marxist polling outfit, The Washington Times.

Of course the kicker is that the Moonie paper's polling partner is Zogby, but the counterpunch is that Zogby also had Obama and Romney in a dead heat right before the Republican convention.
   91. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4251539)

From the polls I've seen, Romney is doing better among Republicans than McCain did. Also, if Obama is only getting the same number of Dem votes but fewer Republican votes and far fewer indepedent votes, that should add up to more than a 2-point shift toward Romney. In a zero-sum game, defections from Obama must accrue to Romney, unless Obama is losing votes only to third-party candidates, which seems highly unlikely.


Last time, I'll take you point by point:

Romney is doing better among Republicans than McCain did

No argument there. He is getting a larger proportion of the IDing Republican vote. However, and this is a key point - the number of voters IDing as Republican has shrunk - and so there are actually fewer voters who are both IDing Republican and also voting Republican. 90% of 32% of all voters is what McCain got - that's 28.8%, or 288 out of every 1000. 96% of 29% is 27.8% of all voters, or 278 out of every 1000 - that's Romney is getting. 27.8% < 28.8%.

Also, if Obama is only getting the same number of Dem votes

He is. Same proportion of all voters, with the loss in those IDing Dem offset almost exactly in his case by the gain in proportion of Dem voters.

but fewer Republican votes

Yes.

and far fewer indepedent votes.

A significantly smaller proportion, yes, but not necessarily far fewer. Again, there is a significant higher proportion of Inds, right? We can all agree on that.

In 2008, 151 out of every 1000 voters was an Ind for Obama - 128 out of every 1000 was an Ind for McCain.
In that CNN poll, 139 out of every 1000 voters is an Ind for Obama, and 167 out of every 1000 is an Ind for Romney.
That's a slight drop for Obama - about 1% of the electorate, on par with the loss of Rep IDing, Rep voting voters above.
It's a gain for Romney, obviously - 4% more of the electorate are now pro-R cadidate indys than in 2008

that should add up to more than a 2-point shift toward Romney.

First of all, it does add up to more Obama won by 7 in 2008, and he's up 3 in this poll. Its a 4 point shift.
To recap, show you how we get to 4:
Per 1000 voters, Obama has the support of 3 fewer Dems, 17 fewer Reps, and 12 fewer Inds - net 32 fewer votes out of 1000 is ~3%; he's gone from 53% to 50%.
Per 1000 voters, Romney has the support of 17 fewer Dems, 10 fewer Reps, and 39 more Inds - net 12 more votes out of 1000; McCain got 46%, so Romney is around 47%

In a zero-sum game, defections from Obama must accrue to Romney, unless Obama is losing votes only to third-party candidates, which seems highly unlikely.

Well, it's not a zero sum game - but in the CNN poll we've gained 2% of the electorate in the "Undecided/Other" bin. Make of that what you will.



   92. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4251543)
Regardless, these polls are showing a net increase in Dem party ID vs. GOP party ID, but a decrease in Obama's projected margin of victory. That makes little sense.

Those who are IDing as "Independent" are voting more Republican this cycle. How is that some kind of mystery?
   93. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4251551)
No argument there. He is getting a larger proportion of the IDing Republican vote. However, and this is a key point - the number of voters IDing as Republican has shrunk - and so there are actually fewer voters who are both IDing Republican and also voting Republican. 90% of 32% of all voters is what McCain got - that's 28.8%, or 288 out of every 1000. 96% of 29% is 27.8% of all voters, or 278 out of every 1000 - that's Romney is getting. 27.8% < 28.8%.

Right, Romney is down a net 1 point due to the decrease in people ID'ing as GOP.

He is. Same proportion of all voters, with the loss in those IDing Dem offset almost exactly in his case by the gain in proportion of Dem voters.

Almost. Obama is actually down a third of a point due to the decrease in people ID'ing as Dem.

A significantly smaller proportion, yes, but not necessarily far fewer. Again, there is a significant higher proportion of Inds, right? We can all agree on that.

Is a net 3-point increase among independents really a "significantly higher proportion"?

Well, it's not a zero sum game - but in the CNN poll we've gained 2% of the electorate in the "Undecided/Other" bin. Make of that what you will.

Well, "undecided" people generally either decide or stay home. That makes it very much like a zero-sum game.
   94. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4251556)
Those who are IDing as "Independent" are voting more Republican this cycle. How is that some kind of mystery?

Obama went from winning big among independents in 2008 to losing big among independents in a lot of the polls in 2012. You believe a net 2-point shift from GOP to independent explains the ~15-point shift from Obama to Romney among independents from 2008 to 2012?
   95. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4251562)
It's my understanding that the polling firms use the D/R/I fraction as an extraneous variable -- it's based on what they think will happen, rather than being taken directly from the polling data.


That's not my understanding- my understanding is that they try to weigh for certain demographic factors, race, sex, even income - but not for partisan identification- that's something they poll FOR, not use to adjust polls.

The reason party ID has shown Dem gains as compared to 2010, is simply due to the responses the pollsters have been getting...
the most likely reason the responses have changed, is simply that sentiment has in fact changed, more people align with Dems now than 2010

There could be other factors, people are less and less likely to respond to polls now than in the past- that reluctance may not be distributed evenly (In England this is called the "shy Tory" phenomena)- Rs may be more likely to hang up on pollsters than Dems - the main problem with this is that it would have to be a VERY recent phenomena- pre-election polling did not miss on party identification in 2008 and in 2010 it actually missed a little on the OTHER side - the 2010 electorate wasn't quite as republican as pre-vote polling indicated (I'm seeing more insistence on the rightysphere that in 2010 pollsters missed the Rs' "wave" that year- the evidence for that seems to be that RCP and 538 underprojected Republican house seat gain by 10-12 seats- what they are ignoring is that both OVERprojected aggregate Republican votes- both for the House and in most state elections...)

People are less "reachable" than in the past, less landlines, the days when everyone had a Ma Bell Phone and a listing in a MA Bell Phone Book are long past- most pollsters think this problem skews polls towards Rs rather than Ds, but who knows, maybe they're wrong- but then again polling and elections since 2004 suggests that while pollsters may have overestimated the impact of this issue, they have not gotten the directionality wrong.


   96. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4251563)
Drudge has the siren out:

THE ACCENT... THE ANGER... THE ACCUSATIONS...

FOXNEWS TONIGHT: OBAMA'S OTHER RACE SPEECH
   97. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4251566)
But now you're cutting a corner. Obama is actually down half a point among people ID'ing as Dem.

I stated in my summary the exact (granting that it's ridiculous to be this exact given the uncertainty in these numbers, but whatever) number Obama was losing:

"Per 1000 voters, Obama has the support of 3 fewer Dems, 17 fewer Reps, and 12 fewer Inds - net 32 fewer votes out of 1000 is ~3%; he's gone from 53% to 50%."

0.3% - half a point if you really prefer. This is a nitpick, though, it doesn't change the math at the end.

Is a net 3-point increase among independents really a "significantly higher proportion"?

It's actually a net 5 point increase - 29% to 34% - and I guess that depends on your definition of significant. It's larger than the Dem and Rep changes, but it's probably within the margin of error.

Well, "undecided" people generally either decide or stay home. That makes it very much like a zero-sum game.

At least 1% probably goes Johnson/Stein. I'd guess those other 2% probably end up splitting roughly 50/50, but I'll admit I have no idea. I certainly don't think we have any reason to believe they will go strongly one way or ther other.
   98. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4251569)
The reason party ID has shown Dem gains as compared to 2010, is simply due to the responses the pollsters have been getting...
the most likely reason the responses have changed, is simply that sentiment has in fact changed, more people align with Dems now than 2010

That was only natural, but that's not all the polls are showing. The polls are also projecting the 2012 electorate to be even more Dem (vs. GOP) than in 2008.

Put aside the issue of whether polling companies do, or should, weight their samples. Does anyone here actually believe the 2012 electorate will be more Dem than in 2008, when both Dem enthusiasm and turnout among blacks were at record highs?
   99. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4251575)
You believe a net 2-point shift from GOP to independent explains the ~15-point shift from Obama to Romney among independents from 2008 to 2012?

I never said that. I said "Those who are IDing as "Independent" are voting more Republican this cycle." Based only on looking at this dataset, I'd argue that the reasons for the shirt in independents towards Romney is:

1) More new independents previously identified Rep than Dem, and would vote as such
2) Romney has picked up some votes among those who were independent in both 08 and now

And, I'd put slightly more weight on 1) than 2). Again, just based on this data. I'll show you the numbers I used if you like. :-)
   100. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 02, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4251577)
As Romney's handler, the message I'd want to get across is that Romney has respect for Obama and thinks he means well, but that Obama simply doesn't know how to fix the economy and Romney does.


I have no idea what Romney's "handlers" are telling him, but looking at rightwing sites I see:

some people who say that Romney should do what you suggest

some people who say, "no, Romney should not say that Obama is good man who means well, he's not and he does not..."

and some people who say, well I can't really figure out what they're trying to say
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