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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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   5801. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4288738)
re 5797

Post 5599

According to Gallup the early voting is strongest out west and in the south while the east is pretty weak.. Obama is getting absolutely killed in the polls in the South. According to Gallup last week Obama was trailing Romney by 22 points in the South. Gallup expects that 40% of the south will do early voting. Obama was up in the West but of the three regions he was leading the west was his weakest region. Also more Republicans have voted than Democrats so far, 19 to 15.

Put it all together and I'd say trailing by only 6 points probably isn't really doom and gloom for Obama. It might even be a sign that Obama is doing pretty good all things considered.
   5802. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4288739)
Well, if Obama was actually doing as well as some of his partisans here have suggested, he'd be campaigning in more GOP-friendly states.

Why? Where are these mythical states that an appearance by Obama is going to turn a red state into a blue state? \ Obama doesn't need to steal a state from Romney. He simply needs to hold the leads he has in the states he is leading in to win the election.
   5803. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4288745)
Obama doesn't need to steal a state from Romney. He simply needs to hold the leads he has in the states he is leading in to win the election.
Yankee Clapper, your line about Obama playing defense was correct - and he is doing so because he has the lead and the ball with the clock in its final seconds.
   5804. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4288746)
Well, if Obama was actually doing as well as some of his partisans here have suggested, he'd be campaigning in more GOP-friendly states.
No straight-thinking blue partisan believes Obama is going to flip a state his direction from 2008.
   5805. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4288747)
So its either Romney in a squeaker or Obama in a blowout? Will Verlander be pitching?
   5806. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4288752)
So its either Romney in a squeaker or Obama in a blowout?
Or Obama in a squeaker. That's where I'd lay my money.
   5807. Tilden Katz Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4288757)
I'd say similar to 2004. A close election, but we'll know who won late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.
   5808. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 30, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4288759)
Yankee Clapper, your line about Obama playing defense was correct - and he is doing so because he has the lead and the ball with the clock in its final seconds.


This. It's not victory formation time quite yet, but the clock is ticking and Team O has the lead. Just get one more first down and avoid punting with time on the clock.
   5809. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4288764)
I'd say similar to 2004. A close election, but we'll know who won late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.

In 2004 I remember being all set to watch the election unfold at Wells Bro expecting the drama of 2000 to happen again. It was not to be. It quickly became apparent as the polls closed that Bush was going to win.
   5810. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4288765)
Romney expands his map into states that were Obama+8 and Obama+10 less than a month ago and it's desperation. Obama finds himself defending a shrinking map and it's a sign of confidence. Not buying it.
   5811. Lassus Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4288767)
Yes, Joe, everyone but you is either insane or a hypocrite.

But at least we're willing to make a bet. Did you have a bad night at Turning Stone once or something?
   5812. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4288774)
You guys are confident? I am not confident.

If Silver is right, and the state and national polls can be aggregated for our best picture of the state of the race, it's something like a 3-to-1 shot that Romney wins. That's like Kansas City beating the Yankees. That happens all the ####### time.

It is possible that Silver is incorporating too much uncertainty into his model (Wang's critique), but I tend to the side that uncertainty is good and we shouldn't be too certain in the results of contemporary public opinion polling within +/- 2 or 3 percent.

And I'm not confident that Nate's right - the divergence between the state and national polling has yet to be explained. It's entirely possible that the national polls are doing something better than the state polls.
   5813. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4288775)
But at least we're willing to make a bet. Did you have a bad night at Turning Stone once or something?

What are you talking about? I haven't seen you proposing any bets.
   5814. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4288776)
But at least we're willing to make a bet. Did you have a bad night at Turning Stone once or something?


I've seen this behavior before. I call it the "You guys just don't understand the real value Francoeur brings!" two step.
   5815. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4288779)
Yankee Clapper, your line about Obama playing defense was correct - and he is doing so because he has the lead and the ball with the clock in its final seconds.

Yes, but he's playing defense in Pennsylvania, Michigan & Minnesota. Romney doesn't need any of them to get to 270 (actually, 269 will do), and not long ago no one would have suggested Obama was going to need to run ads in those states during the last week of the campaign. In fact, I'm pretty sure that anyone but the most partisan spinner would concede that if Romney wins any of those states, he's going to be elected by a considerable margin.
   5816. Lassus Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4288781)
You guys are confident? I am not confident.

Oh, I'm not confident at all. I might even be the opposite. But that's when I make most of my bets.


What are you talking about? I haven't seen you proposing any bets.

I was joining your "you liberals, you lefties" club and using the royal "we" regarding your sidestepping Bitter Mouse's attempts at a wager and Andy's suggesting you start backing up your confidence on various betting websites.

Why, do you want to make one?
   5817. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4288782)
So again where is he going to go that he hasn't already gone too? He was in Florida, was either in Virginia or wanted to be in VA until the storm hit.
   5818. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4288783)
Yes, but he's playing defense in Pennsylvania, Michigan & Minnesota.
You're trying to portray Clinton in Minnesota and, a few days ago, Biden in Scranton as signs of panic. I'm not seeing it. But whatever gets you through the night.
   5819. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4288785)
At this point in the race, neither candidate should be anywhere other than Ohio and, maybe, Virginia.
   5820. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4288787)
At this point in the race an appearance by a candidate ain't going to mean squat.
   5821. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4288788)
Probably not, but they've got to go somewhere and do something.
   5822. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4288789)
Btw, I voted last night. Love love love mail-in ballots.
   5823. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4288800)
You're trying to portray Clinton in Minnesota and, a few days ago, Biden in Scranton as signs of panic.

I don't believe I used the word "panic". I'm merely noting that Obama is finding it necessary to actively defend Democratic-friendly states that many assumed would have been locked up by the last week of the campaign. That suggests, to me at least, that the Obama campaign does not actually believe they are doing as well as some here have suggested.
   5824. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4288803)
So?

The narrative you're trying to spin simply doesn't exist. People here think it is going to be a close race but that Obama will win.
   5825. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4288804)
You guys are confident? I am not confident.

If Silver is right, and the state and national polls can be aggregated for our best picture of the state of the race, it's something like a 3-to-1 shot that Romney wins. That's like Kansas City beating the Yankees. That happens all the ####### time.

It is possible that Silver is incorporating too much uncertainty into his model (Wang's critique), but I tend to the side that uncertainty is good and we shouldn't be too certain in the results of contemporary public opinion polling within +/- 2 or 3 percent.

And I'm not confident that Nate's right - the divergence between the state and national polling has yet to be explained. It's entirely possible that the national polls are doing something better than the state polls.


Hella confidant...

First - there are two substantial outliers amongst all the polling data - Gallup, which I think is just got its LV/RV screen wrong, and Rassmussen, which is a GOP pollster. I'd also note that every other pollster that's presenting early voting data shows the opposite of Gallup. I'm not saying Gallup is hackish - no 'unskewed' wishcasting here - just that when you have tons of data saying one thing, and an outlier saying something different -- toss the outlier. Only Rass has shown Romney with a lead in Ohio. Every other Ohio poll has shown Obama with an Ohio lead.

I can find a couple of plausible paths for Obama without Ohio that are legitimate, but I just can't see how Romney loses Ohio and then somehow manages to pick off a less purplish/bluer state.

Second - while everyone talks up ground game, Team Obama has a proven track record with one. They did it twice in 2008 - and while Joe loves to tout the national poll popular vote accuracy, Obama outperformed in virtually every swing state versus the polls. They know the math, they focus resources where appropriate, and their operation is tip-top when it comes to getting their people out. In a tight election where a point here and a point there makes all the difference, I feel confidant that the Obama ground game can get that point. While Romney might have a better ground game than McCain - who really knows? And exactly what is it about Romney that indicates he has or would potentially put together a better ground game? He didn't beat his primary opponents with a ground game - he carpet bombed them via the airwaves... that ain't working here.

I had hopes 6 weeks ago that Obama would put this away, but whether the first debate, a natural tightening, Romney's amazing ability to pull off the etch-a-sketch, or all of the above -- it's now certainly going to be close. I have zero hopes of Indiana staying in Obama's column, and I suspect he'll shed NC, too... but the rest? Florida is by no means out-of-reach - in fact, if you look at the polling, it's almost dead tied up. The states where Romney is supposedly planning his Ohio alternatives -- Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, NH, Colorado - do any of those look like particularly good bets (and keep in mind, replacing Ohio requires 2-3-4 of them, not just one)? To the best of my knowledge only Colorado has any polling showing a Romney lead.

It's gonna be tight, but I'm confidant enough that I'd take an even money bet on President Re-Elect Obama any time...

   5826. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4288805)
   5827. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4288811)
People here think it is going to be a close race but that Obama will win.

Those same people pretty much started this thread contending Obama would win, but it wouldn't be close. So that's progress.
   5828. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4288816)
The AP wonders what Romney is doing:
Mitt Romney is suddenly plunging into traditionally Democratic-leaning Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and his GOP allies are trying to put Michigan into play. It's forcing President Barack Obama to defend his own turf _ he's pouring money into television ads in the states and dispatching top backers _ in the campaign's final week.

The question is: Why this Republican move?

GOP efforts in the trio of Rust Belt states could indicate that Romney is desperately searching for a last-minute path to the needed 270 Electoral College votes _ without all-important Ohio. Or just the opposite, that he's so confident in the most competitive battlegrounds that he's pressing for insurance against Obama in what's expected to be a close race.

Or perhaps the Republican simply has money to burn. Use it now or never.
Perhaps Obama isn't really looking at Minnesota at all. From the Star-Tribune:
President Obama's campaign plans to spend money to run television ads in the Twin Cities market in the final weeks of the campaign, an Obama campaign official said.

But the official said the ad buy is "very small," less than one percent of the total ad spending the campaign plans in the final weeks, and it is "targeted to Wisconsin." Twin Cities stations are aired in western Wisconsin, which has long been considered a swing state in the presidential race.
   5829. Lassus Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4288817)
Those same people pretty much started this thread contending Obama would win, but it wouldn't be close. So that's progress.

Which people did this? Started out as "it's not close" and moved to "ohshit, it's close, just like I said"?
   5830. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4288818)
just that when you have tons of data saying one thing, and an outlier saying something different -- toss the outlier.
I mean, if the outlier is 50% off or something, maybe. When the outlier is off by 5-10%, you have to use that as part of your data set. And Pew has the race tied nationally, so does Ipsos, PPP, etc. Even if you toss Gallup and Ras, you have a tied national race.

And a tied national race is not consistent with the swing state polling. That inconsistency is the big thing that frightens me - it suggests that something is going wrong somewhere in the polling, and we don't know where that is.
   5831. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4288823)
Those same people pretty much started this thread contending Obama would win, but it wouldn't be close. So that's progress.

And do you care to argue with a few Democrats about whether or not slavery will continue on or not as well?
   5832. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4288824)
Because this is not one big election but 50 smaller elections, I'll go with what state polls are telling us.

Or is it 53, including DC, Maine's thing and Omaha?
   5833. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4288827)
And a tied national race is not consistent with the swing state polling. That inconsistency is the big thing that frightens me - it suggests that something is going wrong somewhere in the polling, and we don't know where that is.

Obama is getting killed in the South. The difference between the national polls and the swing states is where the difference lies. The swing states, outside of Florida, are not in the South.

If you break it down by region it was something like +4 in the West, +6 in the North, +6 in the East, and -22 in the South two weeks ago. So Obama leading by +2 or more in a good chunk of the swing states is not unusual.
   5834. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4288828)
I mean, if the outlier is 50% off or something, maybe. When the outlier is off by 5-10%, you have to use that as part of your data set. And Pew has the race tied nationally, so does Ipsos, PPP, etc. Even if you toss Gallup and Ras, you have a tied national race.

And a tied national race is not consistent with the swing state polling. That inconsistency is the big thing that frightens me - it suggests that something is going wrong somewhere in the polling, and we don't know where that is.


Sure - but again, if you look at Gallup's RV numbers - they actually have Obama up 1 (at least, last Gallup crosstabs I looked at)... All pollsters use different methods to get to their LV screen, and I just think based on this - Gallup is just wrong about their LV - RV parsing.

As for the national vs state split -- I just think it comes down to two things:

1)Obama is not running a national campaign. Just like in the 2008 primaries, they know this is about delegate counting. They've focused everything - from staff to ad buys to message tailoring - to the states they know lead to 270+. I'm in Chicago, and as I mentioned, I've volunteered for the Obama campaign... from Chicago - I have done absolutely nothing with the campaign "in chicago"/Illinois... this past weekend - we tripped up north across the border into Wisconsin. While I don't look them all up - I sure don't get a lot of 773/312/etc (Chicago area codes) on my lists. This is the 2008 primary all over again - they'll let the national numbers fall where they will and just focus on getting their 270+.

2) While I'd certainly defer to Nate or someone who puts forth a more robust explanation, whether in agreement or not, it just seems logical to me that you're likely to get better samples out of a single state poll than you will on a national poll. From a national polling perspective -- there's just so much you have to normalize... On a state level, it just seems like there's less drift. Sure, sure - you have states like Ohio that are relatively diverse -- but isn't it easier to get a representative sample from an Ohio poll, where you just have to demographically adjust for Ohio, then it is for a national poll where you have to adjust that across 50 states?
   5835. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4288832)
1)Obama is not running a national campaign. Just like in the 2008 primaries, they know this is about delegate counting.
Absolutely. Romney's campaign doesn't act like it knows crushing victories in AL, AR and MS garners him fewer electoral votes than Obama's just-enough wins in OH and WI.
   5836. Shredder Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4288834)
Obama is getting killed in the South. The difference between the national polls and the swing states is where the difference lies. The swing states, outside of Florida, are not in the South.
Yeah, it's weird that people don't seem to get this on a site where we often recognize that there can be differences between a real record and a pythag record. I don't claim to know the actual state of the race, or who is going to win and by how much, but it's certainly conceivable that national polls may not match up with polls in swing states, especially with an entire region that's still fighting a 150 year old war factored into the mix. You can argue the aggregate all you want, but the Pirates still won the 1960 World Series.
   5837. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4288836)
Obama is getting killed in the South. The difference between the national polls and the swing states is where the difference lies. The swing states, outside of Florida, are not in the South.
As far as I know, this has not been shown to be the case in any systematic way. I'd like it to be the truth that Romney is overperformning in safe states, but I haven't seen the evidence.
   5838. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4288837)
As far as I know, this has not been shown to be the case in any systematic way. I'd like it to be the truth that Romney is overperformning in safe states, but I haven't seen the evidence.

You mean like Gallup saying " +4 in the West, +6 in the North, +6 in the East, and -22 in the South two weeks ago."?
   5839. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4288839)
As far as I know, this has not been shown to be the case in any systematic way. I'd like it to be the truth that Romney is overperformning in safe states, but I don't see the evidence.


Well, that was from Gallup's crosstabs...haven't check it closely since last week -- but when Gallup had the 6 pt Romney eye-popper -- that was precisely what popped out... Obama leading everywhere except the South - where he was down 22.
   5840. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4288840)
When Romney leads by 22 in the South, as I believe I saw in a recent national Gallup poll, how much overperformance do you need?
   5841. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4288841)
Coke to McCoy.

And zonk.
   5842. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4288842)
Obama is getting killed in the South. The difference between the national polls and the swing states is where the difference lies. The swing states, outside of Florida, are not in the South.

If true, then Obama should be much further ahead than 290-248 in the RCP "no toss-ups" map. A 3- or 4-point swing from the national polls to the state polls should yield much more than a one-state difference in the Electoral College.

***
And a tied national race is not consistent with the swing state polling. That inconsistency is the big thing that frightens me - it suggests that something is going wrong somewhere in the polling, and we don't know where that is.

We know where part of it is — people seem to be lying about voting early. For example, from what I've been reading, no more than 22 percent of Ohioans have voted, but 30 to 36 percent of respondents in Ohio polls have been claiming to have voted already. If early voters (1) skew to Obama and (2) are being over-counted, then that would skew the polls substantially.
   5843. spycake Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4288843)
Sending Bill Clinton to Minnesota, too. Suggests they are playing defense.

I believe Clinton is making an appearance in Duluth, in an attempt to influence the race in that congressional district.
   5844. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 30, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4288844)
The swing states, outside of Florida, are not in the South.

Virginia begs to differ.
   5845. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4288845)
It looks like apparently it was +4 in the East and Midwest while +6 in the West.
   5846. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4288846)
When Romney leads by 22 in the South, as I believe I saw in a recent national Gallup poll, how much overperformance do you need?
One poll != systematic evidence, The crosstabs from one poll != even particularly useful evidence.

I have one poll with Romney leading by two in Ohio and another with him lead by three in Virginia. These aren't good evidence of Romney holding leads in those states. I could go into the crosstabs of any individual poll and find just about anything I want.

Systematic evidence means going through the safe state polls and showing that Romney is overperforming expectations by a degree equivalent to the degree he's seemingly underperforming in competitive states.
   5847. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4288847)
You mean like Gallup saying " +4 in the West, +6 in the North, +6 in the East, and -22 in the South two weeks ago."?

Unless you believe Gallup is equally weighting their polls across those four regions despite massive population differences, the above is little more than trivia.

Regardless, if Obama is leading everywhere but the South, he should be at ~350 in the Electoral College projections.
   5848. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4288849)
Virginia begs to differ.

Point remains the same.

The swing states, which get the heaviest amount of polling statewide, can diverge from nationwide polling by a handful of points. And, yes, the vast majority of swing states are in regions where Obama is doing well.
   5849. spycake Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4288850)
But the official said the ad buy is "very small," less than one percent of the total ad spending the campaign plans in the final weeks, and it is "targeted to Wisconsin." Twin Cities stations are aired in western Wisconsin, which has long been considered a swing state in the presidential race.

I can confirm this. There are always a ton of Wisconsin political ads on Minneapolis/St. Paul stations. And there isn't really any major media in western Wisconsin -- they pretty much have to use the Minnesota stations to reach them.
   5850. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4288851)
Systematic evidence means going through the safe state polls and showing that Romney is overperforming expectations by a degree equivalent to the degree he's seemingly underperforming in competitive states.

And you don't think he is? You think he is leading in Alabama by less than a point, as suggested by RCP's aggregate number? You think he is losing in Arkansas by almost 2 points as suggested by Nate's aggregate?
   5851. Lassus Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4288859)
We know where part of it is — people seem to be lying

Yes, and hypocrites. We know.
   5852. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4288860)
They've updated the absentee ballots in Ohio this afternoon so now Dems have turned in 404,000 ballots but their lead over Reps has shrunk down to around 60,000.

There are about only 64,000 early ballots left that haven't been turned in yet. So far the early ballots represent 22% of the total ballots cast in 2008. It looks like this year about 150,000 less early ballots have been cast. Now then the interesting thing is that according to the polls a third of the Ohio voters have stated they have already voted. If that is true then that means a little under 4 million people are going to vote in 2012 as opposed to over 5.5 million Ohioans voting in 2008. Looks to me like a lot of polling places "LV" screens are off.
   5853. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4288863)
I will be honest with you boys. The constant back and forth about polling is extremely tiresome. At this point, just vote already and let's be done with it. It's like listening to SEC fans talk about high school signing day.
   5854. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4288864)
I live in DC. There is no point in me voting.
   5855. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4288872)

I have one poll with Romney leading by two in Ohio and another with him lead by three in Virginia. These aren't good evidence of Romney holding leads in those states. I could go into the crosstabs of any individual poll and find just about anything I want.


Unless you're seeing a different aggregate list -- I think both the OH and VA polls you're talking about are from Scotty Rass....
   5856. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4288873)
I can confirm this. There are always a ton of Wisconsin political ads on Minneapolis/St. Paul stations. And there isn't really any major media in western Wisconsin -- they pretty much have to use the Minnesota stations to reach them.


I confirm all of this. Just saw one in fact, well fast forwarded through one.

And I was one of "them" who was super confident in an Obama victory. And I am still pretty darn confident BTW. Which is why I am willing to make the handle bet with Joe K.
   5857. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4288874)
Nate's polling average in Alabama is +18, compared to state fundamentals expectation of +27. Romney needs to be systematically overperforming fundamentals for the explanation to work.

Hell, let's take a quick look at Nate's adjusted polling averages and fundamentals for the South. This is first Romney's lead in the adjusted polling average, then his expected lead in the state fundamentals:

AL: +22, +27 (that means Romney +22 in the adjusted polling average, Romney +27 in state fundamentals expectation)
AR: +27, +22
FL: +1, +4
GA: +10, +11
KY: +17, +20
LA: +24, +21
MS: xx, +22
NC: +2, +6
SC: +8, +14
TN: +19, +21

Weighted by state population, that gives an average of +11 to Romney against state fundamentals of +13. So the polls of the Southern states do not show Romney overperforming expectations.

On the other hand, if Romney really is +22 in the South, then he's overperforming expectations by at least 10 percentage points in the region, and that would explain a lot of the national / state polling divergence. The problem is that instead of confirming Gallup's weird results, the existing state polls contradict Gallup.

It seems odd to trust Gallup's crosstabs instead of the actual polling of these states, in order to explain why we should trust the actual polling of swing states instead of the national polling by Gallup and others.

I still don't see a convincing, evidence-based explanation of the divergence between state and national polls.
   5858. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4288877)
Biden has called off his Scranton appearance.

Boom. They're ceding Pennsylvania to Romney.
   5859. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4288879)
I'm not exactly sure why Nate's "fundamentals" is the control group from which we base our expectations.

The national polls say that Romney is leading by less than a point and yet not all states have Romney leading by a point or so. That happens.
   5860. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4288881)
On the other hand, if Romney really is +22 in the South, then he's overperforming expectations by at least 10 percentage points in the region, and that would explain a lot of the national / state polling divergence. The problem is that instead of confirming Gallup's weird results, the existing state polls contradict Gallup.

It seems odd to trust Gallup's crosstabs instead of the actual polling of these states, in order to explain why we should trust the actual polling of swing states instead of the national polling by Gallup and others.


I don't think it's necessarily a matter of "trusting" either -- it's just seeing where the disparity lies and trying to explain it. I'm not sure if Gallup actually DOES any individual state polling but again, I'm not saying Gallup is hackish or anything... it's just that they have a fairly different result from everyone (except Scotty R, I guess) and I'm just looking for data that might explain that.

Regional crosstabs simply seem useful in that regard because we have a ton of state polling in toss-ups...
   5861. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4288888)
it's just that they have a fairly different result from everyone (except Scotty R, I guess) and I'm just looking for data that might explain that.
It's not Gallup that needs to be explained. We can treat them as one data point among many, that's not a problem.

The thing to be explained is the systematic divergence between the state polling and the national polling. The aggregate state polling (all polls of individual states) project Obama to a national lead of 2-3 points, while the aggregate national polling (all the polls of the whole country, not of individual states) project Romney to a national lead of about 1 point. That's the thing I'm trying to understand.

The divergence could be explained if the underpolled safe states are tilting toward Romney and we just don't have the polling data to show it. That's what I was looking at in #5857 - if the polls of safe states show Romney overperforming the "fundamentals" projection, then it would be possible to say that Romney has a small national lead (as the national polls show) but Obama has a lead in the electoral college based on leads in important swing states (as the state polls show). However, there is no positive evidence that Romney is overperforming the fundamentals in safe states. So we're back to having no good explanation.
   5862. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4288892)
I'll ask again, why is the "fundamentals" the control group?
   5863. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4288894)
I'll ask again, why is the "fundamentals" the control group?
Because Romney needs to be overperforming expectations in the safe states to balance out his underperformance in the swing states, if we're going to harmonize the state and national polling numbers. The fundamentals are a good quick way of measuring that.
   5864. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4288896)
Perhaps I missed it but where are the studies that show that if you add up all the individual states Obama is leading by 2 to 3 points? I don't know how they could actually do that as a good chunk of the states have barely been polled and haven't been polled in months.

For instance in Alabama Nate has only 2 polls listed for them. Both from the same company, one in August and one in June. He has no polls listed for Alaska. Arkansas has 3 polls; 1 in October, 1 in September, 1 in March. Delaware no polls. . . .so on and so on.
   5865. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4288897)
The fundamentals are a good quick way of measuring that.

Why?

Because Romney needs to be overperforming expectations in the safe states to balance out his underperformance in the swing states, if we're going to harmonize the state and national polling numbers.

Not really. States are not equal.

The issue seems to be that with a 1 point national lead it is hard to believe that Obama could be up by 2 to 4 points in some states. I'm not sure why that is hard to believe. Can you believe that Romney will win Alabama by 15 points or so? Why isn't that hard to believe? Can you believe that Obama will Illinois in a landslide? Why isn't that hard to believe?
   5866. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4288900)

The thing to be explained is the systematic divergence between the state polling and the national polling. The aggregate state polling (all polls of individual states) project Obama to a national lead of 2-3 points, while the aggregate national polling (all the polls of the whole country, not of individual states) project Romney to a national lead of about 1 point. That's the thing I'm trying to understand.

The divergence could be explained if the underpolled safe states are tilting toward Romney and we just don't have the polling data to show it. That's what I was looking at in #5857 - if the polls of safe states show Romney overperforming the "fundamentals" projection, then it would be possible to say that Romney has a small national lead (as the national polls show) but Obama has a lead in the electoral college based on leads in important swing states (as the state polls show). However, there is no positive evidence that Romney is overperforming the fundamentals in safe states. So we're back to having no good explanation.


Well, first - I guess it depends on which aggregator you're using... TPM's poll tracker - which essentially seeks to do the same thing RCP does -- has it exactly dead even nationally with latest inputs from today.... literally 47.9 to 47.9. Dead tied.

But I guess at a high level - I would just say that it's a tight race all over... Obama has a lead in Ohio - but it's not a huge lead by any stretch. Romney has a lead in NC - but again, it's not a huge lead by any stretch.

As I understand it - and I'm sure you probably could explain better than I -- if we take the standard MOE (3-4%), this means that the range of a 49-49 poll could be actually 51-47, 50-48, 48-50, or 47-51.

Add that in with the state polls -- where, sure, the results could be the same (i.e., perhaps those 50-47 Ohio polls with 3% MOEs are actually 48-48) -- and I think we've easily got our explanation.

What makes me confidant is that Obama loss/Romney win requires that all those state polls that show small Obama leads actually need to come in at the very bad end of those MOE extrapolations.... not just a few of them, but almost ALL of them.

Hence - it seems perfectly rational to me that Obama has a statistically insignificant national lead that will actually be a relatively safe, even if close and not as wide as last year, EC win.

   5867. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4288902)
But I guess at a high level - I would just say that it's a tight race all over... Obama has a lead in Ohio - but it's not a huge lead by any stretch. Romney has a lead in NC - but again, it's not a huge lead by any stretch.

It's kind of odd that you doubt Gallup's LV model (#5825) but then accept, at face value, Ohio polls that claim Ohio will be even more Dem than it was in 2008, despite the huge gains the GOP made in Ohio in 2010.
   5868. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4288904)
Mitt Romney is suddenly plunging into traditionally Democratic-leaning Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and his GOP allies are trying to put Michigan into play. It's forcing President Barack Obama to defend his own turf _ he's pouring money into television ads in the states and dispatching top backers _ in the campaign's final week.

The question is: Why this Republican move?

GOP efforts in the trio of Rust Belt states could indicate that Romney is desperately searching for a last-minute path to the needed 270 Electoral College votes _ without all-important Ohio. Or just the opposite, that he's so confident in the most competitive battlegrounds that he's pressing for insurance against Obama in what's expected to be a close race.


Is it possible that Romney has effectively saturated the markets he needs to in the swingier states, and that he actually does have too much money (almost unique in politics)? An obvious answer is that if this spending in MN, PA, and MI causes a concerned Obama campaign to siphon off dollars from OH, FL, NV, NM, and IA, then it's a smart use of those excess Republican dollars.

It's interesting to see Obama getting to 272 without OH, CO, NH, AZ and FL. It does mean he needs NM, NV, VA, PA, and IA, though. That's a lot tighter than I care to see.

For the purposes of a prediction thread, what are the states in play? I have it as the 10 in my previous paragraph along with NC (barely), and I suppose MI, MN, and WI should be included. Arizona isn't really a swing state. Neither is Indiana, though I can see including for the sake of completeness any state that Obama won in 2008, no matter how far behind he is there in 2012.

Obama gets to 271 with OH, and can then afford to lose VA and NV. I think this last scenario is a little more likely than the route to 272 I described.

edit: what's the scenario that ends in electing Romney and Biden? Does that require a 25-25 split of the states, sending the choice to the House and Senate, respectively, following an EV tie?
   5869. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4288906)
I will be honest with you boys. The constant back and forth about polling is extremely tiresome.


seconded.

this thread is at times fantastic, but the woodies people have for Barone/Silver/Rass/Gallup/etc. has made this really bad, heck looking at the 100th flooded street picture is still exciting. At least utter, "Bengazhi" or "Biden said...." or something every few posts.
   5870. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4288908)
It's kind of odd that you doubt Gallup's LV model (#5825) but then accept, at face value, Ohio polls that claim Ohio will be even more Dem than it was in 2008, despite the huge gains the GOP made in Ohio in 2010.


There are other ways to weight samples beyond party ID -- plenty of pollsters, in fact, will tell you specifically why they avoid using party ID as the weight of weights like Scotty R does.

Gallup's LV/RV weighting doesn't necessarily need to have anything to do with party ID -- they might very well be screening out poor, minorities, students/young voters, etc for reasons that have nothing to do with party ID.

But hey - by all means... you're drunk on unskewed kool-aid, and far be it for me to stop anyone from a nice, weeklong bender....
   5871. PreservedFish Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4288909)
I will be honest with you boys. The constant back and forth about polling is extremely tiresome. At this point, just vote already and let's be done with it. It's like listening to SEC fans talk about high school signing day.


I dropped out of this thread entirely because all anyone talks about is polls.
   5872. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4288910)
If someone wanted to talk about something other than the polls you know what they could do? They could talk about other things besides the polls. Shocking, I know.
   5873. tshipman Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4288914)
It's interesting to see Obama getting to 272 without OH, CO, NH, AZ and FL. It does mean he needs NM, NV, VA, PA, and IA, though. That's a lot tighter than I care to see.


The only one of NM, NV, VA, PA and IA that Obama is not heavily favored to win is VA. That makes me feel very much less concerned.


***

I agree with MCoA regarding state polling and national polling. I don't think the answer is necessarily the polling in the south. The answer could also be Obama underperforming in CA, NYC and other large D strongholds.

O is listed at +16.8% in CA vs. fundamentals of 18.9
NY is +25.2 vs fundamentals of +24.9
MA is +17 vs fundamentals of +17.9
OR is +10.2 vs fundamentals of +12

I think there's a clear pattern of Obama not spending money in D stronghold states, and those states not supporting him at levels previously predicted.

Uniform swing is behaving weirdly this election.
   5874. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4288918)
I dropped out of this thread entirely because all anyone talks about is polls.


Every page or so I try to bring up something else. Haven't come up with anything in a while. I'll keep looking though.

Anyone on the conservative side want to "handle" bet the election? 'cause I still think it will be Obama (fair warning - I was pretty sure Kerry would win, so please no one else make a bet trusting me, that way lies madness and disappointment).
   5875. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4288919)
I don't think the answer is necessarily the polling in the south. The answer could also be Obama underperforming in CA, NYC and other large D strongholds.

Well, it isn't just the South it is all the other regions as well. Obama, according to Gallup, is only leading in the east by 4 points despite that whole area being a stronghold for Dems.
   5876. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4288924)
@5873: You're right. I missed Iowa heading for Obama. I must have skimmed or misread something. I though it was essentially a toss-up. It isn't.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/ia/iowa_romney_vs_obama-1922.html#polls

If Obama is only up by 4 in the east, that means the 'east' probably includes Ohio, which would displease many Ohioans. I wonder if they tried to squeeze Indiana in there, too. 4 points, given NY and NJ, just seems off.

As for people not happy with the poll talk, introduce another subject? There's been some talk on the hurricane, on strategy, on perception.... It's an extremely tight race and while it always seems like there's a lot at stake, there really is a lot at stake. This isn't 1992. Talking about polls is one way of dealing with tension, expectation...
   5877. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4288926)
...despite the huge gains the GOP made in Ohio in 2010.

Swings got their name for a reason.
   5878. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4288928)
If someone wanted to talk about something other than the polls you know what they could do? They could talk about other things besides the polls. Shocking, I know.

Hey, who else gets sexually aroused by visiting slaughterhouses? PM me to swap offal pics!
   5879. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4288930)
There are other ways to weight samples beyond party ID -- plenty of pollsters, in fact, will tell you specifically why they avoid using party ID as the weight of weights like Scotty R does.

Gallup's LV/RV weighting doesn't necessarily need to have anything to do with party ID -- they might very well be screening out poor, minorities, students/young voters, etc for reasons that have nothing to do with party ID.

But hey - by all means... you're drunk on unskewed kool-aid, and far be it for me to stop anyone from a nice, weeklong bender....

I know bashing "poll truthers" is the big thing on the left, but they never seem to want to answer the basic underlying question: Do they, or do they not, believe the electorate will be as Dem or more Dem than 2008? If they do, then I understand their confidence that Obama will win. But if they don't, then their confidence seems unexplained vis-a-vis the national and even state polling.
   5880. JE (Jason) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4288933)
Those ads that the Obama campaign are about to run in Detroit further demonstrate that Romney is losing. Michigan is very, very safe.
   5881. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4288943)
Hey, who else gets sexually aroused by visiting slaughterhouses?
Only when they're in swing states, baby. Only in swing states.

@5881--Romney's recent ads in MI are wonderfully consistent with the rest of his campaign. 'We're losing! Let's make #### up!' It worked in the first debate. It might work here. I wonder if we're going to be treated to a version of 'McCain's black, out of wedlock child' as in the NC primary in 2000, or this is as bad as it's going to get.

   5882. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4288946)
Those ads that the Obama campaign are about to run in Detroit further demonstrate that Romney is losing. Michigan is very, very safe.

According to that poll, all Romney has to do is pick up 87% of the undecideds and he edges out Obama.
   5883. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4288947)
Anyone on the conservative side want to "handle" bet the election? 'cause I still think it will be Obama (fair warning - I was pretty sure Kerry would win, so please no one else make a bet trusting me, that way lies madness and disappointment).

There's a difference between "conservative" and "Republican," just as there's a difference between "liberal" or "progressive" and "Democrat."
I think Obama is a conservative, though he is officially a Democrat.
   5884. PreservedFish Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4288948)
If someone wanted to talk about something other than the polls you know what they could do? They could talk about other things besides the polls. Shocking, I know.


It seems easier to just do something else.
   5885. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4288951)
Wouldn't talking about something else be doing something else?
   5886. JE (Jason) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4288956)
According to that poll, all Romney has to do is pick up 87% of the undecideds and he edges out Obama.

Hey, you never know. Four years ago Indiana and North Carolina were in the same boat.
   5887. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4288967)
I agree, but it illustrates the basic electoral problem Romney's up against. Obama has to do X and Y, and he has to hope Z doesn't happen. Romney has to do A, B, C, D and E, while hoping that none of P, Q, R or S happen.
   5888. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4288968)
But is it really that complicated (or difficult for Romney)? It seems like Romney needs to flip A (Ohio) and possibly B (Colorado) and C (New Hampshire) while Obama has to defend A and possibly B and C. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of debate about what will happen in North Carolina, Florida, or even Virginia, despite some close polling in the latter two.
   5889. tshipman Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4288971)
But is it really that complicated (or difficult for Romney)? It seems like Romney needs to flip A (Ohio) and possibly B (Colorado) and C (New Hampshire) while Obama has to defend A and possibly B and C. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of debate about what will happen in North Carolina, Florida, or even Virginia, despite some close polling in the latter two.


Uh, Obama is ahead in Virginia.

I'm as happy to bet on Virginia as I was with Pennsylvania.

Romney's problem is that he needs to win all the close ones + Ohio to win.
   5890. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4288973)
Uh, Obama is ahead in Virginia.

I'm as happy to bet on Virginia as I was with Pennsylvania.

That's news to RCP, which has Virginia tied, but with Romney winning in six of the last nine polls and Obama ahead in just one, with two polls tied.
   5891. McCoy Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4288974)
The plan to win is simple. The actually ability to pull it off is the hard part. I mean I can come up with a plan to become the President doesn't mean it is going to happen.

Even going by Rasmussen, which is right leaning, Romney has to win 6 to 7 of the 8 states that they consider tossups.
   5892. Guapo Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4288977)
Breaking News: 47% of Primates no longer want to talk about polls
   5893. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4288978)
Nobody cares about the 47-Percenters.
   5894. McCoy Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4288979)
But still want to talk about politics? Interesting.
   5895. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4288980)
Is it possible that Romney has effectively saturated the markets he needs to in the swingier states, and that he actually does have too much money (almost unique in politics)? An obvious answer is that if this spending in MN, PA, and MI causes a concerned Obama campaign to siphon off dollars from OH, FL, NV, NM, and IA, then it's a smart use of those excess Republican dollars.

Despite those dozen fundraising appeals I'm now getting every day in my inbox, I think it's clear that both campaigns realize a few things:

1. The solid blue and red states can be ignored as far as presidential campaign advertising is concerned. That constitutes about 80% of the 50 states.

2. There are only so many ads you can run in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire and Nevada before they reach the point of diminishing returns, hard as that may be to believe.

3. And once the ads have been paid for in those eight states, it's not necessarily a bad idea to throw some money in Pennsylvania and even Michigan. That's not a sign of "panic", but rather a realization that it's better to spend a bit of money in those states rather than run the risk that a last minute event might be enough to tip those states.

If the Democrats were cancelling ads in the 3 major swing states (Ohio, Florida and Virginia) and diverting that ad money to Michigan and Pennsylvania, I could see the idea of "panic". But I've seen no evidence that this is the case. I know that it's virtually impossible to escape both Obama and Romney ads on every DC station that aims at the Northern Virginia market, and that it's long past the point of likely diminishing returns.
   5896. JE (Jason) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4288981)
Even going by Rasmussen, which is right leaning, Romney has to win 6 to 7 of the 8 states that they consider tossups.

Looking now at Rasmussen, a reputable pollster, if Romney wins toss-up states Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado, he will become POTUS.
   5897. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4288982)
That's news to RCP, which has Virginia tied, but with Romney winning in six of the last nine polls and Obama ahead in just one, with two polls tied.

So, make the bet, tough guy.
   5898. tshipman Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4288983)
That's news to RCP, which has Virginia tied, but with Romney winning in six of the last nine polls and Obama ahead in just one, with two polls tied.


RCP is omitting polls (Mellman and PPP). Romney is ahead in Rasmussen (twice) and Fox News. Three polls show a tied race. Again, I'm happy to place a wager on just VA.

Romney is also behind in Colorado and New Hampshire.

Even if you give Romney: Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire and North Carolina, he comes in at 261 EC votes. He needs to win all of those + Wisconsin, or most of those + Ohio. He's behind more in Wisconsin than he's ahead in North Carolina.

   5899. JE (Jason) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4288984)
So, make the bet, tough guy.

I don't have $10,000 hidden in my sock.
   5900. tshipman Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4288985)
Looking now at Rasmussen, a reputable pollster, if Romney wins toss-up states Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado, he will become POTUS.


Looking now at PPP, a reputable pollster, if Obama wins North Carolina, a toss-up state, he will almost equal his 2008 map, and has an outside chance at winning Arizona.
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