Another set of pro-Obama polls that oversample Democrats.


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Living in a dream world: Another set of pro-Obama polls that oversample Democrats.

Why CBS and the New York Times keep doing this mystifies me. It won’t persuade anyone to vote for Obama, and it might even give his supporters the false impression that he is doing better than he is. For example, contrast these results with this new Gallup poll, which found Obama’s popularity below 50 percent in all but 13 states. These are bad numbers for an incumbent, and they are almost certainly more predictive, as Gallup generally samples Democrats and Republicans more accurately, based on recent voting patterns.

The only explanation I can think of for this oversampling is an unwillingness to face the reality that Obama and his leftwing policies are not popular. It is as if CBS and the New York Times are standing there with their fingers in their ears, chanting “la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!” loudly so they don’t have to hear what they don’t like.

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10 comments

  • Jim

    But here is the problem with your own analysis when you say popularity will be a key determinant:
    Romney polls less favorable, or less popular than Obama on just about every poll taken, including Gallup.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/156134/Obama-Character-Edge-Offsets-Romney-Economic-Advantage.aspx

    And in it they say this:
    ” Romney’s Achilles’ heel may be a significant likability deficit to Obama, both in how Americans view each candidate individually and in their perceptions of who is more likable.”
    Romney got 30% to say he is likable, Obama 60%.
    Granted it is not done by state, but almost all those states in the poll you list viewing Obama as very unfavorable are states he would not win anyway (Indiana being the exception).
    And after an initial bump in likability after the primary, Romney’s numbers are settling back down again.

    You may be right that Obama has an overall popularity problem, but Romney has a bigger problem in that arena.

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Well, there you go again, Jim – we know you’re in love with Obama, and that’s your right. But even if I believed that result (30% vs.60%), which I don’t, his personal popularity isn’t going to translate to votes for him. Many folks who kind of like him personally can’t stand his policies. His “You didn’t build that” comment (one of the all-time biggest blunders a president has ever made) continues to haunt him. His job-approval numbers (which WILL translate to votes) are dismal, even among Dems. But that’s irrelevant to the point – what IS relevant to this propped-up poll result, which is trying desperately to make your guy look good, is this – and it ought to alarm you:

    When Quinnipiac asked its swing state samples, “Did you vote for Barack Obama or John McCain in 2008? Obama enjoys a 13 percentage point margin in Florida and a 15 percentage point margin in Ohio. Of course, in 2008, Obama won Florida by three percentage points and Ohio by 4.6 percentage points. So these are some really heavily Democrat samples – 10% higher than he got in ’08!

    Obama 2008 voters +13 in Florida (Obama won +3)
    Obama 2008 voters +15 in Ohio (Obama won +4.6)

    So the only way they got Obama a lead in these states is by heavily oversampling Democrats!

    Does ANYONE seriously think Obama’s going to get a heavier turnout than he did in ’08, or that Repubs will be LESS energized than they were then? Every reliable poll is showing just the opposite. If Dems want to believe this blarney, it’s fine with me ! !

  • Jim

    Hi, Chris.
    I’m not making a prediction as to the result. Most on this blog, at least Robert, thinks it is going to be a blow out for Romney. I am fairly certain it is going to be close.
    But all I did was highlight that if your determinant in the election is popularity (and that is what Robert is speaking about), and you only think Gallup can be trusted, then you may be fooling yourself rather than Democrats fooling themselves. Gallup is saying that.

    I think polls at this stage are worthless and silly. If in September/October the economy really goes south, Obama loses. If it rises dramatically, Obama wins.
    I think it is going to to do neither, and will stay roughly the same, so I think it will be close.

  • The point I think Bob is making is that Obama is unlikely to win more of the vote than his popular support. There are a few reasons for this but in short polls of the general public tend to lean more Democratic than registered or Likely voter samples. So if Obama is only at 46% in say Iowa how will he fair with people who are likely to vote? History would say not as well. I highly suggest reading Jay Cost or Nate Silver both are good guys and can go into more detail than I can.

    I would add that its just early August and the race really hasn’t started while almost all voters know where they stand on Obama he has been president for over 3 and half years. Fewer voters know what to make of Romney. He is the new face after all. In the months ahead he will make or break his campaign based on how he presents himself. Obama on the other hand can do this best to turn Romney into the devil and of course partisans on his side will eat it up but often negative ads drive off middle of the road voters. There is already some evidence this is happening in Penn.

    Here is Jay’s most recent state of the race post.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-state-race-four-months-out_648277.html

  • Jim

    Good article, Sayomara. So many different opinions, which to me is indicative of how difficult it is to try to predict.

    I have an observation about all this, so it is just a guess. I am finding it interesting that Republicans so far seem to have cared little about trying to be more inclusive. There is an old adage that you win the primary by reaching out to the base, but win the election by reaching out to the middle. But so far, I get the feeling that Romney is not making much of an effort to reach out to the middle, and more of an effort to continue to reach out to the base.

    What that says to me, and Republicans may in fact be right about this, is that there really is not much of a “middle” anymore. People may say they are independents, but in reality most are not. They have already made up their minds about which side they are on, with very few in the “undecided” category. If this is true, then it may be more important to get your base out to win this election, rather than appealing to a middle that is becoming increasingly rare.

    They may be exactly right.

  • I find this fascinating: Romney writes an op-ed declaring the importance of freedom for himself and everyone, and you somehow think this “is not making much of an effort to reach out to the middle.”

    What is your “middle”? Is your “middle” offended and opposed to the idea of freedom? Because freedom was exactly what Romney was arguing for.

    More important, what about the modern left/liberal/Democrat? Are they opposed to freedom? It seems to me that increasingly they are. The left surely illustrated this fact in the entire Chik-fil-A dust-up, threatening to use the force of government to shut down a private business, merely because the owner of that business had an opinion they disliked.

    In this sense, your comment is very correct. There is no middle anymore. The right, represented by the insurgent tea party, strongly believes in freedom. The left does not. In such a debate I know where I stand. Where do you?

  • There are two simple reasons for the false polls . First, the troops need the encouragement. Second, where ever they steal a local election they need those polls to say they didn’t.

  • Chris Kirkendall

    re: Second, wherever they steal a local election they need those polls to say they didn’t.

    That’s possible – others have theorized that. I’m not sure I’d bank on it, but the possibility exisits…

    Back to my original point, the polls in the 3 battleground states were deliberately skewed (sorry – that’s the only way to say it) to produce an Obama win – that is NOT good science ! ! We went thru this same exercise with the IPCC & their suppression of any data that did not agree with their pre-conceived notions about AGW. In this case, these pollsters did not use an accurate representation of the the electorate. I could poll a large group of Conservatives & only a handful of Liberals & then produce results showing Mitt winning 77-23 ! To predict results based on an electorate as highly biased towards one candidate as this Quinnipiac poll did is just not sound methodology. In fact, it’s dishonest & deliberately misleading. And I still say the JOB APPROVAL numbers are going to be much more predictive of voting patterns than personal popularity.

  • Jim

    I just think every election dictates a strategy. Each side chooses the strategy they think will allow them to win. Clearly, at least to me, Romney has tacked to the right…and very strongly. I don’t think many of the other candidates in the primaries could really get themselves to the right of Romney. When they tried to highlight things he stood for in the past, he clearly rejected them as no longer his stance (mandate, abortion, gun control, etc.).
    This is/was an appeal to the base of the party. And it worked.
    Many expected some tacking to the middle now that he is in a general election. That has usually been the course in past elections. But he has not done that, I don’t think.
    Don’t misunderstand me…I am not being critical. I am finding it very interesting. I think their strategy is not to worry about appealing to the middle.
    A case in point: is when he spoke to the NAACP, it seemed to me he was saying this who I am, this is what I stand for, and if you don’t like it tough. He has done that because he has determined it does not matter…he is not going to get their votes anyway, and he probably is not going to get the white voters who would have wanted him to appeal to the NAACP. So, he is saying, forget them. Other politicians in the past would not have done that (my opinion).

    I just think Republicans think the election will swing on getting the base out to vote, and whoever does that best will win. And that there is not much of a middle to appeal to anymore, and those appeals to the “middle” (whoever they are) will have very little return, anyway.

    Like I said, they may be exactly right. Not sure that is what their strategy is, but it looks that way to me. If thats the case, it is different than most elections.

    To be honest with you, Robert, I am somewhere in the middle. I know you don’ think so, since I take a very strong stand on climate change, and a few other things. I have voted Republican much more in my life than Democrat (including for GW Bush the first time- that shows you how much I know!). But I am not enamored of the Tea Party. And here is why: I think too many people who say they are in the TP are really just Republican apologists. I am much more fiscally conservative than many members of the TP I know because I want everything cut or limited: medicare, government programs of all types, and defense.
    You know the sequestration that is going to go into effect? I think that is best thing we have done in a long time. Everything is going to get cut, like it should be. No sacred cows. But so many Tea Partiers I know are screaming about it. Why? Because defense is also getting cut. They are just as phoney as those on the left who think their programs should not be cut. Let sequestration occur, and we just cut $1T from the budget. Sounds good to me.

    But anyway, I appreciate you letting me vent here…sometimes I think I just annoy people…you are a gentlemen for that. But dissenting views are good for debate, no?

  • JGL

    There will be a final poll, and that, if it is honest, will put this all in perspective and will reflect the consciousness or un consciousness of the

    American people.

    Remember this election is Chicago rules.

    Winning is the goal and how ever that gets done is how it gets done, if it can be stolen it will be.

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