Thursday, April 19, 2012

Poll Watch: There's a reason for those Gallup numbers

It's hard to completely ignore the massive amount of poll numbers that come at us every day about the presidential election. But you have to admit that when you look at them individually, they're all over the map. There's a reason for that.

Recently Gallup made some headlines as they start their daily tracking poll for the 2012 election. That's because, contrary to every other poll except Rasmussen and Fox News, they're showing Romney ahead of President Obama.

Ron Brownstein does us the favor of telling us why that is:

But the Gallup track, which is conducted among registered voters, has a sample that looks much more like the electorate in 2010 than the voting population that is likely to turn out in 2012: only 22 percent of the Gallup survey was non-white, according to figures the organization provided to Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz. That was close to the non-white share of the vote in 2010 (23 percent), but in 2008, minorities comprised 26 percent of all voters, according to exit polls; the Obama campaign, and other analysts, project the minority share of the vote will increase to 28 percent in 2012. In its survey, Pew, for instance, puts the non-white share at 25 percent.

I'd like to hear the folks at Gallup explain why they think the 2012 electorate in a presidential year will look like the one that turned out in 2010 for the midterms. There is no way they can justify that based on history.

Brownstein goes on to dig deep into the data from 4 recent polls (WaPo/ABC, CNN, Pew and Gallup) to find the trends that might actually tell us something about where this race stands at the moment. Its basically good news with some caution.

Even with their modest variations, these four surveys paint a similar picture. Obama is largely holding the minority and college-educated white women who comprise two pillars of the modern Democratic base (along with young people.) But he is facing erosion among blue-collar white men and struggling to maintain even his modest 2008 support among the two swing quadrants in the white electorate: the college-plus white men and non-college white women.

For the moment, that division of allegiances is enough to provide Obama an overall advantage (he would lead slightly even in the Gallup track if the minority share of the vote was adjusted to its level in 2008). But it's not enough of an edge for him to breathe easy-and the fact that most of the white electorate is resisting him at least as much as it did in 2008 suggests he may never entirely get to such a comfortable place before November, even if he remains ahead overall.


  1. This kind of commentary about the American people leaves me so depressed. Where were these people during the ravages of the Bush Administration? Were they deaf, dumb and blind?

    Now that they have found their voices they are babbling like a village idiot. The media, well they are joining the choir!
    God help America!

  2. Ok, Let's have a little reality check here, shall we? For the poutrage chicken little's who look on all bad news as gospel a lesson in REAL POLITICS (Note: Does not include Ms. Pants):

    It's April. Current polls are worth about as much as tits on a boarhog. They simply identify areas that could perhaps, be improved on with campaigning ... for both sides.

    And really, WHO CARES about the National Approval rate? Any poll that includes Massachusetts and Mississippi in the approval/disapproval is totally bogus for the coming election. MS will NEVER go Democratic in my lifetime. MA will vote for Satan before voting for Romney. But the bottom line is: If the economy tanks Obama most likely loses. If the economy rebounds like gangbusters he wins in 1964 proportions. It is that simple.

    So what happens at the mid point?

    This site contains a map of red, blue and swing states. You can play with the states depending upon your own feelings and analysis. It is quite interesting and informative.

    The midpoint between an economic tank and an economic resurgence will depend on the gray states. My instincts say that most of the gray are actually more blue than red. WI, MI, PA, and NV should be fairly safe. OH, NH, CO, FL are dead even. IA, NC, NM, VA are quite problematic. MO is red and probably not in play. But this is me, and others will have a different view.

    Conservapedia has a similar list with a short reason for why each swing state will swing red.

    Use your own judgement. Take everything with a grain of salt. And remember that we have a president that is an actual politician ... not someone who thinks the wind is a great reason to change positions.

  3. This just mean that we have to make sure we get the truth out their... the conservatives is trying to take over the narratives by reinvent Romney and not holding him to his pledges and this is with the help of all news media (especially sunday morning political shows)...

    Question, many republicans/conservatives compare to democrats/liberals?

  4. The thing I don't see discussed when looking at polls is that the President is going to be running against Congress as much if not more than running against Romney. Compare the favorability of the President with Congress and an entirely different picture emerges.

  5. DerFarm, it's obvious you're full of shit. There's no way Obama will lose-fuck the economy. Compared with Romney, Obama is George Washington.

    1. I'm thinking it's the Washington that cut the cherry tree. Mitt's a lesson in what not to do when you run for office.


    2. You've been drinking Booman's KoolAid. There is no such thing as a campaign that can't be lost. Texas Governors Race 1990; Virginia Senate Race 2006 are just two of the many races where massive leads weeks before the election melted down into losses.

      I hope you're right. But there's no such thing as an election that CAN'T be lost.