Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28, 2012 Ohio Update

RCP dropped Gravis, Quinnipiac, and Fox from the Ohio average and added a new poll from the Cinncinati Enquirer.  This new poll shows the race tied at 49-49, but like all the rest it has some significant problems.  The D/R/I for this poll is 47/44/10.  How any legitimate pollster can publish a poll that has almost half of the sample as Democrats is beyond me.  It is also significant that they do not mention the preference of Independents in the poll.  They are able to tell you the percentage of respondents who are scared if the other candidate wins, but not this basic metric that has proven to be critical to every race in history.  In order to run my model, I am assigning Independent preference to be equal to the current average across all polls of 8%.  I suspect it is probably much higher, but we can't have a poll showing Romney leading in Ohio, can we?

Reweighting this poll we get the following:

Even - Current result
R+6.10% - 2004 turnout model
O+0.59% - 2008 turnout model
R+3.76% - 2010 turnout model
R+3.18% - 2012 registration model
R+1.76% - D+3 turnout model

Looking at the new averages across 9 polls:

Polls included:
O+3 - Survey USA
Even - Rasmussen
O+1 - PPP
Even - Suffolk
O+5 - Time
O+2 - Purple Strategies
O+2 - ARG
Even - Cincinnati Enquirer

O+1.89% - Current RCP Average
R+7.85% - Average using the 2004 turnout model
O+1.41% - Average using the 2008 turnout model
R+4.70% - Average using the 2010 turnout model
R+3.99% - Average using the 2012 registration model
R+1.88% - Average using the D+3 turnout model

Several polls that had good internals (D+9 and D+11) for Romney dropped out of the average, bringing the numbers down across all models.  However, Romney retains his lead in Ohio.  Who will be the first pollster to break the moratorium and actually show Romney leading?


  1. Help me out here. If I was looking at trends and change the data points, how could I draw any valid conclusions? In this case if RCP excludes 3 polls and adds 1, what valid info can be discerned from the comparison between yesterday and today? Am I missing something?

    1. The same conclusion you can draw from RCP in the first place. The point of the exercise has always to be giving a better set of data than what RCP is using in it's averages.

      Since every news organization and many blogs point to RCP as the "standard" I am just following that practice.

      If you want to look at trends, then you need to look across longer periods than a single day. My trend analysis I try to look at 1 or 2 weeks worth of data. When I do that, I find a very stable race.

    2. Drudge now has a link up to a new Star-Tribune poll in Minnesota with Obama's lead down to 3 points (47-44, IIRC) with a D+5 sample. I'm thinking if Romney comes within 3 points in Minnesota which is on no one's list of battleground states, he's gonna do just fine overall.

      As always, thanks for the updates Dave.

    3. And the Star Tribune is famous for having ridiculously slanted polls towards Democrats, look through the archives at Powerline.

      I agree, I don't know how Romney doesn't blow Obama away when he's doing so well in uncontested blue states. If he's within 3 in Minnesota, he has to be winning in Wisconsin.

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  3. One thing to do after the election is to compare your last few days of each state's polling and compare it to the actual result in each state. That would be interesting to see how accurate your model is (for or against R or O) compared to the turnout in each state.

    1. That is what I plan to do. I plan to run all the polls through my model using the actual turnout, to see how close I got. I expect to do a good bit of looking at the polls, their trends, and the trends of the averages.

      Also, if my model is off, I'll want to figure out why. It would have been nice to run it against an election from the past to see how it does, but there are no internals from those polls still available.

  4. Dave, great blog, quick question, what are you using for your Ohio registration data? I thought Ohio was a non partisan registration state?

    1. An analysis done by a couple Ohio State professors. I'm not putting a lot of faith in that model.

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