Sunday, November 4, 2012

Final? Battleground Poll - November 4, 2012

Likely Voter, 1000 sample size, Romney leads 49-48, 3% undecided.

Let's start with the top line number.  The last time this poll was run, one week ago before Sandy, Obama was ahead 49-48.  So this poll has moved 2 in Romney's direction, so much for that Sandy bump.  Now if you look on RCP and the Politico article, you see this listed as tied.  However, look at the following from inside the poll:

By my math that adds up to a 49-48 Romney lead.

Next I want to look at the partisan sample.  This has been a particular problem with this poll, since they push people to identify as partisan due to their "leaning".  They then provide a preference of the very few remaining Independents.  Here is the results of this poll:

In the past I have used the numbers as is, and used the models to reweight.  However, since they have forced Independents into this artificial construct this time, I am putting them back where they belong and using the "lean" to determine Independent preference.  The D/R/I for this poll is really 36/31/30, with Independents favoring Romney by 2 points.  It is a D+5 poll.

Putting these results through the models, we get the following:

R+1 - Current result
R+0.3 - 2008 turnout
R+3.3 - D+3 turnout
R+5.6 - 2010 turnout
R+5.7 - 2004 turnout
R+7.4 - Rasmussen Party ID

This poll indicates a very strong Romney lead by at least 3 points when the votes are counted.  It isn't just me saying that, it is the Terrance Group's opinion as well.  With their final poll, both Terrance Group and Lake offer a final prediction.  Here is the Terrance one:
In sum, this data indicates this election continues to remain very close on the surface, but the political environment and the composition of the likely electorate strongly favor Governor Romney. These factors come into play with our “vote election model” – which takes into account variables like vote intensity, voters who say they are definite in their vote, and demographics like age and education. In that snapshot of today’s vote model, Mitt Romney has majority support (51%). This is an election that will be decided by voters’ focus on the economy, and by turnout and intensity – as we enter the last 72 hours of the campaign, both of those factors favor Mitt Romney.
 Now before you think I am just cherry picking the Republican version, let's also look at the Lake analysis:
In the final days of the campaign, a majority of voters expects and awaits the President’s second term—a metric that has historically had a better record of predicting Presidential electoral outcomes. Cementing voters’ expectations of an Obama victory requires that the President and his Party drive Democratic turnout and maintain their edge among independents. Obama and Democrats have already managed to lock in more support than their Republican counterparts among those who have already voted and have critical advantages on which to build to help propel turnout. Sustaining Democrats’ early vote leads will necessitate they maintain, if not redouble, the strength of their ground game in these final days, particularly in battleground states that remain divided in their support for Obama and Romney. 

"a majority of voters expects and awaits the President’s second term—a metric that has historically had a better record of predicting Presidential electoral outcomes." - What does this even mean?  That because people expect Obama to win, he likely will win?  Why do we bother with elections then?

"President and his Party drive Democratic turnout and maintain their edge among independents." - Didn't the poll already show that Independents favor Romney?  And what about the increased enthusiasm that is visible to us all and mentioned by Terrance Group?

"Democrats have already managed to lock in more support than their Republican counterparts among those who have already voted" - Other polls show this to not be true, and actual votes submitted so far shows the Democrats far behind their goals.

"necessitate they maintain, if not redouble, the strength of their ground game in these final days" - This seems to indicate that the current efforts are insufficient to achieve victory.

To sum up, the Republican pollster from this partnership is offering a specific prediction of Romney's final vote results.  The Democrat is offering platitudes and advice, without making a prediction of Obama winning.

The Battleground final poll predicts Romney will win 51-48.


  1. Great work once again. I assume you've seen the CNN poll? D+11? Is that true?

  2. dave :
    Thanks for doing this..

    what does your model say if you assume this poll to be 43/40/14 D/R/I .. ie leave the leans the way they are.

    I understand your logic but doing this way will show the worst case scenarios for Romney ..

    1. If I have time, I'll take a look. But I'm not all that interested in looking at worse case scenarios for an election that we are highly likely to win.

  3. The D+11 in the CNN poll is correct anonymous and the Inds are breaking hard for Romney. Tuesday might not be the end of the world after all.

    1. I still wonder where they are getting these distribution numbers. No way in hell is that going to happen. Seems to me their best outcome would be a D+3... Well, not too much longer to find out.

  4. Did Ron Paul have many voters in states we care about here? I have no trust for a RPaul voter.

    1. States in Play and Congressman Paul
      Nevada 19%
      Colorado 12%
      Iowa 21%
      Maine* 36% not sure about CD 2 which is within MOE
      Minnesota 27%
      NH 23%
      Michigan 12%
      Ohio 9%
      Virginia 40% This was an odd ballot though
      PA 13%
      NC 11%
      Florida 7%

      I'll refrain from commentary - but yes in some states Gov. Romney will need to have the Independents and Libertarian Republicans line with him.

    2. Already accounted for. The "other" category catches RP voters who will vote for Johnson. It is turnout out to be a non factor in this election. 2% is the highest I have seen in any poll.

    3. Nevada surveys - where Paul did really well - show that those who are going to Johnson were the "Liberal and anti-war Libertarians" and not the more "States Rights" Libertarians.

      Two states to "worry" about which may be in play are Nevada (which I think will be one by President Obama by 3 to 4 points based on EV #'s)and Minnesota - which is a reach state with a very strong Independent/Libertarian streak - Gov. Ventura.

      If Gov Romney wins these two states (particularly Nevada) that means that a state like NM could be a MOE state.

  5. I know people that don't follow politics at all and simply vote for who they think will win. It's a factor, and pollsters know that. But, to say that Obama leads with independents when your own poll says otherwise is... foolish.

    1. I've heard this argument, and asked for specific examples or research, but so far no one has been able to cite anything. They just trot out the argument.

      I would argue that the voting intentions are already factored into the poll. If they think Obama is going to win, and they are a bandwagon type, they will say they are voting for Obama.

  6. "The Battleground final poll predicts Romney will win 51-48."

    These are your words, not theirs?

    1. That was the conclusion of GOP part of the poll. The Democratic part did not make any strong conclusions.

    2. Got it. In other words, the Dem is dancing with words. I'm in my early sixties, and never in my life have I been so frightened for the republic and it's because of the press. Elected officials can't become tyrants unless the press hides info from the people or if the people don't give a damn or both.

      I have seen the corrosion of ethics in journalism for some time, but never has it been as blatant as it has these last 4 years, with journalists flaunting their biases, their prejudices as if to say, "Do something about it and if you don't, we'll just keep doing this."

      Now, I realize the pollsters are just as bad with few exceptions. Even electing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will not eradicate these bastards....but I'll wait until after the election to dwell on that.

    3. Gayle - I'd say that the group - which is actually not a shill group (I think it is the Lake group) is putting a good face on the poll.

      It all comes down to who turns out on Tuesday and if the early voting matches 2008. This will be an enthusiasm election - which "may" favor Gov. Romney.

    4. Sorry for going OT, but maybe Californias are harbingers in a way. The California Field Poll is interesting.

      From it: "With just days before the election, Obama leads Romney among likely California voters by a margin of 54 percent to 39 percent, with 2 percent preferring another candidate and five percent undecided...."

      and " Obama’s Golden State lead is smaller than the 22-point lead he enjoyed in a Field Poll issued at this point in the election cycle four years ago. Obama ended up winning California by 24 points."

      So, at the same time 4 years ago, Obama was 7 points more up in CA than he is now.

      God, if deep blue California can give up 7 Obama points, I'd think the battleground states could give up a lot more to Romney.

  7. Pew Poll has an interesting sample. Still going through the internals. Have you looked at this one yet?

  8. Dave, got CNN's numbers off poster at HotAir.

    "CNN national poll tied at 49%. Romney up 22 with independents. Sample is D+11 (was D+7 in 08, even in 2004/2010). Taken 11/2-4."

    That they can say with a straight face that the two are "tied" when Romney is up 22 with Indys means either the "tie" is bullshit or "up 22" with indys is bullshit. I realize that.

    However, disgarding their conclusions, are their actual numbers good for any tea reading by someone like you?