The elephant in the polling numbers

by Datechguy | September 27th, 2012

Readability

The elephant in the polling numbers

I’ve writ­ten a lot about the skew in the polls but today in the hot air green room Matt Vespa in the process of debunk­ing Chris “The sky is falling for the GOP” Cil­liza brings up a point that almost nobody is talk­ing about:

This leads us to the next poll: the direc­tion of the coun­try. What “jolt of opti­mism” is Cil­lizza talk­ing about? Ras­mussen has 36% of Amer­i­cans believ­ing the nation is on the right track.

Now while we give our friends on the left a few min­utes to scream how: “Ras­mussen can’t be trusted” busi­ness lets take a look at the over­all num­bers in this poll since Jan 2009 the month Barack Obama Took office:

When you look at that chart remem­ber this is an AVER­AGE of every sin­gle polls that is mea­sured not a sin­gle poll that skews one way or the other.

Right now the MSM is run­ning a ton of polls with huge Demo­c­rat skews yet take a look at the results at the end of the chart for today:

56.3 vs 37.6 Wrong track over right track that’s a spread of 18.7 and con­sider this: The CBS/​NYT poll and the NBC/​WSJ poll, the two polls that are the most skewed have a wrong track/​right track num­bers of –19 &16 respectively.

Think about that: Even with a sam­ple that couldn’t favor Obama more if they were paid employ­ees of the white house they can’t even get a gap of less that 10 pts let alone a favor­able num­ber.

More impor­tantly con­sider the his­tor­i­cal perspective:

You have to go to June 13th 2009 to find a day dur­ing the last 4 years where the right track/​wrong track num­bers were equal.

On Jan 20th 2010 the national spread was 56.9 to 36.6 just 2.4 off today’s num­ber yet the day before Mass­a­chu­setts, a state that nobody con­tends is a state where the pres­i­dent has a chance of los­ing in 2012 elected a Repub­li­can sen­a­tor to replace the late Ted Kennedy.

On Elec­tion day 2010 the spread of 63.8 to 31.232.6 points gap, just under dou­ble what it is today and the GOP won nation­wide in an elec­tion so his­toric it reached into state­houses all over the country.

On Sep­tem­ber 13th 2011 the spread was 73.6 to 20.8 a gap of 52.8 and for the first time since Woodrow Wil­son was pres­i­dent a repub­li­can won an elec­tion in the 9th dis­trict of NY right in the heart of New York City.

What does that mean for today?

On Elec­tion day 2012, It is unlikely the right direction/​wrong direc­tion spread will be 52.8. That sug­gest Mitt Rom­ney isn’t going to man­age to win the State of New York.

On Elec­tion day 2012 It is unlikely the right/​wrong spread will be 32.6. That sug­gests Mitt Rom­ney isn’t going to man­age a vic­tory of his­toric pro­por­tions all over the country.

But with just over 40 days to the elec­tion with polls so skewed it’s a won­der the com­put­ers they are tab­u­lated on don’t tip over the right/​wrong track is 18.7 pretty close to the num­bers on the Day Scott Brown was first elected, does that mean Mitt is going to do well enough to take a state as blue as Massachusetts?

I think not, but unfor­tu­nately for the left, he doesn’t have to take Mass­a­chu­setts, or New York or any other deep blue state. He has to take the states in the mid­dle, the ones that once voted for the GOP but went to Obama in the heady days of Nov 2008 for the left.

And a with a right track /​wrong track num­ber of 18.7 that’s not only doable that’s prac­ti­cally inevitable.

I’m sure there are peo­ple who might not like Mitt Rom­ney, I’m sure there are those who don’t like he is a Mor­mon, those who don’t like he is rich and those who think he’s kind of stiff.

But unless you live in the land of deep blue delu­sion nobody in their right mind would sug­gest he is unqual­i­fied to be president.

This elec­tion isn’t going to be about: “Do I like Mitt Rom­ney?” This elec­tion isn’t even going to be about “Has Barack Obama done a good job” the polling shows the ver­dict is already in on it.

The peo­ple are dying to vote against Barack Obama, all Mitt Rom­ney has to do is con­vince them he can do the job, because Barack Obama has already con­vinced them he can’t.

Update:
VDH notes how few votes it would have taken to make 1980Carter vic­tory

In other words, until the very last week of the cam­paign, Rea­gan had an uphill fight. True, he even­tu­ally won a land­slide vic­tory in the Elec­toral Col­lege (489 to 49) and beat Carter hand­ily in the pop­u­lar vote. Yet Rea­gan only received a 51-​percent majority.

What had saved Rea­gan from a per­fect storm of neg­a­tive fac­tors — gaffes, addi­tional con­ser­v­a­tive can­di­dates on the bal­lot, a sin­gle debate, and a biased media — was not just the debate. Voter turnout was rel­a­tively low at only 53 per­cent. If Reagan’s con­ser­v­a­tive base was united and ener­gized, Carter’s proved divided and indifferent.

Mitt doesn’t have a John Ander­son but he also doesn’t have Reagan’s charisma, his conclusion:

The win­ner prob­a­bly won’t be decided by old video clips, gaffes, or even cam­paign money, but by turnout and the Octo­ber debates — depend­ing on whether incum­bent Obama comes across as a petu­lant Carter and chal­lenger Rom­ney appears an upbeat Rea­gan. As in 1980, vot­ers want a bet­ter pres­i­dent — but they first have to be assured he’s on the ballot.

I’ve written a lot about the skew in the polls but today in the hot air green room Matt Vespa in the process of debunking Chris “The sky is falling for the GOP” Cilliza brings up a point that almost nobody is talking about:

This leads us to the next poll: the direction of the country. What “jolt of optimism” is Cillizza talking about? Rasmussen has 36% of Americans believing the nation is on the right track.

Now while we give our friends on the left a few minutes to scream how: “Rasmussen can’t be trusted” business lets take a look at the overall numbers in this poll since Jan 2009 the month Barack Obama Took office:

When you look at that chart remember this is an AVERAGE of every single polls that is measured not a single poll that skews one way or the other.

Right now the MSM is running a ton of polls with huge Democrat skews yet take a look at the results at the end of the chart for today:

56.3 vs 37.6 Wrong track over right track that’s a spread of 18.7 and consider this: The CBS/NYT poll and the NBC/WSJ poll, the two polls that are the most skewed have a wrong track/right track numbers of -19 & -16 respectively.

Think about that: Even with a sample that couldn’t favor Obama more if they were paid employees of the white house they can’t even get a gap of less that 10 pts let alone a favorable number.

More importantly consider the historical perspective:

You have to go to June 13th 2009 to find a day during the last 4 years where the right track/wrong track numbers were equal.

On Jan 20th 2010 the national spread was 56.9 to 36.6 just 2.4 off today’s number yet the day before Massachusetts, a state that nobody contends is a state where the president has a chance of losing in 2012 elected a Republican senator to replace the late Ted Kennedy.

On Election day 2010 the spread of 63.8 to 31.2 A 32.6 points gap, just under double what it is today and the GOP won nationwide in an election so historic it reached into statehouses all over the country.

On September 13th 2011 the spread was 73.6 to 20.8 a gap of 52.8 and for the first time since Woodrow Wilson was president a republican won an election in the 9th district of NY right in the heart of New York City.

What does that mean for today?

On Election day 2012, It is unlikely the right direction/ wrong direction spread will be 52.8. That suggest Mitt Romney isn’t going to manage to win the State of New York.

On Election day 2012 It is unlikely the right/wrong spread will be 32.6. That suggests Mitt Romney isn’t going to manage a victory of historic proportions all over the country.

But with just over 40 days to the election with polls so skewed it’s a wonder the computers they are tabulated on don’t tip over the right/wrong track is 18.7 pretty close to the numbers on the Day Scott Brown was first elected, does that mean Mitt is going to do well enough to take a state as blue as Massachusetts?

I think not, but unfortunately for the left, he doesn’t have to take Massachusetts, or New York or any other deep blue state. He has to take the states in the middle, the ones that once voted for the GOP but went to Obama in the heady days of Nov 2008 for the left.

And a with a right track / wrong track number of 18.7 that’s not only doable that’s practically inevitable.

I’m sure there are people who might not like Mitt Romney, I’m sure there are those who don’t like he is a Mormon, those who don’t like he is rich and those who think he’s kind of stiff.

But unless you live in the land of deep blue delusion nobody in their right mind would suggest he is unqualified to be president.

This election isn’t going to be about: “Do I like Mitt Romney?” This election isn’t even going to be about “Has Barack Obama done a good job” the polling shows the verdict is already in on it.

The people are dying to vote against Barack Obama, all Mitt Romney has to do is convince them he can do the job, because Barack Obama has already convinced them he can’t.

Update:
VDH notes how few votes it would have taken to make 1980 a Carter victory

In other words, until the very last week of the campaign, Reagan had an uphill fight. True, he eventually won a landslide victory in the Electoral College (489 to 49) and beat Carter handily in the popular vote. Yet Reagan only received a 51-percent majority.

What had saved Reagan from a perfect storm of negative factors — gaffes, additional conservative candidates on the ballot, a single debate, and a biased media — was not just the debate. Voter turnout was relatively low at only 53 percent. If Reagan’s conservative base was united and energized, Carter’s proved divided and indifferent.

Mitt doesn’t have a John Anderson but he also doesn’t have Reagan’s charisma, his conclusion:

The winner probably won’t be decided by old video clips, gaffes, or even campaign money, but by turnout and the October debates — depending on whether incumbent Obama comes across as a petulant Carter and challenger Romney appears an upbeat Reagan. As in 1980, voters want a better president — but they first have to be assured he’s on the ballot.

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