Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Karl Rove Is Riding The Gallup

Karl Rove has a sharp political mind. I don't doubt that. But he is also sharply partisan, to the point of being blind. I don't doubt that either. When in the mood he also looks at Republican National Committee surveys.

Rove: Sifting the Numbers for a Winner
For example, in 2004 President George W. Bush had 49% in the final Gallup likely-voter track; he received 50.7% on Election Day. In 1996, President Clinton was at 48% in the last Gallup; he got 49.2% at the polls. And in 1992, President George H.W. Bush was at 37% in the closing Gallup; he collected 37.5% in the balloting. ...... On Friday last week, Gallup hinted at the partisan makeup of the 2012 electorate with a small chart buried at the end of its daily tracking report. Based on all its October polling, Gallup suggested that this year's turnout might be 36% Republican to 35% Democratic, compared with 39% Democratic and 29% Republican in 2008, and 39% Republican and 37% Democratic in 2004. ..... Gallup delivered some additional bad news to Mr. Obama on early voting. Through Sunday, 15% of those surveyed said they had already cast a ballot either in person or absentee. They broke for Mr. Romney, 52% to 46%. The 63% who said they planned to vote on Election Day similarly supported Mr. Romney, 51% to 45%. ........ Furthermore, in battleground states, the edge in early and absentee vote turnout that propelled Democrats to victory in 2008 has clearly been eroded, cut in half according to a Republican National Committee summary. ...... My prediction: Sometime after the cock crows on the morning of Nov. 7, Mitt Romney will be declared America's 45th president. Let's call it 51%-48%, with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more.
Gallup vs. the World
The Gallup national tracking poll now shows a very strong lead for Mitt Romney.......... its results are deeply inconsistent with the results that other polling firms are showing in the presidential race, and the Gallup poll has a history of performing very poorly when that is the case. ....... Other national polls show a race that is roughly tied on average, while state polls continue to indicate a narrow advantage of about two points for President Obama in tipping-point states like Ohio. The forecast has Mr. Obama as a narrow favorite in the election largely on the basis of the state polls. ...... the Gallup national tracking poll constitutes a relatively small part of the polling landscape. ....... there are quite a few interviews conducted by a tracking poll over the course of a week — about 3,000 per week in the Gallup national tracking poll, for instance. ...... But Gallup is not the only national tracking poll. There are six published on most days ....... even though the Gallup national tracking poll is more influential than any other individual poll series in the FiveThirtyEight trend-line calculation, it still accounts for only about 12 percent of it. It can very easily be outweighed by the other polls if they are in disagreement with it. ....... Our research suggests, for instance, that state polls, rather than national polls, often provide a better estimate of the national popular vote, in addition to the Electoral College. ....... the Gallup daily tracking poll accounts for only about 3 percent of the weight in this stage of the calculation. The national tracking polls collectively, including Gallup, account for only about 10 percent of it. Most of the weight, instead, is given to the state polls. ...... Perhaps the Gallup poll accounts for 5 or 10 percent of the information that an election analyst should evaluate on a given day. ....... The Gallup poll’s influence on the subjective perception about where the presidential race stands seems to be proportionately much greater than that, however — especially when the poll seems to diverge from the consensus. ........ Usually, when a poll is an outlier relative to the consensus, its results turn out badly. ...... You do not need to look any further than Gallup’s track record over the past two election cycles to find a demonstration of this....... In 2008, the Gallup poll put Mr. Obama 11 points ahead of John McCain on the eve of that November’s election. ... That was tied for Mr. Obama’s largest projected margin of victory among any of the 15 or so national polls that were released just in advance of the election. The average of polls put Mr. Obama up by about seven points. ..... The average did a good job; Mr. Obama won the popular vote by seven points. The Gallup poll had a four-point miss, however. .... In 2010, Gallup put Republicans ahead by 15 points on the national Congressional ballot, higher than other polling firms, which put Republicans an average of eight or nine points ahead instead. ..... In fact, Republicans won the popular vote for the United States House by about seven percentage points — fairly close to the average of polls, but representing another big miss for Gallup............ Apart from Gallup’s final poll not having been especially accurate in recent years, it has often been a wild ride to get there. Their polls, for whatever reason, have often found implausibly large swings in the race. ....... In 2000, for example, Gallup had George W. Bush 16 points ahead among likely voters in polling it conducted in early August. By Sept. 20, about six weeks later, they had Al Gore up by 10 points instead: a 26-point swing toward Mr. Gore over the course of a month and a half. No other polling firm showed a swing remotely that large. ...... Then in October 2000, Gallup showed a 14-point swing toward Mr. Bush over the course of a few days, and had him ahead by 13 points on Oct. 27 — just 10 days before an election that ended in a virtual tie. ...... In 1996, Gallup had Bill Clinton’s margin over Bob Dole increasing to 25 points from nine points over the course of four days. ..... After the Republican convention in 2008, Gallup had John McCain leading Mr. Obama by as many as 10 points among likely voters. Although some other polls also had Mr. McCain pulling ahead in the race, no other polling firm ever gave him larger than a four-point lead. ......... The context is that its most recent results differ substantially from the dozens of other state and national polls about the campaign. It’s much more likely that Gallup is wrong and everyone else is right than the other way around.
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