Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Debate #3: Obama wins

October 23rd, 2012, 10:00pm by Sam Wang


As I wrote yesterday, based on past races (2004, 2008) I expect it to have little effect. The cake is largely baked, in the sense that the last campaign event likely to move the race was Debate #2. However, to the extent that it matters, the consensus is that Obama won. The evidence:

Ahead are issues like early voting, voter-ID, and possible fraud. Also, don’t forget downticket races. Those will be my topics in the closing days.

Tags: 2012 Election · President

247 Comments so far ↓

  • Tapen Sinha

    I was thinking that the cake was largely baked before the First Debate. Now Ohio seems to be the key. If Obama wins Ohio, Romney is done. Of course, we still have to wait for the Trump Surprise tomorrow.

    Tapen

    • orchidmantis

      Trump has a surprise? I thought the surprise was that he would tweet during the third debate; I did not follow up to see if this went well. I doubt he had any good calvary jokes.

    • Ralph

      I saw a story earlier today on Google’s news feed that speculated about ‘The Donald’.

      It mostly was nothing (Obama’s talked to a divorce lawyer early in his career) or rehash of old stuff (Rev Wright) or the birther stuff. All of which will have little effect except to increase GOTV for the Dems.

      We shall see. If it is anything they talked about, it will hurt Romney worse than it will hurt Obama…and it might result in quid pro quo of somebody working for PWC releasing Romney’s taxes.

    • orchidmantis

      I have found the story. Remember the last time this happened, the day before the first debate, Tucker Carlson et al, and it turned out to be tape of Obama talking black? And that was with people with 20 times the news credibility of Donald Trump. The guy’s a birther. He is not going to have anything remotely of interest to anyone who isn’t already inside the tinfoil helmet. Romney et al are probably praying he is hit by a lighting strike that takes out Mourdock on the way by.

    • Ms. Jay Sheckley

      Funny article on odds being given concerning Trump’s surprise, to be released at noon. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/10/23/donald-trump-wednesday-surprise-announcement-barack-obama

      As some know, Obama’s dad carried a passport from the primitive, savage nation of Great Britain, whereas McCain was born in Panama. A special, likely unneeded act of Congress cleared him to run…

      I’ve been sharing an article about Mitt’s dad George, who lost the nomination to Nixon, campaigning as the “peace candidate”. That may have scarred Mitt for life. George Romney was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. After Coulter’s defamations this week, I send out that article as:

      Proof Romney is a Chihuahua.

      Here’s the link, likely as not relevant to Trump’s trumped-up scandal:
      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/how-mitt-romneys-mexican-born-father-was-eligible-to-be-president/

    • 538 Refugee

      I’ve read that he has found divorce papers that the Obama’s had drawn up but never filed. Yet he still can’t find Obama’s birth certificate? Weird……

    • 538 Refugee

      IF, big IF, this turns out to be the case, how did Trump get his hands on the papers anyhow? Seems there would be no legal or ethical way for this to happen?

    • orchidmantis

      @538 refugee:
      If they did, who the hell would care?

      It’s Donald Trump, twice bankrupt reality show guy, with a big secret that can nonetheless be released in 140 character increments. I don’t care what one’s political leanings, it is embarrassing to be afraid of Trump.

  • Tyler_Canuck

    “The human InTrade” LOL

  • orchidmantis

    I suspect that the usual impact of debates is more if one person does spectacularly well or poorly. A regular old win, or a partisan win (everyone believes their side won), doesn’t do much.

    In the first debate Romney suddenly stopped being the guy shooting his own appendages, located the 2002 version of himself, and delivered the “why yes I am a viable option” zap his campaign needed. While he was doing this, Obama was up on stage looking like he really didn’t have the energy for another four years. The combination was enough to seriously whack the polls. (Romney really had a stunningly bad September, almost all of it self-imposed.) If Obama from debates 2 and 3 had met debate 1 Mitt I would have expected some bump for the latter just on exceeding expectations so wildly, but without any loss in support for the former.

    So if one of them had immolated in the debate, or if American voters were the sort to say “Syria is Iran’s path to the sea?!!!?!!!? This man knows nothing at all about broader geopolitical concerns! Fah!”, then that would defy the cakebaking. But if both candidates turn in adequate-enough performances so as not to send their own bases into a spiral of despair*, not much effect.

    *That this is a much easier standard for Republicans than Democrats is something the latter could stand to ponder.

  • A New Jersey Farmer

    I think it might have been worse if Obama did better in the first debate and still lost, which is a distinct possibility since the challenger usually comes out ahead in Debate 1. Then if Obama had come out more aggressively in Debate 2 it would have backfired on him as it would have been seen as a desperate measure, not one to save himself.

    I’m not going to worry about it any more. Look at it this way: Romney will need to overcome the same percentage now in order to win than he won because of the first debate. I don’t think it’s mathematically possible for him to do that.

  • ShowMeSTL

    Has anyone noticed that Romney in the 3rd debate repeated his performance against Ted Kennedy in 1994? He agreed with Kennedy so much, the latter said, “I believe you are going to vote for ME!” Kennedy clearly, “I am pro-choice. My opponent is multi-choice.”

  • Rachel Findley

    Voter ID: it is not clear to me how or whether pollsters are correcting for vote suppression through misleading billboards (as in Pennsylvania) or legal challenges to lifelong voters (as in Ohio). People who have voted in every election may not be able to vote, or may think they lack the right documents.

    I don’t think there’s any statistical way to guess the size of the vote suppression effect; I’m sending my political donations this year to Common Cause and Election Protection, in hopes they have enough coalition members on the ground to help people cast their precious ballots.

    • JamesInCA

      A likely voter screen that relies on self-reported enthusiasm and/or intention to vote should more or less inherently account for things that aim to *discourage* participation.

      If, on the other hand, you have policies in place to suppress votes by actual voters who show up at the polls to vote, you won’t be able to measure that until after the fact.

  • don in fl

    the 8 pm histogram has obama below 270 more than in recent days any concern here.

    • divF

      I’m not worried. If you go to Pollster.com, and look at the sources of the polls in swing states that show Romney close or leading, they are mostly robocall polls (or worse, internet polls). By law, robocalls can only be made to land lines. This significantly skews the demographics of the poll to older, whiter. This is something that Sam has commented on before.

      Given that, I’ve wondered why Sam doesn’t exclude robocall polls.

    • Ms. Jay Sheckley

      Don, that histogram doesnt say anything different from the median EV estimator, where the yellow region has gone as low as the grey area.
      I mean, no, not so, and relax. All is stable.

  • BillOhio

    Intrade was a single investor trying to drive Romney shares up. $17,800 worth of high asking price buys in a few minutes. I would wait to draw any conclusions.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/23/how-to-manipulate-prediction-markets-and-boost-mitt-romneys-fortunes/

    • Mark in VA

      Ah, that’s what I was wondering about (see comment below). If these guys are willing to drop *millions* on Romney, for some relatively small coin they can complement the polling narrative by driving the markets toward him, too. What a propaganda war we have going on!

  • Alex

    The real Intrade is crashing right now. Obama went from like 63% to 54% in 1 day.

  • Mark in VA

    Whatever Sullivan is doing, the “computer Intrade” is reacting quite excessively. Obama’s dropped about 10 points since last night. I can’t figure out what information it’s responding to.

    Is it possible some SuperPAC money is getting funneled into the system to supplement the narrative of a Romney shift? Seems compared to flooding the airwaves with ads a pretty low-cost mechanism to drive impressions.

    • The Truth Fairy

      Some of the comments on there mentioned that a lot of right-wing pundits had been talking up the Romney shares on Intrade; it seems likely that most of the shift today is the result of an influx of highly optimistic Romney supporters, plus some intentional price-pushing on the part of Romney supporters.

    • Ohio Voter

      Rasmussen has a new Ohio poll that’s a 48-48 tie, but Obama has never had more than a 1 point lead in a Rasmussen poll in Ohio,

  • Patrick

    I’m wondering if Dick Mourdock’s “Akin-esque” comments about rape tonight will hurt the republicans. If the way women vote is as important as I’ve been hearing, maybe this will convince some that the republicans truly are not the party for them.

    • 538 Refugee

      My wife only wishes he could get pregnant by rape to see if his opinion would change.

    • JamesInCA

      The Republican Senate candidates do seem, on the whole, to be doing everything possible to keep Harry Reid in the big office.

    • Obama 2012

      I think this is the real “October Surprise” … not only will it likely cost the GOP another Senate seat – I think it could (and should) be tied to Romney/Ryan.

      Romney just cut an ad for Mourdock (it was uploaded to Mourdock’s YouTube channel 2 days ago.)

  • Mike

    A good poll out of Ohio from Survey USA…

    On the bad front, the right wingers are latching onto this Reuters story:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/24/us-usa-benghazi-emails-idUSBRE89N02C20121024

    Nothing contradicts what the WH said, but still, it could be an unwelcome distraction…

    • Mark in VA

      “A good poll out of Ohio from Survey USA…”

      You have a link? I don’t find it on Pollster or on SUSA’s home page.

    • Tom Gavin

      That’s a week old.

    • Reason

      He just pasted the wrong link. The poll was released today. It shows the numbers are exactly the same. http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=86d85b21-8b9a-4661-99ab-3b88b2335cf2&c=108

    • Mark in VA

      Thanks guys! At this point, a 3-pt lead does seem good. The cross tabs seem reasonable.

    • 538 Refugee

      I’d like to believe that Obama’s lead in early voting in Ohio is an indication of a closing enthusiasm gap. The numbers don’t bear this out, at least not yet from that poll though. If Romney supporters feel Ohio is lost before election day will they vote in the same numbers?

    • Ohio Voter

      Some really positive numbers coming out of the NW Ohio area. That’s going to be the place that the auto bailout most directly impacted. Obama holds a 19 point advantage there. That’s huge. When one in 8 Ohio jobs is tied to the auto industry, that’s very encouraging for the President.

    • Ohio Voter

      Another positive is that the Cincinnati area is still leaning Obama. SW Ohio tends to be more Republican on average than the rest of the state.

    • orchidmantis

      The right wing has spent weeks attempting to figure out what their Benghazigate story is. They have blown all credibility on it or news interest–that one is baked into the cake by now.

    • Ohio Voter

      Rasmussen has a new Ohio poll that’s a 48-48 tie, but Obama has never had more than a 1 point lead in a Rasmussen poll in Ohio.

  • Reason

    What histogram?

  • Reason

    The Libya thing is a red herring. The even bigger story is the non-October surprise from Trump and what this unsealing the testimony of R will do, if it is even unsealed at all.

    • Obama 2012

      Libya issue is over. Romney wouldn’t even touch it at the debate.

      I don’t think Trump or the unsealing of Romney’s records will amount to a hill of beans.

      Richard Mourdock saying that a rape baby is a gift from God on the other hand… I think that will open back up the “war on women” meme in a huge way and Romney & Ryan are both on record supporting Mourdock so there’s no reason they can’t be tied to him hard …

      the other October Surprise that *should* come out is Romney’s damn tax returns. It’s a true shame if he gets away with running this whole campaign keeping them secret.

    • orchidmantis

      That anyone at all is taking Trump seriously is a dreadful sign for the gullibility of Democrats, or their determination to worry about something, or something.

      I cannot imagine anything to do with the Staples guy divorce that would impact my vote in the slightest.

  • Reason

    Dave, thanks. Not sure how to read it though. I am assuming it is unfavorable to O?

    • JamesInCA

      @Reason – not unfavorable, just less favorable than previous days.

      Here’s how to read the histogram:

      Along the bottom are possible electoral vote (EV) totals for Obama. Theoretically this axis could start at 0 and end at 538, as Obama might achieve any total of electoral votes in that range. Prof. Wang has limited the axis to the range 220-400 EVs, as there’s no meaningful probability of an Obama EV total outside that range. The red line is at 270, as that is the number of EVs required to win.

      For each possible EV value, the height of the blue or green bar indicates the probability that would be the outcome of an election today (not on Nov. 6), given the currently available state polls. So, right now, we see the tallest bar is at 290, and reaches up almost to 7% (6.7%, according to the underlying data file). In an election today, the model estimates a 6.7% chance Obama would garner exactly 290 EVs. Moving to the right in the chart, we see probabilities of 0.8% for an outcome of 291 EVs, 0.6% for 292 EVs, and 2.75% for 293 EVs, and so forth.

      So, to DaveM’s point, when we see more bars to the right of the red line, that’s better for Obama: there are more probable outcomes for him above the winning number 270. If many of the bars were to the left of the red line, that would indicate more probable outcomes below 270 for Obama.

  • Katherine

    Why have the odds for Obama’s re-election tanked on Intrade today? I have read about earlier manipulations (a single trader buying a ton of shares); do you think this is what is happening? Or are people being overly influenced by the horse race polls?

  • Reason

    Someone needs to tell Sullivan to stop adding fuel to the fire.

  • Ms. Jay Sheckley

    Thank you, i’ll try to get those links out together. Info sharing is way down though unless paired with a gut buster funny visual…

    Jack Rems tells me a Romney victory is being touted over 7 hundredths of a percent in a national poll, which is being rounded up to claim a whole percent.

    When the M-M is as stable as it’s been the last few posting times, does that mean no new polls came in, or that new polls came in, but are _eerily_ stable? [As they say in horror movies,”Listen. You hear that? Of course you don’t. It’s quiet. Too quiet.” Then the thing comes out of the foliage and eats them.

    I’m assuming pretty soon you’ll say something about the outlier candidates who are debating tonight: Jill, Vergil, Roseanne, GaJo…

  • don in fl

    sportsbook.ag has dropped obama from -210 to -185 within the last 6 hours some heavy money going on romney.

    • Reason

      As the article I posted shows, it is more than likely people who want Romney in and had money to burn.

    • Anbruch

      Heavy money going on Romney for no particular reason: that sounds like one side is trying to game the betting pools the same way they are trying to game the polling pool. I doubt it’s much more expensive to move the betting pools than to buy a gazillion commercials or pay for dozens of bogus polls.

    • 538 Refugee

      Anbruch. This would also be money that wouldn’t have to be reported I’d guess.

  • Behnam

    “… based on past races…”

    Presumably not including the Reagan-Carter debate that doomed Carter?

  • Obama 2012

    Richard Mourdock saying that rape babies are a gift from God is the October surprise. Romney *just* cut an ad endorsing this guy. Ryan is also on record singing his praises.

    (1) War on Women just made a big time return to the campaign and will be a focal point for the final two weeks.

    (2) Romney/Ryan’s support of far right wing Tea Party Republicans (the type of people they’d be working with if they win on November 6th) should be a top issue moving forward. They’ve tried to etch-a-sketch away their far right wing side… but they’ve been sucking up to these Tea Party elements for a long time now.. and there’s plenty of record of it.

    • Patrick

      If Dick Mourdock’s comments are played up by the media and the Obama campaign like Akin’s were, this can have a major effect on women voters. At least I hope. It may come at just the right time. On another note, how dumb can this guy be? He made the same exact mistake as that boob in Missouri, but this time right as the Presidential campaign is in the final stretch. I suppose the real views these republicans have on women are impossible to suppress for very long.

  • Obama 2012

    re: betting markets – consider the type of money these Romney supporters have… one of them could easily manipulate all of these markets for what to them is chump change.

    they’re nonsense.

  • shawnthesheep

    Romn/Ryan losing the VP Debate + losing Debates 2 & 3 = Romentum!

    I’d like to point out that, according to the CBS snap poll, Obama won the third debate by a greater margin than Romney won the first debate. This is especially surprising when you consider that Republicans are far less likely to admit their guy lost than Republicans are.

  • protheory

    Andrew Sullivan is has got to contain his wild mood swings. Jonathan Chait wrote today about the self-fulfilling prophecy of the GOP’s relentless pushing of momentum narratives in the 2004 homestretch. Sullivan’s dreary takes — along with similar goofball statements by Chuck Todd and others who should know better, on “mitt-mentum” are keeping that false meme alive and the right is benefitting in the media. I try to reassure myself that anyone paying enough attention to election coverage to pick up on this is already decided and probably won’t be dissuaded from turning out. But there’s no good in propping up this republican canard.

    • Filmmaker78

      I’m a longtime reader of Sullivan’s and I’ve sent him a few emails with exactly these sentiments. In short, Americans like to back a winner. So just making it ‘look’ like one guy is winning can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if the race is close enough. Sullivan is either over-reacting (most likely) or he’s playing mind-games to make sure Dems don’t take this for granted and get out and vote.

  • Martin

    What’s the “human intrade”?

  • P G Vaidya

    Rand poll has just come out. And, as it was hinted in yesterday’s poll, this is a big plus for Obama.

    I do not bet, but those of you who do, thank the generosity of Republicans as you run with the money to the bank.

    • shawnthesheep

      If we wanted to spin the RAND poll like Repubs do, the headline would read:

      Obama Doubles His Lead in RAND poll Following 3rd Debate

    • Martin

      He also had a big up swing right after the 2nd debate in RAND and it went right back down almost immediately! I’m not falling for the same BS one day blip again this time! I fully expect to come plummeting down just like last time. Don’t get your hopes up!

    • NC Obama Guy

      Yes but the switching votes to Obama line did not move the last time. This time for the first time since the first debate the switching votes graph has reversed for the last two days.

    • Matt McIrvin

      RAND is interesting: the switchers had been trickling over to Romney (at a low rate, but consistently) ever since a few days before the first debate; now they’re sloshing back to Obama.

      Meanwhile, there was a big spike up in Romney peoples’ intention-to-vote, but it’s back down again, which is the reason for the short-term blip up in Obama’s win prediction. I wouldn’t trust that as much.

  • Florida Swing Voter

    The e-mail thing is bogus. Obama still said it was an act of terror a day after the attack at the Rose Garden. The CIA didn’t contradict what Susan Rice said. If the GOP wants to bite someone go bite the CIA.

    By the way, the Mourdock story is getting more hits than the Libya story. Mourdock was trending on twitter for an hour or two and had 22k+ Facebook recommendations on HuffPost while the e-mails only had 9k+ on Reuters. Also, Trump is going to mention petty divorce crap that will just make the GOP look chilidsh and Obama look more human since most people know Michelle and Barack stuck together after that. That… or he’s just going to say Biden’s hairplugs are from China and Trump’s toupee is from America (which would be entirely false)

  • Reason

    New ODU poll released shows Obama still up by around 7 points. I hope it is correct but it seems a little high. I wonder how this will affect the MM. This was a month long survey using landlines. It did say Obama lost support within the time frame. http://hamptonroads.com/2012/10/obamas-still-virginia-romneys-closing-gap

    • Martin

      It’s BS! Just so people don’t get their hopes up the poll started in September and ended Oct 18th and says that the results were totally reversed after the first debate. THIS POLL IS TOTALLY WORTHLESS AND A WASTE OF TIME/ EFFORT!!!!!!!!!! It’s not worth posting here.

    • Ohio Voter

      That’s an awful poll too. Polling took place over a month. 2/3rds before the 1st debate

    • Anbruch

      @Martin: As an individual data point, it is probably not of much use. But is it really any less value than many of the other polls now feeding into the model? (I don’t know whether this particular poll will even feed into the model.)

    • Martin

      @Anbruch, Its useless as far as the state of the race there today. Isn’t that the purpose of conducting a poll? And yes those robocall polls are pathetic as well but that doesn’t justify a month long poll where there’s been a dramatic change in the race during the time span. I don’t know what kind of polls Sam uses for the model so i can’t answer whether it’s better than them or not?

    • Joey Bagadonitz

      The only upshot is that it might help plant seeds of skepticism with talking heads who have been buying into the “Ro-mentum” idea and who don’t discern between good and bad polls. But otherwise, yeah, meh.

  • ChrisD

    MM up .16 as VA moves from tied to O+1.

    • Martin

      I really hope its not based on that ridiculous month long poll. I hope Dr. Wang doesn’t average that in.

    • Ohio Voter

      It’s not. It’s the Mellman poll that put Obama +1.

  • Olav Grinde

    After his amazing debate comment, surely Mourdock joins Akin on history’s political garbage heap? Can’t wait for an updated poll in that race!

  • Martin

    I’m in south Florida and watched the first hour (highest rated hour) of “Good morning America” (the highest rated of the morning shows) for the commercials to check how many Obama Romney adds i would see.

    I saw 4 pro Romney/anti Obama ads and a whopping 1 pro Obama ad! It’s nice to see the 181 million raised by Obama in Sept and the 15+ Mill raised by Priorities USA is being put to good use CONCEDING THE AIR WAVES here in south Florida!!!!!!!! Way to go Obama! Perhaps this is why you’re gonna get your ASS kicked here in Florida! And since he’s decided to concede the air waves here i’m not giving 1 more penny to his campaign!!!!! Florida is GONE!

  • shawnthesheep

    Martin-

    Wow, you watched a whole hour of TV, nice scientific sample you took there. I would think that if you are going to freak out about every random piece of anecdotal data that this might not be the site for you.

    • Martin

      It hasn’t been much different for a while now Shawn whenever i watch any news here ,even on ESPN. Thats why i posted. If it was just today then i wouldn’t care. He’s not running any adds here.

    • Joey Bagadonitz

      Or maybe just avoid politics more generally.

    • Martin

      Oh and by the way, no mention of the Murdock rape comment on Good morning america today. Not one peep about it! Nice job ABC!

  • NC Obama Guy

    Martin-

    You seem pretty negative… If you really are an Obama supporter, instead of complaining, why don’t you get off your butt and do something to help. Call a campaign office. Make phone calls. My wife and I are going to Ohio on November 4- election day to help GOTV. We think NC is unlikely to be a “tipping” state so we are going where it could make a difference.

    • Ohio Voter

      Thanks for making the trek up here!

      I’m a poll worker on Election Day, so doing my part to ensure the voting process goes smoothly!

    • Martin

      How do you know i haven’t? I’ve registered voters with the campaign a few weeks ago and have donated nearly 800 dollars and by no means am i rich! I’m just frustrated that i don’t see ANY ADDS here and keep being subjected to this Romney sludge on TV every day. I can’t watch any damn local stations here anymore. It’s annoying as hell.

    • Olav Grinde

      I hear your pain, Martin. But I sincerely believe everything is going to be ok.

      The Republican cheating, the SuperPAC spending, Romney pretending to be a peace-loving pro-choice-tolerant only-cut-taxes-for-the-middle-class moderate, or Romney’s bluff that he is winning… None of that will be enough to erase Obama’s small but significant and stable lead in the Electoral Vote. Unless we allow it to do so!

      Oh, and Mourdock making that rape comment to implode his campaign — surely that is as God intended!

  • Tom

    Martin, calm thyself. Look, I have no doubt that in these last two weeks, decisions will need to be made. I’m OK with Obama ceding Florida since dollar for dollar, it’s not nearly as good of an investment as Ohio is. Sure, winning it would essentially make for an early election night, but the ammount of resources it’d take to win it might leave Ohio, Wisconssin, PA, vulnerable. So fear not. . while your dollars might not be being used to win your state, they are being used to win the Presidency.

  • Reason

    I think Martin needs a hug. And I never said the ODU poll was legitimate. I merely posted it to get an idea of what others on here thought of it, as I questioned its veracity. You are starting to flail about like Andrew Sullivan. Chill.

  • Reason

    Yes, and I read that every buck the O campaign spends in FL, R has to spend almost 3, draining their resources from other states. So one ad buy done over a month ago, makes R spend more to counter it. And in this late in the market, he has to spend more.

  • Reason

    O needs to spend more here in Va. We still have 13 electorate votes. The race really is just about tied here. He wins here and OH, done. And both states are EST.

    • Ohio Voter

      The polling is so tight in Virginia right now, I would argue it’s probably the biggest ‘toss-up’ in the traditional sense of the word, as I actually have no idea which way it will go on election day.

      Throughout the election cycle it’s mostly been an Obama lean. I tend to think it will end up a narrow Obama victory on Election Day, but that’s my subjective, incredibly biased opinion.

      Virginia would be a wonderful electoral buffer.

    • 538 Refugee

      “Chuck Todd just noted that total campaign spending in OH has surpassed FL — $177m to $174m.”

      As an Ohio voter I’d like to say I wish they had just given me the cash instead. :(

  • ChrisD

    Chuck Todd just noted that total campaign spending in OH has surpassed FL — $177m to $174m.

    Meanwhile, Rasmussen just put up a new OH poll that’s tied (O48, R48). Not sure how whether that will lower Dr. Wang’s median from O+1 to tied again.

    • Ohio Voter

      I noted this elsewhere, but while it may drag down the MM, Rasmussen has never had Obama any higher than +1 in Ohio, even in the post-convention bounces. Just something to take into account.

      I think Silver’s model tracks Rasmussen with a house effect that essentially means a tie is a 2-3% Obama lead.

  • Reason

    I do not put much into Ras. But I understand how it affects the model. Did he include the SUSA poll that still has it O+3? That has been stable for the last 2 weeks.

    • Ohio Voter

      I could be completely wrong, but I believe that the new Ras poll would effectively drop off the Romney +1 from last week and the margin would stay at +1 in the next update?

  • Reason

    OV, indeed it would. Hard to tell. I live on the west side of Route 15 (Which is really what separates the state from red to blue), and I see a lot of R signs (not that it means much), vs O signs. But then, it was the same in ’08. The biggest deciding factor in this state will be the turn out in the Richmond area and the 3 counties of NoVa. The biggest gem could be Henrico County, which sorrounds much of Richmond. It has trended non-white for years now and the unemployment rate there is 5.6%. It could decide the outcome of this state. Also, Kaine is ahead here and is favored to win the Senate. I can picture this state going O from 15k-25k PV. We had a huge increase in voter registrations. Although we do not list party affiliate here to register, the state releases demographics about who registers. Out of the apparent +400k new voters, Majority were women and minorities in the urban and suburban areas. Encouraging.

    • Ross C

      I phone banked last night at an Obama office in Northern Virginia. Lots of activity — the place was pretty well packed, and on a Tuesday night! Almost everyone I reached were happy to be called and enthusiastic Obama supporters. My son actually got 3 people to volunteer in his calling. Canvassing this weekend. Much better than watching Andrew Sullivan swoon with the back of his hand on his forehead. I’m done reading his site, definitely until after the election, maybe forever. My theory is that because the first debate happened immediately after Sullivan’s Newsweek cover story on how Obama was the new Reagan, that Sullivan took that first debate as a personal insult, and now he can’t stop punishing Obama for it. I’ve written Sullivan several emails telling him to stop feeding the RW meme of Romney momentum, but obviously to no avail. So I give up. Heck, he even published one of my emails during the first debate where I told him to chill the f*ck out. I still think Romney looked like a manic ass in that first debate, and Obama’s answers were calm and solid. The Great Freakout by Sullivan, Chris Matthews et al kept the meme alive about the supposed Obama meltdown.

      Personally, I believe the headlines should have been “Romney Abandons Every Position, With Unprecedented Mendacity” after the first debate. If the left wing pundits had the courage and sense to drive that meme relentlessly, things may well have taken a different turn.

      Doesn’t seem to have mattered though, notwithstanding our pundits’ delicate feelings.

  • Gregg

    YouGov article a fascinating reality check! And why are we wasting our breath over Rasmussen; he’s especially not credible given the yougov article and the fact that he’s never had O ahead in Ohio more than a single point.

    http://today.yougov.com/news/2012/10/23/obama-stays-ahead-just/

    • Paul

      The YouGov article is interesting, but a couple of points:

      1) You use the YouGove article to bash Rasmussen, but the Yougov article actually cites Rasmussen as one of the minority of pollsters who, like YouGove, weights by party ID and has not shown a big Romney surge. Rasmussen now shows Romney with a 4 point national lead.

      2) The YouGov article contains an interesting defense of weighting by party ID, but this practice is opposed by most major pollsters, as mentioned in the article. A few weeks ago when Obama was ahead in the polls, many Romney supporters tried to “unskew” polls that they felt had the wrong party ID weighting, to much ridicule.

      3) I think the recontact surveys like RAND and YouGov are very interesting, but I wonder whether the act of stating ones preferences to a pollster affects the likelihood of switching, which would be a potentially fatal flaw in that sort of methodology.

      All the above said, I found that YouGov article is very interesting.

  • Justin S

    New PPP national poll moves from R+2 yesterday to even today. Good news

  • Gregg

    Rand poll looks good today, increase!

  • Michael Worley

    Did Pollster put in the new Ras polls in OH and IA in time for the 10am update?

  • Olav Grinde

    I know that Dr Wang includes all state-level polls, but Rasmussen has consistently proved it is not credible. I do wonder what the Meta-Margin would look like if we discounted Rasmussen…

    PS. Anyone know what is happening in the Senatorial battle between Heitkamp and Berg in North Dakota? A couple of weeks ago, Mason-Dixon polled it as a tie. Has there been movement (and if so, why?), or are we just seeing GOP-slanted polls? (Rasmussen has Berg at +5%.)

    • Michael Worley

      The MM worked in 2008 with Rasmussen fine.

    • Olav Grinde

      True. Mostly I was trying to get a grip on how much Scott Rasmussen influence the Meta-Margin.

    • Michael Worley

      I could make the same argument about the Yougov polls that raised the MM by .6

    • Martin

      @Michael Worley

      4 years ago there weren’t nearly as many of these cornball right wing groups pretending to be polling firms. Today every other poll that pops up is from some shady robopoll group that no one has ever heard of flooding the market with rosy Flip Romney numbers. Especially the morning after the 1st debate How in the world can anyone including Sam account for this nonsense without just throwing this trash out?

      I hope people like Sam know their systems are being gamed by these groups. Nate S. does not seem to figure it out. that’s why i no longer check his site.

    • Michael Worley

      Nate S takes into account bias of pollsters

    • Olav Grinde

      Michael Worley, your point is well taken. However, no one comes close to Rasmussen’s polling frequency. It would hardly be surprising if that has a profound impact one the EV Estimate and the Meta-Margin.

      I would be very interested in knowing just what Rasmussen’s impact is. Mind you, I’m not trying to “un-skew” the polls and the aggregate… :)

      And Martin makes an important additional point.

    • Matt McIrvin

      Nate does try to adjust for house effects, and he also gives polling firms varying weights based on what he thinks is their reliability.

      Sam does something much simpler: by doing median-based averaging and doing it by firm, he prevents a tracking poll that releases numbers frequently from dominating the averages.

      Sam’s method could still be gamed by a large number of separate companies with the same partisan bias flooding the market with polls, and maybe that’s happening.

      I’d definitely keep my eye on Gravis and WeAskAmerica. Votamatic tried to calculate their house effect a while back, and I recall that Gravis was pretty bad but WeAskAmerica actually wasn’t that bad.

  • Justin S

    Gallup down to +4 R. They will continue to move back to the pack to salvage their reputation and Rass will as well. Just like he did in 08

  • Justin S

    oops. That was Rass I saw. Sorry guys. UPI is showing O+2 and it was even yesterday

  • Reason

    Justin, ah. Thanks. Because Gallup going down another point would be an excellent trend line. I guess we will see at 1.

  • Brian

    I’d really like to hear Dr Wang comment on the news from NC on early voting (I know he said that’s a focus he’s shifting to from here on out). A lot of liberal sites are reporting Democrats are outperforming the 2008 numbers in Carolina in registration and early voting. It seems strange that everyone is moving NC to the Romney column when there is some positive signs for the President.

    • Reason

      Brian, I have read the same thing. I also see that most of the NC state polls are R leaning ones. So, who knows. O winning NC in 08 was a shock to everyone. But it was rather small. But, who knows this election. I bet NC guy has a better insight.