Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Ro-mentum watch: John Dickerson, CBS/Slate

October 26th, 2012, 10:45am by Sam Wang



This is like shooting fish in a barrel. The latest, from John Dickerson at Slate:

It’s a fool’s game to guess whose momentum is greater. But Romney is peaking at just the right moment.

Ah, yes. The Great Election of October 13, 2012. I remember it well.

Wait a minute.

The subject of “political momentum” is a favorite among political pundits. I will guess that John Dickerson and David Brooks (“David Brooks – now with Ro-mentum!“, October 25)  might not have found high school calculus to be their favorite subject. I wonder how they did in it.

Here is one particularly skeptical comment, noticed by Rick in Miami:

“Wow, Dickerson, when I saw the headline I expected this article to be so much fluff, devoid of actual evidence for the existence of Mittmentum, and filled instead with entertaining anecdotes about campaign rallies. But you surprised me! Instead, the article was so much fluff, devoid of actual evidence for the existence of Mittmentum, and filled instead with deadly boring anecdotes about campaign rallies. Well done, sir.” -SPG

Newton's first and second laws, in erudite LatinI am curious about what momentum could possibly mean. I think pundits are trying to capture the science-y mojo of Newton’s First Law, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object with this tendency has “momentum.” If so, they might mean that when opinion is moving in one direction, it will keep moving that way. And Dickerson reports seeing a high level of energy at Romney rallies.

However, that energy does not imply that Romney’s support is growing. His supporters could be enthusiastic but stable in number. I note that even that is not true, as evidenced by the recent EV history (see the top of this post).

I said that Romney peaked on October 13th. That was based on state polls. But he might have peaked as early as October 5th, as based on national polls, which are done more often than in most swing states. As I wrote on Sunday (“Anatomy of a bounce,” October 21), Romney got a 5-point bounce within a single day of Debate #1 – and it’s subsided a bit since then.

It is certainly true that Romney supporters are far more enthusiastic than they were before Debate #1. This may account for why the race has not bounced back to where it’s been since June, an average of Obama +3.1+/-1.3% (measured through Electoral College mechanisms using the Meta-Analysis).

Today, the Popular Vote Meta-Margin is Obama +1.8%. His November 6th re-elect probability is 90%. To the extent that I anticipate change, it is in the direction of President Obama. That much is apparent from the recent history.

History of electoral votes for Obama

Finally…lest you think that I have it in for all pundits, here is a nice piece by Robert Wright. It captures the current state of the race very well, entirely in words and with no math.

Tags: 2012 Election · President

247 Comments so far ↓

  • Matt McIrvin

    Was that Oct. 21 article the first time you’ve tried to do a detailed analysis of national polls? It was fascinating.

    Interesting things about it:

    (1) Your estimate of the national swing is right in line with the change in Meta-Margin.

    (2) It’s actually larger than what many Romentum-skeptics claim about the size of Romney’s debate bounce. It wasn’t 2 points, it was 5 points, which is historically gigantic.

    (3) You seem to be the only analyst claiming that Romney’s gains were *entirely* in the very first moments after the debate. The Meta-Analysis isn’t even capable of determining that. Yet that’s what the national numbers really seem to be showing.

    • wheelers cat

      Dr. Wang pointed out to me in email that the *shape* of the [gigantic] debate1 bounce is a fractal of the 2008 Palin event.
      How many points did Palin deliver?

    • Sam Wang

      I will say that I am very interested in national trends. You are right that they have paralleled the Meta-Analysis…mostly. In the last few days, they may have diverged a bit. Ro-mentum? I’ll be able to say in a few days.

    • Matt McIrvin

      Hmm, apparently Romney did have an uptick day in the national polls. But he’s had them before; no telling if that’s noise or not.

    • Amitabh Lath

      Sam, did you see my question about a spectral analysis of the meta-margin? Maybe run an FFT to see what the dominant frequency of the national news cycle is?

  • Khan

    First time commenter, but long time reader. Sam, if you haven’t seen or heard yet, Karl Rove was just playing this game on Fox asking if Romney’s momentum will carry through to election day. Eerily reminiscent of Bush and Rove’s excellent adventure to California with the same narrative.

    This meta-analysis–along with 538 and vegas oddsmakers–is keeping me sane. I’m sure a host of others feel the same.

    Keep up the good work.

    • wheelers cat

      another Rovian tactic is saving mega-bucks for last minute ad-blitzs. I think that is failsauce this election cycle, because of premature media saturation and electoral polarization.

    • Khan

      @wheelers cat

      I think you may be right. I have a feeling that polling is going to be off considerably this year as more and more people disengage from politics in any professional manner.

      I’ve met a single person–in the past 6 months–who did not have a vote in mind. The very notion that there are 10s of millions of undecideds that are swinging back and forth is most likely a very inaccurate assessment.

      I believe it to be a simple case of poll organizations no longer understanding the psyche of a voter. Many of my friends that have already voted would never pass through a likely voter screen and would not answer a poll. Yes, I understand the concept of statistical representation from a small N to mirror the population, but I think the increased polarization is negating the statistical relevance and accuracy of that ability.

    • Matt McIrvin

      It sure is winning the all-important yard-sign war for Romney, though. At this rate he’ll be president of yard signs by a landslide.

    • Matt McIrvin

      …on the other hand, Hurricane Sandy could be the yardsignpocalypse. Oh, the humanity!

    • Show Your Work

      Matt, that is priceless! May I quote you later on twitter?

    • Froggy

      wheelers cat, the last-minute ad blitz is of limited usefulness in places like Ohio and Iowa, where there is a lot of early voting.

      I keep thinking that the final desperation move by the Romney campaign might be a last-minute move into Michigan and/or Pennsylvania, which do not have early voting.

    • Matt McIrvin

      @Show Your Work: Sure.

    • wheelers cat

      Matt, the Romneyites steal Obama yardsigns. At the headquarters we were told to bring our signs inside at night.
      After her first one was stolen, my aunt put her second one inside the electric fence with her great danes.

  • Ralph Reinhold

    They may be inadvertently accurate…in politics, this is called a gaffe. A continued motion in a given direction is due to momentum. It would seem that Romney has momentum toward failure.

  • wheelers cat

    The snark is strong in this one.

    • 538 Refugee

      I rarely actually laugh out loud, but his got me:

      “It’s a fool’s game to guess whose momentum is greater. But Romney is peaking at just the right moment.”

      Ah, yes. The Great Election of October 13, 2012. I remember it well.

    • Ohio Voter

      ::waves hand:: This isn’t the Ro-mentum you’re looking for

  • Dharma

    Momentum def 1: It’s not as bad as it looks for my guy.

    Momentum def 2: I can’t do the math, so I will fake it with physics.

    Momentum def 3: I am more used to watching football than analyzing polls, so I must have a spare metaphor around here somewhere.

    Momentum def 4: I am losing, but I haven’t given up hope, so there is an alternate universe where I am winning, but the laws of physics are different.

    Momentum def 5: I only watch the polls I like, it saves on antacids.

    Momentum def 6. etc.

    Thanks Sam, great stuff.

    • Ralph

      Actually, when I hear about Romney’s momentum, the first person that comes to mind is Tariq Aziz.

  • Show Your Work

    Memo to Dickerson, Brooks, et al: The plural of anecdote is not data.

  • Mike B

    If you look at the history of the Meta Margin, the overall slope is negative. Over the past couple weeks – yes, since Debate 1 – the Meta Margin has been less than 2.0 except for a few days which is the best Romney has done/worst Obama has done since May.

    Overall, Romney is indeed peaking at the right time because this is the closest the race has been, he is close enough that a butterfly ballot redux in a swing state could affect the election, and we’re about to go to the polls.

  • bflobillw

    Sam, this election is causing many of us to OD on Xanax. I find your blog posts almost as soothing. Any chance we can get you to write them hourly for the next 10 days?

    • Prairie Pundit

      I’ve been subsisting on a diet of PEC, Xanax, and Miller Lite since the first debate. One of these mornings I’m going to wake up, look in the mirror, and see Judy Garland staring back at me.

    • Stuart

      Prairie: LOL!

  • Chip Roehrig

    Dr. Wang,

    I am curious what your opinion is on the Rand Panel.

    Thanks

  • Khan

    Any sign of Sam Wang truthers?

    Nate Silver is being attacked mercilessly on Twitter. Who knew being a statistician was such a dangerous profession?

    • TJ

      Wait until after he does Bill Maher tonight .. that’ll surely cause their heads to explode ….

  • skmind

    The second diagram has the date axis shifted to the right by one week. I think it is in error.

  • Jack, a former P-townie

    This post made me howl! Great stuff… and this question is total off the subject of “mittmentem” but re: polling generally. I know PEC aggregates the polls and is agnostic on the polling firms, meaning there is no handicapping for “house effects.” But I can’t help but look at some of the recent national polls and some of the state polls and scratch my head. (Romney up 2 or 3 points nationallly… Really?) I understand polling is expensive. Can big money bankroll a polling operation? Why not? Is there a money trail? Or do I sound like a conspiracy theorist?

    • Sam Wang

      A high-quality poll seems to cost about $10-15k to run. A low-quality one is much cheaper.

    • Ralph

      I thought it was interesting that there were three or four ‘overnight’ for a few days after the first debate and none after the others. It makes me a bit of a conspiracy freak.

  • Paul

    It’s been pointed out elsewhere, but I’ll mention it again: there’s pretty good evidence that the 5-point Romney swing, and most all of the swings since about last summer, are accounted for by changes in *enthusiasm* that affect likely voter models — not changes in *opinion.*

    The debate #1 bounce was a bunch of Obama supporters fellow dispirited and a bunch of Romney supporters getting fired up simultaneously in one evening — but not a bunch of people changing their vote.

    I propose the analogy of a marble in a vibrating bowl. The marble jumps from side to side as the bowl shakes — and yes, it experiences momentum, but also it also experiences gravity that keep pulling it back toward the bottom of the bowl.

    The rumbling is the day-to-day emotional roller coaster of the campaign — emotional because we’re talking only about enthusiasm. The bowl’s bottom is the real preferences of the people who will actually vote on election day, which is not changing much.

    • Obama 2012

      I agree that a lot of the changes are due to what you’re talking about (likely voter enthusiasm movement) … but I also think there are at least some “real” changes taking place, but they’re smaller. .. for example maybe a 2.5 point movement to Romney instead of a 5 point movement after debate 1.

  • Vicente

    Thanks for the calculus reference. Most people will never have to calculate a derivative after college, but as you demonstrate here, the concepts are pretty fundamental.

    • Olav Grinde

      Ah, those people would rather buy a derivative than calculate one.

    • wheelers cat

      wow, there’s some real comedic talent here in the Nerd Nexus today.
      /salutes Olav with respect

  • counsellorben

    Ro-mentum now remonds me of the underpants gnomes, e.g.:

    Phase 1. Claim momentum.
    Phase 2. …
    Phase 3. Profit!

    • Kerr

      Many LMAO moments in the comments here, but this one compelled me to respond. I dare say though, the gnomes had a far more solid business plan than any plan I’ve seen out of the Romney campaign.

  • Amitabh Lath

    Sam, you may joke about how Brooks and Dickerson did in high school calculus, but the lack of basic computational ability among people who form national opinions is terrifying.

    Recall the brouhaha over your 74% House takeover prob. and how they completely misunderstood what you meant.

    Look at the NY Op-Ed page. Other than your Princeton colleague Krugman, and Charles Blow, who would you trust?

  • Rebecca M

    Rallies?

    Funny thing, I still have a baseball hat from a rally held on Boston Common in 1984 for Mondale … It says “Boston lights the way to victory.”

    The energy was amazing!!!

    • Obama 2012

      yeah… these talking heads talk a whole lot about nothing, don’t they?

      “at a campaign rally for Candidate A, people there liked Candidate A a lot!” … no … really?

    • Ohio Voter

      In my experience, don’t usually see a ton of undecided voters willing to fight traffic, sit in a venue two hours before the candidate arrives, and then fight traffic out.

  • Mark H. Long

    I am disappointed to find that you read Slate.

  • NC Obama Guy

    I do not want to sound like crazy conspiracy guy but have any of you read about this?

    http://www.opednews.com/populum/pagem.php?f=Rigged-Elections-for-Romne-by-Michael-Collins-121022-13.html

    I was wondering if Sam the math wizard could say if there is anything mathematically to it.

  • Rick in Miami

    Anyone else seeing a bug in the clickable electoral college map? I have to click well to the left of each state, for example on Tennessee to change NC, or Arkansas for Tennessee (as if TN would change!)

    I’m using Firefox in Windoze.

    • dave.james

      @Rick: I have found that to be the case in Chrome as well. I eliminated the offset by eliminating the zoom factor of the page and let it render in it’s native size. I think the java page doesn’t check it’s size and assumes it is only the original.
      HTH.

    • Jay Bryant

      No problem with Chrome on Windows 7. I checked both the left and right sides of a couple large states and got the state I clicked on each time. I also checked Tennessee, getting very near the right and left edges, and got Tennessee to change each time.

    • Olav Grinde

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that too.
      But it’s not a problem, as I naturally veer left anyway. :)

    • skmind

      yes, I am using Chrome on Windows 7.

  • Obama 2012

    the MSM appears to be getting more and more absurd with each passing year.

    on 538 Romney peaked on 10/12 … here it’s 10/13 … regardless; if anyone has “momentum” right now it’s President Obama.

  • Tolga Yilmaz

    I don’t think “momentum” is a fictional term. Remember what happened after the first debate for about a week. Herd psychology, positive media coverage, cascade effects on social networks, composition of remaining undecided voters, all determine short term movement of polls.

    • Sam Wang

      And yet the change seems to have preceded all those events. See the second graph please

    • RDT

      Sam –

      Have you compared the movement in the polls in predictable and unpredictable events? I wonder if some of the ante-hoc effect of the debates is that there’s a lot of talk about “will this change the race” in the run-up to them, and that talk in itself changes the race, in particular making some people rethink soft support for a candidate.

      In contrast, events like the 47% tape or terrorist attacks have no lead-up chatter, and might show less of an ante-hoc effect?

    • Ross C

      Sam: Exactly! I stopped reading Andrew Sullivan after his first debate meltdown (Sullivan’s not Obama’s), but gingerly came back after debate 2, thinking the damage to his delicate constitution would be stanched. But no, it was mere hours before Sullivan was boo-hooing about the first debate “handing the race to Romney.” “The momentum is with Romney now, and it’s his race to lose.” The last email I sent Sullivan before I stopped reading for good pointed out that the Obama drop/Romney rise started on about Sept 27, a full week before the first debate.

      Since I haven’t been back to Sullivan’s site since, I don’t know if he’s finally caught on. My own psyche is fragile enough without his running around in circles waving his arms and killing my buzz.

  • Jen

    I am enjoying the PEC snarkyness of the last couple of articles!

    My question though is what others have also asked. Why are the political commentators like this? And this wrongness isn’t new. Like, I remember in 2008, there was the same chronic stupidity. It seems that poll junkies reading blogs are so much better informed than people whose JOBS it is to understand the election. So, what are their sources of information? It actually really does matter that they get everything so wrong.

    And I am only talking about the horse race reporting. I won’t even wade into their “balanced” reporting of the issues!

    • Khan

      He is barely worth reading at this point. The moment he joined the HuffPo Media Group he fell under their editorial jurisdiction.

      He has recently written several horse race articles as well as entire articles on single polls. It’s been an embarrassment.

    • Matt McIrvin

      Sounds like Romney did have an OK day in those polls. But looking at the actual numbers, it didn’t seem like much to write about.

    • Olav Grinde

      Please remember that AOL purchased the Huffington Post. It ain’t what it used to be.

      For instance, in recent weeks, the photo editor at HuffPo has frequently selected some very un-complementary pictures of President Obama. And many of their headlines are dreadful.

    • wheelers cat

      Both Blumenthal and Silver have been co-opted by market forces to some extent. It is only a matter of time before Drew Linzer and Dr. Wang fall to the inevitable.
      Everyone that says “both sides do it” has a point of vulnerability for regulatory capture by the information market.
      /sadface

    • skmind

      Well, most of the 180 is about the national polls showing better results for Romney. Not really interesting unless the swing transfers to the states. That is where the momentum was, FL, VA, CO, (all had gone red for a little while) and some of it has reversed.

    • xian

      Olav, I was an employee at AOL when the Huffington Post acquisition/merger happened, and I’d be carefully about grossly oversimplifying the posture of the HuffPost before or after, or of Ms. Huffington herself, or for that matter of AOL’s editorial side.

    • xian

      er, “careful,” not “carefully.”

    • Olav Grinde

      Xian, I would be very interested in hearing your take on the development of the Huffington Post.

      Do I believe there is a slant now? No. But to me it does seem far more confused, whereas before there was a clearer progressive voice.

      I attribute that decreased clarity to AOL’s takeover. Please do let me know if that’s out of line.

      Xian, once again, I am very interested in what an insider has to say on the state of the Huffington Post.

      .
      PS. Moreover, there seems to be far more non-content on the HuffPo now, such as celebrity stuff. (Today: Inside Crowe’s split; Valerie’s weight loss; Taylor’s split; Teacher fired for porn star past begs for job; Cannibal cop’s OkCupid profile; Sofia Vergara’s dress might be a long shirt; All my children actor arrested at airport; The kinky gift I got from a married man; Ridiculously photogenic guy goes viral — and that’s just the front page.)

    • wheelers cat

      xian, Arianna’s position is “both sides dooo eet”.
      Did you miss her Breitbart hagiography?

    • MarkS

      “Both Blumenthal and Silver have been co-opted by market forces to some extent. It is only a matter of time before Drew Linzer and Dr. Wang fall to the inevitable.”

      Nope. Blumenthal and Silver make their living doing this, while Sam and Drew are university faculty. This is just a hobby for Sam; for Drew it is part of his academic career (I assume he will write peer-reviewed papers on the final results, post election). But neither is subject to the market force of driving readership for a mass-market publication.

  • Matthew M

    Just got into a delightful Twitter exchange with Dickerson. He professes to have no idea what Sam is on about. Hilarious.

  • Khan

    ABC/WaPo tracking poll just swung two points back toward Obama.

    • Reason

      Yes, because they do not want to look bad when O probably wins. They make a lot of money on these polls. @Khan. How do you know? I did not think that poll was released yet. Thanks

    • Khan

      @Reason

      Special noon release of their poll today! The trend contradicts the momentum notion, that’s about all I take from it.

  • Joel

    You may have covered this–okay, you probably covered this–but I saw an analysis somewhere that claimed that RV results outperform LV results. As a partisan Dem, that sounds like it must fall into the ‘if it sounds too good to be true’ category, but there was all this math and stuff. With numbers.

    Math with numbers makes me dizzy and credulous. So: any truth to this assertion? That if you compare RV results to results after LV screens, the RV results are more accurate?

    • Sam Wang

      In the past, we’ve used LV polls to very good effect. I am sorry, but I put this in the category of wishful thinking.

    • Joel

      Thanks, Sam. That’s what I figured. It’s just that according to -my- mathematical calculations, there’s a good chance that this time a Nigerian prince really does want to give me twelve million dollars.

    • Matt McIrvin

      I figure it probably depends on the LV screen, since the results can be so dependent on the details. Gallup’s seems to produce a much bigger Republican swing than almost anybody else’s. The basic idea of an LV screen is perfectly sensible.

    • Ross C

      Wait Sam, so you don’t have a problem with Gallup’s LV model, which currently has Romney up 51-46? And I’m not just commenting on today’s poll; ever since they started including LV it’s been like this (as you know). Really, no issues?

    • Sam Wang

      Don’t give a flying f**k about any one pollster. That includes Gallup.

    • Matt McIrvin

      There’s Gallup’s LV, and there’s LV in general.

      Gallup’s is actually kind of unusual, from what I understand: like the RAND poll in that it depends on actually asking people how likely they are to vote, but since it’s not a RAND-style re-ask survey, this produces enormous noisy fluctuations. Also, whatever algorithm Gallup uses tends to produce a consistent Republican house effect as well.

      Most LV polls at the state level have not really produced gigantic differences from RV results.

    • Ross C

      Matt — right, I get it. I had just looked at the Gallup poll, so that one was in my mind. In general, maybe LVs are okay. I remember in 2004 when we were all convinced Kerry was underperforming in polls due to the cell phone effect. And while it’s true there is merit in that, and some polls include cell phones, still…

    • Matt McIrvin

      The thing that *really* got Kerry supporters’ hopes up in 2004 was the leaked exit polls early on Election Day, which were dramatically better for Kerry than any polls in the previous week (which, on the whole, were pretty much dead-on). It got a lot of people thinking the predictions of undercounted Kerry voters were right. Alas, no.

    • wheelers cat

      Matt, Gallup’s (unpublished) LV model has a stratification adjustment of 79% white.
      Like in 2004.

  • Reason

    MM down .06. ONOES! Srsly, so I can calculate on my own, which state fell off? Thanks.

    • Ohio Voter

      Not positive, but I imagine it was the new Nevada poll.

      Went from +2, +2, +3, +4 (+2.5) to 1, 2, 2, 3, 4 (+2).

    • Froggy

      NV went from O+3 to O+2, and WI went from O+4 to O+3.5. There are a couple of polls out there that haven’t made it Pollster yet, that will also move things. NH is set to move from R+1 to O+1, and NC will move from Tied back to R+3.

      Not that I pay attention to every poll released or anything.

    • Ohio Voter

      Yeah, I couldn’t remember if the Rasmussen WI poll was included in an earlier update or not

    • Sam Wang

      Wow, you are worse than me. Take Bobo’s advice!

  • Reason

    OV, thanks again. Now, I will ask once more as I know you have power over them, Purple Poll?!??! :P

    • Ohio Voter

      It seems like Purple Strategies drops their polls in the afternoon in past months.

  • Martin

    Are you serious? How the hell do people like J.Dickerson pull a paycheck? This bum and others of his like are completely useless!!!

    • Martin

      Mark Halperin (who i strongly suspect is a closet Obama hater) at least does some serious reporting and has some good contacts is trustworthy by the low standards set forth by most in his field.

    • Ross C

      There’s nothing “in the closet” about Halperin’s right-wing lean. I had the misfortune to hear him opine for a few minutes on Morning Schmoe recently. Ick.

    • Martin

      @Ross C

      You make good point. i never watch morning Schmoe.

  • Partha Neogy

    I don’t know about Brooks, but with Dickerson and other reporters it is all about the horse race. I like to believe that if Obama were behind at this point they would be writing about Obama peaking at the right time. But, as things stand, “Coming fast along the posts, with new life in Florida, Ohio, Colorado and Wisconsin, it is ROMNEY!”

  • TheVillageIdiot

    Trust Dickerson to keep dickering and dicking around with the polls again. LOL. Apparently he hasn’t been to this site yet, or this other site:
    https://mmicdata.rand.org/alp/?page=election#shifts-between-candidates

  • Ohio Voter

    I’m breaking the rules of individual poll posting, but new ARG poll has Obama +2% in Ohio, previous poll conducted just after the first debate was Romney +1%.

    Ro-mentum!

    • NC Obama Guy

      I’m sure the MSM will report that as Obama’s lead decreasing rather than an improvement in the poll since the last time…

  • Synchronicity

    Momentum clearly means ‘really wants to be president more than the other guy’… ‘because we say so’, lol.

    Or it is cover for intentions to cheat or steal the election.

    I am still curious as to whether there is a way that the Romney’s interest in a major voting machine company may be a latent threat.

  • Olav Grinde

    The Onion has a new election app — VoteRite.
    Highly recommended!

    http://www.theonion.com/video/hot-new-app-from-the-gop-modernizes-minority,30076/

  • Blair Mac

    Just viewed Gallup….Likely voter screening….The secret sauce of voter prediction.

  • rbarris

    “Spinning” is angular momentum, easy to get these mixed up.

  • Khan

    If I took Gallup seriously, I would probably be on the ledge right now.

    Today’s poll shows a SIX point drop in job approval for Obama since yesterday. Given that the poll is a rolling average, a swing that large would require a day where Obama’s job approval dropped like 10-15 points.

    Dear Gallup, 20 million people did not just decide that they disapprove of Obama’s work overnight.

  • cevangelista413

    This website calms my nervous heart. However, I was wondering if you could address your thoughts on the so-called Bradley effect? Because that’s something else that scares me…

    • Sam Wang

      Wrote about it in 2008. I guess I could resuscitate it…

    • Matt McIrvin

      I’m going to be watching for Bradley-like effects in the votes on the various same-sex-marriage ballot questions, because that’s an area where some people claim it’s in recent operation.

      I very much doubt the Bradley effect is going to show up now. In modern elections, people who don’t want to vote for black candidates don’t say they will; they either make up a pretext or say so outright.

    • wheelers cat

      cevangelist.
      Bradley effect has been disproven.
      But Mormon Effect is unknown.

  • Reason

    Gallup: Being wrong since 1996!

  • Reason

    My concern with Gallup? The MSM taking it as ZOMG! OBAMAGONZ!!!!

  • A.D.

    I love this site. This and Nate Silver keep me sane.

  • Peter Principle

    They have a name for candidates who peak at 47% at “just the right moment.”

    They’re called “losers”.

  • Ohio Voter

    Purple Strategies polls are out.

    Ohio: O +2%
    Colorado: O +1%
    Virginia: Tie

    Overall – Obama +2% (this poll covers 12 battleground states)

  • don in fl

    sam said, dont give a flying f**k about anyone pollster that includes gallup.dr. i like your attitude.

  • Jen

    Okay so if you want to enjoy a stunt that is
    50 times funnier than the Trump nonsense from the other day…. please check this out.

    http://www.vice.com/read/is-this-obamas-kenyan-birth-video

    Basically, it is a video of Obama’s birth in Kenya. Not a parody or anything. It’s supposed to be the actual video. Yes.

    It features a clearly-not- newborn baby, a Kenyan flag that did not exist yet and a camera that had not yet been invented.

    I cannot stop laughing.

    And actually, it reminded me that we all need to relax a little and have some faith in the math! There’s just so much sillyness that is going to be packed into the end of this election. So many desperate stunts. But the fundamentals cannot be affected by it and the math is so clear.

  • Joey Bagadonitz

    Trying to figure out what caused the 3pm MM drop…I believe VA moved a point (or half a point) towards Romney? Can’t remember where the other ones were. But skimming through Pollster it appears some reasonably good O numbers should be dropping out of the calculations.

    • ChrisD

      CO: O3 => O2
      OH: O1 =>O1.5
      NH: R1 => O1
      VA: R0.5 => R1
      FL: R1 => R2
      NC: tie +> ?? (dropped out of the table)

    • Joey Bagadonitz

      Thanks! Guess Obama For America should go ahead and close up shop in NC…at least until the next update.

    • Froggy

      The 3pm drop was caused by a number of things. Two new polls were added to Pollster for CO and NC, but apparently the datastream for the model only included one for each state. Instead of CO being O+3 and NC being R+1, we got CO at O+2 and NC at R+3. This should sort itself out in time.

      Some glitch in the data caused VA to move from R+0.5 to R+1. I don’t know why, but I’ve seen this before.

      The Purple Strategies polls were on Pollster, but didn’t make it to the data used for the 3pm update. They should move OH to O+2 and VA to a tie.

      All of this, combined with recently-released Grove polls in NC and WI, should mean good news to come. (I also think that CNN is releasing an Ohio poll sometime around 4pm.)

    • Froggy

      Now I see a possible reason for the move of VA from R+0.5 to R+1, the shift in the JZ Analytics VA poll from O+2 to Tied — that would do it. But as I said, the Purple Strategies will shift VA to a tie, assuming nothing else comes up.

    • Joey Bagadonitz

      Thanks Frogster.