Monday, November 5, 2012

Final Electoral College opinion map update
The average of 30 online Electoral College opinion maps (with tossups) is currently:

Obama             242         
Romney           200         

Tossups            96

There are 13 online Electoral College opinion maps which toss out the tossups and assign all electoral votes to either Obama or Romney.  The current average (without tossups) is:
Obama           301

Romney         237
Tossups           0

The average of three online Electoral College odds makers currently show Obama with a 73% probability of winning and Romney with a 27% probability of winning.

Obama leading in straw poll at Harry’s Bar
President Barack Obama is leading against challenger Mitt Romney in a straw poll at Harry’s Bar, an iconic Paris watering hole which has held a vote ahead of U.S. elections since 1924 and only got the results wrong twice.”

This is the final blog posting.  Thanks for coming by during these last 26 weeks.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Romney could still win
Consider these past polling errors in the context of the 2 to 3 percentage points or less that separate Obama and Romney in many battleground states. It would take a consistent overstatement of Obama's margins -- just 2 to 3 points -- in the battlegrounds to create a scenario in which Romney wins despite the current polling numbers. History says an overstatement of that magnitude is rare but within the realm of possibility.

In a separate article, Stanford political scientist Simon Jackman explains in detail how he has used past polling errors to convert the Pollster tracking model's probability that a candidate leads in the polls to a probability that he will win the election.

The most recent run of the model, as of this writing, confirms the obvious: The probability of an Obama lead in the key battleground states is very high, given that virtually all polling in these states shows him ahead. However, the potential for a rare "black swan" polling failure as big as the national polls of 1980 or 1992 is still real, given past experience -- amounting to a roughly 1-in-3 chance that such an error would affect the outcome of states like Ohio and Iowa.”

Romney could win if swing state polls are biased

“President Obama is now better than a 4-in-5 favorite to win the Electoral College, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. His chances of winning it increased to 83.7 percent on Friday, his highest figure since the Denver debate and improved from 80.8 percent on Thursday.”

Undecided voters

“.  .  .  there's little evidence to say that undecideds are breaking in a big way. Note that they are also not "independents," which are a different beast. Most independents have a distinct preference for a candidate, but not a party. Charles Franklin has analyzed undecideds and finds that they break nearly equally.

Virgil Goode in Virginia
In the latest Fox News poll in Virginia, Mr. Goode is backed by 1 percent of likely voters.”

Gary Johnson in Ohio

According to a Gravis Marketing Ohio poll, Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson is running with 10.6% in the Buckeye State. With Barack Obama running with 44.5% and Mitt Romney running with 37.8%, it essentially takes Romney out of the race there”

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Obama leads Romney on Medicare issue

“President Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney on the question of who would better handle Medicare in the crucial swing states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia, recent polls of likely voters in all three states found. But as Election Day nears Mr. Romney has narrowed the gap in Florida and Virginia.”

Friday, November 2, 2012

Working class voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan

“In yielding Pennsylvania to President Obama, Romney has raised the stakes in Ohio and Florida, almost certainly making both states must win contests if he is to reach 270 Electoral College votes. Real Clear Politics has Obama ahead by a 1.9 point average in the eight most recent Florida polls and by an average of 4.1 percent in the seven most recent Ohio polls.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Breaking down the swing state polls

“A new set of polls conducted by Quinnipiac for the New York Times and CBS News paint a grim picture for Mitt Romney, who faces daunting gaps in three big states.”

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Romney trying to put three states in play

Mitt Romney is suddenly plunging into traditionally Democratic-leaning Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and his GOP allies are trying to put Michigan into play. It's forcing President Barack Obama to defend his own turf - he's pouring money into television ads in the states and dispatching top backers - in the campaign's final week.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Polls before Sandy

 The effects of Hurricane Sandy on next Tuesday’s election are hard to predict. But the storm is likely to have an impact on the volume of polling in the meantime.”


Monday, October 29, 2012

Electoral College opinion map weekly update
The average of 30 online Electoral College opinion maps (with tossups) is currently:

Obama             237              
Romney           200              

Tossups           101              
Last week, the averages were Obama 239, Romney 199 and Tossups 100.

There are 13 online Electoral College opinion maps that assign all electoral votes to either Obama or Romney, disregarding the margin of error in the polls.  The current average (without tossups) is:

Obama           295                
Romney         243                

Tossups           0
Last week, the averages were Obama 287, Romney 251 and Tossups 0.

The average of three online Electoral College odds makers (Intrade, Iowa Electronic Markets and Betfair) currently show Obama with a 65% probability of winning and Romney with a 35% probability of winning, up 1 for Obama and down 1 for Romney from last week.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Female swing voters
Whether or not the term “waitress moms” endures, it defines a distinct demographic: blue-collar white women who did not attend college. And they are getting a lot of attention from both campaigns as the presidential race barrels toward its conclusion because even at this late date, pollsters say, many waitress moms have not settled on a candidate. They feel no loyalty to one party or the other, though they tend to side with Republicans.

“Blue-collar women are most likely to be the remaining movable part of the electorate, which is precisely why both campaigns are going at them as hard as they are,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, who is advising Priorities USA, a pro-Obama “super PAC.”
About 9 percent of all voters in 2008 were white women without college degrees who had an annual household income of less than $50,000, according to exit polls.”


Electoral vote analysis by Associated Press
President Barack Obama is poised to eke out a victory in the race for the 270 electoral votes needed to win re-election, having beaten back Republican Mitt Romney’s attempts to convert momentum from the debates into support in all-important Ohio, according to an Associated Press analysis a week before Election Day.”

Obama leads in Virginia in poll that excludes conservative third-party candidates
President Obama is clinging to a slender four-point lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Virginia as both sides ramp up already aggressive campaigns in the crucial battleground state, according to a new Washington Post poll.

Obama outpolled Romney, 51 to 47 percent, among likely Virginia voters, although he lost the clearer 52-to-44 percent advantage he held in mid-September.”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ohio polling

Surveys of the Buckeye State have been all over the board in recent weeks as the election draws near. While most show President Obama with the lead, the size of it depends on whether the pollster was using human beings or robots to do the interviewing.

TPM compared the two methods and found that polls conducted by a live interviewer, the method widely considered to be the gold standard, have shown the President with larger leads than polls conducted by automated calls, which are prohibited from contacting people through cell phones. Since early September, live polls have shown Obama with an average lead of 4.5 percentage points in Ohio while his average lead in robo-polls has been less than 2.”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Unemployment in the battleground states

“ … the health of the job markets in the key “battleground” states will likely have a greater impact than the national, headline number.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s role in electoral college calculations is secondary to that of Ohio, Virginia and Florida. But one particular election scenario is telling: If Romney can win those three states, along with North Carolina, he would need only New Hampshire’s four votes to win the White House if other states vote as predicted.”

Libertarian votes in New Hampshire, Nevada and Colorado

Presidential swing states with libertarian and independent streaks, such as Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire, are where Johnson threatens to be the biggest factor . . .  And his presence on the ballot appears to imperil Romney's support more than Obama's.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The ground game
Beyond the presidential debates, one final factor matters more than all the rest in a close race: ground game.

It’s the ability to get your voters to the polls—a way of moving soft support into actual votes.
Field operatives have been undervalued in recent years, as the focus of campaigns has shifted to big-money ad-bombs, compounded by the super-PAC economy. But this presidential campaign is going to come down to a few percentage points in a half dozen states, and suddenly ground game is about to get a lot of respect.

So The Daily Beast decided to map out the Obama and Romney local headquarters across the country as one way of gauging the strength of each campaign’s ground game. And what we found was an overwhelming advantage—755 to 283—by the Obama campaign on at least this one metric.
In the key swing states of this election the numbers are stark:
In Ohio, 122 Obama local HQs compared to 40 for Romney.
In Florida, the Obama campaign has 102 local HQs versus 48 for Romney.
And in Virginia, a more even split—47 for Obama compared to 29 for Romney.”

The Tea Party ground game
Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party-aligned group part-funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, is building a state-of-the-art digital ground operation in Ohio and other vital battleground states to spread its anti-Obama message to voters who could decide the outcome of the presidential election.”

The quality of the ground games
It's not about how many people you contact; it's who you're contacting and how. In 2008, the Obama campaign took data-based voter targeting to a previously unseen level, as Sasha Issenberg details in his new book The Victory Lab. In 2012, they've far surpassed those techniques, in part by integrating field techniques with digital operations.

Some Republicans admit that the ground game is a weakness for the party. In Colorado, one top GOP consultant who has worked on presidential campaigns told me he mentally added 2 to 4 points to Obama's polls in the state based on superior organization. In Florida, GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart said Republicans would win in other ways: "They're very organized. They're very, very organized, and you have to admit they're very organized," Diaz-Balart said of the Democrats. "However, I think Republicans are very motivated."

We may not be able to fully size up the campaigns' ground games and their effect until Election Day -- and maybe not even then. But what struck me most, in talking to Republicans about their ground game, was the extent to which they admitted they weren't even playing the game. On Obama's voter registration advantage, for example, Wiley said it just wasn't something Republicans had really tried to do.

"We did some voter registration programs. They weren't massive in size, because most Republicans are already registered," he said. (This is somewhat belied by the GOP's hiring of a sketchy registration contractor in Florida.) Instead of trying to register more Republicans, Wiley said, the RNC focused its efforts on talking to independents. "That's much more reliable, because they're already registered to vote," he said. "There are enough voters on file in any given state that are registered to vote already that you can win with them. You don't need to add to the mix."

It's true that the Obama campaign's strategy is far more reliant on bringing new voters into the electorate -- particularly the young and minority voters who are less likely to register and vote. But if the Democrats can do that, it could make a big difference in a close election.

"If there's a blowout election, the ground game is nice," Bird, the Obama field director, said. "But in a state-by-state close contest for electoral votes, where it's deadlocked going in, if you know you expanded the electorate, and you know who those people are, and you have volunteers trained to turn them out -- that's what the ground game is engineered to do."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Electoral paths to the White House
With barely two weeks before Nov. 6, it's all about the electoral math. And as uncertain and unpredictable as the campaign looks heading into the final stretch, Ohio remains President Obama's best opportunity to block a Romney win — and Romney's biggest hurdle.”

Swing state update

In the hunt for 270, Obama starts with more states and electoral votes in his column. Romney must take back from the incumbent some states that Obama carried four years ago, including North Carolina and Virginia, which had been reliably Republican until 2008.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Electoral College opinion map weekly update

The average of 30 online Electoral College opinion maps (with tossups) is currently:
Obama             239              

Romney           198              
Tossups           100              

Last week, the averages were Obama 240, Romney 194 and Tossups 104.

There are 13 online Electoral College opinion maps that assign all electoral votes to either Obama or Romney, disregarding the margin of error in the polls.  The current average (without tossups) is:
Obama           287                

Romney         251                
Tossups           0

Last week, the averages were Obama 297, Romney 240 and Tossups 0.

The average of three online Electoral College odds makers (Intrade, Iowa Electronic Markets and Betfair) currently show Obama with a 64% probability of winning and Romney with a 36% probability of winning, unchanged from last week.