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Old 11-23-2012, 02:33 PM
 
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How the 2012 election polling really was skewed

Quote:
The national polls, as it turned out, were not systematically biased against Republican Mitt Romney. The final surveys pointed to President Obama's re-election, and they were right. That does not mean, however, that the polls weren't biased. It won't be until all the ballots are counted that we can access who the most accurate pollster was on the state level, but we do know that Mason-Dixon and Rasmussen were off the mark. Right now, we can only make statements about national polling.

We know that the national surveys tilted heavily against Obama. When we don't count any one survey date twice (that is, tracking polls such as from Gallup only have each day counted once), we can say that the average of national polls taken after the first debate through election day had Obama winning by 0.3 percentage points. President Obama currently has a 3.2pt lead nationally and it seems like he may finish with an edge above 3.5pt.
But for the record, no, I don't cling to the sort of absurdist persecution fantasies held by so many on the right before the election that polling bias is a conscious conspiracy, diabolically intended to sway public opinion.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:26 PM
 
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err not quite. The problem with national polls is that they are national. The election of the President is 50 state races each worth differing amounts not one national race. Any one looking at a electorial college map and using state polls would have give Obama between 220 and 240 electorial votes. Romeny about 190-202 electorial votes. You need 270 to win. Obama was potentially much closer to 270 than Romeny.

Polling in the swing states indicated that Obama had a slight lead in many of them and the rest were real toss ups. If polling was right then all Obama had to do is win 1 to 3 swing states to win the election. Romeny had to win atleast 3 to 4 of them. Obama could have lost Florida and Ohio and still have a possible win, but Romeny's chances without Ohio were much lower.

National polling can give the mood of the country, but in an Presidential Race what states like you are much more important that the total number of people who like you.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I don't agree with the idea that the polls were skewed for Romney. Voters who remained undecided at the last minute broke for Obama according to exit polls (probably mainly due to Sandy).
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
err not quite. The problem with national polls is that they are national. The election of the President is 50 state races each worth differing amounts not one national race. Any one looking at a electorial college map and using state polls would have give Obama between 220 and 240 electorial votes. Romeny about 190-202 electorial votes. You need 270 to win. Obama was potentially much closer to 270 than Romeny.

Polling in the swing states indicated that Obama had a slight lead in many of them and the rest were real toss ups. If polling was right then all Obama had to do is win 1 to 3 swing states to win the election. Romeny had to win atleast 3 to 4 of them. Obama could have lost Florida and Ohio and still have a possible win, but Romeny's chances without Ohio were much lower.

National polling can give the mood of the country, but in an Presidential Race what states like you are much more important that the total number of people who like you.
That's true, but in 2008 the national polls were more correct than the state polls. In 2004 as well I believe. Naitonal polling shouldn't just be ignored. You can kind of guess what the states look like based on national polls. In October there was national poll after national poll coming out showing Romney up by a few, but then poll after poll in Ohio coming out showing Obama up 5 or so. This was simply not a plausible scenario. (Ironically, Obama won Ohio by less than his national margin, as would actually be expected based on history.)
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:21 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
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Originally Posted by afoigrokerkok View Post
I don't agree with the idea that the polls were skewed for Romney. Voters who remained undecided at the last minute broke for Obama according to exit polls (probably mainly due to Sandy).
Wait ... let me get this right ... mainly due to (Hurricane) Sandy?

Sandy mainly hit New Jersey and New York. When did Romney ever have a chance of carrying those states?
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
Wait ... let me get this right ... mainly due to (Hurricane) Sandy?

Sandy mainly hit New Jersey and New York. When did Romney ever have a chance of carrying those states?
Never, but it didn't matter. It was the main focus of the national news for about 9 or 10 days before the election. Something like 40% of voters according to exit polls said that Obama's response to the hurricane was important in their vote. Nowhere close to 40% of voters live in NY or NJ. In addition, those who decided at the last minute broke for Obama according to the exit polling.

While the hurricane clearly had an effect on the election in those states more than elsewhere (NJ was one of four states where Obama did better in 2012 than in 2008, and Obama carried Staten Island after McCain won it in 2008), it had an effect nationwide. I am not saying Romney would have won if it hadn't been for Sandy, but Sandy killed his chances.

Romney was ahead in the RCP (national) average for most of October, including as late as October 30. October 31 is when he lost his lead never to regain it.

RealClearPolitics - Election 2012 - General Election: Romney vs. Obama
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:57 PM
 
Location: NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afoigrokerkok View Post
Never, but it didn't matter. It was the main focus of the national news for about 9 or 10 days before the election. Something like 40% of voters according to exit polls said that Obama's response to the hurricane was important in their vote. Nowhere close to 40% of voters live in NY or NJ. While the hurricane clearly had an effect on the election in those states more than elsewhere (NJ was one of four states where Obama did better in 2012 than in 2008, and Obama carried Staten Island after McCain won it in 2008), it had an effect nationwide. I am not saying Romney would have won if it hadn't been for Sandy, but Sandy killed his chances.
It was more demographics then Sandy that shut down Romney, both in terms of religious and ethnic minorities turning out in huge numbers.

To be honest I did not think that kind of critical mass would happen until 2016, but the Obama GOTV machine seemed to accelerate it.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,969 posts, read 13,768,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomstudent View Post
It was more demographics then Sandy that shut down Romney, both in terms of religious and ethnic minorities turning out in huge numbers.

To be honest I did not think that kind of critical mass would happen until 2016, but the Obama GOTV machine seemed to accelerate it.
When we look at Obama taking the lead in RCP on November 1 and undecideds breaking for Obama, it doesn't seem like a coincidence.

As far as the ground game, that is a big part of it as well and could explain why some LV screens could have been off but that wouldn't have affected the national numbers so much (a little, sure). But you seem to be talking more generally than me. I'm talking about why polls may have been off, not why the election turned out the way it did.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:06 PM
 
Location: NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afoigrokerkok View Post
When we look at Obama taking the lead in RCP on November 1 and undecideds breaking for Obama, it doesn't seem like a coincidence.

As far as the ground game, that is a big part of it as well and could explain why some LV screens could have been off but that wouldn't have affected the national numbers so much (a little, sure).
I would say the likely voter screens were far more the problem then some sort of Sandy reaction, additionally people lie to exit pollsters, people who were already going to vote for Obama probably just thought..."Oh, yeah Sandy he did a good job and that is important". Gallup I think ended up having a 7%+ GOP bias and Rasmussen was pretty bad as well. Seeing as they were the two most prolific national pollsters it probably affected the national numbers a lot.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:15 PM
 
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I dont know Nate silverman got it pretty accurate every state as far as Im concerned
he is the only credible person him and Larry sabato,but sabato called florida wrong.

In fact if you looked at state polling the race was never close Obama always had over 270 electoral votes.
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