Thursday, October 18, 2012

So How DO You End Up
With A 'Surprise!' Romney
Landslide, Anyway?

Well, if you're a MSM pollster totally in the tank for Obama, here's how you do it:

Back in January 2012 when nobody is really watching your poll internals, just lock in numbers in your weighting that assumes the 2012 election is gonna go pretty much like the 2008 one did.

2008 was an election where Democratic voter enthusiasm was sky-high - over 60%, while Republican enthusiasm had cratered to 35%.  This led to a historic 7 pt turnout advantage for the Democrats, which in no small way led to Obama winning the election by 7% of the vote.

Pollsters simply ignore any evidence that 2012 won't go like 2008.  Tea Party? That's dead and gone.  Republican enthusiasm way up? Doesn't matter etc. etc.

Now, most voters aren't really starting to pay attention until the primaries are over and it gets to be around July.  That means pollsters can do all kinds of funky things in the early months to set a narrative.

And the narrative the MSM pollsters wanted to set was that Obama's reelection was inevitable.  This is why since January they weighted their polls to give Democrats a D+7 advantage or greater in the partisan splits, while also under counting Republicans and Independents.  This gives Obama the big 8/9 pt lead you want him to have.

But as more and more voters start paying attention to the race, and listening to what the candidates are saying and making their choices, too many voters decide Obama isn't doing a good job and decide to go with Romney.

By August so many voters being polled have picked Romney you've now got a problem.  You're still weighting your polls to match a 2008 turnout........but Obama's lead is SHRINKING.

Traditionally, an incumbent President has at least a 4 pt advantage on a challenger.  Keep that in mind.  

By September some of these pollsters, desperate to keep Obama in the lead, were actually giving Democrats DOUBLE DIGIT ADVANTAGES in their polls.

Now wait a minute, some of you are likely saying here.  That 7 point turnout advantage in 2008 for Democrats was historic.  You mean to tell me many of these pollsters have been claiming they see numbers in their polls that leads them to conclude Democrats are going to TOP that turnout in 2012? 

Why, yes.  I am telling you that.  Because that's what they did.  

In September,  6 major pollsters claimed to see a D+7 advantage for Democrats.  3 of them  - Reuters, ABC/WaPo and Dem. Corps - claimed to see a Democrat advantage of 10 points or more.  

This was beyond ridiculous, but yes, they did it.  But note WHY they had to do it: to keep Obama with a commanding lead.  By inflating Democratic advantage to a whopping 11 pts, Democracy Corps' polling could only get Obama to a 5 pt lead over Romney.  

In October the MSM pollsters have been REALLY caught short. There they are, still weighting their polls based on a 2008 turnout with at least a +7 adv. for Democrats......and ROMNEY SURGED INTO THE LEAD.  

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret here: The actual turnout in this election is NOT going to be D+7 like it was in 2008.  It's certainly not going to be the D+9 fantasy like most of the MSM polls were assuming for early October.  

No, the actual turnout for the 2012 election is going to be somewhere above R+3.  

So some MSM poll that still claims to see a D+7 but says Obama is only up by 1 pt is actually off by over 10 pts on the turnout advantage and therefore Obama isn't really up by one, he's actually trailing Romney by around 8. 

Which is exactly what Gallup is discovering as they adjust their weighting slowly to show the real R+ electorate.  That's why they have Romney up 7 points today over Obama.   

Remember I said earlier on this blog the pollsters would start 'tightening' the race the final weeks as they started showing people what the real numbers look like.  When they do the final poll just before the election, even the most partisan MSM polling group will have to admit it's going to be a R+ electorate.  

AND THEY'VE KNOWN THIS FOR MONTHS.  That's why they tried this 'Obama's reelection is inevitable' narrative in the first place.  They've been aware for months Obama's in deep, serious trouble and they desperately want him to win this race.  They tried to use their polls as game-changers and failed.  The voters kept consistently moving to Romney no matter how loudly the MSM yelled that the race was already over.  

So here they are, mid-October, many of them still putting out polls with locked-in 2008 turnout weighting....and Obama's sinking 'neath the waves anyway.  If Obama can't win a D+7 poll made in fantasy land, what does that tell you?  

THAT'S how you end up with a 'Surprise!' Romney landslide. 


  1. Like the post and I am feeling optimistic. But I don't agree with your prediction that we'll see an R+3 turnout. Even Rasmussen predicts an D+3

  2. Brent, that still puts Romney over the top by more than the MOE.

  3. I'm not sure I buy a R+3 turnout, either. But R+3 is more credible than D+11 or even D+7, because the TEA party is not dead or even sleeping, because the Republicans are fired up and Democrats do not seem to be.

  4. Not sure about R+3, but here's supporting evidence for that:

    1. Romney seems to have budgeted a huge amount for Get Out The Vote, and the campaign seems to be aggressively recruiting and training. iOS and Android apps allow volunteers to update polling location status in real time, allowing resources to be allocated during the day to maximize turnout.

    2. It's really not R, it's R+I. Independents seem to be breaking for Romney by more than 2:1.

    3. Democratic voters are demoralized. Quite frankly when your entire argument boils down to "Republicans stink", all you can count on is a negative motivator which is pretty weak beer. Republicans and Independents have both a negative ("we don't like what Obama's been doing") and a positive ("Romney at least offers *some* plans for what he'd do") motivators.

    R+3? As the Mythbusters would say, "plausible".

    1. I like your reasoning. SOmething we don't get from the media.

  5. Thanks for giving the numbers to my rant of a week or so ago.

    I'm convinced that we are looking at something on the order of Reagan vs. Carter, minus a couple of states. I've been loudly predicting Romney over Obama by at least 100 Electoral College votes. Everyone else seems to be listening to the MSM. God knows why. The MSM is wrong about everything else.

    I am not so sure that the MSM's intent was to push the election results. I'm sure they'd have been happy if they managed to do so, but I think their main motivation is to keep an atmosphere of tension. If we don't think that there is a horse race, we won't watch and they will lose ad revenue as their viewership declines. I think their main motivation is money. They'd have lost millions had they come out months ago and said, "Obama's toast. Romney's way ahead and even the dead girl or live boy won't stop him."

  6. I think you are absolutely right. We can look forward to 100+ EC victory! But, hey, don't Bogart that joint, my friend.