31 October 2010

Clinton- Boccieri-Ohio-and babies!!!

This is a classic moment, a real keeper. I laughed so hard, my coffee came out through my nose!



CANTON, Ohio — Ohio Rep. John Boccieri ran offstage Saturday during a speech by Bill Clinton after the congressman received word that his pregnant wife had gone into labor.

Boccieri quickly left the podium Saturday afternoon while the former president addressed a crowd of about 1,000 people in Canton, about an hour south of Cleveland.

"The baby is now being born!" Clinton announced as the crowd erupted with cheers. "You'd be amazed how many times I take a picture with a very pregnant woman and then she immediately gives birth."

Boccieri, a Democrat, is locked in a closely watched race with Republican Jim Renacci. Boccieri's wife, Stacey, gave birth to their fifth child, Emma Nancy, on Saturday night.

Addressing both sets of grandparents, who were among the crowd standing in the parking lot, Clinton joked: "I'd like some credit for your fifth grandchild being brought into the world."

Clinton couldn't resist one more wisecrack before continuing his speech.

"We got another Democrat," he said. "I wish we could register that baby before it's too late."

Can pollsters be consistently off?

Answer: YES.

Rasmussen is an outstanding example thereof.

Back to statistics, and important ones at that. Here is a look back at 2008 in key states, with an eye especially on the verifiable inaccuracy of RASMUSSEN in battleground states or in states we knew would be DEM locks. For proof, here is the link to my "Poll Convergence No. 12" - my final poll convergence, just to refresh some memories and to prove that I am making none of this stuff up.

I all cases except where explicitly mentioned otherwise, I am referring to FINAL POLLS that were in the final calculations.
------------------------------------

CALIFORNIA, 2008: the three most accurate polls over Obama vs. McCain were FIELD, PPIC and SUSA:

Field, Final Poll:
Obama 55 / McCain 33: Margin, Obama +22

PPIC, Final Poll:
Obama 56 / McCain 33: Margin, Obama +23

SUSA, Final Poll:
Obama 60 / McCain 36: Margin, Obama +24

Actual Result:
Obama 60.94% / McCain 36.91%: Margin, Obama +24.03%

Please note that the Field poll understated Obama's win by 2 points, PPIC understated it by 1 point.

In all three cases, the polls were of REGISTERED VOTERS, not of LIKELY VOTERS.

Interestingly enough, this was the ONLY race of the night where RAS overpredicted Obama's win. The final RAS showed Obama with a +27 margin.

I tend therefore to think that Boxer will win with over 9 points. Even in a republican year like 2004, Kerry won CA with 10 points.

-------------------------

In WASHINGTON in 2008, SUSA, Strategic Vision (R) and Elway were the closest in predicting the race.

SUSA, final poll:

Obama 56 / McCain 40: Margin, Obama +16

SV, final poll:

Obama 55 / McCain 40: Margin, Obama +15

Elway:

Obama 55 / McCain 36: Margin, Obama +19

Actual Result:

Obama 57.34% / McCain 40.26%: Margin, Obama +17.08%

RAS missed the margin in WA by 6 points. RAS showed only an 11 point spread. By RAS's own definition of success (no more than one point in either direction), it wildly missed it's goal in WA.

The only pollsters in two months to show Rossi barely ahead in WA in 2010 have been RAS and (yes, you guessed it: FOX). If RAS has Rossi ahead by 1, then in reality, Murray is probably ahead by 3.5 to 4 and will land at between +3.5 and +4 once every ballot is counted.

-----------------------------

NEVADA, 2008:

The polling in NV was way OFF in 2008, mostly because the hispanic factor was incorrectly calculated.

So, here, first the actual results:

Obama 55.15% / McCain 42.65%: Margin, Obama +12.49%

In this case, AP-GFK nailed the results:

AP:

Obama 52 / McCain 40: Margin, Obama +12

In an alternate-reality twist of events, ZOGBY came the next closest, showing a +10.8 win for Obama:

ZOGBY:
Obama 53.2 / McCain 42.4: Margin, Obama +10.8

Suffolk showed it as a 10 point race: Obama 50 / McCain 40.

From that point on, everyone else was way, way off. Both PPP and RAS gave Obama only a +4 lead, meaning, both were off by 8.5% in Margin. CNN showed only a +7 lead. In fact, the polling was so off that the average I came up with was only Obama +6.83%, roughly half of the actual average.

CAVEAT: in this case, the AP-GFK poll dump of was of likely voters, and of the 8 states polled, they came the closest in CO, NV and VA. It is one of the only pollsters to do LV calculations and come close. It is more of the exception than the rule here...

Well, what to predict? 14% unemployment in NV, an absolute tea-party whacko on the GOP side, an unpopular Senator on the other side and way too much outside money flowing into the state. CNN, Mason-Dixon and RAS all show Angle at +4. I cannot ignore these stats. It will be interesting to see what PPP says in it's final poll. I may have to flip this state to the GOP. That being said, the early voting totals look very good for the democrats and if the hispanic element has truly been mispolled, then this race may be one of those "egg-on-my-face" races for a number of pollsters.

--------------------------

COLORADO, 2008:

President Obama won CO with +8.95% (53.66% to 44.71%).

CNN and AP came the closest: CNN showed the race at +8 for Obama, while AP showed the race at +9 for Obama. PPP overstated the margin by 1 point, showing Obama at +10. But the topline percentage for Obama by PPP was the most accurate.

The most inaccurate poll of CO was (yes, you guessed it): RASMUSSEN, which showed Obama at +4, less than half of the actual margin. National Journal also showed only a 4 point race (48-44). Marist showed it at +6, Mason Dixon had it at +5. Again, as in the case of NV, but not so extreme, the hispanic vote was not properly calculated into the polls for CO.

The trend here is very obviously to the DEMOCRATS, but it remains to be seen if it is enough. If RAS is as far off in CO as he was in 2008, then Bennet is sure to win. The final PPP and final CNN totals may be very enlightening.

--------------------------------

And just some more tidbits for you:

Obama won WISCONSIN in 2008 with +13.90%, the largest landslide for any presidential candidate in this state since 1964. RAS showed the race at +7 for Obama. Once again, right around half of the actual margin.

In this case, both Strategic Vision and National Journal pegged the race at +13 for Obama.

Likewise, in neighboring MICHIGAN, Obama won with 16.44%, the largest landslide for any candidate in this state since 1984. RAS showed the race at +10, 6 points off. But Selzer, who is from the region and used one of the larger samplings of any pollster, REGISTERED VOTERS, mind you, pegged his win at +16. Mitchell Research came in next at +14. EPIC/MRA (from MI), showed it at +12. Both PPP(D) and SV (R) showed the race at +13. However, the Big Ten 10 from 10 days earlier wildly overstated the race, showing Obama at +22.3.

Tracking after the election showed quite clearly that Detroit and Dearborn were understated in the statistics.

FLORIDA, 2008: Obama won FL by +2.81%. RAS showed the race at McCain +1. Of the last 21 polls of FL before election day, only RAS and DATAMAR showed a McCain lead. SUSA nailed the final margin at +3 for Obama. PPP and Qunnipiac were also very close, showing +2 for Obama.

NORTH CAROLINA is a fascinating case, as Obama won NC with his leanest margin of the night: +0.33%, so it would be very understandable were a pollster to err 1 percent on either side. RAS and SUSA erred 1 percent toward McCain. PPP and ARG showed +1 Obama. My average showed Obama +0.69%. This proves once again that averages do work. The differential between my average and the actual result was -0.33%, within the realm of statistical noise.

For the same reason, MISSOURI is just as fascinating, for it was McCain's leanest win of the night and it was the leanest win of all: McCain +0.13%.

Both RAS and SUSA showed the race as an absolute tie: RAS has it at 49-49 and SUSA had it at 48-48. PPP missed in in this case, showing Obama at +0.8, which means that PPP missed by 0.93%, slightly under 1%. Zogby was off, showing +1.7 for Obama, while Insider Advantage was off in McCain's direction, showing it at McCain +3. At the end of the day, my polling average was 0.46% for McCain. The differential between my average and the actual result was -0.33%, within the realm of statistical noise. PLEASE NOTE THAT BOTH DIFFERENTIALS - for NC and MO, respectively - ARE ABSOLUTELY IDENTICAL TO EACH OTHER, meaning that my average for these two states was 0.33% too generous to Obama in NC and 0.33% too generous to McCain in MO. Those are damned good statistics!

I called MO for Obama and it was the only state I mis-called in 2008, to note.

INDIANA is one of the most fascinating of all, for I indeed called IN for Obama on election night, in spite of a poll convergence average of +1.18 for McCain.

In IN, RAS showed the race at +3 for McCain. In reality, Obama won by +1.03%, so RAS was off by 4 points. The real weirdo in the statistic here was ZOGBY with his online junk: he showed a McCain win of +5.3 (I did a massive write up on this in 2008 and my 1/2 weightings of ZOGBY polls thereof).

PPP and Selzer (who knows the region better than any other pollster) both nailed it at Obama +1 and PPP had the slightly better topline % for Obama. But the fact that both Downs/SUSA and ARG both showed absolute ties in a core GOP state told me that the general direction was undoubtably for Obama. There were also some wild, wild outliers: the BIG TEN poll from 10/24 showed it at Obama +9.5, while Zogby from that very day had it at McCain +10.5. So, my poll average showed McCain at +1.18, but without ZOGBY in the mix, it was Obama +0.29. Then I looked hard at the Chicago media market, which feeds over into NW IN and I decided for Obama, correctly.

The point is, however, that RAS once again missed it, and in a core GOP state.

OHIO, 2008: Obama won OHIO with +4.58%, better than both of Bush 43's margins in 2000 and 2004.

RAS showed the race as an absolute tie: 49-49. Strategic Vision and Mason Dixon were at McCain +2. Zogby, SUSA and PPP showed it at Obama +2. The pollster who came the closest was CNN, which showed the race at 51-47, a 4 point spread for Obama. The CNN poll was not in my final calculations. The UCINCY poll from 11/01-02 was the next closest, showed Obama at +5.8.

ILLINOIS, 2008: Obama's win in his "home state" is more historic than most realize. With a whalloping +25.11% winning margin, his landslide in IL was the biggest since Calvin Coolidge in 1924 and the largest democratic landslide of all time in IL.

RAS's final poll showed Obama at +22, so RAS was only off by 3. However, the two previous RAS polls are very enlightening: the RAS from 10/15 showed Obama at "only" +17, and the RAS from 09/20 showed him at +16. Those are major discrepancies in a state where most other pollsters were showing Obama at +20 or more. The RAS shortly after the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate showed the race in IL at +13, practically half of the margin. But the greater sinner here was ARG, which actually showed this race at +6 for Obama on 09/17. This was never ever even once a single digit race in this state.

But the pattern of RAS is interesting. IN 2008, he consequentially and consistently deflated DEM numbers, inflated GOP numbers, especially in so-called BLUE states, and then, very close to the election, suddenly corrected his numbers come closer to the norm from everyone else in the known universe. IL is an outstanding example of this, which I why I cast serious doubt on RAS's number in IL for the senatorial in 2010.

A state that went for its favorite son by 25.11 points is not likely to elect a republican to his seat in 2010. There is, simply put, a DEM machine in IL that is too large and too well-oiled for this to happen, no matter how flawed the DEM candidate may be. And since the GOP candidate is equally flawed, the DEM still has the advantage. And apparently, this really is a 3 or 4 man race in IL, a fact that RAS loves to ignore. I am 100% sure that this will be a DEM win on Tuesday when all the votes are in, and I stand by my claim. Wait and see. I have the same feeling about this state as I had about INDIANA in 2008.

----------------------------------

In PENNYSLVANIA, President Obama won with a +10.31% margin, the largest margin for any candidate in this state since 1972.

PA was the most polled state in the Union in 2008, both in the primaries and then again in the GE.

Quinnipiac's final total nailed Obama's win at +10. Zogby's final was the next closest, at +9.8 for Obama. SUSA came it at +9 for Obama. PPP understated the win, had Obama at +8

The Muhlenberg final poll (Muhlenberg does daily 3-day running rollover totals, as it is also doing in 2010, AND RAS were both off by 4 points: they showed Obama at +6 and both had identical topline. Mason-Dixon was the most off in this state: it had the race at only +7 for Obama.

But the Muhlenberg is worth noticing, for it shows a sinus curve, just as it is now showing in the Toomey-Sestak race.

Here is the table from Pennsylvania from 2008, excluding all other pollsters except Muhlenberg. Take a look at the margins on the right and notice the up-and-down sinus curve nature of these roll-over polls:


Pollster
Date
Obama
McCain
Other
Und.
Margin
11/03
52
46
1
2
6
11/01
52
45
--
3
7
11/01
52
44
1
4
8
10/31
53
43
1
3
10
10/30
54
41
1
4
13
10/29
53
42
1
4
11
10/28
53
41
1
5
12
10/26
53
40
2
5
13
10/25
52
41
1
6
11
10/24
52
40
2
6
12
10/22
52
41
2
6
11
10/21
52
42
2
5
10
10/20
53
41
2
5
12
10/19
53
41
3
6
12
10/17
53
39
2
7
14
10/16
53
37
3
7
16
10/15
52
38
4
6
14
10/14
51
38
3
4
13
10/13
51
38
3
4
13
10/12
51
39
3
5
12
10/11
52
40
3
5
12
10/08
50
38
3
9
12
10/07
48
38
3
10
10
Muhlenberg
10/06
49
38
3
9
11
10/02
50
41
2
7
9
09/29
49
42
2
7
7
09/26
47
43
--
10
4

Had Muhlenberg done a run out complilation of it's end poll, showing just the last two days and then the last day, I bet the numbers would have gone: +7, +9.

And now, the Muhlenberg polls for PA-SEN, 2010, which you can see as a straight line here.

We see the same sinus curve, which we also expect for rollover polling. I do not know if that is enough to Sestak to win, but the race is clearly much closer than RAS has it: +4 for Toomey.
------------------------------------
I have been waiting until the midterms are over with and then I will be publishing a complete and exhaustive statistical analysis of the how the pollsters did in 2008 and in 2010, in regards to the final analysis. And I am sure that specific patterns will emerge, patterns that may dismay the one or the other side in all of this.

FUTUREWATCH:

To be brutally honest, we know live in an age of data information where a MOE of +/-3.5% is absolute nonsense! It is a copout.

With the kind of micro-data-management of which we are now capable, a MOE of +/-1% or less should now be possible. This however, requires a larger sampling and more consequent weighting, plus it requires us to consider how people are living these days: cell phone only users and the demographic they are associated with must now be considered. Although I think that ZOGBY with his online interactive polls is way off for now, I can clearly see that in 50 years, when more than 99% of the Union is online for practically everything, that online polling will become a science, and a very accurate one at that.


I am going to stick my neck out there and predict that RAS is going to have a lot of egg on his face once the totals from the 2010 Mid-Term elections are all in and finalized. And I think the Tea Party should be thanked for this, for their noisy participation in this cycle has more likely than not awakened a hell of a lot of DEMS who may have slept through this one but will now quietly got to the polls on Nov. 2nd. I am one of them, only I voted early...

29 October 2010

Mid-term elections, 4 Days out..

Here is a quick trend table of how things have changed from 10/14 to 10/29:


State
RCP 10/14
P.COM 10/14
Mean
RCP 10/29
P.COM 10/29
Mean
Diff
Trend
NV
D +0.5
D +0.2
D +0.35
R +4.0
R +3.0
R +3.50
R +3.85
GOP
IL
D +0.5
R +0.7
R +0.10
R +2.8
R +1.2
R +2.00
R +1.80
GOP
WV
+/- 0.0
D +0.8
D +0.40
D +4.8
D +1.7
D +3.25
D +2.85
DEM
CO
R +3.0
R +3.9
R +3.45
R +1.6
R +1.2
R +1.40
R -2.05
DEM
WA
D +4.0
D +3.2
D +3.6
D +1.6
D +0.9
D +1.25
D -2.35
GOP









CA
D +3.7
D +4.4
D +4.05
D +6.5
D +4.5
D +5.50
D +1.45
DEM
KY
R +5.3
R +7.1
R +6.20
R +9.8
R +7.0
R +8.40
R +2.20
GOP
PA
R +7.5
R +6.2
R +6.85
R +4.0
R +3.1
R +3.55
R -3.30
DEM
WI
R +7.3
R +7.8
R +7.55
R +6.6
R +8.0
R +7.30
R -0.25
-static-
MO
R +9.4
R +9.2
R +9.3
R +10.4
R +7.6
R +9.00
R -0.30
-static-
CT
--
--
--
D +11.0
D +9.8
D +10.40
--
---
NC
R +15.7
R +13.1
R +14.40
R +11.8
R +13.8
R +12.80
R -1.60
DEM
OH
R +15.2
R +15.1
R +15.15
R +17.8
R +16.0
R +16.90
R +1.75
GOP
FL
R +16.2
R +14.1
R +15.15
R +13.3
R +13.7
R +13.50
R -1.65
IND
DE
D +18.3
D +19.1
D +18.70
R +15.8
D +14.4
D +15.10
D -3.60
GOP

A trend does not guarantee a win for the team that is trending. A trend is always in context of the margin itself.

28 October 2010

Headstomping is fun...

Just ask Rand Paul supporters. Yep, folks, this is how thuggish this mid-term election has gotten and we can all clearly see what good will the Tea Party has in store for the american people.

What a bunch of morons!

Already the teabots are trying to ban this video from youtube. Funny as hell, they are claiming it is too violent to be seen, while at the same time claiming that it was a non-violent altercation. You see, the world of the Tea Party, lying right out your ass is clearly allowed as long as you tow the tea-party line.


So, here is the video. Let it go viral!

video

BTW, the criminal who attacked this woman is Tim Profitt. He was Rand Paul's Bourbon County Tea Party, we love Rand Paul till the end of the known universe coordinator. I hope the thug ends up in jail, where he belongs. Just yet another extreme right-wing batshit loon out there....

22 October 2010

Anderson Cooper gets it..

...and puts into a nutshell all of the absolute craziness about Christine O'Donnell.

Watch:



To note: O'Donell has gone out of her way to spout her 8 day (Anderson says it was 7) constitutional law course (from a right-wing think tank, not from a University) as a degree, which for a guy like me who slaved away for 5 years on his bachelors (magna cum laude) and another 3 years on his masters (summa cum laude), is an insult without end - but if she is going to have the chutzpah to portray herself as a constitutional heavyweight, then she should have read the constitution at least once. It is a damned shame when she cannot even encapsulate what the amendments are. Even my cousin can do this.

And even more damning is the fact that the very conversation about the 14th, 16th and 17th amendments have been all over the media, especially in the blogosphere, for the last 5 months, since so many tea-partiers have decided it is time to rip apart the constitution they so very much love. If O'Donell missed all of that, then I supposed she has been spending her time watching "Bewitched" reruns.

She was probably trying to make a point that the actual words "separation of church and state" -verbatim-, are not in the first amendment. But the meaning of the amendment is crystal clear and Jefferson first used the "establishment clause" phrase and the "wall of separation" phrase in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Church in 1802. So, recognition of the 1st amendment as being the establishment and separation amendment vis-a-vis church and state has been going on for 198 years. The phrase itself has been used in court legislation all the way up to the Supreme Court many times over since then.

O'Donnell is way, way, way out of her league and should never have been there in the first place. But this is ok with me. What would have been a Castle landslide will now be a Coons landslide. Let this be a lesson to all of us. Had the GOP voters voted with their heads instead of their emotions, then Castle would be winning this race right now, I think.

I know that my congressman from OH-03 (Turner) knows the constitution - and he is a republican. My cousin from Rochester NY carries a copy of the constitution in his back pocket and can quote the entire document, including amendments, from memory. I myself have thoroughly, and I mean, thoroughly read and took personal notes on the constitution on 14 different occasions in the last 30 years, so I am probably well ahead of the average "Miller Time Joe" out there. The last time around was in 2008 as I was studying Sabato's "Toward a more perfect Union". A book I still highly recommend.

20 October 2010

Meet Rick Scott (Candidate - R- FL)

This is a deposition video from 1995. Notice how well he evades and dodges questions. This is Rick Scott.
This is a devastating video. Watch. Amazing.

19 October 2010

The 1st Amendment and Christine O´Donnell

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

That is the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed on September 25, 1789 and ratified December 15, 1791.

Now, 219 years later, Christine O`Donnell (R-Teabag, DE) does not realize that the separation of church and state is within the 1st amendment to the constitution.

She asked Chris Coons more than once if the separation of church and state clause was REALLY within the 1st amendment.

When asked by a questioner whether she would, as many radical tea-partiers are advocating, support a repeal of the 14th, 16th and or 17th amendments, she had no idea what the 14th amendment (birthright citizenship) or the 16th amendments (taxes) were.

I tell you, this stuff is so crazy, you just cannot make it up.

Here is the video of Christine O`Donnell showing how utterly ignorant she is. WOW.

WATCH THE ENTIRE EIGHT MINUTES, it is worth your time:
Watch carefully at around 2:50, and listen to the audience response.