12 October 2012

Battleground/National Report 10/11/2012 - T-minus 26 days

Thursday, October 11th, 2012, was exactly 26 days before the General Election on November 6, 2012.

It was also the day of the first and only Vice Presidential Debate between Vice President Joe Biden and the GOP VP nominee, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) in Danville, Kentucky.

Here is the BATTLEGROUND REPORT from 26 days before the GE 2008, from 10/09/2008.

Complete polling results for all states for 2012 to-date are here as an EXCEL table for 10/11/2012 in GOOGLE DOCS. All polls are hyperlinked.

The BATTLEGROUND REPORTS started to run with the national numbers as well on 10/05. Here is the NATIONAL POLLING OUTLOOK thread, with links to every day going back to September 13, 2012. Want to see the numbers for a specific day? Go to that link.

The LEGEND for the following EXCEL table is HERE. In fact, you need to read it in order to develop an "eye" for the table:

State EV % of EC Polls 11.10.12 10.10.12 Shift 2008 2004 SWING (H-I) End polling 2008 Compare E – K Compare E – GE008
AZ 11 2,04% 0 / 5 7,20 7,20 0,00 8,48 10,47 1,99 4,43 2,77 -1,28
TN 3 0,56% 0 / 1 7,00 7,00 0,00 15,06 14,27 0,79 14,00 -7,00 -8,06
MO 10 1,86% 0 / 6 5,70 5,70 0,00 0,13 7,20 7,07 0,46 5,24 5,57
-- --
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
NC 15 2,79% 1 / 6 2,94 2,28 0,66 0,33 12,43 12,76 0,62 3,56 3,27
CO 9 1,67% 1 / 7 0,53 0,29 0,82 8,95 4,67 13,62 6,62 7,15 9,48
FL 29 5,39% 0 / 6 0,49 0,60 1,09 2,81 5,01 7,82 1,79 2,28 3,30
NE-02 1 0,19% 0 / 1 0,00 0,00 0,00 1,21 21,69 20,48 4,00 -4,00 -1,21
-- --
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
USA 538 100,00% 7 / 18 0,44 0,00 0,44 7,26 2,46 9,72 7,54 -7,10 -6,82
-- --
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
VA 13 2,42% 3 / 11 1,27 2,00 -0,73 6,30 8,20 14,50 4,93 -3,66 -5,03
NV 6 1,12% 2 / 7 2,23 3,10 -0,87 12,49 2,59 15,08 6,83 -4,60 -10,26
OH 18 3,35% 4 / 14 2,68 3,36 -0,68 4,58 2,11 6,69 2,30 0,38 -1,90
IA 6 1,12% 0 / 5 3,16 3,16 0,00 9,53 0,67 10,20 12,75 -9,59 -6,37
WI 10 1,86% 2 / 6 5,35 6,28 -0,93 13,90 0,38 13,52 11,34 -5,99 -8,55
NH 4 0,74% 0 / 6 5,42 5,42 0,00 9,61 1,37 8,24 10,43 -5,01 -4,19
PA 20 3,72% 1 / 7 5,57 6,17 -0,60 10,31 2,50 7,81 7,30 -1,73 -4,74
MI 16 2,97% 2 / 6 5,98 6,70 -0,72 16,44 3,42 13,02 14,44 -8,46 -10,46

A lot happened on 10/11 within the Battleground Table. A lot. 

On 10/11,  a total of 21 polls came in for 13 states:  CA, CO, FL, IL, MA, MI (2), NV, NV, NJ, NC, OH (3), OH, PA, VA, VA, VA, WI (2)

Another phenomenon became more apparent today: the increasing frequency of polls from obscure or, up till now, unknown partisan pollsters.

A Conservative PAC with ties to the Tea Party, running under the name "Let Freedom Ring", has teamed up with Pulse Opinion Research to do polling. We need to connect a number of dots here:

1.) The founder of "Let Freedom Ring", Colin A. Hanna, is from Chester County, PA and has been a speaker at a number of Tea Party functions, like THIS and THIS. He went head-to-head with Chris Matthews on NBC's "Hardball", which you can see HERE. So, though the PAC does not directly identify itself with the Tea Party, it's owner and maker, Hanna, is deep within the Tea Party.

2.) Pulse Opinion Research (POS) is an extension of RASMUSSEN REPORTS. This was reported on Political Hotwire HERE in 2010, also on Huffington Post HERE. Scott Rasmussen created POS to make polling cheaper for organizations that don't want to shell out so much money for polling. But Scott also said that the methodology used by POS is absolutely identical to the methodology of the main firm: RASMUSSEN REPORTS.

3.) FOX News uses Pulse Opinion Research and publishes their polls from many organizations on a regular basis.

Now, to it's credit, "Let Freedom Ring" immediately identifies itself as a Conservative Pac, but by starting polling this late in the game, this Pac will have no baseline history to compare to. Plus, there are other questions in its polling that make it look like a push poll.  On 10/11, "Let Freedom Ring" polls came in for: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. So, it is obvious to me that this Pac will be focusing on what they see as the battleground states. Here is the .pdf from the Virginia Poll.

Check out the last three questions:

-Debate Performance (Debate 1: Obama vs. Romney)
-Why did Romney win the debate?


-September unemployment rate: 
"The new 7.8% unemployment rate shows that President Obama’s plan is not working"
"The new 7.8% unemployment rate shows that President Obama’s plan is working"
"Not sure"

The last question is undoubtedly designed to make the poll more of a push-poll.

Ok, I can live with all of this, but it is important for us to know that polling market is now being slowly flooded with polls from firms we have not seen before and therefore, we cannot say anything about their reliablility.

I know that was a long missive over this new polling act, but this is important.

Now, to the battleground table:

The topline is:

-the polling averages in all the Battleground states AND nationally moved toward Governor Romney, partly because of new polling and partly because pre-debate 1 polls falling out of the statistic.

In North Carolina, the newest Rasmussen poll shows Romney at 51% and a +3 over the President. This is now the 3rd of the last 7 polls to show Gov. Romney at the 50 mark or above, and as I described in the Battleground Report for yesterday, 10/10, this is now an important detail going in to the home-stretch of a presidential campaign. That being said, this RAS poll is actually an IMPROVEMENT for Obama, as the last RAS, from just a week before, showed Romney +4. In spite of that, the average in the Tarheel State grew to Romney +2.94, still within the battleground zone. Reason: an older poll much more favorable to Obama fell out of the statistic. Margin shift: 0.66% toward Romney.

Both Colorado and Florida moved from tossup on the Obama side to tossup on the Romney side, but for differing reasons:

In Colorado, the margin average moved from Obama +0.29 (10/10) to Romney +0.53 (10/11). Such a small margin makes the state just as absolute a tossup as it was the day before, but the psychological value of a state crossing over the line is important for any campaign, to be sure. This shift has happened because 3 of the last 4 polls, including the Quinnipiac from 10/11, all show Romney leads and a poll that was favorable to the President just left the statistic. Margin shift: 0.82% toward Romney.

In Florida, one single poll that is so unlike the last polls made a huge difference. The newmaker of the day was a Mason-Dixon poll of the Sunshine State showing Romney +7 and at 51% topline. This is the largest margin since the wild Foster-McCollum-Baydoun poll from 08/20 that showed Romney at +14.5, where all other polls were either Romney or Obama +1 or +2. This one poll, Mason-Dixon (who has done very little polling in 2012), made the entire difference, as no polls fell out of the Florida statistic on 10/11. This moved the margin average from Obama +0.60 (10/10) to Romney +0.49 (10/10). Margin shift: 1.09% toward Romney.

Very similarly, in Virginia, which received 3 polls on 10/11, there was also a poll showing Romney +7 and at 51% topline, and this time from a partisan pollster: McLaughlin (R) for the George Allen (R) campaign. One of the "Let Freedom Ring" polls also came in, showing an absolute tie, and the third poll, from Quinnipiac, showed Obama +5 and also at 51% topline. So, on the same day, we received two polls that were 12 points away from each other in margin and in both cases, the winner was at 51% topline. Hmmmm.... This moved the margin in The Old Dominion down to Obama +1.27. A true tossup. Margin shift: -0.73, or 0.73 toward Romney.

Nevada received 2 polls on 10/11, one from Suffolk showing Obama +2, the other from "Dane and Associates (R)" for the Heller (R) campaign, showing Romney +3. One poll, which had also showed Obama +2, just fell out of the statistic - so those two literally cancelled each other out, leaving the  Dane poll to adjust the margin average down to Obama +2.23. Margin shift: -0.87, or 0.87 toward Romney.

Ohio received the most polls of the day: 4 total, and very diverse. 3 were for Obama, and all three ("Let Freedom Ring (R)", Rasmussen and Zogby) showed Obama +1. The Gravis (R) poll showed Romney +0.8, pretty much identical to the last Gravis poll. The Zogby poll is a 3 set poll, each using 3 day rolling technique. The first one showed Obama +4, this one shows Obama +1 and the next, due on Friday, will probably show a Romney lead as these rolling polls were conducted 2 days before the debate up to 2 days after the debate. Ohio has, as usual, the largest and richest gene poll of polling within the 2-week statistical window: 14 polls. The average has moved down to Obama +2.68, deep within the battlegrounds. Margin shift: -0.68, or 0.68 toward Romney. But it is becoming apparent that Obama is holding onto a narrow but very, very resilient lead in the Buckeye State.

Wisconsin received two polls: from "Let Freedom Ring" (Obama +4) and from Quinnipiac (Obama +3). It is indeed interesting that the pollster that many on the Right like to accuse of having liberal bias is actually showing a leaner result for Obama than the premiere poll from a Republican-Tea Party Pac. Even more interesting is that both polls, plus the Rasmussen from 10/10, have the President at/above the 50 mark. However, we now have 4 polls in a row with single-digit leads for the President. The average has moved down to Obama +5.35. Margin shift: -0.93, or 0.93 toward Romney.

Pennsylvania received one partisan poll: "Let Freedom Ring (R)", showing Obama +2, with exactly the same toplines as the Susquehanna (R) poll from 10/08. This moved the average to Obama +5.57. Margin shift: -0.60, or 0.60 toward Romney.

Two polls came in for Michigan, very different from each other: The Glengariff Group (bi-partisan), showing Obama +6.7, and the Gravis (R) showing Obama +1.6. That's a 5 point divergence in margins. This is possible, but usually not very likely. However, the Glengariff shows massive erosion for the President over the last Glengariff (Obama +14.2, from 09/20) and the Gravis is also slightly reduced from the last Gravis (Obama +3.8, from 09/20). Until debate no. 1, Obama was hitting or going over the 50 mark. Since then, he has not. That being said, Romney has not lead in even one of the last 19 polls of the Wolverine State. The current margin is Obama +5.98. Margin shift: -0.72, or 0.72 toward Romney.

This makes for every battleground state outside of IA and NH. Now, take a look at the margin shifts in the above paragraphs. See a consistent pattern? Here they are, in a quick table:

State (10/11) Shift Shift -RED
NC 0,66 0,66
CO 0,82 0,82
FL 1,09 1,09
VA -0,73 0,73
NV -0,87 0,87
OH -0,68 0,68
WI -0,93 0,93
NH (10/10) -1,08 1,08
PA -0,60 0,60
MI -0,72 0,72

USA 0,44 0,44

I added the margin shift from NH from 10/10 into the table. IA is the only state not in the chart. The column "SHIFT" is the actual shift in margin from 10/10 to 10/11 and in the case of NH, from 10/09 to 10/10. "SHIFT RED" just converts a negative margin shift for Obama into a postive margin shift for Romney, as you read above in paragraph form. 

Notice that 8 of these ten states had a margin shift between 0.60-0.90 toward Romney. And the average? 0.82 toward Romney, almost double the national margin shift. What does this tell us? It tells us that the margin shift in the battlegrounds, in spite of very diverse polling from very diverse pollsters, produced very uniform shifts across the board. And a margin shift in the battlegrounds that is larger than the national shift confirms that the person gaining ground really gained some solid ground, in this case, Governor Romney.


In non-battleground polling, I just wrote something about California yesterday:

"Opposing evidence, however, just came in for California: SUSA, a very reputable and neutral pollster, just posted results from it's latest CA poll, showing Obama +14. For a state where he won by a crushing +24.03% in 2008 and the last SUSA poll showed Obama +22, that is a terrible margin by contrast. That being said, all other polls have fallen out of the statistics, they are all older than two weeks old, and this is just one poll. PPIC, Field, Pepperdine and USC all tend to post results mid-monthly, so let's wait and see what the total mix looks like."

And so it was: Pepperdine just brought out a poll of California, showing Obama +21.1, thus moving the two-poll margin average to Obama +17.55%.

In Illinois, a new Chicago Tribune poll came in showing Obama +19, just slightly less than the last Tribune poll (Obama +21, 02/13). No average is possible, for all other polling is too old now.

The only other non-battleground poll was for New Jersey. The Enquirer Poll has Obama at 51% and at +11 over Romney. This is a decrease from the last Enquirer Poll (Obama +14, 09/15), but the current margin average of Obama +14.00 is just under Obama's winning margin from 2008.

There is one other piece of polling evidence that needs to be discussed. It is important. 

Huffington Post is reporting the latest LATINO DECISIONS poll that was conducted just for the state of Arizona. The results are eye-popping:

Nr. Pollster Date Sample MoE Obama Romney Und/Oth Mar.

33 Latino Decisions – Arizona only 11.10.12 400 Lat LV +/-4.9 80 14 6 66

Yes, you read that correctly. The results of the LATINO DECISIONS poll is that 80% of Latino LIKELY VOTERS in Arizona are planning to vote for President Obama, only 14% for Governor Romney, which makes an unbelievably large +66% margin for the President in the Latino Vote in Arizona.

On this thread from Political Hotwire are the poll details for three completely separate polling outfits of the LATINO VOTE from the beginning of October, all showing Obama getting around 70% of the Latino vote. 80% in Arizona would be a huge jump. This has major ramifications for Arizona, but also for its neighoring states, i.e., New Mexico, Colorado, California, maybe even parts of Texas. Even parts of Utah.

According to the exit polling from 2008 from CNN, Obama got "only" 56% of the Latino vote in Arizona to John McCain's 41%, a +15% margin. The data to confirm the nationwide Edison exit polls for Arizona is stored here at Roper.

Also, according to the exit poll, Latinos accounted for 16% of the popular vote in that state in 2008. Now, these are rough numbers, not down to one-hundredth of a percent, but:

56% of 16% = 8.96%. That would be 8.96% of the 44.91% that Obama got in 2008. That means that 35.95% of that 44.91% for Obama came from the non-hispanic vote.

Were the Latino vote to stay at 16% in 2012 but Obama gets 80% of their votes, then that would be:

12.80% of the total popular vote in the state. Were he to hold onto the non-hispanic vote in the state, then he would win the state. That is unlikely to happen, for whites are leaving him in droves in AZ. But still, some will vote for him. And there is still the Black, Indian and Asian/South Pacific vote to consider here.

The jist of the HuffPo article is that if the polling calculations for the SW are as off in 2012 as they were in both 2008 and 2010 vis-a-vis the Latino Vote, then the race in AZ could be much closer than we think. And it could also mean - by logical extension, due to proximity and demographic - a much larger landslide for Obama in NM and a bigger win in CO and NV, if the stats for him turnaround by election day.

After election day, if the Obama wins in these states are considerably larger than the end polling predicted or if Romney wins in the SW are much smaller that predicted, then I will remind of this blog entry and this polling data. 

This is real food for thought.


In the national polling for 10/09, I wrote the following at the end:

"So, 9 of the 16 polls in the gene poll are from 10/09, which means that are going to be there for a while. The average is a scant Obama +0.81, which will probably become an absolute tie within the next two days as the NPR poll from 10/03 will fall out of the statistic on 10/10. Most likely, Governor Romney will take the lead in the average on 10/11."

The first half of this prediction came true on 10/10, and I mean, down to 0.00.

The second half came true on 10/11. Mitt Romney now has take a razor-thin lead in the national polling average.

Obama Romney Und/Oth Mar.

46,67 47,11 6,22 0,44


570 UPI / CVOTER 11.10.12 1110 LV +/-4.5
46 49 5 -3
569 Monmouth 11.10.12 1360 LV +/-2.7
46 47 7 -1
568 Investors Business Daily / TIPP 11.10.12 812 LV +/-3.5
46 47 7 -1
562 Ipsos/Reuters 11.10.12 1092 LV +/-3.4
44 47 9 -3
566 Gallup (LV Screen) 11.10.12 3050 RV +/-2.0
47 48 5 -1
565 Gallup (RV Screen) 11.10.12 3214 RV +/-2.0
48 46 6 2
564 Rasmussen 11.10.12 1500 LV +/-3.0
48 47 5 1
563 Fox News 10.10.12 1204 RV +/-3.0
45 46 9 -1
561 YouGov 10.10.12 1000 A +/-5.0
49 46 5 3
556 UPI / CVOTER 09.10.12 1049 LV +/-4.5
48 47 5 1
555 Investors Business Daily / TIPP 09.10.12 797 LV +/-3.5
45 47 8 -2
553 Zogby / Jzanalytics / Washington Times 09.10.12 800 LV +/-3.5
45 45 10 0
552 ARG 09.10.12 1200 LV +/-3.0
47 48 5 -1
551 PPP (KOS / SEIU) 09.10.12 1300 RV +/-2.7
47 49 4 -2
547 Pew Research 08.10.12 1112 LV +/-4.0
45 49 6 -4
544 Politico / GWU 08.10.12 1000 RV +/-3.1
49 48 3 1
540 Clarus (R) - post-debate (combined summary poll) 06.10.12 590 LV +/-4.3
46 47 7 -1
539 Clarus (R) - pre-debate (comined summary poll) 06.10.12 590 LV +/-4.3
49 45 6 4
There were six pollsters for 10/11 who produced a sum total of seven results. As of 10/09 (as forecast on the battleground report on 10/08) GALLUP has moved to a likely voter screen and is publishing both RV and LV results. Considering that GALLUPS LV screen was massively off in 2010 and relatively off in 2008, I will publish both results for no more than one week and then move over exclusively to the LV mode.

So, 7 of the 18 polls in the gene poll are from 10/11, which means they are going to be there for a while. On this day, Mitt Romney overtook the lead in the national polling average:

Here is the polling outlook for 2012-10-010: Romney +0.44 (+0.44 shift -or- -0.44 shift)

Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-0110.00 (-0.81 shift -or- +0.81 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-009Obama +0.81% (-1.55 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-008Obama +2.36% (-0.62 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-007Obama +2.98% (0.00 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-006Obama +2.98% (-0.56 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-005Obama +3.54% (-0.20 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-004Obama +3.74% (-0.05 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-003Obama +3.79% (+0.22 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-002Obama +3.57% (-0.56 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-001
Obama +4.11% (-0.52 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-030
Obama +4.63% (-0.10 shift)

Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-029Obama +4.73% (+0.20 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-028
Obama +4.53% (-0.21 shift)

Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-027Obama +4.74% (+0.36 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-026Obama +4.38% (+0.19 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-025Obama +4.19% (+0.23 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-024Obama +3.96% (+0.21 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-023Obama +3.75% (+0.06 shift)
Here was the polling outlook
 for 2012-09-022Obama +3.69% (+0.18 shift)
Here was the polling outlook
 for 2012-09-021Obama +3.87% (+0.49 shift)
Here was the polling outlook
 for 2012-09-020Obama +3.38% (-0.22 shift)

Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-019Obama +3.60% (-0.40 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for
 2012-09-018: Obama +4.00% (+0.07 shift)

Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-017Obama +3.93% (+0.12 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-016Obama +3.81% (0.00 shift)

Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-015Obama +3.81% (0.00 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-014Obama +3.81% 

Net shift since 09/14Obama -4,25% / Romney +4.25%

We must now see if in the next days, Gov. Romney's lead will hold. This is, just as it was for Obama on 10/09, a statistical tie, but not an absolute tie.

October 9th, 2012 marked exactly 26 days until the General Election.

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