BATTLEGROUND REPORT 10/18/2012: T-minus 19 days
Thursday, October 18th, 2012, was exactly 19 days before the General Election on November 6, 2012.
Flashback to 2008: Instead of a Battleground Report 19 days before the election, here is Poll Convergence No. 10 and the Distillation for 10/16/2008. The prognosis for Obama at this time in 2008 was much rosier than it is right now.
Complete polling results for all states for 2012 to-date are here as an EXCEL table for 10/18/2012 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||18.10.12||17.10.12||Shift||2008||2004||SWING (H-I)||End polling 2008||Compare E – K||Compare E – GE008|
|AZ||11||2,04%||0 / 2||3,50||3,50||0,00||8,48||10,47||1,99||4,43||-0,93||-4,98|
|NC||15||2,79%||1 / 4||2,00||1,25||0,75||0,33||12,43||12,76||0,62||2,62||2,33|
|VA||13||2,42%||1 / 6||2,00||2,14||-0,14||6,30||8,20||14,50||4,93||-2,93||-4,30|
|FL||29||5,39%||1 / 7||1,86||1,86||0,00||2,81||5,01||7,82||1,79||3,65||4,67|
|NH||4||0,74%||1 / 3||1,00||1,00||2,00||9,61||1,37||8,24||10,43||11,43||10,61|
|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%||5 / 12||0,04||0,27||-0,23||7,26||2,46||9,72||7,54||-7,50||-7,22|
|CO||9||1,67%||2 / 6||1,55||0,88||0,67||8,95||4,67||13,62||6,62||-5,07||-7,40|
|NV||6||1,12%||3 / 6||2,83||2,83||0,00||12,49||2,59||15,08||6,83||-4,00||-9,66|
|OH||18||3,35%||1 / 4||3,25||2,03||1,22||4,58||2,11||6,69||2,30||0,95||-1,33|
|PA||20||3,72%||1 / 5||3,60||4,67||-1,07||10,31||2,50||7,81||7,30||-3,70||-6,71|
|WI||10||1,86%||1 / 3||3,67||3,00||0,67||13,90||0,38||13,52||11,34||-7,67||-10,23|
|IA||6||1,12%||1 / 4||3,70||2,20||1,50||9,53||0,67||10,20||12,75||-9,05||-5,83|
|MI||16||2,97%||2 / 4||6,68||5,29||1,39||16,44||3,42||13,02||14,44||-7,76||-9,76|
|MN||10||1,86%||1 / 4||8,00||7,33||0,67||10,24||3,48||6,76||11,34||-3,34||-2,24|
There were 13 polls from 11 states on 10/18: CO, CT (2), IA, MI (2), MN, NC, OH, PA, VA, WA, WI (75 to date since the last Electoral Landscape).
9 states from the Battleground List were polled: 7 moved more toward Obama, 2 moved more toward Romney.
In North Carolina and Virginia, the average for both states is an identical Romney +2, but the states moved in opposing directions over 10/17: the average for North Carolina moved up 0.75% due to a Rasmussen +6 for Romney. Virginia moved down 0.14% due to a PPP +1 for Obama.
On the "blue" side of the divide, Colorado, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota all moved up to: Obama +1.55, +3.25, +3.67, +3.70, +6.68 and +8.00, respectively. Remember, I moved from a two-week polling window to a one-week polling window for all highly competitive states on 10/16, two days before these statistics, and all of these states received at least one poll on 10/16, so it is not as if the shift to a one-week window made the difference here. That shift is already over with. These improved numbers are because of better Obama numbers coming out of all of these states. Go look at the EXCEL data for yourself. This means that Colorado is still in the tossups, but moving on its way out. Notice also that the margin shifts for Ohio, Michigan and Iowa are all similar to each other, in spite of having received polls from very diverse pollsters: between +1.22 shift for Ohio, +1.39 shift for Michigan and +1.50 for Iowa - all states in the Mid-West. And notice how close the margin averages are between Ohio and Nevada. But neighboring Wisconsin, Paul Ryan's home state, did not shift so much.
And a lot of this polling was conducted over a time frame from shortly before the debate to shortly after the Debate. The real post-debate No. 2 numbers are yet to be seen.
The one "blue" state that bucked the trend was Pennsylvania, which received it's first poll in eight months showing a GOP lead: Romney +4. This poll is from Susquehanna Polling (R) and was made for the Pennsylvania GOP, and interestingly enough, the only newspaper willing to pick up these numbers and publish them thus far was the Washington Examiner, which is a virulently Right-Wing oriented news outlet. This poll represents a +6 swing to Romney at the same time as the other four polls in the mix show a range of Obama +4 to Obama +7. Here is the entire Obama-Romney Pennsylvania 2012 history to date:
|42||Susquehanna (R) / PA GOP||18.10.12||1376 LV||45||49||6||-4|
|42||PPP (D)||15.10.12||500 LV||+/-4.4||51||44||5||7|
|41||Pulse / Let Freedom Ring (Tea-Party)||11.10.12||1000 LV||+/-3.0||47||45||8||2|
|40||Philadelphia Enquirer||10.10.12||600 LV||+/-4.0||50||42||8||8|
|37||Susquehanna (R) / PA GOP||08.10.12||725 LV||+/-3.64||47||45||8||2|
|36||Muhlenberg / Morning Call||28.09.12||427 LV||+/-5.0||49||42||9||7|
|35||PPP (D) / NRDC||28.09.12||2051 LV||+/-2.2||52||40||8||12|
|33||Quinnipiac / CBS /NYT||26.09.12||1180 LV||+/-3.0||54||42||4||12|
|32||Susquehanna (R) / Pittsburg Tribune||24.09.12||800 LV||+/-3.46||47||45||5||2|
|31||Mercyhurst University||24.09.12||522 LV||+/-4.29||48||40||5||8|
|29||Susquehanna (R – for PA R Party)||20.09.12||800 LV||+/-3.45||48||47||5||1|
|27||WAA (R)||20.09.12||1214 LV||+/-2.85||48,10||42,20||9,70||5,9|
|26||Muhlenberg / Morning Call||18.09.12||640 LV||+/-4.0||50||41||9||9|
|25||Inquirer / Global (D) & National (R)||15.09.12||600 LV||+/-4.0||50||39||11||11|
|24||GSG / NR||24.08.12||601 LV||+/-4.0||51||42||7||9|
|21||Quinnipiac / CBS /NYT||01.08.12||1168 LV||+/-2.8||53||42||5||11|
|20||Susquehanna for PA RSC (R )||29.07.12||800 LV||+/-3.5||46||43||11||3|
|19||PPP (D)||25.07.12||758 RV||+/-3.6||49||43||8||6|
|17||Priorities USA (D)||11.07.12||816 LV||+/-3.9||49||40||11||9|
|16||WAA (R)||11.07.12||1227 LV||+/-2.8||47||40||13||7|
|11||PPP (D)||22.05.12||671 LV||+/-3.8||50||42||8||8|
|6||PPP (D)||13.03.12||689 LV||+/-3.7||49||42||9||7|
So, as you can see, of 42 polls released thus far for Pennsylvania, only 2 have shown Romney leads, and both are from Susquehanna. This probability that this poll is a massive outlier is about 100%. As I did for Rasmussen in 2008, I will be comparing Susquehanna to the actual results from November 6th in Pennsylvania. You will see that at every juncture in this list, Susquehanna has reported numbers far depressed under the numbers surrounding it on the list.
And remember that Glen Bolger poll from the Penumbra state of Minnesota from 10/15 that I reported on in the nightly Battleground Report? Well, the newest SUSA Minnesota poll shows, you guessed it: Obama +10, which was Obama's winning margin in 2008. As I wrote then, I will write now: the Susquehanna Poll in Pennsylvania is a FEINT. It is an attempt to scare the Democrats to sink money into a state that they are going to win, anyway, in order to divert funds from more critical, real battleground states. We are seeing this kind of political trickery all over the map, sometimes from the Democratic Party (see: Arizona), but most all the time from the Republican Party. Romney is not ahead in Pennsylvania, and the next polls will clearly show it.
Washington State also received a poll, the WASHINGTON POLL, put out by the University of Washington and KCTS 9. It shows Obama +9, on the heels of an Obama +5 poll from PPP / LCV. The caveat to both polls is: both were conducted after the first debate and completed before the second debate and just released. In fact, the WASHINGTON POLL was conducted over 15 full days, from October 1 to October 16, which means it was conducted entirely during Obama's lowest phase of the campaign thus far. And a 15 day poll-question window is simply ridiculous. The average in Washington is currently Obama +11.60. Washington is not a battleground. Interestingly enough, the average for Connecticut, which received two polls on 10/18, is also Obama +11.60, to a tee. This is interesting: both are coastal states, one on the West Coast, the other on the East Coast.
The margin average for Connecticut is way under Obama's winning margin from 2008, less than half of it. But the average in Washington State, which is 5 points under his margin from 2008, is still above the state's 6 cycle average of: DEM +9.24 (1988-2008 average). And in Connecticut (you are going to love this stuff), Obama's current average is practically IDENTICAL to the 6 cycle average of: DEM +11.61 (1988-2008 average)!! This data is always important: it teaches us over and over and over again that CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING, that numbers in a vacuum have no real meaning. Both of these states are CORE DEM states. Obama will win both with landslides on November 6th.
What truly amazes me is that no one seems very interested in polling either Oregon or South Carolina, both of which should be safe states for their respective side, both of which show single-digit margins in the case of a wave for the opposing side. Now, every time I have written in a Battleground Report that a certain state is coming up short in the polling, a poll for that state has appeared in the next days, so cross your fingers and let's see what happens in the next days...
The National Numbers:
|598||Investors Business Daily / TIPP - daily tracking||18.10.12||1059 RV||+/-3.5||46,2||45,7||8,1||0,5|
|597||Ipsos/Reuters - daily tracking||18.10.12||1356 LV||+/-3.0||47||44||9||3|
|596||PPP (D) / AUC – daily tracking||18.10.12||1200 LV||+/-2.8||48||48||4||0|
|595||Gallup (LV Screen) - daily tracking||18.10.12||3050 RV||+/-2.0||45||52||3||-7|
|594||Rasmussen - daily tracking||18.10.12||1500 LV||+/-3.0||47||49||4||-2|
|595||UPI / CVOTER||15.10.12||1478 LV||+/-4.5||46||49||5||-3|
|593||Politico / GWU||15.10.12||1000 LV||+/-3.1||49||48||3||1|
|587||ABC / WaPo||14.10.12||923 LV||+/-3.5||49||46||5||3|
|586||Zogby / Jzanalytics / Newsmax||14.10.12||863 LV||+/-3.4||47||44||9||3|
|576||Angus Reid||12.10.12||906 RV||+/-3.5||46||46||8||0|
There were 5 polls from 12 pollsters on 10/17. As promised, I moved over to only the LV screen for Gallup only yesterday, 10/17.
Here is the polling outlook for 2012-10-018:Romney +0.13 (-0.14 shift )
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-017: Romney +0.27 (+0.18 shift )
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-016: Romney +0.09 (+0.31 shift -or- -0.31 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-015: Obama +0.22 (-0.46 shift -or- +0.46 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-014: Romney +0.24 (-0.35 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-013: Romney +0.59 (+0.09 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-012: Romney +0.50 (+0.06 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-011: Romney +0.44 (+0.44 shift -or- -0.44 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-010: 0.00 (-0.81 shift -or- +0.81 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-009: Obama +0.81% (-1.55 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-008: Obama +2.36% (-0.62 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-007: Obama +2.98% (0.00 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-006: Obama +2.98% (-0.56 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-005: Obama +3.54% (-0.20 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-004: Obama +3.74% (-0.05 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-003: Obama +3.79% (+0.22 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-10-002: Obama +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 2012-09-029: Obama +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 2012-09-027: Obama +4.74% (+0.36 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-026: Obama +4.38% (+0.19 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-025: Obama +4.19% (+0.23 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-024: Obama +3.96% (+0.21 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-023: Obama +3.75% (+0.06 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-022: Obama +3.69% (+0.18 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-021: Obama +3.87% (+0.49 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-020: Obama +3.38% (-0.22 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-019: Obama +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 2012-09-017: Obama +3.93% (+0.12 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-016: Obama +3.81% (0.00 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-015: Obama +3.81% (0.00 shift)
Here was the polling outlook for 2012-09-014: Obama +3.81%
Net shift since 09/14: Obama -3.96% / Romney +3.96%
For the last five days, regardless of whom has lead in the national average, it has been a statistical and near purely mathematical tie. No polling organization can get even cloe to a MoE of +/-0.13!
In the next days, we will surely see the statistical effects of Presidential Debate No. 2, one way or the other.
The Gallup LV results are radically different than the rest of the polling universe. Nate Silver at 538 has a good write-up about why this may be. This is a good, solid read and backs up a claim I have been making about Gallup for more than 2 years now: that their end predictions have often been way, way, way off the mark.
October 18th, 2012 marked exactly 19 days until the General Election.