23 October 2012

Bonncaruso's Electoral Landscape No. 6 - October 22, 2012


Bonncaruso's Electoral Landscape No. 6:

Obama vs. Romney
October 22, 2012: T-minus 15 days until Election Day.

Obama 263 / Romney 191 / Tossups 84 / Margin: Obama +72 EV


This is my sixth major electoral landscape prediction-output for the 2012 election. Here are the others, in table format:


Electoral Landscape No.
Date
Prognosis
8 - Final
Election Day
???
7
10/29/2012
???
6
Obama 263 / Romney 191 / Tossups 84 / Margin: Obama +72
5
Obama 281 / Romney 206 / Tossups 51 / Margin: Obama +75
4
Obama 332 / Romney 191 / Tossups 15 / Margin: Obama +141
3
Obama 284 / Romney 206 / Tossups 48 / Margin: Obama +78
2
Obama 235 / Romney 220 / Tossups 83 / Margin: Obama +15
1
Obama 281 / Romney 191 / Tossups 66 / Margin: Obama +90

For those who know my analyses, they know that while I am a Democrat, my electoral analyses are non-partisan and brutally fair. I simply let the numbers speak for themselves. This is a long analysis, full of data; you need to read it all to get the full picture.

There were a good number of polls in 2010-2011 as well, you can see them all HERE (national), HERE (Alabama through New Hampshire) and HERE (New Jersey through Wyoming).

As of 2012, I changed the format for recording polling data and moved to EXCEL. All of the polls from 2012 are in one EXCEL DOCUMENT: Presidential Polls 2012 (through 22 October 2012).

Here the new state polls, per day, between October 13 and October 12 (124 new state polls, some specialty polls as well). The abbreviations are color-coded according to which candidate won the poll:

10/14: CO, FL, GA, NM, NC

10/15: FL, ID, IA, MN, MO, PA (2), VA

10/16: AZ, CA, CO, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN (2), IA (2), MD, MA (2), MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NJ (2), NY, NC, OH, PA (2), TN, TX, VA, WA (2), WI

10/17: CO, CT, FL, MA, MT (2), NV (3), NH, NJ, OH, VA, WA (2), WI

10/18: CO, CT (2), IA, MI (2), MN, NC, OH, PA, VA, WA, WI

10/19: CA, DC, FL (2), FL (3), IA, MO, NV, NH, NJ, NC, NC, OH, OR, UT, VA, WI

10/20: FL, NJ, OH, OH, VA, WI

10/21: FL, IA, MI, MO, OH

10/22: CO, CT, FL, IA, MD, MA, NH, ND, OH, OH, OH, PA (4), VA, VA, WA, WI

The raw states on the polls, per state, are at the bottom of this report, in the appendix.

There were 846 state polls since the beginning of 2012 up through October 22. All 1508 polls (including the national matchups) are in the EXCEL DOCUMENT: Presidential Polls 2012  that is also hyperlinked above.

The specialty polls (ACA, latino vote, swing state votes) are not per-se directly involved in the state calculations, but worth a look nonetheless.

As of now, the following states have not been polled at all in 2012:

Alaska, Delaware, Kansas, Mississippi and Wyoming. (6 states), Hawaii and Louisana having received polls in the time between. The other 45 „states“ have been polled. It is pretty safe to assume that these 5 unpolled states will vote in 2012 in the same direction as they did in 2008. None of them are likely to be competitive.


Based on the polling results, which, as mentioned above, you can find all in this one Excel table: Presidential Polls 2012, I come up with the following electoral landscape:


Obama 263 / Romney 191 / Tossups 84 / Margin: Obama +72 EV


This graphic is courtesy of RealClearPolitics, where you can make your own electoral maps.


To-date, there are no special predictions for the congressional districts in either ME or NE, both of which do elector-splitting.

My methodology is similar to TMP's, but not identical. I take the average of all the last polls within two weeks time, and with no repeater pollsters. Closer to election day, this time-frame will be reduced to one week, at least for the battleground states. Any average at +2% or less is pure tossup. Otherwise, I designate a prediction. I make no color distinction between states that are expected landslide states and states that are relatively close, for on election night, when the state is called, it is called, in one color, and that is that.


The distillation of the data from the EXCEL DOCUMENT: Presidential Polls 2012, is in two tables:

THE EVERYTHING TABLE:

Because it is so detailed, a legend:

The entire table is color coded: blue = DEM, red = GOP.

Column 1: "Rank '08" is a listing of the partisan rankings for that state based on the results of the 2008 GE and is not a predictor of that state's performance in 2012. The Obama states go from 1-29 in bolded blue, the McCain states go from 22-1 in bolded red. Think of it as an hourglass, with the narrowest of margins in the middle.

Column 2 is self-explanatory.

Column 3: lists the current EV total for each state. If that total is underlined with another number in parentheses next to it, then this state has undergone a change in EV total since the 2010 Census. Those states are: NY, MA, MD, IL, WA, MI, NJ, NV, PA, IA, OH, FL, MO, GA, AZ, TX, LA and UT (18 states).

Column 4: the exact winning percentage margin from 2008, with a link in the title to Dave Leip's uselectionatlas.org website, as proof. Here the same LINK. His site is the DEFINITIVE repository of electoral data.

Column 5: the final polling average for each state going into election day 2008. The title in this column is linked to the entire polling data I put out 11/04/08, with simple averages. Here the same LINK.

Column 6: "Diff. 1" is the difference between the actual winning margin from 2008 and the predicted margin average, based on the end polling in 2008. The closer this value comes to "0", then the closer the polling average was to reality in that year. Of the 29 states that Obama carried in 2008, he actually won with a margin ABOVE the final average in 22 of those states, and with a margin BELOW the final average in 7 states. Of the 22 states that John McCain won, he won with a margin ABOVE his average in 17 of those states and he won with a margin below the final average in 5 of those states. Therefore, we could say that the final polling averages in 2008 were "conservative" in their estimates, but there is a caveat here: anything in columns 5, 7 or 8 that is in italics indicates one single poll and NOT an average, for in that case only one poll was available. This data is important in looking at current polling data for 2012 - to compare.

Column 7 (“2012 Current PA”): is the current polling average in 2012, for which all of the polling to-date been posted as a large, tabbed, EXCEL table HERE. Again, anything in italics indicates one single poll, either because there has only been one poll of the state, or too much time has elapsed between this poll and the one or ones before. In this column, anything that is bolded as well indicates fresh polling data since the last Electoral Landscape!

Also, the current polling average is the decider of predicting how the electoral landscape looks right now. Anything below a +2 margin average means a toss-up, and those values are shaded in light green. Right now, there are five pure tossups on this map: FLORIDA, OHIO, NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA and COLORADO. Anything above +2 will be designated a predicted winner. So, the numbers and only the numbers drive the electoral map presented in this electoral landscape.

Column 8 (“Diff. over 2008 PA”): is the difference between the current polling average right now in 2012, per state, and the final polling average from 2008. Though this is somewhat an "apples to oranges" comparison, it can tell us if there has been massive change in that state. And in the next electoral landscape, I will update these figures and we can see if they get closer to the 2008 averages or not.

Column 9 (“Diff. 2 - '08 Margin”) does what column six did, but this time for the current pollling averages – it pits them against the actual results from 2008.

One more note before citing examples: if the value in "Diff. 1" (Column 6) is a large number, that means that the candidate well outperformed his predicted polling average, something to consider when looking at the values for 2012 as we now go into the "hot phase" of the presidential campaigns.

My recommendation is that you first take a good look at your own state and get used to reading the numbers in this way. Once the eyes get used to this, it is easy to visualize trends in no time!

Rank '08 State EV 2012 Margin - '08 2008 Final PA Diff. 1 2012 Current PA Diff. Over 2008 PA Diff. 2 ('08 Margin)
1 DC 3 85,93 69,00 16,93 80,00 11,00 5,93
2 HI 4 45,26 36,00 9,26 32,00 -4,00 13,26
3 VT 3 37,01 27,00 10,01 37,00 10,00 0,01
4 RI 4 27,81 18,10 9,71 25,05 6,95 2,76
5 NY 29 (31) 26,86 29,00 -2,14 26,00 -3,00 0,86
6 MA 11 (12) 25,81 21,33 4,48 17,00 -4,33 8,81
7 MD 10 25,44 17,30 8,14 22,50 5,20 2,94
8 IL 20 (21) 25,11 24,90 0,21 19,50 -5,40 5,61
9 DE 3 24,98 20,70 4,28 --- --- ---
10 CA 55 24,03 24,00 0,03 17,28 -6,72 6,75
11 CT 7 22,37 21,33 1,04 11,83 -9,50 10,54
12 ME 4 17,32 17,15 0,17 11,50 -5,65 5,82
13 WA 12 (11) 17,08 14,60 2,48 11,83 -2,77 5,25
14 MI 17 (16) 16,44 14,44 2,00 7,18 -7,26 9,26
15 OR 7 16,35 15,57 0,78 7,00 -8,57 9,35
16 NJ 15 (14) 15,53 16,00 -0,47 11,13 -4,87 4,40
17 NM 5 15,13 9,26 5,87 9,58 0,32 5,55
18 WI 10 13,90 11,34 2,56 3,50 -7,84 10,40
19 NV 6 (5) 12,49 6,83 5,66 5,20 -1,63 7,29
20 PA 20 (21) 10,31 7,30 3,01 4,14 -3,16 6,17
21 MN 10 10,24 12,00 -1,76 8,00 -4,00 2,24
22 NH 4 9,61 10,43 -0,82 2,25 -8,18 7,36
23 IA 6 (7) 9,53 12,75 -3,22 3,16 -9,59 6,37
24 CO 9 8,95 6,62 2,33 0,78 -5,84 8,17
-- USA 538 7,26 7,54 -0,28 0,06 7,60 7,32
25 VA 13 6,30 4,93 1,37 2,00 6,93 8,30
26 OH 18 (20) 4,58 2,30 2,28 1,60 -0,70 2,98
27 FL 29 (27) 2,81 1,79 1,02 0,44 2,23 2,37
11-A NE-02* 1* 1,21 4,00 -2,79 1,00 -3,00 2,21
28 IN 11 1,03 1,18 -0,15 13,67 12,49 14,70
29 NC 15 0,33 0,62 -0,29 2,00 2,62 2,33









Rank '08 State EV 2012 Margin - '08 2008 Final PA Diff. 1 2012 Current PA Diff. Over 2008 PA Diff. 2 ('08 Margin)
22 MO 10 (11) 0,13 0,46 -0,33 10,20 9,74 -10,07
21 MT 3 2,38 1,64 0,74 9,40 7,76 -7,02
20 GA 16 (15) 5,20 3,85 1,35 8,00 4,15 -2,80
19 SD 3 8,41 7,50 0,91 10,50 3,00 -2,09
18 AZ 11 (10) 8,48 4,43 4,05 3,50 -0,93 4,98
17 ND 3 8,65 1,34 7,31 14,00 12,66 -5,35
16 SC 8 8,98 12,55 -3,57 6,00 -6,55 2,98
15 TX 38 (34) 11,76 13,00 -1,24 15,00 2,00 -3,24
14 WV 5 13,09 7,66 5,43 14,00 6,34 -0,91
13 MS 6 13,17 10,50 2,67 --- --- ---
12 KS 6 14,92 17,00 -2,08 --- --- ---
11 NE* 5 14,93 19,00 -4,07 11,00 -8,00 3,93
10 TN 11 15,06 14,00 1,06 9,00 -5,00 6,06
9 KY 8 16,22 12,40 3,82 14,00 1,60 2,22
8 LA 8 (9) 18,63 10,43 8,20 14,07 3,64 4,56
7 AR 6 19,85 10,75 9,10 21,00 10,25 -1,15
6 AK 3 21,54 14,58 6,96 --- ---- ---
5 AL 9 21,58 19,33 2,25 15,00 -4,33 6,58
4 ID 4 25,30 23,00 2,30 36,00 13,00 -10,70
3 UT 6 (5) 28,02 24,00 4,02 53,00 29,00 -24,98
2 OK 7 31,29 30,15 1,14 30,00 -0,15 1,29
1 WY 3 32,24 23,00 9,24 --- --- ---

Two examples of extreme stability, as interpreted from the table:

Oklahoma:

McCain won this state by +31.29% in 2008, it was number 2 in the conservative rankings. The polling average for Oklahoma was +30.15%, so McCain did just +1.14 better than the polls. That is a very low difference. This year doesn't look much different. There have only been two polls of Oklahoma, called "The Sooner Poll". The first one showed Romney at +35, the last one shows him with +30. Too much time has elapsed between the two to make an honest average, so all that remains in the one poll value of +30.00, which is in italics, and only 0.15% less than the average from 2008. Oklahoma was the most stabile state of 2008 on the Republican side vis-a-vis the 2004 results and it looks very much like a repeat performance will happen again in this year.

New York:

President Obama won the Empire State by +26.86% in 2008, but the polling there was somewhat inflated: the end average had him at +29.00, so technically, he underperformed there by -2.14 points. However, just as in the case of Oklahoma, a predicted +26.00 is such a crushing margin that two points makes no difference in the outcome. Right now, the current polling average in NY is +26.00, almost identical to the actual margin from 2008. It remains to be seen if the president will continue to improve this average as the election nears, or not.

So, both states, when you measure them against the averages from 2008 at the end, show absolutely no erosion for their respective sides. That is not the case in all states.

THE BATTLEGROUND TABLE:


The Battleground Table is a reduction of the EVERYTHING TABLE, abd ordered in the same hourglass formation, only for the battlegrounds and near-battlegrounds, according to current polling margin and not according to past partisan ranking. What is shaded in dark GREY is an absolute tossup. What is shaded in light GREY is a battleground, but not a mathematical tossup according to my standards, the same standards I used in 2004 and 2008. Anything not shaded is outside the battlegrounds but close enough to be pulled into the battlegrounds, depending on which candidate starts to have more movement toward or against him.

A B C D E E G H I J K L M
State EV % of EC Polls 22.10.12 21.10.12 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
VA 13 2,42% 2 / 6 2,00 2,40 -0,40 6,30 8,20 14,50 4,93 -2,93 -4,30
NC 15 2,79% 0 / 5 2,00 2,00 0,00 0,33 12,43 12,76 0,62 2,62 2,33
FL 29 5,39% 1 / 9 0,44 0,11 0,33 2,81 5,01 7,82 1,79 2,23 3,25
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% 13 / 17 0,06 0,19 -0,13 7,26 2,46 9,72 7,54 7,60 7,32
-- --
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
CO 9 1,67% 1 / 5 0,78 1,55 -0,77 8,95 4,67 13,62 6,62 -5,84 -8,17
OH 18 3,35% 3 / 10 1,60 1,71 -0,11 4,58 2,11 6,69 2,30 -0,70 -2,98
NH 4 0,74% 0 / 3 2,25 0,00 2,25 9,61 1,37 8,24 10,43 -8,18 -7,36
IA 6 1,12% 1 / 5 3,16 3,16 0,00 9,53 0,67 10,20 12,75 -9,59 -6,37
WI 10 1,86% 1 / 6 3,50 3,20 0,30 13,90 0,38 13,52 11,34 -7,84 -10,40
PA 20 3,72% 4 / 7 4,14 3,60 0,54 10,31 2,50 7,81 7,30 -3,16 -6,17
NV 6 1,12% 0 / 5 5,20 5,20 0,00 12,49 2,59 15,08 6,83 -1,63 -7,29
OR 7 1,30% 0 / 1 7,00 7,00 0,00 16,35 4,16 12,19 15,57 -8,57 -9,35
MI 16 2,97% 1 / 4 7,18 7,18 0,00 16,44 3,42 13,02 14,44 -7,26 -9,26


What to make of this and the current polling data?

First, at the national level, it is truly a tie, not just a statistical tie, but damned close to a mathematical PURE tie. Here the current national data:

Nr. NATIONAL POLLING Date Sample MoE
Obama Romney Und/Oth Mar.

AVERAGE: N/A N/A N/A
47,14 47,20 5,66 0,06











RECENT:

















629 CBS News 22.10.12 790 LV +/-4.0
48 46 6 2
628 ABC / WaPo 22.10.12 1376 LV +/-3.0
49 48 3 1
627 Zogby (online) 22.10.12 800 LV +/-3.5
50 47 3 3
626 UPI / CVOTER 22.10.12 1316 LV +/-4.5
47 48 5 -1
625 Democracy Corps 22.10.12 1000 LV +/-3.1
49 46 5 3
624 Monmouth 22.10.12 1402 LV +/-2.6
45 48 7 -3
623 ARG 22.10.12 1200 LV +/-3.0
47 49 4 -2
622 Ipsos/Reuters 22.10.12 957 LV +/-3.6
46 46 8 0
620 Investors Business Daily / TIPP - daily tracking 22.10.12 885 LV +/-3.5
47,4 43,4 9,2 4
619 PPP (D) / AUC – daily tracking 22.10.12 1200 LV +/-2.8
48 48 4 0
618 Gallup (LV Screen) - daily tracking 22.10.12 2700 LV +/-2.0
45 51 4 -6
617 Rasmussen - daily tracking 22.10.12 1500 LV +/-3.0
47 49 4 -2
616 GWU/Politico Battleground 22.10.12 1000 LV +/-3.1
47 49 4 -2
615 NBC / WSJ 21.10.12 816 LV +/-3.43
47 47 6 0
605 Gravis (R) 19.10.12 805 LV +/-3.4
44 46 10 -2
604 U Conn / Hartford Courant 19.10.12 1023 LV +/-3.0
48 45 7 3
593 YouGov 17.10.12 1000 A +/-4.9
47 46 7 1


It will be instructive to see how much the last debate, from 10/22, may have moved the needle among undecideds, or not.


In previous Electoral Landscapes, I wrote very long descriptions of each of the battlegrounds, but since the nightly battleground reports have become so deep and intensive, if you want to see the up-and-up on the battlegrounds in nitty gritty-detail, here is a table to links to all the battleground reports to-date. Just click on a day you want to see:


T-Minus
DAY
Date
From 2008
Other from 2008
Other from 2012
42
Tuesday
---


41
Wednesday
---

40
Thursday


39
Friday


38
Saturday
none


37
Sunday

36
Monday

35
Tuesday

34
Wednesday


33
Thursday

32
Friday

31
Saturday
none

30
Sunday
29
Monday


28
Tuesday


27
Wednesday

26
Thursday


25
Friday


24
Saturday


23
Sunday

22
Monday

21
Tuesday
none


20
Wednesday
none


19
Thursday
none

18
Friday

17
Saturday


16
Sunday


15
Monday
2012-10-022



A quick summary: because of Governor Romney's gains, there is great statistical movement in most of the battlegrounds. But then again, this could change in the next two weeks. Every time I think the number of battleground states might be reduced, polling comes in that proves me otherwise.

The one state that, regardless of shifts, is continuing to show a sometimes larger, sometimes smaller but very resilient lead for the President is OHIO. I wrote a considerable amount over Ohio in the last 5 battleground reports, it is worth the read.

There is a considerable amount of polling coming in from decidedly partisan pollsters, all of a sudden, quasi at the last minute, without any kind of baseline from the past to compare their performance to. The vast majority of these pollsters are Republican leaning.

Also complicating the problem is what I call the „Likely Voter Mode“ disease: in 2008, the polling was a mixture of RV and LV modes, and the averages came very close to the end resullt. In the cases where either Obama or McCain exceeded their end-polling average, it either in cases where the mix had far more LV then RV in it – or the state was simply not polled enough. This tells me automatically – and quite instinctively as well, that the probably of both candidates definitely exceeding their projected end-polling averages in 2012 is very, very high.


FACIT: a lot of things can happen until election day, but right now the race is wide open. If movement continues for Governor Romney, he can win, and he can win decisively. But Obama's „firewall“ is statistically and realiistically larger than Romney's. Romney, even with a miniscule lead in the national polling, is still trailing in enough battleground states so that Obama has the smaller leap to get above 270 EV. The debates were rather mirror images of each other in time: in debate no. 1, Romney came out swinging and the President was lethargic and allowed Romney the upper hand. The President won the second debate, but it was spirited, and in my opinion, the best presidential debate I have ever seen. Debate no. 3 was the opposite of debate no. 1: Obama came out swinging and Romney was lethargic and allowed Obama the upper hand.

But some things are sure:

-if he wins, then Obama is sure to win with less of an electoral column in the EC than in 2008, and most likely he would have a smaller winning margin, which harkens back to Wilson 1916 but would actually be the first time in our history where this has happened to an incumbent president who listed on both ballots as the presidential candidate and the two elections were equally yoked, i.e., both were either 2-man or 3-man elections.

-if he wins, then Romney will have the distinction of being the second Republican to unseat a Democratic President after only 4 years of Democratic rule in the White House. See: Reagan-Carter, 1980. The four Republicans to be unseated in the last 100 years (Taft, Hoover,Ford and Bush, Sr.) were all unseated after 12 years of Republican rule in the White House.


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

Appendix:

Here the raw stats on the number of polls, per state:



State2012-07-0152012-08-0282012-09-0152012-09-0302012-10-0132012-10-022
Alabama111111
Alaska000000
Arizona101112151819
Arkansas111222
California111416192123
Colorado91519263338
Connecticut367101217
Delaware000000
District of Columbia011112
Florida253643556578
Georgia5668810
Hawaii000011
Idaho000001
Illinois125678
Indiana233679
Iowa578141724
Kansas000000
Kentucky000111
Louisiana000033
Maine56691212
Maryland111346
Massachusetts111314212832
Michigan132125334044
Minnesota45791013
Mississippi000000
Missouri61518212529
Montana46781113
Nebraska444555
Nevada61011182429
New Hampshire81214202529
New Jersey91216182025
New Mexico6810131617
New York111415161617
North Carolina172228334045
North Dakota233456
Ohio203135446171
Oklahoma122222
Oregon333445
Pennsylvania172425364150
Rhode Island000022
South Carolina111111
South Dakota122344
Tennessee333445
Texas445678
Utah111112
Vermont233333
Virginia222932425260
Washington (State)71114161824
West Virginia112222
Wisconsin193030384448
Wyoming000000
Total STATE POLLS282400459597724846
National277400457512580629
National – specialty polls141920253333
Total – without specialty polls558799912113413371508
Total – with specialty polls572818934110913041475



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