Today's Polls: 11/2/08 Afternoon Edition

Discussion in 'Congress' started by DavidS, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    FiveThirtyEight.com: Electoral Projections Done Right: Today's Polls, 11/2: Afternoon Edition

    Today's Polls, 11/2: Afternoon Edition

    Polls conducted since our update last evening suggest some tightening toward John McCain, but he sits well behind both nationwide and in many key battleground states and remains a long-shot to win the election.

    The good news for McCain? SurveyUSA has become the latest pollster to show the race tightening in Pennslyvania, now giving Barack Obama a 7-point lead after he'd been in the mid-double digits at various points in October. The Muhlenberg/Morning Call tracker has also continued to tighten, also settling on that 7-point number.

    SurveyUSA also has Virginia tightening a bit to 4 points. And McCain gained incrementally in the Research 2000, Gallup, and Diageo/Hotline trackers, although this comes after a couple of days when Obama had been moving up. (Rasmussen held steady, whereas Obama ticked up in Zogby).

    Overall, our model shows McCain closing Obama's gap in the national popular vote to about 5.4 points. His win percentage has increased to 6.3 percent, from 3.8 percent last night.

    However, several cautions about reading too much into these numbers:

    Firstly, I have the model programmed to be EXTREMELY aggressive this time of year. There have been relatively few 'fresh' polls conducted within the past 24-48 hours -- most of these state polls were in the field late last week. As we get more data in today and tonight, the model could very well decide that the race is not tightening at all. Moreover, polls conducted on a weekend -- particularly on a quasi- holiday weekend -- is generally unreliable.

    Secondly, even with this tightening, McCain remains well short the 2/2/2 condition that we defined last week:

    John McCain polling within 2 points in 2 or more non-partisan polls (sorry, Strategic Vision) in at least 2 out of the 3 following states: Colorado, Virginia, Pennsylvania.

    Indeed, McCain has not come within 2 points of Obama in any polls in any of these states.

    Finally, where McCain has made progress, it has come mostly from undecided voters rather than Obama's support -- this is particularly the case in Pennsylvania. Therefore, he may be running out of persuadables to persuade.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jschuck12001
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    jschuck12001 Senior Member

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    I noticed the Mason dixon polls are the tightest. They have Mccain up in NC, MO and within the margin in PA, FL, OH, all the other polls are much different. Anyone know why there is such a discrepancy?
     
  3. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    FiveThirtyEight.com: Electoral Projections Done Right: House Effects in Action

    The new set of battleground state polling from Mason-Dixon provides a terrific working example of what we call "house effects" -- a poll's consistent tendency to lean toward one candidate or another. Throughout this election cycle, we have found that Mason-Dixon's polls lean 2-3 points more toward John McCain than the average of other polls taken in those states at the same time.

    Here are the Mason-Dixon polls released within the past 72 hours in eight key battleground states, along with a comparison to our current trendline-adjusted averages:

    [​IMG]

    In all of these states but Florida, Mason-Dixon came in below our average (although in some cases not by much). On balance, their polls were 2.5 points more favorable to McCain than the average -- exactly where our model had pegged Mason-Dixon polls going in.

    But! -- you might protest -- maybe these numbers are more favorable to McCain because your averages are out of date, and this election is trending toward McCain!

    Well, not really. Because if you compare these polls against the last time Mason-Dixon was in the field in these states, Obama hasn't really lost any ground. (Actually, he's gained a bit, but not any statistically significant amount).

    [​IMG]

    ...to make this clear for the nth time, the presence of a house effect does not mean that a pollster is partisan or "biased". Mason-Dixon is a non-partisan pollster. Nor does it mean that a pollster is wrong! Mason-Dixon has a pretty good track record. Their vision of the electorate -- which seems to point toward a narrow Obama electoral victory -- could very easily turn out to be the right one. But it does mean that you need to take these sorts of things into account to make sure that you're making apples-to-apples comparisons.
     
  4. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    National and state polls continue to trend toward Obama two days before the election.

    Eight national polls reported on RealClearPolitics.com from October 31 through November 1 show Obama with a 5 to 13 point lead. Of the 8 polls, 7 show Obama with 50% or higher support, indicating that undecided voters swinging to McCain would not change the outcome.

    The IBD/TIPP poll, which stakes claim to being the most accurate poll in the 2004 election, gives Obama a 48% to 43% lead. In only this poll could undecided voters change the outcome by going largely for McCain.

    State polls look equally grim for McCain. Obama has 291 electoral votes in states with polls "solid" or "leaning" Democratic.

    The path to victory for McCain is increasingly difficult because an Obama victory does not depend on winning either Ohio or Florida; Obama victories in Colorado and New Mexico would suffice, and these states are currently outside the statistical margin of error in Obama's favor.

    http://voices.kansascity.com/node/2634
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2008
  5. Caligirl
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    Caligirl Oh yes it is too!

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    Assuming pennsylvaina doesn't flip.
     
  6. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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