Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reflections on Post-Convention Polls

A lot of conservatives are starting to squirm a little bit on the back of President Obama getting a measly few point polling bump after his convention. There are conservatives who genuinely believe this means Obama has this election in the bag. Friends, I'm here to tell you this is not true. I'm here to give you a big dose of reality.

Four polls have been published since the Democrat Convention (I'm counting the daily rolling averages of Rasmussen (3-day average) and Gallup (7-day average) each as one poll. Of the four, the voracity of three can be questioned.  So let's start with Gallup.

Yes, I still consider Gallup one of the most reliable polls. However, I do find it funny that: The Obama Administration called in Gallup and read them the riot act about the polling samples they used, which uses a sample that reflects the actual 2010 electorate (and not the 2008 electorate or exit polls or some fantasy electorate dreamed up by Heaven knows who). When Gallup refused to change their methodology, the Department of Justice gets involved with a lawsuit against Gallup that has nothing to do with the election. (Sources*: Washington Times, Dick Morris)

Then we have two fine poll cookers: CNN and Tipp Online.  First to CNN:

CNN published this poll of likely voters (supposedly likely voters anyway) on Monday claims President Obama leads Governor Romney 52% to 46%. A few red flags go up on this poll. For one, the polling sample is not implicitly published. That alone gives me reason to question it. Secondly, the polling sample was only about 700 voters, insufficient to get a good snapshot of the national population. Thirdly, and this is the big red flag that screams of a cooked polling sample, the poll says that of the individuals polled gave the Democrat Party a 51% favorability rating and Republicans only 42% favorability rating.  Except that according to Gallup, who conducted a straight up poll of party favorability and found the GOP with 43% favorability and the Democratic Party 42% favorability. This data, in the absence of seeing the actual poll sample, makes me believe Democrats were oversampled.

Now to Tipp Online:

The Tipp Online poll of registered voters was at least honest enough to publish their sample.  Their poll claims President Obama is beating Governor Romney 46% to 44%. Just the fact that polling registered voters is an advantage to Democrats of 2-4% so that means Romney with likely voters is either tied or winning by 1-2%. Then let's look at the poll sample, shall we? It was Democrats 36%, Republicans 31% Independents 30%. So friends there was a 5% oversample of Democrats.

Apparently, the fine folks at Tipp want you to believe that the Election 2010 didn't happen. You know, that massive landslide victory for conservatism two years ago? Yeah, that. Apparently President Obama has somehow gained popularity after that...because he...uhhh...well I'm not entirely sure what but he did something I guess. He cares...so I guess that's it?

Now I would be remiss if I didn't also give you a nice history lesson. In 1980, Jimmy Carter got a post-convention bump that put him 4% ahead of Ronald Reagan. Carter lost to Reagan by 9% that November. In 1988, Michael Dukakis was beating Vice President George H.W. Bush by 17% after his convention. Dukakis lost to Bush by 9% that November. Both Reagan and Bush won over 400 Electoral Votes in those elections by the way. (In 1980, Carter won only 6 states and Washington D.C. In 1988, Dukakis won only 10 states and Washington D.C.)

Friends, convention bumps don't mean much, even if we take the polls at face value. History proves it. When you add in the fact that the Drive-By Media is cooking polls and threatening pollsters to make the bump happen, well, I'd say Obama's still in trouble.

Quick after note: I wrote this post on Monday, 9/10/12. On that date, Rasmussen had Obama +5 over Romney. On Tuesday, 9/11/12, Rasmussen's poll shows Obama's lead down to +3. I predict it will continue to drop tomorrow and by Thursday it will be back to a dead heat.

A second poll posted on on Tuesday 9/11/12 from Washington Post-ABC Obama up +1, but the poll oversampled Democrats +6. As I told you, we're back to square one and Romney is winning with the real electorate.

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