Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Race: Not as close as the Polls Indicate

The race for the Presidency is not as close as the Polls are showing. Looking at the poll methodologies it has become clear that the only reason the race appears close is the slant towards the Democrats. Rasmussen has McCain leading by 3 in spite of the slant; an eight point differential 39 (D) 31 (R) and 30 (I). The Hate Group Daily Kos has a tie in spite of a nine point slant; 35 (D), 30 (I), and 26 (R). Hotline has McCain by 1 in spite of an eight point slant; 42 (D), 34 (R), and 20 (I). Newsweek has a tie in spite of a 8 point slant; 35 (D), 27, (R), and 31 (I). Most polling agencies are using an 8 point advantage for the democrats. Herein lies the issue with polls.

There is no doubt Republicans have lost party identification. Last election cycle (2004), the breakdown was 35 (I), 33 (R) and 32 (D). Clearly this has changed. The question is how much. From all reports Republicans have declined and Independents have grown. The problem I see with the polls is that they show Republicans and Independents declining and Democrats increasing their ranks. At best this should be a 5 point differential between Democrats and Republicans (probably 35 (D) and 30 (R).

Recent generics help provide the data. Recent generics give Democrats a 4-5 point lead. This represents a three point differential between polling data and reality. If the polls were representative of a 5 point difference between parties, McCain would be up 5-6 points and well outside the margin of error. State Polls back up the data that the difference is much closer in party identification then these polling companies are using. If we look at competitive battleground States many of the States that are true battlegrounds are solid Blue States. Wisconsin (last voted Rep in 1984), Pennsylvania (last voted Rep in 1988), Michigan (last voted Rep 1988), Minnesota (last voted Rep 1972), and Washington (last voted Rep 1984). Most of these states are not traditional battleground states. These states have been solidly Blue and yet McCain is close and within the margin of error in these states. McCain has solidified his base and RED states are solid. Ohio and Florida have been battlegrounds recently and are again battlegrounds. So the only really solid red state in play is Virginia. Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada have been very close in recent elections. So as I see it there are 5 solid blue States in play, 1 solid red state in play, and 5 traditional battleground states in play. I would have to say this race is not as close as the nationwide polls are reporting. Obama can not get a majority of electoral votes without a majority of the popular vote. I'm not so sure McCain needs to win the popular vote in order to win the electoral college. Bush already showed it was possible.

The only reason this appears to be close in the polls is the large slant. We will find out NOV 4th what the model should have been. However, conservatives and the Republicans are unified. Many of the democratic party pickups have decided to either swing independent or went home to the Republican party. Eventually this race will turn decidedly one way or the other. Since the convention Obama has been running against Sarah Palin. The longer this continues the more the race will swing towards the Republicans. Obama will not win running against Sarah Palin or George Bush. Neither Palin nor Bush are at the top of the Republican ticket. Bush will be retired and Palin is the VP choice. Obama has attempted to make this race between him and Palin. At the end of the day this race will be between McCain and Obama. The only way Obama wins is by solidifying his base and swaying independents. Right now Obama is losing both. Only 80% of democrats are in favor of Obama and McCain has 52% of the independents. Obama is weak with blue collar workers and women. This race better become more about the real issues Americans with why Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. The country is on the wrong track because of corrupt career politicians. Americans want bi partisan compromises. Unless Americans start believing Obama can work across the Aisle he will be in for a long night on NOV 4th.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree the race is not as close as it appears, but actually the slant is towards the Republicans not the Democrats.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/09/poll-madness-mccain-takes_n_125158.html

The Lizard said...

Anonymous,

There are two problems with your post. First don't believe everything you see on just another left wing hate group site. Second registrations don't mean too much. I can choose any party I desire and vote anyway I want. Many of the converts to the democratic party were disaffected Republicans. Many more were independents that otherwise would have been shut out of closed primaries. Trust me the slant is far to left. The reality is closer to the 5 points I suggest.

Edward said...

First of all, I'm an independent and intend to vote 3rd party in an attempt to drive the winner down under 50% nationally and make him humble.

I've got a deep cynical feeling about both Obama and McCain. I'm going to the polls and voting "No!"

From that persepective (!) it seems to me that

1. Obama peaked around June 10th when he wrapped up the nomination and McCain was dithering and babbling. Obama's one-night post-convention bounce tied but did not exceed his 6/10 numbers. He's not on the upswing in September -- "a very bad sign."

2. Personally, alone, in his own office, Obama can be arrogant and dictatorial. He made the decision to put Biden on the ticket alone, and it was a whopper.

3. McCain's response, picking Sarah Palin, was the political event of the year.

4. The Palin smear by the liberal media and the democrats has demonstrably backfired. McCain got a "post convention bounce" and it is still gaining elevation. Palin has great appeal to two audiences -- blue collar women in economic stagnant areas like southeastern Ohio and Pennsylvania -- and -- western states with a strong "Annie Oakley" respect for independent women -- NM, NV, and WA particularly. Obama is losing his lead in solidly liberal Washington state -- "now, that's a catastrophe."

5. There are some good pollsters out there. John Zogby and Scott Rasmussen really truly try to get it right, for example. They crawl over broken glass to get high ratings as top-tier pollsters. The 7% or 8% democratic "edge" in registration is an attempt to acknowledge the democratic landslide in 2006 races as well as compensate for the enthusiasm of new voters in 2008 from Obama's resgistration drive. We won't know whether this is overdoing it or not until election night.

6. Hillary Clinton got 18 million votes in the 2008 primaries. No Democrat has won the White House since World War 2 without a southerner on the ticket -- not once. So! Where was the southern woman that Barack Obama nominated in Denver?! He didn't do that. He's dug a huge hole for himself.

Summary: Advantage McCain.