Jan 30 2012

Tomorrow We Determine: Are Voters Engaged or Enraged?

Published by at 7:45 pm under 2012 Elections,All General Discussions

Major Update: Looks like PPP also detected a late Gingrich Surge:

Meanwhile, a Public Policy Polling survey, conducted Saturday and Sunday, has Mr. Gingrich with a manageable-looking 7 points deficit. And he was down just 4 points in interviews conducted on Sunday alone, according to a cross-tabulation provided to FiveThirtyEight.

Well, well, well. I saw one poll claiming Romney is winning Evangelicals and the Tea Party. Sounds fishy to me. I would say tomorrow is going to be very surprising – end update.

The other day I noted that primary polls this year were not to be trusted, especially in Florida since the turnout modes used by pollsters has little prayer of being right given this cycle is like none other – so there is no historic basis to any turnout model. The factors I listed that made this year so unique in Florida primary history:

First off, we still have the 2010 insurgent voter out there. This can be seen in the fact that the current GOP voters in Florida are not the same ones from 4 years ago:

Republicans have narrowed the Democrats’ registration edge in Florida since November 2008, when Barack Obama carried the state. And with the Jan. 31 primary still nearly two weeks away, more than 446,000 Florida Republicans have requested absentee ballots — far exceeding the 307,744 absentee requests for the 2008 GOP primary.

Figures released by the Division of Elections today show Florida has 11.2 million voters, with 40.5 percent registered as Democrats and about 36.2 percent as Republicans. The gap of 4.3 percentage points between Democratic and Republican registrations compares to a 5.8-point gap that favored Democrats heading into the 2008 presidential election.

Assuming the number of voters has not changed in Florida (still 11.2 million), the number of new GOP voters is euqal to the change in the gap between registered GOP and Democrat voters. This change is 1.5% or 168,000 new GOP voters, out of a total number 4, 054,400. This represents 4% of the total GOP voters.

4% is a large number when candidates are even 8% apart. A 4% shift moves a blow-out to a tie.

Another factor I noted was how Florida is actually in the kingmaker position this cycle, something they are never really in since they were historically one of the many Super Tuesday contests. This new pivotal position in the GOP selection process is going to really change the turnout models:

Florida moved their primary date up again this cycle (cutting their delegates from 99 to 50, with no super delegates) to move off of one of the Super Tuesdays. One thing is true, if voters don’t feel their vote counts, they don’t take the time to vote. Florida has never been in this position, where their vote will make a huge difference in who takes on Obama. So voters are going to come out in historic numbers (like they did in SC).

Just to be clear, this prediction has already come true in the early, absentee voting. This is a record voter turnout year already:

Early voting began statewide nine days ago, and according to figures released Monday afternoon by the Florida Department of State, which runs the division of elections, 293,760 people have already cast ballots.

But wait, there’s more. According to the state, more than 531,000 people have requested and were sent absentee ballots, and 338,753 have been returned and received by Florida officials.

Add it all together and more than 632,000 votes have already been cast before primary day.

The story goes on to claim this will help Romney because he has the better GOTV organization. But if his GOTV is activating 2010 insurgent voters, he is turning out his own opposition. Romney is now the establishment candidate after his brutal campaigning.

But something else may be in play right now, and that is Team Romney’s over the top negative campaign against the Tea Party insurgents. In the 2010 GOP landslide, a whopping 41% of the voters were Tea Parry supporters.

Exit poll data indicate that 41 percent of those voting in House races Tuesday said they support the Tea Party. Thirty-one percent of voters said they oppose the Tea Party. And a quarter of voters take no position on the Tea Party one way or the other.

I was about to concede the state to Romney, but I was hesitant to understand why polls moved so quickly. There is no policy reason for the move. Yes, there was a lot of Romney mud-slinging, but that tends to smear both candidates in the mud pit.

One thing I noticed in 2010 and in 2011/20012 was that America is still enraged and fed up with the status quo and the party/political establishment.  This anger and frustration resulted in these voters tuning out politics until action could be taken. This showed up in SC in spades, as the polls picked up the shift to Newt in the last week. I think these voters are not engaging until the last minute.

BTW, SC is accustomed to being a pivotal and early primary state. While they had a record turnout, the turnout models would hold up fairly well there since the SC role was not unusual.

A late poll coming out today lends credence to the possibility that Mitt Romney could be heading for a Dewey Moment:

The Sunday results of 646 likely GOP voters are as follows:

  • Romney 36 percent
  • Gingrich 31 percent
  • Santorum 12 percent
  • Paul 12 percent
  • Other/Undecided 9 percent

“The race will be tighter than expected,” Matt Towery, chief pollster of InsiderAdvantage told Newsmax.

As is noted in the accompanying story, Insider advantage was the first to detect the SC shift to Gingrich.

My rose-colored theory is that the insurgent voters of 2010 are still out there, but running silent and deep. They are spurning the pollsters, becoming undetectable. Also, as I noted in the previous post, even if the insurgent centrist voter is answering the poll, they could easily be thrown out of the ‘likely voter’ pool because of the simple fact Tea Party insurgents are new to the political process, many voting for the first time in a long time in 2010. And very few participating in the primary process. No previous voting in primaries gets you punted out of the ‘likely’ voter pool.

What if this key voting block is being missed by pollsters?

Does it really make sense the 2012 voter is that much different from the 2010 insurgent voter? Did the 2010 insurgent voter all of sudden decide to go milquetoast and support Romney? I see no reason for them to shift from angry backlash to pragmatic lambs. What happened in 2011 or 2012 to make them passive supporters of more of the same in DC?

I would expect if their support for Romney was real, Obama would be sinking in the polls, not rising as he is. Even Democrats are showing a come back against the GOP in the congressional ballot. Seeing the backlash against Obama and the Dems drop off over the last three weeks just as Romney is rising has me questioning if the rise is real support, or the 2010 tsunami voter has just gone silent until they hit the voting booth tomorrow.

My guess is a large turn out tomorrow helps Newt. I see nothing for the 2010 insurgents to all of a sudden become passive establishment followers. In fact, given how lame the GOP House has been since 2010, I only see rising frustration.

Which is why maybe tomorrow will not be as the polls say. The only problem with this theory is the fact that so many polls show a Romney cake walk. Hard to believe they are all wrong – unless the voters are not cooperating and indicating the truth out there.

Needless to say, tomorrow evening will set the path for this nation for the next 4 years. In terms of stopping the out of control federal government, there are few options left. Romney and Obama will fight all bold changes. They are so similar is hard to believe its worth having an election. But we shall see….


101 responses so far

101 Responses to “Tomorrow We Determine: Are Voters Engaged or Enraged?”

  1. Redteam says:

    Thanks Frogg1, Drinking it now..

    WWS: lighten up. You state your opinions, I state mine. Just because you say you are drunk in a bar when you state your opinions do not make them less valuable. I may be drunk (tho I haven’t actually been drunk in at least 20 years) when I state mine. But that’s what they are. If you recall, just a week ago there was a major blowout in SC with all polls saying it would continue to Florida. Seems like they may have been wrong. You know why? because they were OPINIONS. So now there is a minor victory for Mitt in Florida and some are jumping on the band wagon that it’s all over. Most likely they are wrong. You know why? because they are OPINIONS. Most polls seem to say the race is still going to be very close. I still believe that it will be very close, withing 2% either way. but I may be wrong. You know why? because it is an OPINION. one failure of human nature seems to be that people value their own opinion more than they value others opinions. Does that make them more correct? sometimes yes, sometimes no. I don’t know why you don’t recognize that a 15% victory is more than a 14% one. If you are running for office, would you rather get 14% of the vote, or 15%? I’ll go with the 15 every time.
    Now if you’re taking all this seriously, you need to head on out of that bar that locked you in last night and sleep it off.

  2. Frogg1 says:

    Gingrich is going to challenge the winner take all (delegates) of Florida due to the Republican National Committee rules, no state can be winner take all until after April 1. If the RNC committee rules stand, then there is no reason for anyone to get out of the race before April 1.

  3. jan says:

    If Romney had lost FL, and then immediately challenged the winner-take-all delegates, because of a technicality, he would have been slammed, and vigorously chastised as a sore loser. He would have been challenged as to why this wasn’t brought up before the primary, instead of after, when he had lost.

    Romney also would have been demeaned, if he had lost, defiantly pouting, not calling Gingrich to do a polite “Congratulations,” even if it was simply reluctant lip service, as that is the proper protocol from one candidate to the other in these contests.

    At the end of the day, someone is going to win, and he/she will need the support of their opponent, if they wish to have a voter majority when it comes to defeating Obama. Gingrich is simply making more enemies along the road, as he seems to have done his entire life.

    Personally, I think any candidate with Gingrich’s sour behavior is playing demolition derby with the party they are supposedly representing. Sometimes, I don’t think I can lose any more respect for the man, and then another day, another outburst from Gingrich crying ‘foul,’ and my opinion just goes to another lower level.

  4. Layman1 says:

    Ahhh… Redteam.

    Let’s see if we can explain this to you. You are right of course, 15% is bigger than 14%. But of course 15% of 100,000 (just making up numbers to illustrate the point) is less than 14% of 1,000,000.

    Also, you never responded to the critiques of your Florida predictions – all totally wrong. Also, you never responded to my answer to your challenge, i.e. name one – just one – thing that Romney ever * did that was conservative. I gave you three. Well…

    * Got to be careful when you use words like always, never, ever, etc. They’re absolutes and as human beings we are flawed (confused, mixed-up, inconsistent, etc.) and nothing we do is ever an absolute.

  5. WWS says:

    Hey redteam, found another video of you last night!!!


  6. Layman1 says:


    At the very least you could give Romney a little credit, you know, the old “a broken clock is right twice a day” type of thing.

    When you go into your “Romney has never ever in his entire life done one single thing that’s the slightest bit conservative” mode then you make yourself look foolish and small. I can tell that you’re a thinking person, that you’re better than that, so try to rein in the emotion a bit and make sure that hyperbole comes off as such.

  7. Redteam says:

    WWS, you really need to get out of that bar and clear your head.

    Layman1, so you’re saying that if you are running in an election, you’d rather have 14% of the vote rather than 15%. (I’ll accept that)

    I don’t think I was wrong on my Florida predictions. I didn’t hit them right on the head, but no one I know of did either. As I said, it was my opinion and my opinion was just that. To say I had an opinion would be correct.
    I will concede that you did name 3 conservative things Mitt did, and most likely that’s the only 3 that exist. How about all the taxes he increased in Mass? (is that conservative?) I already know you’re gonna say he raised fees (not taxes) but that’s a losing argument. in fact, fees are regressive taxes because the hit poverty people the same as rich people. (I’m also going to say that for every conservative thing you can say about Mitt, I can name 10 that Newt did) I can name one hell of a lot more liberal things Mitt did than what Newt has done, but then I’m sure you can also.
    We already know that SC was a blowout for Newt, and Mitt edged Newt in Florida. all that means is that there is still a good race.

    jan: I am going to point out that each primary should go by the rules. Apparently Florida was told that one of the penalties for moving their primary up was that the votes would be proportional. Just because Mitt won is no reason to change the rules. Now, if it can be proven that the rules clearly stated ‘winner take all’ then that’s how it should be. Don’t change the rules in the middle of the game.

    WWS. what’s that video about, and do they have computers in that bar?

  8. Frogg1 says:

    Why no love for Newt? Why aren’t more members of Congress who served with Gingrich supporting his presidential campaign?

    Greta Van Susteran interviews Lindsey Graham and he surprisingly comes to his defense. He was one of those in Congress giving Newt a hard time when he was Speaker (in fact, said the coup was in his office); but, has a different appreciation now (goes into detail on this). He says looking back now, Newt’s accomplishments were historic. He talks about Newt’s erratic nature also (which can get him into trouble). Says Newt would, however, shake it up in Washington to bring the needed changes.

  9. Frogg1 says:

    Romney’s ‘not so good day’ after Florida

    Krauthammer rips Romney’s ‘not concerned about the poor’ remarks: ‘This is bad’

    Authors: Romney Denied Free Olympic Tickets to 9-11 Widows, Orphans; Gave Them to Utah Legislators

  10. jan says:


    Then we agree on the ‘rules.’ The only glitch, for me, is that there was never a mention, by either candidate, state party leaders, media, etc., about FL having their delegates becoming proportional because they changed their primary date. OTOH, it was repeated over and over again how their delegates were halved because of making these changes.

    Consequently, IMO, this 100% omission of such a penalty is not only suspect, but continues to give the loser, no matter who it turned out to be, the image of a sore loser. Being that it is Gingrich, he is quickly taking on the mantle of sore loser, as he complains about everything after the fact — be it applause from the audience, news people as commentators (both he relished until they worked against him), negative campaigning, and not distribution of delegates.

    Now, if Trump ends up endorsing Romney (which I do not consider an asset), Gingrich will rail against his once BFF, as he was expecting the nod from Donald after kissing his ring by accepting the ill-fated, ill-conceived political debate, that ended up being cancelled.

    Do you see a trend here?

    At this stage I would willingly support Romney or Santorum. ABG — anybody but Gingrich, even though I will vote for this inept, erratic man should he get the nomination…..

  11. Layman1 says:

    I always wait over night and then come back to see how things have settled out and boy, it seems some things have not sunk in.

    Let’s try this again. If I were running in an election I’d rather OVERALL have a 15% margin than a 14% margin (happy Redteam?). But when we are talking individual states I’d be happy to have a 14% margin in the really big states if my opponent had a 15% margin in the small states, i.e. I’d have more total votes overall. For example, if the GOP takes Texas 58-42 that is a better outcome than Obama taking RI 60-40. It is simple math. I don’t understand the reluctance to accept it except that you want to make the point that Newt is doing better because he won his state by a higher percentage. Fine, I’ll concede that Newt did better percentage wise in SC than Mitt did percentage wise in FL. Will you’ll concede that the number of votes Mitt got in FL dwarfs the entire vote count of SC?

    Also, I like the idea of fees. Charging people who use a service makes sense to me so I’m happy Romney raised fees while cutting tax rates. This talk that its regressive is a liberal idea. Are you in favor of the idea that “rich people” should pay more than “poor people” because its fair? I thought you were a conservative? The entire idea of a flat tax or a consumption based tax is that rich people will pay more because they have more – not simply to punish them for having more. Also it let’s people have the freedom to choose whether or not to spend money or use a service. If you don’t want to spend the money on the fee then don’t use the service.

    Redteam/MarkN: Your zeal to put Romney down is causing a few short circuits in your logic. I’m willing to concede to you that Newt is more of a conservative than Romney and Santorum is the most conservative of all. My view is that Romney is a moderate with a little bit of a conservative underpinnings from his religious and business backgrounds and with a conservative Congress will do just fine .

    If Newt wins the nomination I’ll be happy to support him. My entire reason for joining this dialogue has been (what I perceive to be) totally irrational hatred/disgust of Romney. All of you Newt or Santorem (or previously Cain) supporters can back your candidate (or even dislike Romney) without resorting to name callling and threats to pick up your marbles, go home, and let Obama win.

  12. jan says:


    As I recall, the absentee vote in FL was larger than the entire vote in SC, which bookends your discussion about the significance of a state’s size. I would also add, as I have done previously, that FL is a much more diverse state, representing the country more in their heterogeneous POVs than SC, which is one of the most evangelical states in the union.

    Therefore, to use SC as any kind of template for the other 49 states is unwise, distorting the disparity of opinion and predilections that actually prevail in the country.

  13. Redteam says:

    jan, not sure about numbers but I think absentee in Fl 400K+ total vote in SC 600K+ (but wouldn’t argue the case either way) One fine point, the proportional delegates in Florida is not a ‘penalty’ it is a rule. That rule and the rule about 50% were both in the notification that Fl got when they moved their primary. I believe the rules should be played by.

    Layman1 Thanks for having a sense of humor. Something WWS doesn’t have (I think because he’s locked in some bar and if he’s to be believed, drunk) Maybe he’ll be released soon.

    Anyhow, you may discontinue the math numbers, I have an engineering degree w/ honors and that included a whole lot of advanced math courses, plus I have the advantage of many years of experience. I’m just jerking your chain on that stuff, yes of course I’d rather have the higher number of total votes, not percentage.

    But, now let’s discuss fees. try this one.
    guy at poverty level, job 30 miles from home, one roundtrip per day.
    let’s tack a fee of 25cent per gallon on his gasoline. his pickup gets 10 miles per gallon. so just for work travel, he’s now paying 1.50 per day ‘fees’ to go to work.

    rich guy, diesel Mercedes, 40 miles per gallon. works at home, 0 miles per day round trip. his fees do not increase.

    Now tell me which of those two persons can more afford $1.50 per day in fees?

    If you answer, ‘the rich guy’ then we’ll be in agreement.

    Now tell me which of those two persons will actually have to pay the $1.50 per day.

    If you answer, ‘the poor guy’, then we’ll be in agreement.

    Now tell me one more time why you like ‘fees’ better than taxes.

    you said: “This talk that its regressive is a liberal idea. ”

    now I’m certainly no liberal, but will you concede that the above ‘fees’ might be just a teensy bit regressive?

    Now I know you’re gonna bring up other ‘fees’ that really do make sense, such as user fees for state parks, etc. But without an analysis of all the ‘fees’ increases that Romney did, we can’t be sure which way they are really slanted (if at all)

    One other humorous point: you said:”Redteam/MarkN: Your zeal to put Romney down is causing a few short circuits in your logic. ”

    I don’t try to put Romney down, he does that very well all by himself, just listen to him.” Anyone that changes his political beliefs on a daily basis, depending,(as jan said) on whats ‘pragmatic’, (I would say ‘as the wind blows’) certainly doesn’t need any assistance from me.

    and before you ask, Newt does extremely well at shooting himself in the foot also.

    PS, don’t go out to any bars with WWS, he might get you locked in.

  14. Redteam says:

    there’s a longer message locked up in moderation, would you please release it?

  15. AJStrata says:


    Been in marathon meetings for my day job. My apologies for not getting the comment out sooner.

  16. jan says:


    Regarding your long post above:

    I wish I was sitting next to you when I was taking math in school — never was good at it. Science, literature/writing were what I liked, and consequently were my academic forts.

    You’re never going to get over that ‘pragmatic’ comment, are you? LOL

  17. Redteam says:

    jan, I enjoy reading what you say. We have to have a sense of humor about this whole deal. It’s not looking good for the country now, something needs to change. joking about pragmatic is certainly preferable to a lot of things going on. (Maybe even better that WWS getting locked up in that bar, though I think they did finally let him out, either that or he escaped)

  18. Layman1 says:

    I think I need to join WWS and have an adult beverage or two.

    Hey RT: I agree that fees can be “regressive” but then again the people who use things – like roads – should pay for them. It may stink that the guy who works at home doesn’t have to pay the gas tax – we’ll forget your little class warfare Mercedes v. pickup comment 🙂 I say good for him for finding a job he can work at home.

    And if he is rich he’ll pay his fair share when he goes to the store and buys a $30 bottle of wine for dinner rather than the $5.99 six-pack. In my neck of the woods we pay 8.7% state and local sales tax. So our rich guy is “contributing” $2.61 vs. $0.52 for our beer drinker (actually our rich guy pays more because the libs put a higher sales tax on alcoholic beverages – and its higher for wine and spirits than beer).

    We can go on and on if we have to. I mean let’s talk sales tax on the new Mercedes that the rich guy buys every 3 or 4 years versus the sales tax on the used pickup which was 5 years old when purchased and will be driven until it dies.

    I think when we started making tax policy due to “fairness” we started on the road to ruin.

  19. jan says:


    When you start to socially engineer ‘fairness,’ then such things as ambition, motivation, effort, creativity will begin to dry up. It will be time to put the feet up on the coffee table and just ‘let it be,’ like the old Beatles song.

  20. Redteam says:

    Very good Layman1.
    “I think when we started making tax policy due to “fairness” we started on the road to ruin.”

    wait a minute.. wasn’t you just arguing that user fees are more fair because the people that use them are paying them? So is that more road to ruin.

    I like your examples and I didn’t intend the pickup/Mercedes comment to be class warfare. I just think a low income person is more likely to drive a pickup to work and the rich guy at home is more likely to have a Mercedes. (he probably has a new diesel powered pickup also)

    If I were trying to be fair on taxes. I would charge everyone about 15% flat across the board on all income. anyone at the poverty level would get about a 50% rebate on income from a paid job. (if they actually paid the 15% tax on under the table money, they could also get a 50% rebate on that. The reason for EVERYONE paying some taxes is because everyone lives in this country and should pay a share of the benefits. No tax loopholes, all income subject.

    I have basically always supported user fees. State/national park users is a good example. Fishing licenses, driving licenses, tickets to movies, etc are all good examples. cigarettes and alcohol are others.