Oct 28 2008

The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_28_08

Published by at 5:36 pm under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

Tonight I continue my monitoring of the two families of polls being produced this year by pollsters in order to provide our readers insight into how the presidential race is playing out based on two  different assumptions on turnout models.

The tracking polls in the ‘traditional’ family use historic voting trends to weight things like party ID affiliation in their turnout models.  The ‘extended’ family of polls are based on the unproven assumption this year’s turnout will favor the Dems by 2-3 times the highest historic advantage ever seen in memory. Over the years there have been times when the Democrats have seen up to a 4% edge in voter turnout. The polls in the ‘extended’ family assume a Democrat edge of 8-12% in their turnout models – crazy, eh?

Strata-Sphere Extended: Ob +6.3%

10_27_08 = Ob +7.3%

First, for the Obama supporters we provide the ‘extended’ poll of polls. This group includes the following daily tracking polls (with today’s horse race numbers in parentheses): Rasmussen Reports (Ob +5), Gallup (Expanded) (Ob +7) and ABC News/Wash Post (Ob +7). Therefore the Extended Poll average for today is Obama +6.3% (close to the RCP average).

If we add in the non-daily tracking polls still in the RCP average we get a truly interesting result: with Pew Research (Ob +15) and Newsweek (+12) the tally is Ob +9.2% (even higher than RCP’s average, which is why these polls skew the overall average).

Strata-Sphere Traditional:  Ob+ 4.0%

10_27_08 = Ob +4.8%

Now, for the McCain supporters we have the historically proven polling method. This group includes the following daily tracking polls (with today’s horse race numbers in parentheses): Gallup (Traditional) (Ob +2), Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby (Ob +3), Diageo/Hotline (Ob +8), IBD/TIPP (Ob +4) and GWU/Battleground (Ob +3). Therefore the Traditional Poll average for today is Obama +4.0% (not very close to the RCP average).

RCP National Average: Ob + 7.0%

RCP has other, non-daily tracking polls, in their average. I have decided to just go with the daily polls for this analysis (though I did add them into the ‘extended’ family as a one off example today).


Clearly the ‘traditional’ polls are showing a tightening and close race. Even the fanciful ‘extended’ model showed a tightening race since yesterday. We have seen a lot of undecideds resisting the siren call of the liberal media and DC/NY Political Industrial Complex on the inevitability of Obama’s victory. These voters have been holding out until the end, and because they are resisting the push to Obama it is logical to assume they could break for McCain and bring him over the top. Obviously we need to wait and see how this plays out through Monday, but McCain has some reasons to be optimistic and the Dems have some good reasons to be concerned.

The reason is only one of the two families of polls will be right. Either the McCain voters get out and vote and make a fight of this or the Dems will see an advantage in turnout 2-3 times the most ever recorded in recent memory – even in good years for the Dems. Here are the historic edges for Dems from previous election cycles:

  1. 2000 RDI: 35-39-27 (Dems +4)
  2. 2004 RDI: 37-37-26 (Dems +0)
  3. 2006 RDI: 36-38-26 (Dems +2)
I am not expecting to see an 8-12% edge for the Dems unless the McCain side sits home in droves.

Previous Posts:

The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_27_08

Bi-Poller Part II


12 responses so far

12 Responses to “The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_28_08”

  1. ExposeFannyNFreddyNow says:

    Going off-track a bit.

    I found this on one of those list of lists sites. The first item, #8) Airtime, Congo, and “acceptable currency for bribing officials”, struck a peculiar chord.

    Check it out and decide for yourself. Be sure to follow the “cell phone scratch cards” link after the jump for more background.

    But just a warning, it is a college/frat site and it uses extreme language as part and parcel of its sarcasms. But the site does have a knack for finding off-the-beaten-track info.

    7 Bizarre Things (And 1 Bodily Fluid) People Use

    QUOTE: “Despite having a GDP on par with your average 7-Eleven, the Congo has several million cell phones and subscriptions have increased 150% in the last year …… they’ve taken to buying airtime vouchers or “scratch cards” and texting the codes to others who can then use the codes to redeem the cash value right away in a sort of rudimentary money transfer system that happens instantly and costs the price of a text message.

    The practice is so widespread that these scratch cards are now acceptable currency for bribing officials. As an added bonus, you can pay the bribes remotely with this method, so there’s no need for the cops to even take you downtown to bribe the judge when you can pay them all off at the same time. Ah, technology. Simultaneously bribing multiple government officials to quietly overlook your backyard sex parties has never been easier.” UNQUOTE.

    Given how very new and untested this highly mobile “currency” is, you have to wonder how easy it is to a) counterfeit, and b) make mulitple transfers on a cheap … disposable … phone.

    Does anyone know or have any experience with this new “currency”?

  2. ExposeFannyNFreddyNow says:

    PS to last “acceptable currency for bribing officials” comment.

    The new phone card “currency” originated in Nigeria, home of endless email scams and other assorted money-laundering schemes, or (ahem) “change”.

  3. MarkN says:

    The hotline poll has the largest advantage and is in the traditional group. Wonder why its spread is twice as large as the others?

  4. Terrye says:


    I wonder what their internals are?

  5. ExposeFannyNFreddyNow says:

    Sorry to keep side-tracking AJ.

    Your poll stats are terrific. Thanks for all the work putting the numbers into a more rational perspective. It’s nice to get some hard-nosed ongoing number crunching and analysis to assess.

    It’s also nice to see the early voting numbers coming in to challenge the fallacy of skewing the polls.

    But what’s really interesting is just how close the numbers remain despite the extraordinary difference in spending between the two campaigns and all the charges of how impeccable one is over the other.

    Aside from not winning, the second biggest concern of the Obama campaign is this. Given how much they’ve astronomically outspent McCain, even without asking for the DNC campaign numbers, it’s pretty clear that the Obama campaign is at least as mismanaged, if not more so than McCain’s, for not having capitalized “to the max” on their massive war chest.

    In other words, for massively obscene amounts of money, Obama can helm his campaign, and presumably the Presidency, to what’s looking more and more like a close (and maybe lesser) finish with McCain.

    McCain, on the other hand, has kept pace if not achieved equal to or more than Obama throughout the campaign, for an obscenely gargantuan amount LESS.

    If you were running a business, who would you hire to mind the store?

    Take away the bells and whistles. Rip off the sequins, the pasties, and all the ooh-la-las. Turn off the thumpingly naif soundtrack, and like the poll breakdowns, we arrive at a very different picture indeed.

    The proof will be in the pudding.

    Everyone standing by for the Obama/OBiden Big Brother Broadcast?

  6. PurpleDragon2 says:

    Question for you all here. How many times in the past two months has a poll called you? I think for me it’s been around ten times and I’m wondering how unusual that is. I just got off the phone with the AP poll.

  7. […] weighting – a big time statistical no-no) then Obama has little chance of winning. And right now my estimate is the ‘traditional’ polls are now at Obama +4% and […]

  8. appeal2 says:

    I must be missing something about polling. I did sleep through a lot of math classes in my youth due to…well you know why. But in college I aced statistics and as a wise man said, “Statistics lie and liars use statistics.” Whatever happened to the concept of a truly random sample. The only way to get an accurate poll is to use a random sample. A truly random sample will generate a distribution of dems and pubs that will reflect the general population. And then once you have that random sample you go about contacting them. Why then would you weight the sample? The rationale I have heard is that because you can’t contact between 70-80 percent of the sample population you have to adjust the results. This makes no sense to me. If you have a truly random sample, then the members of the group you can’t reach should be a random section of the random sample. Therefore, the people you can’t reach should almost perfectly reflect the normal distribution of the sample. Why do you need to weight the results? Someone please explain this.

    I remember one of my friends was an auditor. When deciding which transactions to review, they consulted a book of random numbers. They randomly picked a page in the book and it provided them with a series of transaction numbers for them to review. I can’t tell you how much fraud he found over the years using this system. It is damn near infallible. Why do the pollsters feel a need to improve on what should almost always work?

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