Nov 01 2008

The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 11_01_08

Published by at 6:06 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 +8 9.7%

10_27_08 = Ob +7.3%
10_28_08 = Ob +6.3%
10_29_08 = Ob +6.0%
10_30_08 = Ob +6.7%
10_31_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 +10), Gallup (Expanded) (Ob +10) and ABC News/Wash Post (Ob +9). Therefore the Extended Poll average for today is Obama +8 9.7%.

Strata-Sphere Traditional:  Ob +6.75%

10_27_08 = Ob +4.8%
10_28_08 = Ob +4.0%
10_29_08 = Ob +4.2%
10_30_08 = Ob +5.0%
10_31_08 = Ob +6.0%

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 +10), Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby (Ob +5), Diageo/Hotline (Ob +7), and IBD/TIPP (Ob +5). Note that GWU/Battlegrounddoesn’t produce a poll on weekends. Therefore the Traditional Poll average for today is Obama +6.75%.

If we asume GWU/Battleground is as steady as usual, then the ‘traditional’ poll family average would be a more believable 6.2%. If we remove the completely dodgy Gallup poll (more on that below) the average is 5.6% with just the three polls, and 5.25% if I factor in an estimate for GW/Battleground.

RCP National Average: Ob +6.6%


Something bizarre is going on with the Gallup polls. One poll is supposed to have a turnout model that reflects historic party breakdowns, and the other was giving the dems a 8+% edge (twice the recent historic high mark in memory). But somehow these polls show identical results? Gallup is definitely monkeying with the numbers, or else Obama is losing democrats. I am about ready to toss it out all together.

Without the bizzare Gallup poll Obama’s lead in the ‘traditional’ family is somewhere around +5.25-5.6%. In the ‘extended model Obama is up a whopping 9.7%, which is why Gallup’s numbers are so crazy. They have hidden their Bi-poller nature somehow.

Overall, not great news. Could be a bump from the infomercial, but the news from Zogby this morning could mean some better polls tomorrow.

Previous Posts:

The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_31_08
The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_30_08
The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_29_08
The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_28_08
The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_27_08
Bi-Poller Part II

19 responses so far

19 Responses to “The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 11_01_08”

  1. Terrye says:


    Maybe I misunderstood, but Rasmussen has Obama at +5 not +10.

    That means Zogby has McCain +1, Rasmussen has Obama +5 and Gallup as Obama +10.

    Someone is going to end up looking wrong no matter who wins it.

  2. crosspatch says:

    I also would like to note that “early voting” invites fraud. People can travel from state to state, register and cast a ballot, then move on to the next state. A person could potentially vote in as many states as allow early voting.

    If you can vote only on election day, it limits the amount of fraud one person can commit by limiting their voting only to states where they can visit during polling hours on election day.

    And long polling lines actually cut down on the fraud too because if a person must wait an hour in a line, it further limits the number of polls a person can visit to cast a ballot.

    I also favor the “purple finger” in US elections.

  3. crosspatch says:

    I would like to see states compare notes and see how many people voted in more than one state. That might be a little easier to catch if they used their real name and I would guess that a person registering in multiple states might be more likely to use their real name and pretend to be moving there and use real id to verify their identity. They probably wouldn’t think states would compare and wouldn’t be so worried about getting caught.

    I would be willing to bet they would find more than one case of the same person using the same ID registering in several states and casting an early ballot.

  4. scipio202 says:

    I don’t believe your description of the difference between the Gallup “traditional” and the Gallup “expanded” is correct – the difference is not in hardcoding specific, different partisan breakdowns. My understanding, based on reading the descriptions from Gallup’s webpage, is that in calculating whether any individual voter is “likely”, the traditional includes past vosting history (as one of the components, in addition to questions on current intention to vote) – which Gallup says generally (but not necessarily) leads to a higher Repub. proportion (since more R’s voted in past elections). The expanded only uses the questions about current intent (including informational questions like whether they know where their polling place is). The different partisan breakdown is a typical consequence of the different likely voter screens, but it is not ensured. If you look at the trend in the two polls, the expanded has been fairly flat – it is the traditional that has *improved* for Obama (both increased Obama numbers and decreased McCain numbers – though more the latter).

    I think there are three possible reasons why this could be the case (and why it might lead to convergence): 1) the traditional still has relatively more R than D, but fewer R’s say they will vote for McCain; 2) R’s are dropping out of the “likely to vote” pool (despite their greater past history of voting) because they are declining in the ‘current intent to vote’ questions, and/or 3) since respondents who have already voted are automatically included as “likely voters”, and early voters have been heavily D so far this year, the traditional model is beginning to reflect (despite its conservative assumptions) at least some of the changes in the R/D makeup of this years electorate. Which is the exact mechanism is hard to tell without seeing the internals.

    You may still disregard the poll if you like, but we’ll find out the truth on Tuesday.

  5. Birdalone says:

    Even if you have a second residence in a different state, you run the risk of being snared into state income tax system in the second state if you register to vote. Gets complicated. I’ve wondered about this since so many, like me, DO have residence in two states. Snowbirds in NY and FL are one example where the risk is greatest because FL does not have a state income tax. Neither does Nevada.

    Have been pondering it since 2004 when my second home was in a very competitive CD and I was tempted to vote in both states, but my sense of honor and civic duty would not allow such duplicity.

    It was very clear though that there is NO way to catch people voting in two different states if they have two residences because there is no national voter registry to catch it. The states certainly do not compare notes.

  6. robert c verdi says:

    just vote

  7. archtop says:

    Here is what Rasmussen says…

    “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows Barack Obama with 51% of the vote, John McCain with 46%.”

    So it’s +5 not +10 (in the MOE). And it’s a weekend. As I mentioned a while back, most of these polling companies’ names show up on your caller ID, so I’m willing to bet refusal rates are very high (especially on weekends).

    We shall see…just get out and vote!!

    By the way- Gateway Pundit reports that McCain is ahead in Missouri…

  8. cochino says:

    Let’s face it- the polls this year are pretty frightening for the Republican side. Still, take a look at this from Nov. 1, 2004.

    Polling is an inexact “science”, to say the least.

  9. scipio202 says:

    Why is my previous comment from 7:30 still in moderation?

  10. lurker9876 says:


  11. MerlinOS2 says:

    Right there in AJs neighborhood

    About those college kids registering to vote on campus

    An ongoing analysis of data matching voter registration lists in
    other states with the list of newly registered voters in Virginia has confirmed that there are thousands of students who attend college in Virginia who are registered here as well as in their home state. Even more alarming, some of these students have applied for absentee ballots in their home state after having just registered to vote here.

    In just eight localities in Pennsylvania, over 350 individuals were registered to vote both in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and 40 of these individuals have applied for and/or received absentee ballots. The analysis is continuing

  12. MerlinOS2 says:


    I have long been for a change to the laws that requires the year after the census for the voter registration books to be archived up and a new book started.

    Was reading horror stories about Miss. the other day where they have people on the books who haven’t voted since the early 60’s and over 500 people who would have to be over 110 years old.

    They have 123% of their voter age population registered to vote and require zero proof of who you are at the polls.

    So if you know a name who moved or is a headstone down the street you can vote.

    Simple as that.

  13. Redteam says:

    Louisiana requires photo ID to vote. Dead people showing up to vote are required to go to the local funeral home.

  14. Jacqui says:

    I heard Dick Morris talk abut the Zogby poll and how he found it significant. Zogby does not weight his daily tracking poll by political party but by demographics. So there is no 9% advantage for Dems and Obama factored into the number.

  15. Birdalone says:

    Sunday NYT Metro section mentions there are 2.3 million registered Democrats (maybe 750,000 are Jewish) and half a million registered Republicans in New York City. Hmmm, so how does that explain Mayors Giuliani (1994-2001) and Bloomberg (2001 to present), and three term Governor Pataki. I can only explain Bloomberg: first time he ran against Mark Green (now Air America-man) who used vilest attack ads. Second time, Bloomberg ran against Freddie Ferrer, who lost the Al Sharpton camp because Ferrer said something Sharpton did not like. Wonder if the Ferrer camp (about 400,000 Puerto Rican votes) harbors any lingering resentment…Axelrod was Ferrer’s campaign manager, yet Ferrer’s politico Ramirez endorsed Hillary AFTER the New York primary.

    Metro section also reports on huge effort by New York Republicans outside of NYC because of the State Senate races, which could have reverse coattails by driving turnout. Also, very active phone banking by McCain in New Jersey.

    Just read McCain has 69% of white weekly churchgoers, comparable to Bush in 2004. source was WashPO or Politico – it’s past my bedtime.

    You cannot go by party affiliation in predicting outcomes.

  16. MarkN says:

    The polls are fixed. For some reason they are in on the Rep supression mode. Everytime they tighten, the Obama people (thugs) make a call and tell them to knock it off and show the landslide talking points. I was thinking that they are so in the tank for Obama that they couldn’t get themselves out. Zogby got the call yesterday and today he warned the bloggers to cool it. Amazing. The MSM will not give up on the Obama landslide story until Wednesday and then I’ll be amazed at their storyline if McCain actually wins.

  17. Terrye says:

    DJ Drummond at Wizbang has an interesting post on the Gallup poll. It is worth reading the whole thing, but here is a summary:

    For these nine states on average, the democrats are early voting at a rate 2.6 points higher than their registration, while republicans are early voting at a rate 3.4 points lower than their registration. Since the early voting currently represents 17% of the anticipated turnout this year, this works out to a total voting advantage by party of 1.02 points. Obviously, if the democrats enjoy a similar +2.6 to -3.4 turnout advantage in actual voting on November 4th, this would inflate their party advantage (assuming democrats support Obama in equal degree that republicans support McCain) by six points, which appears to explain Gallup’s sudden shift: Gallup has decided that the trend in early voting will be reflected in the November 4th turnout, which is a dangerous assumption, for the following reasons:

    1. The 6-point advantage for democrats is reported in just 9 states out of 34 which have early voting; there is no clear information on party participation on the other 25 states which have early voting, and these numbers may be significantly different.

    2. The record on early voting is too short to establish a statistically valid trend, but even the last two elections have shown significantly different levels of participation in voter turnout by party between early and election-day voting. There is no basis for presuming that early voting turnout will be reflected the same way on November 4.

    3. Obama has urged his supporters all year long to vote early, while McCain has not made the same push. A slightly higher percentage of republicans this year than democrats have stated an intention to vote on November 4 rather than early.

    4. Voters who participate in early voting will not also be participating in election-day voting. This datum is significant with regard to black voters. Black voters have been shown to be participating in the three states which release that detail, at a rate 6.7 points ahead of registration proportions. While increased participation overall by blacks may produce a modest increase (roughly 1 percent) to Obama’s support, the ceiling level of the black voter demographic necessarily means that black voter participation will decline significantly on November 4. Consequently, even if all other conditions are the same, republican participation on November 4 should be expected to improve measurably.

    In conclusion, Gallup is assuming that because some democrats in some states are showing up strong in early voting, that this means a blow-out is coming. In truth the lower-than-expected totals of actual voting, combined with reports that no state so far is reporting blow-out numbers, demonstrates that the election is highly volatile and far from over, and depends as it has all along on the three key components of voter turnout, who wins the independent voter support, and which way the undecideds break. Don’t be fooled, this race is still red hot.

  18. kittymyers says:

    Terrye, there was a mistake in the url. Here’s that DJ Drummond post:

  19. […] The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 11_01_08 The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_31_08 The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_30_08 The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_29_08 The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_28_08 The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 10_27_08 Bi-Poller Part II Bi-Poller […]