Nov 03 2008

The Final Bi-Poller Report 11_03_08

Published by at 4:53 pm under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

I found this graphic at Free Republic and couldn’t resist copying it for the final Bi-Poller Report.

So we finally come to the end of the 2008 Election cycle. For this final report I am including all the polls still in the RCP national poll average, allocating them out to their respective family of ‘traditional’ or ‘extended’ based on their optimism regarding the dem advantage in turnout. Gallup is being relegated to the ‘extended’ family since all their models show the same result. And I just left Pew out because it seems to be a bit Bi-Poller all by itself going from Ob +15 to +6% in one week (more on that below).

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 +9.0%

10_27_08 = Ob +7.3%
10_28_08 = Ob +6.3%
10_29_08 = Ob +6.0%
10_30_08 = Ob +9.7%
10_31_08 = Ob +7.3%
11_01_08 = Ob +8% (note: corrected)
11_02_08 = Ob +9%

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 +6), Gallup (Ob +11), CNN/Opinion Research (Ob +7), CBS News (Ob +13), Marist (Ob +9), NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl (Ob +8) and ABC News/Wash Post (Ob +9) (updated). Therefore the Extended Poll average for today is Obama +9.0%.

Strata-Sphere Traditional: Ob +6.2%

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%
11_01_08 = Ob +6.75%
11_01_08 = Ob +5.25%

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): Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby (Ob +7), Diageo/Hotline (Ob +5), GWU/Battleground (Ob +6), FOX News (Ob +7) and IBD/TIPP (Ob +5). Therefore the Traditional Poll average for today is Obama +6.2%.

RCP National Average: Ob +7.3%

The RCP average does a great job of splitting the difference between the two families. But as I have noted, only one will be right, there will be no splitting the pie. One group is right, the other wrong.


The Pew Polls is probably one of the most intriguing data points out there. In one week it went from Ob +15% to Ob +6%, which would indicate to most people a massive shift to McCain, which can only come about by a surge in McCain-Palin support equal to Obama’s supposed historic edge with Dem turnout. I decided not to include this poll because of its schizoid nature.

The ‘traditional’ family of polls show a tight race, which traces well with the state polls showing a late surge to McCain-Palin. But the average for this group did move towards Obama today.  The overly optimistic ‘extended’ family of polls is much larger and shows an Obama blow out. I honestly do not know which family is right. But the historic turnout we have seen this year implies there will not also be a historic edge in Obama supporters over McCain supporters.

If I were to accept the traditional model of polls I would give PA, VA, OH, FL, NV all to McCain, giving McCain a razor thin win (more on this tomorrow). If Obama is on the way to a blow out all of those go to The One. This is why it has to be one family of polls and turnout models or the other, not an average of the two views. By averaging these two different views of the electorate RCP is actually confusing the essence of this race. If McCain-Palin supporters come out they can win, if they stay home they will lose. It is pretty basic.

And I think Obama has done more to energize the right than many accept. He worries a lot of people. Palin ignited the conservative base, waking them up with purpose. But Obama’s liberal views are forcing an interesting alliance of center-left (PUMAs), center-right (those evil RINOs) and the far right that can easily win. Without Obama’s radical views and inexperience, I don’t think there would have been sufficient concern to bring these groups together in opposition. Tomorrow will tell, but there just may be a perfect storm brewing out in the electorate.

Previous Posts:

The Nightly Bi-Poller Report For 11_02_08
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

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “The Final Bi-Poller Report 11_03_08”

  1. Mike M. says:

    On the one hand, a 6-point advantage is quite enough to win fairly big. On the other hand, there is the Bradley Effect…and the fact that polling will not have captured the coal industry gaffe nor Obama giving the electorate the finger.

    Which could be decisive. Heaven knows these polls are volatile.

    Not to mention that I suspect there is an S-curve…the traditional wisdom is that low turnout favors the Republicans, high turnout the Dems…but the turnout is likely to be unprecedentedly high, and I suspect it might favor Republicans at those levels.

  2. robert c verdi says:

    Well, go vote. Being behind a couple points means McCain/Palin can win, but its going to take every vote to do it.

  3. peakspike says:

    New Paul Marston Landslide numbers!!!!


  4. bush_is_best says:

    Obama 338 McCain 200

    That’s a kind estimate, giving you a few close ones like NC, IN, MO, etc, etc…

    Lets hope McCain gets less than 200 and the blowout is greater than people anticipate. That would be fun.

    Lets hope for the ‘bandwagon effect’…

    Look at the legions of volunteers working for Obama, have you ever seen anything like it? Do you realize how much more motivating the Obama campaign is?

    McCain generates no enthusiasm. People now realize Palin is a joke (thanks Tina Fey) and a terrible liability.

    How funny is it that your current ‘chosen one’ is making NO public appearances and staying out of the spotlight.

    Why is McCain not working to save the republican seats in congress, or boost up party moral? Because he only cares about himself and he’s not a true republican, that’s why you hardly ever speak in his favor, and spend all your time in weak attempts to bash Obama. Is that a winning strategy?

    Good luck tomorrow!

  5. Huan says:

    thank you for your blog analysis
    win or lose

    i have questions regarding the polls

    1. who pays for the public polls like Rasmussen, Zogby, Gallup & Pew? (i.e. follow the money)

    2. could the polls be presented as say 51 Obama and 45 McCain with a MoE being 3% be statistically true though the original mean/median was 48 & 48. or even 51 McCain and 45 Obama. I mean that if the observed value was 48, then the truth could be anywhere between 51 and 46, no?
    What do you think the chances are that the poll could be manipulated to such and extent and yet be published in such a way as to remain statistically true but clearly misleading?

  6. archtop says:

    Hey AJ,

    My thanks too for your excellent blog. Win or lose, I’ll be voting McCain-Palin / Sununu tomorrow here in chilly NH!

  7. peakspike says:

    It keeps getting better and better at:

    New Paul Marston PUMA Landslide numbers!!!!



  8. VA Voter says:


    In prior presidential elections there has been at least one major polling organization that has been extremely close on the ultimate winner’s overall percentage with the others fairly close. This included in different years: Zogby, Rasmussen, IBD/TIPP.

    You are reporting that no major polster has McCain closer than what, 5%. For McCain to win he has to do what no other candidate has ever done, and that is to overcome ALL polsters.

    As much as your analysis as been fasinating and as much as it pains me to say that unless you can produce some recent historical presidential prescedent (not Truman) that supports any optimism with a pre election night 5% deficit, I expect to go to bed tomorrow night with Obama the Marxist as President-elect of the United States.

    God help us.

  9. Aitch748 says:

    I posted this on Hillbuzz; I might as well post it here:

    Screw the polls. Vote. Vote just because you get to vote only once every four years. Vote just because you don’t want to be one of those who helped Obama towards victory by NOT casting a vote against him. Vote just to nibble away at Obama’s popular vote count. Vote just to give the finger to the media establishment that is trying to discourage and demoralize you by harping about polls showing Obama ahead of McCain by five, ten, fifteen points or more. Get mad at the Rebeccas on this site and go vote just to annoy them. Vote just because the analysts and the pundits keep saying that the election is over even though far too many of us actual voters haven’t yet gone to the voting booth. Get mad at the pundits for implying to us that our sacred right and duty to vote is useless and that our input is not needed this year and that other, wiser people than us mere voters have already decided the election. Get pissed at the presumptuousness, the GALL of the “common wisdom” being floated about this election, and go vote as a protest against the people pushing Obama on all of us.

    Vote. The only poll that matters will be taken on November 4. It doesn’t even matter if we’re losing (and I don’t really think we are) — just vote.

  10. MarkN says:

    VA Voter: Don’t you know, the fix is in. I have been reading AJ on the polls for since he started blogging. My one comment has always been that I was waiting for one national poll to put McCain in front. Some came close but for some mysterious reason reversed themselves badly the next day. Zogby, Gallup, Rasmussen, Battleground, and finally IBD have come close to putting McCain in front but have quickly backtracked into oblivion. Some have been quite remarkable like IBD which one day before the election has the indies as 17% undecided. Who have McCain 5% up on Sunday among the independents and then down 10% on Monday. 15% in one day with 17% undecided and this after McCain charged to less than 2% down. Someone got a call from the Obama campaign that they will not be favored in the next admin. if they shattered the landslide myth.

    Obama can only win a landslide if everyone believes he will and then self-fulfilling prophesy will take over as the undecideds will decide to back the obvious winner. I’m with DJ Drummmond on the polls this year. I think the election will be close and that scares me. If McCain wins that the country may well burn. I’m glad I’m in Latin America until Friday.

  11. sbd says:

    Hi AJ,

    I heard someone today call into the Roger Hedgecock show today saying that the reason the polls are so far off is due to the ACORN voter registrations. He says that by increasing the number of new voters that are registered Democrat, this changes the polling numbers in their favor to make it look as if they are in the lead. Can you explain if this is true and exactly how it would work in the Dems favor regarding the poll numbers??



  12. […] enough to answer one question: which family of polls was closer to calling the popular turnout? In my last post on polls (hopefully for many years to come) I had estimated the ‘traditional’ poll group was […]