Oct 14 2008

About Those Polls & Turnout Models

Published by at 6:04 pm under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

I really want to applaud Gallup for providing two turnout model projections in their polls. It allows mathematically astute and experienced person to look inside the data and determine the state of the race. Today’s tracking poll is a great example of how the turnout models can really screw up the results:

What the data shows is fascinating. First off, if we see both camps equally motivated along historic lines then the Obama lead is only +6%. If the election is truly going to be a record turnout for Obama (which I noted before failed to materialize in Ohio in the early voting) then Obama is up +9%. To understand how truly bizarre this is the ‘registered’ voter lead for the Democrat is higher than the ‘likely’ voter lead – which would be a first in decades of successful polling.

And Gallup has another poll out showing an even tighter +4% lead for Obama under the traditional likely voter model. With a Margin of Error of +/-3% this poll indicates a statistical tie.  And if you want to know how bad the poll numbers were for Obama, in this last poll it shows clear McCain leads in prior polling (surprisingly not made public).  

Let’s be honest here folks – the polls look really dismal for McCain-Palin. The only way to prove them wrong is to get off our butts and vote, dragging any and all McCain-Palin supporters with you. This election will be won on who turns out the most voters. This is not a lost race, and if the polls tighten over the next 3 weeks I do not think Obama can win. But they do need to tighten a bit more before I feel comfortable.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “About Those Polls & Turnout Models”

  1. Terrye says:

    Anything can happen. I have not given up yet.

  2. robert c verdi says:

    I am voting, by the way, to hell with the media, the intrest groups, and the crony captalists who make up todays facist left. What is frustrating is how the dems function, loot the treasury and funnel money into groups that use strong arm tactics to win. The rotten aspect of the system is that the more power the dems get, the more they can funnel into their partners. All the while they scream how wall street/ neo-cons/ oil companies/ bush/ zionists/ fill in your bogeyman, are the ones causing all the problems. But the seeds of their defeat are there, we just gotta hold the line till the rot takes them down. Think about this way, Eliot Spitzer, Chuck Rangel, Tim Mahoney, Kilpatrick, half of the dems in Obama’s home state, half of the Dems in New Jersey, I could go on and on. It will take time but we will get there, I tell you this much, it will be a lot easier if we deliver a crushing blow on their hopes this election!
    Its amazing how many disgusting scandals Dems have been caught in in the past 2 years. Of course this is where the media alliance comes into play, by treating each one as a singular event instead of putting them all together to create a narative of corruption it allows dems to get a pass on their “Culture of Corruption” Can you imagine if a Republican had done this stuff?

  3. Mike M. says:

    Another thing to remember is the down-ticket races. If the Dems get Obama plus 60 Senate seats, things are going to get VERY ugly. Every vote will be critical.

    I don’t know how this will play out. I think the debate tomorrow night will be critical…if McCain does not turn in a good performance, I think the RNC will shift funding to Senate races next week. Which will pull the plug on McCain’s campaign.

    That being said, I’d dearly love to know the internals. I recollect hearing that Juan Williams had been informed that the Obama campaign estimated the Bradley Effect at 5-7 points. Which means that IF we turn out, and IF fraud can be kept out, McCain has a fighting chance.

  4. bush_is_best says:

    “Let’s be honest here folks – the polls look really dismal for McCain-Palin. The only way to prove them wrong is to get off our butts and vote…”

    FINALLY. Thank You. At least occasionally there is a reality check around here. Its a problem, and voting is the only way to overcome it…

    Unfortunately, fraud aside, there are legions upon legions of loyal obama supporters who will be doing the same thing, dragging people to the polls and recruiting out of their home states, in red states, poor areas, minority areas, etc… LOTS of people will be coming out LEGALLY for Obama… You can call “fraud!” all you want, but the left is motivated this time around, and they have a charismatic leader they believe in. Listen to him talk, you’ll understand. That fact exists. I understand why you are hesitant to admit it, it does nothing to help your guy get elected. Its completely counterproductive to admit the positive qualities of your opponent. But leaving out half the story and mudslinging is not ‘straight talk’. The Ayers deal is unfortunate, but not a deal breaker, move on to discussing and comparing the personal qualities and potential of each candidate. McCain is the underdog FOR A REASON… try and think about why…

  5. archtop says:

    “This election will be won on who turns out the most voters.”

    This hits the nail on the head. If you think about it, the last two presidential elections were very close, indicating that in reality, relatively equal numbers of republicans and democrats will show up at the polls (with perhaps a marginal edge to democrats). And from the stats I’ve seen for support, each candidate appears to draw about 90% support from their party and 10% from the opposing party. Therefore, the independents will be the deciding factor. And if the independents go for McCain, I think he wins the election.

    I live in NH, and they’re saying Obama will win here, but I’m not so sure. For starters, there appear to be equal numbers of McCain and Obama signs around where I live and elsewhere in the state when I was traveling around last month. Plus, Obama lost to Hillary in NH, so his true support may be somewhat thin. We shall see…

    I feel the real reason the Republicans went down the tubes in 2006 was because of voters on the right were turned off by the scandals (and perhaps the war) and didn’t have much enthusiasm (some even saying they’d sit out the election). This time around, I think the intensity is much higher, especially when you see the crowds McCain and Palin are drawing. (It would be interesting to compare the crowd size that Biden drew in Scranton PA versus Palin…)

    Finally, why is it that a Democrat Congress with a 9 – 14% approval rating will automatically be re-elected?! I think some of those seats that Republicans lost in 2006 in the House may be coming back…

  6. daralharb says:

    One poll, CBS/New York Times, has just doubled down on its weighting and turnout model with a claim that Obama has opened a 14-point lead over McCain.

    The poll results seem to be dependent on an 18 point swing to Obama among independents in a single week, supposedly due to disappointment among independents at the newly confrontational tone of the McCain campaign.

    Two issues seem to be important at this point:

    1. The polls themselves appear, in many cases, to have been deliberately shaped as campaign tactics to dispirit potential McCain/Palin voters.

    2. We have not yet seen the last of the damage that has been done by the fraudulent ACORN voter registrations and to a lesser extent by Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” which encouraged Republicans to register as Democrats during the primaries. Due to the weighting of the polls and ACORNs junk registrations, the election is likely to see three possible outcomes, two of which are likely to be extremely damaging to the future political life of this country.

    a. The polls have found ways to work around the registration issues, the samples are weighted correctly, and Obama wins by a comfortable margin, which is not to say 14 points. I consider this to be the least likely of the three possibilities.

    b. The polls are unreliable, and Obama wins by a margin small enough to be attributable to voter fraud and vote suppression. McCain voters do not accept the result.

    c. The polls are unreliable, and McCain wins by a small margin. This result is completely unacceptable to Obama partisans, who assume fraud. Prolonged litigation ensues, with the ever-present threat of violence in the background.

    In either of the last two cases, the winner will be “not my President” to approximately half of the population, and any major crisis will bring only political paralysis and domestic confrontation.

  7. bush_is_best says:

    Ultimately there is only one thing here that’s really important:

    The fact that WHEN Obama wins, no matter how close a margin or how much right wing fussing follows… when he wins… its gonna be totally awesome!

    Go Obama! Home stretch baby, LETS DO THIS!!!

    More money for everyone and less death, lets get on with it.

  8. archtop says:

    “One poll, CBS/New York Times, has just doubled down on its weighting and turnout model with a claim that Obama has opened a 14-point lead over McCain.”

    Can you say outlier??!



    How can Zogby have the race within 3.8% and CBS/NYT 14%??

    NO WAY!!!!!

  9. AJStrata says:


    but just wait for Breschau and Conman to come by and become all misty over how great The One is doing.

    Here is the problem for O-Bomba: If his young voters think he has it sewed up the go out drinking instead of voting, and McCain wins.