Jan 27 2012

Romney Really Pulling Ahead In Some Polls

Published by at 10:14 am under 2012 Elections,All General Discussions

Finally, we have real data showing a shift to Romney. Both Quinnipiac and Rasmussen show a clear trend in the data (comparing polls from the same pollsters over time – apples to apples). Prior claims of a shift, as I noted previously, were not correct – just lucky.

So it looks like Newt is losing some ground. But how much?

Impossible to say because all these polls are all based on unreliable turn out models for “Republican likely voters in Florida”. How you define that class of poll responders depends on how accurate your poll is.

And how you typically determine the voter pool for any primary election is using historical turn out data. Which will not work this year.

Right now it is safe to assume Romney could win, but I would not lay more than a dime on the line for it. Because this election is not typical of past Florida primaries on many fronts.

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.

“The gap is closing due to the enthusiasm people have to oust Obama,” says Republican Party of Florida spokesman Brian Hughes. “People are hurting. The economy is turning around in Florida, but slowly, and they see at the national stage there’s not enough momentum and they’re ready for a change in leadership.”

This means the voter models used by pollsters are likely not accurate to what the turn out will be Tuesday. How many of these new registrants are insurgent voters who have no history of voting in Florida Primaries but took the time to register since Obama took office? My guess is this new GOP voter is likely to fail the ‘likely voter’ screens. They have no history of voting.

This is what caused many to underestimate the 2010 backlash wave. The mood of the electorate was so energized it defied all historical trends. This is the Achilles’ Heel of polls – they rely on stability in the voter pool to bring confidence to their turnout models.

The second big change for Florida is their role as kingmaker. 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).

This ALSO destroys turn out models. Primaries are the most volatile of elections to gauge in terms of turn out, since for Presidents seeking a 2nd term their party primary is a fate compli. This means half the historic record is inaccurate from the beginning.

Given the completely unique political environment we have today, a surge in GOP voter ranks in Florida and a primary that actually matters forget the turn out models in these polls. If their statistical Margin of Error is 3-4%, their actual margin of error due to turn out model uncertainties could range from 5-10%.

Be prepared to be surprised.

Update: Hot Air poses a question with some answers:

And with another day we get another fresh round of polling showing one of two things: either the good citizens of Florida are prone to fits of multiple personality disorder or the pollsters are just having some fun with us.

Or, the Florida race is unmeasurable by pollsters for the reasons I gave above.

Addendum: Watch for one other phenomena that might arise. The Santorum and Paul voters may realize their only hope of stopping Romney (and RomneyCare) is to get with Newt. If the vote is to stop the establishment at all costs, this could easily happen. In some polls 30+% are open to changing their minds. In SC that late deciders broke to Newt in a wave. Paul has been signalling he has not interest in the White House any more, so his supporters should shift to someone more viable given the meaning of this race.

42 responses so far

42 Responses to “Romney Really Pulling Ahead In Some Polls”

  1. jan says:

    You’re right Layman1 about Drudge’s headlines. He’s just as apt to go after Romney if the “news” warrants it. The thing about Gingrich is that more and more people, who have worked with him, are coming out of the woodwork, and letting loose with what they know and feel about the guy. These are the so-called ‘headlines.’ If other well-known people in Congress or other businessmen came out and talked about their negative experiences with Romney, you would see the same kind of deluge aimed at him.

    As many people have already pointed out, there is more negative baggage out there on Newt than on Romney. Bigger ratios like this get more headlines. So, get used to it!

  2. >Polling, establishment backing, and ground game
    >seem to favor Romney right now.

    Romney does not have a real political ground game.

    He has telemarketers & junk-mailers.

    See:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/289406/mitt-and-newt-florida-neal-b-freeman

    …As I write these words, I have received three robo-calls in the last eleven minutes, all of them attacks on Crazy, Irresponsible, Unethical, Nutso Newt. The most intelligible of these calls was recorded by Chris Christie, the most regrettable by Pam Bondi, Florida’s attorney general, who was sworn in just last year as a tea-party favorite but is now doing duty for Mr. Inevitable. Really, Pam? I did not catch the name of Caller #3, but he was clearly assigned to travel the low road. My goodness, what an indictment. As I hang up on Caller #3, I surprise myself by remembering that Newt remains at large, still walking the streets as a free man. All three of the callers radiate the same kind of raw enthusiasm for their man Mitt that fired the campaigns of Bob Dole and John McCain. Their basic pitch is: “Mitt Romney — he’s not as crazy, irresponsible, or unethical as the other guy.”

    Newt had a real all-volunteer ground game in S.C.,

    see:

    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/article/why-gingrich-won-why-romney-lost/328266

    Gingrich’s defeat of Romney in South Carolina Saturday was absolutely dominating. Just a week ago, Romney had a solid lead over Gingrich in the polls. On Saturday night, he lost to Gingrich by 12 points — a huge and disastrous swing. Gingrich won 44 of South Carolina’s 46 counties.

    How did it happen? For one thing, all the talk about Romney having a hugely superior ground organization turned out not to be true. “They did not do the retail politics that a Santorum and a Gingrich have done over time,” said Kevin Thomas, chairman of the Fairfield County Republican Party. (Thomas was neutral in the race.) “I think Newt’s people, they had more on-the-ground staff, and they worked.” There were a lot of them, too; after Gingrich’s strong showing in the debates, said Susan Meyers, Gingrich’s media coordinator for the Southeast, “We have so many volunteers, our phones are melting right now.”

    Gingrich’s campaign was also faster and more nimble than the Romney battleship. “There is a very strong contrast between the two campaign organizations,” said Gingrich adviser (and former George W. Bush administration official) Kevin Kellems. “In military terms, it’s speed versus mass. Newt Gingrich’s operation, and Newt Gingrich as a man, has a great deal of speed — intellectual speed, decisiveness. The Romney campaign is much more about money and size, having hired half of Washington D.C. And sometimes, speed beats mass.”

    and also see:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/23/newts-jacksonian-revolution/

    If turnout and vote distribution in South Carolina had been consistent with the 2000 and 2008 contests, Gingrich would certainly have fared worse and quite possibly would have lost. Mitt Romney performed well in the wealthier, more moderate counties on the southern seacoast and showed well in the populous counties of the Midlands around the state capital. That coalition was enough for John McCain.

    But there were 30,000 more votes cast than in 2000 and 157,000 more than in 2008. And they mostly came in the northern part of the state, in the Appalachian foothills and along the North Carolina border.

    To put that in perspective, the total increase in Republican turnout in South Carolina from 2008 was greater than the entire turnout in Iowa this year. While both Iowa and New Hampshire saw only modest increases in Republican participation, South Carolina shattered old records and added a whole extra Iowa’s worth of new voters and gave Gingrich the most votes of any candidate in the state’s history.

    Those two articles are what absolutely terrify me about Romney.

    Romney’s campaign style is *OLD*. George Bush in 1991 old. Romney shows it in everything he does, especially when he talks _AT_ voters and _TO_ THE MEDIA. Obamacare vs Romneycare is where you see it happen the most.

    This will get Republican down ballot candidates killed in 2012 worse than the GOP Establishment says Gingrich will do.

  3. jan says:

    Trent

    I could have dueling links refuting some of what you have posted here, as people, including myself, can cherry-pick galore, articles, opinions, statistics supporting their candidates “conservatism,” or why the opposing candidate is such a loser.

    However, everything I have heard and read about Romney’s versus Gingrich’s campaign is that the former is organized and looks ahead having a ground game in all states.

    The latter is haphazard, disorganized, and has a sparse plan for the future. Yes, Gingrich seems to be pulling big crowds in Fl. But, if it is anything like SC, where he cancelled smaller venues, this might be the only forum he participates in — the big crowds in which he can rally.

  4. dhunter says:

    http://barracudabrigade.blogspot.com/2012/01/mark-levin-destroys-romney-now-i-really.html

    The Great One Mark Levin destroys the dishonest Romney and his Progressive Repunk Establishment as has Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh!

  5. Redteam says:

    jan:
    “I could have dueling links refuting some of what you have posted here, as people, including myself, can cherry-pick galore, articles, opinions, statistics supporting their candidates “conservatism,” or why the opposing candidate is such a loser. ”

    sounds almost exactly like what I wrote to you a couple days ago. What is the purpose of cherry picking quotes, etc that support your guy and disses the other guy? You know by now that Ed Rollins, Nancy Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, etc have publicly wondered how anyone can question that Newt is the Conservative and Romney is the Independent (lib to moderate).

    For some reason, you’ve decided that Mitt is your guy. All that says is that you lean toward someone that is middle of the road and not conservative and that thinks people should have no choice in health care. Others have a different point of view. Which is better? time will tell.

  6. jan says:

    Redteam

    I’ve got my reasons and you’ve got yours, as for whom we each would rather have as the nominee. But, as you diplomatically concluded, “time will tell.” And, I’ll just leave it at that.

    Good night.

  7. penguin2 says:

    It is all a matter of proportion. I’m glad you can bring up a negative item Drudge printed about Romney a week ago….

    If you think Drudge has been fair, balanced and not pushing Romney by doing the Alinsky to other candidates, that’s fine. But actually, I am fairly neutral and not as immersed in this stuff, and am only reporting what I have observed. It isn’t worth the time anymore. Romney comes across exactly as what he is, a country-club Republican. A rich one. The very image that the Democrats use to beat us every election. It won’t be any different this one, especially this one as class warfare is going to be the platform for them.

    The biggest issue I see about Romney is Romneycare. Massachusetts is in a world of hurt, and surviving on Federal dollars to keep their programs going. Romneycare and Obamacare strip the dollars from Medicaid and Medicare. Simple as that. I’ve been an RN for over 20 yrs. I know what I’m talking about. I also know that government financed healthcare will bring us down to the abysmal standard of England and Canada’s National Health Service. The Canadian’s come down to the U.S. to get tests and care they have to wait months for compared to what we have. If they can get in at all.

    People don’t seem to understand the exit of the physicians from accepting Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare (military program). It is a significant number and getting worse because the reimbursement is so bad. Just wait until the day you have to try and find someone who will take the government insurance program…you will eventually find someone, but it will be a lower standard of care. I know what I am talking about. And more and more the rationing will take place…especially with the Medicare patients.

    Since when do you think it is Constitutional for Americans to be forced into anything? We used to be free, now we are enslaved by the socialist government. We wanted to elect someone, and had the power to do so, that would stand up for the people. I can see 2012 being another McCain and Bob Dole. So root for Romney, a progressive liberal from the N.E. Guess you forgot Scott Brown who I’m glad to say is going to go down in 2012. He was a Democrat…

  8. Rick C says:

    Pam Bondi is also in bed with the banks on the mortgage fraud here in Florida. in my opinion, she should be impeached. If she is endorsing Romney, that is an excellent reason to vote against him.

  9. jan says:

    Rick

    Pam Bondi is also the lead attorney looking to overturn the PPACA — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — better known as simply Obamacare.

  10. jan says:

    So penquin2, you prefer Elizabeth Warren over Scott Brown for the MA senate seat?

    Why?

  11. penguin2 says:

    Prefer Elizabeth Warren, no. But Scott Brown has betrayed the people who sent him to the Senate. Scott Brown got in because there was grassroots support and money that flooded him to him from across the nation. Not going to happen this time. Most of his votes have been with the Dems. A progressive liberal in sheep’s clothing. He is going to lose in 2012, and he deserves to. Maybe next time someone who really believes in Republican principles and stands by them, will run.

  12. Frogg1 says:

    Herman Cain endorses Newt Gingrich
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/herman-cain-to-endorse-newt-gingrich/2012/01/28/gIQAG2KnYQ_blog.html?hpid=z1

    Too little, too late?

    and,

    Dixie Strategies/First Coast News survey:
    Gingrich, Romney in Dead Heat Statewide
    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/topstories/article/238481/483/Exclusive-Poll-Gingrich-Romney-in-Dead-Heat-Statewide

    This poll was just released today; but, was a rolling poll from Jan 23-25th. Other polls released during that time period showed a movement toward Romney. This could be an outlier poll. However, the sample size was pretty big 2,567 compared to some of the recent polls of 300 or so.

  13. WWS says:

    One thing we can be absolutely rock solid, 100%, bet-your-life sure about is that we know Newt would *NEVER* have offered some of his spare campaign money to Herman Cain in exchange for this endorsement. In fact, the idea is unthinkable, because we KNOW that if he had, Herman Cain would never, NEVER have accepted money for such a thing, even if it had been offered!

    That’s why character matters so much, and why Republicans are so lucky to have people of such high character as these men running for public office.

  14. Frogg1 says:

    Blood Money: Mitt Romney’s Medicare Scandal
    http://www.therightscoop.com/blood-money-mitt-romneys-medicare-scandal/

    Good gosh this looks bad. I hope there is nothing to it. Romney wasn’t charged with any kind of fraud personally; but, it sure looks bad. I hope he has a good counter because the Dems are sure gonna use this one against him.

  15. Frogg1 says:

    From Redstate Blog:
    http://www.redstate.com/willwong/2012/01/28/mitt-romney-damon-capital-blood-money/

    This latest video is whole new ball game. It is about the largest federal medicare fraud in it’s time and most of those frauds occurred under the management of Mitt Romney. In one of the debate, Romney stated explicitly that he had never done any business with the government (another lie). Just as the Feds were completing the investigation on Damon Capital, Mitt Romney sold Damon Capital to Corning (questionable timing!). Initially Romney claimed to have no knowledge of the medicare fraud which happened under his watch. Then he changed his tune that he reported the fraud to the authorities (so which is which Mitt?).

  16. Frogg1 says:

    If the details in this article is true, Romney could NEVER be elected. He needs to be totally vetted over these alledged acts.

    Romney’s Bain Controlled Company Linked to Medicare Fraud Says PAC Ad
    http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/RomneyWasManagerandBoardMemberofCorpGuiltyofMedicareFraud/2012/01/27/id/425817

    According to Forbes, when Mitt Romney was hammered with the scandal during his campaign to become the Governor of Massachusetts, he acknowledged that he did have some awareness of the shady dealings going on at Damon.

    According to The Deseret News, when his Democratic opponent for the governorship, Shannon O’Brien, accused him of lax oversight at Damon and failing to report the fraud, Romney defended that he had helped uncover the illegal activity at Damon, asking the board’s lawyers to investigate. As a result, he said, the board took corrective action before selling the company in 1993 to Corning Inc.

    However, according to the court records, the Damon scheme continued throughout Bain’s ownership, and prosecutors credited Corning, not Romney, with taking corrective action.

    According to a Boston Globe report, then Republican gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney, while insisting that he and fellow board members at Damon Corp. uncovered what was later determined to be a criminal scheme to defraud Medicare in 1993, acknowledged that the directors did not turn over their findings to federal authorities then investigating the medical testing industry.

    While the medical testing company went bankrupt, with thousands losing their jobs, Bain Capital captured a $12 million profit— over $450,000 of that money going to Romney personally.

    Read more on Newsmax.com: Romney’s Bain Controlled Company Linked to Medicare Fraud Says PAC Ad
    Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama’s Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

  17. Frogg1 says:

    ABC News Article (excerpt) indicates Romney did address the issue; but, there are still questionable things about it:

    The Story Behind Romney, Medicare Fraud, and the Latest SuperPAC ‘Movie’
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/the-story-behind-romney-medicare-fraud-and-the-latest-superpac-movie/

    Confronted over it in 2002, Romney told media he “blew the whistle” on Damon’s fraudulent Medicare activity when he found out about it. And he did–to some extent.

    “We put in place a program to stop that immediately,” Romney told reporters on Oct. 9, 2002, according to a Boston Globe account. “That’s how you blow the whistle.”

    Romney’s present critics are quick to point out that U.S. attorneys didn’t see it that way. Damon’s prosecutors credited Corning, not Romney or Bain, with discovering and ferreting out the alleged fraud.

    Romney and the Damon board did, however, contact Damon’s lawyers, seek their counsel, and change Damon’s policies.

    The New York law firm Schulte, Roth & Zabel advised Damon to change its policy to clarify its requisition orders with doctors, The Boston Globe reported in 2002. Knowing of the federal investigation into lab companies, the firm told Damon that its policies weren’t the same as those of National Health, another lab company accused of fraud by federal investigators, and ultimately advised Damon that its policies didn’t violate any laws. Neither Damon nor Romney alerted federal investigators to this process.

    Damon took the firm’s advice and implemented the policy changes–but those changes weren’t significant enough to save Damon from prosecution.

    In 2002, Romney said he’d done his due diligence.

    “We took action based on what the law firm told us,” he said during a campaign appearance with president George W. Bush, the Associated Press reported at the time.

    So while federal investigators, news media, and Romney’s critics have been quick to note that Romney did not, in fact, stop Damon’s questionable practices or effectively “put in place a program” that succeeded in stopping them, Romney did address the matter, as he said he did in 2002.

  18. Frogg1 says:

    Politifact says AFSCME ad against Romney ‘mostly true'; but, qualify it by saying it is difficult to assess what Romney knew, when he knew it, and what he did to stop it.

    Politifact Link:
    http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2012/jan/23/afscme/was-mitt-romney-director-company-charged-medicare-/

    Romney willl have to spend a lot of time on this during the general election to overcome the Dem attacks (exaggerated propoganda by Dems, his own documented mistatements, and some troubling truthful aspects). He’ll probably be ok; but, I can see how the Dems can make some troubling things stick.