Oct 30 2008
In an attempt to answer McCain’s internal poll numbers, showing McCain has a good chance to pull a hat out of a rabbit here in the final days, an Obama/Dem pollster (not sure which) tips his hand mathematically and confirms the McCain camp’s claims. Here is a item by item analysis and an important summary, but remember this is statistical math jabber and few really can claim to parse this accurately. Â I will give it a shot (no promises!
- “Letâ€™s start with the very important conclusion that Obamaâ€™s tracking number, now 50 or 51 percent, is â€œwhat he gets.â€ First, letâ€™s not disparage 50 percent, as no Democrat has received that level of support since Jimmy Carter in 1976. The 3rd party candidates are polling about 3 or 4 percent – and showing about 2 points in our surveys of early vote tallies. That suggests that Obama would win even if you gave McCain all other votes. But our data does not support the â€œObama gets what he getsâ€ thesis.Â “
Greenberg (the Dem/Obama Pollster) is admitting in a round about way Obama is not getting 50% yet, and he claims the 3rd party candidacy of Perot (who took well over 10% and nearly 20% in 1992) somehow is pertinent. They acknowledge the 3rd party wannabes are only getting 2%, and they think this inoculates Obama from needing over 50%. That is some bizarre rationalizing there.
- The memo reports that Obama is already getting virtually 100 percent of the African American vote in McCainâ€™s polls. That is not true in our combined database of the presidential battleground states where Obama is polling 89 to 6 percent. On that basis alone, one would expect Obamaâ€™s overall vote to rise a point.
This is not exactly what McInturff (McCain’s pollster) claimed. McInturff said in a race where all demographics come out in about the same ratios as previous races, then there was no more increase in the total percentage Obama could get. If African Americans make up 11% of the vote, and Obama get’s 100%, they still don’t offset the other demographics. Â But note the +1% Greenberg just tried to bank, because that is the important news.
- Note that the same is true of Latino voters. In special surveys of Hispanics, using special lists, Obama is polling close to 70 percent, but in the combined battleground polls where Hispanic respondents are more acculturated and English-speaking, we have Obamaâ€™s vote at 56 percent to 36 percent for McCain. That too can produce another point of Obama support.
Note that the Hispanic vote edge is not helping Obama in the battleground states, but Greenberg tries to bank another percentage point.
- The memo says that the â€œundecidedâ€ and â€œrefusedâ€ voters â€œwill break decisively in our direction, adding a â€œnet three plus points to our margin.â€ That is pretty amazing. Using the combined database, we looked at the â€œundecided,â€ â€œrefusedâ€ and the undecided â€œleaningâ€ to a candidate – 7 percent of the electorate. Using their stated leanings to the candidates and feelings toward the parties, this undecided vote broke near evenly between Obama and McCain. In our latest presidential battleground poll, they broke near evenly as well. To get a 3-point net gain, the undecided would have to break 5 to 2 for McCain. There is no evidence to indicate such an impending break against Obama. Instead, the undecided could push Obamaâ€™s vote up at least another point.
Again Greenberg tries to bank a percentage point, when his argument clearly indicates each camp would gain equally, they both get a percentage hike if the Indies and undecideds split (which many polls disagree with)
- Virtually every model that allows for expanded turnout shows an increased lead for Obama. Yesterday, Gallupâ€™s â€œtraditionalâ€ model showed the race at 3 points for Obama, but its â€œexpandedâ€ model put it at 7 – and has consistently shown a wider lead with larger turnout. In our combined database for the presidential battleground, Obamaâ€™s lead in the full likely sample is twice his lead in our narrower, core sample.
This is a big admission. Greenberg is admitting that Obama’s massive leads TOTALLY rely on never before seen discrepancies between DEM and GOP voters. But while the discrepancies are showing up, Obama’s lead is not tracking the same way and is instead showing some large DEM defections.
- What do we make of the early voting – those most motivated or most organized to vote? In our latest presidential battleground poll, nearly one-fifth of the electorate had already voted and they broke 64 to 29 percent for Obama. In North Carolina, 1.8 million people have already voted, half the vote of 2004, with the turnout 5 points more Democratic.
But when we looked at Florida and Nevada with similarly high early voting discrepancies, the tight exit poll numbers showed increases in Dem voters were NOT resulting in huge Obama gains as the ‘extended’ models dictate. In fact, just the opposite happened, showing increased Dem turnout was unable to produce anything close to the two digit leads an extended model would produce with this lopsided of an advantage. And when the non-dem and non-black voters finally hit the polls, those close races would break wide open for McCain since most of his potential voters were yet to vote.:
- The only way to get to â€œfunctionally tiedâ€ is to narrow the competitive battleground to those few states where Obamaâ€™s lead is less than 3 points and where Obamaâ€™s vote is at 48 percent or less, like Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and North Carolina.
Let’s look at RCP’s poll averages for these states: Indiana McCain +2 with Obama at 45.6%, Florida Obama +3.5 at 48.5%, Georgia McCain +4.2 with Obama 46%, Missouri Obama 0.2 at 48% and North Carolina Obama +3.0 at 49%. Â Why pick these states? What about VA and PA? Weird selection of states there.
Even more hilarious Greenberg’s claim that Joe The Plumber and Obama being liberal has only hurt McCain!
- Last week, we tested the big, unfolding tax debate – including the â€œJoe the Plumberâ€ storyline of wealth redistribution, raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting taxes for the middle class. Obama was winning that argument by 14 points … Â In this battleground poll, Obama has taken virtually no water on being â€œtoo liberalâ€ or â€œwill raise my taxesâ€ – both essentially unchanged over the past month at 51 percent.Â
Here Greenberg admits a majority of the people believe Obama is “too liberal” and “will raise my taxes”, yet that Mondale moment is not hurting him? Yeah right. Notice how Greenberg as tried to bank 3% points throughout his argument. A whopping 3! Â That is in the margin of error and nowhere near the 10+% many of those state and national ‘extended’ models show.Â
I take this as a sign of concern and faux bravado on the part of camp Obama.