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Politico's Smith Questions Gallup, Calls Gallup for Answers

Poll guru Simon Rosenberg at NDN has been hammering away at MSM misconceptions of the 2010 midterms. Today he wrote up a piece challenging Gallup to change its model because he argues its impossible and its hard to oppose the facts presented.

Gallup claims it revised its screen etc under critiques of its projection of how massively conservative the electorate they project will be Nov 2.  Rosenberg says its revision makes matters worse and renders Gallup polling not credible. How? Well..  

..Several weeks ago the Gallup polling organization revised its measure of the "Congressional Generic" poll with a new set of assumptions about what the make up and partisan vote of the 2010 elections might look like. It is our opinion at NDN that the model Gallup came up with is so statistically flawed that Gallup should revise the model and its results or take it down from its website immediately.

According to a new report by Professor Alan Abramowitz, the new Gallup likely voter model has the non-white, non-black vote at 13 percent of the 2010 electorate, and coming in at 52% Republican and 42% Democratic. Simply stated these projections are not a possible statistical outcome in the 2010 elections, and draw into question the integrity of the entire Gallup 2010 elections polling project.

Latinos and Asian Americans went 2 to 1 dem in 08. Polling shows this year the GOP will do worse with these folks.

The non-white, non-black portion of the American electorate went more than 2:1 Democratic in 2008 and 2006. Hispanics who make up the largest portion of this slice of the electorate, voted 70% to 30% for the Democrats in 2006, and 67% to 31% for President Obama over John McCain in 2008... The gap between the most respected Latino poll in the nation - Pew - and this recent Gallup model is 50% percentage points.

Much of the remaining portion of this non-white, non-black slice of the American electorate is Asian. This community actually voted more Democratic in 2008 than Hispanics.

Given the distribution of the Hispanic population in the United States, a movement of the kind Gallup reports with Hispanic voters would be evident in some of the states with large Hispanic populations. But there is no evidence of such a big GOP shift.

If the non white non black vote shifted wildly GOP as Gallup says how would Jerry Brown lead in CA? Perry held under 50 in Tx? Sink ahead in FL? It makes no sense for Gallup to use this model:

...Given that the Republican Party has actually ratched up its anti-immigrant rhetoric and activities in the last two years, the idea that the most heavily immigrant portion of the American electorate would see the largest swing to the GOP in 2010 of any slice of the American electorate simply doesn't pass the political laugh test.
As a reputable organization, Gallup should own up to its mistakes and either rework their sample or cease reporting their 2010 election polling. Their current findings are clearly fatally flawed, and should be dismissed by any serious analyst of American politics.

How can anyone take Gallup seriously? MSM swoons for Gallup results and does a great disservice. Gallup makes zero sense modeling such blocks of voters as suddenly GOP. Good grief! Rosenberg is right to question Gallup and I hope more folks ask these questions. Polls can steer narratives for sure. Should Gallup even be polling right now with its completely false modeling?

NDN Link on Gallup Challenge

UPDATED- Thought i should add snippets of Abramowitz's study on Galups wrong model:
Uh first off look at this:

An examination of some of the internals from the latest Gallup survey of likely voters leads to the conclusion that these results are wildly implausible. First, Gallup shows a much larger percentage of Republicans (55% Republican identifiers and leaners vs. 40% Democratic identifiers and leaners) and conservatives (51% conservative vs. 28% moderates and 18% liberals) than we've ever seen in a modern election. They also show a smaller percentage of voters under the age of 30 (7%) and a larger percentage of voters over the age of 65 (27%) than we've seen in any modern election. But that's not all....

Among nonwhites other than blacks, a group that comprises about 13% of likely voters, a generic Republican is leading a generic Democrat by 10 points, 52% to 42%. That's a group that voted Democratic by a 2-1 margin in the 2006 midterm election. Moreover, it's a group that has never given a majority of its vote to Republican candidates for Congress in any election since the advent of exit polling. According to the 2006 exit poll results, about two-thirds of these "other nonwhite" voters are Latinos. How plausible is it that at a time when the Republican Party is closely associated with stridently anti-immigrant policies that Latino voters are moving in droves toward Republican candidates? Not plausible at all....

The Gallup Poll should be commended for making their internals available to interested observers for secondary analysis -- few other polling organizations are so generous with their data. And to be fair to Gallup, they have cautioned that these results are not a prediction of what will happen on Election Day, only a snapshot of current voter attitudes. But what is the value of putting out results that defy logic but which can influence perceptions of the current electoral climate among political elites as well as the public?

Abramowitz Review of Gallup Nutty Internals

Originally posted to pronin2 on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:14 PM PDT.

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