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Gallup and PPP got you down?  Read this....

Remember Nate Silver's golden rule: Don't get too hung up on the results of one poll, regardless of the pollster's reputation.  Nor should you dismiss a bad poll and cherry pick the ones you like.  The polling average is a more reliable indicator of where things stand.  Having said that, even the averages have their faults - in our favor.

This I take comfort in against the volatility and closeness of the polls these days.  Final polling averages in 2008 greatly underestimated Obama's performance in the actual election.  Is part of this the ground game effect?

Looking at RCP's Final Results vs Final Polls from 2008....

Obama vs McCain - 2008 Final Poll Averages vs Actual Results
Polls: Obama +7.3
Actual: Obama +7.6
Not bad... but it gets even better when we look at the critical swing states.

Polls: Obama +2.5
Actual: Obama +4.6

Polls: Obama +6.5
Actual: Obama +12.5

^ These two are huge.  Remember that if Obama wins OH and NV, he's pretty much got the election in the bag.

Polls: Obama +5.5
Actual: Obama +9.0

Polls: Obama +4.4
Actual: Obama +6.3
(don't forget Virgil Goode... he easily steals 1 or 2 points from Romney)

Polls: Obama +1.8
Actual: Obama +2.8

North Carolina
Polls: McCain +0.4
Actual: Obama +0.3

Polls: McCain +1.4
Actual: Obama +1.1
While we won't win IN this time, the polling difference is still there.

Polls: Obama +11.0
Actual: Obama +13.9

Polls: Obama +7.3
Actual: Obama +10.3

Of course, all the usual caveats apply.  Don't get complacent, fight like we're only 1 point ahead, GOTV, volunteer, let's win this thing!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice work! (6+ / 0-)

    Barack Obama for President '12

    by v2aggie2 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 11:40:46 AM PDT

    •  It is very comforting but I am so pissed (5+ / 0-)

      off about the way so many people behaved after the first debate.  The way people like Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan talked was disgraceful.  Lawrence O'Donnell had it right and no one paid any attention to him.

      If we lose the election, it will be because of the way the media on our side whined and carried on instead of defending the President and being realistic about what might have been going on in the world (Turkey and Syria) that took so much of the President's time and effort plus possibly being sleep deprived.  

      Since when is a lying liar the winner in any debate.  The President was right and told the truth, so he loses?????????

      I guess Americans just love lying bullies and are willing to give them the win and the White House.  

      If Romney wins this election, our Country is in for a world of hurt.  If you think you have seen voter suppression now, just wait, haf of the population won't be able to vote (47%.)

      I need to get off the internet and turn off the TV, I am going to have a heart attack!

  •  New Mexico (9+ / 0-)

    Polls Obama +7.3
    Actual: Obama +14.7

    Michigan was also underestimated (although that was solid Obama for the entire election cycle)

    •  Pretty sure New Mexico is in the bag. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wary, Chitown Kev

      Nate gives us a 95.9% chance of winning NM.

      •  yup (0+ / 0-)

        but it adds to the idea that Obama's support is likely being greatly underestimated in heavily Hispanic states:

        New Mexico (42% Hispanic) -> +7.4 overperformance (using RCP average) in 2008.

        Nevada (20%) -> +6.0

        Colorado (17%) -> +3.5


        smaller differences:

        Texas (32%) -> +1.2
        Florida (17%) -> +1.0


        Arizona (25%) didn't conform to this rule in 2008 ... but perhaps that's because of McCain ... this time around Carmona is on the ballot for Senate and it seems possible Obama could outperform Arizona polling significantly (current polling average is Romney +6.1 according to 538)


        I'd still say Arizona is a long shot, but I also think Obama has a much more solid grasp on Nevada & Colorado then the polls indicate. ... right now Obama has a 1.4 polling avg lead in Colorado but 538 gives Obama only a 52% chance of winning the state... I'm assuming Nate Silver's model doesn't take into considering past polling averages vs. actual results in a state by state way otherwise Obama would have much better odds than 52% I'd think. Perhaps this is a fault with the model?

        Or maybe not... Maybe we're getting into tea leaves reading ....

        there are some heavily Hispanic states where Obama didn't outperform polls:

        California (32%) -0.4
        New York (15%) -2.8

        of course these two states were still Obama landslides so...


        I forgot what my point was. Got sidelined there a bit. But I think it's that Obama is going to win Colorado & Nevada. ... and those two really open up a lot of paths to 270:

        1. Ohio (even with Wisconsin & Iowa losses)
        2. Virginia (could lose Iowa or Wisconsin)
        3. Wisconsin + New Hampshire + Iowa

  •  It looks like states with large Hispanic (7+ / 0-)

    populations are the ones that were the most undercounted.  Obama had significantly larger margins in New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado than what the final polls showed.  I have a feeling the same thing will happen again and that's why I feel pretty good about the western states.  He can even lose Ohio, Virginia, Florida and NC and still win if he holds onto the Kerry states + Iowa.

  •  wouldnt read too much into this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cardinal, irmaly, Wary

    Candidates with higher voter intensity typically overperform on election day.  This election is much different in that respect.

  •  Thanks for the reminder. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    However, I don't think it's comparable to this year. Polls typically underestimate the magnitude of a wave, and 2008 was obviously a wave for Obama. This year there's no wave, so whether the polls are underestimating one candidate or another is anyone's guess. Chances are, it's just as close as the polling averages say it is, and thus every GOTV contact counts.

    Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

    by cardinal on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 12:02:47 PM PDT

  •  I wonder how Silver factors in... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the very impressive early voting numbers for the President in some key swing states..?

    The MSM is not talking about it.    

  •  national polls 2008 (0+ / 0-)

    RCP average was 7.6  -  Obama got 7.3 - I'd say that's fairly close

    So average them out at the end of the month and that's about what he will get.

    Marist    11/03 - 11/03    804 LV    4.0    52    43    Obama +9
    Battleground (Lake)    11/02 - 11/03    800 LV    3.5    52    47    Obama +5
    Battleground (Tarrance)11/02 - 11/03    800 LV    3.5    50    48    Obama +2
    Rasmussen Reports    11/01 - 11/03    3000 LV    2.0    52    46    Obama +6
    Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby11/01 - 11/03    1201 LV    2.9    54    43    Obama +11
    IBD/TIPP    11/01 - 11/03    981 LV    3.2    52    44    Obama +8
    FOX News    11/01 - 11/02    971 LV    3.0    50    43    Obama +7
    NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl    11/01 - 11/02    1011 LV    3.1    51    43    Obama +8
    Gallup    10/31 - 11/02    2472 LV    2.0    55    44    Obama +11
    Diageo/Hotline    10/31 - 11/02    887 LV    3.3    50    45    Obama +5
    CBS News    10/31 - 11/02    714 LV    --    51    42    Obama +9
    ABC News/Wash Post    10/30 - 11/02    2470 LV    2.5    53    44    Obama +9
    Ipsos/McClatchy    10/30 - 11/02    760 LV    3.6    53    46    Obama +7
    CNN/Opinion Research    10/30 - 11/01    714 LV    3.5    53    46    Obama +7
    Pew Research    10/29 - 11/01    2587 LV    2.0    52    46    Obama +6

    A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people ... restore their government to it's true principles.

    by maddrailin on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:14:30 PM PDT

  •  The pollsters may have noted this too. (0+ / 0-)

    It's possible that some of them noticed what you did and have already tweaked their models to account for Obama's '08 overperformance. Although looking at some of the registered-to-likely gaps, it seems some have forgotten it.

  •  GOTV Baby! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wildthumb, Wee Mama, dsmmom, askew

    I just spent four hours delivering signs then canvassing--I do this all by myself no 'partner'.

    I'm telling tweeps to FORGET the polls NOTHING we can do about  polls  now



    we're built a strong ground  machine now

    USE IT!

    Re-Elect President Barack Obama & RECALL GOP 2012

    by Wary on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:43:24 PM PDT

  •  I found the same thing (0+ / 0-)

    when I looked at it (I made a diary on it not too long ago) I was mostly interested in the huge gaps in Nevada & Colorado but then I found Obama outperformed in most polls. Iowa was the big exception (McCain actually outperformed there...)

    hopefully the same thing is happening this year, maybe even more so with the LV models that seem to be a GOP dream.

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