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Ok.  The election went well and we're all happy.  Still I see something perplexing regarding Ohio.

Ohio finished with a 1.9 point Obama advantage.  Great.  But when I look at how the predictors fared with Ohio, I see something concerning.

538 predicted Obama by 3.6; Huffpo, Obama by 3.4; and Real Clear Politics, Obama by 2.9. They were off a little.  So big deal. Right?  

This is the ONLY state, of the eleven Real Clear Politics toss-ups, where RCP showed an Obama bias.  For the other 10 states, Real Clear Politics had nearly a 3 point Romney bias.  With a one point Obama bias for Ohio, this is a four point bias differential.  

538 had a 1.3 bias average for Romney for the other 10 states, but had a 1.7 bias for Obama in Ohio: a 3 point bias differential. He had two other states (of these 11) with an Obama bias: Pennsylvania .7 and North Carolina .5  

Pollster had a 1.8 bias average Romney for the other 10 states, but had a 1.5 bias for Obama: a 3.3 bias differential. They had two other states (of these 11) with an Obama bias: Pennsylvania .5 and North Carolina .6  

It could be simply coincidence that the polling in Ohio was so far off, and so uniquely.  But if the polls and the results don't match, the polls are not the only possibility for the mismatch.  

I don't have the answer but if I lived in Ohio I'd be asking a lot of questions.


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Comment Preferences

  •  I am disappointed (0+ / 0-)

    we only Ohio by 1.9.  I really thought we might take it by 4+ again.

  •  I want to know by district the number of votes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WestCider, North Central

    cast and compare each to their district results.

  •  Not Over. The Counting Can't Resume For a Week. (9+ / 0-)

    There are roughly 300,000 provisional ballots outstanding. The Republicans did a number of things to push many registered voters onto provisional ballots. Also there were reduced early voting hours, and hours-long waits both in early voting and election day, in progressive areas. So there are almost certainly some thousands who left without voting.

    We'll have a better picture in 8-10 days. Obama's margin is almost certain to improve at least a little.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:02:08 AM PST

    •  Indeed It's Not Over. A Federal Judge Will Have To (10+ / 0-)

      "assist" Ohio's voters because their Sec'y. of Suppression tried to change the rules for counting provisional ballots
      "in the dark of night."

      Husted’s directive, which was issued at 7 pm on the Friday before the election, openly defies Ohio state law by shifting the burden of correctly filling in a provisional ballot form from the poll worker to the contested voter. As Andrew Cohen at the Atlantic explains, Judge Marbley had already worked out an agreement that placed the responsibility on poll workers and the state, so a vote would still be counted if the poll worker made an error. Husted’s directive snuck around this agreement, apparently infuriating the judge:

          THE COURT: Mr. Epstein, would you agree that voting is the linchpin of our democracy?

          [STATE ATTORNEY] MR. EPSTEIN: Yes, Your Honor.

          THE COURT: I do too. What concerned me about the 2012-54 directive is that it was filed on a Friday night at 7 p.m. The first thought that came to mind was democracy dies in the dark. So, when you do things like that that seeks to avoid transparency, it appears, then that gives me great pause but even greater concern. So, if anyone I’m going to give additional time to, it’s going to be you, Mr. Epstein, because you have a lot of explaining to do [...] I’m really trying to get to the root of this, and I don’t want to see democracy die in the darkness on my watch, especially with voting. You know I have a special place for voting.

      Ohio’s attorney was unable to point to any legal justification for ignoring the law and shifting the burden to the voter.

    •  Obama picked up about 1 point last time (0+ / 0-)

      I haven't gotten all archival about this, but according to a comment at this link, Obama's lead in Ohio as of the Saturday after the election was 206,770 votes. His final margin was 262,224, an increase of 55,454 votes out of about 5,722,000 presidential votes -- about 0.97 points.

      Election protection: there's an app for that! -- and a toll-free hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 10:08:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Even IF provisionals get us to 3%, that's still (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      North Central, cynndara

      the low end of the "numbers-based" predictions (of which RCP barely qualifies, when you consider what polls they did/didn't include) whereas every other true battleground other than NC came through at the high end of their number.  Yes, PA ended up showing a small 'Obama bias' too, but PA was never a real battleground because everyone (who wasn't insane) knew that Obama had a big margin to give away in PA.  But OH was a true battleground state, and not just any battleground -- this was THE Obama firewall state, and in every narrative from August on it was the status of the firewall as stubbornly "holding" that gave the Obama team and partisans such confidence and Mitt's team & partisans such fits.  It's precisely why Mitt had to go (hopelessly) after WI and then PA.  Just prior to the Denver debate, we all believed that OH was "high single digits", and then after sliding down to maybe 3%, it appeared that the lead had crept up again to mid- or even upper digits again.  

      AND OH was by far the most-polled state in the country.  So what went wrong?  Did all those well-documented, out-in-the-open voter suppression tactics actually shave off 2, 3, 4 pts?  Because if they did, that is the hidden success story here for the gops which they will eventually notice.  

      •  We know (0+ / 0-)

        that last time this happened under a Republican state government, there was some out-and-out fraud going on -- highjacked electronic vote counts, hand recounts in locked rooms without observers, voting machines with ballots in them going home with Republican poll workers.  We knew that this time all the machines were being tabulated by a proprietary program, remotely, by a company owned by heavy Republican contributors.  So yes, there was almost certainly some funny business going on in addition to the obvious suppression.  The challenge for any Democratic candidate in Ohio when the Republicans hold the Governor's mansion is to win big enough to overcome the predictable efforts of the Republican machine to throw the contest.

        That's why I drove 600 miles to cast my vote in Ohio, in a district so solidly Republican that they don't bother to "adjust" the count.

  •  Are you sure Ohio completed counting??? (0+ / 0-)

    They haven't probably proceeded with all early/absentee and provisional ballots yet.

    In any case you are right on point! Obama's margin is thin and way below any expectation.

  •  Didn't you hear? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PBJ Diddy, Roger Fox

    Ohio was the only state to pass a law unskewing its electorate.

  •  Ohio still hasn't counted hundreds of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ItsSimpleSimon, OH 09 Dem

    thousands of provisional ballots, most probably from heavily democratic areas.  Once they are counted, we will likely see Obama's margin move up to 3 points.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:08:22 AM PST

  •  Romney and the GOP made 2 Major miscalculations (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl, akze29, Roger Fox

    1. they thought that the turnout would be 2010 model and not 2008. They thought this because they did not think blacks would turn out in 2008 numbers, they also thought the novelty of 1st black president had worn off. but sitting here I don't know why they though it would be closer to 2010 models than 2008, even I know more people vote in Presidential than midterm.

    2. they thought that all of the swing states had Republican governors and Republican Secretary of States and that their voter suppression efforts would work.

    What they did not realize is that if you try to take something from someone that they will fight harder to keep it (hello waiting in line for 8 hours to vote).

    I really do believe the news reports that they were shell shocked, they thought they had it in the bag, with the 2 items I enumerated above.

  •  About 1%-1.5% off the polls... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ItsSimpleSimon, OH 09 Dem

    Is this to some extent the effect of provisional ballots that won't be counted until November 17?  Seems plausible to me.  There are more than 30,000 provisional ballots that remain uncounted in Cuyahoga County alone---about 5% of all ballots cast in that county.  This won't affect the result in Ohio but may change (i.e., increase) Obama's victory margin.  Story is not over....

    Recent article here:

  •  Voting Machines?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Should the voting machines be examined?

  •  I had a similar reaction. Going by Nate's numbers, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which tend to be conservative, I also had some curiousity with PA and NC.

    MattTX did a heck of a job looking at NC.
    In some respects, it was better than the polls because a bunch of the state had voted and a bunch of the guess work was only on a portion of what was to come.

    MattTX had it projected to be pretty close. But the state wound up with Romney +2.2 - greater than Nate's margin of Romney +1.7.

    From that, I am NOT concluding any funny business went on. There results are arguably within or close to within the margin of error. But if I were looking at auditing the results to see if I could find any funny business that went on, NC is one place I would look.

    PA would be my third choice for less specific reasons.

  •  Provisional ballots (0+ / 0-)

    Obama's Ohio margin will certainly increase to around the 3% to 4% area once all the provisional ballots are counted beginning on November 17 and certified on November 27. It's unclear how many are outstanding right now, but I would venture a guess around 300,000. I would expect around 70% of these to be determined as valid, and I would expect them to fall for Obama by something like a 75%-25% margin.

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