Flawed Poll Models Underestimating Romney’s Lead

ilene's picture

This is an interesting review of election surveys by Russ Winter. In my (limited) sphere, hardly anyone is happy about either candidate. Bigger questions seem to be: Should I bother voting against the one I dislike most? Which one is that?Ilene 


Flawed Poll Models Underestimating Romney’s Lead

Courtesy of Russ Winter of Winter Watch at Wall Street Examiner

Partisans on both sides have been making claims of a lead in the polls — the Republicans cite the national polls and the Democrats the state. I’m not a partisan or a Romney supporter, but I feel compelled to argue that the poll models are flawed and underestimating Romney’s lead.

As far as modeling in these polls, the example of Marist and Mason-Dixon in Florida is illustrative of skewing. Marist tends to report big Obama leads, and M-D has reported decent Romney results.

From the Tampa Bay Herald: “Mason-Dixon, which has been polling in Florida for 28 years, uses a survey sample based on people’s voter actual registration to match the electorate in Florida, while Marist uses a sample based on whether people say they consider themselves a Republican, Democrat or independent. About 20 percent of the likely voters in the Marist poll were Hispanic, while 13 percent were Hispanic in the Mason-Dixon poll, more in line with the Florida voting patterns.”

Nationally, Pew Research illustrates Obama’s problem, as does a new Washington Post poll. The first Pew chart shows Romney’s strong supporters exploding in October, once he showed up at the debates appearing to be a moderate. Right now, each candidate has about the same level of strong supporters..



However, the badly flawed state polls don’t show that 5 percent fewer strong Obama supporters are more likely to vote than among Romney’s base.


Obama’s problem is even worse among leaning Democrats. This support, as I have predicted, hasn’t materialized. Only 62% of Democrats and Dem leaners were likely to vote or even registered to vote, and figure that hasn’t budged since September. That’s the real knockout blow for Obama.

Meanwhile, GOP and GOP leaners likely to vote have risen from 69% in September to 76% this month, which is a big 14% spread over Dems. This suggests that Dem leaners could be over counted in these polls relative to Republican leaners.



The Washington Post/ABC poll considers “partisan independents,” for which the gap is 8 percent Republican. Of Republican-leaning independents, 92 percent say they plan to support Romney, while 84 percent of Democratic-leaning independents are backing Obama.

The less partisan the voter, the worse outcome for Obama. When tracked for likely independent voters (including true independents), the Washington Post poll reveals an even more disastrous scenario for Obama. In the Post’s last three polls, Obama trailed Romney among independent voters by a range of 16 to 20 percent. That’s a striking reversal since 2008, when Obama won independent voters (who were 29 percent of the electorate) by 8 points over Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Another poll NPR gives Romney a 50-37 lead among independent voters definitely or probably going to vote.



Finally, Obama has lost considerable support among two groups of likely voters: whites and seniors. In 2008, Obama trailed among white voters by 12% over McCain. This election, it’s 20%. It’s even worse among voters over 65. Obama trailed seniors 8 percent in 2008 and lags 19 percent today, according to the Pew poll. Obama has overwhelming support among black voters, but turnout is expected to drop to 59 percent this year, compared to the record breaking 65% in the last election. Among more unlikely voters ages 18-29, Obama has lost 13% of his margin since 2008, and can expect a much lower turnout to boot.



Purple Strategies (PS) illustrates some of the skewing issues with the state polls. It gives Ohio to Obama by 2 percent and Colorado to Obama by 1 percent. However, the PS independent-vote tally doesn’t square with the Post/ABC at all. PS labels 32 percent of Colorado voters as “independent” and surveyed a 42-42 split between Obama-Romney. They label 38 percent of Ohio voters as independent and gave those votes to Romney, 42-40. Yet, as mentioned before, the Post/ABC poll has consistently scored independents as favoring Romney, 16-20. PS used a 34(D)-33(R) sample in their registered-voter split, yet there are 837,732 active registered Republicans and 739,778 active registered Democrats in Colorado.

Further, even if the PS assessment is correct or even close, the likelihood of an Obama-leaning independent showing up to vote is much less likely  than a Romney-leaning independent. Among all registered voters, 69 percent of Republican-leaning independents say they are following the election closely, while just 49 percent of Democratic-leaning independents say the same. Among “pure” independents, 41 percent say they are closely following the election.

Democrat-voter registration is down in many key battleground states, and there has been a big increase in Independents — even more so than Republicans. In Ohio, about 7.9 million people are registered to vote in Ohio for the November election.  That’s down from about 8.2 million registered to vote in 2008. In Cuyahoga County alone (a Obama hotbed in 2008) , there are about 80,000 fewer registered voters than there were four years ago.

The Gravis poll in Iowa identifies its sample as 41 percent Democrats, 35 percent Republicans and only 24 percent Independent. The Dems and Reps surveyed said they were voting along party lines, while the Indies favored Romney 48-36, or 12 points. Because of the Dem-skew in the survey’s sample, Gravis gives Iowa to Obama by 4 points. Current Iowa voter registration figures show 35 percent are registered Independent, 33 percent GOP and 32 percent Democrat.



Even a more balanced national poll like IBD/TIPP, which gives Obama a 1.4% lead, shows a heavy 38-31 Dem skew in their sample that’s almost along the lines of the 2008 vote. The reason Romney is close is that the poll scores the Independent vote fairly high at 32 percent, although the 8-percent spread to Romney is lower than with other polls. The poll’s details: Sample size reflects 942 likely voters, who were identified from 1,091 registered voters with a party affiliation of 38 percent Democrat, 31 percent GOP and 32 percent Independent.

In sum, my election prediction is a 3-percent edge for Romney in the popular vote, and 301 to 237 lead in the electoral vote (see second to last chart) — and that’s giving Obama’s battleground-state ground-game strategy considerable credit for getting leaners into the voting booth. I project Pennsylvania will be close, with the outcome dependent on whether the 828,000 people without power get services restored before the election. Michigan may be closer than generally believed. Gasoline should be spiking by Election Day, which could psychologically effect voter outcome. Turn out nationally will be 6 percent below 2008 levels.

A Romney outcome would be perfectly consistent with Europe, where incumbents are booted out and replaced with new incumbents, who quickly become unpopular. Romney will have a huge mess on his hands.


This final chart shows national polls that are more accurately skewed and show a small Romney lead.



For additional analysis on this topic and related trades subscribe to Russ Winter's Actionable – risk free for 30 days.The subscription fee is $69 per quarter and helps support Russ.s work on your behalf. Click here for more information.

Copyright © 2012 The Wall Street Examiner. All Rights Reserved. The above may be reposted with attribution and a prominent link to The Wall Street Examiner.

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Gringo Viejo's picture

I remember WTC 7 coming down..........AFTER it being broadcast that it had come down. I believe in mom, apple pie and Bill Clinton waving his penis.

U4 eee aaa's picture

You ever get the feeling that close polls keep people locked into watching the production right up to polling day? If it were a landslide by the beginning of October no one would turn on the news.

The media has a vested interest in close polls and so do polling companies.

This is getting as bad as the debt rating agencies and analyst buy/sell recommendations

Rogue Trooper's picture

All iza want ezz me OBAMAPHONE... who dat dude ROOMNEE youze all dissin! He give me PHONE?????????

err /sarc

...for those that struggle with sarcasm on this site :/

putaipan's picture

yeah. well, shreck was better. go back under your valt. the rest of you- don't feed it.

Bear's picture

Great tweet:

So Obama rushes in to defend Sandra Fluke from verbal attack. But ignored pleas from those murdered in  for 7 FULL hours?

Bear's picture

Maybe better handle:

St. Obama of Asshitti 

putaipan's picture

satchmo sai obaba? is that a hershey bar up your ass ? or, is yer handkerchchief jus' glad to see me?

Kastorsky's picture

Romney Leaks: Drugs, Blood Diamonds and a Cuban Mistress FBI, CIA and Foreign Intelligence Agencies “Leak” Romney Files



caustixoid's picture

Lots of trolls here.   Regular readers keep pointing out that it doesn't matter which bankster puppet wins; we'll still have wars, bank bailouts, deficits up the ying-yang and ongoing loss of freedoms.  Then a new troll spouts some crap about Dems rigging polls or Obama is a communist or Romney is a mormon revenge figure (ok, that one is pretty good, creatively-speaking) or a fascist nutbar.  Can you imagine the banks of cubicles of all the trolls stoking partisan fires across all the interwebs meming "your vote matters!"?    

Give it up and move on to MSNBC or Time or the Post or the Times.... most ZH readers know that you're full of shit.

Bear's picture

I'm telling you, if BHO wins, we get Biden as pOTUS (little p intended) ... via impeachment ... Benghazi is pretty bad:



Dr. Sandi's picture

I have always liked Biden. He's very entertaining when he forgets he's the VP.

DeadFred's picture

Get real. If Obama releases the truth about Behghazi it will be as real as the truth about his birth certificate, and just as belated.

Bear's picture

Great picture Benghazi with four Americans photoshopped out. P.S. Nixon thought he could keep it under wraps also ... the 'truth will find you out'

FFox's picture

A Romney win =

1) Greece on steroids

2)  Bushkoff 3

3) 2 $trillion in aditional wasted defense (offensive) spending & more war + military contractor graft

4)  Loss of respect from the Barry Goldwater Republicans (any left who are not stupafied by the tea party dingheads) who loath the current (off) brand of corrupt so-called Conservativism

Now before you get all rialed up.... the Fox is not a super fan of Obama, but it beats what the job export master would futher hollow out what's left of our once great country.  Consider this:

27 of Romney's top advisors are from the Bush crime family.... that should give one pause.

but.... Rush Limbrain has so many folk dumbed down that the criminals may stand a chance.

Go head, vote for the anti- true Ruplican and watch the stock and bond markets tank... while the banksters celebrate the vistory by sucking the US Treasury (further) dry.

Oh.... and privatise FEMA and suck even more (1000's more toxic trailers may go to the crusher).

So sayeth the Fox

Bear's picture

Greece on steroids? So you really believe, as Obama and Krugman do, that we should just keep spending into oblivion ... your two trillion in military spending is not accurate as I suspect so is the rest of your rant

onlooker's picture

So after all the recounts and courts and decisions, hopefully we will have a president in office that carried legitimate votes. Hopefully within a month.


At that point, that man needs his feet put to the fire along with any politician that can be carried to the fire. There is no mandate for a political party in the minds of most U.S. citizens. It is a choice of the lesser of poor, or the better of bad choices.


Both parties need to be savaged and salvaged to do the job they need to do.


But the most important thing that needs to be addressed is the rule of law concerning political, business, and financial entities.


Unknown to many citizens of our country, we are at war with large and powerful institutions within our own country. Let me name a few banks as starters and a printer of US Currency. Not to leave out the multinational takers as well as those working the system rather than working a job. Oh, yeah, I forgot, there are no bloody jobs because the country is upside down. Derivative deviates so to speak.


Unfortunately, the enemy is taking no prisoners so surrender is out of the question.

SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

If this guy is right, and RR can lose PA and MN and still win comfy .....why would they be f'ing around with PA and MN?  As with football no need to do somthing stupid, ala the Eagles of Joe Pisarcik fame....and lose a game you've won. RR is f'ing around in PA and MN because they need a Hail Mary pass.



hawk nation's picture

The winner in this election is gold bitches

Bear's picture

I hope so, what is your reasoning?

hawk nation's picture

The media will be so negative on the economy to justify their backing of obamy that they will help to bring about the recession/depression causing even greater deficits and ultimately loss of faith in the dollar

TheProphet's picture

ALL of the polls are sampling black voter turnout at the 2008 levels.

This represents 5% of the total sample, 90-95% of which are Obama votes.

Take these away, and distribute them as you would the rest of the sample, and Romney ends up with a lead in every poll, and in some cases, a very large lead.

PS. this does nothing to remedy all of the other sampling issues that have slanted polls to Democrats. The skew in these polls is just more severe than ever before.

Romney will get more than 52%, Obama just over 47%, and Romney will get 301 electoral votes, winning all the "toss-up" states except PA, MI, MN, and NM.

Mark my words. Mark them well.

The Prophet has spoken.

hawk nation's picture

Romney will win by 7% and the margin is to big for the dems to cheat obama to victory

the polls are faulty so obama can claim voter suppression for his loss and not his idoligy

Does matter since the whole system is about to collapse

The bright side is all the alphabet soup media outlets will loose all their viewership when people realize how they have been lied to. All these talking heads are about to take dramatic pay cuts due to lack of viewership


FFox's picture

And you trust the criminal owners of the electronic voting machines aeee!

If Romney wins... that will make three of the last four elections that were hijacked and stolen!

For the clueless sheeple oput there... wake to f**k up!

Dr. Sandi's picture

Just say fuck. We know you want to.

MelvilleSaysNo's picture

Polls are irrevelant.  BO will win.  He's the best sock puppet for TPTB in this race.

rsnoble's picture

The best outcome of this election will be "IT'S FINALLY FUCKING OVER!!!"


Ned Zeppelin's picture

A lot of jawboning about whether Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum wins.  By the way, and I'm not interested in him winning, but Obama will win this - my $.02.

DosZap's picture


IF Romulus wins, I PRAY he say's first thing............

"Now I have INHERITED a huge debt, and a failed economy from Pres Obumma, BUT, I will do my best to keep my promises."

Just to be on the record.(Wish I had a quarter for every time I heard it was ALL Bush's fault).

This would be CLASSIC.(That way, he can pull an Obumma anytime he wants), and be correct.

monopoly's picture

Agree all, whoever is the next "clown" eh, President, it makes no difference. I early voted for Romney. Was I excited, happy, pleased, hell no. But there is so much about Mr. Obama that just rubs me wrong. And I stupidly voted for him last time. Got swept up in that "change" thing he kept talking about. About 6 months later felt like an idiot taken to the cleaners. What a waste. Nothing is better, and we continue to scrape the bottom. Romney will not save us. But I know what 4 more years of socialism will do to us. At least with Romney I can hope for a week or two before it all falls apart....again.

What a fucking mess we are in. That can is falling apart and soon there will be nothing to kick. 

hawk nation's picture

Just think what will happen to the economy with romney president and the main stream media decides to go negative with the economic data so they can blame romney for the economy

we are so fucked

Shell Game's picture

When a few more Americans grow balls and abandon the two-party system, then, we will be un-fucked.  And not one minute before then.

Gary Johnson 2012.  Because it is evil to vote for (lesser?) evil.

tony bonn's picture

a vote for obamney is a vote for war, death, murder, debt, and terrorism.....

lolmao500's picture

And a vote for Romney is the same thing.

Dr. Sandi's picture

My vote goes to whichever kid promises us all free ice cream every Friday.

lolmao500's picture

I don't really care. As long as Obama is not shot and shown as a martyr... hell the guy's (supposed) hero is Lincoln... and we all know how Lincoln hated states rights.

/hang both of them, disband the republicans and the democrats, make the MSM go bankrupt... then do a real election with only paper ballots.

//or change totally the system... instead of one president, elect 3 presidents... any decision has to be approved by 2/3...

Dr. Sandi's picture

No US president who followed the company line has ever been assassinated.

BO certainly has not strayed from the reservation, nor does he seem likely to, so he is safe from martyrdom at the hands of 'a crazed assassin acting alone.'

Long-John-Silver's picture

make the MSM go bankrupt

It's never been easier than now to make that happen. As a matter of fact they have stage 1 cancer figuritivly speaking. That cancer is Internet Streaming TV. I cut my cable/satellite service (DirecTV) and replaced it with a ROKU Box. I dropped my $100 plus monthly subscription to DirecTV with it's "programming package" giving me no choice not to pay for crap I never watched. I now have complete control of that with ROKU. My subscriptions now cost $13 a month and I have so much more to watch that I now laugh when I receive SPAM from DirecTV and my local Cable company begging me to return. I've been saving my mailbox SPAM as it's great for starting a nice fire in my Fireplace. I no longer support the MSM through a Cable or Satellite service that would require me to support them.


Tsar Pointless's picture

Democrats may not be excited. Why should they be? It's not as if we have one running for President this election cycle.

What we have is a true middle-of-the-road conservative (Barry Soetero) going against a flip-flopping extraordinaire, willing and able to change his positions more than a contortionist prostitute (that being Mittens Rmoney, of course).

I don't think there is a "Mormon Conspiracy" any more than I think that we have a Muslim sympathizing non-citizen as our current POTUS. Certainly, Rmoney wouldn't be the one to bring about any Constitutional liberties and individual freedom.

That said, I will vote for the current son-of-a-bitch, because he's my son-of-a-bitch, and because I am not somebody who thinks we should have Big Brother (or Big Sis, whatever you prefer) looking into our bedrooms and concerning ourselves with what we do in them with other consenting adults. And, a lot of other Democrats will, too, leading Obama to re-election.

Economically, we're screwed whoever wins. We just have to keep from becoming a right-wing reactionary fascist nation - or, at the very least, a full-fledged one.

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture



I am not somebody who thinks we should have Big Brother (or Big Sis, whatever you prefer) looking into our bedrooms and concerning ourselves with what we do in them with other consenting adults.


Yeah, that NDAA drone Obama unleashes on you and yours as you cavort in the boudoir will only make the Earth move that much more. It's kind of exciting, really.

JuicedGamma's picture

I've only seen one Obama sticker this time.  Last time they were everywhere.

James-Morrison's picture

There's an Election this year?

Someone, wake me up when it's over. 

Bear's picture

Just wait ... all the fun starts after the election

Money 4 Nothing's picture

I already watch the election results on TV the 19th. Did you?

Now you will > http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=149101743&page=1

garyw's picture

Romney cannot win without Liberty voters. He cheated Ron Paul and we will make him pay. Screw that SOB. We only have to deal with Obummer for 4 more years by that time we will have taken over the republican party. 

DosZap's picture

We only have to deal with Obummer for 4 more years by that time we will have taken over the republican party. 

Wunnerful,only ONE Lil prob here...............if Obummer wins, you WILL not have a country left in 2016, that you can even take a crap in w/out a DHS Slip of approval.

It has been SCARY as hell for the first 4, just IMAGINE, what 4 mo will be like w/ZERO holding the Muslim back.

Now before you down arrow me for Muslim claim, you must find out about the RING.

If you do no know, then your downing me for your  ignorance.

Aghast in Midlothian's picture

That's the spirit! Vote in Obobo and this may be the last election we have for a while. 

Shell Game's picture

Rombama wins and the neo-con slaves watch with hands on knees saying, "he's our guy!", as he supports continued Constitution gutting.  FTW..

Money 4 Nothing's picture

How would you like to be able to hand pick a candidate that will lose to you? Well, that's what happened. "Obozo" stay's.

Cole Younger's picture

I really could care less who will win..Niether can fix this country and I actually think Obama will win...dems are better at voter fraud than republicans....