Our historic early vote turnout has put President Obama in a strong position to win tomorrow and continue to move the country forward for another four years. How do we know?
First, according to the latest polls, we are winning among early voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Nearly all of these leads are in double digits.
Second, “sporadic voters” have taken advantage of the convenience of early vote, and the overwhelming majority of them are Democrats.
Third, it’s clear that our winning coalition of supporters is enthusiastic and showing up to vote in huge numbers… more than two-thirds of those who have already voted in the battlegrounds are women, youth, African Americans, or Latinos
By now, many of you may have seen the stories indicating that Republican activists—like all partisans when their candidate is behind—are urging people not to believe the polls. Instead, we are to believe that the candidate’s internal polls show him to be tied or ahead.
The particular twist that the folks at FOX News and the Romney campaign are putting on this claim is that the “likely voter” models being used by mainstream polling firms are skewed towards the Democrats.
This, as it happens, is quite possible: many people don’t understand that the reports of “who’s ahead” and “who’s behind” that so dominate the news are not, in fact, simple reports of percentages in a sample. Instead, they are estimates massaged from the data. Pollsters look at the data and then add “weight” for the opinions of those deemed “likely to vote” while discounting the opinions of those deemed “not likely to vote.” Such weighting is particularly common if the sample was overrepresented or underrepresented by any important group: if the sample has too many college students by overall percentage of the population, for example, pollsters will unweight their opinion in the likely voter model derived from that sample because college students vote at lower rates than does the general population.
The thing is, almost every likely voter model ever built is weighted in a way that overestimates votes for Republican candidates rather than underestimates it. This is because the kinds of people who tend to vote in higher numbers — white people, college educated, middle class, etc, — tend to be people who vote Republican. By contrast, groups that tend to vote Democratic — minorities, less educated, less well off — tend to vote at lower rates. Thus pollsters, trying to predict the final vote, overrepresent white, college educated middle class people in their estimates while underrepresenting others.
(As an aside, it was just this issue that stopped me watching CNN in 2000: their likely voter model was so skewed towards Bush I couldn’t stand it. I only watch CNN for coverage of emergencies now … although their election night data is really good.)
So is it possible that all the mainstream pollsters have built likely voter models that advantage Democrats? Sure it is is. Have they?
It’s not very likely.
Reason/Rupe Poll results as reported by Emily Ekin in “Obama Leads Romney 52-45 In New Reason-Rupe Poll; In Three-Way Race Obama Leads Romney 49-42, Johnson Gets 6 Percent”
As Basilisc reported here on Tumblr:
Ezra Klein points to an intriguing polling result, above. Even though more people think they’re worse off today than four years ago, it’s also the case that more people think they’re better off because Obama won four years ago. In other words, a plurality thinks that, if McCain had won in 2008, they would be even worse off now.
Not only are people’s ideas about whether/why they are/aren’t better off interesting, but so are the majority’s opinions on government influence, income inequality, and equality of opportunity as reported in the above quote. In all three cases, the majority favors the rhetoric we hear most often from the Republican side — and yet the same poll showed Obama with a seven point lead over Romney.
A growing number of Americans are uneasy with the amount of religious talk they’re hearing from politicians, according to a new poll released by the Pew Research Center yesterday.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents said that there has been too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders — the highest number since Pew began asking the question in 2001. Thirty percent of respondents said there is too little.
The numbers have nearly reversed since Pew last asked the question two years ago, when 37 percent said there was too little religious expression by politicians, while 29 percent said there was too much.
Mitt Romney leads President Obama by four percentage points in Gallup’s latest national head-to-head polling.
If the election were held today, 50 percent said they would support Romney versus 46 percent who would support Obama, according to Gallup. The president holds the edge on former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 49 percent to 48.
The poll has a 4 percent margin of error, so the results mean Obama is statistically tied with both candidates.
Andrew Sullivan: “Every single poll shows that the American public overwhelmingly supports higher taxes on the wealthy as part of a package to cut the deficit. The margins are staggering: the NYT poll shows a majority of 74 - 21; even Rasmussen shows a majority of 56 - 34. What the president proposed this morning is simply where the American people are at. If he keeps at it, if he turns his administration into a permanent campaign for structural fiscal reform, I don’t see how he loses the argument.”
That’s 3:1 support!! Three regular people for every one delusional corporatist hack.
There are people on this thread actually defending the rich. How quaint. Because we all know that people who make millions of dollars a year earned that all by themselves through their own hard work and they have no obligation to society.
A new Bloomberg News poll released Friday finds that a third of Americans believe Clinton would have been a better president than Barack Obama. That includes a plurality—44 percent—of self-described tea party Republicans, even though a majority of tea partiers still have an unfavorable view of Clinton.
By comparison, 35 percent of those polled believe the country would be worse off if John McCain had been elected president.
At this time I’d like to share a video that best summarizes my feelings on the matter, as someone pilloried for supporting Hillary in 2008. — Ryking
I think we always want we don’t have. We’ll never really know if Clinton would have made a better president. We can debate about it until both sides are blue in the face, but the fact is that we elected Barack Obama not Hillary Clinton. Furthermore, if you’re going to make this assumption you have to think about the obstacles that Obama has faced and what kind of obstacles Clinton would have faced if she was in his place. Would she have faced the same polarized, partisan environment that we have today? Would her status as a former first lady have helped her or hurt her? What role would gender play as opposed to the racial issues that Obama has had to confront? Moral of the story: Looking back is neither constructive nor relevant to the issues we face today. Barack Obama’s in the White House and while his presidency hasn’t been perfect or even the ‘progressive change’ to the extent that we may have hoped he is our president. This is 2011, not 2008.