Thursday, November 1, 2012

Real polls show Obama has the edge in Wisconsin

    Now that the media has returned to its vapid horse-race coverage of next week's election, we have a few more polls that have dropped from Wisconsin in the last few days. So let's quickly go over them.

  Marquette Law poll
   Obama 51, Romney 43 (LV)
   Obama 51, Romney 42 (RV)
   Baldwin 47, Thompson 43 (LV)
   Baldwin 46, Thompson 42 (RV)

   Interestingly, the LV and Rv numbers have converged, though Obama still leads Romney 63-37 among registered voters who are not considered likely voters (also interesting, this poll has Tommy leading Tammy among the "less likely voters" 52-48).

  Hilariously, the Thompson campaign whined that the poll was messed up, two months after calling it the "gold standard" of Wisconsin polls in August. Well Tommy, there are some messed up things in Charles Franklin's poll.

1.It has 41% of respondents be under 45, while the 2008 exit polls had Wisconsin's under-45 voters be more than half of those casting ballots.

2.It also was 51% men, while the 2008 exit poll was 51% women.

3. The ideological breakdown was 20% liberal, 33% moderate, and 41% conservative. Most Wisconsin exit polls in the last 4 years have had it more like 20-42-38.

If all three of those trends hold on Election Day (younger voters, more women, and more moderates), it favors BALDWIN, as she leads Tommy in all 3 demos. So yes, Thompson campaign, that Marquette poll may be a bit off- you might be down more than 4.

Another big-name poll came out showing the race slightly closer, but with both Dems in the lead. The NBC/Marist poll that was released today, with a tighter race indicated.

NBC/Marist poll
Obama 49, Romney 46 (LV)
Obama 49, Romney 45 (RV)
Baldwin 48, Thompson 47 (LV)
Baldwin 48, Thompson 46 (RV)

This poll screened out nearly 20% of registered voters, saying they were unlikely to vote. As I mentioned Monday, this is much higher than the 14% of registered voters who didn't vote in 2008 (and that the 14% includes some dead people). Given that Obama and Baldwin both win among the screened out crowd, it would indicate the RV numbers may be more likely to be trusted here.

In a craven plea to try to keep viewers interested, I saw the "Today" show as trying to indicate this poll showed the presidential race as "tied." Well with a margin of error of 3.0% on likely voters and 2.7% of registered voters, this means that it is as likely to be Obama +7 as it is to be tied, if you know anything about stats. And this poll skews even older, with 35% of likely voters being under 45 years old, so that also should mean "advantage Dems" on Election Day.

I'll give 3 quicker hits on 3 other polls from the last 2 days.

PPP had it 50-45 Obama. Big findings are Obama leading with women by 12 vs. Romney leading with men by 2, and Obama is also up with voters under 30 by 15 points. Seems about right. Tommy vs. Tammy wasn't polled, strangely enough.

Rasmussen had Obama and Romney tied at 49, and Thompson up on Baldwin 48-47. Rasmusssen is known to be right-wing junk, and I wonder if they actually poll, or if they just make up something plausible that goes along with their right-wing agenda. But if we use Nate Silver's 2010 analysis, and realize that Razzy gives an extra 4 points to the GOP, then it becomes Obama +4 and Baldwin +3, and that's quite realistic.

Lastly, we have St. Norbert College, who gave a small-sample poll which says Obama leads Romney 51-42, but Thompson leads Baldwin 46-43. At least one of those numbers are wrong, because I don't see a 12-point spread between Obama/Baldwin or Romney/Thompson happening. It's more than double what you see anywhere else.

I'll be charitable and give a 4 point difference between Obama and Baldwin in support (if Obama is up 7, Tammy is up 3), which changes each race by 4 points. Do that and you'd be looking at Obama +5, Baldwin +1.

So with the reasonable adjustments to Rasmussen and St. Norbert, I'll average the five polls (and I'll use the LV numbers to be nice to the Republicans) and get

Obama +5
Baldwin +2.5

And now let's look at Nate Silver's As of the PPP poll, he has Obama +4 and Baldwin +2.6. Obama's number will probably go up with the new polls that go in (so much so that I bet Silver takes Wisconsin out of the "battleground states" list in the next 2 days), while Baldwin's lead may tighten to 2 or so.

Guess that explains why I see a lot more Senate ads (particularly anti-Baldwin) than I see president ads at this point- because Obama's nearly got it wrapped up here, but the Senate race is still takable for Tommy if he gets enough last-minute deciders and discourages young voters from coming out.

Hmmm, guess that explains why Obama and Springsteen are coming to the Mad City the day before the elecion - to make sure Tammy gets over the top with a huge turnout in her hometown. I just wish Jay-Z was coming along, like he will be in Columbus, Ohio and Iowa.

Oh, and did I mention that almost none of these polls have been taken since the president showed how a true leader responds in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, while Romney's continued false ads about Jeep and other American carmakers? Yeah, I think things look good for the Blue team right now.

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