Polling to Discourage the Conservative Electorate? Interesting Weighting of the Major Polls.
I’ve been having a fun conversation via Facebook with a good friend who also happens to be a pretty ardent liberal (he is a good guy and fair-minded). I believe the mainstream media is indeed bias toward the left agenda, he thinks I’m nuts. Numbers don’t lie however, and this information on how the major polls are weighting their results says more than any verbal sparring match.
Ever since the arguably skewed CNN poll of a few weeks back, conservative voters have been looking at the methodology of polling companies with an increasing amount of skepticism. The fact that most polls have used a model that tries to mimic the voter turnout in 2008, when Democrats beat Republican turnout by 7 points (as opposed to presidential elections like 2004, where turnout between the two parties was relatively even), has not improved this state of affairs.
And now, the suspicion of poll bias appears to have yet one more piece of evidence to support it. Via a tweet by anonymous poll analyst NumbersCruncher comes the following graph showing the degree of over-sampling of Democrats employed by the most recent polls (all of which show Obama leading Romney):
Blogger keithbacker at Battleground Watch sums up the graph this way:
The real take-away which I have mentioned the times I blog national polls is that many of those national polls are HORRIBLE for Obama, namely the ABC/Washington Post and CBS/New York Times polls where you have large Democrat over-samplings but rather small leads for Obama. This means if Obama doesn’t meet or beat his stellar 2008 turnout advantage he’s in for a drubbing on election day. These over-samplings serve a few purposes but mainly drive down enthusiasm for Republicans while assisting the Obama campaign with “bandwagon” supporters who simply like being on the winning team (they’re real and they count).
If pollsters in conjunction with the Obama campaign create a negative feedback loop for Republicans such that the marginal voter doesn’t show up (definitely a well documented top priority for the Obama campaign) and assist with the bandwagon voter — a small but meaningful voter in close elections — then Obama can create the perfect storm he needs to eek out a close victory following one of the worst four-year performances for any President in modern times (Carter is the only arguable comparable).
That is the what and why pollsters are doing the massive Democrat over-sampling this election cycle.
(Rasmussen Reports polls are weighted D +1, not D -2 or R+2 however you see it)
This is a telling bit of information, and shows the power of polls to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Granted, most of the polls using a high Democrat over-sampling may be doing so simply as a means to estimate conservatively what could happen, if things stay the same from 2008. This is not unreasonable, given the enthusiasm gap that has recently been measured, but that enthusiasm gap is itself arguably reinforced by polling. The Romney ground game will need to push back aggressively if it wants to make up for that negative feedback loop.
Thanks to http://theblaze.com for this summary.
- Are Public Opinion Polls Exaggerating Obama’s Lead? (reason.com)
- CBS: Obama Leads in Our D+13 Poll (breitbart.com)
- CBS/NYT Poll Oversampled Dems By 13% (sweetness-light.com)
- Polling methods or bias can taint results (charlotteobserver.com)