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cosmostein





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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject: 2012 US Senate Election Reply with quote

Current Standings:

Democrats: 51
Republicans: 47
Independents: 2 (both caucus with Democrats)

Rather then wasting time on Senate Seats that won't change hands I have thrown below a collection of seats that are fairly close for discussion

Arizona
Incumbent: - R

Polling:
Republican: 38 (Still at Primary Stage)
Democrat: 38

Connecticut
Incumbent: - I

Polling:
Republican: 43 (Still in Primary Stage)
Democrat: 45

McMahon seems to be polling higher against Susan Bysiewicz directly but not Chris Murphy, should be clearer after nominations

Florida
Incumbent: - D

Polling:
Republican: 43
Democrat: 45

Indiana
Incumbent: - R

Polling:
Republican: 42
Democrat: 40

Maine
Incumbent: - R

Polling:
Independent: 55
Republican: 27
Democrat: 7

Angus King the former governor will win, and I would consider that a Democratic pick-up

Massachusetts
Incumbent: - R

Polling:
Republican: 46
Democrat: 46

Scott Brown shocked the world, now he needs to shock them again.

Missouri
Incumbent: - D

Polling:
Republican: 47
Democrat: 44

Montana
Incumbent: - D

Polling:
Republican: 49
Democrat: 47

Nebraska
Incumbent: - D

Polling:
Republican: 56
Democrat: 38

North Dakota
Incumbent: - D

Polling:
Republican: 49
Democrat: 40

Virginia
Incumbent: - D

Polling:
Republican: 45
Democrat: 46

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O....._elections


Last edited by cosmostein on Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly, I can't see how the Republicans can fail to take at least another four or five seats in the Senate, and keep the House ... as well as take the Presidency.

The Obama Democrats have done poorly as a government. Certainly they took power in challenging times, but they haven't fixed anything. In many parts of America, economic conditions are getting worse. The people and the nation both only get deeper and deeper into debt. Homeowner's equity has somehow disappeared, and nothing is being done to let people out of their mortgage debt. People are trapped with their money in 401(k) plans that they can't break.

The only question is to what degree has the electorate wakened up to their relative impoverishment so far, and into the future?

There are going to be a lot of angry Americans around in the future, feeling bilked by their banks, corporations, and governments -- but we aren't there yet. Still, the Public is assessing Obama's record, and a lot of them will recognize that whatever Obama is doing isn't working.

It's been two years since the economists declared recovery to be underway! As far as the Public is concerned, the depression ends when people are being hired back to work. And that isn't happening.

Polls aren't trustworthy at times like these. I just don't believe Obama is polling as strongly as he is being reported. It's easy to skew a sample, and the organizers may not be interested in 'headline numbers' anyway ... so you contrive them, because what you are most interested in testing is how independents are attracted by their rhetoric about specific issues, for instance, immigration. Polls are used for more thing that just seeing how the votes are falling at any one moment in time.

I think that Mitt Romney has kept his powder dry, and will take regular slices off Obama with his TV ads ... from Labour Day until the October home stretch ... He'll make Obama bleed a little in the debates. I think we can already see this about Mitt Romney -- he comes prepared and organized. Obama has a thin skin, and he needs a teleprompter or he wanders and makes mistakes.

I don't like the Democrat's chances.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't disagree with the sentiment;
But I am a solely numbers guy at this point.

I don't love Romney, but I am a firm believer that the well in which to draw competent secretaries of various portfolios who ultimately make the big decisions is much deeper on the Republican side then the Democrat side.

While I would love a Republican hat-trick, I certainly hope that its an issue of Romney keeping the powder dry and that benefits him come November but with Romeny being behind (in some cases far behind) in states that he needs to win like North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, and Virginia I suspect he will do better then McCain but I don't expect him to win.

The Senate however is a different story;
I expect the Republicans to lose Maine (I - Gain) and Massachusetts (D - Gain)

However, I think that Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota are all seats the Democrats will lose to Republicans.

Beyond that its a horse-race;
Virginia becomes a viable option, however it really depends on Romney.

Connecticut is an interesting race which shouldn't be, but Linda McMahon (R) will likely win the nomination and did fairly well (for a Republican) in 2010.

Against Susan Bysiewicz its a close race, if the democrats opt for Chris Murphy then it becomes a tougher race.

Unless there is a seismic shift, I think in November when the smoke clears we would look at a Senate of:

Republicans: 49
Democrats: 49
Independents: 2

With both Independents caucusing with the Democrats (Sanders and King)

There is a possibility that Scott Brown retains and George Allen wins Virginia which puts you at 51, 47, 2

Maybe if Romney opts for a very popular Marco Rubio as running mater and Florida ends up going Republican in the Presidential Race then maybe you can toss Florida in there if Connie Mack IV can beat Bill Nelson but not one I would even toss into the maybe pile at this point.

but I think that is the high watermark for the GOP
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But how can you put any faith in the published poll results?
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
But how can you put any faith in the published poll results?


Because aside from a few agencies they are normally pretty close;
Like with anything you have folks who are good at what they do, and folks who are not.

If the methodology is sound and you can normally tell whose is sound and whose is not on election day then they are a solid basis for giving a landscape view of the situation.

They are not infallible by any means, but if you look at the 2010 numbers they were within a reasonable margin of error, the only one they got wrong was they had the Republicans winning the Colorado Senate seat within the MoE and the Democrats won by 0.8%

As I have before; at a minimum it allows us to take the temperature on an electorate on a given day.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But surely, at this time, the ability to run polls to create headlines, and to shape rather than measure public opinion ... is irresistable as we round the turn into the back stretch ...

This is particularly true when it only costs you one or two questions on your survey to create the headline stat, because you don't care about generalizing a number to the whole electoral area ... you're using your other five or six questions to test appeals to independents, and independents are really the only people your poll is interested in.

Here's the thing ... why would a single person change his vote from Republican or Libertarian to Democrat, given events?

Maybe in Ohio and Michigan, where the auto bailout got the union members a deal they couldn't have gotten with a sawed-off shot gun othewise ... so I can see a pop there ...

But, understand, the biggest group in American politics is the independents ... and the Tea Party ... who disdain both parties, but the Democrats more ... most independents want an end to the spending, and smaller government. No party really represents them, but a big proportion of the people who supported Obama last time will not do so again.

If you were hostile to George W. Bush because of his tax-and-spend policies, how can you support Obama, who wants to tax and spend more?

Everything considered, how can the Democrats expect anything less than a shit-kicking at the polls this time? This, by the way, is what I am predicting, and I know what the polls are presently saying.

You might enjoy a certified professional, albeit a party spokesman, who says the same thing.


Link
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I appreciate the vigor in hoping that the GOP does much better then I expect them to do, the reality is what the US public "should do" and what they have done has been entirely different.

The opportunity in 2010 was in place to hand both houses to the GOP to send a message on healthcare/tax or whathaveyou, while Congress went red there was still many States that opted to send a Democrat Senator back to Washington.

Some States are simply going to vote Democrat, in the same manner that some States are simply going to vote for the GOP.

Putting aside what we want to happen;

Which states do you see electing a GOP Senator in November that I have omitted?
Perhaps this discussion will be easier if we can talk actual races.
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the republicans have a big advantage this year , with so many democrat seats up you think they would but based on senate election cycle they have it tough , as these seats were first won in 2006 a great year for the democrats . they have a tough job holding alot of these seats . especially the ones out west . Montana , Nebraska and North Dakota seem likely to go republican . missouri and virginia are close as well , in the end however wins presidential vote in those states could win the senate race as well if they get there voters out .

only republican incumbent in trouble could be scott brown due to Massachusetts being so liberal .
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to beat a dead horse too much ... but this is another source that is skeptical about many of the polls that are being conducted right now.

Quote:
[size=18]Morning Jay: The Race Is Romney's to Win[/size]

The conventional wisdom in the presidential race is that President Obama is a clear favorite. [....]

For starters, I believe it is based upon a historically naïve view of summer political polling. Yes, Obama enjoys a modest lead in the nationwide vote, as well in the swing states, but consider the bounciness of the polling in 1968, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 2000. It is not hard to see that political polling before and after the conventions looks different[Emphasis added] – in ways that endure beyond the traditional “convention bounces.”

There is another problem with the received wisdom, which is that it is built on the assumption that all voters are equally persuadable. They are not, which is why President Obama’s three-point margin over Mitt Romney needs to be understood in the context of where he actually is in those polls.

For the last two months, President Obama has bounced around between 46 and 48 percent of the vote in the national polls, as well as most averages of the state polls. Impressive? Hardly. Forty-six to 48 percent is really just the core Democratic coalition, which every Democrat has held for the past quarter century.

[....]

Obama’s polling right now suggests that he has only locked down the core Democratic vote; what's more, those not currently in his voting coalition tend to disapprove of his job as president. Indeed, the Gallup job approval poll finds him with just 31 percent support from “pure” independents, i.e. those with no party affiliation whatsoever.

It is extraordinarily difficult for incumbent presidents to win the votes of people who disapprove of the job they are doing. Hence, this race is Romney’s to win.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....?nopager=1


My point is that the polls being conducted now have not been, historically, a very accurate predictor of the outcome. My suspicions are that there is even more probability of that in this election than most.

After the conventions, and after Labor Day, more people will start to make the comparisons between the two men, and it seems to me that Obama is figured to lose in the comparison. I see a landslide victory in prospect.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pollsters are very easy to keep accountable;

I always use EKOS as my example, you have an agency who traditionally underpolls the CPC and the day before Election Day has the Tories @ 34 and they finished at 40. EKOS was the outer and they proved their methodology flawed.

Keeping Pollsters honest is the easiest thing to do, because either on Election Day they are close or they are not, and those that are normally pretty close election after election have a clearly reliable methodology.

The same can be said for pollsters in the States;
Gallup has been so accurate they actually advertise it smack on their website.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/944.....tions.aspx

I have to question if some of the larger agencies who make their money doing polling for private sector nearly 50:1 would be willing to stake their reputation just to give MSNBC a new lead for the night.

As for polls at this point historically not being accurate at this point, or even a solid indicator from a Presidential Election stance I have to disagree;

Polls from August are normally pretty good indicators of results in November at least from a Presidential stance, from a Senate and House stance not as much.

In 2008:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N.....tion,_2008

Obama save for that hiccup when he went on Vacation in September was on auto pilot.

In 2004;
http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....html#polls

Bush was ahead save for a few polls that had Kerry in the MoE, Kerry lost by 2% which was pretty well inline with the narrow leads Bush had.

In 2000; it was within the MoE for nealy the entire election, and basically finished in the MoE on election day.

The last come from behind winner was in 1992 where Clinton was polling in 3rd in summer, and enjoyed the lowest amount of popular support a winning President had received in a century with Perot splitting the vote.

I want to believe that Romney is going to win;
But when Fox News tosses out numbers like this:

Quote:
The president would take 49 percent of the vote compared to Romney's 40 percent in a head-to-head matchup if the election were held today, the poll found. Last month, Obama had a four percentage-point edge of 45 percent to 41 percent. This marks the second time this year the president has had a lead outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.


http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....z235jpqh7W

Its hard to believe that Romney at this moment is ahead or even close.

I hope he wins;
But if he doesn't I will gladly take the Senate as a consolation prize.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cosmo ... thanks for the thoughtful reply. Forgive me if I think it's a little simple. Yes, you can evaluate pollsters by how close they come to the actual vote distribution on election day ... but that only checks the published polling results for the period shortly before the election takes place.

Where we are now, the candidates are jockeying for position. They have a tendency to pull out polls that support them when they need them, in general, particularly when they is no other poll or objective standard to measure their results against.

In the US, one of the dependable electoral patterns shows parties getting a 'bump' in the polls after their conventions. These 'bumps' can be used to obscure the previous shenanigans. In general, I suspect that the polling done after the conventions is far more objective and professional -- depending on the company -- than what is being done in the dog days of summer.

Additionally, how do you account for the range of pollster findings if they are all professional and objective all the time? How can one well respected poll find Romney 4 points up, while others find him slightly behind?

The stakes in these elections are enormous. Think of how Chretien used ad firms and pollsters in ADSCAM. Some of these companies are at the beck and call of politicians. Not all. Gallup and such firms have a lot of credibility, but the high credibility polling organizations are relatively few. Other polling organizations are directly linked to specific parties.

There are lots of ways of skewing poll results in a predictable way -- these are accomplished by the sampling technique used. It's relatively easy to 'oversample' in areas or demographic groups where one party or another enjoys a traditional connection to a particular part, viz: the NDP and students, or immigrant groups and the Liberals. This is probably what EKOS does, and they probably do it as a service to their client. Otherwise, the differential wouldn't endure because an objective polling firm would try to fix the things that cause their techniques to produce distorted results.

Sampling is becoming a big problem for pollsters anyway -- they used to use the telephone book as a list of the population, and ignore the skewing involved, due to some kinds of people not having telephones, etc. But now, with the advent of cell phones and other technologies, and the growing impatience of the public with phone sales campaigns, it's really hard to get people to participate in the poll.

I think we're going to see a landslide election, with Obama and the Democrats being massively rejected, not because the public loves Romney or the Republicans, but because the Democrats have screwed up so immensely. It's now 1200 days without a budget, for example ... whoever heard of such a thing?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Cosmo ... thanks for the thoughtful reply. Forgive me if I think it's a little simple. Yes, you can evaluate pollsters by how close they come to the actual vote distribution on election day ... but that only checks the published polling results for the period shortly before the election takes place.


This would need to assume that pollsters methodology changed between Point A and Point B.

An agency like Gallup has a fairly reasonable record of being close over the last dozen + election days (which is the only day we can really verify the results) if their methodology as to how they obtain the information remains consistent why would it be unreasonable to assume their numbers are not close now?

If Gallup (for example) uses the same method on a poll in August as the one in November which is verifiable, I not at all uncomfortable assuming that August poll is that far off of reality.


Bugs wrote:
Additionally, how do you account for the range of pollster findings if they are all professional and objective all the time? How can one well respected poll find Romney 4 points up, while others find him slightly behind?


Lets be very clear;
All pollsters are not created equal, and all results should not be treated as equal.

There are always ways to "jig" your results;
Traditionally if you do the bulk of your polling during working hours and call home phone numbers you will find yourself with a bump toward the left, if you poll exclusively online you tend to get a bump toward the right.

You also have pollsters and analysts spend a tremendous amount of time discussing "national numbers" which are largely moot; Romney can be "tied" with Obama nationally but if he is trailing in Florida, Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia who cares?

While there is an endless discussion based on any number of different polling results, the reality is that State by State the GOP has a lot of work to do in a short period of time.



Bugs wrote:
The stakes in these elections are enormous. Think of how Chretien used ad firms and pollsters in ADSCAM. Some of these companies are at the beck and call of politicians. Not all. Gallup and such firms have a lot of credibility, but the high credibility polling organizations are relatively few. Other polling organizations are directly linked to specific parties.


Of course;
Which is why I rarely cite Fox News or MSNBC sponsored polling in any of my calculations unless I am looking to make a point (IE the Fox News poll cited above showing Romney trailing by 9)

Rasmussen and Gallup rarely use less then 1000 folks in their polling (Gallup in their last poll used more individuals to get their result then Fox, CNN, and Ipsos combined)

The problem is that neither Rasmussen or Gallup are really telling me anything all that different, Romney is "closer" to Obama then other polls would imply in the useless national number but distant in States he needs to win to secure enough electoral votes to win the White House.



Bugs wrote:
Sampling is becoming a big problem for pollsters anyway -- they used to use the telephone book as a list of the population, and ignore the skewing involved, due to some kinds of people not having telephones, etc. But now, with the advent of cell phones and other technologies, and the growing impatience of the public with phone sales campaigns, it's really hard to get people to participate in the poll.


The sampling argument is an argument of convenience used by the side who receives non-favorable polling results because we simply are not seeing evidence of it on a significant scale.

Save for the Alberta Election, when have we seen evidence of pollsters being completely out to lunch in recent history?

The Mid-Terms in 2010 were pretty spot on, the 2011 Canadian Election was close, the 2011 Ontario Election was correct regionally, etc.

Till we see a result that is way off on election day its hard to make an argument that pollster data is "vastly" unreliable due to any circumstance, maybe this will be the election that does, but till we see it

Bugs wrote:
I think we're going to see a landslide election, with Obama and the Democrats being massively rejected, not because the public loves Romney or the Republicans, but because the Democrats have screwed up so immensely. It's now 1200 days without a budget, for example ... whoever heard of such a thing?


I would love nothing more;
However the problem with the US electorate is a total and utter disconnect from their economic situation.

I have watch the Democrats attack the Ryan Plan as "throwing seniors off a cliff" when I simply look at as at its base core of being "Spending closer to what you take in" which is the reality that the US at a minimum needs to embrace.

Ryan wasn't even striving for debt repayment for goodness sake, he simply wanted to spend slightly more then the US was taking in, and I am not in the least bit convinced the US population is willing to make the tough call to not screw their kids and grandkids over by doing whats right now.

November's election is very simple;

1) Either you realize you need to stop spending like drunken sailors and that "the rich" are also the ones you need to invest in the economy to create jobs as no recovery in history has been on the backs of public sector job creation and you are willing to let the economy work as it should and scale back spending to sustainable levels so that future generations are not paying 0.25 of every tax dollar collected in interest on a debt they had nothing to do with,

2) Or you simply want what you want and let the cost of it be damned. You want healthcare, you want welfare, you want the government to bail you out of your mortgage, you want to stick it to those "fat cats" in the 1% that will continue to make their millions just do so creating jobs elsewhere.

While I would like to think that the US population has a conscience and would opt for door number one, I don't see it.

We have a culture of entitlement and a population that has somehow convinced itself that Government will more wisely invest money then business or individuals despite the terrible track record over the last three plus years.

I hope you are right; but I am not holding my breath.


Last edited by cosmostein on Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Responding to Cosmo ...

Pat Cadell, a Democrat pollster, on Fox's weekend politics show, said: "... those polls showing 9 points, let me be clear, those are polls with exaggerated samples of Democrats ... far beyond 2008, We've had an epidemic of them, and they are affecting race and they are affecting momentum ..." (See below, from the 6:15 point.)

http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....or_vp.html

I take this to mean that 'jigging' is normal, or higher than normal at this point in the election cycle.

Tell me, Cosmo, do you think that Romney was 9% behind before the Ryan announcement? The Rasmussen tracking poll had them tied as did Gallup. Do you think a 9% gap is possible without 'jigging', ie corrupt and dishonest polling techniques? (If normal polling produces a margin of error of less than 3% nineteen times out of twenty, what are the chances of a 9% error, echoed by other polls, all being outliers?)
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:


I take this to mean that 'jigging' is normal, or higher than normal at this point in the election cycle.

Tell me, Cosmo, do you think that Romney was 9% behind before the Ryan announcement? The Rasmussen tracking poll had them tied as did Gallup. Do you think a 9% gap is possible without 'jigging', ie corrupt and dishonest polling techniques? (If normal polling produces a margin of error of less than 3% nineteen times out of twenty, what are the chances of a 9% error, echoed by other polls, all being outliers?)


Of course jigging is normal;
However jigging is more a product of the pollster, if Fox News or MSNBC are doing their own polling then I fully expect there to be something within that poll which will justify its cost in terms of news value, which is why I stated above that not all pollsters are created equal.

In the 2011 Canadian Federal Election you will see two pollsters completely out to lunch;
EKOS and COMPAS. EKOS had the Tories in the low 30's COMPAS had them in the mid 40's.

However the existence of either agency and their potentially flawed methodology in predicting election results does not negate the legitimacy of Nanos and Angus Reid who's methodology was pretty darn close.

In the same way that the existence of a stacked poll like Fox or MSNBC's internal polling doesn't negate the legitimacy of the methodology of Gallup or Rasmussen's system.

To answer your question:
Do I think a 9 point lead existed?
Of course not, however the poll was quite honest in its design as smack on the first page it states:

Quote:
The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The poll was conducted by telephone with live interviewers August 5-7, 2012, among a random national base sample of 930 registered voters, including additional interviews (an oversample) of 115 randomly selected Hispanics.


http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....tial-race/

An over-sample poll is always going to favor the Democrats; as 70% of Latino voters voted Democrat in 2008, and based on that if basically 15% of the survey is already skewed with a 70 - 30 bias?

The question with that poll is a matter of was the poll done with malice (and its hard to argue that as the oversample is basically the first thing mentioned on the poll), or was the story simply not reported in its entirety to create effect?

All the data is there for those who look for it;

Again, finding one poll which clearly makes an effort to explain its not an entirely fair poll as a means to discount all pollsters is a difficult sale to make.

While Rasmussen and Gallup are showing an Obama lead nationally within the MoE (2 and 1% respectively) I would argue the nationwide numbers are moot anyway like I said above.

To secure the election Romney 97 Electoral votes when you include the States that he will most certainly win (173) to get to the 270.

Below is a collection of States that the GOP either had in 2004 when Bush won that went Democrat in 2008, or are fairly close currently (Michigan & Pennsylvania).

Colorado (9) Tied
Florida (29) Obama by anywhere 1 - 6 points
Indiana (9) Romney by 6 - 16 points
Iowa (6) Tied
Michigan (16) Obama by 5 - 6
Nevada (6) Obama by 6 - 8
New Mexico (6) Obama by 5 to 11
North Carolina (15) Obama by 1 - 5
Ohio (18) Obama by 6 - 8
Pennsylvania (20) Obama by 6 - 8
Virginia (13) Obama by 1 - 4
Wisconsin (10) Obama by 3 - 7 (Pre Ryan)

What does the path to 270 look like? Which combination of the above gets us that 97 we need?

Its one thing to say that it will be a blow out in November, but I am yet to see any evidence on the ground that Romney can win where he needs to, at least not yet.

The fact that Romney may be winning Texas by 20, Utah by 42, and Oklahoma by 32 is nice and makes for some nice national numbers but at the end of the day the national numbers have nothing to do with the election of the President;

Romney/Ryan need to cobble together 97 Electoral Votes from the above list in order to win the White House, if I give them every state they are winning and within the MoE of they are still short.

Unless the ticket can show it can win Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Colorado Along with a mix of 20 other votes its going to net a result that none of us want.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cosmo ... I doubt that the methodology -- as 'design' -- is the source of the problem. There are many places where error can creep in, from badly designed questions, to poor sampling techniques. But what we are seeing, in this 'jigging', is an intentional effort to distort reality, and that isn't a design error. It's the creation of electoral propaganda.

They can do it be 'over-sampling' particular demographic groups, as well as doctoring question to favour certain responses. Gallup and other more responsible polling companies spend big bucks testing their questions for reliability and validity before they become part of their standard 'tracking' questions -- and then they ask the same questions in different surveys, and measure the changes. They also study ways to get a better sample.

They can also tart up their results by using inappropriate statistical tests. Some tests can are more powerful than others depending on the kind of scale the data is arrayed on. Almost all polling orgnizations assume their data is on interval scales even though the data is usually only an ordinal scale. That means you can't calculate a valid standard deviation, so you have no real idea of what the margin of error really is.

Social science is full of such abuses, so you shouldn't be surprised that they pop up in electoral polling. http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/.....caling.htm

This is a quagmire. My main point, though, is that you are trusting this published data -- often collected to fool the public rather than enlighten them -- instead of the data the political organizations themselves are collecting for their own uses, and which are more rigorous and objective than what they do for newspapers and cable television. You don't seem to think that it makes any difference.

Combine these results with a media that is overwhelmingly pro-Democrat, and it can stand in the way of the genuine 'will of the people' from expressing itself. You say, "Stop your sniveling, I'm just numbers guy facing facts. You (meaning me) are just a Republican cheer-leader."

But my point is simply that yours is an inaccurate picture. Michigan, for instance, has been a big recipient of patronage, in the form of the auto-bailout, as well as huge piles of money poured into the reconstruction of Detroit. Ohio has been another beneficiary, as has Pennsylvania. That's what's being stressed in the ads in those states. In addition, the auto unions in all those states have been the beneficiaries of some political lawlessness having to do with the rape of the bond-holders for the benefit of the UAW.

Even so, those states are all still 'battleground states'. Doesn't that say something?

How about Florida? Dems seem overjoyed at Ryan's nomination, not because of poll results, but because they see an opening to attack Romney, based on their ability to use their friends in the media to stir up the fears of people on social security. That's the system in action. All the polls do is tell the parties where their opponents are vulnerable, and if their strategies are working or not.

You have to also figure on the costs of all of this. The most telling thing is that not only is the powerful Democratic machine losing the fund-raising race, but they are spending more money to less effect than the Republicans. The television wars are huge, in battleground states like Wisconsin, but in Illinois, you wouldn't even know an election was happening. That's what we don't see, in these polls.

The other factor is the Hispanic vote. The Obama administrations lawlessness with regard to immigration is contemptible, but it, no doubt, will pay off for them. It's about all they have going for them. But, even there, not all Hispanics are the same.

This election campaign, despite appearances, has only started, and there is every sign that the Democrats are spending huge to stay even or appear ahead, while the Republicans are keeping some of their powder dry for when it really counts. This, also, is an election where the Tea Party is an invisible player, and it gives the Republicans a 'ground game' they have lacked previously.

As a result, I'd say that any race that is 'tied' on your list, or even within 2% of being tied, is going to end up in the Romney column on election day. That would be Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin, and that comes to 64. Are you including Missouri as a Republican state? That would be 10 more. And who knows about Pennsylvania, in the end? That would reach the magic number.
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2012 US Senate Election

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