Skip to comments.Rasmussen: Yes, Dems likely have 2-4 point advantage in November
Posted on 09/29/2012 8:21:34 PM PDT by smoothsailing
September 29, 2012
For all the complexities of polling, says Scott Rasmussen, there are some fairly simple numbers to remember when thinking about this years presidential race. For the last 20 years, between 37 and 39 percent of voters on Election Day have been Democrats, says the pollster. Republicans have ranged from 32 to 37 percent. Right now, our sample looks like 36 percent Republican versus 39 percent Democrat.
The bottom line, Rasmussen continues, is that there is most likely a two, three, or four percentage point advantage out there for Democrats. Thats what its been for nearly a generation; thats probably what will happen on November 6.
Given that, and factoring in independents, Rasmussens national surveys show Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by a small margin. The president has a two-point advantage in the latest Rasmussen national tracking poll, and comparably small margins in the super-swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. I think the race is tilting, just barely, in Obamas favor, with the potential to shift between now and Election Day, he says.
After some polls, particularly one from Quinnipiac and the New York Times, showed huge Obama leads in the swing states nine points in Florida and ten in Ohio theres been a contentious debate about the relationship between state polls and national polls. Romney aides constantly point reporters toward the national polls. Of course they do; those polls are closer, and at the moment the Romney campaign is fighting hard against the impression, gaining momentum in some media circles, that the race is virtually over.
Team Romney has a point. When there are national polls showing a very tight race and big swing state polls showing a blowout, something is likely wrong. If the national results are close on November 6, its very unlikely that Ohio and Florida will be blowouts. And if Ohio and Florida are blowouts, its very unlikely the national race will be close. When all is said and done, says Rasmussen, it is impossible for me to conceive of a circumstance where there is a huge discrepancy between those key states and the national numbers.
And whatever the numbers are at this moment, Rasmussen expects them to move by Election Day. In the last three elections, he notes, the polls moved against the incumbent party in the final weeks of the race. Thats not an unbreakable pattern, and it might not happen this time, but it suggests Romney will gain on Obama, at least a bit, before November 6. Of course, some major, unexpected event might move things more.
Meanwhile, Republicans across the country continue to express skepticism, scorn, and in some cases outright contempt for the polls. Last week in Ohio, voter after voter at Romney-Ryan rallies complained about the polls, with most saying they just dont believe them. Its something every pollster, left, right, and center, is hearing every day.
When polls appear to be in dispute, says Rasmussen, partisans go to the ones they like best and say they are right and everything else is wrong. Then they rationalize it. You rationalize things to fit what you want the world to be.
No Republican calls Romney “Mittens”
I think he’s underpolling what I like to call the “pizzed off effect” which is going to pump up the GOP percentage significantly.
I don’t think Romney is ahead, but this idea that pollsters long for credibility and accuracy is ludicrous, based on their not calling the 08 race bu the correct margin. The only pollster to do that was Ras. Several other pollsters were, 4, 5 and even 6 points off.
Rasmussen has been a registered
democrat since Jimmy Carter!
According to Wikipedia quoting Rasmussen himself, he was raised in Republican household, migrated to dems after Nixon debacle, and now is independent; If you read entire quote, you can see that he really is very likely NOT a democrat.
~Speaking about his political views, Rasmussen said, “I was brought up loosely as a Republican, but at our family dinner table we talked about the important politics of the New York Giants and the New York Yankees. There was no political discussion in my life growing up. I became a Democrat after Richard Nixon and into the Jimmy Carter era and have been an Independent ever since. I spoke today about how the American people were skeptical about politicianswell, Im more skeptical. I really do see the core issue as the political class versus mainstream voters. I think that is a much bigger gap than Republican, Democrat, conservative, or liberal.”~
My county is 2 to 1 Democrats advantage for most elections. Last election, Obama only won by 4 votes.
I have not seen one single Obama sign - not one. Several Romney/Ryan signs on display.
In spite of the Democrat leanings our community is full of bitter clingers to guns and religion. I expect Romney/Ryan to win. Huge number of union worker support though.
“Okay, but why does erring in the side of caution always mean erring on the side of Democrats? “
I think there are two reasons. First is that what history says. Since and including 1984, the average partisan breakdown for all elections was D+2.5. Ras is just using the historical average, which is a reasonable assumption.
I think the second is credibility. He’s a businessman. Being unusually wrong in this business is far more damaging than being unusually correct is beneficial. And, let’s face it, the Dems are better at pressuring media outlets, so being unusually wrong in favor of Republicans is even MORE damaging.
Ras is using a D+2.5 model while everyone else is using a D+7 or more model. There is zero evidence suggesting a historic Democratic wave, so Scott Rasmussen can be very confident that the turnout will be no more D than D+4 (2008 is the only time that EVER happened since Reagan was elected). Which means he’s pretty much guaranteed to have the closest turnout model. If he’s right, he’s the King of the Pollsters for nailing it. If he’s wrong and this election is even or has more Rs, he’s still far and away the closest and he’s STILL the King of the Pollsters. If he’s wrong and turnout equals the most Democratic it ever was other than 2008, he’s STILL the closest and is STILL the King of the Pollsters.
Basically, with a D+2.5 split, he’s guaranteed to be the closest under any normal circumstances AND has rock solid non-partisan justification for his model. If he models on an R+4, he opens himself up to risk of being a partisan hack and lowers his chances of being the closest. It’s kinda like the Price is Right strategy of betting one dollar more than the previous person.
If Dems have had the advantage since 84 why have they lost four out of seven presidential elections? Firstly because that’s only an average, but also because party advantage by itself is not predictive. There are various other factors, many if them measurable. Pollsters rely on that one because as you say it is considered more objective and less controversial. Which is why I say they live in an alternate reality.