See, there's your mistake. Pollsters predict the future based on the future intent of people who haven't acted.
I'm a historian. I predict the future based on evidence of things that have already occurred. What evidence do we have? Polls are not evidence of what has happened or even what will happen. They are badly flawed manipulative tools to tell whatever story someone wants to tell.
On the other hand, we have REAL absentee ballot requests to compare with 08. We have REAL 08 numbers and REAL 2012 numbers. We have REAL early voting numbers.
In all the REAL evidence we have, the Ds are massively down from 08, the Rs are substantially up. The Ds are nowhere here what they need to win OH.
So, the poster is right. I think this is beyond Bush's 04 numbers in OH, probably around a 200,000 R victory.
The absentee ballot requests are good data. So is the trend of party registration in states that register by party. So are the “exit polls” (given that we have early voting, an increasing proportion of the polls we have are exit polls). But, so are polls that actually are polls of voting preference.
In 2004, Ohio had a 5 point Republican advantage and, in 2008, an 8 point Democratic advantage. This was a huge swing. Then, from 2008 to the mid-term elections of 2010, another huge swing, 9 points.
Also, looking at Gallup’s tracking of party affiliation among adults (or possibly registered voters), from 2009 to 2011, a similar 9 point swing.
So, there is the potential for a huge swing in the partisan mix from 2008 to 2012. This year, who knows, I’m thinking a 1 point Democratic advantage is conservative (from a pro-Romney view).
Another way to look at this is the demographics of voters as revealed by the post-election Current Population Survey. The big shift in 2008 was due (A) to blacks and (B) to younger adults. Possibly black turnout will remain at its elevated level of 2008, but it is not credible that young adult turnout will. This argues that the demographics of this election will be something between those of 2004 and 2008, which would support the argument that the partisan mix will also be something between.
Now, let’s look at the recent polls in Ohio. Four recent telephone polls (not including Rasmussen) and two recent internet polls involve Democratic partisan advantages ranging from 4 to 9 points. That does not look right. What I suspect is going on is that the pollsters are either imposing the partisan mix of the 2008 election, and/or the demographic mix of the 2008 election onto the responses, by weighting the responses.
Now I’ll look at Raz. He imposes a moving average partisan mix. This is fine for the country (although it temporarily stifles a shift in voter preferences that coincides with a shift in party affiliation, which, I believe, explains the current cleavage between Rasmussen’s and Gallup’s nationwide numbers).
What Raz does at the state level is adjust the state spread by the changes in the national spread. But the national spread has been changing slow relative to the changes in the spread in Ohio during the past four years. So, I think Raz’ methodology results in him being off by a couple points in Ohio.
When I adjust the polls to reflect a 1 point Democratic advantage in Ohio, I get Romney up by 2 points. This still makes the state a toss-up. But, there is reason to be optimistic.
One final point. The foray into Pennsylvania is not merely a feint. At this point, it might not be possible for the other side to gear up a GOTV effort. If Romney is within 2 points in this state, and if he is flush with cash and Obama is strapped, Romney can steal this state (and a couple others) during the week prior to the election.