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Twisting the Internal Polling Knife
Townhall.com ^ | November 12, 2012 | Guy Benson

Posted on 11/12/2012 5:24:35 PM PST by Kaslin

In light of the revelation that Mitt Romney was "shell-shocked" by his loss last week, I've been pretty tough on the job performance of his campaign's internal pollsters, who clearly missed the mark -- resulting in costly tactical decisions down the stretch:
 

These analyses [of the "expand the map" strategy] make sense, but only within the context of the campaign truly believing that they were safe in other crucial must-have states -- a cataclysmically wrong assumption. When I stopped by Romney headquarters in Boston back in September, Newhouse said his team was anticipating a D+3 electorate in November. This seemed entirely reasonable to me, based on evidence from 2004, 2008 and 2010, but it turned out to be incorrect. The actual electorate this year was D+6. Post-election news reports reveal that Mitt Romney was "shell-shocked" by his loss, an outcome that can only be explained by shockingly flawed internal polling. Was that polling predicated on a D+3 model? If so, that would explain the huge disconnect between Boston's expectations and the final results. I'll reiterate that although the D+3 model seemed sensible on its face, it was the campaign pollsters' job to figure out if their assumptions comported with reality. In retrospect, their failure to do so looms very, very large.  


As if to pour salt in the Romney campaign's gaping wound, David Axelrod tells Politico today that Team Obama's in-house pollster was deadly accurate in his projections:
 

POLITICO: What's the most important tool you had this time that you didn't have in '08?

AXELROD : "We had some solid accomplishments and proof points ... We knew a lot more about the electorate than we did in 2008. We could make much more precise judgments about the attitudes of voters, about what was important to individual voters, about who was likely to participate and who wasn't likely to participate. So we had great confidence in our numbers. I got reports every night -- all the senior people did -- from our analytics guys about where all these battleground states were. And they were remarkably close [to the actual result -- Joel] Benenson's polling, within a tenth of a percentage point in the battleground states. Our individual pollsters in their individual states -- incredibly close. What you want in a campaign is as little surprise as possible. Nothing happened on election night that surprised me -- nothing. Every single domino that turned over was in keeping with the model that our folks had projected."


Moral of the story: When you're working off of rock solid data, unpleasant surprises are far less likely to occur.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/12/2012 5:24:38 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

What difference would it have made if the polls were accurate other than Romney would not have been surprised by the loss?


2 posted on 11/12/2012 5:34:58 PM PST by Arthurio
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To: Arthurio

Right. LOL.


3 posted on 11/12/2012 5:36:21 PM PST by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: Arthurio

I think the story is saying he would have allocated his resources differently had he known he was behind.


4 posted on 11/12/2012 5:43:05 PM PST by scrabblehack
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To: Arthurio

No. That he wouldn’t have been blowing cash in PA or Michigan. flirt who never puts out. Lol

Based on the election, though, Romney had no chance sadly. Lazy and dumb people out numbered us.


5 posted on 11/12/2012 5:44:22 PM PST by smith288 (Peace at all costs gives you tyranny free of charge)
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To: scrabblehack

He didn’t dump cash into those no chance states until the very end. By then, any further spending in the already saturated battlegrounds would have made no difference.

The big tactical mistake was waiting until October to campaign in earnest. By then, peoples’ opinions had already hardened. The debate amounted to nothing more than a bounce in the polls.


6 posted on 11/12/2012 5:48:04 PM PST by Arthurio
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To: Arthurio

I suspect he played it safe in the last weeks in order to avoid losing a lead that he never actually had.

He seems to have spent the last six weeks of the campaign looking presidential and coasting to “victory”. If he realized he was losing, he might have been more aggressive—hit hard on Libya, etc. And he probably would have spent less effort mandate hunting (by winning PA, WI, etc) and more time focusing on states he needed to win.


7 posted on 11/12/2012 5:48:29 PM PST by MN Mitch
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To: Kaslin

These analyses of the “expand the map” strategy make sense, but only within the context of the campaign truly believing that they were safe [in other crucial must-have states from ] from rampant voter fraud and election tampering of every known type— a cataclysmically wrong assumption.

Fixed it.


8 posted on 11/12/2012 5:50:44 PM PST by CaptainKip
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To: MN Mitch

That’s a good point, very good point. You have me reconsidering now....


9 posted on 11/12/2012 5:54:50 PM PST by Arthurio
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To: Arthurio

Folks....this is what I figured happened. Romney’s team was using bad internal polling. All summer & fall a lot of polls came up D+6 or D+7 & Ras & Gallup had that info too, but weighted their polls back down to D+2. There’s no damn excuse for Romney’s team to be using bad interal polling in this day & age. Heck, even Freeper jackmercer called this election on his own computer using AVAILABLE date.

It’s important because Romney thought he was in the lead the last month. If he knew he was 2 points behind I suspect they would have run at Onama hard the last month.


10 posted on 11/12/2012 5:56:19 PM PST by LongWayHome
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To: MN Mitch

Back to your point... Looking back to the third debate.. Romney was acting like the quarterback that was up by a touchdown in the final two minutes, and taking kneeldowns...


11 posted on 11/12/2012 5:56:23 PM PST by Arthurio
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To: Kaslin

All this is nonsense .
Early voting stole the election and the factvthevdems went to court to keep it in Ohio says it all .
The Cleveland voting booths were stuffed with ballots for weeks with no Romney
Oversight !
Naive
But Fl and N va had the same thing .
GOP needs full time employed lawyers at these l
Places for weeks


12 posted on 11/12/2012 5:59:42 PM PST by ncalburt (Axelrod Psych OPS has gone to 24/7 non stop - "The election is over " status until Nov)
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To: Kaslin

Of course they had the polls right, they knew exactly where all the fraud was going to take place.

The one thing that did always bother me through this election season was the comparisons to 2010. Yeah, we did great with the house but in the Statewide Senate races in battleground states we got beat with massive fraud. They proved that even with the biggest wave in Republican support in recent history they had an answer ready. Fraud in the big cities like Denver and L.V. to counter any gains outside of them. This machine was ready to go even then. Add in the fact that this was a presidential election and they would naturally get more of the non-fraud turnout and there really was no good reason to think that we could overcome the fraud.


13 posted on 11/12/2012 6:02:05 PM PST by Bigjimslade
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To: Arthurio
That's the way it looked to me. The failure to pick up the Benghazi issue seemed at the time plausible, if you felt you were up, and if you were trying to protect a lead among sensitive independents who don't like confrontation and attacks. But when you, in fact, aren't up with independents, all you get from failing to engage on that issue is a turned off base, which makes it even worse.
14 posted on 11/12/2012 6:04:15 PM PST by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: Kaslin

What sort of a model do you develop to account for overwhelming fraud? The kind of numbers that were reported in certain precints in OH, PA and other swing states can’t be accounted for.

There’s no polling that’s going to account for 537 to 0 type returns in numerous districts.


15 posted on 11/12/2012 6:16:59 PM PST by bereanway
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To: Kaslin; Jim Robinson; All
When I stopped by Romney headquarters in Boston back in September, Newhouse said his team was anticipating a D+3 electorate in November. This seemed entirely reasonable to me, based on evidence from 2004, 2008 and 2010, but it turned out to be incorrect. The actual electorate this year was D+6. Post-election news reports reveal that Mitt Romney was "shell-shocked" by his loss, an outcome that can only be explained by shockingly flawed internal polling...

Yes, well, NO ONE really expected a D+6 electorate. Not even the Obamugabe team...you could tell in the waning days of the campaign they were huddling, sending their ignorant prompter reading stooge to safe havens, in an effort to rally the base...they also seemed to have stopped believing their internal pollsters, if you look at their behavior.

I agree with those who say we conservatives must re-group, but not surrender our principles.

If we still have even a semblance of a Republic in 2 or 4 years, it'll be a miracle...and we will have to put things back into Constitutional order then!

Who the hell knows how ruined our economy will be by then? Or our social order?

Our spiritual house is being overrun by statists, God-haters and lovers of self...we need a spiritual revival, men and women of the Word praying and working for His Glory...only then will mankind realize they are not the center of all wisdom.

16 posted on 11/12/2012 6:20:10 PM PST by SoFloFreeper
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To: bereanway

Check Freeper jackmercer & his work right here on FR before the election. He NAILED the election using math & data on his own computer. How DO you explain that ? Was jack part of the plot ? Were the 15 other polls that called this for Obama part of the plot ? Those certain precients you are talking about are in inner-cities that are 100% minority....what’s the surprise ?


17 posted on 11/12/2012 6:22:48 PM PST by LongWayHome
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To: Kaslin

It’s really difficult picking up on vote or election fraud in a poll. You get a guy who says obama you put him down once and he votes or has voted 20 to fifty times in some states with early voting and the machine fix doesn’t show up on polls say .4 % of Rs in a particular race or two get recorded as ds that’s a .8% difference, enough to make the difference in a particular Florida Congressional district but I believe in that race they just “stuffed” the box how else do you get 141% of registration to turn out, of course that doesn’t show up in polls either. If a poll was right on they obviously knew of the fraud and added 5% to the ds.


18 posted on 11/12/2012 6:30:05 PM PST by duffee (Romney 2012, NEWT 2016)
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To: LongWayHome

There are a lot of people claiming they nailed the results. Fact is, the types of returns we saw this election are statistically impossible. What model do you use when exit polls indicated blacks supported 0 by 93% and yet scores of districts report perfect support. That’s a statistical impossibility, but it’s not impossible when you kick out poll watchers for 5 hours,or shield watchers while ballots are being tampered with or lose 800 ballots supposidly cast for the D when it’s time to perform a recount and then the partial recount yields dramatically different results.

That’s some extremely sophisticated polling which takes those things into account.


19 posted on 11/12/2012 6:35:34 PM PST by bereanway (5)
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To: SoFloFreeper

No....a lot of people seen D+6 coming. What happened is Ras & Gallup weighted their polls down and that reality spread throughout the consevative blogosphere hence you get DRUDGE running what 2 polls everyday for a month ? Yup...he ran Ras & Gallup with their bad numbers. This D+2 fiction spread all over the conservative press. What a mess:(


20 posted on 11/12/2012 6:39:41 PM PST by LongWayHome
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To: bereanway

Yup....one of the guys who NAILED this election is a fellow Freeper called jackmercer who’s work you can look up in 2 minutes. Nate Silver killed it. All the best polls this year caught it. How many Romney voters do you think live in the inner-city.....almost zero I expect. Want to bet Romney’s numbers in the inner-city are the same as McCain & Bush ?


21 posted on 11/12/2012 6:45:44 PM PST by LongWayHome
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To: SoFloFreeper
Yes, well, NO ONE really expected a D+6 electorate. Not even the Obamugabe team...you could tell in the waning days of the campaign they were huddling, sending their ignorant prompter reading stooge to safe havens, in an effort to rally the base...they also seemed to have stopped believing their internal pollsters, if you look at their behavior.

You're absolutely right. Zero's antics really makes it seems like he thought he was behind. And the low rally attendance and lack of yard signs sure made it look like he was behind.

Either the Dems play a really deep game, pretending to be weak when they are strong in order to make Romney complacent. Or they really believed same things Romney's camp did and it just happened that the level of fraud matched what the polls predicted.

22 posted on 11/12/2012 6:48:11 PM PST by MN Mitch
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To: ncalburt

i agree with you, but people are addicted to being played by the Saul Alinsky rules, which Fox news reinforces by encouraging Republicans to blame each other rather then face the obvious, that Democrats are systmatically using voter fraud, and they stole this election with early voting, too easy to throw votes out and ballot stuffing. Makes me wonder what the real purpose of Fox News is, to destract the voters and make us feel that we have a voice, while the Democrats steal our elections. These people hate the United States, they are drunk on political correctness, for them, this is about revenge.


23 posted on 11/12/2012 7:12:56 PM PST by rodeo-mamma
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To: Kaslin

It is very easy to have confidence in fabricated data.


24 posted on 11/13/2012 2:04:19 AM PST by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: Kaslin
Before I start praising Obama’s internal pollsters, I want to see their predictions on turnout.

Did they predict Obama would drop 7 million votes from 2008, and still win?

I doubt it.

Did they predict Romney would get 1 million less than the completely incompetent John McCain?

I doubt it.

25 posted on 11/13/2012 2:06:26 AM PST by zeestephen
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To: Bigjimslade

It really explains why they couldn’t steal the House. They couldn’t manufacture enough fraud votes in those smaller districts.


26 posted on 11/13/2012 2:08:15 AM PST by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: SoFloFreeper

We don’t have a semblance of a Republic NOW. The election we couldn’t afford to lose was 2008. We did.


27 posted on 11/13/2012 2:11:23 AM PST by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: LongWayHome
"Those certain precients you are talking about are in inner-cities that are 100% minority....what’s the surprise ?"

The surprise is (a) when they vote 110-120%, and (b) the opponent gets 0.

28 posted on 11/13/2012 5:09:06 AM PST by StAnDeliver (Own It.)
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To: Arthurio
The big tactical mistake was waiting until October to campaign in earnest. By then, peoples’ opinions had already hardened.

No, the really big mistake was made by the big money who backed a predictable Luser again, thinking they could just roll the opposition like 2004 -- out-Rove them.

That, and shoving to the sidelines the one candidate who could have brought out the millions of conservatives who just stayed home -- Sarah Palin.

So people in the East would have hated her -- who cares? They voted for Obama anyway.

Donna Brazile, who worked in a couple of presdential campaigns for the Dems, told her ABC Sunday-morning roundtable buds last January that Romney was the weakest possible GOP candidate (which btw is why Axelrod went out of his way to job Herman Cain), and that every time Romney had a good primary night, Obama had a better one. She knew.

29 posted on 11/13/2012 11:44:15 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: bereanway

Republicans don’t fight back. Why shouldn’t they lose? And why don’t we question Republicans’ willingness to lose? 2.5M McCain voters stayed home this year — six times the size of Obama’s win in the vote. The big question, aside from the modeling screw-up, is why we all believed a Romney support by R’s that wasn’t there. I believe the most distressing view: R’s believe a crash is coming and want it hung around Obama’s neck.


30 posted on 11/13/2012 12:25:32 PM PST by pabianice (washington, dc ..)
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To: Kaslin
If most Republicans did not want Romney and settled, how on earth can we expect the D's and the I's to like him?

He played it safe did not take it to Obama because he was afraid, just another Bush1, Dole and McCain, will the establishment party ever learn? He evidently was sooooo nice he had no clue who he was dealing with, the Chicago mob.

31 posted on 11/13/2012 2:22:05 PM PST by thirst4truth (www.Believer.com)
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To: pabianice
The big question, aside from the modeling screw-up, is why we all believed a Romney support by R’s that wasn’t there. I believe the most distressing view: R’s believe a crash is coming and want it hung around Obama’s neck.

Not judging the accuracy of the theme about GOPsters abandoning their man to let Obama hang -- I kinda don't think so, given the Supreme Court and Obamacare stakes, not even mentioning the threat that Obozo will now ram through the sovereignty-alienating U.N. treaties the Senate has refused to ratify, or even consider, ever since the Clinton administration -- I just wanted to mention that the idea of a crash impending and Republicans wanting a Democrat to be in charge when it arrives (reverse Hoover) was also current in 2007, as a way of explaining meagre Republican early-money giving.

The theory was that Hillary's presidency was a foregone conclusion, which was fine with the Republican masters of the universe, who wanted her standing there when the financial avalanche arrived at the bottom of the hill.

Then Hank the Shank and Helicopter Ben knifed Lehman Brothers, and the avalanche arrived before Mr. Bush could get out of the way, and we've had to listen to that "it's all Bush's fault" crap ever since. How embarrassing.

32 posted on 11/13/2012 7:50:28 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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