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19 October 2012

Really, If Obama Is Only At 46% In Ohio With A D+8 Sample, He’s Finished There

M2RB:  Teddy Pendergrass

Just turn off the lights...

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Some key numbers from recent Ohio polls

By Josh Jordan of NumbersMuncher

I wanted to do a quick note about Ohio polls. As of 10/15, the RCP average is a 2.2% lead for Obama, which is down from a 5.6% lead just a few weeks ago. The debate changed the trajectory of the race, and just as before there are some key elements to look at when analyzing the Ohio polls.

1. Party ID is more skewed than you think: This is a somewhat complicated issue that I highlighted in a pre-debate Ohio post. You can read the whole article at, but to keep this brief I just wanted to focus on the 2008 exit poll.

2008: This was a wave election and Barack Obama took Ohio by 4.6%, 51.5 to 46.9. The exit polls show a split of 39% Democrats, 31% Republicans, and 30% Independents.  When you take that breakdown and put it against the exit poll results of vote per party, Obama would win 52.8 to 45.6 – 7.2% victory.  This means that the exit polls were off a little, which is normal since they are, after all, a poll.  On the plus side, having an *actual* vote total to compare to makes it easier to work with.  If you mess around with the exit poll party % against the share of vote for each party, you come out with this breakdown: 37.5% Democrats, 32.5% Republicans, and 30% Independents.  That gives you a vote of 51.6% for Obama and 46.9% for McCain – pretty close to actual results. That means that while the 2008 exit polls show an EIGHT point Dem advantage, in reality it was likely closer to 5%. That is a huge difference when looking at the current polls.

What this means is that when you’re comparing to current polls, you should be looking at party breakdown of Democrats +5 if you’re comparing to 2008 turnout. Of the seven current Ohio polls, five of them have D+4 or greater. For the most part, that means that current Ohio polls are assuming 2008 turnout or greater which is growing more unlikely with each passing day.

2. Romney is leading with independents. This one is pretty simple: In 2008 Obama beat John McCain by 8% among independents.  That was part of propelled him to victory nationwide, and it played a huge role in Ohio as well. Of the six current RCP polls that give independent #s, Romney is up by an average of 5.1%. That is a 13% swing in independents from 2008 to Romney.  It is very hard to win indys by 5% and lose the overall race unless democratic turnout can match 2008 levels.

3. The current polls are showing turnout matching or exceeding 2008 levels. This is the last point, but it works off the first two. Of the seven current RCP polls, the average democrat advantage in party ID is 5.4%. If you work off a D+5 2008 advantage as outlined above, that means the average poll in Ohio right now assumes the same turnout as 2008.  While anything is possible on 11/6, there are not many on either side thinking Obama can match his 2008 advantages for a number of reasons.  Here are the two most obvious reasons to not work off of a 2008 turnout model:

1. Romney is going to keep up or outspend Obama on TV in the last month. In 2008 McCain limped to the finish line with cash because of taking public financing.  This is not a problem this year, and can make a difference on the margins in the final days.

2. In 2008 McCain had trouble getting more than a few thousand people to see him at campaign rallies.  While Palin was able to generate larger crowds, the enthusiasm was not apparently for McCain and it hurt him on election day.  Since the debate, Romney has been pulling crowds that Jeff Zeleny of the NYT referred to as “Obama sized crowds.”

The large Romney rallies point to a larger problem for Obama this year – GOP enthusiasm is outperforming Democratic enthusiasm with three weeks to go. This will translate to more volunteers in the state, higher base turnout, and a much more robust GOTV effort.This is clearly hard to translate before the election happens, but sometimes common sense prevails when Obama won in 2008 largely because of a highly enthused base turning out votes combined with a healthy lead with independents. Right now Romney is leading with independents, has a more enthusiastic base and is drawing crowds that rival Obama in Ohio. While he is down 2%, the average poll is assuming 2008 turnout which is unlikely to repeat itself this year. As if that was not enough, Obama is stuck at 48.3% which is not a great place to be when the challenger has momentum in the final days of a campaign.  Not bad for a candidate declared dead in the state just a few weeks ago.

Turn Off The Lights - Teddy Pendergrass

Turn off the lights and light a candle
Tonight I'm in a romantic mood, yeah

Let's take a shower, shower together, yeah

I'll wash your body and you'll wash mine, yeah
Rub me down in some hot oils, baby, yeah
And I'll do the same thing to you

Just turn off the lights, come to me

Girl, I wanna give you a special treat, you're so sweet
Turn off the lights and let's get cozy
See, you're the only one in the world that I need

I wanna love you, love you all over, yeah

Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again
Whisper sweet words of love in your ear
Show you I much I missed you, missed you, my dear

Turn ‘em off and come to me

Tonight, I'm in a sexy mood, baby
And light a candle
Girl, there's something that I-I wanna do to you, I wanna do, I wanna do to you, baby

Would you mind if I asked you to

Would you rub me down
Would you rub me down in some, in some burnin' hot oils, baby, yeah
I swear I can do the same thing, the same thing to you, baby

Turn ‘em off and let's get cozy

I wanna give you a special treat, you've been so sweet
Turn ‘em off and come closer
You're the only one in this whole wide world that I'd ever need

Turn ‘em off and light a candle

You see, there's somethin' I, somethin' I, somethin' I, somethin' I
Somethin' I wanna do to you, baby

I'm lyin' here waitin', my dear

You can get what you want any time you want it
I'm lyin' here waitin', my dear
Come get what you need, give me what I need

Tell me what you wanna do (There's somethin' I)

Tell me what you wanna do, babe
(There's somethin' I, somethin' I wanna do to you, baby)
Tell me what you wanna do (Yeah)
Tell me what you wanna do, babe (Yes)

Tell me what you wanna do (I've got somethin' in my mind)

Tell me what you wanna do, babe
(Somethin' that I've been wantin' to do all the time, yeah, yes
Tell me what you wanna do (I wanna give you a special treat)
Tell me what you wanna do, babe (‘Cause you've been so sweet, yeah, yes)

(Anything that you want, anything that you need, I got it, I got it)

Tell me what you wanna do (I can do it)
Tell me what you wanna do, babe (I'm willin')
Tell me what you wanna do
Tell me what you wanna do, babe (I'm willin' to try)

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