Quick Facts on Politico Poll Taken 10/1 – 10/4:
- Earlier Politico Poll (9/24 – 9/27) showed Obama +2 over Romney
- Latest Politico Poll (10/1 – 10/4) shows Obama up by a single point (+1) over Romney
- Latest Poll sampled 3% more Democrats than earlier poll (9/24-27 poll Democrats +5 – Latest poll Democrats +8)
- Normalized poll from 9/24 showed Romney up by +4
- Normalized results from 10/1 poll shows Romney up by +8
Politico just released a poll in which the Obama Campaign will find very little to cheer about.
Perhaps the only bit of good news for Obama in this poll is that he has a 1 point lead over Mitt Romney, but that must be taken with a grain of salt.
In order for Politico to show their guy up at all, they really had to reach. Going back to their previously released poll done on 9/24 – 9/27, it would seem that Romney made a bit of a gain on the 10/1 to 10/4 poll. In the September poll, Obama had a 2 point lead and that lead is now only 1 point.
But that does not tell the story.
The older poll used a sample demographic that polled 36% Democrats and 31% Republicans, an advantage of +5 for Obama.
The latest poll tried to help Obama by polling 38% Democrats (an extra 2%) and only 30% Republicans (1% fewer).
Despite enriching the Obama vote by 3 points over the previous poll, Obama fell a point to only a 1 point lead.
These polls have been analyzed at Political Poll Check - a site founded by Virginia Right to track the polls. One of the things we do at PPC is to “normalize” the polls. The normalization process is explained here and one of it’s strengths as a polling tool is it’s ability to compare polls that use different demographics. Since these polls are normalized (or “indexed”) to a standard model, tracking the movement in each poll is a helpful tool – especially in polls from the same group.
(Note: To help you understand “normalization”, say you had 3 recipes for soup and you wanted to compare the ingredients. One makes 25 servings, one makes 50 and one 100. They have exactly the same ingredients, but for some reason, when you make the recipe for 50 servings, it tastes a lot better and is everyone’s favorite. Normalization converts all the recipes to 1 serving so you can easily see that the one you like most has more butter and salt.)
The headlines will all report that the Politico poll shows Obama slipped a point from their previous poll. And as is their pattern, the Mainstream Media will not mention the fact that Politico enriched the Democrats by an additional 3%.
But if you think that a poll that adds 3% more Democrats over it’s last poll showing only a 1 point decline is actually indicative of a much larger shift you would be right.
The normalized version of the last Politico poll, found here, showed Romney was actually up by 4 points if the sample size were in line with the Rasmussen party affiliation poll average we use.
The most recent normalization analysis shows Romney up by 8 points, a shift of +4 to Romney over the previous poll.
Now you can argue that the model we use is incorrect. We index the polls to reflect the Rasmussen poll results average of 36% Republicans, 33% Democrats and 31% independents. Most of the polls prefer to use the final results of the 2008 presidential election, and they sample Democrats by at least +6. But when they change the sample demographic, it is nearly impossible to accurately compare the two.
This Politico poll also had another very interesting finding.
Romney now leads among independents by 16 points, 51 percent to 35 percent. This is up from 4 points last week. But he still trails in the overall head-to-head numbers because of near monolithic support for Obama among minority Democrats.
Well, it is Politico after all. The statement “near monolithic support for Obama among minority Democrats” being the reason Obama is still up by one point is almost laughable when they leave out the fact that this poll had 3% more Democrats than their last poll. That’s the reason Obama is still up a point head to head.
The rest of the cross tabs in this poll tell the story of an energized Romney base and a discouraged Obama base.
And when you consider that the movement in this poll comes with only one post debate day included, the results do not really measure the true debate bump Romney received. Day 3 of this poll was conducted the day of the debate and since the debate ended at 7:30 Pacific Time, there were not likely a lot of people polled on day 3 after the debate, and of they were, they were on the left coast.
There was a 4 point post-debate bump for Romney.
Other news sources are calling this a “bounce”, but a bounce implies a temporary “bump” in the polls that soon subsides. This is officially a bump at this point and will only be a “bounce” if the trend reverses.