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October 08, 2012 4:49 PM Pew’s Perfect Post-Debate Window

By Ed Kilgore

If you haven’t heard about this yet, you will soon, probably from some of the same gabbers who were complaining just last week that the polls were all biased for Obama: the new monthly Pew survey has Mitt Romney with a four-point lead (49-45) among LVs. Pew had Obama up by eight (51-43) among LVs in mid-September. Among the rather startling numbers is Romney completely eliminating an 18-point disadvantage among women, and an even larger swing among voters under 50 (from down 15 to up 4).

Oddly, the candidate preferences for the big party ID groupings haven’t changed that much, and sure enough, the RV sample (aside from being half the size of September’s) has a significantly higher percentage of Republicans (34%) than September’s (31%), and an even larger reduction in the percentage of Democrats (37% to 31%) This could reflect a sampling error in either month or an actual shift in party ID.

The main silver lining for Ds in this poll is that it was taken precisely during the first four days after the first presidential debate. So it created a perfect window for the Romney debate bounce but not the reversion towards the mean that other surveys seem to be reflecting.

But make no mistake, this is the true, infallible poll Republicans have been waiting on to declare total impending victory. I just hope we don’t get any disgusting spin suggesting that women saw Romney as a Real Man, even without his skinny jeans.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Quaker in a Basement on October 08, 2012 5:06 PM:

    Man, after that one guy gets done unskewing this one, Romney's going to be up by about 192 percent,

  • gregor on October 08, 2012 5:07 PM:

    Not to go Chris Mathew on this, but I hope that Obama does not have the intention of validating the Repubs prognostications of him being another Carter.

  • c u n d gulag on October 08, 2012 5:12 PM:

    GOP POV:
    Well, it's refreshing to see an accurate poll for once.

    One that shows Independents, Women, and Hispanics, flocking to Mitt, and his mission to kill PBS and Big Bird bin Laden and Al Quailda, no matter where they're nesting!"

    Mitt gives new meaning to flipping people "The Bird!"

  • T2 on October 08, 2012 5:14 PM:

    the swing of women in the Pew poll sounds fishy. So does the under 50 vote, although that is much more plausible than the women vote swing. And besides, Gallup was out today with Obama back 5 points up.......am I to believe that the women Gallup calls are vastly different than the women Pew calls? Hard to believe.

  • Rev on October 08, 2012 5:21 PM:

    They are clearly oversampling Republicans.

    :D

  • Lucia on October 08, 2012 5:24 PM:

    This is probably an outlier, but I'm still skeered. Might be time to start practicing a new accent, eh?

  • PTate in MN on October 08, 2012 5:25 PM:

    If you've been following the visuals, before the 1st debate, what we saw was defeated Mitt, downcast Mitt, Mitt looking scared. Then, kablooie! rebranded, he oozes testosterone in the first debate, and, declared the winner, is photographed shaking hands, beaming, a real manly winner.

    WTF??

    A swing of 12% is consistent with my informal observations during the Scott Walker recall, that about 12-13% of the electorate are reactive, gullible fools. They live in this blinkered moment of the last ad they saw.

    I don't think it will last. The Super-PACs are pouring anti-Obama toxins into the system right now, and the Media want to have a horse-race. But Romney is such a loser that he won't be able to maintain the facade of character for long. But how tragic that the future of this great nation is hostage to the whims of an ignorant 12%. He lied 28 times in 35 minutes? Oh, but he's a CENTRIST now. He didn't mean what he said before.

    Captcha is too good: one deathsp

  • Ron Byers on October 08, 2012 5:37 PM:

    Clearly Obama screwed up, but one screw up is not the election. I find the swing in the women vote a little fishy. Women are supporting Obama not because of sex appeal or manliness, but because the Republicans have declared war on reproductive health. Until I see other polls supporting Pew, I am going to think outlier.

  • stormskies on October 08, 2012 5:52 PM:

    It's the methodology that they used that created this result. It is just that simple. This is what all polls do: the specific methodology to get the results that they want.

    This methodology in this polls does not represent American as it actually is. It's a distortion that they creates the distorted results. The Gallup methodology is consistent, and typically has favored Repiglicans for months. And yet that methodology has Obama up by five.

  • Bob on October 08, 2012 6:07 PM:

    ...and, predictably, another left-leaning blog broadcasts this information with a banner headline, linking to the Pew report itself, but with none of the context that someone like Ed provides. This poll looks like an outlier to me. In any event, polls like this do nothing to speak to the reality of electoral college results. I'm still fairly comfortable that O will win.

  • John B. on October 08, 2012 6:20 PM:

    PTate in Minn writes: "A swing of 12% is consistent with my informal observations during the Scott Walker recall, that about 12-13% of the electorate are reactive, gullible fools. They live in this blinkered moment of the last ad they saw."

    I knew a multi-term state governor, now deceased, from a state very close to where Ptate lives. His pollster consistently told him that 18% of the American voting public was certifiably insane, 40% were Democrats, 35% were Republicans, and virtually every election essentially was fought over the remaining 7%.

  • Yellowdog on October 08, 2012 6:20 PM:

    I continue to get queasy every time I hear someone describe Romney's debate performance as 'strong' or a 'win.' The gloating, renewed Romney of the past few days has been hard to stomach. It was strong performance on the surface, yes, but do Romney's assertions hold up in the light of day? Were his statements based on fact? Did he try to mislead people about the likely consequences of his own policies?

  • Lucia on October 08, 2012 6:31 PM:

    Sadly, Yellowdog, the low-information voters who will decide the election don't care. They care about who smiles, who frowns, who has better hair. Gag me with a rusty spork.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on October 08, 2012 6:32 PM:

    "I just hope we don’t get any disgusting spin suggesting that women saw Romney as a Real Man, even without his skinny jeans."

    You can whistle in the dark all you want, you can dismiss the superficiality of it till you throw up, but I suspect that is exactly what happened. People who think can't fathom the shallowness of most of our fellow citizens. Obama might have lost the race last Wednesday. It was a colossal failure and sickening to watch yet another Democrat fail to take his own side in a fight because he couldn't be bothered to take it seriously. I want to vomit.

  • TCinLA on October 08, 2012 6:32 PM:

    For all the Obamabots who claimed people like me were "over-reacting" to the less-than-stellar (less than even average) performance by Obama, who claimed the debate didn't matter, would you care to change your answers now?

  • caitlinfinnegan on October 08, 2012 6:44 PM:

    @TCinLA,

    Considered I had an anxiety attack, I doubt you're talking to me. However, I'm still trying to figure out why you're planning to vote for someone whom your comments look to show you despise.

  • Hue and Cry on October 08, 2012 7:52 PM:

    I really do think that stupid voters checking into the debate after being lazy and not following politics like the rest of us will vote for that poseur Willard.
    They know nothing of his flip flops in the past 18 months.
    Look at all the effort the rest of us put into this election.
    Keep heart--experts say the impact of the lowering of the unemployment numbers may yet help the president's numbers. Polls might be closer.

    There's Chris Matthews tonight, too little, too late, talking about how Romney sleazed into that debate.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on October 08, 2012 7:57 PM:

    On a more optimistic note, Brad Delong's interpretation is something I haven't seen anywhere nor thought of myself:

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/10/it-looks-like-gallups-107-polling-was-57-obama-38-romney.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BradDelongsSemi-dailyJournal+%28Brad+DeLong%27s+Semi-Daily+Journal%29

    It seems to be solid logically, and I sure hope it's not just some statistically insignificant observation.

  • grandpa john on October 08, 2012 8:11 PM:

    You know, one of the several things that I have learned from Nate at 538 is this; Any one single poll taken by it self is useless for any kind of prediction.
    There will be more polls out tomorrow and the day after and the day after that up to election day.
    From these polls we can more ably determine if this one is an outlier or not. I will say in looking at the cross tabs there are a few numbers that look odd, especially in the women's tab.
    Also one not mentioned in the article but in the region tab, more participants were from the South than from any other region.

  • mudwall jackson on October 08, 2012 8:26 PM:

    "For all the Obamabots who claimed people like me were "over-reacting" to the less-than-stellar (less than even average) performance by Obama, who claimed the debate didn't matter, would you care to change your answers now?"

    no. but then i'm not an 'obababot,' whatever, or whoever, that might be.

  • Joe Friday on October 08, 2012 8:27 PM:

    Diane Sawyer was in full court press on ABC's World News. Obama is "under great pressure". Leading Democrats are "worried". How can the President "possibly turn this around ?"

    Oh brother.

    FORGET THE NATIONAL POLLS. THEY ARE MEANINGLESS.

    The polls in the battleground states haven't gone anywhere.

  • mudwall jackson on October 08, 2012 8:40 PM:

    so obama's lead widens to 51 - 44 in the gallup 7-day tracking poll and his approval sits at 50 percent, yet a landslide-like lead he holds in the pew evaporates after one debate? really? im not an expert in public opinion but color me skeptical that such a huge swing is even possible given the politically polarized state of things. a tightening of the race i could understand but this is not credible.

  • anonymous on October 08, 2012 9:14 PM:

    It is hard to take watching clown willard steal the show after lying through his ultra white teeth and slick hair all night. How can people be so stupid?

  • Neil B on October 08, 2012 9:40 PM:

    Good piece excoriating and explaining that Romney didn't really win that debate, from one of the few honest Fox commentators (likely from his PBS background):


    /obama-didnt-lose-debate-romney-didnt-win/a>

    Note also Gingrich's prescient statement, "You cannot debate somebody who is dishonest."

  • Hue an Cry on October 08, 2012 10:25 PM:

    Agree, Neil--i was watching Meet the Press and it seemed Gingrich didn't mind adding his concurrence that Mitt Romney was essentially dishonest, and that, obviously, during the debate, Mittsy changed his views.
    And there was that smile from Gingrich that followed his last remark. I thought Chuck Todd similarly smiled as if in recognition.

  • Hyde on October 09, 2012 10:21 AM:

    The main silver lining for Ds in this poll is that it was taken precisely during the first four days after the first presidential debate. So it created a perfect window for the Romney debate bounce but not the reversion towards the mean that other surveys seem to be reflecting.


    Wouldn't this logically argue against not scheduling a poll for immediately following a debate?

    The thing that would concern me here is the same thing that obviously concerned the Republicans complaining about the "skewed polls" showing an Obama lead: the possibility of a bandwagon effect. There's no question that this poll is getting much more attention than any one poll that ever showed Obama in a lead.

  • Sara on May 02, 2013 11:35 PM:

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