Another Poll!

| October 27 2012
Greg Conterio

Why Romney is going to win, and it won’t be close.

Gallup had some interesting numbers they released today, but before I get into those and what they will mean for November 6th, let’s review a little of the demographics math.

In every election, there are several numbers that remain about the same.  About 90% of registered Republicans vote for the Republican candidate, and about 90% of registered Democrats vote for the democrat candidate.  This is why so much attention is directed toward the independent voters, because whoever wins them has a considerable advantage.  But there is one other variable that has a big influence, and that is the relative percentage of voters who identify with or lean-toward one party or the other.

Now when it comes to pollsters, there is a strong tendency to use the percentages from the last presidential election as a “template” when interpreting poll numbers.  In other words, in 2008 there were 39% of voters who identified themselves as Democrats, 29% as Republicans, and 31% as independents.  So when folks like Gallup, Zogby (..does anyone pay attention to Zogby anymore?) or Rasmussen analyze their raw data, they often use the turnout model of the previous election as something of a “template.”  Essentially, they “throw-out” respondents as necessary to get a group that matches the template, and base their numbers on this assumption.

So what happens when there is a big shift in the percentages?  You see a significant difference in what the pre-election polls say, and the actual outcome on election day for one.  Using 2008 as an example, Obama was favored in all the major polls going into the election, but not by the comfortable margin he won by.  It wasn’t quite a landslide or a blow-out, but it was a fairly dominant win.  A similar thing happened with Bush & Kerry in 2004.  The pre-election polls had Bush ahead by a hair, but he wound up winning by a solid margin.

So far so good, but what does this mean for November 6th?  Well Gallup today released data indicating there has been an eleven-point shift in party identification between Democrats and Republicans.  In other words, the Democrats went from +10 in 2008 to -1 today.  If you count leaners, they are -3.  This is very good news for Romney, especially when you take voter enthusiasm into account.  But it gets better.  Romney is also dominating among independents, with a strong double-digit lead.

I have felt Romney was going to win by a very comfortable margin for some time now, but that has been based principally on my “feel” for how things were going.  Now there are objective numbers supporting my opinion.  I think November 7th will be a very good day!