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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Notes From The Underground - Election 2012



A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, has been sending me his thoughts on the election for the past couple of days.

I present them to you:

NOTE 1
TAKE HEART

This is from Gallup today:
 
"Currently, 46% of likely voters identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 54% in 2008. But in 2008, Democrats enjoyed a wide 12-point advantage in party affiliation among national adults, the largest Gallup had seen in at least two decades. More recently, Americans have been about as likely to identify as or lean Republican as to identify as or lean Democratic. Consequently, the electorate has also become less Democratic and more Republican in its political orientation than in 2008. In fact, the party composition of the electorate this year looks more similar to the electorate in 2004 than 2008."
 
I can't explain Gallup's narrowing numbers in the overall vote, other than that the mid October numbers were a fluke.  In fact, Romney should win the popular vote 51 to 49 or so, so Gallup has probably got it right today, and that's fine.  Gallup has always been pretty close, within a point or two, except where there's a popular vote blowout, like they had Obama by 11 in 2008 and he won by 7.  In close races, they are accurate.  And, it is significant that they had Mitt by 5 or 6 for a week, because the loser of an election has NEVER been up that much, that late, in a Gallup poll, EVER.  
 
But the language I cited above is what really matters: party affiliation.  

If you haven't done so already, I urge you to study the Blogging Caesar's unskewed polling page:
 
http://www.electionprojection.com/2012elections/unskewedpollsummary12.php
 
The pollsters realize that a random sampling of people who pick up their phones for whatever reason may not represent the electorate that actually turns out.  To make up for this fact, they see who the Democrats are voting for, and they see who the Republicans are voting for, and then they invent a turnout model, and plug in the results.  They get the turnout model from the last election.  Blogging Caesar shows what happens if the 2008 electorate is in fact duplicated -- again, this is party, not things like race, age, gender, etc.  If 2008, the hugest Democratic year ever, happens again, Obama would lose IN, FL, and NC, but take the other swing states and win.  But if the electorate is more like 2004, Romney wins handily, taking all the swing states including PA and IA.  They don't say what would happen with Minn, but that's a possibility too.  Then the Blogging Caesar shows what happens if it's a cross between 2004 and 2008:  Romney wins all swing states except IA, PA, and WI, and wins the race.
 
Note that Gallup says the electorate should be CLOSER to 2004 than 2008.  Let's say it's 3/4ths of the way towards 2004.  If that's the case, then we would average the Blogging Caesar's 2004 unskewed numbers with his "Average 08/04" numbers, and the result is that BO still wins IA by .4, and PA and WI by .3, and Romney still wins.
 
Of course, another possibility exists, which is that the electorate is even more Republican than in 2004, which after all was not a particuarly Republican year.  People were losing confidence in Bush, and would really start to jump ship 2 years later.  Kerry was credible, and won overall on the issues of Iraq and the economy.  Bush won on social issues and terrorism.  If the moderately conservative leaning electorate of 2004 shows up, Mitt wins all the swing states.  But, Obama has galvanized the GOP's entire historic base: whites, religious of all stripes (except Muslim), pro-Israel voters, gun owners, low tax advocates, the military, etc.  ALL of those groups are united and motivated.  Mitt does not turn off ANY of them, and Obam turns off ALL of them.  We are 2 years removed from one of the greatest GOP surges in years.  So the electorate may well be more GOP than in 2004.  If so, Mitt could take all of the swing states plus Minnesota and Nevada and possibly a surprise like New Jersey, Oregon, or New Mexico.  
 
To be realistic, I think Obama takes those blue states, and probably MN and Nevada.  But Mitt has FL, NC, VA, CO, and I believe NH and Ohio.  I think PA is in play, and could go to Romney.  Same with Wisconsin.  I think Mitt takes Iowa.  I'm sticking with my final number, 315, unless something crazy happens tomorrow.


NOTE 2
The only people I see calling it for Obama are his own team: Stephanie "Riefenstahl" Cutter, David "Goebels" Axelrod, and Jay "Baghdad Bob" Carney.  I'm sure officials from the Ministry of Truth like Comrades Wasserman-Schultz, Reid, Pelosi, etc. all are saying he will win too.  And I would bet Rachel Man-dow, Keith Olber-fag, and Chris "Tingles" Matthews are saying Obama will win, but I can't know that without watching them, which I won't do.  But among credible analysts I don't think there is anybody.


NOTE 3
Here's a good one from Peggy Noonan:

http://blogs.wsj.com/peggynoonan/2012/11/05/monday-morning/

She is usually good at sensing the underlying mood.  I differ with her about how Obama looks: she says he looks tired and wan, and i think he looks greenish and angry.  


NOTE 4
I wonder if Obama wants to win.  Maybe not.  He doesn't seem happy as President.  He doesn't like America or Americans.  

In a second term he would be under pressure from Fast & Furious and Benghazi, he would not be able to get anything through congress, half the country hates him, the other half liked him but is disappointed he didn't get things done, and that half will continue to be disappointed.  His policies are heading towards disaster, so if he wins he gets to preside over them imploding.  Obamacare cannot work.  Iran will get nukes unless stopped.

If he loses before his programs totally implode he can still claim maybe they would have worked if people were truly ready for Him.  He can not be in the spotlight, and can just travel the world writing more autobiographies and doing speeches for a half million dollars a pop in awesome world cities.  He can have a mansion in Hawaii surrounded by the secret service for the rest of his life.  Why would he want to win?  He isn't going to be able to take down the US even if he does win, it's just going to be 4 years of slow descent and gridlock.  He may be able to do more long term damage by losing, then just wait it out while the GOP has power for a while, and assuming Romney doesn't roll back the bloated government at all, later on the Dems will take power again and just keep tightening the ratchet from the point where they left it.  Reagan didn't roll back government at all, he just halted it's progress.  Both Bushes expanded it.  At best Romney will hold it like Reagan did.  But even Obamacare, I don't know if Romney could undo it.  Once a government tentacle is in place it doesn't go away, it either grows and tightens or sits dormant.  That is the key secret that Biden was aware of when he said "big fucking deal."  It didn't matter to Dems what was in Obamacare, just as long as it was passed.  Expand the government, then tinker around with the details later.

Obama should tank if he's smart.  He will damage the brand if he wins.


NOTE 5
Imagine how wan and grim Obama is going to be if he wins.  Right now he is angry, petulant, greenish/gray, snarky, smarmy, arrogant, vulgar, cynical, surly, gawky, beady-eyed, whiny, and grim.
 

NOTE 6
Here's some geezer at humanevents.com saying basically what I've been saying about the skew in polls based on turnout.  The pollsters figure out how each party is going to vote.  Then they plug in those results to a model that assumes an 11 percent Dem edge in turnout.  Why do they make that assumption?  Some pollsters take polls to test the turnout assumption on which all the other polls are based, and the result is that, just as common sense tells us, GOP party identification among likely voters is much higher than Dems relative to 2008.  Like they say, garbage in, garbage out.

http://www.humanevents.com/2012/11/05/cnns-latest-poll-deconstructed-does-it-really-show-a-romney-victory/




NOTE 7
The polls this year are like the mortgage-based security default swaps the big banks were packaging together and selling each other circa 2006.  An elaborate product with the seal of approval of the mighty Lehman Brothers, etc., which at the end of the day were worse than worthless because they were built around something with negative value, mortages given to people who could not and would not repay them.  

With the polls you start out with something worthless -- the pollsters' guess about what will happen at the polls vis a vis how many Dems vs. GOP will make up the electorate; then they fill out that worthless structure by polling people to see if, in fact, Dems will vote for Obama and GOP for Romney (surprise, the answer is yes on both counts!), and then hanging those numbers on the original worthless structure, and voila, the results of the poll wind up remarkably similar to the pollsters' initial guess about what turnout will be.  

Of course, it's not purely a guess, but a simple lifting of the turnout model from the last cycle -- which makes it probably more likely than not, on average, that using such a model will be correct more often than not, but that's just like an NBA preseason ranking system that simply recycles the final standings from last year.  

Bottom line: it's a new year, we don't know what will happen.  Except that we sort of do, because we live in the world and have eyes.  Which is why some pollsters test the data on which the others design their turnout model, revealing that the whole thing is wrong.  Ok, so what happens with a Rassmussen poll based on data that says that rather than an 11 point Obama turnout advantage, it will actually be a 3 point advantage for Romney, with the result that Romney wins Ohio by 4?  Well, that's terrific, but it's just one of many.  So we'll bundle it in together with THE NONPARTISAN REAL CLEAR POLITICS AVERAGE, which is based on dozens and dozens of polls (look at that huge stack of data!), and again, Obama comes out up 1 in Ohio.  

It's remarkable how many analysists I've heard defer uncritically to the RCP Average.  But that is why I say it's like the big banks mortgage security bundles: it doesn't matter how many bad polls you stack on top of each other, if the kernal at the heart of many or most of them is wildly incorrect, the whole pile collapses.  

People act like the polls that try to accurately account for turnout and thus show Romney up a few in Pennsylvania or whereever are "outweighed" by the greater bulk of evidence, or like those good polls are undermined by the fact that when you mix them together with the garbage the resulting mix is more garbage than good.  Nonsense.  

The bottom line is, the polls which are based on a 2008 turnout model go in the trash, and that's where we start.  The Blogging Caesar has laid this bare for everyone to see.  This year the country consists of a way higher percentage of GOP voters than DEM voters than in 2008.  

I trust Gallup on that fact because it's what I see with my eyes, plus I DO NOT SEE A CONTRARY RESULT ON THAT SPECIFIC QUESTION ADVANCED BY ANY POLLING FIRM THAT ASSERTS A CONTRARY TURNOUT RESULT.  Instead, the polls that use the massively skewed 2008 Obama turnout model do so A PRIORI, THEY DO NOT DO SO ON THE BASIS OF ANYTHING OTHER THAN BECAUSE ITS HOW THEY HAVE ALWAYS DONE POLLS, TO TAKE THE LAST CYCLE'S TURNOUT AND HANG NEW NUMBERS ON IT.

Romney 315.


NOTE 8
PS.  Q: Why are the polls apparently so off this year?  They've been pretty accurate historically, and technology, etc., are generally getting better, so I mean...?

A: Because the "recycled turnout model" pollsters have always used HAS ALWAYS MADE SENSE, because from cycle to cycle there has never been as big an "identifies GOP"/"identifies DEM" difference as this year.  The reason for this is obvious: 2008 was not an ordinary election year, it was instead a massive social religious hysterical wave that swept over the country.  The Messiah had come to earth and was running for president, and MASSIVE numbers of people who could vote did so, and MASSIVE numbers of people wanted to be able to say they cast their vote for the first black president.  Not only had Obama fever swept over the country, but people HATED the GOP after 8 years of Bush spending like LBJ and wobbling on a host of conservative values.  In 2008, it was the MOST DEM YEAR of my lifetime, followed 2 years later by ONE OF THE MOST GOP YEARS OF MY LIFETIME.  Polling firms have never dealt with such a huge swing in voter ID from one cycle to the next.  Sure, the country goes back and forth, but never like this.  I venture to say the prior swings from one cycle to the next approximate the margin of error of the polls themselves.


NOTE 9
PPS.  Q: Well isn't it fanciful to believe The Democrats will turn out in such lower numbers relative to The GOP?

A: That's not what the Obama -11/Romney -3 "turnout model" measures.  All these polls are directed at "likely voters," so actual "turnout" of these voters is taken as a given.  These models measure WHO THE VOTING PUBLIC ACTUALLY IS THIS YEAR.  This year, there is about a 14 point swing in the number of republicans relative to Dems.  The country has changed.  Why?  Pretty simple, people switch party affiliation, or more new voters identify with GOP relative to Dems.  There are more republicans this year.  That is related to actual turnout, because it's a measure of the sentiment of the people as a whole, but it's not exactly the same thing.  In 2008 there were lets say 40 dems per 100 voters, and 29 GOP, and the rest independent.  Now there's 39 GOP, 36 Dem, the rest independent.  That's a new voting public.  Out of all those voters, actual turnout is a separate factor.  Turnout will be AT LEAST as high for GOP as Dem.

Romney is stocked with raw voting bodies in a way that neither McCain nor GWB ever was.  LOOK AT THIS CHART:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/archive/mood_of_america_archive/partisan_trends/summary_of_party_affiliation

Scroll down starting at 2012, go down to Oct of 2004.  That's kind of the whole game.

On top of raw numbers of people who are INCLINED to vote for each party, actual TURNOUT is another thing.  And, raw ENERGY is far higher in the GOP.  A bigger, more motivated, bloodthirsty army, seeking to displace a smaller, less motivated army that is on defense and doesn't believe deep down in its heart that it will win or deserves to win.

Romney has it.


NOTE 10
And by the way, the "newly minted" GOP voters -- those who account for the stark shift towards GOP affiliation since Obama took office -- became GOP voters IN OPPOSITION TO OBAMA.  Their turnout will be 100%.  That's about 1 in 5 GOP voters who is locked in to vote.  Assuming across the board that turnout will be 60% among "old voters" who are now simply sticking with the party they're in, that means GOP turnout (how many of the massively larger army actually show up to the battle) will be about 10 percent higher than Dems.

In fact I predict "actual turnout" for both parties will be in the mid-60s.  But then, when Romney massively wins the popular vote, that will just show what I'm saying -- "turnout", measuring how motivated the voters are, is NOT the key, contrary to what pundits are saying.  The key is the fact that the GOP army has swelled by 15 percentage points relative to the Dems in the last 4 years.  Game over.
 

NOTE 11
Now consider the Blogging Caesar's unskewed page in light of Rassumussen's party affiliation chart.

BC looks at this year's poll results assuming an electorate that looks like 2008.  From Rasmussen, we know such an electorate would be GOP 34, DEM 41, or Dem +7.  The result of this is that Obama wins all the swing states except FL and NC, and Obama wins.

When BC switches to a 2004 electorate model -- which we know from SR is GOP 37, DEM 38, or Dem +1, BC finds a massive Romney win, including all swing states including PA by .6 (but not specifying Minnesota or anything bluer than that).

So, the BC has run the results by taking the raw data from pollsters and hanging them on a 2008 electorate model, and found Obama wins.  That is exactly what the pollsters themselves have done, and called it a day.

Then, the BC has hung those numbers on a 2004 electorate model, and found a decisve Romney win.

So: an electorate where Dems outnumber GOP by one point results in a massive Romney win, while an electorate of Dems +7 results in an Obama win that is somewhat closer than 2008 but not by a lot.

Finally, BC averages the two results, and finds a close Romney win, picking up FL, Ohio, Colorado, and NH, but not WI, PA, or Iowa.

Then, the BC calls it a day.

But why does the BC only look at two electorates: Dem + 7 and Dem + 1 (and, he looks at a hypothetical third, Dem +3)?

WHY DOESN'T HE LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HANG THE POLL DATA ON THE REAL ELECTORATE THAT RASMUSSEN TELLS US EXISTS TODAY?

Dem + 7 = Romney gets FL, NC.
Dem + 3 = Romney gets FL, NC, OH, CO, NH
Dem + 1 = Romney gets FL, NC, OH, CO, NH, WI, PA, NV, IA, VA

BUT TODAY, THE REAL ELECTORATE IS NONE OF THESE, IT IS ACTUALLY GOP + 6!

I can't recreate BC's results using a GOP + 6 model on additional states, but because I can't sleep I'm going to take a guess at what that could mean for the erection today in some other states that are not even considered swing states.

Here is the movement of each state in percentage points towards Romney based on looking at an electorate that is 6 percent more GOP:
CO 7
FL 6
IA 2
NV 5
NH 4
NC 8
OH 3
PA 3
VA 8
WI 4

Tossing out the 2008 electorate in favor of one that is 6 points more GOP results in a swing in various states of anywhere from 2 to 8 points in favor of the GOP.

It would follow, that tossing aside the 2008 model in favor of one that is 12 points higher would result in about double those numbers.  And, Rasmussen has showed us that IN FACT we are dealing with an electorate today that is 15 points more GOP than in 2008.  From this, it would follow that EVERY STATE in the country should see a shift of anywhere from 4 to 16 points towards Romney from where the current polls using a 2008 electorate model have him.

Here are the RCP numbers for Obama's average lead in the polls among the "second tier" tossup states (RCP doesn't have numbers for NY, CA, VT, HI, DC, etc.)
OR 6
NV 3
NM 10
NJ  12
MI 4
WI 4
PA 4
MN 5
CT 11

If 4 points is the low end of what a 12 point shift would probably account for, then slide MN, NV, NM, MI, WI, PA into Romney's column.  And if a 6 point slide to the right may result in an 8 point shift to the GOP, then a 12 point slide to the right could result in a 16 point slide to the right.  And bear in mind, SR shows an actual slide to the right of 15 points.  So ALL OF THESE MID-TIER TOSSUPS COULD GO TO ROMNEY.

That means a possible electoral count of 380.  And that's not taking into account the states I just don't have numbers for.  Actually I do, let's see how many states went for Obama by more than 16 in 2008: well, it's actually pretty much the list above, except MI is over 16 and Oregon is under.  But remember, the shift has been GOP + 15.  A slide to the GOP population by 6 means results ranging from 2 to 8; slide of 12 means 4 to 16; slide by 18 means 6 to 24; slide by 15 means 5 to 21.

So any state that went to Obama by less than 21 points is in play.  In addition to the states above, that means Maine and Washington.  396 electoral votes.

We have a new electorate, it is not 2008.  Once again, look at Rasmussen's pary affiliation chart.  A massive 15 point slide to the GOP during the course of Obama's single term in office.  THAT IS THE FACT EVERYONE IS GOING TO POINT TO WHEN ALL THIS IS OVER, AND THEY WILL SAY "OF COURSE IT WAS A ROMNEY LANDSLIDE, IT LOOKS OBVIOUS NOW."

In future years, pollsters will have to base their projections on the actual party affiliation of the voters as a whole, because a massive shift is possible.

And now that I think about it, the people of the US HAVE NOT CHANGED IN THE LAST 4 YEARS.  The presidency changed, from a moderate center right guy to a far left angry anti-US socialist who HATES REGULAR AMERICANS.  OF COURSE PEOPLE WERE GOING TO SHIFT AWAY FROM HIM.  But like two trains going past each other and you can't tell which one is moving, it is not that the people are farther to the right: they are where they have always been.  But they associate far more with the NOT-OBAMA party, because he is vastly unsuited for the political leanings of the country as a whole, including regular people in NJ, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, etc.

I don't think Romney is going to get 396 electoral votes and win Connecticut and New Jersey.  But, Rassmussen shows the country as a whole has moved as much to the right of 2004 as it did to the left of 2004 in the 2008 election.  That is simply massive.

I consider it well within the realm of possibility that Romney wins all the swing states plus Minnesota, Michigan, and maybe a surprise such as Oregon.  I am sticking firm with 315 as my best guess, but this is just massive: Romney has an army out there, who has been looking forward to voting against Obama for the last 4 years.  If Romney ends up with over 350 electoral votes it would be a pleasant surprise, but I count it well within the realm of possibility.  After all, NOBODY had Obama winning NC and Indiana last time, but he had this big momentous rout and just swept up states that people weren't even talking about.

If Romney wins big enough to grab Minnesota and Michigan, he may pull a surprise or two like Oregon, New Jersey, or Maine.


NOTE 12
And btw, when I looked at the states that are Obama +21 or less, that's not based on current polling, but on the 2008 results.  That means some additional bump should be credited to Romney based on the turnaround in enthusiasm from 2008 to today.

I say early on watch New Jersey and Maine, and see if anything weird seems to be happening.

My results are based on an across the board shift to GOP in all states of GOP +15 relative to 2008, and I don't know that's the case, Rasmussen doesn't tell us.  So it may be that red states got redder by +20 and some blue states got redder by +5 or whatever.

At the very least, I think we have to say states like Michigan and Minnesota are in play.  It's a new electorate.  Romney has behind him a massively swollen army that is absolutely bloodthirsty and has been living for three years for the day when they can take out Obama.  Turnout is turnout, and about 60 percent of both Romney and Obama people will turn out.  But the key thing is, as Rasmussen shows, there are simply more Romney people.  WAY MORE ROMNEY PEOPLE.


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