The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Poll, polls, polls: feeds the media not the voters

No, we did not make a mistake Infograph above shows the futility of most poll data...the 2008 race in actuality was not a close race!

Polls, polls, polls...One poll shows the president leading Mitt Romney by the margin of error. another poll shows Romney ahead within the same margin of error.  If you look a little closer, you might find a poll showing a dead-heat (neck-in-neck) with no discernible percent difference.  Towards the middle of June, Bloomberg published poll results that drew significant attention based on results that significantly differed from most political polls. Bloomberg poll resulted showed Obama was well ahead of Romney. A more detailed statistic from the survey: respondents indicated Romney was out of touch at the 53 per cent Romney to Obama's 36 per cent out of touch.


Obama Leads In Poll As Voters View Romney As Out Of Touch

Obama Leads In Poll As Voters View Romney As Out Of Touch

Poll Shows Most See Romney Out of Touch With Voters
Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Mitt Romney in a Bloomberg National Poll that reflects the presumed Republican nominee’s weaknesses more than the president’s strengths. 
Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, even as the public gives him low marks on handling the economy and the deficit, and six in 10 say the nation is headed down the wrong track, according to the poll conducted June 15- 18. 

The survey shows Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has yet to repair the damage done to his image during the Republican primary. Thirty-nine percent of Americans view him favorably, about the same as when he announced his presidential candidacy last June, while 48 percent see him unfavorably -- a 17-percentage point jump during a nomination fight dominated by attacks ads. A majority of likely voters, 55 percent, view him as more out of touch with average Americans compared with 36 percent who say the president is more out of touch. 
Taken together, the results suggest an unsettled political environment for both Obama and Romney five months from the November election, with voters choosing for now to stick with a president they say is flawed rather than backing a challenger they regard as undefined and disconnected
Joe Scarbogourh and his Morning Joe crew jumped into the results 'fray'.

No real answer, just an implied caution that the results are way out of whack with other results.

On June 22, Bloomberg's pollster Ann Selzer wrote a piece that addresses the reason for the Bloomberg "outlier:" results.

When people ask how to make sense out of a bevy of widely varying polls, I say, pick a poll and follow it over time. The trend will tell you something meaningful when you compare the same method, and the same question with the same universe over time. Our Bloomberg National Poll in March, before the Republican nominating contest had concluded, showed Mitt Romney and Barack Obama tied at 47 percent each. In our June poll, released Wednesday morning, we showed a 13-point lead for Barack Obama — 53 percent to 40 percent. 
Why does our poll look different from other recent polls? Here are answers to a few theories posited in the last day or so about why our poll might be an outlier.
 We are posting below one of the questions.
Did you change your methodology? No. It was the same method, the same question, and the same universe. The poll produced roughly the same demographic make-up as our March poll.
The questions about the survey are critical who questions why the Bloomberg Poll was so -out-of-whack with most other polls.

After a series of questions related to the Bloomberg poll, Selzer concludes the piece as follows. 
In the end. We will soon know whether this poll is, in fact, an outlier. Potentially, this poll caught the electorate when the wind was at Barack Obama’s back for a brief moment in time.
It is unfortunate that so much time, energy and reporting accompany elections.  Most of the pools do not accomplish much beyond fodder for 'our devouring' media.  The media incessantly reports on poll results, while expending little to no broadcast time on digging and reporting the veracity of daily campaign oratory.

Steve Benen has published relative to polls.  the following is an excerpt from the Rachel Maddow Blog.  The report makes much more relevant to me than most polls we see incessant broadcast across the media.

Genuine Support vs. Support by Default

By Steve Benen  
The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is chock full of interesting data, and though there are results both sides will be glad to see, on balance, the news is better for President Obama than Mitt Romney.
In a head-to-head match-up, Obama's lead is only three points nationwide, 47% to 44%, which is largely unchanged from the last few months. But among voters in battleground states -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin -- Obama's lead is eight points, 50% to 42%.
Just as importantly, Romney's favorable numbers are dropping: the number of voters with a favorable impression of the Republican is down to just 33% nationwide, and 30% in swing states.
Of particular interest to me, though, was a question pollsters don't often ask: are you voting foryour preferred candidate or against the rival candidate? I put a chart together noting Obama's edge on this question:
It's really not close. While nearly three out of four Obama backers are motivated by their support for the president (what I call "genuine support"), more than half of Romney's backers are driven by their opposition to Obama (what I call "support by default"). In other words, even those who intend to vote for Romney for president don't really like him; they're just prepared to settle for him because he's not the other guy. The Republican isn't inspiring admiration; he's counting on the incumbent inspiring hatred.
Two poll related quotes to end this piece....

"I haven't trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I've never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex."

- Erma Bombeck quotes

"If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign."

- George W. Bush quotes

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