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September 28, 2012

Poll Weighting At Rasmussen

Today's Daily Presidential Tracking Poll at Rasmussen shows President Obama with a 1-point lead of over Mitt Romney.  But Rasmussen also provides this bit of information.

Romney is supported by 86% of Republicans, while Obama gets the vote from 85% of Democrats. The GOP hopeful has a four-point edge among voters not affiliated with either major party.

So Rasmussen has Romney with a 4-point lead among independents and he attracts a higher percentage of Republican voters than Obama's percentage of Democrats.   The only way I can see Obama with a lead under these circumstances is if there are quite a few more Democrats than Republicans and quite a few more Democrats than Independents in the poll sampling. 

This would be at odds with other Rasmussen polling in which a higher number of people identify themselves as Republicans than Democrats, which they've been doing all year long.  In the latest poll, August, people said they were Republican 37.6% of the time, compared to 33.3% Democrat and 29.2% who said they were neither Republican nor Democrat.

I'm not a Rassmussen subscriber so I can't look very deeply into the poll samplings.  I don't understand why he expects a higher turnout of Democrats than Republicans and Independents unless he is counting on some degree of apathy among Tea Partiers. I'm not sure I'd count on that if I were an Obama supporter.

Looking into the Presidential Approval Index for today we find that only 48% approve of the job Obama is doing while 51% disapprove and 43% strongly disapprove.  As we head closer to election day I have a hard time imagining that there are many, if any, left-wingers among that strongly disapproving group.  I think it's mostly conservatives and Tea Partiers, like the ones who showed up in DC three years ago this month.  They were a motivated group then, and they're a motivated group now.

It still looks like a November blowout to me.

Posted by Tom Bowler at 12:33 PM | Permalink


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We live in a time of rapid change. It might very well be the case that polls which could have been counted on to be accurate four years ago could be well off the mark today. Here's some evidence (admittedly anectdotal)for this viewpoint.

I've heard there is data to suggest that people calling themselves conservative are far less likely to respond to pollsters in the first place. This could account for the fact that Dems are over-represented in some polls. Also, I've observed that many people these days, myself included, have discarded land lines entirely in favor of cell phone service exclusively. Because of this, it's possible that blue-haired shut-ins are more likely to be sampled because their names and phone numbers can be found online and because--perhaps--they are more likely to have a spare twenty minutes to talk to a pollster. This last circumstance would likely have been less relevant four years ago. I myself have declined to be polled more than once simply because of the time involved.

But seriously, I'm pretty sure our lives would be more pleasant generally if we didn't have to babysit our political class. I've come up with a catch-all Constitutional Amendment which I believe would diminish greatly their relevance in our lives. It's based on the premise that when we pay for our own mistakes, we tend to make fewer mistakes (the principle of profit and loss in economics).

You can find it here: http://parallelparty.blogspot.com

Please take a few minutes to glance over it.

Thougtful comments are welcome.

Posted by: Rick | Sep 28, 2012 1:51:59 PM

Rick, your amendment won't fly. It is unconstitutional for a citizen to be subject to a finding of criminal guilt based on popular vote. We're constitutionally entitled to trial by jury for that sort of thing.

Posted by: Tom Bowler | Sep 28, 2012 3:06:59 PM

Why is there a DAILY Presidential tracking poll?
(well...apparent market for it aside)

Can it be superimposed, DAILY, over the various cable/print/web "news" source viewership "dailys"?
(but only along with DAILY actual "like"/"don't like" votes)

Disclaimer: I am ONE of those folk, calling themselves conservative, that are far less likely to respond to pollsters in the first place.
Especially ones citing "quick", or are shameless push "polls".
YES I have a phone screwed to the wall.
No I don't "do" face/twit/streaming.
YES I chuckle at folks that run into cross walk poles/fall into fountains at the mall, due to "need" of dataectomy.
No I don't need to read past the first paragraph of what such folk opine "to The Editor..." in my local and State paper, OR amongst talking head
"producer"/host/"professional contributors"/
"expert guests".

Retro-? Paleo-? You bet!

-phobic? Big poopy-head?
Ah, if only folks could decern between irrational fear or hatred...and intellectual discrimination.

Posted by: CaptDMO | Sep 29, 2012 11:30:16 AM