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Mon Jul 30, 2012, 06:40 PM

Obama leads Romney 50-46 in new Democracy Corps poll (had led 49-46 last time).

Not a significant lead, but pretty comfortable at this point. Obama also breaks 50% nationally and has improved his standing since their last poll.

http://www.democracycorps.com/attachments/article/900/July_Dcorps_political_%20FQ.pdf

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Reply Obama leads Romney 50-46 in new Democracy Corps poll (had led 49-46 last time). (Original post)
Drunken Irishman Jul 2012 OP
DCBob Jul 2012 #1
longship Jul 2012 #2
Drunken Irishman Jul 2012 #3
longship Jul 2012 #4
Drunken Irishman Jul 2012 #5
longship Jul 2012 #6
Marzupialis Jul 2012 #7

Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 07:16 PM

1. Breaking 50% is pretty significant.

If O maintains that number he wins.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 08:35 PM

2. Indeed, 50% is magic, but...

under the Constitution, with the Electoral College, national polls are fucking totally irrelevant.

Instead, we have to look at the state polls, or in ME an NE, Congressional district polls to determine a winner. The two states which do things by district will likely go all NE to Romney, and all ME to Obama.
If they don't it won't be divinities.

National polls are worthless, as the 2000 and 2004 election amply demonstrated.

So quoting them on DU will likely trigger similar responses.

However, it's nice to see Obama over 50% nationally which, if correct, would indicate an easy Obama win.

Unfortunately, these polls often have rather large error bars. So, Obama may not be at 50%. It's all in the sampling methodology, the questions asked, and the data analysis which gives the results.

Please do not cheer this until you have delved into these other metrics.

Thanks.

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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 09:10 PM

3. They're not worthless...

Only once in 100 years has a candidate won the popular vote and lost the electoral college. Your assertion that they're worthless implies that every state somehow acts in a separate vacuum and that just isn't true. If Obama wins the popular vote by 4%, 50-46, he will carry the electoral college. It's almost mathematically impossible, or at least very improbable, for him to win by that margin and lose enough states to not claim 270 electoral votes.

You example of 2000 proves this - as Gore's popular vote win was by a measly .5%. Had his margin been one-percent instead, he most certainly wins that election.

In 2004, Bush won the popular vote and...won the election. So, I don't know why you're bringing that up.

Look, no one is celebrating at all. But I'd rather my candidate was leading in the polls than trailing, which was the case for much of '04 - as Kerry rarely led in any national polls after August.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 10:06 PM

4. I agree, in principle.

But this far out, the national numbers are nearly irrelevant, with one caveat.

If the majority is outside the error bars and has the majority, it may be done. I do not see that yet. Plus, before the conventions, all polls are irrelevant.

I don't give a shit about historic data. That is a clear non sequitur, totally irrelevant. Sounds a lot like confirmation bias to me. Or, maybe cherry picking. Or, maybe the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy (probably not).

The only statistics that mean anything are those of this election cycle. Claiming a general rule from previous elections is a statistical fallacy.

The rule holds only until it fails to hold.

Ignore the bullshit that pundits make their money from and follow trends in this cycle, none of which will be meaningful until we get closer to election day.

But we at DU, including me, love to ruminate about this shit. I hope you don't think that this means much of anything just yet.

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Response to longship (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 02:44 AM

5. I think it gives you an indication of where the race is going...

Romney consistently struggles to top Obama either nationally or in swing states. As the race cements over the next couple months, Romney's window of pulling ahead slowly closes.

In '04, Bush overtook Kerry in the polls around the time of the Republican Convention and held it, pretty much, through to the election.

In '96, Clinton, like Obama currently, led from January through to November. His lead was bigger, of course, but the point still stands.

In '92, Clinton finally overtook H.W. Bush during the middle of July - going from 1 point down to 29 points up in the polls after the DNC Convention (the bump didn't last, but it was his first lead over Bush that year).

In '84, Reagan pretty much led Mondale for all of '84.

In '80, Reagan mostly led throughout the summer, though by a plurality of the vote, since Anderson was taking a great deal of support. Carter rarely broke 40%, however, in any poll - even in ones where he led.

My point? Well, I don't really have one! haha, except that Obama is doing pretty well compared to the last two incumbents who lost. If Romney can't leave Tampa with a sizable lead, anything more than five points, I think he might be toast.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 03:13 AM

6. Well. We agree that it is looking good for Obama.

As I wrote in my previous post, past political history is irrelevant. Totally.

The only thing that really matters is this year, because that's the political environment we are in now.

Looking for patterns in previous elections is generally rubbish. It is stuff which makes many, high paid pundits a lot of high paid consultancies. But it is all smoke and mirrors.

This election is happening in a unique political and cultural environment. Like all other such events, the results are subject to the environment in which it takes place.

What happens this November will be a product of these influences. And those influences are new and unique.

Anybody claiming to be able to predict the 2012 election from previous ones is peddling rubbish. They may as well speak in quatrains.

Obama will likely win. But I would not predict that. Because this year's election is happening in an environment I have never seen in my 64 years.

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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 07:04 AM

7. What do you mean "2004"?

 

What was it about the polls that year that proved them worthless?

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