HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Internal polling...

Fri Oct 16, 2020, 06:21 PM

Internal polling...

My best guess is that the Biden campaign is not conducting a national internal poll. Instead, they're conducting multiple state-level polls to aggregate their data. This is something Obama's campaign did in 2012. They never once polled the nation and instead focused on a collection of swing states, as well as single states, in their polling. What their results showed was that Obama was leading in the states he needed to win, despite the fact a few national polls, throughout much of October, had Romney up.

This is why they were confident about their standing.

I assume the Biden campaign is doing the same thing.

You can read about the polling strategy for Obama's 2012 campaign here:


As to how that relates to the national numbers?

Well the swing states are probably closer than the national polling would have you believe.

According to RCP's Battle Ground Poll Tracker, Joe Biden holds an average lead of about 4.5 points. The states included in this average:

North Carolina

This does not include potential swing states like Ohio, Iowa, Texas and Georgia, which would surely narrow Biden's overall lead.

That could be where they're filtering their data from. It's true, though, that it's unlikely a 4.5 average margin in these states equals a double-digit lead and why the campaign is skeptical of such reports.

In 2012, Obama's margin of victory in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin was 5.67. Biden's lead in those states is 5.1. So, actually less than Obama's final margin - in an election he won by four-points nationally. Obama also won Ohio and Iowa, which Biden, at best, is tied in right now. BUT Obama lost North Carolina and Arizona (the latter by a sizable margin, nearly ten-points) and Biden holds a lead in those states.

So, what does that mean? Biden is doing worse in the rust belt than Obama did eight years ago but doing better in the sun belt than Obama was eight years ago.

The margin in Arizona is very close to the margin in Ohio: Obama won that state by 3 points, and Biden leads by an average of 4 points in Arizona. Of course, Ohio has 5 million more people than Arizona. Biden is also leading in North Carolina, a state Obama lost by roughly two-points in 2012, with a margin that's close to what he lost by (average of 2.7 lead). The difference here is Iowa. Obama won Iowa by 5.8 points in 2012 - while Biden leads there by 1.2 points.

But he does lead.

What does this all mean? Biden is polling better in Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Virginia, Georgia, even South Carolina, and Texas than Obama did in 2012. Obama is likely to have better results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Iowa than Biden will this go around. Still, the differences offset - if not lean more favorable for Biden since he's still likely to win those states while winning a couple Obama couldn't carry in 2012 (though, potentially losing Ohio and Iowa to counter some of those gains).

Ultimately, I think the point of the campaign is that their internals are not pointing to a double-digit win based on the battle grounds.

Such a lead would likely equate to a seven-point win in Pennsylvania. Biden isn't leading by that much at this point it appears.

My guess is that the campaign believes Biden is on track for a 5-7 point popular vote victory - not a 10-14 point victory like a lot of the polls show.

5 replies, 1267 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Internal polling... (Original post)
Drunken Irishman Oct 16 OP
greenjar_01 Oct 16 #1
Drunken Irishman Oct 16 #3
Laelth Oct 16 #2
Loki Liesmith Oct 16 #4
Thekaspervote Oct 16 #5

Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Oct 16, 2020, 06:22 PM

1. Cool speculative post

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to greenjar_01 (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 16, 2020, 06:28 PM

3. Thanks. That means a lot coming from you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Oct 16, 2020, 06:26 PM

2. Reasonable analysis. Thank you. k&r n/t


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Oct 16, 2020, 06:31 PM

4. A pure average of 4.5 in the states you list

Is consistent with an 8 point national lead.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Oct 16, 2020, 07:04 PM

5. Most DUer's have only been interested in state polls not ntl, as they definitely are more accurate

Picture. So, letís consider that the Biden campaign is looking at where the race will be won- PA, WI, MI. The polling there is good but certainly not double digits

So, looks to me like what she said is nothing new and should come as no surprise to any of us.

Secondly, 538 and the Economist are the two best poll aggregators in the business, Cook Political being right up there as well. They have reputations to protect. RCP is not the best...The Economist poll aggregator has nothing good to say about them. They also refuse to include rassmussen or Emerson in the mix due to poor polling methodology. Neither site has Biden up by double digits in the battleground states.

If you really want to dig into another overlooked pollster look at Moody Analytics. A very underrated source that has called every presidential race correctly since 1980, less 16. There methods are much different than other polling sites and poll aggregators.

The link posted is to a 39 page white paper with amazing charts and breakdowns. They are calling the race for Biden. If you prefer to just see what they say will happen, right down to counties and vote numbers, youíll find that on pg 8 under what will happen in 2020.


Another overlooked poll with a different method is USC Dornsife. They were the only poll that had trump ahead days before the 16 election. They do not do state polling, but a daily poll that as of yesterday their ntl poll looks very similar to the current crowded field.

Seriously, if you want to understand polling at a deeper level, take a look at the moody analytics paper, and read about how USC Dornsife does their polling

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread