Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(53,061 posts)
Sun Sep 9, 2012, 01:34 PM Sep 2012

A word about the numbers behind the polls

Last edited Sun Sep 9, 2012, 02:52 PM - Edit history (2)

A lot of numbers will be thrown around and while it looks very good now and PPP is tweeting that tonight will yield more good news for Obama I think that too often the focus is on the wrong numbers.

First what number is the most important? The simple "who are you going to vote for" or "who do you approve of" are not the most important. Expressions for a candidate cover the gambit of 'yeah he's ok' to 'I am 100% behind this candidate'. Negative numbers are a lot more specific; "I don't like this guy".

The President's negative numbers have remained very stagnant, right around the 44% mark. Given that there is 40% of the population that are die hard Republicans/and or racists that will never support an African American Democratic candidate it is good news that of the remaining 60% of the population only 7% of that number is against the President.

Now look at Romney's numbers in all of the national polls. He is at 44/45%. He was at 44/45% and he remains there. It is his hard ceiling. It is telling that Romney's hard ceiling is the same as Obama's negatives. What this means is that Romney has basically persuaded no one that has an open mind.

For years ago when Secretary of State Clinton entered the Democratic race she had 42% and a big lead when there were 5 candidates. When the race was over she still had 42% which of course suffered when there were only two candidates. (With a little more time both Clintons are going to find that the American public is going to have an entirely different memory and perception in 2016). Sometimes campaigns have a ceiling that just won't move.

With no affection from any sector Romney is one of those candidates. He is stuck at 45%, and those are the same 45% that don't approve of the President.

Now there is very little chance of an incumbent President's negatives going up. If you haven't found a reason to not like him in the last 4 years you will not find one during the campaign.

Romney faces a different reality. A great deal of the country knows very little about him and there are lots of reasons for people to discover a reason that they don't like himl. In fact wherever there has been a sustaine primary campaign, like Iowa, Romney's numbers all go down.

Keep your eyes on three key numbers: the President's negatives ( set at around 44/45%), Romney's highest approval (same 44/45) and Romney's negatives (highest negatives of a Presidential candidate starting a campaign, likely to go up up up).

3 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
A word about the numbers behind the polls (Original Post) grantcart Sep 2012 OP
Thanks. Good explanation, elleng Sep 2012 #1
Excellent Analysis, Sir The Magistrate Sep 2012 #2
Good! It's the dog that didn't bark. longship Sep 2012 #3


(133,265 posts)
1. Thanks. Good explanation,
Sun Sep 9, 2012, 01:42 PM
Sep 2012

and of course reflected in Nate Silver's analysis > 80% chance of Obama victory.

Latest Discussions»Retired Forums»Barack Obama»A word about the numbers ...