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Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:34 PM

'Likely voter' polling screens were skewed toward Romney- Daily Kos

Harry Enten of the Guardian makes a funny point -- the polls were skewed ... toward Mitt Romney!
It's fairly clear that no matter what method is utilized, the national polls were too favorable towards Romney. Only eight out of 113 polls (or 7.1%) during the final month had Obama's lead at above 3pt. Three of the eight were from the Rand Corporation, two were from Google, and the rest were scattered between Democracy Corps, IBD/TIPP, and the United Technologies/National Journal survey.
During the final week, only three out of 30 polls (or 10%) conducted had Obama's lead above 3pt. They belonged to Democracy Corps, Google, and Rand. If Obama's lead climbs to 3.5pt, then, even with rounding, the vast majority of national polls were off in the final week. (Note: usually one would consider a poll giving Obama's victory margin as 3pt to be right if the final result were between 2.50 and 3.49pt.)

The problem with these results were overly restrictive likely voter screens. For example, Gallup had President Barack Obama leading 49-46 among registered voters. Had they stopped there, they'd be sitting pretty with their results. Instead, they decided that brown people and young voters weren't going to turn out, and had Romney winning 49-48 among likely voters.That, and registered voter numbers have historically been more accurate. Past performance may not be a predictor of future results, but layer on top of that the early voting totals, and it was pretty cut and dry to me.So yes, the polls were skewed toward Romney -- but only because of overly restrictive likely voter screens. Had they all stuck with their registered voter results, they would've been golden.

p.s. Just look how crazy Gallup's LV screen is:

Gallup's likely-voter model is a battery of seven questions it uses to determine which respondents are most likely to cast ballots. These questions include how likely they say they are to vote, their self-reported vote history, whether they know where to vote, and how much thought they have given to the election.
Respondents are awarded points for their answers to these questions, and only those who accrue a significant number of points pass through the likely-voter screen.

Compare that to PPP's likely voter screen:
If you don't plan to vote in this fall's election, hang up now.


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