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SC Index Poll on May 18 indicated Demint @ 50% to Rawls 43% w MoE 4.6%

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-12-10 07:50 AM
Original message
SC Index Poll on May 18 indicated Demint @ 50% to Rawls 43% w MoE 4.6%
Edited on Sat Jun-12-10 07:52 AM by mod mom
Monday, May 24, 2010
New Poll Results for SC

The results of this months SCIndex survey show how the slippery dynamics of this years election cycle is likely to make the 2010 general election very competitive. Our survey of 438* active voters likely to vote in the November general election shows that both the gubernatorial and US Senate races may offer some interesting twists this year.

Throughout the country voters have been turning away from incumbents in order to register their dissatisfaction with a perceived politics as usual approach to government. If dissatisfaction with those in power becomes a major theme in South Carolina then Republican incumbents may find voters very unfriendly in November. Republican dominance at the statehouse places the GOP in firm control during a period of time that has seen double digit unemployment and countless scandals. And the states junior US Senator, Republican Jim DeMint, may have to defend his job performance in light of the state and nations significant economic problems.

According to our May 18th telephone survey DeMints job approval and re-elect numbers are well below the marks of a strong incumbent. Only 53% of all voters currently approve of his job performance while only 48% of all voters are likely to support his re-election. In a head to head question with Democratic challenger Vic Rawl, DeMint gets 50% of the vote to Rawls 43%. It is important to note that Rawl has never run for statewide office and has not aired any TV ads during this primary season.

DeMints tepid showing in the early horse race numbers may also indicate that other statewide races will be equally competitive. When asked in the May survey if they would most likely vote for a Democrat or a Republican candidate for governor this November, voters split 46% for the Republican and 44% for the Democrat.

Although the fall elections are a long way off South Carolina may not be an easy slam dunk for the GOP at any ballot position in 2010. Like most election years the battle ground between Republican and Democrats in SC is a small number of independent voters scattered across the states major media markets. In the past Democrats have not done a good job fielding campaigns that spoke to the concerns of these voters. In an election year where there is a detectable mood for throwing the rascals out Republican candidates may end up playing more defense than offense in 2010. If the Democrats can find the resources and the primaries produce quality candidates the approaching general elections might offer some surprises.

* margin of error plus or minus 4.6%

Hmmh...sounds like the GOP got nervous about their chances of winning and then, of course there the issue of the voting machines:

S.C. to use voting machines banned in other states
Associated Press
Monday, January 7, 2008

GREENVILLE South Carolina election officials say they still plan to use touch-screen voting machines despite the fact that other states have banned the use of similar systems made by the same company.

Last month, top election officials in Ohio and Colorado declared that Election Systems and Software's iVotronic is unfit for elections.

The ban was prompted by a study done for the state of Ohio in which researchers found electronic voting systems could be corrupted with magnets or handheld electronic devices such as Palm Treos.


"It's very difficult to get evidence that somebody tampered with the vote if you have no way of knowing what the vote was before they tampered," said Eleanor Hare, a computer scientist who participated in a study of the machines by the South Carolina League of Women Voters.

-snip /

x-posted in GD but added AP article. :hi:
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-12-10 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
1. Watched that interview with Greene.
All I can say is . . . wow. Either that poor guy was totally duped, or all the Repugs got together and voted for him, or the votes were tampered. But there's no way people purposely went in and said, "Yeah! I want THAT guy!"
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-12-10 08:21 AM
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2. I sent an email to Conyers, who is aware of the e-voting issues from '04
Whether he acts on it is the big question. I still don't understand why the D's haven't addressed this issue.
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-12-10 08:24 AM
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3. Pretty obvious why the Repubs rigged the machines for Greene.
Greene is one of the few people in SC more corrupt than DeMint. In a battle of negatives, DeMint wins this one.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-12-10 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
the D's need to fight this! I emailed this to Conyers, hoping he'll finally act on our election system.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-12-10 09:35 AM
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5. Expert Data Analysis-Dr Walter Mebane (UofM) & Dr Michael Miller (Cornell):

Expert Data Analysis

No one on our staff is a statistics expert or mathematician. As the unusual information began to accumulate, several unconnected people and teams who are far more expert in election forensics than our staff contacted the campaign and volunteered to look at results from Tuesdays primary.

One of the teams was Dr. Walter Mebane of the University of Michigan and Dr. Michael Miller of Cornell University. Dr. Mebane is a professor of political science and statistics and a recognized expert in detecting election fraud. As of August 2010, Dr. Miller will be professor of political science at the University of Illinois, Springfield, and specializes in the analysis of election data. Neither is affiliated with the Rawl campaign.

Dr. Mebane performed second-digit Benfords law tests on the precinct returns from the Senate race. The test compares the second digit of actual precinct vote totals to a known numeric distribution of data that results from election returns collected under normal conditions. If votes are added or subtracted from a candidates total, possibly due to error or fraud, Mebanes test will detect a deviation from this distribution. Results from Mebanes test showed that Rawls Election Day vote totals depart from the expected distribution at 90% confidence. In other words, the observed vote pattern for Rawl could be expected to occur only about 10% of the time by chance. The results may reflect corrupted vote counts, but they may also reflect the way turnout in the election covaried with the geographic distribution of the candidates support, Mebane said.

Dr. Miller performed additional tests to determine whether there was a significant difference in the percentage of absentee and Election Day votes that each candidate received. The result in the Senate election is highly statistically significant: Rawl performs 11 percentage points better among absentee voters than he does among Election Day voters. This difference is a clear contrast to the other races. Statistically speaking, the only other Democratic candidate who performed differently among the two voter groups was Robert Ford, who did better on Election Day than among absentees in the gubernatorial primary, Miller said.

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-12-10 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
6. 538: The Republican crossover theory debunked:
The Republican crossover theory debunked. In addition to many smart comments from 538 readers to the previous post on the SC race, I received an email from one particularly astute reader named Harrison Brown. Complete with an excel spreadsheet to back up his conclusions, Brown basically argues that there's neither any logic to, nor statistical evidence to support, the idea of Republicans crossing over to infiltrate the Democratic primary. Here are the key sections from his email to me, verbatim:
1. Suppose people were being brought into the Democratic-primary voting pool (from unregistered voters, the Republican faithful, or wherever) for the sole purpose of voting for Greene. Imagine a variable encapsulating the proportion of primary voters in each county who are Greene partisans; this (hidden) variable ought to be strongly positively correlated with both Greene's final results and with the participation rate in each county. In particular, this implies that Greene's vote share and the participation rate, both of which we can measure, would be correlated. But this is not the case -- under either linear or rank correlation! The R-squared and rho-squared are both effectively 0.

2. Even if that effect didn't show up, there should still be other signs. For instance, we can see if there are any counties where turnout for the Democratic primary exceeded the number of votes Barack Obama received in 2008; those would be prime suspects for Republican influence. And, in fact, there are three such counties: Hampton, Lee, and Union. But these are all fairly small counties where McCain/Palin received under 30% of the vote -- hardly Republican-dominated...

A more robust analysis of turnout levels reveals similar patterns. Although I didn't collect data for Republican voters (except for the McCain vote share), I came up with a rough estimate of GOP voters in 2008 by assuming the two-party share was 100% in each county. Running a linear regression to predict the number of Democratic primary voters from the number of votes Obama and McCain received, we find that the McCain raw vote total is statistically significant--but it has a negative coefficient. If anything, this points to voter suppression (no real surprises) rather than ballot box stuffing.

3. Finally, there's the simple question of where the Republican voters would have come from! From eyeballing the GOP primary totals, it seems like turnout in that elections was almost ludicrously high, which seems more-or-less corroborated by what Google's told me. But barring widespread voter fraud and/or corruption by local election officials, high turnout in the GOP primary should be incompatible with infiltration into the Democratic primary.

In conclusion, while the voting patterns in the D-Senate primary are strange and may not be totally legitimate, they don't bear the expected hallmarks that would arise in the case of a Republican plant.
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