The Official Obama Approval Ratings Thread (user search)
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #100 on: June 05, 2009, 07:56:28 PM »

Sorry, but you can't be "right" polling approval ratings. There's no such thing. It's something that cannot be verified.

For some reason his approval and issue polling usually comes out around five to ten points more favorable to Republicans than other polling. 

He uses a Likely Voters, while others poll adults.

"Likely Voters" implies those who voted in the previous election. Some of the voters of 2012 are now only 14 years old. Should the youth vote behave differently from the rest of the vote, then an approval rating can badly distort the likely vote.    

That makes zero sense. An adult poll wouldn't poll that person either.

It also shows how the chance of Obama winning the Presidency was so badly underestimated until late in October.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #101 on: June 06, 2009, 11:41:47 PM »


Interactive polls are so easy to manipulate that they are worthless.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #102 on: June 08, 2009, 04:23:21 PM »

I highly doubt Obama still has 60% + Approvals for doing nothing productive in the entire time as president. It'll be funny if the pollsters show Obama's #'s go up if GM or Chrysler close down.

All these polls are B.S , you can thank the media for that Cheesy

How old are you? Just curious.

14.

You have some growing up to do before you can join the armed services, use cancerweed or stupidwater products, drive a motor vehicle, attend college, view R-rated movies without an adult parent or guardian, or vote.  You will surely find out by then why your Jewish ancestors typically had political views diametrically opposite yours.

May God bless you with much more wisdom before you get any real responsibilities.

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pbrower2a
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« Reply #103 on: June 09, 2009, 11:09:26 AM »

Marist

Approve 56%
Disapprove 32%

http://maristpoll.marist.edu/majority-lauds-obamas-overall-job-performance/

"However, fervor among younger voters has died down.  In those previous polls, 18 to 29 year olds tipped the scales toward the president’s positive approval ratings with his rating among this group in the seventies.  The current proportion of voters within this age group who approve of President Obama’s performance — 61% — is just slightly higher than registered voters in general."

Just as I have been predicting. Once the overly idealistic youth sees that Obama's big government policies won't work, and the Obama loses his novelty, they will start to defect from him.

Youthful idealism has a way of becoming middle-aged pragmatism, but that takes time. That pragmatism may preserve practices that once seemed outside the range of possibility.

We are thrust into the need for Big Government as the only possible solution for stopping an economic meltdown. Government choices got us into the predicament, and government choices either get us out or get us in worse. At the least, Obama has reversed the bad trends that his predecessor promoted.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #104 on: June 09, 2009, 11:42:14 AM »
« Edited: June 09, 2009, 11:46:18 AM by pbrower2a »

Update:





The 58% approval for Obama in Alabama a few weeks ago now looks like an outlier.  But note that PPP, who related this poll, says that a 45% approval rating in a state that Obama got only 39% of the vote in is still a big gain.

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pbrower2a
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« Reply #105 on: June 09, 2009, 03:50:10 PM »
« Edited: June 10, 2009, 12:01:22 AM by pbrower2a »

Current prediction -- for now. Alabama is definitely not a tossup.




Key:

GOP wins by 10% or more
GOP wins 5-9%
GOP wins up to 5%
tossup
Obama wins up to 5%
Obama wins 5-9%
Obama wins 10% or more


Much depends, of course, on who the GOP nominee will be.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #106 on: June 09, 2009, 06:11:57 PM »
« Edited: June 09, 2009, 11:59:54 PM by pbrower2a »


I still find it incredible that Obama has higher approvals in Tennessee than Colorado or Arizona.

By the way, what is your methodology. Do you take into account Obama's margin of victory in 2008?

I have no algorithm which would give a more reliable methodology. I lack the computer power for one.

Only in the absence of a relevant poll (which could be of a neighboring state -- in the cases of Mississippi, Montana, and North Dakota -- not to mention the District of Columbia and NE-03)  or as a check in a marginal case. Such states as Maryland, Maine, Vermont, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii have to be shown as they voted in 2008, and in each case those are anything but marginal.  Let's remember that the 2008 election is not itself a reliable predictor of how states will vote in 2012. Think of Indiana in 2008: about everyone was surprised that it was close from summer 2008 on. Did the results of 2004 in Indiana mean anything then? Hardly! Virginia was much the same, and it too was a surprise. Slight positives for Utah and Kansas for Obama require that I temper any prediction with the intuitive: "No way does Obama win this state except under freakish circumstances". Well, if the GOP nominee says things disrespectful of the LDS Church, then Obama wins Utah; if the GOP nominee is an utter nutcase, Obama wins Kansas. 

My technique could work the other way, too.  If I noticed that Obama had an approval rating of 42% and a disapproval rating of  46% in Minnesota, then the fact that Obama had won the state by a double-digit margin in 2008 might not in itself cause me to believe that he would lose  Minnesota. But some states seem to move together because of political similarities -- with Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin suggest themselves, so if similar results start appearing in those states, one would have to wonder what constituencies he has been losing.       

Any new poll is now significantly more relevant to 2012 because it is newer and it reflects the perception of Obama as President. In 2012 he will be running on his record -- and not on his promises -- if he is at all effective. If he is doing badly as a President he will try to run from his record and it will catch up to him. We are eight months away from the 2008 election and nearly five months into his Presidency. We are 39 months away from  the 2012 electio.n

He seems to have lost nothing in the states that voted for him by a margin over 9%. Colorado is hard to figure, but the near 50-50 approval rating suggests trouble there. I would have thought that Obama has a very good chance of picking up Arizona because of the narrowness of McCain's win of the state, but the most recent poll does not so show things. Other states that were marginal wins (FL, IN, NC, OH, and NE-01) or marginal losses (MO, MT, ND, SD, and GA) and show big improvements. One good poll (for Obama) in Colorado could force him into a redder category on this map. Sure, I rate MT, ND, and SD as likely wins because of South Dakota showing a good poll (ND and SD usually move in tandem, and MT is usually a bit more Democratic than either Dakota) -- and that could change dramatically if I saw a bad poll (for Obama in any one of those three states.

I find big surprises in an inner arc of states that voted for Bill Clinton (LA, AR, TN, KY, and WV) but not for Gore, Kerry, or Obama, and in fact voting strongly against Obama in 2008. One of these would be a surprise, but all five? He's apparently doing better in those states than in Georgia. They all give positive approval ratings for Obama, who seems to have shown little effort to campaign in any of those states.  His style of campaign was not suited to those states as it was suited to more urban states like Virginia, North Carolina, and Indiana. Could it be that white Southerners couldn't relate to him? Could it be that they are far more deferential to a military record than Americans elsewhere? None of that will be relevant in 2012. In 2008 many assumed the worst about him, and in 2012 he will have established what sort of President he is. Maybe he has so established himself already. If he reminds people of Bill Clinton, then he wins the arc against anyone other than Huckabee.

I treat Arkansas as a tossup for one reason: Mike Huckabee, who could win Arkansas as a VP candidate, which he could do in no other state in the "Clinton Arc".

This projection is at most an early-warning signal. If a Republican figure were  looking at my map and saw that the GOP was beginning to have trouble in Texas, then that figure might want to do things to shift the political debate from something ineffective to something more effective. Another possible interpretation is to look long-term in hope that the GOP could wait out Obama popularity and make efforts at the grass-roots level -- like trying to form College Republican branches at universities whose student bodies might now be very liberal in voting patterns, seeking out potential dissidents from the Democratic Party, or targeting corrupt and ineffective machine politicians in big cities for defeat even if such requires promoting liberals as challengers. The GOP could reconstitute itself in some places as a "Clean Government" movement of would-be reformers even in such places as ... Detroit.


 
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #107 on: June 10, 2009, 10:01:25 AM »

I have a better algorithm than what you are using, it's called common sense.

What constitutes common sense is a matter of taste. Sometimes, reality is counter-intuitive, and in such a case common sense fails.

The system that I offer is very flexible -- and swift to respond to change. It can also offer the counter-intuitive. If I had no polling data, I would base any prediction of 2012 upon what happened in 2008. I would expect Obama to effectively trade Indiana for Arizona because Indiana was a fluke (everything going wrong for the GOP that year) and Arizona had a favorite-son candidate if nothing else truly changed. The map suggests otherwise for now -- that he will win Indiana but lose Arizona.

The map suggests that the GOP is doing surprisingly badly in places that it won by huge margins -- most notably the states that Bill Clinton won but Obama didn't. If a state like Arkansas looks like a likely tossup even if Obama lost it by a margin of 20% or so then that suggests that political reality is different from what it was in November. The alternative of course is that the model is wrong.

I admit its limitations. It can't predict scandals, military or diplomatic catastrophes, or economic realities. It can't predict the health of Barack Obama. It can't predict whether the GOP nominating process will be a knock-down, drag-out struggle or a dull process. Above all it pits the current President against some Republican named "Generic", and no Party ever nominates someone named "Generic". Mitt Romney would win a different set of states than would Mike Huckabee.   
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #108 on: June 10, 2009, 11:15:45 AM »


OMG, I hope you really don't believe that. If you do go ahead and change your name to #1ObamaHack.

NC and IN before CO is laughable enough.

LA, AR, NE, TN, ND, SD, KY and WV are all laughable too.

For real laughs may I suggest Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, and the Marx Brothers.

I said that it was counter-intuitive. It all depends upon polls of transient usefulness and often-questionable reliability.

Can you accept these statements as facts?

1. The GOP was losing popularity in November -- which explains the meltdown of the McCain/Palin campaign.

2. The economic woes of which we are aware are still largely associated with GWB and company.

3. Because John McCain had the war record, he had a stronger appeal than any other imaginable GOP candidate in 2008.  Someone else would have lost even worse.

4. Aside from nationwide approval polls that say nothing about individual states, the approval polls in the individual states (40 -- although the one for Nebraska is partial) are the only indications of how states might vote. 

5. Obama's popularity was rising in early November and it is stable now.

6. Although Obama generally does better in states that he won big in, he isn't so far behind in approval in some in which he did badly. Such holds true for states that Bill Clinton won in 1992 and 1996 but Obama got clobbered in. Should Obama do much that Bill Clinton did as President (politically -- not sexually, and he has far less leeway for sexual misconduct than did Bill Clinton, for obvious reasons) he can win those states in 2012.

7. If anything, the political polarization of America that marks the last twelve or so years seems to be weakening.

   

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pbrower2a
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« Reply #109 on: June 10, 2009, 04:04:02 PM »

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Yes, but what does that have to do about 2012?

The GOP is not gaining popularity.

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Wrong, the economic woes are now on Obama, after the first 100 days it became Obama's woes. Also, the economy was find until 2007 when Democrats took over.[/quote]

100 days? The subprime lending, the de-industrialization of America, and the meltdown of the speculative booms went into overdrive when Dubya was President.

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Wrong, McCain just has that appeal, which has nothing to do with war record.[/quote]


I say that it was worth at least 2% of the vote.

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You can't base how states will vote on approval polls. You are just trying to twist it to make it look like Obama is going to win states he will never win.[/quote]

That's all that we have now, isn't it?

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It isn't stable, his popularity is slowing falling.[/quote][/quote]

Statistical noise.

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You are using polls that were taken right after Obama won. Like in WV, last poll showed Obama with a 36% approval rating, but you don't have that on there.[/quote]

Show me the poll. Who, when, and link.

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Not really, it only seemed to weakening because Obama won by 7%, due to the economy being blamed on the Republican, which is not true, but most Americans are to stupid to know the real truth.
[/quote]


What "real truth"? That we didn't have high-enough pay for our executive elite, that we didn't outlaw labor unions, that we didn't abolish welfare,  that we didn't restore the seventy-hour workweek, and that we establish bondage as a consequence of default on debt? That Dubya was a wonderful President instead of the buffoon that he seems to be?

The polarization that I recognized was that Obama was winning a bunch of states with large two-digit margins and losing some by similar margins, and that roughly 100 electoral votes were decided by 9% or less (as opposed to 160 or so in 2000 or 2004).   

Oh, who is to get the blame for the messed-up economy?  It looked much like a reprise of 1929-1932 for a while, and now it seems to have improved some:

 

Take a good look at the blue line in September and October 2008. That's when catastrophic  devaluation of assets went on, when the American economy was on the brink of a 1929-style free-fall. If the objects of excessive and destructive speculation were different (real estate as opposed to securities), the mechanism was the same, and the consequences had parallels that few could fail to miss. Roughly the same economic policies of eighty years earlier brought analogous results.


 
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #110 on: June 10, 2009, 04:33:52 PM »






Key:

GOP wins by 10% or more
GOP wins 5-9%
GOP wins up to 5%
tossup
Obama wins up to 5%
Obama wins 5-9%
Obama wins 10% or more


See? The system works. Even if I split the "not sure" 50/50 (which may be charitable for Obama), WV is on the line between "medium" and "hard". In the event of a tossup between such categories I use the 2008 vote to decide -- and it decides that Obama would lose by at least 10% in West Virginia. 

Now that I think of it, that criterion allows me to distinguish Nebraska as a likely win for the GOP nominee and Colorado as a likely win, however marginal, for Obama.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #111 on: June 10, 2009, 04:47:57 PM »

A system that identifies Nebraska as likely Republican.  You've clearly found the Holy Grail of analysis here

I had Nebraska as a tossup because of NE-02, which barely voted for Obama but gave a 62% approval rating. That caused me to believe that NE-01 is a tossup even if NE-03, one of the most right-wing congressional districts in America, is a sure loss for Obama. Because Kansas wasn't decisively-enough for a generic Republican and South Dakota seemed to be trending toward Obama, with Nebraska electorally in between,  I had Nebraska as a tossup. I explained how I could choose between categories, and that forced me to take another look at both Colorado and Nebraska. Colorado is far more likely to go for Obama than Nebraska... for good reasons.

I can modify the technique to resolve something troublesome -- and not only because I dislike the results.  
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #112 on: June 10, 2009, 06:01:21 PM »

I love that Obama will win VA by 10 points or more. Dude, your "system" sucks.

Obama won Virginia by 6.3% in 2008.  A 10% margin? Sure -- if the young-adult vote turns out to be as liberal-leaning in 2012 as in 2008. I see no reason to expect otherwise. They will be supplanting older voters who are not-so-liberal (largely voters born in the late 1920s and early 1930s).  Whether the polls take that into account or don't is beyond my knowledge of specific polls. In any event I take an approval rating as an estimate of the likely vote. The same applies in Ohio (which I consider a surprise), Florida, Indiana, Missouri, or North Carolina.

Obama will have to be a very effective President to win Virginia, let alone Ohio, by a 55-45 or larger margin. He had to be a very effective campaigner to win Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia, states that hadn't voted for a Democratic nominee for President since 1964, 1976, or 1964, respectively. He will have to be an effective President to win Indiana or North Carolina again, let alone pick off Missouri.

Obama won Michigan and Pennsylvania by double-digit margins; those two states are ordinarily close in close elections.  Face it: only a very adept politician can pull that off.  History shows that effective campaigners are effective Presidents. That means Obama, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon (for a time), JFK, Eisenhower, Truman (to an extent) and of course FDR.  

We shall see, of course.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #113 on: June 10, 2009, 06:30:06 PM »

I honestly don't understand why everyone is giving pbrower such a hard time.  I don't think he ever claimed that THIS is what will happen in 2012.  His maps are clearly based on numbers and the only numbers we have right now are approval/favorability ratings.  There are of course many factors they cannot measure, but they're fun to look at.  I'm sure that if/when Obama's approval ratings drop, pbrower's map will become more red and you will all be happy.

I qualify my statements, and I show my methods. I suggest my prediction as "likely results if nothing really changes". Much WILL change by November 2012 -- most particularly that we will have no "Generic Republican" nominated for President.

This model does not allow someone to say such things as "when Oregonians get tired of high taxes or when the auto industry blows up on Obama, then Oregon, Michigan, and Ohio will be easy pickings for any Republican" before such happens. Likewise it does not allow one to say that  "when poor whites and poor blacks recognize shared interests in economics, then they will vote alike -- for Obama".  If "tax revolts" become successful in some states  in the so-called Blue Firewall or if the American auto industry implodes, then Obama will be in political trouble, as shown in Obama having approval ratings in the forties or thirties in such states. Likewise if white poor people and black poor people in the South find common cause in struggles against shared exploiters and oppressors, Obama could win a raft of states that he didn't win in 2008, and that would show in approval ratings in the sixties or higher.

My map is modeled, such as it is, on models not in use (Electoralvote.com, 538.com, 270 to win) since the 2008 election. I respect those models. Am I completely justified in assuming that a 52% approval rating suggests a likely win? Hardly. People who approve of an incumbent President are likely to vote for him; those who don't generally vote for someone else. That's before I can account for the personality of someone who will comprise half the attention of the Presidential campaign of 2012 -- the Republican half.  

Not until we have specific polls involving specific candidates in specific states will we have a really good idea of how Election 2012 will be going. We will have heard the rhetoric at the Democratic and Republican national conventions. We will see the campaign ads.

My system lets nobody count chickens before they hatch; it shows where the eggs are and it might not even be able to tell whether the eggs are from hens or from snakes. They can show statewide trends (in case anyone still needs to be educated on this matter, the States decide who becomes or remains President, and voters don't).
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #114 on: June 10, 2009, 06:43:15 PM »

I'm sorry, px, I wasn't meaning to be as critical as you're making the comment out to be.  I just find the idea that this map is an especially good predictive, or even cross-sectional analysis, to be misfounded.  Even if we were assuming that approval ratings are strongly correlated (which they are sorta), this ignores:

1. That some outfits treat "fair" as disapproval, while people often think of "fair" as "OK."

2. Time.

3. Differences in pollster quality.

4. Differences in push levels.

It's not a bad effort, it's just not anything to base an electoral narrative on.  pbrowser deserves credit for compiling this all, but the extrapolations being made are unfounded.

I prefer a poll to an extrapolation. I make those only in the absence of a poll. Example: does anyone have any cause to believe that the Democrats won't win Vermont, Maine, Maryland, DC, and Hawaii by large margins? Likewise on the other side on Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, or the 3rd Congressional District of Nebraska? The troublemakers are the not-so-obvious ones not yet polled: Montana, North Dakota, NE-01 (eastern Nebraska other than Greater Omaha), and Mississippi.  I could use gray for states not yet polled, but that loses much common-sense data that no approval poll yet shows (Maryland won't be voting for any Republican, and Idaho won't vote for Obama). The extrapolations that I show imply a carryover from States politically similar to a state in question (Mississippi somewhat intermediate between Alabama and Arkansas, Montana and North Dakota to South Dakota. 

Extrapolations are always risky. I'd rather have polls.  By 2012 I will leave this effort to people who better know what they are doing than I do.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #115 on: June 10, 2009, 10:17:58 PM »






Key:

GOP wins by 10% or more
GOP wins 5-9%
GOP wins up to 5%
tossup
Obama wins up to 5%
Obama wins 5-9%
Obama wins 10% or more


See? The system works. Even if I split the "not sure" 50/50 (which may be charitable for Obama), WV is on the line between "medium" and "hard". In the event of a tossup between such categories I use the 2008 vote to decide -- and it decides that Obama would lose by at least 10% in West Virginia. 

Now that I think of it, that criterion allows me to distinguish Nebraska as a likely win for the GOP nominee and Colorado as a likely win, however marginal, for Obama.

I fixed it, gave Colorado 10 electoral votes. 

I'm sticking with the 2008 electoral vote until the Census establishes the apportionment of Representatives, and I restore Colorado to a 'weak hold'.

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Since when did Colorado have 10 EVs? If you mean in 2012, I'm not sure it will gain any then.
That is for 2012, Colorado should have 10 electroal votes by then or maybe 11, who knows for sure.

This model does not adjust for the unpopularity of a Governor because such is a different question.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #116 on: June 11, 2009, 01:38:49 PM »

Virginia support for Obama cut back a bit:






Key:

GOP wins by 10% or more
GOP wins 5-9%
GOP wins up to 5%
tossup
Obama wins up to 5%
Obama wins 5-9%
Obama wins 10% or more
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #117 on: June 11, 2009, 07:01:36 PM »

I love that Obama will win VA by 10 points or more. Dude, your "system" sucks.
Uh, he won by 6.3 points only several months ago. So you're incredulous about Obama improving by at least 3.7 points nationally, let alone in one of the most aggressively Democratic shifting states?

I don't think it's his analysis that sucks here.


Hmm, his approval rating there is 52%, lower than his 2008 vote total. So yeah, I have a hard time believing it.


After a 52% approval rating for Obama in Virginia, I cut the estimate down from a 10% margin to a 5% margin. That is the line, and does that put Virginia in the "bare" or "weak" category? The 2008 election makes the decision. Such is my judgment, as I am in no position to judge a poll.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #118 on: June 11, 2009, 07:25:52 PM »

I love that Obama will win VA by 10 points or more. Dude, your "system" sucks.
Uh, he won by 6.3 points only several months ago. So you're incredulous about Obama improving by at least 3.7 points nationally, let alone in one of the most aggressively Democratic shifting states?

I don't think it's his analysis that sucks here.


Hmm, his approval rating there is 52%, lower than his 2008 vote total. So yeah, I have a hard time believing it.


After a 52% approval rating for Obama in Virginia, I cut the estimate down from a 10% margin to a 5% margin. That is the line, and does that put Virginia in the "bare" or "weak" category? The 2008 election makes the decision. Such is my judgment, as I am in no position to judge a poll.

I like my way better Tongue

National polls are a good control, but let's remember: the States elect the President; the people don't.
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« Reply #119 on: June 14, 2009, 10:52:59 PM »



Please bear with me: Some blogger who did some poll-watching with an algorithm, someone capable of assessing the bias in polling and did a good job of predicting the 2008 election, uses a system similar to mine. Someone at www.fivethirtyeight.com has combined multiple polls, election results, and the national trend to show how "Election June 2009" would go:   

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(Note well: anything not in any shade of blue gives Obama a positive rating, the lowest of which is 50.0% in Louisiana). Even those in pink look as if Obama would get 55% or more of the vote based on approval ratings alone, which implies that he would win them by double-digit margins. Really, anything in gray or the medium shade of blue (that's right --

T-E-X-A-S

should be considered a toss-up for now.


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Key (different from the one you expect from me, but for approval ratings):

Near-black 70% or more
Deep red: 65-69.99%
Medium red: 60-64.9%
Pink 55-59.9%
Gray 50-54.9%
Blue 45-45.9%
Deep blue  44.9% or less


My new projection (I will add orange for states and in which Obama seems to have an approval rating above 52.5) based on Nate Silver:   




Key:

GOP wins by 10% or more
GOP wins up to 9%

tossup -- Obama wins barely, if at all (under 5%)
Obama wins 5-9.9%
pink, reddeep red, or near-black Obama wins by more than 10%


The near-black are DC, Hawaii, and Rhode Island, all hard to see. The usual caveats apply: who the GOP nominee is, and of course (by 2012) how good a President Obama is.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #120 on: June 15, 2009, 01:28:59 AM »

Didn't someone tell you that approval and who would actually vote for him are two different things?

Of course. People can vote for the lesser of two evils (both with lower-than 50% popularity) or the better of two good choices (both with popularity above 50%), in which the higher number likely wins. But the approval polls are all that we have, aside from the 2008 results.  That's why I have multiple colors on all predictive maps, and why I make so many qualifications, biggest of which is that Election 2012 is more than 40 months away. The second-biggest is that who the nominee is matters, too. This map is but one frame in a reel of film yet to be completed, and it could prove an outtake.

Votes that candidates won in 2008 won't mean a d@mned thing in November 2012. All that I show is a trend to the present in any prediction.

What doesn't  this model say?

1. That Obama is an effective President and that he will remain so.

2. The GOP can't rebound -- ever, or even before 2012.

3. That there won't be some Great Religious Revival that convinces enough people that it is their duty to vote for warmongers, exploiters, and reactionaries because their souls depend upon such even if it is contrary to their worldly interests (in essence, vote GOP or prepare to experience eternal damnation).

4. That people won't get nostalgic for the "good old days" of Dubya's Presidency.

5. That people will get more concerned about taxes than about income.

6. That Obama won't do appreciable campaigning.


.... Okay. This map must have some validity and some relevance, or a reputable analyst of the polls wouldn't offer it.  If I am GOP I notice that my Party is in deep trouble even in places where John McCain did extremely well.  I might find it astonishing that Colorado and Nevada are more iffy than one might expect -- but it must be troubling that such a state as Ohio is drifting out of reach, and that taking back such states as Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and Indiana will be tough. Missouri, which McCain barely won, is big trouble.

I look at this map and figure that Obama gets:

     9 EV  (only states and DC  in near-black)
 126 EV  (add deep red)
 259 EV  (add medium red)
 358 EV  (add pink)
 397 EV  (add orange)
 442 EV  (add gray)

Sure, Parties whose Presidential candidate loses badly in a landslide often rebound, but they must as a rule try to re-establish winning coalitions. The GOP coalition of tycoons, executives, and the Religious Right successful in 2000 and 2004 has shrunk to the point that it can't win on its own. The GOP needs to rebuild the Party from the grass roots even if such means supporting liberals in places in which incumbent Democrats seem entrenched.  

Demographic trends can make things even worse for the GOP. The young adult vote split about 2-1 Democratic in 2008, and it is supplanting older and more conservative voters in the polls -- and youth now 14 to 18 don't seem to be bucking the trend.  The fast-growing Hispanic population is electoral trouble for a Party that has so many nativists.  The GOP has begun to lose Suburbia as Suburbia becomes increasingly urban in nature.

It shows that the so-called Blue Firewall is intact, and that it may be expanding. It also shows that recent GOP gains among poor whites (especially in the South)  could be ephemeral. To win Presidential elections, the GOP must rebuild nationwide appeal. How? I have no idea. No, don't bet on failure by Obama; such is a bad bet because even if one loses that bet the prize is tainted.

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pbrower2a
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« Reply #121 on: June 15, 2009, 01:47:48 AM »

These keep getting better and better.  I'm not a big fan of the rub-it-in thing after an election is over, but this is just too obnoxious.  I hope this is still going strong by the time 2012 rolls around because these maps are going to be hilarious.  And they'll be totally within the limits of reasonable gloating because of the total arrogance of the whole thing.  "Like, duh Obama is going to win Missouri by more than 10 points, are you kidding me?  Pssh..."

Consider this more the equivalent of an audit of the books of a publicly-held corporation. Audits can show much bad news. Anyone who fails to see patterns that suggest trouble for the GOP is blind. America is changing and the GOP seems mired in a pattern that barely worked in 2000, 2002, and 2004 and has since failed badly twice. Your Party needs a new Ronald Reagan who can appeal in all regions of America, who can co-opt moderates, and who can convince Americans to give conservatism a chance. Your Party needs to be able to field candidates -- liberals if necessary -- to challenge corrupt and incompetent urban machines better able to waste public funds than to teach kids in school, fix potholes, and enforce the law. 

Unpleasant as an audit is, it can show a struggling firm what it must do to save itself. Sometimes a failing company must change its policies with respect to collection of receivables or issuing credit, in dropping unprofitable lines, in finding assets  such as real estate better sold off to someone else who can use them better...

Republicans delude themselves perhaps even more than anything on this map if they believe that they can pick of Pennsylvania or Michigan and start winning again. The trouble is far deeper than the need to spend more money here or there or make more campaign appearances. The GOP cannot win in 2012 with the 2000-2004 coalition alone.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #122 on: June 15, 2009, 03:15:41 PM »

The "audit" to which I refer is not so much about the Obama Presidency as it is about the GOP and its leading figures -- and their prospects for winning in 2012 or later.
With a financial audit, poor finances reflect other problems. A company with efficient manufacturing or service, with a product line up to the standard that customers like and ideally pay a premium for, with a competent sales force and suitable advertising will have good finances unless the executives are robbing the company blind (which is comparatively easy to detect -- Enron notwithstanding). A company in financial trouble might have inefficiencies of manufacturing that competitors don't have. It might be selling an obsolescent product or one with huge flaws or other inadequacies. An obsolescent or substandard product ends up at such places as Dollar GeneralFamily Dollar, or Big Lots, which as a seller of low-end goods might not be so profitable a marketing outlet as is one that can handle a hierarchy of features and quality among its wares.  Its sales force might be inadequate and complacent.  Its advertising campaigns may need renovation. It might be losing its engineers and creative people to competitors who can pay more and offer better perks (note well that such is how IBM and Xerox long dominated their markets -- not because they consistently had the most innovative products but instead because they were attractive places for engineers). 

Nate Silver offers (which is even harsher than my assessment) a window into a political party in disarray.   I see the prospect of a Party going into ideological bankruptcy as its once-reliable constituencies seem to be shrinking or else drifting away. GOTV campaigns do no good when the votes are not to be found. Enthusiasm of the base isn't enough when the base shrinks below the critical mass (example: American Communists  have at times been even more satisfied with their perception of the rectitude and relevance of their cause than Democrats and Republicans with theirs, but we know that support for the CPUSA has never been enough to even shape an election).

The Republican Party continues to rely heavily upon monetary contributions from giant corporations, their large shareholders, and executives -- but those have become far less reputable in recent years to people who actually work for them. The number of people who vote Republican because they think that they owe such to trustworthy bosses declines as people trust their workplace bosses far less. It relies heavily upon the Religious Right for votes -- and the Religious Right is in serious decline as youth flee it. The only group of people with whom the GOP won more votes in 2008 was a group that I best describe as "poor whites", one of the most fickle of voting blocs.

Look at how that bloc has voted since 1944:

1944 FDR
1948 Thurmond
1952 Stevenson
1956 Stevenson
1960 Kennedy

1964 Goldwater/ LBJ split
1968 Wallace
1972 Nixon
1976 Carter
1980 Reagan
1984 Reagan
1988 GHWB

1992 Clinton/Perot/GHWB split
1996 Clinton/Perot/Dole split

2000 Dubya
2004 Dubya
2008 McCain



The partisan divide is less significant than the ideological divide. It's not clear whether Stevenson was the liberal and Eisenhower was the conservative  in the 1950s. Kennedy and Carter were more liberal (if slightly so) than their opponents. Poor whites seem more likely than any other demographic groups to vote for third-party candidates, as shown in the inability of Wallace and Thurmond to get significant strength outside the South; they are also likely to vote for the Presidential candidates that the rest of the country rejects (examples: Stevenson won only in the South and bordering states in 1952 and 1956, and Goldwater won only his own non-Southern state of Arizona and some Southern states in 1964.   

Should the GOP lose enough of it in the 2012 general election, then the GOP nominee will lose in a blowout reminiscent of 1972 or 1984. The South has lots of poor whites, and if enough of them can recognize that they have more in common with poor blacks than with large landowners, then Obama wins states like Mississippi and Alabama in 2012.

It's up to GOP leadership to decide, as they alone can do, how to rescue their own Party from what looks like a serious and possibly lethal decline. In the 2008 election the GOP lost states that hadn't voted for a Democratic nominee in a long time: Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia. They lost two states that had recently been seen as examples of the ascendancy of conservatism (Nevada and Colorado). They ran the strongest GOP nominee since Reagan (John McCain) and he still lost.  Conservatism is not dead, but any conservatism based upon superstition and class privilege has at most a limited shelf life. That shelf life seems to have expired, and even the Democrats are finding ways in which to attract conservatives who have objectives other than superstition and class privilege.

The GOP has been failing to appeal to youth who have no stake so far in class privilege because they see it only as a means of constricting such freedom as thy think rightly theirs, and even less in religion-based superstitions. If one sees the GOP as the de facto conservative party in America  then it is going far from the conservative precepts of Edmund Burke that remain relevant for over two hundred years. Conservatives, to have credibility, must offer something worthy of preservation as a legacy to humanity and must promote caution as an antidote to radical rhetoric and causes. Conservatism will have a strong revival in American history, but perhaps as a rift develops in the Democratic Party between those who want to go further and faster and those who think that political change once thought radical around 2008 is worthy of preservation. There just might not be a Republican Party, or it might have become another minor Party. 


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pbrower2a
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« Reply #123 on: June 15, 2009, 05:15:30 PM »

Remember, if the election were held today against a generic Republican with almost no campaigning from either side, this would be the result. The interesting thing will be to see the trends from now to November 2012.

Beyond question, Obama will face a not-so-generic GOP challenger in 2012, who will likely run a spirited campaign for the Presidency and will choose a VP candidate. That campaign could be very effective in challenging Obama -- or it could be a travesty. We just don't know.  Nobody can predict how popular Obama will be at the time, and how well Obama is perceived as President at the time will more determine whether he is re-elected or will not be re-elected. There will likely be gaffes by both sides, some gaffes more troublesome than others. 

The challenger will have clear and unambiguous connections to a region and will do better or worse among some of the usual Republican constituencies.  Obama will do better and worse among different Democratic constituencies.

Political culture will at the least face some incremental changes.  Some of those will be demographic. Some things won't change. I predict that George W. Bush will be hated as few ex-Presidents have been hated, and the Obama campaign will try as much as possible to link the Republican nominee, whether Saxby Chambliss or Olympia Snowe, to his still-disgraced predecessor. Will it work? Ask in 2012.

So far I assume that the so-called Blue Firewall will hold.  A bunch of states and the District of Columbia have voted indiscriminately for Democratic nominees for President since 1992 (WA, OR, CA, HI, MN, WI, IL, MI, PA, MD, DC, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT, ME) and three have voted only once since then for a Republican nominee (IA, NH, NM) -- and none of them was close in 2008. Such states constituted 264 electoral votes in 2008 and will likely comprise about 255 in 2012. Add Florida, North Carolina, or Ohio, or two of CO, NV, AZ, MO, IN, and VA and the GOP nominee loses.  There won't be much room for error for the GOP nominee.

Nate Silver suggests that if nothing really changes, then Obama stands to win an electoral landslide on the scale of Eisenhower in 1956. Much will change.     
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #124 on: June 17, 2009, 03:16:37 PM »
« Edited: June 17, 2009, 07:40:25 PM by pbrower2a »

Mine again, and not my interpretation of Nate Silver's model:



White indicates an exact tie -- in Kansas. That is a huge surprise.




Key:

GOP wins by 10% or more
GOP wins 5-9%
GOP wins up to 5%
tossup
Obama wins up to 5%
Obama wins 5-9%
Obama wins 10% or more


I would not be surprised to see several southern states (notably TN, AR, and LA) become GOP-leaners in view of Kentucky.  My system causes me to force KY into the GOP category but GA out of it. I'm not calling Kansas a tossup.
 
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