The “cooked/incompetent poll, depress GOP turnout” is in full swing and what the GOP and you can do to counter it.
Gosh, that sounded like I was some sort of conspiracy theorist. There have been a slew of polls that have come out today and they belie what the electorate is really like right now. Its absolutely crazy. I do have a concern about this though and that is these polling results depressing GOP voters whom don’t follow politics and trends like all of us do but when they see polls like this, there is a good chance that some will stay home. We can’t have that this election. Conservative bloggers along with conservative talk show hosts have been openly talking about this and rightfully complaining about it. Sure, they may be justified but complaining never gets anything done. Doing something about it is the proactive and right thing to do. More on that suggestion in a minute. First off, this day’s state polling from Real Clear Politics:
Without me getting into a detailed analysis, you can see what is going on here. The polls I have included voter ID weights are from the key states. With the exception of Rasmussen, the CO poll by Quinnipiac, and the Michigan poll by CNN (though I even think that one is stretching a bit), these all are predicting a turnout advantage for the Democratic Party ticket at or better than what was seen in 2008. Some of the most egregious I saw were from Marquette Law School on the Wisconsin race and the CBS/Quinnipiac polling. The Washington Post poll on the Virginia Senate race is hilarious as well.
IS THERE REALLY AN AGENDA TO DEPRESS THE GOP BASE AND SHRINK THE ENTHUSIASM GAP?
Well, it is know that the Democrats are having a hard time matching the intensity and the enthusiasm of the GOP to vote this election. Not only that, but enthusiasm among youth and Hispanic voters is down by as much as 20 points compared to other bellweather demographic groups. On top of that, Obama’s support among whites is down to 39% on average which is very, very perilous. So what happens when a pollster tries to be realistic? They get attacked as being biased or worse:
Rasmussen’s prolific polling service, Rasmussen Reports, has long been a bone of contention in the political world (for more, see Jason Horowitz’s great 2010 profile). Essentially, Democrats think Rasmussen is a thinly veiled partisan (Republican) pollster, some reporters and media organizations refuse to use his polls (which are conducted via an automated method that doesn’t include cellphones) and others (including The Fix) report the results with caveats….
This strategy isn’t without risk. Rasmussen is still regarded with some suspicion by political reporters and strategists. The pollster conducts polls in a brief, four-hour window, uses only published telephone numbers and routinely weights results for party identification — a practice most public pollsters shy away from.
And there you have it. The magic formula. For all the Team Obama MSM pollsters who are likely “randomly” (ahem, polling disproportionately Northern Virginia vs. western and central Virginia for example), Rasmussen simply takes the poll, reweights them according to partisan voter ID indecies he has whether it be national or state, and comes up with a result. Partisan registration ID indecies are a great way to forecast what turnout will be like in an upcoming election. Currently, Scott Rasmussen is using a D+2 weight for his presidential poll though partisan registration ID showed to be a four point advantage for Republicans in office. Is Mr. Rasmussen skeptical of using an R+4 weight? Well, I would be. It’s certainly never been seen in presidential elections and D+2 is very reasonable. Even Romney’s pollsters are speculating a D+3 electorate. I think that the Romney campaign is being kind to Democrats by projecting that electorate. I see this electorate being D+1 or even on party identification like we saw in 2004 and 2010 where both parties showed up in masses to vote. Maybe the most accurate way would be to go to a state’s Secretary of State’s website, look at the latest registration numbers, take a recent public poll, and re-weight the poll using the current registration numbers of that state. That should give a pretty clear picture. However, the biggest, most important factor in determining what turnout will look like will be is:
Given the strong voter enthusiasm deficiencies that are against Obama, he and the media must do anything and every thing possible to shrink the enthusiasm gap. If you find yourself, family, or friends who plan on voting for Romney this election and see these polls, go here to get a clear idea if the polls you’re seeing are reasonable. The most important thing you need to do is vote and bring others to vote. Make calls, bring lawn signs to homes, knock on doors.
The current state of each candidates ground game is that Obama still has an advantage in the states from looking at how many field offices Obama and Romney have in each state. However, Romney’s organization is probably much more streamlined and efficient than Obama’s. The Romney campaign and RNC offices across the nation are going to have to have back up plans to known Democratic tricks on election night in the past (slashed tires at field offices, cut phone and power lines, etc.) The important thing is turning out the vote will need to be an effort that we saw happen with the Bush campaign in 2004. It will need to be exhaustive, urgent, and incredibly industrious.
DOING SOMETHING TO COUNTER THE DEPRESSION TACTIC: A SUGGESTION TO THE RNC AND GOP POLLSTERS
To combat this known tactic that we have seen before, it would be nice to see GOP pollsters that aren’t internal pollsters for the Romney campaign start releasing their own polls to combat these loaded polls by the media. Instead of just ceding the polling narrative to the media, start putting out your own counter polls. At the very minimum, it will make your voters feel better and more enthusiastic to vote. The predictable scoffing and snarling from the left will happen, the media will become frustrated when GOP operatives when interviewed will through these counter-polls back in their face. Personally, I would love to see some new howls from Nate Silver. The good thing is, the depression tactic will be rendered useless. Heck, I wish Karl Rove and Crossroads GPS, Freedom Works, Tea Party groups, Club for Growth and conservative bloggers would start doing this. Tell these organizations you would be willing to donate to them if they would start doing this. Once they start doing it, send them a donation. The Daily Kos does it with Public Policy Polling. Why can’t we have our own? We must fight for this ground instead of just complaining about it.
Bottom line, no one really knows what turnout will be on election night. However, there are plenty of tools at the Obama campaign and media that are at the ready to affect what turnout will be. We’re in the fog of political war right now. We have to match and contest everywhere, not ceding any ground. Countering these ridiculous polls should be included in this fight.