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Saturday, November 03, 2012

Rasmussen revealed

This is Rasmussen's Polling chart for 2012.
As you can see, it showed Romney ahead from April onward.

Interesting that Rasmussen makes you pay to see these results.

This is PPP's chart for 2012.
As you can see it showed Obama ahead.

Right now, it's 11/3/12.
If Obama wins, Rasmussen can claim that he was within the MoE (margin of error), and thus "accurate".
If Romney wins, obviously Rasmussen can claim "accuracy".
Note: the links below will probably not function after the election, or will require payment.

Since Rasmussen will charge you to see this after the election, let's look at Rasmussen's latest Ohio results:
Friday, November 02, 2012
With four days to go, President Obama and Mitt Romney are tied in the critical battleground state of Ohio.   
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters finds Obama and Romney each with 49% support.  Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, while one percent (1%) is undecided. 
 Let's also look at Rasmussen's latest Colorado survey:
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Mitt Romney still holds a narrow lead in Colorado. 
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Colorado Voters shows Romney still holding 50% support, while President Obama earns 47% of the vote. Two percent (2%) favor some other candidate, and one percent (1%) is undecided.
 And Florida, which Scotty hasn't polled since 10/26. Latest results:
Friday, October 26, 2012
Mitt Romney still earns 50% of the vote in the key battleground state of Florida, but his lead is smaller.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Sunshine State finds Romney with 50% of the vote to President Obama's 48%. One percent (1%) is undecided.

Now realise that Rasmussen's MoE on these State polls is +/- 4%.
Even if Obama wins these States, Rasmussen will still be able to claim "accuracy", even though he predicted a Romney win in two of these three. Scotty does not even have to pick the correct winner to be considered "accurate".

Let's look at Rasmussen's chart for Florida:

As you can see, Rasmussen showed Romney leading in every poll that he did of the State. That's pretty different than showing one poll where it could go for Obama and still be within the MoE.

And now, let's look at Rasmussen's chart for Colorado:

Romney is ahead and steadily gaining since July. Wow, it sure looks as if Romney couldn't lose, doesn't it?

Now for Ohio. Let's see Rasmussen's view of the race:

Obama was ahead all year, except up to the very end when Romney pulled ahead. Weird, right? But Scotty's still within the MoE, isn't he? No harm in giving Republicans a little hope, when you can still claim accuracy even if Romney loses.

Let's see how "accurate" Rasmussen really is after the election. It should be fun to hear him spin, but he will probably hide all of this information shown on his own site, or require payment.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

PPP: Obama leads by 7 in OH

Ohio is another crucial swing state, worth 18 electoral votes (EV) out of the required 270 EV. Polling this year has shown Obama with varying leads, with the exception of a February Fox News poll showing Romney leading by six points. Even Rasmussen gave Obama a four-point lead in April (46/42). HuffPo averages out the polling to show Obama with a five-point lead (47/42), making it a State that "leans Obama". The President won Ohio 51/47 in 2008.

The latest poll from PPP for OH (875 RV, ±3.3% MoE, 5/3 - 5/6) gives Obama a seven-point lead (50/43).
Let's look at the ideological breakdown of the sample to dispel notions of bias:
Q13 Would you describe yourself as very liberal,
somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat
conservative, or very conservative?
Very liberal ...................................................... 9%
Somewhat liberal ............................................ 18%
Moderate......................................................... 31%
Somewhat conservative.................................. 22%
Very conservative ........................................... 19%
So, that's 41% conservative, 27% liberal.

PPP's Tom Jensen sums up the phenomenon that has allowed Obama  to assume this lead:
Ohio voters don't love Obama. They're evenly split with 48% approving and 48% disapproving of him, although that is an improvement from the negative numbers he's posted during most of his time in office. Obama's lead in the state may be driven more by the fact that Ohioans just don't much care for Mitt Romney. 37% have a favorable opinion of him to 53% with a negative one. That includes a 33/59 spread with independents. Romney's performance in Ohio in the primary wasn't terribly impressive and his issues seem to be extending to the general election.
We see this frequently in state polling. It's not so much that Obama is immensely popular, but rather that Romney is just not well-liked at all. This also means that significant margins of key demographics for Romney show soft support -- a greater percentage of a particular demographic saying that they will vote for him than the percentage that has a favourable opinion of him. Voters exhibiting soft support are less likely to turn out, volunteer, donate, or "talk up" their candidate, though they don't usually flip to the opposing candidate.

Even worse than Romney's "favourables" are those for Ron Paul:
Q2 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of Ron Paul?
Favorable........................................................ 26%
Unfavorable .................................................... 51%
Not sure .......................................................... 23%
Paul loses to Obama in a match-up 48/40. He loses women to Obama in the match-up by 24 points, splits white voters (45/43 O+2), loses voters 45 and under by at least 15 points, and loses moderates by nearly 30 points. He has all of Romney's weaknesses with key demographics, but he holds a higher percentage of undecided voters in most of them than Romney does.

We are now well past "Rosen-gate", where Ann Romney was supposed to have won over female voters and erased the gender gap by playing the victim card. It hasn't worked. Jensen notes:
The GOP's struggles with women and young voters really show themselves in Ohio. Obama's up 55-36 with women and has a 62-30 advantage with those under 30. If you extend the definition of 'young' voters to those under 45 Obama still holds a massive advantage at 56-35. Romney's winning seniors 49-45 but he needs a much bigger lead than that to make up for his weakness with young people.
 Seniors are a reliable Republican demographic, and they are only breaking for Romney by four points. Men break for Romney by six points (50/44, 7% undecided), which isn't strong. It hardly begins to counter the nineteen-point lead  Obama has with women. Moderates, as we've seen in so many States, break strongly for Obama. Apparently they don't believe that Obama is some kind of radical Marxist. In Ohio, Obama wins moderates 56/31 (13% undecided) in a match-up against Romney. The moderates that do support Romney show five points of soft support.

Conservatives, as one would expect, are Romney's biggest supporters. Those who describe themselves as "somewhat conservative" break overwhelmingly for Romney in a match-up 67/25 (9% undecided). Unfortunately for Romney, 67% of the 22% of the electorate that describe themselves as "somewhat conservative" is only 14.7%. He gains less than 15% from this overwhelming margin toward his 43% support. And only 59% of this demographic has a favourable opinion of Romney, which leaves him with eight points of soft support among those "somewhat conservative" voters.

For those describing themselves as "very conservative", the situation is much the same. Romney wins them by an even larger margin (79/15, 5% undecided). However, this only nets him another 15% of the electorate. Out of his 43 points of support, nearly 30 points (69%) of his support is from conservatives. The price of this is losing moderates steeply to Obama. And only 65% of those "very conservative" voters have a favourable opinion of Romney. That leaves a considerable 14% of soft support with this demographic.

Let's look at Obama's soft support. Among moderates, 58% have a favourable opinion of him -- two points more than break for him. Actually, with these subgroups, these small margins are meaningless. Among women, 53% are favourable (negligible two points soft support). Among white voters, 44% have a favourable opinion, leaving three points of soft support. Obama's senior supporters are solid at 47% favourable, compared with his 45% share of the demographic. Independent voters break for him at  43%, while 41% approve. Even the 25% of "somewhat conservative" voters breaking for Obama show 23% favourable opinions of him. He shows five points of soft support among "somewhat liberal" voters, but he's solid with "very liberal" voters (for what their 9% of the electorate is worth).

With Obama's support being so firm, it's unlikely that negative attacks will be effective against him. Romney, however, is vulnerable to depressed enthusiasm among his base -- especially among the "very conservative" voters showing considerable soft support for him.

Even worse, Romney's team has shown no ability to make Romney himself look better. Instead, they have concentrated on trying to make Obama look bad.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

PPP: Obama leads VA by 8

Virginia is a crucial swing state, and one that Romney supporters continue to assert the Republicans will win. Actually, they assert this because there is no realistic path to 270 EV for Romney if he loses VA's 13 EV. Rasmussen, of course, found VA as a virtual tie, but this was mostly a propaganda piece to support the narrative that Romney is seeing dramatic improvement after winning the nomination. It should be interesting to see how Rasmussen walks this back as we get close to the election, since he gave Obama a nine-point lead one month earlier. For Obama, winning VA opens up several different paths to 270 EV, and it would be very difficult for Romney to block all of them. 

PPP's latest survey of Virginia (680 RV, ±3.8% MoE, 4/26 - 4/29) shows Obama ahead 51/43
Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling notes
Obama's approval rating in Virginia is 50% with 46% of voters disapproving of him. This marks just the 3rd time in our polling of the state since he took office that Obama's hit 50% on that front. Meanwhile Romney continues to be pretty unpopular with only 38% of voters rating him favorably while 52% hold a negative opinion.
Remember, this is weeks after Santorum dropped out. The poll was in the field while Gingrich virtually dropped out. Romney is the nominee, for all intents and purposes. We've been told of the impending surge (or "rally") for Romney once his primary opponents were defeated. It hasn't really materialised. In fact, undecided Republicans are only 2.2% of the electorate in VA. How do you overcome an eight-point lead by picking up 2.2% of the electorate? Magical thinking, that's how. Why is Romney still so unpopular if Republicans are "rallying" to him? 

This isn't some one-time phenomenon. Obama has showed a lead in VA of four points or more since 11/10:
Romney has held steady in the low 40's, while Obama has been moving into a slender majority. And this has happened during a bad economy with the GOP mercilessly attacking him. Yet, Republicans think that mercilessly attacking Obama, combined with a bad economy, will win the State for them. How? Magical thinking, that's how.

Tom Jensen again
Obama's winning 57-33 with voters under 30, which is not unusual. But he's also up 56-37 with voters between 30 and 45 which suggests the GOP has a problem in Virginia not just with the very young but also with the somewhat young. That generational gap speaks to the days of Virginia as a solid red state in Presidential elections probably being over.
 How about Ron Paul?
Q6 If the candidates for President this year were
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Ron
Paul, who would you vote for?
Barack Obama................................................ 50%
Ron Paul ......................................................... 39%
Undecided....................................................... 11%
Ron Paul even loses those who voted for McCain in 2008 by 36/46 to Obama. He loses moderates 61/24 to the President. He loses women 55/35 in a match-up. He loses all age groups from anywhere from 7 to 13 points. Yeah, he's the one to save the day. 

In a match-up with Romney, Obama's worst case is a split with voters over 45. He splits Independent voters 44/46 (R +2), and wins women voters 55/38. Male voters aren't particularly strong for Romney, either. He splits them 47/48 (R +1), which is not a good way to overcome a gender gap. Obama also strongly wins over moderates in a match-up 62/28. Moderates were 31% of the sample, meaning that Obama gets 19.2% of the VA electorate here alone. 

Comparatively, Romney wins "somewhat conservative" voters (24% of the sample) very strongly in a match-up - 19/73. That accounts for 17.5% of the VA electorate. And "very conservative" voters (17% of the sample) break a bit more strongly for Romney - 13/82. But that's only about 14% of the VA electorate. So winning conservatives gets Romney 31.5% of the electorate, which is the bulk of his support. He really can't squeeze much more out of the conservative base. Undecided "very conservative" voters are less than 1% of the electorate (0.7%) in VA, and undecided "somewhat conservative" voters are only about 2% of the electorate. Even if Romney won over every single undecided moderate, that would only yield 3.1% of the vote. Add it up: 5.8% potential gain if Romney won every single undecided moderate, somewhat conservative, and very conservative voter. 

Even with this very unrealistic scenario, Obama would still narrowly win. 

With no strong advantage with any age group, either gender, Independent voters, or race, Romney is left with his base. He wins only a slim majority of white voters (51/42) for a mere nine-point lead in this crucial Republican base demographic. His "favourables" with white voters are 44/46, which means he already has 7% of white voters breaking for him who don't really like him. That's soft support. 

Obama's favourables with white voters are 41/55, which means that all of Obama's white supporters have a favourable opinion of him. That's strong support, even though it's less than Romney's. Take away that 7% of Romney's white supporters who don't like him, and Obama virtually breaks even with the demographic.

Even though Ann Romney thinks that she scored big over Rosen-gate, Romney's favourables with both genders are underwater. Women in VA see Romney unfavourably (35/44), as do men (42/50). That means that 6% of men break for Romney, although they don't like him.

For Obama, however, women see him favourably 53/41. Obama still has 2% of women that he could win over, at least in theory. The margin of error for these subgroups blurs these small distinctions. He doesn't even do badly with male VA voters in his "favorables" (47/50), which means that all of his male supporters see him favourably. No soft support at all with either gender.

This poll changes the average in HuffPo's electoral map to a narrow +3 lead for Obama in VA. If Rasmussen's results are removed from the average, Obama would show a 4.4% lead. 
If Obama holds all of the States that lean for him (WI, MI, OH, PA, and VA), he wins the election with 282 EV. He could lose every single "toss up" State, and still win. Even in those "toss up" States, Obama has shown leads in most of them in PPP's surveys. For example, PPP polled Obama with a five-point lead in FL (29 EV) less than three weeks ago. And PPP polled CO (9 EV) with 13 point Obama lead less than a month ago.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Can a "rally" save Romney in OH?

The current delusion from conservatives is that, after the nomination, Republicans will "rally" to their nominee and provide the edge needed for a Romney victory. 

I'm going to examine the recent polling of one swing State and determine how realistic this "rally" scenario really is. 

Quinnipiac polled OH (1246 RV, ±2.8% MoE, 3/20 - 3/26) and found Obama leading 47/41. The survey's demographics are here. The cross-tabs are here

The weighted numbers from the sample show 29% self-identify as Republicans. These Republicans break 83/7 for Romney when matched up against Obama. Beyond that, 4% "don't know", 2% "won't vote", and 3% will vote for "someone else". 

Let's assume that the 7% of Republicans saying they will vote for Obama flip to Romney, and that all 4% undecided Republicans also rally to Romney. This is 11% of the Republicans. 11% of 29% is a whopping 3.2% of the general electorate. Obama leads by six. 

This, then, is the conclusion: if every Republican in Ohio flips to Romney, and actually turns out to vote, Obama would still win the state by about three points. There is about 5% margin of error (MoE) in the Republican-only sample, which could go either way. The best-case scenario is that a Republican "rally" could put Romney ahead by two points, and that's stretching at the limits of reality here. 

Whatever it would take to rally every Republican would probably alienate Independent voters (33% of the sample). Even a five-point gain for Obama among Independents would make the race a virtual toss-up, and that would occur if half of the undecided Independents voted for Obama. If Obama won over the 5% of undecided Democrats (33% of the sample), that would also make the race a virtual toss-up. Again, this is taking into account the unrealistic assumption that all of the poll's margin of error falls to Romney's advantage. If only half of the MoE falls on Romney's side, then Obama narrowly wins.

Romney fails to win a majority of white voters (45/41), with 7% undecided. With the white vote as 83% of the sample, Romney would gain 5.8% of the general electorate if he could pick up every undecided white voter. This would make the race a toss-up. He would need the MoE of 2.98% to actually pull ahead, but it would be a narrow victory.

A Republican "rally" could make OH a "toss-up" at best, and that's a coin flip that Romney cannot afford to lose. Obama, on the other hand, can afford to lose it and pick up those electoral votes in other States.

Can a "rally" save Romney in FL?

The current delusion from conservatives is that, after the nomination, Republicans will "rally" to their nominee and provide the edge needed for a Romney victory. 

I'm going to examine the recent polling of one swing State and determine how realistic this "rally" scenario really is. 

Quinnipiac polled FL (1228 RV, ±2.8% MoE, 3/20 - 3/26) and found Obama leading 49/42. The survey's demographics are here. The cross-tabs are here

The weighted numbers from the sample show 29% self-identify as Republicans. These Republicans break 87/7 for Romney when matched up against Obama. Beyond that, 4% "don't know", 1% "won't vote", and 1% will vote for "someone else". 

Let's assume that the 7% of Republicans saying they will vote for Obama flip to Romney, and that all 4% undecided Republicans also rally to Romney. This is 11% of the Republicans. 11% of 29% is a whopping 3.2% of the general electorate. Obama leads by seven. 

This, then, is the conclusion: if every Republican in Florida flips to Romney, and actually turns out to vote, Obama would still win the state by about four points. There is about 5% margin of error (MoE) in the Republican-only sample, which could go either way. The best-case scenario is that a Republican "rally" could put Romney ahead by one point, and that's stretching at the limits of reality here. 

Whatever it would take to rally every Republican would probably alienate Independent voters (33% of the sample). Even a five-point gain for Obama among Independents would wipe out that one-point Romney lead. If Obama won over the 4% of undecided Democrats (33% of the sample), that would also wipe out Romney's best-case lead. 

Romney wins only a slim majority of white voters (51/38), with 6% undecided. With the white vote as 71% of the sample, Romney would gain 4.3% of the general electorate if he could pick up every undecided white voter. He would need the MoE of 3.1% to actually pull ahead, and it would be less than a single-point lead. 

A Republican "rally" could make FL a "toss-up" at best, and that's a coin flip that Romney cannot afford to lose. Obama, on the other hand, can afford to lose it and pick up those electoral votes in other States.

Friday, April 06, 2012

PPP: Obama improves in NV, leads by eight

Nevada is a State that Obama won 55/43 in 2008 against McCain. It was "icing on the cake" as far as electoral votes (EV) went, with NV providing six of Obama's 365 EV. 

However, polling done by PPP in 2011 showed Obama's "favourables" down and "underwater" in NV. He was only tying Romney 46/46 in 10/11. In fact, PPP noted:
“There aren’t many states Barack Obama won in 2008 where he has fallen as far as Nevada,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “What was an easy win last time looks like it will be a very tough hold in 2012.”
Not even six months later, the situation has dramatically changed. PPP's latest poll of NV (553 RV, ±4.2% MoE, 3/29 - 4/1) shows Obama prevailing in a match-up with Romney 51/43

October 2011 Nevada Results:
April 2012 Nevada Results:
PPP sums up this survey in a more optimistic tone:
Nevada, more than any other state, symbolizes how much the Presidential race has changed over the last six months.
In October Barack Obama was unpopular there, with a 44/53 approval rating. That was the story in our Nevada polling through most of last year. In July Obama was at 47/50 and in April he was at 45/52.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, polled much better with voters in Nevada than he did in most of the rest of the country. His favorability on our last poll there was narrowly positive at 45/44, and he managed to tie Obama at 46% in a state where the President won by 12 points in 2008. PPP's other polls in the state in 2011 showed a similarly close Obama/Romney race- a 1 point lead for Obama in July, a 3 point lead for Romney in April, and a 1 point lead for Obama in January.
That's not the case anymore. Over the last 5 months Obama's approval numbers have recovered, Romney's favorability numbers have taken a strong turn in the wrong direction, and Obama's opened up an 8 point lead in the state at 51-43.
 Obama now shows a 50/46 job approval in NV. Romney is currently polling as well as McCain, who lost. Nevada already held their Republican caucus on 2/4, and Romney won. This did not result in Republicans "rallying" to Romney, nor did the campaign sway voters outside of the base. In fact, the opposite happened. Oddly, this same scenario, which did not materialise in NV, is what Republicans are counting on to happen nationally to turn things around for their nominee. PPP notes:
Romney's net favorability meanwhile has dropped by 14 points to -13 with 38% of voters seeing him positively to 51% with a negative opinion. Part of his strength in Nevada had been an unusual number of Democrats seeing him favorably, but that crossover appeal has dropped from 27% to 18%. With independents his favorability is 36/54.
 The Right's latest head-spinning narrative is that all of this will change after the RNC. Republicans will "rally" to Romney, and I would assume that this narrative sees Independent voters as eager to jump on the bandwagon at that point. Romney will, according to this narrative, take more moderate positions to broaden his base of support. The base will nod knowingly as Romney winks to them, as they 'know' that he believes none of it. And, of course, there will be massive ad campaigns telling voters that Obama is dangerous, too powerful, and not powerful enough. In spite of these ads simply repeating the same things that the GOP has been saying for years, this time it will change everyone's mind. Democrats will be overwhelmed by this onslaught, will sulk, and will decide not to vote. Romney wins, and the evil "libs" are defeated. If this sounds delusional, it is. 

The strongest selling point of this narrative is that it buys the GOP another five months until they have to seriously evaluate things. Until 8/27, at least, no one can disprove this narrative. And this supposed "rallying" could take a month to 'solidify', so now we are up to late September.

Let's look at the results of the 4/12 PPP NV survey.  The sample is 42% conservative and 71% white.
Q12 Would you describe yourself as very liberal,
somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat
conservative, or very conservative?
Very liberal ...................................................... 10%
Somewhat liberal ............................................ 17%
Moderate......................................................... 30%
Somewhat conservative.................................. 26%
Very conservative ........................................... 16%
Q15 If you are Hispanic, press 1. If white, press 2.
If African-American, press 3. If other, press 4.
Hispanic.......................................................... 15%
White .............................................................. 71%
African-American ............................................ 8%
Other............................................................... 6%
 These are the highlights:
  • Among moderates (30% of the sample), Obama's job approvals are strongly positive (63/32) with 5% unsure. Romney breaks negatively (32/56) among this same group. Outside of the Republican base, Obama is seen pretty favourably.
  • Among voters who describe themselves as "very conservative" Romney has positive "favourables" (55/35). This is probably the floor for Romney, and it's not strong.
  • Romney, among all registered voters, breaks negatively 38/51 with 10% unsure. As the campaign progresses, both candidates will see temporary dips in popularity as well as sudden rises. By starting with such high disapprovals, Romney can't afford the dips in his "favourables".
  • Ron Paul is seen about as favourably (35/53) as Romney is, which is not a good position to be in. He's negative with moderates (50/36), and barely popular with "very conservative" voters (51/39).
  • In the match-up with Romney, voters who describe themselves as "moderate" break strongly for Obama (67/29). Obama even picks up 21% of voters who describe themselves as "somewhat conservative". This leaves only 4% of "soft support" with moderates: 67% vote for you, 63% approve of you.
  • There isn't really a "gender gap" in these numbers. A slim majority of both men (51/41) and women (51/44) break for Obama in a match-up with Romney. The "favourables" for Obama with men (52/46) and women (48/45) don't leave more than 2% "soft support" compared with the match-up.
  • Romney is seen a bit less favourably by men (36/56) than women (40/47). There aren't enough "undecided" voters to sway for Romney to get him in positive territory with a single gender.
  • Independent voters see Obama positively (50/46), and they break for him more strongly than that (54/39). There's still 4% "soft support", but Romney's in no position to take advantage of it by breaking negatively (36/54) in approval with Independent voters.
  • Republicans break for Romney 78/12, with 10% undecided. Republicans are 39% of the polling sample. That means if Romney won every single Republican in a "rally", it would only gain him 8.6% of the general electorate, assuming 100% voter turnout. The best that Romney can hope for is a "toss-up" here, and he really needs the EV. Obama can spare them.
  • Hispanics see Obama favourably (65/32), and favour him in a match-up with Romney (69/30). Only 1% are undecided, which doesn't leave a lot of room for Romney work with.
  • If you think that Obama's job approval (50/42) is bad, how good is Romney breaking 50/42 with white voters in a match-up against Obama? This is the core demographic for Republican candidates, and he's not even winning a majority. With 8% undecided, the best that Romney can get is 6% of the general electorate - not enough to win.
  • Obama is viewed negatively by voters over 65 (45/52), but this is another core demographic for Republicans where they barely show a majority. The match-up is almost identical (51/45), with Romney six points ahead. Romney is also seen negatively by this demographic (44/49), so it would seem that his support is not quite enthusiastic.
  • Voters aged 18-29 see Romney somewhat positively (44/41), though they end up strongly breaking for Obama 62/35 in a match-up. Obama's approval of 59/32 with the youth vote aligns pretty closely with the match-up results. Only 3% are undecided in the match-up at this point. 
 Nevada's 6 EV have not been counted as part of Obama's solid core of 232 EV previously. If Obama only needs 38 EV above that, VA (13) and NV would be a great start. With both of the States favouring Obama by eight, that brings the target down to 19 EV. That means that Obama gets over 270 EV if he wins just one single State on this list: OH, PA, FL. He's (at least) narrowly leading in all of them, and some by as strong a margin as we see here. Just one is all he would need, and it wouldn't matter then if he lost CO (9), NH (4), NC (15), IA (7), AZ (10) or MO (11). Or, Obama could lose all three of the OH, PA, FL trio if he would win NC and CO. There are several possible paths to 270, and many fronts for Romney to defend.

Once more polling becomes available on CO, NH, MO and IA things will get considerably clearer. But, when you have "red" States like MO and AZ polling as a toss-up, it doesn't make a case for positive momentum.

Gallup: Obama reaches 50% approval

A great deal of the Right's narrative (and the punditry that pushes it) is based on low job approval for Obama with the pollster Gallup. Supposedly, the President's low job approvals make the Republican nominee look more competitive, and makes Obama vulnerable to virtually charge or flimsy scandal that the GOP puts forward.

Facts never get in the way of Republican narratives, of course.

Polling has shown that Romney is viewed unfavourably outside of the Republican base, and only grudgingly accepted within that base.Even worse, his numbers are declining. Those who see Romney rebounding after the Republican National Convention (RNC) fail to realise:
  • The RNC will be very divisive, following very divisive State Conventions.
  • Romney will have to go on record supporting very conservative positions, and endorsing ideas that most outside of the Republican think are kind of crazy.
  • All of these statements will be on record and available for campaign ads against him.
  • Romney will have to back away from these statements after the nomination.
It remains to be seen how much the Republican base will "rally" to Romney. One of the consequences of the 2010 election is that every faction of the GOP, from "sovereign citizens" to Libertarians to evangelicals, saw the results as some kind of national validation of support for their faction. Each faction sees this as "their time" and "their turn". Each faction sees some mythical Heartland majority as loyal to their agenda, and each sees their faction as the only hope to defeating Obama in the general election. Each faction sees themselves as "overdue" for its reward from the Party for its decades of support. And the strict message discipline of the GOP has been fractured for years now, with no one at the wheel. The GOP has basically been throwing out conflicting narratives for years and seeing which ones "stick", while abandoning narratives that get stale or fail to resonate. No one, including the base, knows what the GOP stands for -- other than the willingness to claim anything as indisputable truth that is seen to hurt Obama. And, how enthusiastic will this base be when Romney backs off from conservative positions in the general? Will they believe him when he winks to them, or will they remember how this guy stands for nothing at all?

Meanwhile, Obama is essentially a "known quantity". Outside of the Republican base, people are not afraid of him, do not hate him, and do not want to punish him. They wish he had been more successful, and they had higher hopes for his first term. That doesn't mean that "anyone" is seen as an acceptable alternative to him.

It's now clear that there will be no magical, hugely popular, messiah from the Republican Party who can fix everything with a wave of his hand. It's going to be Romney, and Romney is a blank slate. With selective reading of his shifting positions, he can either be a guy who believes in everything that you believe in, or nothing that you believe in. And, given the electorate's disenchantment with politicians (as well as the Republican Party), guess which of those two options most will go for.

In fact, the same cynical disappointment with Obama that the GOP is depending on is also the thing that makes voters project their worst assumption upon Romney's blank slate.

Now we get to see the very same pundits, strategists, and shills (who have invoked Gallup for years) go to great lengths to ignore Gallup's results.


Apr 3-5, 2012 – Updates daily at 1 p.m. ET; reflects one-day change
50%  +1
 So far, for the month of April, the President has polled at least 47% job approval nationally with Gallup.
The current figure of 50% approval is the highest all year. This is happening as the Republican primaries are testing out their attack narratives, and as the nation is supposed to be concentrating on what a 'failure' Obama is supposed to have been.

Actually, you would have to go back to late May 2011 to find a higher job approval rating, or early June 2011 to find a lower disapproval with Gallup. State polling from other pollsters has also shown Obama's "favourables" improving over that time frame. His positions in match-ups has also improved for states that are considered to be "in play".

There is a sharp drop-off in negative opinion of Obama between conservatives and moderates, and the Republican base is increasingly isolated in opinion compared with the rest of the electorate. There is almost a palpable scorn, a "you are either with or against us" attitude, coming from conservatives toward non-conservatives.

One of the consequences of so much of the Republican electoral strength being limited to solid "red" States is that these Republican voters live in a world where no one supports the President. This reinforces the mistaken idea that they are much more popular than they really are, and encourages them to dismiss those outside of the Republican base as a small minority that will be steamrollered in the general election. This fist-shaking rage, and the implied promises of "payback" for not jumping on the bandwagon, just serve to drive Independents and swing voters away from them and towards the President.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Rasmussen: let's poll Montana again

 Check out Rasmussen's new poll of Montana, the second survey of a State that no one has ever thought would flip, and which has gone to the Republicans for the last 20 years on the Presidential race. It's also a State with a mere 3 electoral votes (EV). Even tiny Rhode Island has 4 EV.

I guess when Scotty is having a hard time coming up with good news for his right-wing narrative, he can always poll Montana.
Romney receives 49% support from Likely Voters in the Treasure State to Obama’s 40%. A new Rasmussen Reports statewide survey finds that nine percent (9%) prefer some other candidate, while two percent (2%) are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Montana was conducted on April 2, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Much to no one's surprise, Romney is leading by nine points in a state that has no bearing at all on the acquisition of 270 EV by Obama.

When Obama has a solid lead like this in a State, wingnuts point out that he's under 50%. Well, Romney is under 50% here. Does anyone really think that he might lose MT?

When it comes to swing States, Rasmussen likes to combine them together so that no one can point to his polling in one of those States. Of course, anyone evaluating his shoddy polling after the election can simply combine those states and prove how much of an outlier his polling has been so far.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Gallup: Obama leads nationally by 4

Gallup has been the most pessimistic pollster for Obama this election cycle, with Rasmussen now relegated to the role of noise-maker. Gallup doesn't do a "daily tracker" of election match-ups, just daily Presidential approval. So, when Gallup does a national match-up, it's worth looking at. And, when Gallup shows Obama leading, it means something. At the very least, it should mean something to right-wing pundits who have placed such emphasis on Gallup's results.

Gallup's latest national poll (901 RV, ±4% MoE, 3/25 - 3-26) shows Obama leading Romney 49/45. They also surveyed twelve swing states, which I will examine after looking at the national poll. We see that Romney is at his lowest percentage in the match-up since 8/11, in spite of a national primary campaign that has given him dramatic media exposure, and Super PAC-funded ad campaigns in many states.

Trend: Preferences if Presidential Election Were Held Today, Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney, Among Registered Voters
Obama leads both Romney and Santorum among independent voters, faring slightly better against Santorum than he does against Romney. Romney and Santorum currently fare about equally well among Republican voters.
 In fact, Independent voters are breaking 48/40 in Obama's favour in this poll.

And, let's look at today's daily job approval figures from Gallup:


Mar 30-Apr 1, 2012 – Updates daily at 1 p.m. ET; reflects one-day change
47%  +1
Once again, the President is on positive ground in job approval nationally. 
I've written about Romney's "soft support" previously. The numbers of those who say they would vote for him in a match-up are higher (by double digits) than those who say that they have a favourable opinion of him. Most worrisome, perhaps, is this gap among men, voters over the age of 65, and white voters. These are usually core demographics for the GOP, but Romney's numbers do not show strong support from those who are willing to vote for him. Usually, this means lower enthusiasm for a candidate with "soft support".

Unsurprisingly, Gallup finds that Romney's supporters are losing enthusiasm:
Forty-two percent of registered voters nationwide say they are "extremely" or "very enthusiastic" about voting for president in this year's election. That is down significantly from 52% in January and 47% and 48% in December and October, respectively.
The decline is especially apparent among Romney voters, whose enthusiasm has fallen 13 percentage points from January, and now is on par with Obama voters' enthusiasm. Prior to the latest poll, at least half of Romney voters were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting, and their enthusiasm exceeded that of Obama voters.
Trend: Percentage Extremely or Very Enthusiastic About Voting, Among Registered Voters
 Okay, so even the people who say they will vote for Romney in November are less enthusiastic, and there are fewer of them than before. Gallup finds that Democratic enthusiasm has dropped seven points over the same period, but Obama's match-up numbers have gone up in response.

Now let's look at the match-ups in the twelve swing states. Gallup polled (933 RV, ±4% MoE, 3/20 - 3/26) CO, FL, IA, MI, NV, NH, NM, OH, PA, VA, and WI as a composite.
Obama has a 51% to 42% lead over Romney in USA Today/Gallup polling of registered voters in 12 key swing states, conducted March 20-26. This is the first time in five measurements that Obama has held an advantage over Romney in those states.
Trend: Preferences if Presidential Election Were Held Today, Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney, in Key 2012 Election Swing States, Among Registered Voters
That's a nine-point lead, with only 7% undecided. These results from the swing states are even more impressive than the national polling results, because the strong majority of states are already solidly on one side or the other. The margins of victory in those solid states is meaningless to the electoral vote (EV) count, but the 12 states that Gallup polled are still "in play". Some are more "in play" than others, however. WI and MI, for example, have been found solidly for Obama already by other pollsters, Still, these twelve states are the ones that will basically decide the election. Together, they total 139 EV out of 270 needed to win. Polling has shown Obama to be competitive in all of them, when examined individually. He has shown leads in most of them in surveys by various pollsters.

And now Gallup, the pollster that Beltway pundits and Republican strategists have been clinging to for several months, is saying that Romney is currently losing those twelve states. 

Conventional wisdom says that Obama can't win with his current low job approval numbers. For example, Ann Selzer wrote:
No president has been re-elected with a national approval rating under 49 percent, according to Gallup polling dating to 1964. It’s a watershed mark, and about 8½ months from the election, Gallup national polling Saturday had Obama at 46 percent — underwater.
Selzer, of course, did not take into account that Romney's "favourables" are much lower than Obama's. Nor did she consider that Romney's "favourables" are on the decline, while Obama's are on the rise. Gallup, in fact, says:
The momentum in the 2012 U.S. presidential election appears to be going in Obama's favor; he now enjoys his best positioning against likely Republican nominee Romney nationally and in key swing states to this point in the campaign. Obama's improved standing may result from Americans' improving confidence in the economy and satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States.
So far in March, Obama has been above water (approval higher than disapproval) more than he has been underwater. In the period that this survey was conducted, Obama had job approvals of 47% and 48%, while he wins 49% in the match-up with Romney. That leaves a negligible amount of "soft support" for the President.

Certainly, things can change. But I am at a loss to see how Romney's position will improve significantly after he wins the nomination. The Republican base may "rally to him", but he's already got 84% of Republicans breaking for him in this poll.  Even if he wins the remaining 16% of Republicans, that's only about 5% of the general electorate. And Romney's losing Independents by eight points. Why should Independent voters "rally" to Romney once he is nominated? They aren't Republicans. And, whatever it would take to win that remaining 16% of Republicans is almost certain to alienate Independent voters. The Super PACs can run ads, but everything that they are going to repeat ad nauseum has already been said before, and it hasn't made a difference. 

This is the same stupid assumption that McCain made in 2008. If only the Republicans scream that Obama is a terrorist Muslim radical who will take away your guns...blah, blah, blah... then the voters will side with McCain. We saw how that worked. You can say the words "failed President" all that you want, but people have already heard that, and they are still breaking for Obama. The "magic words" that Republicans are relying on just don't work on people outside of the Republican base.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Is Obama too liberal? Survey says "not really"

While wingnuts have devoted years to telling everyone with ears that Obama is some kind of "Far Left" Marxist figure, it might be useful to look at actual polling to see if the general electorate agrees with them on that characterization.

PPP (1000 RV, ±3.1% MoE, 3/22 - 3/25) did just that. 

Do you think Barack Obama is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?

Too liberal Too conservative About right  Not sure
All    44      9   43     4
Women    42      8   46     4
Men    45      11   40     4
Democrat    15      13   71     2
Republican    77      7   12     5
Independent/Other    45      7   40     8
If you consider those who think Obama is "too conservative", a slim majority of 53% would say that Obama is not "too liberal". This holds true for both men and women. Among Independent voters, it's largely an even break of 45/47.This seems to be a Republican phenomenon.

Let's look at the racial breakdowns: 
White    49    9    37    5
African-American    18    6    72    4
Asian    40    16    35    10
Hispanic    30    12    57    1
 White voters narrowly come down on the side of "too liberal" 49/46. But, for a demographic that the GOP is relying on, those are not strong numbers. The Republican nominee has to get at least 58% of the white vote (and probably better than that) to win. McCain got 55% and lost with that. With only 49% of the white voters believing Obama is too liberal, the GOP will have to try something else to get that other 10% or so.  In fact, this same survey shows that only 51% of white voters would go with the generic Republican candidate over Obama. Consider also that Romney polls worse than the generic Republican in most surveys.

More than two-thirds of Hispanics, however, would disagree with the "too liberal" label for Obama. Only 1% are undecided about the issue, in fact. This is odd, since the GOP hopes to use social conservative issues to win over Hispanic voters.

How about the age breakdowns? Surely the elderly see Obama as a Communist radical, don't they?
18 to 29    31    19    44    6
30 to 45    46    11    38    5
46 to 65    47    6    44    3
Older than 65    44    6    45    5
Not really. A slim majority of 51% among those aged 65+ would disagree with characterising Obama as "too liberal". In fact, no age group shows a plurality disagreeing with that. 

Let's look the breakdown based on income. The wealthy must really think that Obama is a Marxist demon, right? 
Less than $30,000    46    11    36    7
$30,000 to $50,000    43    13    38    6
$50,000 to $75,000    42    9    47    3
$75,000 to $100,000    46    7    45    2
Over $100,000    36    8    52    4
 Not so much.  
60% of those with annual incomes over $100k would disagree that Obama is "too liberal". In fact, it's the people with the lowest incomes that are most likely to think of Obama as "too liberal". The plurality of everyone with an income over $30k doesn't see Obama as "too liberal".

So, it's Republicans who see Obama as "too liberal", and obviously Republicans think that everyone agrees with them. This is just more tone-deaf messaging from a Party that truly believes that the things that work on the Republican base works on the general electorate.

CNN national: Obama leads by 11

National polls are merely indicators, as the state polling is what really matters. 

By including states that aren't really in contention, national polls can give a false impression of the presidential race. For example, if a pollster did a "national" poll with 50% of the sample in solid "red" states (Rasmussen, we're looking at you), it would show the Republicans doing much better than a survey that has a more diverse demographic.

The latest release from CNN/ORC (925 RV, ±3.0% MoE, 3/24 - 3/25) shows Obama leading Romney 54/43 (O +11) in a match-up. 3% are "unsure".

Since February, Obama has gained three points and Romney has lost three points in the match-up. Since January, Obama has gained seven points and Romney has lost five points in the match-up. 

Among all adults (which includes those not registered to vote), Obama leads 56/40. Since January, Obama has gained seven and Romney has lost seven points in the match-up. 

The Economy:
Also among all adults, 29% think that Obama is "more responsible for the country's current economic problems". 56% say that "Bush and the Republicans" are more responsible. Among Independent voters in this same group (all adults), 26% blame Obama compared to 54% who blame Bush.

Support for the Tea Party is a strong break point for this question. Of those who call themselves supporters of the Tea Party, 67% blame Obama and only 12% blame Bush. For those who oppose the Tea Party, only 7% blame Obama and 85% blame Bush. Those who are neutral on the Tea Party break 25/59 on the side of blaming Bush for the current economy. 

It doesn't seem as if a poor economy would particularly benefit the Republicans in the general election, yet this is exactly what the Republicans are hoping for. 

The Parties
Among all adults, the Democratic Party is seen favourably by a narrow 48/43, with 6% undecided. This is modestly up from September, when the break was a negative 44/48 (6% undecided).

The Republican Party, by contrast, shows a strongly negative break of 35/58 (6% undecided). This is a decline from the previous lousy break in September of 39/54 (6% undecided). 

CNN/ORC does not break down the numbers for the economy question and the Party "favourables" into registered voters. 

For comparison, PPP surveyed the "favourables" of the two Parties (1000 RV, ±3.1% MoE, 3/22 - 3/25) among registered voters:

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the Democratic Party?

Favorable Unfavorable Not sure
All  45    47    7
Women  48    44    8
Men  43    50    7
Democrat  84    11    5
Republican  10    85    5
Independent/Other  32    53    15

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party?

Favorable Unfavorable Not sure
All  31  55    14
Women  34  54    13
Men  29  56    15
Democrat  11  82    6
Republican  61  20    19
Independent/Other  21  59    20

In this case, we see that the Democratic Party is seen negatively by a narrow margin of two points (45/47) among registered voters, but slightly positively among women registered to vote. 

The Republican Party, however, shows the same dismal break among registered voters that we saw in the CNN (all adult) numbers. The number of undecided voters is higher in the RV survey, but not nearly large enough to make up for the 24% gap. 
It's interesting that men have a slightly worse opinion of the Party, when men are the demographic that Republicans are breaking even with in the match-ups. This is an indication of "soft support" among men for Republicans. They may be willing to vote for a Republican, but they don't particularly like them.

Quinnipiac: Obama leads in FL, OH, PA

In a new poll from Quinnipiac, Obama leads in three crucial swing states: FL, OH, and PA. 

The GOP cannot afford to lose two of these States, and Obama basically has the election if he wins Florida. With VA looking bad for the Republicans, and CO, NV, and NH looking close, the GOP needs to win all three of these just to stay in contention. Let's look at the results:

Florida: (1228 RV, ±2.8% MoE, 3/20 - 3/26) 49/42 (O +7)
Florida voters give Obama a split 47 - 49 percent job approval rating, and say 50 - 47 percent he deserves to be reelected.
The economy is in a recession, 68 percent of voters say, but 57 percent say it is beginning to recover. Romney would do a better job on the economy, 48 percent of voters say, while 45 percent pick the president, but Obama tops Santorum 50 - 39 percent on this issue.
Oil companies are most to blame for gas prices, 32 percent of voters say, while 23 percent blame oil-producing countries most; 18 percent blame Obama and 16 percent blame supply and demand.
Ohio:  (1246 RV, ±2.8% MoE, 3/20 - 3/26) 47/41 (O +6)
Ohio voters also give Obama a split 47 - 49 percent job approval rating, and split 48 - 48 percent on whether he deserves to be reelected.
The economy is in a recession, 68 percent of voters say, but 58 percent say it is beginning to recover. Voters split 45 - 45 percent on whether Obama or Romney would do a better job on the economy, but Obama tops Santorum 48 - 41 percent on this issue.

Oil companies are most to blame for gas prices, 39 percent of voters say, while 19 percent blame oil-producing countries most; 18 percent blame Obama and 14 percent blame supply and demand.
Pennsylvania:  (1232 RV, ±2.8% MoE, 3/20 - 3/26) 45/42 (O +3)
Pennsylvania voters disapprove 50 - 45 percent of the job Obama is doing, still negative but his best score in recent surveys, and say 50 - 46 percent he does not deserve to be reelected.
The economy is in a recession, 65 percent of voters say, but 57 percent say it is beginning to recover. Voters say 48 - 42 percent that Romney would do a better job on the economy than Obama, but Obama tops Santorum 49 - 41 percent on this issue.

Oil companies are most to blame for gas prices, 34 percent of voters say, while 25 percent blame oil-producing countries most; 17 percent blame Obama and 15 percent blame supply and demand.
Romney's favourables are, as in other States, worse than Obama's.
FL: 41/36 (Obama 47/49)
OH: 36/47 (Obama 47/49)
PA:  37/38 (Obama 45/50)

Previous polling for FL:
  • Quinnipiac (1518 RV, ±2.5% MoE, 1/19 - 1/23) 45/45 (tie)
  • PPP (700 RV, ±3.7% MoE, 11/28 -12-1) 45/44 (O +1)
Previous polling for PA:
  • PPP (500 RV, ±4.4% MoE, 11/17 - 11/20) 45/45 (tie)
  • Susquehanna (800 RV, ±3.5% MoE, 2/2 - 2/6) 45/43 (R +2)
  • Muhlenberg (625 RV, ±4% MoE, 2/15 - 2/21) 48/37 (O +13)
  • Franklin & Marshall (592 RV, ±4.0% MoE, 2/14 - 2/20) 41/33 (O +8)
  • Rasmussen (438 LV, ±4.5% MoE, 2/8 -2/23) 45/44 (O +1) 
  • PPP (689 RV, ±3.7% MoE, 3/8/ - 3/11) 49/42 (O +7)
Previous polling for OH:
  • PPP (1022 RV, ±3.1% MoE, 11/4 - 11/6) 50/41 (O +9)
  • PPP (820 RV, ±3.4% MoE, 1/28 - 1/29) 49/42 (O +7)
  • Marist (3079 RV, ±1.8% MoE, 2/29 - 3/2) 50/38 (O +12) 
Additionally, the PurplePoll (1424 LV, ±2.6% MoE, 3/16 - 3/19) polled a composite of NH, OH, and PA. Obama led Romney 48/43 (O +5). 

Rasmussen: Obama still leads in "Core Four"

Not that Rasmussen's polling has any particular value at this point, but I've included this poll to illustrate the conservative narrative. 

Rasmussen's latest poll of the "Core Four" States (FL, NC, VA, OH) shows Obama leading 47/44 in a match-up with Romney. 
President Obama remains slightly ahead of the Republican front-runners in combined polling of the key swing states Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. New Rasmussen Reports telephone surveying finds that Obama picks up 47% of the vote to Romney’s 44%. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided. That's little changed from a week ago when Obama led Romney 47% to 42%. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia was conducted on March 24-29, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Other pollsters, not surprisingly, have shown quite different results for most of these States.
The thing to note here is that Rasmussen is showing these four States to be within the margin of error (MoE). These are crucial States for the GOP to win. For example, if Obama wins FL (27 EV), he pretty much wins the election, and can afford to lose the other three States. Rasmussen can't cede them to Obama and still contend that Romney will win the election. Instead, he takes five entire days to poll 500 "likely voters", and comes up with results that basically say that his polling is so shoddy that it's possible Romney is tied with Obama. If you are a Republican "true believer", that's what you see when you read those numbers. If you have a strong enough imagination, you can look at those numbers and see Romney leading.

Statistically speaking, there is no real difference between results showing Obama up by four and another result showing Obama up by three. One can only wonder why Rasmussen polled these four States two weeks in a row, if it takes him five days to do each survey. Since these States are so crucial, one can also wonder why Rasmussen doesn't just poll them individually. It all comes down to giving Scotty enough room to weasel out of his own results. As we get closer to the election, Rasmussen will declare some relatively minor event to be his "things changed" moment, and his results will come into line with other pollsters. Then, post-election, he will point to these polling results within 40 days of the election to prove his 'accuracy', and ignore the previous year's results that were glaring outliers.

Marist: Obama leads by 17 in WI

One of the sad, delusional narratives that many wingnuts insist on is the idea that Republican Governors mean that a State will vote Republican in the presidential race. It's just one of the elements of the "It's still 2010!" mindset that conservatives have completely immersed themselves in. It's very easy to play this game: just pick a few solid "red" States, note that these States have Republican Governors, and it becomes 'obvious' that having a Republican Governor guarantees that a State will vote for Republican nominee. 

And this is how the wingnut commentary machine 'proves' that Wisconsin will never vote for Obama in the general election. Never mind that the State hasn't gone "red" in decades, nor that the current Republican governor is only narrowly ahead in polling of the recall election, nor that the current Republican Governor's promise of 250k new jobs is in the negative. Nope, it's still 2010, and "anybody" can beat Obama. 

When you have one side so completely invested in an alternate reality, polling becomes the only way to counter these delusions with facts. This is why conservatives hate polling; because they hate facts. To movement conservatives, facts are just beliefs that a lot of people agree on. Therefore, if conservatives believe in something, it becomes a fact. Likewise, disbelieving something means that it's no longer a fact. If this sounds an awful lot like a religion, it's because the current Republican Party operates very much like a quasi-religion. Anything can be turned into a "fact" if people believe in it - especially if "real Americans" believe in it. 

This is why conservative-leaning pollsters are settling for a tie in so many of their skewed surveys. A tie means a win in the conservative mind, because "the polls" are 'known' to be wrong, and the vast numbers of un-polled voters are already 'known' to side with them. Besides, "the polls" include Democrats, and they 'know' that Democrats don't vote. 

With that in mind, let's examine the latest Marist poll of Wisconsin (2792 RV, ±1.9% MoE, 3/26 - 3/27). What little attention the media has given to this survey has been on the subject of the primary results, which shows Romney ahead by 7 among 740 likely primary voters. Of course, since conservatives are unable to distinguish between primary polling and general election polling, this has been read as meaning that Romney will win WI over Obama by seven points. If you are one of those people, then it probably won't matter if I pull the actual results out of the actual release, because your mind is made up.
Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president? 
Registered Voters
Approve       50
Disapprove   40
Unsure         10
Total            100
Once again, we see that the 'hated tyrant' is in positive ground on job approval. Surely this is impossible, because Wisconsin has a Republican Governor, and it's still 2010.
If November's presidential election were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are:
Registered Voters
Barack Obama, the Democrat     52
Mitt Romney, the Republican       35
Undecided                                  13
Total                                           100 
If you are one of those people who actually believes in arithmetic, 52 minus 35 equals 17. Of course, that would indicate that Romney is losing to Obama by 17 points, so arithmetic is obviously part of the liberal academic conspiracy. 

Ron Paul loses WI in a match-up with Obama 51/36 (O +15). Paul doing better than Romney obviously means that Paul would 'win'. His win would just be on negative margin, of course.

Santorum comes out the strongest in a match-up with Obama, losing by only 13 points (51/38). When a double-digit loss is the best outcome in a match-up, it seems like that State is not going "red". With Santorum established as the "social conservative" candidate, let's look at how that position stacks up with voters in WI:
Which party comes closer to your views on social issues such as abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage:
Registered Voters
The Democratic party    45
The Republican party     41
Unsure                          14
Total                             100
Which political party do you think currently does a better job of appealing to people who are not among its hard-core supporters: 
Registered Voters
The Democratic party    48
The Republican party     32
Unsure                           20
Total                              100
If you read those numbers and think that focusing on the hard-core Republican base will win over the general electorate, then you are a wingnut. But let's look at the numbers for that Republican Governor, whose election surely guarantees that Wisconsin will go "red" in November:
Switching topics... Do you approve or disapprove of the job Scott Walker is doing as governor?
Registered Voters
Approve       48
Disapprove   48
Unsure          4
Total             100 
If the recall election for governor coming up in the next several months were held today, whom would you support:
Registered Voters
Governor Scott Walker, the Republican   46
The Democratic candidate                       48
Undecided                                              6
Total                                                      100
Okay, so the 'hated' Obama only has 40% disapproval, but the 'popular' Walker has 48% disapproval among WI voters. And 48% of the WI voters want to remove that 'popular' Governor from office. Now, after you are finished ranting about 'union thugs', socialism, conspiracies and the like, please explain how these numbers indicate that the current Republican Governor helps the Republican Party win the presidential election in Wisconsin. 

It's also interesting that only 25% of Wisconsin's registered voters consider themselves to be supporters of the Tea Party, with only 7% describing themselves as "strong supporters". 67% of the voters say that they do not support the Tea Party. However, 54% of the likely Republican primary voters consider themselves to be supporters of the Tea Party. Does this sound like the WI Republican Party is in line with the rest of the general electorate? 

Wisconsin, and it's 10 electoral votes (EV), is considered to be part of Obama's solid 239 EV base. In 2008, Obama won the State 56/43.

Previous polling for WI:
  • Rasmussen (500 LV, ±4.5% MoE, 2/27)        47/42 (O +5)
  • Rasmussen (500 LV, ±4.5% MoE, 3/27)        52/41 (O +11)
  • PPP (900 RV, ±3.27% MoE, 2/23 -2/26)        53/39 (O +14)
  • PPP (1170 RV, ±2.9% MoE, 10/20 - 10/23)    46/43 (O +3)
Pollster ratings from, based on 2010 elections: