Thursday, November 01, 2012
For most polls this election has a simple story. Obama lead from the beginning, had a bad first debate where suddenly Romney seemed credible and they were tied, and Obama has been inching and trying to claw his way back up and now leads by less then a point.
This is shown by all nearly all polls. I am only going to exclude two pollsters out of dozens to show this.
There are two pollsters who have strong Republican leanings and were not very accurate in the 2008 and 2010 elections compared to others. Rasmussen is known as a Republican lean poll and is the only one who excludes cell phones and weights its polls according to what it thinks the turnout by party will be. Gallup has a long history but has become very conservative and has been criticized for recently overweighting the South on national polls, some wrong methodology, and using a likely voter model that induces big swings that makes sure that Gallup polls are often talked about. Unfortunately because of their conservative bias and frequency these are the pollsters Republicans and conservatives almost exclusively use, when they aren't criticizing all polls and not recognizing the science behind polling.
Here is the conservative poll story using just Gallup and Rasmussen. The polls varied often after Romney got the nomination with both sides having leads until early summer where Obama got the lead and kept it until the first debate. After the first debate Romney took the lead has been increasing his lead almost daily until it is now four points.
Because of their methodologies and recent history I go with the average of all the other pollsters and think the Gallup and Rasmussen polls have it wrong.