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Why Mitt Romney Won’t Win the Post Debate Swing State Polls

From my good friend, John McLaughlin.

October 3, 2012

To: Interested Opinion Leaders

HANOVER, NH - OCTOBER 11:  Former Massachusett...

HANOVER, NH – OCTOBER 11: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during the Republican Presidential debate hosted by Bloomberg and the Washington Post on October 11, 2011 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Eight GOP candidates met for the first debate of the 2012 campaign focusing solely on the economy. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Tonight Mitt Romney could give the most effective debate performance since Ronald Reagan out debated President Carter, or even since Abraham Lincoln showed up Stephen Douglas, and Mitt Romney will still lose the post debate swing state polls. Why? Because the voter samples that the media pollsters will call are already stacked to favor Democrats over Republicans. It’s almost like a 1970’s Olympics where the Soviets have the East Germans as judges and referees. There’s just no way Mitt Romney can win these polls. Let’s look at the recent reality of actual voter registration and data in the most critical swing states and then compare them to the most recent media polls in each state.

Florida actually lists party registration for their 11.6 million registered voters. 4.6 million voters, or 40%, are Democrats, and 4.2 million voters, or 36%, are Republicans. When over 8 million Floridians vote this year, it will probably be close to the actual registration.

Florida’s most recent exit poll history shows that the average partisan total for the last 4 statewide elections, including the last 2 presidential elections, is: Democrats 37% and Republicans 38%.

2004 Democrat 37% Republican 41%.
2006 Democrat 36% Republican 39%.
2008 Democrat 37% Republican 34%.
2010 Democrat 36% Republican 36%.

Here are some recent biased Florida media polls (compare the level of Republicans):
9/26 CBS/NYTimes Democrat 36% Republican 27%
9/23 Washington Post Democrat 35% Republican 29%

The most recent CBS/NYTimes and Washington Post polls have Republicans at levels not seen in Florida since the 1960’s. How can Romney win the coming media polls with fewer Republicans represented than when Barry Goldwater ran for President?

Ohio doesn’t have registration by declared party, but the most recent exit poll history shows that the average partisan total for the last 4 statewide elections including the last 2 presidential elections is: Democrats 38% and Republicans 36%

2004 Democrat 35% Republican 40%
2006 Democrat 40% Republican 37%
2008 Democrat 40% Republican 31%
2010 Democrat 36% Republican 37%

Here are recent biased Ohio media polls:
9/26 CBS/NYTimes Democrat 35% Republican 26%
9/23 Washington Post Democrat 35% Republican 27%
9/11 NBC/Wall St Journal Democrat 38% Republican 28%

Again the most recent CBS/NYTimes, Washington Post and NBC/WSJ polls have Republicans again under 30% at levels not seen in Ohio since before the Civil War. Although we do have to note that as of this very morning NBC produced a new Ohio poll with 36% Democrats 31% Republicans and a closer Presidential race. At least they had Republicans over 30%. We’ll see if it grows closer to the historical average?

Finally Virginia is another key swing state with no party registration, but there are plenty of exit and recent polls tracking party affiliation. The most recent exit poll history shows that the average partisan total for the last 4 statewide elections including the last 2 presidential elections is: Democrats 36% and Republicans 37%

2004 Democrat 35% Republican 39%
2006 Democrat 36% Republican 39%
2008 Democrat 39% Republican 33%
2009 Democrat 33% Republican 37%

Here are the recent biased Virginia media polls:
10/2 Roanoke College Democrat 36% Republican 27%
9/17 CBS/NYTimes Democrat 35% Republican 26%
9/16 Washington Post Democrat 35% Republican 24%
9/11 NBC/Wall St Journal Democrat 31% Republican 26%

Once again the most recent CBS/NYTimes and Washington Post polls have Republicans well under 30% as did the NBC/WSJ poll – at levels not seen in decades. Again we do have to note that NBC produced a Virginia poll this very morning with Democrats at 32% and Republicans 30%. We’ll see if the Republican number moves closer in future polls to the actual the historical average.

The impact of this bias for Mitt Romney and Republican candidates has been devastating, because, as Democrats vote 90% for their own, so do Republicans. Therefore for every point the Republicans are diluted and taken down, Romney loses a point.

How are all these media polls showing such a drop off of Republican voters? They have changed their methodology to the Axelrod methodology. Having been an exit poll analyst for 8 national elections for CBS radio, we’ve seen first hand the lobbying of the media polls by both parties. Most famous were the calls from Democrat operatives during election day in 2000 to call Florida for Al Gore while the polls were still open. CBS radio didn’t make the bad call, but Dan Rather did. Then in 2002 the exit polls collapsed due to a lack of quality control. In 2004 all the pollsters who weighted their data back to 2000 turnout models, were aghast when the votes were actually counted and proved their polls wrong. John Kerry would not be President.

So recently it was revealed by the Daily Caller that Obama’s most senior campaign strategist David Axelrod has been lobbying Gallup Poll staffers saying that their polls were “saddled with some methodological problems”. Dick Morris reported that Axelrod was upset at Gallup for “generating polling data negative to the President.” Gallup didn’t change their methods and by coincidence found the Justice Department suing them with an unrelated lawsuit. You only have to wonder if these other media pollsters received emails, calls and visits about the correct Axelrod methodology.

So what’s the common Axelrod methodology that causes the media polls to under count Republicans? Are they calling registered voters from the publicly available lists with actual voter history? Those lists easily reflect the 130 million voters who turned out in 2008, or 2010, or have registered since those elections. They truly represent the actual voter population. Good scientific sampling would say pull a random sample of voters from the actual population of voters.

However, David Axelrod has been urging pollsters to randomly dial phones exchanges and cell phone exchanges and merge them somehow without regard to voter affiliation. The 2010 Census said that the American Voting Age Population was over 230 million adults. About 40% don’t vote. Calling the 100 million eligible adults who choose not to register, or are registered, but don’t vote, waters down enthusiastic Republicans. Who knows if the person who is talking to the NBC pollster is really registered to vote? Overall there’s about a quarter of a million landlines in the United States that could be called. Plenty more than actual voters. However, if that doesn’t dilute the Republicans enough, there’s over 330 million wireless cell phone connections in the United States that can be randomly dialed.

So these swing state media pollsters are just randomly dialing the phone book and cell phone listings to water down Republican votes. The deck is stacked. Regardless how Mitt Romney does tonight he can’t win the post debate polls – unless they call voter lists and make sure the demographics match the real voter file for age, gender, race geography and even party.

It would be very interesting if someone in the mainstream media actually called an actual voter list to compare that result to the randomly dialed phone exchanges result. Romney might actually win. We may never know. Just like 2000 and 2004 and 2008, on November 6, we just may have to actually count the votes to really know who’s going to win.

(Full disclosure: we do poll for Republican candidates, but do NOT work for the Romney campaign.)

McLaughlin and Associates


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