Morning Jay: Underestimating Republicans, Newsweek Strikes Again, and Time To Purge!
6:30 AM, Oct 25, 2010 • By JAY COST
1. Are State Polls Underestimating Republican Strength? Yes, says Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics. He writes:
The most relevant question is thus: what mix of Republicans and Democrats are the pollsters finding? Trende continues:
Why is 2004 an important year? It was a year in which both party bases were – to borrow a phrase – “fired up, ready to go.” In contrast, 2006 and 2008 were years in which Democratic enthusiasm outpaced Republican enthusiasm. This suggests that Republican strength could be systematically underestimated in these polls. On average, if you reweight recent polls in the top Senate contests using the 2006 party spreads, a Republican advantage of 0.24 percent expands to 1.38 percent. Reweight to the 2004 party spreads, and it grows to 2.73 percent.
On the other hand, some pollsters that don’t make assumptions that ultimately favor Democrats have been getting criticized at establishment media outlets. In general, it seems to me that polling itself is increasingly becoming politicized this cycle. This is something to be aware of.
2. 54-40 or Fight! Bad news, gang. Newsweek says the Republican rout is off:
Wow-wee! Somebody better tell the president, as he is visiting deep blue Rhode Island today. He needs to start pressing into conservative territory -- the GOP might be set to lose seats!
In all seriousness, though, look again at Obama’s job approval in Newsweek: 54-40. Meanwhile, the average of the other polls of adults in the RealClearPolitics average shows President Obama’s job approval slightly under 45 percent. It is possible that random variation alone could produce this Newsweek result, but it is quite unlikely. This poll is not just an outlier. It is an outlier among outliers.