This blog is still alive, just in semi-hibernation.
When I want to write something longer than a tweet about something other than math or sci-fi, here is where I'll write it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Watching the watchmen:
Final grades 2012, PPP vs. Rasmussen


Officially, Public Policy Polling (PPP) is a Democratic funded polling company. Unofficially, Rasmussen Polls is independent.

The numbers from the final week of polling tell a simply astonishing tale.

Some Bush administration official called the mainstream press, which they considered hopelessly biased, "the reality based community". The underlying point was the press would report what happened, but the new GOP would create what happened, and the press would simply fall behind.

The GOP lost a lot of power in the past few years and reality wants some payback.


PPP worked a LOT harder than Rasmussen in the last week at the state level for both presidential and senatorial races. Remarkably, they did not call a single tie.  When it was tied, they let guys like me see the secret stuff, the exact counts of polls. By my way of measuring things as a person with nearly two decades of grading experience, they made some very wise choices by showing all work.

Presidential races.

PPP polls show Romney ahead in AZ, MO, MT and NC: Romney wins all those states.

PPP polls show Obama ahead in CO, CT, FL, IA, ME, MI, MN, NH, NV, OH, OR, PA, VA, WA and WI: Obama wins all those states.

Senatorial races

PPP shows Republicans ahead in AZ and NV: Republicans win both those races.

PPP shows Democrats ahead in CT, FL, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, OH, PA, VA, WA and WI: Democrats win all those races.

That's 33-0, pretty stunning. You might think that is something like going 32-0 in the first round of March Madness, but this is actually much easier.  Some of those contests really weren't contests at all and every poll agreed for months.

If any right winger stumbles around the part of the Internet they don't control and see this, you might have read somewhere in your comfortable nest that this election was stolen.

Let me remind you of a quote from Joe Kennedy, the arch conservative father of the Kennedy clan. "I'll buy you an election, Jack, but I'll be damned if I'll buy you a landslide."

And given all the money on the other side, buying a landslide now would be prohibitively expensive. All evidence points to this being the will of the people, sick of being insulted in droves.




And now to Rasmussen. One remarkable thing here is how little polling they did in the last seven days. I'm guessing Scott Rasmussen is in a quiet dark room, fumbling with prayer beads and asking the Almighty to let him keep his syndicated TV show long enough to make up for all the polling contracts he's going to lose.

Presidential races.

Rasmussen polls show Romney ahead in CO, IA, IN and VA: Romney wins Indiana and loses the rest. The worst numbers are in Colorado, where Rasmussen misses the margin of victory by 7.7%.

Rasmussen reports tie contests in OH and WI: Obama wins Ohio by 1.9% and Wisconsin by 6.7%.

Rasmussen polls show Obama ahead in NH: Rasmussen gets one right, though under-reporting the margin by 3.8%.

Senatorial races

Rasmussen shows Democrats ahead in IN, MT and OH: Three successes in terms of win-loss, but still under-reporting the margins by, 3.6%, 2,9% and 3.2% respectively.

Rasmussen shows a tie in WI:The Democrat wins by 5.6%.

Okay, if we throw out widespread voter fraud, what other options are there?

The Republicans really are this stupid and incompetent.  This is possible, as you will see in the companies I call the off-brand partisan polls, The Democrats do very well and the Republicans make mistake after mistake. I have a hard time believing that no Republican company can hire a single honest competent person. Just because it's hard to believe does not prove that this isn't the case.

The Republican infrastructure played a long con this year:  Citizens United opened a floodgate and even with the economy a mess, demographics are not in the Republicans' favor and will never be again unless the party changes dramatically on every level, local, state and federal. I do not believe the Republicans are all inept, but I do believe more than a few of them are dishonest. If Jack Abramoff salivated at the idea of naive owners of Indian casinos paying for access, think of how Karl Rove felt when he landed a solitary super-whale like Sheldon Adelson. Adelson backed Newt Gingrich in the primary, a strong sign he is not the sharpest crayon in the box, and even decided to attack Romney with anti-Bain ads. The word was he hated Santorum and even when Newt was clearly road kill, he made sure Santorum would not be the final and successful Not Romney.

Looking at the relative lengths of my explanations for each case, you might well think I have my own pet theory.

You might very well think that, I couldn't possibly comment.

The second part dealing with the lesser partisan polls will be published this evening.

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