Archive for the ‘Polls & Surveys’ Category

Gains, losses, the endowment effect … and ObamaCare

March 3, 2017

Here’s why repeal & replace is so challenging …

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Behavioral theorists have long observed that most people are risk adverse and, due in part to an “endowment effect”, they “value” losses greater than gains.

Endowment Effect: People tend to ascribe a higher value to things that they already own than to comparable things that they don’t own. For example, a car-seller might think his sleek machine is “worth” $10,000 even though credible appraisers say it’s worth $7,500. Sometimes the difference is due to information asymmetry (e.g. the owner knows more about the car’s fine points), but usually it’s just a cognitive bias – the Endowment Effect.

The chart below illustrates the gains & losses concept.

  • Note that the “value line” is steeper on the losses side of the chart than on the gains side.
  • L & G are equivalently sized changes from a current position.
  • The gain (G) generates an increase in value equal to X.
  • The loss (L) generates a decrease in value that is generally found to be 2 to 3 times an equivalently sized gain

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For example, would you take any of these coin flip gambles?

  1. Heads: win $100; Tails: lose $100
  2. Heads: win $150; Tails: lose $100
  3. Heads: win $200; Tails: lose $100
  4. Heads: win $300; Tails: lose $100

Most people pass on #1 and #2, but would hop on #3 and #4.

OK, now let’s show how all of this relates to ObamaCare.

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“Most Americans support ObamaCare” … say, what?

January 5, 2017

18% say the law has helped their families; 29% say it has hurt them

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ObamaCare is front-and-center again as the GOP controlled Congress starts the process of repealing and replacing.

A repeated Dem talking point yesterday was how the majority of Americans support ObamaCare.

Sorry, Charlie, but the data doesn’t seem to support the claim.

Gallup has been tracking public sentiment towards ObamaCare for the past couple of years.

Bottom line:

More people have disapproved of ObamaCare since its inception … for most of the past 4 years, a majority has disapproved … most recently, the there has been a 7 point gap – 51% disapproving to 44% approving.

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Why the majority disapproval ?

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They didn’t get Michelle O’s memo on hopelessness …

January 3, 2017

Majority of Americans expect 2017 to be better than 2016.

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FLOTUS Michelle Obama chatted with slimmed-down Oprah recently, lauding her hubbies accomplishments (and fretting that the era of hope & change is ending, replaced by pervasive (and justified) melancholy.

She asserted that her husband had succeeded in keeping his campaign promise of fostering hope.

And, she opined: “The U.S. is entering a time of hopelessness  We are feeling what not having hope feels like. We can feel the difference now.”

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Worry not, Michelle.

Polling firm GFK conducted a survey for the AP that asked people how 2016 was for them personally and what their expectations are for 2017.

Here’s what they found …

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Flashback: Revenge of the unintelligensia?

November 11, 2016

Will “uneducated” voters determine the 2016 Presidential election?

Originally posted July 20, 2016

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The most recent Washington Post poll – showing Hillary leading Donald by a couple of points — provides some very interesting drill down data … it’s worth some browsing time.

Buried in the numbers is some interesting data…..

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MSM headlines frequently stereotype Trump’s supporters as non-college degreed whites … and often, the label is shorthanded as a more pejorative “uneducated”, i.e. mind-numbed dummies.

According to the WaPo poll, it’s true that Trump is favored by “white non-college” almost 2-to-1 … 60% to 33%

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No surprise there …

But, here are some findings that did surprise me a bit since they never gets spotlighted in the mainstream media…

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A pollster who nailed it …

November 9, 2016

An unconventional technique found Trump’s “hidden” support.

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In a pre-election poll, the Trafalgar Group conclude that Trump had hidden support from an additional 3 percent to 9 percent of voters who didn’t want to reveal their true opinions to pollsters.

The company is betting its future by publicly testing — at its own expense — its own methods.

Trafalgar’s CEO Robert Cahaly says:

“On Wednesday, I’m either going to be guy who got it right, or nobody is going to listen to me anymore.”

                    Monday, November 7, 2016
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Trafalgar’s polls are unconventional, designed to capture opinions from people who otherwise avoid lengthy interviews on the phone.

Here’s how they do it …

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Since 1912, this model has only mis-called one Presidential elections…

November 8, 2016

I just wanted to get this one onthe record before the polls close.

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Helmut Norpoth, a political-science professor at Stony Brook University, has a Presidential election model that is largely driven by how well a candidate did in his/her party’s primary elections.

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Before you chuckle … Norpath’s model has correctly predicted the winner of every presidential election since 1912, with the exception of 2000.

Earlier in the year, Norpoth predicted an 87% chance that Trump would prevail since he vanquished 15 competitors (winning NH & SC) –while Clinton tight tussled Bernie Sanders (losing both NH &SC).

Now, despite the plethora of polls showing Clinton ahead by at least 3 percentage points, Norpoth is sticking by the results of his model

He says: “If [Clinton] was leading by 10 or 20 points, I would say this is not going to be my year, but I don’t see it. It’s so close. It’s certainly do-able [for him], even when you look at the polls.”

Norpoth will “certainly have bragging rights if he’s right,” since just about everyone else is calling the race for Clinton.

Source

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No one can ever accuse Prof. Norpoth of “herding” – the tendency of forecasters go with most popular prediction.

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How many eligible citizens turnout to vote?

November 8, 2016

What’s the “mix” by party affiliation?

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By diving deeper into the widely varying polls, the obvious became evident to me.

By and large, the polls get about the same same answers by ‘type’ of voter … e.g. about 90% of voters throw their support behind their party’s candidate.

So, the variance in ‘headline’ numbers is almost entirely attributable to party-affiliation ‘mix’ – the proportion of voters from each party that are expected to turnout to vote.

Polls assuming that many more Dems will vote than GOPs say that Hillary is up by 4 or 5 points; polls that say there will be about an equal number of Dems & GOP turning out narrow the difference or give the edge to Trump.

Given that this will be a turnout election, I dove a bit deeper into voting trends, just to get some historical context for this election.

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For openers, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center

In 2012, there were about 219 million citizens eligible to vote … 57.5% (126 million) of them did vote.

Note that 1960 was the high-water mark (64.8%), not 2008 (62.5%).

And, note that 2012 was down about 5 percentage points from 2008.

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This year, most pundits are predicting that about 130 million will vote.

Clinton is trying to stir enthusiasm to hold together the Obama coalition; Trump is counting on an increase in the number of working-class voters.

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Now, lets’s look at the partisan mix – the factor that will determine this year’s election….

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Election Day: Final Election Polls

November 8, 2016

LA Times: Trump +3

IBD: Trump +2

Media Herd: Clinton + 3.3

Nate Silver: Clinton + 3.6

Monmouth College: Clinton + 6

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L.A. Times Tracking: Trump + 3

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IBD: Trump + 2

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Media Herd: Clinton + 3.3

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Nate Silver 538: Clinton + 3.6

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Monmouth University: Clinton +6

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IBD: “Trump lead widens to 2”

November 7, 2016

Reminder: IBD was the most accurate poll in 2012.*

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Sub-headline: “His biggest lead yet”

Nit-pick: More precisely, it’s 2.4 points

Partisan split: Roughly equal representation of Democrats, Republicans and Independents

Noteworthy: Still over 5% are “not sure”

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* According to Nate Silver:

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Sunday polls: Pick your favorite …

November 6, 2016

There’s a poll for everybody today … pick one that confirms your biases.

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WaPo: Clinton +4 

Turnout: Dems +7 (Dems 37%, GOP 30%, Independents 29%)

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IBD: Trump +1 

Most accurate in 2012

Turnout: +3 (Dems 37%, GOP 34%, Independents 29%)

Turnout assumption differences fully account for differences in IBD and WaPo

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LA Times: Trump +6

Statistically significant: outside the margin of error

4th most accurate in 2012

No turnout assumptions reported

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Nate Silver: Clinton +3

Clinton 2 to 1 favorite to win.

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Poll watching: A tale of 2 polls …

November 6, 2016

Here are the numbers to keep your eye on …

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In yesterday’s post, we highlighted how sensitive “headline” poll results are to the assumed party-affiliation mix of voters.

Let’s add another piece to the puzzle: there are 2 sets of data that have to be closely watched when trying to make sense of the polls:

(1) the assumed party-affiliation mix of voters, and

(2) the survey-determined voter preferences by party affiliation.

I know that’s common sense … what I didn’t realize is how much those numbers vary from poll-to-poll.

To illustrate the point, let’s look at 2 polls: FoxNews (presumed to lean right) and Washington Post – ABC (presumed to lean left).

The most recent Fox poll had the race as essentially a dead heat … slight Clinton lead.

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A recent WaPo poll had Clinton up by a couple of points.

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OK,let’s play around a bit with the numbers …

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Nums: Somebody explain this gender gap thing to me …

November 5, 2016

The numbers just don’t square with the narrative.

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OK, I understand the simple explanation:

Clinton can make history as the first woman President.

Trump is a crude billionaire playboy.

Women are sensible and sensitive.

Men are … well they’re men.

So, it makes sense that Trump leads by 11 points among men … and Clinton leads by 13 points among women.

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FoxNews Poll Nov. 4

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But, digging a little deeper into the numbers, things get a bit confusing…

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Nums: Let’s look at turnout math …

November 5, 2016

Very small changes in the Dem / GOP mix make a YUGE difference.

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A recent WaPo poll had Clinton over Trump by 2 points.

Naturally, voter preference varied by self-proclaimed party affiliation:

Clinton got 86% of of the Dem vote; Trump got 88% of the GOP vote.

Independents went 47% to Trump and 40% to Clinton.

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WaPo weighted their sample 37% Dems, 30% GOP and 29% Independents.

In concept that weighting should represent WaPo’s best guess as to the mix of voters on election day.

Some pundits argue that WaPo’s aggregate tally over-weights towards Dems.

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. We’ll know in a couple of days.

For today, let’s just play around with the numbers to demonstrate how critical the turnout assumptions are …

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Silver: Breach in Hillary’s blue firewall ?

November 4, 2016

Trump’s chances are up to about 1 in 3, according to Dem-darling pollster Nate Silver.

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And, looking at the race’s dynamics, Silver see’s some red flags:

There’s been a potential breach of Hillary Clinton’s electoral firewall.

And it’s come in New Hampshire, a state that we said a couple of weeks ago could be a good indicator of a Donald Trump comeback because of its large number of swing voters.

Three new polls of New Hampshire released today showed a tied race … other recent polls of New Hampshire still show a Clinton ahead. But the race has clearly tightened in New Hampshire, with Clinton leading by only 2 to 3 percentage points in our forecast.

If Clinton lost New Hampshire but won her other firewall states, each candidate would finish with 269 electoral votes, taking the election to the House of Representatives.

Or maybe not — if Clinton also lost the 2nd Congressional District of Maine, where polls show a tight race and where the demographics are unfavorable to her, Trump would win the Electoral College 270-268, probably despite losing the popular vote.

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Is Virginia in the bag for Hillary?

November 4, 2016

Based on recent history, I think not.

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Yesterday we posted results from a Hampton College poll that had Trump pulling to within 3 points of Clinton … after trailing by double digits just a week or so again.

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I have no idea whether Hampton College polls are credible, or not.

But, the most recent results brought to mind the 2014 Senate race between incumbent Democrat Mark Warner and former RNC head Ed Gillespie.

As Nate Silver put it:

Everything favored Warner.

He’d raised considerably more money than Gillespie and won overwhelmingly in 2008.

Gillespie — while an experienced political hand as the former head of the Republican National Committee — had never run for public office before.

Source

Right before the election, the polls had Warner up by about 9 points.

Gillespie was closing, but the gap was big.

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So, what was the outcome?

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Poll: Trump up by 3 in Virginia

November 3, 2016

From the pollsters at Hampton College:

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The latest Hampton University Center for Public Policy (CPP) poll reveals that the FBI’s decision to reopen the Hillary Clinton email investigation may have triggered a boost for Donald Trump with likely voters in Virginia.
  
Democratic Presidential nominee Clinton had a two point lead before the email news story broke on Friday Oct. 28.

She is now trailing three points behind Republican Presidential nominee Trump.

Trump has erased a 12 point deficit reported by the CPP in early October. 

This is the first time Clinton has trailed in the CPP polls this year.

The latest poll was conducted Oct. 26-30.

When Virginians were asked if the election were held today, 44 percent of those surveyed would vote for Trump and 41 percent would choose Clinton,

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Poll Shocker: Trump up by 6 in LA Times tracking poll …

November 2, 2016

IBD: dead heat  …  WaPo: Trump +1

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LAT: Trump +6 … beyond the 95% confidence level

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IBD: Race tied

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WaPo-ABC: Trump +1 (was Clinton +12 last week)

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WaPo Poll: Republicans are “coming home”

November 1, 2016

… and, some Dems are jumping ship.

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A snippet from the WaPo’s poll analysis:

Consolidation for Trump within his own party has been one part of the post-FBI dynamic:

Trump has gone from a low of 82 percent support among Republicans early in the tracking period to 89 percent now, his high.

Clinton, meanwhile has gone from a high of 90 percent support among Democrats to 87 percent now.

The latest results mark the first time in tracking that Trump has had numerically higher support among Republicans than Clinton’s among Democrats, 89 vs. 87 percent.

Adding in ideology, the tracking poll shows Clinton going from 95 percent support among liberal Democrats early in the tracking poll to 88 percent now.

Trump’s gone from 89 percent among conservative Republicans to 94 percent now.

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RCP: Trump closes to 2.4 points

November 1, 2016

HomaFiles poll-of-polls: dead heat.

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HomaFiles (HFS) tracks IBD (most accurate in 2012), LA Times (4th most accurate in 2012)  and WaPo (adds balance from the left) …

HFS average: dead heat.

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When will Obama pardon Clinton?

November 1, 2016

… and a couple of other pivotal questions.

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Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney and don’t offer legal advice …. just personal opinions and an occasional fact!

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Pivotal Questions

1) To Hillary: Will you accept the results of the election?

Of course, she has to answer to the affirmative since she blasted Trump for insinuating that the election might be rigged.

Funny when the shoe is on the other foot …

But, you can bet that she’ll fight the results tooth-and-nail if she loses.

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2) To Hillary: Will you accept the FBI’s decision to indict (or not)?

Hmm.

Likely answer: I’ll continue to cooperate with the FBI, and will continue to vigorously defend my innocence.

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3) Legal question: Once elected, can Clinton be indicted?

Not as straightforward as it sound.

According to former Judge Andrew Napolitano (Libertarian, Fox contributor, matriculated at Princeton when I was there):

Civil actions against a President can be pursued during a President’s tenure (e.g. Paula Jones vs. Bill Clinton), but criminal charges are suspended until a President leaves office.

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My read: If elected, she can be indicted between now and Inauguration Day …. but, after being sworn in, she can’t be indicted until she leaves office … either voluntarily or involuntarily (2-terms, voted out or impeached)

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4) To Hillary: If elected and then indicted, will you pardon yourself?

It is her legal right to pardon herself, whether or not an indictment is handed down.

That is, she can pro-actively issue a pardon to herself to stop proceedings and avert a prospective indictment.

Of course, such a pardon is likely to cause political repercussions, hinder her Presidency and taint her legacy.

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5) To Hillary: If elected and then indicted, will you resign?

Answer: “You gotta be kidding”

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6) To Obama: Will you pardon Clinton and her posse?

Likely answer: I have faith in their innocence and the legal system … blah, blah, blah.

Real answer: Of course I will.

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7) To Obama: If you do pardon Clinton, when will you do it?

My bet: 4 scenarios ….

If Trump takes a sizable lead in the next couple of days, Obama will do nothing and hang Hillary out to dry.

If  Hillary takes a lead, Obama will count on the Dem turnout machine and do nothing … until the election is complete.

If Trump takes a significant lead, Obama will swing for the fences and pardon her this week “for the good of the country”.

If Hillary gets elected, Obama will immediately pardon her … again, “for the good of the country”.

If Hillary doesn’t get elected, she’s on her own.

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8) Legal question: Can Congress continue to investigate emailgate regardless of the FBI decision or results of the election?

You bet … a GOP controlled Congress will continue to dog Clinton if she gets elected … but let it drop if Trump wins.

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LA Times: Trump +4 post-FBI announcement.

October 31, 2016

The LA Times poll – 4th most accurate in 2012 – had the race tied a week ago.

Now, it’s Trump 47, Clinton 43 …

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Our poll-of-polls: Dead heat !

October 31, 2016

Bottom line: Trump seems to have gotten a 2 to 3 point bounce from the FBI action … pulling even with Clinton.

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Recap: WaPo & IBD have Clinton still up by 1 point … LA Times has Trump up 2 … average = dead heat.

 

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LA Times / USC

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WaPo: 12 => 6 => 4 => 2

October 29, 2016

Latest poll results before FBI re-opening of the case …

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English translation: WaPo has reduced over-weighting of Dems in their headline numbers.

So, the answer is …

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WaPo: “Err, let’s call it 4 points, not 6”

October 28, 2016

Update to this morning’s post …

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Hot off the Washington Post presses …

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P.S. Amazon misses earnings forecast … and warns that operating income may fall to zero.

Not a good day for Jeff Bezos ….

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WaPo: “Forget 12 points, maybe it’s only 6″

October 28, 2016

Can a race change that much in 3 days?

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Earlier in the week, we tried to make sense of the WaPo-ABC poll that had Clinton leading by 12 … while IBD – the most accurate poll in 2012 had the race tied.

The 12 points just didn’t smell right.

Well, guess what?

WaPo-ABC is out with new poll results halving the Clinton lead to 6 points.

 

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So, what happened between Monday and Wednesday?

Not much as well as I can tell, except ….

WaPo-ABC juggled with their party weightings.

A couple of days ago, only 27% of likely voters were Republican … now it’s 29%.

That accounts for some (less than 2) of the 6 points.

The rest?

Can’t tell … they don’t report the details for voter preference by party, gender, race, etc.

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What are the other polls saying?

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More about the 12 point spread between WaPo and IBD polls ….

October 26, 2016

Bottom line: The devil is indeed in the details.

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Let’s get really numbers geeky today ….

To satisfy, my curiosity, I dug a bit deeper into the 12 point difference between the recent Washington Post – ABC Poll (Clinton +12) and the historically accurate IBD poll (race tied).

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Avid Trump supporters claim  that WaPo over-sampled Dems … boosting Hillary’s numbers.

Break that into 2 parts: (1) Did WaPo over-sample Dems? (2) More generally, does over-sampling matter?

First, let’s draw a distinction between “over-sampling” and “over-weighting”.

Over-sampling means surveying more people in a particular group than their proportionate share of the population.

Over-weighting is disproportionately counting folks in a particular group when compiling an overall total.

Specifically, IBD says that it polls Democrats, Republicans and Independents in roughly the same numbers.

In other words, they over-sample Republicans and Independents since more than 1/3 of likely voters are Democrats (or, so they say).

But, IBD corrects for the over-sampling by re-weighting based on population proportions derived by separate studies called “enumeration surveys”.

Specifically, the IBD poll weights Democrats 36%, Republicans 30% and Independents 34%, assuming that mix is representative of likely voter turnout.

Note: overall, headline total numbers are highly sensitive to these turnout assumptions.  Since roughly 85% of folks typically vote for their party’s nominee, each point shift in the turnout assumptions changes the weighted average by almost a point.  And, these turnout ratios are derived outside of surveys based on the enumeration studies and political analysis.

As near as I can tell, the WaPo turnout weightings are about the same as IBD’s … maybe a couple of points more skewing to the Dems … maybe accounting for 2 or 3 of the 12 points.

No big deal.

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Digging deeper is where things start to get really interesting.

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Holy WikiLeaks: Team Clinton has been dinking with the polls …

October 25, 2016

If you get all of your news from the MSM, you might have missed this one.

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As loyal readers know, I’ve been trying to figure out why there is such a wide range in poll results.

At the extremes, the Washington Post has Clinton up by 12 … and IBD – the most accurate poll in the last Presidential campaign – is calling the race a dead heat.

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I can understand a couple of points of difference … but, a 12 point spread ????

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Well, courtesy of WikiLeaks, here’s a partial explanation…

 

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According to ZeroHedge.com

One of the leaked emails reveals that Team Clinton had an active program in place to consult with pollsters in an effort to “manufacture” data in order to “maximize what we (the Clinton campaign) get out of our media polling.”

Note the key word: “media” … as in Washington Post, ABC, NBC, Huff Post … the usual band of suspects.

Specifically, they coached media pollster how to “oversample” certain groups that tend to be more favorable to Clinton:

Think: Democrats, minorities, urbanites, West Coasters, Native Americans, etc.

The purloined email even attaches a handy, 37-page guide with poll-rigging recommendations.

Check out the ZeroHedge.com article to see the email, the attachment, the names of the key players and, most important, an analysis of why this matters.

Bottom line: if a candidate gets a large share of a specific group and that group is over-sampled (say more Democrats), then the candidate’s poll results get a bump.

I can understand why a campaign would want to juice the numbers – to build supporters’ enthusiasm and to get opponents discouraged.

But, I don’t understand why the media outlets would put themselves out on such a public limb.

Eventually, the actual results will be known and any shenanigans will come out in the wash.

Maybe these guys don’t care.

A classic case of ends justifying the means I guess.

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Past performance is no guarantee for future performance, but …

October 24, 2016

The most accurate polls in the 2012 election have the race tied.

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I’m really intrigued by the wide variance in polling results for this year’s election.

The most publicized polls – usually associated with MSM or university sponsors — have Hillary up by 5 or 6 points.

That feels about right to me.

But, there are a couple of outliers that have Trump either tied or marginally ahead.

Those polls are usually dismissed by the MSM as “unscientific” since they might not use “pure” random sampling or might not have a live call center person asking the questions or use some form of rolling sample technique (vs. a fresh start with each poll).

Rather than looking at methodologies – all of which have issues – I thought I’d look at past performance ….

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Nate Silver is the polling darling of the left – largely because he boldly predicted Obama’s win in 2008 – early, often and loud.

His FiveThirtyEight group did an analysis of pollster accuracy in the 2012 election.

Results are revealing …

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For starters, note that 4 of the top 7 pollsters – based on actual 2012 performance — use the much blasphemed internet polling methodology.

Pollsters using the RoboCall method (“press 1 for Hillary, 2 for Trump”) fared in the middle of the pack.

Traditional phone call surveys were sprinkled throughout the standings … and landed in 5 of the bottom 6 spots.

Also note that a couple of the most often reported “scientific” polls – Quinnipiac, Marist, Washington Post / ABC – are in the middle of the pack

Two of the current “outlier” polls – IBD and LA Times (nee. Rand Corp poll) were #1 and #4 in accuracy.

Hmmm.

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Let’s dig a bit deeper …

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What’s Nate Silver saying about the election?

October 23, 2016

Answer: Not looking good for the Trumpster.

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Nate Silver is the left-leaning pollster who made his mark being early, often and loud predicting Obama’s 2008 victory.

These days, he’s saying that Hillary has an 87% of winning the election … based on an average of polls tracked and massaged by his FiveThirtyEight group.

 

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More specifically, Silver says that there’s a:

  • 2 in 3 chance that Clinton wins by the same margin as Obama did … or better
  • 1 in 3 chance that Clinton wins in a blow-out

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Looks pretty bleak for The Donald based on Silvers recap.

But …  tomorrow, we’ll use some of Silver’s own numbers to paint a different picture of the race.

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Proof: Foreigners are disrupting the election process …

October 21, 2016

Psst: It’s not the Russians

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Let’s start with a couple of caveats and disclaimers:

1. Breitbart is real far right … very pro-Trump.

2. This isn’t a “scientific” analysis

3. This certainly doesn’t answer the question: who won the debate.

That said, I thought this was pretty interesting.

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Most overnight “click polls” had Trump winning the first 2 debates.

So, a cottage industry developed to trash those polls as “unscientific”.

Now that didn’t stop CNN from gleefully reporting “even far-right website Breitbart’s overnight poll had Hillary Clinton winning the final presidential debate by 6 percentage points”.

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Kudos to Breitbart for reporting the numbers; shame-shame to CNN for reversing course legitimizing click-polls.

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Well, Breitbart dug into the numbers to figure out what was going on.

Here’s what they found …..

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If everything is going so good …

October 19, 2016

… then why are so few folks satisfied with the way things are going?

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OK, Obama inherited a mess from Bush.

According to Gallup:

Under Bush, “satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S.” dropped from the high-60s that Clinton handed over to him.

When he left office satisfaction was generally in the low 20s … a big drop.

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No problem.

Prior Presidents got things back on track.

Reagan pulled us out of the Carter malaise … and Clinton turned things around after Bush, Sr.

Obama promised to usher in an era of hope & change, right?

How has that worked out?

Fine if you listen to him … or Hillary on the stump.

But, fact is, he didn’t move the needle much … a couple of points, at best.

So, tell me again, why are so many folks argue that we should stay the course?

Has dissatisfaction become the new normal?

As one candidate would say, “What the hell do you have to lose?”

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What do Americans fear the most?

October 18, 2016

The answer may surprise you and, for sure,  presents an ironic twist.

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Chapman University does an annual survey of Americans’ fears

Here’s some quick background ….

The study queries on 11 “Domains of Fear”:

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The study deep dives into specific fears within each domain:

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OK, make your pick from the above list. 

What do Americans fear the most?

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Which poll was most accurate in the 2012 Presidential race?

October 17, 2016

The answer may surprise you … and, give some of you heartburn.

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The most reported polling result is probably the RealClearPolitics poll-of-polls … the average across the hal-dozen or so polls that RCP deems to be the most credible.

In 2012, the RCP average just before the election – the purple line below — pegged Obama’s lead at about 1 point.

Obama ended up winning by about 4 points.

That’s a pretty big miss.

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The poll that came the closest according to RCP was the Rand Poll  … the aqua line above.

Rand had Obama as a 3 point favorite … within a point of the final tally.

So, how come we’re not hearing about the Rand poll these days?

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Forget the polls … watch the ratings.

October 16, 2016

News isn’t good for the Donald.

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The headline reads:

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That’s what the numbers say, but I don’t think that it’s the big story….

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Is Hillary’s bump from the debates or Aleppo ?

October 3, 2016

This stuck me as interesting …

Trump had a bad week … bombing the debate and chasing Miss Piggy around.

And, apparently, Hillary got a post-debate bump.

Note: The “apparently” … LA Times survey still has Trump up … and there has been a curious lack of so-called “scientific polls released since the debate.  Hmmm.

Let’s cut numbers a slightly different way ….

Over the past week or so, Clinto has gained about 2 points in the 4-way polls.

During that same period, Johnson & Stein have fallen from a combined 12% to under 10%.

That’s roughly 2 points, right?

Hmmm.

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Also during that time, Johnson plead the 5th on Aleppo and had trouble naming a world leader – any world leader.

Could Hillary’s gain be more Aleppo than the debates?

Counterintuitive, but maybe the debates didn’t really change the landscape very much.

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Polls: Total garbage … or, canaries in the coal mine?

September 30, 2016

Pundits are trashing online polls and praising “scientific” ones.

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Let’s take some risk today …

As I write this, the expected flurry of so-called scientific post-debate polls haven’t hit the airwaves yet.

Early on Tuesday, we posted about the online polls that showed Trump to have won the debate.

I pointed out that I thought Trump got crushed so I was surprised … especially since the polls were from a range of sites from far-right Drudge to far-left CBS-NY.

I doubted that the shaky Trump organization has a system in place to troll all those sites and stuff all those ballot boxes.

Well, the mass media went nuts … disparaging those polls and putting their golden eggs in the basket of the scientific polls.

Case in point the newspaper of record: the NY Times.

 

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The media and professional pollster (who get paid a lot to be about as accurate as weather forecasters) may be right, but here are a couple of angles for you to consider …

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Commander-in-Chief: Clinton or Trump?

September 8, 2016

NBC: “Trump comfortably earns the support of military-affiliated voters overall 55% to 36%”.

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What a week.

CNN reports a poll with Trump leading Clinton.

Then yesterday, NBC released a poll of military personnel & veterans.

My hunch: NBC was expecting Clinton to win that poll … and probably planned to headline the results in last night’s commander-in-chief forum.

Oops.

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Here’s the rub:

While Hillary holds a slim lead across the broad base of registered voters, Trump wins big — by 19 points — among current military & veterans.image

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Drilling down, a majority of military folks are confident of Trump’s “ability to be commander–in-chief”.

Not so for Hillary.

Only about 30% of military folks are confident of Clinton’s ability to be commander–in-chief.

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P.S. I watched the entire NBC commander-in-chief forum last night.

Here’s my take …

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CNN: Dissing it’s own poll results … why?

September 6, 2016

Answer: This morning, CNN released poll results – Trump 45, Clinton 43%

I’ve had CNN on background this morning … kudos to CNN for releasing the numbers … but, it has been hysterical listening to the CNN anchors and poli-shills try to minimize the turnaround reported in their own poll.

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Let’s run through the numbers ….

Among likely voters,  Trump leads 45 to 43 … Trump upped his numbers by 4 points, Hilary dropped by 1 point.

Technical note: CNN shifted its polling from registered to likely voters … the latter is commonly regarded as most relevant

 

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Digging a bit deeper ….

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Polls: A “none of the above” election?

August 30, 2016

Spotted an interesting analysis of a recent Monmouth poll …

Cutting to the chase, the likely voter poll is split roughly in thirds with respect to candidate favorability:

Only about 1/3 view Hillary favorably, less than that view Trump favorably and slightly more than a third view neither candidate favorably.

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Note that the “neither” is multiples higher than in past elections.

Previously, there was partisan divide, but partisans at least liked their candidates.

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These numbers are consistent with the most recent WSJ poll:

Dissatisfaction with the two main candidates is at historic levels:  37% of Democrats said they would have preferred that somebody other than Mrs. Clinton become the Democratic nominee, and a resounding 52% of Republicans said they would have preferred somebody other than Mr. Trump.

My take: I think the “neither” numbers are grossly understated.

I don’t think that I’ve run into a single person – on either end of the political spectrum – who is enthralled by their side’s candidate.  Not a one.

Most people seem more motivated to vote against a candidate … than vote for one.

Wonder if that will be enough motivation to get people to the polls?

Political pundit Charlie Cook opines that “fear and hatred are the strongest emotions in politics” and motivate voter turnout.

Apathy tends to suppress turnout.

He doesn’t say what “disgust” does.

We’ll see

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Polls: From whom do Johnson & Stein take votes?

August 24, 2016

Short answer: Disproportionately from Hillary.

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According to the latest NBC / Survey Monkey poll (<= gotta love the ‘Survey Monkey””’ part, right?):

No bounceback for Trump … he still trails Hillary by 8 in a head-to-head match-up …. 50 to 42.

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Here’s what I find most interesting …. the 4-way race.

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Is anybody happy these days?

August 22, 2016

Most recent Gallup poll reports a 44% decline in “satisfaction with the way things are going” … and that’s from an already rock-bottom level.

Note that the satisfaction levels were running in the mid to high 20s since the start of 2016 … that number plummets to 17% in the most recent poll … with a 17 point drop among Dems.

Hmmm.

 

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Hillary’s shrinking lead …

August 22, 2016

Weekend MSM headlines focused on Trump’s campaign staff shake-up, not on his favorably reviewed speeches or his trip to Louisiana.

So, I wasn’t expecting any movement in the polls.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

On Sunday, the USC-LA Times poll reported Trump in the lead.

No less than Dem-favorite pollster Nate Silver sped over to CNN to disparage the poll’s methodology.

Of course, that raised my curiosity.

Bottom line: yep, Donald over Hillary by 2 points.

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Here’s what I find more interesting than the single day’s numbers ….

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Gut check: Which Presidential candidate REALLY shares your views?

August 18, 2016

Dare to take the “ I Side With …”  Presidential  Quiz.

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This is a very interesting online quiz from a group called “I Side With …”.

In a nutshell, you just sign on to the site and answer a battery of multiple choice questions in a variety of categories, e.g. foreign policy, social issues, science.  It takes 10 or 15 minutes to make it through the questions.

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I thought the array of questions was appropriately comprehensive … and the answer choices were fair (i.e. nothing tricky or embarrassing ).

Some of the questions made me pause to check my gut on where I stood on some issues.

That alone made the quiz worthwhile.

After answering all the questions, answers are matched against the candidates’ positions.

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And, which candidate did I match most closely?

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Is Trump dumb as skunk … sly as a fox?

August 12, 2016

Checking today’s polls …

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This week, Trump gave a pretty good speech on his economic plan (<= my opinion) … and a mellow, favorably-reviewed speech to a homebuilders trade association.

But, he got blasted in the mainstream media for rallying 2nd amendment supporters (“obviously inciting violence against Hillary”) … and for referring to Obama & Clinton as founders of ISIS (since BHO pulled ALL troops from Iraq – leaving a hole that ISIS filled).

Here’s the ironic twist:

Trump started the week down 7.7 points on the RCP poll-of-polls.

Today, he’s down 6.3 … still a big number, but 1.4 better than the week started.

 

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Of course, there were other forces at work: the typical dissipation of Hillary’s post-convention bounce … and, oh yeah, the email – Clinton Foundation thing …  she got caught with her hand in the cooking jar again.

Still, I wonder: was it the mainstream media that took the bait this time?

Blasting Trump, they spotlighted terror and gun rights … two of Trump’s strong suits.

Hmmm.

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How many people watched the convention speeches?

August 11, 2016

It’s no secret that only about half of the U.S.  Voting Age Population (VAP) turns out to vote … and that the vast the majority of Americans are poorly (or narrowly) informed on political issues.

These days, pollsters are saying that a high percentage of Americans have a high level of interest in the 2016 Presidential race.

I got into a friendly debate re: whether “interest”  is a valid proxy measure for “informed”.

My POV: nope.

For example, how many people were interested enough to watch the Trump & Clinton acceptance speeches at their conventions?

elction cartoon - who not voting for
Here’s the answer …

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Reuters: Trump still has a pulse …

August 7, 2016

OK, let’s start with the obvious: Trump had a very, very bad week … and, if I were Trump, I’d rather have Clinton’s poll results than Trump’s.

But, Trump’s campaign obit may be a bit premature.

At least one poll’s results suggest that Donald may still have a pulse.

The Reuters / IPSO poll shows a typical dissipation of Hillary’s post-convention bounce … and a statistically significant bounceback for the Donald … narrowing Clinton’s advantage to only 2.4 percentage points … within the margin of error.

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Clintonites surely consider the results to be simply an outlier.

For Trumpsters, it’s a ray of hope.

Which is it?

Here are some factors to consider …

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How to sway the “none-of-the-above” voters …

August 1, 2016

According to pollster Frank Luntz

“It’s not the low-information “undecideds” who will determine the election, it’s the “none-of-the-above voter”who knows lot about both candidates and doesn’t like either one.”

These folks have deeply held opinions about what they want and expect from the next President.

They can’t stomach the choice between “crude” and “corrupt” … a decision with no good outcome.”

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Luntz concludes that these none-of-the-above voters have eight core hot buttons …

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What if disaffected Bernie fans go Green or Libertarian?

July 26, 2016

Let’s connect a couple of dots today …

1) The DNC was caught red-handed trying to extinguish, or at least, contain Bernie Sanders.

2) The purloined emails threw some gasoline on the smoldering Bernie embers … maybe not for him, but for many of his supporters.

3) Dem-darling pollster Nate Silver says that Bernie supporters aren’t “reliable voters” …  based on historical data, they tend to stay home rather than vote for “imperfect” candidates.

4) For avid Bernie supporters who are still likely to vote, Hillary isn’t a 2nd choice … she’s part of “the problem”.

Here’s the pay-off punch:

According to yesterday’s CNN poll, the Libertarian & Green candidates (Johnson & Stein) are getting some traction  … and they’re approaching critical mass — a combined 21% — among the under 45 crowd — many of whom still feel the Bern.

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Think about that for a moment …

Disaffected Bernie supporters are unlikely to bolt to Trump … but they may stay home … or, go Green or Libertarian … either as a protest vote or because they think one of those long-shot candidates can get into the debates and be a factor.

Keep your eye on the migration from Hillary to the 3rd parties.

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Thanks to SMH for planting the seed.

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Trump Bump: 10 pt. swing in CNN poll … leads by 3

July 25, 2016

Latest CNN poll has Trump leading Clinton 48 to 45 …  Trump up 6 from pre-convention … Clinton down 4 … a 10 point swing according the CNN.

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Some details …

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2016: Revenge of the unintelligensia?

July 20, 2016

Will “uneducated” voters determine the 2016 Presidential election?

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The most recent Washington Post poll – showing Hillary leading Donald by a couple of points — provides some very interesting drill down data … it’s worth some browsing time.

Buried in the numbers is some interesting data…..

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MSM headlines frequently stereotype Trump’s supporters as non-college degreed whites … and often, the label is shorthanded as a more pejorative “uneducated”, i.e. mind-numbed dummies.

According to the WaPo poll, it’s true that Trump is favored by “white non-college” almost 2-to-1 … 60% to 33%

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No surprise there …

But, here are some findings that did surprise me a bit since they never gets spotlighted in the mainstream media…

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