Two Bad State-Level Polls for Obama

PPP has Obama trailing Romney by one point in both Iowa and New Hampshire:

PPP’s newest polls in Iowa and New Hampshire find Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama 49-48 in both states. That represents a big decline for Obama compared to last month. Obama had previously led 51-44 in Iowa and 51-43.5 in New Hampshire on polls conducted the final week of September.

As is often noted, the state-level polling lags the national tracking polling, so perhaps these are examples of these two states coming into line with Romney’s recent surge.

Obama won both states 54-45 in 2008.

The state represent 10 electoral votes in total (6 for IA and 4 for NH).

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Nothing about Iowa and New Hampshire surprises me anymore. Iowa has guys like Steve King in Congress, and New Hampshire has Sununu. I have no idea how those 2 states will go.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    by the way Steven, this is from Reuters (10/19/12)

    “As to be expected in the imperfect world of polling, results from other companies are also at odds with each other. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll issued on Friday showed Obama ahead in the swing state of Iowa by the large margin of eight points, but a PPP poll the same day showed Romney ahead there by one point.”

    I believe that conservative complaints that polls are skewed has caused the media to place more focus on polls that are to conservative’s favor. Generally, the “main stream media” is so cowed by complaints that there is liberal bias, that they give conservatives the point.

  3. Let's Be Free says:

    Fun to watch the lefties try to minimize these biased PPP polls which typically include push poll questions that drive respondents to Obama. If past is prologue as is writ in granite on the front stoop of the National Archives, Romney is doing at least 2 or 3 points better in these swing states than PPP says — game over. My, oh my, a professor fails to make mention of the PPP slant. Imagine that!

  4. al-Ameda says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    Fun to watch the lefties try to minimize these biased PPP polls which typically include push poll questions that drive respondents to Obama.

    It’s more fun to fun to watch righties ignore this:

    A Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll issued on Friday showed Obama ahead in the swing state of Iowa by the large margin of eight points,

  5. Just Me says:

    Well if a very unscientific poll of yard signs are any indication in NH Romney is winning.

    I live in the Lakes Region of the state and there is a real dearth of Obama signs even in yards that advocate other down ticket democrats.

    In 2008 there were huge Obama signs and smaller signs everywhere. This time around Romney signs outnumber the Obama ones significantly.

    Back in 2008 enthusiasm for Obama was very high, this time around I know several former Obama voters who are switching to Romney.

    I think the race here is going to be close, and while I have a sense of which direction the area I live in is likely going, the southern portions of the state generally swing more Democratic. I suspect both candidates will spending some time here.

  6. Geek, Esq. says:

    Iowa poll is an outlier. Every other poll shows Obama ahead.

    PPP also has Obama winning Virginia. That seems off as well.

    Note that in the average of polls, Obama leads in Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Nevada. That’s 277.

    Romney needs to peel either WI or Ohio off. And he’s behind in both states, and he’s had his best moment of the campaign already. Nevada he’s got no shot at.

    Charlie Cook’s conversations with internal pollsters show Obama at +290, with an EV blowout more likely than a Romney win.

  7. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    Rasmussen shows Obama ahead in enough states to win the electoral vote. Including Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, and New Hampshire.

    In other words, Rasmussen’plling shows Obama winning the EV.

  8. @Let’s Be Free:

    My, oh my, a professor fails to make mention of the PPP slant. Imagine that!

    At this point it seems unnecessary to note that PPP is considered to have a leftward bias and that Rasmussen has a rightward bias. I assume that it is largely common knowledge.

    I saw some numbers and noted them, and noted that they were bad for Obama. What is it that you want me to do? This was clearly not an analysis but, rather, a quick note on news. I find it amusing, annoying, and telling (all at once) that no it seems some folks are going to see bias not matter what one does. How can the sharing of information be biased?

  9. @Geek, Esq.:

    In other words, Rasmussen’plling shows Obama winning the EV.

    At the moment, the EV still would appear to be Obama’s–as long as he wins Ohio (and that assumes losing VA and FL, which as truly too close to call at the moment, and NC, which I am assuming goes to Romney).

  10. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Obama is uncomfortably ahead.

    The real open question in polling is the LV/RV gap. Though Romney will get most late, late deciders, Obama may get a boost from unlikely voters–something like 55% of unlikely voters actually vote.

  11. Smooth Jazz says:

    Geek, You appear to be a reasonable person – not one of these far out lefties that reflexively attacks the other side or sees things one way, no matter what. But I think you are deluding yourself if you think Obama has OH in the bag. I don’t even think he has IA in the bag, as you suggest, given the masive surge in IA Rep voter registration, but that’s another discussion.To dismiss any poll showing Romney tied in IA & NH, and especially pro Dem poll such as PPP, as out of whack s not wise. As we get closer to election day, I suspect PPP will sharpen their pencils to geth their numbers right to retain as much credibility as possible given that everyone knows they are KOS’ pollster.

    Anyway, back to OH. I think these 2 points are the beginning of the tipping point for Obama in OH and indicate an extremely omninous development for the President. Gravis: Tied 47-47 & Fox: Obama 46-43.

    http://www.gravispolls.com/2012/10/gravis-ohio-poll-shows.html

    http://battlegroundwatch.com/2012/10/19/obama-3-in-ohio-post-debate-w2008-turnout-fox-news-poll/

    1. The sample sizes are massive, in Gravis case 2000+ respondents
    2. The polls have Dems outvoting Reps by 8% – 10%. Ain’t gonna happen. Not this cycle when so many Reps are fired up to fire Obama and when so many Obama supporters from 2008 have abandoned him this year.
    3. Obama is getting destroyed by 20 points among independents in both polls. Obama cannot win an election in OH while losing independents by that much
    4. Obama’s job approval is in the low 40% range, a very dangerous JA for him at this point – a number that does not auger well for the enthusiasm of his voters getting to the polls on election day to offset the massive gains in asbentee ballot and voter registration figures that Reps have versus 2008 in OH
    5. Finally, and perhaps most important, Obama is at 46% – 47% at this late juncture when he needs to be near 50%, again, especially given the Rep absentee ballot requests and registration gains this cycle.

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHY POLLSTES ARE STILL MODELING DEM 8%+ (HIGHER THAN 6% – 7% IN 2008) IN OH THIS CYCLE, WHEN THE ENTHUSIASM AMONG REPS AND ABSENTEE BALLOTS REQUESTS AND REGISTRATION VERSUS 2008 IS WAY UP. Are Reps not answering the phones when pollsters call for some reason? Are the pollsters calling into too many Dem counties? I don’t know. I do feel strongly that Dems are not going to outvote REps by 8% in OH this cycle. In 2010 it was Rep 2%+. I think. This year I I think it is a wash Dem = Rep.

    I realize that the Nate wunderkinds who exist to insure Dems don’t jump of the ledge (Cohn & Silver), will dismiss what I’m saying and take the top line (ie FOX has OH up by 3) without noting that Obama is only at 46%, his Job Approval is in the low to mid 40s, and the Dem partisan voting assumption implies way too many Dems. I would look underneath the covers of these polls if I were you to make sure the underlying assumptions are reasonable enough for Obama to get over the finish line.

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    How the hell did the WSJ end up with Obama 8 points up in Iowa?

    The only valid polls are the ones that show Romney ahead.

  13. Smooth Jazz says:

    “How the hell did the WSJ end up with Obama 8 points up in Iowa?”

    Spare Me. Everybody knows MSNBC\NBC runs that poll, even as the very Liberal news department of WSJ puts their name name on it. Conservatives have asked for years: Why is the WSJ using their platform to support a poll with MSNBC – an organiztion known to be in the tank for Obama. The answer is the WSJ is very LIberal and goes along with what NBC\MSNBC wants to go with. The Conservative editorial page of WSJ has nothing to do with the polls sponsored with the Obama lovers at MSNBC.

    I never said only vaild polls show Romney ahead; Obama is the incumbent and incumbents start with a huge built in advantage and level of support. Historically, it has been VERY difficult to beat incumbents and IMPOSSIBLE to beat incumbents not named Hoover, Carter, GHW Bush. American generally prefer to give their Presidents 2 terms, and would have to be truly disappointed to fire them after 1 term.

    What I’m saying is that NBC\Marist\WSJ look out of kilter given that Rep registration in IA has surged this year, and there are more Reps registered to vote this cycle than Dems. A complete reversal of 2008 when Dems registration outnumbered Rep by a wide margin. Google “Iowa 2012 voter registration”. It’s a lot closer in IA than you think and the Marist\NBC poll could be way off.

  14. Tony W says:

    Ah, the never-ending argument over the biased pollsters. This was fun for the past few months, but at this point even I think the election cannot be over soon enough…..

  15. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Obama has very little in the bag. Romney has even less.

    But, I’d much rather be in Obama’s situation right now.

  16. KariQ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    The answer is the WSJ is very LIberal

    ROFLMAO!

    Yes, the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal is a bastion of liberaldom. Sheesh! Are you kicking everyone out of the party now?

    Pollsters aren’t “modeling” any level of party ID. They are reporting what they find, with the exception of Rasmussen who does model party, and is giving the Republicans an advantage in turnout. That seems highly unlikely, but we’ll see.

    As far as these polls go, yeah they aren’t good for Obama. But who cares about one poll? Take the average and don’t stress the rest. The average is usually closer than any given poll.

  17. al-Ameda says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Spare Me. Everybody knows MSNBC\NBC runs that poll, even as the very Liberal news department of WSJ puts their name name on it. Conservatives have asked for years: Why is the WSJ using their platform to support a poll with MSNBC – an organiztion known to be in the tank for Obama. The answer is the WSJ is very LIberal and goes along with what NBC\MSNBC wants to go with.

    Hahahahahahaha

  18. jukeboxgrad says:

    Smooth, I’m still waiting for you to show us that mysterious poll that has Mitt leading in NV (link). According to RCP, no poll has shown a lead for Mitt in NV since April (link).

    I’m wondering what that was. Sloppiness? Dishonesty? Delusion? Time travel back to April? A typo? Maybe you’ll finally tell us.

  19. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Smooth, I’m still waiting for you to show us that mysterious poll that has Mitt leading in NV (link). According to RCP, no poll has shown a lead for Mitt in NV since April (link).

    I’m wondering what that was. Sloppiness? Dishonesty? Delusion?”

    I was actually referring to a Rasmussen tie from early Oct. Never meant to imply that Romney was ahead as he appears to be in FLA, NC, VA and perhaps CO & IA. NV was always a difficult state for any Repub because of the changing demographics. Even so, if things break heavily towards Romney as it did Reagan late in 1980, perhaps NV goes Romney’s way as well. Not trying to deceive anyone. Not need to. Anybody can go to RCP and see any Swing Sate poll going back to forever. With President Obama appearing to max out in the 45% – 48% range in the National polls, Obama has a lot more to worry about than whether he wins NV.

  20. jukeboxgrad says:

    smooth:

    I was actually referring to a Rasmussen tie from early Oct. Never meant to imply that Romney was ahead

    This is what you said:

    and takes the lead, albeit narrowly, in the most recent CO, NV, NH polls

    You must be using one of those magic GOP dictionaries where words mean whatever you need them to mean, in the moment. For the rest of us, the words “takes the lead” can only be interpreted one way: “that Romney was ahead.” So what you supposedly “never meant to imply” was what you plainly said.

    I was actually referring to a Rasmussen tie from early Oct

    And even if that poll had said Romney +1 instead of “Tie,” your claim would still have been a lie, because that Rasmussen poll was not “the most recent” polling in NV. At the time you made your dishonest claim, there were two other NV polls more recent than the Rasmussen tie. Those other two polls were Obama +2 and Obama +4.

    Not trying to deceive anyone.

    Mostly you’re just really good at deceiving yourself.

  21. Dave Anderson says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Actually Nate Silver is saying that the PPP house effect is roughly D+0.5 compared to consensus, so while the races that they choose to poll may have a Democartic bias, their results are well within the normal noise one would expect from a single pollster amongst many.

  22. @Dave Anderson: Fair enough.

  23. Dave Anderson says:

    Here is the link:

    The FiveThirtyEight model adjusts for these “house effects” and so treats the Gravis Marketing poll as equivalent to showing a two- or three-point lead for Mr. Obama.

    It also adjusts the Public Policy Polling survey of Ohio slightly downward for Mr. Obama — but Public Policy Polling has lost most of the strong Democratic lean that it had earlier in the cycle, and it has even been on Mr. Romney’s side of the consensus in a few states like Iowa and New Hampshire. We now calculate their house effect as being only about half a percentage point in favor of Mr. Obama.

  24. Curtis says:

    More and more, I find that I just trust Nate Silver and Nate Cohn to break down the polls for me. It brings order to my universe.

    That being said, I do think the Iowa/New Hampshire combo is a key one for the electoral map. Basically, if Romney can win these as well as the trio in the southeast (NC, VA, FL), then he needs just one more state to overcome what looks to me as a pretty likely loss in Ohio. Colorado probably then becomes the tipping point state. If Obama wins either of Iowa or New Hampshire with Ohio, then Colorado or Wisconsin by themselves wouldn’t be enough, and the math becomes tougher.