Obama landslide (310 + electoral votes)
Obama comfortable win (290-310 EVs)
Obama close win (279-290 EVs)
Obama barely wins (270 + 278 EVs)
Exact tie 269-269
Romney barely wins (270 + 278 EVs)
Romney close win (279-290 EVs)
Romney comfortable win (290-310 EVs)
Romney landslide (310 + electoral votes)
On a related note, I heard the middle part of the Montana Senate race debate on the radio tonight between Sen. Tester (D) and Rep. Rehberg (R), and I was actually quite impressed with how it went.
They stayed within clearly defined time limits (2 minutes / 2 minutes / 1 minute / 30 second format or something like that) and the moderator kept it strictly enforced. There were pretty tough questions from both journalists that didn't seem to faze either candidate. And they stayed on topic too. In fact, they really took it to each other with somewhat clear and succinct points (mixed with a fair amount of direct attacks), but every impressive jab was equally impressively parried. By both sides. Every time I thought someone had really put his opponent in an uncomfortable position, the tide turned just as fast.
Granted, I know almost nothing about Montana-specific issues and don't have a horse in the race, and the only other portions of debates I've heard (besides the obvious) have been Brown/Warren and McCaskill/Akin, but this one was oddly compelling and different for some reason. (bored on a drive home in the dark?)
Has it given people a chance to re-evaluate Romney? Yes. Has it dispelled some of the air of "loser" that was starting to stink up his campaign? Clearly. Has it caused a 12 point swing in the polls (as the Pew poll from yesterday would indicate)? I have a hard time believing it, especially when yesterday's Gallup poll showed whatever bump Romney got as already erased and the President up 5 again. Has it really erased a 10-15 point lead amongst women for the President? I kind of doubt that, too, seeing as the real time indicators during the debate had far more women saying they didn't like the Romney they were seeing than men. I suspect the temperament Romney showed last Wednesday probably appeals more to men than women, and the next debate is supposed to be more focused on social issues, where he'll likely have a hard time holding on to any independent women he might have impressed last week.
I think by the end of this week we'll have a better picture of where we are for the home stretch. But I generally share Mike Corey's feeling that one point on the timeline of a long campaign, even when it clearly favors one candidate over the other, is generally not enough to override every other stop on the train. If it does, then there's something different about this election, which will be fodder for years of discussion.
My impression following the debate was that the coverage wasn't just about Obama doing poorly.
I feel like a good portion of it is because Romney did well. I think that is an important distinction. I think a lot of people had just begun to write Romney off, including a number of Republicans (and their fundraisers), so the idea that he is still in it is an important one, and it generates momentum and enthusiasm from the GOP where there really hadn't been any yet.
I linked the Pew poll, btw, specifically because it wasn't Rasmussen or Gallup, which several people on this forum have argued are flawed outliers. I don't know as much about the mechanics of polling as several people on this board, but swings and trends within one poll are interesting and can be informative. I'm not sure I believe an 18 point swing in women either, but I bet the Obama camp is going to take it seriously. That's an important demographic for the POTUS, and an area where Repubs, and Romney, have been vulnerable.
Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."
That said, I think this needs to be read in tandem with earlier posts about how self identified party affiliation is a fairly liquid and unrealiable stat in polling.However, a close look at the internals of the poll turns up something odd. In the October sample, 31% of the respondents self identified as Democrats (vs. 39% in September). Similar, there were 36% Republicans in October (vs. 29% in September). While many people believe Romney "won" the debate, it is extremely unlikely that 21% of the nation's Democrats changed parties as a result of one debate. So there is a fair chance that the Pew poll is an outlier that undersampled Democrats and oversampled Republicans.
* * * *
Another poll-related tidbit -- today, Gallup finally switched over from reporting registered-voter results to likely-voter results. Yesterday it had the candidates tied among likely voters, 48-48 -- the same as Rasmussen -- while today it has Romney with a 49-47 edge. (Among registered voters, yesterday it had Obama up 50-45 -- actually a point better than where he was just before the debate -- and today it has Obama up 49-46, which is where it had the race in the days immediately after the debate.) Meanwhile, Obama's approval rating in Gallup's poll dropped from 54% to 48% immediately after the debate, and is now back up to 53%. Gallup's approval rating is a poll of "adults," not registered or likely voters, so it won't necessarily track the horserace numbers step for step -- and because it's a three-day rolling average instead of a seven-day average, it's more volatile. Still, it's at least a somewhat useful benchmark, and Gallup's website has a tool that lets you compare approval ratings among different presidents at different points during their terms (go here and click on the tab that says "Compare Presidents"). Obama had been running slightly behind George W. Bush's approval numbers from 2004, but now he's actually in slightly better shape than Bush was at the same point in 2004, and is just a little below where Clinton was at this point in 1996. He's farther behind where Reagan was at this point in 1984, but he's well ahead of where Carter and George H.W. Bush were in 1980 and 1992, respectively.
* * * *
Here's an interesting story from Politico today. Basically, the upshot is that shortly before the debate, Romney's family (specifically his wife and his oldest son, Tagg) staged something of a coup d'etat and pushed Romney to get away from the prevailing strategy of simply indicting Obama for the state of the economy and running as a generic "not Obama," and instead to offer a more moderate and empathetic image and, above all, just be himself. This article hits on a number of the points that many of us on this forum (myself included) have discussed in our observations about the Romney campaign to date. Will this change in strategy be enough to undo the damage done by giving the Obama campaign literally months to fill in the blanks on Romney's biography? Guess we'll know in about 28 days.
* * * *
And lastly, I caught this little blurb relaying the thoughts of a prominent Democratic pollster (Stan Greenberg) who says that a big reason for Obama's poll slippage after the debate can be traced to the fact that Romney actually did a better job than Obama of connecting with a group that traditionally favors Obama -- unmarried women. The Pew poll could be an outlier, as some have suggested, but Greenberg's observation would seem to lend at least some credence to the swing from Obama to Romney among women that the poll showed, even if it doesn't explain the full magnitude of the reported swing.
Last edited by Tom B.; 10-09-2012 at 02:34 PM.
Couple of thoughts since the first debate has had a chance to be digested by the public, the polls, and me.
First, it seems like the consensus of the national polls is that Romney got about a four point bounce pretty quickly after the debate, but that Obama has inched back a bit, maybe taking a point or even two back, based on a little fade of the glow of the debate for Romney, the jobs report on Friday, plus Obama and his people messaging pretty strongly over the weekend. So if he was up 5-6 going into the debate -- again, nationally, he's probably up about three now. Pretty close to where this astonishingly stable race stood for many, many months, prior to the conventions and debate.
More important than the national polls are, of course, the swing state polls. One thing to realize is that even if Romney were to have retained a full, four point bump -- as opposed to a more temporary bounce, I get it -- there were enough swing states in which, pre-debate, Obama led by more than four points. So even if he lost 4 points uniformly in every state, he'd still win more than enough swing states to win the electoral college.
I don't expect the VP debate to have any impact at all, unless Ryan is exposed as some sort of greenhorn who is simply not ready to be a hearbeat away. People expect Biden to shoot off his mouth and make verbal gaffes and all of that, so I don't think there's much of anything he can do to hurt Obama, unless he goes way, way off the reservation and says/does something truly scary. I don't think either of these scenarios come to pass, and therefore don't expect any movement from this debate.
Now, the next presidential debate I do believe is going to be big. I think Obama's weak, passive performance has caused a lot of folks to wonder anew about him, his passion, his commitment, and the like. At the same time, Romney presented as credible, plausible, personable, engaged, reasonable -- all the things he needed to do.
But. If Obama can get his head in the game and present at the second debate by making strong arguments, pointed arguments, speaking crisply and assuredly, giving as good as he gets, and appearing to be energized, engaged, and wanting the job for the next four years, he will repair a fair amount of the damage. I don't think he needs to trounce Romney in debate #2 the way Romney trounced him in debate #1. If he fights him to a perceived draw, I think a lot of folks who had been inclined to re-hire him, but have taken pause after that sorry performance last week, will say to themselves, "OK. That's the guy I thought I knew. He was bad last week, but look. He cares. He's back on his game. He's not lying to me. I feel like I can trust him and he cares about people like me." It may not even matter much how Romney presents. If Obama can come up with the type of performance I describe, I think he will inch back up another couple of points, and end up back where he was before debate #1, or maybe a point or so shy of that, nationally. And if he does that, he will be close to cinching the election. Why? Because in this scenario I don't think debate #3 will matter much, as almost all voters will feel like they got the information they needed before then, and it'll be too late to make up a 4-5 point margin. I guess I just don't think there are that many voters out there who were either undecided or who leaned Obama, who watched that debate and said to themselves, "OK, that's it. I don't need to see anything else. It's done. I'm going Romney."
Now if Obama does not raise his game significantly in debate #2, the doubts about him will of course deepen -- especially since this is town hall, and includes foreign policy -- and he'll be in real trouble of blowing this thing. All bets would, at that point, be off.
I actually think highly of Gallup. I agree with those that think Rasmussen is a joke.
Both polls skew about 2 points Republican, but don't confuse the two. They both make assumptions that the electorate is going to end up a little more Republican than other pollsters, but that's where the similarities end.
Rasmussen results are all over the map. They use a variant of Party ID (party registration) for poll weighting. A few posts back I mentioned why pollsters don't use it for weighting. Rasmussen's defense is that registration does not change, but the consensus among analysts is that self-reported party registration is not useful for poll weighting, and they've got the evidence to back this up. Hell, Rasmussen's inconsistency backs this up. Registration weighting is nothing but wishful thinking, and the fact the Ras uses it anyway makes a bold statement.
Gallup, on the other hand, is a reputable pollster who knows what they're doing. I may disagree with Gallup's assumptions about the voter base, particularly in a presidential year, but their methodology is rock-solid, and their assumptions are based on defensible guesses about what the electorate is going to look like. This shows up in Gallup's consistent, but GOP-leaning, results. With Gallup, I take their results, add 2 points to the Dem(s), and assume I've got a pretty good result.
Can't do that with Rasmussen.
If Gallup got the election right, it wouldn't stun me. If Ras got it right, it'd be because of the broken clock theory.
I think we need about 4 more days to see where we stand now post debate-calypse. There's a theory with several poll analysts that Romney massively spiked on Thurs and Fri then fell back some, rather quickly. The most damaging polls to Obama seem to have focused on those two dates. Polls that included later dates improved significantly, implying a bounce effect rather than a completely altered landscape.
But that could be wishful thinking, the Dem variant of the "unskewed polls" guy (who undoubtedly has Romney up by about 15 and a 400+ win in the Electoral College) .
Anyway, the next few days will tell if there's anything to that theory. Just in time to start obsessing about another debate.
I disagree with Debate#2 being about all about Obama's performance, good or bad. I believe the reason Romney received the bump in the polls after Debate#1 is because he energized the Republican base with his performance. That's been Romney's problem the whole year. Conservatives see Romney as a "RINO" and have been distrustful of him. In debate#1, he espoused Conservative values repeatedly and I believe this made him palatable to his base. If he can keep his "conservative street-cred" going, he could actually win.
So going into Debate#2, Romney must continue to attack and keep this momentum building(think Reagan 1980). If he goes "safe" like McCain '08(trying to grab the mythical "independent" vote) he'll fall back again.
To me, for both sides, it's about turn-out on Election day; appeal to your base, get them excited, and make sure they show up to vote.
Last edited by BlueDevilBrowns; 10-10-2012 at 02:26 PM. Reason: spelling
Wha? Did we watch the same debate? In the debate I watched, Romney said the tax burden on upper income people will not be reduced; he fell all over himself describing all the ways in which he was committed to Medicare and was not going to change Medicare or reduce its funding; he praised certain aspects of Obamacare, including the probition against insurance companies excluding folks with pre-existing conditions; and as to Wall Street, he said, "You have to have regulation. And there are some parts of Dodd-Frank that make all the sense in the world."
Hardly red meat for the right wing. (I don't use the word "base" -- very misleading word IMO, but don't want to go there -- too partisan.)
I think what may have energized Republicans isn't the content of what Romney said, but the fact that the polls have moved in his direction as a result of what he said and how he said it -- as well as the President's feeble responses -- and they now think they have a real chance to pull this thing out. I don't think partisans particularly care what "their" candidate is saying or if he means what he says. They just want to win, and sort out the policy details later. That's what makes them partisans.
The Dodd-Frank issue was interesting because he said we need regulation but when he said he'd repeal Dodd-Frank, but never really mentioned an alternative so I'm sure many in the "base" think that if Dodd-Frank is repealed, it will be very hard to pass another regulation bill a Republican House and a non filibuster proof Senate.
Romney pretty much came into the debate and that is where he shook up his etch-a-sketch which was pretty intelligent because he blind sided Obama and left him somewhat speechless. Now everyone says Obama needs a teleprompter because he probably had very little prepared for the change in policies. He won't get this benefit of surprise anymore since we now know his economic policy and he has been giving his foreign policy ideas over the last few weeks so now you probably won't see any candidate look that badly.
As far as winning, I do think Romney needed to fire up the partisan guys because I've heard the talks of them throwing out a sacrificial cow so they can throw out someone like Christie in 2016. If Romney wins, they'll have to wait til 2020 for a new candidate so if Romney doesn't excite the "base" then they won't tie themselves to him for 8 years.
Ryan is eating Joe's lunch tonight.
Eat Mor Jonny.
I was watching on a channel hat had a split screen (maybe not all channels did, do not know). Biden looked awful whenever Ryan spoke. Stumbled on numbers. You obviously saw it different and curios as to your (respected) view.
Eat Mor Jonny.