The Pew Poll and PID
October 9, 2012 1 Comment
So, you probably saw the Pew poll that now has Romney up by four among likely voters. A few thoughts…
1) Now, it’s possible that one single debate is responsible for a 13 point swing in the electorate, but it does not seem plausible to me. That is, short of Obama saying he really is a foreign-born Muslim.
2) Moments like this I remember why I’m not quite an Andrew Sullivan regular. One poll (admittedly Pew is a very solid outfit) and he’s ready to concede the election to Romney. Absolutely histrionic.
3) Given the other polling news today, Nate Cohn urges caution in over-interpreting the Pew results. He’s right. Mark Blumenthal and Nate Silver as well strongly suggest we wait a few days for a better handle on things. Let’s see where the Ohio polls stand on Friday.
4) Lot’s of talk about the PID numbers in the Pew poll. Now, I don’t believe that pollsters should weight for PID because it is malleable, but it’s not that malleable. The whole point of PID (and I did do a dissertation on the topic) is that it is a fairly stable, long-standing orientation towards politics. Romney didn’t suddenly convert a bunch of people to Republicanism (or, alternatively, convince that many more Republicans to vote).
4a) Here’s Chris Cilliza with the Pew PID numbers:
* That pesky party ID question: The Pew sample for this poll was 36 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 30 percent independent. That’s a major shift from the organization’s September poll which was 29 percent Republican, 39 percent Democratic and 30 percent independent. In the 2010 election, the electorate was 36 percent Republican, 36 percent Democratic and 27 percent independent, according to exit polling. In 2008, 39 percent of the electorate identified as Democrats while 32 percent said they were Republicans and 29 percent said they were independents.
And here’s Steve: There’s absolutely no way Republicans will have a 5 percentage point on Democrats November 6. No way. Maybe Republicans are extra enthusiastic right now. Maybe this was just an outlier sample. But there’s no way the electorate will look like that on November 6. I’ll stake my damn blogging reputation on that. There was also no reason to believe that Democrats would outnumber Republicans by 10 points in that earlier Pew sample. In 2004 exit polls, Democrats and Republicans were both 37%. That was a high-water mark for Republicans. Even in Republican victories in recent decades, Democratic identifiers have always outnumbered Republicans at the polls, but for the 2004 tie (obviously, Republican voters have been much more loyal in many elections).
Now, I’m not suggesting we “unskew” this poll, because it tells us something about the state of the electorate and party enthusiasm right now, but if you think the electorate will be 36 Rep 31 Dem in the exit polls, I’ve got a Mitt Romney $10,000 bet for you.