Thursday :: Sep 11, 2008

Pollster Cheers and Jeers: Insider Advantage


by CA Pol Junkie

We're seeing a flood of state polls now that the conventions are over. They aren't very stable yet, as they are catching McCain's convention bounce and his reignition of the culture wars. They are also quite divergent in a number of cases. I'd like to highlight four polls put out today by Insider Advantage, who to their credit released demographic breakdowns of their polls. The margins of error are high on the subsets, but on a broad scale we can still learn alot from them.

Colorado:

Overall: Obama 49, McCain 46

18-29: Obama 64, McCain 32

30-44: Obama 44, McCain 51

45-64: Obama 44, McCain 49

65+: Obama 47, McCain 48

Caucasian: Obama 43, McCain 50

African-American: Obama 73, McCain 25

Hispanic: Obama 76, McCain 22

Male: Obama 49, McCain 46

Female: Obama 49, McCain 46

Colorado is in some ways what we expect, especially the strong support among the young, Hispanics, and African-Americans. There are a few things that look odd as well, like the lack of a gender gap, and the relatively mild support from African-Americans. The latter is a problem many pollsters had in the primaries, as Obama ended up with 95% support, much more than he had in polls. He'll receive about that much support in November as well.

Florida:

Overall: Obama 42, McCain 50

18-29: Obama 49, McCain 46

30-44: Obama 44, McCain 43

45-64: Obama 43, McCain 53

65+: Obama 32, McCain 59

Caucasian: Obama 36, McCain 56

African-American: Obama 79, McCain 19

Hispanic: Obama 42, McCain 43

Male: Obama 36, McCain 55

Female: Obama 47, McCain 46

This is just about exactly what we should expect from a Florida poll, in terms of the gradation of results with age and the racial breakdown. In spite of the apparent 8 point lead for McCain, this poll actually spells real trouble for him. The Reverse Bradley Effect (shifting African-Americans to 95-5 support for Obama) will narrow McCain's 8 point margin by about 5.5 points. Splitting the Hispanic vote, which is realistic considering the realignment of Cuban-Americans, is big trouble for Republicans.

Now for the more peculiar polls:
Ohio:

Overall: Obama 47, McCain 48

18-29: Obama 55, McCain 41

30-44: Obama 38, McCain 57

45-64: Obama 51, McCain 43

65+: Obama 41, McCain 52

Caucasian: Obama 42, McCain 52

African-American: Obama 48, McCain 23

Hispanic: Obama 88, McCain 9

Male: Obama 41, McCain 56

Female: Obama 51, McCain 42

Theoretically, the high margin of error on the subsets can account for the weird age distribution, but I'd bet on response bias being part of it. The Hispanics and African-American demographics are not reversed above. There were probably very few Hispanics polled, but again we will see a severe Reverse Bradley Effect among African-Americans, who are a significant part of the electorate in Ohio. Again, the latter effect will help Obama, increasing his margin by about 6.5 points.

Michigan:

Overall: Obama 44, McCain 45

18-29: Obama 37, McCain 50

30-44: Obama 56, McCain 43

45-64: Obama 58, McCain 44

65+: Obama 43, McCain 41

Caucasian: Obama 40, McCain 49

African-American: Obama 77, McCain 16

Hispanic: Obama 37, McCain 63

Male: Obama 33, McCain 58

Female: Obama 56, McCain 33

Obama is losing in Michigan!?! OMG!! Panic!! Oh, wait. The poll is really goofy. Note McCain winning the young and Obama cleaning up among the middle aged. I don't know how the math works to give McCain the lead unless the number of 18-29 year olds is more than the number of 30-65 year olds. Note also the spectacular gender gap - does anyone believe that, especially relative to other states?

This week is exciting in the polls, but we still shouldn't take them too seriously, OK?

CA Pol Junkie :: 12:59 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!