Chanting Points Memo: Camouflaging The Battleground

The Strib “Minnesota Poll” is doing what it’s paid to do:  create a pro-DFL bandwagon effect, and suppress GOP voter turnout.  It’s calling Minnesota at Obama with 48% and Romney with 40%.

But the poll uses the same absurd D41/R28 breakdown that the Marriage and Voter ID polls.  This polling would have you believe that while in 2008, with a messianic media darling running against an unpopular two-term candidate (McCain was irrevant) and the war the DFL had a six point advantage in partisan turnout (D39 R33), this year, mirabile dictu, we have a 13 point Democrat advantage in this state?

If you use turnout numbers from somewhere in between 2008 and 2010 – say, D36 R34 – and multiply the changes by the percent of each party that the poll itself says plan on voting for their candidate (93% of Democrats plan to vote for Obama, vs 96% of Republicans), then you wind up lopping off roughly .3% of Obama’s numbers, and adding a whopping 5.8% to Romney’s.

That makes the real split 47.7% Obama, 45.8% Romney.  

Question – especially for you libs in the audience:  In what way is a widely (one might say “lavishly”) publicized poll using a partisan split that this state hasn’t seen since Watergate to be interepreted as anything other than an elaborate voter-suppression scam?

17 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: Camouflaging The Battleground

  1. Nate Silver as 538 aggregates all other MN polls and comes up with mostly the same result as the Strib.
    FiveThirtyEight Projections Dem Rep Margin
    Polling average 50.3 41.7 Obama +8.6
    Adjusted polling average 49.6 42.8 Obama +6.8
    State fundamentals 51.2 42.0 Obama +9.2
    Now-cast 50.3 42.5 Obama +7.8
    Projected vote share ±4.9 53.2 45.2 Obama +8.0
    Chance of winning 95% 5%

    And if you think he is biased, his 2010 predictions were Senate 51.7 Ds (+.7 for Ds) and House 232 Rs (-10 seats for Rs)

  2. “The Strib “Minnesota Poll” is doing what it’s paid to do: create a pro-DFL bandwagon effect, and suppress GOP voter turnout.”

    Maybe they’re trying to keep down voter fraud.

  3. Silver is fine and dandy, but he has a key clinker in his methodology; he aggregates polls, weights them (partly by recency, partly by some secret sauce known only to him) and generates his results.

    The problem in 2010 (and I haven’t looked at his figures for this year yet), when he predicted Mark Dayton by a six point margin, was that he gave the Strib and HHH polls a *lot* of weight on the MN Poll and relatively little on some of the better polls. He gave an awful lot of weight to the Strib’s foetid polling – and it showed.

    And, I suspect, it still does.

  4. OK, first of all, MPR and Humphrey were not “middle of the pack” according to the data Rick presents. Rather, their results were tied with St. Cloud State’s for the most off. Sorry, Rick, but you seriously need to learn to read a chart.

    Moreover, note as well that the margin of error in the MPR document is calculated–per proportion test results–at +/- 3.6%, far less than the difference between the actual results and the predicted results. In short, there is something wrong with the MPR methodology that is statistically significant.

    What’s wrong with it? I’m not sure, but notice here that the Minnesota Poll spread of 10 points dates back to July, while the posited Dayton lead over Emmer really shows up in August. One would suggest that it’s not just a leading indicator, but is rather a leading agitator.

    I would suggest that if ethics ruled at the Strib and MPR, the polls would either disclose and fix their methodology, or they ought to be shut down.

  5. Don’t blame Democrats for polls to suppress conservative White voters in Minnesota. The New Black Panthers are understaffed here.


  6. Bubbasan, you need to learn to read. I said the “Strib” poll was in the middle of the pac for accuracy, not the “MPR and Humphrey “.

  7. OK, I confused two polls–but both of them are not middle of the pack, but rather in error in a statistically significant way. Sorry, the methodology on the Strib is off just as certainly as are MPR/Humphrey and St. Cloud.

  8. Still, a good suggestion, Rick. It should wouldn’t hurt anything if bubba were to learn how to read.

  9. bubbasan, Mitch claimed that the Strib was a uniquely bad pro-dem poll. The 2010 polls show that the Strib was in the middle of the pack for accurately predicitng the final result. Pointing out other polls are worse only undermines Mitch’s point.

    If the Strib is trying to depress the GOP why does their poll give Emmer better numbers than Survey USA, St. Cloud, and MPR/HHH which all had a 10 point plus lead for Dayton. If Mitch’s thesis was correct the Strib should have had a 15 % lead for Emmer.

  10. Rick,

    You’ve got it completely wrong.

    For starters, as I pointed out in the series I wrote in 2010, the HHH and SCSU polls are worse than the Strib Poll. Their numbers are even more skewed, and more prone to “distortion” in close races. The HHH’s final pre-election poll in 2010 was even more ludicrous than the Strib’s.

    The “Strib” is only “in the middle of the pack” because the other ones are even less well-done, or more in the bag for the DFL.

  11. Mitch, fair enough. Did not read your 2010 polling review. Your problem is now that it is far easier to imagine one rouge polling organization leaning pro-dem. If your claim is that nearly all polling organizations conspire to promote Dem candidates in MN, then you have entered tinfoil hat territory.

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