Does Romney’s slip in the polls change your view of the likely outcome in November?

According to Gallup, Romney has slipped from dead even to 6 points down in the last four or five days.  It is debatable whether these day-to-day changes mean anything at all, but such a quick shift is pretty dramatic.  It raises at least two questions, which I’m eager to hear your thoughts on.  First, why the sudden shift?  And, second, does it change your view of the likely outcome?

As to the first question, I had already mentioned to Book that I thought, at least here in Florida, that Obama’s ad campaign was much more effective than Romney’s.  Obama has taken two of Romney’s ads (one about jobs moving to China and one about whether things have improved since 2008) and answered them directly and aggressively.  Romney has not answered Obama’s ads at all.  Perhaps we are seeing the effects of this.

As to the second question, last week, when Obama was clinging to a slim lead and Romney was gaining, I made a November prediction for the first time, telling Book that I expected Obama to win by five points.  Such opinions are obviously subject to change without notice, depending, among other things, on the performances in the debates.  But, for now, my opinion has not changed.

What do your think?

Sort of as a P.S., what do you think will happen in the House and Senate races?

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  • Caped Crusader

    It’s all over. Remember President Dukakis was 17 points ahead, and what a fine president he was, sparing us that father of a village idiot from Texas.
    Last election was a sea change and landslide, totally unforeseen by these purveyors of disinformation and water carrying operatives of the Democrat party, parading as champions of a free press. Please tell me what has got better in the last 2 years. Do not believe these lying liberal fascist slime.

  • MacG

    I think the newspapers have the typeset all ready to go “OBAMA DEFEATS ROMNEY!” and if history repeats itself it will be Romney holding up the misprint :)

  • Old Buckeye

    I don’t know how this has played out in previous years where the reporting was like this, but my (possibly irrational/illogical) thinking is that those who might have turned out to vote for someone who was behind will be complacently sitting at home, confident their candidate had things in the bag. No?

  • Don Quixote

    Old Buckeye, perhaps, but that assumes that someone is behind and is being reported as comfortably ahead.  That certainly hasn’t happened so far this year, since the polls have shown the race as very close with Obama, on average, having a slim lead. 

    Besides, for every person who stays home “confident their candidate had things in the bag” there is probably a person who stays home believing that his/her favorite candidate is hopelessly behind.  A race that is close, or that is viewed as close, improves turnout for both sides.    

  • Charles Martel

    I don’t expect Obama to win, let alone by a five-point margin, which would duplicate his margin over McCain under very different and far more favorable—to him—circumstances. Not so sure that Obama retains much of his golden boy aura.
    The polls are malarkey, DQ, and I’m surprised you cite them with a straight face. Some of the alter kockers you are now hanging out with may be persuaded by the outright lies that Gallup, Obama’s ads, and the MSM are telling, but come election day, there are going to be a lot of 75 year olds wondering if they are truly up to taking another four years of The One.

  • vanderleun

    To quote from another site today, you quisling:
    “This is an open letter to the Left’s “Expert Conservative pundit” useful idiots.”
    We who are workingat the grassroots level look at you as jokes. Mona Charen, Don Feder, Bill Kristol, and the rest of you

    are simpletons with loyalty that is questionable at best. How can you justify dutifully writing reports about a poll without mentioning it is skewed by a projected Democrat turnout larger than even the margin Obama had in 2008? How can you ignore the clear evidence that there are more registered Republicans than registered Democrats by 4.3 points (and most of that edge has come about just since June)? — Why “Conservative pundits” are the Left’s useful idiots

  • Earl T

    Why does anyone believe any push-polling these days, especially from the Palace Guard Media?

    Every analysis of the background on these polls shows that Dems are over-sampled, Reps are under-sampled and , sometimes by double digits, while independents virtually ignored! Over-the-top BIAS, to the point of propaganda by the PGM

    Lies, damned lies, statistics and  now, worst of all: POLLS—–using heavily-skewed data!

    We won’t even mention the fact that the Obama regime has Gallup under the thumb of the IRS!

    Got to “” to see the true results.

  • BrianE

    I curious, DQ, why you think Obama will win by 5 points. That’s a very healthy margin for a rather sickly economy.
    Romney said Obama has approx. 47% of the electorate. Many daily tracking polls have it 46-46, which leaves 7% undecided (assume Romney is right). I think many of those folks have decided but don’t want to talk about it.
    Voting against President Obama will get you branded racist in some parts of the country. Why subject yourself to that sort of grief. It’s just easier to remain ‘undecided’.

    If President Obama wins the election, I would suggest that Romney miscalculated the percentage of folks receiving payments from the government, in which case, the republic is toast.

    I’m hopeful that 2010 was a trend, and the American people just aren’t going to take it any more.

    Just like George Bush, Romney isn’t a conservative, by conservative standards. I don’t expect government spending to be curtailed. Similar to the Reagan years, we might once again slow the growth of spending (damn baseline budgeting to thank for that).

    But I am hopeful that folks will realize we’ve tipped the scales too far toward stifling regulation and he can make the case for true energy independence.

  • Danny Lemieux

    When polls reported Obama ahead of Romney with the NASCAR set, it was a clear signal that polls are to be ignored. 

  • Earl T

    My bad! It was Holder’s DoJ, not the IRS:

    Gallup Sued by DOJ after Unfavorable Obama Polls, Employment…/gallupdoj-axelrodCached
    You +1’d this publicly. Undo
    Sep 6, 2012 – David Axelrod reportedly contacted The Gallup Organization to discuss the company’s Gallup was named in an unrelated lawsuit by the DOJ.

  • JohnC

    Rush spent a lot of time today discussing how almost every polling outfit is oversampling Dems.
    Here’s a sample. It’s worth it to read the whole thing.
    “They’re trying to wrap this up before the debates even start, because I think they’re worried about the debates. I think they’re trying to get this election finished and in the can by suppressing your vote and depressing you so that you just don’t think there’s any reason to vote, that it’s hopeless. They want you making other plans. We are told that according to the latest New York Times/Quinnipiac/CBS News poll, Obama is leading Romney by nine points in Florida, by ten points in Ohio, and by 12 points in Pennsylvania.
    All among likely voters.
    If that’s true, it’s over. If that’s true, it’s over, because there’s no way to recover that kind of ground in the number of days left. So the question is: Is this true? Is it anywhere near true? Well, the pollsters will all tell you, “What’s in it for us to be wrong?” But, folks, these pollsters can massage the sample in any number of ways to get what they want out of a given poll, and they will always be able to go back and say, “According to that sample, our poll was right on the money.”
    The problem out there is Rasmussen. Rasmussen has the race tied at 46, and Rasmussen has been one of the leading polling units in presidential races for a long time. So here comes CBS, the New York Times, and Quinnipiac. They’ve got this race over in these three swing states, and yet, there’s Rasmussen out there today: 46-46. There’s Gallup out there. Gallup doesn’t show any of this, and Gallup’s got Obama disapproval rising. It’s all over the place: Nine points in Florida, ten points Ohio, 12 points in Pennsylvania.
    What we aren’t told? Let me tell you what we’re not told (and this according to their own data): They oversample Democrats by 7% in Florida, where Obama is up by nine points. They oversample Democrats by 11 points in Pennsylvania, where Obama is up 12. They oversample Democrats. Here are the numbers. In Florida: Democrat 43%, Republican 36%, independent 1%. In Pennsylvania: 48% Democrat, 37% Republican, independents 1%.
    So you have an 11%-plus advantage for Democrats Pennsylvania and a 7% Democrat plus advantage in Florida. What they’re telling us… What’s this guy’s name at Quinnipiac? Miringoff. Lee Miringoff runs this. What he’s saying is that he expects the turnout in let’s say Florida, to be 43% Democrats, 36% Republican, and 1% independent. That’s what he expects turnout to be. These guys are going back and using the turnout from 2004 and 2008. They’re ignoring 2010.
    Every one of these polls is ignoring the actual turnout in 2010, which was a referendum on Obama and was a referendum on health care. They’re using turnout in previous elections where Democrats came close or won, say, congressional races — Senate races — in off-year presidential years, such as 2006. And, of course, 2008 when Obama won by seven, they go back and use that turnout. But does anybody expect that to be the case? Do they really expect that in Florida…”
    Rush Limbaugh – 9-26-2012 – “Don’t let the bogus polls depress you.”

  • Don Quixote

    Well, there is a lot to cover here and I’ll try to talk about some of it in a second comment.  Everyone here is bashing the polls for bias, but that really doesn’t explain the sudden shift in the Gallup poll.  You folks are not seriously suggesting that Gallup suddenly changed its methodology to be 6% MORE biased against Romney in the past five days, are you?  Whatever Gallup’s methodology and whatever its bias, it does not explain trends over time within the Gallup pool itself unless Gallup is changing its methodology.

    So the questions, which have been largely ignored, still stand.  Why the sudden movement away from Romney (I’ve said I think it is that Obama has better ads, it could also be that the polls regarding the swing states have made it seem like Obama has momentum and people want to be on the winning side) and does it change your view (it does not change mine)?  Anyway, what are your thoughts on those questions? 

  • Don Quixote

    CM, as you know, I put more stock in polls than practically any other reader of the Bookwormroom.  Historically, they’ve ended up being reasonably accurate although a bit tilted to Democrats.

    BrianE, Obama has better ads and a more saleable message.  The next time the national debt (which has been my personal hot-button issue for 45 years) actually swings an election will be the first time.  The numbers are too big for people to comprehend and most don’t believe either party will really address the problem anyway.  And, Obama is the incumbent.  A lot of people will prefer the devil they know to the devil they don’t, especially when he is as lacking in charm as Romney. 

    Also, whether conservatives admit it or not, the economy has improved in the last two years.  Jobs are being created, albeit very slowly, and home sales have started to rise.  The stock market is up 10% on the year.  Even gas prices have fallen in the last few months.  Fairly or not, Obama gets the credit.   

  • Charles Martel

    vanderleun, DQ is many things—provocateur, retiree, lawyer, conservative, newly minted Floridian—but a quisling he’s not. His M.O. is to ask questions that generate a lot of response, most of it thoughtful. The evidence is in the many comments most of his blog entries generate.
    That said, I agree that are too many Chicken Littles cringing under the conservative firmament. However, that is the nature of total political warfare: We will always have the milquetoasts to contend with.

  • Don Quixote

    I just did a comment and lost it regarding Rush’s comments and the supposed 4% Republican advantage.  I don’t have the energy to do it again but here are some comments and links:

    vanderleun, What is your source for the 4.3%.  if you are talking about voter registration you are certainly wrong:  “Registered Democrats still dominate the political playing field with more than 42 million voters, compared to 30 million Republicans and 24 million independents.”  Even if you look at voter identification, without regard to registration, Rasmussen has it at 1%

    John C, Rush is partically right.  But take my state of Florida for example.  He complains that the polls expect a turnout of 43-36 in favor of Democrats.  The actual voter registration give Democrats a 41-36% advantage.  Granted, Republicans tend to vote in greater precentages, this isn’t radically off.  Plus, of course, the Republicans’ tendency to turn out more is less a factor in Presidential elections, where overall turnout is higher (a point ignored by Rush in his emphaisis on 2010).        

  • Don Quixote

    CM, thanks for the defense.  And who knows, maybe Obama will fall on his face in the debates without a teleprompter and you folks will turn out to be right after all.

  • jj

    Wallll…. are you seriously suggesting that something happened and the economy, the wars, the foreign policy, unemployment, whatever, all suddenly improved in the last four or five days so noticeably as to vault Obama into a five to six point lead?  What about the national picture suddenly changed since last Saturday?  Polling methodology aside, how is this week so much better than last week?  If something of such major consequence happened to greatly improve Obama’s prospects, damned if I didn’t altogether miss it.  Polls, except the one first Tuesday in November, don’t much resonate with me. 

  • Mike Devx

    DQ said: BrianE, Obama has better ads and a more saleable message.  The next time the national debt (which has been my personal hot-button issue for 45 years) actually swings an election will be the first time.

    DQ, I think the 2010 elections were driven to a large degree by the national debt.  But off-year elections are partisan years; the general public yawns and stays home.  Presidential election years are different beasts.  So I agree with you about presidential election years.

    I can’t explain the six point Gallup swing.  It would be ridiculous for Gallup to suddenly change their sampling.   Polls have a margin of error, so perhaps the prior margin was too low statistically, and the new one is too high?  I looked at the poll, and it is a very sudden upswing.  Patience!  Wait a few days, see if the sudden shift persists.

     So I’ve got no answer.  I’m just going to wait and see.

    As to predictions, I predict a nailbiter of a presidential election.  The big conservative shift happened in 2010, and I don’t see anything that indicates a further conservative shift.  That actually surprises me.  The electorate seems to have hardened into place after 2010, and few people are shifting.  That also means no further shifts in the House or Senate races.   I think we’ll continue to see a divided government at the national level.  If it goes all Republican – a Romney squeaker and the Senate either 50-50 or 51-49 – it will be only barely, and *that* would not be much of a mandate for change.

    The American people simply don’t seem to be buying in en masse demanding conservative change.

    I’ve suspected for most of these four years that the four years of Obama hard-core leftism would not be enough to cause the huge conservative shift.  The American People may need to experience another four years of devastation before they learn the lesson that socialism – or call it whatever you want – simply never works.

    Here in Texas, the price of gasoline has dropped by more than 20c in just a week or two.  If that trend is nationwide, that could account for poll swings.  Consumer confidence is up, usually correlating to gasoline prices, too.

    Another factor is that many Americans continue to “like” Obama.  I have no idea why, but they do.  What the heck:  There are plenty of smooth players in the Friday night bars who keep scoring, Friday night after Friday night, too.  I guess the lesson there, as with Obama, is that America has plenty of willing victims.

  • Old Buckeye

    This guy’s take on things might be helpful:

  • BrianE

    DQ, In Washington state, I haven’t seen any presidential ads, since 1. we watch very little network tv and 2. Washington is firmly entrenched in its yuppie corporate liberalism.

    So no doubt Obama’s message of I’ll give you more stuff than those evil Republicans who want to push grandma over a cliff, and even if they don’t want to do that, they’re a bunch of evil greedy capitalists.

    It’s one of the reasons I thought McCain-Feingold was a terrible mistake.

    The message ‘I care about you and want you to have stuff’ is a much easier sell than the message ‘We can’t afford to give you stuff, and by the way, you’ll feel better about your life if you’re productive.’ 

    But still, 5 points? That’s a landslide.

    I’m curious how you came to decide Romney was lacking in charm? If you were to add up all the minutes you’ve actually seen him speak, how much would that be? He was interviewed by Anderson Cooper recently and I found him rather engaging, not at all the wooden character, devoid of charm, that he has been caricatured by the press. I will give you he’s certainly not ‘I feel you’re pain’ Clinton or Chauncey Obama, who by the way has a very wooden delivery in my opinion.

    As to the senate and house, the results of 2010 were a surprise to everyone– if you believed the MSM, just as every month the jobs report was a surprise to them.

    I understand the FED is buying 40% of new government debt and durable goods orders dropped 13% in August (the highest decline since 2009).


  • Indigo Red

    To answer the title question – no, my view on the likely outcome of this election has not changed. At least, not adversely.

    Romney has not slipped in the polls so much as Obama’s poll numbers have suddenly risen without rhyme or reason in clear contradiction to Islamic rioting, terrorist murders of a US Ambassador, a continuing contrarian employment increase by losing employees through giving-up the job search, a contrarian improving home market by counting investor purchases for rental purposes as home ownership,  more people than ever using government food stamps and disability assistance, feeding school kids healthy meals that are quantitatively inadequate, increasing the ethanol percentage of gasoline that will destroy pre-2004 vehicles and small utility engines, green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan, Sunni-Shia bombings in Iraq, potential war with Iran, massacres in Syria, economic riots in Greece, separatist demonstrations in Spain. And the President goes to Vegas or the golf course. The President has no time to meet with Netanyahu, but has time to party with Jay Z, Beyonce, weigh-in on the NFL ref strike, and bs with the gals of The View.

    There is absolutely nothing – save media and pollster bias – to explain Obama’s drastic poll number rise while Romney remains at the same numbers he has had for months.

  • Mike Devx

    Unless a world event rises up and shocks us, the election will mainly be about the economy.  In the broad sense, not the detailed numbers.
    The media continue to pretend that everything is going just great economically.  Things have marginally improved in recent months and perhaps consumers are noticing, and giving Obama *some* credit.  Any improvement in the economy would cause his numbers to go up.  And the Fed’s QE3 is pumping money, money, money, money into the economy.  Money from nowhere.  Short term benefit, long term horror and disaster.  It’s as if you maxed out your credit card but then Bernanke raised your limit AGAIN, yet another $10,000.  Woo-hoo!  $10,000 more to spend in the next three months, WOO-HOOHOOHOO HOOHOOHOO!  (Never mind considering the idea of refusing to spend the suddenly available extra $10,000; or perhaps – MAY GOD PERISH THE IDEA! – even cutting back on spending a bit. Hell no to that, I guess!)
    But who cares about the long term disaster.  Short term gets His Royal Highness The Magnificently Awesome Kingly And Chosen One, who wishes he could be Dictator, past the November Elections, and that’s what it’s all about.
    It’s not that we’re doing WELL, it’s that we’re doing less horribly than the terrible horrible we had three months ago. 
    News from the last few days indicates that the mild improvement from the Seventh Circle Of Economic Hell up to merely the Sixth Circle… that even this is not going to last very long, and *might* in fact end before November.  If Americans get a chance to absorb that bad news – if the media doesn’t do their very absolute 100% best to hide it – that could be extremely bad news for the well-coddled, protected and insulated Obama Team.

  • Ron19

    There is absolutely nothing – save media and pollster bias – to explain Obama’s drastic poll number rise while Romney remains at the same numbers he has had for months.

     Maybe they’ve started polling the Nobel Peace Prize Committee members.