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Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 8/23-26. Registered voters. MoE ±3.1% (8/16-19 results):

Q: If the candidates for President this fall were Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, who would you vote for?

Barack Obama: 50 (49)
Mitt Romney: 44 (45)
Undecided: 6 (7)

Back on July 22, President Obama hit his lowest mark in our head-to-head polling, tying Mitt Romney at 46 apiece. Since then, his standing has continually improved, going to +1, then +2, +2, +4, and now +6. Interestingly, PPP's zigging while most other pollsters are zagging: If you look at polling aggregates on sites like TPM and Pollster, you'll see the race generally tightening. So what gives?

You might look to the partisan composition of this survey, which is unusually blue: A very high 43 percent of voters describe themselves as Democrats, while 36 percent call themselves Republicans. That's actually a pretty high tally for the GOP, too, but this is a good example of how fluid party ID is: That late July poll which had the race tied also featured a seven-point edge for Democrats. It's also a good example of why you generally shouldn't put a whole lot of stock in part self-identification. But it's not irrelevant, either. (More on that in a moment.)

The more important issue, though, is that many firms have started switched from interviewing the broader universe of registered voters (RVs) to a narrower pool of so-called "likely" voters (LVs). Every pollster uses a different method of sussing out LVs, but generally speaking, LV polls will tend to tilt somewhat redder than RV polls, more often than not—it's simply a fact of life that Dem-leaning voters, for a variety of reasons, are typically less likely to go to the polls than Republicans.

So what I think we have here is, as I've alluded, a sample that's more left-leaning than usual—22 percent identify as "liberal" and 37 percent as "conservative," which is actually very liberal (typically the gap is 20 points—as it was in that July poll—or more). I'd therefore guess that Obama "really" has a lead that's more like two to three points, rather than six. And if this six-point edge is in fact just a blip, that would also tend to explain our outlier-ish trend. But after Labor Day, we expect to switch over to a likely voter model ourselves, so stay tuned to see what, if any, changes that brings to our horserace polling.

P.S. As always, you can find our complete poll archives on our Weekly Trends page.

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Comment Preferences

  •  what are the likely voter screens saying now? (8+ / 0-)
    •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eps62

      That would be useful information to know.

      But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

      by thezzyzx on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:57:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You mean (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yellowdog, eps62

      How do the likely voters screens work? As I say, it varies from pollster to pollster, but this is how PPP does it for its in-house polling (and how they'll likely do it when they switch for us after the holiday):

      We're going to switch to likely voters for our polls this week. Here's what that entails. Right now when we call people for a poll the introduction is 'this is a short survey about some important Florida issues. We appreciate your participation. If you're not a registered voter, please hang up now.' Now the introduction will be 'This is a short survey about the Presidential election in Florida this fall. If you don't plan to vote in the Presidential election, please hang up now.' That's the entire shift. We will continue to use people who voted in at least 1 of the last 3 general elections (2006, 2008, or 2010) as the basis for who we call, as we have been doing throughout the cycle. As you can see the difference between our likely voter polls and what we've been doing over the course of the year is pretty subtle so if you're expecting huge shifts toward the GOP in our polls once we make this change you will probably be disappointed.

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:02:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fallacy here. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cocinero, Jerry J, pademocrat, tofumagoo

        If you had to have voted in either 2006, '08, or '10 to pass the screen as a likely voter, this would automatically exclude any new registrant as a likely voter.  This would specifically exclude 18-20 year olds who wanted to vote for the first time.

      •  How do they know they are calling (0+ / 0-)

        someone who voted in the last 3 elections?

        And here's a separate question:  (from the demographics section in the link)

        When have you ever in your life seen a breakdown like this?

        Women                 500     50
        Men                   500     50
        Democrat              350     35
        Republican            350     35
        Independent/Other     300     30

        This is, quite frankly, hard to believe.

        •  Because the voter files from Aristotle (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eps62, askew

          Inform them of that.

          And what's the issue with that breakdown? If you're concerned about the roundness of the numbers, that's just an artifact of the weighting process, as explained in our methodology statement:

          Using a statistical formula to weight the results can result in a round number of respondents in each demographic category because the Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation Poll generally has a base of 1,000 respondents. However, an examination of the raw data (which is also provided each week) demonstrates that this pattern does not exist at the individual respondent level, but rather is merely a by-product of weighting.

          Political Director, Daily Kos

          by David Nir on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:52:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Note: PPP does not weight for party identification (0+ / 0-)
            (Note: PPP does not weight for party identification.)
            That is from your methodology statement.

            The raw data says :

                                  Raw #    %
            Democrat              377     37.7
            Republican            356     35.6
            Independent/Other     267     26.7

            Yet, the party identification numbers presented are clearly weighted.  Or, only data conforming to the desired equal breakdown was thrown out for other reasons. It is rather hard to believe randomness produced a 350/350/300 party breakdown.

            •  If you prefer to believe (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Delilah, askew, Vote4Obamain2012

              That we're lying, rather than that PPP's normal procedures (which do not involve party weighting), are responsible for this result, I'm afraid there's little I can say.

              Political Director, Daily Kos

              by David Nir on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:11:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well, no.. I think some mistake may have been (0+ / 0-)

                made somewhere along the line..  Or, more likely,I don't understand something about how all this is put together.

                Like why the raw numbers don't jibe with your statement that a high percentage identified themselves as Dems (46 percent vs raw percent of 37.7).  

                But, as my time for having fun with polls numbers is up for today, I'll check back later..

                Thanks!

          •  Women vote in a higher proportion than men (0+ / 0-)

            I think women were 52% of the vote in 2008.  This time it may be even higher.  I'm curious if gender gap got bigger.

            The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

            by Mimikatz on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 11:26:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  RVs vs LVs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62

    I wish they didn't switch and would poll continuously on the premise of trying to determine "who would win by how much if the election were held tomorrow".

  •  Seems like the white voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    are implausibly Democratic in this sample.

    But that can happen.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:56:58 AM PDT

    •  As it happens (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eps62, askew, pademocrat

      This is actually our most "liberal" sample ever. (Dreaminonempty informed me after I wrote this post.)

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:00:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is just one case which I realize wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

      swing the polls, but I received a polling call over the weekend. Normally I ignore any calls that are not from people that I know, but I picked up thinking it might be polling and it was.

      I'm a white woman, liberal, Democratic and vote in every election, including off-cycle elections. So very much a white, Democratic, likely voter.

      One of the reasons I picked up was thinking that the Democrats might not be well-represented since so many younger people may not have land lines and I sometimes worry that decisions over campaign donations are made based on polling. If their candidate is not looking so good, I think some people worry that their donation is throwing good money after bad. I wonder if that thought process was occurring with anyone else.

  •  Meh. (12+ / 0-)

    Just beat these GOP fuckers down in FL, OH, and VA.  That's all I care about.

    Also...FUCK OFF MITT YOU RACE BAITING PILE OF SHIT

    VULTURE/VOUCHER 2012. FUCK YOU, MIDDLE CLASS!

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:01:03 AM PDT

  •  Pardon my ignorance... (0+ / 0-)

    What kind of poll was this? A 'real-person' calling and talking to the person who answered the phone...or an automated(robo?) series of questions requesting the person being surveyed to  poke at a number on the phone keypad?
    I responded to a survey which ID'd itself as PPP over the weekend. It included interesting questions regarding the favorability of several potential 2016 Democratic Party candidates.  
    Hope this isn't too ignorant a question!

    It's about time I got off my lazy butt and do something...

    by NoStampTax on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:04:10 AM PDT

  •  but with the liberal slant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62

    to this, Obama is only ahead of Romney by 8% of women? i dont like that.

    what are women thinking?

    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot

    by live1 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:04:11 AM PDT

  •  Obama hits 50 (7+ / 0-)

    I am so happy to see President Obama hit 50 %.  

    "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

    by buffie on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:05:46 AM PDT

  •  Very, very strange AA results. (0+ / 0-)

    If you average the last eight PPP/Dkos polls for AA's, you get Obama: 84%, Romney 14%. (This poll is 83-15)

    Yet (one or two) other recent polls have Romney's share of the AA vote at 0%, and everyone expects the real percentages in November to closely match those from November, 2008, which were like 95-5.

  •  Completely OT BUT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, eps62, pademocrat

    How did Republicans get the cool Elephant and Democrats got stuck with an Ass?

    How did that come around... A donkey? Oh lord.

  •  This poll has strange internals (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, wishingwell, pademocrat

    Obama only +9 with women? No way.  He's at least +15 with women.

    Obama +5 with men?  No way.  Romney is easily +8 with men.

    Romney getting 19% of AAs?  No way.  He's lucky if he gets 10% of AAs.  

    Trust-Fund Kids of America Unite... save the Bush tax cuts!

    by JCPOK on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:20:55 AM PDT

    •  I wouldn't focus too much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea

      On the racial crosstabs. The sample size each week is too small. (For instance, about 100 to 120 black voters per week.) They're generally only useful if you combine a few weeks' worth of raw data to get an adequate sample size.

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:22:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes unless it was in some deep red states (0+ / 0-)

      with a lot of Evangelical women..maybe ?  Or in area with a lot of Catholic Democratic women but they have been voting for Republicans based on the abortion issue as we do run into them in certain areas where we GOTV..they are very strict catholics but still registered as Democrats.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:03:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or I just happen to run into these women a lot (0+ / 0-)

        on Facebook and elsewhere..very conservative on social issues but still registered as Democrats ..all because of their church teachings and their pastor or priest tells them how to vote.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:04:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  RCP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry J

    Anyone know why RCP does not include this poll in their averages?

  •  Why early voting and vote-by-mail is so important (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, eps62, wishingwell, askew
    it's simply a fact of life that Dem-leaning voters, for a variety of reasons, are typically less likely to go to the polls than Republicans.
    In 2008 McCain was ahead in Iowa based on votes cast at the polls, but when the absentee ballots were counted, Obama won by more than +9.
    •  Vote-By-Mail (0+ / 0-)

      Here in Oregon where all elections are VBM, we get very good turnout and this system, may I point out, is the antithesis of all the voter id crap going on in states controlled by the Elephant Party.

      Bend Bulletin: 2006.
      Oregon ranked as the nation's third-highest state in terms of voter turnout in the 2004 general election, according to a U.S. Census analysis of people who are old enough to vote.

      Meanwhile, voter turnouts in the state - measured as the percentage of those people who are registered and actually vote - have remained relatively steady since the 1960s, according to Oregon Elections Division data.

      The turnout in presidential elections has been close to 80 percent, and the turnout in off-year gubernatorial elections has been close to 70 percent.

      In the 2004 election, a presidential year, 86.5 percent of registered Oregon voters cast ballots.

      No, there haven't been any noticeable problems with voting. I've received criticism on DKos before about this.
      Salem Statesman Journal Sept. 2011 about 2010 off-year eletions.
      Maine, Washington and Oregon were 1-2-3, each with more than 56 percent of citizens 18 and older voting.

      At the other end were Utah, Tennessee and Texas, all 36 percent or less. Texas was lowest at 31.4 percent.

      Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

      by TerryDarc on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:59:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Obama leads Romney 2-1 among non-voters" (7+ / 0-)
    A nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of people who are eligible to vote but aren't likely to do so finds that these stay-at-home Americans back Obama's re-election over Republican Mitt Romney by more than 2-1. Two-thirds of them say they are registered to vote. Eight in 10 say the government plays an important role in their lives.

    Even so, they cite a range of reasons for declaring they won't vote or saying the odds are no better than 50-50 that they will: They're too busy. They aren't excited about either candidate. Their vote doesn't really matter. And nothing ever gets done, anyway.
    ...
    The top reason given by unregistered voters for not having signed up is their busy lives. Among the top reasons given by registered voters for not bothering to go to the polls: not liking either candidate and not feeling that their vote matters.

    Lisa Goicochea, 19, a student at LaGuardia Community College in New York City, favors Obama. "I like that he's been trying to go through with the Obamacare, which will benefit a lot of people," she says of the health care law. But she doesn't plan to vote and isn't interested in politics.

    "Sometimes people actually enjoy talking about this, and I feel left out," she says. When it comes to the government, she adds a bit ruefully, "it does matter."

    http://www.usatoday.com/...

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    •  If we could only convince these people to register (0+ / 0-)

      to vote. They can take the form home, fill it out, mail it in...takes very little time.  And then perhaps they can vote absentee. As I have heard a lot of coworkers over the years say they simply cannot find the time to vote as their schedule is full , especially single working women telling us that they have to pick up and drop off kids at daycare, school activities, and working and no time in the day to vote. We are having some luck getting them to vote absentee or talking them into voting absentee as we have no early voting in PA.

      But we always find people who say they will not register to vote as they do not want to be called for Jury duty..sigh.  

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:07:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Poll understates Obama's performance among (6+ / 0-)

    African Americans.  After that week long Klan rally in Tampa, I doubt Romney gets even 3% of the African American vote.  Obama leads among men and women. Romney has not a single digit advantage among white voters.  Obama and Romney take home about the same percentage of their respective party members.  Regionally, the poll had Romney slightly ahead in the Midwest which is a bit odd given recent polling.  

    Obama leads in all demos except 65+.  I see a lot of trends in this poll which will appear in a lot of polls following the conventions.  I think you will see excited Dems, a growing advantage in the 50-64 bloc, a muted advantage for Romney in the 65+ bloc and a smaller gap among white voters in states outside the south.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:29:50 AM PDT

  •  I am mystified (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry J

    On the diary, a poll is published. In the comments, it is pretty much called invalid because of the sample. Why publish a poll if you don't think it's much good?

  •  Speaking of polls (slightly off topic). (0+ / 0-)

    There have now been two subsequent polls for the Connecticut senate race which have McMahon (R-wresting) ahead of Murphy(D).

    Are we looking at a Coakley-type scenario here?

  •  gallup has Obama down to 43% approval (0+ / 0-)

    They really seem to be the worst pollster out there. even Ras has Obama at 50% approval. I guess but next week they will have Obama in the 30's.

    •  Both Washington Post and CNN (0+ / 0-)

      have Obama at 50% approval as well. Although it is mystifying how an incumbent president at that level polls only 48-50 against an opponent who has higher negatives than positives. Something ain't right.

  •  All they have to do is "humanize" Willard (0+ / 0-)

    As opposed to what, exactly? Is he super-human, sub-human? A mannequin? A robot? A frickin' kangaroo?

    In their lives there's something lacking - What they need's a damn good whacking -- "Piggies"

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:23:55 AM PDT

  •  obama +4 in new Ipsos/Reuters tracking poll. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pademocrat, katesmom

    Obama WAY ahead in likability.

    "Democrats have the heart to care."

    by jeepdad on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:32:53 AM PDT

  •  The President is winning this race. (0+ / 0-)

    Whether it's by two or ten points, he's ahead.

    Just look at the disarray on display in Tampa. Now they need a Mystery Guest to generate excitement. Shouldn't Mitt be enough?

  •  Registered vs. Likely Timing Have Mercy! (0+ / 0-)

    Do we REALLY want to unnecessarily concern our folks with changing from RV to LV only after the GOP convention??? When they historically get a bounce anyway?

    That seems like ill timing. Why wait until after the Dem convention is over and everything evens out, rather than potentially scaring the bejezus out of us!

    Have Mercy!

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 12:08:15 PM PDT

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