Are skewed polls over-sampling Dems?

Are skewed polls over-sampling Dems?

Sept. 24, 2012

By Katy Grimes

During Presidential elections, many political pundits say that voters should not pay attention to the hundreds of political polls until a couple of weeks before the election.

More than ever, this is good advice. Every day there is a new poll proclaiming that President Barack Obama will be easily reelected, or in California, that Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase initiative will easily pass.

If only California voters were deciding, I might believe the polls. But the rest of the country is not extreme liberal California — and for this we can be thankful.

Unskewed Polls

A website called Unskewed Polls has data proving just how skewed most of the national Presidential polls really are.

In many of the national polls, they surveyed a much larger ratio of Democrats to Republicans voters. Over-sampling voters of either party produces a survey result that skews the poll by about the percentage of the over-sampled voters.

Many of the polls are also surveying “registered voters” instead of “likely voters,” and there is a difference.

UnSkewed Polling Data
Monday, September 24, 2012 3:06:32 PM
Poll Date Sample MoE Obama(D) Romney(R) Spread
UnSkewed Avg. 9/4 – 9/20 44.0 51.8 Romney +7.8
Reason/Rupe 9/13 – 9/17 787 LV 4.3 45.0 52.0 Romney +7
Reuters/Ipsos 9/12 – 9/20 1437 LV 2.9 44.0 54.0 Romney +10
NBC News/WSJ 9/12 – 9/16 736 LV 3.6 44.0 51.0 Romney +7
Monmouth Univ. 9/13 – 9/16 1344 LV 2.5 45.0 50.0 Romney +5
QStarNews 9/10 – 9/15 2075 3.0 44.0 55.0 Romney +11
NY Times/CBS News 9/8 – 9/12 1162 LV 3.0 44.0 51.0 Romney +7
Democracy Corps 9/8 – 9/12 1000 LV 3.1 43.0 52.0 Romney +8
Fox News 9/9 – 9/11 1056 LV 3.0 45.0 48.0 Romney +3
Wash. Post/ABC News 9/7 – 9/9 826 LV 4.0 45.0 52.0 Romney +7
CNN/ORC 9/7 – 9/9 875 RV 3.5 45.0 53.0 Romney +8
IBD/CSM/TIPP 9/4 – 9/9 808 RV 3.5 41.0 50.0 Romney +9
ARG 9/4 – 9/6 1200 LV 3.0 43.0 53.0 Romney +10

UnSkewed Polling Data
Poll Date Sample MoE Approval Disapproval Spread
UnSkewed Avg. 9/4 – 9/20 44.1 52.9 Disapproval 8.8
Reason/Rupe 9/13 – 9/17 787 LV 4.3 44.0 53.0 Disapproval 9
NBC News/WSJ 9/12 – 9/16 736 LV 3.6 44.0 54.0 Disapproval 10
QStarNews 9/10 – 9/15 2075 3.0 45.0 55.0 Disapproval 10
NY Times/CBS News 9/8 – 9/12 1162 LV 3.0 44.0 51.0 Disapproval 7
Democracy Corps 9/8 – 9/12 1000 LV 3.1 42.0 55.0 Disapproval 13
Fox News 9/9 – 9/11 1056 LV 3.0 45.0 53.0 Disapproval 8
Wash. Post/ABC News 9/7 – 9/9 826 LV 4.0 45.0 49.0 Disapproval 4
CNN/ORC 9/7 – 9/9 875 RV 3.5 44.0 53.0 Disapproval 9


According to a story in today, Mitt Romney is actually ahead of President Obama. “Despite all the noise created by all those media-commissioned skewed polls that appear to have President Obama leading, Mitt Romney is actually winning the presidential race as of today,” Dean Chambers wrote.

“Polling data and analysis of voting patterns indicates that Romney is going to win most of the key swing states including the five surveyed by Purple Strategies just a few days ago,” Chambers explained. “The last QStarNews analysis and projection of the electoral college covered in this column predicts Romney winning 301 electoral votes, 31 more than needed for election as president.”

With the mainstream media practically running the Obama campaign, their media-commissioned polls over-sample Democrats to produce skewed results that favor the Democrats, according to Democratic pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen, in another recent story by Chambers.

Chambers explained in a recent op ed that the polls are skewed “to help President Obama win a second term.” He added, “The mainstream media has no intentions of sitting on the sidelines and merely objectively reporting the news of the election contest while watching Barack Obama become another Jimmy Carter.”

There is no doubt that the media is creating an alternate universe in which Obama is ahead. But the numbers don’t add up. “The newest Rasmussen Reports Presidential Daily Tracking poll released today shows Obama 47 percent to Romney 46 percent, and shows them tied at 48 percent when leaning voters are included,” Chambers wrote. “The Gallup tracking poll, which is based on a sample that tends to favor Democrats by a few points, released today shows Obama leading just two percent, 48 percent to 46 percent. The QStarNews Daily Tracking Poll released today shows a Romney lead of 51 percent to 45 percent.”

Because this is being so blatantly done on the national level, Californians can expect the same tactics on our ballot initiatives.

The California political machine

Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase measure, Proposition 30, and Molly Munger’s tax increase initiative, Proposition 38, have both lost support since July, and may very well be decided by the currently large group of undecided voters.

Both Prop. 30 and Prop. 38 raise taxes, but Prop. 30 increases income taxes on those who make more than $250,000, and increase the sales tax by .25 cents. Munger’s Prop. 38 raises taxes on nearly everyone in the state.

But both initiatives claim that the tax revenue raised will go to education. However, at an Assembly hearing on Monday to examine the Propositions, it became more evident that tax revenue from Brown’s Prop. 30 will largely go directly into the State General Fund, while Prop. 38 revenues are slated for education.

UC Berkeley-Field poll

A recent UC Berkeley-Field Poll found that 51 percent of likely voters support Brown’s Prop. 30, with 36 percent against it — 13 percent were still undecided.

The same UC Berkeley-Field Poll found that 41 percent of likely voters support Prop. 38, with 44 percent against it, and 15 percent undecided.

At least this poll surveyed likely voters. But the undecided voters is still a high number.

The UC-Berkeley-Field Poll reported:

“Proposition 30 receives its greatest support from Democrats, independents, voters under age 50, Latino, African-American and Asian-American voters, those living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and voters who have completed post-graduate work.”

Yes voters on Prop. 30 believe the state is moving in the right direction. They also strongly approve of the job Brown is doing as Governor 69% to 18%. A 63% majority of Yes voters also believes the amount they pay in state taxes is about right, while just 22% think they pay too much.

By contrast, large majorities of No voters on Prop. 30 believe the state is seriously off on the wrong track (81%), disapprove of the Brown’s job performance (69%) and think they pay more in state taxes than they should (69%).

Undecided voters hold views that are closer to No voters in their negative assessment of the state’s overall direction (46% wrong track vs. 33% right track), but share Yes voters’ generally positive view of the Governor’s performance (44% approve vs. 29% disapprove). A majority of undecided voters (54%) feel they pay about the right amount in state taxes while 35% think they pay too much.”

The UC-Berkeley-Field Poll reported that the findings are based on interviews conducted with 1,183 California registered voters, including 902 voters considered likely to vote in the November 2012 general election. 66 percent were registered Democratic, 27 percent registered Republican, and 57 percent had no party preference/other.

Take a look at Unskewed Polls – the information on this site is a good way to arm voters prior to November 6, and prevent the naysayers from giving the election away.

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