Free Markets, Free People

Polling, preference cascades, etc.

I wanted to make a quick point here. First this:

Mitt Romney has taken a narrow national lead, tightened the gender gap and expanded his edge over President Barack Obama on who would best grow the economy.

A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll of 1,000 likely voters — taken from Sunday through Thursday of last week — shows Romney ahead of Obama by 2 percentage points, 49 percentage to 47 percent. That represents a 3-point swing in the GOP nominee’s direction from a week ago but is still within the margin of error. Obama led 49 percent to 48 percent the week before.

A lot of discussion on polls this time around. We talked about them extensively in the podcast. The thing to realize is regardless of how the polling concerns have set up their split among self-identified Republicans and Democrats, the one thing that has been fairly consistent in each of them is Romney trending up. So while they may all show different percentages and even an Obama lead, the fact remains that the challenger has continued to gain even while the incumbent was declared the winner of the last debate.

That, my friends, signifies, at least as far as I can tell, a preference cascade beginning to swell.

As we’ve pointed out repeatedly, the most important debate this year was the first debate. In that debate, the challenger had to appear to be an acceptable alternative/replacement for the incumbent. Romney was able to exceed expectations in that department. That’s when the tide began to turn. The second debate, while somewhat important, but only if the challenger really goofed it up, just didn’t carry the weight of the first. And as hard as the left has tried to make the debates about Big Bird, binders of women and an alleged “Libya gaffe” (as I see it, there was no gaffe at all, we saw an incumbent President pretend/allege he said something he didn’t say). They’re not selling except among the partisan base.

We’ll see if this debate this evening adds momentum to the challengers upward trend or whether the incumbent is somehow able to slow or stop it. I’m not sure what the President could say or do that would accomplish that given his dismal foreign policy record (and his previous declaration that his lack of foreign policy experience just wasn’t a show stopper).

Like Dale says, I think, as far as Romney is concerned, we’re in “dead girl or live boy” territory.


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32 Responses to Polling, preference cascades, etc.

  • Over the weekend, the Houston Carbuncle endorsed Romney, reversing itself from 2008.
    ONE important component in a preference cascade is “social permission”…or the perception that it is acceptable to express a position opposite what what thought to be the socially dominant one.
    We are seeing that in the newspaper endorsements flowing in from around the nation.

  • Less than 6 weeks ago we were told by the media that the independents were going to decide this election.  Since then I have checked out the nuts & bolts of every poll where the data is made available and with evey one of them the polls are showing upwards of a +6-11 point advantage in the numbers of Dems sampled.  Not one of them have shown a Republican advantage or even a dead heat in sampling.  In every one of them, the independents break for Romney to the tune of +4-8%.  And yet every poll shows either a virtual dead heat or a small lead by one or the other.  Now I am not real big on “new math” but I do have a pretty good grasp of basic math (2+2=4 works for me most of the time) and these polls just do not make much sense.

    • Several sources are showing a break for Romney among independents in the double digits.  THAT has to be of huge significance.

      • And the “Undecided” typically go for the challenger at the last moment by about 80-20.

        • I’m trying to imagine someone honestly saying they are undecided and then suddenly deciding to go for Obama.  I think undecided is just an excuse not to discuss a decision they’ve already made, to appear ‘open minded’ or to avoid discussing it.

  • Like Dale says, I think, as far as Romney is concerned, we’re in “dead girl or live boy” territory.

    I shudder at the thought of what that refers to.  Either way you just lost your PG-13 rating. 

  • “we’re in “dead girl or live boy” territory.”

    Hah!.  Tell it to Gerry Studds and Barney Frank.
    That is so homophobic. And necrophobic. Get with it, this is the 21st century. You are offending the GLBTN…XYZ community.

    • In my famous (to my retriever) novel written two decades ago, I included a reference to the “omni-sexual” or “Ecstatic” (WAY past “gay”) movement.
      Can I call ’em, or what…!?!?

      • A sportscaster Biff Barf, from the Biff Barf Sportslight Spotlight (George Carlin) used to say, “I call ’em as I see ’em, if I don’t see ’em, I make ’em up!”. 🙂

  • They’re trying to prop Baracky up – especially in Ohio – using polls with D+6 to D+9. Folks, this isn’t gonna be a D+6 election, not in Ohio, not across this nation.  My guess: D+1 in Ohio, D+3 nationally, which means Romney wins in convincing fashion. Further guess: On election night, we’ll get an early shock that will set the tone, some blue state that will either unexpectedly turn red, or at least remain too close to call wayyy long past the normal time when they’d have traditionally called it in past elections.

    • “least remain too close to call”
      Which the media will call early based on the most heavily Democratic area they can find.

    • I’ll wager that if the election doesn’t turn out good for Obama then the D+9 polls will be used as evidence of voter fraud.

      • No fair- they’re already doing that. That old worthless piece of trash Dan Rather already said Ohio was going to be stolen by the GOP…..just like FL in 2008 and OH in 2004.
        I’m not playing your rigged game 😉

        • That’s giving them too much credit.
          It will all be blame on racism.

          • It already is blamed on racism when we don’t bend over and spread our cheeks for Teh Anointed Won.
            And, yes, he IS a socialist, and not only that, I truly believe he is not only a socialist, a Marxist, but a Leninist.

  • I seem to be seeing more R&R stickers on cars and even a few signs on lawns.

    Romney shared his fundraising with the GOP, Obama kept his to himself and now both Obama and the DNC are taking out loans, about $15M each, to fund campaigns.

    I’m hoping to see a big downticket impact along with a Romney sweep. I hoping even that idiot Akins wins and the  GOP wins the Senate.

  • Just saw the debate. Obama should start packing up now.

  • Is everyone ready for the riots?

    • Quite ready.
      I have 800 rounds for my FAL, and 1200 rounds for my two AR-15s and a good supply of beer.
      I have also coordinated with my next door neighbor, a black retired Marine MSgt (who took early retirement at the 25 year mark in 2010 because of Obama at 43 years old – enlisted the day after high school graduation) and the black ex-Army E-7 across the street (who slapped his kid in the head for wearing his hat backwards) for a triangulation coverage field of fire.

    • It’s sad but I fully expect problems after we boot the SCOAMF out. And from more than just one race. Liberals don’t take losing very well

      • Oh. yes. In my neighborhood the thugs are multi-cultural too. Because its become a cultural issue at some level. Or maybe an attitude issue.

    • If you’re in North Carolina – better watch out for the armored motorized geriatric wheel chair brigade….
      What voter fraud?

  • Just as an aside, our miltary needs more bayonets AND warships. Our aircraft carriers are our ultinate weapon (after nukes) but they can’t be in 2 places at once. They also need protection and support. That Obama can dismiss that with such a cavalier (and snotty, unpresidential) quip is horrifying. Pres. dipsh*t has got to go.

    • Not to mention the sheer snarky childishness of his answer.   “We have these things called….”

    • And you can’t just send one of them tootling around places. They come with a whole fleet of smaller ships.
      Obama is an idiot.

  • National polls mean about as little as polls of registered voters—it’s the calculations of likely electoral votes that count.

  • AHHH you are all a pack of woman hating racists!