Thursday, August 2, 2012

Analyzing the 8/1 Quinny poll: Dems oversampled, great news for Kasich.

Yesterday, Quinnipiac University released a poll of Ohio voters. Ohio Democrats are celebrating the results of the presidential questions. We'll take a look at that first, then we'll move on to the excellent news for Governor Kasich second.

This poll has liberals excited for a couple of reasons. First, it shows President Downgrade Obama beating Mitt Romney by six points. Second, Obama hits the 50% support level, which is key for an incumbent to feel safe.

But, if there's one thing about polling that I can't repeat often enough, it's to look at the partisan weighting. How many Democrats did they include versus Republicans? And how many indies?

For this poll, the D/R/I sampling was 35/27/32 for a Dem +8 advantage.

That's a big red flag right there. Why? Because Dems are way oversampled. That number assumes that Democrats are going to turn out to vote in vastly higher numbers than Republicans. In 2008, we saw the most energized Democratic turnout in recent history. It was a huge blue wave, and according to Ohio exit polls, the Dem advantage was +8 that year.

But two years later, in 2010, Republicans actually outnumbers Dems at the polls for a +1 advantage. That was a wave election in the opposite direction and we saw a D/R/I breakdown of 36/37/28.

It's highly unlikely that Democrat turnout and enthusiasm is going to match 2008. Nobody believes that is going to happen.

Turnout for this year's election will almost certainly fall somewhere in between 2008 and 2010. Since there is still an enthusiasm gap in favor of Republicans, a more realistic sample would be 36/33/31, somewhere around a Dem +3 advantage.

Using this more realistic sample, the Obama lead shrinks from 6 to about 2, which is within the margin of error. The bottom line is that Ohio is neck and neck, and will mostly likely remain that way all the way into November.

Quinnipiac is a reputable pollster, and usually employs better samples than this. However, for this one, they did the poll in cooperation with CBS and the New York Times, and those two outlets are notorious for oversampling Democrats in their polls.

The good news for Governor Kasich comes here:

6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling his job as Governor?

Approve: ...... 47%
Disapprove: ... 38%
DK/NA: ........ 15%

That is a major improvement. As much as Democrats and the unions have torn this governor down, Ohioans are starting to realize that his policies are helping Ohio. Independents now approve of Kasich 48 to 38.

When you take into account that Democrats were oversampled, it makes Kasich's approval numbers look even better.

This has to worry Democrats like Ted Strickland who intend to run against Kasich in 2014. He has come through a storm of attacks initially hurt him, only to see his approval ratings continue to climb.


  1. Nick's qualifications to say what an accurate sample size would be? None. The reality is that Democratic voters largely outweigh Republican ones. Also, Quinnipiac has a better track record predicting turnout than Nick. Third, every registered voter in Ohio is going to get an early ballot application mailed to them. That's going to increase Democratic turnout.

    John Kasich's approval rating, while an all-time high is still lower than what Strickland's was. And you can't read too much into one poll particular one that is projecting likely voters in 2012, and not who will vote in 2014.

  2. Nothing on the poll on Josh Mandel. Hello? Nick? Josh Mandel getting crushed in yet another poll in Ohio?

  3. this being the all the time great news for kasich blog it fits perfectly.

  4. Gee, Modern, thanks for the intelligent comments. I really take seriously criticisms about my polling analysis from a guy who predicted a 20+ point Strickland victory.

    1. You keep bringing up something I wrote in 2009 which was with the specifical qualifier, that unless things subsantially changed, Strickland would win. Things obviously changed since I wrote that in March 2009, which I had acknowledged over and over again.

      So you keep bringing up a "prediction" that I never maintained. Congratulations. It just proves that you don't know what you're talking about.

    2. No, you didn't put any qualifier by it at all.

      John Kasich's talking head-ness at Fox News tells you what to expect from him as a candidate. Promises and platitudes, but not serious plans or the ability to lead.

      Kasich will raise alot of money. And he'll lose by at least twenty points. Strickland hasn't been one to toot his own horns. The campaign will, unfortunately, need to do some public education as to what Strickland has done the last three years as a result. But despite that, he's got strong job approval numbers that suggest no Republican candidate can be a credible threat.

      And John Kasich has never given a "fiery" speech in his life. He's bland, boring, and predictable.

      This race is going to be painful to follow. John Kasich couldn't even carry his old Congressional District now.

      Some BRILLIANT prognostication there, Modern. And you're talking about how qualified I am to analyze a poll? (Larry Sabato agrees with me on the sample, by the way.)

      And he'll lose by at least twenty points.



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