Oct. 24: In Polls, Romney’s Momentum Seems to Have Stopped

  • MusclFurPeX

    Posts: 166

    Oct 25, 2012 6:47 PM GMT
    The term “momentum” is used very often in political coverage — but reporters and analysts seldom pause to consider what it means.

    Let me tell you what I think it ought to mean: that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. That is, it ought to imply that a candidate is gaining ground in the race — and, furthermore, that he is likely to continue to gain ground.

    As a thesis or prediction about how polls behave, this notion is a bit dubious, especially in general elections. In races for the United States Senate, for instance, my research suggests that a candidate who gains ground in the polls in one month (say, from August to September) is no more likely to do so during the next one (from September to October). If anything, the candidate who gains ground in the polls in one month may be more likely to lose ground the next time around.

    (Where might there be clearer evidence for momentum, as I’ve defined it? In primaries, especially when there are multiple candidates in the race and voters are behaving tactically in choosing among them. But there is little evidence of it in general elections.)

    The way the term “momentum” is applied in practice by the news media, however, it usually refers only to the first part of the clause — meaning simply that a candidate has been gaining ground in the polls, whether or not he might continue to do so. (I’ve used this phrasing plenty of times myself, so I have no real basis to complain about it.)

    But there are other times when the notion of momentum is behind the curve — as it probably now is if applied to Mitt Romney’s polling.

    Mr. Romney clearly gained ground in the polls in the week or two after the Denver debate, putting himself in a much stronger overall position in the race. However, it seems that he is no longer doing so.

    Take Wednesday’s national tracking polls, for instance. (There are now eight of them published each day.) Mr. Romney gained ground in just one of the polls, an online poll conducted for Reuters by the polling organization Ipsos. He lost ground in five others, with President Obama improving his standing instead in those surveys. On average, Mr. Obama gained about one point between the eight polls.


    This is the closest that we’ve come in a week or so to one candidate clearly having “won” the day in the tracking polls — and it was Mr. Obama.

    The trend could also be spurious. If the race is steady, it’s not that hard for one candidate to gain ground in five of six polls (excluding the two that showed no movement on Wednesday) just based on chance alone.

    What isn’t very likely, however, is for one candidate to lose ground in five of six polls if the race is still moving toward him. In other words, we can debate whether Mr. Obama has a pinch of momentum or whether the race is instead flat, but it’s improbable that Mr. Romney would have a day like this if he still had momentum.

    The FiveThirtyEight model looks at a broader array of polls — including state polls — in order to gauge the overall trend in the race.

    Our “now-cast” also finds a slightly favorable trend for Mr. Obama over the course of the past 10 days or so. Mr. Romney’s position peaked in the “now-cast” on Friday, Oct. 12, at which point it estimated a virtual tie in the popular vote (Mr. Obama was the projected “winner” by 0.3 percentage points). As of Wednesday, however, Mr. Obama was 1.4 percentage points ahead in the “now-cast”, meaning that he may have regained about 1 percentage point of the 4 points or so that he lost after Denver. Mr. Obama’s chances of winning the Electoral College were up in the FiveThirtyEight forecast to 71 percent on Wednesday from 68.1 percent on Tuesday.

    It’s not yet clear how much of this, if any, has to do with the final presidential debate in Florida this Monday, which instant polls regarded Mr. Obama as having won. Instead, it’s been more of a slow and unsteady trajectory for him, with Mr. Obama often taking two steps forward but then one step back. It’s also not out of the question that the apparent trend just represents statistical noise.

    At the same time, there is more reason to take a potential change in the polls seriously if it is precipitated by a news event like the debate. The tracking polls that were released on Wednesday contained only one full day of interviews that postdated the Florida debate. If the debate moved the needle toward Mr. Obama, it should become more apparent in the coming days.

    The battleground state polls that came in on Wednesday were generally very close to our model’s current projections. For instance, there were three Ohio polls published on Wednesday; one showed a tied race there, while the other two showed Mr. Obama ahead by margins of two and five points.That’s pretty much what you’d expect to see out of a trio of Ohio polls if Mr. Obama’s lead there were about two points, which is where our model now has it.

    Some of the polls, especially the Time Magazine poll which had Mr. Obama five points ahead in Ohio, seemed to set off a lot of discussion on Twitter, as though people were surprised that Mr. Obama still held the lead there.

    But these polls are really nothing new. Since the Denver debate, Mr. Obama has held the lead in 16 Ohio polls against 6 for Mr. Romney. In Nevada, Mr. Obama has had the lead in 11 polls, to Mr. Romney’s 1. Mr. Obama has led in all polls of Wisconsin since the Denver debate, and he has had five poll leads in Iowa to one for Mr. Romney.

    Part of the confusion (and part of the reason behind the perception that Mr. Romney is still gaining ground in the race) may be because of the headlines that accompany polls.

    We’re still getting some polls trickling in where the most recent comparison is to a poll conducted before the Denver debate. We should expect Mr. Romney to gain ground relative to a poll conducted before Denver. (Mr. Romney may have lost a point or so off his bounce, but he has clearly not lost all of it). But it isn’t news when he does; Mr. Romney’s Denver gains had long ago become apparent, and priced into the various polling averages and forecast models.

    The question, rather, is whether Mr. Romney is gaining ground relative to the post-Denver polls — or if, as Wednesday’s polls seemed to imply, the race instead may have ticked back slightly toward Mr. Obama.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Oct 25, 2012 7:12 PM GMT
    MusclFurPeX said
    Some of the polls, especially the Time Magazine poll which had Mr. Obama five points ahead in Ohio, seemed to set off a lot of discussion on Twitter, as though people were surprised that Mr. Obama still held the lead there.




    For those who think Romney needs Ohio to win...

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/17498/latest-presidential-polls-real-clear-politics-ohio-polls-show-possible-path-to-romney-win-without-ohio

    But this will all seem a moot point in 11 days because Romney is going to win Ohio. Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 25, 2012 7:38 PM GMT
    The increasing numbers of people turning out at every stop along the Romney campaign would suggest the polar opposite of what this thread title suggests. Mr. Romney raised $118 million in the first 2 weeks of October. If that is stalled momentum, we'll take it. Real Clear Politics polls still has Romney in the lead, and with a large lead among independents. Ohio is dangerously close to moving into lean Romney territory, with many claiming now that Mr. Romney has several paths to 270 even without Ohio. The end of the Obama era is near
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Oct 25, 2012 7:46 PM GMT
    Don'tQuoteMeThe end of the Obama era is near


    If so, then it's the start of a very anti gay era.

    I always thought gay people would unite for equality, but as the gay Romney supporters have shown, there are a number of us who are fine with voting against equal rights.

    It's very tragic and dissappointing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 25, 2012 7:47 PM GMT
    So much text, so little content. And your point is...?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 25, 2012 8:01 PM GMT
    My prediction: They try and villanize Romney's religion to break apart his support in the south. I saw it today in an opinion piece of the Dothan Eagle (of all places) that put Romney on blast for being part of what many have for years, categorized as a cult.

    End result: I think Obama walks away with 53-55% of the vote.

    My vote: Gary Johnson, unfortunately...he's not gunna do much but bust up the (R) block, even though he's the most legitimate candidate on the field.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 25, 2012 8:09 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    MusclFurPeX said
    Some of the polls, especially the Time Magazine poll which had Mr. Obama five points ahead in Ohio, seemed to set off a lot of discussion on Twitter, as though people were surprised that Mr. Obama still held the lead there.




    For those who think Romney needs Ohio to win...

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/17498/latest-presidential-polls-real-clear-politics-ohio-polls-show-possible-path-to-romney-win-without-ohio

    But this will all seem a moot point in 11 days because Romney is going to win Ohio. Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock...




    Nice try Todd... I think not.. NOT AT ALL!!

    Preparations for "the grand celebration" continue for my house on election night!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Oct 25, 2012 8:28 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said

    Nice try Todd... I think not.. NOT AT ALL!!

    Preparations for "the grand celebration" continue for my house on election night!



    You might want to double up on the vodka & Aspirin --- you're gonna need it icon_wink.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Oct 25, 2012 10:41 PM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 25, 2012 11:34 PM GMT
    Tick tock indeed.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/2012_elections_electoral_college_map_no_toss_ups.html
  • TroyAthlete

    Posts: 4269

    Oct 26, 2012 12:02 AM GMT
    Obama is ahead in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. He doesn't even need Virginia and Florida but he is tied or barely behind there (and the last Virginia poll put him at +5). RCP just moved North Carolina back to tossup status.

    But who you gonna believe? Nate Silver, a serious statistician and poll analyst, or LaughingStockAZ, a tool who predicted Jon Hunstman would win the GOP nomination?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 26, 2012 12:07 AM GMT

    Romney isnt going to win.




    obamawhite.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 26, 2012 4:46 PM GMT
    TroyAthlete saidObama is ahead in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. He doesn't even need Virginia and Florida but he is tied or barely behind there (and the last Virginia poll put him at +5). RCP just moved North Carolina back to tossup status.

    But who you gonna believe? Nate Silver, a serious statistician and poll analyst, or LaughingStockAZ, a tool who predicted Jon Hunstman would win the GOP nomination?


    Don't count on Colorado yet.

    Poll: Colorado Race Deadlocked

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203937004578079203394614368.html?mod=WSJ_hpsMIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

    President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are running neck-and-neck in Colorado and Nevada, showing that both candidates still have a path to victory in the Electoral College that runs through the West, new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll surveys show.

    .The surveys released Thursday found that Mr. Romney had gained ground in Colorado over the past month, moving from a five-point deficit in mid-September to a tie, with each candidate drawing 48% support among likely voters
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 26, 2012 6:10 PM GMT
    I knew any Mittmentum was DEAD when I read these words from

    our own CuriousJockAZ:

    " I have stated many MANY times that I have a problem with Mitt Romney in a variety of areas -- not the least of which is
    THE FACT THAT HE IS AGAINST "CIVIL UNIONS" , which I find perplexing and all kinds of disappointing.

    I was also extremely disappointed that
    HE SIGNED "THE PLEDGE" APPEASING THE FAR RIGHT regarding working towards a constitutional amendment for DOMA. "
  • StevieB0402

    Posts: 159

    Oct 26, 2012 10:16 PM GMT
    ConfederateGhost saidMy prediction: They try and villanize Romney's religion to break apart his support in the south. I saw it today in an opinion piece of the Dothan Eagle (of all places) that put Romney on blast for being part of what many have for years, categorized as a cult.

    End result: I think Obama walks away with 53-55% of the vote.

    My vote: Gary Johnson, unfortunately...he's not gunna do much but bust up the (R) block, even though he's the most legitimate candidate on the field.



    November 7th, no matter who wins, I'm starting work on Gary Johnson 2016.

    Everything I've read here suggests that 98% of RJ members should support Gov. Johnson. He is in favor of fiscal balance and minimizing all facets of the budget, thereby reducing taxes and promoting growth of the private sector. He is also opposed to the war on drugs, a 1980's version of Prohibition that has managed to stay alive into the 21st century. He believes the federal government has no authority to oppose gay marriage and feels the states should decide on an individual level (read: bye bye DOMA, hello marriage on every level if your state approves. If it doesn't, move. Gay people have been relocating for tolerance reasons for decades). His belief in personal liberty means a woman's right to choose will never be in question, but federal funding will be greatly reduced so persons opposed to abortion will not have the added slap of being forced to pay for it. I can't imagine why anybody would not vote for this guy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 27, 2012 1:48 AM GMT
    The media likes the drama of a "tight race" for their own rating purposes. I bet Obama wins by a landslide. People are not stupid enough to so easily have forgotten Mitt Romney's 47% remarks by one bad first debate by Obama.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 27, 2012 2:02 AM GMT
    I'm blaming it on Meatloaf.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 27, 2012 4:49 AM GMT
    Iceblink saidI'm blaming it on Meatloaf.


    Paradise by the dashboard light?
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Oct 27, 2012 1:21 PM GMT
    David4985 saidThe media likes the drama of a "tight race" for their own rating purposes. I bet Obama wins by a landslide. People are not stupid enough to so easily have forgotten Mitt Romney's 47% remarks by one bad first debate by Obama.





    I also suspect that the victory numbers for President Obama's re-election will be much larger than the polls indicate..





    icon_biggrin.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Oct 27, 2012 5:27 PM GMT
    rnch saidI also suspect that the victory numbers for President Obama's re-election will be much larger than the polls indicate..
    icon_biggrin.gif




    Pssssst, mch, you might want to brace yourself for things not quite working out as you had planned. Load up on aspirin, and probably a good bottle of vodka, because your seas are going to get a little choppy on Nov 6th icon_wink.gif
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14354

    Oct 27, 2012 5:32 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    rnch saidI also suspect that the victory numbers for President Obama's re-election will be much larger than the polls indicate..
    icon_biggrin.gif




    Pssssst, mch, you might want to brace yourself for things not quite working out as you had planned. Load up on aspirin, and probably a good bottle of vodka, because your seas are going to get a little choppy on Nov 6th icon_wink.gif
    You mean Lake Pontchartrain might spill over the levee into New Orleans and neighboring Metarieicon_question.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Oct 27, 2012 5:36 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidYou mean Lake Pontchartrain might spill over the levee into New Orleans and neighboring Metarieicon_question.gif



    No, more like a gigantic tsunami from the cold hard sea of reality is about to roll right over the hen house icon_wink.gif
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Oct 27, 2012 5:41 PM GMT
    Sounds to me like CuriousJockAZ is in panic mode. He's exhibiting a defense mechanism to cope with Mitt's impending failure to capture the presidency.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Oct 27, 2012 5:59 PM GMT
    creature saidSounds to me like CuriousJockAZ is in panic mode. He's exhibiting a defense mechanism to cope with Mitt's impending failure to capture the presidency.



    LOL...Yes, THAT's it! Actually, did anyone see Romney's speech in Pensacola Florida this morning? He's drawing increasingly larger crowds everywhere he goes, and the momentum is building and Romney is peaking at exactly the right time. Not a single sign I can see to cause panic among any Republicans --- in fact, quite the opposite --- but I think you really already know that to be true in your heart don't ya creature? That sinking feeling is starting to creep in isn't it? Go ahead, you can admit it. You hear the clock ticking don't ya? icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 27, 2012 6:51 PM GMT
    creature saidSounds to me like CuriousJockAZ is in panic mode. He's exhibiting a defense mechanism to cope with Mitt's impending failure to capture the presidency.




    LOL
    I'm not sure what CJ is exhibiting - but he sure is posting a lot of shrieking and nasty taunting.
    He's obviously got a lot of anger and turmoil going on in his head.
    CJ sounds like a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
    icon_wink.gif