Oh hey so according to Gallup the story that everyone on tumblr has been telling about early voters favouring Obama is entirely inaccurate. Early voters have been favouring Romney in a big way. A six-point gap is quite large compared to the margin of error on a poll this size.
See also, Nate Silver’s Gallup vs The World. Then make sure you vote.
Because Gallup’s polls usually take large sample sizes, statistical variance alone probably cannot account these sorts of shifts. It seems to be an endemic issue with their methodology.
To be clear, I would not recommend that you literally just disregard the Gallup poll. You should consider it — but consider it in context.
The context is that its most recent results differ substantially from the dozens of other state and national polls about the campaign. It’s much more likely that Gallup is wrong and everyone else is right than the other way around.
In the midst of a painful news cycle after last night’s debate, President Barack Obama received a bright sign for re-election. His Gallup approval rating hit 54 percent, jumping to its highest level since November 2009.
His approval rating soared four points from the previous day in Gallup’s three-day rolling average. The last time he matched that came in the Nov. 11-13, 2009 period.
The 54-percent mark puts Obama well above the “safe” 50-percent threshold for an incumbent’s re-election.
Obama’s highest mark this year came in the sunny aftermath of the Democratic National Convention, when he reached 52 percent. Then it tanked, and since then it has fluctuated wildly.
U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, was 7.9% for the month of September, unchanged from 7.9% measured in mid-September but down slightly from 8.1% for the month of August. Gallup’s seasonally adjusted September unemployment rate was 8.1%, unchanged from August.
A new Gallup poll finds voters in twelve battleground states say Obama will better address the challenges facing Medicare by 50 percent to 44. Among all voters surveyed nationally, Obama holds a 51 to 43 edge over Romney on the issue.
The poll though was conducted before a leaked video tape from a private fundraiser showed Romney claiming “47 percent” of voters were dependent on government and would vote for Obama.
Gallup has been polling 12 “swing” states over the course of the campaign. Their most recent poll shows President Obama ahead of Romney by 2 percentage points among these swing state voters (Source). As I stressed during the Republican primary, early voting can give us an indication of who will win in these states, and that’s just as true for the general election.
Swing State Early Voting
Colorado - No excuse absentee ballots will be mailed 22 days before Nov 6th, which means people can begin voting presumably as early as the middle of October (Source). Early voting begins on October 22nd (Source).
Iowa - The first day to vote in-person by absentee ballot is next week: Sept 27th (Source). As of Sept 18th, there were 14,909 Republicans who requested absentee ballots vs 97,001 Democrats and 30,083 no party (Source).
Michigan - Michigan does not have early voting, but they do have excuse required absentee voting (Source). I was not able to find any information on when the ballot will be sent.
Nevada - Has no excuse absentee voting and will mail absentee ballots beginning Oct 17th, and in-person early voting begins Oct 30 through Nov 2nd (Source).
New Hampshire - Does not have early voting, but has excuse required early voting; however, I was not able to find when the absentee ballots are mailed out (Source).
New Mexico - Both no excuse absentee voting and in-person early voting begin Oct 9th (Source).
- 2004: Bush defeated Kerry by about 7 points. 2008: Obama defeated McCain by about less than 1 point.
Ohio - No excuse absentee ballots are sent out Oct 2nd (Source). Early voting also begins on Oct 2nd and runs through Nov 2nd (Source). Franklin County has seen a large number of requests for absentee ballots: 8,893 Democrats, 12,124 Republican and 28,258 unaffiliated (Source).
Pennsylvania - There is no early voting, but has excused required absentee voting (Source). I was not able to find any information on when the ballot will be sent.
Virginia - There is no early voting, but has excused required absentee voting. The absentee ballots are sent out 45 days prior to the election, which means some people will start voting this month (Source).
Why is all of this important? In 2008, “More than half of the ballots in Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Florida were cast before Election Day, with Colorado leading the pack with 78 percent of total votes cast early” (Source). So, keep an eye on these states, and pay particular attention the responses of people who have already voted as we get closer to Election Day [Public Policy Polling has pretty good crosstabs on this].
One important note: military and overseas voters must receive their ballots 45 days prior to the election.
You can see the early voting policies for each state here.
If you know any of the missing info or see anything that is incorrect, let me know, and I will correct this post.
Between Aug. 26-28 and Sept. 5-7, the Gallup economic confidence index rose by 17 points — from -33 to -16 — a remarkable jump in just over a week.
It’s the highest level of economic confidence in the Gallup tracker since earlier this year when jobs were growing more quickly.
The measure could be an outlier as there’s little other evidence to suggest a spike in economic confidence. But if it’s accurate, changing views on the economy could have a major impact on the election.
Nate Silver reverse engineers the Gallup tracker and finds that the night of Bill Clinton’s speech, Obama received a 10 POINT bump.
Nate says it was the pivotal moment of the conventions and perhaps the campaign so far.
Now let us remember what Charles Krauthammer said on Fox the night of the speech:
President Obama gets a 52 percent approval rating against 43 percent disapproval in Gallup’s daily tracking poll, which surveys 500 Americans a night and averages three days of data. The current tracking poll samples the nights of the Democratic National Convention and represents a major jump for Obama, who has basically been running even on approval in tracking and other major national polls, if not a little underwater.
"This uptick in these two indicators stands in contrast to tracking during the Republican Convention, during which there was no discernible bounce on the ballot tracking. Gallup does not track other measures on Romney that would be comparable to the job approval figure for Obama,” Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport wrote about the bounce. “The current data are quite preliminary and for the most part don’t reflect the influence of Obama’s late Thursday night speech, if any.”