Wednesday, October 31, 2012


With less than a week until the election, political polling is in high gear.  But what if you want to get a “sense of the electorate” rather than just the results of telephone polling?

In Colorado, we have early voting taking place, and it tells us how things are going.  Scott Gessler, the Colorado Secretary of State releases voter turnout figures on a daily basis.  Here they are as of today.

What story do they tell?  If you look at the participation of voters who are registered as Democrats, Republicans and Unaffiliated, these are the voting percentages through 10/30/2012:

R – 439,269 (38.5%)

D – 404,870 (35.5%)

U – 295,122 (26.0%)

Total: 1,139,261

We have about 2,587,835 active voters in Colorado, and probably no more than 2,300,000 will vote in 2012.  As a result, about ½ of our voters have already cast their ballots, with another week to go before the election.

What’s an easy way to judge the way the election is going?  Simply assume that all Republicans will vote for Mitt Romney, and all Democrats will vote for Barack Obama.  That leaves the independent voters as the unknown.

If we take the polling done by Purple Strategies over the period 10/23/2012 to 10/25/2012 as a guide, they conclude “…the race is tied among independents.”  We can therefore split the 26% independent vote into 13% for Mr. Romney and 13% for president Obama.

Adding those percentages to the R and D figures sets the overall race at 51.5% for Mitt Romney and 48.5% for Barack Obama after half the votes have been cast in Colorado.

Maybe not earthshaking, but a pretty good indicator of what is happening in Colorado.  As each day is reported, we can track the direction of the election, and gain confidence in the outcome.

We can also shade the results based on additional information.  Here are my thoughts:

--This election will probably see a tendency for Democrats to vote against their party more than Republicans.

--Independents may also swing more toward Romney than Obama.  We see anecdotal evidence of Hollywood figures and sports figures “coming out” for Romney/Ryan more so than Republicans switching to Obama.

I would give a total of 2.5 percentage points to the Republican ticket because of this, so my prediction is that Romney/Ryan will take Colorado by at least 54% to 46%.  Those of you following this blog might try a similar exercise in your own states.

Right now, Rasmussen polling suggests that an 8-point spread is far-fetched.  They predict a 2-point spread in Colorado.

But then, which is the better indicator: actual voting or a telephone survey?  We will know in less than a week.

In the meantime, for all you political junkies in battleground states, if you’ve got access to voter turnout, do the R/D/U calculation and see how it relates to polling data.  It’s interesting and fun!

UPDATE 11/1/2012:
Resurgent Republic has a more optimistic take on the inclinations of independent  voters.

UPDATE 11/2/2012:
Colorado Peak Politics has data out as of 11/1/2012.  It shows about three-quarters of the Colorado electorate having voted (1,447,116 out of about 2.3 million).  The breakout is R - 547,150 (37.8%), D - 509,091 (35.2%), and U - 390,875 (27.0%).  Adding half the independent voters to the Republican ticket gives a 51.3% to 48.7% advantage to Republicans.

The Republican ticket still receives my 2.5% subjective advantage,  based on the Benghazi coverup, the anti-Catholic HHS actions, and the objectification of women campaign strategy used by the Democratic party.  Those factors weigh against Barack Obama, and make the race 53.8% to 46.2%.

That percentage difference is a minimum.  In Colorado, the race will end up at least 54% / 46%.

UPDATE 11/5/2012:
The Colorado Secretary of State has the breakout the day before the election at R - 624,788 (37.0%), D - 590,417 (35.0%), and U - 474,437 (28.0%).  Adding half the independents to the Republican ticket makes the Republican advantage 51% to 49%.

This is  no change since last week, so I still expect at least a 54% to 46% win for Republicans in Colorado.

UPDATE 11/6/2012:
The final report from the Secretary of State has R - 675,797 (36.5%), D - 642,834 (34.7%), and U - 534,012 (28.8%).  Add 14.4% independents to 36.5 % Republicans gives a 50.9% to 49.1% lead to Republicans.  That continues to indicate a 54% to 46% race.

UPDATE 11/7/2012:
Boy was I wrong!  The Colorado race is now being called 50% to 48% for Obama.  That means only 40% of independents favored Republicans.  With such a large swing in the Unaffiliated bloc, that is a very bad sign for Republicans.

No comments:

Post a Comment