Home > General > North Carolina 2012: Obama 52%, Palin 48% (W/ Flawed Indy Data). Palin 51%, Obama 49% Speculative

North Carolina 2012: Obama 52%, Palin 48% (W/ Flawed Indy Data). Palin 51%, Obama 49% Speculative

Originally, I was not going to post the properly re-worked numbers from Public Policy Polling’s April 26 poll because of a number of serious flaws that could not be adjusted in any reasonable analysis. Here, I will provide the PPP data and 3 Poll Insider analysis Polls that can predict anywhere from Obama +7 to Palin +2. First, I’ll explain the flaw:

As always, PPP’s polling data overwhelmingly reflected a Democrat bias, polling Democrats a full 4 points higher than heavy-Democrat 2008 turnout and an estimated 9 points higher than 2010. Nearly 1 in 2 respondents were Democrats, despite only making up just barely above 1 in 3 votes in 2010. This can normally be and is accounted for in our re-worked polling analysis, however the flaws come with the Independents. In North Carolina, Independents make up close to 30% of the electorate, which has huge impact on polling data when it is reworked. Because the PPP data only had 18% respondents as Independents, the respondent pool was a mere 91 participants, making it impossible to extrapolate the data as accurate. The very-high MoE (margin of error) with Independents in North Carolina appears to show heavily in favor of Obama/Democrats (not surprising) based on the respondents vs. actual state make-up. For instance, in 2008, John McCain actually won North Carolina independents by a whopping 21% points, 60-39. McCain eventually lost the state by .3% due to the extraordinary high turnout of Democrats at 42%. Because of the small number of independent respondents, the data is unreliable. It is highly unlikely that the conservative-leaning Independents of North Carolina, who gave 60% of their vote to John McCain, would give Obama a 50-44% approve/disapprove and would vote for Obama over every single Republican candidate including Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, while holding a more unfavorable view of every Republican than they do Obama.

In reality, the Independent data is likely reversed. But, just to see how close the races really are, I will provide the data anyway as a counterpoint to the PPP information, which will otherwise be the only available analysis. As you can see, the deeper the analysis (from PPPs Zero analysis to 3 levels of Poll Insider Analysis) on forth, the more Palin is favored. I will report all for, you can decide.

1) Obama, 52% Palin 40% – this is PPP published results. It includes a heavy +9 Bias to Democrats over 2010 and +4 over 2008. It includes heavy Obama bias in small and inaccurate independent sample which voted +21 for McCain in 2008.

2) Obama 49%, Palin 42% – Poll Insider Reworked Data to 2010 turnout 37% D, 34% R, 29% I. Numbers close in when dropping D and R to 2010 levels and raising Is.  Because of near-doubling of Independents of unreliable base, we consider sample flawed and result inaccurate.

3) Obama 52%, Palin 48% – Poll Insider Reworked factoring in basic accepted assumptions about how undecideds will turnout. We assume the 4% of Undecided Dems will turn for Obama in equal numbers, the 10% of Reps for Palin in equal numbers to normal electorate, and undecided Indies to challenger by 3-2. This still factors in an unreasonably high Independent support for Obama.

4) Palin 51%, Obama 49% – Poll Insider w/Speculative Independent Reality: I view the above data 1-3 to be inaccurate and flawed, based solely on Independent response, a low 91 independent survey total, and the realities in NC. This result is purely speculative as I toss out the Independent totals altogether, and use a percentage that would still favor Obama by double digits over where he was in 2008 (mainly because critics would argue that he would gain Indies against Palin). I use the Dem and Rep data as acceptable, and change the assumptions of the 29% Independent base to a non-polled estimate of 55% Palin, 45% Obama. This is a conservative estimate as it would still show a 12% swing of Independents into Obama’s favor (from losing Indies 61-39 in 2008 to losing them just 55-45 in 2012). I consider this very conservative, because Obama is far less popular now than in 2008, has lost greater favor with Independents nationwide, and would be lucky to pull 12% more Independents in North Carolina in 2012 than he did in 2008.

Note on Methodology: Why do I use Palin for Analysis?  The reason I use Palin for reworking the PPP analysis is two-fold. One, she is one of the top contenders who is constantly touted by the media and republican elites as “unelectable.” Properly analyzing polling data shows this is not the case. Also, since she typically polls lower than other candidates like Romney and Huckabee, showing that the supposed weakest link candidate is actually tied or winning (despite PPP proclamations that all is rosy for Obama no matter the challenger) just amplifies that Romney and Huckabee are also doing much, much better than stated. Since it is very time consuming to even rework and analyze one candidates figures, I go with Palin. Earlier this week, I analyzed Nevada in the same way showing that Palin was, at worst, down 4% in the state Obama won by 12% in 2008, and could even be winning by 1% in the state. Also, as I release analysis, I fully explain how I arrive at each number. I provide 4 data points so that you can choose the one you find most reliable, but also to see a range. The four data points range from straight up PPP results, which are always and undeniably flawed (and I show the statistical and historical flaw). I show purely non-speculative reworked data which has no assumptions. I show assumptions based on generally accepted theory of undecided turnout. And in this case, and for the first time, I did one part poll, one part speculation based on reality and still opted to favor Obama in that speculation.

With 2 states down, using basic assumptions, Palin is either within the MoE, Tied, or Winning 2 states (Nevada and North Carolina) that Obama won in 2012. This is incredible given the supposed unpopularity of Palin, her reported inability to win, and the current public opinion about her. And she hasn’t started campaigning yet….

Categories: General

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