Friday, October 5, 2012

Why the Polls Show So Many Democrats Voting

Right now, most non-partisan politics show Obama ahead.  Mainly because a larger than normal number of people called say they are Democrats and very likely to vote.  Certain Republicans refuse to accept this fact and ignore the actual responses they get.  Instead they use old data (excluding 2008 when lots of extra Democrats voted) to estimate how many democrats will actually vote. Normally they just accept people's statements about how likely they are to vote.  Yes, some people are wrong, but they tend to be just as many democrats mistaken about whether or not they actually are going to vote as republicans.

 So the question is why are there so many extra democrats claiming they will vote?

As I have written earlier,  there are four things politicians try to do.  To recap (in order of difficulty):

  1. Get support from your base
  2. Get support from the undecided
  3. Get your opponent's base to not vote
  4. Convert your opponent's base for you

Obama has a solid base of liberals.  Originally this was from a combination of good speaking skills and his skin color.  Then his successful implementation of a much desired health care reform bill, combined with the success overseas in both military and diplomatic issues (Yes, the GOP dislikes his success - just as much as us liberals disliked how the Conservatives ran foreign policy.  But even they can't deny killing Bin Laden is a success and a bigger one than George Bush ever had.)

Obama has failed to get the opponent's base to vote for him.  That is pretty clear.   In large part because of a rather strong anti-Obama campaign that the GOP has run, starting from the second he won the presidency.

But that campaign has cost them.  Specifically it turned off a lot of their own people.  The GOP pushed themselves to the far right at the local level but they then realized such an ultra-conservative party could not win the independents in a national election.  They tried to pick a moderate candidate to counter this, but this strategy failed.  It pissed off their new, smaller, ultra-conservative base, and the moderate candidate could not move far enough to the left to win over independents, or even the many conservative ex-Republicans.  Charlie Crist is the poster child for this.  If you kick out the well respected republican governor of a swing state that you absolutely need to win, and replace him with a more conservative person, it indicates you have a real problem.  At least if you want to win the presidency.

Combined with Obama's campaign, this resulted in two things.

First, Obama converted many of the 'undecided' to Obama supporters.   That is why in his original election he got so much higher turnout among Blacks and Young Adults.  Those people used to be undecided - that's why they didn't vote. This turnout failed to stay strong for the 2010 midterms, so the the GOP thought the Democrats had lost it.  They are wrong - the turnout was for Obama, not for the Democrats and Obama did not run in 2010.  He is running again this year, so the turnout will come back.

But wait, you say, the undecided voters this year are going for Romney. 

True.  That is because he converted many undecided to Obama Democrats.  When polled they call themselves Democrats because they are strong supporters of Obama.   But that's not all.  Then, the GOP kicked all the "RINO's"  out (Republican In Name Only).  See Charlie Crist above.   Most of these ex-republicans did not become Democrats, they became 'undecided'.  At least this time around.  Give them four more years and they may sign up with the DNC.  At least if the GOP continues it's campaign to push the moderates out.

(Numbers in this next paragraph are pulled out of my @$$ for illustrative purposes.)  So say Obama took about 3% of the undecided voters and converted them to Obama supporters.  Then suppose the GOP pushed away about 6% of their base into undecided.   So suddenly the 'undecided' are now 9% more likely to lean toward Romney and the GOP is happy.  The truth is the DNC gained a solid 3% and the GOP had 6% turn soft.  (Numbers corrected for bad math on my part - but they are still made up.)

It's not about who people lean towards who in the polls, it's who they actually vote for.

Obama has FAR more people heavily supporting him than past democrats have.  Romney has far less people moderately supporting him than past Republicans have.

This is why the polls show more democrats will be voting this year than in past years.  Certain Republicans (Rasmussen polls among them) fail to admit this is actually happening.   They look around among their friends and see that the far-right zealots that remain in their party hate Obama and strongly want to replace him.  But they ignore the fact that half their friends have left the party and become 'undecided' that weakly supports the GOP.

That weak support is worthless.  It doesn't vote.  It doesn't pay cash.  It just looks nice in the polls.

The GOP is looking at the small core base with strong support, and the wide spread weak support and confusing the two.   It doesn't matter how much your tiny core hates someone, it matters how many people agree with you.  And most of the conservatives people that dislike Obama are saying "I wish we had Reagan, do I have to vote for Romney?"  And the answer to that is no.  They don't have to vote for Romney.  They don't have to vote for Obama.  They can stay home.

Now, fervor for Obama has cooled a bit.  But nowhere near as much as as fervor for the GOP has cooled.  More importantly, there was NEVER fervor for Romney.   No one ever wanted him as badly as the Democrats wanted Obama in 2008.   Obama people are not saying "Do we have to vote for Obama?"  Instead we say "I wish Obama was doing better.  But I can't stand the GOP."

Part of the problem is the internet.  It makes all small group look a lot bigger than it actually is.  The GOP has fooled itself by looking through the lens of the internet.

The Democrats have the numbers, if not the fervor.  We will win 2012.  While the GOP will sit in disbelief saying "but but but Democrats don't vote!"

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