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Battleground States Results

More from Alan Abramowitz.

Here are the results in the 10 battleground states in which polls have been conducted since the first debate. The number shown is the mean difference between Bush support and Kerry support in the polls. A positive number means that Bush was leading and a negative number means that Kerry was leading. The number of polls is shown in parentheses.

Colorado: 0.0 (1)
Florida: +2.2 (5)
Iowa: +1.0 (2)
Minnesota: -4.0 (2)
New Hampshire: 0.0 (1)
New Mexico: -1.3 (3)
Ohio: -1.0 (1)
Pennsylvania: -5.0 (3)
Washington: -4.0 (2)
Wisconsin: +0.7 (3)

All of these results are based on three-way contests including Ralph
Nader in states where Nader is on the ballot. All of the results are
for likely voters when available or for registered voters when results
for likely voters were not provided. The source for these numbers is


First off, Looking at the the top of your list, the most recent polls, excluding Dem polls ARG & Zogby Interactive, have GWB up by 9 in CO and 7 in FLA (See Below).



Moreover, if there are any folks on here willing to look outside the Dem cocoon, you may want to read the posting below, courtesy of PoliPundit. As I've said before, Poli is a GWB partisan, but is nevertheless a realist, and does a good job dissecting these polls.


Oct 8, 2004

A Little Incest, or a LOT?

The latest poll sponsored by AP/Ipsos made its’ splash two days before it hit the water, which got me curious. When the full poll finally showed up this morning, I started to look into it, and bells went off. Not the pretty ones, either.

This poll claims Bush gets only 28% of the Independent vote (versus 44% in the average from other polls), while Kerry claims 56% of Independents (versus 45% in the average from other polls). You can throw that part out, because it’s total crap. That’s because Ipsos only interviewed 49 people in the entire country, identified as Independents, or only 5.19% of their unweighted base. even with reweighting, they only work out to 5.70% of the pool. This is out of line with EVERY established weighting used by anyone, anywhere this year. Any agency seriously interested in representative results, would have continued polling to get a more representative sample.

I know why the Ipsos poll only got 49 Indies, though. In their published report, they mention that they were aiming to get a response from people who had seen the debate, and that played heavily to the Left and Right. In other words, their chosen method passed by undecideds as a rule. Sorry to be mean, but that is indescribably stupid. By deliberately leaning to those with an interest in the debates above any other factor, Ipsos invalidated their findings, ab initio. I will demonstrate this when I review the numbers, in just a moment.

As I reviewed the numbers, I was struck by how peculiar they seemed, and I decided to go back and double-check the results from other polls. In doing so, I came across the October 2 Newsweek poll. You know, the one which heavily over-sampled the Mountain and West regions by sampling only there on September 30? As I read through the article again, I came across a graphic showing the Bush/Kerry matchup since July, and in the detail under the graph, what did I see but this comment:

“Source: Newsweek/Ipsos poll”

Oh really? The only two major polls which say Kerry took the lead, and the only polls to have done some very unscientific things in their sampling, happen to be connected to the same sponsor?

Yes. Exactly that.

I went to the Ipsos site to be sure, and there it is. Ipsos is a regular sponsor for Newsweek’s ‘GENext’ poll, which tracks young voter sentiment, and is directly tied to the AP/Ipsos poll.

The same. They don’t advertise it, but they have been there together all year long.

Well, now, is that important? To find out, I continued double-checking my numbers, and looked up the numbers for poll results, gender preference, race preference, party support, Job Approval, candidate personal favorability, and whether the respondents watched the debates, for the following polls: CBS News, Fox News, CNN/USA Today/Gallup, Pew, ABC News, the LA Times, Newsweek, and AP/Ipsos. The first six polls make up the ‘non-Ipsos’ polls, the last two are the ‘Ipsos’ polls.

The non-Ipsos polls says Bush leads 49.2-45.5. The Ipsos polls say Kerry leads 48.5-45.5.

The non-Ipsos polls say Men prefer Bush, 53.7-41.7. The Ipsos polls say it’s only 47.5-46.5 for Bush.

The non-Ipsos polls say Women prefer Kerry by only 47.0-46.3. The Ipsos polls says women prefer Kerry, 51.0-43.0.

The non-Ipsos polls say Whites prefer Bush 55.0-39.7. The Ipsos polls say it’s only 49.0-47.0.

The non-Ipsos polls and Ipsos polls agree that non-Whites prefer Kerry, by 66 or 67, to 26.5 or 27.

The non-Ipsos polls say Bush gets 93% of the Rep vote, 10% of the Dem vote, and 45% of the Ind vote. The Ipsos polls say Busah only gets 90% of the Rep vote, 8% of the Dem vote, and only 33% of the Ind vote.

The non-Ipsos polls say Kerry gets 4% of the Rep vote, 87% of the Dem vote, and 45% of the Ind vote. The Ipsos polls say Kerry gets 6% of the Rep vote, 89% of the Dem vote, and 49% of the Ind vote.

Non-Ipsos polls say Bush’s Job Approval is at 51%. Ipsos polls say Bush’s Job Approval is only 46%.

Non-Ipsos polls put Bush’s personal favorability at 51%, and Kerry’s at 47%. The Ipsos polls put Bush’s personal favorability at 49%, and Kerry’s at 52%.

In every category, the Ipsos polls are stronger for Kerry, even though six major polls say otherwise. Given the known fact that the Ipsos/Newsweek poll ignored the East, Midwest, and South on the first day of polling, and the inexcusable inbalance in party sampling on the Ipsos/AP poll, the Ipsos results may reasonably be regarded as INVALID.

There is a final point to observe in these details. Non-Ipsos polls reported that about 26% of their respondents watched some or all of the first debate, and had no report for specifically how many of their respondents watched all of the first debate. The Ipsos polls reported that 78% of their respondents watched at least part of the first debate, and 56.5% of their respondents watched all of the first debate. This is such a small demographic, relative to the country as a whole, that the Ipsos numbers must be considered skewed by definition. Netweoeks reported that approximately 55 million people watched some of the debate (approximately 18% of the viewing public), and approximately 19 million watched all of it, for 6.3% of the viewing public. In other words, Ipsos aimed to miss over 90% of the viewing public, and more than two-thirds of registered voters, by the pre-conditions imposed on the Newsweek and AP polls.

The remaining question to be answered, then, is whether this was a little incest, or a lot.

Posted by DJ Drummond at 4:06 pm Link to this post

Smooth Jazz-

That's potentially interesting news on Ipsos. I went to the website, but would have to pay to actually use it.

As you point out, there report comes from a Bush partisan, so perhaps should be taken with of salt, though I'm sure he worked very hard at it.

It's particularly interesting to me that he only selected 6 polls to look at as the non-Ipsos. At the RealClearPolitics site, I see 10 polls conducted post-survey, using a 3-way race. From these, I get a Bush lead of 48.0-45.9, which is a bit closer than the author's 49.2-45.5. He wouldn't by any chance be inclined toward cherry-picking would he? I'm perfectly willing to believe that Bush is up by 2.1% at this point. In fact, if I add in the two Ipsos polls (using two-way numbers from the AP one, since they seem not to have gone three-way), only narrows it to 47.6-46.3. If he's interested in fighting over a difference of less than a percent in the Bush lead, he should be my guess. Seems like a sign of desparation to me, though.

Jazz, there's some food for thought here. However, one word: hyperlink. Learn it. Live it. Embrace it.

There is no question, despite the protestations of Smooth Jazz to the contrary, that Kerry is on a roll. Smooth Jazz discounts as partisan polls that give him bad news like Zogby. Smooth Jazz should be aware that Zogby called both the 96 and 2000 elections accurately. While showing Kerry ahead in the battleground states Bush has a 1 point lead in the popular vote. Instead of trying to go to great lenghths to debunk polls that he doesn't like he should go back to the right wing web sites and figure out what to do about it. It seems to me there is only one valid point to make about these polls and it comes out on the Democratic side: If the reports about new registrations are accurate in Democratic areas of battleground states and a reasonable number of these new voters turn out, pollsters just may be UNDERESTIMATING support for Kerry. Whatever the argument we will find out for sure on Nov. 2nd providing ALL legitimately cast ballots are counted this time.

What happened to MO, NV, OR, & WV? These four states also appear to be swinging.

Jazz's comments are somewhat valid, but let's limit the reposting of an entire link.


Smooth: I suppose you also wouldnt change a thing about Iraq and that the economy is turning a corner. Are all of you in complete denial?

ARG and Zogby are Dem polls? I must've missed that. BTW, go ahead and ignore the AP poll if you want. Every other poll shows the race basicallly tied and Kerry with all the momentum. Tracking polls have him gaining, and even the Time poll that had Bush up 12 a month ago has it tied.

As for state polls, that poll for Colorado you dismiss is by Gallup, which is hardly pro-Dem. And most of the states Mr. Abramowitz cites have multiple polls, which he averages, hardly a Dem conspiracy tactic to boost Kerry.

The race is far from over, but Kerry's debate performance has changed the dynamic, at least in the short term. Anyone who can't see that is in denial.


Sorry, I fail to see the problem with choosing a sampling from people who watched the first debate. Anymore than I fail to see the problem with sampling only people who watched either one of the debates, no matter what the outcome of either one. It's just as valid an assumption that people who watch the debates are likely voters than any criteria Gallup is using. What seems to be your main gripe is not the methodology, it's that it shows Bush doing worse than all of the other polls (except those you arbitrarily dismiss as "partisan").

But all of the polling shows that even a majority of Republicans felt Kerry did better in the first debate, so it does not defy reason that Kerry would score somewhat higher with the subset of people who watched that debate. Likewise, if Bush did better in that debate it would likely show him doing better overall than other polls that did not only sample that subset. I doubt that Ipsos knew going into their polling that Kerry would "win" the debate, but conspiracy theorists might believe that.

Post Debate 2: We did well enough to keep the Big Mo' so let's keep at it. GOTV is crucial. So enjoy the post debate glow, and if you have not done so already, sign up for GOTV drives.

All I am going to say is that in doorknocking and registering voters. I have reached and registered people without phones who are adamantly opposed to Bush.

If the dems turn those voters out to vote GWB should be very very afraid on Nov 2......

Gallup would never try to develop a model to sample the phoneless...

It's a conservative site, but realclearpolitics has a nice analysis of the state of the electoral vote.

For Kerry, it's all about Ohio, with New Hampshire and Nevada as secondary targets. They miss Colorado, either by outright win or by referendum getting him 4 votes.

For Bush, the targets of opportunity are Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, and Maine's more conservative district.

They given Florida to Bush and Pennsylvania to Kerry, for now.

Per this analysis, for Kerry, losing Ohio means he has to get New Hampshire, Nevada, and some Colorado votes, while holding New Mexico, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

If he wins Ohio and New Hampshire, even if he loses Wisconsin and the Maine district, Kerry wins, if he can hold Iowa and New Mexico.

So...it seems time to focus on Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, and Maine.

In the back of my mind, I see some opportunity for Kerry in Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Florida, and some danger in Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

A question from London. Watching your polls in the Us with great interest. Can you give me an assessment of the way in which the realclearpolitics website posts polls. Are they, as they say, 'seekers after truth', or are they biased, conscious or not?


Steohen H.


I wish I could say. I know that they lean conservative as a site. I believe that they use a pretty consistent rule for deciding what poll gets included. I found it somewhat unsettling that the ICR poll got included only when it showed Bush leading more than any other concurrent poll. I read their site, www.pollingreport.com, www.race2004.net, www.electoral-vote.com, www.electionprojection.com, and www.cookpolitical.com, as well as this site. Then I try to come to a common conclusion across these sites. It's clear that all show the race to be close. Jeff's point on another thread about turnout seems right on target. Beyond that, I think there are others here far more expert than I on such matters.

In the meantime, enjoy a pint of someone's best bitter for me. There's nothing quite like it.