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Kerry Takes Lead in WP/ABC Tracking Poll

Not in the silly LV data they like to feature, but where it counts: in their RV data. Kerry now leads by 2 points among RVs in the WP/ABC tracking poll, compared to 2 points down 3 days ago and 6 points down a week ago.

Alan Abramowitz adds this note on the WP tracking poll's idiosyncracies:

The latest ABC/Washington Post tracking poll is showing a 3 point lead for George Bush among likely voters but a 2 point lead for John Kerry among registered voters. This means that the ABC/WP poll is projecting that 85.1 percent of registered Bush supporters will vote but only 76.6 percent of registered Kerry supporters will vote--an 8.5 point Republican turnout advantage. Over the past several days, there has been a consistent LV/RV discrepancy of about this magnitude in the poll. However, data from the past three presidential elections shows that the Republican turnout advantage has never been larger than 3 points. In 1992, the highest turnout election of the three, the difference was only 1 point. In a high turnout election, and 2004 will certainly be a very high turnout election, is is simply not plausible that there will be such a large difference between the prefernces of registered and likely voters. During the final week of the 2000 campaign, George Bush held a consistent lead of 3-4 points among likely voters in the ABC/WP tracking poll. I wonder what the poll's results were among all registered voters? I suspect that they were much closer to the actual results of the election and I suspect that that will also be the case this year.

Comments

Who actually performs this poll? Is it Zogby, who I respect? Interesting article on Zogby in new New Yorker.

Does anyone know whether the polls pick up or distinguish how many people voted early? I remember reading articles about several states where people could vote as early as the beginning of September. If that vote was heavy, when Bush had his huge bounce, it could matter. Is there any data?


In Ruy's opinion, at what point in the campaign are LVs the more reliable polling group than RVs? Two weeks from election day? A week before?

Or does conventional wisdom not exactly apply in this election, which looks like it will draw a huge number of first-time or occasional voters?

Ruy-

Thanks for the RV data. I tried looking for RV info online yesterday and could only get LV.

Various-

This will be somewhat off topic, but speaks to some of the challenges we'll face on election day.

I just got this from Josh Marshall's www.talkingpointsmemo.com site. Apparently the GOP has paid some people to go get registration cards from potential voters, and then they tear up those who register Democratic. There's some evidence of this from Las Vegas. This strikes me as the sort of dirty trick that could get very intense attention very quickly.

Marshall got the report from this site:

http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2421595&nav=168XRvNe

Here's a quote from the article:

"We caught her taking Democrats out of my pile, handed them to her assistant and he ripped them up right in front of us. I grabbed some of them out of the garbage and she tells her assisatnt to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.

Eric Russell managed to retrieve a pile of shredded paperwork including signed voter registration forms, all from Democrats. We took them to the Clark County Election Department and confirmed that they had not, in fact, been filed with the county as required by law.

Tony,
We've seen the same tactics here in Portland, OR. Groups collecting registrations and throwing out the Democrats.

Midwest Meg, I think Ruy has said the last week or so is the time when the LV is most useful, but only as the race actually closes.

Tony, that news is truly distressing. They've always engaged in dirty tricks, but this time the army of Bush brownshirts is a reflection of the men at the top. This time they flaunt the law in a cavalier fashion which reveals their true nature as anything but American.

News flash -- the Chicago Tribune released separate polls today for the midwest battleground states (IA, MN, WI, OH). They show Kerry ahead of Bush by 2pts in OH and MN, and 4 pts in WI! He is behind by 2 pts in IA. Plus, there were 5-8% undecided in each state -- that basically translates to an extra 2-4 points on Kerry's side of the margin. Plus, these results are for LVs -- can't find RV results, but those are very likely even better, since Kerry has been stronger among RVs than LVs all season.

Only one set of polls, but still VERY encouraging -- are the Cheeseheads finally coming home?!

Don't be so quick to dismiss Gallup's methodology on LV. After all, they probably know what the Republicans voter suppression strategies are. In term of voter turnout, this analysis is likely correct. However, many of the democaratic voters who turn out may end up not being able to vote, and many of those who do vote may not see their vote counted.

Gallup is probably relying on Republican inside information in coming up with its LV numbers.

From a link posted on TPM:

Bush concedes PA?

http://www.pnionline.com/dnblog/extra/archives/001039.html

Those of us here in Pennsylvania may not have George W. Bush to kick around anymore -- at least not in person. The New York Daily News -- which
is traveling with the President in Arizona today -- says that no Pennsylvania TV markets were in Bush's top-ten spending list last month, and an aide has told the newspaper that no visits from W. to the Keystone State are in the works anytime soon.

coldeye and gabby,

Marshall has followed up with this link to a report from Oregon, confirming what coldeye wrote:

http://www2.kval.com/x30530.xml?ParentPageID=x2649&ContentID=x47627&Layout=kval.xsl&AdGroupID=x30530

The head of the canvassing group used to be executive director of the Arizona state Republican party. Reports are that the GOP funded his group, though the Oregon state GOP denies that he worked for them. There's a report that the same organization (Voters Outreach of America) is also active in West Virginia.

I am surprised to see Alan Abromowitz stating that GOP turnout has exceded Democratic turnout in recent Presidential elections. I thought that Democratic voters had exceeded Republican voters by about 3 points in recent presidential races.

Alan,
This does not seem like a likely answer. The Republicans are certainly engaging in dirty tactics but it seems implausible they would tell Gallup what they are up to and the number of Dem votes they are trashing.

I have not seen a good answer to the question of why Gallup (and other polling orgs) are skewing their results so strongly to the Rs either in LV/RV or in party identification. So, anyone? Alan's thought is maybe just too disgusting for me to want to believe. Also, the sheer amount of the skew is too large to be accounted for by dirty tricks in some swing states. Is Gallup hoping to scare Dems into fight harder? Do they want a close race to improve news ratings (my fave since news orgs buy the Gallup results)? Is Gallup hoping to get more Repubs into office by creating making them appear stronger than they really are?

Looks like Kerry is now up in LV's too in the WP poll, and gained a bit in LV's in the ABC poll (the two polls use the same data, but interpret it differently based on their own formulas).

Lets hope Kerry can put it away tonight.

Kerry is putting it away tonight.

Kerry is competent again, and Bush is uneven and has made some big mistakes. He really blew it on immigration, religion, and Social Security.