Romney-Biden here we come?

I got fed up with polls using completely skewed samples to force Democrats to look much better than they will actually do on Election day, so I put together a model that starts with a reasonable turnout expectation looking at the last 4 elections and then focuses on the Independent voters.  If you just look at how the Indies in the sample are voting, the fact that NBC makes a poll consisting of ridiculously few Republicans doesn’t matter.

The results are that Obama wins OH, WI, MI, IA, and NH while Romney wins FL, VA, NC, CO, and (surprisingly to me) NV.  Therefore, as of today, Obama wins 275-263.

However, the state that I have the least data on (by far) is Iowa.  Flip those 6 Electoral Votes to Romney and you wind up with a 269-269 tie.  In that scenario, the new House picks the president and the new Senate picks the vice president, thus Romney-Biden (assuming Rs keep the House and Ds keep the Senate).  However, if the Senate is 50-50, I have no idea what happens then….

That sure would be an interesting turn of events, no?


  1. I believe the current VP breaks the tie, setting up the awkward situation that Biden votes for himself?

    And no modern Republican has won the presidency without OH. Your model is interesting but in the end inaccurate. Check out Nate Silver’s forecast. He’s been the hands down most accurate pollster aggregation in 2008 and 2010.

    P.S. 6 National Polls out today all have Obama ahead: Rasmussen, YouGov, Ipsos/Reuters, Gallup, AP, Pew.

    A Fox News poll shows Obama +5 in FL and +7 in VA. You can’t just rely on this accusation that the polls skew Democratic. In fact, the most recent PPP poll in WI is skewed more Republican than 2008 or 2010.

  2. Randy in Richmond says:

    That’s an interesting scenario Ryan. It would be fun to see it happen. My belief is that if a tie occurred as a result of the popular vote it would probably never reach the Congress for adjudication. There are 538 Electorial votes which means there would be 538 voters sorta “up for grabs”. Between early November and December somebody in that group may be found to change their vote.

    It wouldn’t matter who wins the House, Romney would become President. Each state gets one vote to break a tie in the House, so Alaska, California, and New York would have equal footing. For instance if there was no change in Wisconsin’s House membership and Obama carried the state, your one vote would still go to Romney as Republicans have a 5 to 3 majority in the House.

    One thing this scenario could change is that there would be pressure to drop the Electorial college altogether.

  3. Randy in Richmond says:

    Here’s a link to the latest Rasmussen Poll which shows Romney ahead the past 4 days. It may change today (Thursday) but as of now Romney, not Obama, is ahead.

  4. I’ve wargamed a few scenarios myself, and came up with that one at one time too… I just don’t think it’s realistic. Romney’s path to victory is through a very narrow set of states, and that’s it… and it’s shrinking fast. Get ready for another Obama term.

  5. “He’s been the hands down most accurate pollster aggregation in 2008 and 2010.”

    Agreed, Lorax. I’ve been keeping and eye on him as well. Silver is crazy accurate. His odds of an Obama victory are basically in line with Vegas. Assuming that nothing major happens from now until the election, the GOP is going to lose the Senate too.

  6. As it happens, those Fox News polls are skewed for Obama… Look at the crazy partisan advantage for Dems.

    I follow Silver too. He’s good but he doesn’t seem to be adjusting for under sampling of Republicans. You can’t get away with that this year. Garbage in, garbage out.

  7. I’ll also admit that I have Romney winning by microscopic margins in Co and fl so I would put Obama at 65%or so today which matches intrade

  8. Randy in Richmond says:

    Today’s Rasmussen Poll (Thursday) is out and Obama leads by one point.

  9. Randy in Richmond says:

    Republicans cannot lose the Senate.

  10. @Randy – Sure they can lose the Senate. All they need is a big government Republican who has been in bed with the Healthcare and Insurance lobbies to win a primary in one state, and a Republican who thinks that women can just “shut down” a pregnancy caused by rape to win a Primary in another state. You guys sure know how to pick ’em.

  11. Randy in Richmond says:

    Actually my point is you can’t lose something you don’t have.

  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    And Nick. That Republican you refer to is a candidate for Senate that has no Republican support and most every Republican has distanced themselves from.

    And Nick. Since you brought up abortion. Your elected, head guy, that you appear to be supporting, voted 3 times (present) to not allow babies born alive, who survived induced labor abortions to receive further medical assistance.

    Every time you guys mention our crazy, whom most on our side have disavowed, I’m going to mention your crazy, that apparently many of you do not disavow, as you apparently still support him.

  13. As an actuary, I can tell you that a simple model that normalizes for 1 key variable can perform a lot better than a complicated model that misses the key piece. That’s how I would look at what I am doing vs. Silver.

    My suspicion is that as we get close to the election (maybe not until the weekend or day before) the polls will start using more accurate samples (usually all people compare to assess the validity of a poll is the last one). Silver will say there was a huge move for Romney. In fact, the electorate may not have changed that much, just the quality of the polls.

  14. Maine has the ability to split its electoral college votes. They are hoping to carry the 2nd CD for Mitt, giving him at least 1 electoral college vote from Maine.

  15. Randy in Richmond says:

    That’s interesting. I never knew that. It appears Nebraska does the same thing.

  16. Randy in Richmond says:

    What I don’t understand is why do a RV poll when most agree they are not as accurate? And why not make the adjustments you mention now, instead of later?

    Is it the cost involved? or biases?

  17. @Ryan – I don’t know what you’re referring to with regards to abortion. The candidate who I support, and will be voting for in November, Gary Johnson, although is pro-choice does not go to the extreme you refer to. His record on abortion is here:

    As Governor of New Mexico, he actually signed a bill banning late term abortion as well, and supports parental notification. So while not perfect in that regard, he certainly does not go to the extreme that you bring up.

  18. I think you are talking to Randy?

  19. I think the hope on the part at least some of these pollsters (PPP and NBC in particular) is that polls that are rigged to consistently favor Obama will reduce Romney’s fundraising (who wants to give to a loser). Also could have an impact on making O more impressive to those who vote early.

  20. Randy in Richmond says:

    The head guy I’m referring to is Barack Obama. Since he’s not your guy I apologize for the association.

  21. Are Republicans so unwilling to admit that your candidate sucks? You guys are basing this stuff on a foundation that the world is doing their polling wrong and you’re the only ones that are getting it right.

    In the history of presidential polling we have never seen a candidate with unfavorables as high as Mitt’s. He’s really in a class by himself. People just don’t like him.

    Take a deep breath. Tone down your denial. And take a look at the data.

    As for the Senate, heh, I guess after coughing up sure wins in Nevada , Maryland, and Colorado conservatives still haven’t figured it out.

  22. Randy in Richmond says:

    You left out Missouri, heh.

  23. “You guys are basing this stuff on a foundation that the world is doing their polling wrong and you’re the only ones that are getting it right.”

    When the majority of polls are predict a lower % Republicans than 2008, one of the worst Republican years in decades, there is a problem. The denial is on the side of those who blindly believe nonsense.

    Rasmussen and Gallup are both showing a very close race… Gallup is tied and Obama is up slightly in Ras. I think those probably reflect reality better than polls that assume Democrats will have an 11% turnout advantage in balanced states like VA or WI.

  24. Randy in Richmond says:

    Please provide a link to back up your unfavorable comment about Romney. Right now on RCP his unfavorable is 45.0
    Obama’s is 43.4

    And if we consider the fact that Obama has been a candidate, based on his behavior, since 2009, your statement is totally false. His unfavorables have been in the upper 40’s many times.

    And I can categorically assure you it is no poll(s) with which I conclude that President Obama is the worst President of my lifetime. I know it’s not being reported but he’s had a far worse week than Romney on the foreign front, economic news, and that little issue at Justice. He and Attorney General Eric Holder were made for each other. He can’t find time to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but he can find time to visit on the airways with “Pimp With the Limp”.

  25. “Are Republicans so unwilling to admit that your candidate sucks? You guys are basing this stuff on a foundation that the world is doing their polling wrong and you’re the only ones that are getting it right.”

    Make a little change there to “Are Democrats so unwilling to admit that your candidate sucks and that you think you’re the only ones that are getting it right.” and you sum up the overzealous left succinctly.

  26. Well, Jim, if our sucky candidate beats your sucky candidate, you can really be embarrassed then, huh?

  27. Frankly, I’m sick of voting for sucky candidates. You can vote for the Giant Douche, or you can vote for the Turd Sandwich, or you can vote for Gary Johnson.

  28. Funny, someone had put that on Facebook and I was just reading it.

  29. Sorry, I meant Delaware, not Maryland. And we’ll see about Missouri. Randy, I’m glad you can be so light hearted about this stuff. I’m not sure I would be.

    When you looked up favorables at RCP, I’m sure you noticed that Obama is above water and Romney isn’t. I’m very aware that Obama has a bad economy and is at the low end of presidential popularity. The only thing keeping him in the race is… the fact that Romney sucks as a candidate. Obama should be getting steamrolled. Lucky for him all the guys that could have done it sat this one out. If I was a Republican I’d be wondering about that.

    But Randy asked for a link, this is from Pew and Gallup:

    Romney is in a unique position. Maybe they oversample retirees and other parasites.

    Randy’s numbers are here:

  30. I read 29 swing state polls today. In one poll, they were tied. In Iowa, Rasmussen says Romney leads. In the 27 other polls – Obama led in every single one.

    I’d rather be my guy than your guy. Also your guy is going broke. Woops!

  31. Yeah, I acknowledge that Obama is ahead today. But then there’s this:

    Also, skewed polls are nothing new…. the quantity might be, but the MSM has been playing this game for a long time. See here for one of the most egregious examples:

  32. RNC money? Who cares. It’s limited and mostly can’t be spent on the election. The real reason the RNC has more money? They know they’re going to lose – squirreling away the $ for next time.

    Rasmussen is one of the least accurate pollsters. You keep talking about the MSM. So every poll you don’t like is the MSM? But somehow Rasmussen isn’t? Even Ras is showing dem leads. Also the downballot polling in the House and Senate races should have you scared.

    So okay, even with your added polls, you can have 7 out of 34 that are tied or your guy leading. I’ll stick to my 27 😀

  33. Randy in Richmond says:

    I looked back at several current swing states 2008 polls between Sept. 15 –Sept. 28, 2008. I quickly found 23 polls showing John McCain ahead.

  34. Tell ya what. You’re all getting killer odds out of Vegas if you’re a Mr. 47% fan. I’d ride that donkey to the Promised Land if I were you guys.

    Or I’ll give all of you Romney straight up and you let me know how much you want in for. 🙂

  35. Randy in Richmond says:

    Oh, I know it doesn’t look good for our guy.
    I just like disproving what some think is new ground. 1982 also comes to mind but unfortunately Romney is not Reagan and Carter was pretty much hated. I do take some solace in that the past 3 1/2 years have played out pretty much as some of us prognosticated in 2008. In many cases it’s been worse. It won’t get better.

  36. So the interview is with two polls who don’t weight for party to make it appear that none of the polls weight for party identification.

    Gee. How even minded of them.

    It would be interesting to see which ones you are supposed to believe.

  37. @Lorax –

    I particularly like the argument that if Romney is such a disaster, why isn’t he trailing more in the non-weighted polls?

  38. The truth here is somewhere in between. We won’t be D+7 again like in 2008, but we won’t be even again like 2004 or 2010. D+3 nationwide sounds right to me. I read an article with a lead Romney strategist who said the same… they are hoping for D+1 or D+2, but D+3 is probably the most realistic case and they think they still have a good chance to win in that scenario.

    The polls would agree with that. This one that just came out today

    has Obama +5, but assumes a D+7 turnout. Knock off 4 points from Obama to get to the most likely scenario and you have Obama by 1… basically a tie.

    I’d like to see the left’s reaction if all these polls showed R+1 or R+2 nationwide samples. Honestly, that’s not likely, but it is more plausible than Dems equaling or outperforming 2008 turnout… ’08 was a really unique year. To take it as the new norm is ridiculous.

  39. I’m pretty pessimistic on Romney in Nevada though…. early voting there is not quite at 2008 levels, but not as close as I was hoping. So doubt we’ll see a tie. Romney needs WI or OH.