Diary

Route To A Rout

Gallup’s latest election poll of likely voters puts plenty of muscle on Vassar Bushmill’s call to press the Dems everywhere and all the time till the polls close Nov. 2.

Gallup since 1950 has used a seven-question protocol to identify what the pollster calls “high probabililty” voters ie. likely voters. To be high probability a respondent must score at least six and preferably seven. Gallup randomly found 3,037 folks on both land line and cell phones using the firm’s own methodology to insure that anyone eligible to vote had an equal chance to be called. The calling took place from 9/23 to 9/26 and 9/30 to 10/3.

The actual number of registered voters  taken from the initial participants was 2,764. This so-called “generic” group favored Republican candidates 46% to 43% and indicates that if all registered voters showed up the GOP would likely win a narrow victory.

Of course not all, most likely not even half, of registered voters will actually vote which is why the likely voter sample shrinks to 1,882. And the results are very encouraging. Gallup reports that if more than 40% of voters turn out the GOP will get 53% versus 40% for Democrats. If the turn out is 40% or less it’s 56% to 38% in favor of Republicans. How bad would this be for Democrats? Gallup believes  anything less than 48% of the vote for the current majority means the House changes hands. If the current numbers are near correct Democrat losses would be “substantial”. Gallup also points out that the lower the turnout the better it is for Republicans.

This sample is not weighted. Gallup lets the likely voter subsets stand by themselves to reflect who will show in the actual election. So we learn that this year independents “consistently prefer” and “strongly skew” to Republican candidates.

This poll hasn’t received the attention one would expect; no great surprise. Gallup will update these numbers weekly until election day. If the poll tightens even a bit we can expect headlines such as “Respected pollster says Democrats are closing in as Nov 2 approaches” So predictable.

Truth is we have an historic opportunity to light the map red Nov 2. Let’s keep pedal to the metal. We have a carefully conducted poll a month out which indicates a lot of nice surprises the first Tuesday night in November.