Wrap up

We wrap up this season’s polling with a synopsis of our final polls compared to the actual outcome. Despite all the really interesting emails and comments we received along the way, We Ask America’s final regional polling of our Big Ten States came within the margin of error of the final results. Our Senate poll in Missouri failed to pick up the big margin Claire McCaskill would enjoy, and we had the wrong guy on top in the Virginia Senate race–although within the margin of error. And we really nailed the Illinois presidential race–but that’s our home base so we should know the Land of Lincoln fairly well. Following are the final results in those key states rounded to the nearest whole number followed by final poll results in each. We only included states where we polled in the final week, and put Nebraska senate results in as well since we polled that late.  Assume the margin of error in each poll was about ±3%, and remember that rounding to the nearest whole number can produce a result that doesn’t equal 100 percent:

PollCandidatesElection ResultsFinal Poll
ILObama57%57%
Romney41%41%
3rd Party2%2%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
COObama51%50%
Romney47%47%
3rd Party2%3%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
FLObama50%49%
Romney49%50%
3rd Party1%1%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
IAObama52%49%
Romney47%47%
3rd Party1%4%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
MOObama44%42%
Romney54%54%
3rd Party2%4%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
OHObama50%50%
Romney48%46%
3rd Party2%4%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
VAObama51%49%
Romney48%48%
3rd Party1%4%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
WIObama53%52%
Romney46%45%
3rd Party1%3%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
VA - SenateKaine52%50%
Allen48%50%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
WI - SenateBaldwin51%49%
Thompson46%46%
3rd Party3%5%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
MO - SenateMcCaskill55%49%
Akin39%45%
3rd Party6%6%
* * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * *
NE - SenateFischer58%59%*
Kerrey42%41%*

*Note that we allowed “undecided” as an option in the Nebraska poll at the request of a reader, so the Nebraska Senate results above are extrapolated from those poll participants who chose a candidate. The original results can be found here. We dove into that race since there were some remarkably wrong polls being pumped into the mainstream media and we were the only pollster to get the GOP Primary correct (not that there was a lot of competition).

When we released our final Ohio and Wisconsin polls we received an onslaught of nasty-grams from the tin-foil hat bunch who took those results as proof-positive that we were part of the national polling conspiracy. Oddly, we haven’t heard back from them since the election.

We Ask America plans to go national soon (its easier than changing our name to We Ask Parts of America), and have really enjoyed the comments, critiques, suggestions and rants that you’ve been kind or angry enough to share. Continue to watch for us to run public polls on national and state-specific issues.

But for now…sleep!

 

 

Hot off the presses-2

We’ve just wrapped up our weighting on three important polls–Wisconsin, Virginia and Ohio–and want to push the top-lines out to you as quickly as possible. All of these polls were conducted from Oct.30-Nov. 1 through automated means. The responses came from likely voters, and the results have been weighted to correct for over-/under-sampling.  We took great care in Ohio and Virginia to make sure we had adequate coverage of regions that are afflicted by Hurricane Sandy outages, and now feel we have the right mix of voters. If and when time permits, we’ll provide background numbers for you, but our data integrity chief has given a thumbs up so we’re pushing them out the door.

STATEResponsesMoE ±Barack ObamaMitt Romney3rd Party
Wisconsin1,2103%51.5%44.8%3.7%
Virginia1,0693.0%48.5%47.6%3.9%
Ohio1,6492.6%50.2%45.8%4.0%

In addition to the presidential numbers in Wisconsin and Virginia, we polled the races for U.S. Senate. In Wisconsin, Democrat Tammy Baldwin is leading Republican Tommy Thompson 48.5% to 46.3% with 5.2% going to third-party candidates–a real tightening in this contentious race. You may remember that Thompson trailed in his primary until close to the end and pulled out a come-from-behind victory. Deja vue? We’ll see.

In a more controversial vein, we stubbornly continue to be contrarians in the Virginia Senate race where we find Republican George Allen with a tight 50.4 to 49.6 lead over Democrat Tim Kaine. Unlike those polls that show a similar Dem/GOP/Ind mix that resembles Virginia’s 2008 results, we’re seeing closer to a 33/33/34 response.

Back to the salt mines…

Nebraska

A number of readers have been asking us to poll the Nebraska Senate race featuring Democrat former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey and Republican Deb Fischer since we had some success there in the surprise Republican primary win by Fischer. Kerrey has moved toward the center in his effort to keep retiring Senator Ben Nelson’s seat in the hands of Democrats, but has faced an uphill battle in a state where Mitt Romney has a double-digit lead over Barack Obama.  He’s made some hay by trying to exploit a land dispute Fischer had years ago with a neighboring ranch, but may have gone over the top by claiming Fischer was trying somehow to grab property that didn’t belong to her. Still, Kerrey is a skilled communicator and Fischer has yet to be tested in a statewide arena, so we thought we’d check to see if those claiming the race was tightening are correct.

We do not believe they are:

Poll type: Automated Date: November 1, 2012 - Participants: 1,178 Likely Voters - Margin of Error: ± 2.95%
 Deb Fischer (R)Bob Kerrey (D)Undecided
ALL VOTERS53.6%41.2%5.2%
DEM only18%79%3%
GOP only85%12%3%
IND only48%42%10%

As in all of our polls, these results have been weighted to normalize and over-/under-sampling in key demographic and geographic areas. In the same poll, we asked likely voters their choice for president; the results were Obama 41%; Romney 54%; Generic 3rd Party 2%; Undecided 3%--so Fischer seems to be mirroring the state’s political mood.

Absent some major political explosion, it appears that the improbable winner of the Republican Primary will find herself a member of the world’s most exclusive club.