Lots of questions about the modeling behind latest Quinnipiac poll showing Democrat under-performance

in Uncategorized by
esteemed Democratic pollster Dave Beattie emails:
A few reporters called today about the results from the Q poll in Florida and I have not had a chance to respond by phone so wanted to send a quick note.  In short the results raise some concerns because more Republicans than Democrats are interviewed, which is not going to happen on election day in Florida.
They model that 32% of the turnout will be Republican, 29% Democrat and 32% Independent in the 2012 election, this is NOTHING like what the reality will be.  There will be a net 2 percentage point or more Democratic registration advantage on election day.  The sample of the poll appears three to four points more Republican than the 2012 electorate will be, meaning the votes do not reflect the potential outcome in the Florida.
Turnout for 2008, by party is below:

2008 Florida Turnout by Party

 

Registered Voters

Ballots Cast

Turnout %

Democrat

4,722,076 (42.0%)

3,352,206 (41.9%)

71.0%

Republican

4,064,301 (36.1%)

3,111,679 (38.9%)

76.6%

Independent

2,461,257 (21.9%)

1,531,090 (19.2%)

62.2%

Total

11,247,634

7,994,975

71.1%

Assuming a worst case scenario of low Democratic turnout AND no new registration turnout in 2012 for Democrats will CONSERVATIVELY be net 1.5% or 120,000 voters (the registration in this table is as of November 2011).

2012 Florida Estimated Turnout by Party

 

Registered Voters

Ballots Cast

Turnout %

Democrat

4,552,956 (40.6%)

3,187,069 (40.6%)

70%

Republican

4,034,914 (36.0%)

3,066,534 (39.1%)

76%

Independent

2,615,194 (23.3%)

1,595,268 (20%)

61%

Total

11,203,064

7,848,871

70.1%

Quinnipiac’s partisan break down is not close to this distribution (especially among Independents) and it still has a net 3 percentage point advantage for Republicans, which will not happen on election day.

Quinnipiac Model of 2012 General Election Registered Voters in Florida

 

Total

GOP

Dem

Ind

Men

Women

White

Black

Hispanic

Registered Voters

1,412

498

376

450

678

734

1,162

105

99

Weighted Percent

100%

32%

29%

32%

48%

52%

71%

12%

13%

MoE (+/-%)

2.61

4.39

5.05

4.62

3.76

3.62

2.87

9.56

9.85

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.