Cell-Phone-Only Households Will Save Democrats: Look at the Numbers Email Print

The latest rage - or outrage - on the right is this Newsweek Poll. You know, the Newsweek poll - the one that said that Obama has a 54% approval rating and that 48% of registered voters prefer to vote for a Democrat, while only 42% lean Republican.

That Newsweek Poll.

Seems the Repuglinuts don't like that poll because it doesn't fit their teabag revolution narrative. They slant their brows in angry scowls, slam their hammy fists and declare the poll an outlier, unfit for human consumption!!!

"Look at Real Clear Politics," they insist. "Their totally and completely non-partisan analysis of polling numbers shows that the Newsweek poll is a fake, a lie, a CONSPIRACY - all designed by the VLWC to raise the specter of Republican failure only days before the greatest and most important election of forever."

Oh, what a world!


So what about that Newsweek poll? Was it an outlier? Was it in any way valid? Are we desperate for a sprig of hope? Are we totally delusional?

After all, that Newsweek poll totally disagrees with all those other, much, MUCH more  legitimate polls that show Obama with a -0.0% likey-likey rating and a generic ballot that suggests a pickup for the Republicans somewhere between 1.2 million and infinity seats in the House.

The Reality is that these pollsters sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to a thing we all refer to as "Progress". Say it with me Pro-gress.

The progress to which I refer is that of cell phone use, and not just your usual, everyday, annoyance-on-the-bus cell phone use. I'm talking about the hardcore take-your-landline-and-shove-it cell phone use.

That's right. Cell-Phone-only households now account for over 20% of all households in America. That supersedes the amount of landline-only households.

The Newsweek poll includes these cell-phone-only households. ALL of the others do not!

That is VERY significant. The other polling outfits ignore 20% of all Americans in their polling - that's 1 in every 5 people. They effectively don't exist - or at least don't matter to the Gallups, USA Todays, and stinkers like Rasmussen.

Not surprisingly, these cell-phone-only people tend to be overwhelmingly young, urban, and Democrats.

And what about the  landline-only households? Surprise!! They tend to be older, rural, and Republicans - so they were sure to be included in the polls!

As you might have guessed, when you poll an electorate that includes  the (less than) 20% of high-concentration Republicans, and EXCLUDES the 20% of high-concentration Democrats, then the poll will tend to favor the Republicans - alot. Include those Democrats, and all of a sudden the polls start painting a picture of a whole new world. THAT makes sense.

But wait, there's more...

'Registered Voters' vs. 'Likely Voters'

When looking at the 'Registered Voter' Model vs. the 'Likely Voter' Model, Republicans will feverishly note that even when the 'registered voter' model gives hope to the Democrats, the 'likely voter' model trashes these hopes like an empty beercan against a redneck's forehead.

But not this time. The Newsweek poll uses the 'likely voter' model and the Democrats still kick ass. That's what happens when you actually include the Democrats in the poll. Funny, right.

And as a bonus, we have this - the Newsweek poll included 92 people who said they had already voted - and even amongst them (Though a very small sample) the Democrats won. The examiner smartly notes that "Polls of people who have already voted are generally considered more reliable than polls of how people will vote in the future."


So was the Newsweek poll an outlier? Perhaps, but that doesn't make it wrong. That just makes it different.

Commonsense makes it right.

Democrats will keep the Senate AND the House.


BONUS!! The La Times teamed up with USC to pop out a poll that showed the mythical 'enthusiasm gap' closing like a conservative's mind to science.

The survey asked respondents to rate on a 10-point scale how enthusiastic they felt about voting this year. In September, when the poll asked that question, Republicans had a big advantage, with 42% of registered Republicans statewide rating their enthusiasm as a 10, compared with 27% of registered Democrats. In the latest survey, conducted statewide Oct. 13-20, that 15-point gap had nearly disappeared: 39% of registered Republicans rated their enthusiasm at 10, compared with 35% of registered Democrats.

A similar pattern shows up on ideology. In September, poll respondents who identified themselves as "conservative" were far more likely to rate their enthusiasm at 10 than those who said they were "liberal" -- 45% to 27%. In the October survey, the two were nearly at parity -- 40% of conservatives and 38% of liberals, a gap within the poll's 2.5% margin of error.

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