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June 02, 2012

The California and Wisconsin Recalls in Polling, Plus Early Vote/Absentee Updates

So, on my venturing about the interwebs I saw some mention that polling screwed up the California recall race in 2003, and a few folks trying to prop up Barrett's internals, arguing that the nonpartisan polling was off. Recall races are "hard to gauge", they argued.

Well, let's take a look at the polling from 2003.

Yes (recalling Davis) averaged 55%, result? 55.5%.
No (saving Davis) averaged 42%, result? 45%.

Internal polling released by Davis, insisting the race was closer, pegged him losing his job by a 48-50 margin.

The final internal was off by 8 points. The average? A fraction on yes, three on no. Pretty damn good for a "highly unpredictable election".

Polling on the same RCP average right now (which I disagree with because they are using the RV model from PPP instead of the LV model): 6.6% for Walker.

Internals/Pro-Barrett Polls? +2 Walker (Barrett's), +3 Walker(DGA), and tied(Greater Wisconsin Committee), so under 2%.

We will know the end result in a few days, but if the 2003 recall showed us anything, it is that an aggregate of available nonpartisan polling can be very close to the final result.

And last-minute push polls can be terribly off.

Updates on Early Voting + Absentees:
TOTAL statewide 182k (230k in 2010, 633k in 2008 )
TOTAL Milwaukee 18k thru same period for statewide tab, 19k est final Friday
TOTAL Madison 14k thru same period for statewide tab, 16k final Friday
TOTAL Appleton 3k
TOTAL Waukesha(city only) 4300 (thru early Friday)
TOTAL Share of statewide vote from Madison+Milwaukee is nearly identical to that in 2010 and 2008. No bump (so far).

As I have said numerous times, Barrett needs explosively high turnout in Madison and Milwaukee and for the more Republican areas to have average turnout, so far the Republican areas have no intention of lying down. The numbers for absentees include early votes as well, so the number of early in-person voters in Milwaukee is even less than the total so far returned. The Democrats put a lot of effort and coin into busing their least reliable voters to boost Barrett, but any hopes of approaching 2008 participation die with the results reported.

**UPDATE** I will continue to drop numbers as I get them from the GAB and various counties, but it looks very clear the rumored "30k a day!" during early voting was an epic fail. Dane county will turn out tremendously, but the same enthusiasm in voter-rich Milwaukee (so far) isn't there.

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posted by CAC at 12:02 PM

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