Barack Obama, Michigan, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan — August 22, 2012 at 7:12 am

OMG! Romney is ahead in Michigan and by 14 points in Florida!!!


It’s a MIRACLE!!!

Oh, my freaking GOD! Romney has pulled ahead of Obama in both Michigan and in Florida! The Ryan Splat turned out to be the Ryan Kertwang after all!

That’s what one of the most highly discredited polling firms in the country, Foster McCollum White & Associates, says. Their Michigan poll, released on Friday, is breathlessly titled “Its official, Paul Ryan has created a significant bounce for Mitt Romney and down the ballot as well, creating a new challenge for President Obama and Democrats, per poll”. The poll has President Obama down by almost 4 percentage points and, hilariously, has Pete Hoekstra up by over two over Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Problem is, the people they polled were ridiculously old and white, way more so than the people who typically vote.

They polled 1,733 people, over 80% of which were over 50 years old. They then “corrected” their data by weighting it as if that demographic made up only 59%.

In previous elections, the over-50s were just 42% of the people that voted.

They also have Obama losing by 15 points in Florida. Polling genius Nate Silver is all over this:

The poll was weighted to a demographic estimate that predicts that just 2 percent of Florida voters will be 30 or younger. It’s a decent bet that turnout will be down some among younger voters this year, but that isn’t a realistic estimate. In 2008, according to exit polls, 15 percent of voters in Florida were between 18 and 30.

The poll also assumed that 10 percent of voters will be between the ages of 31 and 50. In 2008, the actual percentage was 36 percent, according to the exit survey.

The poll projected Latinos to be 7 percent of the turnout in Florida, against 14 percent in 2008. And it has African-American turnout at 10 percent, down from 13 percent.

If the turnout numbers look something like that in November, then Mr. Obama will lose Florida badly. He’ll also lose almost every other state; his electoral map might look a lot like Walter Mondale’s.

But the share of voters 50 and younger in Florida is not going to drop all the way from half the electorate to roughly one-tenth of it, as the poll assumed. That is far beyond the range you can get from reasonable disagreement about methods, or from sampling error. It looks like the result from a from a badly-designed statistical model that never got a sanity check.

Again, massive over-representation of the elderly voters.

Look, this is going to be a tough race this, no question. And polls don’t mean diddly, particularly this far out. But, fer cryin’ out loud, this polling firm is absurd. They make Rasmussen look reasonable!

The Obama campaign has been on the ground in Michigan for over a year now. The truth is, they never really left after 2008. I’ve seen them in action all over the state and they are NOT taking this election for granted. But Mitt Romney is not ahead in the state that he left in the ditch when he declared “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”. It’s just not credible. I mean what organization would commission a poll from such an massively fail polling firm?

Oh. Wait. Fox News.


[Facepalm CC image credit: Alex Proimos | Flickr]