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TO: FROM: RE: DATE:

Interested Parties Joel Benenson Latest Gallup / USA Today Numbers October 15, 2012

 The latest Gallup/ USA Today Battleground survey showing President Obama and Governor Romney tied with women in battleground states (48-48) is an extreme outlier, defying the trends seen in every other battleground and national poll.  This result underscores deep flaws in Gallup’s likely voter screen.  Only 2 years ago the distortions in Gallup’s likely voter screen were exposed, leaving Gallup’s survey 9 points off the mark just days before the election.  Gallup’s likely voter model predicted a 15 point advantage for Republicans, 55-40, on October 31, 2010.  The final result was a 6 point margin, 51-45.  That year, Gallup’s registered voter survey was much closer to reality at 48-44.  Gallup’s data is once again far out of line with other public pollsters.  In 14 state polls conducted across 8 swing states since October 4, President Obama leads among women in every single one.  President Obama has a double-digit among women lead in 10 of these polls, including several surveys where the overall horserace is close or the President is behind.  On average, President Obama leads among women by 10.3 points and overall by 2.3 points. (See table on page 2 for results)  We believe the problem with Gallup’s outlying data is rooted in their 7 question likely voter screen, which distorts the composition of likely voters, leading to erratic and inaccurate results.  In Gallup’s current survey, Obama leads women by 53-44 among registered voters in the Battleground States, which is closely aligned with results from other pollsters.  It is only when the likely voter screen is applied that their results become so out of step.  Several of the likely voter questions create a bias against groups inclined to support Obama.  For example, Gallup asks voters both whether they have voted in their precinct before and where people in their neighborhood go to vote.  This creates a bias against registered voters who more likely to move from time to time, such as young voters, renters, minorities and urban dwellers, all of whom tend to lean toward the President.

 In the past, Gallup’s justification for such outlying numbers is that they are providing a snapshot of voter attitudes during a particular time period, not predicting the outcome of the election. But this implausible result among women appears to not even provide an accurate reflection on the electorate today, making its value questionable. Horserace and Horserace among Women in Post-Debate State Polls HR among State Poll Field Date Overall HR Women Ohio PPP Oct. 12-13 51 BO – 46 MR 54 BO – 42 MR Ohio NBC/Marist Oct. 7-9 51 BO – 45 MR 54 BO – 42 MR Ohio SurveyUSA Oct. 5-8 45 BO – 44 MR 50 BO – 41 MR Virginia NBC/Marist Oct. 7-9 47 BO – 48 MR 54 BO – 42 MR Virginia NYT/CBS/Qpac Oct. 4-9 51 BO – 46 MR 56 BO – 40 MR Florida NBC/Marist Oct. 7-9 47 BO – 48 MR 54 BO – 41 MR Florida ARG Oct. 8-11 46 BO – 49 MR 49 BO – 46 MR Colorado NYT/CBS/Qpac Oct. 4-9 47 BO – 48 MR 51 BO – 45 MR Wisconsin NYT/CBS/Qpac Oct. 4-9 50 BO – 47 MR 53 BO – 43 MR Wisconsin PPP Oct. 4-6 49 BO – 47 MR 52 BO – 45 MR New Hampshire ARG Oct. 9-11 46 BO – 50 MR 49 BO – 48 MR Pennsylvania Philadelphia Inq. Oct. 4-8 50 BO – 42 MR 55 BO – 37 MR Pennsylvania Susquehanna Oct. 4-6 47 BO – 45 MR 52 BO – 42 MR Minnesota PPP Oct. 5-8 53 BO – 43 MR 56 BO – 41 MR AVERAGE BO +2.3 BO +10.3

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