New "Unskewed" Poll Has Obama in Lead

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 28 2012 2:02 PM

Now Even the "Unskewed" Polling Has Obama out in Front

Mitt Romney arrives on the stage during a campaign rally at the Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa., Friday
Mitt Romney arrives on the stage during a campaign rally at the Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa., Friday

Photograph by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.

As we explained in yesterday's Slatest PM newsletter, some conservatives are becoming increasingly vocal regarding their doubts about recent polls that show President Obama pulling out in front of Mitt Romney. In short, they contend that pretty much everyone but the conservative pollsters over at Rasmussen are relying on turnout models that unfairly favor Democrats. If the models were tweaked appropriately, they say, Mitt Romney would have a substantial lead coming down the home stretch.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Or at least that's what their "unskewed" polls had been showing up until yesterday when Fox News released its latest survey, which showed Obama up by 5 points, 48 percent to Romney's 43.


Dean Chambers, who runs, quicky worked his usual magic on the Fox data but this time his "unskewing" wasn't enough to move the numbers in the GOP's favor. The result: Obama up by 2 points. While that's obviously less than the gap the Fox News poll showed, it's nonetheless noteworthy because it's a major departure from the past dozen or so of Chambers' "unskewed" polls that claimed to have Romney well on his way to a historic victory this fall.

We'll let Chambers explain what he did:

"When the data from the Fox News poll is unskewed by weighting their reported percentages between Romney and Obama to the partisan affiliations showed by Rasmussen's extensive data results on that issue, the overall picture of the race is different. With Republicans weighted 34.8 percent, Democrats at 35.2 percent and Independents at 30.0 percent, the results calculate to Obama leading but by a smaller 46 percent to 44 percent margin over Romney"

It's also worth pointing out again that the major pollsters who keep tabs on the race for a living obviously don't see eye to eye with Chambers. Frank Newport, the editor-in-chief over at Gallup, penned a forceful response to the polling critics yesterday, explaining that their main beef with the numbers—what the doubters say is an oversampling of Democrats—actually is just further proof that the president is out in front. More info on that here.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the entire @slatest team on Twitter.***


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