Monday, August 22, 2016

RCP Addicts: Which Pollsters Are the Most and the Least Reliable?

This will be my shortest post ever. 

I went to and copied the rating of various pollsters. Leaving out the data that led to the rating, here are the top-rated and bottom-rated. Go here to get the original data and the full listings. Generally, the ratings were based on the techniques used, the accuracy of the polls on a gross (batting average) basis, and what I interpret to be volatility.

I have highlighted the pollsters with over 50 polls. Those that have been "banned" by Nate Silver & Friends are shown with an asterisk after the rating. (Others were banned but were not either A- or higher or C- and lower.)

One observation: generally it appears that Real Clear Politics does not show bottom-of-the-barrel polls. 

Rank Pollster No. of Polls Rating
1 Monmouth University 71 A+
2 Field Research Corporation (Field Poll) 25 A+
3 Selzer & Company 37 A+
4 Elway Research 18 A+
5 Ciruli Associates 17 A+
6 ABC News/Washington Post 51 A+
7 Grove Insight 29 A
8 Marist College 146 A
9 Muhlenberg College 22 A
10 National Journal 12 A
11 Public Policy Institute of California 12 A
12 Survey USA 763 A
13 University of Cincinnati (Ohio Poll) 38 A
14 Siena College 42 A
15 Fairleigh Dickinson University (PublicMind) 18 A
16 Research & Polling, Inc. 26 A
17 Fox News/Anderson Robbins Research/Shaw & Company Research 24 A
18 Marquette University 7 A
19 Behavior Research Center (Rocky Mountain) 7 A
20 Blum & Weprin Associates 18 A
21 NBC News/Wall Street Journal 25 A-
22 University of Connecticut 7 A-
23 Time/Abt SRBI 7 A-
24 Angus Reid Global 29 A-
25 Ipsos 49 A-
26 Quinnipiac University 169 A-
27 University of Arkansas 4 A-
28 IBD/TIPP 17 A-
29 CBS News/New York Times 55 A-
30 CNN/Opinion Research Corp. 89 A-
31 Los Angeles Times 40 A-
32 MassINC Polling Group 11 A-
33 St. Norbert College 12 A-
34 EPIC-MRA 43 A-
35 Western New England University 11 A-
337 Merriman River Group 21 C-
338 Opinion Savvy/InsiderAdvantage 105 C-
339 Rainmaker Media Group 1 C-
340 Consumer Logic 4 C-
341 University of Alabama 2 C-
342 McLaughlin & Associates 19 C-
343 Neighbor 1 C-
344 Zogby Interactive/JZ Analytics 465 C-
345 Southeastern Louisiana University 8 C-
346 Harris Interactive 135 C-
347 Ohio University 2 C-
348 20/20 Insight 5 C-
349 Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne 3 C-
350 Opinion Research Associates 12 C-
351 Optimus 4 C-
352 SurveyMonkey 11 C-
353 Loyola University (New Orleans) 2 C-
354 Clout Research/Wenzel Strategies 9 C-
355 Data West Polling 3 C-
356 Baydoun Consulting 6 C-
357 Fort Hays State University 4 C-
358 Brown University 12 C-
359 Nielson Brothers Polling 6 C-
360 WCIA-TV 2 C-
361 CPEC LLC 3 D+
362 Marketing Workshop 7 D+
363 Riggs Research Services 1 D+
364 Dane & Associates 2 D+
365 Brigham Young University 4 D+
366 Massie & Associates 2 D+
367 Valley Research 6 D+
368 Millersville University 5 D
369 Jayhawk Consulting 1 D
370 Mitchell Research & Communications 47 D
371 Humphrey Institute 10 D-
372 TCJ Research 133 F   *

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What if Ivanka Convinces Daddy to Come in Out of the Rain?

The clamor among Democrats to embarrass "mainstream" Republicans to abandon Trump is getting louder. President Obama chimed in yesterday.


The Donald is taking care of his problems quite well, thank you (for the Democrats, that is). Why increase the pressure on the GOP to dump Trump, and thereby encourage his family (Ivanka) to convince him to come out of the rain?

There is a procedure in the GOP National Committee Rules to fill a vacancy "which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States or the Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States." The Republican National Committee can do so either by itself or by reconvening the GOP Convention.

The Rules do not expressly answer whether the nomination of a Presidential candidate can be amended or rescinded in the absence of a "declination" by the nominee. They do not even answer, whether a nominee, once nominated, can resign as nominee. (In the Democratic Party in 1972, Thomas Eagleton "resigned" as the Vice Presidential nominee after it was revealed that he had undergone shock treatment.) But let's assume a nominee can resign. Under the above Rule, there is every reason to believe that, once nominated, a nominee stays in that position unless there is a vacancy. Maybe short of death or resignation, the nominee can be replaced, but it is very likely only in the case of a clear disability. 

The Rules provide that "[t]he current authorized edition of Robert's Rules of Order: Newly Revised ('Robert’s Rules of Order') shall govern in all meetings of the Republican National Committee and its committees insofar as they are applicable and not inconsistent with these rules." Does this cover the decisions of the Convention? Who knows? 

Let's assume Robert's at least will be consulted.  Robert's says that a motion to nominate a candidate for an "office" may not be amended. The listing of motions that may not be amended refers to the procedure to be followed while a meeting is going on. Does this include a motion, once passed? Who knows?

From the appearances, Trump won't take direction from anyone, least of all any other Republican. But there is a way to get to him: through his daughter, Ivanka.

The bottom line question is what if the Power That Be, i.e., Ivanka, convinces the Donald that his brand is getting trashed and he will look like a fool, and the fool actually resigns? 

This is what Hillary Clinton should fear more than anything. Here we are, 14 months after Trump has, day after day, revealed himself, and a full week after the Democratic National Convention, and the four national polls (admittedly, an imperfect measure, given that we elect through the Electoral College, but a very reliable one nevertheless) conducted after the conclusion of that convention and listed in Real Clear Politics have HRC up by a mere 5.5%, almost within the margin of error. (Yes, there are two other national candidates, and these are polls limited to these two major party candidates, but allow me to paint with a broad brush on this one, since neither of the other two is likely to win an electoral vote, and the four-way post-DNC polls show a 6% margin.) She is a weak candidate, whether she should be or not. 

One can only imagine what a candidate like Kasich could do to Clinton. He has name recognition. He's a true conservative. And he is pure as the driven snow on the acid test--support of Trump--by reason of his having stayed in the race 'til the end and not only refusing to endorse him but boycotting the convention in his own State. 

My fellow Democrats, stop pushing and stick to the issues. The Donald will take care of himself.