Sunday, July 31, 2016

Why USC/Dornsife/LATimes Poll Is The "Gold Standard" Of Presidential Polls

Megyn Kelly ! explains why USC/LATimes got it right
(Video from 5:57 to 7;50)
Post election update #2. 

The man behind the USC/LATimes poll Arie Kapteyn explains his methodology. What is especially impressive is his statement that he personally wanted Clinton to win. This example of total non-bias is instructive and a lesson to other polling firms and pundits  who failed so badly.

Via LATimes

As election returns rolled in Tuesday night, the creator of the USC/Los Angeles Times Daybreak tracking poll was in Washington for a speaking engagement. He watched the results on television in a hotel bar, surrounded by about 20 drunken Danes who were in the capital to study the election.

“It was an odd experience,” Arie Kapteyn said Wednesday morning.


With IPSOS/Reuters Polling utterly exposed and exploded as under reporting Trump's results by up to five points and then tweaking Hillary's upwards the polling industry, which had massive failures with "Brexit" and Donald Trump's primary campaign, is in major trouble.

Examples such as "RABA Research giving this "result" a 15 point Clinton lead

2016 General Election - Clinton 46%, Trump 31% (RABA Research 7/29)

while USC/LATimes poll on the same day give Trump a four point lead makes a mockery of any pretensions pollsters in general may lay dubious claim to.

It is my opinion that the USC/LATimes poll is the only reliable and best reference from all the polling companies mainly because of their voter pool and stability of their reporting since the poll commenced
on July 10th especially as this was a turbulent time with the Wikileaks sensations and both conventions.

Whereas traditional polling firms canvass a different group each time they poll USC has a pool of about 3000 pre-selected from which pool they choose one-seventh of the members and ask them a series of three set, unchanging questions.

The question that arises, as it does with all polls, is "what is the composition of those polled as regarding previous support i.e. how many

It is the balance of these groups that can distort polls as the Reuters and RABA examples clearly show and the Mason Dixon poll of Pennsylvania which had a much lager number of Democrat's in their sample set which gave a 9 point Clinton lead, which is more than president Obama won the state by in 2012.

What these polling outfits hope to gain by losing their credibility in pursuit of their agenda is a mystery.

The USC proportion of respondents is now shown but given the closeness of their polling which is in line with the "gold standard" the aggregate of all polls it seems apparent that they have their balance correct and that any major movement to either candidate from a static pool of voters reflects changed minds and a significant event.

At this point it can be fairly stated that the 'gold standard" for polling is the Real Clear Politics aggregate of all  (responsible) polls and the gold standard for a single poll is USC/LATimes.

I would also commend The PPD Poll as of value as it uses as similar mechanism and its result, although slighty more favorable to Trump, mirrors USC's e.g.
7/30/16. Their mechanism and latest update is at the link above.
USC Trump 46.1 Clinton 41.9 Clinton +1.3 points post DNC PPD Trump 46.8 Clinton 42.2 Clinton +0.7 points post DNC

NB; "PPD "The result of the People’s Pundit Daily U.S. Presidential Election Daily Tracking Poll released on Saturday July 30 marks the first time our internal polling data, which helped propel the PPD Election Projection Model to #1 in 2014, has been released for public consumption."

Here is the USC/LATimes poll advice on how they conduct and report their findings

LA Times Tracking Poll response:

“I have no magic words. Here is what the Director of our center, Arie Kapteyn, who devised this polling approach, has to say about it:
We are being as transparent as possible by posting all information about our approach (including data, and sampling and weighting procedures) in excruciating detail on the web. We have set our procedures at the beginning of the data collection and now we just wait and see what happens. The outcomes are definitely striking and indeed different from most other polls. Four years ago, when we did the RAND Presidential poll ( most of us were at RAND at the time) it looked as if we had a bias in the direction of Obama, since we were always more to the left in our forecasts than most other polls. When all the votes were counted by the end of 2012 we were actually underestimating the final count for Obama (by a small amount) and we were closer to the final tally than any other major poll. That of course does not imply at all that we are right again this time. We have a new sample (but essentially the same method) and outcomes may just vary because samples are never a perfect reflection of the population. We are looking at the outcomes every morning with as much interest as anyone else. So we are not claiming to be right and everyone else is wrong; we have simply done the best we could and this is the result. Only in November will we know if we were right or not.
Not sure that is helpful if you are engaging in debate about which poll is correct. We have a long way to go until November.”

About the Survey✝ 

The USC Dornsife/LA Times Presidential Election "Daybreak" Poll is part of the ongoing Understanding America Study: (UAS) at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, in partnership with the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and the Los Angeles Times. Every day, we invite one-seventh of the members of the UAS election panel to answer three predictive questions: What is the percent chance that… (1) you will vote in the presidential election? (2) you will vote for Clinton, Trump, or someone else? and (3) Clinton, Trump or someone else will win? As their answers come in, we update the charts daily (just after midnight) with an average of all of the prior week’s responses. To find out more about what lies behind the vote, each week we also ask respondents one or two extra questions about their preferences and values. The team responsible for the USC Dornsife/LA Times Presidential Election Poll four years ago developed the successful RAND Continuous Presidential Election Poll, which was based on the same methodology.

Survey Methods 

The USC Dornsife/LA Times Presidential Election "Daybreak" Poll is part of the Understanding America Study (UAS) at the University of Southern California's Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research. It is being conducted in partnership with the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and the Los Angeles Times.
The team responsible for the Daybreak Poll four years ago developed the successful RAND Continuous Presidential Election Poll, which was based on the same methodology.
The Daybreak Poll is based on an internet probability panel survey. Daybreak Poll members are participants in the ongoing UAS internet probability panel of about 4500 U.S. residents who were randomly selected from among all households in the United States. Members of recruited households that did not have internet access were provided with tablets and internet service. The UAS panel is still growing. We project it will reach about 6000 members in the coming months.
More than 3200 UAS panel members so far (July 2016) have agreed to participate in answering questions about the election, and we expect that number will increase over time. Each day, 1/7th of those who have agreed to participate (more than 400 per day) are invited to answer three predictive questions: What is the percent chance that... (1) you will vote in the presidential election? (2) if you were to vote, you will vote for Clinton, Trump, or someone else (percentages add to 100) and (3) Clinton, Trump or someone else will win (percentages add to 100). The order of the candidates in the questions is randomized so that about half of the respondents see Clinton as the first choice and half of the respondents see Trump as the first choice.
Each night, Daybreak Poll results are weighted to match demographic characteristics (such as race and gender) from the U.S. Census Current Population Survey, and aligned to the 2012 presidential election outcome using how respondents tell us how they voted in that election. Then the latest results, averages of all of the prior week’s responses, are posted online at and on the Politics site shortly after midnight.
In particular, to obtain the values shown in the election forecast chart, we weight each respondent's likelihood of voting for a candidate with their likelihood of voting in the presidential election. Next we calculate the mean of that number for all respondents during the last 7 days, taking into account respondent level weights based on demographics and past voting behavior. This is the estimated fraction of the population that will vote for the candidate. The graph shows the estimated fraction of the votes that a candidate will get, which is computed by dividing the estimated fraction of the population that will vote for the candidate by the estimated fraction of the population that will vote for any candidate. The latter is analogously obtained as the weighted mean of the respondents' likelihood of voting in the presidential election.
To find out more about what lies behind the vote, each week we also ask respondents one or two extra questions about their preferences and values. Links to documents detailing question text, sample sizes, response rates and other information for these separate surveys are provided in the detailed information section below, linked to stories or press releases where the results were disseminated.
The Daybreak Poll began on July 4, 2016, and will run through the November election.
More information about UAS panel methodology, the panel management and survey software we developed, or our publicly available datasets are available in the links here or at the UAS site ( For other questions, or to inquire about how you can conduct surveys with the UAS panel, contact us.

Summary of links to more detailed information about the UAS Panel and the Daybreak Poll 

UAS Panel Sample and Recruitment
UAS Panel Weighting (pdf) 
Details of weighting the Daybreak Poll
Screen shot of the 3 weekly vote questions (note order of candidates is randomized)



The 2016 USC Dornsife / LA Times Presidential Election Poll represents a pioneering approach to tracking changes in Americans' opinions throughout a campaign for the White House. Around 3000 respondents in our representative panel are asked questions on a regular basis on what they care about most in the election, and on their attitudes toward their preferred candidates. The "Daybreak poll" is updated just after midnight every day of the week. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Green's Jill Stein Under Attack; Here's Why In (UPDATED) Four Polls

UPDATE 3 YouGov Poll Sept 6 Stein 5%
4 from Hillary 1 from Trump

"Stein 4%" trending on Twitter as "progressive" sites (Wonkette/Daily Kos) ramp up the attacks on her as she is perceived as a threat to Hillary.

Another 4 points from Hillary to Stein and Trump would not need Pennsylvania. Revenge is best served cold

UPDATE; Exactly as I predicted;
From: PPD Poll.

Perhaps the biggest story regarding the post convention polling data is the shift toward Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein On July 19, the first day of the Republican convention, Gov. Johnson enjoyed roughly 9% support in the 4-way matchup, and Dr. Stein was polling at an usually high 3% (her support has ranged from 1% to 3%). Now, no doubt a result of the embarrassing WikiLeak release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, Dr. Stein has increased to her highest level of support to date (4.3%)
Donald Trump holds a roughly 5-point lead over Hillary Clinton two days after the Democratic National Convention. The People’s Pundit Daily Presidential Election Daily Tracking Poll findsMr. Trump at 47.6% to 42.1% for Mrs. Clinton, a lead that is largely fueled by a greater consolidation of the Republican base and a lead among independent voters.

This is the result for the Green Party and their presidential candidate Dr.Jill Stein in the 2012 presidential election;
Jill Ellen SteinGreenMassachusetts469,6270.36%
Clearly the Greens and Dr.Stein had no effect whatsoever on the election which President Obama won by 5 million votes. Given that the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had the blessing of President Obama at the just concluded DNC and she presented her acceptance speech as the continuation of a successful, in her eyes, 8 years then it would be surprising if Dr. Stein and the Green's would be of the slightest concern.

Especially as the message from the DNC was that the party is absolutely united (notwithstanding the walk outs and mass demonstration by Bernie Sanders erstwhile supporters.) Further, the media both left and embittered right see Hillary winning "in a landslide."

OK, lets return to the real world.

It is rare in modern times for a party to win three elections in a row outside of wartime. Only G.W.H Bush managed it, after being 16 points behind in election year by having Michael Dukakis, one of the most inept campaigners in history, as his opponent. Even Al Gore couldn't manage it although America was in a highly prosperous period. Thus for Hillary to have a cake walk is, as even ultra-leftist "guru" Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.Com  admits, unlikely.

If Trump holds the "Romney states" and picks up Pennsylvania and Ohio, both "rust belt states" which Trump has particular appeal to, or New Hampshire/Ohio/Iowa/Nevada he will win. It is no coincidence that Clinton's first campaign stops after the DNC are in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
All these states are currently within the margin of error in aggregate polling.

In head to head polling between Clinton and Trump (notwithstanding the admittedly distorted in Clinton's favor IPSOS/Reuters poll being included) they are exactly tied;

But when Libertarian Party Johnson and Green's Stein are included Trump is ahead

This is a 2.64 point increase for Stein over her 2012 result. There can be little doubt that this increase is coming from dissatisfied Sanders voters and if it solidifies or even increases the threat to Hillary in a close election is manifest. Johnson's support is coming from both Trump and Hillary with a little more from Trump via the "Never Trump" dead-enders.

 It is to be expected that third/fourth party poll support drops off as voters have to make a choice, in reality, between the top two candidates and I would expect a solid number of recalcitrant Republicans to desert Johnson in the polling booth when the choice is a leftist supreme court or Trump.

However the Sanders supporters who have cast their lot with Green are highly unlikely to switch to Clinton on election day. Thus in a close election Stein could be the Dem's worst "Nader" nightmare in battleground states, especially New Hampshire, and the one congressional district (electoral college) in Maine where Trump currently leads.

This would explain the commencement of attacks on Stein by Dem's (paid I don't have the slightest doubt) that have appeared on Twitter, at least. Using the convenience of Sarah Palin's timeline (the usual repository for Dem attacks on any conservative female, and now Stein, with "she's another Palin.")

What is of particular interest is that Twitter itself has, for no apparent reason put an anti-Stein post as the header in the Palin timeline. This is the first sign that Clinton's internal polls must be showing some bleeding to Stein which will be a very real problem for Hillary. 

One can have a great deal of sympathy for Dr. Stein who has never experienced the full "Palinization" that the MSM/Hate bloggers and Democratic party can dish out but if such bullying takes place the Sanders supporters may be even further encouraged to support Green as a victim, like them of the establishments venom.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Trump's Post Convention Week "Bounce" Was 7.2%

Using the USC/LATimes daily tracking poll which is the only poll publishing daily results the RNC results were as follows;

Republican National Convention July 18-21

Seven day post convention July 22nd to July 28th (DNC ran July 25-28)

Trump's poll July 22nd (one day post convention) was        44.2%

Trump's peak poll July 27th                                                      47.4%   +3.2 points (7.20%)

Trump's final week poll day July 28th                                    46.7%   +2.5 points (5.88%)


Thursday, July 28, 2016

After Hillary, A Reminder Of What Truly Great Acceptance Speech Looks Like

The Tragedy Of The Betrayal Of Sanders Supporters And A Trumpian Remedy

I can write of the tragedy of the betrayal of Sanders supporters with empathy as as they are now I once was as the blog title clearly advises. 

I voted for McGovern, who makes Sanders look like Reagan and Clinton twice, I edited a radical, youth orientated magazine and was decidedly socialist in outlook.

Over the years I have seen politicians, endlessly, betray the voters who elected them as they embarked on a course of policies at total divergence from those they were elected on, and which their various political parties stood for, but have never witnessed such a betrayal by a politician before they were elected which is, I believe, unprecedented.

Whilst I of course don't support all the remedies that Sanders offered for the current ills I do support his followers earnest desires to have those ills remedied. I further believe that, if they reflected, his supporters, perhaps in a large part, may come to view that Trump's basic remedy of a return to employment as the best social beneficial treatment has value and that Hillary Clinton is not the best person to redeem America.

The actions of Sanders voters both inside and outside the DNC would seem to concur with the Clinton aspect, at least, as do the many statements of support for Trump by previous Sanders voters.

For Sanders supporters who worked tirelessly and endlessly on his behalf the vision of him endorsing, nominating and utterly caving in to her and the Democratic party, whose nominee is a creature of Wall St. then driving off in his shiny new car must be galling. 

I am not going to pontificate about "putting one's faith in princes" or the naivety of youth as such "naivety" in an honestly held belief is admirable.

What is not admirable is the blatant use of such emotions and the discarding of those who hold them in a callous and self-serving manner the likes of which have never been seen before.

The energy of youth and the dedication of older folk who desire change is still there although the holders of such are, understandable, crestfallen. I would echo Trump's call of the hand of friendship to those who seek change and advise that in my opinion the Trump mechanism would not be perhaps even 50% of what they wish but change, untied to Wall St. would come.

Not voting or voting for Johnson is a vote for Hillary. A vote for Stein in a solid blue state is a vote against Hillary and a vote for Trump in a marginal state is a vote against Hillary and a remedy for the Sanders betrayal. 

If Trump is elected Sanders supporters can value the defeat of the Hillary/Sanders axis, enjoy the push back to Wall St. and the establishment and work subsequently to have their own candidate run in 2020.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Major Article By Governor Palin;"We Need To Be Better, Not Bitter"

Via Independent Journal
Getty - Aaron P. Bernstein
Independent Journal Opinion is an opinion platform and any opinions or information put forth by contributors are exclusive to them and do not represent Independent Journal.
With Donald Trump securing the presidential nomination, the political narrative is shifting rapidly and revealingly. As you watch former haters hop aboard the Trump Train, it’s important to connect dots and understand my concern about a bunch of belated mea culpas with which we’ll now be inundated.
It’s important because time is short and lessons must be learned to avoid future catastrophic capture by status quo politicos.
Friends, my concern here is all about the attempted destruction of Trump SUPPORTERS over all these months. I’ve zipped my lips long enough; it’s time to call out those who’ve tried to destroy you.
Personally, since endorsing Trump, my family and I haven’t seen the level of hate and vitriol spewed our way since the 2008 McCain/Palin campaign. It’s been hellish. (Forgive my preaching to the choir though, as so many Trump supporters – and of course Trump himself – have been put through hell as well. And he ain’t seen ‘nuthin yet.)
From fair-weather friends and “supporters” turning decisively away in the meanest of ways, to me losing jobs – literally – the moment my support for Trump was made public, we sucked it up and hung on to hope that vindication was around the corner. I was told – for the umpteenth time – my career was over for “going rogue” this election cycle.
But the more people realize dirtiness on both sides of the aisle won’t be sanitized by today’s typical politicians, and the clearer voters see the ONLY candidate necessarily enlarging the tent with previously ignored patriots, and the smarter everyone gets about how to restore American exceptionalism, well…the more obvious the reason for sticking the ol’ neck out again early on.
Exposing political games and connections that hurt the innocent was the early battle. Now we move down the battlefield to hold culprits accountable so they won’t be rewarded with opportunity to keep screwing you, America. It’s how we win the war for our nation’s solvency, sovereignty and security.
I’ve said for years that nefarious politicos and their media lapdogs don’t really care which party wins elections – to them this is all just a money-making scheme. Politics are just business. As long as they get to keep their titles, ratings, power, and purses full, they ignore the will of the people by unemploying commonsense solutions to America’s challenges. I thank God enough primary election voters screamed, “Enough! The status quo has got to go!” and took up proverbial arms to throw the bums out. And the revolution has just begun.
Conveniently, oppressors of this nationalist revolution found a way to save face. The obvious wall-writing told them they’d lose money and influence if they continued fighting AGAINST the majority, so the donor classscattered from their polarizing candidate when Ted Cruz’s suicide vest detonated at the GOP convention.
The collateral damage is too much for them to survive; it’s shaking hell right out of their piggy banks. It wasn’t cool then to wage war against the permanent political class that’s essentially throwing in for Hillary Clinton, but after the Cruz implosion they have an excuse to come around.
They’ll never give you credit for being right, Trump Train engineers, because we’re still just peon passengers to them, but they’d like to join you now at the cool kids table. Just remember it’s YOUR table, patriots. YOU set it. They’d better behave as your guests.
I’ve been asked all year questions like why it seems I’m “relegated” to outsider status of current political machines; why there’s no longer a seat at the talking heads TV table; why’d previous “friends” commence public condemnation of me despite me never changing my values, priorities or loyalties to the right causes. The question is suggested, “Don’t you know if you just go along to get along you’d be in the big shots’ good graces?”
The answer is obvious as more dots get connected during this election season’s fall out.
The shifting and sifting you’ll see explains what goes on inside their grimy games. What’s left intact are lessons in how to survive, not how to make friends. For me, it’s all continued confirmation to never put my hope and faith in the political arena; instead I’ll be productive by choosing God and family to give me validation, definition and joy.
A significant exposition is the billionaire Mercer family’s financial ties to Cruz, his SuperPACs, think tanks, media outlets, and donor class hanger-oners like Glenn Beck, which will explain why guys (like Mercer-affiliated Beck) did a 180 on me – and you – with inexplicable personal attacks to invalidate us. The inconsistencies and random attacks they engaged in have been so, well, RANDOM that was hard not to giggle publicly at their bizarreness.
Beck and his ilk showed they don’t oppose politics of personal destruction they used to rail against with lip service. They actually participate in Alinsky-like tactics that make the rest of us gag at typical political shenanigans.
So now we must rise to the challenge of becoming better, not bitter, in the midst of what the obstructionists tried to do. You who knew we needed a revolution ignored the haters to find a revolutionary, and we nominated him to help make America great again. Now, validated, productive, joyful people will get our messenger over the finish line so we can begin the fight to restore America.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Trump/Clinton Post Convention Polls "Bounces" 8/8 Tracking Polls Show Clear Clinton lead


See why the USC/Dornslife Poll is the "gold standard" of polling; Pat Caddell "Tracking polls tend to be much closer than one offs"
It is pointless to cherry pick (if such were available at this juncture) polls that run contrary to the obvious if one wishes to keep credibility and not simply be a partisan shill like 99% of the media/blogs.  If the "honest' tracking polls show a Clinton lead outside the margin of error, as one does, then clearly she is leading.

The trackers do not show the ridiculous 15-16 point leads that some clearly wrongly weighted standard polls do but the drift of momentum is clear. Whether this has a substantial degree of timeline is to be seen over the next week but obviously the post DNC standard "bounce' plus unrelenting media attacks have hurt Trump in the polls (and in some state polling).

"The Last Refuge" sees a media/poll conspiracy (scroll down at link) and certainly in respect of the standard polls that has credibility but the trackers show, outside of the MSM narrative, a genuine lead for Clinton although at a much lower level.

USC Poll day 10 after DNC finds 8/7/16 Hillary up 4.1 points from the final day (40.6%).Clinton peaked on 8/4/16 at 45.2% (+4.6 points from end of DNC)  

Trump has declined from his post convention peak of 47.4% to now 44.0% a decline of 3.4 points. On the positive side Trump arrested severe decline and appears to have stabilized although he is in danger of dropping below 40% for the first time.

Hillary rose 0.1 from the previous day but both have been around the same for three last three days . The next few polls will indicate if Hillary's "bounce" is done and if Trump will stabilize at around this level or rise.
I will continue this post convention analysis until there is some clarity of direction for either.

TRUMP     43.8   -1.2 Points

                          CLINTON  45.0%  +1.2 Points

As advised I'm biased but realistic, the PPD tracker shows significant rise for Clinton from 1.7 to 5.9 points in two days 
Clinton 47.3 % Trump 41.4%

FWIW Reuters tracking also shows Trump arrested his decline on 7/30 and has risen for five consecutive days to be only 2.4 points behind from 9.6 and Hillary decline commenced on 7/31 from where she has fallen 2.3 points and declined 3 days in a row


The explanation as to why Ipsos Reuters polls were so distorted against Trump and when they started favoring him and turned against Hillary they were changed;

REUTERS JULY 14th Clinton 46.5% Trump 31.5% 
Clinton +15 points

                      REUTERS JULY 26th 
       Trump 40.2% Clinton      38.5%  Trump +1.7 points

The African American Trump support in the Reuter's Poll on July 24th was 12% which is double Romney's in 2012

 Five out of seven ain't bad 

As always, a single poll means little and the aggregate is what counts. 
The trend is, after allowing for the polling adjustment, probably correct. 

How the Dem's convention goes will determine Clinton's "bounce" and after a further two weeks a clearer picture will emerge.