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Incumbents Polling Below 50 Percent Often Win Re-Election, Despite Conventional Wisdom
NYT ^ | Oct 2010 | NATE SILVER

Posted on 05/03/2012 10:50:28 AM PDT by xzins

If you combine the three types of incumbents — House, Senate, governor — they had a record of 66-17, which equates to a winning percentage of 80 percent. Depending on how you define the term, they may not have been “safe” for re-election — but certainly, most were favorites.

There is also not any particular evidence that, as Mr. Trende suggests, the majority of the undecided vote broke against the incumbents. On average, the incumbent candidates led by 8.1 points in the polls with 30 days to go; they won their elections by an average of 7.2 points. That’s not a huge difference, needless to say.

So, is there anything at all to the theory? A couple of qualifiers are in order:

First, as I stated above, if an incumbent is trailing in the polls, that’s a whole different matter. An incumbent is usually going to lose if he’s at 43 percent in the polls, and his opponent is at 48 percent. His problem, however, is less that he’s polling at 43 percent — and more that his opponent has a better number!

(Excerpt) Read more at fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: elections; romney; romneytruthfile
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So, the real truth is that incumbents polling less than 50% prior to the election do not always lose. The issue is whether or not their opponent is polling higher than them.

If the incumbent is polling higher than the challenger, even if under 50%, the incumbent wins 80% of the time.

That's a whole lot different than the conventional wisdom being bandied about by Clinton insider turned Republican Trojan Horse, Dick Morris.

1 posted on 05/03/2012 10:50:34 AM PDT by xzins
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To: xzins

i think you really have to be soft in the head to think romney stands any chance of winning in november. he will get slammed harder than mccain did. the guy just isn’t likeable, he’s totally craven on conservative issues, and he doesn’t provide enough of a positive distinction between him and obama. romney’s campaign is doa. absolutely no one cares.


2 posted on 05/03/2012 10:56:35 AM PDT by msimpson
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To: xzins

LOL. This is a “most people lie about sex” article by the NYT to reassure Obama’s supporters that he can still win.


3 posted on 05/03/2012 10:58:17 AM PDT by kabar
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To: xzins
Just get everyone you know that supports your views out to vote, and realize that we are in a political war against the left. If we win the election, that is just the beginning. That should serve as an infusion of energy to continue to use each and every waking breath to fight, defeat, and humiliate the left, until they self-destruct and no longer exist.

They are the enemies of human rights, human dignity, self-determination, rational thought, and the quest for meaning in existence. They are the antithesis of intellectual, as they are blinded to learning and progressing by the delusions promulgated by their pathetic ideologies. They are hurtful, destructive, and mislead.

This piece by the NYT is designed to engender hope within the ranks of the left, who are demoralized by the fact that their ideology has been proved once again to be stupid and ineffective, and by the fact that their manufactured figurehead is polling poorly. Don't be deceived. Each and every time the left tries to demoralize you just remember that they are doing this because you are kicking their a**. The proper response is to kick harder - figuratively of course.

4 posted on 05/03/2012 11:00:14 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: xzins

Wow. What a revelation. The guy who gets more votes wins. Amazing.


5 posted on 05/03/2012 11:03:34 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (Romney Republicanism: Leave your principles by the door. You won't be needing them any more.)
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To: kabar

This is an old article if you look at the date. It far pre-dates this elections cycle.

The numbers, though, have nothing to do with anything other than those who were or were not polling below 50% prior to an election. It takes actual cases and adds them up.


6 posted on 05/03/2012 11:04:45 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins

Hah, this statistical chicanery is laughable even knowing that it’s the Slimes. Take a specific statistic, include seemingly-related results for what are really not related events, and use the now-inverted, wholly invalid results to refute the original specific statistic. Numbers don’t lie!


7 posted on 05/03/2012 11:04:58 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: xzins
Incumbents Polling Below 50 Percent Often Win Re-Election, Despite Conventional Wisdom

Translation: a 2nd term for Barack the Usurper is a fait accompli, and the NYT is damn sure going to do whatever they can to make it happen.

8 posted on 05/03/2012 11:05:50 AM PDT by backwoods-engineer (I will vote against ANY presidential candidate who had non-citizen parents.)
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To: EternalVigilance

???

Did you read this article?


9 posted on 05/03/2012 11:05:54 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins

The NYT: Doing their daily level best to make sure no one can ever accuse them of being impartial or objective.


10 posted on 05/03/2012 11:08:52 AM PDT by Lazamataz (To the wall, street occupiers!!!!!)
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To: xzins
If you combine the three types of incumbents — House, Senate, governor — they had a record of 66-17

As there's no such thing as gerrymandering in House races, there's no possibility that an incumbent with low approval ratings would win anyway. Otherwise this data would be statistically suspect.

11 posted on 05/03/2012 11:10:39 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: jiggyboy; P-Marlowe; wmfights; reaganaut; SoConPubbie

80% of incumbents leading their opponents, even if polling under 50%, won their re-election campaign.

That’s just a matter of adding up the numbers of those who fell in those categories.

It basically says that the leader wins and the follower loses.

That isn’t rocket science folks.

The notion that Dickie Morris, Clintoon’s sidekick, pushes is that losing in the polling should be ignored.

Which makes more sense? Really. That the loser is winning or that the loser is losing? Obviously, it’s #2.

If you’re losing then you damn sure better be worried about it, and not be off drinking kool aid with dickie morris.


12 posted on 05/03/2012 11:11:27 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins
That's a whole lot different than the conventional wisdom being bandied about by Clinton insider turned Republican Trojan Horse, Dick Morris.

Dick Morris is basically an idiot. He has some interesting insight once in awhile, but he is mostly just found a market for telling conservatives what they want to hear at this point. He is also the king of revisionist history. Dick makes incorrect predictions constantly and then goes back and qualifies his previous claims in order to say he wasn't wrong. I think BoR has won like a dozen steak dinners from Morris because of how often Dick is flat out wrong.

13 posted on 05/03/2012 11:12:43 AM PDT by Longbow1969
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To: xzins
Winning is for Dudley Do Rights.

Obama plans to steal it!

14 posted on 05/03/2012 11:12:46 AM PDT by RoosterRedux
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To: Lazamataz

The NYT spinning and whistling past the graveyard.

Romney sucks but IMO, Obama is a millsotne around the rats collective (ist) neck this Nov.


15 posted on 05/03/2012 11:14:23 AM PDT by Leto (Damn shame Sarah didn't run the Presidency was there for the taking)
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To: jiggyboy

US House races, US Senate races, and United States Governors races: the results are not hard to find.

And we’re looking for those in which the incumbent was polling below 50% prior to the election. Again, not hard to find.

Adding and subtracting: not hard to do.

Result: like on a math test, what did the calculation say?


16 posted on 05/03/2012 11:15:06 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: Longbow1969

Hey....did you hear that?....We agreed on something!

(Someone should be throwing a party...LOL)


17 posted on 05/03/2012 11:17:19 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins

Presidents do not.


18 posted on 05/03/2012 11:17:23 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: xzins

Presidents do not.


19 posted on 05/03/2012 11:18:25 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: EternalVigilance
Wow. What a revelation. The guy who gets more votes wins. Amazing.

Except if your name is Al Franken.

20 posted on 05/03/2012 11:18:59 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Obama vs. Romney: Zero x Zero = Zero.)
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To: backwoods-engineer; Leto; Lazmataz

Instead of beating on the NYT, we should beating on the GOP-e demanding to know why they mainlined this crappy candidate.


21 posted on 05/03/2012 11:19:12 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins

Before I saw that this was written in 2010, I assumed this was a kind of a propaganda piece for the 2012 election to show that President Obama could be assured of election because of statistics related to Senators, Representatives, and Governors.

But it was in fact a kind of a propaganda piece for the 2010 elections.


22 posted on 05/03/2012 11:20:44 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: xzins
IIRC the tea party and Palin had a high percentage of incumbents tossed in the races that they targeted. The author fails to realize that 20% times 5 election cycles = 100%. 2012 is going to be a blood bath for incumbents. A number of losers saw the 2012 writing on the wall, example: Yellow Snowe (D-Rino) Maine.
23 posted on 05/03/2012 11:20:44 AM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Throw the bums out who vote yes on the bailout)
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To: SoFloFreeper

whatever it is that “presidents do not”, I can safely say that they “do not” do it twice. :>)


24 posted on 05/03/2012 11:21:21 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins

LOL ;) The reality is that we probably agree on 90% of the actual issues, its just the few areas we don’t get contentious now and again.

Cheers!


25 posted on 05/03/2012 11:31:52 AM PDT by Longbow1969
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To: xzins

Graveyard, meet Whistle.


26 posted on 05/03/2012 11:33:23 AM PDT by pabianice (ame with)
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To: Colonel_Flagg

Badabing.


27 posted on 05/03/2012 11:37:27 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (Romney Republicanism: Leave your principles by the door. You won't be needing them any more.)
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To: Colonel_Flagg

Wow. What a revelation. The guy who gets more votes wins. Amazing.
Except if your name is Al Franken...

Or you have a large “D” behind your name.


28 posted on 05/03/2012 11:43:13 AM PDT by Wordkraft (Remember who the Collaborators are.)
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To: jiggyboy
Hah, this statistical chicanery is laughable even knowing that it’s the Slimes. Take a specific statistic, include seemingly-related results for what are really not related events, and use the now-inverted, wholly invalid results to refute the original specific statistic. Numbers don’t lie!

Use enough 5-dollar words in that post?
29 posted on 05/03/2012 11:46:25 AM PDT by libdestroyer
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To: msimpson

He who doubts victory has already lost the battle.

So you going to vote for obama again?


30 posted on 05/03/2012 11:57:02 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: xzins
That's what I am sitting here thinkng. This is pure mathmatics. This should not, in any way, be open to interpretation.

Find some Presidential, Senate, House and governors races where the incumbants were below 50%...and see how many of them won....REGARDLESS of whether they were ahead or not.

That should prove dick morris right or wrong.

31 posted on 05/03/2012 12:01:41 PM PDT by NELSON111
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To: xzins; Leto; Lazamataz
Instead of beating on the NYT, we should beating on the GOP-e demanding to know why they mainlined this crappy candidate.

A pox on them both. Dude, I am NEVER going to pass up an opportunity to bust on the commie NYT. If you want to bash the GOP-e, too, well I agree. Both of them want to take us away from the Constitutional order. Romney is just as statist as Obama, he just wants to take us to the Brave New World a little more slowly, that's all.

32 posted on 05/03/2012 12:25:28 PM PDT by backwoods-engineer (I will vote against ANY presidential candidate who had non-citizen parents.)
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To: xzins

Wishful thinking from Nate Rust of the NY Slimes.


33 posted on 05/03/2012 12:36:20 PM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: xzins

LOL. Written right before the massive shellacking the Democrat incumbents got in 2010, used to calm their fears about losing big.

They lost big.

Nothing is set in stone, but will be a close election in 2012, just going by the base of support on each side.

All we have to do to let Obama destroy our country with leftist policies? Not stop his re-election.


34 posted on 05/03/2012 2:47:39 PM PDT by WOSG (Anyone But Obama)
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To: xzins
Old or not, the point is that Obama has had approval ratings below 50% for some time. No matter what the data show, the MSM will have you believe that Obama will be the exception to the rule whether it is high unemployment levels, unpopular policies, the country being on the good or wrong track, etc. As we get closer to election day, we will see more of the same.

NB: This article was written in October 2010 just before the midterms. The MSM tried to discount the impact of the Tea Party or the fact that many Dem incumbents were running below 50% favorability. We know how the 2010 midterms turned out. I wonder how that affects the data in the article.

35 posted on 05/03/2012 3:05:41 PM PDT by kabar
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To: xzins
Old or not, the point is that Obama has had approval ratings below 50% for some time. No matter what the data show, the MSM will have you believe that Obama will be the exception to the rule whether it is high unemployment levels, unpopular policies, the country being on the good or wrong track, etc. As we get closer to election day, we will see more of the same.

NB: This article was written in October 2010 just before the midterms. The MSM tried to discount the impact of the Tea Party or the fact that many Dem incumbents were running below 50% favorability. We know how the 2010 midterms turned out. I wonder how that affects the data in the article.

36 posted on 05/03/2012 3:06:09 PM PDT by kabar
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To: msimpson
re: i think you really have to be soft in the head to think romney stands any chance of winning in november. he will get slammed harder than mccain did. the guy just isn’t likeable, he’s totally craven on conservative issues, and he doesn’t provide enough of a positive distinction between him and obama. romney’s campaign is doa. absolutely no one cares.

Welcome to FR. So, do you think all us conservatives should stay home on election day?

37 posted on 05/03/2012 3:08:31 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: xzins

38 posted on 05/03/2012 3:28:13 PM PDT by Republican Extremist
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To: EternalVigilance
Badabing.

Thanks. I'll be here all week.

39 posted on 05/03/2012 4:29:16 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Obama vs. Romney: Zero x Zero = Zero.)
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To: SoFloFreeper; reaganaut; SoConPubbie; WOSG; P-Marlowe; Alamo-Girl; betty boop; wmfights; ...
presidents do not

Too easy to check, SoFlo. Bush vs Kerry at exactly the same May time frame as now. Notice that Bush (who won) is polling under 50%, and in fact was polling just about where Obama is right now. Even at the time of the election, Bush polled 49% or lower in 10 of the last 12 polls. BUT, he was polling higher than Kerry. The article is shown to be correct in its research. Dick Morris is shown again to be a Trojan Horse (But FoxNews loves the man for some reason.)

So, the research in the article is right. This ONE example proves it for a presidential campaign. And, it's a recent presidential election.

Data is from the archives of Real Clear Politics

43%
43%
4%
TIE
46%
46%
4%
TIE
41%
47%
5%
Kerry +6
40%
40%
3%
TIE
TIPP/IBD
5/12-5/18
42%
41%
7%
Bush +1
42%
43%
5%
Kerry +1
45%
46%
6%
Kerry +1
42%
47%
3%
Kerry +5
44%
49%
6%
Kerry +5
47%
45%
5%
Bush +2
43%
46%
6%
Kerry +3
45%
41%
5%
Bush +4

40 posted on 05/03/2012 5:30:59 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins
Wow, one example from a particular election. Here is something else easy to check on Gallup's poll:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/154037/obama-approval-average.aspx

Here it says: "President Obama's job approval rating averaged 45.9% during his 13th quarter in office...Although Obama's approval rating is improving, this is offset by the fact that it remains below the averages at the same point in time for presidents who were re-elected. All presidents since Eisenhower who were re-elected enjoyed average approval ratings above 50% during their 13th quarters in office.(emphasis added)

And from this site:

http://www.pollingreport.com/incumbent.htm

Here is an adequate quote:

An incumbent leading with less than 50% (against one challenger) is frequently in trouble; how much depends on how much less than 50%. A common pattern has been for incumbents ahead with 50% or less to end up losing.

Checks on these sources show they look at the overall tendency for Presidential re-election, not a particular snapshot.

41 posted on 05/03/2012 5:56:25 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: xzins

I knew this particular bit of propaganda was coming out soon as Obama languishes below 50 percent. And voila — here it is, right on schedule.


42 posted on 05/03/2012 6:02:31 PM PDT by WashingtonSource
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To: SoFloFreeper; P-Marlowe; reaganaut

GW’s re-election numbers prove that any bold statement saying “presidents polling under 50% are losers in the upcoming election” is simply wrong.

It’s there in front of you, soflo.

It’s a free country and you are entitled to your opinion. The fact is, however, that polls show GW Bush polling in the low 40’s in the May before his win in November.


43 posted on 05/03/2012 6:05:11 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins

Yeah, you’re really sweet, yet ignorant of history. My posts merely pointed out the big sweep and trend of presidential elections, and yours cherry picked a moment in time.

Good luck with that. buh bye.


44 posted on 05/03/2012 6:25:29 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: xzins

Yeah, you’re really sweet, yet ignorant of history. My posts merely pointed out the big sweep and trend of presidential elections, and yours cherry picked a moment in time.

Good luck with that. buh bye.


45 posted on 05/03/2012 6:29:23 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: SoFloFreeper; reaganaut; SoConPubbie; P-Marlowe; wmfights

What I did was show an example that disproved the premise that presidents below 50% in the polls will lose.

In short, Obama is in no automatic trouble. Although under 50%, he leads Romney.

Bush was in no automatic trouble. Although under 50%, he led Kerry and eventually won.

As soon as I find a source of polling for all elections that have been a re-election, I’ll probably be giving you more info.

BTW, you realize, of course, that Clinton in his re-election polled less the 50% the entire way through.

So, the 2 most recent examples go against your premise.

The re-election campaign prior to Clinton was Bush 1 in 92 and prior to that would have been Reagan in 84. Correct?


46 posted on 05/03/2012 7:08:54 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins

You are correct. Obama can win this election, just as Bush won in 2004. Although those polls are media-biased to favor Kerry, it was a close run thing, and 2012 is as well.

All the more reason to work hard to defeat Obama, because he isnt just gong down on his own, and the results will be very consequential should he win.

Obama’s re-election will be a stunning affirmation of the destruction of the America as it was understood for 200 years, and its replacement with a Euro-socialist welfare state.It’s an affirmation that we approve of cradle-to-grave government intervention in our lives, his pro-abortion policies, his attacks on religious liberty and his undermining of traditional values.


47 posted on 05/03/2012 7:39:42 PM PDT by WOSG (Anyone But Obama)
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To: kabar

“Old or not, the point is that Obama has had approval ratings below 50% for some time. No matter what the data show, the MSM will have you believe that Obama will be the exception to the rule whether it is high unemployment levels, unpopular policies, the country being on the good or wrong track, etc. As we get closer to election day, we will see more of the same. “

you are right. Obama is not that popular and any Republican with his record would be written off for sure.

But with enough media bias pumping up Obama, with enough conservative 3rd party types fragging Romney and tearing him down, with enough disorganization on our side and hyperorganization on theirs, and with enough Soros and Union money funding Obama’s campaign, Obama could get dragged across the finish line first.

With should neither be defeatist nor complacent. History hasnt been written yet on this election.


48 posted on 05/03/2012 7:50:15 PM PDT by WOSG (Anyone But Obama)
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To: WOSG

Thanks, WOSG. Although we disagree on Romney you are an honest human being.


49 posted on 05/03/2012 8:06:31 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Obama Disses the Operators Who Took Out Bin Laden in Afghan!)
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To: xzins

Thanks for another Nate the Nut fantasy.

When Nate dies, physicists will be bidding on his head so they can perform experiments in a total vacuum.


50 posted on 05/03/2012 8:50:51 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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