Archive for the ‘Political polling’ Category

Which party is responsible for America’s partisan divide?

July 22, 2021

Interesting analysis of Pew data by hard left-leaning blogger Kevin Drum

Below is a display of political leanings by party affiliation from 1994 to 2017… roughly 25 years.

  • Dems are the blue hump; GOP is the reddish brown.
  • Scale runs from 1 (“consistently liberal”) on the left to 10 (“consistently conservative”) on the right.

A couple of takeaways…

> Back in 1994 there was a substantial overlap of the humps (the dark brown hump in the middle) … meaning that there were a lot of “moderates” (from both parties) who clustered near the non-partisan median.

> There wasn’t much change from 1994 to 2004. But, from 2004 to 2017, that overlapping hump was substantially diminished … and the overall median was pulled left.

> More specifically, blogger Drum observes that:

Back in 1994, Dems median political leaning was a 5 on the scale; GOP scored a 6 … a very narrow gap in average views.

But in 2017, Dems median political leaning was a 2 on the scale; the GOP’s median score was a 6.5 … and the partisan gap widened to 4.5 points.

What changed?

Between 1994 and 2017, the GOP’s political leaning was relatively static … the GOP median barely budged and the shape hump was similar.

Said differently, the GOP didn’t become significantly more conservative.

But, between 1994 and 2017, the Dems’ political leaning shifted left by 3 points … and the hump became became more clustered … with a noticeably more peaked shape.


In Drum’s words: “Democrats have moved significantly to the left on most hot button social issues while Republicans have moved only slightly right.”

And, his summary conclusion:

It is not conservatives who have turned American politics into a partisan culture war battle. It is liberals.”

Depending on your personal political views, that may be a good thing or a bad thing…

Ken’s Political Engagement Index — the PEI

December 18, 2019

Though trained as an econometrician, I’m a simple guy at heart … always looking for a simple (but information-rich) indicator of what’s happening.

For example, my UEI (Ultimate Economic Index) is based on how long it takes to receive a non-Prime Amazon “free shipping” order.

Let’s do another one…

There are lots of polls done that try to measure how engaged or enthusiastic members of a political party are at any point in time … or respective of current events.

My PEI (Political Engagement Index) cut to to the chase).

I look to cable TV ratings … how right-leaning FOX is doing relative to left-leaning MSNBC and CNN … or, more specifically, how Hannity is doing compared to Maddow.

In “normal” times — i.e. no frenzied events like an impeachment — Hannity and Maddow jockey for the top spot.

Using ratings as a PEI, look what happened last week during last week’s Nadler hearings.

Data Source

FOX snagged the top 5 slots … led by Hannity and Tucker.

Look specifically at the Hannity – Maddow match-up.  Maddow trailed Hannity by a statistically significant 33%.

My read: As the Dems case for impeachment weakened and weakened … and, as ardent Dems began to realize that they were on a fool’s mission with certainty that Trump wouldn’t be bounced from office …  Dem viewers’ interest in the proceedings waned.

Looks to me like the GOP is more energized than the Dems right now.

Maybe love will trump hate after all.


Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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CBS tunes out the Schiff Show … resumes regular soap operas.

November 20, 2019

And, public support for impeachment continues to erode.

Earlier this week, we posted re: the dismal viewership the Dems’ impeachment hearings are getting.

Want an unmistakable indicator?

Well, CBS became the first major network to face reality — that nobody was watching the tedious hearings — and switched back to its usual soap operas, i.e. from one soap opera to another.


More important, the Pelosi-dreamed groundswell of support for impeachment sure doesn’t seem to be materializing…


Does the Federal gov’t have a positive or negative impact on your life?

August 29, 2012

According Pew Research, an increasing plurality (43%) of people think the Federal government negatively impacts their lives.

15 years ago, 50% thought he impact was positive … now,  only 38% think so …..

How do you feel?



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From the pollsters’ lips to the teleprompter’s ears (and candidate’s lips) … but, what about the forest?

August 8, 2012

My students know that, at heart,  I’m a quant guy and encourage market research over gut feel.


So, I should salivate over the Obama campaigns reliance on market research, data mining, and precision messaging.

Excerpted from WSJ

The Obama campaign has elevated poll-testing and focus-grouping to near-clinical heights.

The results from his vaunted focus groups  drive the president’s every action: his policies, his campaign venues, his targeted demographics, his messaging.

More specifically, spotted an interesting analysis in The Hill:

Recent campaign spending records of the Obama campaign, disclosed that they’ve spent $15 million on polling since the first of the year.

Based on typical polling rate card, $15 million for polls translate to about 6 million minutes of polling time.

Assuming interview lengths of 10 minutes, that’s like 600,000 interviews.

Of course, “polling” doesn’t necessarily mean one-on-one interviewing.

Perhaps as much as a third of the $15 million may have been spent on focus groups and ad testing with dials.

Again, using normal rate cards,  upwards of 4,000 Americans may have been asked to participate in these test sessions.

Yep, from the pollsters lips to the teleprompter’s ears … to the candidate’s lips … to the voters ears.

So, what’s my beef?

First, lack of “authenticity” … a willingness to say anything to anybody if it polls well … even if it’s not true (e.g. the multiple Pinocchios that the Wash Post gave to the Bain outsourcing riff and the incredible “I spend less than any President since Harry Truman)

Second, a willingness to “tailor” the message to different groups or individuals … i.e. to pander shamelessly.

And, the larger point: losing the forest in the trees …  whipsawing based on minutiae and missing the big picture,

After all, it’s the economy, stupid.

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