November 23, 2011

Rasmussen: Generic Republican 46%, Obama 43%.

That's this week. Last week, Obama was up 45/44. But in the previous 18 weeks, the "generic Republican" was up. So, something happened in the last 2 weeks, perhaps. Yes, it might all be margin-of-error static, but assume something happened that caused the dip and resurgence... what was it?

59 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

OWS.

Original Mike said...

Let me hazard a guess here. All of these are within the margin of error. If that's the case, you don't go analyzing noise. (Well, you could calculate the noise power spectrum)

TosaGuy said...

Rick Santorum is at the courthouse changing his name.

timmaguire42 said...

"Generic Republican" is probably affected by the poll-taker's guesstimate of who the actual Republican nominee will be. Last week it was Cain.

EDH said...

but assume something happened that caused the dip and resurgence... what was it?

Obama's aloofness during the Supercommitte budget impasse; and, as Bob Ellison alluded, the bloom falling off the Occupy rose.

Mark O said...

Try this: internecine bloodletting.

Scott M said...

One word. Supercommittefailure.

MikeR said...

"The margin of sampling error is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence." Doesn't mean much. Ignore.

Ann, I know what you told us to assume, but I just can't.

Roger J. said...

Respectfully disagree with the failure of the supercommitte. I believe Mr Obama's lack of engagement is one component, but I do believe that given the economy and other issues in the administration, that Mr Obama's cachet has simply fallen and he is left as an incompenent twit.
But thats just me.

Richard Dolan said...

Almost certainly just noise, even though I expect his trend line will be slightly down over time.

OWS was a media event; those who paid attention are politically committed to one party or the other, and are the least likely voters to change their views of O. Any movement will occur among the least committed voters, who are also the least interested. They notice and are moved by large effects (e.g., the lousy economy and the prospects for it to stay lousy being the biggest; a terrorist attack; a Katrina-like disaster). Nothing has happened taht could either create such a large effect or change those voters perception of the most important such effect (the economy), including the slow-mo fiscal meltdown in the EU. The EU's fiscal problems are not likely to be high on the radar screen of those voters anyway.

That leaves noise as the most likely explanation for these small moves in the polls.

Ann Althouse said...

I said "it might all be margin-of-error static, but assume something happened that caused the dip and resurgence..."

Please don't reject the assumption. It's there to make the conversation more interesting.

Original Mike said...

"Ann, I know what you told us to assume, but I just can't."

If a student in my lab said, "yes, I know the signal change is within the rms noise fluctuations, but what could be causing it?" they'd be sent to the corner to sit for an hour and contemplate their need to sharpen their analytical skills. (No dunce hat for the first offense.)

Just sayin'.

Original Mike said...

Oops.

edutcher said...

GodZero's numbers always moderate when he's either out of DC or it's a weekend, particularly if it's Rasmussen. Usually because he isn't shooting off his mouth saying something 80% of Americans dislike intensely.

Scott M said...

One word. Supercommittefailure.

If today's run continues, the market will have dropped 500 this week.

Very possible.

Roger J. said...

Respectfully disagree with the failure of the supercommitte. I believe Mr Obama's lack of engagement is one component, but I do believe that given the economy and other issues in the administration, that Mr Obama's cachet has simply fallen and he is left as an incompenent twit.
But thats just me.


In the CBI, the medics had a designation for a soldier who had come to the end of his rope: AOE - Accumulation of Everything.

So, Roger's right there, but I think Scott's idea is another of the camels breaking out straw backs.

edutcher said...

Meant to be our, not out

robinintn said...

I dunno. Maybe calling us lazy from the Hawaiian golf course where he was having his zillionth lavish vacation at our expense. Or his wife threatening to "readjust" our childrens' palates.

Rabel said...

Timmaguire has it. Previous poll was taken in the wake of the Cain dust-up.

robinintn said...

Oh, wait. Maybe that's too old to count. I still count it, though.

John said...

Original Mike said:


If a student in my lab said, "yes, I know the signal change is within the rms noise fluctuations, but what could be causing it?" they'd be sent to the corner to sit for an hour and contemplate their need to sharpen their analytical skills. (No dunce hat for the first offense.)

Sorry to be off topic but I could not resist.

Global warming is 0.8 degrees from lowest low (1930s) to highest high (1998)

Yest virtually every place on earth has 5-10 degrees normal variation over the course of the day and considerably more over the course of the year.

So how do they tease the 0.8 degrees warming out of this noise?

Might be a good exercise for your class.

I have no idea where you stand on warming, just that your comments on noise made me think of it.

John Henry

Original Mike said...

John Henry: I am skeptical of the claim of warming, and doubly skeptical of the climate models which claim to blame it on CO2 and forecast future doom. And even if the first two are true, no one has a plan for how to address the problem without sending us back to the dark ages.

It is a hard problem. First off, the quality of the dataset is of concern, IMO. Ignoring that "little" problem, there are analytical tools to tease small signals out of noise, but that's just another way of saying we have tools to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. Which is another way of saying we have tools to decrease the noise.

Original Mike said...

But whether the resulting signal-to-noise ratio warrants the warmists claims, I don't know.

Scott M said...

But whether the resulting signal-to-noise ratio warrants the warmists claims, I don't know.

Did you see the new dump of internal AGW research emails, some specifically referring derisively at Mann's hockey stick?

MadisonMan said...

So how do they tease the 0.8 degrees warming out of this noise?

One way is to use integrated quantities, like lake ice, or permafrost depth -- quantities that rely on the entire season of cold, not just one day's worth of observations.

So ask yourself the question: How has lake or sea ice coverage changed globally over the past 100-200 years? How has permafrost depth changed over the Arctic in the past 100 years?

I don't think a small change is undetectable in a large signal if the observations have accuracy. (That's a big If).

MadisonMan said...

If only 'Generic Republican' was running the Republican Party would be sitting pretty. Assuming the election were held today.

Original Mike said...

@Scott M: There's a whole lot more to the GW warming argument then the hockey stick, but Mann and his colleagues behavior disgust me.

Scott M said...

@Scott M: There's a whole lot more to the GW warming argument then the hockey stick, but Mann and his colleagues behavior disgust me.

Oh, agreed. I'm simply asking if you saw the data dump in which both it and Mann himself, for that matter, are referred to in less than friendly terms.

Seven Machos said...

Two words are the explanation you seek, Althouse: Herman Cain.

He wasn't a serious candidate but when it looked like he was, people were turned off. Rightfully so.

Original Mike said...

No. I've heard about it, but I haven't gone looking.

Andrew Montford has a very enlightening book on the history of the hockey stick saga. Well worth the read.

John said...

Madison Man Said:

"I don't think a small change is undetectable in a large signal if the observations have accuracy. (That's a big If)."

Even assuming that the observations are accurate, how precise are they?

It would be accurate for me to say that it is a bit past 2:30 (assuming my clock is correct) but it is not very precise. I could say that it is 2:37:23.12756 PM and that would be very precise but might not be accurate since my clock only reads in whole minutes.

That is one of the big problems, along with accuracy. Many, perhaps most, of the thermometers used to take temps over the past 100 years can't be read closer than a full degree if that. So even if accurate, they are not particularly precise.

Re lake ice, you are right, generally. The details get hard. When does a lake freeze? When the first skim of ice appears in protected bays and coves? When 50% of the lake is frozen? 100%?

When does ice out happen? When there is no ice at all? When there is still substantial ice coverage but it is floating loose?

Different places have different ways of measuring this.

Not saying it can't be done. I am saying that because definitions of ice in and ice out vary from place to place and period to period, it can be more misleading than clarifying.

John Henry

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

The point is that if you are going to claim very small movements, the data on which it is based not only has to be accurate, it has to be precise

John Henry

Seven Machos said...

I have not read through this thread. However, I do not think that global warming has had anything to do with this small change in presidential polling.

Scott M said...

However, I do not think that global warming has had anything to do with this small change in presidential polling.

Your use of electricity to send that comment increased your carbon footprint:) Does that count?

Curious George said...

With all the attention Cain got, many Americans came to understand that Obama is only half black. The loss of white guilt by 50% toward Obama, or the increase in white guilt by 100 toward Cain, could explain the polling difference.

MadisonMan said...

The details get hard. When does a lake freeze? When the first skim of ice appears in protected bays and coves? When 50% of the lake is frozen? 100%?

When does ice out happen? When there is no ice at all? When there is still substantial ice coverage but it is floating loose?

I don't think that matters if the observations are consistent. IOW, if ice-in is always described the same way, or if ice-out is always detected the same way.

campy said...

Generic republican is a racist.

gerry said...

Michelle's butt causes a lot of fluctuations. Maybe that was it.

John said...

Madison Man said:

I don't think that matters if the observations are consistent. IOW, if ice-in is always described the same way, or if ice-out is always detected the same way."

I might agree with that, though I would have to think about it.

The problem is that it has not been consistently applied.

John Henry

MadisonMan said...

The problem is that it has not been consistently applied.

Here is an excellent analysis of changes in observations. Note that they are known, and that it results in harder (but not impossible) work. The same is true for lake/river/sea ice measurements.

Pragmatist said...

The only poll that counts is in November 2012. When the Reps nominate some far Right nut and/or unveil their plan to do away with Medicare and SS then I think the polls will shift. If they are actually smart enough to nominate Romney and he is smart enough to pick a normal human for a running mate then maybe O will have to worry. My guess is that after chasing the grownups and the sane from the party the Tea Tards will manage to nominate some flat earther or other.

campy said...

Oh please. Funny Underwear Guy would be the easiest repub to beat.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

ABO.

"If they are actually smart enough to nominate Romney and he is smart enough to pick a normal human for a running mate then maybe O will have to worry."

Now that is one of the most knee-slappingest funny-ass things I have read on this site in some time.

Scott M said...

Indeed. ABO.

Tim said...

"Yes, it might all be margin-of-error static, but assume something happened that caused the dip and resurgence... what was it?"

My guess is that with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, people who are just able to get by with regular expenses are finding their ability to afford traditional holiday pleasures, such as meals and gift-giving, has been greatly compromised by this least-qualified, affirmative-action, teleprompter-reading, narcissism-immersed president of ours and his utterly failing economic policies.

But that’s just a guess...

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't think that matters if the observations are consistent. IOW, if ice-in is always described the same way, or if ice-out is always detected the same way.

I don't think that that is possible, esp. going back 100 years, and given the small change in temperature. Freezing and thawing can be a gradual process, and the most likely places to detect such are also the most dangerous.

In any case, the problem may be worse with actual temperature measurements. Others have mentioned the lack of precision 100 years ago. But there has also been a lack of consistency of recording around the globe and through time. For example, a goodly number of the temperature recording sites across Russia and Siberia were shut down with the failure of the USSR. And, coincidentally, these tended to record some of the colder temperatures around the globe. And, of course, recording of temperatures in the ocean has been even spottier, depending primarily until recently on ships' logs, which, by necessity do not record at the same place day after day.

The climate scientists trying to calculate global temperatures try to address these issues by averaging readings over sites, adjusting them up or down a bit, and that sort of thing. Prior to ClimateGate I, we were told that the actual data was available to the public. What wasn't, and still isn't, is how the scientists get from the raw data to the massaged data that they use to calculate global temperatures, and, from that, to a global temperature increase. Partly that is because much of the process is secret, and partially what we have seen of the process seems rather ad hoc. Indeed, it appears that the East Angolia Hadley/CRU people can't reproduce their primary data, because they threw much of the underlying data out along the way.

The point there is that with all the variations going into the equation, it is likely ludicrous to try to assign any sort of margin of error to the claimed increase in temperature over that period time, except to say that the margin of error may well be larger than the claimed increase.

We shall see. There appears to be an attempt underway to recalculate these temperatures in a more transparent manner.

But, as I noted yesterday, finding global warming does not really say anything as to whether it is man caused. The global temperature has a number of known factors much larger than CO2, and the correlation between these and temperature still has a margin of error that would likely negate any finding of human causation.

Original Mike said...

The difficulty with the reliabilty of historical data is what Mann et al. sought to eliminate by use of their temperature proxies. But go read Montford's book and then ask yourself if they didn't start with their conclusion first and then went data mining to prove it.

Roger J. said...

Global warming--especially given the small level of observations in terms or geological time frames, is nothing that concerns me--From a geologial time perspective we, IMO, are still coming out of the last ice age. I am simply not concerned about GW nor AGW. There are forces that humans are not capable of dealing with via policy.
This contretemps is one of them.

Eric said...

The jobs situation is going to hang around Obama's neck like the mariner's albatross. If it doesn't start improving his only hope for a second term is an opponent who is felled by some horrible scandal.

Roger J. said...

To the commentariat: best wishes for a happy thanksgiving

John said...

temperatures in the ocean has been even spottier, depending primarily until recently on ships' logs, which, by necessity do not record at the same place day after day.
+++

Much of it from US Navy ships. I collected hundreds, perhaps thousands of ocean temperature readings and I can tell you that it is neither accurate or precise.

It is collected at the inlet to the main condenser. On my ship that could be from about 15 to about 20' below the surface.

On a destroyer or smaller ship it might be as close as 10' to the surface.

On an aircraft carrier it might be 40' below the surface.

Think that won't cause some variation in the readings?

My ship has a bimetal dial thermometer with 1 or 2 degree increments. That means that it can't be any more precise than that. Then there is the issue of parallax when reading.

Going around every hour reading all these temperatures and pressures was a pain in the neck and we didn't take most of them all that seriously. As long as there was no big change from the previous hour we just glanced at it and wrote down what we thought it was.

Sometimes, though it was illegal, we might get held up having a cup of coffee and to make up time we would just copy down the last hour's reading.

So the ocean temps, at least those taken by the Navy, I would not trust to be any better than +/- 5 degrees or so.

John Henry

Original Mike said...

And to you, Roger.

Phil 3:14 said...

the "generic Republican" was up....assume something happened that caused the dip and resurgence... what was it?

With rising prices and a depressed economy, people are buying more generics.

that's why.

john marzan said...

"but assume something happened that caused the dip and resurgence... what was it? "

obama's back from his overseas trip.

Seven Machos said...

Madison Man -- So is Gingrich the next Christine O'Donnell?

Fen said...

Sometimes, though it was illegal, we might get held up having a cup of coffee and to make up time we would just copy down the last hour's reading.

Reminds me of a job I had in college. Some kind of survey, standing at the McDonald's drive thru, trying to find out what area of town each customer was coming from.

First day, I played it straight, then looked at the pattern. Rest of the week, I surveyed for only a few hours, extrapolated that for the rest of the day's data, and took off for the beach.

Fen said...

BTW, I find "Generic VS Obama" to be a worthless poll.

HDHouse said...

Is Generic the former senator from the Grand Dutchy of Fenwick?..or the guy who has his hands up the brain dead gang of 8 1/2 and make their mouths move?

I wonder what the poll would look like with Generic Democrat v. Ranger Rick?...or that goofball fat bucket from Georgia?...you know...the rich guy with the Tiffany accounts and no job?

Issob Morocco said...

The spike was caused by the shutdown of the OWS's nationwide. The left could now be accessed vvia phone.

The return to 'norm' was caused by them now gearing up and provisioning for Black Friday protests.

When you disrupt fanatical Christmas shoppers, you can pretty much wrap things up that you won't get their sympathy and if anything their ire is more likely to appear.

So why would Obama endorse their cause?

james said...

I sure hope this Generic Republican is invited to one of the remaining 100-or-so GOP debates so we can at least see what Generic looks like .... no need to hear what it has to say, I think we already know the talking points.