Monday, October 27, 2014

Down to the wire in New Hampshire

Remember the other day when I predicted Scott Brown was going to pull out the upset win in New Hampshire?

Don't look now....


Live PPP or Die said...

However, if you DO look now, you'll see that Scott Brown has won just 3 of the race's last 40 polls. All 3 are from New England College.

New England College first began conducting polls in October 2012, when they had Obama by 2%, and deemed the Governor's race "too close to call." A week and a half later, Obama won New Hampshire by 5.5% and Maggie Hassan was elected Governor by 12%.

Brown could win, but it'd be better for him if at least one other pollster said so.

Eric said...

Also, if you look at NEC, they have the largest sample size and the lowest margin of error. But if you want the composite RCP average, look at the graph below the poll results: Sheehan has been flat and Brown has been steadily rising.

Live PPP or Die said...

Margins of error are self-assessed. They're only as reliable as the methodology that produce them. New England College's sample size is good, so you'd have to think they won't miss again by 12 percent. But it's about the same as CBS/NYT/YouGov's, where Shaheen has barely moved from +6 to +7 to +5.

Shaheen's problem isn't that Brown is steadily rising, because Brown's rise is not unusual or dramatic. If Brown's numbers keep improving at an uninterrupted pace on the RCP composite graph, he runs out of time. Shaheen's problem is that she's an incumbent who hasn't gotten 50% in a poll for a while. Those are the types of incumbents who tend to get bounced. Brown's problem with Shaheen's problem is that Shaheen's not at 44 or 45%, she's at 48 or 49%.

Brown still needs some good news in someone else's poll, and he needs it soon. Very few challengers take the lead for the first time on Election Day.

Eric said...

One week before Brown's race against Coakley nearly all the polls flipped to Brown:,_2010#Polling_3

One week.

Live PPP or Die said...

The word doing all the heavy lifting in that sentence is "Coakley." She's the person the Boston Globe just told its readers not to vote for.

Good luck to you with Brown; it's well within the margin of possibility.

Nigel Tufnel said...


You crazy mixed up kid. You thought Romney was going to win, remember?

Open the window in the echo chamber and breathe in some fresh air. It's quite invigorating.



Eric said...

Nigel, that time I was blinded by ideological confirmation bias. This time is different because...

...hey! World Series is on!

Nigel Tufnel said...

We all struggle with that. It's fun to point it out when someone has a different flavor of confirmation bias, and for that I thank you.

Here's my attempt at a bias free analysis: Shaheen is a fixture in NH. Brown is a carpetbagger. He needs a groundswell by GOP voters motivated to tip the balance in the Senate. In terms of issues he's not bringing much to the table for a NH voter.

It could happen, but I think he needs to be out ahead a little rather than behind a little at this point. As an 'alternative' candidate Brown's support will tend to fade as people approach the voting booth.