Gallup's Likely Voter Model Has Fatal Flaw - NDN Challenges Gallup To Revise or Drop its 2010 Election Polling

Several weeks ago the Gallup polling organization revised its measure of the "Congressional Generic" poll with a new set of assumptions about what the make up and partisan vote of the 2010 elections might look like.   It is our opinion at NDN that the model Gallup came up with is so statistically flawed that Gallup should revise the model and its results or take it down from its website immediately.

According to a new report by Professor Alan Abramowitz, the new Gallup likely voter model has the non-white, non-black vote at 13 percent of the 2010 electorate, and coming in at 52% Republican and 42% Democratic.   Simply stated these projections are not a possible statistical outcome in the 2010 elections, and draw into question the integrity of the entire Gallup 2010 elections polling project.

The non-white, non-black portion of the American electorate went more than 2:1 Democratic in 2008 and 2006. Hispanics who make up the largest portion of this slice of the electorate, voted 70% to 30% for the Democrats in 2006, and 67% to 31% for President Obama over John McCain in 2008.  In two recent polls of Hispanic voters, these basic ratios have not changed, and if is any movement to be found in these polls it is a drop in support for the Republican Party since 2008.  A Latino Decisions poll has the Latino vote now at 59% Democrat, 22% Republican.  The most recent, and highly respected, Pew Hispanic poll had it at 65% Democrat, 22% Republican. The gap between the most respected Latino poll in the nation - Pew - and this recent Gallup model is 50% percentage points.

Much of the remaining portion of this non-white, non-black slice of the American electorate is Asian.  This community actually voted more Democratic in 2008 than Hispanics.

Given the distribution of the Hispanic population in the United States, a movement of the kind Gallup reports with Hispanic voters would be evident in some of the states with large Hispanic populations.  But there is no evidence of such a big GOP shift.  In Florida the Democratic Gubernatorial candidate leads in most polls, and the GOP Senate nominee is hovering at 40 percent.  Texas Governor Perry is under 50 in most polls, the worst showing for a Republican candidate running for Governor in 20 years. Democratic candidates maintain leads in California, are even in Illiinois and far ahead in New York.  There are similar results in the smaller 4 Southwestern states.   Given that if anything the Democratic positiion in these states has maintained or perhaps even shown net improvement since 2008, there is no evidence in the state polling of any kind of large Latino shift in the states with large Latino populations.

Some may argue that somehow the diminished vote intent of Latino voters this year could produce this outcome.  From a statistical standpoint I don't see how; and besides, new polling finds Latino vote intent rising as we get closer to election day.

One final point.  Given that the Republican Party has actually ratched up its anti-immigrant rhetoric and activities in the last two years, the idea that the most heavily immigrant portion of the American electorate would see the largest swing to the GOP in 2010 of any slice of the American electorate simply doesn't pass the political laugh test.

As a reputable organization, Gallup should own up to its mistakes and either rework their sample or cease reporting their 2010 election polling.  Their current findings are clearly fatally flawed, and should be dismissed by any serious analyst of American politics.