Ryan Gets Results

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on August 21, 2012

I continue to believe that the electoral pull of vice presidential candidates is severely overrated. That having been written . . .

Paul Ryan has propelled Mitt Romney into the lead over President Obama in the critical battleground state of Wisconsin, according to the latest survey from liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling.

Romney edges Obama 48 percent to 47, according to the poll, which has a 2.7 percent margin of error.

That’s a 7 percentage point gain for Romney, who trailed Obama 50 to 44 in the previous PPP poll, taken in July, before Rep. Ryan (R-Wis.) was added to the GOP ticket.

It’s the second consecutive survey of Wisconsin to find Romney has overtaken the president following the selection of Ryan as his running mate. A survey earlier this month from conservative-leaning polling outlet Rasmussen also gave Romney a 48-47 lead in the state.

According to PPP, Ryan has helped shore up the Republican base in Wisconsin. Romney has stretched his lead over Obama among Republicans from 78 percentage points to 88. The former Massachusetts governor has also seen gains among independents in the state, cutting Obama’s 14-point July advantage to only 4.

UPDATE: Favorable results in Michigan as well?

Foster McCollum White Baydoun (FMW)B, a national public opinion polling and voter analytics consulting firm based in Michigan and representing the combined resources of Foster McCollum White & Associates (Troy, Michigan) and Baydoun Consulting (Dearborn, Michigan) conducted a telephone-automated polling random survey of Michigan registered and most likely November 2012 general election voters to determine their voting preferences.

FMWB says this will be a significant blow to Democratic campaign efforts, native son Mitt Romney has climbed into the lead in Michigan’s Presidential contest. The naming of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan has delivered a targeted affect on the Michigan and Midwest campaign dynamics. . . .

[. . .]

“Romney has identified a clear game changer if his strategy is to divide the Midwest and blow a bugle in President Obama’s Midwestern Strategy”, states Eric Foster, chief pollster and President of Foster McCollum White & Associates. “Romney may be attempting to isolate Illinois and Pennsylvania by having Michigan and Wisconsin in play. That also limited Obama’s opportunity to strengthen resource and advertising in Ohio and Indiana if Michigan and Wisconsin are competitive”.

In spite of national criticism of the Ryan selection and budget plan, our findings suggest that Michigan voters are viewing both as positives for Romney. 36.11% of Michigan voters are more likely to vote for Romney because of the Paul Ryan selection while only 27.90% are less likely to vote for Romney. That is a positive statistical advantage for Romney of 8.21 points or 29.42%. Tarek Baydoun, statistical analyst for Foster McCollum White Baydoun reflects, “While Romney may have challenges connecting to voters, Paul Ryan seems to humanize him and make him more acceptable to voters like his wife Ann Romney does.”

Additionally the Ryan Budget plan is supported by a plurality of Michigan voters. 47.99% support Ryan’s budget which includes a major overhaul of Medicare and Social Security while 45.01% oppose the plan. What is statistically interesting is the fact that 41.59% of Michigan voters strongly oppose the plan and only 34.77% strongly support the plan. The margin for Ryan’s plan comes from the soft supporters, who outnumber the soft opponents by a four to one margin (13.22% to 3.42%).

“The past week for President Obama was not helpful to his numbers,” per Eric Foster, chief pollster for Foster McCollum White Baydoun. “The campaign is very fluid, as we identified in June, the President’s campaign needs to shift its focus towards presenting more of a business case narrative of why voters should re-elect President Obama while better defining why Romney/Ryan is not good for America.”

“The data prompts further study by the Obama team, Democratic Party and related supporters into the declining support for the President in what was a safe state for him,” stated Attorney Tarek Baydoun, statistical analyst for Foster McCollum White Baydoun. “In a state with a significant senior citizen voting population, the overall support for Congressman Ryan’s budget plan must be very troubling for the President and his team.”

I have never heard of Foster McCollum, so I have no idea whether its work is reputable. But if it can be taken seriously, then the Obama-Biden ticket may well be in a lot of trouble in a region of the country whose votes it took for granted.

  • Eric Foster

    My name is Eric
    Foster, President of Foster McCollum White & Associates. I am the lead
    pollster for our firm and our partnership with Baydoun Consulting and I wanted to give you a little feedback on our firm and methodology.

    Our firm, along with Baydoun Consulting are Michigan based consulting firms. We are the exclusive pollsters for Fox 2 News Detroit in Southeastern Michigan. You can visit our website to give you a little more information on our firm. We have been conducting public opinion polling studies for the past 4 years at FMW.
    Statistical modeling and weighting methodology

    Our polling call list was
    weighted to the historical weights for age, gender, race, region and
    congressional district area. Our list is also comprised of voters with previous
    voting histories in Presidential, state and local elections. We include the moderate
    and low performance voters, but the call files do contain a significant portion
    of voters who have a likely history to participate. We do not call voters who
    have never participated in elections but are registered.

    Our PVBA model reviews
    election statistics for age, gender, voting participation pattern, gender and
    socio-economic factors to determine the likely voting universe for an upcoming
    election. Our turnout models are based on state based historical turnout
    statistics provided by the municipal and county clerks and secretaries of
    state’s office of a state for age, gender, party, ethnicity and voting method
    (early, absentee, poll location) instead of exit polls. We trust the reliability
    of the election statistics from the clerks’ offices to give us value data reads
    on future elections. For example, our PVBA model for the Primary election in
    Wayne County Michigan (the largest voting county in Michigan.) was within
    0.316% of the actual August 7, 2012 primary. We projected a total county
    turnout of 246,299 voters for all 43 communities including Detroit and actual
    turnout was 245,450 (after spoiled ballots were discounted for partisan

    The reason we take the
    historical data for a state is to give us a baseline for each precinct within
    the state and then build models up from there. We work to identify solid trends
    of turnout over a series of primary and general election contest so that we can
    remove outliers within turnout, age, gender, partisan (if collected) and
    ethnicity and determine the true participation base for that precinct. We can
    then project out for the variable election conditions (type, advertising
    impact, voter mobilization, outlier ballot issue impact, etc.) that allow us to
    determine our high moderate and low performing turnout and voter models.

    When we call through the
    list, we report the demographics of the respondents without weight. If our
    demographics match the likely voter demographics for the polling study. If
    there are underrepresented groups within our aggregate respondent universe, we
    use our weighting model to adjust for their representative weight and the
    groups reflected polling preference for the baseline questions. We still will
    report the un-weighted demographics of our respondents because they reflect the
    prevailing interest level of the voting groups at the time of our polling

    Based on the respondent
    universes, we made the adjustment weight for the five underrepresented groups
    in Michigan based on our PVBA model. Re-elections for Democrats tend to draw
    fewer younger and Minority voters then their initial election, per our
    historical analysis models. We believe that these groups tend to feel that they
    accomplished the major task of placing their change agent candidate into office
    and those they should have built enough of a base to sustain themselves.

    - We have
    made weighting adjustments to the aggregate baseline responses based on the
    following five groups who were underrepresented in our aggregate polling

    Male respondents
    – 39.73% of actual respondent universe was weighted to reflect the 46% (FMW)B
    PVBA male voter turnout model projections for 2012 November general election, with
    a final weighted determinate 45.0% of the aggregate universe.

    African American
    respondents – 6.41% of actual respondent universe was weighted to reflect the 17.5%
    of (FMW)B PVBA model projections for 2012 November general
    election, with a final weighted determinate 17.5% of the aggregate universe..

    Asian American
    respondents – 0.58% of actual respondent universe was weighted to reflect the 2.0%
    of (FMW)B PVBA model projections for 2012 November general
    election, with a final weighted determinate 2.00% of the aggregate universe.

    Voters ages 18 to
    30 years old – 3.63% of actual respondent universe was weighted to reflect the 16%
    of (FMW)B PVBA model projections for 2012 November general
    election, with a final weighted determinate 16.00% of the aggregate universe.

    Voters ages 31 to
    50 years old – 15.86% of actual respondent universe was weighted to reflect the
    25% of (FMW)B PVBA model projections for 2012 November general
    election, with a final weighted determinate 25.00% of the aggregate universe.

    Partisan participation rates:

    (Solid Democrat): 26.83%

    (Leaning Democrat): 11.48%

    Total Democrats 38.31%

    (Independent): 25.10%

    (Solid Republican): 21.87%

    (Leaning Republican): 9.41%

    (Tea Party Republican): 5.14%

    Total Republicans 36.36%

    Religious affiliation participation rates:

    Christian): 26.94%



    (Protestant/Non Evangelical Christian): 15.90%

    (Jewish): 1.62%

    (Muslim): 0.35%

    or No religious affiliation): 11.68%

    Please contact me at efoster@fostermccollumwhite.com if you have any additional questions. Thank you.


    Eric Foster

Previous post:

Next post: