Mitt’s 2011 Returns

Mitt Romney release his 2011 tax returns, which has created yet another episode of our hit show You’ve Got To be Fucking Kidding Me:

We’ll be poring over the actual returns soon, but an initial release from the Romney campaign has already told us a couple of amusing things.

First, Mitt and Ann Romney donated a whole heck of a lot of money to charity in 2011 — $4,020,772, to be exact, or about 30 percent of their total income. But they chose only to claim $2.25 million of that total as charitable deductions, because, well, otherwise their overall tax burden would have been a little, shall we say, light.

Without claiming the total legally possible deduction, Romney ended up paying an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent. If he’d claimed everything he had a right to, he would only have paid around 12.1 percent.

There’s something both hilarious and pathetic about a presidential candidate manipulating his deductions so he ends up paying what he considers a more politically appropriate tax rate. But it’s especially ludicrous in light of Romney’s numerous claims that he’s always paid the government exactly what he owes, “and not a dollar more,” implying that anyone who voluntarily gave the government more than he legally owed was either a fool or a moron.

I want to pause a moment so that we can take this in. Mitt Romney donated four million dollars of his own money, almost a third of his earnings, to charity in 2011. Not four million dollars of taxpayer money. Four million of his own. There is no response to that — none — but applause.

(I can’t find the page that itemizes the list. The largest contribution is most likely to the Mormon church. I know some will complain about that but it’s not like the Mormons burn that money on drunken orgies. If the worst thing he’s funding is the missionaries who knocked on my door last month, that’s pretty reasonable. Something that spreads what Romney believes is the word of God and gets young people to travel the world is not a bad thing. I should also add that Romney’s return is almost 400 pages long. Talk about an argument for tax reform. Of amusement: it’s photocopied and as you scroll through it, the copies drift left. Ahem.)

No, Romney didn’t deduct all of his donations, possibly to keep his tax rate up. That’s a bit ham-fisted, I guess. But liberals are constantly saying they want to pay more in taxes. Mitt did to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Honestly, Left Wing, just shut up about this. Mitt’s 2011 return is a reason to vote for him, not against him. It shows a man with lots of investments and businesses who is honest with the government and incredibly generous with … let’s repeat this … his own God-damned money.

Comments are closed.

  1. Thrill

    his own God-damned money.

    That’s the problem. They don’t think that money is really his. The Left has this bizarre idea that it’s only truly patriotic if you give the government 90% of your income when you reach a certain level of wealth.

    Yeah. Pay a shitload of taxes to an overbearing government without complaint and be happy about it. That’s just what the original Patriots thought too…oh, wait….

    If this is the argument right now coming from the press, we’re truly fucked.

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  2. Kimpost

    Incidentally I just read the Physician’s Letter on Mitt Romney’s Health. I’ve never actually read on of those of a politician before. Some of it seems relevant, but there’s some good old fun in there too.

    “He has shown the ability to be engaged in multiple varied simultaneous activities requiring complex mental, social, emotional and leadership skills. He’s a vigorous man who takes excellent care of his physical health. He has reserves of strength, energy, and stamina that provide him with the ability to meet unexpected demands.”

    :)

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  3. Hal_10000 *

    I assume the next bitch point will be , Who he gave the money too…..

    That’s why input in the aside on the church. I’m assuming he tithes as many Mormons do.

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  4. richtaylor365

    And similarly, the Obama’s are very charitable. Now. When they are in the WH.

    By what benchmark?

    Romney Gave 15% to Charity – Obama Gave 1% to Charity

    Oh, and the village idiot? 0.2% of his income.

    Biden gave average of $369 to charity a year

    But liberals are very generous with our people’s money.

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  5. mrblume

    Romney Gave 15% to Charity – Obama Gave 1% to Charity

    That’s great, but then to be perfectly fair, since the Obama data you are citing seems to be from 2004, let’s look at Mitt Romney’s donations from at least 2008. As KimPost pointed out, it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that a candidate in a presidential campaign would look to optimize the appearance of his tax returns.

    And guess what, you don’t even have to feel bad for Mitt Romney doing it:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/obamas-gifts-to-charity-just-1-percent/2012/02/14/gIQAXuMDER_blog.html

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  6. InsipiD

    I would have been very surprised if his tax returns hadn’t been at least decent looking considering he is in the middle of a campaign.

    Middle of a campaign? Mitt Romney has been getting ready to run for president since he was 6. The only person who ran a longer campaign was Al Gore.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    The fear and desperation is coming off of the left much like the cartoon stink off of a dead fish… or any other analogy y’all might want to make.

    C’mon CM, let’s do a poll:

    Fear and desperation smell like___________?

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  8. Seattle Outcast

    Don’t worry, Obama has been more than generous to charity with our tax dollars going to prop up companies that should have died on the vine…

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  9. Mississippi Yankee

    MY, why would the left be ‘desperate’ and in ‘fear’ at this point?

    CM, if you can’t see this tax thing as another attempt by the left to ‘grasp at straws’ then IMO you’re either being deliberately obtuse, once again, or you haven’t the capacity to recognize someone when they’re on their back foot.

    Shouldn’t you be pouring over some obscure poll this close to MY American election?

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  10. CM

    CM, if you can’t see this tax thing as another attempt by the left to ‘grasp at straws’ then IMO you’re either being deliberately obtuse, once again, or you haven’t the capacity to recognize someone when they’re on their back foot.

    I’m sorry, you’re suggesting that Obama is on the back foot? After that week? Leading in almost all swing states consistently for months? Huh?
    I think the left wanted to make a big deal out of the tax return thing when it was assumed Romney would run a decent campaign. I bet they don’t care nearly as much now.
    There’s always Rasmussen I guess……;-)

    Shouldn’t you be pouring over some obscure poll this close to MY American election?

    ;-)
    Nah, spring has sprung here . Weekends (our time anyway) here at RT for the next 6 months will be largely CM free. I’m sure that’s music to your ears….

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  11. Mississippi Yankee

    I think the left wanted to make a big deal out of the tax return thing when it was assumed Romney would run a decent campaign. I bet they don’t care nearly as much now.

    Romney just made a 100% donation to STFU.

    ~Somebody on Twitter I can’t remember

    I’m sorry, you’re suggesting that Obama is on the back foot? After that week? Leading in almost all swing states consistently for months? Huh?

    Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters on Saturday that despite national tracking polls showing the president and Romney tied, Obama is still winning.
    and he’d never lie right?

    Here’s an article and it’s conclusions you’ll want to ignore;

    David Harsanyi on why the race appears to be close

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  12. salinger

    Where did Romney’s charitable giving wind up? It’s not entirely clear. According to the tax returns, he gave $1,115,485 to the Mormon church and $214,516 to the Tyler Charitable Foundation, which is Romney’s own tax-exempt nonprofit he established. His returns also list a gift of $920,573 in “noncash contributions,” though it doesn’t specify where those went. Noncash contributions are typically gifts of stock. By shifting the stock from his own account to his nonprofit, he is able to avoid paying taxes on the unrealized capital gains, and is also allowed to write off the value of the gift. The return isn’t clear as to where the remaining roughly $2 million of charity went — the gift he hasn’t yet taken a deduction for — but a likely candidate is his Tyler Charitable Foundation.

    See – it’s exactly this kind of hocus pocus bullshit that causes me to take all this disclosure stuff with a bit more than a grain of salt. As I’ve said earlier I am sure he hasn’t done anything illegal. Then again why would one have to do anything illegal when ones little club makes the rules in the first place?

    I also believe any faith based contribution should not be tax exempt for anyone.

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  13. balthazar

    I also believe any faith based contribution should not be tax exempt for anyone.

    As long as you make sure that any sort of atheist, agnostic, and envirotard charities are “faith based” then sure. Since they are just as rabid and rooted in thier faith as any fundamentalist.

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  14. salinger

    As long as you make sure that any sort of atheist, agnostic, and envirotard charities are “faith based” then sure. Since they are just as rabid and rooted in thier faith as any fundamentalist.

    Sure – why not – why should any contribution to a charity be a tax exemption? As noted in my above comment – it is too easy for this to be manipulated into just a tax shelter rather than a real act of altruism – especially when one had the resources to create their own “charities”.

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  15. Section8

    it is too easy for this to be manipulated into just a tax shelter rather than a real act of altruism – especially when one had the resources to create their own “charities”.

    Do you have any evidence his charity and the money he donated is not for altruistic purposes, or is simply putting the possibility out there with zero evidence enough for you? I agree on the tax shelter though, charity should not be written off, but the nonsense that permeates from the left that the government is the supreme leader in altruistic purposes has got to go. I’m pretty certain many of these charities have much better intention with their revenue than the government does, not to mention they don’t threaten to seize your property, or threaten jail time if you don’t pay up. Again, the government’s purpose should be limited in scope. It’s not the end all savior.

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  16. Poosh

    Romney gave money to charity. That’s weird, Uk media hasn’t mentioned this ….

    You’ll note there are stories out there, including absurd yet true Thunderbirds one, where Romney is always there to watch complete stranger’s backs, like Batman. Offering help etc to those who have had misfortune. If we all behaved as he did we wouldn’t need any social-programs ironically.

    As always, the left’s attempts to find something bad in the tax returns are another pathetic distraction, like the leaked tapes etc. Unless those tax-returns somehow show he associated with, say, a known terrorist.

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  17. Poosh

    There’s a wonderful episode of South Park, to balance their own mocking of the absurdity of the Mormon religion (calling it a hoax etc) where they show how decent and kind regular Mormons are. Good episodes, both of ‘em.

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  18. richtaylor365

    See – it’s exactly this kind of hocus pocus bullshit

    Where is the hocus pocus bullshit you are referring to? Do you know exactly what those “non cash contributions” were? So when someone says “typically” you insert “most definitely” then run with it. Tell me , have you ever owned a stock in your life? I’m sure you know (hopefully) that an unrealized gain is still a gain, that giving appreciated stock to a charity is still giving something of value since he could have sold that stock and actually made a profit on it, but no, let’s assume nefarious motives, that he only did it for the tax write off and totally ignore the value of the gift given.

    it is too easy for this to be manipulated into just a tax shelter rather than a real act of altruism –

    So, in Salinger land it makes sense to donate a gift of $100 for a tax break of $15 (that was his effective tax rate, %15), thus losing $85 dollars of value, do you comprehend how dopey that is? The “altruism” you mentioned lies in the giving of the $85 gift, that is money he no longer has, but now the charity does.

    especially when one had the resources to create their own “charities”

    I can’t think of a better motivator for getting filthy rich, to be able to actually make a difference. I would love to be extremely wealthy , to be able to funnel large sums of money to those areas that I think need it the most. I know you can’t see it (too bad for you) but many feel an expectation, a faith based mission if you will to share in the blessings of their good fortune. You secular types are to be pitied, it’s not all about you and what you can get in this life, a higher calling does exist, but you keep on denigrating those saps that give away their wealth, you are much smarter then that,right?

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  19. salinger

    Do you have any evidence his charity and the money he donated is not for altruistic purposes, or is simply putting the possibility out there with zero evidence enough for you?

    I never accused Romney of anything (in fact I said I thought he most likely has done nothing illegal) – I just said the charitable deduction and the loopholes in the tax code re: non-profits – non-cash donations – pre-capital gains blah blah woof woof… leave pretty easy access to those with means to exploit them.

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  20. salinger

    So, in Salinger land it makes sense to donate a gift of $100 for a tax break of $15

    Nope – in Salinger land one would donate 100.00 and get NO tax break. They would only get the warm fuzzy feeling of having done a good deed.

    I would love to be extremely wealthy , to be able to funnel large sums of money to those areas that I think need it the most.

    A noble aspiration – go for it. Just don’t skip out on the taxes owed on that money. Why should I be indirectly billed to support your pet projects? You want to donate to something – do it and if I want to donate to something (e.g. Planned Parenthood) I will – the difference being I just don’t expect you to subsidize my donation.

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  21. Poosh

    This is moot seeing as it’s been established that Romney paid more tax than he was actually meant to.

    And we’ve already established that his tax returns would not have been released or made an issue, had certain liberals not opened their mouth or tried this sad, pathetic “Romney is rich, and rich people are evil… apart from Kerry, who was richer, but ignore that” line of attack i.e class warfare.

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  22. richtaylor365

    Nope – in Salinger land one would donate 100.00 and get NO tax break.

    And I agree about the tax break, there should not be one, but the point was that you assigning diabolical motives of self gain behind charitable giving is just stupid, if self gain was the prime motivator then it would not be sensible to give away $85 for a $15 gain, you will have to find another method of attack, this one holds no water.

    I will – the difference being I just don’t expect you to subsidize my donation.

    So, by implication you can make claims about my expectations? How do you know anything about my expectations?

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  23. Hal_10000 *

    Do you have any evidence his charity and the money he donated is not for altruistic purposes, or is simply putting the possibility out there with zero evidence enough for you?

    Here is MJ’s analysis of his 2010 donations. Mostly the church (which does a lot of philanthropic work) and the Tyler Foundation.

    Frankly, the Left is just digging themselves deeper. Mitt Romney is rich and takes advantage of tax breaks. You know what he isn’t? A fucking tax cheat like three dozen people in the Obama Administration, including Tim Geithner.

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  24. salinger

    How do you know anything about my expectations?

    Oh – so you right wingers are the only ones who can read minds? Now – I am about done here because it is devolving into that – “You said this – but I really know you meant THIS – waltz that gets played here so often.

    If you just read what I actually said and not what you inferred we could have a discussion – I said that the tax code is ripe for exploitation. I take it you don’t agree. Fine. I just think there should be no tax break for charitable donations – period.

    But, let me run this by you real quick so you might be able to see where I am coming from – (of course you will need the inclination.)

    Tax Payer A is fervently pro choice so she starts a non- profit whose existence is to funnel money to Planned Parenthood. She takes a bunch of stocks she owns and some cash and donates them to her very own non-profit which supports PP thus promoting her particular agenda.

    Taxes that would have gone to less specific programs which benefit more of the population as a whole are lost on that money. So those who are paying into the general fund are not getting the taxes that would have been Taxpayer A’s contribution if she had not moved her cash to her charity – so they are effectively subsidizing her charity.

    Chances are this group includes a bunch of folks who do not agree with taxpayer A’s idea of deserving organizations. So, taxpayer A is expecting a subsidy from the rest of the taxpaying base.

    Bottom line – I do not want to fund your pet project if I don’t want to – and I do not expect you to fund mine, unless you want to.

    Oh and Rich – by YOU – I mean everyone in general not you particularly.

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  25. richtaylor365

    Oh – so you right wingers are the only ones who can read minds?

    I never claimed to be able to read minds, but I do read what people write and hold them accountable to that. Oh, and that complaint you made on the other thread about people being too quick to name call here? I guess you were paying me a compliment by calling me a right winger, no disparagement meant, I’m sure.

    I said that the tax code is ripe for exploitation

    Yes, I got that part.

    I take it you don’t agree.

    Where would you get that from? You need to pay more attention if you want to ” have a discussion”.

    And that Planned Parenthood story was very nice, but it was totally wasted since I agreed with you (or you agreed with me, since I have blogged on this very topic many times here) about charitable giving not deserving of a tax deduction.

    Bottom line – I do not want to fund your pet project if I don’t want to – and I do not expect you to fund mine, unless you want to.

    We are on the same page.

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  26. Section8

    Taxes that would have gone to less specific programs which benefit more of the population as a whole are lost on that money. So those who are paying into the general fund are not getting the taxes that would have been Taxpayer A’s contribution if she had not moved her cash to her charity – so they are effectively subsidizing her charity.

    This unfortunately leaves out the argument that there are plenty of government programs that are pet projects, have rules and regulations and revenue spent in a manner which not all people agree. Along with scrapping write offs, the idea that every government program is a good program that helps so many has got to go. It’s BS. A lot of government “charity” could and should be handed back to the private side so that those who want to fund can, and those who don’t agree aren’t forced to contribute.

    Because after all….

    Bottom line – I do not want to fund your pet project if I don’t want to – and I do not expect you to fund mine, unless you want to.

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  27. CM

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  28. AlexInCT

    While I personally don’t like the idea that donations are be tax deductible, I would be a fool not take advantage of that because it’s the law. It is also a law that has served to make American citizens the world’s most prolific donors. And while we can argue about whether it is good or bad to do this, as Hal and others have already pointed out, taking advantage of a law that allows you to funnel your wealth to people you feel are deserving instead of sending it to a bloated and destructive government that then tends to misuse it and spend it on unconstitutional things you would avoid like the plague, isn’t as bad as being an outright tax cheat like many members of Team Obama are. And yet, we are wasting time demonizing those that our marxist masters have deemed to be evil because they donate ther money to something other than a big government instead of pointing out that tax cheats think rich people that do not spout the correct marxist bullshit and hold the left’s viewpoints as sacrosanct are evil.

    I want to stress that I am just as conflicted about ending tax deductable donations, though. Getting rid of the ability to deduct from your taxes for donations made will make the power of government to control where money goes near absolute. And as we know, by its very nature, government tends to spend money where it buys the greatest benefit, not to the people it serves, but to keeping bigger government growing. There is a reason that everyone on the left is so hell bent on demonizing Romney for pointing out that do good leftist government has a vested interest in growing that dependant sector, and that these dependants are not ever going to vote for anyone that threatens to take away their free cheese. If people are actually allowed to not just think but discuss these facts, it doesn’t bode well for the parasitic class or those that benefit from their growth in government.

    I find that given the choice between a horribly abuses tax deductable donation system and one where government becomes the sole and biggest source of “charitable” spending, I will pick the first practically 999 times out of a thousand. That’s because, unlike leftists, I feel government, as soon as it starts to try to level the playing field, no matter how noble the motivation, does far more harm than good. Just look at how well all the “war on poverty” that has spent over $15 trillion dollars and waste some 70 years creating the largest ever dependant percentage of the population has worked out for us. We have more people sucking at the government teat than ever, and that number is now close enough that we are all but tied down to pursue an unsustainable and idiotic collectivist agenda that will sooner than later implode the world’s economies as we run out of other people’s money.

    There is a reason that the LSM and Team Obama are hell bent on discussing evil rich Romney’s tax returns instead of how well 4 years of Obamanomics – BLAME BOOSH! – have served every constituent group in America. Contrary to the lies, the people that have done the best under Obama, even better than they did during evil BooshChimpyMcHitler’s fascist reign, are the connected leftists rich. The middle class has been hammered, and the government handout dependant poor has grown by unprecedented numbers. But this was the plan from the start. If you are able to grasp that, then you can quickly see that the most egregious class abusers tend to be the very ones that use class warfare as a weapon to get the stupid and envious to vote for them. That’s government charity at work for ya.

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  29. Kimpost

    How to unskew a poll.

    Many polls use LV now, and most of them point towards Obama. Regarding the act on un-skewing, all pollsters have methods of weighting polls, None of them are perfect, and all of thm require certain amounts of guess work.

    Anyway, I remembered an old FoxLIVE discussion on the subject. I found it interesting, and managed to find it again now. Check it out if you like. They are mostly on your side, X.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/1773842238001/campaign-insiders-8-6-2012/

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  30. balthazar

    you mean like CBS using a democrat +11 poll, when even in 2008 obama had at BEST a dem +6? That kind of skewing?

    He wont come NEAR a dem +6 this time around.

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  31. Seattle Outcast

    You can find re-weighted, and generally more accurate, poll date here: UnSkewed Polls

    CW will now denounce the more accurate data as not sucking enough Obama cock to show him as a predestined winner….

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  32. CM

    Nate Silver’s latest piece looks at how the polls at this stage in the election cycle stacked up against the final result.
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/the-statistical-state-of-the-presidential-race/
    Statistically, he sees “several reasonably clear themes”:

    First, the polling by this time in the cycle has been reasonably good, especially when it comes to calling the winners and losers in the race. Of the 19 candidates who led in the polls at this stage since 1936, 18 won the popular vote (Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 is the exception), and 17 won the Electoral College (Al Gore lost it in 2000, along with Mr. Dewey).

    However:

    It is also important to observe, however, that the challenging party’s candidate has gained more ground than the incumbent in each of the past four election cycles (from 1996 through 2008).

    Second:

    There has not been any tendency, at least at this stage of the race, for the contest to break toward the challenging candidate.

    To the extent there’s a useful rule of thumb about a candidate achieving 50 percent in the polls, it is this: a candidate who reaches 50 percent of the vote late in the race is almost certain to win. Below that threshold, there are fewer guarantees. But a candidate (incumbent or challenger) at 48 or 49 percent of the vote will normally be a clear favorite.

    Also:

    …the incumbent (or the challenger, for that matter) does not need to be at 50 percent of the vote to be a clear favorite to win: the eventual winner will probably pick up at least some undecided voters, and at least a few votes will go to third-party candidates. Mr. Obama’s current number in the polls — about 48 or 49 percent on average in national surveys — is very similar to those of George W. Bush in 2004, George H.W. Bush in 1988, and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, all of whom won, some of them easily.

    Instead, it’s actually the incumbent-party candidate who has gained ground on average since 1936. On average, the incumbent candidate added 4.6 percentage points between the late September polls and his actual Election Day result, whereas the challenger gained 2.5 percentage points.

    To the extent there’s a useful rule of thumb about a candidate achieving 50 percent in the polls, it is this: a candidate who reaches 50 percent of the vote late in the race is almost certain to win. Below that threshold, there are fewer guarantees. But a candidate (incumbent or challenger) at 48 or 49 percent of the vote will normally be a clear favorite.

    Nonetheless, another theme: although Mr. Obama’s raw vote share looks reasonably strong, Mr. Obama’s margin over Mr. Romney is not that impressive for an elected incumbent. On average, elected incumbents have led by 7.7 percentage points that this stage of the race — larger than Mr. Obama’s advantage, which is in the range of four points instead.

    The next point is that large changes can occur late in the race, or at least large errors in the polling.

    But these late changes in the polls seem to be becoming less frequent.

    Next, and related, there are few undecided voters this year.

    Fascinating, as usual.

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  33. AlexInCT

    CW will now denounce the more accurate data as not sucking enough Obama cock to show him as a predestined winner….

    You win. In all fairness, it was a given, so not much of a stretch to see happening.

    The LSM is HARD at work pretending Obama polls better so the expectation is set. They are hoping that these fake over weighted pro-Obama polls both allows them to dispirit the enemy – anyone not voting for Obama is the enemy to the LSM – and to set the stage so the democrats can conduct massive fraud to steal the election if they can keep it close enough. If you doubt this just look at the underlying polling illogic and the fact that the DOJ’s top job has been to undermine any and all efforts by any state to make sure voter fraud is prevented or limited so it will not be abused.

    The LSM is going to get even more shrill as they see this election slipping. Enough Americans are seeing the bullshit for what it is. I saw an Obama commercial, in CT of all places, again trying to blame Boosh for why Obama’s economic policies for the last year have been failures. Seriously, even the stupid leftist sheeple of CT should by now see through this nonsense, realize that these commercials do nothing but blame someone else, and NEVER say that Team blue’s policies have done anything other than help save big government jobs in this state. That knowledge that CT’s economy is only out-shittied by that of CA, a fact even the most diehard leftoid in this state can no longer hide, is out there, though.

    They are toast..

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  34. CM

    You can find re-weighted, and generally more accurate, poll date here: UnSkewed Polls

    Interesting stuff.
    But how has polling in previous elections not been ridiculously (10%+) off the mark?
    Look at the ‘Late September Polls vs. Election Results, 1936-2008″ at the Nate Silver link – this time in 2008 Obama had a ‘skewed’ lead of +2.6% – but if he actually had an ‘unskewed’ deficit of around -6% (that seems to be the difference), then how did it jump back out to +7.3% on election day? You could say he had an AMAZING October, but I’m not sure that’s plausable. Especially as the same thing can be seen in previous elections (in 2004 wouldn’t the polls showing Bush with a +4.5% lead mean that he was really at least 10% ahead, so how then did he only win the popular vote by +2.4%?).
    Come on, you’re the statistical expert Seattle, please explain.

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  35. CM

    CW will now denounce the more accurate data as not sucking enough Obama cock to show him as a predestined winner….

    You win. In all fairness, it was a given, so not much of a stretch to see happening.

    Oh, I see, what you really meant to say was “CM, please don’t question this at all”.
    I get it now. Sorry, I was being a bit dumb there.

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  36. Kimpost

    You can find re-weighted, and generally more accurate, poll date here: UnSkewed Polls

    They might be on to something there, but what they are doing is very controversial. They are using Rasmussen’s polls as gospel to fix the polls from other institutions. You can’t really do that…

    Interestingly enough they didn’t try to unskew the latest Rasmussen poll, which also has Obama leading.

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  37. CM

    I think it would more persuasive if:
    (a) The claimed difference wasn’t so large – the current RCP average has Obama at +3.7%, whereas this ‘unskewed poll’ as Romney with an overall average lead of +7.8%. That’s a whopping 11.5% difference.
    (b) It explained how polls in previous elections were 11.5% different from the election result (taking into account slight movements in October). It doesn’t explain it because they weren’t.

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  38. Seattle Outcast

    But how has polling in previous elections not been ridiculously (10%+) off the mark?

    Since you don’t even understand basic stats, I’m certainly not going to waste my time attempting to explain the advanced stuff to you.

    Go pick up a fucking textbook and work a few hundred problems before posting about polls again.

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  39. Seattle Outcast

    Interestingly enough they didn’t try to unskew the latest Rasmussen poll, which also has Obama leading.

    Good point – I’d say the reasonable explanations are 1) No need to, enough data is present, 2) give them time to grind the data, 3) raw data being withheld

    One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that the more obviously fucked up polls tend to not release their raw data so they can’t be argued with. I don’t know if they realize that nobody outside of a few zealots will trust their “data”, despite how much the MSM attempt to tout it as legitimate. Of course, these are the polls that CM flies to like a moth to a flame.

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  40. CM

    I’m certainly not going to waste my time attempting to explain the advanced stuff to you.

    What a surprise. Yet again, you go out of your way to avoid specifics.

    Of course, these are the polls that CM flies to like a moth to a flame.

    Where is your evidence of this?
    Oh that’s right, you have none. So you’ll pretend you don’t want to lower yourself etc etc. Same old same old.
    My god you’re just so full of shit.

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  41. CM

    Even the founder of Rasmussen Reports, whose surveys often show higher Republican numbers, cast doubt on Chambers’ methods: Scott Rasmussen told BuzzFeed in an e-mail that “you cannot compare partisan weighting from one polling firm to another.”

    “Different firms ask about partisan affiliation in different ways,” explained Rasmussen. “Some ask how you are registered. Some ask what you consider yourselves. Some push for leaners, others do not. Some ask it at the beginning of a survey which provides a more stable response while others ask it at the end.”

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/rubycramer/conservatives-embrace-alternate-polling-reality#HTWF2

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  42. CM

    The claim of over-sampling surely relies on that one Rasmussen Report statistic being correct. They seem to base it all on this:

    This data clearly differs with the Rasmussen Reports partisan data measured from hundreds of thousands of voters by Rasmussen Reports, which measures the partisan percentages at 37.6 percent Republicans, 33.3 percent Democrats and 29.2 percent independents.

    So they’re relying entirely on Rasmussen Reports and assuming it’s accurate. If it’s not, that throws out all their claims.
    And yet Gallup shows something quite different: As at 6-9 September, 51% call themselves Democrats (or are leaning that way), and only 42% are Republican (or leaning that way).

    Here is an interview with one of the polling directors about this issue.
    http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/6ae5804c-e638-4ace-951b-8f36ec71e977

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  43. Xetrov

    And yet Gallup shows something quite different

    Zero methodology, or specific stats given in that poll, but you still cite it? You’ve blown up other’s posted polls for far less. Besides that, if it had any bearing on anything, then Kerry should have won by 5% in 2004, Obama should have won by 3% instead of the 7+% he won by, and Democrats should have taken more seats in the Senate/House in 2010 instead of losing them.

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  44. Argive

    Since you don’t even understand basic stats, I’m certainly not going to waste my time attempting to explain the advanced stuff to you.

    Then why don’t you explain the advanced stuff to the other people who read this site? I’m sure we could benefit from it. You’ve said repeatedly that most of these current polls are bullshit; I’d love to see how you substantiate that claim. Seriously, I’m not trying to pick a fight here.

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  45. CM

    Zero methodology, or specific stats given in that poll, but you still cite it? You’ve blown up other’s posted polls for far less.

    “Party Affiliation” methodology given at the bottom on this page.
    Where is the Rasmussen methodology, or specific stats?
    Come on Xetrov, my whole point was that relying on a single determination of party supporters to ‘un-skew’ a whole lot of polls is just ‘re-skewing’ them to be more favourable to your candidate. The site (Q-Star News) is hardly politically neutral (or even trying to be).
    Even Rasmussen himself points out why the ‘un-skew’ methodology is bogus.

    Besides that, if it had any bearing on anything, then Kerry should have won by 5% in 2004, Obama should have won by 3% instead of the 7+% he won by, and Democrats should have taken more seats in the Senate/House in 2010 instead of losing them.

    How do you get that? Because the split was 44-49?
    (a) that doesn’t mean people will vote
    (b) even if they do vote, that doesn’t mean they’ll vote for the candidate of that party

    You’re agreeing with my point though – how does ‘unskewing’ by using stated party preference match up with what happened previously? Doesn’t seem to work well at all.

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  46. AlexInCT

    Oh, I see, what you really meant to say was “CM, please don’t question this at all”.

    Herh, that’s funny. Actually if what you want to question is the unskewed polls, and not the horribly biased ones that show Obama tied or ahead when it is obvious that’s not even close to possible conjsidering theis guy makes Carter look like genius CM, then the problem is absolutely yours.

    But you can keep deluding yourself all you want. It wll be a complete replay of 2010 where the LSM tried close to the vote to use the polls to do much of the same it is doing now, only to then be baffled by how freaking wrong they got it.

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  47. CM

    Herh, that’s funny. Actually if what you want to question is the unskewed polls, and not the horribly biased ones that show Obama tied or ahead when it is obvious that’s not even close to possible conjsidering theis guy makes Carter look like genius CM, then the problem is absolutely yours.

    That’s the Alex version of EXACTLY what you quoted.

    But you can keep deluding yourself all you want. It wll be a complete replay of 2010 where the LSM tried close to the vote to use the polls to do much of the same it is doing now, only to then be baffled by how freaking wrong they got it.

    Rasmussen were first in 2008 and last in 2010.

    Or do you mean Gallup?
    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/11/08/two-pollsters-take-their-lumps-based-on-election-day-results/
    ;-)

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  48. CM

    Your posting history – or did you think we just forget?

    Well then you’ve been completely misreading my posts. Which isn’t a surprise.

    Really, you must be the most vague statistician who has ever lived.

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  49. Xetrov

    Come on Xetrov

    Only when you come on as far as posting biased polls.

    As far as what we can trust, the MSM can’t even report on Rally sizes without showing bias, what shot do we have of having an accurate poll?

    Saturday, Joel Pollak at Breitbart’s Big Journalism observed that President Obama is having some trouble drawing big crowds these days, and that the national press is exaggerating the turnout at his events.

    He specifically cited the situation this weekend where Politico and the Wall Street Journal claimed there were “18,000 people inside a 5,000-seat arena at an Obama event in Milwaukee on Saturday.” I looked at the Associated Press’s national site, and the AP did the same thing, while adding that the crowd with the made-up size was “the largest yet of Obama’s reelection campaign.” Really.

    .

    Shit, overestimating a crowd by 13,000 people? Yet Paul Ryan can’t catch a break.

    It would appear that Politico’s Juana Summers and the Associated Press’s Steve Peoples have an unusual and nearly identical problem with math. Yesterday, they could have and should have gone to the Secret Service for help.

    Summers wrote that Ryan’s appearance yesterday at Miami University drew “several hundred supporters gathered for an outdoor rally.” Peoples claimed it was “hundreds of supporters.” After the jump, I will note several media outlets which reported that the crowd numbered in the “thousands” — including one which cited a Secret Service estimate of 5,500.

    How odd it is that the locals reported “thousands” and one of them actually went to the trouble of getting a Secret Service estimate, while the alleged big kahunas from the Beltway press corp couldn’t count past “several hundred” at the same event. Why, one might think the kahunas are in collusion.

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  50. CM

    Only when you come on as far as posting biased polls.

    I’ve already explained why I linked to that. It was for a specific reason. I couldn’t have spelt it out any more than I did. You’re being ridiculous.

    As far as what we can trust, the MSM can’t even report on Rally sizes without showing bias, what shot do we have of having an accurate poll?

    Now you’re comparing polls carried out by professional polling companies with rough crowd size estimates by individual journalists (one who works at the WSJ, although it seems she’s partial to nodding off so that might explain her wild guess)?
    Really??!

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  51. Seattle Outcast

    And as we all know a “professional polling company” would never turn in a POS poll that it was paid to deliver with predetermined results. Just like journalists are “ethical” and “unbiased”.

    You’re a fucking joke, dude, just hang it up already.

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  52. CM

    And as we all know a “professional polling company” would never turn in a POS poll that it was paid to deliver with predetermined results. Just like journalists are “ethical” and “unbiased”.

    Of course it can, and does, happen. But you’re relying on it. You’re relying on insinuation and accusation.
    You haven’t addressed how/why polling on previous elections haven’t been wring by the extent suggested by this ‘skewing’ theory.. As Silver says, the polling by this time in the cycle has been reasonably good, especially when it comes to calling the winners and losers in the race. Of the 19 candidates who led in the polls at this stage since 1936, 18 won the popular vote. If the polls are over 10% out because of this bias, how did that happen?
    And how and why are you allowed to ‘un-skew’ polls based on a single Rasmussen poll?

    You’re a fucking joke, dude, just hang it up already.

    LMAO! I’ve not even said anything remotely controversial, let alone wrong.
    Vagueness and personal insults – you just keep veering wildly back and forth between them and ignore the substantive issues. Puzzling……
    Maybe stop being a big fat snivelling crybaby for once and address the specifics.

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  53. Hal_10000 *

    Are we on polls again? And the so-called unskewed polls? Jesus. Rasmussen was quoted as saying that analysis is shit. Different polling firms use completely different methods to judge likely voters. The skewness of polls is deliberately designed to counteract other biases that creep up in polling (cell phones, for example). These people have been doing this for decades. Maybe they’re wrong, but there’s a reason for why they do it the way they do it. And I might, just might, trust them over some guy with a blog.

    Frankly, this whining about the polls and this sticking of fingers into ears and shooting the messenger tells me the GOP is fucking doomed. If they were so confident of winning, they’d be talking up their candidate, his future policies, the future cabinet. They’d be brimming with optimism. Instead, they’re sitting here, hyping obscure websites, leaping on trivia and claiming the polls are biased just … well because, that’s why!

    If you take that unskewed poll seriously, we are headed for a Bush-Dukakis GOP landslide. Does this year feel like 1988 to you?

    I have been hearing this shit since 2000, when RCP predicted a massive Bush landslide based on their interpretation of the poll data (how’d that work out?). The only reason we are even talking about polls is the rolling fucking disaster that is the Romney campaign. If they were running a good campaign, they’d be beating this turkey by ten points, not whining about polling samples and trying, desperately, to find anything in the polling data to cling to and convince themselves this is going to be a GOP blowout.

    Obama can be beaten and maybe Romney will do it. But, if so, it’s going to have come from a good ground game, better explanation of his policies and a great set of debates. Whining about the polls is just bullshit.

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  54. CM

    These people have been doing this for decades. Maybe they’re wrong, but there’s a reason for why they do it the way they do it. And I might, just might, trust them over some guy with a blog.

    It’s the same thing as climate change denial. It utterly relies on nothing but insinuations and accusations of professionals acting unprofessionally. It’s always far more hilarious when it comes from people who consider themselves to be a ‘professional’.

    Waahhhh the media waaaah waaaah boo hooo it’s all the media’s fault. Waaaaaah waaaaah.

    It’s all so mind-numbingly petty and insular and small and desparate.

    I have been hearing this shit since 2000, when RCP predicted a massive Bush landslide based on their interpretation of the poll data (how’d that work out?). The only reason we are even talking about polls is the rolling fucking disaster that is the Romney campaign. If they were running a good campaign, they’d be beating this turkey by ten points, not whining about polling samples and trying, desperately, to find anything in the polling data to cling to and convince themselves this is going to be a GOP blowout.

    Exactly.

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  55. Argive

    All this stuff about the polls being biased reminds me of 2004, when Democrats made similarly desperate claims. The polls were way undercounting people without landlines and so Kerry was gonna walk off with it, blah blah blah. Or that since the polls all showed Bush’s lead as being technically within the margin of error, that lead didn’t exist. Yeah, how’d that election turn out?

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  56. CM

    The Princeton Election Consortium looks at the “unskewed polling data” .

    Party self-identification is more fluid than is commonly realized. Not only does voter enthusiasm change on either side, but some people seem to change their self-report. This hypothesis would also require a simultaneous, coordinated effort by all the pollsters (except for brave Scott Rasmussen) to stop doing what they did so well in 2004 and 2008 (see left sidebar). Bottom line: the polls are fine.

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  57. CM

    Poor, poor, CM, still beating the discredited dead horse and muttering, “sure, it’ll make it another five miles…..”

    Poor Portland Outcast, still relying on his own kind ignoring the fact that he avoids all specifics and concentrates on ad hominems in virtually every single post.
    “Bush is REALLY ahead by 38%, fucktard”

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  58. Argive

    Poor, poor, CM, still beating the discredited dead horse and muttering, “sure, it’ll make it another five miles…..”

    Discredited? As Hal pointed out, even Rasmussen said that the “unskewed” analysis is bullshit. What’s your evidence?

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  59. CM

    Another interesting meta-poll meta-analysis site.
    http://votamatic.org/

    Recent tweet from the site owner Drew Linzer:

    If a big chunk of the polls are biased, then overall the results would be overdispersed, and they’re not. Unless… EVERYBODY’S COLLUDING?!

    Yeah that’ll be it.

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  60. Mississippi Yankee

    CM

    Your votamatic poll shows Mississippi and South Carolina ‘pink’ as in not strongly Romney states…

    All I can say is NIGGA PLEASE!

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  61. CM

    I see what you mean. Weird, especially as he has them as ‘Strong Romney’ under ‘Poll Tracker’. There are a few states which aren’t polled much. I see RCP has the latest poll, by NBC News, has Obama ahead by 3 in SC, but I’m sure Romney will win it.

    I see RCP have moved Ohio from a Toss Up into the Leans Obama column. It means that the map has Obama at 265, only 5 short, with 82 ECVs still in the Toss Up column. In other words, assuming those Likely and Leans go as they’ve got them, Romney can only allow Obama to win New Hampshire from the 7 remaining Toss Up states. Not even just 1 of the 7, it has be New Hampshire, because it’s only worth 4 ECVs. If Obama wins that and another, he’s there. Or if he loses that one and wins any of the others, he’s there. Their average polling has Obama leading in all 7 (in Iowa by 4.7%, but if the Rasmussen outlier is removed he’s 7% ahead there). Game over unless something unbelievably drastic happens on a scale never seen before this close to an election. Unless, of course, all the polling companies have completely dropped their bundle this year.

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  62. Kimpost

    South Carolina hasn’t been polled in ages. Probably because it isn’t considered to be in play. The latest poll you are referring to, CM, is from December 4th through 6th, 2011.

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