The UnDecideds Decide – But for which candidate?


Three more national polls have come in overnight, from Marist, Reuters/Zogby and IBD/TPP.  Presumably all include some polling from as late as Sunday. None do much to change the scenario in the national popular vote scenario I painted yesterday (Obama up by roughly 5-7%), but it is interesting to see how IBD/TPP allocated its undecideds.  As I noted yesterday, most of the major pollsters, in line with what I had suggested a few days back, are allocating their undecideds roughly 60-40 for McCain.  They do so on the basis of demographics and by “pushing” the undecideds by asking them to make a choice.  Most break for McCain when pushed.  IBD’s final poll has Obama up 47.5%-42.4%, a 5.1% margin.  But they then allocate the undecideds to Obama by a 4-to-1 margin, 4.0-1.9, to give them a final poll result of 51.5-44.3%.  Had they allocated their undecided similarly to the other pollsters (say 3-2 for McCain), the final results would have 49.5%-45.4% – a different race on its face.

This doesn’t count the 4% “Other” that still remain in the IBD poll, which presumably included remaining undecideds.

Marist says it pushed its leaners, but it doesn’t reveal the breakdown. Its final poll has 2% undecided and 3% “Other”.  I have not been able to find a breakdown of Zogby’s undecideds.

I have no idea if IBD’s decision is the correct one. But one of these pollsters is allocating undecideds incorrectly.  We’ll know in less than 24 hours.


  1. If the exits leak, they’ll probably start leaking in the early-to-mid afternoon. Usually there’s a morning round of data that gets forwarded to the networks, followed by an afternoon round. In 2004, Drudge leaked these a.m. figures.

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