POLITICS
04/29/2013 05:06 pm ET

POLLSTER UPDATE: Turnout - What's New?

AP

AP reports that black turnout was higher than white turnout in 2012...based on a lot of data, none of it new. PPP notes drops the job approval ratings of five Republican senators since the gun bill vote. And, yes, Twitter surveys are coming soon. This is the HuffPost Pollster update for Monday, April 29, 2013.

AP SAYS BLACK TURNOUT SURPASSED WHITE TURNOUT IN 2012: AP's Hope Yen reports on a new analysis on 2012 voter turnout: "America's blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home. Had people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly, according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press." [AP]

But the data isn't new - Despite headlines that may have implied otherwise, the report was not drawn from the much anticipated U.S. Census report on voting behavior based on the November 2012 Current Population Study's "Voting and Registration Supplement." Instead, the conclusions are based on a combination of CPS turnout data from prior elections, previously released census population data, voter turnout calculations by state and vote by race estimates from exit polls. According to AP, the Census will release its new data on voter turnout in May.

Kevin Collins, director of research of the Analyst Institute, via Twitter: "The claims made in [the AP] story are important if accurate, but this article does everything wrong It's not obvious to me what data are being used here other than it's NOT the benchmark CPS data. And there's no link...to a paper with actual numbers or description of research methods." [@kwcollins, as compiled on Storify]

MSNBC's Zachary Roth: "William Frey, the Brookings Institution demographer who conducted parts of the analysis for the AP, told MSNBC.com he wasn't willing to say definitively that black turnout exceeded white turnout in 2012, because the numbers needed for such a calculation aren't yet available for 2012. 'That's what they wanted to say, not me,' Frey said, referring to the AP. In addition to Frey's analysis, the AP cited material from other scholars, as well as a Pew Research Center report and interview with Census officials, in reaching its conclusions." [MSNBC]

But the main conclusion is probably right - Via email, Frey tells HuffPollster that "crude estimates suggest there were fewer white voters in 2012 than 2008 -with likely lower white turnout." George Mason University professor Michael McDonald, who was also consulted on the article, via email: "As I noted (and tweeted), non-Hispanic Black turnout was higher than non-Hispanic White in 2008 according to the CPS, 77% to 74%, so I am pretty confident the same pattern was true in 2012." [@ElectProject]

SENATORS AGAINST BACKGROUND CHECKS COULD FACE POLITICAL BLOWBACK "Senators in several states who voted earlier this month against increasing background checks for gun buyers have since seen their approval ratings noticeably drop, according to new polls released Monday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling....A 65 percent majority of Americans said the measure should have passed, including 45 percent of Republicans and a majority of Democrats and independents, according to a Gallup poll released Monday." [HuffPost]

TWITTER SURVEYS COMING SOON - Online consultancy PSFK: "Samsung, Honda and Heineken are amongst some of the biggest clients of media agency Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) who are being given access to in-tweet surveys following a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars with Twitter -- its largest to date. The surveys will launch later this year and will cover any topic the brands involved would like covered with an aim to specifically benefit their clients and the work they do for them." [PSFK]

ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION GROWS, WITH NO CLEAR PARTISAN BENEFITS Michael P. McDonald: " According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eighteen states have implemented or recently adopted online voter registration, either initiating a new registration or updating an old one. Twelve other states have legislation winding its way through the legislative process. The reform is bipartisan in that both Democratic and Republican controlled state governments have adopted it, from Arizona to Maryland....Overall, these patterns suggest that the partisan implications of online voter registration are unclear. Registered Republicans appear to more often use Maryland's online system to initiate a new registration while Democrats use it to update an existing registration." [HuffPost]

MONDAY'S 'OUTLIERS'- Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

- Pennsylvania voters "are doing their ABCs - Anyone But Corbett." [Quinnipiac]

- Kyle Trygstad has a list of five pointers for understanding tomorrow's Senate primaries in Massachusetts. [Roll Call]

- Pew finds both parties taking blame for flight delays. [Pew]

- Harry Enten reviews polling on the Sanford-Colbert Busch congressional race. [Guardian]

- Micah Cohen notes a drop in Obama's foreign policy approval rating. [NYTimes]

- Nearly two-thirds of Americans wanted the Senate to pass background checks for gun purchases. [Gallup]

- Frank Luntz withdraws a scholarship withdraws funding for University of Pennsylvania scholarship after a student taped him at an open meeting. Mother Jones

- USC's Annenberg School to create a "global hub" to measure the "actual impact of media." [NYTimes]

- Hollywood discovers "big data." [Forbes, via @alexlundry]

- Reinhart and Rogoff respond to their critics - NYTimes

- The Marketing Research Association (MRA) urges Obama to appoint a new Census director. [MRA]

- Three researchers from Qatar offer guidance on calculating the sampling error in election polls. [Survey Practice]

- AAPOR's Survey Practice releases six new articles for April [Survey Practice]

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