This Modern Age

Posts Tagged ‘Presidential Polls

Thoughts on Obama-BOOM in Current Polling

leave a comment »

In my humble opinion, the current economic conditions could nearly reset a lot of independent and undecided voters.  So past polls are interesting, but I think they can be heavily discounted at this point.  Which is why I haven’t updated my Electoral College Polling posts recently. 

For the Record: I’m standing firm at Obama 273 and McCain 265, just because there is no reason to change anything yet.  And if I had to change something today, I would put New Hampshire barely in McCain’s column and that would cause a 269/269 split.  That result would make Bush v. Gore look like a tea party.  I digress…

“Ah ha!”, you say.  “But the reset is occuring!  Look at the polls coming out now – the Washington Post/ABC News poll has Obama up 9(!) points!  And, and, and…. the Gallup Poll too! Obama is up 3 points there.  That’s a combined 12(!) point lead! It’s a trend! It’s a boom! It’s a Democratic President! It’s HISTORY!” 

Yes.  Thank you for noticing the obvious (besides the 12 point thing).  But look at the internal numbers on the poll.  (Don’t you come here for the nerdy stuff?)

Jim Geraghty over at National Review breaks it all down pretty efficiently:

Two recent polls that show Obama doing fabulously have some pretty wide margins in terms of party ID in their voter pool. Gallup’s got a sample that is 49 percent Democrat, 39 percent Republican, and the ABC/Washington Post poll that is generating buzz has a sample that, with leaners, is 54 percent Democrat, 38 percent Republican.

Look, if the electorate in November is going to be 16 percent more Democrat than Republican, and 54 percent of the voting public identifies themselves as Democrats, then it’s a foregone conclusion that Obama’s going to win in a landslide, and we can all go home now.

He goes on to reference Kirsten Soltis’ work at Pollster.com.  She walks through the historical prededent for polling spreads:

In 1988, Democrats had a three-point party ID advantage over Republicans (38-35). In 1992, Democrats still had a three-point party ID advantage over Republicans (38-35). In 1996, that advantage increased to four – a shift of one point (39-35). In 2000, Democrats were steady, up by four (39-35), and in 2004 they dropped to even (37-37).

During presidential years, over the last five presidential elections, the biggest party ID gap was four points, and the greatest swing was four points as well.

Arguments can certainly be made that in this environment, Democrats should be expected to have a huge partisan shift in their favor. But note that in 2006, when Democrats clearly found enormous success at the ballot box, that the advantage in party ID was only three points (38-35). Polls leading up to the election showed party ID gaps as big as eleven points (Newsweek’s poll on Oct 5-6, 2006), rarely showing party ID gaps of less than +5 for the Democrats.

So, let the dust begin to settle on the last week of economic news (ignoring, of course, how entertaining Joe Biden is) and watch the debate on Friday night and then let new polling numbers start coming in. 

But one caveat, it’s going to be VERY difficult to get solid state-by-state polling data for the rest of the election period, if there is going to be as much of a shake up as I believe there could be.  

More later… enjoy the ride.

Advertisements

Electoral College Outlook: Obama 273 – McCain 265, but quickly shifting

with 2 comments

2008 Electoral College Map for September 12, 2008

2008 Electoral College Map for September 12, 2008

If everything shakes out in the polls, as they stand at this moment, Barack Obama is most likely the next President of the United States.  But, the election is on November 4 not September 12 and the trends and momentum are clearly on John McCain’s side.

UPDATE: As of the morning of September 15, 2008, we have posted our thoughts on how the current economic troubles, including the Lehman bankruptcy may effect the Presidential campaign, click here

Key Battleground States

In the current condition, Obama wins 273 Electoral College votes.  But a closer look at swing states makes those 273 votes look very shaky.

  • The Big Four: Ohio: 20 votes; Florida: 27 votes; Michigan: 17 votes and Pennsylvania: 21 votes – Recent tradition is for Republicans to win Ohio and Florida while Democrats win Michigan and Pennsylvania.  These states need to stay in their respective parties for either candidate to have a real chance.  McCain looks very good in Florida and Ohio.  However, Obama does not enjoy the same strength in Michigan and Pennsylvania.  Recent polls in Michigan are tight but Obama’s lead on Intrade has widened over recent days there.  Of these four states, Pennsylvania may be the weakest link in the chain.  An early McCain win in Pennsylvania would create an extremely difficult deficit for Obama to overcome. 
  • Colorado: currently 9 votes for Obama – The Democrats hosted their convention in Denver and Obama may have gotten a real bounce from that.  Bush won Colorado in 2000 and 2004.  The polls here are within margin of error and Palin may play well in here over the next couple weeks.  The Democrats are poised to win a down ticket Senate race here as well.
  • Virginia: currently 13 votes for McCain – In the early summer Obama was doing very well in the traditional Republican state of Virginia, but recent polls suggests that this is McCain’s state to lose at this point.  Some point to Jim Webb defeating Mark Warner as a sign of Virginia starting to lean more Democratic but in voters eyes there is likely a large difference between Sen. Webb and Sen. Obama.  Bush handily won Virginia in 2000 and 2004. 

The other swing states are small but with an election this close any one of them may become the deciding factor. 

  • Nevada: currently 5 votes for McCain – A late August CNN/Time poll showed Obama with a lead in Nevada, which should have mortified Republicans.  However, the tide in Nevada has switched back to McCain which is evidenced in the Intrade spread of 58.5-43.5.  Bush won Nevada in 2000 and 2004.
  • New Hampshire: currently 4 votes for Obama – The recent CNN/Time poll done from 9/7 to 9/9 shows Obama over 50% and ahead by 6 points.  New Hampshire is a state that voted for Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 with razor thin margins.  Obama’s Intrade spread has grown recently to 58.0 – 39. 
  • New Mexico: currently 5 votes for Obama – New Mexico should not be a battleground state for Obama.  The recent Rasmussen poll of 700 likely voters done on 9/8 shows McCain with a 2 point lead when the same poll showed Obama up by 9 in May, 8 in June, 6 in July and 4 in August.  New Mexico is in an interesting position with Democratic Gov. Richardson, but also Arizona’s neighbor. 

If the recent Rasmussen polls of Washington are accurate, then Obama could have 11 more Electoral votes at risk.  Rasmussen showed leads of 11 pts, 18 pts, 8 pts and 12 pts in May, June, July and August.  Their most recent Washington poll of 500 likely voters shows Obama up only 2 pts, 49% to 47%.  But we could be looking at an outlier there.

For a quick update, focusing on recent polls out of Minnesota, click here.

Reading Presidential Polling Data

leave a comment »

Over the next 130 something days we are going to get a lot of polling data and analysis.  But it all needs to be kept in perspective.

My good friend, Tim Carney offered the greatest advice on polling data four years ago.  “Pollsters always ask, ‘If the election were held today…’.  The truth is, if the election were held today, no one would show up.   Everyone thinks it’s in November.” 

Written by thismodernage

June 23, 2008 at 6:53 pm