Polls

The Gary Johnson Effect

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Joe Trippi, a long-time Democratic campaign operative, argues that Gary Johnson—former Republican governor of New Mexico and current Libertarian Party nominee—could have an outsized influence on the presidential election: [R]emember that Ralph Nader didn’t crack 3% of the popular vote in 2000 – yet he completely changed the outcome of that race. Gary Johnson, meanwhile, is currently polling at 5.3% in the latest Zogby national poll. […] Johnson could make a major dent in the general election – because he is currently doing better than most people realize in several key swing states. Most pollsters don’t even include Gary Johnson in their polling. But recent polling that included him showed Johnson drawing 9% of the vote in Arizona, 7% in Colorado and New Hampshire – and 13% in his home state of New Mexico Trippi suggests otherwise, but if Gary Johnson were to make a Nader-like performance in this year’s election, odds are best that he would cost Mitt Romney the election. Remember, the...

Presidential Race Tightening in New Mexico

The presidential race appears to be tightening in New Mexico, where Obama's former lead of 15 points has dwindled to 5 points. Polls have shown that if Romney picks Governor Susana Martinez (R-NM) as his running mate, he has a decent shot at winning the state, not to mention gaining more votes among women and Latinos. Martinez has said she doesn't want the job because she has to care for her elderly father and ill sister, but couldn't Romney could offer to hire a team of registered nurses to take care of them full time? Today's Presidential Polls State Obama Romney Start End Pollster New Jersey 49% 38% Jul 09 Jul 15 Quinnipiac U. New Mexico 49% 44% Jul 13 Jul 16 PPP Virginia 47% 46% Jul 16 Jul 17 Rasmussen Today's Senate Polls State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster New Jersey Bob Menendez 47% Joseph Kyrillos 34% Jul 09 Jul 15 Quinnipiac U.

Wealthy Republican Senate Candidates Picking Up Steam

A number of self-funded Republicans embroiled in bitter primary fights for Senate nominations are getting traction . These include Wil Cardon in Arizona (running against Represenatative Jeff Flake), Eric Hovde in Wisconsin (running against former governor Tommy Thompson and Representative Mark Neumann), John Brunner in Missouri (running against former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Representative Todd Akin), and Linda McMahon in Connecticut (running against former representative Chris Shays). None of them have held elective office before, which means they have no record for opposition researchers to pick apart. On the other hand, all of them are Tea Party favorites, and recent history shows that when a Tea Party candidate defeats the establishment favorite in the primary, the Democrats are often able to hang onto a seat they would otherwise have lost (think: Delaware, Colorado, and Nevada in 2010). In all four of the above cases, the late date of the primary makes the problem even...

Obama's Successful Play for Latino Votes

President Obama can’t win re-election without high support and turnout from Latino voters, and to that end he has aggressively targeted them with ads, speeches, and one bold attempt to unilaterally reform immigration policy as it applies to the children of undocumented immigrants. If the latest poll from Latino Decisions is any indication, this strategy is working. Since June, Obama’s Latino support has risen 4 points to 70 percent, while Mitt Romney’s support has declined to 22 percent of Latino voters: The poll, commissioned by the Center for American Progress and America’s Voice, which advocates for immigration reform, finds Obama with a substantial lead over Romney in all segments of the Latino electorate. He wins 60 percent of Latino independents, 72 percent of Latinos who voted in the 2008 election, and 71 percent of Latinos in battleground states. He even wins 13 percent of Latino Republicans, compared to only 9 percent of Republicans overall. Here’s a full chart of the results...

Voters Are Buying Obama's Argument on Taxes

The latest Pew survey shows something of a breakthrough for the Obama campaign. Since last fall's unveiling of the American Jobs Act, Obama has hammered home the “fairness” of raising taxes on high income earners. This rhetoric has made its way into almost every speech from the president, and is a key part of his second term agenda. According to Pew, it seems that Obama’s persistence has had an effect—by two to one, 44 percent to 22 percent, Americans say that raising taxes on the rich would help rather than hurt the economy: There’s been some question of timing with regard to the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital. “If these are so effective,” goes the argument, “then why has Obama deployed them this early in the cycle?” The answer is fairly straightforward—they are the prelude to a broader attack on Mitt Romney’s policies. The Obama campaign almost certainly plans to tie Romney’s taxes, finances, and business practices to his support for upper-income tax cuts, corporate tax...

Obama's Firewall in Virginia

Public Policy Polling (PPP) did an update on the state of the race in Virginia and North Carolina, and found that President Obama is in a fairly good position. In Virginia, he takes 50 percent support to Mitt Romney’s 42 percent, while in North Carolina, he takes 47 percent support to Romney’s 46 percent. What's important about both polls is that they are part of a trend. In the last three Virginia polls conducted by PPP, Obama has led by an average of 7.33 points, while North Carolina has been a consistent toss-up for the last two years. PPP suggests that Virginia might be a firewall for Obama, and I think that’s right; like Colorado, Virginia is a state determined by demographics. One set of voters—nonwhites, women, college-educated whites—are strong supporters of the president, while another set of voters—middle-aged and older whites—are strong supporters of Romney. In both Virginia and Colorado, the former is larger than the latter, giving Obama the advantage. By contrast, in...

Voters Have Changed Their Mind about Romney—for the Worse

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Methodologically, it doesn’t make much sense to do a poll of just the swing states. In presidential elections, the country moves as a whole; if President Barack Obama gains support nationally, then it will be reflected in individual states. Yes, some states will show more movement than others (Nate Silver calls these “ elastic ”), but there’s no real reason to focus exclusively on swing states, since you can predict the change with national polling. At most, it furthers the common but misguided notion that the election comprises 50 individual contests. Of course, we can still glean useful information from swing-state polls. The most recent , from USA Today and Gallup, has a good amount of useful information. Focusing on the barrage of TV ads in swing states, USA Today and Gallup found that of the overwhelming majority of voters in those states who saw campaign ads, about 1 in 12 said that it changed their minds. And of those 1 in 12, 76 percent say they now support President Obama,...

The Outline of Victory, or Defeat

(Barack Obama/Flickr)
If you look closely at the latest poll from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, you can see the outlines of victory for either Obama or Romney. The top line result is where it’s been for the last two months—Obama leads Romney, 47 percent to 44 percent. He wins 92 percent of African Americans, 52 percent of women, 66 percent of Latinos, 52 percent of voters ages 18 to 29, and 40 percent of independents. By contrast, Romney is ahead among Tea Party supporters (94 percent to 1 percent), whites (53 percent to 38 percent), and men (48 percent to 43 percent). Obama’s challenge is to boost his share of the nonwhite vote to 2008 levels, and retain a significant plurality of the white vote. As Nate Cohn points out at The New Republic , Obama’s magic number for white support is around 38 percent: Obama would require 40 percent of the white vote if minority turnout falls to 25 percent of the electorate and only 77 percent of minority voters support Obama. Obama would only require 37 percent of...

The Obama Campaign's Rust Belt Strategy

The latest Public Policy Polling survey of Ohio illustrates my point this morning about the Obama campaign’s effort to keep Romney from consolidating disaffected white voters. Obama still leads Romney in the Buckeye State, 47 percent to 44 percent, but that lead has declined from 50 percent and 49 percent in previous polls. This decline has everything to do with white voters. Romney has opened up a 7 point lead among white voters, 49 percent to 42 percent. What’s more, he’s lost support from white Democrats. As PPP notes, he went from an 89–6 lead in early May, to 78–16 in June. In addition, Obama has a 9 percent approval rating among undecided voters—who, in Ohio, are disproportionately white. Obama’s saving grace is Romney’s unpopularity; his favorability is at 9 percent, and 61 percent say they hold a negative opinion of him. If Romney were to consolidate disaffected white Democrats, he would have a sizable lead over Obama. At the moment, however, he can’t, and the Bain Capital...

In Swing States, Obama Wins Big with Latinos

The latest poll from Latino Decisions—which surveys five Latino-heavy swing states—suggests that President Obama has gained in a big way from his immigration order. Fifty-four percent of Latino voters are now more enthusiastic about voting for Obama than they were before the order, with a particular increase in Arizona and Nevada, where 62 percent and 60 percent of Latinos say they are more enthusiastic about voting for Obama in November. Overall, according to Latino Decisions, Obama holds strong support among Latinos in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, and Florida: Compared to 2008 , this is a mixed picture. In Virginia, the president's support has dropped from 65 percent; in Florida it’s dropped from 57 percent; and in Nevada it’s dropped from 76 percent. On the other hand, Obama is winning like gangbusters in Arizona; his support has increased by 18 percentage points. That’s certainly enough to make the state a possible win for the Obama campaign, even if he loses white voters...

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