February 25, 2007 - March 3, 2007
A new Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind Poll (release, results) of 618 registered voters in Delaware (conducted 2/20 through 2/25) finds:
- 35% of registered voters in Delaware approve of the job Bush is doing as president; 58% disapprove.
- 60% have a favorable opinion of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, while 47% do not think he would make a good president.
- Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Biden (34% to 21%) in a Delaware primary; Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards trail with 19% and 10% respectively.
And then there were three. A new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics
survey of 900 registered voters nationwide (2008 presidential match-ups article, results,Bush/Iraq/Iran
shows, among other things, the same tightening race for President as two other
recent national surveys. Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (34% to
23%) followed by former Vice President Al Gore (14%) and former Sen. John
Edwards (12%) in a national primary. The Fox survey shows the same narrowing of
lead as the surveys by Time and ABC News/Washington Post tied to a much closer
contest among African-American voters. The Fox story puts it succinctly:
The nomination race has tightened
among the Democratic contenders. In the last month Clinton has slipped 9 percentage points and
Obama has gained 8 points. The reason for the shift is tied to Obama's
dramatically improved standing among black voters - narrowing Clinton's previous edge of 30 points to 11
So let's step back and consider what recent national surveys
tell us about candidate preference among African-American Democrats. In
January, surveys showed Clinton
leading Obama among black Democrats by 24 points (CBS News), 30
points (Fox News)
and by 40 points (ABC
News/Washington Post), combining
December and January samples). In the last two weeks, surveys have shown Obama
either leading among African Americans by 11 points (ABC/Post), by 9 points (Zogby), trailing by 11
points (Fox News), or splitting "about evenly" (Time).
Any one of these sub-samples is relatively small, and thus
subject to more random error than a full survey. The comparisons above are also
not entirely "apples-to-apples," but the results are largely consistent: The
race has between Clinton
and Obama among African-Americans has tightened considerably over the last
Also, as noted yesterday,
both the ABC/News Washington Post and
Time surveys indicate a big jump in
Obama's recognition and favorability over the last month, presumably as a
result of the continuing media focus on the race. I'm speculating, of course,
but the irony may be that the recent spate of "is-he-black-enough"
stories had the effect, not only of further raising Obama's profile, but also clarifying
his heritage (African American, not
Muslim) and thus helping to produce a tighter race among black voters.
**In their original January release
(as cited by my blog
post), ABC News reported Clinton leading Obama by 26 points (53% to 27%)
over among African Americans interviewed in December and January. According to
an email I received yesterday from Washington Post polling director Jon Cohen,
"the original ABC numbers were incorrect, they've updated their analysis to the
Additional analysis from a recent Gallup national survey of 1018 adults (conducted 2/22 through 2/25) finds:
- 56% of catholics have a favorable opinion of Mormonism; 36% of protestants have a favorable opinion.
- 48% of political moderates have a favorable opinion of Mormonism followed closely by conservatives with 44%. 28% of liberals have a favorable opinion of Mormonism; 61% have an unfavorable opinion.
- In an open ended question, an 18% plurality said poygamy is the first thing that comes to mind when they think about the Mormon church.
A new SurveyUSA automated survey of 857 registered voters in Cincinnati (conducted 2/28) finds:
- Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton (at 29%) runs slightly ahead of Sen. Barack Obama (23%) in a Cincinnati primary; former Sen. John Edwards follows at 19%.
- Among Republicans, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads Sen. John MCCain (42% to 24%) in a Cincinnati primary.
A new Rasmussen Reports automated survey of 800 likely voters (conducted 2/26 through 2/27) finds Gov. Bill Richardson trailing both former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (35% to 52%) and Sen. John McCain (36% to 45%) in general election match-ups for president.
A new CBS News/New York Times national survey (CBS story, results; NYT story, results) of 1281 adults (conducted 2/23 through 2/27) finds:
- 29% approve of the job Bush is doing as president, 61% disapprove.
- 54% say "fundamental changes are needed" to the health care system, 36% say "we need to completely rebuild it," and 8% say "only minor changes are necessary to make it work better."
- 57% are dissatisfied with the quality of health care in this country, while 77% are satisfied with the quality of health care they receive.
Time has a new
national survey out today (article,
SRBI release & results)
that includes 2008 primary match-ups for both the Democrats and Republicans. It
shows Rudy Giuliani's widening his lead over John McCain and the rest of the
Republican field, while Hilary Clinton's lead over Barack Obama and other
Democrats shrinks. These overall results are remarkably similar to those reported
in the poll released yesterday by The
Washington Post and ABC News.
Also, the Time survey appears to confirm the result from
yesterday's Post/ABC release showing a much tighter Democratic
race among African Americans. Although the SRBI release provides not
specific results (nor comparable numbers from their previous poll), it states
that "blacks split about evenly between Clinton and Obama."
Keep in mind that surveys conducted by
the Washington Post/ABC News and CBS News in December
or January showed Clinton
leading Obama by roughly
two-to-one among African-Americans. Now we have three polls conducted over
the last 10 days (including a Zogby survey noted by
Pollster readers yesterday) that show a much closer contest among African-American
Like the Post/ABC survey,
Time also picked up a large increase in awareness of Barack Obama among all adults
in just the last month:
Barack Obama is becoming more
visible to voters as seen in the +14 increase in those who say they know
"a great deal" or "some" about him since late January (51%
in late Jan. vs. 65% in late Feb.)
Similarly, the Post/ABC
survey showed a nine point increase over the last month in the percentage of adults
who could rate Obama (rising from 74% to 83%), with virtually all of that
increase coming in his favorable rating (up from 45% to 53%).
A new Quinnipiac Univeristy statewide survey of 1302 New Jersey voters including 454 Democrats and 405 Republicans (conducted 2/20 through 2/25) finds:
- Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton (at 41%) leads Sen. Barack Obama (at 19%) and former Vice President Al Gore (10%) in a Democratic primary.
- Among Republicans, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads Sen. John McCain (58% to 15%) in a Republican primary.
- Giuliani leads both Clinton (50% to 41%) and Obama (50% to 39%) in general election match-ups. Similar match-ups pitting Clinton against McCain (45% to 45%) and Obama against McCain (45% to 41%) are both within the margin of sampling error.
A new Gallup national survey (Dem analysis, GOP analysis, video, full results) of 1018 adults (conducted 2/22 through 2/25) finds:
- 74% of Americans think Sen. Hillary Clinton has an excellent or good chance at being elected president; 71% think Sen. Barack Obama has an excellent or good chance of being elected.
- 74% think former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has an excellent or good chance at being elected president; 70% think Sen. John McCain has an excellent or good chance of being elected.
A new Garin Hart Yang (D) statewide survey of 606 likely voters in North Carolina (conducted 2/7 through 2/8 for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) finds:
- 48% rate the job that Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole is doing as excellent or good; 43% rate the job fair or poor.
- 35% would vote to reelect Dole in the next election, 26% would consider someone else, and 23% would vote to replace her.
"Black Voters Shift Support." That's the front page headline
on the Washington Post's story
today summarizing new results from the latest Post/ABC News poll (full
results, ABC News story
Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton's "once-sizable margin" over Barack Obama has
been "sliced in half during the past month largely because of Obama's growing
support among black voters" In two polls conducted in December and January,
African-American Democrats preferred Clinton 60% to 20%, but Obama now leads by
a 44% to 33% margin.
But - as astute poll readers will wonder- the Post story notes that the survey
included an "oversample" of 86 black adults. Is that enough to make the result "statistically
significant and does it justify the front page emphasis the Post gave it? The short
answer is yes and maybe. The longer answer follows.
First, the reference to a black oversample in the Post's
methodology blurb may leave some readers a bit confused:
The Post-ABC News poll was
conducted by telephone Feb. 22-25 among a random sample of 1,082 adults,
including an oversample of 86 black respondents.
If I'm reading it correctly, this means that in addition to
the black respondents interviewed as part of an initial random sample of 996 adults
(probably 80 to 100), they interviewed another
86 another black respondents with a separate "oversample." The full sample of
1,082 adults was then weighted so that the percentage of African Americans in
the poll results matches the U.S. Census estimate for the adult population.
What we do not know from the story is (a) exactly how many total
African Americans were interviewed in the latest poll and (b) how many answered
the Democratic primary vote preference question. We also do not know the sample
size from the previous surveys, but the 60% to 20% that the Post and ABC News reported was based on
pooling results from two national surveys conducted in December and January.
Also, on re-checking the previous ABC News release
that I wrote
about in late January, the result among African-Americans cited at that
time (also based on pooled samples from December and January) had Clinton
leading Obama 53% to 27% (not 60% to 20%). I am not sure why those would
differ, but will inquire further. [UPDATE (3/2): Washington Post polling director Jon Cohen confirms via email: "the
original ABC numbers were incorrect, they've updated their analysis to the
I emailed the Post's
Jon Cohen this morning seeking more details, and while he was up against a
deadline he confirmed that the reported shifts were statistically significant
at a 95% confidence level. That result is not surprising. My educated guess is
that the African American sample size on this survey is in the ballpark of 125
to 150 interviews, and the previous pooled sample probably about the same size.
That implies a margin of sampling error for each sub-group of roughly +/- 8. At
that level, the 27-point drop for Clinton
and the 24-point increase for Obama would both be statistically significant. More
details on that later, hopefully.
The direction of the shift certainly seems plausible. Separately,
the poll shows a big jump in Obama's favorable rating among African Americans, from
54% to 70% since December and January. Ironically, the initial Post/ABC poll
result (along with similar findings from other pollsters) helped generate a
spate of stories speculating about Obama's appeal (or lack thereof) among black
voters, including a profile on 60 Minutes. These stories all included significant
detail on Obama's background and racial heritage, which likely contributed to greater
recognition and favorability.
Of course, there is also good reason for caution about these
shifts. First, keep in mind that a 95% confidence level still leaves open a 5%
chance that the shifts occurred by chance alone. In other words, we should
expect one sample in twenty to produce a "significant" result that is not
Second, as we remind
readers often, statistical sampling error is just one source of potential
variation (and error) in surveys. Other factors - including rates of response
which tend to be a bit lower with African Americans - can also introduce variation
not accounted for by the "margin of error."
Finally, while these results provide evidence of a recent shift
toward Obama among African-Americans, that shift may be less "dramatic" than
today's numbers make it appear. A range of random variation of +/- 8 to 10
points in support for either candidate on either set of polls allows room for the
possibility of considerably smaller shift within the range 95% confidence.
Given that Clinton
enjoys nearly universal name recognition, while roughly half of African
Americans did not know Obama well enough to rate as of about a month ago, I
would expect to see Obama gain among African-Americans gradually over the next
year. How high he goes is anyone's guess, but his support should increase. So I
would not be surprised to see other polls showing a shift to Obama among
African Americans that is less "dramatic" than the one in evidence in the current
Of course, I am just speculating. If we can be patient, more
polls should bring clarity. But the trend is intriguing and the race for the
White House more fun to watch than ever.
A new Franklin & Marshall Keystone Poll (analysis, results, trend images) of 540 registered voters in Pennsylvania (conducted 2/19 through 2/25) finds:
- 27% of Pennsylvania voters approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president; 73% disapprove.
- 50% approve of the way Gov. Ed Rendell is handling his job; 48% disapprove.
- In statewide general election match-ups, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads both Sen. Hillary Clinton (53% to 37%) and Sen. Barack Obama (52% to 32%), while Sen. John McCain runs a few points ahead of both Clinton (45% to 41%) and Obama (43% to 37%).
A new Strategic Vision (R) statewide survey of 800 likely primary voters in Georgia (conducted 2/23 through 2/25) finds:
- 40% of likely Georgia voters approve of Bush's overall job performance; 46% disapprove.
- Among Republicans, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (at 28%) barely leads Sen. John McCain (21%) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (14%) in a Republican primary.
- Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton (at 28%) is three insignificant points ahead of Sen, Barack Obama (25%) in the Democratic primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails with 18%.
A second Strategic Vision (R) statewide survey of 800 likely primary voters in Wisconsin (conducted 2/23 through 2/25) finds:
27% of likely Wisconsin voters approve of Bush's overall job performance; 62% disapprove.
Among Republicans, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (at 22%) is four points behind former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (26%) in the Republican primary; Sen. John McCain trails at 15%.
Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton (at 36%) leads Sen. Barack Obama (21%) and former Sen. John Edwards (17%) in the Democratic primary.
A new Diageo/Hotline national survey (release, results) of 800 registered voters (conducted 2/21 through 2/24) finds:
- 36% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president; 60% disapprove.
- 23% of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction; 64% say it's on the wrong track.
- The survey probed awareness of specific issue positions of six presidential candidates and found "outside of general support for a few candidates, voters lack knowledge of the 2008 presidential candidates in key areas, including some of the basic political and religious views of candidates."
A new Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research (D) national survey (release, results) of 1000 unmarried woman (conducted 1/28 through 1/30) finds:
- When asked to choose two issues (from a list of ten) for Congress to accomplish over the next two years, 47% of unmarried women would most like to see Congress get the U.S. out of Iraq; 31% would like health care to be made more affordable.
- When asked to choose two issues (from a list of six) that were the most important for Congress to focus on in the last few weeks, 51% chose "requiring Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors" and 45% chose "raising the minimum wage."
- 36% are doubtful about what Congress is doing, 60% are hopeful.
Additional analysis from a recent ABC News/Washington Post national survey (ABC story, results; Post story, results) of 1082 adults (conducted 2/22 through 2/25) finds:
- When asked if they would be more likely or less likely to vote for a presidential candidate if he/she were black, 87% of Americans said it "wouldn't matter" and 6% said they would be "less likely" to vote for that candidate. In may of 1998, 66% said it wouldn't matter and 27% said they would be less likely.
- 58% say they are less likely to vote for a candidate if he/she were over age 72, while 3% say it wouldn't matter.
- 29% say they are less likely to vote for someone who is a Mormon, while 66% say it wouldn't matter.
- 14% say they are more likely to vote for someone who is a woman, 13% say they are less likely, and 72% say it wouldn't matter.
A new Rasmussen Reports automated survey of 568 likely Democratic primary voters and 546 likely Republican primary voters nationwide (conducted 2/19 through 2/22) finds:
- Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton (at 37%) leads Sen. Barack Obama (26%) and former Sen. John Edwards (13%) in a national primary. (Beginning this week Rasmussen Reports dropped former Vice President Al Gore from its list of contenders.)
- Among Republicans, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (at 33%) leads Sen. John McCain (17%), Newt Gingrich (13%), and former Gov. Mitt Romney (10%) in a national primary.
Additional analysis from a recent Gallup national survey (analysis, video) of 1007 adults (conducted 2/1 through 2/4) finds:
- 45% of Americans think the United States is rated favorably "in the eyes of the world;" 79% thought that in February 2002.
- 73% think leaders of other countries "don't have much respect" for Bush, while 21% think foreign leaders do. In February 2002, 75% thought foreign leaders respected Bush.
- 53% say they have "a great deal" or a "fair amount" of trust in the U.S. government to handle international problems; 83% said that in October of 2001.
A new Zogby telephone survey of 1078 likely voters nationwide including 439 Democrats and 397 Republicans (conducted 2/22 through 2/24) finds:
- Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton (33%) leads Sen. Barack Obama (25%) and former Sen. John Edwards (12%) in a national primary.
- Among Republicans, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (29%) leads Sen. John McCain (20%) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (9%).
- In general election match-ups, Obama leads Giuliani (46% to 40%) and runs four-points in front of McCain (44% to 40%), while both Clinton and Edwards trail Giuliani and McCain in their respective match-ups.
A new Elon University survey (release, results) of 719 adults conducted 2/18 through 2/22 in six Southeastern states (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia) using an open ended question, which did not present respondents with candidate names, to measure presidential primary vote preference finds:
- Among 302 respondents likely to support a Democratic candidate for president (MoE +/- 5.75), 30% volunteer support for Sen. Hillary Clinton, 14% for Sen. Barack Obama, 8% for former Sen. John Edwards, and 45% said they either don't know or it is "too early to tell."
- Among 226 respondents likely to support a Republican candidate for president (MoE +/- 6.65) , 21% volunteer support for former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 16% for Sen. John McCain, and 56% said they either don't know or it is too early to tell.
Please note that while the full results release include s crosstabulations by individual states, it does not specify the size of each state subgroup. The total number of interviews among self-identified primary voters across all states sampled is already quite small (n=302 for Democrats and n=226 for Republican).
Please note that the while the full results include tabulations for individual states, the sample sizes are quite small. The Elon researchers updated their release this afternoon to include subgroup sizes for each state range from n=21 to n=90 depending on the state and party primary. The associated margins of sampling error for these subgroups will range between +/-10% to +/-21%.
A new SurveyUSA automated survey of 700 Oscar watchers in the Pacific time zone (conducted 2/25) finds:
- 53% would grade host Ellen Degeneres with an A, 23% would
give her a B, and 12% give her a C.
- 26% would like to see Degeneres host the Academy Awards next year; 25% would like to see Billy Crystal host.
A new Rasmussen Reports automated survey of 1000 adults (conducted 2/23 through 2/24) finds:
- 85% of Americans believe the media has paid "too much attention" to Anna Nicole Smith's death; 2% want more coverage.
- 59% rate the media coverage of her death as "fair" or
"poor;" 32% rate it as either "good" or "excellent."
A new ABC News/Washington Post national survey (ABC story, ABC results; Post story, Post results) of 1082 adults (conducted 2/22 through 2/25) finds:
- 36% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president; 62% disapprove.
- 31% approve of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq; 67% disapprove.
- 54% trust the Democrats in Congress to do a better job handling the situation in Iraq; 34% trust Bush.
A new AP/Ipsos national survey (story, results) of 834 registered voters (conducted 2/12 through 2/15) finds:
- 68% oppose "Congress cutting all funding for the Iraq war;" 60% oppose "cutting funding for the additional troops President Bush wants to send to Iraq."
- 77% think there has been both an "unacceptable number of Iraqi civilian casualties" and an "unacceptable number of U.S. military casualties" in Iraq.
- The median guess of "how many U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq" since March 2003 is 2,974 (actual number is more than 3,100); the median guess for "how many Iraqi civilians have died" is 9,890 (AP reports estimates of the actual number as 54,000 or more).
A new Cook Political/RT Strategies national survey of 840 registered voters (conducted 2/15 through 2./18) finds:
- 52% of registered voters would like to see the Democrats maintain control of congress after the elections in 2008; 36% would like to see the Republicans in control.
- In a national Democratic primary, Sen. Hillary Clinton (at 42%) leads Sen. Barack Obama (at 20%) and former Sen. John Edwards (16%).
- In a national Republican primary, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (at 32%) leads Sen. John McCain (23%), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (13%), and former Gov. Mitt Romney (10%).
Additional analysis from a recent WMUR-TV/University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll of 533 New Hampshire adults (conducted 2/1 through 2/5) finds:
- 45% of New Hampshire adults have a favorable opinion of Republican Sen. John Sununu; 25% have an unfavorable opinion.
- 40% have a favorable opinion of NH-01 Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter; 15% have an unfavorable opinion.
- 29% have a favorable opinion of NH-02 Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes; 14% have an unfavorable opinion.
A new Datamar Inc. statewide survey of 865 likely California primary voters (conducted 2/9 through 2/13) tests preferences for the presidential primaries and finds:
- Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton (at 34.3%) leads Sen. Barack Obama (at 23.6) and former Sen. John Edwards (16.2%).
- Among Republicans, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (at 40.9%) leads Sen. John McCain (17.4%) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (10.5%).