Pollster.com

December 9, 2007 - December 15, 2007

 

POLL: Fox New Hampshire Survey


A new FOX News/Opinion Dynamics statewide survey (story, results) of likely primary voters in New Hampshire (conducted 12/11 through 12/13) finds:

  • Among 500 likely Republican primary voters, former Gov. Mitt Romney leads Sen. John McCain (33% to 20%) in a statewide primary; former Mayor Rudy Giuliani trails at 16%, former Gov. Mike Huckabee at 11%, Rep. Ron Paul at 8%.
  • Among 500 likely Democratic primary voters, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (34% to 25%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 15%, Gov. Bill Richardson at 6%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each. Margin of sampling error is 4% for both likely Republican primary voters and likely Democratic primary voters.


POLL: Rasmussen Reports GOP Florida Primary


A new Rasmussen Reports automated survey of 685 likely Republican primary voters in Florida (conducted 12/13) finds former Gov. Mike Huckabee running slightly ahead of former Gov. Mitt Romney (27% to 23%) in a statewide primary; former Mayor Rudy Giuliani trails at 19%, former Sen. Fred Thompson at 9%, Sen. John McCain at 6%.

All other candidates receive less than five percent each. The margin of sampling error is 4% for likely Republican primary voters.


POLL: Diageo/Hotline Iowa Caucus


A new Diageo/Hotline statewide survey (release, results) of 1,015 likely caucus voters in Iowa (conducted 12/7 through 12/12) finds:

  • Among 569 likely Democratic caucus voters, Sen. Barack Obama runs even with Sen. Hillary Clinton (both at 27%) in a statewide caucus; former Sen. John Edwards runs at 22%, Gov. Bill Richardson at 8%, Sen. Joe Biden at 5%.
  • Among 446 likely Republican caucus voters, former Gov. Mike Huckabee leads former Gov. Mitt Romney (36% to 23%) in a statewide caucus; former Mayor Rudy GIuliani trails at 12%, former Sen. Fred Thompson at 8%, Sen. John McCain at Rep. Ron Paul both at 5%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each. The margin of sampling error is 4.1% for likely Democratic caucus goers and 4.6% for likely Republican caucus goers.


POLL: Research 2000 Iowa Caucus


A new Research 2000 statewide survey (story, results) of likely caucus goers in Iowa (conducted 12/10 through 12/13) finds:

  • Among 500 likely Democratic caucus goers, Sen. Barack Obama (at 33%) leads Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards (both at 24%) in a statewide caucus; Gov. Bill Richardson trails at 9%.
  • Among 500 likely Republican caucus goers, former Gov. Mike Huckabee leads former Gov. Mitt Romney (31% to 22%) in a statewide caucus; former Sen. Fred Thompson and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani both trail at 9%, Sen. John McCain and Rep. Ron Paul both trail at 7%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each. The margin of sampling error is 4.5% for both likely Republican caucus goers and likely Democratic caucus goers.


POLL: CNN South Carolina Primary


A new CNN/Opinion Research statewide survey (results) of likely primary voters in South Carolina (conducted 12/9 through 12/12) finds:

  • Among 555 likely Republican primary voters, former Gov. Mike Huckabee leads former Sen. Fred Thompson (24% to 17%) in a statewide primary; former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Gov. Mitt Romney both trail at 16%, Sen. John McCain at 13%, Rep. Ron Paul at 11%.
  • Among 428 likely Democratic primary voters, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (42% to 34%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 16%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each. The margin of sampling error is 4% for Republicans, and 4.5% for Democrats.


POLL: Concord Monitor New Hampshire Primary


A new Concord Monitor/Research 2000 statewide survey of likely primary voters in New Hampshire (conducted 12/10 through 12/12) finds:

  • Among 400 likely Republican primary voters, former Gov. Mitt Romney leads former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (31% to 18%) in a statewide primary; Sen. John McCain trails at 17%, former Gov. Mike Huckabee at 9%, Rep. Ron Paul at 7%.
  • Among 400 likely Democratic primary voters, Sen. Barack Obama runs slightly ahead of Sen. Hillary Clinton (32% to 31%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 18%, Gov. Bill Richardson at 8%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each. The margin of sampling error is five percent for likely Republican primary voters and likely Democratic primary voters.


POLL: SurveyUSA Louisiana Senate


A new SurveyUSA automated survey of 643 registered voters in Louisiana (conducted 12/6 through 12/10) finds Sen. Mary Landrieu narrowly leading State Treasurer John Kennedy (46% to 42%) in a general election match-up for U.S. Senate.


Moving Day "Outliers"


Janet Elder has a must read on the history of the pre-caucus surveys done by the Des Moines Register's Iowa Poll.

Kathy Frankovic reminds us of the critical difference for presidential candidates between having "the most" experience and having "the right" experience.

Gary Langer examines the differences in the trial heat results in three recent national surveys (including his own ABC/Washington Post survey) and concludes we need to "cut back on fixation with the horse race."

Marc Ambinder looks at how the Iowa Democratic caucus math and process can turn a lead (on a poll) into a tie (on caucus night).

Michael Witney has the details and the text of an email questionnaire sent by the Clinton campaign to its donors (both via Ben Smith).

Mark Penn puts the Clinton campaign's spin on recent statewide polls. Jay Cost annotates.

AP says the Clinton campaign is testing negative ads in focus groups (via The Page).

Albert Hunt's widely linked column on "Tension in Hillaryland" also includes a summary of focus groups recently conducted in Philadelphia by non-aligned Democratic pollster Peter Hart.

Dante Scalia has another batch of media buy reports from New Hampshire's WMUR.

Carl Bialik has the story of an Oregon political consultant who has used a survey of sorts to predict the winner of the Heisman Trophy for the last six years.

And a bit of housekeeping information: We will be moving Pollster.com's world headquarters on Thursday afternoon, so our updates will likely be delayed during the afternoon.


NCHS: 13.6% of Households Wireless Only

Topics: Cell Phones

Yesterday, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) today released its biannual update on the still growing number of Americans living in households without a landline telephone:

Preliminary results from the January–June 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that more than one out of every eight American homes (13.6%) had only wireless telephones during the first half of 2007.

The NCHS is an invaluable source of data on the growing mobile-phone only population because it conducts more than 13,000 in-person interviews every six months that reach all Americans, regardless of their telephone service (or the lack thereof). The Centers for Disease Control (of which NCHS is a part) is concerned about the growth of "cell phone only" households because of the massive ongoing health "surveillance" studies it conducts via telephone.

12-12 NCHS 2007.png

When we last checked in with the NCHS data, the rate of growth appeared to be increasing, as evident in the upturn in the trend in the chart above from July 2005 through December 2006. That rate of growth appears to have slowed on the most recent release, but the NCHS report explains that the change may be due to a changes in the NCHS questionnaire:

The observed increase in the percentage of adults living in wireless-only households from the last 6 months of 2006 to the first 6 months of 2007 was not statistically significant. Other observed increases over time in the percentage of adults living in wireless-only households were statistically significant. These results suggest a possible recent decline in the rate of increase. However, questionnaire changes in 2007 could have contributed to the observed decline. Therefore, conclusions about trends cannot be made until data from the last 6 months of 2007 are released in May 2008.

The full NCHS report has details on those questionnaire changes.

AP also published concise summary yesterday of the findings from NCHS Report. For more information on the impact of the growing "cell phone only" population on political surveys, see my two-part series earlier this year.


POLL: Strategic Vision (R) Iowa Caucus


A new Strategic Vision (R) statewide survey of likely caucus goers in Iowa (conducted 12/8 through 12/10) finds:

  • Among 600 likely Republicans, former Gov. Mike Huckabee narrowly leads former Gov. Mitt Romney (30% to 25%) in a statewide caucus; former Sen. Fred Thompson trails at 13%, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 10%, Sen. John McCain at 5%.
  • Among 600 Democrats, Sen. Barack Obama leads Sen. Hillary Clinton (33% to 25%) in a statewide caucus; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 24%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each. The margin of sampling error is 4% for both likely Democratic caucus goers and likely Republican caucus goers.


POLL: Suffolk University New Hampshire Primary


Via The Page, a new 7NEWS-Suffolk University statewide survey of likely primary voters in New Hampshire (conducted 12/10 through 12/11) finds:

  • Among 300 Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (33% to 26%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 15%, Gov. Bill Richardson at 5%.
  • Among 300 Republicans, former Gov. Mitt Romney leads Sen. John McCain (31% to 19%) in a statewide primary; former Mayor Rudy Giuliani trails at 17%, former Gov. Mike Huckabee at 10%, Rep. Ron Paul at 5%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each.


Bush Approval: Still around 33%

Topics: George Bush

1BushApproval2ndTerm20071209.png

President Bush's approval rating remains about where it has been for several months: 33% plus or minus a fraction. The current trend estimate is 33.2%, including December polling from LATimes/Bloomberg, AP/Ipsos, CBS/NYT, ABC/WP and USAToday/Gallup, the last from 12/6-9/07, finding 37% approve and 58% disapprove.

This now represents one of the longest periods of stable approval for Bush. His presidency has been characterized by a long decline from the post 9/11 highs, interrupted by generally short rallies and spikes due to the start of the Iraq war and the capture of Saddam Hussein. The most important exception has been the long rise in approval starting in March 2004 and continuing through the election in November of that year. The second term has been marked more by long term decline, but with rallies up in late 2005 and the late spring and summer of 2006. Rarely has support simply held stable, neither rising nor falling.

The only period of nearly comparable length was the winter and early spring of 2007, when approval held at a steady 34% for nearly 4 months.

The current plateau at around 33% has now lasted slightly longer, starting a rise in late July and stabilizing around 33% by September. Since that time, trend estimates have varied within less than a percentage point of 33%.

The current polling shows considerable variation, from a low of 28% in CBS/NYT to a high of 37% in the latest Gallup poll (both taken within a week of each other.) The CBS/NYT just barely crosses over into outlier territory in the residuals plot below. Even with these two extremes removed, the remaining polls also balance around 33%.

The final plot below shows that the sensitive "red" estimator is in agreement with the more conservative "blue" standard trend estimate. Neither see much change in recent polls.

If you want dynamic exciting polling, better turn to the primary races.

2LastSixPolls20071209.png

3BushResiduals20071209.png

4BushApproval2ndTermRough20071209.png

Cross-posted at Political Arithmetik.


POLL: Rasmussen Iowa, New Hampshire Dems


Two new Rasmussen Reports automated surveys of likely Democratic caucus goers/primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire finds:

  • Among 841 Democrats in New Hampshire (conducted 12/11) finds Sen. Barack Obama narrowly leading Sen. Hillary Clinton (31% to 28%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 17%, Gov. Bill Richardson at 8%.
  • Among 1,106 Democrats in Iowa (conducted 12/11) finds Clinton edging out Obama (29% to 26%) in a statewide caucus; Edwards trails at 22%, Richardson at 7%, Sen. Joe Biden at 5%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each.


POLL: CNN/WMUR/UNH New Hampshire Primary


A new CNN/WMUR/UNH statewide survey (CNN story, WMUR story, UNH Dem results, Rep results) of likely primary voters in New Hampshire (conducted 12/6 through 12/10) finds:

  • Among 354 Republicans, former Gov. Mitt Romney (at 32%) leads former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (both at 19%) in a statewide primary; former Gov. Mike Huckabee trails at 9%, Rep. Ron Paul at 7%.
  • Among 378 Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton edges out Sen. Barack Obama (31% to 30%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 16%, Gov. Bill Richardson at 7%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each.


Disclosure Project: Results from Iowa

Topics: 2008 , Disclosure , Iowa , Likely Voters , The 2008 Race

It is time -- actually long past time -- to summarize the returns from the Pollster.com "Disclosure Project." Back in September I declared my intent to request disclosure of key methodological details from pollsters doing surveys in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and the nation as a whole. I sent off the first batch of requests to the Iowa pollsters, and then began a long slog, delayed both by other activity and, frankly, by a surprising degree of resistance from far too many pollsters. The result is that now, nearly three months later, I can report results from Iowa only.

I should note that many organizations (particularly ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg, the Pew Research Center, Rasmussen Reports and Time/SRBI) either put much of the information into the public domain or responded within days (or hours) to my requests. With others, however, the responses were slower, incomplete or both. A few asked for more time or assured me that responses were imminent, yet ultimately never responded despite repeated requests. Sadly, such is the state of disclosure in my profession, even upon request.

So while the results described below are far from a complete review of all the polls in Iowa, they do tell a very clear story: No two Iowa pollsters select "likely caucus goers" in the same way. Moreover, each pollster has a unique conception -- sometimes radically unique -- of the likely electorate.

This post is a bit long, so it continues after the jump...

Continue reading "Disclosure Project: Results from Iowa"


POLL: ABC/Post National Survey


A new ABC News/Washington Post national survey (ABC story, results; Post story, results) of 1,136 adults (conducted 12/6 through 12/9) finds:

  • 33% approve of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president; 64% disapprove.
  • Among 429 likely Democratic primary voters, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (53% to 23%) in a national primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 10%.
  • Among 293 likely Republican primary voters, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani narrowly leads former Gov. Mike Huckabee (25% to 19%) in a national primary; former Gov. Mitt Romney trails at 17%, former Sen. Fred Thompson at 14%, Sen. John McCain at 12%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each.


POLL: Rasmussen Iowa GOP Caucus


A new Rasmussen Reports automated survey of 789 likely Republican caucus goers in Iowa (conducted 12/10) finds former Gov. Mike Huckabee leads former Gov. Mitt Romney (39% to 23%) in a statewide caucus; former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Sen. Fred Thompson both trail at 8%, Sen. John McCain at 6%, Rep. Ron Paul at 5%. All other candidates receive less than five percent each.


POLL: CNN National General Election Match-ups


Additional results from the most recent CNN/Opinion Research national survey of 912 registered voters (conducted 12/6 through 12/9) finds:

General Election Match-ups:

    McCain 50%, Clinton 48%
    Clinton 51%, Giuliani 45%
    Clinton 54%, Huckabee 44%
    Clinton 54%, Romney 43%

    Obama 48%, McCain 48%
    Obama 52%, Giuliani 45%
    Obama 54%, Romney 41%
    Obama 55%, Huckabee 40%

    Edwards 52%, McCain 44%
    Edwards 53%, Giuliani 44%
    Edwards 59%, Romney 37%
    Edwards 60%, Huckabee 35%


POLL: InsiderAdvantage Dem SC Primary


A new InsiderAdvantage statewide survey of 480 likely Democratic primary voters in South Carolina (conducted 12/8 through 12/9) finds Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. Hillary Clinton (28% to 22%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 14%, Sen. Joe Biden at 10%. All other candidates receive less than five percent each.


POLL: CBS/Times National Survey


A new CBS News/New York Times national survey (CBS story, Iraq results, Dem results, Rep results; Times story, results) of 1,133 adults (conducted 12/5 through 12/9) finds:

  • 28% approve of the job George W. Bush is doing as president; 65% disapprove.
  • 21% approves of the way Congress is handling its job; 64% disapprove.
  • Among 417 likely Democratic primary voters, 44% "would like to see the Democratic party nominate as its presidential candidate in 2008" Sen. Hillary Clinton; 27% say Sen. Barack Obama, former Sen. John Edwards 11%.
  • Among 266 likely Republican primary voters, 22% would like to see the Republican party nominate former Mayor Rudy Giuliani; 21% say former Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Gov. Mitt Romney 16%, Sen. John McCain and former Sen. Fred Thompson both 7%.


POLL: CNN National Primary


A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey of registered voters (conducted 12/6 through 12/9) finds:

  • Among 377 Republicans, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani narrowly leads former Gov. Mike Huckabee (24% to 22%) in a national primary; former Gov. Mitt Romney trails at 16%, Sen. John McCain at 13%, former Sen. Fred Thompson at 10%, Rep. Ron Paul at 6%.
  • Among 467 Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (40% to 30%) in a national primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 14%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each.


POLL: CBS/Times Attacks vs. Explanations


A new CBS News/New York Times national survey of 1,133 adults (conducted 12/5 through 12/9) tests 417 Democrats and 266 Republicans on whether they think candidates have been spending more time on the campaign trail attacking their opponents or explaining what they would do as president.

Full results from the survey will be released later this evening.


POLL: Research 2000/DailyKos (D) Alaska Senate and House


A new Research 2000 statewide survey of 600 likely voters in Alaska (conducted 12/3 through 12/6 for DailyKos (D) ) finds:

  • Mayor Mark Begich narrowly leads Sen. Ted Stevens (47% to 41%) in a statewide general election match-up for U.S. Senate.
  • Former State Rep. Ethan Berkowitz leads Rep. Don Young (49% to 41%) in a statewide general election match-up for U.S. Congress.


More Strange "Poll" Calls

Topics: 2008 , Microtargeting , Push "Polls" , The 2008 Race

More strange "poll" calls from Iowa. Ben Smith has posted details of a call received by a reader in Eastern Iowa of a short poll that tested three messages. Smith summarizes them as "roughly" the following:

1. While in the Senate Hillary Clinton was one of the first Democrats to support Bush tax cuts for only the wealthiest of Americans at the expense of the middle class, do you find this...

2. Barack Obama has taken over $12million from lobbyists and other special interests since his time in the Illinois legislature. Does Barack Obama taking money from lobbyists and special interests trouble you?

3. John Edwards has taken the position that all troops in Iraq will be out within one year of his being elected president, do you find this rhetoric irresponsible?

Smith ads that the caller "said she was with 'Independent Research,' and the caller ID showed a phone bank called DRS Acquisitions." DRS Acquisitions is a company that, as its web page says, specializes in "national outbound telemarketing programs." I emailed Smith, who shared the reader's full description. The call also asked first about the respondents likelihood of attending the caucuses, his vote preference and a question about the type of candidate he most favors:

1. Fighter against special interests
2. Bold fighter for middle class families
3. Committed to getting us out of Iraq
4. Fight for universal healthcare

The negative message test followed the item above. Smith's reader also reports that he interrupted the interview, and ultimately ended the call, after hearing the negative messages.

This call sounds similar to one I found among the calls reported by the first wave of respondents to the HuffingtonPost OffTheBus polling project (we are sponsors). An Edwards supporter who lives near Des Moines reported receiving a call last week. The caller insisted he was working for "an independent polling company," asked her vote preference and the certainty of her support and then asked about the following:

[Asked] If I knew that Barack Obama (pronounced incorrect! I had to instruct the interviewer how to pronounce his name!!) took over 12 million from the financial industries and voted to allow credit card companies to raise interest rates as high as they wanted to, would that affect my opinion of him? I answered yes.

If I knew that John Edwards was a liberal trial lawyer would that affect my opinion of him? I answered yes.

Do I feel that the American Dream is achievable by average Americans or do I think the system seems to be rigged to favor the rich. - I said - rigged.

One more question that I didn't get written down right away so I don't remember it exactly...it was along the line of Which would be most upsetting to me - a candidate who would roll back the Bush tax cuts, or ...2 other answers that I can't remember. Sorry!

Added that their survey ended with demographic questions on age, income and union membership.

So what are these calls about? I have no idea who is making the calls, and we will drive ourselves crazy trying to deduce the sponsor or sponsors from the facts above, or even whether Smith's call was part of the same project as the OffTheBus report. The entity or entities behind these calls are clever enough to include "negatives" on all three front-runners, making it virtually impossible to deduce much of anything about sponsorship from the questions themselves.

These calls do not seem to fit the profile of the classic "push poll" dirty trick. In retrospect, I think we can say the same of the calls Smith reported a few weeks back that he traced to a telemarketing company named Influent. That is, these do not appear to be calls masquerading as a poll that intends to measure nothing and exists only to spread a malicious rumor. The calls described above include too many questions that would be pointless as part of a fraudulent "push poll" dirty trick.

On the other hand, these calls resemble few internal campaign polls I have seen, and sound nothing like what I would expect from the internal campaign pollsters. They are far too short, and leave out many of the sorts of questions that campaign pollsters typically ask at this stage of such a well funded, closely watched campaign. And with the caucuses less than a month away, it is a bit late for true "micro-targeting." So the exact nature of these calls remains a bit of a puzzle.

Still, I do see two stories here. The first is about the blurring of the lines between traditional polling and telemarketing. Campaigns have for many years used paid call centers to conduct "voter ID" calls, that is, calls intended to identify supporters and those still undecided. Increasingly, those calls have grown to resemble polls. However, the use of such calls to test negative messages is something new in my experience.

And second, whatever the nature of these calls, I think we can also conclude something about what they portend. Political commentators, including yours truly, have been speculating about when the Democratic television advertising will turn negative in Iowa and New Hampshire. At this point, for a variety of reasons, such a turn seems unlikely. However, these calls tell us a very well targeted negative mail campaign is imminent from someone, or more likely, several someones. Those looking to cover "Act III" of the Iowa campaign would be well advised to watch the mailboxes of Iowa voters.

Meanwhile, if you have been on the receiving end of one of these calls, please email me or report it to HuffPo's OnTheBus polling project.


POLL: MSNBC/McClatchy IA, NH, SC Primaries


Three new MSNBC/McClatchy/Mason Dixon statewide surveys of likely caucus-goers/primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina (conducted 12/3 through 12/6) finds:

  • Among 400 Republicans in Iowa, former Gov. Mike Huckabee leads former Gov. Mitt Romney (32% to 20%) in a statewide caucus; former Sen. Fred Thompson trails at 11%, Sen. John McCain at 7%, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 5%. Among 400 Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton edges out Sen. Barack Obama (27% to 25%); former Sen. John Edwards trails at 21%, Gov. Bill Richardson at 9%, Sen. Joe Biden at 5%.
  • Among 400 Republicans in New Hampshire, Romney leads Giuliani (25% to 17%) in a statewide primary; McCain trails at 16%, Huckabee at 11%, Thompson at 6%, Rep. Ron Paul at 5%. Among 400 Democrats, Clinton narrowly leads Obama (30% to 27%); Edwards trails at 10%, Richardson at 7%.
  • Among 400 Republicans in South Carolina, Huckabee edges out Giuliani (20% to 17%); Romney trails at 15%, Thompson at 14%, McCain at 10%. Among 400 Democrats, Clinton narrowly leads Obama (28% to 25%); Edwards trails at 18%.
  • All other candidates receive less than five percent each.

Full results now available here (IA Dems, Reps; NH Dems, Reps; SC Dems, Reps; NV Dems/Reps).


 

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