Pollster.com

October 4, 2009 - October 10, 2009

 

US: National Survey (AllState 9/24-28)



AllState / National Journal / Heartland Monitor
9/24-28/09; 1,200 adults; 2.8% margin of error
Mode: Live Telephone Interviews

(National Journal story, Ron Brownstein column, Health care crosstab)

National

State of the Country
38% Right Direction, 50% Wrong Track (chart)
Obama Approval
52% Approve, 40% Disapprove (chart)

On the topic of health care, as you understand it, do you (ROTATED) support or oppose the current legislation to reform health care in the U.S.?
49% Support, 42% Oppose, 9% Don't know (chart)

Who do trust more to develop solutions to the country's economic challenges... (ROTATED) President Obama OR Republicans in Congress?
48% President Obama, 27% Republicans in Congress, 3% Both, 16% Neither, 6% Don't know

In your opinion did President Obama's economic policies over the last 8 months...
43% Help avoid an even worse economic crisis, and are laying the foundation for our eventual economic recovery
43% Run up a record federal deficit while failing to end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses.


US: National Survey (IPSOS 10/1-5)


Ipsos / McClatchy
10/1-5/09; 1,296 adults. +/- 2.7% margin of error
628 Democrats/Lean Democrats, +/- 3.0% margin of error
456 Republicans/:Lean Republicans, +/- 4.6% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(McClatchy story, results, IPSOS release; )

National

State of the Country
40% Right direction, 56% Wrong track (chart)

Obama Job Approval
56% Approve, 40% Disapprove (chart)
Democrats: 86 /12 (chart)
Independents: 47 / 41 (chart)
Republicans: 18 / 80 (chart)

2010 House National Ballot
42% Democrat, 34% Republican (chart)

As of right now, do you favor or oppose the healthcare reform proposals presently being discussed?
40% Favor, 42% Oppose (chart)

Party ID
33% Democrat, 19% Republican, 48% independent (chart)


Click and You'll Twitter Too 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize; The Pew Research Center, Frank Newport, Gary Langer and the Transatlantic Trends Survey provide the public opinion context.

Tom Coburn proposes to eliminate NSF funding for political science, Monkey Cagers John Sides, Andrew Gelman, Joshua Tucker and Henry Farrell react.

Tom Jensen sees little change in health care reform support since September.

Mark Mellman offers an answer for why Jews are liberals.

Democracy Corps finds growing damage to the Republican brand.

Tom Schaller examines the national Congressional ballot 300 days out.

Eric Kleefeld recalls a history of late Democratic surges in New Jersey.

Andrew Sullivan parses the Quinnipiac Poll.

Greg Sargent endorses a Research2000 question on health care and partisanship.

Evan McMorris-Santaro reviews reports a state investigation of opinion research conducted with tax dollars for CT Governor Jodi Rell.

Calbuzz publishes its Standards for Polling, Decency and Free Lunch.

Amanda Lenhart reports that new Pew Internet data shows Twitter usage rising to 19% of American adult internet users, up from 11% in April (via Christine Matthews).


US: National Survey (CBS 10/5-8)


CBS News
10/5-8/09; 829 adults,+/- 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CBS: health care story, results; Afghanistan story, results; H1N1 story, results)

National

Obama Job Approval
Overall: 56 Approve, 34 Disapprove (chart)
--Dems: 87 / 8 (chart)
--Reps: 20 / 69 (chart)
--Inds: 52 / 35 (chart)

Health Care: 47 / 42 (chart)
Economy: 54 / 38 (chart)
Foreign policy: 48 / 28 (chart)

Additional Summary via CBS News release:

  • 47% of Americans approve of how President Obama is handling health care, while 42% disapprove - little change from last month. Majorities disapprove of the way the Democrats (60%) and Republicans (67%) are handling health care.

  • Compared to past debates on major issues, 45% view the current health care debate as more negative  -- four times as many as say it has been more positive (11%).  36% say the debate is similar in tone to past debates on major issues.

  • Most Americans (61%) would be disappointed if Congress doesn't pass health care reform this year and the system continues as it is; 29% would be pleased if reforms do not pass.

  • 42% approve of the President's handling of Afghanistan, while 34% disapprove.  His approval rating was 44% in late September and 48% in August.

  • Americans remain divided about what to do in Afghanistan.  37% of Americans want troop levels increased while 38% want them decreased.  Just 17% want troop levels kept as they are now.

  • Most Americans (57%) think Iran is a threat that can be contained with diplomacy, though the 19% who think it is a threat that requires military action now has risen six points since February.

  • 43% approve of how President Obama is handling Iran; 35% disapprove.

Party ID
33% Democrat, 22% Republican, 45% independent (chart)


NJ: Daggett the Key Wild Card

Topics: Chris Christie , Chris Daggett , Jon Corzine , New Jersey 2009

We've had a flurry of new polls this week in New Jersey which are generally showing a much closer contest than in September or earlier in the summer, but there is a huge wild card in this race and it's all about independent Chris Daggett.

The best news for the campaign of Democrat Jon Corzine, however, is not the margin but the fact that the Governor's support is starting to rise slightly. You can see the upward tick in the blue line from roughly 39%, where it stood for much of the summer to 40.6% as of this afternoon.

If you're a skeptic of our trend lines, you can also see the improvement in apples-to-apples comparisons in individual polls. Five surveys released in the last week (by Monmouth/Gannett, DailyKos/Research2000, Rasmussen, Democracy Corps and Neighborhood) all showed increases for Corzine of 1 to 3 percentage points as compared to prior tracking polls done by the same organizations in September. In any one survey, these minor shifts would be too small to achieve statistical significance, but the consistency across the five surveys gives us greater confidence that the change is real.

That news is important, because Corzine will need to continue growing his support. The encouraging news for Republicans and not-so-great news for Democrats is that a roughly seven point drop in Republican Chris Christie's support since the summer has gone mostly to independent Chris Daggett. A very large percentage of the New Jersey likely voters (an average of 18% on the surveys released this past week) are either undecided or supporting Daggett or are undecided. Daggett's support is the most important wild card in the race.

Consider this finding buried within the extensive cross-tabs provided by the Democracy Corps poll released on Thursday, that includes the subgroup of 89 respondents currently supporting Daggett. Not surprisingly, supporters of the independent rate both Corzine and Christie negatively. Using a "thermometer" rating that allows respondents to rate the degree of warmth or coolness the feel for each candidate, Daggett voters give Christie a overwhelming negative rating (8% warm, 59% cool) but are even more negative about Corzine (10% warm, 76% cool rating; see p. 44).

What should be worrisome for Democrats, however, is how these two ratings compare. Far more of Daggett's supporters rate Christie more favorably than Corzine (50%) than rate Corzine more favorably than Christie (24%; see p. 59). We know that support for independent and third party candidates often falls as election day approaches. That may be because some voters are strategic -- feeling reluctant to "waste a vote" when the contest between the top two candidates is close. It may be because the nature of three-way polling question makes support for the independent a sort of holding place for undecided (a polite way to say "I'm not sure" while selecting one of the offered choices).

But either way, Corzine's prospects depend on Daggett retaining his current support. Election Day is a little over three weeks away and for now Daggett's trajectory is up, not down, based partly on his debate performance a a week ago, so Daggett's trend line may not follow the traditional pattern. Democrats should hope so, because a collapse in Daggett's support would be a scary scenario for Corzine.


Pollster.com/PollsAndVotes Video Review of Recent Polling


PollsAndVotes Video offers a review of the state of polling and politics as of early October. The video is an exclusive of "Office Hours with Ken Goldstein", which is a production of the University of Wisconsin and is broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

I talk about Obama, the economy, health care reform and the critical support for Blue Dog Democrats who may hold the fate of Obama's legislative agenda in their hands.  Alas, no charts this time.


NJ: Christie 36 Corzine 35 (Neighborhood 10/6-8)


Neighborhood Research (R)
10/6-8/09; 300 likely voters, 5.7% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Neighborhood release)

New Jersey

2009 Governor
Christie 36%, Corzine 35%, Daggett 11% (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Jon Corzine: 28 / 46 (chart)
Chris Christie: 28 / 31
Chris Daggett: 17 / 4


NJ: Christie 43%, Corzine 38% (NJASCU 9/30-10/5)


New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities / Penn Schoen and Berland
9/30-10/5/09; 671 likely voters, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: Internet
(NJASCU release)

New Jersey

2009 Governor
Christie 43%, Corzine 38%, Daggett 16% (/polls/nj/09-nj-gov-ge-cvc.html)


US: National Survey (Kos 10/5-8)


Daily Kos (D) / Research 2000
10/5-8/09; 2,400 adults, 2% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Kos release)

National

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 54 / 38 (chart)
Nancy Pelosi: 36 / 56
Harry Redi: 32 / 57
Mitch McConnell: 18 / 64
John Boehner: 14 / 61


US: Afghanistan (Gallup 10/6)


USA Today / Gallup
10/6/09; 1,007 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

National

Would you favor or oppose a decision by President Obama to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan?
48% Favor, 45% Oppose

When the United States is considering different courses of military action, should U.S. military commanders make their positions publicly known or should they only state their positions privately to the president and others in the chain of command?
30% Make positions publicly known
62% Only state positions privately


NJ: Corzine 41, Christie 38 (DemCorps 10/6-7)


Democracy Corps (D)
10/6-7/09; 614 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(DemCorps release)

New Jersey

2009 Governor
41% Corzine, 38% Christie, 14% Daggett (chart)
(Last survey - 9/22-23: 39% Corzine, 40% Christie, 11% Daggett)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Jon Corzine (D): 37 / 46 (chart)
Chris Christie (R): 30 / 42
Chris Daggett (i): 15 / 18
Barack Obama: 54 / 29 (chart)


VA: McDonnell 53 Deeds 44 (Post 10/4-7)


Washington Post
10/4-7/09; 1,001 likely voters, +/- 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Post: story, results, cross-tabs)

Virginia

2009 Governor
McDonnell 53%, Deeds 44% (chart)
(Last poll, 9/17: McDonnell 51%, Deeds 47%)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Kaine: 60 / 37 (chart)
Pres. Obama: 53 / 46 (chart)

Party Identification
Democrat 31%, Republican 30%, Independent 36%
(Last poll, 9/17: Democrat 32%, Republican 29%, Independent 34%)


McDonald: Obama's Job Approval is in the House Effect

Topics: Barack Obama , Charts , job approval , Michael McDonald , Pollster.com

This guest contribution comes from Michael McDonald, an Associate Professor of Government and Politics in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Saturday Night Live's sketch mocking Obama prompted CNN to run a story stating that the 'SNL' Obama sketch marks end of [Obama's] honeymoon. Actually, SNL is not leading public opinion here. Polling suggests that Obama's honeymoon ended in early August. Since then, Obama's job approval rating has remained essentially flat.

If you are an Obama supporter, you might ask how this is possible, since an Oct. 1-5 AP-GfK survey shows a resurging six percentage point increase in support for Obama since their Sept. 3-8 survey. Or, if you oppose Obama, you might point to the slight downward trend in Obama's job approval among all polling firms from early September clearly evident on Pollster.com.

2009-10-08-McD_All.png


What is going on here is that Pollster.com's trend line behaves fine when there are lots of polls to average together, but it does not work as well when two daily tracking polls are averaged together with more sporatic national polling. The two daily tracking polls - Gallup and Rasmussen - consistently find lower Obama job approval ratings than other polling firms. In addition to these two daily tracking polls, there are approximately bi-monthly internet polls from YouGov/Polimetrix and Zogby that also consistently show lower Obama job approval numbers compared to other polls.

These so-called "house effects" whereby different pollsters consistently report different numbers is well-known. I do not want to get sidetracked into speculation about why these polls have lower numbers, since we really cannot know what the true population value is for Obama's job approval rating.

What is interesting is what happens when these polls are disaggregated into two types (1) the tracking and internet polls and (2) all other polls.

To examine the first type of polls, let's use Pollster.com's filter tool to include all internet polls and the two daily tracking polls.

2009-10-08-McD-OnlyDailyAndInternet.png

According to this trend estimate, Obama's job approval rating leveled out in early August at about 50 percent, and may be slightly increasing since.

To examine the second type of polls, let's use Pollster.com's filter tool to exclude all internet polls and the two daily tracking polls.

2009-10-08-McD_NoDaily-Internet.png

According to this trend estimate, Obama's job approval rating leveled out in early August at about 53 percent.

Seen in this light, Obama's job approval rating has remained steady since early August, and it is here that Obama's honeymoon likely came to an end. Most pollsters took a vacation during August, except those conducting the first type of polls, which show lower Obama job approval than the second type. The bump up in Obama's job approval at the beginning of September is an artifact of the increased number of the second type of polls conducted when Obama delivered his health care speech to Congress. Subsequently, the absence of the second type of polls allows the first type of polls to again dominate the trend line, thereby giving the appearence that Obama's approval is now decreasing from the (non-existent) short-term early-September rally. The different mixes of the first and second types of polls are confounding the trend line and incorrectly coloring perceptions of the direction of Obama's job approval rating. Indeed, if you squint closely at Pollster.com's trend line for all pollsters, you'll see a long-term periodicty that apparently fluctuates along with the mix of the first and second types of polls.

[Editor's Note: So that Professor McDonald's commentary will always match the graphics, we  replaced the embedded, interactive version of charts with screenshots, although you can click the link above each chart to see the most recently updated version with the filtered polls he selected].



NJ: Christie 43 Corzine 40 (SurveyUSA 10/5-7)


SurveyUSA
10/5-7/09; 639 likely voters, +/- 4% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(SurveyUSA release)

New Jersey

2009 Governor
Christie (R) 43%, Corzine (D) 40%, Daggett 14% Other/Und 3% (chart)


CA: 2010 Governor (Field 9/18-10/5)


Field Poll
9/18-10/5/09; 1,005 registered voters, 3.2% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Field release)
(Additional results: Obama, 2010 Senate)

California

All Registered Voters:
Favorable / Unfavorable
Jerry Brown (D): 44 / 29
Gavin Newsom (D): 30 / 40
Meg Whitman (R): 18 / 14
Tom Campbell (R): 20 / 21
Steve Poizner (R): 22 / 17
Dianne Feinstein (D): 52 / 36 (chart)

Among Democratic Primary Voters (n=?)
2010 Governor: Democratic Primary (chart)
Brown 47%, Newsom 27%
Feinstein 40%, Brown 27%, Newsom 16%

Among Republican Primary Voters (n=?)
2010 Governor: Republican Primary (all match-ups)
Whitman 22%, Campbell 20%, Poizner 9%

All Registered Voters:
2010 Governor: General Election (all match-ups)
Brown 50%, Whitman 29%
Brown 48%, Campbell 27%
Brown 50%, Poizner 25%
Whitman 31%, Newsom 40%
Newsom 38%, Campbell 33%
Newsom 39%, Poizner 30%


Update on Updates


Just a quick note to let everyone know that our "poll updates" and my blogging will be a little slower and less frequent than usual through the weekend, as Emily is taking some time to travel to a family commitment. We'll be back up to full speed next week.


US: National Survey (Pew 9/30-10/4)


Pew Research Center
9/30-10/4/2009; 1,500 adults, +/- 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew report, topline questionnaire)

National

Obama Job Approval
52% Approve, 36% Disapprove (chart)

State of the Country
25% Satisfied, 67% Dissatisfied (chart)

As of right now, do you generally favor or generally oppose the health care proposals being discussed in Congress?
34% Favor, 47% Oppose (chart)

Party ID
34% Democrat, 23% Republican, 37% independent (chart)


US: Health Care (Quinnipiac 9/29-10/5)


Quinnipiac
9/29-10/5/09; 2,630 registered voters, 1.9% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

National

Obama Job Approval

50% Approve 41% Disapprove (chart)
Reps: 15 / 77 (chart)
Dems: 82 / 9 (chart)
Inds: 45 / 44 (chart)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling health care?

41% Approve, 51% Disapprove (chart)

Do you support or oppose President Obama's health care reform plan?

40% Support
47% Oppose
12% Don't know/no opinion

Who do you trust to do a better job handling health care - President Obama or the Republicans in Congress

47% President Obama
31% Reps in Congress
21% Don't know/no opinion


LA: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 10/5)


Rasmussen
10/5/09; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(Rasmussen release)

Louisiana

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 41 / 59 (chart)
Gov. Jindal: 65 / 34 (chart)

2010 Senate (trends)
Vitter 46%, Melancon 36%
Dardenne 46%, Melancon 33%

Favorable / Unfavorable
David Vitter (R): 56 / 34
Charlie Melancon (D): 43 / 39
Jay Dardenne (R): 50 / 27


'Outliers?' Whatever!


Marc Ambinder reports on how the Democrats won the data war in 2008, posts the after action report from Catalist and a summary of what SEIU learned from its efforts.

John Sides sees similarities in the Catalist report to political science research on voter turnout.

Gary Langer reviews the evolution of attitudes on the Afghanistan War.

Bruce Drake rounds up Obama approval by state.

Chris Weigant updates his Obama job approval watch.

Nate Silver weighs in on New Jersey.

Chris Good takes issue with Bobby Jindal on public opinion on health reform; Mickey Kaus takes issue with Good.

Andrew Sullivan highlights a global branding survey that shows the U.S. as most admired; David Frum thinks its a silly survey; Sullivan responds.

Jonathan Singer uses new SurveyUSA numbers in Minnesota to smack back at Rasmussen.

David Hill thinks the H1N1 vaccination drive could use a pollster.

Alex Bratty shows that Republicans are behind the 2009 increase in interest in politics.

Brent Seaborn charts the shifts in party identification.

Tom Jensen is bullish on Beau Biden against Mike Castle.

Dana Stanley reviews a new iPhone survey application.

Josh Marshall catches Chris Christie making an odd polling reference.

And to the latest Marist poll release we say, "whatever."

(And a note: Blogging will be a little slow through the weekend as I cover for Emily on poll updates. She is taking some time off for a family commitment. We'll be back up to full speed next week).


WSJ's Bialik on Strategic Vision

Topics: David Johnson , Strategic Vision

The Wall Street Journal's Carl Bialik weighed in today on the Strategic Vision, LLC controversy in both his print column and a separate blog item. Collectively, like Shaila Dewan's New York Times story on Sunday, they provide a decent, concise overview of the story for those that have not been following it. Unfortunately, there is little news for those of us that have been following the story closely. According to Bialik, Strategic Vision CEO David Johnson "didn't respond to Wall Street Journal requests for comment."

Bialik did seek comment from various mathematicians regarding the claims of statistical irregularities in Strategic Vision's results made by Nate Silver (here, here and here) and others at FiveThirtyEight.com:

This week, Mr. Silver brought in a physicist and commenter on his blog to calculate the probability, which shrank to 5,000 to 1 against, when removing what he said was an unproven assumption that each digit should appear equally often. Several mathematicians said the shift in odds doesn't diminish Mr. Silver's finding that the Strategic Vision numbers were unlikely to arise by a quirk of fate.

He added additional details in the blog post:

Mathematicians said the Silver analysis -- finding that certain digits showed up far more often than others in Strategic Vision polls -- was troubling but want to see more evidence. Jordan Ellenberg, a University of Wisconsin, Madison, mathematician, blogged that the case isn't as persuasive as investigations into possible fraud in the Iranian election. "It's not so substantial that I would have gone public with it, if it were me," Ellenberg said, but he does think it merits further investigation.

"To strengthen the argument that Strategic Vision's (or any other polling group's) numbers seem unusual, the next step would be to assess the observed variation across a number of similar polling organizations and see where various groups fall," said Lance Waller, a biostatistician at Emory University.

One bit of news that Bialik passes along is that some of Strategic Vision's clients are now pressing the company for more verification of their data:

Two think tanks that are clients of Strategic Vision also are seeking more details on the firm's methods in light of Silver's analysis. The Goldwater Institute, which calls itself a free-market think tank, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs hired Strategic Vision to test high-school students' civic knowledge in Arizona and Oklahoma, respectively.

After Silver questioned the Oklahoma results as being too bleak, both think tanks sought verification from Strategic Vision. "Although I find it very unlikely that Strategic Vision manufactured this data, I have asked for receipts from the marketing firm from which they purchased the contact data just to make certain," Matthew Ladner, vice president of research for Goldwater Institute, said.

Brandon Dutcher, vice president for policy for the Oklahoma group, isn't making up his mind just yet. "I have requested voluminous survey data from them, as well as answers to some methodological questions -- all of which I expect they can and will provide so that they can go about defending their firm and I can go about defending this survey," Dutcher said. "If not, however, then of course I would want my money back and wouldn't hire them again.

See both the article and blog post for all the details.

Bialik observes that while the controversy has gotten "bogged down in threats of litigation and arcane calculations," the controversy "has shed light on an inconvenient truth about widely reported political polls: Verifying their numbers is nearly impossible." That conclusion is hard to argue with and a big reason why better disclosure -- the issue behind the AAPOR reprimand that helped bring these issues to a head -- is so important. Only greater transparency will prevent these sorts of controversies in the future.


MA: Special Election (Coakley 9/21-24)


Lake Research (D-Coakley)
9/21-24/09; 800 Democratic likely voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(RCP post)

Massachusetts

2010 Senate: Special Election
Coakley 47%, Capuano 12%, Pagliuca 4%, Khazei 1%


NC: Obama Approval (PPP 10/2-4)


Public Policy Polling (D)
10/2-4/09; 683 likely voters, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(PPP release)

North Carolina

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 45 / 49 (chart)

Are you disappointed that the United States was not chosen to host the 2016 Olympics?
23% Yes, 65% No

Do you think that going to Denmark to campaign for the United States to host the Olympics was an appropriate use of President Obama's time?
38% Yes, 55% No

Do you support or oppose President Obama's health care plan, or do you not have an opinion?
38% Support, 53% Oppose


MO: 2010 Sen (Momentum 9/15-19)


Momentum Analysis (D)*
9/15-19/09; 802 registered voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Momentum release)

Missouri

Favorable / Unfavorable
Robin Carnahan (D): 51 / 28
Roy Blunt (R): 44 / 33

2010 Senate (trends)

48% Carnahan, 45% Blunt

*Commissioned by "a group of organizations interested in ballot initiatives in Missouri."


WI: 2010 Sen (WPRI 9/27-29)


Wisconsin Policy Research Institute / University of Wisconsin
9/27-29/09; 700 adults, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(WPRI release)

Wisconsin

2010 Senate (trends)
43% Tommy Thompson (R), 39% Russ Feingold (D)


CA: Obama Approval (Field 9/18-10/5)


Field Poll
9/18-10/5/09; 1,005 registered voters, 3.2% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Field release)

California

Obama Job Approval
60% Approve, 31% Disapprove (chart)
Economy: 60 / 35
Foreign Policy: 58 / 29
Afghanistan: 48 / 31

As you know, President Obama has proposed a plan to reform the nation's health care system. Generally speaking, do you approve or disapprove of the president's health care reform package?
52% Approve, 37% Disapprove

Do you think U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan should be increased, kept at about current levels or decreased?
33% Increased, 16% Kept at current levels, 37% Decreased


NC: Obama Approval (Civitas 9/29-30)


Civitas Institute (R) / SurveyUSA
9/29-30/09; 600 registered voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(Civitas release)

North Carolina

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres Obama: 44 / 53 (chart)


NYC: 2009 Mayor (SurveyUSA 10/3-5)


SurveyUSA
10/3-5/09; 561 likely voters, 4.2% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(SurveyUSA release)

New York City

2009 Mayor
51% Mike Bloomberg, 43% Bill Thompson (chart)


US: Health Care (AP-GfK 10/1-5)


AP-GfK
10/1-5/09; 1,003 adults, 3.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(AP release)

National

In general, do you support, oppose or neither support nor oppose the health care reform plans being discussed in Congress?
40% Support, 40% Oppose (chart)

How important is it that any health care plan have the support of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress?
82% Important, 17% Not important

If President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are unable to win support from Republicans to pass a health care plan this year, what should they do? Should they...
34% Go ahead and pass a bill without Republican support
62% Keep trying until they are able to make a deal with the Republicans


NH: 2010 Gov (UNH 9/25-10-2)


University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll
9/25-10/2/09; 503 adults, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(UNH release)

New Hampshire

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Lynch: 66 / 23 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
John Lynch: 64 / 22 (chart)
John Sununu: 43 / 32

2010 Governor (trends)
Lynch 50%, Sununu 37%


US: Congress (Gallup 10/1-4)


Gallup
10/1-4/09; 906 registered voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)
(Update: Congress Approval)

National

2010 House: Generic Ballot
46% Democrat, 44% Republican (chart)

Congress Job Approval
21% Approve, 72% Disapprove (chart)


US: National Survey (Quinnipiac 9/29-10-5)


Quinnipiac
9/29-10/5/09; 2,630 registered voters, 1.9% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

National

Obama Job Approval / Disapproval
Foreign Policy: 49 / 37 (chart)
Afghanistan: 42 / 40
Iran: 45 / 39

Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
52% Right thing, 37% Should not be involved

Do you think building a stable democratic government in Afghanistan is a worthwhile goal for American troops to fight and possibly die for or not?
39% Yes, 52% No

Do you think the United States will be successful in building a stable democratic government in Afghanistan or not?
22% Yes, 62% No

Do you think eliminating the threat from terrorists operating from Afghanistan is a worthwhile goal for American troops to fight and possibly die for or not?
65% Yes, 28% No

Do you think the United States will be successful in eliminating the threat from terrorists operating from Afghanistan or not?
38% Yes, 49% No

What should be the main goal for the United States in Afghanistan - building a stable democratic government in Afghanistan or eliminating the threat from terrorists operating from Afghanistan?
21% Democratic government, 65% Eliminating terror

Do you think the number of US troops in Afghanistan should be increased, decreased, or kept about the same?
38% Increased, 28% Decreased, 21% Kept the same

Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea for the United States to bomb Iran's nuclear development sites?
31% Good idea, 54% Bad idea

Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea for Israel to bomb Iran's nuclear development sites?
29% Good idea, 55% Bad idea


US: National Survey (AP-GfK 10/1-5)


AP-GfK
10/1-5/09; 1,003 adults, 3.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(AP release)

National

State of the Country
41% Right Direction, 51% Wrong Track (chart)

Obama Job Approval
56% Approve, 39% Disapprove (chart)
Economy: 50 / 44 (chart)
Health Care: 48 / 47 (chart)

Congress Job Approval
33% Approve, 64% Disapprove (chart)

Do you favor or oppose the war in Iraq?
33% Favor, 64% Oppose

Do you favor or oppose the war in Afghanistan?
40% Favor, 57% Oppose

If you had to choose, which should be the primary focus of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan?
49% Stabilizing the country, so that terrorists can't use the country as a haven over the longer term,
45% Identifying and eliminating existing terrorist threats, worrying about longer-term stability later

Would you favor or oppose sending more troops to Afghanistan?
46% Favor, 50% Oppose

Party ID
33% Democrat, 21% Republican, 26% independent (chart)


NJ: Christie 47 Corzine 44 (Rasmussen 10/5)


Rasmussen
10/5/09; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(Rasmussen release)

New Jersey

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 57 / 42 (chart)
Gov. Corzine: 43 / 55 (chart)

2009 Governor
Christie 47%, Corzine 44%, Daggett 6% (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Chris Christie (R): 46 / 50
Jon Corzine (D): 45 / 52 (chart)
Chris Daggett (i): 44 / 27


Update: Good for the Goose

Topics: Health Care Reform

Back in early September, I wrote a column (with some added commentary here) with a suggestion for President Obama and the Democrats:

Challenge Congress to pass a reform bill that requires all members to obtain their health insurance the same way as those without employer-provided health insurance -- through the newly created health care exchanges, rather than the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan [FEHBP]. The two systems are conceptually similar -- similar enough that the pledge could help sell voters on the benefits of the exchange itself.

Well, in doing research on what aspects of the Senate Finance health reform bill take effect when, I noticed this interesting provision as described by the very helpful Kaiser Family Foundation tool for making Side-by-Side comparisons of the various Congressional bills. The Senate Finance Bill appears to be the only one that includes this provision: "Provide elected officials and federal employees the option of purchasing coverage through the exchanges or through FEHBP."

In other words, while not mandatory, any member of Congress could choose to buy their coverage through the same mechanism that will be offered to those who currently lack insurance.

So, a bit more unsolicited advice for any member of Congress thinking about voting for health care reform: First, make sure this provision stays in whatever version of the bill gets to the floor of the House and Senate. Second, make a pledge, loud and clear, to buy your coverage though the exchange once it goes into effect in 2013.

And pollsters, if you haven't tested this message yet for your clients, you should. The script for the TV ad practically writes itself.


Disclosing Our Own Screwup

Topics: Pollster.com

In the spirit of transparency, we need to provide full disclosure of a mistake we made and an apology to our readers and to Rasmussen Reports.

In the year since the election, we have worked to create a new collection of charts that track all available surveys not just for election trial heat results but also a series of national measures, including presidential job approval ratings, favorable ratings, the national "generic" congressional ballot, the classic "right direction wrong track" question and a handful of measures of perceptions of the economy.

We started putting up new charts after the 2008 election knowing that some would "work" -- we would find enough reasonably comparable data from a variety of sources to make for a robust trend line -- and some would not. It was also probably inevitable that we would make a mistake or two along the way.

Well, as I discovered this past week, we did. For a handful of charts, we have been republishing some extraneous data from behind the gated subscriber pages on RasmussenReports.com. The affected charts are two that track perceptions of the economy (excellent/good/fair/poor and getting better/getting worse), our Obama favorable rating chart and the three charts that track the Obama job rating by party (Democrat, Republican and independent). Rasmussen does provide some results from these questions (usually just from one answer category) on their free-to-all "By The Numbers" page. For the economic charts, that represent the bulk of the data we misused, we were filling in results from the subscriber tabs for data omitted on the By-The-Numbers page.   Compounding the error, as noted last week, in one instance we were including numbers on our Obama favorable rating chart that were actually mislabeled job approval rating results.

I could tell a long story about a small error that cascaded, but it all boils down to a lack of clear communication by me. As such I deserve and will take full blame. So there is no confusion in the future, our policy henceforth is iron-clad: We will not republish a single number in our charts unless it has already been published or released into the public domain by the pollster or sponsor.

Knowing that Josh Tucker has raised some good questions about the whole notion of gated, subscriber-only crosstabs, I want to make clear that no one at Rasmussen complained to us about this issue. We discovered it ourselves and subsequently reached out to apologize, an apology I repeat publicly today. Except for the erroneously labeled data which we have already taken down, Scott Rasmussen has kindly granted us permission to leave the remaining data in place.

In correcting our error, however, it is now clear that two of our charts -- those tracking current and retrospective assessments of the economy -- will no longer "work" as intended. Virtually all of the data going forward would be coming from the Gallup Daily tracking and, as such, our chart would add no real value to those that Gallup publishes itself (here and here). We may rework our charts using only monthly values at some point in the future, but if we do, those charts will be based on monthly releases from other organizations, and from Gallup or Rasmussen should they ever opt to put monthly summaries into the public domain.


NC: Perdue Approval (PPP 10/2-4)


Public Policy Polling (D)
10/2-4/09; 683 likely voters, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(PPP release)

North Carolina

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Perdue: 24 / 54 (chart)


US: Health Care (Gallup 10/1-4)


Gallup
10/1-4/09; 1,013 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

National

Would you advise your member of Congress to vote for or against a health care bill this year?
51% Vote for, 41% Vote against


NC: Perdue Approval (Civitas 9/29-30)


Civitas Institute (R) / SurveyUSA
9/29-30/09; 600 registered voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(Civitas release)

North Carolina

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Perdue: 29 / 63 (chart)


KS: 2010 Sen (SurveyUSA 10/2-4)


SurveyUSA / KCTV-TV / KWCH-TV
10/2-4/09; 1,302 likely Republican primary voters
Mode: IVR
(SurveyUSA release)

Kansas

2010 Senate: Republican Primary
Jerry Moran 43%, Todd Tiahrt 27%


US: Iran (Pew 9/30-10/4)


9/30-10/4/09; 1,500 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew release)

National

How much confidence do you have in Barack Obama to do the right thing when it comes to dealing with Iran?
51% A great deal/A fair amount, 44% Not too much/no confidence at all

From what you know, do you approve or disapprove of the United States negotiating directly with Iran over the issue of its nuclear program?
63% Approve, 28% Disapprove

From what you know, do you think the United States negotiating directly with Iran will or will not work in getting Iran to give up its nuclear program?
22% Will work, 64% Will not work

Would you approve or disapprove of tougher international economic sanctions on Iran?
78% Approve, 12% Disapprove

Do you think tougher international economic sanctions on Iran would or would not work in getting Iran to give up its nuclear program?
32% Would work, 56% Would not work

In your opinion, which is more important -
61% To prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action
24% To avid a military conflict with Iran, even it it means they may develop nuclear weapons

Party ID
34% Democrat, 23% Republican, 37% independent (chart)


NH: 2010 Sen (UNH 9/25-10-2)


University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll
9/25-10/2/09; 503 adults, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(UNH release)

New Hampshire

2010 Senate (trends)
Ayotte 40%, Hodes 33% (chart)
Hodes 37%, Lamontagne 28%
Hodes 37%, Mahoney 28%

Favorable / Unfavorable
Kelly Ayotte: 37 / 8
Ovide Lamontagne: 11 / 7
Sean Mahoney: 5 / 3
Paul Hodes: 30 / 26
Jeanne Shaheen: 51 / 36 (chart)
Judd Gregg: 56 / 23 (chart)


NJ: Corzine 44 Christie 43 (FDickinson 9/28-10/5)


Fairleigh Dickinson University / PublicMind
9/28-10/5/09; 667 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Fairleigh Dickinson release)

New Jersey

Favorable / Unfavorable
Jon Corzine (D): 37 / 54 (chart)
Chris Christie (R): 35 / 42
Chris Daggett: 16 / 7

2009 Governor (chart)
Corzine 44%, Christie 43%, Daggett (vol.) 4%
Corzine 38%, Christie 37%, Daggett 17%

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Corzine: 29 / 69 (chart)


US: Afghanistan (Clarus 10/1-4)


Clarus Research Group
10/1-4/09; 1,000 registered voters, 3.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Clarus release)

National

Do you think the war in Afghanistan has been very successful, somewhat successful, somewhat unsuccessful, or very unsuccessful in terms of defeating the Taliban and Al Qaeda?
42% Very/Somewhat Successful, 55% Very/Somewhat Unsuccessful

Do you think the war in Afghanistan is a conflict the United States will eventually win, do you think it's a conflict the U.S. will eventually lose, or do you think it's a conflict that will go on and on without a clear resolution?
20% Eventually win, 6% Eventually lose, 68% Will go on and on

At this point - do you think President Obama should increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, keep the same number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan as there is now, or decrease the number of troops in Afghanistan and begin to get out?
38% Increase, 40% Decrease, 14% Keep the same


VA: MCDonnell 54 Deeds 43 (10/2-4)


SurveyUSA / WDBJ-TV / WJLA-TV
10/2-4/09; 608 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(WJLA story, SurveyUSA release)

Virginia

2009 Governor
McDonnell 54%, Deeds 43% (chart)


KY: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 9/30)


Rasmussen
9/30/09; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(Rasmussen release)

Kentucky

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 47 / 53
Gov. Beshear: 59 / 41

2010 Senate
Grayson (R) 44%, Mongiardo (D) 37%
Paul (R) 43%, Mongiardo (D) 38%
Grayson (R) 40%, Conway (D) 40%
Conway (D) 42%, Paul (R) 38%

Favorable / Unfavorable
Trey Grayson: 53 / 20
Daniel Mongiardo: 41 / 43
Rand Paul: 51 / 23
Jack Conway: 49 / 27

Generally speaking, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and the congressional Democrats?
39% Strongly/Somewhat Favor, 57% Strongly/Somewhat Oppose


US: Health Care (Fox 9/29-30)


Fox News / Opinion Dynamics
9/29-30/09; 900 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Fox release)

National

Based on what you know about the health care reform legislation being considered right now, do you favor or oppose the plan?
33% Favor, 53% Oppose (chart)

How concerned are you that Congress will pass health care reform legislation that will be bad for you and your family?
74% Very/Somewhat, 24% Not very/Not at all

How concerned are you that Congress will fail to pass health care reform legislation and leave many Americans uninsured?
70% Very/Somewhat, 26% Not very / Not at all

Some Americans choose not to buy health insurance even though they can afford it. The president's plan requires all Americans who can afford it to have some form of health insurance or else pay a penalty. Failure to pay the penalty would result in an even larger fine, a jail sentence of up to one-year, or both. Do you think the government should be able to require all Americans who can afford it to have health insurance or pay a penalty?
33% Yes, 62% No

Right now, people can only buy health insurance from companies that are allowed to sell health insurance in their state. Would you favor or oppose going to a nationwide system that would allow insurance companies to sell to anyone no matter where they live in the country?
77% Favor, 17% Oppose


WI: 2010 Gov (WPRI 9/27-29)


Wisconsin Policy Research Institute / University of Wisconsin
9/27-29/09; 700 adults, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(release, toplines)

Wisconsin

Favorable / Unfavorable
Jim Doyle (D): 44 / 47 (chart)
Tommy Thompson (R): 55 / 31
Barbara Lawton (D): 21 / 21
Tom Barrett (D): 36 / 12
Russ Feingold (D): 54 / 30 (chart)
Scott Walker (R): 30 / 16
Mark Neumann (R): 24 / 12

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 57 / 40 (chart)
Gov. Doyle: 43 / 52 (chart)

2010 Governor: Democratic Primary (trends)
38% Barrett, 16% Lawton

2010 Governor: Republican Primary (trends)
39% Walker, 14% Neumann, 4% Michels


US: Health Care (Rasmussen 10/2-3)


Rasmussen
10/2-3/09; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(Rasmussen release)
(Update: Health care plan favor/oppose)

National

Update: Generally speaking, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and the congressional Democrats?
46% Favor, 50% Oppose

Would you favor or oppose the creation of a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option that people could choose instead of a private health insurance plan?
46% Favor, 37% Oppose

Suppose that the creation of a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option encouraged companies to drop private health insurance coverage for their workers. Workers would then be covered by the government option. Would you favor or oppose the creation of a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option if it encouraged companies to drop private health insurance coverage for their workers?
29% Favor, 58% Oppose

Would a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option-
34% Save taxpayers money, 53% Cost taxpayers money

Who is likely to provide better service and more choice-
37% A government-sponsored non-profit insurance option
48% A private health insurance company

What is more important -
30% Giving consumers the choice of a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option
63% Guaranteeing that no one is forced to change their health insurance coverage


What If Health Reform Passes?

Topics: Billy Tauzin , Health Care Reform , John Rother , Medicare , Medicare Drug Benefit , National Journal column , Ron Pollack

My column this week looks at the evolution of impressions of the Medicare prescription drug benefit among seniors in the years following its passage as a way to anticipate how public opinion toward health care reform might evolve should Congress pass a bill this year. Seniors were initially skeptical of the new benefit, and struggled with its complexity during the initial enrollment period, but grew much more positive as they started to experience the program's full benefits. The big lesson from that experience is that the timing of the initial benefits or initial costs will matter a great deal.

After filing the column on Friday, my colleague Ron Brownstein alerted me to a portion of panel discussion he moderated that covered this topic.  The panel was hosted two weeks ago by the Bipartisan Policy Center. In the second video segment, a question comes up at about the 12:00 minute mark i(transcription that follows is mine):

Q: Assuming something does pass... next year when the Democrats are up for reelection, what the things they can point to in this bill that are will mean something to people since so much of the discussion is about things that will take years to accomplish?

Ron Pollack (Executive Director, Families USA): That's a critical question because as you correctly indicated, 2013 is essentially the implementation date for so many of these things. I was telling an anecdote before we got up here. My sister-in-law called last night. She's moved and she's trying to purchase individual coverage and because she's had a health problem, she's tried to get coverage on the individual market and because she's had some health problems, she's been turned down. So she said, "I'm really rooting for health care reform to happen so I can get my coverage this year," and I said, "sorry, it's not going to happen." I think the legislation will pass, but so much of health reform is not going to be implemented until 2013.

Note: The current draft of the Senate Finance Committee bill includes a provision to create a high-risk pool in 2010 to help provide coverage to those denied it due to pre-existing conditions.  Pollack continues:

One of [the] things we've counseled to folks on the Hill and the White House is you've got to line up a number of things that are concrete that people can actually feel and touch with respect to what happens between now and 2010 and its difficult to do that because of the fiscal constraints. You can't put a whole new regimen that's going to spend a lot of money, but there are going to be, I think, a number of things that are going to be improvements. Take one example: Billy [Tauzin] and PhRMA worked out arrangements in terms of helping seniors with respect to the [Medicare drug benefit] donut hole. At least they're going to get discounts for brand name drugs that will subsidize fifty percent of the cost in the donut hole. That's a significant thing that I think is going to be very helpful to seniors.

I think there will be some efforts at insurance market reforms such as prohibiting rescissions of policies. I think you're going to see, as this bill goes to conference, much greater attention given to what can we do that's implemented in 2010 so that when people go to the polls in 2010 then can feel some concrete benefit.

John Rother (Executive Vice President, Policy and Strategy, AARP): All of us know, after the prescription drug benefit was enacted, which was by the way an exact parallel, politically, to this debate except for the parties switched, we did enact a discount card that people could use immediately before the full program went into effect precisely to offer people something tangible of benefit before they could realize the full program. So I'm hoping we can do something similar.

Billy Tauzin (President and CEO, PhRMA): That was a six hundred dollar per senior benefit, twelve hundred dollars in a couple, that was available immediately, and not everybody took advantage of that. I think it was about an eighteen percent take, but it was there immediately to help people in the interim before implementation. We're going to need probably to look at that as we get through this process. Where are those points were we can do something immediately.

Of course, that initial benefit did not eliminate seniors' suspicions about the program. More had unfavorable impressions than favorable on the Kaiser Family Foundation tracking until enrollment in the full program ramped up in late 2006. See the column for full details.


Revisiting Obama's health care speech

Topics: Barack Obama , health care , Health Care Reform , Speech Reaction

Back on Sept. 9, I predicted that President Obama's speech to Congress on health care was "not likely to change much in terms of public opinion" based on previous political science research. A few days later, I noted weak and inconsistent evidence of an effect (a claim that was disputed by Nate Silver). University of Wisconsin political scientist Charles Franklin subsequently weighed in, finding that "Opposition [to health care reform] has grown but is now slowed to a near halt" while "[s]upport reversed its decline sometime in August and has begun an upturn" which was "probably driven by the speech."

So how do things look today? Here are estimated trend lines for Obama job approval and support for health care reform:

Obama-app

Hcp

To maximize the likelihood of seeing an effect, I've restricted the date range to July 1-October 5 and used the most sensitive trend line estimator. Nonetheless, the effect of the speech on Obama's job approval is minimal -- the graph shows a small upward blip after the speech but the series quickly returned to its previous trajectory. There was a small bounce in support for health care reform after the speech, but part of the effect dissipated. Meanwhile, estimated opposition to reform, which dipped in the wake of the speech, quickly rebounded toward previous levels and is now greater than it was before the speech. When Charlie Rangel said before the speech that "this level of involvement from the president could well be a game-changer," I don't think these were the results he had in mind.

I'm emphasizing this point because there's a misperception among journalists that the president can easily move public opinion. As we've seen again and again over the years, it's simply not true, but the lack of followup by the press means that the lesson is never learned. (At most, a failure to move poll numbers is blamed on some specific aspect of president's message or strategy.) So we repeat the same cycle over and over again.

(Cross-posted to brendan-nyhan.com)


Delayed 'till Sunday 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

The New York Times' Shaila Dewan reviews the Strategic Vision story, confirms that the Atlanta Journal Constitution never received "supporting documentation" for their polls after repeated requests.

The National Council on Public Polls issues its own call for full disclosure: "A refusal to disclose can ignite the suspicion that there is something to hide."

Joshua Tucker calls on Rasmussen to free its cross-tabs.

The Pew Research Center finds slipping support for abortion; Jon Cohen and Gary Langer see no such evidence on other polls; John Sides has Deja Vu.

Ezra Klein and Brenden Nyhan note that Republican Party favorable ratings are much lower now than in 1994; Ed Kilgore amplifies.

Jennifer Agiesta looks at support for the Public Option in the 13 states represented by Finance Committee Senators that opposed it; Alan Reifman reacts.

Tom Jensen shares a word on party ID on their Virginia survey.

Glen Bolger sees an opening in Obama's weak approval ratings on top issue priorities.

Doug Schoen says Americans want entrepreneurship-friendly policies.

Resurgent Republic summarizes how the cost of health care reform cuts into its support.

Eric Kleefeld thinks polling gives Obama a reason to smile, also sums up the polling in NJ and VA.

Tom Edsall examines the income divide among Democrats.

Andrew Gelman assesses Norman Podhoretz' Why Are Jews Liberal.

Chris Bowers requests tabs showing Sestak leading Specter among PA voters who know both.

Another RNC survey earns the "push poll" label (via Smith).

The Associated Press reports on call center Western Wats employing children as young as 13.


 

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