November 22, 2009 - November 28, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Gallup finds Obama's approval declining to 39% among whites.

Chris Beam reminds us why we should not compare favorable ratings to job ratings; Andrew Malcolm, are you listening?

Nate Silver and Tom Jensen think Obama gets bonus points in a race against Palin.

Gary Langer reviews the risks for Obama in his Afghanistan decision.

Frank Newport wishes Obama's job summit would include more average Americans.

Jennifer De Pinto sees recent declines for Obama with independents in CBS News polls

Tom Jensen attributes Obama's recent declining approval to Republicans and highlights a drop in Mitt Romney's favorable rating.

Whit Ayres and Ed Gillespie focus group independents who supported Obama

Alex Bratty sees peril for Obama in the KSM trial.

Chris Bowers finds greater Obama primary vulnerability from the right.

Ruy Teixeira highlights support for investment in health care prevention.

John Sides assesses reactions to the Public Option with and without triggers and opt-outs.

Project Vote releases a new report on the demographics of the 2008 electorate (via Ambinder)

Adam Nagourney is not surprised by the slide in Obama approval.

Jonathan Chait examines the popularity of health care reform.

David Frum ponders Sarah Palin's woman problem (via Sullivan).

Greg Sargent has the crosstabs on the Post/ABC polling on global warming.

Eugene Caruso, Nicole Mead and Emily Balcetis publish a provocative study on the politics of skin color (via Ambinder).

Doug Hoffman concedes NY-23 (again).

Fox News breaks new ground in "chart fail" (via Lundry and reader JB).


And here are some statistics we are thankful for -- thanks to all of you who visited Pollster.com in 2009! We will be taking a break beginning tomorrow and will return full force on Monday, although I may post a few 'outlers' as warranted.

Happy Thanksgiving!

US: 2012 Pres (Rasmussen 11/24)

11/24/09; 800 likely voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2012 President
44% Romney, 44% Obama
45% Obama, 41% Huckabee
46% Obama 43% Palin
42% Obama, 34% Romney, 14% Dobbs
42% Obama, 36% Huckabee, 12% Dobbs
44% Obama, 37% Palin, 12% Dobbs

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 48 / 51 (chart)
Mitt Romney: 49 / 38 (chart)
Mike Huckabee: 58 / 30 (chart)
Sarah Palin: 46 / 49 (chart)
Lou Dobbs: 33 / 42

WI: Ratings (PPP 11/20-22)

Public Policy Polling (D)
11/20-22/09; 767 registered voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)


Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Doyle: 29 / 57 (chart)
Sen. Kohl: 45 / 35 (chart)

If there was an election for Congress today, would you vote Democratic or Republican?
43% Republican 41% Democratic

US: News Interest, Mammograms (Pew 11/20-23)

Pew Research Center
11/20-23/09; 1,002 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew release)


Most Closely Followed Story
41% Debate over health care reofrm
18% Repoerts about swine flu and the vaccine
11% New guidelines recommending when women should get mammograms
11% The debate over whether to send more troops to Afghanistan
4% President Obama's trip to Asia
2% NEws about Sarah Palin and the release of her book

All things considered....these days have you been hearing too much, too little, or the right amount about Sarah Palin?
52% Too much, 13% Too little, 26% Right amount

In general, were you surprised or not surprised by new mammogram recommendations made by a federally appointed task force?
70% Surprised, 29% Not surprised

In general, do you agree or disagree with the recommendations of the task force?
22% Agree, 68% Disagree

US: Afghanistan (Gallup 11/20-22)

11/20-22/09; 1,017 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)


Thinking now about U.S. military action in Afghanistan that began in October 2001, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending military forces to Afghanistan, or not?
36% Yes, 60% No

In general, how would you say things are going for the U.S. in Afghanistan
32% Very/Moderately Well, 66% Very/Moderately Badly

Which of the following would you like to see President Obama do:
37% Increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by the roughly 40,000 the U.S. commanding general there has recommended
10% Increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan but by a smaller amount than the 40,000 the U.S. commanding general there has recommended
9% Keep the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan the same as now
39% Begin to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan

AZ: 2010 Sen, Gov (ASU 11/19-22)

Arizona State University / KAET
11/19-22/09; 862 registered voters, 3.3% margin of error
ModE: Live telephone interviews
(KAET release)


2010 Governor
Terry Goddard (D) 47%, Jan Brewer (R) 28%

2010 Senate
John McCain (R) 50%, Janet Napolitano (D) 41%

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 48 / 48

False hopes on Obama approval

Topics: Approval Ratings , Barack Obama , health care , Health Care Reform

A New York Times story on President Obama's approval rating yesterday included this unpersuasive claim:

If Congress passes Mr. Obama's health care bill, the White House -- and many independent analysts -- believe that the accomplishment of a signature campaign promise is likely to push the president's approval ratings back up.

I can see why the White House might make this argument to wavering Senate moderates, but who are these unnamed "independent analysts" and what are they talking about? I don't know any reason to expect that Obama will receive a significant approval boost from passage of health care.

Let's consider the last three presidents who passed a "signature campaign promise" during their first year in office -- Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush. (I'm omitting George H.W. Bush, who didn't have much of a domestic agenda.)

-Congress passed Reagan's budget on June 25, 1981 and passed his tax bill on July 29, 1981. Here are his approval ratings from Gallup from that period:

[Budget passes June 25]
[Tax bill passes July 29]

Do you see an approval boost? I don't.

-Bill Clinton signed his deficit reduction bill on August 10, 1993 (the major votes were on August 5 and 6). You can argue about whether this was a "signature campaign promise" (Clinton increased his focus on the deficit after taking office), but it was the major legislative accomplishment of his first year in office and there's no evidence he received a boost from it:

[Bill passes August 5-6]
8/8-10/9344 %
[Bill signed August 10]

-Finally, there's George W. Bush, who passed his tax cut bill on May 26, 2001 and signed it into law on June 7, 2001 -- as with the previous two examples, there was no discernable bump in approval (I'm omitting the bipartisan No Child Left Behind bill, but the story is the same there):

5/7-9/01 53%
[Bill passes May 26, signed June 7]
6/8-10/01 55%
6/11-17/01 55%
6/28-7/1/01 52%
7/10-11/01 50%

The larger story here is that many journalists and political operatives have a wildly exaggerated view of the president's ability to change public opinion outside of a foreign policy context (as with the Obama's health care speech). The reality is that Obama, like his predecessors, is largely at the mercy of the economy and external events unless a new war or foreign policy crisis emerges.

Update 11/25 8:50 PM: Via a reader comment below, here's another useful comparison -- LBJ's approval numbers when Medicare was enacted (it passed Congress July 27-28, 1965, and was signed into law on July 30):

5/13-18/65 70%
6/4-9/65 69%
6/24-29/65 66%
7/16-21/65 66%
[Bill passes July 27-28, signed July 30]
8/5-10/65 65%
8/27-9/1/65 64%

The same conclusion applies.

(Cross-posted to brendan-nyhan.com)

NY: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 11/23)

11/23/09; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

New York

2010 Senate
Giuliani 53%, Gillibrand 40% (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Rudy Giuliani: 63 / 33
Kirsten Gillibrand: 46 / 41 (chart)

MA: 2010 Gov, Sen Special (Rasmussen 11/23)

11/23/09; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
567 likely Democratic primary voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)
(update: governor)


Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 55 / 44
Gov. Patrick: 34 / 64

2010 Governor
Patrick (D) 32%, Cahill (i) 28%, Mihos (R) 26%
Patrick (D) 33%, Baker (R) 28%, Cahill (i) 25%

Favorable / Unfavorable
Christy Mihos: 46 / 36
Deval Patrick: 42 / 56
Tim Cahill: 49 / 28
Charlie Baker: 42 / 29

2010 Senate Special: Democratic Primary
Coakley 36%, Capuano 21%, Khazei 14%, Pagliuca 14%

Favorable / Unfavorable (among Democrats)
Martha Coakley: 61 / 30
Michael Capuano: 62 / 26
Alan Khazei: 47 / 31
Stephen Pagliuca: 49 / 37

Census Interviewer Death Deemed Suicide

Topics: Interviewers , US Census

In September, we blogged news reports about a Kentucky Census interviewer who was found dead with the word "fed" scrawled across his chest. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports today that authorities have determined the death was a suicide (h/t Alex Lundry):

A U.S. Census worker whose death in a secluded Kentucky cemetery sparked worries about a backlash against the federal government killed himself but tried to make the death look like a homicide, authorities have concluded.

Bill Sparkman, 51, of London, Ky., might have tried to cover the manner of his death to preserve payments under life-insurance polices that he had taken out. The policies wouldn't pay off if Sparkman committed suicide, state police Capt. Lisa Rudzinski said.

"We believe it was an intentional act on his part to take his own life," said Rudzinski, who helped lead the investigation.

TPM's Zachary Roth has the full statement from the Kentucky State Police; The Associated Press and The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe and Carol Morello have more.

Unemployment Trends in the States


It is of interest to look closely at which states have unemployment that is beginning to fall and which are still rising. Likewise which states are above and which below the national trend.

States are ordered from lowest unemployment at the top left to highest at the bottom right.

Click the chart for a large (1024x768) image for the details.

US: 2012 Pres (DemCorps 11/12-16)

Democracy Corps (D)*
11/12-16/09; 1,000 2008 voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(DemCorps release)

*Democracy Corps is a non-profit organization founded by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and Democratic consultant James Carville.


State of the Country
36% Right Direction, 57% Wrong Track (chart)

Obama Job Approval
50% Approve, 44% Disapprove (chart)

2012 President
47% Barack Obama (D)
37% Mitt Romney (R)
5% Lou Dobbs (America First Party)
4% Ralph Nader (G)

2010 House: National Ballot
48% Democratic candidate, 43% Republican candidate (chart)

Party ID
40% Democrat, 30% Republican, 29% independent (chart)

NV: 2010 Gov (NNB 11/20-21)

Nevada News Bureau / PMI Inc.
11/20-21/09; 3,080 likely voters, 5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Nevada News Bureau release)


2010 Governor (trends)
35% Brian Sandoval (R), 28% Oscar Goodman (i), 21% Rory Reid (D)

US: National Survey (ARG 11/17-20)

American Research Group (R)
11/17-20/09; 1,100 adults, 2.6% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(ARG release)


Obama Job Approval
51% Approve, 44% Disapprove (chart)
Reps: 14 / 83 (chart)
Dems: 82 / 14 (chart)
Inds: 45 / 48 (chart)
Economy: 47 / 47 (chart)

WI: 2010 Sen (PPP 11/20-22)

Public Policy Polling (D)
11/20-22/09; 767 likely voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)


Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 47 / 47 (chart)
Sen. Feingold: 45 / 37 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Tommy Thompson: 38 / 45
Terrence Wall: 2 / 13
Dave Westlake: 2 / 9

2010 Senate (trends)
Feingold 50%, Thompson 41%
Feingold 48%, Wall 34%
Feingold 47%, Westlake 32%

NY: 2010 Sen (Zogby 11/20-21)

11/20-21/09; 982 likely voters, 3.2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Zogby release)

New York

2010 Senate: General Election
45% Giuliani, 43% Gillibrand (chart)
43% Gillibrand, 38% Pataki (chart)

2010 Senate: Republican Primary (trends)
72% Giuliani, 28% Pataki

US: Health Care (Kaiser 11/5-12)

Kaiser Family Foundation
11/5-12/09; 1,203 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Kaiser: summary, toplines)


Which comes closer to describing your own views? Given the serious economic problems facing the country we cannot afford to take on health care reform right now or it is more important than ever to take on health care reform now?
58% Take on now, 36% Cannot afford

Which comes closer to describing your own views?
35% The president and Congress need to take on health care reform now, and I like what I'm hearing about the proposals currently being considered
33% The president and Congress need to take on health care reform now, but I don't like whatI'm hearing about the proposals being considered
26% I don't think the president and Congress should take on health care reform right now

Do you think _____ would be better off or worse off if the president and Congress passed health care reform, or don't you think it would make much difference?
You and your family: 42% Better, 24% Worse, 27% Not much difference
The country as a whole: 54% Better, 27% Worse, 11% Not much difference
Seniors age 65+: 43% Better, 29% Worse, 19% Not much difference

What do you think would be better for _____ when it comes to health care: if Congress passed the proposals they are currently considering, or if the current health care system were left in place with no changes?
You and your family: 42% Pass proposals, 40% No changes
The country as a whole: 50% Pass proposals, 39% No changes

Do you favor or oppose.....

Requiring all Americans to have health insurance, either from their employer or from another source, with financial help for those who can't afford it
72% Favor, 25% Oppose

Creating a government-administered public health insurance option to compete with private health insurance plans
59% Favor, 36% Oppose

Requiring employers to offer health insurance to their workers or pay money into a government fund that will pay to cover those without insurance
68% Favor, 29% Oppose

Would you be willing to pay more--either in higher health insurance premiums or higher taxes-- in order to increase the number of Americans who have health insurance, or not?
42% Yes, 54% No

NJ: Approval Ratings (Quinnipiac 11/17-22)

11/17-22/09; 1,615 registered voters, 2.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

New Jersey

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Corzine: 31 / 59 (chart)
Sen. Lautenberg: 40 / 41 (chart)
Sen. Menendez: 36 / 37 (chart)
Pres. Obama: 51 / 42 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Chris Christie: 36 / 25

US: Health Care (Rasmussen 11/21-22)

11/21-22/09; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


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?
38% Favor, 56% Oppose (chart)

If the health care reform plan passes, will the quality of health care get better, worse, or stay about the same?
20% Better, 54% Worse, 19% Same

If the health care reform plan passes, will the cost of health care go up, go down, or stay about the same?
60% Up, 16% Down, 18% Same

US: Mammograms (Gallup 11/20-22)

USA Today / Gallup
11/20-22/09; 1,136 women age 35-75, 4% margin of error
981 women aged 35-75 who have had a mammogram, 4% margin of error
284 women aged 35-49 who have not been diagnosed with breast cancer, 7% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)


Next, we'd like to know about your experiences with getting mammograms, the x-rays designed to screen for breast cancer. Which of the following applies to you - you have never had a mammogram, you have had at least one mammogram, but have not had these on a regular basis, or you have had regular mammograms?
13% Never had a mammogram
26% Had at least one, not regularly
58% Had regular mammograms
3% Not asked - breast cancer survivor

Among those who have had mammograms: We'd like to know how stressful the experiences you have had with mammograms have been for you, both in terms of the actual procedure and also any concerns raised by the test results. Which of the following applies to you --having mammograms has never been stressful for you, on at least one occasion having a mammogram was somewhat stressful for you, or on at least one occasion having a mammogram was very stressful for you?
55% Never been stressful
29% Somewhat stressful at least once
15% Very stressful at least once

As you may know, medical guidelines have called for most women to have their first mammogram at age 40 and then to have follow-up mammograms every year. The advisory panel now recommends increasing the age for a first mammogram to age 50, and changing the frequency to every two years. What is your opinion of the new recommendations, do you-
22% Agree, 76% Disagree

Just your best guess, do you think the panel's recommendations were mainly based on a fair assessment of the true medical risks and benefits of mammograms for women in their 40s, or mainly based on the potential for cost savings in the healthcare system?
16% Assessment of risks and benefits, 76% Potential for cost savings

Among those who have not been diagnosed with breast cancer: Do you think you will, personally, wait until age 50 to get your next mammogram, or will you get one sooner than that?
13% Wait until age 50, 84% Get sooner than that

US: Afghanistan (CNN 11/13-15)

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
11/13-15/09; 1,014 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)


Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Afghanistan?
45% Favor, 52% Oppose

If Barack Obama decided to send about 34,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, would you favor or oppose that decision?
50% Favor, 49% Oppose

And if Obama decided to send a smaller number of additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, would you favor or oppose that decision?
42% Favor, 56% Oppose

In general, how would you say things are going for the U.S. in Afghanistan?
32% Very/Moderately Well, 66% Very/Moderately Badly

Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq?
36% Favor, 62% Oppose

As you may know, the U.S. sent 20,000 combat troops to Iraq in 2007 in what was called a surge. Based on what you have read or heard, do you think that surge of U.S. troops to Iraq has been a success or a failure?
56% Success, 38% Failure

DC: 2010 Mayor (Clarus 11/15-18)

Clarus Research Group
11/15-18/09; 501 registered voters, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Clarus: release, powerpoint)

Washington, D.C.

Job Approval / Disapproval
Mayor Fenty: 43 / 49

As you may know, Washington, D.C. will have an election for Mayor next year. At this point, would you like to see Adrian Fenty re-elected Mayor or would you like to see somebody new get elected?
34% Fenty re-elected, 53% Somebody new

2010 Mayor: Democratic Primary
34% Adrian Fenty, 24% Vincent Gray, 13% Kwame Brown, 6% Michael Brown
41% Gray, 37% Fenty

ME: Collins, Snowe (Zogby 11/19-20)

ME: Collins, Snowe (Zogby 11/19-20)

Zogby / League of American Voters*
11/19-20/09; 502 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Zogby release)

*The League of American Voters is a conservative non-profit opposed to health care reform legislation


Favorable / Unfavorable
Olympia Snowe: 84 /15
Susan Collins: 77 / 22

NY: 2010 Sen (Marist 11/12-17)

11/12-17/09; 805 registered voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Marist release)

New York

Job Rating
Sen. Gillibrand: 25 / 51 (chart)
Sen. Schumer: 54 / 42 (chart)
Pres. Obama: 55 / 44 (chart)

2010 Senate
47% Pataki, 45% Gillibrand (chart)

US: Job Market (Rutgers 11/5-15)

11/5-15/09; 652 Adults in the workforces (employed or looking for work)
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Rutgers release)



Despite recent reports from economic experts and national policymakers that the recession may be over, most American workers (53%) believe that the United States is still in a recession. Another 29% go further, labeling the U.S. economy as being in a depression. Half of the workers surveyed believe the American economy is undergoing a profound and lasting transformation. These grim assessments come from a newly completed Work Trends study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University entitled The No Confidence Economy.

Obama Approval House Effects

Topics: House Effects

Obama Approval:

While many pollsters have yet to do very many presidential approval polls, we have finally built up enough to take a look at house effects. The red lines & dots are each pollster, the blue line is our standard trend estimate. I'll let the pictures have their thousand words and leave it at that for now.

Obama Disapproval:

Obama and Independents

Updated with latest Gallup data, see end of post.


A quick look at Obama trends with independents. There have been several articles in the last week about independents deserting the Dems. A good bit of that was spurred by the huge Rep margins among independents in VA (66-33) and NJ (60-30-9) governors races. There are also some indications on policy issues that independents are not supporting Democratic positions.

But support for Obama has not plummeted among independents, and that needs to be clarified before it becomes erroneous conventional wisdom. It especially makes no sense to compare independent support in January with independent support now, and conclude there has been a collapse of support. The pattern this fall, since Sept 1, has been quite stable among independents. Depending on which polls you use, a shade up or a shade down, but overall, not a huge trend either way over the past 3 months.

In the chart above I use Gallup's weekly aggregation of their tracking poll. This gives lots of cases each week, so we have good sample sizes for each of the three partisan groups. It is all within the same organization, so we also have an apples-to-apples comparison. My concern is the trend, not the level of approval. Gallup's daily runs a couple points higher than average on Obama job approval, but that's not relevant to seeing if the trend is changing. (And yes, I know approval dropped under 50 in Gallup's daily over the weekend. Give it a week or so and we'll see what affect this had on each party group but for now I care about the last three months.)

The clear message of the chart is that all three partisan groups have plateaued since the end of August, with little real change since.

What about disgruntled liberal Dems and angry conservative Reps? Let's look at those numbers:


There is no evidence that any group of Dems, especially liberal Dems are unhappy with Obama's performance. Critical is that moderate and even conservative Dems have not moved away since August. Angry conservative Reps are indeed very unhappy with Obama, at almost the same level of disgust as Dems felt for Bush, but they too have reached a plateau at a steady 10% approval. The small number of moderate Reps have also plateaued (I'd discount small moves in the last week of the aggregation.)

So the point is simple: Claims of abandonment of Obama by independents (or lib-Dems or con-Dems) are substantially exaggerated over the past three months. Significant decline from May through August, yes indeed among Inds and Reps, but that trend halted in August.

You can amuse yourself with our interactive pollster chart for independents, which includes all polls. You can remove whatever polls you don't like and see that it makes some difference to what you see recently. (including only live interviewer polls mirrors the Gallup weekly trends pretty well.) Our overall, no cherry picking allowed, estimate sees a small decline recently, that is not visible in the weekly Gallups. But it is not a large decline and until it turns more sharply, I'm not convinced we see a bit move among independents as it concerns Obama support. On other issues, yes Dems should be concerned. But not on this one. Not yet.

Technical note: The Gallup weekly plots are my local regression fits to Gallup's raw weekly numbers. They are not the raw Gallup percentages.

UPDATE: Gallup's weekly update came out this morning. As has been much discussed, Gallup's daily dipped below 50% in the last few days. So this update now reflects that week's polling and could alter the results of the old data.

There are some minor changes (as there logically must be with a dip!). But I don't think the changes we see in the last week change my conclusions. The basic stability of the last three months still show clearly. The last week sees a small dip (a point or two) among independents and among conservative Dems. Those are potentially important for the future, but my primary point remains: let's not exaggerate the changes that have occurred in the last 3 months, or confuse them with the substantial changes in May-August. If there is to be a new decline among any groups, it is a change that has not yet occurred, though this past week's Gallup results may be the first harbinger.

Also remember my lines in the chart are my local fits, not Gallup's raw numbers. The raw numbers show an overall dip of 4 percentage points, and 4 percentage points among independents. My local fits are bit resistant to change and will need to be convinced that change is real by it holding next week as well. (And by the way, I think this dip is not surprising-- I don't buy the arguments for a "floor" for this or any president. If you are close to 50%, odds are you will dip below it at some point. And you might rise too. Depends on events and how you handle them, not a fixed floor.)



My Take on "Next to Useless"

Topics: Issue polls , Joe Klein , Measurement , National Journal column

Last week, I highlighted a post by Time's Joe Klein concluding that "polling on issues," as reported by most news media, "is next to useless--especially on issues as emotionally complicated as wars and as technically complicated as health care reform." I share my thoughts on in my column, posted this morning on NationalJournal.com. Short version: He's right that no one poll question captures all of public opinion on an issue like health care, but we get closer to the truth, including some on the same CNN poll the provoked Klein's criticism.

US: Generic Ballot (PPP 11/13-15)

Public Policy Polling (D)
11/13-15/09; 1,066 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)


Job Approval / Disapproval
Democrats in Congress: 37 / 52
Republicans in Congress: 25 / 57

2010 House: Generic Ballot
46% Democrat, 38% Republican (chart)

If Congress doesn't pass any health care reform bill, would you vote for a Democrat or a Republican for Congress next year?
40% Democrat, 40% Republican

If Democrats in Congress pass a health care reform bill with a public option, would you vote
for a Democrat or a Republican for Congress next year?

46% Democrat, 41% Republican

AZ: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 11/18)

11/18/09; 1,200 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 40 / 60
Gov. Brewer: 39 / 57

2010 Governor
44% Goddard, 35% Brewer
51% Arpaio, 39% Goddard
40% Goddard, 38% Martin

Favorable / Unfavorable
Jan Brewer: 44 / 48
Terry Goddard: 51 / 35
Joe Arpaio: 63 / 31
Dean Martin: 41 / 27
John McCain: 54 / 43

IA: Obama, 2012 Candidates (DMR 11/8-11)

Des Moines Register / Selzer & Co.
11/8-11/09; 800 adults, 4.2% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Des Moines Register: Obama, 2012 candidates)


Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 49 / 44

Favorable / Unfavorable
Mike Huckabee: 54 / 22
Sarah Palin: 37 / 55
Newt Gingrich: 42 / 36
Mitt Romney: 40 / 31
Tim Pawlenty: 17 / 10
Bobby Jindal: 16 / 10
George Pataki: 16 / 14

ND: 2010 Sen (Zogby 11/17-18)

Zogby / League of American Voters*
11/17-18/09; 502 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Zogby release)

*The League of American Voters is a conservative non-profit opposed to health care reform legislation

North Dakota

Favorable / Unfavorable
Kent Conrad: 69 / 30
Byron Dorgan: 73 / 26
John Hoeven: 93 / 7
Duane Sand: 48 / 16

2010 Senate
Hoeven 55%, Dorgan 36%
Dorgan 60%, Sand 28%

MI: 2010 Gov Primaries (Denno-Noor 11/12-17)

Denno-Noor (D) / Rossman Group / Perricone Group
11/12-17/09; 950 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Likely Democratic voters: 5% margin of error
Likely Republican voters: 5.6% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Detroit Free Press article)


2010 Governor: Democratic Primary
20% John Cherry, 6% Andy Dillon, 6% George Perles, 2% John Freeman, 2% Alma Wheeler Smith

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
21% Pete Hoekstra, 15% Mike Cox, 13% Michael Bouchard, 5% Rick Snyder, 3% Tom George

MA: 2010 Sen Special (UNH 11/13-18)

University of New Hampshire / Boston Globe
11/13-18/09; 537 likely Democratic primary voters, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Globe story, UNH toplines)


Favorable / Unfavorable (among likely Democratic primary voters
Michael Capuano: 56 / 14
Martha Coakley: 71 / 13
Alan Khazei: 28 / 12
Steve Pagliuca: 40 / 22

2010 Senate Special: Democratic Primary
43% Coakley, 22% Capuano, 15% Pagliuca, 6% Khazei

A Big Fat 'Outlier'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Rush Limbaugh accuses Gallup of "upping the sample to black Americans to keep [Obama] up at 50% in the Gallup poll." Media Matters has the audio. Gallup's Frank Newport responds calling Limbaugh's statement, appropriately, "a complete and inexplicable fabrication."

Greg Sargent explains why this "lurid utterance...even by Rush's standards...is such a casually reckless smear, so nonchalant in its play on racially-charged paranoia about this president, that it really deserves to be flagged as a reminder of where we are today."

Gallup finds Obama's job approval dropping to 49%.

A PPP poll showing a majority of Republican saying that ACORN stole the election for Obama gets a lot of attention and provokes an outbreak of sarcasm ; John Sides has a worthy reality check.

Andrew Gelman, Nate Silver and Daniel Lee show lawmakers following presidential popularity more than public opinion on health care; Gelman has more on their charts and maps; JunkCharts approves.

Anthony Salvanto looks at the politics of the health care vote for Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln.

Mark Mellman and Geoff Garin tell Democratic Senators that their fate is joined with Obama's health care plan.

Health Care for America Now (HCAN) distributes polling showing support for an up-or-down vote on health reform.

David Paul Kuhn finds support for the GOP among white women.

Chris Bowers does a graphical comparison of Obama's recent approval rating an the Obama-McCain vote.

Nate Silver shows a close parallel between Barack Obama's overall rating and his ratings on the economy and health care.

Chris Good reviews Sarah Palin's popularity.

The DNC hits back at a Politico story on independents turning on Democrats.

Project Vote shows increasing diversity in the 2008 electorate (via Ambinder).

Eric Kleefleld and Steve Benen note support for Obama's bow to the Japanese emperor in a Fox News poll.

Derek Thompson reminds us that unemployment exceeded 8% in only one midterm election in the last 50 years (1982); Ross Douthat has more.

Nathaniel Persily blogs more about public opinion and hate speech.

Research Rockstar recommends five favorite market research blogs.

Microsoft files a patent claim for Edward Tufte's "sparklines in the grid" (via DaringFireball).

[Updated to move "appropriately" in first item to a more appropriate spot].