Pollster.com

March 21, 2010 - March 27, 2010

 

Want Mail Tomorrow? 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Ron Brownstein sees Democrats caught in a populist crossfire.

National Journal's Insiders expect their own bases to be more energized by health reform in 2010.

Brendan Nyhan follows up on the challenge of dispelling health reform myths.

Frank Newport says Gallup will "continue to poll" on health reform.

Kos notes a narrowing of the intensity gap.

The Jerusalem Post finds only 9% of Isreali's consider Obama pro-Israeli.

Gallup shows Americans in favor of eliminating a day of mail service a week.


HI: 2010 Sen, Gov (Rasmussen 3/24)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/24/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen: Senate, House)

Hawaii

2010 Governor
54% Abercrombie (D), 31% Aiona (R)
50% Hannemann (D), 29% Aiona (R)

2010 Senate
65% Inouye (D), 25% Lingle (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Duke Aiona: 50 / 41
Neil Abercrombie: 63 / 33
Mufi Hannemann: 57 / 39
Dan Inouye: 76 / 20
Linda Lingle: 45 / 44

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 77 / 23
Gov. Lingle: 45 / 52


US: National Survey (YouGov 3/20-22)

Topics: poll

YouGov / Polimetrix
3/20-22/10; 1,000 adults, 3.7% margin of error
Mode: Internet
(YouGov release)

National

Obama Job Approval
45% Approve, 47% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 81 / 15 (chart)
Reps: 6 / 92 (chart)
Inds: 44 / 51 (chart)
Economy: 38 / 56 (chart)
Health care: 43 / 51 (chart)

Congressional Job Approval
13% Approve, 66% Disapprove (chart)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Registered voters: 47% Democrat, 42% Republican (chart)
All Respondents: 42% Democrat, 40% Republican

State of the Country
34% Right Direction, 54% Wrong Track (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Nancy Pelosi: 27 / 50
Harry Reid: 19 / 44
Barack Obama: 46 / 47 (chart)
Dems in Congress: 31 / 57
Reps in Congress: 26 / 60

Overall, given what you know about them, do you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by Congress and the Obama Administration?
50% Support, 50% Oppose (chart)


FL: 2010 Sen (MasonDixon 3/23-25)

Topics: poll

Mason Dixon
3/23-25/10; 625 likely voters, 4% margin of error
400 likely Republican primary voters, 5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(MAson Dixon release)

Florida

2010 Senate: Republican Primary
48% Rubio, 37% Crist (chart)

2010 Senate: General Election
50% Crist, 26% Meek (chart)
44% Rubio, 29% Meek (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Charlie Crist: 37 / 31 (chart)
Marco Rubio: 27 / 17
Kendrick Meek: 15 / 8


NY: 2010 Gov (Marist 3/23-24)

Topics: poll

Marist
3/23-24/10; 775 registered voters, 3.5% margin of error
217 Republicans, 7% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Marist release)

New York

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
53% Lazio, 21% Levy

2010 Governor: General Election
61% Cuomo, 30% Lazio (chart)
65% Cuomo, 26% Levy

Job Rating
Gov. Paterson: 16% Excellent/Good, 80% Fair/Poor (chart)


NY: 2010 Sen, Gov (Zogby 3/19-22)

Topics: poll

Zogby
3/19-22/10; 800 likely voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Internet
(Zogby release)

New York

2010 Senate
51% Gillibrand, 38% Pataki (chart)

2010 Governor
52% Cuomo, 26% Lazio (chart)


ND: 2010 Sen, House (Rasmussen 3/23)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/23/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen: Senate, House)

North Dakota

2010 Senate
68% Hoeven (R), 25% Potter (D)

2010 House
51% Berg (R), 44% Pomeroy (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
John Hoeven: 83 / 14
Tracy Potter: 40 / 29
Earl Pomeroy: 48 / 49
Rick Berg: 56 / 22

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 44 / 55
Gov. Hoeven: 85 / 15


US: 2012 Pres (CNN 3/19-21)

Topics: poll

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
3/19-21/10; 1,030 adults, 3% margin of error
953 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)

National

2012 President: Republican Primary
22% Romney, 18% Palin, 17% Huckabee, 8% Gingrich, 8% Paul, 5% Pawlenty, 5% Santorum, 4% Pence, 1% Barbour

(IF DEMOCRAT) Do you think the Democratic party should renominate Barack Obama as the party's candidate for president in 2012, or do you think the Democratic party should nominate a different candidate for president in 2012?
76% Renominate, 20% Different candidate

Suppose the 2012 presidential election were being held today. If Barack Obama runs for reelection, are you more likely to vote for Obama, the Democrat, or for the Republican party's candidate for President?
Adults: 48% Obama, 46% Republican
Registered Voters: 47% Obama, 47% Republican


US: National Survey (Kos 3/22-25)

Topics: poll

DailyKos.com (D) / Research 2000
3/22-25/10; 1,200 registered voters, 2.8% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Kos release)

National

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 56 / 39 (chart)
Nancy Pelosi: 39 / 54
Harry Reid: 26 / 66
Mitch McConnell: 20 / 64
John Boehner: 17 / 64
Democratic Party: 40 / 53
Republican Party: 28 / 67

State of the Country
39% Right Direction, 58% Wrong Track (chart)


AR: 2010 Sen (Kos 3/22-24)

Topics: poll

DailyKos.com (D) / Research 2000
3/22-24/10; 600 likely voters, 4% margin of error
400 likely Democratic primary voters, 5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Kos release)

Arkansas

2010 Senate: Democratic Primary (trends)
44% Lincoln, 31% Halter

2010 Senate: General Election (trends)
49% Boozman (R), 42% Lincoln (D)
48% Hendren (R), 43% Lincoln (D) (chart)
49% Baker (R), 41% Lincoln (D) (chart)
47% Coleman (R), 44% Lincoln (D) (chart)
47% Cox (R), 43% Lincoln (D) (chart)
48% Boozman (R), 40% Halter (D)
45% Hendren (R), 44% Halter (D)
46% Baker (R), 44% Halter (D)
45% Halter (D), 44% Coleman (R)
45% Halter (D), 43% Cox (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Blanche Lincoln: 42 / 52
Bill Halter: 46 / 27
John Boozman: 44 / 30
Kim Hendren:34 / 27
Gilbert Baker: 36 / 28
Curtis Coleman: 34 / 29
Tom Cox: 32 / 26
Mike Beebe: 67 / 23
Mark Pryor: 44 / 48
Barack Obama: 39 / 58


US: Economy (PewEcon 3/4-8)


Pew Economic Policy Group / The Mellman Group (D) / Ayres, McHenry & Associates (R)
3/4-8/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew EPG: release, toplines)

National

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 52 / 44 (chart)
Congress: 27 / 64
Wall Street: 23 / 64
Big Banks: 16 / 68

Pew:

THE FINANCIAL CRISIS AFFECTED AN EXCEPTIONAL NUMBER OF AMERICANS
  • 46% have either lost their job, or had a family member or close friend lose a job due to the financial crisis; 53% have lost some, most or all of their savings.

FINANCIAL REFORM IS A HIGH NATIONAL PRIORITY


  • 74% of voters believe that the chances are 50-50 or better that the U.S. will experience another financial crisis in the next three years.

  • Most Americans believe that reforming the financial sector is a top priority for the nation, even in the face of other pressing issues such as health care, education and immigration reform, and the war in Afghanistan.

  • 59% of voters felt Congress and the administration should support financial reform now, over other priorities.


Sparce Thursday 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Gallup says Obama's approval rating is "slightly better than, though not fundamentally changed" following passage of health reform; Sullivan sees a "big jump," Marc Ambinder offers a word of caution.

Nate Silver considers whether passing health reform helps Democrats.

Patrick Egan charts hourly cable ratings during Sunday's health reform debate.

Forward Our Motto finds (and debunks) a new Strategic Vision poll.


US: 2012 Pres (Harris 3/10-12)

Topics: poll

Harris
3/10-12/10; 2,344 adults
Mode: Internet
(Harris release)

National

2012 President
52% Obama (D), 35% Palin (R)
46% Obama (D), 39% Romney (R)
45% Obama (D), 24% Romney(R), 18% Palin (Tea Party)


Dispelling Myths and Experiencing Health Reform

Topics: Brenden Nyhan , Health Care Reform , Jason Reifler , Medicare Drug Benefit , misperception

Brendan Nyhan has an op-ed in today's New York Times that applies the lessons learned from his research on dispelling political misperceptions to what President Obama described as the "overheated rhetoric" of the health reform debate. His argument:

[P]ublic knowledge of the plan's contents may not improve as quickly as Democrats hope. While some of the more outlandish rumors may dissipate, it is likely that misperceptions will linger for years, hindering substantive debate over the merits of the country's new health care system. The reasons are rooted in human psychology.

Studies have shown that people tend to seek out information that is consistent with their views; think of liberal fans of MSNBC and conservative devotees of Fox News. Liberals and conservatives also tend to process the information that they receive with a bias toward their pre-existing opinions, accepting claims that are consistent with their point of view and rejecting those that are not. As a result, information that contradicts their prior attitudes or beliefs is often disregarded, especially if those beliefs are strongly held.

Regular readers will recall that I summarized his argument in a column two weeks ago, and that it is based on a research conducted with Georgia State political scientist Jason Reifler (who, interests disclosed, once worked for me at my old polling firm). The Bottom line is that the simple "corrections" of factual misrepresentation we sometimes see in news accounts are not likely to dispel them, especially if the partisan wars over health reform continue.

One very important part of this discussion involves when and to what degree Americans start to feel real benefits from the health reform law, something Brendan addresses briefly:

In addition, some have suggested that personal experience will change Americans' beliefs about health care reform. But that reality will also take a long time to arrive for most voters. It will be years before many people experience substantial changes in how their health care is paid for or delivered. Even after the insurance expansion is complete, it's not clear that direct contact will correct the public's mistaken beliefs -- remember the town hall participant who told a Republican congressman last summer to "keep your government hands off my Medicare"?

I wrote another column back in September that pondered how public opinion on health reform might evolve if the legislation passed, focusing on the lessons learned from the implementation of the prescription drug benefit in Medicare, known more formally as Medicare Part D. The short version is that in the immediate aftermath of passage in early 2004, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that seniors were mostly negative about the new law (17% rated it favorably, 55% unfavorably). Their impressions did not begin to turn for more than two years when seniors finally started receiving their drug benefits.

2010-03-25-medicare-partD.gif

While, as Brendan notes,"the most far-reaching changes" of the new law " won't take effect until 2014," there are narrower benefits that will begin this year, including a special insurance pool for those denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions, some insurance subsidies for small business, the closing of the Medicare Part D "donut hole" for seniors and a provision allowing young adults to remain on their parents' insurance policies until age 26.

A big and difficult question in all of this is the degree to which those benefits are perceived by those who receive them, and the degree to which those perceptions travel to others via word of mouth. One of the things that always struck me when I conducted voter groups is how many average Americans were able to share stories about someone they know with a health insurance horror story: Someone who has been denied coverage or payment or had trouble obtaining insurance. Most Americans have employer provided health insurance (or Medicare or Medicaid) and are happy with it, but stories about those left out travel easily. Will any of the new reforms create a similar sort of buzz that's positive?


WA: 2010 Sen (Kos 3/22-24)

Topics: poll

DailyKos.com (D) / Research 2000
3/22-24/10; 600 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Kos release)

Washington State

2010 Senate
51% Murray (D), 43% Reichert (R)
52% Murray (D), 41% Rossi (R)
54% Murray (D), 35% Benton (R)
55% Murray (D), 28% Akers (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Parrty Murray: 52 / 41
Dave Reichert: 41 / 33
Dino Rossi: 47 / 47
Don Benton: 23 / 35
Paul Akers: 17 / 9
Maria Cantwell: 48 / 44
Christine Gregoire: 39 / 55
Barack Obama: 55 / 40


US: Health Care (Rasmussen 3/23-24)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/23-24/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

National

Will the health care plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama be good for the country or bad for the country?
41% Good, 49% Bad

A proposal has been made to repeal the health care bill and stop it from going into effect. Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal to repeal the health care bill?
55% Favor, 42% Oppose

In this November's congressional election, suppose you have a choice between one candidate who wants to repeal the health care plan and another candidate who opposes repeal. Which candidate would you support - the one who wants to repeal the plan or the one who opposes repeal?
52% Favors repeal, 41% Opposes repeal

Is the health care reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama likely to increase the deficit, reduce the deficit or have no impact on the deficit?
60% Increase, 19% Reduce, 12% No impact

Regardless of the impact on the nation at large, what type of impact will the health care plan have on you personally. Will the health care plan be good for you personally, bad for you personally, or will it have no impact on you personally?
26% Good, 43% Bad, 25% No impact


TN: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 3/22)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/22/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Tennessee

2010 Governor
46% Haslam (R), 26% McMillan (D)
43% Ramsey (R), 25% McMillan (D)
42% Wamp (R), 29% McMillan (D)
45% Haslam (R), 27% McWherter (D)
43% Ramsey (R), 29% McWherter (D)
41% Wamp (R), 31% McWherter (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Bill Haslam: 53 / 18
Kim McMillan: 33 / 26
Ron Ramsey: 43 / 23
Mike McWherter: 34 / 32
Zach Wamp: 42 / 27

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 36 / 62
Gov. Bredesen: 70 / 28


FL: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 3/18)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/18/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Florida

2010 Governor
47% McCollum (R), 36% Sink (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Bill McCollum: 51 / 31
Alex Sink: 37 / 41


US: National Survey (Bloomberg 3/19-22)


Bloomberg
3/19-22/10; 1,002 adults, 3.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Bloomberg: story, results)

National

State of the Country
34% Right Direction, 58% Wrong Track (chart)

Obama Job Approval
50% Approve, 45% Disapprove (chart)
Economy: 44 / 51 (chart)
Health Care: 43 / 52 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 53 / 42 (chart)
Ben Bernanke: 34 / 23
Timothy Geithner: 25 / 28
Nancy Pelosi: 31 / 48
Mitt Romney: 31 / 26 (chart)
The Republican Party: 39 / 48
The Democratic Party: 42 / 46


US: 2012 Pres (Clarus 3/17-20)


Clarus Research Group
3/17-20/10; 1,050 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Clarus release)

National

2012 President: Republican Primary
29% Romney, 19% Huckabee, 18% Palin, 13% Gingrich, 8% J. Bush, 1% Daniels, 1% Thine

2012 President: General Election
45% Obama, 41% Romney
52% Obama, 34% Palin
47% Obama, 39% Huckabee
48% Obama, 36% Gingrich
49% Obama, 37% Jeb Bush


CA: 2010 Sen (PPIC 3/9-16)

Topics: poll

Public Policy Institute of California
3/9-16/10; 2,002 adults, 2% margin of error
1,102 likely voters, 3% margin of error
410 Republican primary voters, 5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(PPIC release)

California

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
61% Whitman, 11% Poizner (chart)

2010 Governor: General Election
46% Brown, 31% Poizner (chart)
44% Whitman, 39% Brown (chart)

2010 Senate: Republican Primary
24% Fiorina, 23% Campbell, 8% DeVore (chart)

2010 Senate: General Election
44% Campbell, 43% Boxer (chart)
46% Boxer, 40% DeVore (chart)
44% Boxer, 43% Fiorina (chart)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Schwarzenegger: 24 / 64 (chart)
Pres. Obama: 58 / 35 (chart)


US: Health Care (3/16-21,22-23)

Topics: poll

Quinnipiac
3/16-21/10; 1,907 registered voters, 2.2% margin of error
3/22-23/10; 1,552 registered voters, 2.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

National

Note: This update contains the results of two polls released today by Quinnipiac -- one conducted just before the health care bill passed the House and one just after

Obama Job Approval

Post HC vote:
45% Approve, 46% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 79 / 13 (chart)
Reps: 9 / 89 (chart)
Inds: 40 / 44 (chart)
Health Care: 44 / 50 (chart)

Pre HC vote:
46% Approve, 49% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 84 / 13 (chart)
Reps: 11 / 82 (chart)
Inds: 40 / 53 (chart)
Health Care: 36 / 58 (chart)
Economy: 39 / 57 (chart)
Foreign Policy: 46 / 43 (chart)

Pre HC vote: Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 47 / 47 (chart)
George W. Bush: 38 / 56
Harry Reid: 9 / 38
Mitt Romney: 28 / 25 (chart)
Nancy Pelosi: 25 / 51

State of the Country (chart)
Post HC vote: 29% Satisfied, 69% Dissatisfied
Pre HC vote: 29% Satisfied, 70% Dissatisfied

Pre HC vote: From what you've heard or read, do you mostly approve or mostly disapprove of the proposed changes to the health care system under consideration in Congress?
36% Approve, 54% Disapprove (chart)

Post HC vote: From what you've heard or read, do you mostly approve or mostly disapprove of the changes to the health care system just passed by Congress?
40% Approve, 49% Disapprove (chart)


The Flake Equation 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Gary Langer critiques the Harris "Wing Nut" poll.

AAPOR releases a new report on online panel surveys.

Mark Mellman argues that Democrats should keep the message on health care.

David Hill discusses the possible impact of health care reform on perceived dependence on government.

Joshua Tucker is not surprised by the Gallup poll showing high support for the health care bill.

Ed Kilgore analyzes
data on the Tea Party movement's place in the Republican Party.

Tech President reviews the Census real-time response tracking map.

Pew finds that young people are likely to be underrepresented in the census.

Nancy Polikoff asks how gay and lesbian couples should fill out their census forms.

xkcd debuts a new formula to predict alien sightings.

the_flake_equation.png


NC: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 3/22)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/22/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

North Carolina

2010 Senate
51% Burr (R), 35% Marshall (D) (chart)
51% Burr (R), 32% Cunningham (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Richard Burr: 60 / 26 (chart)
Elaine Marshall: 38 / 39
Cal Cunningham: 29 / 32

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 42 / 57 (chart)
Gov. Perdue: 43 / 56 (chart)


WI: 2010 Gov (PPP 3/20-21)

Topics: poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
3/20-21/10; 700 likely voters, 3.7% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

Wisconsin

2010 Governor
43% Neumann (R), 38% Barrett (D) (chart)
42% Walker (R), 39% Barrett (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Tom Barrett: 29 / 22
Mark Neumann: 24 / 27
Scott Walker: 31 / 27

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Doyle: 29 / 58 (chart)


US: News Interest (Pew 3/19-22)

Topics: poll

Pew Research Center
3/19-22/10; 1,000 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew release)

National

What recent news story, if any, have you and your friends been talking about? (open ended)
50% Health care reform
4% The economy/Jobs
3% Local news (other than crime)
3% Crime news
3% Earthquakes in Chile, Haiti and California
2% Sandra Bullock/Jesse James
2% NCAA basketball tournament/March Madness
2% Tiger Woods
1% Weather
1% News about Congress/Obama/Washington
1% Floods in Northeast/Midwest

Most Closely Followed Story (from list)
53% Debate over health care reform
13% Reports about the condition of the U.S. economy
7% Reports about problems with sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles
5% News about drug-related violence in Mexico
3% Reports about tensions in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians
1% Reports about the Vatican's handling of sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church

Thinking about health care, how good a job have news organizations done explaining:

The details of health care proposals
5% Excellent, 16% Good, 34% Only Fair, 41% Poor

The political debate over health care
10% Excellent, 28% Good, 31% Only Fair, 27% Poor

The effect health care proposalswould have on people like yourself
7% Excellent, 17% Good, 31% Only Fair, 40% Poor


OH: 2010 Sen (PPP 3/20-21)

Topics: poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
3/20-21/10; 630 likely voters, 3.9% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

Ohio

2010 Senate
38% Portman (R), 37% Brunner (D) (chart)
41% Portman (R), 36% Fisher (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Jennifer Brunner: 15 / 22
Lee Fisher: 22 / 24
Rob Portman: 16 / 19

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 40 / 53 (chart)
Sen. Brown: 32 / 39 (chart)
Sen. Voinovich: 33 / 42 (chart)


CBS Offers a HCR Panel-Back Survey

Topics: CBS , Health care , Health Care Reform , Instant Reaction Polls , Panel-back survey

CBS offers us another instant reaction poll that suggests a modest bump in support for health reform. The methodology they employed is worth reviewing because it is suited for assessing shifts in opinion around a major event.

Rather than conduct a one-night poll with a fresh sample, as Gallup did, to try to get a handle on immediate reactions to the passage of health care reform, CBS opted to attempt to re-contact the 1,049 adults over the last two nights that they originally interviewed last week. They were able to interview 649 adults for a second time.

The big advantage of this sort of interview, something typically called a "panel-back," is that it allows the pollster to ask the same respondents identical questions and look at change on an individual level. Also, the pollsters know whether the missing 400 respondents introduced any sort of skew in the demographics or attitudes on politics or health reform (based on responses to the first survey), and they can attempt to correct any such bias with weighting.

The potential disadvantages of this sort of survey are the attrition of original respondents and the possibility that the experience of being interviewed the first time affected the original sample somehow, altering their views of the issue or perhaps making them more likely to seek out news over the last few days as a result of their first interview (see this column for more on panel-back surveys).

The bottom line is that CBS found a nine-point net shift Obama's approval rating on health care (from 41%-51% approve-disapprove before the vote to 47%-48% approve-disapprove after) and a more modest shift in approval of the reform bill itself. A plurality still disapprove of the bill (42% approve, 46% disapprove), but the margin is narrower than before passage (37% approve, 48% disapprove).

The CBS analysis adds:

It may take more time before Americans decide whether or not these reforms are advantageous to them personally, and the percentage that now thinks the bill won't affect them has grown. When re-interviewed, 43% say the reforms will not have much of an affect on themselves or their families, up eight points from 35% before the vote. Just 16% say the legislation will help them personally - down four points from before the vote.


VT: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 3/18)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/18/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Vermont

2010 Governor
46% Dubie (R), 39% Markowitz (D)
51% Dubie (R), 33% Shumlin (D)
48% Dubie (R), 35% Racine (D)
52% Dubie (R), 26% Bartlett (D)
51% Dubie (R), 29% Dunne (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Deb Markowitz: 53 / 33
Brian Dubie: 61 / 29
Peter Shumlin: 37 / 45
Doug Racine: 45 / 33
Susan Bartlett: 29 / 42
Matt Dunne: 29 / 42

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 60 / 39
Gov. Douglas: 64 / 36


IA: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 3/17)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/17/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Iowa

2010 Governor
52% Branstad (R), 36% Culver (D)
42% Vander Plaats (R), 40% Culver (D)
40% Culver (D), 38% Roberts (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Chet Culver: 39 / 55
Terry Branstad: 61 / 33
Bob Vander Plaats: 43 / 31
Rod Roberts: 30 / 28

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 50 / 49
Gov. Culver: 41 / 57


US: Economy (Bloomberg 3/19-22)

Topics: poll

Bloomberg
3/19-22/10; 1,002 adults; 3.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Bloomberg: Wall Street story, Economy story, results)

National

State of the Country
34% Right Direction, 58% Wrong Track (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Small Business: 79 / 9
Corporate Executives: 20 / 65
Banks: 35 / 53
Wall Street: 24 / 57
Congress: 22 / 67
The White House: 44 / 45
The Federal Reserve: 42 / 31

Which of the following do you see as the most important issue facing the country right now?
31% Economy
22% Health Care
22% Government spending / deficit
19% Unemployment
5% Afghanistan

What is your expectation of when it will feel to you like the economy is strong again? Do you think that will happen within the next year, next two years, or longer than two years from now, or do you think it is already as strong as it was before the recession?
9% Within the next year
39% Within the next two years
48% Longer than 2 years

Do you think the economic stimulus passed by Congress last year is helping the economy, is keeping the economy from getting worse, is having no effect, or is hurting the economy?
20% Helping, 17% Keeping from getting worse, 33% No effect, 27% Hurting

When President Obama took office, he said he was determined to address the roots of the financial crisis so that another meltdown would not happen. Do you believe the government has taken enough action to fix what was wrong in the financial industry, has taken too little action, or do you think the government has gone too far and taken action that will be harmful down the road?
18% Has taken enough action
37% Has taken too little action
42% Has gone too far and taken action that will be harmful down the road


US: Health Care (CBS 3/22-23)

Topics: poll

CBS News
3/22-23/10; 649 adults first interviewed 3/18-21; 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CBS: story, results)

Note: CBS re-interviewed 649 adults, initially questioned for a poll conducted March 18-21, on Monday and Tuesday following the House vote.

National

Obama Job Approval: Health Care
47% Approve, 48% Disapprove
Before vote: 41 / 51

From what you've heard or read, do you approve or disapprove of the current health care reform bill?
42% Approve, 46% Disapprove
Before vote: 37 / 48

Regardless of your view of health care reform, do you think passage of the current health care reform bill would represent an accomplishment for Barack Obama's presidency, or not?
52% Major accomplishment, 13% Minor accomplishment, 32% Not an accomplishment
Before vote: 46 / 10 / 36

From what you've heard or read, do you think the current health care reform bill will mostly help you personally, will mostly hurt you personally, or don't you think it will have much of an effect on you personally?
16% Help, 35% Hurt, 43% No effect
Before vote: 20 / 35 / 38


PA: 2010 Sen, Gov (F&M 3/15-21)

Topics: poll

Franklin & Marshall
3/15-21/10; 964 Registered voters, 3.2% margin of error
483 Democrats, 4.5% margin of error
353 Republicans, 5.2% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(F&M release)

Pennsylvania

2010 Senate: Democratic Primary
32% Specter, 12% Sestak (chart)

2010 Senate: Republican Primary
30% Toomey, 4% Luksik

2010 Senate: General Election
33% Toomey, 29% Specter (chart)
27% Toomey, 19% Sestak (chart)

2010 Governor: Democratic Primary
11% Onorato, 7% Wagner, 5% Hoeffel, 4% Williams (chart)

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
28% Corbett, 4% Rohrer

Favorable / Unfavorable
Ed Rendell: 41 / 42 (chart)
Arlen Specter: 30 / 45 (chart)
Bob Casey: 33 / 21 (chart)
Barack Obama: 42 / 46 (chart)
Joe Sestak: 11 / 6
Pat Toomey: 18 / 10
Tom Corbett: 22 / 7


FL: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 3/18)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/18/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Florida

2010 Senate
45% Crist (R), 34% Meek (D) (chart)
48% Rubio (R), 34% Meek (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Charlie Crist: 49 / 48 (chart)
Kendrick Meek: 33 / 39
Marco Rubio: 48 / 34

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 43 / 55 (chart)
Gov. Crist: 45 / 54 (chart)


US: National Survey (Quinnipiac 3/16-21)

Topics: poll

Quinnipiac
3/16-21/10; 1,907 registered voters, 2.2% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

National

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
44% Republican, 39% Democrat (chart)

Suppose a Tea Party candidate were running in your district. If the 2010 election for the U.S. House of Representatives were being held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate, the Democratic candidate, or the Tea Party candidate in your district?
36% Democrat, 25% Republican, 15% Tea Party

State of the Country
29% Satisfied, 70% Dissatisfied (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Republican Party: 33 / 42
Democratic Party: 33 / 48
Tea Party movement: 28 / 23
Sarah Palin: 33 / 51 (chart)

Party ID
32% Democrat, 28% Republican, 35% independent (chart)


US: Generic Ballot (CNN 2/19-21)

Topics: poll

CNN
2/19-21/10; 1,030 adults, 3% margin of error
953 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN: Generic ballot, Congress)

National

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Adults: 46% Democatic candidate, 46% Republican candidate
Registered voters: 48% Republican candidate, 45% Democratic candidate (chart)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Dem Leaders in Congress: 33 / 65
Rep Leaders in Congress: 32 / 66

Do you think that most _____ in Congress are ethical or unethical?
Republicans: 46% Ethical, 51% Unethical
Democrats: 47% Ethical, 49% Unethical


About that Gallup Instant Poll

Topics: Gallup , Health care , Health Care Reform , Instant Reaction Polls , USA Today

USA Today and Gallup released results from a one night survey yesterday that are very encouraging for Democrats: 49% of the adults surveyed nation-wide said "it is a good thing" that "the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that restructures the nation's healthcare system" and only 40% say it is a "bad thing." And yes, the improvement as compared to other surveys occurs along a predictable fault line: For the first time, a poll shows Democrats slightly more positive about the legislation (79% say it's a good thing) than Republicans are negative (76% say it's a bad thing). As I've been arguing recently (ditto for Josh Tucker), there is certainly room for Democrats to grow their support for health reform .

Perhaps even more intriguing, Gallup asked respondents to choose one of four terms -- enthusiastic, pleased, disappointed or angry -- to describe their reaction. "Although much of the public debate over healthcare reform has been heated," Gallup tells us, " barely a third of rank-and-file citizens express either enthusiasm (15%) or anger (19%) about the bill's passage." Even among Republicans, only 41% are angry.

But let's all take a deep breath and not over think this. Remember that this is a one-night poll, something inherently skewed to those who happened to be at home Monday night. Those at home were more likely to be following the news on a news day dominated by a huge and unqualified win for the Democrats, a day when for the first time in a long time the process stories that dominate coverage portrayed Obama and the Democratic leadership in a positive light.

Here's a reality check: One-night polls sometimes pick up momentary reactions that quickly fade. On June 9, 2009, Criegh Deeds won a dramatic, come from behind victory in Virginia's Democratic primary for governor. The next night, Rasmussen Reports fielded a one-night survey in Virginia and found a startling result: After having trailed on all previous polls, Deeds led Republican Bob McDonnell by six points (47% to 41%), after having trailed on all previous polls. Five days later, the DailyKos/Research 2000 poll had Deeds down by a point (45% to 44%). Two weeks later, PPP had him down by six. Thirty-six more polls followed over the next four months, and McDonnell led on every one.

Chuck Todd is right: At times like this, we just need to be patient and wait. In a week or so, we should have a good sense of whether this instant reaction is real or the artifact of a one night poll.


More Health Care Postmortem 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Gallup finds 4 in 10 underemployed Americans lack health insurance.


Pew Research finds
coverage of strategy and politics beat coverage of health reform policy by nearly three-to-one.


Stanley Greenberg says for Democrats, "a win is a win."

Nate Silver ponders pollsters as a "fourth branch" of government.

Tom Jensen sees peril for the GOP in efforts to repeal health reform.

John Zogby argues health care will set the scene for the midterms.

Stu Rothenberg says the only question for Democrats in 2010 is the severity of their drubbing.

Patrick Murray discusses troubling poll numbers for incumbents.

John Avlon teases results from a new Harris Interactive survey on Republican views of Obama; Michael Scherer assesses.

CNN releases a poll on American-Israeli relations.

The Washington Post shares a respondent's perspective on a long-term panel survey.


US: Health Care (Gallup 3/22)

Topics: poll

USA Today / Gallup
3/22/10; 1,005 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)
Update: More here

National

As you may know, yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that restructures the health care system. All in all, do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing that Congress passed this bill?
49% Good thing, 40% Bad thing (chart)


US: Health Care (Bloomberg 3/19-22)

Topics: poll

Bloomberg
3/19-22/10; 1,002 adults, 3.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Bloomberg: release, story)

National

Do you favor or oppose the health care overhaul plan currently under debate in Congress? (Language changed 3/22 to:) Do you favor or oppose the health care overhaul plan passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last night?
38% Favor, 50% Oppose (chart)

For the following statements about health care, please tell me if you agree or disagree.

Health care is like police and fire protection, and the government has a role in making sure everyone has access to care they can afford
64% Agree, 34% Disagree

Health care is a private matter and individuals should make sure their needs are taken care of, through insurance, public clinics, or by paying for services directly
60% Agree, 35% Disagree

Health care is so complicated it is hard for the average American to understand the proposals that are currently being discussed
75% Agree, 23% Disagree

The cost of doing nothing on health care will be greater than the cost of the proposed plan to overhaul it
51% Agree, 40% Disagree

The current proposal to overhaul health care helps others but not me
48% Agree, 43% Disagree

The health care system is fine the way it is
20% Agree, 79% Disagree

The current proposal to overhaul health care amounts to a government takeover
53% Agree, 42% Disagree

At some point the health care system will need to be reformed, but not now
47% Agree, 51% Disagree


US: National Survey (DemCorps 3/15-18)

Topics: poll

Democracy Corps* (D)
3/15-18/10; 1,016 2008 voters
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(DemCorps release)

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

National

State of the Country
28% Right Direction, 61% Wrong Track (chart)

Obama Job Approval
46% Approve, 48% Disapprove (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Republican Party: 29 / 47
Democratic Party: 35 / 44
Barack Obama: 49 / 40 (chart)

2010 Congress: National Ballot
44% Democratic candidate, 42% Republican candidate (chart)

As you may have heard, President Obama has proposed a plan to change the health care system that passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate. From what you have heard about this plan, do you favor or oppose Obama's health care proposal?
40% Favor, 52% Oppose (chart)

Party ID
35% Democrat, 31% Republican, 31% independent (chart)


Health Reform and the Will of the People

Topics: Barack Obama , Eric Zorn , Gary Langer , Health Care Reform , John Boehner

Both sides of the epic health care reform battle continued to invoke the view of "the people" over the last few days. A few hours after the bill passed, President Barack Obama described it as "a victory for the American people."    A few hours earlier, House Minority Leader John Boehner described the bill as something that would "defy the will of our fellow citizens, and the day before he said that Americans "want no part of this bill" and "haven't been shy about saying so."   

Unfortunately, poll questions do not easily resolve the argument about where the American people stand. Yes, most surveys asking about the reform bill in general terms show more opposition than support, but the variance is considerable. In the last week or so, we have seen surveys of Americans showing everything from a four-point plurality (46% to 42%) favoring the "the health care proposals being discussed in Congress" on the Kaiser Family Foundation survey, to a twenty-point majority (59% to 39%) opposing the "final legislation that would make major changes in the country's health care system" that the "U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are trying to pass" on the CNN/ORC poll.**

Of course, a follow-up question on that same CNN poll found finds nearly a quarter of the opponents (and 13% of all adults) say they oppose the legislation because it is "not liberal enough." Thus, even though 59% express opposition, just 43% oppose the legislation because it is "too liberal." They have obtained comparable results on two prior surveys since November (more here).

The CNN follow-up is important because it demonstrates that the "will" of the American people takes more than a single question to discern. That said, I would be careful about interpreting the 13% statistic too literally. A big chunk of that number likely includes Americans who prefer a single-payer system or a government run "public option." But it may also include others who, as our friend Brenden Nyhan points out, may not know what "liberal" means. But either way, the results show that attitudes on health reform are difficult to force into a simple favor-or-oppose categories.

Much of the variation from survey-to-survey owes to subtle differences in questions language, format and order, showing that despite nearly a year of news coverage, many Americans remain unaware of the details of the actual legislation. Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn notices that even in Barack Obama's Chicago, today's front pages "suggest a truth I've long maintained -- that most people haven't really been following the fine points of the debate over health-care reform and have been waiting for the bickering in Washington to subside before taking a close look and reaching a verdict" (h/t Smith).

2010-03-23-zorn-chicago-front1.jpg
2010-03-23-zorn-chicago-front2.jpg

Taking a look at the various differences in polling results in a must-read blog post today, ABC News polling director Gary Langer reaches a conclusion that's consistent with Zorn's observation:

Each side likes to lay claim to the high ground in public opinion, and may be able to pull out individual data points supporting its case. Clearly, as has been covered in detail, views on the plan are highly partisan. Nonetheless in sum, evaluating the data below and the many other results we've seen over the past months, it seems best to describe public attitudes on health care reform as divided.

That means there's opportunity ahead for each side to make its case - and while the future's unknown, we do have one recent experience to consider: In our polling in April 2006, just 41 percent of adults overall, and 50 percent of seniors, supported the expansion of prescription drug coverage in Medicare that had just passed the Congress. By 2008, in an AARP poll of seniors who were enrolled in the program, 67 percent described themselves as very or extremely satisfied with it.

I think that's right, if not over the next six months, then certainly over the longer haul (see my column from September for more).   

**And just as I was posting this entry, we get word of a new USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted since the House vote on which 49% of Americans say "it is a good thing" that "the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that restructures the nation's healthcare system" and only 40% say it is a "bad thing."


AZ: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 3/16)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/16/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Arizona

2010 Governor
Goddard (D) 45%, Brewer (R) 36%
Martin (R) 43%, Goddard (D) 38%
Goddard (D) 42%, Munger (R) 36%
Mills (R) 43%, Goddard (D) 37%

Favorable / Unfavorable
Terry Goddard: 54 / 31
Jan Brewer: 38 / 57
Dean Martin: 47 / 23
John Munger: 33 / 27
Buz Mills: 35 / 25

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 42 / 56
Gov. Brewer: 41 / 55


OH: 2010 Gov (PPP 3/20-21

Topics: poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
3/20-21/10; 630 likely voters, 3.9% margin of error
Mode: automated phone
(PPP release)

Ohio

2010 Governor
42% Kasich, 37% Strickland (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
John Kasich: 25 / 24

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Strickland: 33 / 47 (chart)


WI: 2010 Sen (PPP 3/20-21)

Topics: poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
3/20-21/10; 700 likely voters, 3.7% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

Wisconsin

2010 Senate (trends)
47% Feingold, 44% Thompson (chart)
48% Feingold, 34% Wall (chart)
48% Feingold, 31% Westlake

Favorable / Unfavorable
Tommy Thompson: 40 / 44
Terrence Wall: 4 / 17
Dave Westlake: 2 / 8

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 46 / 48 (chart)
Sen. Kohl: 46 / 36 (chart)
Sen. Feingold: 45 / 41 (chart)


IN: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 3/17-16)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/17-18/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Indiana

2010 Senate
49% Coats (R), 34% Ellsworth (D)
50% Hostettler (R), 32% Ellsworth (D)
41% Stutzman (R), 34% Ellsworth (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Dan Coats: 53 / 30
John Hostettler: 51 / 26
Brad Ellsworth: 43 / 33
Marlin Stutzman: 37 / 24

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 39 / 60
Gov. Daniels: 69 / 30


FL: 2010 Sen Primary (Rasmussen 3/18)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/18/10; 494 likely Republican primary voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Florida

2010 Senate: Republican Primary
56% Rubio, 34% Crist (chart)


US: National Survey (CNN 3/19-21)

Topics: poll

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
3/19-21/10; 1,030 adults, 3% margin of error
953 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)

National

Obama Job Approval
46% Approve, 51% Disapprove (chart)
Economy: 43 / 54 (chart)
Iraq: 51 / 46
Afghanistan: 55 / 42
Terrorism: 53 / 45
Health Care: 40 / 58 (chart)
Unemployment: 45 / 53
Federal Budget Deficit: 36 / 62
Environmental Policy: 55 / 37
Illegal Immigration: 37 / 56
Education: 56 / 41


US: National Survey (CBS 3/18-21)

Topics: poll

CBS News
3/18-21/10; 1,059 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CBS: results, story)

National

Obama Job Approval
49% Approve, 41% Disapprove (chart)
Reps: 11 / 81 (chart)
Dems: 83 / 11 (chart)
Inds: 40 / 47 (chart)
Economy: 45 / 45 (chart)
Health care: 41 / 51 (chart)

Congressional Job Approval
14% Approve, 76% Disapprove (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Nancy Pelosi: 11 / 37
Harry Reid: 8 / 23

From what you've heard or read, do you approve or disapprove of the current health care reform bill?
37% Approve, 48% Disapprove (chart)

(more here)


IA: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 3/17)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/17/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Iowa

2010 Senate
57% Grassley (R), 31% Krause (D)
55% Grassley (R), 36% Conlin (D)
57% Grassley (R), 28% Fiegen (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Chuck Grassley: 66 / 31
Bob Krause: 33 / 25
Roxanne Conlin: 39 / 39
Tom Fiegen: 23 / 31

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 50 / 49
Gov. Culver: 41 / 57


Health Care Morning After 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Frank Newport seeks an explanation for variable results on health care reform questions.

Jon Chait attributes failings in Democratic strategy to a "static and over-literal reading of public opinion."

Andrew Gelman reminds us that the health reform vote is irrelevant to modeled predictions of Democratic doom.

Tom Jensen foresees little health reform bump for Obama.

Andrew Sullivan highlights health care reform charts and graphics.

Pew Research paints an ugly picture of impressions of Congress.

Ben Smith reports on a poll of American Jews on American-Israeli relations.

Stubborn Mule criticizes graphics that distort data (via Lifehacker).

Factcheck.org corrects census nonsense.

Gary Locke takes on Jon Stewart to defend the census.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gary Locke Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform


FL: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 3/18)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/18/10; 1,000 likely voters, 35 margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Florida

2010 Senate (trends)
42% Rubio (R), 25% Meek (D), 22% Crist (i)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Charlie Crist: 49 / 48 (chart)
Kendrick Meek: 33 / 39
Marco Rubio: 48 / 34

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Crist: 45 / 54 (chart)


MI: 2010 Gov (MRG 3/10-15)

Topics: poll

Inside Michigan Politics / Marketing Resource Group
3/10-15/10; 600 registered voters, 4.1% margin fo error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(MRG release)

Michigan

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
21% Hoekstra, 21% Cox, 20% Snyder 10% Bouchard, 1% George

2010 Governor: Democratic Primary
21% Dillon, 9% Bernero, 6% Wheeler Smith

2010 Governor: General Election
41% Bouchard (R), 26% Dillon (D)
44% Cox (R), 27% Dillon (D)
43% Hoekstra (R), 27% Dillon (D)
42% Snyder (R), 26% Dillon (D)
45% Bouchard (R), 23% Bernero (D)
45% Cox (R), 26% Bernero (D)
43% Hoeksta (R), 27% Bernero (D)
44% Snyder (R), 24% Dillon (D)


US: Health Care (CNN 3/19-21)

Topics: poll

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
3/19-21/10; 1,030 adults, 3% margin of error
953 registered voters, 35 margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)

National

As you may know, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are trying to pass final legislation that would make major changes in the country's health care system. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor it or generally oppose it?
39% Favor, 59% Oppose (chart)

(IF OPPOSE) Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?
39 % Favor (from previous question)
43% Oppose, too liberal
13% Oppose, not liberal enough

Who do you trust more to handle major changes in the country's health care system - Barack Obama or the Republicans in Congress?
51% Obama, 39% Republicans

Who do you trust more to handle major changes in the country's health care system -- the
Democrats in Congress or the Republicans in Congress?

45% Democrats, 39% Republicans

From what you know of that legislation, do you think you and your family would, in general, be better off, worse off or about the same if it becomes law?
19% Better, 47% Worse, 33% Same

(IF WORSE OFF OR ABOUT THE SAME) Do you think other families in this country would be better off if that legislation becomes law, or do you think that legislation would not help anyone in the country?
19% Better off (from previous question)
42% Better off for other families
37% Not help anyone


How Should We Label Partisan Polls?

Topics: Partisan polls , pollster.com , Pollsters , sponsored polls

My column for this week asks a tough question: What defines a "partisan" poll? A dozen years ago, the answer was easy: A poll paid for by a campaign or political party or conducted by a pollster that works for candidates of a particular party or the party itself. But with the rise of new media, the line between partisan and independent polling gets blurrier every day. Please click through and read it all.

The phrase "I could go on" near the end of the column was more than rhetorical device. While liberals often criticize questions they consider leading or biased in Fox News polls, I have often heard the similar complaints from conservatives about how polls from the other networks are conducted or reported. And if we label the polls from Fox as partisan given the point-of-view of much of their programming, should we apply similar labels to virtually all newspapers based on their editorial page endorsements?

We run into similar difficulties if we focus on the partisanship of the pollster rather than the sponsor of any given survey. As noted in the column, that line is relatively easy to draw for campaign pollsters, like Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps or Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic. Even PPP, which does most of its client work for Democratic campaigns, is easily classified in this way.  The issue isn't one of "bias" but of partisan and economic interests disclosed: Like the campaign pollsters, PPP does most of its client work for the candidates of one political party.  But what if the pollsters work is a mix of partisan and non-political clients? But how many polls for partisan clients does it take to merit the "D" or "R" label in our charts?

While these are difficult questions, they present important practical considerations for Pollster.com. We want to be a source for all available public polls, yet we also want to provide readers with sufficient information to make judgments about which polls to trust and the tools to filter out surveys they consider untrustworthy or unfairly slanted. I would like to hear from readers -- in comments or by email -- with thoughts about whether and how we can expand beyond the simple "D" or "R" labeling in terms of describing partisanship and filtering in the charts.


Obama as a "polarizing" president

Topics: Approval Ratings , Barack Obama , polarization , polarizing

In today's New York Times, Peter Beinart describes President Obama as having "failed in the effort to be the nonpolarizing president" and calls him "our third highly polarizing president in a row":

"Let's face it, he's failed in the effort to be the nonpolarizing president, the one who can use rationality and calm debate to bridge our traditional divides," said Peter Beinart, a liberal essayist who is publishing a history of hubris in politics. "It turns out he's our third highly polarizing president in a row. But for his liberal base, it confirms that they were right to believe in the guy -- and they had their doubts."

There's no question that Obama has highly polarized approval ratings. It's less clear whether he could have done anything to avoid this fate, particularly given the GOP strategy of unified opposition to his initiatives. Beinart seems to think Obama's decision not to scale back health care reform was polarizing, but as Matthew Yglesias points out in The Daily Beast there was no one in the GOP caucus to compromise with. And even if Obama had struck a deal with a handful of moderate Republicans, does anyone think it would have closed the partisan gap in his approval ratings?

In general, the problem with Beinart's analysis, which seems to fault Obama for this outcome, is that it's virtually impossible to be a non-polarizing president in contemporary American politics. Like George W. Bush, Obama made unrealistic promises to bring the parties together, but there was little chance he would succeed. As UCSD's Gary Jacobson has shown, presidential approval ratings by party have diverged widely over the last thirty or so years (the one partial exception is George H.W. Bush, a non-conservative holdover from the pre-Reagan era): Approvalbyparty2

For the foreseeable future, every president will have highly polarized approval ratings outside of honeymoon periods, wars, and foreign policy crises. Obama's inability to escape this fate isn't a "failure" so much as it is, well, reality.

Update 3/22 11:53 AM: There's a similar passage in David Sanger's news analysis in the Times above Boehlert's quote that I should have included (via Eric Boehlert):

But there is no doubt that in the course of this debate, Mr. Obama has lost something -- and lost it for good. Gone is the promise on which he rode to victory less than a year and a half ago -- the promise of a "postpartisan" Washington in which rationality and calm discourse replaced partisan bickering.

The same argument applies.

[Cross-posted to brendan-nyhan.com]


US: Health Care (CBS 3/18-21)

Topics: poll

CBS News
3/18-21/10; 1,059 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CBS story)

National

Conrgessional Job Approval
14% Approve, 76% Disapprove (chart)

From what you've heard or read, do you think the current health care reform bill will mostly help you personally, will mostly hurt you personally, or don't you think it will have much of an effect on you personally?
20% Help, 35% Hurt, 38% No effect

Do you feel you have a good understanding of how the current health care reform bill would affect you and your family, or is it confusing to you?
42% Understand, 54% Confusing

In the next few years, do you think the reforms in the current health care bill will make the health care system better, make it worse, not change the health care system one way or the other, or don't know you know enough about the reforms yet to say?
29% Better, 34% Worse, 8% No change

Check back for more from this poll this evening


NY: 2010 Sen, Gov (Siena 3/15-18)

Topics: poll

Siena
3/15-18/10; 810 registered voters, 3.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Siena release)

New York

2010 Governor: Republican Primary (trends)
45% Lazio, 16% Levy

2010 Governor: General Election (trends)
59% Cuomo (D), 21% Lazio (R), 3% Redlich (L) (chart)
63% Cuomo (D), 16% Levy (R), 4% Redlich (L)

2010 Senate: General Election (trends)
45% Pataki (R), 39% Gillibrand (D) (chart)
48% Gillibrand (D), 24% Blakeman (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
David Paterson: 25 / 65 (chart)
Andrew Cuomo: 63 / 22
Rick Lazio: 29 / 27
Kirsten Gillibrand: 32 / 29 (chart)
George Pataki: 56 / 33
Barack Obama: 58 / 37 (chart)
Chuck Schumer: 62 / 27 (chart)
Bruce Blakeman: 8 / 8
Steve Levy: 16 / 16
Warren Redlich: 6 / 10

Job Rating
Gov. Paterson: 16% Excellent/Good, 83% Fair/Poor (chart)


PA: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 3/16)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/16/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Pennsylvania

2010 Governor
46% Corbett (R), 33% Wagner (D) (chart)
49% Corbett (R), 28% Hoeffel (D) (chart)
46% Corbett (R), 29% Onorato (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Tom Corbett: 59 / 33
Jack Wagner: 40 / 30
Dan Onorato: 36 / 36
Joe Hoeffel: 28 / 35


US: Health Care (Rasmussen 3/19-20)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
3/19-20/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

National

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?
41% Somewhat/Strongly Favor, 54% Somewhat/Strongly Oppose (chart)


 

MAP - US, AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, PR