June 27, 2010 - July 3, 2010


Patriotic 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Del Ali unloads to TPM against the DailyKos lawsuit; Nate Silver raises an eyebrow; Frank Newport and Gary Langer say DailyKos should have done more due diligence; Carl Bialik looks at the events thus far.

Anthony Salvanto discusses key midterm demographics.

Charlie Cook sees a Republican wave on the way.

Lymari Morales wonders just where immigration reform ranks as an issue for Americans.

Chris Cilizza asks whether health care reform is getting more popular.

Pew finds that nearly all Americans express pride in their country.

Fox News reports that "God Bless America" is the favorite patriotic song among registered voters.

The Roosevelts top the list of favorite presidents among historians polled by Siena College (full rankings available here).

US: National Survey (Fox 6/29-30)

Topics: National , poll

Fox News / Opinion Dynamics
6/29-30/10; 900 registered voters, 3% margin of error
340 Democrats, 5% margin of error
324 Republicans, 5.5% margin of error
176 independents, 7% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Fox News: Immigration, Oil Spill, Obama)


Obama Job Approval
47% Approve, 45% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 84 / 10 (chart)
Reps: 14 / 78 (chart)
Inds: 40 / 48 (chart)
Oil Spill: 41 / 52
Afghanistan: 46 / 41

Congressional Job Approval
24% Approve, 66% Disapprove (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 52 / 44 (chart)
Stanley McChrystal: 25 / 17
David Petraeus: 47 / 8
Nancy Pelosi: 31 / 48
Eliot Spitzer: 10 / 38
Al Gore: 47 / 43
Elena Kagan: 24 / 17

Based on what you know, do you favor or oppose Arizona's new immigration

52% Favor, 27% Oppose

Do you think General McChrystal deserved to be fired from his post as the
top commander in Afghanistan, or not?

42% Yes, 36% No

Party ID
38% Democrat, 36% Republican, 20% independent (chart)

US: National Survey (Economist 6/26-29)

Topics: National , poll

Economist / YouGov
6/26-29/10; 1,000 adults
Mode: Internet
(YouGov release)
Update: More here


Obama Job Approval
42% Approve, 49% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 81 / 15 (chart)
Reps: 7 / 89 (chart)
Inds: 35 / 60 (chart)

Congressional Job Approval
12% Approve, 64% Disapprove (chart)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Registered voters (N=713): 45% Democrat, 44% Republican (chart)
Adults: 45% Democrat, 39% Republican

State of the Country
28% Right direction, 58% Wrong track (chart)

MD: 2010 Gov (Magellan 6/29)

Topics: Maryland , poll

Magellan (R)
6/29/10; 752 likely voters, 3.6% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Magellan release)


2010 Governor
46% Ehrlich (R), 43% O'Malley (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Bob Ehrlich: 51 / 32
Martin O'Malley: 41 / 45

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 48 / 43

OH: 43% Portman, 39% Fisher (Rasmussen 6/29)

Topics: Ohio , poll

6/29/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2010 Senate
43% Portman (R), 39% Fisher (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Rob Portman: 48 / 22
Lee Fisher: 45 / 34

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 48 / 52 (chart)

Waffling 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Greg Sargent posts DailyKos' lawsuit against Research 2000; Nate Silver and Patrick Ruffini think cost is a smoking gun; the New York Times reports on the story; Ben Smith discusses implications of Research 2000's demise.

Jonathan Chait seconds Brendan Nyhan on qualitative analysis of approval ratings.

Ross Douthat argues for careful interpretation of polling on Obama's birthplace; Elena Fanjul-Debnam adds more.

Patrick Ottenhoff highlights uneven geographic distribution of Waffle Houses.

Obama's Summer Window of Opportunity

The list of crises facing the White House today is lengthy and weighty: the Gulf oil spill, high domestic unemployment combined with an unstable economic situation in Europe, a cultural divide on the issue of immigration, attempts to stabilize Iraq and win Afghanistan, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal's explosive comments--and ultimate dismissal--to name just a few. Tomorrow, we are likely to get a very poor jobs report after five consecutive months of job growth. Will the jobs report be seen as the beginning of a double dip recession?

As we enter the summer of 2010, the Administration faces the most substantive macro issue agenda in decades. Bill Clinton was often described by contemporaries and historians as unhappy with the fact that few "big things" happened during his Presidency. We doubt that President Obama will ever make that complaint.

Obama does have a window of opportunity, however, to right this ship before the fall elections. It is, after all, the summer. This is a time when most voters disconnect from the political and policy debates and processes. Plain and simple, the level of information absorption declines dramatically over the next two months and Obama will benefit from this period of low attentiveness. Two things are likely to happen this summer that will help the President:

  1. The Gulf oil spill coverage has probably reached--pardon the pun--a saturation point. The shock and immediacy of the situation has abated. People are now fully aware of the damage done. The relief wells will be completed in August. If the leak is stopped before Labor Day--and right now that isn't certain--the President will have at least a partial victory. Of course, the spill will remain a political issue in the fall and perhaps 2012, but the worst will have passed for Obama.
  2. News outlets (both old media and new media) recognize the changing pattern in news consumption and act accordingly. Therefore, there is less focus on politics and public policy and this will help the President as well.

We are not saying that all of the President's problems can be solved in July and August, but this period gives the Administration an opportunity to get some traction on a few issues before the fall campaigns begin in earnest. Voters will tune back in after Labor Day and will reassess the President and his policies at that time.

Current Political Environment

Our sense is that today's jobs numbers are going to trigger some significant media coverage and modest political fallout and cause a drop in the stock market, to boot. While voters are pretty much locked-in with respect to their perceptions of the President, we may see his approval numbers start to move from the mid-40's--where they have been consistently over the last 60 days--into the low 40's. If this happens and is not corrected during the summer, the Democrats will be extremely vulnerable in the fall. The difference between an approval rating in the 46-47% range vs. ratings in the 41-42% range may be the difference between Democrats just losing the House and losing both the House and the Senate.

Perceptions that the country is off on the "wrong track" is at the highest point (62%) of the Obama presidency. Not coincidentally, Obama's approval rating is at its lowest point: 46%.

july 1 slide 1.jpg

Note in the above chart that Obama's approval rating actually started falling with little appreciable increase in the "wrong track" numbers. This indicates that voters may have been reacting to the health care reform debate, evolving assessments of the stimulus and other Obama policies. Put simply, Obama was forced to make political decisions that couldn't please everyone, disappointing voters with lofty, impossible expectations. But now he faces a more structural challenge: the combination of 12 months of unemployment at or above 9.4% (as well as the intensifying war in Afghanistan and the Gulf oil spill) have pushed the country's "wrong track" number over the 60% mark. If "wrong track" gets into the mid-60's it's hard to see the President's approval rating reaching much higher than 40-42%.

As we move closer to the fall elections it might make sense to revisit 1994 and compare the key political indices of that time to the current situation. The table below should scare any Democrat reading this post:

july 1 slide 2.jpg

A quick review of the key political metrics suggests that Democrats will most likely lose the House this fall. This, by the way, is not necessarily the worst thing that could happen for a President Obama running for re-election. Gridlock in Congress would provide him with political cover for an extended recession or slow recovery, as well as giving Obama and the Democrats something to run against in two years.

The biggest problem for Democrats might be that among energized/interested voters, the gap on the generic congressional ballot is even higher (in the Republican +6 range). The problems for Democrats nationally are extensive and notable:

  • Voter interest is higher among GOP leaning and Independent voters than Democrats
  • Congressional approval is an historic low
  • The President's approval rating among Independents is only 40%
  • The "re-elect" numbers are at or near historic lows and there are substantially more Democrats than Republicans in office
  • The engaged voters are angry about spending and the stimulus package; this gives the GOP a huge advantage

Now whether the above translates into a thirty or a fifty seat gain for Republicans remains to be seen, but unless Democrats and the President can turn things around a bit this summer, November 2nd will be an unpleasant day.

Thanks to John Zirinsky and Peter Ventimiglia for their thoughts and insights. Follow us on Twitter and read our perspectives and others' on Pollster.com or the Daily Caller.

US: Generic Ballot (Pew 6/16-20)

Topics: National , poll

Pew Research Center
6/16-20/10; 1,802 adults, 3% margin of error
1,496 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew release)


2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Registered voters: 45% Republican, 45% Democrat (chart)

Would you like to see your representative in Congress be re-elected in the next congressional election, or not?
Registered voters: 49% Yes, 34% No

Regardless of how you feel about your own representative, would you like to see most members of Congress re-elected in the next congressional election, or not?
Registered voters: 31% Yes, 56% No

Do you think of your vote for Congress this fall as a vote FOR Barack Obama, as a vote AGAINST Barack Obama, or isn't Barack Obama much of a factor in your vote?
Registered voters: 23% For, 28% Against, 47% Not a factor

Generally what is MORE important to you this year...
Registered voters:
41% Having new faces in office
50% Having experienced people who know how the government works

Job Approval / Disapproval (among all adults)
Reps in Congress: 31 / 55
Dems in Congress: 35 / 53

Party ID (among all adults)
34% Democrat, 27% Republican, 34% independent (chart)

NC: Favorable Ratings (Civitas 6/15-18)

Topics: North Carolina , poll

Civitas / Tel Opinion Research
6/15-18/10; 600 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Civitas: Burr, Hagan, Perdue vs McCrory)

North Carolina

Favorable / Unfavorable
Richard Burr: 33 / 26 (chart)
Kay Hagan: 32 / 27 (chart)
Bev Perdue: 37 / 41 (chart)
Pat McCrory: 36 / 13

2012 Governor
46% McCrory, 37% Perdue

AZ: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 6/29)

Topics: arizona , governor , poll

6/29/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2010 Governor
Brewer (R) 53%, Goddard (D) 35%

Favorable / Unfavorable
Terry Goddard: 53 / 37
Jan Brewer: 59 / 36

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 39 / 59
Gov. Brewer: 58 / 40

WI: 2010 Republican Primaries (PPP 6/26-27)

Topics: poll , Wisconsin

Public Policy Polling (D)
6/26-27/10; 400 likely Republican primary voters, 4.9% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)]


2010 Governor: Republican Primary
58% Walker, 19% Neumann

2010 Senate: Republican Primary
49% Johnson, 11% Westlake

PA: Toomey 45, Sestak 39 (Rasmussen 6/29)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

6/29/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2010 Senate
45% Toomey (R), 39% Sestak (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Pat Toomey: 53 / 31
Joe Sestak: 51 / 40

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 47 / 53 (chart)
Gov. Rendell: 40 / 60 (chart)

OR: 2010 Gov (Magellan 6/28)

Topics: Oregon , poll

Magellan (R)
6/28/10; 963 likely voters, 3.2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Magellan release)


2010 Governor
41% Dudley, 40% Kitzhaber

Favorabl / Unfavorable
John Kitzhaber: 43 / 40
Chris Dudley: 42 / 21

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 47 / 44

WA: 2010 Sen Primary (SurveyUSA 6/25-28)

Topics: poll , Washington

6/25-28/10; 520 likely primary voters, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA release)


2010 Senate: Primary Election*
37% Murray, 33% Rossi, 5% Didier, 6% Others

*Note: Washington State uses a "blanket primary" in which all candidates run in the same primary regardless of party. The top two candidates will advance

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 39 / 39
Christine Gregoire: 25 / 50
Maria Cantwell: 32 / 31
Patty Murray: 38 / 34

When qualitative punditry adds value

Topics: presidential approval

Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics objects to my post on Peggy Noonan's mystical interpretations of presidential popularity and mounts a defense of non-quantitative punditry:

Non-quantitative punditry has a huge place in our discourse for many reasons, including one that is directly applicable here... [T]he most applicable problem here is that there is always a large portion of the data that have to be explained qualitatively.

For example, take the Presidential Approval models. There are any number of them out there, but all of them have a significant portion of the variation in Presidential approval (or variance, in geekspeak) that the model just can't account for. Even for models that make political scientists giggle with glee at the high r-square they've produced, there will still be about 10 to 20% of the data that the model won't explain. Political scientists like to call this "error," but it isn't really "error." It's just "other stuff we can't readily turn into data"...

All we know is that there is always going to be a large portion of data -- whether it be presidential approval, congressional midterm elections, or presidential election results -- that can't be easily explained quantitatively. This is where qualitative analysts like Noonan will always be valuable.

Trende points to the loss of approval Reagan suffered after Iran-Contra that was unrelated to the state of the economy, and the fact that Clinton didn't suffer a similar drop during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.*

I think Trende is largely doing battle with a straw man here -- I don't disagree in principle with any of these points. There's no question that factors other than the economy affect presidential approval (for instance, any well-specified model includes political events such as Iran-Contra), and there's no question that qualitative insights can help us understand why presidential approval deviates from what we might otherwise expect given the state of the economy.

Instead, my point in the original post was to criticize the tendency of pundits to invent elaborate rationales for presidential approval ratings or election results while neglecting or ignoring the role played by the economy. In both Noonan quotes, she briefly acknowledges the possible role played by the economy in explaining Bill Clinton's popularity and Barack Obama's political difficulties before deviating into characteristically involved accounts of why the most important explanatory factor is instead whether presidents are "snakebit" or have sufficiently clarified "The Sentence."

Since Obama took office, TNR's Jon Chait has dubbed the Republican version of this tendency the "Wehner fallacy" after former Bush administration official Peter Wehner. Here's how Chait explains it:

[A] recurring theme in Republican commentary has been to ignore the economy in assessing the public's sour mood toward the party in power, and to assert that disapproval of the Democrats is entirely a function of public revulsion at the liberal agenda. One could make a case that the Democrats have politically overreached. I disagree. But to characterize the backlash as driven entirely by concerns about policy, without mentioning the pull of an economic crisis that began before Obama took office, is not an argument that any political scientist, or even a candid pollster or political adviser, would take seriously. It's pure propaganda.

We can observe a similar version of this problem in punditry about presidential campaigns. Elections typically converge to an outcome quite close to what we would expect given the fundamentals (principally, the state of the economy), but pundits instead attribute these outcomes to campaign events, debates, etc. in a manner that is frequently inconsistent with the evidence (see, for example, here, here, and here).

I have no problem with punditry that helps try to explain deviations from expected presidential approval ratings or election outcomes given the state of the economy. But pundits who try to substitute their own made-up stories for the economy as the primary explanatory factor are peddling nonsense.

* Though Clinton's ratings did not decline, it does not follow that the Lewinsky affair had no effect on his approval ratings. Brian Newman's research (gated) concludes that the Lewinsky scandal suppressed likely gains in Clinton's approval ratings in 1998.

[Cross-posted at brendan-nyhan.com]

The DailyKos Research 2000 Controversy: 'How Bad for Pollsters?'

Topics: Daily Kos , Disclosure , Jonathan Weissman , Mark Grebner , Markos Moulitsas , MIchael Weissman , Research2000 , Walter Mebane

The allegations of fraud leveled by Daily Kos founder Markos (Kos) Moulitsas and the analysis of Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman and Jonathan Weissman are compelling and troubling. As Doug Rivers wrote here earlier today, they demonstrate that "something is seriously amiss" in the Research 2000 data. All of us that care about polling data need to consider the larger issues raised by their analysis and their allegations.

The most urgent question a lot of non-statisticians have been asking, how damning is the evidence? The short answer is that some of the patterns uncovered by Grebner, Weissman and Weissman have no obvious explanation consistent with what passes for standard survey practice (even given the generous mix of art and science at work in pre-election polling). They demand a more complete explanation.

Of the patterns uncovered by Grebner, et. al., the easiest to describe to non-statisticians -- and for my money the most inexplicable -- involves the strange matching pairs of odd or even numbers. They examined the many cross-tabulations of results among men and among women posted to Daily Kos. If the result for any given answer category among men (such as the percentage favorable) was an even number, the result among women was also an even number. If the result among men was an odd number, the result among women was also an odd number. They found that strange consistency of odd or even numbers in 776 of 778 pairs of results that they examined.

Put simply, there is virtually no possibility that this pattern occurred by chance. Your odds of winning $27 million in the Powerball lottery tonight are vastly greater. Some automated process created the pattern. What that process was, we do not know.

While there are many true statisticians that design samples and analyze survey data, very few do the kind of forensic data analysis that Grebner, Weissman and Weissman have presented. One true expert in this field who is universally respected, is University of Michigan Professor Walter Mebane (Disclosure: Mebane was my independent study advisor at Michigan 25 years ago). I emailed him last night for his reaction.

Mebane says he finds the evidence presented "convincing," though whether the polls are "fradulent" as Kos claims "is unclear...Could be some kind of smoothing algorithm is being used, either smoothing over time or toward some prior distribution."

When I asked about the specific patterns reported by Grebner, et. al., he replied:

None of these imply that no new data informed the numbers reported for each poll, but if there were new data for each poll the data seems to have been combined with some other information---which is not necessarily bad practice depending on the goal of the polling---and then jittered.

In other words, again, the strange patterns in the Research 2000 data suggest they were produced by some sort of weighting or statistical process, though it is unclear exactly what that process was.

As such, I want to echo the statement issued this morning by the National Council on Public Polls calling for "full disclosure of all relevant information" about the Research 2000 polls in question:

"Releasing this information will allow everyone to make a judgment based on the facts," [NCPP President Evans] Witt added. "Failure to release information leaves allegations unanswered and unanswerable."

In the absence of that disclosure, and unless and until the parties have their day in court, it is also important that we give the Grebner, Weissman and Weissman analysis the respect it deserves and subject it to a thorough "peer review" online. It is all too easy to use a blog to lob sensational accusations at suspicious characters, especially when those accusations are grounded in subjects that are "all but impossible for a lay-person to be able to investigate" unless "you have a degree in statistics" (to quote our colleagues at The Hotline earlier today).

The courts have discovery and cross-examination, academic journals have a slow process of anonymous review. Online, we provide such review through reader comments and deeper analysis posted by "peers" that critique work in something much closer to real time. Examples I've seen already include the comments earlier today by Doug Rivers and the blog post by David Shor. Grebner, et. al. have made a compelling case, but it is vital that we kick the tires on their work before leaping to conclusions. Remember, the truly "full disclosure" that a law suit's discovery process will certainly provide may take months or even years to occur.

We will all have more to say on this subject in the days ahead, but for the moment, I want to echo a point Josh Marshall made yesterday. Research 2000 was not the creation of Daily Kos, nor was it the product of a business model built on ignoring the mainstream media and disseminating data over the internet. "They've been around for some time," Marshall wrote yesterday, "and had developed a pretty solid reputation." Their clients included local television stations plus the following daily newspapers (according to the Research 2000 web site): The Bergen Record, The Raleigh News & Observer, The Concord Monitor, The Manchester Journal Inquirer, The New London Day, The Reno-Gazette, The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, The Spokesman-Review, and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A colleague asked me yesterday about the "upshot of this situation, how bad is it going to be for the [polling] industry?" The answer depends on where the evidence leads us, of course, but the early implications are ominous. The polling industry cannot simply continue on a business-as-usual course. We must push for complete disclosure as a matter of routine and we need to develop better objective standards for what qualifies as a trustworthy poll.

PS: The Atlantic Wire's Max Fisher has a thorough summary of the first wave of online commentary on the DailyKos/Research 2000 controversy. I'd also recommend the short-but-sweet commentary from Washington Post pollster Jon Cohen:

However this dispute turns out, there's a new, blazing light on the rampant confusion about the right ways to judge poll quality. Saving the longer discussion, one thing is clear: to assess quality, one needs to know the facts. At this point, too little is currently known about the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll to make definitive statements. (Research 2000 has a record of releasing more information than about their polling than some other prolific providers.)

US: National Survey (Marist 6/17-24)

Topics: National , Poll

6/17-24/10; 813 registered voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Marist release)


Obama Job Approval
44% Approve, 45% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 75 / 14 (chart)
Republicans: 14 / 78 (chart)
Independents: 37 / 49 (chart)
Economy: 46 / 48 (chart)
Gulf Oil Spill: 46 / 53

Approve / Disapprove
BP handling of Gulf oil spill: 17 / 83

Support / Oppose temporarily suspending new offshore drilling
46% support, 45% oppose

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 50 / 43 (chart)

Non-Fabricated 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Greg Sargent and Jon Cohen discuss DailyKos' fraud allegations against Research 2000; First Read points out that "Good polls are expensive to do" (via Goddard); John Cook points to a history of financial trouble at Research 2000; The Atlantic Wire rounds up responses to the allegations.

Ezra Klein points to polls showing health care reform gaining popularity.

David Hill advocates candidates talking more about jobs.

Alex Bratty says independents are conflicted over the role of government.

Frank Newport notices an "increasingly pro-gun environment" leading up to Monday's Supreme Court decision.

Gallup finds Democratic affiliation stabilizing after recent drops.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation releases a study on childhood obesity.

WI: 2010 Gov, Sen (PPP 6/26-27)

Topics: Governor , Poll , Senate , Wisconsin

Public Policy Polling (D)
6/26-27/10; 638 likely voters, 3.9% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)
Update: Governor


2010 Governor
41% Neumann (R), 36% Barrett (D) (chart)
45% Walker (R), 38% Barrett (D) (chart)

2010 Senate
45% Feingold (D), 43% Johnson (R)
45% Feingold (D), 38% Westlake (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Tom Barrett: 28 / 30
Mark Neumann: 18 / 35
Scott Walker: 36 / 28
Jake Westlake: 6 / 14
Ron Johnson: 20 / 18

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Doyle: 28 / 59 (chart)
Pres. Obama: 45 / 50 (chart)
Sen. Kohl: 47 / 34 (chart)
Sen. Feingold 42 / 42 (chart)

KY: 49% Paul, 42% Conway (Rasmussen 6/28)

Topics: Kentucky , poll

6/28/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2010 Senate
49% Paul (R), 42% Conway (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Rand Paul: 55 / 38
Jack Conway: 51 / 35

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 41 / 58
Gov. Beshear: 53 / 44

OH: 2010 Sen (PPP 6/26-27)

Topics: Ohio , poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
6/26-27/10; 482 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)


2010 Senate
40% Fisher (D), 38% Portman (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Lee Fisher: 28 / 27
Rob Portman: 22 / 25

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 42 / 54 (chart)
Sen. Voinovich: 21 / 48 (chart)

Rivers: Random Samples and Research 2000

Topics: Daily Kos , Nate Silver , Research2000 , Sampling

Douglas Rivers is president and CEO of YouGov/Polimetrix and a professor of political science and senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Full disclosure: YouGov/Polimetrix is the owner and principal sponsor of Pollster.com.

I am, like most in the polling community, shocked by the recent accusations of fraud against Research 2000. Marc Grebner, Michael Weissman, and Jonathan Weissman convincingly demonstrate that something is seriously amiss with the research reported by Research 2000, which may well be due to fraud.

But some of the claims by the critics, such as Nate Silver's post this morning on FiveThirtyEight.com (as well as part of the Grebner et al. analysis), exhibit a common misunderstanding about survey sampling: "random sampling" does not necessarily mean "simple random sampling." I do not know what Research 2000 did (or claimed to do), but very few surveys actually use simple random sampling.

To recapitulate Nate's argument: if you draw a simple random sample of size 360 from a population of 50% Obama voters and 50% McCain voters, the day to day variation in the Obama vote percentage in the sample should be approximately normal, with mean 50% and standard deviation 2.7%. (Nate gets this by simulating 30,000 polls and rounding the results, but most students in introductory statistics would just calculate the square root of 0.5 x 0.5 / 360, which is about 2.6%.) This would give you the blue line in Nate's first graph, reproduced below.


However, what happens if the poll is not a simple random sample? Suppose (and this is entirely hypothetical) that you polled off of a registration list composed of 50% Democrats and 50% Republicans (to keep things simple, let's pretend there are no independents). Further, suppose that 90% of the Democrats support Obama and 90% of the Republicans support McCain, so it's still 50/50 for Obama and McCain in the population. Instead of drawing a simple random sample, we draw a "stratified random sample" with 180 Democrats and 180 Republicans each day. That is, we draw a simple random sample of 180 Democrats and a simple random sample of 180 Republicans and combine them. What should the distribution of daily poll results look like?

I should caution that there is a little math in what follows, but nothing hard. The variance (the square of the standard deviation) of each subsample is 0.90 x 0.10 / 180 = 0.0005. The combined sample mean is just the average of these two independent subsamples, so its variance is 0.0005/2 or 0.00025, so the standard deviation is the square root of 0.00025 or approximately 1.6%, not the 2.6% that Nate thought it should be. This distribution is shown in the figure below as a green lines, which is a lot closer to the suspicious red line in Nate's graph, showing the Research 2000 results.


Does this absolve Research 2000 of fraud? Of course not. There are other factors (such as weighting) that usually increase the variability, so Nate is right that the Research 2000 results look suspicious. But we should be a little more cautious before convicting upon the basis of this sort of evidence.

MO: 48% Blunt, 43% Carnahan (Rasmussen 6/28)

Topics: Missouri , poll

6/28/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2010 Senate
48% Blunt (R), 43% Carnahan (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Roy Blunt: 54 / 33
Robin Carnahan

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 47 / 53 (chart)
Gov. Nixon: 60 / 37 (chart)

US: National Survey (Zogby 6/25-28)

Topics: National , poll

Zogby Interactive
6/25-28/10; 2,061 likely voters, 2.2% margin of error
Mode: Internet
(Zogby release)


Obama Job Approval
46% Approve, 53% Disapprove (chart)

State of the Country
29% Right Direction, 60% Wrong Track (chart)

2010 Congress
43% Republican, 41% Democrat (chart)

US: Health Care (Kaiser 6/17-22)

Topics: National , poll

Kaiser Family Foundation
6/17-22/10; 1,207 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Kaiser: summary, toplines)


As you may know, a new health reform bill was signed into law earlier this year. Given what you know about the new health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?
48% Favorable, 41% Unfavorable (chart)

Based on those who have an unfavorable view of the new health reform law (n=526): Given that you have an unfavorable view of the health reform law, which comes closer to your view of what should happen now:
29% The law should be given a chance to work, with Congress making necessary changes along the way
66% The law should be repealed as soon as possible

Do you think ________ will be better off or worse off under the new health reform law, or don't you think it will make much difference?
You and your family: 28% Better, 28% Worse, 39% No difference
The country as a whole: 42% Better, 32% Worse, 19% no difference

Say a candidate for Congress voted FOR the health reform law. Would that make you more likely to support that candidate for Congress, more likely to oppose that candidate for Congress, or wouldn't it make much difference in your vote?
34% More likely to support, 55% 31% More likely to oppose, 32% No difference

Party ID
35% Democrat, 25% Republican, 31% independent (chart)

The mysticism of Peggy Noonan

Topics: Barack Obama , Economy , presidential approval

Jonathan Chait had a great post a couple of weeks ago that's worth revisiting because of what it tells us about how pundits reason about politics.

As Chait noted, political scientists have established that presidential election outcomes are largely a function of the state of the economy, particularly in an election year (the same principle applies to presidential approval). And yet pundits routinely invent elaborate narratives to "explain" these outcomes in terms of strategy, tactics, personality, etc.

One case in point is the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan, who blunders into this issue in a revealing passage from a recent column:

The president is starting to look snakebit. He's starting to look unlucky, like Jimmy Carter. It wasn't Mr. Carter's fault that the American diplomats were taken hostage in Tehran, but he handled it badly, and suffered. He defied the rule of the King in "Pippin," the Broadway show of Carter's era, who spoke of "the rule that every general knows by heart, that it's smarter to be lucky than it's lucky to be smart." Mr. Carter's opposite was Bill Clinton, on whom fortune smiled with eight years of relative peace and a worldwide economic boom. What misfortune Mr. Clinton experienced he mostly created himself. History didn't impose it.

But Mr. Obama is starting to look unlucky, and-file this under Mysteries of Leadership-that is dangerous for him because Americans get nervous when they have a snakebit president. They want presidents on whom the sun shines.

But as Chait points out, there's nothing mysterious about it:

Toward the end of the first paragraph, Noonan wanders toward the basic reality of the situation -- people liked Clinton because the economy was booming -- before returning to the familiar embrace of mysticism (Americans get "nervous" when the president appears "snakebit.") Rather than seeing this as demonstrating a basic correlation, she calls this the "Mysteries of Leadership."

The same principle applies to Obama. It has nothing to do with being "snakebit"; he is presiding over a weak economy, a context which magnifies all of his political difficulties.

It turns out that Noonan has made similar claims before. Here, for example, is a June 2009 column in which she briefly acknowledges that the state of the economy may be hurting Obama but then argues that his real problem is the lack of what she calls "The Sentence":

Something seems off with our young president. He appears jarred. Difficult history has come over the transom. He seemed defensive and peevish with the press in his Tuesday news conference, and later with Charlie Gibson on health care, when he got nailed by a neurologist who suggested the elites who support a national program seem not to mind rationing for other people but very much mind if for themselves.

All this followed the president's first bad numbers. From Politico, on Tuesday: "Eroding confidence in President Barack Obama's handling of the economy and ability to control spending have caused his approval ratings to wilt to their lowest level since taking office, according to a spate of recent polls." Independents and some Republicans who once viewed him sympathetically are "becoming skeptical."

You can say this is due to a lot of things, and it probably is, most especially the economy, which all the polls mentioned. But I think at bottom his problems come down to this: The Sentence. And the rough sense people have that he's not seeing to it.

The Sentence comes from a story Clare Boothe Luce told about a conversation she had in 1962 in the White House with her old friend John F. Kennedy. She told him, she said, that "a great man is one sentence." His leadership can be so well summed up in a single sentence that you don't have to hear his name to know who's being talked about. "He preserved the union and freed the slaves," or, "He lifted us out of a great depression and helped to win a World War."

But again, this is silliness. If the economy was strong, public perceptions about "The Sentence" wouldn't be a political problem. What was Bill Clinton's "Sentence" in his second term? (Indeed, Noonan has argued that Reagan "knew, going in, the sentence he wanted, and he got it" and yet his approval ratings still declined substantially when the economy was bad in 1982.)

The underlying problem is that Noonan and other pundits have strong professional incentives to construct these ad hoc explanations, which emphasize their own expertise in narrative construction and dramatize politics for public consumption. Until more pundits recognize the potential advantages of incorporating political science into their work, mysticism and superstition will continue to dominate.

Update 7/1 9:22 AM: See this post for more.

[Cross-posted to brendan-nyhan.com]

HI: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 6/24)

Topics: Hawaii , poll

6/24/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2010 Governor
58% Abercrombie (D), 32% Aiona (R)
52% Hannemann (D), 30% Aiona (R)
59% Abercrombie (D), 30% Carroll (R)

OH: 42% Fisher, 40% Portman (Quinnipiac 6/22-27)

Topics: Ohio , poll

6/22-27/10; 1,107 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)


2010 Senate
42% Fisher (D), 40% Portman (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Lee Fisher: 28 / 17
Rob Portman: 26 / 7

Job Approval / Disapproval
Sen. Brown: 46 / 29 (chart)
Sen. Voinovich: 48 / 31 (chart)
Pres. Obama: 45 / 49 (chart)

CA: 2010 Sen, Gov (Ipsos 6/25-27)

Topics: California , Governor , Senate

Reuters conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs
6/25-27/10; 600 registered voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Reuters story)


2010 Governor
45% Brown (D), 39% Whitman (R) (chart)

2010 Senate
45% Boxer (D), 41% Fiorina (R) (chart)

Job Approve / Disapprove
Gov. Schwarzenegger: 27 / 69 (chart)

HI: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 6/24)

Topics: Hawaii , Poll , Senate

6/24/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mod: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2010 Senate
68% Inouye (D), 20% Roco (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
John Roco: 19 / 35
Dan Inouye: 73 / 23

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 72 / 26
Gov. Lingle: 47 / 51

Daily Kos: We Were 'Defrauded' by Research 2000

Topics: AAPOR , AAPOR Transparency Initiative , Daily Kos , Disclosure , Markos Moulitsas , Research2000

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas today rocked the polling world by posting an analysis that he says shows "quite convincingly" that the national surveys conducted for his website by Research 2000 since early 2009 were "largely bunk." Just three weeks ago, Moulitsas fired Research 2000 on the basis of low accuracy scores tabulated by Nate Silver. Today, on the basis of the work of "statistics wizards" Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman, and Jonathan Weissman, Moulitsas announced that Daily Kos "will be filing suit" against its former pollster "within the next day or two."

The core of his extraordinary explanation is worth reading in full:

We contracted with Research 2000 to conduct polling and to provide us with the results of their surveys. Based on the report of the statisticians, it's clear that we did not get what we paid for. We were defrauded by Research 2000, and while we don't know if some or all of the data was fabricated or manipulated beyond recognition, we know we can't trust it. Meanwhile, Research 2000 has refused to offer any explanation. Early in this process, I asked for and they offered to provide us with their raw data for independent analysis -- which could potentially exculpate them. That was two weeks ago, and despite repeated promises to provide us that data, Research 2000 ultimately refused to do so. At one point, they claimed they couldn't deliver them because their computers were down and they had to work out of a Kinkos office. Research 2000 was delivered a copy of the report early Monday morning, and though they quickly responded and promised a full response, once again the authors of the report heard nothing more.

While the investigation didn't look at all of Research 2000 polling conducted for us, fact is I no longer have any confidence in any of it, and neither should anyone else. I ask that all poll tracking sites remove any Research 2000 polls commissioned by us from their databases. I hereby renounce any post we've written based exclusively on Research 2000 polling.

Separately, Charles Franklin will soon post some thoughts on the evidence presented by Grebner, Weissman and Weissman, but for the moment let's consider the issues of disclosure raised.

First, there is some further history. Two years ago, when the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) launched an investigation into the polling miscues during the 2008 presidential primary elections, it asked 21 firms to provide response rate information. Research 2000 could not calculate specific response rates for the calls they made. The estimates they provided were "about 1 complete of every eight attempts" in New Hampshire and "about" 1 in 9 in Wisconsin. They were also unable to provide "a full set of dispositions" (a tally of how many calls resulted in completed interviews, no answers, refusals to be interviewed, and so on).

Their incomplete answer did not result in a formal censure, since Research 2000 claimed they were sharing whatever information they had. Another half dozen or so pollsters also claimed they failed to keep an accounting necessary to enable such calculations. But whether a failure of disclosure or quality control, the inability to provide such a basic metric speaks to the importance of demanding greater disclosure as a matter of routine. That's why AAPOR's Disclosure Initiative is so important. If you have not yet read my column from last month on this subject yet, I hope you will. It is highly relevant to this story (h/t to Nirml for making the same point on Twitter).

Second, the most damning information for the layperson about Research 2000 provided in today's announcement -- and is certainly most troubling to me -- is their apparent reluctance to share raw data with their own client. AAPOR's Disclosure Initiative will not mandate the release of raw, respondent level data, but it is worth considering that some of the most respected media pollsters already make their raw data available to scholars by routinely depositing it the Roper Center archives. The Pew Research Center makes their raw data available to the general public through its own web site.

As this story broke, NBC's Chuck Todd noted the "stain" that irresponsible pollsters are leaving on the community of credible pollsters. Many are asking what the polling profession can do. Whatever one might conclude about Research 2000, there are two clear answers: Full support for and participation in AAPOR's Transparency Initiative and a greater willingness to deposit raw data to the Roper Archives.

Research 2000, DailyKos and Transparency

Today the polling world was rocked by claims that polls by Research2000 for DailyKos are substantially flawed:

We do not know exactly how the weekly R2K results were created, but we are confident they could not accurately describe random polls

Coming on the heels of recent arguments by Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com that Strategic Vision faked their polling over several years, this is a new blow to the credibility of public polling.

Mark Blumenthal here at Pollster.com has lead a concerted effort over the last two years to increase the degree of disclosure expected from polling firms, an effort that paid off in new disclosure requirements from the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) this spring. Some three dozen firms immediately signed on to the new disclosure requirements, but there are many firms that produce widely cited polls that have not yet agreed to disclose as much as required.

I've only had time for a single quick read of the Research2000 analysis by Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman, and Jonathan Weissman. It seems to be done seriously and it raises important doubts about Research2000's practices. But with my academic's hat on, I'd like to see it receive serious review by professional statisticians with polling experience. Academic journals typically reject 80-90% of articles submitted to them because on close inspection by experts, flaws are found in the theory or the analysis. These are serious charges, and they deserve to be vetted by professionals qualified to do such an evaluation. If flaws in the analysis are discovered, they can be fixed and the conclusions corrected. If the analysis is found to be sound, then the evidence is even more compelling and worrisome for its implications for the polling industry.

There is one element of disclosure that has not been pushed, but which could significantly and easily reduce the chance of "pollsters" making up their data. Every media firm, including DailyKos, should write into their contracts the requirement that the raw data and complete questionnaire be deposited within two months with the Roper Center Polling Archive at the University of Connecticut. Two months is long enough that there is little remaining news value, but rapid enough that meaningful vetting and analysis is possible. By forcing this disclosure, by contract, the sponsors of polling would gain credibility for their polls while insisting that their pollsters live up to the standards of disclosure by AAPOR as well as making the raw data available for subsequent scrutiny.

Most major media polls already deposit their raw data with the Roper Center (including, Gallup, ABC/Post, CBS/NYT, NBC/WSJ, Pew, Time, Newsweek), though not necessarily as quickly as two months. Their example should encourage others to also deposit their data.

But most importantly, it is in the interest of the sponsors of polling to protect their reputation by requiring full disclosure and deposit of the data. Such practice would enhance the value of their polls, not diminish it.

OH: 2010 Gov (PPP 6/26-27)

Topics: Governor , Ohio , Poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
6/26-27/10; 482 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: automated phone
(PPP release)


2010 Governor
43% Kasich, 41% Strickland (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
John Kasich: 28 / 30

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Strickland: 37 / 48 (chart)

US: Afghanistan (Gallup 6/25-26)

Topics: McChrystal , National , Poll

6/25-26/10; 1,044 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Gallup release)
Update: Obama on Afghanistan


Obama Handling of Afghanistan
8% Very Good, 42% Good, 28% Poor, 16% Very Poor

Approve / Oppose July 2011 Timeline to Begin Withdrawing Troops from Afghanistan
58% Approve, 29% Oppose any deadline, 7% think withdrawal should occur earlier, 1% think withdrawal should occur later

Approve or disapprove of President Obama's decision to remove General McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan?
53% Approve, 30% Disapprove

Regardless of whether you approve or disapprove of Obama's decision to remove General McChrystal, based on what you know or have read about the matter, which of the following would have been the best way for President Obama to handle it
38% Remove, 37% Reprimand but not remove, 12% Take no action

LA: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 6/24)

Topics: Louisiana , Poll , Senate

6/24/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mod: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2010 Senate
53% Vitter (R), 35% Melancon (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
David Vitter: 62 / 32 (chart)
Charlie Melancon: 48 / 39

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 40 / 58 (chart)
Gov. Jindal: 74 / 26 (chart)

NY: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 6/24)

Topics: Governor , New York

6/24/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

New York

2010 Governor
55% Cuomo, 28% Lazio (chart)
55% Cuomo, 25% Paladino

Favorable / Unfavorable
Carl Paladino: 35 / 32
Rick Lazio: 49 / 32
Andrew Cuomo: 63 / 31

US: National Survey (Pew/NJ 6/24-27)

Topics: National , Poll

Pew Research Center / National Journal
6/14-27/10; 1,001 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew release)


Job Approval
Pres. Obama: 13% Excellent, 27% Good, 29% Only Fair, 27% Poor
Congress: 2% Excellent, 11% Good, 37% Only Fair, 43% Poor

State of the Country
27% Satisfied, 64% Dissatisfied (chart)

Balance Budget
26% "federal government give more money to the states to help them meet their budgets, even if it means higher federal deficits"
58% "states take care of this themselves, either by raising state taxes or cutting state services"

Favor / Oppose to Balance Budget
22 / 73 Cuts in K through 12 public schools
25 / 71 Cuts in funding for police and fire and other public safety departments
27 / 65 Cuts in health care services provided by the state or local government
43 / 50 Cuts in funding for maintaining roads and public transportation systems
39 / 58 Raising taxes

Party ID
24% Republican, 31% Democrat, 35% Independent (chart)

OH: 2010 Gov (Quinnipiac 6/22-27)

Topics: Governor , Ohio , Poll

6/22-27/10; 1,107 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)


2010 Governor
43% Strickland (D), 38% Kasich (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Ted Strickland: 42/ 37 (chart)
John Kasich: 28 / 19

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Strickland: 44 / 42 (chart)

Lie to Me 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Lymari Morales puts support for Elena Kagan in context; Chris Bowers has more.

Frank Newport finds an increasingly pro-gun environment as a backdrop for today's Supreme Court decision.

Benjamin Page and Lawrence Jacobs critique the America Speaks deliberative town hall meetings; John Sides summarizes, Andrew Gelman has more.

Chris Bowers adds context to the Gallup's finding of growing conservative self-identification.

Jim Geragthy notes that even Rasmussen shows improving numbers for Obamacare (though they're "still pretty lousy").

Tom Schaller gives Scott Brown a positive political check-up.

Daniel Indiviglio plots the relationship between Congressional approval and House seats gained or lost.

Tom Jensen teases a close result in Wisconsin.

Bob Groves reports on the work of Census enumerators and declares Census non-response follow-up 99.6% complete.

Andrew Sullivan shares the chart from an Economist/YouGov poll showing very few Americans closely following the World Cup.

Lie to Me viewers were no better at spotting deception (via Lundry).

TX: 2010 Gov, 2012 Pres Primary (PPP 6/19-21)

Topics: Governor , poll , President , Texas

Public Policy Polling (D)
6/19-21/10; 500 likely voters, 4.4% margin of error
400 likely Republican primary voters
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)
Update: 2012 Republican Presidential Primary


2012 Republican Presidential Primary with Rick Perry
23% Gingrich, 18% Huckabee, 17% Palin, 14% Romney, 8% Paul, 8% Perry

2012 Republican Presidential Primary without Rick Perry
25% Gingrich, 22% Huckabee, 18% Romney, 17% Palin, 10% Paul

2010 Governor
43% Perry (R), 43% White (D)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Rick Perry: 36 / 49

Favorable / Unfavorable
Bill White: 37 / 25

UT: 2010 Gov, Sen (Rasmussen 6/23)

Topics: poll , Utah

6/23/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)
Update: Governor


2010 Governor
58% Herbert (R), 31% Corroon (D)

2010 Senate
58% Lee (R), 28% Granato (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Gary Herbert: 70 / 23
Peter Corroon: 50 / 32
Mike Lee: 58 / 32
Sam Granato: 37 / 33

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 33 / 63
Gov. Herbert: 72 / 25

US: Generic Ballot (Gallup, Rasmussen 6/21-27)

Topics: Generic House Vote , poll


6/21-27/10; 1,600 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
46% Democrat, 45% Republican (chart)

6/21-27/10; 3,500 likely voters, 2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
44% Republican, 38% Democrat (chart)

KS: 2010 Sen, Gov Primaries (SurveyUSA 6/24-27)

Topics: Governor , Kansas , poll , Senate

6/24-27/10; 721 likely Republican primary voters, 3.7% margin of error
364 likely Democratic primary voters, 5.2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Kansas.com article)


2010 Senate: Republican Primary
53% Moran, 33% Tiahrt

2010 Senate: Democratic Primary
24% Johnston, 16% Schollenberger, 11% Conroy, 11% Haley, 4% Wiesner

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
73% Brownback, 17% Heffington

WY: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 6/22)

Topics: Governor , Poll , Wyoming

6/22/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)


2010 Governor
49% Mead (R), 22% Massie (D)
47% Micheli (R), 27% Peterson (D)
51% Meyer (R), 23% Peterson (D)
44% Simpson (R), 28% Peterson (D)
51% Mead (R), 23% Gosar (D)
51% Simpson (R), 24% Gosar (D)
46% Micheli (R), 28% Gosar (D)
52% Meyer (R), 23% Gosar (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Pete Gosar: 31 / 32
Matt Mead: 55 / 23
Ron Micheli: 40 / 29
Mike Massie: 36 / 24
Rita Meyer: 44 / 33
Colin Simpson: 52 / 24
Leslie Peterson: 33 / 36

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 30 / 70
Gov. Freudenthal: 72 / 25

SC: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 6/23)

Topics: Governor , Poll , South Carolina

6/23/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

South Carolina

2010 Governor
52% Haley (R), 40% Sheheen (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Nikki Haley: 70 / 26
Vincent Sheheen: 50 / 35

Job Approve / Disapprove
Pres. Obama: 42 / 57
Gov. Sanford: 44 / 53

US: National Survey (Harris 6/14-21)

Topics: Generic House Vote , National , poll

6/14-21/10; 2,227 adults
Mode: Internet
(Harris release)
Update: Congress


Job Approval
Pres. Obama: 6% Excellent, 33% Pretty Good, 29% Only Fair, 32% Poor
Congress: 1% Excellent, 13% Pretty Good, 38% Only Fair, 48% Poor
Tea Party Movement: 33% Support, 23% Oppose

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
34% Democratic candidate, 30% Republican candidate, 10% Other (chart)
35% Democratic candidate, 19% Republican candidate, 12% Tea Party candidate

State of the Country
34% Right Direction, 66% Wrong Track (chart)

US: National Survey (Newsweek 6/23-24)

Topics: National , Poll

6/23-24/10; 964 adults, 3.8% margin of error
313 Democrats, 6.6% margin of error
294 Republicans, 6.6% margin of error
297 independents, 6.8% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Newsweek release)


Obama Job Approval
48% Approve, 46% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 83 / 13 (chart)
Reps: 18 / 78 (chart)
Inds: 43 / 50 (chart)
Health Care: 43 / 51 (chart)
Economy: 38 / 58 (chart)
Afghanistan: 37 / 53
Iraq: 41 / 51
Terrorism: 44 / 48
Reform of Financial Industries: 36 / 53
Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: 33 / 60

Approve of ___________ in Congress
Republicans: 35 / 54
Democrats: 35 / 53

State of the Country
27% Satisfied, 69% Dissatisfied (chart)

Party ID
34% Democrat, 30% Republican, 29% independent (chart)

MA: 2010 Gov (UNH 6/17-23)

Topics: Governor , Massachusetts , poll

University of New Hampshire / Boston Globe
6/17-23/10; 497 likely voters, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Boston Globe Release)


2010 Governor
38% Patrick (D), 31% Baker (R), 9% Cahill (i), 2% Stein (G) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Deval Patrick: 44 / 47
Tim Cahill: 22 / 32
Charlie Baker: 21 / 20

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Patrick: 41 / 49
Sen. Brown: 52 / 18
Pres. Obama: 51 / 47