Pollster.com

July 11, 2010 - July 17, 2010

 

US: National Survey (Fox 7/13-14)

Topics: Generic House Vote , National , poll

Fox News / Opinion Dynamics
7/13-14/10; 900 registered voters, 3% margin of error
332 Democrats, 5% margin of error
343 Republicans, 5% margin of error
166 independents, 8% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Fox News: Immigration, Stimulus)
Update: Generic Ballot

National

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
41% Republican, 37% Democrat (chart)

Obama Job Approval
43% Approve, 48% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 76 / 15 (chart)
Reps: 13 / 80 (chart)
Inds: 40 / 48 (chart)
Oil Spill: 40 / 51

Continue Bush tax cuts or allow to expire at end of 2010
27% allow to expire, 64% continue going forward

If the Congress had not passed the economic stimulus and spending bill and instead done nothing, do you think the nation's economy would be in better shape than it is today, worse shape, or would the economy be in about the same shape as it is today?
22% better, 31% worse, 43% about the same

Do you think the federal government's economic stimulus plan has created a lot of new jobs, some new jobs, a few new jobs or hardly any new jobs at all
5% a lot, 29% some, 23% a few, 40% hardly at all

Do you think are more responsible for the current condition of the economy?
30% Democratic policies, 41% Republican policies, 21% both equally

Do you think are more likely to improve the condition of the country?
37% Democratic policies, 40% Republican policies, 9% both equally

The federal government is suing the state of Arizona because it says its new immigration law is unconstitutional. Do you favor or oppose the federal government's lawsuit?
29% Favor, 59% Oppose

Would you favor or oppose YOUR state passing an immigration law like Arizona's new law?
55% Favor, 34% Oppose

Party ID
37% Democrat, 38% Republican, 18% independent (chart)


CO: McInnis Plagiarism (SurveyUSA 7/15)

Topics: Colorado , governor , poll

SurveyUSA
7/15/10; 1181 registered voters, 2.7% margin of error
429 registered Republicans, 4.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA release)

Colorado

Have you heard news stories about plagiarism and Scott McInnis?
70% yes, 27% no

Strongest Republican candidate for Governor among Republicans
29% Tancredo, 19% McInnis, 13% Maes, 11% Norton, 7% Penry, 3% Benson


Dueling Obama-Palin Polls

Topics: 2012 , Barack Obama , PPP , Sarah Palin , Time/SRBI

Two new polls released yesterday asked about a hypothetical presidential contest between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama with very different results: The Time/SRBI poll (article, SRBI analysis & results) shows Obama with a massive, 21-point advantage (55% to 34% with 11% unsure or not voting), while a survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows a dead heat (46% to 46% with 9% undecided). What gives? And which poll, if any, should we trust?

The two surveys were conducted by telephone just a few days apart (July 9-12 for PPP and July 12-13 for Time/SRBI) and sought to sample registered voters nationwide, but beyond those characteristics, they were very different surveys.

Time/SRBI uses live interviewers. PPP uses an automated, recorded-voice method that asks respondents to answer questions by pressing buttons on their touch-tone phones.

Their sampling methods are also very different: Time/SRBI used a method that selects telephone area codes and exchanges and randomizes the final digits of each number to theoretically reach a random sample of all working telephone numbers. In this case, they drew two samples, one of landline phones and one of cell phones, dialed each separately and combined the two with weighting. They attempted to select a random person in each household and ultimately questioned 1,003 adults (of whom 50 were interviewed by cellphone), although they asked the presidential vote question only of the 87% who said they are registered to vote.

PPP draws random samples of households from a list of all registered voters compiled by Aristotle International using the public lists gathered by voter registrars nationwide. Phone numbers are either provided by voters when they register or obtained by matching addresses to published phone directories, so some undisclosed percentage of the sampled voters lacks a phone number. PPP then interviews whomever answers the phone and asks respondents to “please hang up” if they are not registered to vote. They ultimately interviewed 667 registered voters.

The trade-off: Time/SRBI theoretically covers every registered voter, while PPP misses some undisclosed percentage of voters without phone numbers or that live in cell-phone-only households (federal regulations prohibit pollsters from using an “autodialier” to dial cell phone numbers). On the other hand, PPP’s identification of truly registered voters may be more accurate; self-reports tend to exaggerate the number of registered voters.

The PPP survey featured 17 questions, including demographics. The Time/SRBI survey asked 29 questions, not including demographics. Did the difference in length and mode (interviewer or no interviewer), produce a different response rate? Neither organization released a response rate, so we do not know.

Do all of these characteristics add up to different kinds of people interviewed? One big clue comes from the results for party identification: PPP’s respondents identified themselves as 39% Democrat, 34% Republican and 27% independent or other. Time/SRBI provided me with their party ID results for registered voters: On the initial question, 33% say they “usually think of” themselves as Democrats, 23% as Republicans, 30% as independents, 12% as “something else” and 2% were not sure. When they pushed the uncertain, a total of 47% identify or “lean” Democratic and 30% identify or lean Republican.

So the PPP sample has a closer partisan balance than the Time/SRBI sample, although we should keep in mind that the two surveys also asked slightly different party identification questions.

But wait, there’s more: The vote question also differs in an important way. Time/SRBI identifies the party of each candidate, while PPP omits party labels:

Time/SRBI: If the presidential election were held today and the candidates were Barack Obama, the Democrat, and Sarah Palin, the Republican, and you had to choose, for whom would you vote?

PPP: If the candidates for President next time were Sarah Palin and Barack Obama, who would you vote for?

Finally, the two polls asked their Obama-vs-Palin question in slightly different contexts. Time/SBRI asked their question following a set of probes of Obama’s performance as president, a question about whether Obama or George W. Bush “is the better president” and immediately following a job rating of first lady Michelle Obama. PPP asked their Obama-Palin question after a job rating of Obama, favorable ratings of each of the Republicans and immediately after a Huckabee-vs-Obama question.

The main point here is that these polls are very different in ways that go far beyond live interviewers versus automated polling. Their methods are dissimilar across the board.

So given these differences, which poll should we trust? My answer is neither. Or both.

First the case for both: When an attitude or preference is weak, small differences in methodology and question wording can make a big difference. Needless to say, asking for preferences in a hypothetical political match-up in 2012 two years before an election qualifies as weak. In such cases, it makes sense to look at a wide variety of polls in order to get a sense of the range of potential results.

The case for “neither” is a lot stronger in this instance, for the same reasons. Seven years ago while addressing the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), my new boss Arianna Huffington offered a quip about a similar presidential vote preference question asked nearly four years before the 2004 election:

This is really about as meaningful as phrasing a question in the following way, which I will suggest you try one day, “If the world were to stop spinning, and all life were placed in a state of suspended animation, who would you like to see in the Oval Office when you thawed out?”

Yes, I’m guilty of sucking up a bit with that reference, but she’s right. How many ordinary voters have thought deeply about a contest between Obama and Palin? How many were forming an opinion on the spot when interviewed, only after hearing the question posed over the telephone?

My best advice to anyone trying to understand Sarah Palin’s potential is to put aside these two measures and focus instead on questions about opinions that are closer to real, such as Palin’s favorability rating (as asked in both the PPP survey and the results released by Gallup earlier today). Ordinary people do have genuine, pre-existing opinions about Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. Polls are on most solid ground when they measure these perceptions separately, rather than asking about a still hypothetical contest that has so far been of interest mostly to political junkies.


Sunscreen 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Frank Newport discusses signals to watch for the midterms.

Ezra Klein blogs on "the incredible obviousness of the Democrats' political fortunes."

Joe Klein laments the decline of newspaper sponsored, live interviewer polls.

Chris Bowers suggests Obama shed soft support faster because of health care reform.

David Freddoso notes a consequence of accusations that Research 2000 faked polls (via McArdle).

Jennifer Agiesta says the public supports troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

PPP shows voters are ambivalent about financial reform.

Pew finds voters view Democrats as farther from the center than Republicans.

Kristen Soltis hosts Alex Lundry and Kevin Madden on "The Right Idea."

Robert Groves continues his series on measuring Census quality.

Tom Jensen shares some crazy email.

Marist finds most Americans don't apply sunscreen daily.


CO: 45% Hickenlooper, 43% McInnis (Rasmussen 7/15)

Topics: Colorado , poll

Rasmussen
7/15/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Colorado

2010 Governor
45% Hickenlooper (D), 43% McInnis (R) (chart)
46% Hickenlooper (D), 43% Maes (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Scott McInnis:43 / 47
John Hickenlooper: 50 / 44
Dan Maes: 44 / 31

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 45 / 55 (chart)
Gov. Ritter: 44 / 53 (chart)


GA: 2010 Gov Republican Primary (InsiderAdvantage 7/13)

Topics: Georgia , poll

InsiderAdvantage
7/13/10; 943 likely Republican primary voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(InsiderAdvantage release)

Georgia

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
24% Handel, 16% Deal, 15% Oxendine, 13% Johnson, 6% Chapman, 3% McBerry, 1% Putnam (chart)


GA: 2010 Gov Democratic Primary (Rasmussen 7/13)

Topics: Georgia , poll

Rasmussen
7/13/10; 455 likely Democratic primary voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Georgia

2010 Governor: Democratic Primary
59% Barnes, 16% Baker, 5% Poythress, 5% Porter (chart)


US: 2012 Republican Primary (PPP 7/9-12)

Topics: National , poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
7/9-12/10; 400 Republicans, 4.9% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

National

2012 President: Republican Primary
23% Gingrich, 21% Huckabee, 19% Romney, 17% Palin, 7% Paul


US: 2012 Republicans (Gallup 7/8-11)

Topics: National , poll

Gallup
7/8-11/10; 1,020 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews

National

Favorable / Unfavorable (among all adults)
Sarah Palin: 44 / 47 (chart)
Mike Huckabee: 40 / 23 (chart)
Mitt Romney: 36 / 28 (chart)
Newt Gingrich: 36 / 38
Bobby Jindal: 34 / 16

Favorable / Unfavorable (among Republicans)
Sarah Palin: 76 / 20
Mike Huckabee: 65 /10
Mitt Romney: 54 / 19
Newt Gingrich: 64 / 17
Bobby Jindal: 45 / 9


WA: 48% Rossi, 45% Murray (Rasmussen 7/14)

Topics: poll , Washington

Rasmussen
7/14/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Washington

2010 Senate
48% Rossi (R), 45% Murray (D) (chart)
48% Didier (R), 45% Murray (D) (chart)
46% Murray (D), 41% Akers (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Dino Rossi: 55 / 39
Patty Murray: 49 / 49
Clint Didier: 43 / 31
Paul Akers: 38 / 27

Job Approval / Disapproval/
Pres. Obama: 50 / 49
Gov. Gregoire: 42 / 55


CT: 54% Blumenthal, 37% McMahon (Quinnipiac 7/7-13)

Topics: Connecticut , poll

Quinnipiac
7/7-13/10; 1,367 regsitered voters, 2.7% margin of error
854 likely Republican primary voters, 3.4% margin of error
Mode: live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

Connecticut

2010 Senate: Republican Primary
52% McMahon, 25% Simmons, 13% Schiff (chart)

2010 Senate: General Election
54% Blumenthal (D), 37% McMahon (R) (chart)
55% Blumenthal (D), 35% Simmons (R) (chart)
58% Blumenthal (D), 31% Schiff (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Richard Blumenthal: 60 /28
Rob Simmons: 39 / 16
Linda McMahon: 43 / 37
Peter Schiff: 16 / 6

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Rell: 60 / 32 (chart)
Sen. Lieberman: 40 / 50 (chart)
Sen. Dodd: 38 / 54 (chart)
Pres. Obama: 50 / 44 (chart)


Will Plugging the Gulf Leak Save the Democrat's Ship in November?


As of early this morning, the oil leak in the Gulf appears to have been plugged and the White House is hoping that the President's political hemorrhaging has been simultaneously cauterized.

Make no mistake, the Gulf oil spill has done considerable political damage to the President. As evidenced by the spate of polls this week, President Obama is in a substantially weakened political condition at a time when Congressional Democrats are facing a potential GOP landslide in November. The oil leak has become a symbol of voter's frustrations with government. The spill crystallized the problem for voters - "Government can't do anything right." Since 9/11 Americans have felt increasingly vulnerable. Katrina, the Great Recession, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bailouts and health care reform have turbo-charged the public's negative attitude toward government.

But it goes further than anti-big government. The public has begun to question whether the federal government is capable of achieving much of anything. The American public has lost faith in government and, as the Washington Post pointed out this week, by extension the public has lost faith in Obama. It's fairly simplistic, but it goes something like this: If the federal government is incapable of plugging a leak in an oil well, how can it possibly fix our economy and create jobs and do all of the other things that this administration has promised since it took office? While that may be unfair, recent polling data--along with developments like the rise of the Tea Party--has shown that this attitude is taking hold and will be a driving force in the 2010 elections. Our sense is that the jobless rate and poor economy are intensifying a long-building voter frustration with government itself. And right now, the government is Obama and the Democrats.

The following is our up to the minute take on the current political landscape:

  1. Plugging the leak gives Obama a chance to take back the political narrative in this country. The fact is that the President has been playing defense for almost 3 months. Nothing that the Administration has done has dented the information flow in the country. It has been the Gulf oil spill and the economy non-stop, 24/7 for nearly 90 days. Now the President has a chance to regain some measure of control over the narrative--hopefully helped by some good economic news. As we said last week, there is no better time to right this ship than over the summer, ideally before Labor Day. Assuming the cap holds, and the cleanup gets fully underway, the public will slowly turn its attention away from the Gulf and back to the economy.
  2. Yesterday the President said that the loss of jobs keeps him up at night and we have no doubt of the veracity of this. The continuing weakness of the economy is potentially fatal to Democrats in the Fall. Voter perceptions of the economy are in the tank, as are voter attitudes toward the administration's efforts to improve the economy and create jobs. (See this CBS poll for some startling numbers: 97% of Americans say the recession will last at least another year; just 13% say Obama's economic programs have helped them personally; and only 23% think the stimulus made the economy better, down from 36% last year.) As a result, President Obama's approval ratings are at all-time lows and more voters now disapprove than approve of the job he is doing.
  3. The latest polling data suggests that there has been an unprecedented swing in support of congressional Republicans - so strong that it now seems more likely than not that the GOP retakes the House in November. The latest generic congressional ballot numbers show Republicans with as much as an eight-point lead, something we've simply never seen before (Gallup has been asking a generic ballot question since 1954 and the previous high water mark for Republicans was +4 in September of 1994). So the news is pretty terrible for Democrats right now. The good news? It's July. As we said in our previous note, the summer is a period when most voters simply aren't all that engaged in politics or policy. And so Democrats have some time--though it isn't much--for things to turn around. And by "turn around," of course, we're talking about the economy. It was just announced that jobless claims last week were at their lowest point in two years and there is no hint of inflation. Of course, the bigger risk at this point may still be stagnant demand and deflation. But what matters politically is all about perception and momentum. A steady stream of good economic news (even if it doesn't immediately result in new jobs) will help Democrats. But it will have to be significant and consistent enough for this Administration--and Democratic candidates--to be able to say "See! It's working!" That might be simply too tall an order in a three- to four-month period.

  4. The passing of financial regulatory reform-or as the White House and MSNBC prefer to call it "sweeping Wall Street reform," along with the $500,000 fine paid by Goldman Sachs yesterday does send a signal that the President and Democrats are working for the people. To some extent, in the absence of a major economic recession, this might be pretty good politics. The problem is that the populist sentiment of 2008 may have been overridden by the anti-government, anti-spending fervor of 2010. We think the passing of this legislation will ultimately be helpful to Obama in 2012, but is likely to have little or no impact in the Congressional elections this Fall.

If there is one common thread to the national polls this week-other than the problems facing Democrats-is that it appears that President Obama has lost the middle of the electorate. Independents have moved away from the President in droves since January of 2009. Yes, some of that support was artificial and bound to move away but the erosion has been substantial and is the main reason the President's approval rating (in some polls) is now underwater--disapproval above his approval. According to the last 5 public polls, the President's approval rating with Independents ranges an abysmal 34-40%.

We fielded a poll the first week of July with 800 registered voters. Those who identify themselves as Independents are a malleable, heterogeneous bunch, shifting with such things as which party is in power and the general faith in government and other institutions. So we thought it might be interesting to give a snapshot of the Independents who we found in a recent survey.

  • Of the 800 respondents, 41% described themselves as political Independents.
  • Of this 41%, one-quarter are pure Independents (i.e. they don't lean toward either of the two major parties), 39% leaned toward the GOP and 30% leaned toward the Democrats.
  • Slightly more than half (54%) of the Independents are men, while the remaining 46% are women. They are similar in age to Republicans and Democrats.
  • Independents are slightly less likely to vote than their counterparts in the Republican and the Democratic Parties: 36% claim that they have voted in "all" recent elections, compared to 43% of Republicans and 42% of Democrats.
  • In the 2008 election, these Independents favored Barack Obama by seven points (39% to 32% among those who voted (10% declined to answer)). Meanwhile, 85% of Republicans voted for John McCain and 85% of Democrats voted for Barack Obama.
  • Looking ahead to the 2010 elections, Independents favor the Republican House candidate in their district by four points (34% to 30%). By comparison, Republicans say they will be voting for the GOP candidate 88% of the time, while just 75% of Democrats say that they will be voting for their own candidate.
  • From a race perspective, Independents (72%) are more likely to be white than Democrats (57%); Republicans (86%), however, are most likely to be white. Democrats are significantly more likely than either Republicans or Independents to be African American or Hispanic.
  • There are no significant differences among Republicans/Democrats/Independents from an education perspective.
  • Like Democrats (24%), Independents (21%) are more likely to be single than their Republican (11%) counterparts.

Independents will be the key in the coming weeks. For Democrats to stave off the GOP in the mid-terms they will need to have the President's approval rating in the mid to high 40's. To get there, the President will need to win back Independent voters.

Thanks again to John Zirinsky and Peter Ventimiglia for their insights and contributions. For real-time reactions to events and more thoughts on the public opinion environment, please follow us on Twitter @lcgpolling.


DE: 47% Castle, 36% Coons (Rasmussen 7/14)

Topics: Delaware , poll

Rasmussen
7/14/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Delaware

2010 Senate
47% Castle (R), 36% Coons (D) (chart)
51 41% O'Donnell (R), 39% Coons (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Chris Coons: 49 / 28
Mike Castle: 60 / 31
Christine O'Donnell: 43 / 33

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 49 / 48 (chart)
Gov. Markell: 63 / 31 (chart)


PA: 48% Corbett, 38% Onorato (Rasmussen 7/14)


Rasmussen
7/14/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Pennsylvania

2010 Governor
48% Corbett (R), 38% Onorato (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Tom Corbett: 56 / 26
Dan Onorato: 46 / 33

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Rendell: 42 / 57 (chart)


WI: 33% Feingold, 28% Johnson (U of Wisconsin 6/9-7/10)

Topics: poll , Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin
6/9-7/10/10; 500 adults, 4% margin of error
297 likely voters, 5.7% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(UW release)

Wisconsin

2010 Senate
33% Feingold (D), 28% Johnson (R) (trends)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Ron Johnson: 8 / 5
Russ Feingold: 47 / 25 (chart)

Job Approbal / Disapproval
Sen. Feingold: 55 / 32 (chart)


NV: 44% Reid, 37% Angle (LVRJ 7/12-14)

Topics: Nevada , poll

Mason-Dixon for the Las Vegas Review Jourbal
7/12-14/10; 625 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(LVRJ release)

Nevada

2010 Senate
44% Reid (D), 37% Angle (R) (chart)


US: National Survey (Economist 7/10-13)

Topics: National , poll

Economist / YouGov
7/10-13/10; 1,000 adults
Mode: Internet
(youGov release)
Update: full poll available here

National

Obama Job Approval
48% Approve, 45% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 81 / 13 (chart)
Reps: 12 / 85 (chart)
Inds: 42 / 51 (chart)

Congressional Job Approval
12% Approve, 65% Disapprove (chart)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Adults: 44% Democrat, 39% Republican
Registered voters (n=707): 46% Democrat, 42% Republican (chart)

State of the Country
29% Right Direction, 56% Wrong Track (chart)


Charts Worth a Thousand Words 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Jennifer Agiesta finds 50% disapprove of Obama on financial regulations.

Jon Cohen weighs conflicting polls on a deepwater drilling ban.

Ken Rudin expects huge turnover in gubernatorial races; William Galston says the Senate will be in play.

Patrick Ottenhoff reports that Republicans will look for House pickups in districts where Kerry outperformed Obama.

Dick Bennett of ARG challenges Nate Silver's pollster rankings; Silver responds.

Andrew Gelman reminds us that Americans can be "pretty uninformed about about the economy," including their own personal experiences.

David Hill thinks Baby Boomers may be returning to their political roots.

Tom Jensen notices Democrats trailing even when they're more popular than their opponents.

Mark Mellman advocates switching to electric cars.

PPP finds Michael Steele is unpopular in his home state.

Alex Lundry launches a TechRepublican blog on the political tech revolution in data and analytics.

Taegan Goddard's new Political Dictionary defines "push polling" and gets it right.

Ezra Klein shares a chart "worth a thousand words."


US: National Survey (Gallup 7/8-11)

Topics: National , poll

Gallup
7/8-11/10; 1,020 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

National

As you may know, Solicitor General Elena Kagan is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Kagan serving on the Supreme Court, or not?
44% Vote in favor, 34% Not vote in favor


WI: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 7/13)

Topics: poll , Wisconsin

Rasmussen
7/13/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Wisconsin

2010 Senate
47% Johnson (R), 46% Feingold (D) (trend)
51% Feingold (D), 37% Westlake (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Russ Feingold: 53 / 43 (chart)
Jake Westlake: 36 / 33
Ron Johnson: 51 / 30

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 49 / 50 (chart)
Gov. Doyle: 40 / 59 (chart)


CA: Whitman 47%, Brown 46% (Rasmussen 7/12)

Topics: California , Governor , poll

Rasmussen
7/12/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

California

2010 Governor
47% Whitman (R), 46% Brown (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Meg Whitman: 49 / 44
Jerry Brown: 47 / 48

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 57 / 42 (chart)
Gov. Schwarzenegger: 28 / 71 (chart)


NY: 2010 Sen, Gov (Siena 7/6-8)

Topics: New York , poll

Siena
7/6-8/10; 760 registered voters, 3.6% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Siena release)

New York

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
40% Lazio, 20% Paladino

2010 Governor: General Election
60% Cuomo (D), 28% Lazio (R) (chart)
64% Cuomo (D), 23% Paladino (R)
54% Cuomo (D), 23% Lazio (R), 10% Paladino (i)

2010 Senate (B): Republican Primary
24% DioGuardi, 7% Blakeman, 5% Malpass

2010 Senate (B): General Election
51% Gillibrand (D), 28% Blakeman (R) (chart)
51% Gillibrand (D), 29% DioGuardi (R)
50% Gillibrand (D), 27% Malpass (R)

2010 Senate (A): Republican Primary
24% Towsnhend, 13% Berntsen

2010 Senate (A): General Election
63% Schumer, 26% Berntsen (R)
635 Schumer (D), 26% Towshend (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
David Paterson: 30 / 61 (chart)
Andrew Cuomo: 62 / 25
Rick Lazio: 36 / 25
Carl Paladino: 16 / 16
Kirsten Gillibrand: 34 / 29 (chart)
Bruce Blakeman: 5 / 9
David Malpass: 4 / 7
Joe DioGuardi: 11 / 10
Chuck Schumer: 60 / 28 (chart)
Gary Berntsen: 6 / 7
Jay Townshend: 10 / 9
Barack Obama: 60 / 37 (chart)


US: National Survey (PPP 7/9-12)

Topics: National , poll

Public Policy Pollng (D)
7/9-12/10; 667 registered voters, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

National

2012 President
47% Huckabee, 45% Obama
46% Palin, 46% Obama
46% Gingrich, 45% Obama
44% Obama, 36% Brewer
46% Romney, 43% Obama

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 45 / 52 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Mike Huckabee: 37 / 28 (chart)
Sarah Palin: 37 / 52 (chart)
Newt Gingrich: 32 / 42
Jan Brewer: 17 / 20
Mitt Romney: 32 / 33 (chart)


TX: 50% Perry, 41% White (Rasmussen 7/13)

Topics: poll , Texas

Rasmussen
7/13/10; 500 likely voters; 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Texas

2010 Governor
50% Perry (R), 41% White (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Rick Perry: 60 / 38
Bill White: 52 / 41

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 37 / 63
Gov. Perry: 55 / 44


GA: 2010 Gov Primaries (Mason-Dixon 7/8-13)

Topics: Georgia , Governor , Poll , Primary

Mason-Dixon / Georgia Newspaper Partnership
7/8-13/20; 400 likely Republican primary voters, 5% margin of error
400 likely Democratic primary voters, 5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Savannah Morning News Article)

Georgia

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
31% Oxendine, 23% Handel, 18% Deal, 6% Johnson, 2% McBerry, 1% Chapman

2010 Governor: Democratic Primary
54% Barnes, 20% Baker, 7% Poythress, 3% Porter


US: National Survey (TIME 7/12-13)

Topics: National , poll

TIME / Abt-SRBI
7/12-13/10; 1,003 adults
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Time story)
(Update: Full results here)

National

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Likely voters: 43% Democrat, 42% Republican (chart)

Obama Job Approval
49% Approve, 45% Disapprove (chart)
Foreign Policy: 52 / 41 (chart)
Economy: 44 / 53 (chart)
Afghanistan: 47 / 44

Party ID
33% Democrat, 22% Republican, 30% independent (chart)

State of the Country
39% Right Direction, 56% Wrong Track (chart)

2012 President
55% Obama, 34% Palin


GA: 2010 Gov Primary (Rasmussen 7/13)

Topics: Georgia , poll

Rasmussen
7/13/10; 943 likely Republican primary voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
()

Georgia

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
25% Deal, 25% Handel, 20% Oxendine, 13% Johnson


NV: 57% Sandoval, 36% Reid (Rasmussen 7/12)

Topics: Nevada , poll

Rasmussen
7/12/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Nevada

2010 Governor
57% Sandoval (R), 36% R. Reid (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Brian Sandoval: 63 / 31
Rory Reid: 42 53

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 48 / 52 (chart)
Gov. Gibbons: 33 / 64 (chart)


CT: 2010 Gov (Quinnipiac 7/7-13)

Topics: Connecticut , poll

Rasmussen
7/7-13/10; 1367 registered voters, 2.7% margin of error
668 likely Democratic primary voters, 3.8% margin of error
854 likely Republican primary voters, 3.4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Quinnipiac release)

Connecticut

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
48% Foley, 13% Fedele, 7% Griebel (trend)

2010 Governor: Democratic Primary
46% Lamont, 37% Malloy (trend)

2010 Governor: General Election
45% Lamont (D), 33% Foley (R) (chart)
49% Lamont (D), 27% Fedele (R) (chart)
49% Lamont (R), 25% Griebel (R)
44% Malloy (D), 33% Foley (R) (chart)
49% Malloy (D), 26% Fedele (R) (chart)
51% Malloy (D), 25% Griebel (R)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Ned Lamont: 49 / 21
Dan Malloy: 41 / 11
Tom Foley: 29 / 12
Mike Fedele: 12 / 8
Oz Griebel: 8 / 6


The bogus presidential "salesman" narrative

Topics: Barack Obama

Back in January, I predicted that the likely decline in President Obama's political standing due to the state of the economy and an unfavorable political environment would spur the press to generate "elaborate narratives about how the character, personality, and tactics of the principals in the White House inevitably led them to their current predicament."

The latest pundit to engage in this dubious exercise is Slate's John Dickerson, who has written an article attributing the relatively weak support for Obama and his policies to a failure of salesmanship (via Mickey Kaus):

Death of a Salesman
A slew of new polls suggest Obama is not a great pitchman for his policies.

...Economists may say, yes, the economy is recovering... but the country says no... [A] slew of recent polls ... suggest that the administration's summer tour will do little to improve the president's political fortunes and those of his party...

[W]hat's so bad about these surveys is that they paint a very dark picture about the president's ability to brighten the future. If Obama can't improve things for Democrats, no one can. And as bad as the president's numbers are, the Democrats in Congress are in even worse shape.

Candidate Obama used to joke about rays of sunshine coming in when he started to speak. Now he brings the clouds. He's spent a great deal of time talking about the Recovery Act and health care reform, but the political fortunes of those programs are dismal, which suggests his ability to persuade and change minds is seriously damaged.

He has been trying to sell the success of his stimulus legislation for months in speeches, interviews, and events all over the country. In the CBS poll, only 23 percent think it has helped the economy. Only 13 percent think it has helped them personally. Despite all of his efforts, people are either ignoring him or tuning him out--or they can't hear him over the bad economic news. Whatever the reason, the best argument Obama has for how he and Democrats have addressed the issue people care the most about is one that people aren't buying.

The situation on health care is worse... The president has worked hard to improve the political fortunes of health care, but it hasn't worked...

In reality, however, there's no evidence that Obama has become any less effective as a salesman -- as I've repeatedly pointed out over the years (e.g. here, here, here, and here), presidents can rarely generate significant shifts in public opinion in support of their domestic policy agenda. Obama's failure to generate increased support for the stimulus and health care is not the least bit surprising, especially given the political environment in which he's operating.

The larger problem with this analysis is that Dickerson is constructing a post hoc narrative about Obama's poll numbers using the epistemology of journalism, which treats tactics as the dominant causal force in politics. Within that worldview, if Obama's numbers used to be high and they are now low, the only logical conclusion is that "his ability to persuade and change minds is seriously damaged." The idea that Obama's numbers have declined across the board in large part due to the state of the economy is only briefly acknowledged ("or [the public] can't hear [Obama] over the bad economic news").

Update 7/15 11:08 AM: Jay Rosen flags another great example -- a long Harris and VandeHei piece for Politico that puts far too much weight on Obama's alleged political failings relative to the economic and political fundamentals:

The problem is that he and his West Wing turn out to be not especially good at politics, or communications -- in other words, largely ineffective at the very things on which their campaign reputation was built. And the promises he made in two years of campaigning turn out to be much less appealing as actual policies...

Democrats privately complain that the real power center -- the West Wing staff -- isn't nearly as impressive [as his Cabinet]. A common gripe on the Hill and on the lobbying corridor is that the communications team isn't great at communicating, the speech-writing team isn't great at speech writing (exemplified by Obama's flaccid Oval Office speech last month on the BP spill and energy policy) and the political team often botches the politics...

Obama is swimming up Niagara until joblessness improves. But, even while Obama doesn't directly control the economy, he has not been a disciplined or effective communicator about the state of the economy and his prescriptions for it. People will tolerate a weak economy if they feel there is an upward trajectory. But Obama has not managed to instill that confidence...

The article does contain a few brief acknowledgments that Obama faces a difficult economic situation ("Obama is swimming up Niagara until joblessness improves," "No politician can escape the gravitational pull of bad employment numbers and economic figures in real-time") but as with Dickerson, the implication is that the lack of popularity of his initiatives is largely the result of a failure of salesmanship.

Update 7/15 5:29 PM: CJR's Greg Marx has a similar take on these two pieces.

[Cross-posted at brendan-nyhan.com]


US: National Survey (Bloomberg 7/9-12)

Topics: National , poll

Bloomberg
7/9-12/10; 1,004 adults, 3.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Bloomberg: story, toplines)

National

Obama Job Approval
52% Approve, 44% Disapprove (chart)
Economy: 44 / 52 (chart)
Health care: 46 / 51 (chart)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
All adults: 43% Democratic candidate, 43% Republican candidate
Likely voters (n=875): 48% Republican candidate, 40% Democratic candidate (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 55 / 40 (chart)
Sarah Palin: 33 / 55 (chart)
Mitt Romney: 33 / 26 (chart)
Mike Huckabee: 33 / 38 (chart)
Hillary Clinton: 61 / 31 (chart)

Turning to the health care bill passed earlier this year, what is your opinion of the bill?
37% It should be repealed, 47% We should see how it works

Whom do you blame most for the spill in the Gulf?
44% BP, the oil company doing the drilling
19% Lax federal regulations and oversight
12% The danger of deepwater drilling in general
22% No one is really to blame; it was just an accident

Do you think the spill proves off-shore drilling is just too dangerous and should be banned in U.S. waters, or was this a freak accident and offshore drilling can be made safer and should not be banned?
23% Just too dangerous
73% Was a freak accident


MO: 47% Blunt, 45% Carnahan (Rasmussen 7/13)

Topics: Missouri , Poll , senate

Rasmussen
7/13/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Missouri

2010 Senate
47% Blunt (R), 45% Carnahan (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Roy Blunt: 55 / 38
Robin Carnahan: 50 / 46

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 45 / 55 (chart)
Gov. Nixon: 55 / 42 (chart)


SurveyUSA Polls Cell Phone Only Voters

Topics: Automated polls , Cell Phones , IVR Polls , Jay Leve , Pew Research Center , SurveyUSA

Will this be the year that "cell phone only" voters wreak havoc on the results of pre-election polls? And does the cell phone only problem doom pollsters that depend on automated, recorded voice methodologies? Two new recent polls from SurveyUSA suggest the answers are not as obvious as some may think.

Let's start with the first question. SurveyUSA, a company that has been conducting recorded-voice surveys for local television news stations for nearly twenty years, has recently released two statewide surveys based on dual samples of both landline and mobile phones. In both cases including cell-phone-only voters interviewed over their cell phones did not make much difference in the results. Their recent Washington poll, for example, shows Democratic Senator Patty Murray leading by a not-statistically-significant four-point margin (37% to 33%) over challenger Dino Rossi in a combined sample of landline and mobile phones. Murray's lead would have been a virtually identical five-point margin (39% to 34%) had they interviewed by landline phone only.

Similarly, a North Carolina survey released just yesterday shows Republican Richard Burr leading Democrat Elaine Marshall by ten points (46% to 36%) in the combined sample interviewed over both landline and cell phones. Burr would also have led by a 10-point margin (47% to 37%) had they interviewed all respondents via landline phones only.

These are just two surveys, of course. A more comprehensive assessment of national data gathered by the Pew Research Center earlier this year found that, "weighted estimates" from a large landline sample "tend to slightly underestimate support for Democratic candidates when compared with estimates from dual frame landline and cell samples in polling for the midterm congressional elections this year." But if that slight understatement is real, it may not produce many "significant" differences, either statistically or substantively, in individual statewide surveys.

What is more interesting here, however, is that an automated pollster managed to conduct a "dual frame" survey at all. The underlying story gets us closer to an answer to the issue of the impact of cell phones on automated surveys.

Some background: Pollsters have a harder time interviewing Americans on their cell phones because of the provision in the 1995 Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act (TCPA) that places restrictions on unsolicited calls to mobile phones. As explained by the Marketing Research Association:

The TCPA forbids calling a cell phone using any automated telephone dialing system (autodialer) without prior express consent. This rule applies to all uses of autodialers and predictive dialers, including survey and opinion research.

Virtually all pollsters use some form of "autodialer" to place calls to landline respondents, so virtually all pollsters are affected by the TCPA's restrictions on calls to cell phones. With the exception of CBS News (the only operation I know of where interviewers still hand dial each number), virtually all pollsters use some form of computerized interviewing system that dials the phone so interviewers don't have to. Some also use "predictive dialers" that place calls and only connect the respondent to an interviewer once a live person answers the phone (a process that creates that annoying pause that anyone who has answered a call from a telemarketer is all too familiar with). Finally, all recorded-voice pollsters use an "automated dialing system" for their complete process, though they could theoretically begin with a live interviewer and then hand off the process, with the respondent's consent, to an automated interview.

So when live-interviewer pollsters want to interview respondents on their cell phone, their interviewers need to place the calls manually. Their process becomes less efficient and more expensive, but they do not face a total barrier.

Pollsters that use a recorded-voice methodology face a much bigger problem. Yet somehow, SurveyUSA managed to interview voters in North Carolina and Washington over their cell phones. How did they do it? They used live interviewers:

Cellphone numbers were dialed one at a time, cellphone respondents were interviewed by call center employees. Landline respondents heard the recorded voice of a SurveyUSA professional announcer.

In North Carolina, SurveyUSA used more expensive live interviewers to conduct 404 out of 1,000 interviews, although only 250 of those were in cell-phone-only households (see their methodology statement for more details).

So while this approach amounts to a technical solution to the challenge of reaching cell-phone-only households, it creates a huge challenge to the underlying business model of automated pollsters like SurveyUSA. Consider the chart below, prepared by SurveyUSA CEO Jay Leve for a presentation last year. It suggests that in this case, their costs were somewhere between triple and quadruple what they would have been had they done all interviews using a recorded voice methodology.

2010-07-14-leve-costs.jpg

Any other lessons here?

First, this issue provides another demonstration of why all automated surveys are not created equal. In this case, SurveyUSA is actually doing more of a "mixed mode" poll that combines both recorded-voice and live interviewers.

Second, all "dual mode" surveys based on combining landline and cell phone samples are not created equal either. Pollsters have to decide whether to use the cell phone samples to reach just the "cell phone only" households, or whether to also include the "cell phone mostlys" as well. And either way, they need to decide how to weight the combined samples, often without reliable estimates of the percentage of cell-phone-only households at the state level (see the SurveyUSA release and the Pew Research report for more detail).

Third, as is true for many aspects of poll methodology, pollsters could do a better job disclosing the procedures and methods they use to interview Americans over their cell phones and combine those results with interviews conducted via landline phones. CBS News, for example, tells us only that the numbers for their just released survey "were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones." The release for the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll tells us that their sample of 1,000 adults included "200 reached by cell phone," but nothing more. There are exceptions, of course -- most notably the Pew Research Center -- but they are few and far between.

[Cross-posted at the Huffington Post].


AZ: McCain 64%, Hayworth 19% (BRC 6/30-7/11)

Topics: Arizona , poll

Behavior Research Center Rocky Mountain Poll
6/30-7/11/10; 190 registered Republicans
190
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(BRC release)

Arizona

2010 Senate: Republican Primary
64% McCain, 19% Hayworth, 5% Deakin (chart)

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
57% Brewer, 12% Mills, 9% Martin


MD: 2010 Sen (PPP 7/10-12)

Topics: Maryland , poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
7/10-12/10; 569 likely voters, 4.1% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

Maryland

2010 Senate
58% Mikulski (D), 30% Rutledge (R)
59% Mikulski (D), 27% Wargotz (R)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 56 / 39
Sen. Mikulski: 54 / 32

Favorable / Unfavorable
James Rutledge: 5 / 13
Eric Wargotz: 1 / 9


US: Gore, Cheney, Biden (Gallup 7/8-11)

Topics: National , poll

Gallup
7/8-11/10; 1,020 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

National

Favorable / Unfavorable
Al Gore: 44 / 49
Dick Cheney: 36 / 52
Joe Biden: 43 / 41


NH: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 7/12)

Topics: New Hampshire , poll

Rasmussen
7/12/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

New Hampshire

2010 Senate (trends)
49% Ayotte (R), 37% Hodes (D) (chart)
43% Lamontagne (R), 40% Hodes (D) (chart)
49% Binnie (R), 38% Hodes (D) (chart)
43% Bender (R), 39% Hodes (D)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Kelly Ayotte: 56 / 32
paul Hodes: 46 / 48
Ovide Lamontagne: 40 / 39
Bill Binnie: 53 / 36

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


NC: 46% Burr, 36% Marshall (SurveyUSA 7/8-11)

Topics: North Carolina , poll

SurveyUSA
7/8-11/10; 560 likely voters, 4.2% margin of error
858 registered voters, 3.4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA release)

North Carolina

2010 Senate
46% Burr (R), 36% Marshall (D), 6% Beitler (L) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 36 / 45 (chart)
Bev Perdue: 23 / 40 (chart)
Kay Hagan: 22 / 28 (chart)
Richard Burr: 28 / 27 (chart)
Elaine Marshall: 25 / 12


US: National Survey (PPP 7/9-12)

Topics: National , poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
7/9-12/10; 667 registered voters, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

National

Obama Job Approval
45% Approve, 52% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 81 / 16 (chart)
Reps: 9 / 88 (chart)
Inds: 40 / 56 (chart)

Do you support or oppose President Obama's health care plan, or do you not have an opinion?
40% Support, 53% Oppose

Would you be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who was endorsed by ____, or would it not make a difference?
Barack Obama: 32% More likely, 49% Less likely, 15% No difference
Bill Clinton: 31% More likely, 43% Less likely, 23% No difference
Sarah Palin: 30% More likely, 51% Less likely, 17% No difference


US: Finance/Economy (Bloomberg 7/9-12)

Topics: National , poll

Selzer % Co. for Bloomberg
7/9-12/10; 1,004 adults, 3.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Bloomberg: deficit story, financial regulations story)

National

State of the Country
31% Right Direction, 63% Wrong Track (chart)

Which of the following do you see as the most important issue facing the country right now?
41% Unemployment/jobs, 265 The federal deficit/government spending, 13% Oil spill in the Gulf

Let me ask you about the U.S. economy specifically├╣do you feel it is starting to get better, staying the same, or is getting worse?
28% Getting better, 36% Staying the same, 35% Getting worse

In general, would you say you are personally better off or worse off today than you were 18 months ago, or are you in about the same situation?
17% Better, 29% Worse, 54% Same

Do you think the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP, was necessary to prevent the financial industry from failing and drastically hurting the US economy, or was it an unneeded bailout?
28% Necessary, 58% Unneeded

In general, what is your view on the need for government regulation├╣do you think there is a need for more regulation, less regulation, or about the same as we have now?
35% More regulation, 33% Less regulation, 30% Same

Congress is on the verge of passing a bill that creates new regulations for financial institutions. Is it your sense this legislation does more to protect the financial industry or more to protect consumers?
47% The financial industry, 38% Consumers


The economy versus events in Obama approval

Topics: Barack Obama , presidential approval

Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics has written an ambitious new post arguing that the state of the economy is not necessarily "principally responsible" for President Obama's approval ratings, pointing to posts by Jon Chait (citing me) and Ezra Klein:

There is no doubt that, as a general matter, the economy is an important factor in driving a President's approval (this is also true for midterm elections, see my writing here). But it is far from clear the economy is what is principally responsible for driving down President Obama's approval rating and engendering a Democratic debacle in the fall...

Obama's approval ratings are almost certainly influenced by economic conditions. But a controversial energy bill, a prolonged, contentious fight over health policy, and yes, even a "snakebit" response to the oil spill, have had a substantial effect on the President's approval ratings. If missteps continue, it could make the difference between a bad and awful midterm election for the Democrats.

Trende projects Obama's approval ratings using a statistical model from a 2002 article (gated) by Brian Newman that I sent him and compares what they would be under various scenarios he constructs -- in particular, a no-events scenario, a negative events scenario, and a positive events scenario (see his post for details), which result in the following projections:

Trende8

Trende9

Trende10

Trende notes that the second graph seems to match observed approval ratings better than the first, and claims that it suggests the negative public reaction to Obama's agenda and oil spill response drove down his approval ratings relative to the state of the economy. That's certainly possible, though it's not clear at this point. First, there are many possible explanations for the difference between the economics-only model projection and Obama's observed approval ratings. Second, it's not clear for how long the predicted values from the two models are statistically distinct -- Trende's graphs show that they both converge to Obama's observed approval ratings in recent months. And finally, Trende's model may not the correct one. For instance, as he acknowledges, an alternate model matches Obama's approval ratings quite well using only economic factors.*

More generally, Trende's target is unclear. Both Chait and I have mocked Obama critics who fail to acknowledge the dominant role of the economy in presidential approval, but we have each made clear that we believe events influence presidential approval. The fact that Obama's approval apparently deviated from its projected economics-only trajectory for some length of time does not disprove those claims. At best, it comes down to a subjective judgment about what being "principally responsible for driving down President Obama's approval ratings" means.

Trende specifically criticizes Chait for this passage, which was written on July 1:

Right now, President Obama's approval rating is hovering just below 50%, about even with his disapproval rating. Given the state of the economy, that's not low. (I don't have any models handy.

However, Trende's economics-only and negative events models (the first and second graphs) show very similar values in the most recent period -- the difference may not even be statistically significant. As such, Chait's statement is likely to be an accurate one by the standard of Trende's post. Though Obama's approval may have declined faster than we would have otherwise expected, it's not currently especially low given the state of the economy.

* I'm not sure how relevant Trende's third graph is -- very few modern presidents have had such a positive experience during their first two years in office. As I noted a month ago, only two presidents of the last seven have had approval trajectories substantially more positive from Obama's thus far (Bush 41 and 43), and one of those was the result of an unprecedented terrorist attack on America. In any case, the fact that Obama's approval could have been higher in a counterfactual scenario doesn't prove that events are depressing his observed approval ratings.

[Cross-posted at brendan-nyhan.com]


CA: 49% Boxer, 42% Fiorina (Rasmussen 7/12)

Topics: California , poll

Rasmussen
7/12/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

California

2010 Senate
49% Boxer, 42% Fiorina (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barbara Boxer: 49 / 47 (chart)
Carly Fiorina: 48 / 41

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 57 / 42 (chart)
Gov. Schwarzenegger: 28 / 71 (chart)


GA: 2010 Gov Republican Primary (Magellan 7/8)

Topics: Georgia , poll

Magellan
7/8/10; 1,227 likely Republican primary voters, 2.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Magellan release)

Georgia

2010 Governor: Republican Primary
32% Handel, 18% Deal, 18% Oxendine, 12% Johnson, 35 McBerry, 3% Chapman, 0% Putnam

2012 President: Republican Primary
30% Gingrich, 25% Huckabee, 14% Romney, 12% Palin, 5% Barbour, 3% Pawlenty


PA: 43% Sestak, 43% Toomey (Quinnipiac 7/6-11)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

Quinnipiac
7/6-11/10; 1,367 registered voters, 2.7% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

Pennsylvania

2010 Senate
43% Sestak, 43% Toomey (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Pat Toomey: 35 / 13
Joe Sestak: 31 / 20

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 46 / 49 (chart)

If the 2012 election for President were being held today, do you think you would vote for Barack Obama the Democratic candidate, or the Republican candidate?
40% Obama, 41% Republican


US: National Survey (CBS 7/9-12)

Topics: National , poll

CBS News
7/9-12/10; 966 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CBS: Release, Economy story, Healthcare story, Afghanistan story, Arizona story)

National

Obama Job Approval
44% Approve, 44% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 78 / 11 (chart)
Reps: 12 / 81 (chart)
Inds: 38 / 46 (chart)
Economy: 40 / 54 (chart)
Foreign policy: 44 / 41 (chart)
Afghanistan: 43 / 44
Oil Spill: 37 / 53

B.P handling of Gulf Oil Spill
20% Approve, 74% Disapprove

Country's Most Important Problem
38% economy, 7% Wars (Iraq/Afghanistan), 6% Health care, 5% Budget deficit, 5% Oil spill in Gulf

Most Important Economic Problem
38% Jobs and Unemployment, 10% National debt/deficit/spending, 3% Jobs going overseas, 3% Home/housing mortgage crisis

U.S. Economy is
25% Getting better, 26% Getting worse, 48% Staying the same

Condition of the Economy
17% Good, 82% Bad

Healthcare Reform Law
36% Approve, 49% Disapprove (chart)

Should Bank Regulations be Increased
57% Yes, 35% No

New Arizona Law on Illegal Immigration
23% Goes too far, 17% Doesn't go far enough, 57% About right

Should Senate Vote to Confirm Kagan
21% Yes, 19% No, 53% Can't say

Party ID
34% Democrat, 29% Republican, 37% independent (chart)


Rasmussen's Senate House Effect

Topics: House effect , Rasmussen

Whenever I meet a Democrat, and they find out I write for Pollster.com, the first question almost always asked is "what are your thoughts on Rasmussen? They are always biased against the Democrats". On the liberal site Daily Kos, Steve Singiser's nightly political wrap-up packs all Rasmussen polls at the bottom of his posts and mockingly refers to the polls as from the "House of Ras". I also got in on the criticism last month in a post where I pointed out that Rasmussen had higher pro-Republican house effects during important news cycles in 2008.

But does Rasmussen have a large pro-Republican house effect in 2010? Looking at the generic ballot, the answer seems to be absolutely. Using only Rasmussen polling, the Pollster.com aggregate gives the House Republicans a 7.3% advantage as of this writing. Using all other pollsters except for Rasmussen, House Republicans hold only a 0.1% lead. Some of this may be their use of a likely voter model, although it is unlikely that it accounts for all of Rasmussen's difference.

Of course, the generic ballot is only one of the many contests that Rasmussen polls. Rasmussen has accounted for a little over 50% of the legitimate polls conducted for United States Senate races in 2010. Being that Rasmussen has flooded the zone, we must ask whether their Senate polls have had the same sort of house effect as their generic ballot. Many liberals would like to believe so, but no one to my knowledge has affirmed or disproved it... until now.

David Shor, a visiting graduate student collaborator at Princeton University, has estimated Rasmussen's house effects in all possible Senate races (his methods are outlined here). Using data supplied and collected by Rasmus Pianowski and me, he found that the difference in house effects between Senate races to be mostly insignificant (or "eerily consistent") . However, the difference between Senate races and the generic ballot was highly significant*.

Screen shot 2010-07-13 at 3.09.23 PM.png

Instead of a 5% pro-Republican house effect as seen on the two way generic ballot, the pooled Senate house effect is only 2%. For example, if you encounter a 44% to 36% Republican lead on Rasmussen's generic ballot, it is probably a tie: 44% for the Republicans / (44% for the Republicans + 36% for the Democrats) - 5% House Effect = 50% of the decided vote for the Republicans. On the other hand, a 44% to 36% Republican lead in a Senate race means the Republican is leading: 44% for the Republican / (44% for the Republican + 36% for the Democrat) - 2% House Effect = 53% for the Republican of the decided vote.

Does this variation in generic vs. Senate house effects make a difference in terms of how many seats Republicans would pickup if the election were held today? Shor, who, along with his Stochastic Democracy blog team, Princeton Election Consortium, and me launched a preliminary 2010 Election Projection System, has shown that differing house effects do make a difference in our projections. If the Rasmussen house effect from the generic ballot had been applied to Senate races, Republicans would only be predicted to pick up 3 seats. With a Senate specific house effect, they are predicted to pick up 5 seats with Missouri and Pennsylvania falling into the Republican column.

It should be pointed out that Rasmussen, like any other pollster, will have outlier polls that will not fit perfectly in with any assigned house effect. This analysis also tells us that on average some of the pollsters in this chart had consistently different results that benefited one party's candidates. More specifically, when viewing Rasmussen's Senate polls, one should realize that these polls tend to be more pro-Republican than other polls, but not as pro-Republican as Rasmussen's generic ballot polls. Of course, we will not know whether this house effect portends to accuracy until Election Day.

*Note: House effects were estimated in each Senate race and then averaged to create a single "Senate house effect". In the case of YouGov and Quinnipiac, the Senate and generic ballot house effects were averaged.


Mel Gibson 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Tom Schaller thinks 2010 will not be as good as 1994 for Republicans.

Jim Geraghty profiles PPP and wonders about bias in their polls.

Greg Sargent notices declining support in Rasmussen polling for a health reform repeal (via Smith).

The US Chamber of Commerce releases polls of small business owners and voters on government debt.

Daily Kos is close to announcing a new polling partnership.

Andrew Gelman notes another reason for skepticism of the military's "gaydar" question.

Tom Jensen says opinions on LeBron James differ by race.

SurveyUSA finds low approval for Mel Gibson in Los Angeles.


FL: 35% Crist, 28% Rubio, 17% Meek (Ipsos/Reuters 7/9-11)

Topics: Florida , poll

Ipsos / Reuters
7/9-11/10; 600 registered voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Reuters post)

Florida

2010 Senate
35% Crist (i), 28% Rubio (R), 17% Meek (D) (chart)
34% Crist (i), 29% Rubio (R), 18% Greene (D)

2010 Governor
31% Sink (D), 30% McCollum (R), 12% Chiles (i) (chart)
345 Scott (R), 31% Sink (D), 12% Chiles (i)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Crist: 43 / 41 (chart)


NV: 46% Angle, 43% Reid (Rasmussen 7/12)

Topics: nevada , poll , Senate

Rasmussen
7/12/10; 750 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Nevada

20101 Senate
46% Angle (R), 43% Reid (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Sharron Angle: 47 / 49
Harry Reid: 43 / 55 (chart)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 48 / 52 (chart)
Gov. Gibbons: 33 / 64 (chart)


MD: 45% O'Malley, 42% Ehrlich (PPP 7/10-12)

Topics: Maryland , poll

Public Policy Polling
7/10-12/10; 569 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

Maryland

2010 Governor
45% O'Malley, 42% Ehrlich

Job Approval / Disapproval
Martin O'Malley: 42 / 43

Favorable / Unfavorable
Bob Ehrlich: 39 / 39


US: Health Care, Immigration (Pew/National Journal 7/8-11)

Topics: National , poll

Pew Research Center / National Journal
7/8-11/10; 1,001 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew release, National Journal release)

National

Do you approve or disapprove of the health care legislation passed by Barack Obama and Congress in March?
35% Approve, 47% Disapprove (chart)

As you may know, this week the U.S. Justice department filed a legal challenge to the state of Arizona's recent immigration law. From what you know, do you approve or disapprove of the Justice department's decision to challenge the Arizona law?
36% Approve, 45% Disapprove

How well is the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan going?
9% Very well, 40% Fairly well, 31% Not too well, 9% Not at all well

Do you think the U.S. and NATO should keep military troops in Afghanistan until the situation has stabilized, or do you think the U.S. and NATO should remove their troops as soon as possible?
47% Keep troops, 425 Remove troops

Party ID
30% Democrat, 24% Republican, 36% independent (chart)


MD: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 7/8)

Topics: Maryland , poll

Rasmussen
7/8/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Maryland

2010 Senate
58% Mikulski, 33% Wargotz

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barbara Mikulski: 64 / 33
Eric Wargotz: 32 / 25

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 57 / 43
Gov. O'Malley: 50 / 48


CO: 2010 Sen (Rasmussen 7/8)

Topics: Colorado , poll

Rasmussen
7/8/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Colorado

2010 Senate
44% Norton (R), 42% Romanoff (D) (chart)
47% Norton (R), 40% Bennet (D) (chart)
47% Buck (R), 42% Romanoff (D) (chart)
48% Buck (R), 39% Bennet (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Ken Buck: 48 / 34
Michael Bennet: 42 / 50
Andrew Romanoff: 49 / 40
Jane Norton: 49 / 42

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 41 / 59 (chart)
Gov. Ritter: 42 / 57 (chart)


PA: 44% Corbett, 37% Onorato (Quinnipiac 7/6-11)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

Quinnipiac
7/6-11/10; 1,367 registered voters, 2.7% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

Pennsylvania

2010 Governor
44% Corbett (R), 37% Onorato (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Dan Onorato: 31 / 16
Tom Corbett: 44 / 11

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Rendell: 42 / 50 (chart)
Sen. Specter: 35 / 57 (chart)
Sen. Casey: 48 / 29 (chart)


US: National Survey (ABC/Post 7/7-11)

Topics: National , poll

ABC News / Washington Post
7/7-11/10; 1,288 adults, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Post: story, results; ABC: story, results)

National

Obama Job Approval
50% Approve, 47% Disapprove (chart)
Economy: 43 / 54 (chart)
Health Care: 45 / 50 (chart)

On another subject: Right now, are you inclined to vote to re-elect your representative in Congress in the next election or are you inclined to look around for someone else to vote for?
All adults: 25% Re-elect, 60% Look around
Registered voters: 26% Re-elect, 62% Look around

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Registered voters: 47% Republican, 46% Democrat (chart)

Do you think the nation's economy is getting better, getting worse or staying the same?
27% Getting better, 32% Getting worse, 41% Staying the same

Party ID
31% Democrat, 24% Republican, 40% independent (chart)


MN-6: Bachmann 48%, Clark 39% (SurveyUSA 7/9-11)

Topics: Minnesota , poll

Survey USA / KSTP-TV
7/9-11/10; 565 likely voters, 4.2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA release)

Minnesota

2010 House
48% Bachmann (R), 39% Clark (DFL), 6% Anderson (I), 2% Immelman (i)


CA: 2010 Sen, Gov (SurveyUSA 7/8-11)

Topics: California , Governor , Poll , senate

SurveyUSA
7/8-11/10; 614 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA release)

California

2010 Senate
47% Fiorina (R), 45% Boxer (D) (chart)

2010 Governor
46% Whitman (R), 39% Brown (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable / Neutral
Barack Obama: 40 / 38 / 19 (chart) among 840 registered voters (3.5% margin of error)


Gaydar 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

David Catanese notices that Research 2000 has taken their website down.

Gary Langer doesn't see evidence that tea partiers are likely to be racist.

Jim Geraghty highlights a Democracy Corps finding that many consider "socialist" an accurate label for Obama.

Tom Jensen explains changes in the 2010 electorate.

Andrew Gelman questions how typos end up in Rasmussen data.

Pew finds that Republicans' view of the Supreme Court has fallen since Obama took office.

National Journal's political insiders see increased likelihood of a Republican House takeover.

Marist finds most Americans think the Yankees will win the World Series.

Nate Silver wonders at a pentagon survey "gaydar" question.


US: Generic Ballot (Gallup, Rasmussen 7/5-11)

Topics: Generic House Vote , Poll

National

Gallup
7/5-11/10; 1,600 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
47% Democrat, 46% Republican (chart)


Rasmussen
7/5-11/10; 3,500 likely voters, 2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

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


IN: 51% Coats, 30% Ellsworth (Rasmussen 7/7-8)

Topics: Indiana , poll

Rasmussen
7/7-8/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Indiana

2010 Senate
51% Coats (R), 30% Ellsworth (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Dan Coats: 60 / 22
Brad Ellsworth: 42 / 29

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 43 / 56
Gov. Daniels: 66 / 31


MD: 47% Ehrlich, 46% O'Malley (Rasmussen 7/8)

Topics: Maryland , poll

Rasmussen
7/8/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Maryland

2010 Governor
47% Ehrlich, 46% O'Malley

Favorable / Unfavorable
Martin O'Malley: 49 / 45
Bob Ehrlich: 54 / 37

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 57 / 43
Gov. O'Malley: 50 / 48


GA: 2010 Gov Dem Primary (InsiderAdvantage 7/8)

Topics: Georgia , poll

InsiderAdvantage
7/8/10; 508 likely Democratic primary voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(InsiderAdvantage release)

Georgia

2010 Governor: Democratic Primary
59% Barnes, 15% Baker, 3% Bolton, 2% Porter, 2% Poythress, 1% Camon


 

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