Pollster.com

September 19, 2010 - September 25, 2010

 

NV: 45% Reid, 40% Angle (POS 9/21-23)

Topics: Nevada , poll

Public Opinion Strategies (R)
9/21-23/10; 500 likely voters, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(POS release)

Nevada

2010 Senate
45% Reid (D), 40% Angle (R), 1% Ashjian (T) (chart)

2010 Governor
45% Sandoval (R), 39% R. Reid (D), 1% DiSimone (i), 1% Fitzgibbons (I) (chart)


ME: 38% LePage, 34% Mitchell, 10% Cutler (Mitchell 9/22-24)

Topics: Maine , poll

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for Libby Mitchell
9/22-24/10; 500 registered voters, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone inteviews
(GQR release)

Maine

2010 Governor
38% LePage (R), 34% Mitchell (D), 10% Cutler (i), 8% Moody (i), 2% Scott (i) (chart)


SC: 50% Haley, 33% Sheheen (Rasmussen 9/22)

Topics: poll , South Carolina

Rasmussen
9/22/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

South Carolina

2010 Governor
50% Haley (R), 33% Sheheen (D) (chart)


OK: 60% Fallin, 34% Askins (Rasmussen 9/23)

Topics: Oklahoma , poll

Rasmussen
9/23/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Oklahoma

2010 Governor
60% Fallin (R), 34% Askins (D) (chart)


US: National Survey (CNN 9/21-23)

Topics: National , poll

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
9/21-23/10; 1,010 adults, 4% margin of error
506 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Obama, generic ballot)

National

2010 House: Generic Ballot
53% Republican, 44% Democrat (chart)

Obama Job Approval
425 Approve, 54% Disapprove (chart)


NC: 49% Burr, 29% Marshall (Civitas 9/15-17)

Topics: North Carolina , poll

National Research (R) for Civitas
9/15-17/10; 600 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Civitas release)

North Carolina

2010 Senate
49% Burr (R), 29% Marshall (D), 3% Beitler (L) (chart)


MN: 42% Emmer, 41% Dayton, 9% Horner (Rasmussen 9/22)

Topics: Minnesota , poll

Rasmussen
9/22/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Minnesota

2010 Governor
42% Emmer (R), 41% Dayton (D), 9% Horner (i) (chart)


FL: 50% Scott, 44% Sink (Rasmussen 9/22)

Topics: Florida , poll

Rasmussen
9/22/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Florida

2010 Governor
50% Scott, 44% Sink (chart)

2010 Senate
41% Rubio (R), 30% Crist (i), 21% Meek (D) (chart)


NY: 53% Cuomo, 34% Paladino (Marist 9/19-22)

Topics: New York , poll

Marist
9/19-22/10; 617 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Marist release)

New York

2010 Governor
53% Cuomo (D), 34% Paladino (R), 10% Lazio (C) (chart)


TX: 48% Perry, 42% White (Rasmussen 9/22)

Topics: poll , Texas

Rasmussen
9/22/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Texas

2010 Governor
48% Perry (R), 42% White (D) (chart)


KY: 45% Paul, 42% Conway (DSCC 9/20-22)

Topics: Kentucky , poll

Benenson Strategy Group for the DSCC
9/20-22/10; 700 likely voters, 3.7% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Benenson release)

Kentucky

2010 Senate
45% Paul (R), 42% Conway (D) (chart)


CA: 47% Boxer, 41% Fiorina (Field 9/14-21)

Topics: California , poll

Field
9/14-21/10; 599 likely voters, 4.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Field release)

California

2010 Senate
47% Boxer (D), 41% Fiorina (R) (chart)


NV: 43% Reid, 43%Angle (LVRJ 9/20-22)

Topics: Nevada , poll

Las Vegas Review Journal / Mason-Dixon
9/20-22/10; 625 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(LVRJ release)

Nevada

2010 Senate
43% Reid (D), 43% Angle (R), 1% Ashjian (T), 1% Fasano (I) (chart)


Polls Lift Boxer And Brown In California

Topics: 2010 , Barbara Boxer , California , Carly Fiorina , Florida , Jerry Brown , Meg Whitman , Washington

Are the Democrats experiencing a rebound on the Pacific Coast? Three new surveys, two in California and one in Washington State, indicate small gains for Democrats since mid-August. More specifically, two new California polls confirm that Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer is maintaining a narrow lead over Republican challenger Carly Fiorina.

A new Field poll of California released this morning shows Boxer leading Fiorina by six percentage points (47% to 41%), while a new automated SurveyUSA poll yields fewer undecided voters but gives Boxer the same six-point advantage (49% to 43%). A handful of automated surveys in late August and early September suggested a tighter race, including two earlier polls from SurveyUSA that gave Fiorina a slight edge, but the last five surveys conducted since mid-September all show Boxer with nominal leads.

Our standard trend estimate, based on all available public polls, now shows Boxer leading by a roughly three-point margin (47.5% to 44.3%). Our more sensitive trend line, shown below, illustrates the tightening in late August. Since the current estimate from that line gives greater weight to more recent polls, it gives Boxer a slightly larger lead (47.8% to 43.2%).

2010-09-24-Blumenthal-CaSen.png

The two new California polls also suggest a reversal of the previous trend favoring Republican Meg Whitman. The Field poll results released yesterday show Whitman tied with Democrat Jerry Brown (at 41% each), while SurveyUSA gives Brown a small but statistically insignificant advantage (46% to 43%). So while six surveys had shown Brown with nominal leads in August and early September, the five most recent polls show either a tie or a slight Brown edge.

Our standard estimate shows a slight Whitman lead (45.9% to 44.4%), but our more sensitive trend line points puts Brown ahead by a single percentage point (45.5% to 44.1%). Either way, the California governor's race is currently the closest in the nation.

2010-09-24-Blumenthal-CaGov.png

SurveyUSA also released a new data this week in Washington confirming a similar rebound by Democratic Senator Patty Murray over Republican challenger Dino Rossi. The new automated poll gives Murray a two-point edge (50% to 48%), a marked improvement from their last survey in mid-August showing Rossi leading by seven. Our trend estimate now shows Murray ahead by roughly five points (50.8% to 45.8%), as all four surveys released in the last two weeks show Murray at least nominally ahead. Rossi continues to do slightly better on automated surveys by SurveyUSA and Rasmussen than on live interviewer polls conducted recently by CNN/Time and the Elway Poll.

2010-09-24-Blumenthal-WaSen.png

Elsewhere, Democrats also received encouraging news in Florida, where a new Mason-Dixon poll shows Democrat Alex Sink holding a six percentage point lead (47% to 40%) over Republican Rick Scott. That margin is slightly better than on our trend estimate, which has Sink ahead by just over three points (49.6% to 46.4%), but five of the six polls conducted in September have shown Sink with nominal leads.

Late update: A new Mason Dixon poll published this morning by the Las Vegas Review Journal shows Democratic Senator Harry Reid and Republican challenger Sharon Angle tied at 43% each. We have now seen eight remarkably consistent surveys in Nevada this month reporting margins ranging from a 3-point Reid edge to a 2 point Angle advantage. Our trend estimate gives Reid a margin of a half a percentage point (45.6% to 45.0%) -- currently the closest Senate contest in the nation.

Cross-posted to the Huffington Post


Cacti 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Google mashes up Cook, Rothenberg, CQ-Roll Call and RCP ratings in a single map.

Nate Silver says generic ballot polling may underestimate Democratic support; Jay Cost responds.

Mark Mellman thinks we shouldn't read too much into bouncing generic results.

Tom Holbrook calculates how predictive House district polling has been since 2006.

Frank Newport reviews the many ways pollsters can reporting pre-election tracking results

Bob Erikson wants the Democrats to run a national campaign; Andrew Gelman adds more.

Tom Jensen notes that unhappy Democrats are more likely to vote.

Jamelle Bouie points out that the enthusiasm gap is typical in midterm elections.

Gary Langer finds only a quarter of Americans would want their child to run for office.

DC AAPOR is accepting reservations for its 2010 conference.

And 1 in 5 Americans believe President Obama is a cactus.


AL: 55% Bentley, 35% Sparks (Rasmussen 9/21)

Topics: Alabama , poll

Rasmussen
9/21/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Alabama

2010 Governor
55% Bentley (R), 35% Sparks (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Ron Sparks: 48 / 38
Robert Bentley: 58 / 27


US: National Survey (Pew 8/25-9/6)

Topics: National , poll

Pew Research Center
8/25-9/6/10; 3,509 adults, 2% margin of error
2,816 registered voters, 2.5% margin of error
2,053 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew release)

National

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Likely voters: 50% Republican, 43% Democrat (chart)
Registered voters: 47% Democrat, 44% Republican

State of the Country
25% Satisfied, 71% Dissatisfied (chart)

Obama Job Approval
47% Approve, 44% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 81 / 15 (chart)
Reps: 14 79 (chart)
Inds: 40 / 45 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 53 / 43 (chart)

Party ID
32% Democrat, 24% Republican, 39% independent (chart)


FL: 47% Sink, 40% Scott (Mason-Dixon 9/20-22)

Topics: Florida , poll

Mason-Dixon
9/20-22/1-; 625 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Tampa Bay Online release)

Florida

2010 Governor
47% Sink (D), 40% Scott (R) (chart)


WA: 50% Murray, 48% Rossi (SurveyUSA 9/19-21)

Topics: poll , Washington

SurveyUSA
9/19-21/10; 609 likely voters, 4.1% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA release)

Washington

2010 Senate
50% Murray (D), 48% Rossi (R) (chart)


Morning Update: Two Three Puzzling Polls in NY

Topics: New York , Senate

Today's big polling news comes from New York, where two new surveys show much closer results in the races for Senate and Governor than indicated by previous polling, and from four new surveys by CNN and Time in statewide contests elsewhere. But the New York results are the most different from other recent polling and thus likely to get political tongues wagging today. Let's take a closer look.

The two newest polls on New York's Senate contest out this morning come from Quinnipiac University and automated pollster SurveyUSA. Quinnipiac finds Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand leading Republican challenger Joe DioGuardi by just six percentage points (48% to 42%). SurveyUSA shows an even narrower contest, with Gillibrand up by just one point (45% to 44%). Both results represent a sharp break from previous polls, which typically had Gillibrand leading by double-digit margins. Our standard trend estimate which still considers data from previous surveys, now shows Gillibrand ahead by just under eight percentage points (47.9% to 40.1%).

2010-09-23-Blumenthal-NYSen.png

Both surveys also indicate a closer race for New York Governor than other polls taken previously. Quinnipiac has Democrat Andrew Cuomo leading Republican Carl Paladino by six points (49% to 43%), while Survey USA puts Cuomo ahead by nine (49% to 40%). Our trend lines show the race narrowing to a 49.0% to 37.8% Cuomo lead.

******
UPDATE:
Just after we published the HuffPost version of this story, the Siena Research Institute released a new survey showing very different results from those from Quinnipiac and SurveyUSA. Their survey of all registered voters shows Gillibrand leading DioGuardi by 26 points (57% to 31%), and Cuomo leading Paladino by 33 (57% to 24%). While a likely screen would have likely produced closer margins, the differences between the Siena, Quinnipiac and SurveyUSA polls are still enormous and not easily explained.

Our updated trend estimates now show Gillibrand leading by nearly ten points (47.7% to 38.1%) and Cuomo leading by 13.5 (53.2% to 39.7%).
*****

Why the change? The most important factor is probably last week's primary elections in New York, which resolved hard-fought Republican contests for both offices. Previously divided partisans often rally to their party's nominee following a tough primary -- remember the way Barack Obama received an almost immediate boost in polls from Democrats once his battle with Hillary Clinton came to an end in 2008. So some of the change may represent a consolidation of support among Republicans. For example, DioGuardi now receives the support of 88% of Republicans on the Quinnipiac survey and 74% of Republicans on SurveyUSA's poll.

Probably just as important, both polls also represent a shift to likely voter screens. Quinnipiac's previous New York surveys have been among all registered voters, and this poll is SurveyUSA's first in New York for the 2010 cycle. Only Rasmussen had previously applied any sort of likely voter screen to the New York results -- and they also showed both races closer than other pollsters, though not quite as close as these two new surveys.

Also, while the pattern is not consistent, Quinnipiac and SurveyUSA have produced results in recent weeks that are much more favorable to Republicans than likely voter surveys by other pollsters -- in the races for Senate in Ohio and Governor in Pennsylvania for Quinnipiac, and for Senate in North Carolina for SurveyUSA. Nate Silver notes a similar pattern for SurveyUSA in House races.

The impact of likely voter screening on poll results, especially this year, is evident in the four new polls released yesterday by CNN and Time, and in three more they released last week. While their new results largely confirm what we have seen from other recent surveys, CNN and Time are somewhat unique in that they release results for both likely voters and their larger samples of all registered voters. As the table below shows, the difference on the Democrat-minus-Republican margin is often quite large -- as much as 8 or 9 percentage points in Wisconsin, Delaware, Colorado and Ohio.

2010-09-23-Blumenthal-CNNTimeLVvsRV.png

It is important to remember that few likely voter screens are created equal, as different pollsters often use very different methods to model or screen for what they all describe as "likely voters." And worse, only a handful of pollsters disclose the details of their process. This is an aspect of this year's polling that we will continue to watch closely.

[Cross-posted to the Huffington Pos]


GA: 45% Deal (R), 39% Barnes (D) (Rasmussen 9/21)

Topics: Georgia , poll

Rasmussen
9/21/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Georgia

2010 Governor
45% Deal (R), 39% Barnes (D), 5% Monds (L) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Nathan Deal: 49 / 40
Roy Barnes: 44 / 50
John Monds: 26 / 26


MO: 52% Blunt, 44% Carnahan (Rasmussen 9/21)

Topics: Missouri , poll

Rasmussen
9/21/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Missouri

2010 Senate
52% Blunt (R), 44% Carnahan (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Roy Blunt: 53 / 42
Robin Carnahan: 45 / 52


CA: 41% Brown, 41% Whitman (Field 9/14-21)

Topics: California , poll

Field
9/14-21/10; 599 likely voters, 4.1% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Field release)

California

2010 Governor
41% Brown (D), 41% Whitman (R) (chart)


NY: 57% Gillibrand, 31% DioGuardi (Siena 9/16-17)

Topics: New York , poll

Siena
9/16-17/10; 801 registered voters. 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Siena release)

New York

2010 Governor
57% Cuomo (D), 24% Paladino (R), 8% Lazio (C) (chart)

2010 Senate (A)
57% Gillibrand (D), 31% DioGuardi (R) (chart)

2010 Senate (B)
63% Schumer (D), 30% Townsend (R) (chart)


CA: 46% Brown, 43% Whitman (SurveyUSA 9/19-21)

Topics: California , poll

SurveyUSA
9/19-21/10; 610 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA release)

California

2010 Governor
46% Brown (D), 43% Whitman (R) (chart)

2010 Senate
49% Boxer (D), 43% Fiorina (R) (chart)


NY: 45% Gillibrand, 44% DioGuardi (SurveyUSA 9/20-21)

Topics: New York , poll

SurveyUSA for the White Plains Journal News Rochester Democrat and Buffalo Chronicle
9/20-21/10; 572 likely voters, 4.2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA release)

New York

2010 Senate (B)
45% Gillibrand (D), 44% DioGuardi (R) (chart)

2010 Senate (B)
54% Schumer (D), 33% Townsend (R) (chart)

2010 Governor
49% Cuomo (D), 40% Paladino (R) (chart)


NY: 48% Gillibrand, 42% DioGuardi (Quinnipiac 9/16-20)

Topics: New York , poll

Quinnipiac
9/16-20/10; 751 likely voters, 3.6% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

New York

2010 Senate (B)
48% Gillibrand (D), 42% DioGuardi (R) (chart)

2010 Senate (A)
54% Schumer (D), 38% Townsend (R) (chart)


AR: 53% Boozman, 39% Lincoln (Ipsos 9/17-19)

Topics: Arkansas , poll

Ipsos / Reuters
9/17-19/10; 600 adults 4% margin of error
Mode: 436 likely voters, 4% margin of error
(Ipsos release)

Arkansas

2010 Senate
53% Boozman (R), 39% Lincoln (D) (chart)

2010 Governor
5%% Beebe (D), 37% Keet (D=R) (chart)


Moving Day

Topics: Huffington Post , Pollster.com

Well, our much anticipated moving day is upon us.

Some of you may have missed the news when it happened, and some of you may have forgotten, but we joined forces with the Huffington Post this past July (and answered some common questions about the acquisition here). Sometime later tonight or tomorrow, if all goes well, we will flip a virtual switch and begin "redirecting" traffic from Pollster.com to Pollster's new home on the Huffington Post.

A lot of very talented HuffPost developers have worked very, very hard over the last few weeks to move all of the features, content and data you have come to depend on here at Pollster to HuffPost. Our primary aim during this first wave of our relaunch has been to move everything without "breaking" anything. Thanks to the superhuman efforts of the HuffPost tech team, we think you will be satisified that while the web address will be different, everything you like about Pollster will make the trip with us.

Once we have relocated, we will begin adding some exciting new features that take Pollster.com to the next level, including quite a bit that will debut in the next few weeks. So we hope you come along and stay tuned.

Meanwhile a few more specific notes about the move:

We have managed to move every entry -- every chart, every map, every blog post, every Poll Update -- to Huffington Post. That includes our collection of charts from 2006 (which for a variety of technical reasons, I feared we might not be able to move). Needless to say, we will continue to update all active charts with new data. And your bookmarks to our existing pages should continue to work. We will simply redirect you to the new home for each page.

  • Our classic format poll maps will be active and functioning and will help you scan and navigate to chart pages. These are actually already active on Pollster now for races for Senate and Governor. If you're glad to see them back, don't worry, they will remain in place on HuffPost.

  • Once we move, you will also see that our charts feature prominently in a new HuffPost feature called Dashboard. We think you will find Dashboard engaging and useful -- it will include more than just polling data -- but if you prefer our classic poll maps and charts, again, don't worry, those will be there too and easily accessible via our new Pollster page.

  • While we have made copies of all blog posts, the original reader comments left on those posts will remain in place on their original Pollster.com locations. The HuffPost version of each entry will include a special link to take you back to the comments left on the original Pollster.com version.

  • All of our RSS feeds will continue to operate without interruption. All of our feeds will continue to provide the full post and not excerpts. Author specific feeds will require a different link, although all will be active immediately.

Now all that said, despite the best of intentions and a lot of hard work, a few things -- such as a complete index to archived blog posts -- may not be in place immediately. We will work to move anything left behind over the next week or two and will try to keep you updated on any such issues as they arise.

I welcome your comments, suggestions, problem reports or complaints -- just email me. If we have managed to "break" something you care about, please let me know. I can't promise I'll have time to respond personally to every message, but I'll definitely read them all.

A special note on comments and the Pollster.com commenter community: Admittedly, given Huffington Post's far bigger audience, the posts from me and from other contributors that also appear on HuffPost's front page will draw far more comments than our posts here. And no, we will not be migrating the Typekey user logins to Huffington Post, although you can log in and comment there using an existing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google or Yahoo account or create an account on HuffPost.

For those concerned about the changes to the comments section, let me highlight two things. First, over the last month, Huffington Post has implemented a new "Community Pundits" feature that, as HuffPost's social news editor Adam Clark Estes explained to WebNewswer earlier this week, aims to highlight the most "insightful, informative, and engaging commentary" on any feature from across the ideological spectrum. Such comments appear in a prominent Community Pundit box that appears at the top of the comments section of each post.

Moreover, those who leave such comments consistently can earn a Community Pundit badge, which comes with privileges: "Besides having their comments highlighted in the Highlights tab and the Community Pundits box," Estes said, "we also allow our Pundits to leave longer comments."

Better yet, Estes and the Social News team have pledged to create a special Community Pundit badge specific to the Pollster section that will identify and highlight comments that are consistently insightful, informative and on topic, which is to say relevant to our focus on political polls and survey research. We have not yet begun working on this feature, so we would welcome your input and suggestions for it.

Now all that said, you should know that some entries -- especially the Outliers feature and the many "Poll Update" entries that Emily posts constantly -- will appear only on the new Pollster page and not elsewhere on Huffington Post. We're hoping that the Pollster corner of HuffPost will attract its own unique community of readers, so we encourage those of you who comment frequently to come along and try it out. We hope that the existing community can move along with the charts and the blog archive.

If you have questions about Huffington Posts comments and moderation policies, please see this FAQ page.


CO, DE, PA, WI: 2010 Senate, Governor (CNN/Time 9/17-21)

Topics: Colorado , Delaware , Pennsylvania , poll , Wisconsin

Colorado

CNN / Time / Opinion Research Corporation
9/17-20/10; 860 likely voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)

2010 Senate
49% Buck (R), 44% Bennet (D) (chart)

2010 Governor
47% Hickenlooper (D), 29% Tancredo (i), 21% Maes (R) (chart)


Delaware

CNN / Time / Opinion Research Corporation
9/17-20/10; 703 likely voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)

2010 Senate
55% Coons (D), 39% O'Donnell (R) (chart)
If Castle were the nominee: 55% Castle (R), 37% Coons (D)


Pennsylvania

CNN / Time / Opinion Research Corporation
9/17-20/10; 741 likely voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)

2010 Senate
49% Toomey (R), 44% Sestak (D) (chart)

2010 Governor
52% Corbett (R), 44% Onorato (D) (chart)


Wisconsin

CNN / Time / Opinion Research Corporation
9/17-20/10; 963 likely voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)

2010 Senate
51% Johnson (R), 45% Feingold (D) (chart)

2010 Governor
53% Walker (R), 42% Barrett (D) (chart)


NY: 58% Schumer, 36% Townsend (Rasmussen 9/16)

Topics: New York , poll

Rasmussen
9/16/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

New York

2010 Senate
58% Schumer (D), 36% Townsend (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Chuck Schumer: 61 / 36
Jay Townsend: 36 / 26


IL: 44% Kirk, 41% Giannoulias (Rasmussen 9/21)

Topics: Illinois , poll

Rasmussen
9/21/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Illinois

2010 Senate
44% Kirk (R), 41% Giannoulias (D), 4% Jones (G) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Mark Kirk: 47 / 46
Alexi Giannoulias: 43 / 49
LeAlan Jones: 21 / 36


US: National Survey (Politico 9/9-16)

Topics: National , poll

Politico / Penn Schoen Berland
9/9-16/10; 1,000 adults, 3.1% margin of error
Mode: Internet
(Politico release)
Note: an earlier version of this post included the reported topline results that included a sample of DC "elites." The results now reflect only the sample of all adults.

National

State of the Country
27% Right Direction, 61% Wrong Track (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Hillary Clinton: 51 / 42 (chart)
Barack Obama: 48 / 48 (chart)
Sarah Palin: 41 / 50 (chart)
Mitt Romney: 34 / 32 (chart)
Mike Huckabee: 37 / 28 (chart)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
31% Democrat, 33% Republican, 8% independent (chart)

Party ID
35% Democrat, 32% Republican, 26% independent (chart)


US: National Survey (Marist/McClatchy 9/14-16)

Topics: National , poll

Marist / McClatchy
9/14-16/10; 1,005 adults, 3% margin of error
815 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Marist release)

National

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
47% Republican, 45% Democrat (chart)

State of the Country
41% Right Direction, 56% Wrong Track (chart)

Obama Job Approval
45% Approve, 50% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 81 / 15 (chart)
Reps: 13 / 82 (chart)
Inds: 40 / 54 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 49 / 48 (chart)


ME: 45% LePage, 27% Mitchell, 14% Cutler (Rasmussen 9/20)

Topics: Maine , poll

Rasmussen
9/20/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Maine

2010 Governor
45% LePage (R), 27% Mitchell (D), 14% Cutler (i) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Paul LePage: 58 / 34
Libby Mitchell: 42 / 50
Eliot Cutler: 47 / 34


NM: 52% Martinez, 41% Denish (Martinez 9/11-13)

Topics: New Mexico , poll

Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Susana Martinez
9/11-13/10; 600 likely voters
Mode:Live telephone interviews
(POS release)

New Mexico

2010 Governor
52% Martinez (R), 41% Denish (D) (chart)


ID: 45% Otter, 29% Allred (MasonDixon 9/13-15)

Topics: Idaho , poll

Mason-Dixon for Idaho Newspapers
9/13-15/10; 625 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Mason-Dixon release)

Idaho

2010 Senate
61% Crapo (R), 17% Sullivan (D) (chart)

2010 Governor
45% Otter (R), 29% Allred (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Mike Crapo: 54 / 13
Tom Sullivan: 8 / 3
Butch Otter: 44 / 29
Keith Allred: 22 / 7


CA: 47% Brown, 46% Whitman (Rasmussen 9/20)

Topics: California , poll

Rasmussen
9/20/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

California

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

Favorable / Unfavorable
Meg Whitman: 45 / 50
Jerry Brown: 48 / 49


Morning Update: New WV & WI Polls Brighten GOP Prospects

Topics: 2010 , Senate , West Virginia , wisconsin

While the evidence rests mostly on new automated polls in two states, Republican hopes of gaining control of the U.S. Senate brightened yesterday with results pointing to tougher than expected battles shaping up for the Democrats in Wisconsin and West Virginia. The new polls move Wisconsin to our "lean Republican" category and add West Virginia to a list of toss-ups that also includes Illinois, Nevada and California. Republicans can win control of the Senate by sweeping all four.

Within a few hours of my update yesterday, which highlighted a new Rasmussen survey in West Virginia showing Democrat Joe Manchin leading Republican John Raese by seven percentage points (50% to 43%), Public Policy Polling (PPP) released another automated survey there showing the Democrat trailing by 3 (43% to 46%). Whether you prefer our trend estimate or a simple average of the two surveys, the bottom line is the same: On the basis of these two recent polls, the race merits "toss-up" status.

In Wisconsin, a new PPP survey paints a picture that even the survey sponsor Daily Kos characterized as "uber-ugly" for the Democrats. It shows Democratic Senator Russ Feingold trailing Republican Ron Johnson by eleven points (52% to 41%), a slightly larger margin than measured by a Rasmussen automated survey a week ago (51% to 44%). Our trend estimate splits the difference these two results, the only two public polls released in Wisconsin so far in September, pushing the state into our "lean Republican" classification.

Democrats pushed back yesterday, sharing with TPM results on an internal poll conducted before last week's primary showing "Feingold ahead, by 48%-41% among all voters and 47%-43% among those definite to vote."

Incidentally, one reader took me to task last week, appropriately, for not noting PPP's status as a firm that polls for local Democrat candidates (though they have not disclosed doing work for candidates for U.S. Senate and Governor). That said, their results in West Virginia and Wisconsin tend to counter the notion that the Democratic firm produces results biased toward the Democrats.

A batch of new automated surveys released yesterday by Rasmussen Reports and their subsidiary Pulse Opinion Research (for Fox News) generally confirm other polling in the Senate races in California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New York.

The new Fox/Pulse survey in Nevada has Republican Sharon Angle up by a single, non-significant percentage point (46% to 45%), generally confirming what other recent polls suggest is a slight tightening in the race. Our standard trend estimate, which gives greater weight to the surveys conducted earlier in the month, shows Reid leading by a single percentage point (46.3% to 45.3%). Our more sensitive estimate (shown below), which gives greater weight to the most recent surveys, has it dead even (44.9% to 44.9%).

2010-09-22-Blumenthal-NVSenSensitive.png

In Alaska, Rasmussen was first out of the box with a poll testing a three-way race with incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski running as a write-in candidate. They show Republican nominee Joe Miller with 42%, Murkowski with 27% and Democrat Scott McAdams with 25% of likely voters. While the Rasmussen release did not include the specific language of their vote preference question, they did provide this curious description:

Polling for write-in campaigns is always challenging, so results should be interpreted with caution. For this survey, Rasmussen Reports asked respondents about a choice between Miller and McAdams without mentioning Murkowski. That is the choice voters will see when they enter the voting booth. However, when response options were offered to survey respondents, Murkowski's name was mentioned.

They only provided results for a three-way contest, so this reference must be to the structure of their question. Presumably, they first mentioned that Miller and McAdams were the names on the ballot, then offered Miller, McAdams and Murkowski as choices. For more on how pollsters will measure vote preference in Alaska, see my Monday update.

California's race for Governor provided yesterday's ray of hope for Democrats, where a new PPP poll showed Democrat Jerry Brown leading Republican Meg Whitman by five points (47% to 42%) while a new Fox/Pulse survey has the race dead even (at 45% for each). Those results are a slight improvement over five other surveys conducted in late August and early September by Rasmussen, Pulse, SurveyUSA and CNN/Time.

Our standard trend estimate, which gives greater weight to the earlier surveys, shows Whitman leading by just under three points (47.1% to 44.2%). Our more sensitive estimate, which gives greater weight to this week's polls puts Whitman ahead by slightly less than two (47.0% to 45.1%). Either way, the polling puts the California Governor's race in our toss-up category.

And this just in: Quinnipiac University released two new polls early this morning, including a eyebrow raising result in the New York Governor's race where they show Democrat Andrew Cuomo leading Republican Carl Paladino by just six percentage points (49% to 43%). Previous surveys conducted over the summer had shown Cuomo leading Paladino by 30 or more percentage points.

In Pennsylvania's Senate race Quinnipiac shows Republican Pat Toomey leading Democrat Joe Sestak by seven percentage points (50% to 43%), roughly the same margin as our previous trend estimate.

Cross-posted at the Huffington Post


The zombie myth of presidents "not connecting"

Topics: Barack Obama , Bill Clinton , Economic Issues , Ronald Reagan

Former Vice President Walter Mondale is the latest public figure to fall victim to the impossible-to-kill myth that the predictable decline in President Obama's political standing is the result of a failure to "connect" rather than structural factors:

Mondale recalled that President Carter, as his standing in the polls slid, "began to lose confidence in his ability to move the public." The President, he said, should have "got out front earlier with the bad news and addressed the people more." He sees a similar problem with Obama: "I think he needs to get rid of those teleprompters, and connect. He's smart as hell. He can do it. Look right into those cameras and tell people he's hurting right along with them." Carter, on the other hand, he said, might not have been able to. "At heart, he was an engineer," Mondale said. "He wanted to sit down and come up with the right answers, and then explain it. He didn't like to do a lot of emotional public speaking."

The Washington Post's Dan Balz frames the issue similarly, suggesting it's some sort of mystery why Obama "has had so much difficulty making a connection with voters on economic issues" in the context of what is arguably the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression:

One of the persistent mysteries about the president is why someone who began his adult life as a community organizer, working with economically displaced workers in Chicago, has had so much difficulty making a connection with voters on economic issues. That was a problem during his presidential campaign. From the questions on Monday, it remains a problem today.

Salon's Steve Kornacki does a fantastic job illustrating why these claims are nonsense in a retrospective on Bill Clinton in 1994 (disclosure: I cross-post on Salon). Just as with Reagan in 1982 (see here and here), an unfavorable political environment overwhelmed Clinton's ability to "connect":

It's tempting -- really, really tempting -- to watch Bill Clinton on television these days and to say, "Gee, the Democrats would be much better off right now if he were in the White House instead of Barack Obama"...

We're hearing a lot of this kind of talk this week, with Clinton back in the news, thanks to his annual global summit in New York...

Clinton, pundits are now telling us, embodies the magic formula that Obama is missing...

This is true, but only to a point. Yes, Clinton was -- and is -- one of the most effective communicators the Democratic Party has ever produced. But his gift for persuasion had sharp and clear limits while he was president, and when he was faced with a political climate like the one Obama now confronts, it was utterly useless.

That was in the 1994 midterm elections, the last time before this year that a Democratic president's party controlled both chambers of Congress. The economy wasn't as feeble, but Clinton had been weakened by a series of public relations blunders and by the success of congressional Republicans in stalling major pieces of his agenda (a stimulus package, healthcare reform, and a crime bill, mainly) and making Clinton seem ineffective. His poll numbers were slightly weaker than Obama's are now and the prospects for his party weren't good.

Nonetheless, Clinton hit the campaign trail with vigor, believing that he could talk and emote his way to a decent November result. And if you look back now and read Clinton's campaign trail words -- or watch him in action -- you'll quickly realize that all of the magical-seeming traits we now celebrate were on full display...

In short, Bill Clinton was Bill Clinton in the 1994 midterms -- and his party still got massacred. The GOP still won 52 House seats and won the chamber for the first time since 1954, and it still won eight Senate seats to control that body for the first time in eight years. And when the dust settled, the political world -- Republicans, Democrats and the media -- was united in one conclusion: Clinton was a goner in 1996. The country had tuned him out. He had lost his ability to "connect."

His experience is well worth keeping in mind now. We like to think that personality, message and campaign tactics are what define elections -- that the good politicians are the ones who put all of this together in a way that trumps structural factors like the economy. But that's just not how it works. Clinton's words -- no matter how masterfully crafted and articulated -- fell on deaf ears in 1994, just as Obama's are mostly falling on deaf ears today. It was only when favorable structural factors were again present that Clinton began "connecting" again. Obama's style may be different than Clinton's, but it already played well with the general public once, and it can again -- if favorable structural factors return.

[Cross-posted to brendan-nyhan.com and Huffington Post]


RI: 36% Caprio, 24% Chafee, 13% Robitaille (Quest 9/15-17)

Topics: poll , Rhode Island

Quest Research for NBC 10
9/15-17/10; 495 registered voters, 4.7% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quest release)

Rhode Island

2010 Governor
36% Caprio (D), 24% Chafee (i), 13% Robitaille (R), 2% Block (M) (chart)


LA: 48% Vitter, 38% Melancon (DSCC 9/13-16)

Topics: Louisiana , poll

Bennett, Petts & Normington (D) for the DSCC
9/13-16/10; 800 registered voters
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Politico story)

Louisiana

2010 Senate
48% Vitter (R), 38% Melancon (D) (chart)


AK: 54% Parnell, 34% Berkowitz (Rasmussen 9/19)

Topics: Alaska , poll

Rasmussen
9/19/20; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Alaska

2010 Governor
54% Parnell (R), 34% Berkowitz (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Sean Parnell: 66 / 31
Ethan Berkowitz: 40 / 49


PA: 50% Toomey, 43% Sestak (Quinnipiac 9/15-19)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

Quinnipiac
9/15-19/10; 684 likely voters, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

Pennsylvania

2010 Senate
50% Toomey (R), 43% Sestak (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Pat Toomey: 44 / 31
Joe Sestak: 44 / 34


NY: 49% Cuomo, 43% Paladino (Quinnipiac 9/16-20)

Topics: New York , poll

Quinnipiac
9/16-20/10; 751 likely voters, 3.6% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

New York

2010 Governor
49% Cuomo (D), 43% Paladino (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Andrew Cuomo: 51 / 34
Carl Paladino: 36 / 31


MI: 51% Snyder, 38% Bernero (Rasmussen 9/20)

Topics: Michigan , poll

Rasmussen
9/20/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Michigan

2010 Governor
51% Snyder (R), 38% Bernero (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Virg Bernero: 43 / 46
Rick Snyder: 63 / 27


CA: 47% Boxer, 43% Fiorina (Rasmussen 9/20)

Topics: California , poll

Rasmussen
9/20/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

California

2010 Senate
47% Boxer (D), 43% Fiorina (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barbara Boxer: 48 / 49 (chart)
Carly Fiorina: 47 / 44


MI: 52% Snyder, 31% Bernero (PPP 9/17-19)

Topics: Michigan , poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
9/17-19/10; 497 likely voters, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

Michigan

2010 Governor
52% Snyder (R), 31% Bernero (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Virg Bernero: 28 / 43
Rick Snyder: 43 / 28

Job Approval / Disapproval
29% Approve, 63% Disapprove (chart)


WI: 52% Johnson, 41% Feingold (PPP/DailyKos 9/18-19)

Topics: poll , Wisconsin

Public Policy Polling (D) for DailyKos.com
9/18-19/10; 678 likely voters, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

Wisconsin

2010 Senate
52% Johnson (R), 41% Feingold (D) (chart)

2010 Governor
50% Walker (R), 41% Barrett (D) (chart)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 41 / 54 (chart)
Sen. Kohl: 42/ 47 (chart)
Sen. Feingold: 40 / 53 (chart)
Gov. Doyle: 29 / 62 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Ron Johnson: 46 / 34
Tom Barrett: 38 / 43
Scott Walker: 45 / 40


CA: 47% Brown (D), 42% Whitman (R) (PPP 9/14-16)

Topics: California , poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
9/14-16/10; 630 likely voters, 3.9% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

California

2010 Governor
47% Brown (D), 42% Whitman (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Jerry Brown: 42 / 45
Meg Whitman: 35 / 49

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Schwarzennegger: 20 / 69 (chart)


US: National Survey (Ipsos/Reuters 9/16-19)

Topics: National , poll

Ipsos / Reuters
9/16-19/10; 1,161 adults, 2.9% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Reuters release)

National

State of the Country
42% Right Direction, 50% Wrong Track (chart)

Obama Job approval
47% Approve, 50% Disapprove (chart)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Adults: 48% Democratic candidate, 41% Republican candidate
Registered voters: 46% Democratic Candidate, 45% Republican Candidate (chart)

Party ID
Initial: 28% Democrat, 24% Republican, 48% independent (chart)
With leaners: 46% Democrat, 40% Republican, 14% independent


OH: 49% Portman, 36% Fisher (Fox 9/18)

Topics: Ohio , poll

Fox News / Pulse Opinion Research
9/18/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Fox release)

Ohio

2010 Senate
49% Portman (R), 36% Fisher (D) (chart)

2010 Governor
47% Kasich (R), 41% Strickland (D) (chart)


PA: 48% Toomey, 40% Sestak (Fox 9/18)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

Fox News / Pulse Opinion Research
9/18/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Fox release)

Pennsylvania

2010 Senate
48% Toomey (R), 40% Sestak (D) (chart)

2010 Governor
49% Corbett (R), 39% Onorato (D) (chart)


WV: 46% Raese, 43% Manchin (PPP 9/18-19)

Topics: poll , West Virginia

Public Policy Polling (D)
9/18-19/10; 1,397 likely voters, 2.6% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

West Virginia

2010 Senate
46% Raese (R), 43% Manchin (D) (chart)


NV: 46% Angle, 45% Reid (Fox 9/18)

Topics: Delaware , poll

Fox News / Pulse Opinion Research
9/18/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Fox release)

Nevada

2010 Senate
46% Angle (R), 45% Reid (D) (chart)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama; 40 / 52 (chart)
Sen. Reid: 41 / 54 (chart)


DE: 54% Coons, 39% O'Donnell (Fox 9/18)

Topics: Delaware , poll

Fox News / Pulse Opinion Research
9/18/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Fox release)

Delaware

2010 Senate
54% Coons (D), 39% O'Donnell (R) (chart)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 45 / 46 (chart)


Is Sarah Palin like Hillary Clinton or Dan Quayle?

Topics: Al Gore , Dan Quayle , Favorable Ratings , Hillary Clinton , Sarah Palin

Is Sarah Palin the frontrunner for the 2012 GOP nomination? That's the claim that's been made by some prominent commentators (here, here, and here), but it's wildly premature. There's a reason that the Intrade futures market currently puts the odds of Palin winning the nomination at 18% (behind Mitt Romney and John Thune) -- in particular, her terrible poll numbers.

It's worth underscoring just how bad Palin's numbers are. The closest comparison to her is probably Hillary Clinton, another female politician with high unfavorables entering an anticipated presidential campaign. But even Clinton had much better numbers than Palin at this point in 2006:

Hillarypalin

Also, though Palin's ability to raise money and turn out crowds has made her a star within the party, it's unlikely that she will enjoy anything near the level of elite support that helped get Clinton so close to the Democratic nomination.

I've looked back through polls on possible presidential candidates at this stage in the election cycle, and it's difficult to locate an appropriate comparison for Palin. Besides Clinton, the best comparison might be to Dan Quayle, a former vice president with extremely high unfavorables who was widely perceived as not ready to be president. As a result (presumably), Quayle ultimately decided not to run in 1996 and 2000 dropped out of the field before Iowa in 2000. Similarly, though he was perceived as competent, high unfavorables may have helped dissuade Al Gore from running again in 2004 and 2008. Here's how Quayle, Gore, Clinton, and Palin's favorable/unfavorable numbers compare from the Gallup poll question closest to this point in the current electoral cycle:

Palincomparison

Obviously, neither Quayle nor Gore inspired the sort of adulation that Palin does today, but there's a reason that they didn't run. Given that Palin can make millions if she stays out of electoral politics, I'd put the odds of her running at less than the current Intrade estimate of 69%.

[Cross-posted to brendan-nyhan.com and Huffington Post]


NY: 49% Gillibrand, 39% DioGuardi (Rasmussen 9/16)

Topics: New York , poll

Rasmussen
9/16/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

New York

2010 Senate
49% Gillibrand, 39% DioGuardi (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Kirsten Gillibrand: 51 / 38
Joe DioGuardi: 41 / 29


Morning Update: Manchin Holding a Narrow Lead (Updated)

Topics: 2010 , Joe Manchin , John Raese , West Virginia

The smattering of new statewide polls released over the last few days yields no new significant trends, although a new poll on the West Virginia Senate race shows the Democrat, Joe Manchin, maintaining narrow but consistent lead over Republican candidate John Raese in September.

The new survey, from automated pollster Rasmussen Reports, gives Manchin a seven-point lead (50% to 43%). Rasmussen is the only pollster to release results in West Virginia since July, but their last three polls conducted over the last four weeks show Manchin leading by 6, 5 and 7 percentage points respectively, for an average of 50% Manchin, 44% Raese. While those margins are far closer than what Rasmussen and other pollsters measured earlier in the summer, voter preferences in West Virginia appear to have stabilized, at least for now, leaving Manchin with a modest lead.**

Other recent polls of note:

Two new polls released over the weekend in Pennsylvania confirm the single digit lead that Republican Pat Toomey has held over Democrat Joe Sestak since July. Both the live-interview Wilkes Barre Times Leader poll and a PoliticsPA/Municipoll automated survey yield much larger numbers of undecided voters than other recent surveys, but the effect on our overall trend estimate) is minimal. Our trend estimate now shows Toomey leading Sestak by eight points (46.7% to 38.7%). All eleven public polls released in August and September have shown him leading by margins ranging from 2 to 11 percentage points.

2010-09-21-Blumenthal-PASen.png

This past Friday, Rasmussen Reports also released another automated poll yesterday on the Massachusetts governor's race that shows Democrat Deval Patrick running just three points ahead of Republican challenger Charlie Baker (45% to 42%), with independent Tim Cahill falling to just 8%. Massachusetts is another state where Rasmussen has produced most of the recent polling -- three of the four surveys released in August and September. Rasmussen's surveys of likely voters have shown a steady decline in support for independent Cahill, from 23% in April to 8% on the current survey, although a poll of all registered voters conducted in late August by the State House News and KRC/Communications Research showed Cahill winning 18% of the vote and slightly larger Patrick lead over Baker (34% to 28%).

**The recent polling in the West Virginia Senate presents a scenario that our classic polling chart does not handle well. With fewer than seven polls available, our standard practice is to draw a linear trend line (or, in plain English, a straight line) through the data points. In this case, the straight line tries to reconcile two polls conducted in July that showed Manchin leading by more than 20 points with the three more recent Rasmussen polls showing consistently narrower margins. The result is that the trend lines converge on an estimate of the margin that is closer than any of the last three surveys. Since the last three Rasmussen surveys show no discernible trend, we've opted to report on the average of those surveys rather than our chart's trend estimate.

Update (9/21): Earlier today, PPP released a new survey of West Virginia that shows Republican John Raese leading Democrat Joe Manchin, 46% to 43%. Our trend estimate now splits the difference between the two most recent polls, leaving the race essentially even (Manchin 47.1%, Raese 46.3%).


AK: 42% Miller, 27% Murkowski, 25% McAdams (Rasmussen 9/19)

Topics: alaska , poll

Rasmussen
9/19/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Alaska

2010 Senate
42% Miller (R), 27% Murkowski, 25% McAdams (D) (chart)


CA: 47% Boxer, 46% Fiorina (Fox 9/18)

Topics: California , poll

Fox News / Pulse Opinion Research
9/18/10; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Fox release)

California

2010 Senate
47% Boxer (D), 46% Fiorina (R) (chart)

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

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 45 / 47 (chart)
Sen. Boxer: 41 / 49 (chart)


US: National Survey (ARG 9/17-20)

Topics: National , poll

American Research Group
9/17-20/10; 1,100 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(ARG release)

National

Obama Job Approval
44% Approve, 51% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 80 / 16 (chart)
Reps: 5 / 91 (chart)
Inds: 45 / 50 (chart)
Economy: 40 / 56 (chart)


MA: 41% Patrick, 34% Baker, 14% Cahill (Suffolk 9/16-19)

Topics: Massachusetts , poll

Suffolk University / 7News
9/16-19/10; 500 registered voters, 4.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Boston Herald article)

Massachusetts

2010 Governor
41% Patrick (D), 34% Baker (R), 14% Cahill (i), 4% Stein (G) (chart)


KS: 59% Brownback, 32% Holland (SurveyUSA 9/14-16)

Topics: Kansas , poll

SurveyUSA
9/14-16/10; 602 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA release)

Kansas

2010 Governor
59% Brownback (R), 32% Holland (D), 4% Cannon (RP), 3% Davis (L) (chart)


MO: 43% Blunt, 39% Carnahan (MO Dem Party 9/14-18)

Topics: Missouri , poll

Missouri Democratic Party by Global Strategy Group
9/14-18/10; 601 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(MO Democrats release)

Missouri

2010 Senate
43% Blunt (R), 39% Carnahan (D), 3% Beck (C), 3% Dine (L) (chart)


PA: 54% Corbett, 39% Onorato (Quinnipiac 9/15-19)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

Quinnipiac
9/15-19/10; 684 likely voters, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Quinnipiac release)

Pennsylvania

2010 Governor
54% Corbett (R), 39% Onorato (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Dan Onorato: 40 / 24
Tom Corbett: 51 / 21

Job Approval / Disapproval
Gov. Rendell: 35 / 57 (chart)


RI: 33% Chafee, 30% Caprio, 23% Robitaille (Rasmussen 9/16)

Topics: poll , Rhode Island

Rasmussen
9/16/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Rhode Island

2010 Governor
33% Chafee (i), 30% Caprio (D), 23% Robitaille (R), 5% Block (M) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
John Robitaille: 43 / 33
Frank Caprio: 54 . 36
Lincoln Chafee: 48 / 49
Ken Block: 24 / 40


Manning Bowl 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Patrick Ottenhoff finds the most vulnerable Democrats in rural districts.

DemFromCT notes that although Republicans are likely to see large gains in seats, they're still not very popular; Barry Pump considers implications (via Nyhan).

Alan Abramowitz explains his model that predicts House seats from Gallup's final likely voter poll.

Daniel Hopkins sees no evidence for polls underestimating support for the out-party during wave elections.

John Dickerson and David Brooks ask whether Tea Party victories will help Republicans.

Democracy Corps advises Democrats on speaking to the "rising American electorate."

Rasmussen Reports finds more voters identify with Palin's views than Obama's.

Gallup finds a "modest uptick" in Obama approval and Democratic party ID in September.

Jonathan Cohn says opinion on health care reform is more complicated than a first glance suggests; Kevin Drum and M.S. add more.

AP-GfK finds a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage; Steve Benen takes a look at the question wording.

Andrew Gelman teaches a lesson in question wording effects on Afghanistan.

The National Annenberg Election Survey makes its 2008 data available for scholars online.

Marist finds Peyton is the most popular Manning.


Murkowski's Write-in Campaign: How Will Pollsters Measure It?

Topics: Alaska Senate Race , Lisa Murkowski , murkowski , senate , Senate races , Senator Murkowski

The most consequential polling development over the the weekend involves the announcement by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski that she will re-enter Alaska's race as a write-in candidate after losing the Republican primary. At issue is not some new poll, but rather how pollsters will go about measuring support for a write-in candidate.

The short answer is that it will not be easy, especially since successful write-in candidacies are rare and Murkowski's bid has little precedent. Media pollsters, who often feel obliged to report voter preferences as a single set of numbers, may feel especially challenged, but the best measurement of the Alaska Senate race may require asking at least two of the following questions:

  • A totally open-ended question that offers no candidate names and instead tests the ability of respondents to remember the name of the candidate they're voting for.

  • A closed-ended question that closely mimics the ballot, asking voters to choose between Republican Joe Miller, Democrat Scott McAdams and "another candidate" (perhaps the choice to "write in another candidate"). Live interviewers could then probe for and record the name of the "other" candidate.

  • A closed-ended question offering a choice between voting for Republican Miller, Democrat McAdams "or writing in Lisa Murkowski?"

Those who ask two or more of these questions will do so with the understanding no single question will get it exactly right and that Murkowski's true support at any point in time lies between the extremes. Not prompting with Murkowski's name will likely understate her potential support, due to a lack of knowledge of her write-in candidacy or by an implied dismissiveness of it by omission.

Prompting that Murkowksi is running as a write-in risks overstating that support, either because such a mention gives that candidacy special emphasis or because some truly undecided respondents sometimes gravitate toward independent candidates on survey questions. But asking a completely open-ended question will tend to overstate the undecided percentage, because some respondents will have trouble remembering the candidate names and because some will be reluctant to share their decision without more of a push. So again, the truth will fall somewhere in the between.

As many of our readers have speculated in comments, this situation creates special challenges for pollsters that use an automated, recorded voice methodology rather than live interviewers. It may be technically possible to ask an open-ended question, create an audio recording the respondents's answers and subsequently allow live humans to code the answers, but doing so would be a costly departure from the automated pollsters' standard procedures. The purely open-ended question is far better suited to a live interviewer survey.

In other U.S. Senate polling news since our last update:

In Wisconsin, automated pollster Rasmmussen Reports released a new survey showing incumbent Democratic Senator Russ Feingold trailing challenger Ron Johnson by seven percentage points (44% to 51%). Their previous survey in late August had the race closer -- 47% for Johnson and 46% for Feingold.

We generally try to view any new poll in the larger context of other surveys by other pollsters -- since any one survey is subject to random error and pollster "house effects" -- but in this case, Rasmussen has been the only pollster active in Wisconsin since July.

In Ohio, Quinnpiac University released a new survey on Friday showing Republican Rob Portman leading Democrat Lee Fisher by an astounding 20 points (55% to 35%), although polls from three other pollsters conducted over roughly the same time period show Porter leading by closer margins of between 8 and 11 percentage points.


US: Generic Ballot (Gallup, Rasmussen 9/13-19)

Topics: National , poll

National

Gallup
9/13-19/10; 2,925 registered voters, 2% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

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


Rasmussen
9/13-19/10; 3,500 likely voters, 2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
48% Republican, 38% Democrat (chart)


US: National Survey (Zogby 9/17-20)

Topics: National , poll

Zogby
9/17-20/10; 2,068 likely voters, 2.2% margin of error
Mode: Internet
(Zogby release)

National

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
44% Democrat, 43% Republican (chart)

Obama Job Approval
49% Approve, 51% Disapprove (chart)

State of the Country
33% Right Direction, 55% Wrong Track (chart)


US: 2012 Primaries (PPP 9/10-13)

Topics: National , poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
9/10-13/10; 419 likely Republican primary voters, 4.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

National

2010 President: Republican Primary
22% Romney, 21% Huckabee, 18% Gingrich, 17% Palin, 6% Paul


WV: 50% Manchin, 43% Raese (Rasmussen 9/19)

Topics: poll , West Virginia

Rasmussen
9/19/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

West Virginia

2010 Senate
50% Manchin (D), 43% Raese (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
John Raese: 53 / 41
Joe Manchin: 71 / 27


MD: 50% O'Malley, 47% Ehrlich (Rasmussen 9/15)

Topics: Maryland , poll

Rasmussen
9/15/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Maryland

2010 Governor
50% O'Malley (D), 47% Ehrlich (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Martin O'Malley: 54 / 43
Bob Ehrlich: 58 / 38


LA: 52% Vitter, 34% Melancon (Magellan 9/19)

Topics: Louisiana , poll

Magellan Strategies
9/19/10; 1,232 likely voters, 2.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Magellan release)

Louisiana

2010 Senate
52% Vitter (R), 34% Melancon (D), 2% Hayes (L) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
David Vitter: 49 / 37 (chart)
Charlie Melancon: 28 / 46

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 33 / 61 (chart)


PA: 45% Toomey, 36% Sestak (PoliticsPA 9/15-16)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

PoliticsPA / Municipoll
9/15-16/10; 912 likely voters, 3.2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Municipoll release via )

Pennylvania

2010 Senate
45% Toomey (R), 36% Sestak (D) (
chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Joe Sestak: 34 / 30
Pat Toomey: 38 / 35


CA: 50% Boxer, 42% Fiorina (PPP 9/14-16)

Topics: California , poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
9/14-16/10; 630 likely voters, 3.9% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

California

2010 Senate
50% Boxer (D), 42% Fiorina (R) (chart)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 53 / 42 (chart)
Sen. Feinstein: 46 / 40 (chart)
Sen. Boxer: 46 / 46 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Carly Fiorina: 34 / 42


UT: 52% Lee, 25% Granato (KSL/Deseret 9/7-13)

Topics: poll , Utah

KSL-TV / Deseret News / Dan Jones and Associates
9/7-13/10; 600 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Deseret News article)

Utah

2010 Senate
52% Lee (R), 25% Granato (D), 4% Bradley (C) (chart)
With Bennett: 37% Lee (R), 32% Bennett (i), 17% Granato (D), 3% Bradley (C)


WI: 51% Walker, 43% Barrett (Rasmussen 9/15)

Topics: poll , Wisconsin


Rasmussen
9/15/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Wisconsin

2010 Governor
51% Walker (R), 43% Barrett (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Scott Walker: 58 / 36
Tom Barrett: 52 / 43


MD: 54% Mikulski, 38% Wargotz (Rasmussen 9/15)

Topics: Maryland , poll

Rasmussen
9/15/10; 750 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Maryland

2010 Senate
54% Mikulski (D), 38% Wargotz (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barbara Mikulski: 57 / 40
Eric Wargotz: 40 / 29


ME: 38% LePage, 25% Mitchell, 11% Cutler (MaineTodayMedia 9/13)

Topics: maine , poll

Critical Insights / Maine Today Media
9/13/10; 603 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Maine Today release)

Maine

2010 Governor
38% LePage (R), 25% Mitchell (D), 11% Cutler (i), 4% Moody (i), 1% Scott (i) (chart)


NY: 54% Cuomo, 38% Paladino (Rasmussen 9/16)

Topics: New York , poll

Rasmussen
9/16/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

New York

2010 Governor
54% Cuomo (D), 38% Paladino (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Carl Paladino: 46 / 38
Andrew Cuomo: 59 / 35


IN: 50% Coats (R), 34% Ellsworth (D) (Rasmussen 9/14-15)

Topics: Indiana , poll

Rasmussen
9/14-15/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Indiana

2010 Senate
50% Coats (R), 34% Ellsworth (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Dan Coats: 56 / 35
Brad Ellsworth: 38 / 44


NH: 48% Lynch, 46% Stephen (Rasmussen 9/15)

Topics: New Hampshire , poll

Rasmussen
9/15/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

New Hampshire

2010 Governor
48% Lynch (D), 46% Stephen (R) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
John Lynch: 55 / 38 (chart)
John Stephen: 47 / 38


AR: 56% Boozman, 29% Lincoln (TalkBusiness 9/16)

Topics: Arkansas , poll

Talk Business / Hendrix College
9/16/10; 573 likely voters; 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Talk Busienss release)

Arkansas

2010 Senate
56% Boozman (R), 29% Lincoln (D), 5% Drown (i), 2% Gray (G) (chart)


PA: 2010 Senate, Governor (Times Leader 9/14-16)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

Times Leader / Critical Insights
9/14-16/10; 600 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Times Leader article)

Pennsylvania

2010 Governor
38% Corbett (R), 37% Onorato (D) (chart)

2010 Senate
40% Toomey (R), 36% Sestak (D) (chart)


KS: 66% Moran, 24% Johnston (SurveyUSA 9/14-16)

Topics: Kansas , poll

SurveyUSA
9/14-16/10; 602 likley voters, 3.9% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(SurveyUSA)

Kansas

2010 Senate
66% Moran (R), 24% Johnston (D), 5% Ellis (RP), 2% Dann (L) (chart)


 

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