Articles and Analysis


POLL: ARG New Hampshire, Florida

American Research Group

New Hampshire
Obama 51, McCain 39
Sen: Shaheen (D) 54, Sununu (R-i) 40
Gov: Lynch (D-i) 65, Kenney (R) 21

Obama 49, McCain 44



Oh my...


Sacks Romana:

Another poll showing an Obama edge in Florida. I'm really stunned. I thought it might be possible, but not so early in the campaign.

I never really thought NH was within McCain's reach, but again, pretty awful numbers for him this far out.



Seriously, did anyone not see Florida swinging once the polls finally came out?

Of course bounces rarely peak and then plateau, so it's still a very, very close election like the last two, but the momentum is very strong for Obama right now and it seems that he isn't even trying that hard (nor is McCain in stopping it). The national polls seemed to have fallen back a bit already, so this might have all been worse for McCain just a week ago if the polls were released then.



It looks like Obama is going to sweep, but I'm not clear why we're not seeing a more significant bump of more than 5% in the nationals considering that almost every state seems to have Obama improving by at least 5-10% since previous polls.




You make a solid point, but remember this: Clinton won in 1992 by 210 EVs but only 9% in the Pop Vote... Pop Vote doesn't always translate to Electoral Vote.



@Uri, sorry that was 1996 not 1992

(Although in 1992 Clinton won by 202 EVs and only 6% Pop vote)



Not that NH would have been that much a gain for McCain could he have flipped it, but with PA galvanizing for Obama, I am curious where McCain plays offense now?

It seems like Michigan is all McCain has left. So how does McCain strategically spend money? Would it be better for him to just try to hold 2004 Bush states?

I don't know how much value these polls have in predicting the outcome in November, but I suspect that they set the strategy. I am very curious to see how much money McCain and Obama raise this month.



So ARG polls were not relevant for Hillary, but you hang your hat on them for Obama?



@Mike: I know. But it still doesn't explain the difference. We had polls from most states in the past month, and at the time the candidates were running head to head nationally.

In almost every state poll that I've seen, Obama's been bumped by at least 5%, and yet in national polls he hasn't been bumped by more than 5-6%. That to me indicates that either the national polls are doing something really bad with sampling.

I doubt that most voters would know if they are being asked as part of a national poll or state poll.

Obama should be pulling ahead better in the nationals.



Obama is losing terribly in Southern States. And some big one's like TX, in some cases by 10-15%. That explains the difference.

Pay no attention to National polls - they tell you nothing about the actual state of the race. If Obama wins his states (Kerry/Gore map) all by 3-5% points and picks up OH. and loses all the Bush states by 10%, he will still be President. And National polls would show McCain in the lead or tied.




The biggest bumps have been in Hillary states. These were holdouts in earlier polls due to either wanting Hillary to win and therefore underpolling for Obama, and others that seriously considered the two different enough that they didn't feel compelled to support the other candidate. Now they understand mostly that the issues aren't that much different between Obama and Hillary. It's a natural progression.

fivethirtyeight.com did a posting today about the bounces showing the trend (prior to today's polls). The average bounce was 5.4%, with the biggest gains in states like Arkansas and Kentucky, and small losses in states like Oregon and Minnesota. It makes perfect sense.



While ARG did a crappy job in the primary and overstated in most cases Hillary support their Florida poll is in line with everyone else at the moment, so thay are not an outlier. As Andrew in California put it "oh my". I need to see some other NH evidence before I believe it




ARG is suspect when it's out in the numerical boonies. There's not much to say when it corroborates a Q-poll.



I don't trust any ARG numbers by themselves. But if you see a SUSA / Ras / Quin poll that is almost directly backed up by an ARG it adds a little bit of weight to it.

So I really doubt NH is right. I would say it's a very close toss-up still, maybe a 5-6 point Obama lead... but thats part of the bounce. If NH is truly 10+ for Obama now then this election is all over. NH was the one Kerry state McCain should be doing great in thanks to how it is associated with McCain and his political history and his perceived maverick ways.

Although perhaps that there is why he is dropping in NH. The one thing Obama has been doing in the past week or two is tying Bush and McCain together, showing McCain is not a maverick. That would explain the massive **** in NH, a state that loves mavericks but is otherwise democratic leaning. If McCain doesn't appear to be a maverick anymore then he will lose a lot of his independent/rep leaning dems.



I'd say many of us are skeptically Amazed at these polls. Why does McCain fair worse with white women voters? This was Obama's bane not more than 4 weeks ago. ARG has missed a few when we were talking about Hillary but so far it is only confirming the 538 methodology. New Hampshire will be interesting to see further as it hasn't been polled as much as of recent.


Kile Thomson:


numbers looking good for Obama



"ARG is suspect when it's out in the numerical boonies. There's not much to say when it corroborates a Q-poll."

This is a very dangerous, and logically inconsistent view. If ARG's METHODOLOGY is bad, then all of its polls are suspect.

Now, I will be grant that certain factors in the primaries (eg. turnout) are less of a factor in the general, so maybe they aren't way off. But even if a poll is close to all other polls taken, it does not mean it arrived at that conclusion through appropriate methodology.

That doesn't mean we throw out the poll, either. It means that it would make more sense to enlarge the margin of error mentally whenever you see it.

As for the national-state level disconnect...
Obama's bump is primarily in Clinton states - most of which were swing states (ie. the only states that get state-level polls). In Minnesota and Oregon (among the few swing states he won), Obama is actually down. So it shouldn't take a genius to figure out why he is rising (especially since he is returning to Kerry levels of support among women).

If I were John McCain, I would look to play a rope-a-dope strategy. Let Obama spend lots of money in states that are leaning Republican, while saving the majority of your money for a big splash at the end. That said I think McCain needs some kind of game-changer, be it a policy, or a VP bump or something.



"As for the national-state level disconnect...
Obama's bump is primarily in Clinton states - most of which were swing states (ie. the only states that get state-level polls). In Minnesota and Oregon (among the few swing states he won), Obama is actually down. So it shouldn't take a genius to figure out why he is rising (especially since he is returning to Kerry levels of support among women)."

I would greatly disagree. North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia, New Mexico (overwhelmingly), were not Hillary states. There is a unique aspect to Hillary exiting the race were people aren't having to engage in multiple game theories of who they want to vote for based off of reasons ranging from electability to Rush Limbaugh.

Concurrently I don't believe McCain is static and his recent air time has not been favorable to him. There is the possibility that now that the GE has started that republicans are going through their own period of "buyer's remorse." McCain is trying to make the republican tent bigger with environmentalists but they are going to Obama all the while he is continuing to alienate his base. McCain cannot pull off a Regan.



Whatever eteriangle.....McCain needs a miracle.....his chances were slim to none, and slim just left town.

Anyhoo, to those clinton supporters out there still holding out hope for a vp nod, hope no more.....

"If Sen. Obama seriously is thinking about picking Sen. Clinton as his running mate, these numbers might cause him to reconsider. The people who really matter come November - independent voters - turn thumbs down on the idea. And, many say they are less likely to vote for him if he puts her on the ticket"

That is from quinnipiac:


There goes the latest "argument"....



I really don't like ARG. They did a horrible job in the primaries. But remember that their mistake was in underestimating Obama's support. Now, if ARG had shown its numbers from Florida without any other pollster to compare, I would say forget it. But the reality is that Quinnipiac is also showing something.

Furthermore, I noticed the breakdown and saw that hispanics are kind of split. Who had this numbers among hispanics in Florida? A recent poll of hispanic voters in battleground states had kind similar numbers.
Let me show you:

Latino Decisions, a joint effort between Pacific Market Research and University of Washington political scientists Matt Barreto and Gary Segura, conducted the poll by telephone June 1-12. In Florida, where about half of Latino voters are Cuban-American, Obama has 43 percent to McCain's 42 percent. The poll's margin of error is 3.5 percent.

ARG numbers among hispanics in Florida: McCain leads Obama 50% to 41% among Hispanic voters.

As you can see, at least among hispanics ARG in Florida is not that horrible off. But again, I'd prefer to compare Qunnipiac's numbers to another respectable pollster.



Andrew In CA-
The answer to your questions on why Obama's weakness while Hillary was still running...is not an advantage to McCain is quite simple. Hillary and Obama are really not that different in terms of policies and goals. So certain groups focussed on the miniscule distinctions between them (race, gender, age, etc.). McCain is vastly different from both. Pro-choice women, and older women in particular who experienced the period when abortion (and even contraception) were outlawed in the US are not going to vote for a pro-lifer. While the desire for a woman President "in their lifetimes" was strong, they are not going to act to erase the generations of work that feminist activists had built, just to see McCain appoint two or three more Conservative Supreme Court members.



"So ARG polls were not relevant for Hillary, but you hang your hat on them for Obama? "

My initial reaction was, "Holy crap!" Then I noticed it was ARG and said, "Never mind."

ARG isn't wrong every time, however, I would need further evidence to move New Hampshire to the Safe Dem category. On the other hand, Florida should be considered a toss-up after Q. polls yesterday.


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