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POLL: Gallup and Newsweek National, SurveyUSA Statewides


Gallup Daily Tracking

National
Clinton 48, Obama 43... McCain 53, Huckabee 21


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Newsweek
(story, results; press release)

National
Obama 42, Clinton 41... McCain 51, Huckabee 32

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SurveyUSA

Maryland
Obama 52, Clinton 33... McCain 56, Huckabee 17

Washington State
Obama 50, Clinton 45... McCain 54, Huckabee 25

 

Comments
RS:

The Washington State numbers (50-45) are for registered voters.
39% say they will caucus, among these Obama leads 63-33.
We will find out soon enough what happened!

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Rasmus:

Is there any reason why they sampled men with 55% in the republican poll and with 45% in the democratic poll (Washington State)

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rowjimmy:

"39% say they will caucus, among these Obama leads 63-33"

More evidence that the caucus system is complete insanity. A small group of political activists showing up to badger voters in an all day event. And the caucus results are not even binding! Read here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/09/us/politics/09delegates.html?_r=2&ref=politics&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

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fourth:

Rasmus: Yes, the reason is simply that women skew dem more so than men, and this is reflected in each parties' turnout.

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RS:

[political director of the Iowa Democratic Party] "Mr. Sterzenbach said that in previous elections, a nominee had usually emerged by the time the party held its county conventions, and that most convention delegates simply gravitated to that person regardless of the outcome of the earlier caucuses."

So, depending on how things stand, the caucus state delegates could go either way ;-) That's why they may appear non-binding, but they should be. Example, WA has caucuses today, but a primary later in Feb - but the WA Democratic party is clear that the primary is non-binding.

But importantly, if the caucus state delegates don't follow the wishes of the voters (e.g. in Colorado Obama won the popular vote 67-32), wouldn't that be sheer injustice?

By the way, caucuses are NOT an all-day event, unlike what certain people may want you to believe - they typically take only ~2 hours.

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Andrew:

I agree with rowjimmy that the caucus system is anti-Democratic.
By the way, the number of those who said they would attend the caucus is 33%, not 39% as stated by Eric Dientsfrey, according to this link:

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReportPopup.aspx?g=4f7f4146-bce7-43fc-9ca8-ad7bd6f68a86&q=45618

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Nick:

I have to disagree with some of the previous comments. Having grown up in a caucus state, I see them as democracy in action, an open exchange of ideas that reflects the conversations that America is having with itself.

Anyway, what I wanted to ask was if anybody knew why Washington state is having both caucuses and primaries.

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Andrew:

Here's an interesting poll by Pew Center:

31% of Democrats (and leaners) believe the Press has been too tough on Hillary Clinton.
8% think the same about Obama.

53% believe the Press has been fair to Clinton
71% believe the same about Obama.

http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=393

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RS:

@Andrew:
Eric D. did not post the "caucus-goers" number, I did.
I got the 39% number from the SurveyUSA results (following the link posted by Eric D.), looking at the cross-tab for Question #2. This is restricted to Democrats. Sorry, I should have made that clear (but the Obama lead should have made that clear!)
The 33% number applies to all voters; given the almost-inevitability of McCain as the nominee (barring any miracles!), Republicans are probably not interested in caucusing as much as Democrats.
Looks like the "caucus-goer" number got the results right.

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Perry:

The Washington State poll wasn't even close. Huckabee swept all three of today's contests. It makes me wonder about that Gallup Daily Tracking poll at the top of the page. Who dreamed up those numbers?

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Dave:

How come I never heard anyone complaining about caucuses until Senator Clinton started losing them?

Also -- 33% turnout for a primary is pretty darn good, no matter what the mechanism.

And Jimmy -- want to talk about party activists run amok? How about those superdelegates, eh?

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Andrew S:

Hillary sure liked those Nevada Caucuses so much that she touted that for about a week. Now she loses them and downplays them just like she downplayed how Iowa was too white, South Carolina too black, ect. Are they undemocratic? Who cares they are the rules the democratic party bought into.

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Nick:

Well, said, Dave. For full disclosure, I am an Obama backer, but the irony of this campaign is that in the onset of this race, the Clinton camp supported this front-loaded, caucus-heavy schedule because they thought their fundraising and organizational advantages would vault them to a quick victory. Nobody expected a candidate to come along that would out-fundraise and out-organize the Clinton machine.

Will be interesting to see the primary numbers coming in during the next couple of days.

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kick:

I have to disagree with some of the previous comments. Having grown up in a caucus state, I see them as democracy in action, an open exchange of ideas that reflects the conversations that America is having with itself. Oh, cut the bull****, Nick. You're happy because it's the only way your boy seems to ever win.

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Nick:

First of all, kick, if you ever get a chance to attend a caucus, I don't think you'd be so cynical.

Second, yes, I am happy my boy is winning these prairie state caucuses. We'll just have to see how impressive Clinton is in the upcoming PRIMARIES in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. Even though they're East Coast states, I bet Obama wins.

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RS:

@Perry:
The WA state numbers were pretty good for caucus-going Democrats.
@Nick:
Unfortunately, the MD, VA and DC primaries will be classified as "Black" elections - e.g. the poll above shows an African-American vote share of 39%, and the SurveyUSA Virginia poll shows a Black vote share of 29%.
Senator Obama has won primaries in UT, MO, CT and DE, and might win or at least come close in NM... All primaries without (I am pretty sure) significant Black populations.

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strricha12:

RS, what is the percentage of the black population in MD, VA, and DC? Do Dems win the GE in the rocky mountain states?

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Adam:

In the general election, CO and NM are both in play.

There's the additional issue of turnout. The Dems' primaries in the red states have been drawing up to twice as many voters/caucus goers than that of the Republicans'. Now it's not necessarily true that this will be replicated in the general election, but should the excitement for the respective candidates stand, there will be many unexpected victories for whomever the Dem candidate is, especially if it's Obama.

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RS:

@strricha: MD and DC were won by John Kerry in 2004. Otherwise, you are just repeating what I said earlier - that Senator Obama's possible victory in the Potomac primaries will be attributed to the Black candidate.

To add to what Adam said, heck, even Virginia might be in play. Governor Tim Kaine (D) backs Senator Obama; Senator Jim Webb is Dem; ex-Governor Mark Warner (D) left office with 80% approval ratings and is running for the Senate this year.
Maybe add Governor Kathleen Sibelius as Senator Obama's running mate, and even Kansas might be in play!

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rowjimmy:

33% of the party's eligible voters did not turn out.

I grew up in a caucus state myself, CO. It's ridiculous. Someone said, "it's only 2 hours." It always took 2-3 hours in CO. It took me 2 minutes to cast a vote (not for who you think) in California this year. I mailed it in. And done.

2 hours to cast a vote is absurd.

If you actually think that 70% of Washingtonians prefer Obama, you should read SUSA's poll more carefully. That was the caucus preference. The Democratic preference was Obama 50-45. The truth is that a small number caucus, and it is usually party activists. I am not in favor of superdelegates either, so don't put words in my mouth.

I am for one person, one vote in a primary system with absentee ballots available. Could one cast an absentee ballot for their candidate in today's WA caucus?

If not, then it's complete BS.

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Keith Brekhus:

The funny thing is it is now the Clinton campaign that is complaining that the Caucuses favor activists and party insiders. Could it be that Obama's merry band of neo-idealists have outorganized the institutionally embedded candidacy of the Clintons? Ah, the irony.

Isn't the conventional wisdom that caucuses favor the most civically active like white people and seniors, and yet somehow the youngsters and the African-Americans are finding time to caucus between classes and thier two jobs, but the retired people can't find the time?

Interesting.

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cokie_roberts_bender_id:

"Isn't the conventional wisdom that caucuses favor the most civically active like white people and seniors"

No, that's not the conventional wisdom. Where did you get that? For many, voting is a private matter, especially seniors. They don't want to have to get into a room with party activists and justify their vote or face ridicule.

Keith, you favor caucuses because they are how your candidate gets delegates. He's lost every major state, including the biggest ones in the nation. If he loses OH, TX, and PA, Cliton can say she won 8 of the 9 largest states in the country. So far, she's won the 5 biggest.

Yet, when a group of 500 North Dakotans get together, Obama wins.

I think I care more about what the 10 largest states think, in full primaries, than what KS and ND think in small caucuses.

Democracy demands privacy for one's vote, not sharing it with everyone. Do you not see how some might not want to share their vote with their entire neighborhood?

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the general:

Who cares Cokehead? McCain is going to take down either pansy Defeatocrat!

Democrats cut and run.

Republicans fight and win!!!!!

Keep slugging it out Dumbo-crats! It's like watching two homeless people fight for a bag of aluminum cans! LOL

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michael:

You think that caucus turnout gets even close to winning in Virginia or Kansas? Now, keep in mind the following:
1. The primary was already locked up in 2004, so of course voter turnout was low (I know voter turnout is higher this time round, but it is being overstated in some cases because the 2004 race was mostly over by New Hampshire.

2. Virginia was lost by 300,000 votes, Kansas by similar numbers. No way is turnout (and Kansas is a caucus) indicative that this has changed.

3. Primary voters are not reflective of general election voters. They are much more ideologically driven - most primary voters voted for Kerry last time, but have been driven to vote by anger with Bush, and interest in the first black or woman president. More activists does not mean more support either within the broader party, or the country, which is why caucuses are a ridiculous way to select leaders (that does, by the way, disenfranchise minorities, and disorganized interests).

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Mike:

If someone truly supports a candidate, I would expect him to be eager to let the whole world know about it. Why would he be ashamed about his candidate?

I agree that primaries are more fair, and I would prefer that all states used primaries. Nevertheless, Keith is making a valid point. The Clintons never complained about caucuses before; in fact, they expected caucuses to favor them.

You accused Keith of favoring caucuses "because they are how your candidate gets delegates." Well, I accuse Hillary of favoring primaries because that is how she gets delegates.

I would argue that having superdelegates decide an election is far more unfair than having caucuses, yet it's funny you don't hear Hillary or her supporters complaining about that.

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The General:

"that does, by the way, disenfranchise minorities, and disorganized interests"

Who cares?

Republicans don't cut and run like Defeatocrats!!

Wait until McCain gets ahold of Dumbo ears over his statement that he'll negotiate with enemies and terrorists without preconditions. Talk about going back to the Clinton years! Barack Hussein Obama is a vote right back to 1992 and the terrorist spawning Clinton admin.

Bring on the chosen dove for the slaughter!

LMAO!

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The General:

"The Clintons never complained about caucuses before; in fact, they expected caucuses to favor them."

When have the Clintons ever been right, about anything?

Same as it ever was.

McCain 08!!!!!!!

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Mike:

The General, I regret to inform you that your childish comments will not convince anyone over the age of 5 to support McCain.

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Nick:

"They don't want to have to get into a room with party activists and justify their vote or face ridicule."

This is just ill-informed. Every caucus I've ever voted in has been by secret ballot.

And General, maybe you should worry about getting your party's "nominee" more than 30 percent in a primary or caucus instead of bashing the Dems. It's this kind of partisan divisiveness that's led to eight terrible years, and voters are gonna get sick of it come November.

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krassen:

I find the NYT article and delegate tallies to be disingenuous. They say caucus delegates can change their minds and that's why they are not included. However, in a contested primary this is highly unlikely.
On the other hand they put supedelegates in their tally, only based on a survey, while it is well known that the "supers" can INDEED change their minds. Besides, isn't it a bit suspicious that NYT's survey of supers gives HRC the highest percentage among any other survey?

We know that NYT endorsed HRC, however, they need to be a bit more impartial when reporting the delegate math.

Cheers

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RS:

@krassen:
Good point about counting superdelegates and not counting caucus delegates!
@michael:
For, Virginia, I listed the state-wide offices - Governor and possibly both Senators - that are being held by Democrats - that shows things could change. The VP choice who could swing Kansas, Governor Sibelius, won re-election with 57% of the vote. That win was definitely not in a caucus.

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Perry:

I still can't get over that Washington State poll showing McCain with 54% support. What was the margin of error,100% ?

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RS:

@Perry:
Maybe the McCain supporters figured he's going to waltz away with the nomination, so why spend 2 hours on a Saturday on this non-event...

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richard pollara:

There has been much made of the national polls showing Obama doing better than Clinton in a head to head match-up with John McCain. But looking at the electoral college results of the last two elections, I have a hard time seeing how Obama gets to 270. Assuming that he holds all of the Kerry states (a big assumption) where does he break through? Certainly not in the south or farm belt where many of his primary victories have come. In order for him to get a majority of the electoral college he must break through in several of these states (or just Ohio), Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, Colorado or West Virginia. I believe his failure to attract white blue collar voters or Hispanics make winning in those states difficult(especially Nevada and Colorado). His best chance seems to be Ohio but if his numbers on March 4, mirror what has happened so far, I think an Obama nomination will end up in another painful and disappointing election for Democrats.

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Steve:

ALL pledged delegates can change their minds, not just caucus delegates. The NYT is clearly biased.

And btw, if this goes to the convention, whoever has the most *pledged* delegates better get the nomination. If the superdelegates overturn the will of the people, you can kiss Democracy and the democratic party goodbye.

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Adam:

Richard Pollara --

Presuming turnout is similar to 2004, Obama will take states like Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado. He also will make the South a lot more competitive.

That being said, if the primaries are any indication, the Republican party isn't too happy with their candidate, and thus will likely turnout in much smaller numbers, making MANY MANY states in play. The best thing for the Republicans is a Hillary Clinton nomination; nothing will drive those turnout numbers up like the chance to vote against Hillary...

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richard pollara:

Adam: You are right that I missed Iowa as a toss-up state and Obama may out preform Kerry there. However, I think he will have a very tough time in competitive states with high Latino populations. In 2004 John Kerry won 56% of the Latino vote in New Mexico against George Bush. I can't see Mr. Obama getting to that level against John McCain. But I do believe Mrs. Clinton would do substantially better in those states, amongst Latinos, than Kerry. I am also curious about which Southern states you think will be close? Georgia? Alabama? South Carolina? Louisiana? Mississippi? Not likely. In addition, an Obama nomination takes Florida off the list of undecided states. Despite all the disclaimers and spin, he lost there by a huge margin. So again, I think it gets down to Ohio. If he wins in Ohio amongst a large swath of voters, then he is truly a national candidate with wide appeal. But a loss there would indicate to me that his appeal is limited to his base and that he is unelectable in a national campaign.

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michael:

I like how Obama supporters are using his success in red states to justify his electability, while completely ignoring the opportunities his weaknesses open up.

Lets take an extreme example - California. 21% of the California electorate in 2004 was hispanic, 4% was Asian and 4% was other. In each case they broke about 66-33 for Kerry, enabling him to win the state by 10 points. Among white voters Bush won 51-47 (only 6% of California voters were black, but they went heavily for Kerry, so it would be about 50-50).

A move from 66-33 to 50-50 among those minority communities would make California as a whole a 50-50 state. McCain is liberal on immigration, and has swept the minority vote in the Republican primaries. Moreover, Bush barely campaigned in California because it wasn't part of a 270 strategy.

Here is the thing about Obama - it isn't that "he can win in red states" - it is that he can ONLY win in red states (his home state, Washington - a caucus, Delaware and Connecticut are his only blue state wins). Winning over independents is nice, but there are also core Democrats in all of those states that will not necessarily turn out for Obama, especially when he is running against a moderate like McCain.

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Krassen :

Micheal and richard polara:
If the poll results showing Obama with 7-8% lead over McCain hold up until November, he will sweep the Electoral College, this much is certain... Any scenario for a 7-8% win in the popular vote and losing an election is extremely far-fetched.

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richard pollara:

Krassen: If leads in the winter and spring held up through November we would have had Presidents, Kerry, Dukakis and Perot. In 2004, only 11 states were truly in play (the margin being 6% or less). States won by the Republicans included: Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Ohio for a total of 73 electoral votes. Democratic states were: Wisconsin, Oregon, New Hampshire, Michigan and Minnesota with a total of 46 votes. The election will be decided in these 11 states (and possibly Missouri). The question of electability is not a poll in February, but who will fare best in the toss-up states. I do not think Mr. Obama has yet shown that he can attract either Hispanic voters or Reagan Democrats. Without those two groups I don't see him making any inroads into the 2004 Republican Electoral College majority.

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M Des Lauriers:

I do find it interesting that many of you assume that Latino voters in the Southwest would vote for a Republican rather than an alternative Democrat who they may not have voted for in the primary election. People in general (and that demographic in particular) are not that stupid. Latinos in California know what Republicans (ANY REPUBLICANS) think of them and what would happen to any chance of reasonable, humane reforms of immigration policy. People are expressing their preferences, not their absolute ultimatums. You are also forgetting that where he is best known (i.e. Illinois) Obama DID carry the Latino vote. Do not for a moment think that Latinos are as thickheaded as conservative whites.

p.s. I have enjoyed all of the comments, with the exception of the "special needs" individual who goes by the laughable monicker "the General."

best

MD

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Anonymous:

Obama will do very well in Virginia, especially with the support of Gov. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner running for the Senate. Unfortunately, I see no scenario in which Hillary could take Virginia (she really energizes the other side to go to the polls).

Obama will also have a very good shot at Colorado, Missouri, and Iowa.

If Obama holds on to the Kerry states, he can win the general election just by picking up Virginia and Iowa. Even in the highly unlikely even that Obama lost a state like Michigan in the general election, Obama would still win the election by winning Iowa, Virginia, Colorado, and Missouri.

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Adam:

For a rebuttal, I agree with the last two posts. I'd especially like to point out that w.r.t. the last post, this includes neither Ohio nor Florida in Obama's win category.

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Nick:

Isn't it a little early to be playing electoral math? I mean, the two parties haven't had a substantive debate on the issues yet (or picked their VP candidates). Really, almost any state could be in play at this point.

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michael:

Nick, that is precisely why the electability argument is largely moot at this point, yet some insist on making it on Obama's behalf.

Lets be clear, 1 poll, with a margin of error of 4.5%, puts Obama 8 points ahead of McCain and another has 7. Realclearpolitics' average lead is closer to 3.3% for Obama, (versus a 1.6% lead for McCain if Clinton is the nominee).

SurveyUSA actually takes state-by-state polls (of about 500 people) of head-to-head races, that give some picture of the contest in each state.

http://www.surveyusa.com/electionpolls.aspx
(scroll down for presidential matchups)

There is an older (from January) Virginia poll (from Mid-January), but nonetheless it has McCain beating Obama be 12 points. The Missouri one has McCain ahead by 11 points. An Iowa one, from just after the Iowa caucuses does, however, have Obama winning, with no info on Colorado.

These polls also suggest some weaknesses for Obama. In California and New York, two absolute must-win states, he only leads by 6% (Clinton leads by 19 and 13 points, respectively), margin of error 4.4%.

So Obama's vaunted ability to win over independents is much overstated. His leads over McCain in meaningless polls taken 9 months before the presidential election do not translate into an electoral college victory because of where they are concentrated - all of this in spite of the usual media gushing that comes with come-from-behind wins like his.

With all of that said, I think it is foolish for Democrats to assign the "electability" factor to Obama - whose candidacy is a true roll of the dice (he is precisely the kind of candidate that tends to implode - the question will be whether his coalition collapses after the election a la Jimmy Carter or before).

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grayduck:

Taking an objective look at the electoral map, if it's an Obama/McCain match-up, are there any states (outside of the candidates' home states) where either would DEFINITIVELY get more than 55% of the vote? I was trying to think of some today. Oklahoma for McCain maybe? D.C. for Obama (if that counts as a state)? Anyway, it might make for an interesting electoral map.

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