Public Policy Polling (D)
Obama 45, Clinton 43
The initial reaction to this poll is that it's a major outlier.
Upon closer inspection, crosstabs show Obama winning the black vote 75-17, which obviously underestimates his advantage there, and losing the white vote 49-38, with 13 undecided. The close white vote is a little suspect, but its possible that several events in recent weeks have convinced voters to go with Obama. If the 13% undecided split similarly Obama-Clinton, that would put the final white margin at 57-43 which is not all that unbelievable actually.
So, while I still think this poll is probably a little overzealous estimating Obama's support, it's not completely outlandish, and Clinton should be very very nervous looking at the trends from the 4 polls this week.
Posted on April 2, 2008 10:59 AM
I agree, high undecideds but I think this at least shows a trend that Obama's blue collar interactions like his bowling PR stunt are reaching voters in making him likable. I'm sure most of those undecideds would go for Clinton rather than in favor of Obama if they were forced to vote today. Then again PPP hasn't had any particularly weird polls in the past.
Posted on April 2, 2008 12:11 PM
We're 3 weeks out ... I'm not putting any "heavy" stock into the polls until about 1 week out. It is interesting to watch the numbers come in and if trends are emerging.
Posted on April 2, 2008 1:16 PM
As much as I want to believe this poll, I agree that it is an outlier. I would say SUSA and rass are better indicative of the actual PA race. This PPP poll is just way off.
Anyway, it is almost as if the Clinton camp put this out to lower expectations, so when she wins by 5-10%, they can say, "Oh what an upset, blah blah, I'm the comeback kid, I'm Rocky, blah, blah blah, bs bs bs....."
Anyway, as I posted earlier, Kos just backed up my main reason Clinton should leave the race:
Posted on April 2, 2008 3:29 PM
While it's probably good to be skeptical of this poll, note that Obama's 45% is right at the edge of the normal variation to be expected from someone averaging 41/42 in other polls. So, like the Rasmussen and SUSA polls yesterday, the real difference is in Clinton's numbers, four ticks below yesterday's Rasmussen and 10 below SUSA.
One variable to consider is that PPP does not appear to push for leaners at all (see their text). Their "if the primary was held today" question gets asked at the top of the poll and there is no follow-up. So, as someone here suggested yesterday, maybe what's missing here is Clinton's "soft" support, drifting over to the undecided column among respondents who weren't comfortable taking a position without a little nudge.
Posted on April 2, 2008 4:28 PM
I absolutely agree, and the crosstabs support this, somewhat. Obama's support in the polls this week seems to have bumped up from the high 30s two weeks ago, to the low-mid 40s this week. If a similar trend continues up to the primary, the final vote split may end up being very close to that "leaked spreadsheet" 53-47 Clinton.
A 6-point Clinton win may actually translate to a NET ZERO gain in delegates (someone at DailyKos and MyDD has posted about this, breaking down each CD), meaning there really is no way for Hillary to catch up in the delegate race. A 6% win would also only be about +150,000 in the pop vote total, cutting Obama's lead there down to 680,000 (from 827,000 with the caucus estimates).
Either way, the whole thing looks bleak for Clinton, and the real criminal here is the media who keeps pushing this "tie" "horse race" thing for ratings. Shame.
Posted on April 2, 2008 4:41 PM
Jeff, I think you are right on. When people switch from one candidate to another, it's a two-step process of first going to undecided and then to the other candidate. With all these different methodologies, we can't really see that movement as clearly as we'd like. Yes, if you force people as hard as you can you get a better "If the election were held tomorrow" kind of polls, but this one is still 3 weeks out.
This is the poll we want to use as a base - assuming they give us some more data with time and we either accept this new Obama lead or have better data. Then we can watch people move around and see where it's really going from one news cycle to the other.
Posted on April 2, 2008 4:43 PM
Jeff wrote: "maybe what's missing here is Clinton's "soft" support, drifting over to the undecided column among respondents who weren't comfortable taking a position without a little nudge."
That makes a lot of sense. And of course I like Erik's explanation that this could be a manifestation of how, "When people switch from one candidate to another, it's a two-step process of first going to undecided and then to the other candidate."
But I can't help wonder whether this wouldn't also be the classic way the Bradley effect would manifest itself. The examples that the theory of the Bradley effect was based on, IIRC, didn't involve polls overestimating the black candidate's support; they all involved polls *under*estimating the white candidate's support, much of which was "hidden" in the category of undecideds.
Posted on April 2, 2008 7:47 PM
I think you make a valid point, but I would counter with a few points:
1. There hasn't been a noticeable "Bradley" effect in any previous primaries this season. In fact, most polls have UNDER-estimated Obama's support in the run-up (Of course CA is the exception). I.e. Wisconsin, Maine, etc.
2. I think that a Bradley effect would be less pronounced among DEMOCRATS than among the population as a whole. Therefore, I don't think a Bradley effect has really manifested in the primaries, but I think you may be on to something in the general. We'll see if it plays out.
Posted on April 2, 2008 11:58 PM
The Rassmussen Rolling polls of the last few days show a similar quite strong trend for Obama. Thus the PPP doesn't seem to be an anomaly. I think this is showing some serious erosion of Clinton's support in Pennsylvania. If so her run for the nomination could be stopped sooner than expected. Obama merely needs to make a decent showing in Pennsylvania for the Superdelegates to justify a shift to Obama.
To win enough Superdelegates to make a strong case that she is the "Rocky" of 2008 she'd need to get about 60% and a ton of delegates...then turn around the situation in North Carolina with that momentum. But that doesn't seem to be happening.
Posted on April 3, 2008 1:08 AM
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