Public Policy Polling (D)
Obama 45, Clinton 42
I have a feeling that this Penn. race is going to generate quite a bit of academic scrutiny among professional pollsters and political scientists.
The range of polling results is just getting comical, IMHO. (Not as in the cynical, "all this polling is a joke!", but as in the genuinely humorous, "These polling results actually provide amusement and mirth in my daily life! Yay!")
Posted on April 16, 2008 10:29 AM
You are somewhat correct in that the polls are showing a large spread, but one thing that they are all consistent on is Obama's "support" which hovers in and around 40 in all these polls.
It's Clinton's support that appears volatile, ranging from mid 40s to high 50s. What Obama needs to do is find a way to convince some of Clinton's soft support to come over to his side by next Tuesday. It will be interesting to see the approach.
Posted on April 16, 2008 10:38 AM
ARG and PPP are not reliable pollsters. Same with Zogby (which just released another one).
Posted on April 16, 2008 10:53 AM
I see Clinton beating Obama with just over 50% of the vote.
Posted on April 16, 2008 10:55 AM
The polls waiver daily but Obama could be surging. Being in the moment is well and good, and unfortunately the way we often can fool ourselves. based on two weeks of posting here and the ridiculous shouting down of anyone who does not support obama, i invite you to read why some do not feel the same tingle you do.
anyone is a their candidate included, who harass and ignominiously run from ideas by taking down people in rude posts. That Mark's site has been co-opted by Obama for president's official campaign is indeed unfortunate mostly for Mark because for the first time in our political history we have a rich precedent for the demise of the two party system which your paranoia and shouting has buried under.
the polls tell it all and very well at that. this is perhaps the most incisive takeaway of all the data. Not the presidential race but the
last gasp of a two party system.
What your frightened decibels have disguised is the closest three way race on the books. This is proven by the mere existence of this site, doting as it does on the minutiae of day to day variations of an evenly split three way race. one that exacerbates most who post here, but one that i believe history will cite as the moment of true change, where no single candidate other than obama perhaps, can be pegged as either one or other party through and through. And it's a welcome change to the de rigeur bi-partisanship of yesteryear.
"In the face of politics...we believe we can be one people.. Change..something we can believe in." You have driven in flocks to this kind of promise and brow beaten others who don't trust it. Maybe there is a reason. Maybe you should take a listen, that's all. Don't be frightened,
perspective can't make you infertile.
History is always ripe for the appearance of the 'deliverer', right? Jesus came along to deliver the harassed Jews from Roman rule. The Taliban ducked in there to sweep up power in the wake of a long and destructive war. So why wouldn't an idealistic man who sees the demise of the middle class, loss of jobs, depression, recession, inflated prices, a war weary nation led by incompetence and greed?
Are we together so far? So yes, this would be the time for some one with vision to step in and lead. But what do you expect this kind of visionary leader to do when he gets the keys to the mansion? How does he remove the wedge between the aisles?
If his record has been more consistently to the left than of any other candidate how does he embrace change if he doesn't capitulate himself to the opposition for the sake of progress or become as dictatorial as his predecessor? Either he lies about the promises he makes now, or he digs in his heels and tries to deliver consistent with his previous record. Just like Bush.
But let's go back to this idealistic man, the one who makes women cry, whom the youth follow in droves. He seems to have the charisma and the ability to raise you above your immediate moment by promising that you can partner with him in change and you believe it to such an extent that you kick down the doors of other non believers. You harass, you threaten, you brow beat and chase anyone who disagrees or distrusts away. At least acknowledge that.
I ask you honestly, why? What exactly is it that 'something' about this man who many feel is a cold man, a trickster, a calculating egotist, that you on the other hand would destroy for.
Please explain in language that does not repel why one can be more willing to destroy democracy, due process, free speech and the best three way race in history. It might possibly be the happy end of the two party system, wouldn't that be nice?
Really, what is it about Hitler that makes you swoon?
Posted on April 16, 2008 10:56 AM
I dont know what the population density of Penn. is but it seems like 46% of the poll was taken from the Philidephia region, which seems a bit high to me and may be the reason why Obama is leading.
With the Pittsburgh Post Gazette endorsement of Obama, I expect a little bit of a change in that region to help him.
Looks like it is going to be a very close race, much closer than Hillary presumed I think.
Posted on April 16, 2008 11:01 AM
Pennsylvania is very tough to judge, especially due to the demographics of more women and elderly people in the state. However, there is a clear trend that Clinton's negativity does not set well with people, especially after losing most of her credibility on the Bosnia story.
Posted on April 16, 2008 11:02 AM
That Mark's site has been co-opted by Obama for president's official campaign is indeed unfortunate mostly for Mark because for the first time in our political history we have a rich precedent for the demise of the two party system which your paranoia and shouting has buried under.
Posted on April 16, 2008 11:06 AM
Either PPP or SurveyUSA is doing something wrong.
Posted on April 16, 2008 11:11 AM
Duverger's law, look it up.
Posted on April 16, 2008 11:14 AM
Good comment by Mike - I think we ought to pay more attention to volatility, especially since we are so close in.
When I look at the chart, especially for the last two weeks, all the dots kind of remind me of a shotgun pattern, and Obama's dots do look like he is using a tighter choke than Hillary.
Although there is some intended humor in this observation, I think it does bear out what Mike is referring to. HRC's campaign has not been as focussed, and she has been taking some chancey shots and faced with more distractions - as may be evidenced here.
In response to one of the more rambling (and more partisan) comments above, I would suggest we all moderate our tone even though we obviously have our favorites. Also, as I have learned, lengthy comments may satisfy the writer, but they rarely get read in their entirety by others.
Otherwise, this is one of the most intelligent forums online - let's keep it that way.
Posted on April 16, 2008 11:19 AM
Let's keep it to the polls, k?
but if you are going to post something that sounds like it was written after reading Revelations, let's do it just once.
PA has me utterly confused.
One thing is clear; the "bitter" (manufactured) controversy means little, if anything.
With a great debate performance tonight (Clinton goes on attack, Obama swats away without getting upset) Obama COULD win this thing.
That said, the demos and history of leaners in the past (NH, OH) make me think it's still unlikely.
But for once, expectations are set in Obama's favor. A close finish will be a mighty big nail in the Clinton coffin.
Posted on April 16, 2008 11:42 AM
Wow, nice nonsensical rant there! Didn't make much of any kind of sense though- except for the part about Hillary *possibly* being a pseudo-Republican. Otherwise you ramble about the demise of the two party system by saying Obama is inhibiting this in some way? Huh? The demise of the two-party system will be brought about if the superdelegates overrule the will of the people and annoint Queen Hillary the nominee. Then Obama should leave the party and announce his candidacy for president from a new party along with Chuch Hagel from Nebraska as VP. There you go - the demise of the two party system. That is the only way in which this system is going away any time soon.
By the way, you really do sound like a Clinton hack, comparing Obama to Hitler. Really, Hitler?? I like how Clintonistas never back up any of their claims with actual facts or data. Like the 'elitist' charge. Yup, a guy growing up in a poor single family home on food stamps is an 'elitist'. A guy who needed scholarships and loans to go to school is an elitist. I guy who just recently paid off his student loans is an elitist. And all this from $100 Mill Hill. It's like Bill Gates calling a guy who makes 50K a year, rich.
Your childish, yet haughty attacks on Obama supporters is what reeks of elitism.
Why all the anger? Because they don't support "established" candidates that have steered the country into the mess we are in now? Hmmm, what are the other choices:
A war-monger who said he doesn't understand the economy
A compulsive liar married to another compulsive liar
Wonderful choices! Bravo lsmakc!
I used to think from your past rants that you were an alcoholic, but from your most recent posts it is obvious that you are a hard-core drug user. I
must ask in earnest though, what are you smoking and where can I get some of it??
Posted on April 16, 2008 11:45 AM
Whereas 13% of the population remain undecided many polls have found that population to lean somewhat heavily towards Hillary. This poll makes sense given the number of undecided voters that will probably vote for her.
Posted on April 16, 2008 11:52 AM
This it must be the first time in history that a mathematical exercise has been subject to cheerleading. I've always liked mathematics for its theorems and preciseness, not because I was cheerleading for a result. I would be more inclined to trust the results of the organization that has been consistently correct. This should not be difficult to divine. I wonder if anyone is interested?
Posted on April 16, 2008 12:14 PM
RLF: Great post. The most consistently correct organization this year has been SurveyUSA, which has Clinton up by 14. It has rarely been off by more than 2-3 points. In particular, it has nailed OH, NY and NJ, the states surrounding PA.
That SurveyUSA is higher than all but ARG does concern me. But it seemed to be an "outlier" in MA & CA and got those right.
Posted on April 16, 2008 12:44 PM
Good post, except for the last part - let's not sink to personal attacks, please.
I like Senator Obama's approach - he argues back with calm reason and good humor.
Posted on April 16, 2008 1:04 PM
Knute's comment above implies something that I think has been evident throughout the campaign.
"...HRC's campaign has not been as focussed, and she has been taking some chancey shots and faced with more distractions - as may be evidenced here..."
Apart from many other strategic errors (e.g. ignoring caucus states), it has struck me for some time that the Clinton campaign's reliance on Mark Penn's "Microtrends" strategy has highlighted her weakness as a candidate and reinforced the perception that she "panders" to specific constituencies in contrast to Obama's more comprehensive unified strategy.
One can argue, of course, that Obama's strategy had/has risks.(All strategies do.) But the lack of "focus" in Clinton's campaign I think has resulted directly from the shotgun (open choke) nature of her campaign. And has her campaign has become less "strategic" and by necessity more "tactical," that lack of focus is even more evident and destructive.
Posted on April 16, 2008 1:22 PM
Comparing PPP and SUSA:
Both have southeast PA (Philly) at 46% of the electorate, but PPP gives Senator Obama a 20% margin while SUSA gives him a 4% margin.
PPP says southwest PA (Pittsburgh) is 26%, Senator Clinton up 52-37. SUSA says 23%, with Senator Clinton up 61-29.
I am inclined to believe PPP on these numbers, but that's just a gut feeling. I could be wrong.
But I think PPP is wrong with the 65+ age category. SUSA says Clinton almost 2:1; PPP says 1:1!! Going by recent history, SUSA may be correct. If so, the PPP score would read Clinton +3.
Then again, maybe the 65+ age group recognizes Senator Obama is speaking the truth about bitterness... and is swinging his way! [I can wish, can't I?!]
Posted on April 16, 2008 1:26 PM
WOW, I should have read more comments before I signed up for these boards. I thought there would be a little more rational and factual discussion. The Hillary and Obama haters seem to rule here to. I guess i'll just have to scan the polls and leave. Have fun.
Posted on April 16, 2008 1:37 PM
SAm L - SUSA was way off in the South, as I recall. As was ARG.
In several of the States you mention the other polls were more accurate to the final result than SUSA. SUSA seemed to move more slowly toward the final polling margins and the other polls overshot them. It could mean that the other polls are accurate NOW, but in the closing days they may again overpredict a trend, and SUSA will suddenly begin to move to where those other polls were. Look at the SUSA polls two and three weeks out in many of those states.
It seems to be related to their methodological differences. Both SUSA and ARG have fewer "Undecideds", while the other polls are more "volatile" simply because they have more people shifting from the undecided pool.
Posted on April 16, 2008 1:42 PM
Question about the disparity in PA polls - there is a suggested trend that polls with small (10%) undecideds tend to be tighter. For example, the PPP poll today shows Obama 45, Clinton 42 (presumably undecideds about 13%?). Is there anything to this?
Posted on April 16, 2008 4:17 PM
My first post got mangled!
I was trying to say that polls with smaller undecided vote (less than 5%) seem to show larger lead for Hillary, whereas polls with larger undecided vote (greater than 10%) seem to be tighter. For example, today's PPD poll shows Obama ahead 45 to 42 (but the other 13% are presumbaly undecided). Does this suggest undecideds tend to lean to Hillary?
Posted on April 16, 2008 4:20 PM
Both Ismakc and the_real_truth have posted offensive comments above.
After receiving several emails about this exchange, I decided to review their comments over the last few weeks. Both have been hurling insults, if not at each other, then at supporters of both Obama and Clinton. As such, both are now banned.
After initially thinking I could prune the bothersome portions of their remarks, I've left the comments in place if only as an example of what might get others banned in the future.
Posted on April 16, 2008 4:27 PM
Thanks for doing that, Mark. It had been getting tremendously abusive lately and really was making it unpleasant for the rest of us.
Posted on April 16, 2008 4:39 PM
Thanks, Mark. I try to stop by here several times each day and value both the site's commentary and that of other readers. And while I recognize the tendency of everyone to interpret results according to their own biases, I don't come here to with an expectation of having to wade through insulting remarks directed at other posters or the candidates.
Posted on April 16, 2008 6:11 PM
It is unfortunate that you have to (presumably manually) police the site. The TypeKey system seems to have reduced such incidents.
Thanks for all your efforts!
Posted on April 16, 2008 6:30 PM
The left-brain part of me obsesses over the poll numbers but the right-brain wakes up on occasion and says, "Huh? How can high-profile, national, theoretically professional, polling organizations be so divergent?"
I understand that their methods vary quite a bit but I'd think professional pollsters' methods would be pretty mature by now. Guess not. Thus people ranting about good/bad polls. Perhaps Mark can stop reporting the "bad" polls... assuming any of these are truly "bad."
In the world of confusing input we're left with intuition. "Interesting," sez my left brain.
Posted on April 16, 2008 7:10 PM
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