Articles and Analysis


POLL: Quinnipiac/WSJ/WaPost Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin

Four surveys conducted by Quinnipiac University for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, fielded June 17-24

Colorado: Obama 49 - McCain 44, n=1,351 likely voters, margin of sampling error of +/- 2.7 percent

Michigan: Obama 48 - McCain 42, n=1,411 likely voters, margin of sampling error of +/- 2.6 percent

Minnesota: Obama 54 - McCain 37, n=1,572 likely voters, margin of sampling error of +/- 2.5 percent

Wisconsin: Obama 52 - McCain 39, n=1,537 likely voters, margin of sampling error of +/- 2.5 percent

: Udall (D) 48, Schaffer (R) 38
Minnesota: Coleman (R-i) 51, Franken (D) 41



Three times the sample size of other polls. The Quinnipac Survey suggests the PPP poll in Michigan is a verified trend rather than an outlier. As well the SUSA poll showing a closing race in Minnesota seems an oddball. It seems that Obama is solidifying his leads in the Great Lakes region and that Colorado is increasingly becoming an issue for McCain.

Perhaps Coloradans resented McCain's recent remarks about the mining of oil-shale...in essence requiring open-pit strip-mining in their State?



The Colorado numbers verify Rasmussen somewhat (though Ras shows it closer -- 43-41).

Minnesota numbers seems right, and in line with other polls, SUSA definitely seems like the outlier here.

The Michigan numbers are a little tighter than the PPP poll earlier this week, but again, pretty realistic.

Quinnipiac is one of the most trusted pollsters out there. It seems as though SUSA has been producing some pretty weird results lately, and I wonder if their track record for the GE is as good as it was in the primaries. All of the "pollster ratings" were for primary performance. It's possible that SUSA hasn't quite grasped how to poll the GE.

Also, the sample sizes in these polls, as cinnamon pointed out, are huge -- meaning the results are more believable. The cross-tabs seem to match CW.

We'll see... All good news for the Dems of course (especially Minn and Wisc, in my opinion). Perhaps those upper midwest numbers are why Obama has chosen to focus his efforts more on traditionally red states...at this point he feels comfortable defending the blues without many resources.



Mike - You have it correct. Remember, the most accurate polls are usually campaign generated and not released to the public. Each candidate knows the current score and where to focus resources.

Of course - 5 months is a loooong way out. CO needs more polling, the others are not really a surprise. They have been traditional Blue states - Kerry, Gore, Carter etc..



CO has also been becoming a younger state over time electorally as it has urbanized.




True, they have been "blue" states, but to what degree? It looks like the lead and bounce are still happening or some of these pollsters are way off.....

I'd rather see continuing polls for Florida, NC, SC, VA, GA. They will be the indicator states this year.....

The Barr and Nader effect would be interesting to see in these states as well. In the end, the turnout operation of those states will play a massive role in the outcome of not only the election but congressional races. If there is a landslide for Obama, expect a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and a massive advantage in the House. And it may not change for decades (unless the Dems screw it up royally) -remember who is voting for Obama - the young. The old republicans will die off, and the young Dems will replace them....real bad news for repubs.



To echo cinnamonape's comments: I think the drilling question might cut against McCain a bit. People may be for drilling, or expanding oil exploration, but I suspect many are for doing it in OTHER states. When those other states happen to be swing states like FL and CO, that might be bad news for McCain.

I live in a coastal state and I was watching an interview with a legislator who supports McCain, I believe she was from Tennessee. She talked about drilling off the coast of my state and I thought "who the heck is she to push for drilling off my coast?" I know this is anecdotal, but I suspect there are similar reactions among the electorate in other states.

Oil-shale excavation is really, really dirty. I would not be surprised if large margins of CO voters reject this idea should McCain push it.



Another bogus gimmick from McCain.

I believe they can't find a single economist that will support this idea - just like the gas tax holiday garbage.

I think that studies found that offshore drilling will lower gas prices by about 8 cents a gallon. Yup, you read that right. And that's a best-case scenario. So, let's see, endanger and ruin our natural wildlife and resources so the oil companies can make more money. Win win for the repubs! I can't wait for the ads showing black beaches in Oregon and Florida to hit the airwaves....that should help McCain out quite a bit. Way to go McSame....keep on keepin on, guy. As Bush would say, "You're doing a heckuva job!"



Oh, well. Poor McSame! and Poor Pawlenty!! He was dreaming of becoming vice-president(and I really hope he does). This poor guy is not going to deliver Minnesota or its sorroundings, and he is not going to help McCain and those big industrial states, like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where Obama is not as strong. Putting Pawlenty on the ticket is like a Republican putting a New Yorker on the ticket with the intention of turning New York red. Let's keep on going guys!!



One way that I like to verify a pollster's slant is to use the Pollster.com graph of presidential approval. For instance the Fox/Opinion Dynamics poll is generally skewed favorably to Republicans, while Newsweek is generally skewed against Republicans (though not necessarily for Democrats based on that data). Quinnipiac seems to be pretty much on the average.


I also look for confirmation of other data. For instance one of the biggest surprises in these polls was the Minnesota lead, giving Obama a 17 point margin. On the other hand, the Coleman vs. Franken race has Coleman ahead by 10 points, which is consistent to even more slightly favorable for Coleman than other polls. I don't see that the two things would be skewed differently, so I expect that Obama has a lead that is insurmountable in Minnesota (for the moment).



"I think that studies found that offshore drilling will lower gas prices by about 8 cents a gallon."

What the media doesn't report is that if the oil is drilled by a US company instead of OPEC, the profits from the drilling would be taxed by the Federal government. Additionally, any reduction in imports reduce our current account deficit, which is a much greater problem to our standard of living than the federal deficit.



I don't trust anyone that can claim something as exact with offshore drilling as an 8 cent change. I might agree with their position, but I don't trust that any data can accurate forecast the future economically in this way.

The reason why off-shore drilling won't have an effect is because there is no actual shortage of oil. They used to claim it was refining capacity that was the issue, but no one really wants to build new refineries because it would tap into their margins if they created excess capacity. That has long been the case.

In the late 1990's Oil hit somewhere around $8 a barrel. I heard it said back then that it would have to break $25 before it would be worth while to drill new wells in this country. The reason is that it is much cheaper to exploit fields in other countries with lower paid work forces and friendlier environmental laws than it is to produce it domestically. I'm sure that the same holds true today. Exxon-Mobile owns/leases fields all over the world. They aren't going to move to drill in the US just to support the US when financially they have more profitable ventures elsewhere.

Another clear fact that helps to fly in the face of this transparent wedge issue is the fact that Bush claims that it could yeild 1 to 2 million barrels a day. Currently we export over 1 million barrels a day. So if we just simply banned exporting oil, it would be a wash and the effect would be immediate. No one is going to do this because it will in reality only change the number on paper and not the numbers at the pump.

Another point. 1 million barrels of oil per day is the equivalent of increasing average gas mileage by about 2 miles per gallon.

Yet another point. Due to the increase in gas prices, consumers have already caused a decrease in oil consumption of 500,000 barrels per day over last year's levels.

Offshore drilling could become the gay marriage of 2008. It's a false issue with no immediate impact to individuals. Once it gets argued a bit more, the polls will change and more will recognize that this is merely a gimmick and not a solution, just like tax cuts, oil tax holidays, etc,. You will be hard pressed to find economists that would suggest that this will be worthwhile to do.


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