Articles and Analysis


POLL: Rasmussen Louisiana, Massachusetts, Connecticut

Rasmussen Reports

McCain 50, Obama 41... McCain 47, Clinton 40
Sen: Landrieu 47, Kennedy 44

Obama 51, McCain 38... Clinton 60, McCain 30
Sen: Kerry > 50, Reps < 30

Obama 47, McCain 44... Clinton 48, McCain 42



I am actually surprised to see McCain doing so well in Connecticut, especially against Obama since he won there in the Democratic primary (51%-47%).

And wow, Massachusetts loves Hillary and John Kerry.



i still wish some pundit or someone at all would explain the phenomenon of clinton still besting maccain by far more than does obama despite the fait accompli of this nomination.

what are the dynamics behind this? and could this be the writing on the wall the inevitability of the story of obama making its full and rounded arc to ultimate defeat?

whatever it is, i am dying to hear the answers.



McCain possibly carrying the big C?

okay, Obama IS in trouble




Why should you be surprised at all? Primary voters are party activists who are not reflective of the general public. George McGovern won the primaries in 1972 although Ed Muskie would clearly be more popular. At the state level it should be no different.

You need to ask what the anatomy of Obama's Connecticut win was. Obama won based on three things: strength among independents, African Americans and wealthy voters.

Wealthy and black voters are over-represented in the Democratic primaries. For instance, African Americans were 9% of the primary vote and >100k voters were 40% of the electorate. Now CT is pretty damn rich, but are rarer in the general election. They were 37% in the 2004 general, while AA's were 6%. So two groups Obama does well in are a fair bit smaller in general election match-ups.

Independents, however, should be a slam dunk for Obama. I mean, if you can win independents, that is electoral gold. However, I think too much attention has been paid to independents and too little to ideology. Independents may simply be too liberal (or conservative) to consider themselves Democrats. These kinds of independents may well be strongly represented in the Democratic primaries (why would conservative-leaning independents vote in the Dem primaries?). Indeed, when you look at ideology in CT, Obama has no remarkable strength among any ideological group. Yet it is moderate voters, not necessarily independent voters, who are most likely to swing in elections. If you look at Iowa results, Kucinich did better among independents than Democrats. Of course nobody made electability arguments about Kucinich, as they would be obviously ridiculous.

This is why the early arguments that Obama was more electable got it wrong. This is also why Clinton does better. There are more low-income folks, whites and moderates (and conservatives) in the general elections than in the Democratic primaries.



I don't get the MA results.
I don't even understand how HRC won that primary considering that the Kerries and Kennedies were all behind BHO.


eternaltriangle, I was going to say something sort of along those lines, but not nearly as well you did... :-)

@ boskop:

I believe you can also glean some insight from a Gallup report dated May 21, which I think maybe wasn't covered here, called Obama Faces Uphill Climb vs. McCain Among White Voters. A terrible headline, that, because the news really had to do with gender...



"There has been discussion of Obama's presumed problem among blue-collar white males should he win the Democratic nomination. The current analysis shows that relative to Clinton, however, Obama does not suffer from a large "blue-collar male" deficit as has been hypothesized. Obama loses to McCain in a hypothetical matchup among non-college-educated white men by 25 points, while Clinton loses by 20 points. Additionally, Obama has a compensatory strength among white-collar men, defined here as those with a college education. Among this group, Obama loses to McCain by 13 points while Clinton loses by 22 points.

All in all, these data suggest that the Democrats' probable nomination of Obama rather than Clinton does not mean Democrats will enter the general election with a bigger deficit among white men than they would have if Clinton were the nominee. The data from May suggest that Clinton may have done only slightly better than Obama against McCain among blue-collar white men, and that this slight advantage likely would have been offset by Obama's slight advantage among college-educated men.

Among non-Hispanic white women, however, there is a significant difference in the way the two Democratic candidates perform against McCain.

Both Obama and Clinton do better among white women than among white men vs. McCain -- a typical pattern for Democratic presidential candidates. But there are differences between the two Democratic candidates. While Obama loses to McCain by a nine-point margin among white women, Clinton wins by a three-point margin.

This difference persists when white women are segmented into two groups by education.

While Obama loses to McCain by 16 points among non-Hispanic white women with no college, Clinton ties McCain. And while Obama does manage to squeak out a four-point advantage over McCain among college-educated white women, Clinton has an 11-point margin.

[end quote]

There are pretty graphs and everything.

I don't know why no one is analyzing the women's vote. I feel like a lunatic here, always clamoring on about it. But I can't be the only person who thinks this is an important / interesting topic. It almost seems like its become taboo or something(among the pollsters, I mean) - no one seems to have much of anything to say. Oh, I don't know. Maybe I'm still not looking in the right places.



this is nothing but the result of a fractious primary fight, that's one of the problems of reading a poll during a primary fight as contentious as this one, McCain's vote in connceticut is being bolstered by angry Hillary supporters.

The Harriet Christians of the country are venting their anger at the moment.

What's more telling is that 67% of Americans agree with Obama on the president speaking with enemies



The reason why Obama does not as well as expected in Connecticut may be that Joe Liebermann, very popular in this state, is backing John McCain.


@ Tybo: Isn't CT the "little c"? If they're the "big C," CA must be the "Gigantor C." Or something.

@ Uri: I think one explanation is kinda obvious: The Kennedys (the ones who supported Obama) and the Kerrys just aren't as influential as they thought they were.



Let me ask a question to the Obama supporters:

If HRC drops out tomorrow, as expected, and fully stands behind Obama (in fact, she should be the last superdelegate to switch, that could be nice), and Obama keeps on dropping in the polls against JMC, what's the narrative going to be ?



Interesting, Ciccina.

I took a look at SurveyUSA's latest state polls, and saw a similar gender gap. Obama runs about 4-6 points better among women than men, while Kerry ran 14 points better among women than men.



Frame the question the way voters will hear it: Do you support America negotiating from a position of strength, or do think America should sit down with its (our) enemies without preconditions? and I'm pretty sure you'll get a different number.




Take a trip to you local military base, look at all those jets and tanks, then go look at our stockpiles of bombs, we are already in a position of strength, yes I know you people don't like facts, and don't throw your lot in with those who tell you those facts, but there is no way iran is going to defeat the US.

The US has no reason to fear talks with Iran, the worst case scenario is we end up with the same position we have right now.

The current US position is with preconditions, and it has failed, without preconditions is the only alternative.

I'm reminded of the Mahabharata, One of the great epics of humanity, prior to the war, Krishna, believed to be an avatar of God, undertook a mission of peace talks with the Kauravas in hopes of avoiding the war, in spite of the fact that he knew the talks would fail, because Duryodhana wanted war, he still went, because he knew that all attempts at peace must be tried before taking an action that would shed blood. He went without preconditions, because what was there to be afraid of, he knew that the Kauravas would be defeated in the war, but he wanted to give them the chance to come to a peaceful settlement.

The US has nothing to fear from Iran, but we want to avoid shedding blood if we can.



In response to Uri...
Massachusetts elected a black candidate (Deval Patrick) for Governor in 2006, and his performance has been very poor.

Patrick (also an Obama endorser) is better looking, speaks more eloquently, and has equivalent experience (albeit differing). Patrick was Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in the Clinton Administration as well as adviser to post-apartheid South Africa and helped draft that country's civil rights laws. Patrick also worked as executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of the Coca-Cola Company.

Notably, David Axelrod for the Obama campaign also headed up Patrick's campaign.

Maybe it is a "fool me once..." attitude among the Massachusetts voters.



@axt113: The US has reasons to fear Iran not because Iran would destroy it (because they would reach mutual annihilation with Israel first) but because of terrorism.

Iran directly sponsors and arms Hamas and Hizbollah and its proxy forces in Iraq and has a history of running countries as puppets.

Hamas is confined to Gaza, but Hizbollah had struck outside Israel many times (e.g., the jewish center in Argentina in the 90s), and have struck against Americans (e.g., the embassy).

The Jimmy Carter approach, which Obama is effectively supporting, of assuming that Iran is only concerned with Israel and that solving that conflict (by destroying Israel externally or internally) may end up backfiring.



Which is why you need diplomacy, you won't get rid of Iran's support for Terrorists any other way, sanctions won't work because most contires won't follow, Iran has a pipeline plan in asia for example, something that won't be stopped just because the US says so, only one option is there, negotiations



@ eternaltriangle

Just been to the SurveyUSA site... the latest California numbers (poll 13907) are pretty interesting. On his own, Obama beats McCain among women 45% / 43% - pretty meager compared to the numbers for men (Obama/McCain at 53/39). Then when you start adding running mates, Obama loses women to McCain in all but 2 of the 16 running-mate match ups. Wait, that deserves an exclamation point. Obama loses California women to McCain in 14 out of 16 ticket permutations!! I can't tell what the key variable is - both of those wins are Obama-Edwards on the ticket, but Obama-Edwards loses among women against McCain-Huckabee. Huckabee - does he draw out evangelical women like he did in the primary?

In Virginia, Obama does much better among women (51% / 40%), but as soon as you start adding running mates, things start to change for the worse. In 6 out of 16 match-ups Obama either loses or basically ties McCain(43%/42% for example) among women. I can't tell what's making the difference - whether having Rendell or Hagel on board repulses women, or is Huckabee attracting them, or what.

Only with Obama/Edwards match-ups does Obama's lead among women expand from the baseline of 51 / 40.

And it appears from both sets of numbers that an Obama/Sebelius doesn't help much, and sometimes hurts.

The ladies also appear to be repulsed by Pawlenty. I don't even know who this guy is. Does he crush tiny baby pandas for kicks or something?

So annoying that they don't include Hillary in these matchups. Sure, it probably won't happen, but it is an interesting question from a strategic perspective.

@axt113: temper, temper. I didn't say that was my position. I said see what happens when you test the issue the way it will be framed for voters. There's a difference.

You should know by now that facts don't matter when it comes to presidential campaigns. Al Gore never said he invented the internet; didn't matter. And so on.



Although personally I rather dislike Leiberman (if you're going to pick something to side with Republicans on, the Iraq war!?!?!?), is it possible that this CN poll is reflective of any pull he might have in that state?


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