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POLL: Star-WTHR-Selzer Indiana Dems (4/20-23)


Indianapolis Star-WTHR, conducted by Selzer and Associates

Indiana
Conducted April 20-23 among n=534 likely Democratic primary voters, margin of sampling error +/-4.2 on %. Indianapolis Star article, WTHR article, results.

Obama 41, Clinton 38

Thanks to alert Pollster reader SK

 

Comments
axt113:

Wow another poll in Obama's favor, the beginning of the end for Hillary?

Soon we'll get to see whether she is really out for the sake of the party or herself

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Uri:

Several comments:
1) Why is there such a high number of undecideds compared to the other poll?
2) Assuming that both polls are correct (big if), perhaps undecideds lean closer to 50-50 towards Obama than HRC which is different from PA and bad news for HRC?
3) Obama gets 27% on "having most experience to lead". With 41% of the vote going to Obama, doesn't that mean that a lot of Obama folks don't think he has enough experience compared to HRC but they just consider other things more important? We've heard a lot about Obama bridging the experience gap. Doesn't look like he did, he just made other things more important.
4) Hillary gets pummeled as usual in trustworthiness. Perhaps there is an inverse relation between experience and trustworthiness.
5) Hillary gets pummeled on "understands people like me". Doesn't look like people in Indiana are bitter.

Also, if the survey only went to registered democrats (and not to all Indiana households), why would half of them vote for McCain? and half think troops should stay in Iraq (which both candidates oppose)? No wonder this is a red state if that's how its registered democrats vote.

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Uri:

BTW, What's the primary registration rule in Indiana, is it dems only, or open?

BTW2: does any one have county-based polls for Indiana ? I don't know why pollsters don't release the regions they got the respondents from.

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axt113:

It looks like it was two polls done, not just one Uri

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axt113:

One looks like it was the 534 likely dem voters and another was 500 voters statewide, that would explain the people voting for McCain

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Uri:

Ok, so I'm confused now.
Which questions come from which poll, and do some of the questions combine both target populations?

Was 1-4 only for democrats, and 5 and beyond just for everyone, or were 5 and beyond for the total of both surveys?

Arrgh, local news sites.

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Uri:

Ok, so I'm confused now.
Which questions come from which poll, and do some of the questions combine both target populations?

Was 1-4 only for democrats, and 5 and beyond just for everyone, or were 5 and beyond for the total of both surveys?

Arrgh, local news sites.

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RS:

@Uri:
I think exit polls have shown that 15-20% of voters make their decisions in the week before the primary. Since we are still two weeks out, about 20% undecideds seems reasonable.

As for your other points:
#2: Senator Clinton's edge in experience probably helps her among the last-minute voters as the "safe" choice.
#3: Senator Obama does as well or much better on all the other metrics... The President depends on his/her administration and Congress to really get things done, so Senator Obama's ability to unify the country/bring about change/implement policy, trustworthiness etc. may make him the better choice.
#4: Senator McCain has good ratings on experience as well as trustworthiness. So your proposed inverse relationship does not hold in this limited sample of 3.
#5: I would not call a 36-42 Clinton-Obama split on "understands people like me" a pummeling. By the way, since 42% do think that of Senator Obama, perhaps some of them are bitter and recognize that statement as true!

Indiana is an open primary.

Finally, on the poll: Does anybody else find the general election McCain-Clinton tie or the 49-41 Obama victory weird? Bush won by 1/2-million votes in 2004....

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axt113:

interesting thing I note is this is following the same track as the other poll, just more undecideds, if you look at that poll 48 to 47 and 5 undecided, and this one 41 to 38 with 21 undecided you'll see that the difference is 7 for Obama and 9 for Hillary, add in five and you've got 21, exactly the number of undecideds in the second poll, this indicates that about 56.25% of undecideds are breaking for Hillary between the two polls, so Hillary would seem to get around 49.81 of the vote to Obama's 50.19 if the trend holds for all the remaining 5% undecideds, meaning Obama currently has a very tiny lead in the state

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Uri:

@RS:
1) Considering the bitter comments, Obama leading in "understanding people" is really good, and may indicate the percentage of blue collars.
2) I didn't see ratings for experience and trustworthiness for JMC, but you are probably right, though it's always a matter of comparison (e.g., Obama fans downplaying experience in the poll, perhaps, vs. HRC fans downplaying trust). Obama makes ground against HRC on most topics, but I think it's a harbinger for the general elections in conservative battleground states where he may be down in both compared to JMC.
3) Open primaries are good for Obama, especially since he attracts younger voters. Allowing high-schoolers to vote (in IN it's the age in November that counts) also plays for him.
4) I agree about Obama doing better in all metrics; add newly registered students and I think it'll be a double-digit Obama.
5) I don't think the close GE stats are reliable in any way, just like I don't think NY is at risk of falling into Republican hands despite surprisingly low margins there. Once campaigning starts and the real contest begins, everyone will revert back to their original side. Also, I am guessing that Republicans who are voting for Obama in the primaries felt wrong admitting that they would vote for JMC in the generals, so that could add a few points to the JMC lead.

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axt113:

I dunno Uri, yes it might go back to original sides, but iowa and colorado have already defected to Obama, florida and ohio look like they may go for clinton over McCain, so its too early to say who will win in what state.

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eternaltriangle:

Uri, remember that Indiana has a history of conservative Democrat strength at the state level, where class issues are more important (well that and daylight savings time, which was very controversial). Of Indiana's Democrat representatives in the house, 3 (Donelly, Hill and Ellsworth) are members of the Blue Dog Coalition (Lee Hamilton, the old scion of the 9th was also pretty conservative, his vice presidential ambitions were vetoed by women's groups).

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eternaltriangle:

As for the "what if Clinton loses Indiana" question... why would she quit just before Kentucky and West Virginia vote (not to mention Puerto Rico)? Why didn't Obama quit after losing New Hampshire and Nevada? She could barely campaign and easily prevent Obama from getting enough pledged delegates to seal the deal. What does this give Clinton?

It gives her time to wait till the convention. In that time, all sorts of things could/will happen. The Rezko trial may implicate Obama (or bring attention to two sweetheart deals whereby Obama paid $800,000 less than the going rate for a mansion and neighbouring lot). Alternately, Obama could always say something stupid - which he has done, despite the limited nature of his public appearances (the Obama campaign likes to confine him to staged setting because he is not good on his feet). Isn't it in the interest of the party to maintain an escape hatch from Obama as long as possible, in case that does happen (the trouble with Obama is that he has little to fall back on)?

The notion that this political competition is bad for the party makes little sense. Imagine if there was an Obama snoozefest, and a lot of the lines of attack currently being used were not really picked up on by the media. Would it be of interest to the Democrats for the reverend Wright thing to come out on say, October 30th, 2008? Heck, if you take off your partisan blinders for a second, as a voting citizen aren't you glad you know more about Obama than that he is pro-hope?

A rigorous campaign (and this has hardly been a bare-knuckles campaign, despite the prevailing talking point in the media) is good for the party, as are contested party conventions, by the way (Canada, a country with considerably stronger regional divisions has had contested delegated conventions since the 1920's - they force candidates to make alliances with their defeated foes and better unite parties.).

Moreover, there is nothing preventing Obama from fundraising for the general election, etc. If Clinton had no chance, and was no threat to Obama, you would think Obama would largely ignore her (as McCain did to Huckabee after Super Tuesday). That he doesn't mean she has a non-zero chance to win the nomination. If Clinton was dead, she would not be out-raising John McCain (and catching up to Obama with a cool 10 million payday).

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Brad:

Hillary hasn't won a single state in the mid-upper Midwest, nor has she won any state that borders Illinois. I expect Indiana to go along the same lines as Wisconsin. A lot of younger voters, lots of college students, and a high Democratic concentration in the cities.

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jac13:

I agree that the metrics here look good for Obama. As an Obama supporter, I'd like to see an Iowa-Wisconsin rerun here.

As for what HRC will do if she loses IN and NC, I don't think she'll do a damn thing. But I DO think the super delegates will start to break loose for Obama, getting him close to, or over, 2025, so what she does is irrelevant.

P.S. - BHO had better not look past NC.

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mago:

A demographic note: Perentage w/ college degree, IN 19% US avg. 24%. If Indiana has a lot of college students, they must get out quick after graduation.

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americaferreraisafatho:

Indiana has a lot of great U's - notre dame, IU, purdue, etc.

These students will come out en masse for Obama. the 90-94 corridor and Indy will come out strong for Obama.

There aren't enough racist, uneducated, old people in south indiana to offset this like there was in PA.

NC is over. I find it HILLARYious that Clinton is spending all her poor supporters money there. They have this crazy one stop register and vote deal going on that enables Obama to rack up crazy high numbers - which he has done so already - just wait and see what happens on 5/6. He will win 65-35 there.


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americaferreraisafatho:

Indiana has a lot of great U's - notre dame, IU, purdue, etc.

These students will come out en masse for Obama. the 90-94 corridor and Indy will come out strong for Obama.

There aren't enough racist, uneducated, old people in south indiana to offset this like there was in PA.

NC is over. I find it HILLARYious that Clinton is spending all her poor supporters money there. They have this crazy one stop register and vote deal going on that enables Obama to rack up crazy high numbers - which he has done so already - just wait and see what happens on 5/6. He will win 65-35 there.


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Indiana as a swing state in the general? That would be most excellent... I wonder if that's an outlier or a foreshadowing of things to come.

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RS:

ARG has a new IN poll out: Clinton 50, Obama 45. Apr 23-24.
http://www.americanresearchgroup.com/

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cinnamonape:

That ARG poll result is actually bad for Hillary. Look at where ARG has put her two weeks out in other races!

As far as Hillary pulling out before West Virginia and Kentucky...she won't. But I can gaurantee that many of the Superdelegates will decide to support Obama unless she wins Indiana by about 10%. If Obama splits the delegates there and wins North Carolina they won't wait for Kentucky.

The diminishing numbers are the reality here. For every State that Obama even splits or gets more than 45% of the delegates he increases her need to win 60%, and then 70% and the 80% of the remaining delegates.

Right now Hillary has to win 57% of the remaining available delegates (both Supers and Committed). Sfter NC and Indiana that WILL go up. Tack on the Superdelegates deciding for Obama.

She would have to sweep all the remaining States PLUS get over 60% in them to even get the Supers remaining to stave off their decision until the Convention.

Those are the odds she's facing right now.

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debrazza:

The ARG result is certainly interesting. They have had a reputation for being a bad pollster for some reason, I don't know why though. If I remember correctly, many of their results have not been that great, but my impression is that they seem to be improving their accuracy with each contest. Anyone have any verification of this?

Driving turnout seems like the only real limitation of Obama winning IN. Gary has like a quarter to a third of all Dem primary voters and that is Obama country. He'll win that in similar numbers to what he won Chicago, around 80% if I am not mistaken. Gary is just a suburb of Chicago, so that should be easy pickings for him.

Indianapolis should be good for him too, but I have a feeling he is going to see increasing resistance in the suburbs there, like we saw in PA, so he is really going to have to focus on the urban core.

Not getting endorsements from the 2 freshman Dem Congressmen that he campaigned for in '06 because Bayh was threatening them does hurt him a bit in the rural areas. Where that sort of endorsement could definitely help him out to get acquainted with voters.

And, it is finals and end of year time at the universities so it is a difficult time to organize on campuses and drive turnout there. So that could be another problem.

IN is going to be an interesting primary. As for NC, I just don't see how he loses there. He has an impressive lead in the polls right now and people have already started voting. The more people that the Obama folks can get into the polls before he sticks his foot in his mouth again or something basically should secure a victory. It is really the sweet spot for him if you consider what he did in VA and SC. Lots of universities, lots of black voters, lots of high education and income whites, lots of creative class folks living in the Asheville area. Clinton is campaigning hard there, so she could keep it within singe digits, probably 9 like PA, but that would be it.

And I think that is the Clinton strategy to paint Obama as "damaged". She is going to try to eek out a win in IN (which is entirely possible, if not favored) and she is trying to make single digit contact with Obama in NC to try to demonstrate that he is losing supporters and hence he is unelectable.

I just don't understand what the Clinton gameplan is after that. Her case to the SD's would basically be that this black candidate is unelectable because for the most part people won't vote for a black candidate. And then how does she convince black voters to turnout in November? She is going to have to give a speech better than the Obama Philadelphia speech to pull that off.

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debrazza:

Does anyone know if the ARG estimates for Demographics are accurate? I would guess that black voters would be higher than 11% of likely voters. The census bureau has 2006 estimates that they are 9% of the population. Considering black turnout throughout this process, considering Gary in the Chicago media market, my guess would be that number would be closer to 15%.

Men = 43% of likely
Women = 57% of likely

White voters = 85% of likely
African American voters = 11% of likely

Age 18 to 49 = 51% of likely
50 and older = 49% of likely

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RS:

@debrazza:
That demographic breakdown is similar to what SUSA reported earlier in their 55-39 Clinton-Obama score a few days earlier, except SUSA had women:men at 52:48.

SUSA does not change its demographics to match preconceived notions of turnout (e.g. more African-Americans, young voters for Obama a la PPP). They just adjust their sample to match the state census data, and then let the likely voters fall where they may. SUSA was spot on in PA for the African-American turnout, unlike PPP.

Can't seem to find the demographic breakdown for the Selzer poll, though. Apparently, Ann Selzer mostly focuses on Iowa (where she was the only pollster to get the Democratic caucus results right), though she has also done at least one Indy-mayor poll - where she was also much better than other pollsters. Google "Ann Selzer Indiana poll."

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ehk:

Obama sounds great. It would be nice to see him and his ideas in the white house, but the economy is in the gutter and our soldiers are getting killed in Iraq. He might overcome his lack of experience or he might not. Unfortunately our country can't take that chance right now. We don't have time for him to figure out how to fix things. If he gets elected, the republicans are back in 2012.

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