Articles and Analysis


POLL: USA Today/Gallup National (5/1-3)

USA Today/Gallup
(story, results)

Clinton 51, Obama 44



5/1/ thru 5/3
This is too old. I think Obama hit a home run in last nights speech.



Big deal. This is coming off Obama's worst week. Let's see where the numbers are in another few weeks.



Wow. What's going on here?



Obama supporters are known for pooh-pooh'ing polls when these do not show a favorable outcome for their candidate.



yeah kingsbridge, like clinton hacks don't do the same thing.

i don't put great weight in polls. votes are what matter. elections are what matter. in order to be "electable", you need to win those funny things they call "elections". the election standings to date:

Obama: 31
Clinton: 15



To Obama supporters I would say, "be cool - wait a few days - every once in a while HRC bobs her nose above the water, but when the wavelet passes, down she goes again. I.e., we've seen this before, and it too shall pass."

Come to think of it, that's what I'd also tell my friends who support Hillary.

This is what makes the polling game so interesting on a day to day basis. But I'd also suggest looking at the national polls over the past 2 months for any trends or patterns. I.e., take the longer view

Just think, if NC and IN go the way we think, we'll be having this fun for another month at least.


richard pollara:

It is amazing to see the difference between the NYTimes/CBS Poll and the USA Poll, 19 point difference! Is it methodology, likely voters, bias or just that a chaotic system can never be accurately measured? I tend to think it is the later. The two biggest casualties of this election cycle have been pundits and polling companies. It seems as though neither of them have a clue. They missed McCain, Obama and now (I think Clinton). My sense is that the USA Today poll is more reflective of the country's mood right now than the Times, but who really knows? We will see tomorrow.


I'll go out on a limb and predict that the past trend of late deciders breaking towards Clinton will be muted tomorrow. In past primaries, I've viewed these late deciders as Clinton supporters who consider Obama but come home to Clinton at the last minute. Obama's terrible past few weeks will have reduced the number of these late deciders who fit the profile of Clinton supporters.

Indeed, if the recent tracking polls are to be believed, the trend may be reversed: tomorrow's late deciders may be Obama supporters who considered voting for Clinton, but are coming home to Obama. I wrote a Brookings note way back at the beginning (before Brownstein did the same) that the fault lines of the Democratic electorate looked rather sharp and deep. We will probably see the same fault lines that have dominated the election from the beginning emerge yet again tomorrow.



New news cycle today, we'll see if anything changes.



I agree with Michael McDonald that the undecideds will break more for Obama tomorrow than they did in PA and OH.

Despite what was written in the NY Times today about the "minimalist effect" of campaigning, there are certain events and issues that can provide the edge. While HRC's red-phone ad may have tipped the balance to her in the past, her embrace of the federal gas tax holiday looks more and more like a tactical error that is giving BHO the traction for a late turnaround. Also in the NY Times we see a poll showing a majority disagreeing with the idea, and a huge 70% seeing it mostly as a political ploy.

The issue is not as subtle as some others, and it may be that BHO has been able to demonstrate to voters that this is a typical cosmetic solution to a systemic problem -- and make himself look like the straight shooter. With help from the pundits and media, it's also been an effective way of changing the topic.

I'll be interested in watching the exit polls to see if this has any effect - especially on the late deciders. If so, I expect to hear a lot more about this "issue," since HRC will have to stick by her guns even as she gets beat up by the "elitists."



I wish the cable news would change the topic! My law partner (who is home sick today) is reporting that CNN and Fox are STILL covering the Wright issue today. And, despite the Frank Rich article in NYT yesterday about McCain/Hagee, no coverage of Rev. Hagee.

I guess that CNN and Fox endorse Hillary on the eve of two important primaries... So, if Indiana and North Carolina voters are watching those cable stations, CNN/Fox could influence the outcome tomorrow.

In any case, it's too early to pay attention to Gallup.



What many people seem to forget is that while national polls may show overall nationwide shifts, they are not as pertinent this year as they usually are. If you take everything into account, we have 2 Dem candidates who are basically tied. And there are an equal number of compelling arguments as to who is actually "ahead". Regardless of who's won which states and how many pledged delegates each has, neither will have enough delegates (2200+ inc. FL and MI - which will have to count somehow) to take the nomination by June 3rd. So it will come down to the superdelegates (who are, by the rules, independent). The 2 candidates have the most polarized demographic support of 2 candidates in the same party in modern history. Obama carries African American, younger, and better educated/wealthier voters overwhelmingly. Clinton carries working class, older, Jewish, and Hispanic voters overwhelmingly. Both sides have a huge % of supporters (easily enough to tip the entire election) who say they'll back McCain over the other Dem. And we all know that McCain is a moderate, not to mention an "American hero" (not a scary rightwing Republican like Bush), so this is quite likely. So what you have to look at, especially in consideration of the Electoral College "winner take all" rules in the general election), are the specific demographics of the big swing states that have been deciding presidential elections the past 20 years and decide who is more likely to carry those states - most especially OH, FL, and PA. The reality is that those states heavily favor Clinton. So far Obama has had very little success 'connecting' with those key demographic groups. And unless he is able to swing literally millions and millions of working class, Jewish, and Hispanic voters to his side by Nov. (as the Rev. Wright ads are running constantly), he will lose for the very same reasons that McGovern, Dukakis, and Kerry lost.



@Patrick, should this be added to your analysis?

2004 women / men (Edison)
Bush: 48% / 55%
Kerry: 51% / 41%

2000 women / men (VNS)
Bush: 43% / 53%
Gore: 54% / 42%
Nader: 2% / 3%

1996 women / men (VNS)
Dole: 38% / 44%
Clinton: 54% / 43%
Perot: 7% / 10%

Go on, if I say "independent white women voters" one more time I'll be over my weekly quota, and its only just Monday.




Response to Michael McDonald:

I'll go out on a limb, too, and predict that the past trend of late deciders breaking towards Clinton will continue tomorrow, both in North Carolina and in Indiana. Voting registration in North Carolina is indicating record numbers are registering in North Carolina's rural areas, a Clinton stronghold. Additionally, an article came out on AOL indicating that not just a few are uncertain or confused about for whom to vote. Past experience has shown that these late deciders tend to break for the known, tried name--- Hillary Clinton in this case.

I do agree with you that we will see the same fault lines. But then again, there may be some surprises due to voter uncertainty, indecision and new voters.

Well, I called it last time in PA. Let's see if I'm right this time in North Carolina and in Indiana. If I am, I'm going to go out and buy a lottery ticket....




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