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US: National Survey (Economist 5/8-11)


Economist / YouGov
5/8-11/10; 1,000 adults, 3.4% margin of error
707 registered voters
Mode: Internet
(Economist release)

National

Obama Job Approval
50% Approve, 43% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 83 / 13 (chart)
Reps: 10 / 88 (chart)
Inds: 50 / 46 (chart)
Economy: 42 / 50 (chart)
Health care: 43 / 48 (chart)

Congressional Job Approval
16% Approve, 64% Disapprove (chart)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
Registered voters: 48% Democrat, 41% Republican (chart)
All adults: 45% Democrat, 36% Republican

State of the Country
37% Right Direction, 49% Wrong Track (chart)

 

Comments
scottkj:

this poll seems to be a bit of an outlier:

1. Right Direction vs. Wrong only -12
2. Independents approve +4

Would be interesting to see where in the US they polled. Anybody know about their polling methods?

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iVote:

This is a +8 point swing from last week.

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scottkj:

YEAH something not right about this poll.
Without the geographics listed, hard to take seriously.

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Aaron_in_TX:

This one basically mirrors the newest NBC/WaPo poll and Gallup.

The trend over the past 10 days or so has been a slight increase in approval but a more significant drop in disapproval.

Even Rasmussen has been showing better numbers lately.

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iVote:

@scottkj

This poll isn't an outlier, though. Gallup, PPP, WSJ, etc. all show the same trend.

And most polls don't list geographics anyway.

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Speedo Bandit:

There is no way the Democrats have a seven point lead in the congressional race. That will be proven in November. This poll has consistently had the Dems way up on the Republicans. Haven't been buying for months and I am not buying now. They are still facing massive losses.

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Xenobion:

The generic ballot is back to a swing up after republicans had a good 5 point average lead. Similarly Obama's approval has beaten off his disapproval as you can see from the averages on the front page of the website. The times are a trending...

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Farleftandproud:

I think the GOP base like John Cornyn, Boehner and Cantor are going to find out that Independent voters are the idiots they think they are. There are some Republicans who will win because they are reasonable, rational and have a clear platform, but Independents will not fall for the ones on the fringe. I think that as the midterms get closer and each candidate is revealed, some of the Republicans in competitive races will win and others will fall. The ones with the bigger mouths will fall and the ones who stick to the message will win.

Since Sunami's like 2008 and 1994 really do leave one party very angry. I hope that 2010 will be a year where both parties win; the GOP may get the upper hand, but perhaps if the Dems lose a few incumbents in the senate but pick up 2 seats, and win gubernatorial races in states like CA, VT and possibly GA, it wouldn't be a complete defeat.

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kevin626:

This is an internet poll. So it means nothing.

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tjampel:

Independent voters' main concerns are getting decent legislation passed (breaking through), and looking for signs of economic improvement.

They seem to be getting a taste of both lately as jobs are just starting to be added again in significant numbers and a far more robust financial reform bill is about to be passed than I could have imagined a month ago.

One other recent survey I've seen also suggests that, while independents are still opposed to the Dem Health Care law they indicate some willingness to wait and see if it's really a 10 ton elephant or not. Since some additional good provisions (the one's Boehner is now trying to take credit for now) kick in over the next few months through end of September, e.g....capping out of pocket both yearly and lifetime, $250 checks for seniors who need a lot of prescription drugs, and putting the high risk pool for pre-existing conditions into motion... I expect to see support for the bill at nearly 50% by November. It won't be a make or break issue in many CDs where Dems are in danger. They will be slammed on it and they'll be able to point to modest benefits from the law with no (not yet, anyway) horrific consequences.

Unemployment isn't going to drop much; this will hurt Dems; on the other hand real (not census workers) job growth should continue through November, perhaps at 200k on average, and the economy should continue to expand modestly...no true "V", but no "L" either.

I think Independents will be supporting Obama and Dems at just about this rate in Nov.

Republicans will still gain a lot of seats, mainly because they're be out voting in greater numbers than Dems. Dems are still pretty unmotivated at present. A victory on the Financial Reform bill plus passage of a climate bill (a long shot this year, but still possible if Graham decides to get back in the game) will do wonders for firing up the team.

If Dems have a 3-5 point lead in the Generic and the above two bills pass expect a 15-25 seat loss in the house and 4-5 senate seats. If only FInancial reform passes and the generic is about even expect losses of 30-35 seats and 6 respectively. If Repubs have an advantage in the generic coming into November expect Speaker Boehner and 7-8 seats in the Senate.

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tjampel:

There's no doubt that this poll has gone against the grain with respect to the Generic ballot, especially compared to Ras' numbers. For that reason alone it's hard to trust any of their generic ballot numbers.

I personally think the generic is near even. I expect to see confirmation of that through a gradual decrease in the spread at Ras over the next few months, which will confirm this. Ras did this during the 2008 cycle too. They started walking back their generic ballot numbers in early Sept I think and continued to adjust upwards (for Dems) right up through election day.

What doesn't make any sense to me about the poll is the sharp spike in Obama's numbers. Prior to today his numbers here have been slightly negative on average for more than two months. Here they are:

YouGov/Polimetrix Obama Job Approval Ratings

2/28-3/2/10 47/46
3/6-8/10 48/45
3/13-16/10 46/47
3/20-22/10 45/47
3/27-30/10 46/47
4/3-6/10 46/47
4/10-13/10 46/46
4/17-20/10 46/48
4/24-27/10 45/48
5/1-4/10 47/48

There's no trend there at all, just a few ups and downs. And now...50-43. This makes me think it's a bit of an outlier, personally. If next week's poll looks like this one I'd be both shocked and...very pleased!

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Aaron_in_TX:

"If Repubs have an advantage in the generic coming into November expect Speaker Boehner and 7-8 seats in the Senate."

A small republican majority in the house and a dem senate that's 52-48 or 51-49 would probably not be all that bad for Obama. Might actually help him since most of his problems up to this point have been within his own party. Then he would actually have someone to play off of and someone to blame other than himself and his own party.

I agree that as health care moves further behind us, it will have less of an impact. That's why Obama wanted it done in 2009, it would have had a whole year to cool off.

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Travis:

@tjampel:

Taking the MOE into consideration, this week's numbers aren't significantly different from what's been observed previously with this poll. It's not an outlier.

It's completely consistent with what other polls have been showing -- a larger net approval rating for Obama; stabilization and/or advancement of Dems in the generic ballot; a near split on healthcare; a slight reduction in the net negative "right track/wrong track" question, etc.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

Do you smell what the Barack is cooking!?!?!

Associated Press-GfK poll released Saturday:

"The tenuous 45 percent to 40 percent preference for a Democratic Congress reverses the finding a month ago on the same question: 44 percent for Republicans and 41 percent for Democrats."

This is not a single issue election. It's no longer a referendum on Obama's job performance. It's a referendum on social policy. The republicans running for office are too far to the right on too many issues that matter to voters, i.e. drilling for oil, or immigration. They said "no" one too many times without putting any concrete plan in front of the American people to actually govern.

We're about 10 months away from the beginning of the 2012 campaign for President. Newt Gingrich is the front runner of a pack of unelectables in the race for the republican nomination.

After a dismal 2010 mid-term showing, republicans are going to splinter. Chairman Steele will be shown the door. The tea baggers will form a third party after flipping their middle fingers to Sarah Palin. Ron Paul will continue his broadcast revolution. Mitt Romney will attempt to raise oodles of cash. Tim Pawlenty has no voice. Governor Bob McDonnell tainted both he and Haley Barbour. This being beside the fact that Barbour, Thompson, Gingrich, and Huckabee are too old. The country is looking for stability and a new direction, not old retreads. There's not a chance on God's green earth that we'll elect another Bush. Brown is a half term US Senator who more than likely won't be reelected if Joe Kennedy decides to challenge him for the MA Senate seat. Bobby Jindal just isn't manly enough to win. He'd have to put on 20 to 30 pounds. None of the moderates could win in the primaries.

It's time for Republicans, with a big "R," to come back to the table. Show that they can REGULATE something. ANYTHING. If they can't regulate, then they can't govern. That's a proven fact.

Enjoy.

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lat:

I have said more than once and I will say it again. Although most of you on the left were upset about it at the time Scott Brown winning in MA was the best thing that could have happened to Obama and The Dems. It got them off their asses and they finally realized "Hey, we are the majority party not Mitchy and Johnny and you can take your fillibuster threats and shove them up your right winged asses!" If The Dems can keep their losses to under 25 in the house and 3-4 in the senate (which I am still 50/50 on at best just based on historical norms) we will all look back to that moment as the turing point. On a separate note how is that new AZ law with a whopping 75-80 disapproval by hispanic voters working out for you GOP? The GOP are such schmucks! The hispanic vote is traditionally a sleeper in mid-term elections so lets pass a law and give a huge voting block that usually does not vote in large #'s in off year elections a reason to get fired up so they can come out and vote against us. Brillant!

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tjampel:

I'm hedging a bit on the generic out of respect for Ras. As a lib you might wonder why I respect Ras so much. Well, I consider them a partisan-motivated yet ultimately accurate ...deadly accurate in most cases come election day...polling firm. More importantly I see them as a "lagging indicator", meaning that, when the generic is really moving in one direction that movement always shows up a month or so later in Ras' results.

Let's look at Ras' generic ballot over the past few months.

2-14 36/45
2-21 35/44
2-28 36/44
3-07 37/44
3-14 35/45
3-21 35/43
3-28 39/46
4-04 38/47
4-11 36/45
4-18 36/46
4/25 38/44
5-02 37/44
5-08 38/44


As you can see the gap was in the high 8s in Feb. Over the past 3 weeks it's been in the low 6s. This is still much higher than the average in other polls, but that's related, in part, to a general house effect plus the use of likely voters rather than registered ones (which, for example, Gallup uses, as does Kos).

Likely voters reflects a significantly higher Republican enthusiasm level at this point.
However, enthusiasm gap is closing. Kos polling has shown this over the past couple of months. If you want to dismiss Kos then consider Gallup's polling which has shown the same thing. The gap for "very enthusiastic", once as high as 19 points in early April, is now just 10

Here's Gallup:

In late March and early April, after Congress' passage of healthcare reform, both Republican and Democratic registered voters became more enthusiastic about voting in this year's elections. Republicans' enthusiasm peaked at 54% "very enthusiastic" in late March and early April, but is 43% in the latest weekly update, from April 27-May 2 -- essentially where it was before healthcare passed. By contrast, Democrats have more or less retained the slightly higher level of enthusiasm they showed right after the healthcare bill milestone.

Gallup shows a dead heat in the Generic, but the latest data from them is almost two weeks old. Let's see what happens over then next month, as Finance Reform becomes law and Dems take most of the credit. Many people aren't following this bill but base Dems are and they're happy with the direction the bill has taken recently.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Ras' releases this week and for the next 3 weeks. I expect a gradual decrease in the generic because, not only has Republican self-identification has moved south over the last month, but Dem enthusiasm has increased during that period. I also don't think Independents really have such a strong preference for Republican generic candidates over Dem ones; we'll have to see if that changes over time, as Ras tries to hit the bulls-eye for the main event in the 2010 cycle.

Here's Ras:

"In April, the number of adults not affiliated with either major party increased by 1.6 percentage points, while the number identifying themselves as Republicans decreased 1.3 percentage points. This marks the lowest level for Republicans since July 2008."

Now Ras claims that Independents, who are identified by it as likely voters prefer Republican candidates by a margin of 43%/22%. I don't see support for this statistic in most other generic ballot polling.

For example Kos/Research 2000 (another poll with a house effect) finds that independents prefer Republicans 51/43 with 8% undecided. These are registered voters; does this mean that likely independents are that much more conservative than registered ones? Did Kos push their undecided sample more than Ras? I mean, we're talking about a 21 point gap vs an 8 point one. BTW Kos has Dems up by 2 in its generic. If one averages this with Ras and Gallup only you have Repubs up by 1.33.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

"If one averages this with Ras and Gallup only you have Repubs up by 1.33"

Sorry, that's just not how it works. If it makes you feel better, then go right ahead.

Ras isn't accurate until 3 or 4 days before an election. More than any other pollster, they're most likely to make wild swings the week before an election.

As with any other pollster, I take their LV models with a grain of salt. RV polls of Presidential job approval have been moving for the past few weeks. So, I'd venture to guess that there has been a shift in the generic ballot as well.

I think "lat" said it best when he wrote:

"The hispanic vote is traditionally a sleeper in mid-term elections so lets pass a law and give a huge voting block that usually does not vote in large #'s in off year elections a reason to get fired up so they can come out and vote against us."

Whoever has the best campaign machine is likely to make those likely voter models look like child play. At this point, I'd definitely give the edge to the DNC. The RNC is on a titanic voyage to disaster.

Labor unions are likely to rule over PACs and corporate campaign machines. What company wants to advertise that they have the money to spend on attack ads in this economic climate?

The Republicans will probably pick up seats in red areas that went for Obama during the 2008 election. Their gains are likely to be limited.

Again, they're not putting up viable candidates in most of these races and they're not running on a platform of action. Their platform is "we're going to say no." That's not going to cut it.

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tjampel:

Even if I felt exactly the same way as you I wouldn't post it. It's all wishful thinking on your part; furthermore a look at Ras in the 2008 cycle...
Ras had it 52/45 on 10.8, 50/46 on 10.16
and 52/46 on 10.27

I don't see any wild swings. They lag behind but catch up when they need to. Right now I'd say Repub +6 is clearly off. They know it; I don't think they'll stay out there all alone for too long.

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Farleftandproud:

All the attacks on Harry reid have been extremely unfair. I admire his integrity, and his ability to persevere when things get tough.

He may or may not get re-elected, but look at Mother Russia; they turned their back on their greatest Prime Minister ever, Mikhael Gorbachev, who transformed them gradually into a western Democracy. The people of Russia turned their back on him, and since then Russia has moved backwards into a semi-tyranny. I hope Obama won't have the same fate.

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tjampel:

@Travis;

"Taking the MOE into consideration, this week's numbers aren't significantly different from what's been observed previously with this poll. It's not an outlier."

This pollster have been very steady in previous polls. They've shown Obama averaging 46/48 over the past three polls (over 3 weeks time). Applying a 3.4 margin of error to that the maximum result for Obama within MOE would be 49.4/44.6. He's beyond those limits. I we were to combine the last three polls, however and treat them as one large sample the MOE would be closer to 2%. If we just compare with the previous poll and hypothesize that ....yes...this is the real thing; Obama is finally making a move in this poll AND he's right at the MOE, then you may be correct.

So, let's look at a little history and see if this has happened before and, if so, what came of it.

Going back few months further in time...all the way to 2.13-2.16, where the poll results were 51/44. Now, once again looking at the 3 polls immediately prior to that one the numbers are 46/48, 47/47, 48/48; the results following this earlier spike are 45/48, 47/46, 48/45, 46/47. So this earlier spike was clearly no game changer; the numbers reverted to status quo ante.

Now, maybe this move is significant or--- maybe it merely reflects a friendlier sample. Let's see if Obama can pull these kind of numbers 2 or three weeks in a row. I'd be as pleased as you if that were so, but I'm a realist, and data needs to be looked in context, and I think the history of this poll doesn't allow for your conclusion...yet.

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jamesia:

Well the improvement in the economy is certainly helping the Democrats.

The crosstabs show that 66% of people have a favorable view of Obama in this poll (regardless of how they feel his job performance ranks) ...

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Bigmike:

Without a doubt losing the Obamacare battle hurt the GOP and energized the Dems. And it shows in BO's numbers and in the generic ballot. And not just in this one internet poll.

I know there is a lot of spin being put on the economic numbers. But I don't expect that will work repeatedly between now and Nov. If unemployment does not improve the Dems will be very vulnerable. And if inflation rears its ugly head as well it just gets worse for them.

If the stock market is a good predictor of the economy about 6 months out, that is also not good news for the Dems.

The AR primary is this Tue. While there is some doubt about the outcomes of Lincoln vs Halter and Boozman vs 50%, I don't think Nov. is in doubt. Blanche is even running ads touting her casting the deciding vote on Obamacare. It may help her in the Dem primary but it hurts her bad in the general election.

The real election for Boozman's house seat is the same day. There may be a Dem running, but so what. I suspect a runoff for the GOP and the winner of that will cruise in Nov. And there are no RINO's in the field. They wouldn't stand a chance. The airwaves here are saturated with "take America back from Washington insider" ads.

I am not sure where the improvement in right direction vs wrong track comes from. The deficits scare the hell out of me. My lib wife even agrees with that. We are considering converting to cash and investing a little in Smith and Wesson. Just in case. Better safe than sorry.

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StatyPolly:

Bigmike,

"IF" big inflation comes, you don't wanna be in cash. Stocks, real estate, maybe gold, other metals, almost anything is better..

S&W though is another story..

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