Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dole vs. Hagan tomorrow

We jumped right in and ran a poll last night with a head-to-head match-up of Elizabeth Dole versus Kay Hagan. Come back tomorrow to see the results.

Now that there are two announced Democratic candidates for Senate, hopefully PPP can end its monthly hypothetical match-ups.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Can illegal immigration be a winning issue?

Illegal immigration continues to grow as a major political issue, pushed mostly by conservatives. Questions 9, 10, and 11 of the recent Rasmussen Reports survey confirm that the public in North Carolina mostly agrees with the conservative position. Question 9, in particular, is evidence that it could be a winning issue.

How important is it for the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration?
71% Very important
17% Somewhat important
8% Not very important
2% Not at all important

Unfortunately, for conservatives, that answer is negated by another Rasmussen question.

In terms of how you will vote for President in 2008, which of the following is the most important issue?
24% Economy
21% War on Terror
18% War in Iraq
11% Immigration
9% Healthcare
5% Other
4% Environment

Immigration, while still a big issue, is not the biggest. I would bet that nearly all of those 11% that say illegal immigration is the most important issue would not be voting for a Democratic candidate anyway. So while most North Carolinians may agree that illegal immigration is a problem and that government should do something about it, they care about something else even more; maybe the economy or the war in Iraq or Healthcare, all issues where Democrats do better.

So can illegal immigration be a winning issue? For conservatives it is a good issue to push, but it won't give them enough to win. Voters are looking for more.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thoughts on Rasmussen poll

First of all it’s nice to see some third party polling from out of state. PPP, Civitas, and Elon do a tremendous job keeping public opinion in the forefront of North Carolina’s political dialogue, but it can get stale looking at the same numbers from the same people.

Second, Rasmussen Reports’ latest NC survey backs up what PPP has been showing in recent months regarding the 2008 races for President and US Senate. Elizabeth Dole is vulnerable. In a proposed Senate race she loses decisively to Gov. Mike Easley, 50% to 42%. Obviously, Mike Easley would be the Democrats’ best choice and any other Democrat would not perform that well. But if a majority of voters would already consider voting for someone other than the incumbent that’s not good news for her.

If the election were held today, North Carolina would be a tossup state in the presidential election. Of course that means that the Democrat had probably already gotten over 300 electoral votes from winning swing states like Ohio and Florida, and even some marginally red states like Colorado and Virginia.

But if the Democrats are competitive at the presidential level that can only be good news for a Senate candidate. The current fear being that Hillary Clinton on the ballot would be a drag for Democrats. In fact, a potential Democrat ticket of Hillary for President, Kay Hagan for Senate and Bev Perdue for Governor would create an opportunity for lots of back and forth coattails for women voters.

Third, even though Hillary is winning or close to winning in these match-ups, she would still probably lose according to Rasmussen’s numbers. She has higher unfavorable ratings and lower favorable ratings than the other Republican candidates, besides Mitt Romney. Fifty-one percent have an unfavorable view of her. She can beat Romney 46-41 now, but can she get to 50% on Election Day?

Rasmussen favorables

Candidate – Very Fav, Somewhat fav, somewhat unfav, very unfav, not sure
Clinton 26, 20, 14, 37, 3
Thompson 16, 34, 26, 15, 9
Giuliani 23, 28, 23, 20, 5
Romney 12, 30, 26, 21, 12
McCain 15, 34, 25, 19, 7
Dole 28, 25, 19, 22, 6
Easley 22, 36, 20, 18, 4

Mike Easley has the highest total favorable at 58%, followed by Elizabeth Dole (53%), Rudy Giuliani (51%) and Fred Thompson (50%). Hillary Clinton has the highest unfavorable total (51%) including a whopping 37% very unfavorable. Easley has the lowest total unfavorable rating (38%).

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rasmussen polls NC

Hat tip to boldlyblue on BlueNC for noticing this first. You can see the release here and the toplines here.

Below are most of the results except for the favorability rankings, which are in table format and I couldn't copy and paste easily tonight. I will post them on Monday with some analysis.

In the meantime, have at it:

1) How do you rate the way that George W. Bush is performing his role as President? Excellent, good, fair, or poor?
20% Excellent
18% Good
16% Fair
46% Poor
1% Not Sure

2) How do you rate the way that Mike Easley is performing his role as Governor? Excellent, good, fair, or poor?
10% Excellent
37% Good
33% Fair
19% Poor
2% Not Sure

3) In the 2008 Election for the U.S. Senate suppose you had a choice between Republican Elizabeth Dole and Democrat Mike Easley. If the election were held today would you vote for Republican Elizabeth Dole or Democrat Mike Easley?
42% Dole
50% Easley
3% Some other candidate
4% Not sure

4) Presidential Matchups

Clinton 43 Giuliani 44
Clinton 44 Thompson 44
Clinton 43 McCain 43
Clinton 46 Romney 41

5) When it comes to the War in Iraq, should the United States withdraw all combat troops immediately, bring the combat troops home within a year, or stay until the mission is completed?
22% Withdraw all combat troops immediately
33% Bring combat troops home within a year
41% Stay until the mission is complete
4% Not sure

6) Should North Carolina move its Presidential primary to an earlier date to play a bigger role in presidential politics?
39% Yes
43% No
18% Not sure

7) How much does it matter what date North Carolina chooses to hold its Presidential Primary
24% Very much
36% Somewhat
24% Not very much
8% Not at all
9% Not sure

8) In terms of how you will vote for President in 2008, which of the following is the most important issue?
24% Economy
21% War on Terror
18% War in Iraq
11% Immigration
9% Healthcare
5% Other
4% Environment
8% Not sure

9) How important is it for the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration?
71% Very important
17% Somewhat important
8% Not very important
2% Not at all important
2% Not sure

10) How important is it for the government to legalize the status of illegal aliens already in the United States?
28% Very important
20% Somewhat important
20% Not very important
25% Not at all important
7% Not sure

11) Suppose North Carolina had to choose between deporting as many illegal immigrants as it can or accepting those who are here already but blocking more illegal immigrants from entering the state. Which would you choose?
53% Deporting as many illegal immigrants as it can
37% Accepting those who are here already
10% Not sure

12) State and local governments often use tax breaks and other economic incentives to attract businesses and jobs. Should governments offer tax breaks and economic incentives to attract businesses?
53% Yes
29% No
18% Not sure

13) Are tax breaks and other economic incentives offered to businesses Too generous or not generous enough?
52% Too generous
21% Not generous enough
16% About right
10% Not sure

14) When it comes to separation of Church and State, does government go too far in regulating expressions of God and faith in public, not far enough, or is it about right.
66% Too far
12% Not far enough
18% About right
4% Not sure

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bush approval compared to other states

Using Survey USA's October data, let's see how North Carolina's approval rating of President Bush compares to other states.

44% Alabama
43% Kansas
41% Kentucky
38% New Mexico
36% Virginia
36% North Carolina (PPP)
35% Oregon
34% Ohio
33% Wisconsin
31% Missouri
29% Iowa
28% Minnesota
28% California
27% Washington
22% New York
20% Massachusetts

Dole compared to other Republicans

How does Elizabeth Dole’s approval rating compare to other Republican Senators up for re-election in 2008? Survey USA has a few from October…

PPP- Elizabeth Dole (NC)
44% Approve
41% Disapprove

Survey USA
Jeff Sessions (AL)
54% Approve
37% Disapprove

Gordon Smith (OR)
49% Approve
42% Disapprove

Norm Coleman (MN)
49% Approve
42% Disapprove

Mitch McConnell (KY)
49% Approve
45% Disapprove

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Neal compared to other Democrats

How does Jim Neal fare compared to other Democrats we have tested? Here are all the head-to-head matchups with Dole that did not feature extensive biographical information.

Easley 44-41, +3%
Perdue 37-46, -9%
Cooper 36-46, -10%
Miller 33-44, -11%
Moore 34-45, -11%
Marshall 35-46, -11%
Etheridge 30-45, -15%
Martin 30-45, -15%
Neal 32-47, -15%
Meek 32-47, -15%
Kaplan 28-47, -19%

The timing has some impact on these results. For example, I bet Bob Etheridge would do better today than he did in February. But as you can see, Jim Neal is right in line with every other Democrat who is not a statewide elected official.

Jim Neal vs. Elizabeth Dole

Getting right to it:

Dole vs. Neal
Dole 47%
Neal 32%

Neal performs similarly to other Democrats that lack statewide name recognition. His results are similar to Grier Martin, Kay Hagan and Jerry Meek. Dole is still below the 50% mark.

Bush Job Approval
Approve 36%
Disapprove 59%

Dole Job Approval
Approve 44%
Disapprove 41%

Bush and Dole fall a few points from last month.

Right-track/Wrong-track USA
Right direction 26%
Wrong track 67%

Right-track/Wrong-track North Carolina
Right direction 37%
Wrong track 47%

People feel significantly better about North Carolina than they do about the whole country, but neither is very positive.

Vote for Governor
Democrat 45%
Republican 38%

Vote for President
Democrat 44%
Republican 40%

As expected, the Democrats have an early advantage in the gubernatorial general election, but more surprisingly a generic Democrat continues to win for President in North Carolina. In May a generic Democrat was winning 47-42.

Complete results here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New poll comes out tomorrow

Tomorrow, PPP will release its newest North Carolina survey with the first head-to-head matchup of Senator Elizabeth Dole and challenger Jim Neal. Come back tomorrow to see the results!

In the meantime here is a sneak preview of two of the other questions from the survey.

In 2008 do you think you will vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate for Governor?
Democrat 45%
Republican 38%

In 2008 do you think you will vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate for President?
Democrat 44%
Republican 40%

In May a PPP survey found 47% of North Carolina voters would vote for the Democratic candidate for President and 42% for the Republican.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Does free barbecue actually win votes?

Under the Dome is reporting a new and unusual poll coming from the Fred Smith for Governor Campaign. What’s unusual about it is that the poll was conducted in only the 40 of 100 North Carolina counties in which Fred Smith has held a campaign barbecue. Smith is planning on having a barbecue in all 100 counties.

Below is a map of the 40 counties.

The campaign is claiming the poll is good news. In those 40 counties, Smith has 54% name recognition, to 51% for Bill Graham and 47% for Bob Orr. Additionally, Smith has 30% favorable rating, compared to 18% for Graham and 11% for Orr.

Did the pollster not ask a head-to-head-to-head question? Or was Fred Smith not winning in his porked up 40 counties? Also, why bother conducting this poll? Is it really worth the expense for an ostensibly interesting press release?

I bet the 40 county survey is just a sub sample of a statewide poll conducted for the Smith campaign. I’d also bet that the statewide results weren’t as favorable as the 40 county version and that’s why it was released as such.

Finally, a gratuitous pig pickin’ picture. Mmmmmmmm…

Charlotte bearish on the Panthers

The complete Civitas Mecklenburg County poll can be found here. Charlotte will be holding its council elections in a couple of weeks. How is the mayor’s race shaping up?

Opinion of Beverly Earle
Favorable 17%
Unfavorable 13%
No opinion 38%
Not aware 32%

Opinion of Pat McCrory
Favorable 62%
Unfavorable 16%
No opinion 19%
Unaware 3%

Not good news for the Beverly Earle campaign. She needs to do a better job getting her name out there. A MUCH MUCH better job.

Will the Carolina Panthers make the playoffs this year?
Yes 18%
No 67%

I probably would agree that the Panthers are going to have a tough year, yet they are 4-2 and are leading the Southeast Division. Coach Fox, start Testaverde this week!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Civitas in Charlotte

The Civitas Institute did a special Charlotte area poll this month. They say the full results will be up on the web Monday, but you can see some of the results now at their blog, Red Clay Citizen.

Chris Hayes in his post touched on the anti-tax sentiment in the poll, but how voters are still supporting the transit tax. See the questions below.

Do you think taxes in Mecklenburg County are:
Much too high - 39%
Somewhat too high - 31%
Just about right - 25%
Somewhat too low - 2%
Much too low - 1%

In 1999, voters in Mecklenburg County approved a 1/2 cent sales tax increase to support a light rail system and mass transit. Will you vote to repeal the 1/2 cent mass transit tax?
Yes - 39%
No - 54%
Not Sure - 7%

Would you support a real estate transfer tax in Mecklenburg County?
Yes - 16%
No - 66%
Not sure - 18%

These questions and results support the pattern on tax questions that I have been repeating for months. If you ask people “do you want this tax increase” (see the third question above) they will say NO. People do not like taxes (see first question)! Yet, if you explain what the tax increase is for, they are willing to support it for schools and education, and to a lesser extent transportation, and maybe a few other things.

So people don’t mind (as much) more taxes if its going to pay something they support. That’s why the transit tax is going to survive.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Clinton surges ahead, while Thompson drifts behind

From the latest Civitas Poll

Democratic Presidential Primary
Clinton 31%
Edwards 18%
Obama 18%

Hillary Clinton makes a huge jump in North Carolina, according to the latest Civitas Poll. It’s indicative of her growing lead nationally, and not a good sign for North Carolina’s John Edwards. Of course, Iowa is the ball game for Edwards.

Republican Presidential Primary
Giuliani 21%
Thompson 19%
Romney 16%
McCain 9%

Thompson falls and Giuliani pulls into first.

No gubernatorial primary polls this week.

Civitas on SCHIPs

Do you support the $35 billion expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan that has been approved by Congress but vetoed by President Bush?
Yes 51%
No 32%

Do you think the Children’s Health Insurance Plan should be expanded to cover children from families of four who earn between $62,000 and $82,000?
Yes 26%
No 62%

Obviously the President hasn’t been doing a good job explaining his position.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Have conservatives lost the debate on health care?

Civitas released their October poll today. Click here for results. I will be discussing it over the next couple of days. First I’ll talk about health care. Civitas had a quite a few questions on the subject.

When you think about health care, which of the following is your major concern:
Cost of health insurance 43%
Number of poor w/o insurance 31%
Quality of health care 10%
Access to quality care 6%
Inability to qualify for ins 5%

Do you support a state mandate requiring all health insurance policies to include mental health coverage even if it causes a 5-10% increase in the cost of your insurance?
Yes 59%
No 29%

Do you think Medicare adequately provides health insurance for older Americans?
No 46%
Yes 42%

Should all businesses in North Carolina with more than five employees be required to provide health insurance for their employees?
Yes 57%
No 36%

Do you think the quality of health care you receive in North Carolina is:
Excellent 29%
Good 48%
Fair 17%
Poor 6%

Do you support universal health care coverage where the federal government would insure that every American receives some type of health insurance coverage even if it means an increase in taxes?
Yes 56%
No 36%

At this point in Jack Hawke’s presentation of the survey results during the Civitas luncheon this afternoon, my friend Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity blurted out that “the conservatives have lost the debate” on health care. In a lot of ways he’s right. Public opinion is moving towards acceptance of universal health care. But if conservatives have lost the debate they have no one to blame but themselves.

Almost all, if not all, the Democratic Presidential candidates supports some sort of universal health coverage and they talk about it often. Democrats in Congress and at the state level are trying to expand coverage through programs like SCHIPs (more on that later). What are the Republican’s plans for health care? I don’t know. I don’t hear them talk about it. All I hear is “let the free market decide.” Unfortunately for them, the American people have decided that the free market isn’t working in our health care system.

Mitt Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, did implement a universal health care plan in his state. Why doesn’t he talk about that more? That would be a start.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pollster pick'em

Rob Christensen has written a couple of introductory articles laying out the field in the North Carolina gubernatorial primaries, see here and here. It got me thinking that we should make a list of which campaigns have hired which pollsters. This list will get updated as we learn more about the statewide and congressional candidates.

Richard Moore: Peter Brodnitz, Benenson Strategy Group
Bev Perdue: Fred Yang, Garin-Hart-Yang
Bill Graham: John McLaughlin, McLaughlin & Associates
Fred Smith: Whit Ayres, Ayers, McHenry and Associates

Are developers villains? More from Raleigh...

Carter at Talking About Politics does some more talking about developers in the Raleigh City Council elections. He describes how developers were turned into villains and used as a foil by Mayor Meeker and his allies. Carter mentions that 60% of voters say they are less likely to vote for a candidates supported by developers. But its much worse than that. It is closer to 80%.

Our poll of likely Raleigh voters in September asked more or less just that question.

Would you be more or less likely to vote for a city council candidate that received large donations from developers?
More likely 5%
Less likely 81%

Friday, October 12, 2007

How did they win?

The last five posts on Talking About Politics are trying to make sense of the resounding victory for responsible growth candidates in Raleigh and Cary this week. Gary and Carter’s arguments could be summarized by saying that Mayor Meeker and his allies made good use of developers to bludgeon their opponents. They also make note that good polling helped stir them in the right direction.

That may be true. PPP has done LOTS of polling in the past few years describing how developers and taxpayer give-aways to developers are unpopular and impact fees are very popular. It’s been available for anyone who wanted to see and learn.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

NC Policy Watch's Carolina Issues Poll

NC Policy Watch released their third quarterly Carolina Issues Poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. You can find the press release here and complete results here.

Topics covered were the SCHIP program and the President's veto and transportation. To summarize the results, North Carolina voters like SCHIP and a small majority don't mind it being paid with a cigarette tax. Most North Carolinians support maintaining existing roads over building new ones, they like a combination of new roads and mass transit over just new roads, they want to local government planning for development, but they are unsure of how to pay for transportation needs. I think that covers it.

Red Clay Citizen has their own spin on the poll here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Scoring the results

So how did PPP poll results fare in comparison to actual election results from yesterday’s elections in Wake County? I would say pretty well, considering our sample size problems and large numbers of undecided voters in a low intensity election with low turnout, which makes it even harder to predict the demographics of the electorate.

Where will did well…

Cary Mayor
PPP Poll: Weinbrecht 59%, McAlister 33%
Election: Weinbrecht 58%, McAlister 42%

Cary At-large
PPP Poll: Portman 59%, Byrd 24%
Election: Portman 69%, Byrd 22%

Considering the large margin of error for the Cary races we did very well. We did a good job of getting the gist of the election; Weinbrecht would be a big winner and Portman even bigger.

Raleigh At-large
PPP Poll: Stephenson 25%, Baldwin 20%, Anderson 16%, Tart 6%, Williams 5%, Best 3%
Election: Stephenson 29%, Baldwin 28%, Anderson 19%, Williams 12%, Tart 11%, Best 3%

If not the exact percentages, we got the order just right.

Raleigh District A
PPP Poll: McFarlane 48%, Craven 46%
Election: McFarlane 54%, Craven 46%

I wish I could go back and do this poll again. Before weighting the results to match the demographics of District A, Nancy McFarlane was winning by much more than 2 percent. I probably overestimated the number of Republican voters who would turn out this year.

Wake School Board District 6
PPP Poll: Clark 49%, O’Brien 16%, Armogida, 10%, Zal 3%
Election: Clark 64%, O’Brien 26%, Armogida 6%, Zal 4%

Where we could have done better…

Raleigh District B
PPP Poll: Koopman 40%, Taliaferro 40%, Menendez 8%
Election: Koopman 44%, Taliaferro 33%, Menendez 22%

Same goes for District B as went for District A. Before weighting the results Koopman was winning. Whatever weighting I did do to match the demographics of previous elections in District B did not account for the change in District B of who felt compelled to vote this year. Last year, Taliaferro was unopposed and that may have led to lower turnout, but with a competitive election this year more people voted and those new voters swung the election to Koopman.

Where we missed…

Wake School Board District 3
PPP Poll: LaVance 28%, Hill 20%, Wilson 13%
Election: Hill 47%, LaVance 30%, Wilson 23%

In our defense this race had the highest number of undecided voters, so a lot of change was possible. Factor in the margin of error and you could make a case that our numbers weren’t that bad. But the fact is that we didn’t get the order correct and missed a lot of Kevin Hill supporters.

Overall, our polling missed an undercurrent of hardcore Republican support for candidates Angel Menendez, Sean O’Brien and Alfreda Wilson. But we got the big picture correct. That’s about as good as we could do considering the margins of error and the unknown turnout.

In a high intensity general election in even-numbered years it’s relatively easy to predict percentage turnout of Democrats and Republicans within a few points. But in this low intensity, low turnout local election it’s harder to know who is going to vote. For example, I weighted the Raleigh results to match previous municipal elections in the percentage of the vote coming from African-Americans. But this year there was a city-wide black candidate, Paul Anderson. Would that increase black turnout all over the city? Because Anderson didn’t win I don’t think so, but that is the kind of uncertainty we faced.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tracking graphs

The trends are getting clearer...
Democratic Governor

Democratic President

Republican President

Monday, October 8, 2007

NC Primary Tracking

Results from our October tracking polls are out. Click here for complete results.

Democratic President
Clinton 32%
Edwards 31%
Obama 20%

This is Clinton's second consecutive month in the lead over John Edwards. Obama was doing better in the spring, but has fallen into a clear third.

Republican President
Thompson 31%
Giuliani 20%
McCain 11%
Romney 11%

Giuliani closed the gap between him and Fred Thompson by 7% in the last month. Maybe North Carolina voters are picking up on the dud that is Fred Thompson’s campaign. McCain also went up 4 points, following a national trend.

Democratic Governor
Perdue 39%
Moore 29%

Perdue formally announced her candidacy on October 1 and we polled two days later. 39% is the highest she has been in our poll, but she has lead by 10 percent before. Not clear if this is a bump or a trend.

Republican Governor
Graham 19%
Smith 17%
Orr 11%

Is this the start of something? Fred Smith clearly gained a few points this month. This is the first time we have seen ANY movement in this race. There are still way too many undecided voters to determine anything.

Democratic Lt. Governor
Dalton 12%
Smathers 8%
Dellinger 7%
Besse 6%

Democratic Superintendent
Atkinson 32%
Davis 15%

Democratic Treasurer
Cowell 14%
Young 14%
Weisel 5%

Republican Treasurer
Daughtridge 20%
Folwell 13%

Friday, October 5, 2007

Charges of push polling in Durham

Sorry, I'm about a week late on this story. Durham Mayor Bill Bell has accused challenger Thomas Stith of conducting a push poll, linking Bell to a conflict of interest. See here and here. The poll was conducted by TelOpinion Research, which also conducts polling for the Civitas Institute. Stith was formerly the Vice President of the Civitas Institute.

I think this is a good time to remind people of the definition of a push poll. A push poll, is not a poll at all, but a tactic to spread dirt about a candidate under the guise of a poll. Instead of trying to poll a sample of voters, a push poll should try to go to as many people as possible.

If everybody in Durham got "polled" then I would agree that this was a push poll. But I doubt that's the case. It is more likely a poll that includes some leading questions designed to figure out what negative messages decrease Bell's support the most. In other words, what dirt sticks. This is a common campaign tactic.

Now, whether or not Stith's "dirt" on Bell is truthful is another matter.

Polls! Raleigh City Council

Results here. Survey of 653 likely Raleigh voters, 165 in District A and 117 in District B. The margins of error on the district surveys can go up to +/-8%.

At-Large First Choice, Second Choice
Stephenson 33, 16%
Baldwin 24, 16%
Anderson 18, 13%
Williams 8, 2%
Tart 2,9%
Best 1,4%

District A
McFarlane 48%
Craven 46%

District B
Taliaferro 40%
Koopman 40%
Menendez 8%

Polls! Cary Town Council

Results here. Survey of 156 likely Cary voters. Note that the margin of error is up to +/-8%.

Weinbrecht 59%
McAlister 33%

Portman 59%
Byrd 24%

Polls! Wake County School Board

PPP Survey: 1147 likely voters in Wake County, 159 in District 3 and 178 in District 6. Results here.

District 3
LaVance 28%
Hill 20%
Wilson 13%

District 6
Clark 49%
O'Brien 16%
Armogida 10%
Zal 3%

The following questions were asked countywide: How would you rate the current school board?
Excellent 9%
Good 29%
Fair 26%
Poor 30%

Would you support a .4% transfer tax increase for school construction?
Support 44%
Oppose 48%

Should Wake County school be allowed to provide voluntary sex education?
Favor 64%
Oppose 30%

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

McHenry Polling Primary Possibilities

Thanks to Anglico at BlueNC for finding this.

Congressman Patrick McHenry released a poll yesterday that found he had an 80% approval rating among Republicans in his district. It also showed him defeating two other prominent Republicans if they were matched in a primary campaign.

The two Republicans named in the poll were confused and angry over why they were included in the poll. I'm not sure either. Go read the article, it's quite interesting and bizarre.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Elon Poll: Transfer Tax, Smoking Ban, Immigration, Stem Cell Research

More data from the Elon Poll is out. News release here and data here.

Mark Binker just about nails all the thoughts I had on this data, especially his thoughts on polling taxes. So just go read his thoughts instead of me ripping them off.

Republican disconnect on the war?

Mark Binker takes a closer look at the Elon Poll questions on the Iraq War, specifically support for timetables for withdrawal. The Elon Poll showed strong support for timetables (more than 60%).

Binker goes on to look at the party affiliation breakdowns, showing some drop-off in support between Democrats and Republicans. Yet still, 44% of Republicans support a timetable by 2008, and 56% support a timetable by 2009.

The Elon Poll finds much stronger support for timetables than a PPP survey taken last month. Our poll found only 49% of North Carolinians favored Congress setting a timetable for withdrawal within the next year. Why the difference?

The other option we posed to respondents, besides a timetable, was to follow the President until the job is finished. When asked that way, Republicans stayed with the President and did not support a timetable. In our question, only 24% of Republicans supported timetables and 70% wanted Congress to support the President.

What does that mean? I think there is a slight disconnect between Republicans’ policy preferences and their allegiance to the President. While their support for continuing the war might be weak, they still want to follow President Bush’s lead.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Elon Poll: An Unpopular War

The N&O is reporting more results from the recent Elon Poll. 65% of North Carolina residents disapprove of President Bush’s handling of the War in Iraq. Only 38% approve of his overall job performance.

Also reported:

- 67 percent support a timetable to withdraw some U.S. troops from Iraq by the beginning of 2009, and 64 percent said that they would support a timetable to withdraw some troops by the summer of 2008.

- About 50 percent said the war with Iraq was not worth fighting, with 53 percent saying the United States should no longer be in Iraq.

- 41 percent think that the war has made the nation less safe from terrorism, down from 50 percent five months earlier. 37 percent said they believe the nation is safer, and 15 percent said it is about the same.

- 56 percent felt the nation is more at risk for terrorist attacks, another drop from April, when the figure stood at 61 percent.

On the implications on electoral politics, Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll, said “more telling is that a majority of people now believe we should not be there and two-thirds want to see troops start coming home by the beginning of next year. Such findings in a 'military friendly' state point to the potential political costs this issue poses for both this administration and the Republican Party over the next year.”

Update: Click here for the news release and here for the results (PDF).
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