Thursday, September 18, 2008

Palin's effect in Virginia

There are some very interesting similarities between the PPP and SurveyUSA polls of Virginia this week:

1) Both show Barack Obama doing better with Democrats than John McCain is with Republicans. We have Obama up 91-7 in his party and McCain winning his 85-12. They have Obama up 87-12 with Democrats and McCain with an 80-17 advantage among Republicans. As far as I can remember we have not found a higher degree of party unity for Democrats than Republicans in any other state.

2) Neither company found that same trend in its final pre-Palin poll. We had McCain winning 89-7 with Republicans and Obama up 84-12 with Democrats while their figures were 89-7 also for McCain and 86-10 for Obama.

So if our companies are right, Republicans in Virginia are less behind McCain now and Democrats in the state are now more behind Obama.

What's driving that?

-66% of the Republicans supporting Barack Obama said John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate made them less likely to vote for him. That may be helping to move a few more GOP voters toward the Obama camp.

-In most of the battleground states we've polled since the conventions, Republican voters like Palin more than Democratic voters dislike her. But in Virginia it's almost equal- 73% of Republicans say having Palin on the ticket makes them more likely to vote for McCain while 71% of Democrats say it makes them less likely to do so. The unusual level of dislike for Palin among Virginia Dems may be having the effect of increased party unity.

We'll stay tuned to whether this trend continues.


Anonymous said...

Tom what about the Allstate/National Journal VA poll out today (taken 9/11 to 9/15) showing McCain up by 7 (48 to 41)? Any insights on this poll. I don't have access to its cross-tabs (if they are even available).

Anonymous said...

I will answer my own question that I posed to Tom. It appears that the reason for the discrepancy between NJ's VA poll numbers and those of Rasmussen, SUSA, and PPP is due for two reasons: (1) NJ has more Reps in its sample than Dems (Reps make up appx 42% of NJ's sample and Dems make up 38%), which is ridiculous given that even the exit polls from 2004 showed Reps barely outnumbering Dems at the ballot box (41% to 39%) and that was the Reps highwater mark with the great Bush GOTV effort in years past Dems have always outnumbered Reps come election day, it is that a lot of them cross over and vote Rep; and (2) NJ has some incredible Indy numbers with McCain winning them by 15 pts (43 to 28), however, given the extraordinary high undecided number almost 30% I have a tough time believing NJ's Indies number. So all in all I'd say NJ's numbers are a little out in left field --- not as close to the infield (more accurate measurement) then the three pollsters mentioned before.

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