Monday, October 11, 2010

Nevada Senate Preview

Our Nevada Senate poll coming out tomorrow is like pretty much all of them since Sharron Angle won the Republican nomination- within a few points in one direction. Usually the conventional wisdom is that a tie race means the incumbent will lose but in the case of Nevada there are a couple big reasons why the tie might go to Harry Reid.

The first is that the polling in Nevada was the worst of any swing state in 2008 (well actually it turned out Nevada wasn't a swing state but everyone thought it was because the polling showed a close race.) And the polling was all off in the same direction- underestimating Barack Obama's margin of victory. Obama won the state by 12 points: our final poll had him up by only 4, Mason Dixon had him up by only 4, Rasmussen had him up by only 4, and CNN had him up by only 7. Some pollsters did do a better job- Suffolk showed a 10 point lead, Zogby an 11 point one, and AP a 12 point one.

So the precedent is there for pollsters- especially the ones who have been doing most of the polling for this year's race- to underestimate Democratic performance in the state. Now there are also a couple reasons why that would not be the case again. The first is that it's quite possible the voters pollsters missed in 2008- Obama wave voters- are exactly the same kind of folks who won't be back out to vote this year for a midterm election.

The second is that those below the radar in 2008 voters may now be included in pollsters' samples- I can only speak for what we do but we're calling folks who voted in the 2004 general, 2006 general, or 2008 general so we should have a lot of the people we missed last time in our samples this time. Still it strikes me as much more likely that the polls are systematically underestimating Harry Reid than the other way around.

The other reason the tie might go to Reid is that the polling in Nevada is assuming a much larger gap between Democratic and Republican turnout compared to 2008 than we're seeing most places. In our poll tomorrow the sample reports having voted for Barack Obama by only 2 points, compared to his actual 12 point victory in the state. Even with that big dropoff in turnout from Democrats the race is still very close- but if even half of that enthusiasm gap was chopped between now and November Reid would be in a very strong position. And we have seen indication already this cycle that Democratic interest perks up as election day gets closer.

I certainly think Angle can win by a small amount but if you asked me who has the better chance of winning this by 5 or 6 points I definitely think it's Reid.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

So Harry Reid's last, best chance is that all the polls are wrong.

Yikes.

Anonymous said...

Oh..... Tom is trying to spin bad numbers for a Democrat.....

Anonymous said...

Wishfull dreaming!

ARealSenator said...

Reid got a great draw of opponents and may have scuttled climate change legislation to make it sound like he was more focused on immigration (~24% Hispanic population in Nevada). Whether he wins by a couple or loses by a couple will depend on how many of those 2008 Obama voters turn out again. Do you have a likely voter model breakdown (not at all/somewhat/very/definitely or however you do it) for voters who voted in 2008 but not 2006 or 2004 coming out tomorrow? It will be interesting to see if they plan on voting this year in the Senate race (presumably the majority for Reid).

Chuck T said...

Anonymous said...
So Harry Reid's last, best chance is that all the polls are wrong.

Yikes.

Actually it sounds like the PPP poll will probably show Reid up by a couple of points--which has been pretty much the case in PPP. So they aren't saying the polls are wrong, they are giving some perspective behind the numbers. It's true if democratic enthusiasm increases the likely voter pool will increase. Remember among registered voters in many of these states the Dems are actually LEADING. It's only among the so-called likely voters that the GOP has it's edge--if the voter pool increases it helps dems. It's really not that hard to understand, anonymous. Also I think Reid will be helped in NV by the "none of the above" choice.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Do you have a likely voter model breakdown (not at all/somewhat/very/definitely or however you do it) for voters who voted in 2008 but not 2006 or 2004 coming out tomorrow?"

No, we don't do our screen like that, and we don't parse who voted when--they're all lumped together in the list we call, and then self-screened out if they're not likely to vote.

Anonymous said...

does your poll include "none of the above" as a option

ARealSenator said...

I figured as much but thought I would ask. Thanks Dustin!

Anonymous said...

This is truly pathetic. How do you guys even call yourselves pros after a post like that.

LOL!

wt said...

How many Obama voters have seen the Daily Show episode where Wyatt Cinac shows up at Harry Reid's apology breakfast for calling Obama a "Negro," only to discover that Harry Reid isn't coming? Donna Brazile is apologizing on behalf of Reid.

Great episode. And I wouldn't count on Obama voters suddenly developing a strong drive to vote for Reid.

Brittanicus said...

INCUMBENTS OUT ON NOVEMBER 2—OF EITHER POLITICAL PARTY

US Senator Barbara Boxer in the first session of Congress will--FORCE--upon us a massive Amnesty, for the12 to 20 million illegal aliens and President Obama will sign it into law. Democrats additionally want to enact the President Bush’s Totalization treaty for Mexican illegal workers, so they can access our Social Security benefits. This means SSI for old disabled American will be at risk as well as retirement pensions for every citizen and legal resident. Sen. Reid, Boxer voted in the affirmative on illegal aliens being able to participate in our Social Security system (May 2006). GOOGLE or YAHOO -- Social Security illegal aliens; Hospital costs for illegal aliens is zooming upwards with hardly any payout from the federal government to cover costs.

GOOGLE--dialysis-Illegal aliens; GOOGLE--illegal alien costs. GOOGLE—Amnesty and view the fact from that the Heritage Foundation that an Amnesty covering all illegal immigrants would have a cost estimated at $2.6 trillion dollars. This is incorrigible with the existence of a $13 trillion dollar treasury deficit. Just apply your own keywords to Google or any other search engine, adding the word—Illegal aliens and you will be absolutely dumbfounded? The costs to pay for this an Amnesty will be the taxpayer’s burden, as it’s always been. Every amnesty that follows will bring millions more poverty stricken people and their children, which will smother our education system. Just look at prime examples in Border States, were classrooms are crammed to the fullest with illegal alien children, affecting negatively the schooling of citizen children.

Jerry Brown is a poor excuse for the future of America, as he too would make our suffering border states even worse. He has always been a tax and spend elected official and pro-amnesty advocate.

Brittanicus said...

In the midterm elections watch cautiously illegal aliens violating federal voting laws. Be particularly observant of absentee balloting, as it’s not that complicated for foreigners to vote and alter the direction of voting numbers. The whole system of "Honor Voting" has been compromised in the last ten years and may have severe repercussions in close races in LA and in every other precinct across the country. President Obama is assessing the need for a giant overhaul of our infrastructure. If such is the case every contractor must screen their workers for illegal labor. This would be a perfect time to implement a federal policy of every job seeker vetted through the E-Verify computer databases. Updated and with a 99.6 success rate could expose illegal aliens and open the gates for qualified citizens and authentic green card holders.


Low income Senior Citizens in many emergency rooms must sit for hours, while foreign parents with four to six kids are waiting for treatment. As there is no disclosure of this painful amount of money, as no administration has had the backbone to tell the absolute truth. In Border States many hospitals have been forced to close, as the federal government never reimburses the hospital to the full amount. That for decades each president and his incoherent representatives have never found nerve to release any true accounting of the unimaginable costs in this propagating problem. Senator Boxer, Reid will doom this country to unimaginable overpopulation, with further expenditures whereas 15 million legal workers cannot find a job. What you decide in November, will either be the success of the Tea Party who will not entertain any type of Amnesty whatsoever and demand that Washington secure the open border.

We could pay for the Afghanistan war for a year, with the just the federal cash spent to support the illegal alien welfare. The Tea Party, a mixture of moderate Conservatives, Independents will neither genuflect nor bend to the will of either the GOP elites or the Liberal Democrats progressives.

Timothy said...

In other words: Angle by at least 3 in the poll...

Anonymous said...

"Actually it sounds like the PPP poll will probably show Reid up by a couple of points"

Doesn't really matter who's up, since all Nevada polls understate Democratic margins by up to 8 points. Angle +3 implies a final of Reid +5. Reid +3 also implies Reid +5.

See how that works?

Dustin Ingalls said...

"does your poll include "none of the above" as a option"

Yes, we did a full ballot measure, as you'll see later today.

Al Pippin said...

Tom,
You can't be serious. Do you seriously think that Harry Reid will beat Sharron Angle by 5%-6% in November? This is 2010 and not 2008. Rasmussen has Angle up by 4% (up by 5% since Sept.), CNN has her up by 2%. Intrade has projected Angle's chances of winning at 54.95%. RCP has the same at 66%. Rasmussen has Obama's current approval rating in Nevada at 48/51, with those STRONGLY approving/disapproving of Obama at 32/43. Republican voters outnumbered Democratic voters in Nevada's Senate primaries by 60%. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country - and on and on and on. Republican voters will most definitely show up in droves come November. Sharron Angle by 10+%. Watch and weep.

Eric said...

Sandoval is going to draw something like 55+%, so baby Reid has to get a ton of voters who are voting for a Republican in one race to vote against the Republican in another. That is difficult to say the least and with Reid's high unfavorable ratings almost impossible. A lot of Sandoval voters might obstain or even hold their nose for Harry Reid, but to make up the huge margin in the Governor's race is a bridge too far. Angle wins 50-47.

ARealSenator said...

Brittanicus-

You are either confusing a lot of things or just being disingenuous about them. First, for undocumented workers to become citizens there will be some variety of things they will have to do (admit wrongdoing, pay fines, learn English, etc.) so it's not as if they just all of a sudden get free citizenship. Second, the would-be new citizens are younger than the American population as a whole and, thus, would be better for the social security system (they would have to pay into it before using it) by increasing the worker:retiree ratio. Third, any report by the Heritage Foundation is bound to be skewed to the right. I haven't read the report, but I'm going to guess they only count costs and not benefits of allowing a path to citizenship. Fourth, the Tea Party is not a combination of moderate conservatives and independents. It is a movement hijacked by elite conservative Washington interest groups to win elections that will die out as the economy recovers. Fifth, what is the alternative to a pathway to citizenship? You cannot deport every illegal alien, it's logistically impossible. Republicans used to support a pathway to citizenship before they ran hard to the right to appease the crazies. Just thought I would correct your (typical) right-wing obfuscation and/or ignorance.

Jason Potteiger said...

Thanks for the shout out regarding our numbers. We're a scrappy group here at Suffolk (SUPRC) and we work hard to make our research really count.

 
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