Friday, February 11, 2011

Obama in the swing states

In 2008 Barack Obama won nine states and one electoral vote giving Congressional district that had gone to George W. Bush in 2004. We've now polled every single one of those over the last three months except for Indiana, where we can't do one because of restrictions on automated polling in the state. Across 36 horse race match ups against Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, and Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District Obama is 36 for 36. If he stood for reelection today against one of the current Republican front runners Obama would almost certainly win the same number of electoral votes he did in 2008, if not more.

Here's how our polls in those eight states and a Congressional district have broken down:

Obama v.

2008 Vote

Gingrich

Huckabee

Palin

Romney

Colorado

+9

+14

+9

+19

+6

Florida

+3

+5

+5

+14

+2

Iowa

+10

+13

+4

+16

+6

NE-2

+1

+19

+11

+24

+9

Nevada

+12

+11

+10

+13

+1

New Mexico

+15

+21

+19

+29

+16

North Carolina

+0

+6

+4

+9

+3

Ohio

+4

+6

+1

+7

+2

Virginia

+6

+11

+5

+11

+5


And some observations:

-Obama won these nine places by an average of seven points in 2008. Only Romney improves on that, trailing by an average of six points in them. Huckabee is down by an average of eight, Gingrich by 12, and Palin by 16. Gingrich does worse than McCain did in 8 of 9 places, improving only in Nevada. Huckabee does worse than McCain did in 4 of the states, better than McCain did in 4 of the states, and the same as McCain did in one of them. Palin does worse than McCain did in every single one of them. Romney does better than McCain did in 6 and worse in 3- North Carolina, Nebraska's 2nd District, and New Mexico.

-The states where Obama's average lead is the lowest- and thus perhaps the ones Republicans will win back first- are Ohio where he leads by an average of 4, North Carolina where he leads by an average of 6, and Florida where he leads by an average of 7. There are four where he has an average double digit lead and thus seem like they would be the hardest for the GOP to get back. Those are Iowa where he leads by an average of 10, Colorado where he's up an average of 12, NE-2 where he's up an average of 16 (although Republicans may get that electoral vote back in another way), and New Mexico where he's up an average of 21. Virginia where he leads by an average of 8 and Nevada where the average advantage is 9 fall in the middle.

Republicans need two things to happen over the next 20 months if they're going to beat Obama and time is one thing they have on their side- they need a much stronger candidate to emerge, whether it's someone outside this top 4 or someone inside this top 4 successfully remaking their image, and they need Obama's numbers to get back in negative territory and probably by a good amount- somewhere south of 45%.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you change anything in the way you polled NV?

After all, all public pollsters (including you) were heavily biased Republican in Nevada in both 2008/2010.

Anonymous said...

Your using Palin's numbers for the average is quite misleading, because it's of a different league (Gingrich maybe too), it's not so much for the credible challengers debate where the trailing numbers are smaller, if Palin is the nominee, Obama doesn't need to campaign. Averaging the credible challengers might give a better perspective without skewing the numbers.

Kevin said...

I wonder how low his appprovals would have to go before Palin could beat him.

Anonymous said...

Now how about Indiana and new Hampshire?

Anonymous said...

Having worked there in '08 for a pro-Obama 501c4, organizing GOTV in NV is incredibly incredibly tough--transient electorate, absurd foreclosure rates (=canvassing in nearly empty neighborhoods), and the most hostile voters I've ever encountered. That being said, OFA/DNC and unions have NV GOTV figured out really damn well, and they have volunteer resources from CA that multiply their numbers at least two-fold. The abysmal economy also provides outside groups (such as the one I worked for) with plenty of people who will knock doors for $10/hour. Repubs trying to run up their turnout in NV is like Napoleon marching towards Moscow.

And that's why Repubs usually under-perform their polling. Polls have a hard time "capturing" the relative strengths of GOTV, and a good turnout operation fudges with pollsters' likely-turnout models.

Also, very often whoever has the polling lead going into E-Day, will gain on that lead and outperform the numbers.

Anonymous said...

I think you guys should drop Palin and Gingrich from the top 4 and add Pawlenty and Huntsman.

You guys hit the nail on the head, the most important states are CO, VA, NV, OH, FL (and maybe NC) for the 2012 Pres. race.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Now how about Indiana and new Hampshire?"

Bush didn't win NH in '04, and Tom said, if you bothered to read the whole post, that we can't poll IN.

"I think you guys should drop Palin and Gingrich from the top 4 and add Pawlenty and Huntsman."

Since those two are just about unknown, they wouldn't do any better than Palin or Gingrich, who are almost universally known. At this point, name recognition means a lot. If another candidate seems to jump into the national conscience in the coming months, as the race takes shape, they may get added to our regular matchups, but right now, these four are the only ones with a national profile.

Granny T said...

Could you ask for volunteers to make calls to Indiana and provide lists with scripts? Would they allow that?

Jonny V said...

It's important to make sure Romney is not the GOP nominee as I think he's the only guy the Republicans have who can be a serious challenge to Obama (assuming Obama is vulnerable in 2012)

Anonymous said...

New Hampshire is still unpolled, but Pennsylvania? Wisconsin? Minnesota?

vp said...

Polling NE-2 is utterly pointless. The state is dominated by Republicans, many of whom are mortified that Obama won an electoral vote in 2008. The state's congressional districts could easily be gerrymandered so than no district is competitive at the Presidential level, or alternatively the state could just switch to winner-take-all.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"New Hampshire is still unpolled, but Pennsylvania? Wisconsin? Minnesota?"

We've already done those three.

Anonymous said...

So, how instructive is this before campaigning has begun, against a sitting president?

not at all instructive.

Though, I'm happy they are setting up the groundwork for actually polling once primaries BEGIN.

Funny, demotards will probably use this errant polling as a baseline.

Anonymous said...

The economy is so bad you can pay pollsters $8 an hour to ask loaded questions whose answers favor Obama. If you think He gets reelected if conditions stay about the same, you're insane.

It's well known pollsters call more Dems and self-proclaimed "independents" than conservatives. They use leading questions by trained scripted workers to elicit the answers they want for their scripted results.

Only Obama wins? Union thugs and canvassers come up with ghost ballots or have absentee ballets tossed as they did in Nevada in the first case (which is a shame for our Free Press tradition), and WA and Minnesota and Wisconsin in all cases.

You want Communism - yeah, a dirty word no one has the courage to mouth these day - and all our "traditions " and ideals of liberty and property replaced by "new traditions," then by all means facilitate this psycho's reelection.

Handsome Smitty

Fred said...

anyway you can pub the partisan splits in the weightings here? (D/R/I).

why would BHO approval need to be under 45%? i think truman was the only re-elect in last 70 years or so to win re-elect south of 50. what goes into your analysis there? thanks.

Mike said...

I don't even want to entertain for one minute this guy will take a second term.
This is the most upsetting news I have heard in months.
I think this country has gone collectively insane.

Anonymous said...

Devastating. I honestly can't think of anything worse for this country than another four years of Obama to bankrupt and undermine America. Utterly devastating.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the liberals continue to delude themselves about Obama...
he is a doofus and will get his butt beat in 2012 no matter how skewed or biased the polls are this Democrat polling firm.

Anonymous said...

Just want to make sure I'm clear here. You want me to believe that BHO of November 2008 - Running in the collapse/depression "caused" by the evil Bushitler ... Running against MaCain/Palin was not nearly as popular as the guy is today after the GOP onslaught or just 3 months ago.

Seriously? That's what you're peddling?

Anonymous said...

Uh huh, right, this after Repubs took the most House seats in modern history? What were the internals on this poll, +12 Dem affiliation and all adults? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Repugs - what you're seeing is the truth of what will come for your loser candidate in 2012. Obama's going to win in a landslide. If he - as I hope - gets to run against Palin - or Bachmann, even better - his numbers will be over 60%. Anyone else between 54 and 57 %. You heard it here first. Get ready to be in the wilderness again - for manhy years.

Anonymous said...

Very encouraging to see those numbers, especially on Palin. But the best part is the opportunity to read the Freepers' deranged comments. Hopefully you guys stick with your convictions and nominate Sarah.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what's wrong with people in the pro-Obama states? No idea what is happening in this Country...in the World? Cave dwellers I would guess? Doesn't take many brain cells to realize that his "American Idol" ascent was a major judgment blunder in 2008 I mean....this guy is clueless but then community organizing is no way to prepare a person to lead a Country is it? Whatever the cause....it's sad there are still so many people with their heads in the sand. Maybe he won't dance on Ellen this time and we can get a real leader in the White House?

Anonymous said...

>>>Running in the collapse/depression "caused" by the evil Bushitler <<< You might want to do a little research on this....it isn't difficult as a matter of fact, it's a matter of public record. Of course you will need to take a little initiative instead of merely repeating a erroneous misconception. The public record clearly shows that while Bush made some errors (as has almost every President in history) the collapse of 2008 can not be reasonably placed at his feet. In fact, the numbers of historical record are indisputable and even a biased Democratic Party and left wing mainstream Media can't twist them in their favor....that's the beauty of historical records such as House and Senate votes....they are recorded. Undoubtedly you will be utterly surprised at how erroneous your statement is. In fact, the collapse of 2008 can correctly be traced back to 1977 and the CRA. That Act made the collapse inevitable now....who was President in 1977? Hmmmmmm?

Anonymous said...

It looks like this was linked at Free Republic or one of the teatard sites today.

Sniffa

Woody said...

I'm with anonymous who asked for a poll in Indiana. And YES, I did read the part of your post that said that automatic polling is outlawed in Indiana.

Find a method to do a poll in Iindiana within their peculiar law, using the same questions phrasing, same question order, etc. as in your other state polls.

It will cost a lot more money, I get that, but it would be well worth it.

Worth it, not just for completeness of comparable results for all swing states, but also because Hoosiers next year will elect a new governor and vote for Senator, as well as having a couple of open or freshly filled House seats. Prospective candidates in those races will crave information on Obama's chances at the top of the ticket as they decide whether or not to run with him.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"It will cost a lot more money, I get that, but it would be well worth it."

You gonna pony up the cash?

Anonymous said...

Right Dustin, just I mean why you include not in this Post your results about Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as "swing states". You have the data :)

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Right Dustin, just I mean why you include not in this Post your results about Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as "swing states". You have the data :)"

If you bothered to read, the states Tom included were states that BUSH WON that Obama then won. Bush never won any of those three, so they're not Bush-Obama states. And they're not very strong swing states either. MN hasn't gone red since Nixon's landslide over McGovern in 1972. WI hasn't since Reagan's 1984 landslide over Mondale. PA hasn't since Bush's pretty strong '88 win over Dukakis. So we're talking extraordinary conditions for a Republican to win these states.

Anonymous said...

"You want Communism - yeah, a dirty word no one has the courage to mouth these day"

Clearly you've already forgotten about the 2010 primaries and/or simply ignore it when Republicans appear on TV. Far-right lunatics are calling Obama socialist/communist/Marxist/Leninist/fascist/Nazi/etc. ALL THE TIME.

The wonderful thing is Bush's record blows Obama's out of the water in that regard. Bush authorized torture. He's the one who locked people up without trial or charge. He's the one who advocated war against a country that wasn't threatening us to begin with.

Obama comes along and passes health reform that both increases access to health care and reduces the deficit. But I guess in lunatic Republican land, helping people instead of killing them is communist, and we just aren't real, patriotic Americans with any moral values if we don't have a gun in our hand and our brain in the gutter.

CoolBlue71 said...

Nevada and New Mexico have been routinely no more than five points spread apart in their margins. Both bellwethers (voting with the winner in every election, other than 1976, since N.M. first participated in 1912; they disagreed in 2000), I don't buy any potential for them to be spread apart more than 10 points.

Virginia and Colorado should be considered rising bellwethers.

2012 will produce one of the following: 1) Republican pickup of the White House (a national shift between 8 to 10 points to flip all of President Obama's pickup states from 2008); 2) Re-election for Obama, by an additional 2.51% to 5.00% (in which case he gives up Indiana and Nebraska #02 but flips a combination of the following: Missouri, Montana, Georgia and, more of margins challenge, Arizona); 3) The GOP nominates a bomb, leading to Obama essentially doubling his 2008 popular-vote margin (in which case, no states are loss and he wins over not only Mo., Mont., Ga., Ariz., but North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska).

 
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