Saturday, October 25, 2008

Voter Movement in Virginia

It looks like there could be a shift of as many as 20 points in the Democratic direction in Virginia relative to 2004.

Certainly Barack Obama's 61-24 lead with new voters has a lot to do with that. But there's a lot more going on as well:

-A major shift in suburbia. When you hear about Virginia's changing electorate, this is where it's happening. Suburban voters in our poll reported supporting John Kerry just 48-44 in 2004. Now they're going for Obama 58-38. Given that almost half of Virginians describe themselves as suburbanites, this shift explains Obama's success in the state more than anything else.

-Independents turned on their heads. This is happening pretty much everywhere but that doesn't make it any less notable. The ones we surveyed supported George W. Bush 46-38 in 2004. Now they're for Obama 48-39.

-A big shift with young voters. The ones we surveyed who voted in 2004 supported John Kerry by a narrow margin of 42-36. Now the demographic as a whole support Obama 56-34.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

What worries me about VA is that your poll has a lot more Kerry supporters than actually were in Virginia, 2004.
Perhaps many of them moved to VA from more liberal, northern states?

Tom Jensen said...

I think it's a combination of 1) what you said, 2) people saying they voted who didn't really, and 3) people not taking responsibility for voting for Bush.

Anonymous said...

(Same anonymous as above. I should really get an ID sometime.)

The thing is that we would expect 2&3 to be about the same across all the states. Or at least 3 would be a function of Bush disapproval. But in contrast, your 2004 numbers seem to have been about right across FL, WV, OH. But not in IN - which I don't think is known for its large number of liberal immigrants over the last 4 years. In fact, Indiana has had relatively good approval ratings for Bush - that last poll of there that I could find was SUSA giving him 40% approval in February.

So I'm thinking now that it isn't specifically people not wanting to take responsibility for Bush. The common thing about Indiana and Virginia is that they've 'blued' on the presidential level a lot more than the nation as a whole over the past 4 years, for one reason or another, and hence there are many people who've turned against the Republican party, and don't want to admit that they once supported it.

My guess is that if you ask the Kerry/Bush question in your next and last NC poll, you'll find a similar dynamic going on again. Probably in MT as well.

Anonymous said...

I have a tough time believing the party id numbers in the poll. Exit polls from previous Pres elections in VA show either an even split among Reps and Dems or a slight edge (3 or 4 pts) for Reps amongst those who voted in VA. The party id numbers shown in this poll would only be reasonable if one were to assume this is going to be a Dem tsuanmi election. Perhaps. But from a purely historical voting pattern perspective I think at best Dems will manage a +3 or 4 in terms of turnout over the Reps, which would roughly swing PPPs topline numbers from a 9 pt advantage for Obama to more of a 3 or 4 pt advantage.

drew said...

Tom, are y'all in the field in Georgia yet, and, if so, how's it looking?

ttfrenzy said...

Tom, any hints on North Carolina? I'm interested in seeing whether its showing any tightening since McCain and Palin started actually campaigning there

Tom Jensen said...

Yes there is tightening. I think Obama is still up but not by as much.

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