Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why is Indiana competitive?

In a lot of states Barack Obama is competitive in this year where he doesn't seem to have any business doing as well as he is, there are one or two things you can point to and say 'that's why.'

It's not that simple in Indiana though, because Obama has made significant gains relative to 2004 with pretty much every group of the electorate.

First let's look at folks who did vote in 2004:

-Independents who answered our poll said they went 46-36 for Bush in 2004, now they say they're 49-39 for Obama. That's a 20 point swing.

-But Obama is also peeling off a lot more Republicans than John Kerry did. Bush won them 92-4, but McCain is only up 86-10 in his own party. That's a 12 point gain for Obama even with GOP'ers.

-Obama is leaking a lot fewer Democratic voters here than Kerry did. Kerry won them 73-17, but Obama is taking them 84-11. A 17 point gain there means that Obama is doing double digits better with Democrats, Republicans, and independents relative to 2004 Democratic performance.

-Obama has significantly increased the Democratic performance with urban voters, as the conventional wisdom suggests and you might expect. A 51-38 lead from 2004 is now a 63-32 one. What you might not hear about as much is the fact that is making strong in roads with rural and small town voters as well. Bush won rural voters by 32 points last time, now Obama has halved that and trails McCain by just 16. Bush dominated in the small towns, winning 53-35 last time. Now Obama has the race with those voters in the margin of error, down just 47-44.

And of course the new voters don't hurt:

-Among poll respondents who said they did not cast a ballot in 2004, Obama is up 68-24. Part of that's because there's a lot of new Democratic voters, but among independents who didn't vote in 2004 Obama has a remarkable 65-24 advantage as well.

So why is Obama doing so well in Indiana? Because he's doing comparatively well with every kind of voter in every part of the state. It's an across the board movement.


Abhinav Agarwal said...

Thanks for the detailed poll analysis.

A data typo in the following portion?
"Bush dominated ... Obama has the race with those voters in the margin of error, down just 53-35."

Tom Jensen said...

Thanks for catching that- fixed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for polling Indiana! I'm not sure I believe the numbers, but that's not your fault.

On your next surveys, would it be worth asking how recently they registered to vote in the state?

Anonymous said...

Tom, in NC 400.000 are already cast their ballots and 28% are AA.

Look this great site for the updates for every states.

This numbers for NC is huge, no? 400.000 in 2 or 3 days.


Anonymous said...

In Georgia, 757.666 have already cast their ballots and 35.6% are AA. Already 23% from 2004 total votes.


Every day they make a update on the website.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Hoosier who voted early (working on Election Day) and the urban polling place I went to is slammed with folks, which is atypical.

Also, I wonder if there are numbers which reflect my anecdotal view that the Hoosier State's influx of Hispanic voters has helped Democrats. Unlike Nebraska with meat-packing plants or the truly huge cities of the Northeast and West, Indiana wouldn't seem to have much to draw Hispanics. But, since it's a state -- still -- primarily devoted to manufacturing, there are decent jobs to take which do not require a college degree, just a work ethic and a healthy physique.

The Republicans in this State, even more than nationwide, have ramped up an anti-immigrant campaign which would make Pat Buchanan proud and I think this has driven these Hispanic voters toward the Democratic party.

If I'm right, then that makes me happy for two reasons (first is I like being right)....

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