Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Did the speech make a difference or not?

So we've seen polling now from CNN and Research 2000 that would seem to indicate things are headed in the right direction for Obama after last week, polling from Gallup/USA Today showing that they aren't, and polling from Rasmussen first showing that they were and then showing that they weren't. And I'm sure I'm missing other polls that fall into one or another of those categories as well.

We'd love to give you some clarity...but we can't. We've conducted two polls since last Wednesday night. The one in SC-2 looked great for Obama and health care. The one in New Jersey we'll release in full tomorrow looks terrible.

The day after the speech I suggested the two swing groups he needed to win over were conservative Democrats and moderate independents. I said if he was in the 60-70% support range on health care with those groups it would show the game had changed but that if it was still 45-55% it would indicate we were right where we were before.

It's a limited sample size but here's what we've found on those fronts:

-In SC-2 support for him among moderate independents on health care is at 55%. Not bad, but not where he needs to get it. But it's a much happier story than New Jersey, where it's just 30%

-In SC-2 among conservative Democrats it's at 79%...but you need to keep in mind there that 71% of the folks who fall into that group are African American. In New Jersey it's at 53%.

So based on the metrics we had laid out Obama's speech probably did not give support for him on health care the boost it needed. But we'll see where it looks nationally this weekend, where we have data from last month that we can compare it to, as well as looking at it in whatever state we end up polling.

I think the truth is going to end up being that we're right where we were a week ago and that the SC-2 numbers may be a reflection of voters there feeling like they have to be nicer to Obama because their Congressman was a jerk.

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