Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dem interest not picking up enough...

One of the biggest hopes for Democrats heading toward election day has been that the party's voters will get more engaged as the election comes closer, helping to mitigate its losses. A PPP analysis of 9 states where we've polled in October and also conducted a survey in August or September finds that the likely electorate for this fall is trending more Democratic- but not nearly to the extent the party needs.

On average in those places we're looking at a likely voter pool that's about 1.5 points more Democratic than a month or two ago. That's certainly better than no progress but it's not enough to make the difference in a particularly large number of races.

In 2 of the 9 states Democrats have seen a game changing increase in engagement. We've seen a 7 point Democratic shift in the likely electorate in West Virginia since mid-September and that's a big part of why we had John Raese ahead then and have Joe Manchin ahead now. When Manchin was viewed as a shoo in there didn't seem to be much of a sense of urgency from Democrats about voting. When the race started being perceived as a toss up that changed quite a bit.

The other state where there's been a big rise in Democratic vote likelihood is Pennsylvania, where there's been a 5 point shift from mid-August. Joe Sestak and Dan Onorato may lose anyway but their races are now looking markedly more competitive than they did over the summer, thanks mostly to the Democratic awakening.

In a couple of other key states though Democrats aren't showing any increased interest and in some cases could even be sliding backward. The likely electorate in Illinois in August was Obama +9 and when we polled there last weekend it was still Obama +9. Usually for a Republican to win in a blue state like Illinois they would need a massive advantage with independents and to win over a fair number of Democrats. Mark Kirk and Bill Brady are doing neither of those things but still in a position to win because of what's likely to be a massive drop in Democratic turnout in the state.

Another place where the enthusiasm gap could cost Democrats dearly is Florida. In August we saw a McCain +3 electorate there, right around the time of the Senate primary, while we've now seen that slide to McCain +7 in a state that Obama won by 3 points. If Rick Scott wins it's not going to be because he won over 2008 Obama voters- because he's not doing that- but because those Democratic leaners stayed home in such large numbers that it allowed him to eak out a narrow victory.

Here's the data on how the electorate has shifted in these states over the last couple months:


Most Recent Poll

First Likely Vote Poll



Obama +20

Obama +21



McCain +16

McCain +13


West Virginia

McCain +16

McCain +23



Obama +3




Obama +9

Obama +9



Obama +4

McCain + 1



McCain +7

McCain +3


North Carolina

McCain +4

McCain +9



McCain +14

McCain +16



McCain +2.2

McCain +3.9



J said...

Well I've been recommending looking at Georgia. In 1 week, the poll from the same firm showed a 5.5+ deal advantage turn into a 5.8+ advantage, despite Barnes doubling GOP support, Deal losing GOP from 76 to 74% this week, old people and women moving to Barnes. It's a close race that's been nationally ignored over.

Anonymous said...

Obama won Florida by under 3 points, not 10.

Al Pippin said...

Why, may I ask, do you continue to use John McCain in your/PPP's polls as a comparative measure of what Obama's approval numbers are? John McCain, at this point, is TOTALLY irrelevant to the issues and politics of today. So let's move on already.

Anonymous said...

Polls only measure voter 'intentions' and intentions are often poor predictors of actualy behavior. Psychology Today just posted an article about how voter turnout might be depressed due to "complaining learned helplessness".
If what the author says is true, it could be the late shifting voter who is most likely to just say 'forget it' and stay home on election day.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Why, may I ask, do you continue to use John McCain in your/PPP's polls as a comparative measure of what Obama's approval numbers are? John McCain, at this point, is TOTALLY irrelevant to the issues and politics of today. So let's move on already."

It's not a comparative measure of Obama's approval. It's showing what the relative turnout of Obama and McCain voters is--a measurement of the enthusiasm gap. Where the self-reported '08 vote is the same as the actual results, which is actually true last time we polled Texas, there is no enthusiasm gap. In states where people who say they voted for McCain way outnumber those who actually did, there is a pro-Republican enthusiasm gap. In Alaska, there's actually a slight pro-Democratic enthusiasm gap. In California, the pro-GOP gap is not very large, just a few points. Yet you will continue to say it's uniform across the country because you have a brick wall between the screen and your brain.

bacalove said...

First they took our Paychecks, Then Our Homes, What Next?

Americans wake up to what is going on. No more carrying the tax burden, while GOP let wealthy and corporations get away with Paying No taxes or very little. That is why we have such a high tax burden. No more saying Nay to not investing in America, which creates Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, while our jobs go to China and India. Realize that less Government, means No Regulations and no one to get in the way of their fraudulent schemes! Say no the Party of No on November 2nd! And, if you do not vote, and you lose Social Security benefits because of privatization or if Unemployment Benefits are put on Freeze, or more jobs shipped overseas, and all you get in Congress is Gridlock and Fillibusters, so that nothing can get accomplished, then there is no one to blame but yourself!

The Pretenders, GOP/Tea Party's, "mission" is to sell to the American people the "bill of goods" that we Need less government, after all, government will only get in the way of their fraudulent schemes and try to hold them accountable to people and not to corporations!

Then, they pretend that they want to lower taxes for the American people knowing full well that the loopholes they created for the wealthy means that Corporations and wealthy Americans pay very little taxes or No taxes at all, so that every-day Average Americans have to carry and Shoulder all the tax burden.

Then they pretend they want to Create Jobs in America, but to Create Jobs, you must Invest in America, not in China and India -- that grows their economy, not ours!

Al Pippin said...

"It's showing what the relative turnout of Obama and McCain voters is---a measurement of the enthusiasm gap"

Okay Dustin, Let's try it one more time, as apparently you don't get my original point.

I fully understand the methodology that you're using - as a means of ascertaining a measurable level of enthusiasm (and projected turnout) between Democrat and Republican voters that presently exists. It would seem to me that you're comparing rotten apples to rotten oranges.

First of all, you have a sitting President who's favorables are dropping like a rock; with a recent Harris poll having his approvals at 37/63 (-26), with Rasmussen having his strongly held approvals at 25/45 (-20).

On the other hand, John McCain no longer fits into the ideological framework of what most Republican voters, in 2010, have, want or would support. In other words, if he were to once again run for the Presidency in 2012, I am convinced that he would wind up with VERY little support from Republican voters.

In any event, the bottom line is that (unlike in 2008) both Barack Obama and John McCain represent a rather significant liability to their respective parties. That's why very few candidates, from either party, that are now running for office, are asking for nor want Obama or McCains' overt support.

You might as well have Donald Duck, with an "R" on his chest, pitted against Mickey Mouse with a "D" on his - then polling in each state their favorables - one against the other.

To me, it makes about as much sense.

And your response Dustin? I'm waiting!

Dustin Ingalls said...

Al, are you actually trying to make a point, or just blathering? Because nothing you have said is of any relevance to what I said or to anything regarding polling.

Al Pippin said...

I don't know what garbage bin your getting your information from, but let me set you straight on a few of your rather moronic assertions.

According to The Congressional Budget Office (Re: 2009)

(1)The top 1% money earners in the
U.S. made 19% of all pre-tax
income, yet paid 39% of all
individual income tax revenue.

(2)The top 20% of all money
earners in the U.S. made 56%
of all pre-tax income, yet
paid 86% of all individual
income tax revenue.

(3)The lowest 43% of money earners
in the U.S. had no income
tax liability or had a negative
tax liability; meaning
the government actually
paid them.

(4)The Corporate income tax rate
in the U.S. is the 2nd high-
est of the 10 richest coun-
tries in the world - higher
than Russia, India and even
China. The one country with a
higher corporate tax rate than
that which currently exists in
this country is Japan.

Personally speaking, I could care less about how much money these "greedy fatcats" are making, or how they spend it. What I consider to be far more relevant to the overall well being of this country is that, while their making all that wealth, they also create a whole bunch of jobs for the American people - particularly so for those who currently don't have one. Now that's what I would consider to be "fair".

Bacalove: The next time you choose to spew your liberal/socialistic/ progressive, class envy ladened crap - try to bring some ascertainable facts - and a little bit of honesty and integrity with you - something that you clearly lack in your above "commentary". And while your at it, try to get yourself a life! Otherwise, I would like to wish you a good day. You probably need one.

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