Monday, October 25, 2010

Manchin expands lead

The great challenge of Joe Manchin's Senate campaign has been this: convincing West Virginia voters who like him but don't like Barack Obama to let their affection for him outweigh their animosity toward the President in deciding how to vote this fall. He's been improving in his ability to do that over the last 2 weeks and as a result he's increased his lead over John Raese to 50-44. He led by 3 on a PPP poll a couple weeks ago and had trailed by 3 on a September survey.

The race is pretty much the same place it was two weeks ago with liberals and moderates but Manchin has been making progress with conservatives. Where before he was getting only 17% of their votes, he's now up to 24%. That suggests things like the television ad where he 'shoots' the Cap and Trade bill are helping to reassure voters in the state that he wouldn't be just another vote for the Obama agenda in Washington DC.

The incredible dichotomy between how voters in West Virginia feel about Manchin and Obama continues as the election draws near. Manchin is the most popular politician PPP has polled on anywhere in the country this year, with 69% of voters approving of his job performance to only 23% disapproving. The state simultaneously gives Obama his worst reviews of any state where PPP has conducted a survey this year, with 65% of voters disapproving of him and only 31% approving.

The reason this race has remained close despite Manchin's overwhelming popularity is that for the folks who both like Manchin and dislike Obama, accounting for 37% of voters in the state, the feelings toward Obama have been more influential in how they plan to vote. In early October Manchin trailed 59-34 with that group. Now though, as he's emphasized his conservative credentials on the campaign trail, Manchin is facing only a 51-43 deficit with that segment of the electorate. That's why he's been able to build his lead over the last few weeks.

The other reason Manchin's looking a lot better than he did a month ago is that John Raese simply has not worn well on the campaign trail. In our first West Virginia poll his favorability was 41/35. Since then his positive number has stayed basically the same at 42%, while his negatives have risen to 47%. Republicans may have needed a more formidable candidate than Raese if they were going to defeat the incredibly formidable Manchin.

This race isn't over but Manchin's looking better by the week.

Full results here


NRH said...

Raese hasn't had a positive news cycle in quite some time. It didn't help him when he explained that he 'got his money the old-fashioned way' (i.e. inherited it) or when his wife's residency in Florida instead of West Virginia was revealed, or when Limbaugh talked about having a locker near Raese down in Florida. It's not a good year for ultra-wealthy vanity candidates no matter how much they spend - witness Whitman, McMahon, Raese, and Fiorina. In a year when the economy is driving voters, ultra-wealthy candidates can't capitalize.

Anonymous said...

Slightly more reasonable sample than the laugher from earlier this month. Still showing an electorate massively dominated (59%!) by moderates and liberals.

Rasmussen, I would guess, has a sample with a much higher number of conservatives, thus the diametric opposition of results.

You have to admit, Manchin is not acting like he is ahead -- he's still flailing in desperation, now refusing to support Obama for reelection!

Unknown said...

I think the issue I have is the percentage of self-identitified Democrats is higher here than either 08 or 04. In fact there were less self-Id'd Democrats in 08 than in 06, and you can see a regression in that specific demographic since Bush surprised Gore there in 2000. I think the Rasmussen screen is closer to the real result. I imagine its a 47/48% D electorate, and with 1/3 of them going to Raese, I don't see how Manchin can win. Plus, his campaign keeps switching his position on every one of the President's initiatives, and literally gives a different answer every time he is on the news about the HC bill. Much like Weld/Kerry in 96, the people of WV want to keep the governor home.

Chuck T said...

If Manchin wins WVA in all likelihood the Senate will remain Democratic. CT is looking stronger for the Dems, DE turned out to be a blessing in surprise, CA and WA I think are firming up.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious this is a Dem/KOS outfit, trying desperately to push a positive narrative for Dems. Like that Newsweek poll the other day with BO Job Approval at 54% and Dems ahead on the generic ballot by 8pts.

All you guys have to do is jigger your sample and tamper with your internals to get the result you want. Any crumbs you can provide the KOS crowd and you've done your part. Your internals and sample are ridiculous, but at least you have been a good foot soldier for the Liberal cause.

I say Manchin loses by 7 based on enthusiasm of the folks in the state to stop Obama.

Timothy said...

Raese by 4...mark it down.

Unknown said...

Carly Fiorina isn't financing her own campaign She's raised about the same amount of money from contributors that Patty Murray. It's just that Murray has raised $3.4 million from PACs and Fiorina has raised less than a quarter of that. I'd rather have someone put $5.5 million of their own money into a campaign than get all that from special interests. At least they owe no one but themselves.

Anonymous said...

This may be a Democrat/Kos poll, but I think Tom has to be mindful of what happened to Research2000... I don't think he's cooking numbers. He may be flat wrong, but that's another story.

Anonymous said...

How is Manchin ahead by even more than his internal polls indicate?

Al Pippin said...

Let me see now - you / PPP has manchin leading by 6%, Rasmussen has it Raese by 8%, Intrade has Raese chances of winning @ 60%, 538and (Larry) Sabato's Crystal Ball, both have the race even.

Now, just for fun, lets throw in Gallup's Enthusiasm factor, favoring Republican candidates by 13%-18%, depending on overall turnout. Irrespective of polling numbers (yours and others'), Republican voter turnout will be significantly higher than that for Democratic voters - ESPECIALLY SO in this year's Mid-terms. Virtually every major pollster in this country are in agreement with that assessment.

Raese will win this one by 10+%, going away. Watch and weep.

Anonymous said...

When your polling result is in line or to the left of a Democrat's campaign poll for media release, you should expect reasonable observers to doubt the result.

Manchin campaign poll:
Manchin 48-43

Manchin 50-44

Raese 50-43

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Now, just for fun, lets throw in Gallup's Enthusiasm factor, favoring Republican candidates by 13%-18%"

Do you even read what we write? The enthusiasm gap is not uniform across the country.

Anonymous said...

Suppose Manchin does win. Does he vote with the Dems or Reps in D.C.? He has separated himself so much during this campaign from national Dems on the issues that you have to wonder how much trouble he'll give the Dems in Washington.

I heard this morning that Manchin would not commit to supporting and voting for Obama in 2012. I guess he can't considering the polling data. But I do wonder if this is all campaign fluff and he'll be a lapdog for the Dems once he is sworn in in January.

Al Pippin said...

"Do you not read what we write? The enthusiasm gap is not uniform across the country"

But it is uniform Dustin. And it is indeed happening across this country. It's simply a matter of relativity, measured in gradation, rather than absolutes. "Red" states have only gotten redder, while many traditionally "Blue" states are not so blue anymore; with many others now more purple than blue.

Yes, many Democrats will win their respective races. But by much smaller margins, than what might have been otherwise considered likely. Many Democratic candidates thought to be virtual "shoe ins" to win their respective races, not one year ago; are now struggling to politically survive. A good many will not.

West Virginia is but one very likely example of this. 6 - 8 months ago, hardly anyone would have imagined Joe Manchin, an extremely popular Governor, with very high favorables, being in a highly competitive Senate race, with the possibility of actually losing it. Absurd, most would have said.

After all, West Virginia is a state, whereas 55% of it's voters registered as Democrat, while only 29% registered as Republican. Yet, here we are, one week out from the elections and..... Who would've thought?

Let's face it Dustin, Republican numbers trend up in numbers, from registered to likely voters. The same is generally true between "likely" and actual voters.

USAToday, yesterday (10/26)came out with it's own polling numbers on the "enthusiasm gap"; once again favoring the Republican candidates - and by a 63% to 37% margin. These are numbers that are relatively consistent with those being reported by a number of other pollsters.

Like I said, "Raese will win this one by 10+% going away. Watch and weep"

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