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Monmouth University Poll: O’Donnell Cuts Coons’ Edge to 10 Points

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In the past two weeks, Republican Christine O’Donnell has narrowed Democrat Chris Coons’ lead in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race from 19 points to 10 points. The latest Monmouth University Poll finds Coons has the support of 51 percent of likely voters to 41 percent for O’Donnell. Two weeks ago, this race stood at 57 percent to 38 percent.

O’Donnell has actually pulled into a 49 percent to 43 percent lead in the southern part of the state (i.e. Kent and Sussex counties). Two weeks ago, this region of the state was divided at 47 percent for O’Donnell and 46 percent for Coons. The Democrat continues to hold a sizable advantage in New Castle County, but the current 56 percent to 36 percent margin is down from the 63 percent to 33 percent edge he held earlier this month.

O’Donnell has also made gains among independent voters, now leading Coons 47 percent to 42 percent among this voting bloc. Two weeks ago, she trailed in the independent vote by 51 percent to 41 percent.

“While Coons still has the advantage, it has to be uncomfortable knowing that O’Donnell was able to shave nine points off his lead in just two weeks. The interesting thing is that while her vote total has risen, the majority of Delaware voters still say she is unqualified for the post,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll found that just 35 percent of likely voters in Delaware feel that Christine O’Donnell is qualified to be a U.S. senator, while 56 percent say she is unqualified. That contrasts with their opinion of Chris Coons, who 65 percent say is qualified for the U.S. Senate to 25 percent unqualified. These qualification results for O’Donnell and Coons are basically identical to the Monmouth University Poll results from two weeks ago.

However, O’Donnell has seen some improvement in voters’ opinion of her personally, while Coons’ rating has dropped. O’Donnell is now viewed favorably by 34 percent of the electorate and unfavorably by 51 percent. Two weeks ago, this stood at 31 percent favorable to 58 percent unfavorable. Coons has a 45 percent favorable to 39 percent unfavorable rating, compared to a 50 percent favorable to 33 percent unfavorable rating two weeks ago.

While the Senate election has experienced some movement, there has been little change in the race for Delaware’s at-large House seat. The poll finds Democrat John Carney holding a 51 percent to 44 percent lead over Republican Glen Urquhart in the race to fill the vacant House seat. That marks a slight narrowing of the gap from Carney’s 53 percent to 44 percent margin two weeks ago.

Delaware voters’ personal ratings for the two major party House candidates have remained fairly stable. Carney has a 46 percent favorable to 28 percent unfavorable rating, with 26 percent offering no opinion. Urquhart has a 38 percent favorable to 27 percent unfavorable rating, with 35 percent offering no opinion.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone with 1171 likely voters from Oct. 25 to 27, 2010. This sample has a margin of error of + 2.9 percent.

Written by newscycle

October 30, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Did CNN’s Poll Succeed or Fail?

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I always hated poll stories. To me, they were a poor substitute used by news organizations for genuine investigative reporting, which is much harder to do than to hire a pollster to ask silly questions. But they populate our media every week, giving some political junkie on either side of the aisle to parade around for a few days to say “Look, most people think like me!”

Today brings another example of a poll that for this news cycle will bring joy to the right, but is so meaningless its embarrassing.

CNN Opinion Research Poll interviewed 1,136 adult Americans, including an oversample of African-Americans, by telephone by Opinion Research Corporation on July 31-Aug. 3, 2009. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or
minus 3 percentage points.

On Question 3, pollsters asked, “Do you consider the first six months of the Obama administration to be a success or a failure?” Fifty-one percent said “success,” 37 percent said “failure,” 11 percent said “too soon to tell,” and 1 percent had no opinion.

Then it compares a similar poll conducted in August 2001 about then-President George Bush. Fifty-six percent said “success,” 32 percent said “failure,” 7 percent said “too early to tell,” and 5 percent said they had no opinion.

Quickly, this was touted on Drudge as “CNN POLL: After 6 Months, More View Obama Presidency a ‘Failure’ Than Bush…” and on RealClearPolitics as “After 6 Months, More View Obama’s Presidency as a ‘Failure’ Than Bush’s.”

The problem is, only 11 percent got it right this year, as compared to 7 percent in 2001, and now the poll is being touted as proof of Obama’s failure as a president.

You can’t judge any president as a success or failure after six months. It’s ludicrous. We like stories that nurture this instant gratification world. It’s easy to put a number on a president’s success or failure and say “Here it is!” But in reality, Obama’s policies will only be judged for their effectiveness decades down the road.

Six months into Abraham Lincoln’s first term, all 11 states in the South had seceded; the battle of Bull Run had been a disastrous loss, and the country was in the first days of its ugliest war. If we had polls back then, I would imagine his numbers would be worse. But I would also doubt anyone now thinks of Lincoln as a failure — at any point in his life.

You simply cannot judge a president’s success on only six months of work. Sometimes a president’s impact can only be seen through the light of history. Heck, even Nixon is getting kudos for some of his accomplishments 40 years after the fact.

Instead of spending the money on a poll, CNN should do some of the hard work no one else seems to want to do. A start could be actually getting a few reporters to read through the thousands of pages in the various health-care bills, and get insurance and health experts together to analyze them. Then report on what each bill would really do to Americans. Heck, that’s more than our congressmen are doing. It’s harder work, but it’s better journalism.

Written by newscycle

August 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Posted in CNN, Polling

Tagged with ,

Was CNN Poll a Success or a Failure?

leave a comment »


I always hated poll stories. To me, they were a poor substitute used by news organizations for genuine investigative reporting, which is much harder to do than to hire a pollster to ask silly questions. But they populate our media every week, giving some political junkie on either side of the aisle to parade around for a few days to say “Look, most people think like me!”

Today brings another example of a poll that for this news cycle will bring joy to the right, but is so meaningless its embarrassing.

CNN Opinion Research Poll interviewed 1,136 adult Americans, including an oversample of African-Americans, by telephone by Opinion Research Corporation on July 31-Aug. 3, 2009. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or
minus 3 percentage points.

On Question 3, pollsters asked, “Do you consider the first six months of the Obama administration to be a success or a failure?” Fifty-one percent said “success,” 37 percent said “failure,” 11 percent said “too soon to tell,” and 1 percent had no opinion.

Then it compares a similar poll conducted in August 2001 about then-President George Bush. Fifty-six percent said “success,” 32 percent said “failure,” 7 percent said “too early to tell,” and 5 percent said they had no opinion, and now the poll is being touted as proof of Obama’s failure as a president.

Quickly, this was touted on Drudge as “CNN POLL: After 6 Months, More View Obama Presidency a ‘Failure’ Than Bush…” and on RealClearPolitics as “After 6 Months, More View Obama’s Presidency as a ‘Failure’ Than Bush’s.”

The problem is, only 11 percent got it right this year, as compared to 7 percent in 2001.

You can’t judge any president as a success or failure after six months. It’s ludicrous. We like stories that nurture this instant gratification world. It’s easy to put a number on a president’s success or failure and say “Here it is!” But in reality, Obama’s policies will only be judged for their effectiveness decades down the road.

Six months into Abraham Lincoln’s first term, all 11 states in the South had seceded; the battle of Bull Run had been a disastrous loss, and the country was in the first days of its ugliest war. If we had polls back then, I would imagine his numbers would be worse. But I would also doubt anyone now thinks of Lincoln as a failure — at any point in his life.

You simply cannot judge a president’s success on only six months of work. Sometimes a president’s impact can only be seen through the light of history. Heck, even Nixon is getting kudos for some of his accomplishments 40 years after the fact.

Instead of spending the money on a poll, CNN should do some of the hard work no one else seems to want to do. A start could be actually getting a few reporters to read through the thousands of pages in the various health-care bills, and get insurance and health experts together to analyze them. Then report on what each bill would really do to Americans. Heck, that’s more than our congressmen are doing. It’s harder work, but it’s better journalism.

Written by newscycle

August 6, 2009 at 10:56 am

Posted in CNN, Polling

Obama’s Lead Grows Among Many Polls

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FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver report on today’s polling numbers suggest it’s time for Sen. John McCain to throw in the towel.

We already discussed the Big Ten and Quinnipiac polls, which are exceptionally strong for Obama across the board. But those aren’t the only places where he’s putting up some intimidating numbers. National Journal and SurveyUSA join Big Ten and Quinnipiac in giving Obama a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania, as does the Morning Call tracker. The Schroth Eldon & Associates poll for the Miami Herald and St. Pete Times in Florida, which has a fairly good reputation, puts him ahead by 7 in the Sunshine State. SurveyUSA now gives him a lead in Indiana, joining PPP and Big Ten; Indiana has turned blue on our map.

Obama even leads in Montana, a state which his campaign has never disengaged from, according to an MSU-Billings poll. Importantly, the MSU poll mentioned Ron Paul by name, who is on the ballot in Montana. He drew 4 percent of the vote, the precise difference between Obama and McCain. Furthermore, Obama’s strong results in deep red states like Montana and Indiana lead our model to conclude that North Dakota may in fact be in play, as well as two of Nebraska’s three congressional districts. If the election were held today, the Obama campaign might very well sweep every state on their target list.

… There is now no perceptible rebound for John McCain; in fact, the race may still be trending toward Obama, although the safer assumption is that it’s flat. Meanwhile, Obama’s electoral position appears as strong as ever. John McCain’s chances of winning the election have dwindled to 3.7%, down from 6.5% yesterday.

FiveThirtyEight predicts 375 electoral votes for Obama.

Rasmussen Reports said today that Obama has increased his national polling numbers to about 52 percent. Rasmussen Markets data shows Obama with an 86.7% chance of winning in November.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack Obama attracting 52% of the vote while John McCain earns 45%. That seven-point lead is Obama’s largest in nearly two weeks. This is also the first time since October 11 that the Democratic candidate has reached the 52% level of support, his highest total of the year.

… As a result, Electoral College projections now show Obama leading 260-163. When “leaners” are included, Obama leads 286-174. A total of 270 Electoral Votes are needed to win the White House.

Gallup Poll Daily tracking shows Obama running ahead of McCain among likely voters –50 percent to 46 percent using the “traditional” model Gallup has employed in past elections, and 51 percent to 45 percent using an “expanded” model that takes into account possibly greater turnout by new or infrequent voters.

Zogby International’s electoral map is a sea of blue, giving Obama 273 electoral votes.

Democrat Barack Obama has slowly built a 12-point lead over Republican John McCain, consolidating support among young voters, Hispanics, and independent voters while McCain’s support, even among his Republican base, is fading heading down the stretch, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily tracking poll shows.

John Zogby said on his web site: “Obama now has a huge lead among young voters, independents, and Hispanic voters. It’s obviously not over. Frankly, this could tighten up and then loosen up again before Election Day. We saw movement on Election Day in New Hampshire, but at least for now, Obama has a very big lead. In the absence of news, McCain is not connecting. He seemed to be connecting during and immediately after the last debate, but got lost in issues that are not on people’s minds. At some point, there are some issues that just overwhelm, and McCain has been particularly weak on the economy. He misstated the problem, confused his position, acted in a frantic way, and then looked like he wanted to run away from it. Meanwhile, Obama has been cool and confident, which worked for FDR in 1932 and worked for Ronald Reagan in 1980.”

“I am very comfortable with our sample, especially given our track record in the last three presidential elections. Look at other polls and ask – Do they have enough college educated respondents? Enough Hispanics? Enough young voters? We do. And we have more Republicans in our sample than anyone else.”

Written by newscycle

October 23, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Polling

Obama’s Lead Grows Among Many Polls

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FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver report on today’s polling numbers suggest it’s time for Sen. John McCain to throw in the towel.

We already discussed the Big Ten and Quinnipiac polls, which are exceptionally strong for Obama across the board. But those aren’t the only places where he’s putting up some intimidating numbers. National Journal and SurveyUSA join Big Ten and Quinnipiac in giving Obama a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania, as does the Morning Call tracker. The Schroth Eldon & Associates poll for the Miami Herald and St. Pete Times in Florida, which has a fairly good reputation, puts him ahead by 7 in the Sunshine State. SurveyUSA now gives him a lead in Indiana, joining PPP and Big Ten; Indiana has turned blue on our map.

Obama even leads in Montana, a state which his campaign has never disengaged from, according to an MSU-Billings poll. Importantly, the MSU poll mentioned Ron Paul by name, who is on the ballot in Montana. He drew 4 percent of the vote, the precise difference between Obama and McCain. Furthermore, Obama’s strong results in deep red states like Montana and Indiana lead our model to conclude that North Dakota may in fact be in play, as well as two of Nebraska’s three congressional districts. If the election were held today, the Obama campaign might very well sweep every state on their target list.

… There is now no perceptible rebound for John McCain; in fact, the race may still be trending toward Obama, although the safer assumption is that it’s flat. Meanwhile, Obama’s electoral position appears as strong as ever. John McCain’s chances of winning the election have dwindled to 3.7%, down from 6.5% yesterday.

FiveThirtyEight predicts 375 electoral votes for Obama.

Rasmussen Reports said today that Obama has increased his national polling numbers to about 52 percent. Rasmussen Markets data shows Obama with an 86.7% chance of winning in November.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack Obama attracting 52% of the vote while John McCain earns 45%. That seven-point lead is Obama’s largest in nearly two weeks. This is also the first time since October 11 that the Democratic candidate has reached the 52% level of support, his highest total of the year.

… As a result, Electoral College projections now show Obama leading 260-163. When “leaners” are included, Obama leads 286-174. A total of 270 Electoral Votes are needed to win the White House.

Gallup Poll Daily tracking shows Obama running ahead of McCain among likely voters –50 percent to 46 percent using the “traditional” model Gallup has employed in past elections, and 51 percent to 45 percent using an “expanded” model that takes into account possibly greater turnout by new or infrequent voters.

Zogby International’s electoral map is a sea of blue, giving Obama 273 electoral votes.

Democrat Barack Obama has slowly built a 12-point lead over Republican John McCain, consolidating support among young voters, Hispanics, and independent voters while McCain’s support, even among his Republican base, is fading heading down the stretch, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily tracking poll shows.

John Zogby said on his web site: “Obama now has a huge lead among young voters, independents, and Hispanic voters. It’s obviously not over. Frankly, this could tighten up and then loosen up again before Election Day. We saw movement on Election Day in New Hampshire, but at least for now, Obama has a very big lead. In the absence of news, McCain is not connecting. He seemed to be connecting during and immediately after the last debate, but got lost in issues that are not on people’s minds. At some point, there are some issues that just overwhelm, and McCain has been particularly weak on the economy. He misstated the problem, confused his position, acted in a frantic way, and then looked like he wanted to run away from it. Meanwhile, Obama has been cool and confident, which worked for FDR in 1932 and worked for Ronald Reagan in 1980.”

“I am very comfortable with our sample, especially given our track record in the last three presidential elections. Look at other polls and ask – Do they have enough college educated respondents? Enough Hispanics? Enough young voters? We do. And we have more Republicans in our sample than anyone else.”

Written by newscycle

October 23, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Polling

Zogby: Obama Winning in Blowout

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Pollster John Zogby has this to say today about his projection that Sen. Barack Obama will win in a landslide.

“Three big days for Obama. Anything can happen, but time is running short for McCain. These numbers, if they hold, are blowout numbers. They fit the 1980 model with Reagan’s victory over Carter — but they are happening 12 days before Reagan blasted ahead. If Obama wins like this we can be talking not only victory but realignment: he leads by 27 points among Independents, 27 points among those who have already voted, 16 among newly registered voters, 31 among Hispanics, 93%-2% among African Americans, 16 among women, 27 among those 18-29, 5 among 30-49 year olds, 8 among 50-64s, 4 among those over 65, 25 among Moderates, and 12 among Catholics (which is better than Bill Clinton’s 10-point victory among Catholics in 1996). He leads with men by 2 points, and is down among whites by only 6 points, down 2 in armed forces households, 3 among investors, and is tied among NASCAR fans.”

Here is his survey methodology.

The Associated Press released its own poll today that showed a tighter race.

The presidential race tightened after the final debate, with John McCain gaining among whites and people earning less than $50,000, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that shows McCain and Barack Obama essentially running even among likely voters in the election homestretch.

The poll, which found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent, supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race narrowed after the third debate as GOP-leaning voters drifted home to their party and McCain’s “Joe the plumber” analogy struck a chord.

Three weeks ago, an AP-GfK survey found that Obama had surged to a seven-point lead over McCain, lifted by voters who thought the Democrat was better suited to lead the nation through its sudden economic crisis.

The contest is still volatile, and the split among voters is apparent less than two weeks before Election Day.

“I trust McCain more, and I do feel that he has more experience in government than Obama. I don’t think Obama has been around long enough,” said Angela Decker, 44, of La Porte, Ind.

But Karen Judd, 58, of Middleton, Wis., said, “Obama certainly has sufficient qualifications.” She said any positive feelings about McCain evaporated with “the outright lying” in TV ads and his choice of running mate Sarah Palin, who “doesn’t have the correct skills.”

Other polls among likely voters have Obama up anywhere from nine to 14 percentage points.

Written by newscycle

October 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Polling

Zogby: Obama Winning in Blowout

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Pollster John Zogby has this to say today about his projection that Sen. Barack Obama will win in a landslide.

“Three big days for Obama. Anything can happen, but time is running short for McCain. These numbers, if they hold, are blowout numbers. They fit the 1980 model with Reagan’s victory over Carter — but they are happening 12 days before Reagan blasted ahead. If Obama wins like this we can be talking not only victory but realignment: he leads by 27 points among Independents, 27 points among those who have already voted, 16 among newly registered voters, 31 among Hispanics, 93%-2% among African Americans, 16 among women, 27 among those 18-29, 5 among 30-49 year olds, 8 among 50-64s, 4 among those over 65, 25 among Moderates, and 12 among Catholics (which is better than Bill Clinton’s 10-point victory among Catholics in 1996). He leads with men by 2 points, and is down among whites by only 6 points, down 2 in armed forces households, 3 among investors, and is tied among NASCAR fans.”

Here is his survey methodology.

The Associated Press released its own poll today that showed a tighter race.

The presidential race tightened after the final debate, with John McCain gaining among whites and people earning less than $50,000, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that shows McCain and Barack Obama essentially running even among likely voters in the election homestretch.

The poll, which found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent, supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race narrowed after the third debate as GOP-leaning voters drifted home to their party and McCain’s “Joe the plumber” analogy struck a chord.

Three weeks ago, an AP-GfK survey found that Obama had surged to a seven-point lead over McCain, lifted by voters who thought the Democrat was better suited to lead the nation through its sudden economic crisis.

The contest is still volatile, and the split among voters is apparent less than two weeks before Election Day.

“I trust McCain more, and I do feel that he has more experience in government than Obama. I don’t think Obama has been around long enough,” said Angela Decker, 44, of La Porte, Ind.

But Karen Judd, 58, of Middleton, Wis., said, “Obama certainly has sufficient qualifications.” She said any positive feelings about McCain evaporated with “the outright lying” in TV ads and his choice of running mate Sarah Palin, who “doesn’t have the correct skills.”

Other polls among likely voters have Obama up anywhere from nine to 14 percentage points.

Written by newscycle

October 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Polling

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