Saturday, January 16, 2021
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Wherein the WaPo’s Right Hand Doesn’t Know (or Care) What the...

Can someone please explain to me how the Washington Post's own polling shows Ralph Northam up 13 points (note: I don't believe Northam's really...

How Well Have Summer Polls Predicted Final Virginia Governor’s Race Results?

How well have summer (post-primary, so mostly July/August) polls predicted final results in Virginia gubernatorial races? Here's a quick look, starting in 2005, the year...

Want Some Good News?

(Update: intrade is already up from the number below.  It is now 55.9%.)
I know, the Pants-on-Fire GOP barrage is getting old. It may even have gotten you down.  Who could blame you?  The lies have been coming so quicly, it's hard to have the airtime to refute them all. That's by design. GOP spokespersons and candidates are just throwing XXXX at the wall and hoping some sticks.

Having no ideas, except budget busting tax cuts and failed trickle-down economics, at this point, the GOP cares only about winning at any cost. And already tracking as the biggest liar ever to run for president, Romney deserves unfavorability even higher than 49%. Put another way, half of Americans have a negative view of him. That data point makes me feel a bit better. But, despite  that, I still have been dispirited.

And then I thought, hmmm, I'll see what Intrade has to say. And it brought a smile to my face.  InTrade says there's a 55.6% Obama will win. Then, I went to Nate Silver's site 538.  And the news was even better. Before I say the number, remember how well Intrade and Nate Silver have predicted the last presidential election. They did better than the "polls." So, with that, here 'tis (below the fold):

Fatal Fact Check #FAIL at the Kaplan Post

The Washington Kaplan Post long ago became a parody of everything wrong with the corporate media: arrogance and paternalism; rampant unethical behavior (e.g., their very business model, their frequent stealing of stories and failure to give proper credit); a craven center-right, pro-corporate viewpoint; false equivalency run amok; a delusion that they are better than "the blogs," but with a comments section - and, often, story selection, placement, and quality - that makes this supposedly "journalistic" product no better, and often worse, than almost any blog (e.g., a huge percentage of comments to Kaplan Post articles, on almost any subject, would violate our rules against "profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements," but apparently anything goes over there in their desperate attempt to attract "eyeballs" to their dying business model).

Today, we have another classic example of everything wrong with the Post, with Glenn Kessler's "Fact Checker" column Does a majority of millionaires really support the Buffett Rule?

In this edition, Kessler takes on the question of support for the Buffett Rule, "to require an individual taxpayer whose adjusted gross income exceeds $1 million to pay a minimum tax rate of 30% of the excess of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income." Specifically, Kessler looks at whether President Obama's claim that "Millionaires stand in support of the Buffett Rule" is factually accurate.

According to Kessler's calculations, Obama's claim isn't accurate, and thus gets "Two Pinocchios." The problem is, this is utter nonsense on basically every level. Where do we even start fact checking the failed "fact checker" (using the phrase VERY loosely)? How about the following?

1. Kessler's discussion of polling is beyond laughable, into words like "pitiful," "pathetic," "cringe inducing," and "mind boggling clueless." According to Kessler - and apparently he's serious (although I find it hard to believe that any intelligent human being could write the following sentences with a straight face):

The Washington Post has strict standards about the types of polls that we quote. We are especially wary of online polls, and a standard practice before quoting a poll in a news story is to make sure it is vetted by The Post's polling unit.
Hahahahahaha. Seriously? "Strict standards" on polling at the Post? My god, these people are hopeless.

The reality?  

PPP: Newt Crushing Mitt in Virginia; Cucc Kicking Bolling’s Butt

Hot off the presses, check out PPP's new poll results for Virginia.

*Newt's "at 41% [in Virginia] to 15% for Mitt Romney with no one else in double digits. Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry at 8%, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul at 6%, Jon Huntsman at 3%, and Gary Johnson at 1% round out the field.

*"[W]e took a very early look at the 2013 GOP primary for Governor and again find Ken Cuccinelli with a big early lead over Bill Bolling, 44-25."

*"There continues to be very little appetite for a Tea Party challenge to George Allen in the Republican Senate race."

Actually, I'm surprised that Cuccinelli's not leading Bolling by more than 44%-25% Where Cuccinelli's trailing Bolling is interesting: among Huntsman and Romney supporters, among "moderate" Republicans (but oddly, not among "liberal" Republicans, whoever those people are!), and among Democrats. That does not bode well for Bolling in a Republican primary or convention, but we'll see; maybe Virginia Republicans will have moved back a bit towards sanity by then? Naaaaah, who am I kidding?!?

New PPP Poll: “Virginia’s 13 electoral votes still in Obama’s column”

Public Policy Polling gives us some encouraging news for a change!
...PPP's first look at [Virginia] almost two years from the election suggests otherwise. Just three weeks following the low point of his presidency, Obama leads all four current Republican frontrunners by healthy margins, and has a positive job approval rating in the Old Dominion.

PPP's final 2008 poll of the state which nailed the actual 53-46 result reflected an electorate in which Democrats outnumbered Republicans by five points. This electorate, at D +1, is more evenly split, but still gives the president a 50-45 job performance mark, better than PPP has measured him almost anywhere in 2010.

Obama posts his strongest leads against Sarah Palin (52-41) and Newt Gingrich (51-40), with smaller advantages over Mike Huckabee (49-44) and Mitt Romney (48-43). The president has at least 91% of his party's votes against any of the Republicans, with no more than 5% defecting...

Hey, it's 2 years out and only one poll (albeit by a highly accurate polling outfit), but I'll take it! By the way, Gallup's current Obama job approval numbers are 48%-45%. That's slightly higher, by the way, than both Clinton's and Reagan's job approval numbers at the same point in their presidencies.  

Gallup: Obama’s Approval Ratings Almost Exactly Tracking Reagan’s


Click on the image to "embiggen."  In short, according to Gallup, Barack Obama's approval ratings are almost exactly tracking Ronald Reagan's approval ratings at the same points in their presidencies. Note that Reagan was faced with a nasty recession, as is Obama. Also note that Republicans lost a net of 27 seats to the Democrats in the 1982 midterm elections. I'd be very happy if Democrats only lost 27 seats this time around. Finally, I'd point out that Ronald Reagan's approval ratings rebounded, along with the economy, and he was reelected in a landslide in 1984. Past as prologue?

Polls Looking Up For the Democrats

I'm taking this cautiously and skeptically; still, I like the looks of these polls!

1. According to Political Wire, "A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows Democrats now leading the generic congressional ballot, 45% to 40%, a reversal from last month when Republicans led by three points."

2. Gallup now has President Obama's approval rating at the highest in three months, at 52%-41% (+11 points). We'll see if it can hold at that level of increase further in coming weeks and months. I'm hoping Obama can reach 60% or so by the fall. If he does, Democrats will be in much better shape come November than they appear to be now.

3. Research 2000 now has President Obama's favorable/unfavorable rating at 55%-40% (+15 points), with the "right track/wrong track" reading now at the highest level since July 9, 2009. Also, the voter intensity gap between Republicans and Democrats "narrowed noticeably this week," to just 7 points (71%-64%). Finally, 52% of Americans now say they'd be more likely to vote for a candidate "who supports and will work to improve the new health care reform law", while just 41% say they prefer "a candidate who will work to repeal it completely."

The bottom line is this: if the economy keeps improving, and specifically if it keeps adding jobs at the rate we saw last month, then people will feel better about the country's direction and more likely to keep incumbents in office. On the other hand, if the economy heads in the wrong direction between now and this fall, then I'd say we're looking at a bad November for Democrats.  Other than that, Democrats need to be out there telling voters what historians already know: "President Obama's legislative record during a crisis-ridden presidency already puts him in a league with such consequential presidents as Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt." That seems like the type of news you'd want to share with everybody! :)

New Poll: Public Support for Clean Energy Legislation Is Strong

Courtesy of the Natural Resources Defense Council, this is excellent (albeit not surprising) news.
As Gulf Coast oil catastrophe continues to unfold, the Clean Energy Works campaign released a new poll by the Benenson Strategy Group today showing overwhelming public support for comprehensive clean energy legislation. The poll also found that the public is more likely to blame Congress for the oil spill than lobbyists or corporations. And, comprehensive clean energy legislation is likely to be an important electoral issue.

These findings come as Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are expected to unveil new legislative text for a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill this week.

Among the topline findings of the poll are:

New Polls: Dem’s Have Hope This Fall After All?

For all the talk of major Republican gains coming this November, you'd think that they might already be printing up the letterhead for Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell. But not so fast, at least according to two new polls this morning.

First, here are some findings from the new, Washington Post-ABC News poll out this morning. First, note that, among both registered and "all voters," Democrats maintain a 4-point "generic" lead over Republicans for the U.S. House of Representatives elections next November. Not great, but not horrible either.

Second, check out these numbers on enthusiasm - or lack thereof - for switching control of Congress from Democrats to Republicans this November.  Right now, among registered voters, it's about an even split (2-point edge for "good thing") between those wanting control of Congress to switch parties and those wanting to keep it in Democratic hands. These numbers contrast sharply with the overwhelming desires for change in 1994 and 2006, when we saw shifts in control (Republican takeover of the House in 1994; Democratic takeover of the House and Senate in 2006).

Finally, let's look at the new numbers from Research 2000.  The first important finding is that the so-called "enthusiasm gap" has narrowed somewhat since health care reform legislation was passed.  Yes, Republicans still have the edge in who's more likely to vote this November, but there's been a big increase in Democrats who are "likely or definitely going to vote", from 40% on 3/8-10 to 55% on 3/22-3/25.  Republican enthusiasm also went up, from 51% to 62%, but not quite as much as Democratic enthusiasm. Anyway, this is still an area where we need more improvement, but it's a good start.

Second, take a look at the following numbers from the Research 2000 poll, indicating a major surge in support for Democrats and a sharp drop for Republicans over the past week.  For instance, President Obama is up 5 points, to 56%-39% (+17 points), while Congressional Republicans are down 7 points, to 21%-71% (-50 points). Also, the Democratic Party is up 3 points (to 40%-53%, or minus 13 points) while the Republicans are down 3 points (to 28%-67%, or minus 39 points), resulting in a 26-point favorable/unfavorable rating for the blue team over the red team.

So much for the prediction that, if Democrats passed health care reform legislation, it would kill them at the polls.  In fact, it did the opposite. The implication is that passing more of what Democrats were explicitly elected to do in 2006 and 2008 is not a bad thing, it's a very good thing both on policy terms and also politically. So, next up on the agenda: immigration reform, financial reform, clean energy/climate legislation. more on "jobsjobsjobs."  Keep getting results, let the Republicans stay as the "hissy fit" Party of No, and we'll see how it goes at the polls this November.  Yes, there's a long time to go and these numbers could change (in either direction). For now, though, things are looking pretty good, especially considering the totally biased (towards Republicans and the "Tea Party") news coverage we get from the corporate/right-wing media.

P.S. Also see the recent poll by Quinnipiac University, indicating that the presence of "Tea Party" candidates on the ballot this fall strongly benefits the Democrats. So, let's hope for lots of those, in places like Virginia's 5th CD and possibly other (1st? 10th?) CDs as well.