Monday, June 30, 2008
Democrats Will Retain House
And now a word from Gallup (HT: Weekly Standard):
Democrats Favored to Retain House in November
Lead among registered voters matches 2006 final pre-election result
by Lydia Saad
PRINCETON, NJ -- The Democratic Party is in a good position to retain its majority status in Congress this November. Democrats lead the Republicans by 51% to 40% in the party preferences for Congress among all registered voters, and by 52% to 42% among likely voters.
This is according to Gallup's "generic ballot" question, asking Americans which party's candidate they would vote for in their congressional district if the election were held today. The USA Today/Gallup survey was conducted June 15-19, 2008.
The Democrats' 11-point advantage among registered voters is slightly less than what Gallup found in mid-February -- at that time, the Democrats led by 55% to 40% -- however, it still puts them in a comfortable position heading into the fall.
The current registered-voter results are identical to those from Gallup's final pre-election survey in 2006. In that election, the Democrats wrested majority control of Congress from the Republicans, winning 53% of all votes cast nationally for congressional candidates, to the Republicans' 45%. The implication of this, of course, is that the Democrats are on track to hold on to their U.S. House seat majority in the 2008 elections.
Voter turnout typically helps the Republicans narrow any Democratic advantage seen in pre-election polls based on all registered voters. That was the case in 2004, when the Republicans trailed the Democrats by four percentage points among registered voters in Gallup's final pre-election survey, 45% to 49%, but the Republicans went on to win 47% of the national popular vote, and a 30-seat majority in Congress.
Since the 2004 election, however, the Republicans have generally trailed the Democrats on the generic ballot by a much larger margin. The 11-point gap Gallup now sees in the Democrats' favor is very close to the average Democratic lead for all of 2006.
Although the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives will be determined by 435 individual congressional elections, Gallup's generic-ballot measure of national support for the two major parties -- more specifically, the final pre-election generic ballot based on likely voters -- has proven to be a strong predictor of the actual percentage of votes cast nationally for all Republican and Democratic candidates. This, in turn, bears a close relationship to the number of seats won by each party.
Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,625 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted June 15-19, 2008. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.
For results based on the sample of 1,460 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.
Results for likely voters are based on the subsample of 1,310 survey respondents deemed most likely to vote in the November 2008 general election, according to a series of questions measuring current voting intentions and past voting behavior. For results based on the total sample of likely voters, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The likely voter model assumes a turnout of 60% of national adults. The likely voter sample is weighted to match this assumption, so the weighted sample size is 974.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
To provide feedback or suggestions about how to improve Gallup.com, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Maintaining the Hard Earned Stability in Iraq is Favored by Voters in Battleground States
The Washington Post has reported on a Quinnipiac Poll that shows some very interesting voter preferences. McCain is behind Obama at the moment, particularly in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Voters generally show higher favorabilities for both candidates. The poll shows the economy is what is on everyone's mind at the moment, but when it comes to Iraq, a clear majority favor leaving troops there. Also, who each candidate selects as VP is important to voters, which a sizeable number of Democrats opposing Obama selecting "She who must be obeyed."
If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and John McCain the Republican, for whom would you vote?
Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 44%
Obama (D) 48%
McCain (R) 42%
Obama (D) 54%
McCain (R) 37%
Obama (D) 52%
McCain (R) 39%
Favorability: John McCain
Is your opinion of John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
Favorability: Barack Obama
Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
Which of the following will be the single most important issue in your vote in the election for President this year: Terrorism, The war in Iraq, The economy, Illegal immigration, or Health care?
War in Iraq
Regardless of how you intend to vote, what would you prefer the next president do about the war in Iraq? Begin immediately a withdrawal of American troops, with a fixed date to have them all out within 18 months. OR Keep troops in Iraq until the situation is more stable, and then begin to withdraw them, without a fixed date for full withdrawal.
In deciding your vote for president how important is the vice-presidential candidate: Very important, somewhat important, not too important or not important at all?
Vice President: Hillary Clinton
Would you like Barack Obama to pick Hillary Clinton to be his Vice-Presidential running mate or not?
- We use random digit dial sampling (RDD). Phone numbers are randomly generated by a computer. We randomly select the person to speak with in the household using the "birthday method". We speak with the person in the household, 18 years of age or older, who has the next birthday. The intervievers will introduce ourselves as calling from the "Quinnipiac University Poll" located in Hamden, CT. Our interviewers say we our doing a poll about issues in the news.
- We reported the results based on "Likely voters." In Minnesota and Wisoconsin, which have Election Day voter registration, likely voters are defined as those who say they are definitely or probably going to vote in the Presidential election. In Colorado and Michigan, likely voters are defined as registered voters who say they are definitely or probably going to vote in the presidential election.
- Samples are weighted by race, region, age, education, and gender according to the census.
- The polls were conducted in each state from June 17 to June 24 by Quinnipiac University. The sample sizes and margins of error in each state were: Colorado: 1,351 voters, +/-2.7 percent; Michigan: 1,411 voters, +/- 2.6 percent; Minnesota: 1,572 voters, +/-2.5 percent; Wisconsin: 1,537 voters, +/-2.5 percent.
Friday, June 13, 2008
On Russert's Passing
Despite his being a Democrat, I have always found NBC's Tim Russert a fair man. To draw a contrast, I need only to point to NBC's overt blunderbuss, Keith Olbermann, or that fourteen karat buffoon that NBC is actually considering to take Russert's place, David Gregory - which would be a terrible dishonor to the memory of the man; but Russert was also a reasonable news man, a family man, a man of faith (a church attending Roman Catholic), a Northeasterner who had passions for his beloved home teams, and his young son Luke who just graduated from Boston College.
With one of my own just having graduated from the BC of the South (Wake Forest) and the fresh emotions that come with that; having a son of my own named Luke, and considering Russert's rather humble origins (his Dad was a garbage collector from Buffalo, NY) one has to admire the man, and mourn the terrible loss of his premature passing, and very likely the end of an era in TV news and political discussion and debate.
Russert was known for his rather unique and effective way of interviewing his political guests on Meet the Press. For the past 17 years as the moderator of MTP, he maintained a television news tradition, lending a sense of history and veracity to the weekly news staple for NBC.
Below is a tribute to Russert by William Kristol, Editor of the Weekly Standard, with whom Russert shared a portion of his interesting life.
From William Kristol:
Monday, June 02, 2008
So are Hillary Supporters Going to Support Obama in November?
Sunday, June 01, 2008
In January, Obama Predicted Surge Wouldn't Work
With the news today that the month of May ended at a record low for deaths of American soldiers as the Surge strategy has begun to have its full effect in the region, it might be informative to consider what Barack Obama had predicted on the effectiveness of the Surge only as far back as January of this year. His prediction: it would fail.
It is interesting that Obama states that he knew of "no military expert" at the time with whom he had spoken to privately that believed the Surge would work. Who did he talk to? And why are these "military experts" all wrong?? What does this say about whom he surrounds himself with?
PS, it is also instructive to note from the Lardball interview the overt bias of MSNBC, that David Axelrod misrepresents what Obama had really said and believed about the Surge.
I've been continuing to consider history as we head into November. I've been saying that the election could be a replay of 1960 where a young, attractive, literate and articulate liberal Democrat faced an old and grumpy, moderate Republican opponent. But it could also be a replay of 1952 when a fairly well respected intellectual and liberal, Dean Acheson, who likewise was literate and articulate, faced an old but also brave and well known war hero in Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Take your pick.
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