Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Booker Democratic Candidate To Beat In 2014 NJ US Senate Primary

Posted Feb 20, 2013 at 10:25 PM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press in New Jersey reports that Cory Booker would have handily beat Sen. Frank Lautenberg in a possible Democratic Senate primary in 2014, 40% to 25%, numbers that offer one reason why Lautenberg chose bot to run for reelection.

Democrats Loosing Young Voters

Posted Feb 23, 2010 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

In what is surely a troubling sign for Democrats, the party appears to be loosing young voters--a key component of President Obama's margin of victory in 2008: "The "Millennial Generation" of young voters played a big role in the resurgence of the Democratic Party in the 2006 and 2008 elections, but their attachment to the Democratic Party weakened markedly over the course of 2009. The Democratic advantage over the Republicans in party affiliation among young voters, including those who "lean" to a party, reached a whopping 62% to 30% margin in 2008. But by the end of 2009 this 32-point margin had shrunk to just 14 points: 54% Democrat, 40% Republican." Still, as the survey reports, "While the Republican Party picked up support from Millennials during 2009, this age group continues to favor the Democratic Party more than do other generations. And the underlying political values of this new generation continue to be significantly more liberal than those of other generations on many measures.

Most Americans Do Not See Improvement in US Race Relations

Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 1:10 AM by Maurice Berger

With Barack Obama's historic election in November 2008, a hefty majority of Americans expected race relations to improve in the United States. A year later, "the high hopes Americans had for race relations . . . have yet to be fully realized," according to a new Gallup survey. "Currently, 41% of Americans believe race relations have gotten better since Obama's win; another 35% think they have not changed, while 22% say they have gotten worse. Last November, 70% thought race relations would improve as a result of the landmark outcome."

Republican Party Trials Democratic In Popularity, But Improves Its Standing

Posted Sep 29, 2009 at 2:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Gallup Survey reports that while the Democratic Party maintains a significant edge in public approval, the GOP has pick up a bit of seam in recent weeks: "The Republican Party's image -- quite tattered in the first few months after the 2008 elections -- has seen some recent improvement. 40% of Americans now hold a favorable view of the Republicans, up from 34% in May. The Republicans still trail the Democrats on this popularity measure, as 51% of Americans now view the Democrats favorably. With the Democrats' favorable rating dipping slightly since last November, their advantage has narrowed." Here is Gallup's chart, tracking these numbers since January 2008:

Trend: Republican, Democratic Party Favorable Ratings Since January 2008

Among Three Major Religions, Jewish Voters Are Obama's Biggest Supporters

Posted May 05, 2009 at 11:35 PM by Maurice Berger

By a sunstantial margin, American Jews--far more than either Catholics or Protestants--are President Obama's biggest supporters. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, there is a big religious split as white Catholics approve of the President 57% to 33% while white Protestants split 44% to 42%. Jewish voters back Obama 76% to 12%. The numbers among Jewish voters closely match their sopport of the Democrat last November which hovered around 80% (78%, to be exact).

Bellwether Colorado: Is Obama In Trouble?

Posted Apr 24, 2009 at 1:40 AM by Maurice Berger

In the 2008 cycle, the state of Colorado was the ultimate swing state, a strong bellwether of other states that have remained close in recent national cycles. Where does the state stand today with regard to Barack Obama? PollTrack suggests that the answer may not be good news for the new president. According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, Obama receives approval from only "49% of voters with 45% dissenting. . . . a much smaller swath of the electorate approving of [his] job performance than voted for [him] last fall, and it looks like a lot of that may have to do with [his] standing among independent voters. An average of PPP’s final three Colorado polls last year found Obama . . . doing spectacularly well among independent voters. Obama had a 24 point lead . . . But now only 48% of independents approve of what the President is doing with 47% disapproving."

Obama's 2008 Victory May Have Been Narrower Than It Seems

Posted Mar 30, 2009 at 2:03 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new analysis, in which the 2008 presidential election was re-run using a district-based system of awarding electoral votes, used only in two states (ME and NE), instead of the winner-take-all Barack Obama still would have defeated John McCain, though the Electoral College tally would have been closer than the actual 365-173 margin of victory.

The CQ Politics analysis concludes that Obama would have beaten McCain 301-237 "using a district-based system, under which a candidate receives two electoral votes for winning a state and one electoral vote for every congressional district he or she wins. Only Maine and Nebraska allocate electoral votes in this fashion. The analysis found that Obama won 242 districts and McCain won 193 districts. Obama also posted another 59 electoral votes by carrying 28 states and the District of Columbia, which is entitled to three electoral votes under the 23rd Amendment. McCain would have received another 44 electoral votes as a result of winning 22 states." PollTrack observes that such results suggest the country remains more politically divided than the initial 2008 results suggest, divisions that now appear to be playing out in the polling that gauges political sentiment in the upcoming congressional elections of 2010. Such surveys now indicate an electorate evenly divided between support for Democrtic and Republican congressional candidates.

Republican Party Increasingly Irrelevant To Young Voters

Posted Mar 27, 2009 at 1:49 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Democracy Corps surveys suggests storms clouds ahead for Republicans--the increasing disaffection of young Americans from the party and its ideology: the "post-election survey of youth shows the Republican Party growing more and more irrelevant to America’s young people. In marked contrast, young people’s support for the President has expanded beyond the 66 percent support they gave him last November. However, progressives have work to do among these voters—and would be voters—as well, as this survey signals insufficient enthusiasm for participating in the 2010 elections.

Democracy Corps continues: "In a recent interview with Rachel Maddow, John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain warned her party that it was, “on the precipice of becoming irrelevant to young people.” This conclusion comes in the wake of a 66 to 32 percent drubbing by young people in the 2008 elections. Our survey of young people taken three months after the election underscores the alienation of Republicans from the millennial generational. By a 59 to 14 percent margin, young people prefer the Democrats when it comes to “paying attention to issues that affect younger people,” a six point gain since 2007."

Democrats 2008 Party ID Largest Since the 1980s

Posted Feb 04, 2009 at 2:07 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, an average of 36% of Americans identified themselves as Democrats and 28% as Republicans in 2008. That eight-point advantage is the largest for the Democratic Party since Gallup began regularly conducting its polls by telephone in 1988. Gallup notes: "The year-by-year trend shows that Democrats have gained ground against Republicans in each of the last five years, going from a deficit of two points in 2003 to the most recent eight-point advantage. Additionally, the 36% of Americans who identified as Democrats last year matches the high point in Democratic identification since 1988, when it was also 36%. But since fewer Americans identified as Republicans last year (28%) than in 1988 (31%), the Democratic advantage was larger in 2008."

Election 2008: Early Voting The Wave Of The Future.

Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 12:08 AM by Maurice Berger

Dr. Michael McDonald of the Department of Public and International Affairs George Mason University has recently undertaken an extensive (and excellent) analysis of state-by-state early voting paterns in Election 2008. His conclusion: traditional Election Day voting patterns are changing rapidly: "In the presidential election of 2008, approximately 39.7 million or 30% of all votes were cast prior to Election Day, November 4, 2008. This is a significant increase from 20% in 2004 and part of the upward trend experienced since 1992, when 7% of all votes were cast early. These numbers are likely to increase in subsequent presidential elections as more states adopt early voting and more voters become comfortable with the practice." In another analysis, McDonald determines that the actual number of people who voted for president in 2008 was 131.3 million people. Expressed as a rate, this was 61.6% among those eligible to vote, an increase of 1.5 percentage points over 2004. "Since reaching a modern low in 1996, turnout rates have been increasing for three consecutive presidential elections--an increase that disputes the conclusions of many political scientists that the temperament of the American voter and voting itself have invited declining turnout rates: the decline in civic society, lowered trust in government and the tuning out of the electorate by television, among others: "Indeed, turnout rates are now in the low sixty percent range, the same level as the "high" turnout rates in the 1950s and 1960s. This despite the inclusion of lower participatory 18-20 year olds in the electorate and what I preliminarily estimate to be a half to three quarters of a million rejected mail-in ballots."