Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

20 October Ranking 2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination

Posted Oct 20, 2015 at 7:52 PM by Maurice Berger

Here is PollTrack's 14 October 2015 ranking of announced and presumptive Democratic candidates, from most to least likely to prevail:

 

1. Hillary Clinton

2. Bernie Sanders

3. Joe Biden

4. Martin O'Malley

5. Lincoln Chafee

14 October Ranking of 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates

Posted Oct 14, 2015 at 8:53 AM by Maurice Berger

Here is PollTrack's 14 October 2015 ranking of announced and presumptive Democratic candidates, from most to least likely to prevail:

 

1. Hillary Clinton

2. Bernie Sanders

3. Joe Biden

4. Martin O'Malley

5. Jim Webb

6. Lincoln Chafee

10 October Ranking of 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates

Posted Oct 10, 2015 at 10:17 AM by Maurice Berger

Here is PollTrack's 10 October 2015 ranking of announced and presumptive Democratic candidates, from most to least likely to prevail:

 

1. Hillary Clinton

2. Bernie Sanders

3. Joe Biden

4. Jim Webb

5. Martin O'Malley

6. Lincoln Chafee

29 September Ranking of 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates

Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 4:55 PM by Maurice Berger

Here is PollTrack's 24 September 2015 ranking of announced and presumptive Democratic candidates, from most to least likely to prevail:

 

1. Hillary Clinton

2. Joe Biden

3. Bernie Sanders

4. Jim Webb

5. Martin O'Malley

6. Lincoln Chafee

 

Clinton In Commanding Position For Nomination

Posted Feb 03, 2014 at 6:05 PM by Maurice Berger

A poll by Washington Post-ABC News reports that former U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton "trounces her potential primary rivals with 73% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, reinforcing a narrative of inevitability around her nomination if she runs. Vice President Biden is second with 12%, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is third with 8%."

Is Chris Christie The 2016 Front-runner?

Posted Dec 23, 2013 at 9:03 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Public Policy Polling reports that New Jersey GOP Governor Chris Christie now leads Hillary Clinton, and all other possible Democratic candidates, in hypothetical match-ups. According to the poll, Christie leads Clinton, 45% to 42%, "because he's viewed favorably across party lines. He's at 48/26 with Republicans, 46/28 with independents, and 38/36 with Democrats."     

Clinton Way Ahead For 2016 Democratic Nomination

Posted May 15, 2013 at 2:29 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Quinnipiac reports former US Senator and First Lady Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead over other potential 2016 candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, with 65%, followed by Joe Biden at 13% and Andrew Cuomo at 4%.

Hillary Clinton Way Ahead For 2016 Democratic Nomination

Posted May 01, 2013 at 7:48 AM by Maurice Berger

If there was any doubt that Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive favorite for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President, anew Fairleigh Dickinson University poll puts those doubts to rest:  Clinton leads with 63%, followed by Joe Biden 12%, Andrew Cuomo 3%.

Assessing The Democratic Field in 2016

Posted Dec 05, 2012 at 9:28 AM by Maurice Berger

Harry Enten, applying a statistical method that assesses potential presidential candidates by ideology, places New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the right of a number of possible contenders. Cuomo, Enten writes, "simply doesn't have that liberal allure" that Hillary Clinton or other popular Democrats mentioned as possible presidential candidates in 2016. He continues: "If these numbers are to believed, the possible 2016 roster of candidates will position Cuomo and Warner as ideologically conservative Democrats, Biden and O'Malley as moderate Democrats, Clinton, Patrick, and Schweitzer as liberal Democrats, and Warren as a very liberal Democrat."

PollTrack believes that we have a long way to go until 2016. Perceptions may change as voters become more familiar with the potential candidates (of both parties).

Debate Snap Polls: Obama Won

Posted Oct 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM by Maurice Berger

Here is the verdict of three snap polls on last night's debate: these so-called instant polls all report that President Obama--to one extent or another--won last night's debate: CBS News had Obama besting Romney 37% to 30%, at CNN Obama came out ahead at 46% to 39%, and a Lake Research poll in the battleground states found Obama up 53% to 38%. Keep in mind that voter perceptions of debates often shift as succeeding news cycles parse the outcome. In the first presidential debate and vice-presidential debate, initial results reported a closer result, while subsequent polling in the days following reported far bigger leads for both Mitt Romney and Joe Biden. Will Obama's edge expand or decline? Stay tuned.

Is Romney's Momentum Slowing?

Posted Oct 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM by Maurice Berger

With yesterday's  Rasmussen survey showing the President with a +1% lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney--the poll normally has a slight GOP tilt--PollTrack wonders if Romney's momentum from last week's debate is slowing down. Other trackers have also showed movement back towards Obama, but with Romney holding onto an aggregate lead of less than 1%.

Swing state polls have been fairly erratic, with some polls showing a substantial lead for one candidate or another (from +6% for Obama in Ohio to +7% for Romney in Florida) to a virtual tie. In many instances, polls are alternately reporting leads for both candidates in the same state (most polls show Obama leading in Ohio, others give Romney a slight lead; in Florida, it is just the opposite, with one poll showing Romney up by +7%, another Obama up by +4%.

What these numbers suggest is a race in flux, a degree of statistical noise due to a major event in this past week's news cycle (the president's poor debate performance) and a shifting enthusiasm gap, with GOP voters now more revved up than Democrats. Has Vice-President Biden's feisty debate performance fired up unhappy Democrats? Has Rep. Ryan's cool resolve added to the sense of a GOP ticket on the rise? Did either performance move the needle with independent voters? A few more days of polling should give us a better sense of the direction of the race leading into next week's presidential debate in New York.

Gallup: Americans Approved Of Democratic Convention Speakers

Posted Sep 11, 2012 at 9:40 AM by Maurice Berger

One reason why the Democratic convention may have helped President Obama's case with American voters: they have high marks for its speakers. In a pre-convention poll, a USA Today/Gallup poll reported that "three of the four principal Democrats the party is showcasing this week in prime-time Democratic convention speeches in Charlotte, N.C., are generally in good favor with the majority of Americans. According to [the poll]  conducted prior to both parties' conventions, former President Bill Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama, and President Barack Obama all have broad appeal, while Vice President Joe Biden receives mixed reviews." Here is Gallup's chart:

Leading Democrats' Favorable Ratings, August 2012

Vice-President Biden's Favorability Rating Collapses

Posted Oct 27, 2009 at 2:22 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, Vice-President Joe Biden's favorability rating has reached an all-time low: "After peaking at 59% last November, Biden's favorable rating continues to decline and now stands at 42%. That barely exceeds his 40% unfavorable rating, and is easily his worst evaluation since last year's Democratic National Convention. Biden's favorable rating has dropped by five or six points each of the last three times Gallup has updated it -- in January, before Barack Obama's inauguration; in July; and in the most recent poll. . . . The source of the decline -- by party affiliation -- has varied over time. During the post-election to pre-inauguration phase, Biden's favorable rating dropped significantly among Democrats, but it has been fairly steady since, and remains strong at 73%. Republicans had relatively low opinions of Biden even at the peak of his popularity, with 33% holding a favorable opinion of him. Those views did not change appreciably until after he took office, but Republicans' views of Biden have declined in both post-inauguration readings, and now stand at 18% favorable. Independents' opinions of Biden have declined more steadily since the post-election high mark, and now 32% of independents view the vice president favorably."

Wny Obama Won: The Palin Factor (That Cuts Both Ways)

Posted Nov 14, 2008 at 1:33 AM by Maurice Berger

The Palin factor was a big one in this election. McCain nomination of the Alaska governor as his running mate would prove a blessing and a curse for the Republican ticket. There is no question that the devout, Evangelical governor helped McCain ignite the Republican Party base, heretofore very slow to warm to the Arizona Senator. Indeed, on Election Day, McCain owed many of his 57 million votes to Palin, who helped excite and galvanized the party. But critically, she slowly began to turn off independents, especially women. As the campaign wore on, Palin's standing with voters wore down. As PollTrack observed on 14 October: "Rasmussen reports that Delaware Senator Joseph Biden is now viewed more favorably than the Republican VP candidate: "Palin continues to be an emotional lightning rod for voters. 56% now have a favorable view of Biden, including 25% who say that view is Very Favorable . . . 53% view Palin favorably, but 35% say their opinion of her is Very Favorable. 47% have an unfavorable view of the first-term Alaska governor, compared to 41% who say that of Biden.' In a survey released September 24, nearly a month after they were nominated, Palin was viewed more favorably than Biden, 54% to 49%." By Election Day, a clear majority of voters believed that Palin was not qualified to be commander in chief. While it is true that vice-presidential picks rarely impact on the eventual outcome of a presidential cycle--voters after all are mainly endorsing or rejecting the candidate at the top of the ticket--on the whole, Palin's lack of traction with voters in the middle was a decided plus for the Obama-Biden ticket.

ABC News/Washington Post: Palin Undermining Confidence In McCain

Posted Oct 21, 2008 at 1:14 AM by Maurice Berger

A new ABC News/Washington Post survey indicates yet another problem for John McCain: voters perception of his judgment relative to his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate: "On the vice presidential candidates, 52% of likely voters say McCain's pick of Palin has made them less confident in the kind of decisions he'd make as president; that's up 13 points since just after the selection, as doubts about Palin's qualifications (also voiced by Powell on Sunday) have grown. Just 38% say it makes them more confident in McCain's judgment, down 12 points." For the Democrat, these numbers are reversed: 56% of likely voters say his choice of Biden makes them more confident in Obama's decision-making, 31 percent less so. 

Sarah Palin: A Problem For McCain?

Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 1:58 AM by Maurice Berger

Rasmussen late yesterday reported that Delaware Senator Joseph Biden is now viewed more favorably than Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin: "Palin continues to be an emotional lightning rod for voters. 56% now have a favorable view of Biden, including 25% who say that view is Very Favorable . . . 53% view Palin favorably, but 35% say their opinion of her is Very Favorable. 47% have an unfavorable view of the first-term Alaska governor, compared to 41% who say that of Biden." In a survey released September 24, nearly a month after they were nominated, Palin was viewed more favorably than Biden, 54% to 49%. The newest poll also indicates a particularly worrisome trend for the McCain-Palin ticket: women have a more favorable opinion of Biden by a significant margin. 

VP Debate: 69.9 Million Viewers

Posted Oct 03, 2008 at 11:05 AM by Maurice Berger

Almost 70 million viewers tuned into the last night's Vice Presidential debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and US Senator Joe Biden. The match up drew over 17 million more viewers than last Friday's presidential debate.

Astonishing Viewership For VP Debate

Posted Oct 03, 2008 at 5:51 AM by Maurice Berger

Preliminary Nielson overnight ratings suggest that last night's VP debate was the most watched since Clinton/Bush in 1992. Nielson reports an astonishing 33% upswing in viewers over last Friday's debate between McCain and Obama. PollTrack will have final numbers later today. The relatively strong performance of both Biden and Palin should help both campaigns. But given McCain's need to change the subject from the bad economic news dominating recent news cycles, the Republicans may have benefited more from last night's tussle in St. Louis. Stay tuned.

The Experience Question

Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 2:44 AM by Maurice Berger

On the experience question, Rasmussen reports (9/15) the following numbers: "Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters say John McCain is prepared right now to be president, and 50% say the same thing about Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden. Forty-four percent (44%) say the man at the top of Biden's ticket, Barack Obama, is ready, but 45% say he isn’t." On Mccain's running mate: "Over half of voters (52%) say McCain’s running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, is not prepared to be president, but 33% disagree"

McCain Wins Speech Viewership War

Posted Sep 05, 2008 at 8:18 AM by Maurice Berger

More viewers tuned into John McCain's acceptance speech last night than Obama's a week ago. And more than 13 million more people watched Palin's speech than Biden's. Here are the final Nielsen numbers for all four events:

McCain: 38.9 million

Obama: 38.4 million

Palin: 37.2 million

Biden: 24.0 million

As for gender: more women tuned into Obama's speech; more men for McCain's.

Rasmussen: Palin Viewed More Favorably by Voters than Biden

Posted Aug 30, 2008 at 1:14 AM by Maurice Berger

Rasmussen Reports writes this morning that voters' initial response to McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, is higher than it was to Biden last week. 53% have a more favorable opinion of Palin; 26% less favorable. Biden was viewed positively by only 43% of voters.

Once again, a note of caution: public opinion takes a while to set in. So stay tuned.

Gallup & Rasmussen: Does Biden Help?

Posted Aug 24, 2008 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

In a survey conducted yesterday and published this morning, Rasmussen Reports finds that 39% of voters believe that Obama made the right choice in selecting Biden as his running mate; 25% disagreed and another 35% are not sure. Women were less enthusiastic than men of the pick—33% of women say Biden was the right choice while 27% disagreed. It appears from these limited and early numbers that Biden may not resolve Obama's problem with Hillary  Clinton's most ardent female supporters.

In another flash poll completed yesterday by Gallup, the numbers suggest that the new VP nominee may have little effect on most voters: only 14% say that the selection of Biden makes them more likely to support Obama. 7% say less likely; 72% replied that it will have no effect at all.


A word of caution: it may take weeks or even months to understand the full effect of a VP pick. And most often, the VP candidate has only a modest effect, at best, on the outcome of a presidential election. In 1988, for example, Democrat Michael Dukakis lost with a running mate considered strong by most observers, Sen. Lloyd Bentson (D-Texas); his opponent Republican George H. W. Bush won, even though his choice, Sen. Dan Quayle (R-Indiana), was widely perceived as weak and inexperienced.

Joe Biden: The VP Effect + New Call Delaware: Leaning to Safe

Posted Aug 23, 2008 at 12:51 AM by Maurice Berger

Well, it's Sen. Joe Biden (D-DEL). The immediate question: how will his selection as Obama's running mate impact on their standing in the polls and electorally? For one, PollTrack will now move Delaware from ""likely Democrat" to "safe Democrat."

Beyond this, the implications of Biden's role on the ticket are unclear electorally. There is no one swing state that Biden can help lock in for Obama (as LBJ did for JFK in Texas in 1960, and Kaine or Bayh might have accomplished in this cycle, with Virginia or Indiana respectively). His experience, of course, could help with voters concerned about Obama's inexperience, a serious problem for him at the moment (see below, "Tightening Race: Crisis Management").

The big hurdle that Obama now faces, however--one that accounts to a great extent for the closeness of the race--is that McCain has unified his party and Obama has not. Will selecting Biden help bring disgruntled Clinton supporters into the fold, for example?  This seems unlikely right now.  And, of course, the VP selection rarely significantly alters the dynamics of an election.