Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Michigan: Mixed Results

Posted Nov 08, 2016 at 10:13 PM by Maurice Berger

Clinton is under-performing in a number of counties in Michigan, over-performing in a few. But most of the big Democratic strongholds have been slow to report.

FINAL US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 47 IND 1 GOP 52

Posted Nov 03, 2014 at 6:23 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 47   IND 1  GOP 52

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

 

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AK: Sullivan (R)

AR: Cotton (R)

GA: Perdue (R)

IA: Ernst (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

SD: Rounds (R) 

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 47 TOSS UP 1 IND 1 GOP 51

Posted Nov 01, 2014 at 8:05 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 47    TOSS UP 1   IND 1  GOP 51

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

 

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

 

GA: Open

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AK: Sullivan (R)

AR: Cotton (R)

IA: Ernst (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

SD: Rounds (R) 

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 47 TOSS UP 2 IND 1 GOP: 50

Posted Nov 01, 2014 at 8:36 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 47    TOSS UP 2   IND 1  GOP: 50

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

 

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

 

GA: Open

IA: Open

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AK: Sullivan (R)

AR: Cotton (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

SD: Rounds (R) 

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 48 TOSS UP 2 IND 1 GOP: 49

Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 48    TOSS UP 2   IND 1  GOP: 49

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

GA: Nunn (D)

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

 IA: Open

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Cotton (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

SD: Rounds (R) 

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 48 TOSS UP 3 IND 1 GOP: 48

Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 1:05 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 48    TOSS UP 3   IND 1  GOP: 48

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

GA: Nunn (D)

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

 

 

IA: Open

 

 

 

SD: Rounds (R)

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Cotton (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 45 TOSS UP 8 GOP: 47

Posted Oct 17, 2014 at 1:07 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 45    TOSS UP 8     GOP: 47

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Open

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

LA: Landrieu (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)

SD: Rounds (R)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

 

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 45 TOSS UP 10 GOP: 45

Posted Oct 14, 2014 at 12:46 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 9     GOP: 45

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Open

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)

SD: Rounds (R)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 46 TOSS UP 9 GOP: 45

Posted Oct 09, 2014 at 9:03 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 9     GOP: 45

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Open

NH: Shaheen(D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

SD: Rounds (R)


 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 46 TOSS UP 9 GOP: 45

Posted Oct 08, 2014 at 8:48 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 9     GOP: 45

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Open

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)

SD: Rounds (R)


 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 46 TOSS UP 8 GOP: 46

Posted Oct 07, 2014 at 11:41 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 8     GOP: 46

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken

MI: Open

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)


 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 46 TOSS UP 7 GOP: 47

Posted Oct 06, 2014 at 10:30 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 7     GOP: 47

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken

MI: Open

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

KY: McConnell (R)

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

2014 U.S. SENATE RACE RATING: DEM 47 GOP 47

Posted Sep 30, 2014 at 10:39 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 47    TOSS UP 6     GOP: 47

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken

MI: Open

NC: Hagan (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

KY: McConnell (R)

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

 

Michigan US Senate: Democrat In The Lead

Posted Sep 24, 2014 at 8:44 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Denno Research in Michigan reports that Democrat Gary Peters holds a +7% lead over Republican Terri Lynn Land in the U.S. Senate race, 45% to 38%.

Michigan Gov: Synder Ahead

Posted Jul 22, 2014 at 9:31 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Denno Research reports that Michigan's incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Snyder leads Democratic challenger Mark Schauer, 43% to 35%. A EPIC-MRA poll similarly finds Peters ahead by +9%--45% to 36%.

Michigan US Senate: Democrat Ahead

Posted Jul 21, 2014 at 9:54 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by EPIC-MRA in Michigan Michigan reports that Democrat Gary Peters leads Republican Terri Lynn Land in the U.S. Senate race by +9%-- 45% to 36%.

Michigan Gov: Republican Incumbent Ahead

Posted Jun 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new poll by Mitchell Research in Michigan, incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Snyder leads Democratic challenger Mark Schauer in the race for governor, 46% to 41%.

Michigan US Senate: Democrat Slightly Ahead

Posted Jun 17, 2014 at 8:25 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Mitchell Research in Michigan reports that Democrat Gary Peters leads Republican Terri Lynn Land in the U.S. Senate race, 45% to 42%.

MI US Senate: Democrat Ahead

Posted Jun 04, 2014 at 9:43 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by  EPIC-MRA in Michigan reports that Democrat Gary Peters leads Republican Terri Lynn Land in the U.S. Senate race, 44% to 38% with 18% still undecided.

How Did Obama Capaign Gauge The Mood Of The Electorate?

Posted Nov 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM by Maurice Berger

Here is a fascinating analysis of how the Obama campaign gauged its relative strengths and weakness through internal polls. Mark Blumenthal focuses on the Obama campaign polling operation and notes they their view of the state of the race was local rather than national. Rather than taking nation-wide polls, the campaign
limited its surveys to 11 battleground states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin), conducting them at regular intervals throughout the campaign. Campaign manager Jim Messina says this gave him a deeper understanding of "how we were doing, where we were doing it, where we were moving -- which is why I knew that most of the public polls you were seeing were completely ridiculous."

Why Michigan Matters

Posted Nov 06, 2012 at 9:09 PM by Maurice Berger

That Michigan wall called quickly--suggesting a substantial lead in the state for Obama--matters. Given the voting pattern of neighboring states, each reflective of a regional wave of demographics, voting patterns, and history, a big win in Michigan bodes well for Obama in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and even, to an extent, Ohio. This is the first sign that the president's "Midwest firewall" may, in fact, be holding.

Is The Tide Turning Blue?

Posted Sep 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM by Maurice Berger

With three new polls showing a small but consistent lead by President Obama over Mitt Romney, PollTrack moves North Carolina on Today's Map from Too-Close-To-Call to Leaning Democratic. This move is significant, indicating a broader shift in recent days away from Romney and towards the president. As swing states that continue to trend modestly Republican--like North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia--now indicate a slight preference for Obama, classic purple states, like Ohio and Colorado, are increasingly showing strength for Obama.

Indeed, PollTrack has tracked another consistent trend: in many recent polls in battleground states such as Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada, the president has inched up to (or in a number of cases over) the all-important 50% mark. With the probability fading that the president's convention bounce was merely transient--and the real possibility that these numbers might remain stable for the time being--PollTrack senses that the election may have reached a tipping point.From the perspective of history, such trends are very difficult for challengers to reverse this close to the election. Stay tuned.

Michigan Moves From Leaning DemocraticTo Democratic

Posted Sep 13, 2012 at 9:58 AM by Maurice Berger

A new surveyby EPIC-MRA in Michigan reports that President Obama now leads Mitt Romney by 10 points, 47% to 37%. Based on polling and historical models PollTrack moves the state on Today's Map from Leaning Democratic to Strong Democratic.

Obama With Small Lead In Michigan

Posted Sep 04, 2012 at 11:06 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by EPIC-MRA in Michigan reports that President Obama leads Mitt Romney by a modest three points, 49% to 46%. PollTrack continues to rate the state Leaning Democrat on Today's Map.

Michigan: Leaning Democratic

Posted Aug 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Mitchell Research in Michigan reports that President Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney by five points, 49% to 44%. PollTrack moves the state on Today's Map from Too-Close-To Call to  Leaning Democratic.

NPR Poll: Obama and Romney Tied in 12-Key Battleground States

Posted Jul 25, 2012 at 9:32 AM by Maurice Berger

In another indication of just how close the presidential race may turn out to be--and at this point--a new NPR poll in 12 battleground states -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin -- reports that President Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 46% each.

Obama Leads In Michigan

Posted Jun 19, 2012 at 9:10 AM by Maurice Berger

After several polls showing the presidential race tightening in Michigan, a survey by Rasmussen (an organization with a slight GOP tilt in its polling) now reports that President Obama maintains a comfortable lead over Mitt Romney in the state, 50% to 42%. PollTrack continues to show Michigan on Today's Map as Leaning Democratic.

Romney Leads In Michigan (By A Hair)

Posted Jun 13, 2012 at 9:54 AM by Maurice Berger

Did the Obama administration's bailout of the auto industry make Michigan safe for the Democrats? The answer, according to a new poll, may be no. A survey by EPIC-MRA in Michigan now shows Mitt Romney with a tiny lead over President Obama, 46% to 45%. The pollster notes that "the softening in support for Obama is likely related to a robust TV advertising campaign by pro-Romney PACs which have been critical of his handling of the economy. Perhaps most troubling for the Democratic president is a decline in support from independent voters."

Today's Map: Moves From Leans Democrat To Too-Close-To-Call

Posted Jun 12, 2012 at 9:33 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack moves Michigan on Today's Map Today from Leaning Democrat to Too-Close-To-Call. With this shift, the national race for president continues to grow closer.

Obama Ahead In Michigan

Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Glengariff Group in Michigan reports that President Obama now leads Mitt Romney, 45% to 40%.

Obama Leads By Significant Margin In Battleground States

Posted Apr 04, 2012 at 9:28 AM by Maurice Berger

A new USA Today/Gallup poll in a dozen battleground states finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney, 51% to 42%. The survey finds that the "biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney's support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group."The ten states surveyed were: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina,  Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Michigan GOP Primary: Romney Win?

Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 2:13 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack's aggregate of polling in today's Michigan GOP presidential primary--four polls released on Monday are included--suggest a very close race, with Mitt Romney the very slight favorite over Rick Santorum. Our poll average in Michigan places Romney at 37.5% over Santorum, with 35.8% Both Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are far behind, with well under 15% each. Polling in the field last night, however, shows overnight momentum by Santorum. With a scant 1.5% lead in our aggregate, the race appears VERY close with the potential for a Santorum upset.

 

         

Romney Ahead In Michigan

Posted Feb 24, 2012 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

Two new polls out this morning show that Mitt Romney has regained the lead over Rick Santorum in the Michigan GOP primary. A poll by Mitchell/Rosetta Stone irepoorts that has Romney with a small lead over Santorum,, 36% to 33%, with Ron Paul at 12% and Newt Gingrich at 9%. Another 11% are still undecided. And Rasmussen shows Romney leading Santorum by six points, 40% to 36%. According to the former survey, "Romney has made big inroads with conservatives over the past ten days: 16% lead among Tea Party voters has been erased and he is now tied with them; his 16% lead with Evangelical Christians has now been cut in half to 8%, and Santorums 31% lead with self-identified conservatives has now been cut to 13%."

Who Is Leading In Michigan GOP Primary?

Posted Feb 20, 2012 at 1:46 AM by Maurice Berger

Who is leading in the Michigan GOP primary. Recent polling remain somewhat inconclusive. A new survey by American Research Group reports that Rick Santorum leads the state's GOP presidential primary with 37%, followed by Mitt Romney at 32%, Ron Paul at 15% and Newt Gingrich at 10%. Another poll, by Inside Michigan Politics, reports a much closer race, with Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum tied with 33% each, followed by Ron Paul at 7% and Newt Gingrich at 5%. Stay tuned to PollTrack this week for the latest polling in what could be a make or break state for the two leading candidates.

Romney Ahead In Michigan GOP Primary

Posted Feb 10, 2012 at 12:50 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Mitchell Research in Michigan reports that Mitt Romney holds a comfortable lead in the GOP primary race with 31%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 16%, Rick Santorum at 15% and Ron Paul at 15%. Since the poll was conducted before Romney lost contests in three states earlier this week, PollTrack will be following this race closely in the next few days.

GOP Nomination: The Contests In February

Posted Feb 01, 2012 at 1:17 AM by Maurice Berger

Mitt Romney's substantial victory in yesterday's Florida primary may give him a significant advantage in the GOP presidential nomination contest, but many more primaries and caucuses lie ahead for the Republican field. Here's a breakdown for February:

 

  • Nevada caucuses - February 4
  • Maine caucuses - February 4-11
  • Minnesota caucuses - February 7
  • Missouri primary - February 7
  • Colorado caucuses - February 7
  • Arizona primary - February 28
  • Michigan primary - February 29

Romney More Electable Against President Obama?

Posted Jan 31, 2012 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

A new USAToday/Gallup survey of the dozen states likely to determine the outcome of November's election--Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin--concludes that Mitt Romney is the "GOP contender with the best chance of denying Obama a second term." The poll reports that "in a head-to-head race, Romney leads Obama by a statistically insignificant percentage point, 48%-47% . . . But Obama leads Gingrich, 54%-40%. The president's standing against him has risen nine points since early December; Gingrich has fallen by eight. Gingrich fares less well than Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who trails Obama by seven points, 50%-43%, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who also trails by seven points, 51%-44%."

Contradictory Polls In Michigan GOP Primary

Posted Dec 16, 2011 at 2:01 AM by Maurice Berger

Two polls just out. Two different readings of the relatively early (February 28) GOP presidential primary race in Michigan. A survey from MIRS reports that Romney leads with a double-digit lead in the state where he was raised, 48% to 33%. (Michele Bachmann comes in at 11% and Rick Perry at 7%). Another poll from Strategic National shows Newt Gingrich edging Mitt Romney in Michigan, where Romney spent his childhood, 31% to 29%. Stay tuned.

Election 2012: Unemployment Up in Swing States

Posted Jun 24, 2011 at 2:00 AM by Maurice Berger

In yet another problem for the incumbent president, The Fix examines the most recent state-by-state unemployment numbers and reports "that in every one of the 14 swing states heading into 2012 -- Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin -- the unemployment rate has risen since October 2008."

Daily Tracking Average: Obama Bumps Up An Additional +1.6%

Posted Nov 03, 2008 at 8:48 AM by Maurice Berger

Today's daily tracking poll average indicates a comfortable national aggregate lead of +6.6% for the Democrat, 50.6% to 44%. Still, with Obama up as much as +25% in states with some of the largest populations--such as CA, NY, MA, IL, MI--this national number may not reflect the relativeness closeness of the race in several key battleground states, including OH, NC, and FL. Much of today's polling continues to indicate an unusually large bloc of undecided or still persuadable voters. IBD/TIPP puts the figure at an amazing 9.5% undecided. A just issued CBS News periodic poll indicates a 6% undecided block. And Rasmussen still indicates that 10% of voters remain uncertain, lean to one candidate, or intend to vote for a third party candidate. The large undecided bloc that continues to register in some polls is unusually high the day before a national cycle, particularly one with as much voter enthusiasm as this one. Where will these voters wind up, if and when they vote?

 

Tomorrow's Map: ME, MN, NJ All Move To "Safe Democrat"

Posted Oct 23, 2008 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger

With Obama's polling averages and dramatic improvement in his advantage in Minnesota, Maine, and New Jersey, PollTrack moves the three states from "Leaning" to "Safe Democrat" on Tomorrow's Map.

Today's Map: MN, MI, WI, ME All Move To "Safe Democrat"

Posted Oct 23, 2008 at 1:13 AM by Maurice Berger

With polling averages around the +10% mark and recent polling suggesting a surge for Obama in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Maine, PollTrack moves all four states from "Leaning" to "Safe Democrat."

Two Weeks Out: The Fundamentals Favor Obama

Posted Oct 20, 2008 at 2:35 AM by Maurice Berger

With Obama leading in all of the states won by John Kerry in 2004--and McCain behind or struggling in a number won by George W. Bush--the fundamentals of the election still favor the Democrat. Perhaps the most positive sign for Obama is the stability of the national numbers over the cycle. Although there is evidence that these numbers are drawing closer (PT's polling average is inching below the 5% mark), the baseline number for each candidate has remained the same for all but a few weeks in September: Obama in the upper forties, McCain in the mid 40s. Only Obama has been able to register above the 50% mark for more than a few days (indeed, all of the daily trackers have placed him at or above 50% at some point during the past three weeks). The durability of these numbers suggests an underlying dynamic that tilts decidedly blue at this point. Having said this, even a durable and longstanding wave of support can break down in the waning days of an election. Indeed, Al Gore--facing an Republican opponent who rode a yearlong wave of support--made up a 10% deficit in the final month of the 2000 campaign. The other issue (all too relevant to 2000): the popular vote may not reflect McCain's ultimate strength on the electoral map. As Obama wracks up enormous leads in many of the blue states (including many of the blue battlegrounds such as Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan)--far out-pacing either Gore or Kerry--his leads in a number of battlegrounds are tenuous at best. McCain has drawn Ohio down to a tie. His numbers are perking up in West Virginia and Florida. Indeed, if McCain can solidify or win back support in Republican leading states--in other words if the electoral map returns to its traditional divisions--the election could come down to two states with dramatic voter registration shifts in recent years: Colorado and Virginia, both traditionally Republican but increasingly hospitable to Democrats. With Obama ahead in the three 2000/2004 "swing" states (New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Iowa swung between the two parties in the last two close elections), however, McCain's route to victory is nevertheless far narrower and more difficult than his opponent.

Hotline/FD: Obama Way Ahead in The Battleground States

Posted Oct 13, 2008 at 6:23 AM by Maurice Berger

Hotline/FD tracking, this morning, reports that although the national numbers have drawn a bit closer, with Obama up +6%, the Democrat continues to hold a collective double-digit lead in the battleground states--51% to 38%--defined in the survey as Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The finding may be misleading, however. For one, these states together represent an appreciably smaller sample than the national poll as a whole, thus are subject to greater statistical variations. Also: these numbers do not reflect differences in the intensity of state to state support for the candidates. In other words, while the Democrat, according to most polls, holds a substantial lead in some swing states (PA, NH, MI, WI), the race appears to be considerably tighter in others (OH, FL, VA, NV, CO). The enormous upside for Obama: he is leading (in some cases by significant margins) in all of the states won by John Kerry in 2004, while McCain is struggling in a number of Bush states.

Tomorrow's Map: Michigan Moves From "Leaning" To "Safe Democrat"

Posted Oct 10, 2008 at 1:11 AM by Maurice Berger

With Obama holding steady in Michigan and the McCain campaign pulling out of the state, PollTrack moves MI from "Leaning" to "Safe Democrat" on Tomorrow's Map. (Keep in mind that rumors have been circulating of a Republican ad buy in Michigan, so McCain could go back in and contest the state. Stay tuned.)

McCain Campaign: Michigan Now Out Of Reach

Posted Oct 02, 2008 at 7:30 AM by Maurice Berger

With Obama's lead rapidly expanding in Michigan--where a Public Policy Polling issued today gives the Democrat a healthy 10% advantage, 51% to 41%--the New York Times reports this afternoon that McCain will pull his campaign from the state: "John McCain’s decision to cancel a campaign event in Michigan next week was not a matter of scheduling: Mr. McCain is giving up his effort to take the state back into the red column, concluding that economic distress there has simply put the state out of reach, according to Republicans familiar with the decision." This is a big concession (more ominous than the decision of the Obama campaign to abandon the three electoral votes of North Dakota a fews week ago) and a testament to the ever increasing problem the Republican is having holding onto traditionally Republican turf. The move will allow the McCain campaign to redirect time and money to states that are now more competitive, such as the traditional battlegrounds of Ohio and Florida (both went to Bush in 2000 and 2004) and states that are traditionally Republican but are now surprisingly close, such as Indiana and North Carolina.

Tomorrow's Map: Michigan Trending Democrat

Posted Sep 28, 2008 at 9:14 AM by Maurice Berger

As last week drew to a close, the state of Michigan began to show signs of life for Obama. PollTrack moves the state from "Too Close to Call" to "Leaning Democrat" on Tomorrow's Map, thus concluding that the recent statewide trend towards the Democrat (as reported this morning) may continue this week.

Today's Map: Michigan Now "Leaning Democrat"

Posted Sep 28, 2008 at 1:09 AM by Maurice Berger

With the only survey indicating a lead for McCain in Michigan (MRG of Lansing) now more than a week old and five new polls indicating a significant upswing in support for Obama, PollTrack moves the state from "Too Close To Call" to "Leaning Democrat" on Today's Map.

Michigan Is Hard To Read

Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 8:47 AM by Maurice Berger

Michigan is one state that may go back and forth this election season. On the basis of several new polls released over the past 24 hours, it would seem that the people of the great state are having troubling making up their minds (or pollsters are having a hard time making up their's). As reported earlier, the state's economy is doing poorly, and statewide public opinion surveys suggest that Michigan's Democratic governor is unpopular right now (see below, 24-Sep/Michigan: Movement on Today's Map). Thus, the economy may well cut both ways for the national contest as a political issue in the state. How schizophrenic are the numbers? Take a look: MRG of Lansing: McCain +3%. NBC/Mason Dixon: a tie, at 46% to 46%. Detroit Free Press: Obama +13 (yes, 51% to 38%). PollTrack leaves the state "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map and will pay very close attention to the next round of statewide polling and its internal data.

Tomorrow's Map: New Call For North Carolina

Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 8:26 AM by Maurice Berger

On the basis of the most recent surveys in North Carolina, PollTrack moves the state from "Safe" to "Leaning Republican" on Tomorrow's Map.

Michigan: Movement on Today's Map

Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 4:11 AM by Maurice Berger

While PollTrack recently moved Michigan to "Leaning Democrat" on Today's Map, it left it "To Close To Call" on Tomorrow's Map. Why? Because the state may not behave like its neighbors in this cycle. The local Democratic party is doing poorly in the state--especially Govenor Jennifer Granholm--blamed for the local and especially harsh downturn in the economy. While the Democratic brand may be helping Obama right now in a number of states, it may be hurting him in Michigan, where his PT average lead just dropped below the 4% mark and a new Marketing Resource Group of Lansing poll shows McCain up by 3%--46% to 43%. Thus PollTrack moves the state back to "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map.

Today's Map: New Calls for Florida and Michigan

Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 12:01 PM by Maurice Berger

New polling released today suggests that Michigan and Florida may be reverting to recent statewide electoral patterns. PollTrack now moves Florida from "Too Close To Call" To "Leaning Republican" and Michigan "Too Close To Call" to "Leaning Democrat on Today's Map.

Can Either Candidate Break The Tie?

Posted Sep 15, 2008 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

Although the Republican base is fired up and McCain claims a  significant lead among independents, Democratic party identification and voter enthusiasm is also way up (Rasmussen gives the Democrats a 5% advantage). Thus, neither candidate is walking away with the election at this point. Even a cursory glance at the electoral map suggests conditions far similar to the razor close count of 2000 and not 1988 or 1992, where one party gained lasting momentum and was able to pick off enough swing states to capture a solid electoral majority. If Obama were poised to do this, he would need to win a bunch of states that have gone Republican in the last two cycles but were also won by Bill Clinton in 1992 and/or 1996: Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Montana, Georgia, Florida. All these states are now moving solidly into the Republican column. Similarly, McCain is behind in New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Michigan (though by smaller margins than Obama in TN, KY, MN, GA, WV), states he would need for a big win.

Unless dramatic on-the-ground events (perhaps spurred by this weekend's Wall Street meltdown) or a striking under-performance or major league blooper in the debates throws off one of the candidates, it's conceivable that the election will remain close to the very end. Then it will be up to voter enthusiasm and turnout to propel one or the other over the victory line.

Is Either Candidate Pulling Ahead?

Posted Sep 13, 2008 at 2:03 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack has received a number of E-mails from Democrats concerned about Obama's chances in November. The short answer: no candidate is decisively ahead and the race is fairly even both in national support and electoral votes. It is clear that McCain came out of his convention stronger than Obama. It is also true that the momentum is now with the Republican. But the race is close enough that either candidate can win. By contrast, President Bush came out of his convention in 2004 with a sizable bounce that he maintained throughout much of September. Strong debate performances by Sen. John Kerry allowed the Democrat to narrow the gap considerably, though not entirely close it.

PollTrack suspects that the debates will be an important factor in this election. Since 1960 in presidential races in which debates were held (1960, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004), the debates were usually decisive. Indeed in contested cycles, where an incumbent did not sail to victory--races that include all but 1984 and 1996--the debates were the decisive factor in most instances. Here are a few debate bloopers and  successes that really made a difference: Nixon's listless appearance and five-o'clock shadow in 1960; Ford's gaffe about Poland in 1976; Dukakis' cold and dispassionate response to a question about whether his liberal views about crime and punishment would be shaken if his own wife were raped; Reagan's ability to convince a skeptical nation that he was not an extremist in 1980; and George H. W. Bush caught on camera glancing at his watch while his opponent, Bill Clinton, was addressing dire economic issues in 1992.

In the short term: watch to see if McCain's bounce translates into improvement in the statewide contest for electoral votes. Right now, the answer is a mixed bag: McCain appears to be benefiting form a sizable bounce in Southern states and smaller but marked improvement in number of western, plains and Rocky Mountain states. Obama's numbers remain very strong in New England (save New Hampshire). Numbers for the mid-west, rust belt, and mid-Atlantic states are unclear at this point, though Obama appears to be loosing a little ground in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. New York and California seem solidly behind the Democrat.

Today's Map: Michigan "Leaning Democrat" to "Too Close To Call"

Posted Sep 08, 2008 at 5:40 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Public Policy Polling survey released today indicates a close race in Michigan, with Obama leading by 1%--47% to 46%. This poll alone would not have caused PollTrack to reevaluate the Michigan race. The problem for Democrats: their relatively poor performance with women in this survey (he now has only a 3% lead) and others. Over the past five presidential cycles, the Democrats' lead among women in Michigan and other states in the region has been considerable higher. The PPP survey also indicates that Palin seems to be a hit with Michigan voters, with "45% of respondents say they are more likely to vote for McCain because of his running mate selection."

Thus PollTrack moves Michigan from "Leaning Democratic" to "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map Today.

The Palin Effect I: Women

Posted Aug 31, 2008 at 1:48 AM by Maurice Berger

Pollster David Johnson of Strategic Vision reports that in OH, PA, WI, MI--battleground states central to this election--Obama is under-performing other Democratic candidates in recent cycles. According to the organization's president, Obama, in these states, is "only leading John McCain by 2% to 3% among females where traditionally there has been a double digit lead for Democrats." 

Was McCain's choice of Palin, in part, meant to appeal to these women? Over the past few days, PollTrack has noted a tendency among pundits and journalists to distort the attitudes of many of these voters, treating them as a monolithic bloc of feminists disaffected by Hillary Clinton's loss yet unwilling to vote for a candidate who supports gun rights and rejects abortion rights.

The reality on-the-ground is more complicated. Some--if not many--women in these states were Democratic or independent voters who supported Hillary Clinton. And, yes, some remain disgruntled. But many of these women are also, like Palin, pro-life and pro-gun. Thus, she may well be appealing to these voters, spurring McCain's support among women in these battleground states who continue to be disinclined to vote for the Democratic ticket.

 

McCain Selects Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) New State Calls: AK, ND, MI

Posted Aug 29, 2008 at 3:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Sources within the Republican Party report that McCain has chosen Gov, Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate. Palin, a fiscal and social conservative, is a favorite of conservative activists. Pro-Life, she may help McCain solidify his standing with religious conservatives who have been slow to warm to his campaign. The second female candidate of either party to run on a national ticket (Dem. Geraldine Ferraro was the first in 1984), Palin could also help win over female voters, including some of Hillary Clinton's older and more conservative die-hard female supporters. Conversely, the freshly minted governor (she's been in office less than two years), may undercut the McCain campaign's argument that Obama is too inexperienced to lead.

As a result of McCain's selection, PollTrack will now make a series of new calls on Today's Map Today:

Alaska: Moves from "Leaning Republican" to "Safe Republican"

North Dakota: Moves from "Too Close To Call" to "Leaning Republican"

Michigan: Now that McCain has passed over Mitt Romney as his running mate, Michigan may be less in play for the Republicans. With Obama's numbers improving in the state recently, PollTrack moves Michigan from "Too Close To Call" to "Leaning Democratic."