Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

President Obama Way Ahead With Hispanic Voters

Posted Mar 09, 2012 at 3:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A new national Fox News Latino poll of likely Latino voters reports that "73% approve of Obama’s performance in office, with over half those questioned looking favorably upon his handling of the healthcare debate and the economy, at 66% and 58% respectively. . . . the poll shows that the overwhelming choice among likely Latino voters is President Obama. In head-to-head match-ups none of the GOP candidates would garner more than 14 percent of the Latino vote come November." If these numbers can be sustained, PollTrack believes that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a GOP candidate to make up the difference. The poll is very good news for the President's reelection effort and a warning to Republicans.

"Leaners" Lean Towards Obama

Posted Oct 30, 2008 at 2:45 AM by Maurice Berger

While polls contradict each other, some showing Obama significantly ahead, others indicating a close national or statewide race, it's usually the way "leaners" and persuadable voters are counted that makes the difference. In other words, when only voters who are certain of their choice are included in a sample, the race is somewhat closer. When voters who are persuadable or leaning one way or another are factored in, Obama often holds a solid advantage. There is a bit of good news in this for each candidate. For McCain, these numbers suggest a fluidity in the race: neither candidate has sealed the deal with voters. The fluidity of voters leaning towards Obama's may also suggest their reticence or anxiety about the candidate. The good news for Obama is really quite good: with leaning and persuadable voters included, he jumps well over the 50% mark in many surveys and states, suggesting that a solid majority of voters are ready--or nearly ready--to vote for him. The next few days are crucial for both camps. If Obama can successfully close, finally securing leaning, persuadable, and undecided voters he has the potential of a solid, and perhaps commanding electoral majority. But if these voters break for McCain, we may see a much closer race, though the structural stability of the Democrat's numbers--he leads by more than 10% on average in 255 EVs--will make any path to victory for McCain extremely limited and difficult.

Likely Voter Models: Hard To Figure Out

Posted Oct 15, 2008 at 1:21 AM by Maurice Berger

It looks like polling organizations are having difficulty determining likely voters this cycle. With so many newly registered voters--as well as a significant increase in younger voters during the primary season--some pollsters worry about using classic models and questions for determining a respondent's likelihood of voting. Will younger voters, for example, show up on Election Day, or--as in virtually every presidential cycle in recent years--will they stay home? Will African-American voter participation increase or stay the same? (Georgia election officials report an enormous black turn-out in early voting; Ohio reports the opposite: a relatively modest number of African American voters at this point.) Will newly registered voters show up? The problem is so daunting, that the Gallup organization is releasing three tallies in its daily tracking poll: [1] Registered: all registered voters, [2] Traditional Likely: likely voters determined by the "traditional" Gallup methodology, "which takes into account the intention to vote in the current election as well as [respondents'] self-reported voting history," and [3] Expanded  Likely: only voters who "self-profess likelihood to vote in 2008, [without factoring in] whether respondents have voted in past elections." Given the extraordinary spread in recent surveys--from Obama +14% (CBS News/New York Times) to Obama +2% (IBD/TIPP)--variations in models used to determine likely voters and voter enthusiasm may, in part, be to blame.