Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Final Predictions: NY Democratic and GOP Primaries

Posted Apr 18, 2016 at 9:57 AM by Maurice Berger

Here are PollTrack's standings for the Democratic and GOP presidential primaries in New York:



1. Hillary Clinton WINNER

2. Bernie Sanders



1. Donald Trump WINNER

2. John Kasich

3. Ted Cruz

New York GOP and Democratic Primaries

Posted Apr 09, 2016 at 9:44 AM by Maurice Berger

Here are PollTrack's standings for the Democratic and GOP presidential primaries in New York:



1. Hillary Clinton WINNER

2. Bernie Sanders



1. Donald Trump WINNER

2. Ted Cruz

3. John Kasich

NY Gov: Cuomo Holds Huge Lead

Posted Jun 30, 2014 at 8:13 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Siena in New York reports that incumbent Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a huge +36% lead over GOP challenger Rob Astorino, 57% to 21%.

NY Governor Cuomo's Popularity Lags

Posted Nov 21, 2013 at 8:23 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Siena in New York reports that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's job performance rating has dropped to its lowest point, 44% to 52%.

NY Mayoralty: de Blasio With Massive Lead

Posted Nov 04, 2013 at 9:53 PM by Maurice Berger

Democratic Candidate Bill de Blasio holds a massive lead over Republican Joe Lhota heading into tomorrow's New York City mayoral election, 66% to 24%.

NY Mayoralty: De Blassio With Huge Lead

Posted Oct 29, 2013 at 11:12 PM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by New York Times/Siena reports that Democrat Bill de Blasio holds a huge +45% lead among likely voters over Republican Joseph Lhota in the race for New York City mayor, 68% to 23%.

NYC Mayoralty: de Blasio With Huge Lead

Posted Oct 22, 2013 at 8:21 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new poll by Quinnipiac in New York City, Democrat Bill de Blasio is headed for a huge win in the race for mayor over Republican Joseph Lhota. De Blasio leads by a staggering +44%, 68% to 24%.

New York Mayoralty: De Blasio Landslide?

Posted Oct 14, 2013 at 10:41 AM by Maurice Berger

It's starting to look like a possible landslide in the race for mayor in New York. A poll by the Wall Street Journal/NBC New York reports that Democrat Bill de Blasio holds a commanding lead over Republican Joe Lhota, 67% to 23%.

NY Mayoral Race: de Blasio With Commanding Lead

Posted Sep 20, 2013 at 8:54 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Quinnipiac in New York City reports that there is a "yawning racial gaps on many issues" as Democrat Bill de Blasio leads Republican Joe Lhota in the race for mayor in every measure except taxes. The Democrat holds a commanding lead among likely voters, 66% to 25%.

PollTrack's Analysis of Today's Primary Races In New York

Posted Sep 10, 2013 at 9:26 AM by Maurice Berger

While polling in primary races in New York City can be problematic-- because likely voter models are difficult to gauge--PollTrack has seen a pattern over the past few weeks that suggests possible outcomes in three races. On the Democratic side: in the race for Public Advocate, PollTrack sees an advantage for NY State Senator, Daniel L. Squadron. After weeks of leading in the polls, former New York Governor David Spitzer no longer holds an advantage in the race for Comptroller. We think it is likely that Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer will prevail in that race. In the primary for Mayor, one candidate holds a clear lead and will likely come out on top tonight: Bill de Blassio. But it is unclear from our poll averaging and demographic analysis if he will reach the 40% cut-off to avoid a run off. If he does not, his likely opponent will either be Christine Quinn or current NYC Comptroller William C. Thompson. We give a slight advantage to Quinn in the race for second place.

In the GOP primary for Mayor, Polltrack see the clear leader as former Metropolitan Transportation Authority head, Joseph L. Lhota.

Stringer Pulls Ahead In NY Comptroller Primary

Posted Sep 09, 2013 at 5:50 PM by Maurice Berger

A just released Quinnipiac poll in New York City reports that Scott Stringer has pulled ahead in the heretofore too-close-to-call Democratic primary for comptroller. Stringer now leads former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, 50% to 43%.

NY Mayoralty: de Blassio Close to Avoiding Run-Off

Posted Sep 09, 2013 at 10:07 AM by Maurice Berger

Three new polls suggest that Bill de Blassio is close to avoiding a run-off in the Democratic primary for New York City Mayor. A Public Policy Polling survey  reports that de Blasio is at 38%, followed by William Thompson at 19%, Christine Quinn at 13%, Anthony Weiner at 9%, and John Liu at 5%. A new Quinniapiac poll finds De Blasio in the lead with 39%, followed by Thompson at 25%, Quinn at 18%, Weiner at 6%, and John Liu at 4%.  A Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist Poll has de Blasio at 36% followed by Christine Quinn at 20%, Bill Thompson at 20% and Anthony Weiner at 7%.  

NYC Comptroller: Deadlocked

Posted Sep 05, 2013 at 9:33 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Quinnipiac in New York City reports that the race for Comptroller is deadlocked, with Scott Stringer edging ahead of Eliot Spitzer among likley voters, 47% to 45%.

NYC Mayoralty: de Blasio Pulls Ahead

Posted Sep 03, 2013 at 8:53 AM by Maurice Berger

Two polls released last week report that Bill de Balasio has pulled ahead in the democratic primary contest for New York City Mayior. The New York Times-Siena College Poll finds de Blasio leading 32%, followed by Bill Thompson at 18%, Christine Quinn at 17%, Anthony Weiner at 11% and John Liu at 3%. A poll by amNewYork-News 12  shows de Blasio at 29%, Thompson at 24%, Quinn at 17%, Weiner at 10% and Liu at 5%.

New Yorkers Down On Bloomberg

Posted Aug 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by The New York Times reports that 52% of New Yorkers describe Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 12 years in office as "fair or poor," while 46% call it "excellent or good."

Quinn Still Ahead, But By Slim Margin

Posted Aug 20, 2013 at 8:13 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist in New York City reports that Christine Quinn leads the Democratic primary race for mayor with 24%, followed by Bill de Blasio at 21%, Bill Thompson at 16% and Anthony Weiner at 12%.

New Yorkers Find Weiner and Spitzer Candidacies "Embarrassing"

Posted Aug 19, 2013 at 8:48 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Siena reports that although 68% of New Yorkers think the national attention on the candidacies of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, for New York City mayor and comptroller, respectively, are "embarrassing." As pollster Steven Greenberg observes: "Spitzer is not viewed as unfavorably as he was right after he resigned as Governor, however, he's still viewed unfavorably by 59% of voters -- including a majority of Democrats and New York City voters. While Spitzer's unfavorable rating is down from the 79% who viewed him unfavorably in the aftermath of his resignation, Weiner has set a new all-time Siena College Poll record with 80% of voters viewing him unfavorably - including three-quarters of Democrats and New York City voters - compared to only 11% who have a favorable view of America's most infamous tweeter."

Cuomo Popularity High

Posted Aug 15, 2013 at 9:36 PM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Siena in New York reports that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is viewed favorably by 65% of voters and unfavorably by 30%. This represents an improvement from June, when his approval numbers were net positive, 58% to 35%. 55% say they would now vote to re-elect him while 35% would prefer someone else.

NYC Mayoral Primary: de Blasio Now Ahead

Posted Aug 14, 2013 at 9:13 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Quinnipiac in New York City reports that Bill de Blasio now leads the Democratic race for mayor with 30%, followed by Christine Quinn at 24%, Bill Thompson at 22%, Anthony Weiner at 10% and John Liu at 6%.

Spitzer Ahead For NY Comptroller

Posted Aug 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by the New York Times/Siena in New York City reports that Eliot Spitzer leads Scott Stringer in the Democratic primary race for city comptroller, 44% to 35%.

New York Mayroralty: Quinn Ahead In Democratic Primary

Posted Aug 12, 2013 at 10:17 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by the New York Times/Siena poll in New York City reports that Christine Quinn leads the Democratic primary race for mayor with 25%, followed by William Thompson at 16%, Bill de Blasio at 14% and Anthony Weiner at 10%.

Spitzer's Lead Declines

Posted Aug 01, 2013 at 10:45 AM by Maurice Berger

Lost in the tumult of the Weiner sexting scandal is the campaign of Eliot Spitzer for NYC comptroller. A new Quinnipiac poll in New York City suggests that Spitzer's early lead has eroded. He now holds a small lead over Scott Stringer in a tight race among Democratic likely primary voters, 49% to 45%.

Quinn Retakes Lead In New York Mayor's Race

Posted Jul 31, 2013 at 12:48 PM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Quinnipiac reports that Anthony Weiner has dropped to to fourth place among likely Democratic primary voters in the race for New York City mayor. Christine Quinn has retaken the lead with 27%, followed by Bill de Blasio at 21%, Bill Thompson at 20%, Weiner 16% and John Liu at 6%. It appears that de Blasio has gained the most from Weiner's sharp decline.

NY Mayoralty: Quinn Ahead In Democratic Primary

Posted Jul 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by the New York Times/Siena in New York City reports that Christine Quinn leads the Democratic mayoral field with 27% , followed by Anthony Weiner at 18%, Bill de Blasio at 11%, William Thompson at 11% and John Liu at 7%. 

NY Mayoralty: All Tied Up In Democratic Primary

Posted Jul 01, 2013 at 9:47 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Quinnipiac University in New York City reports that Christine Quinn barely leads the Democratic mayoral primary race with 19%, followed by Anthony Weiner at 17% and William Thompson at 16%.

NY Mayoralty: Weiner Leads Democratic Pack

Posted Jun 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by NBC News/Marist Poll reports thar former Rep. Anthony Weiner is now ahead of former frontrunner Christine Quinn in the New York City Democratic mayoral primary by +5%--25% to 20%.

New York Mayor's Race: Quinn Leads, But Weiner A Strong Second

Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:10 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Marist  in New York City reports that  Christine Quinn leads the Democratic mayoral race with 24%, followed by Anthony Weiner at 19%, Bill de Blasio at 12%, Bill Thomson at 11% and John Liu at 8%.

NY Race For Mayor: Quinn Leads, Weiner Second

Posted Apr 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Quinnipiac in New York City reports that Christine Quinn leads the Democratic primary pack at 28%; Anthony Weiner comes in at 15%, Bill de Blasio at 11% and Bill Thompson at 10%. It is clear that Wiener's entry into the race hurts Quinn far more than the other candidates, diminishing her once commanding lead.

Who Is Ahead In New York Mayoralty Race?

Posted Feb 28, 2013 at 8:42 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack will be covering this year's race to New York City mayor. Due to term limits, the present mayor--independent, Michael Bloomberg--will no be running for reelection. Though early in the race, a new poll by Quinnipiac University suggests that in the Democratic primary in a city that is vastly Democratic in voter registration, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is very close to the 40% threshold needed to avoid a runoff election. The survey reports that Quinn leads the Democratic primary with 37%, more than three other candidates combined.

Romney Swamping His Challengers In New York

Posted Apr 10, 2012 at 9:13 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Quinnipiac in New York reports that Mitt Romney is crushing his nearest rival, Rick Santorum, among GOP primary voters, 54% to 21%, with Newt Gingrich at 9% and Ron Paul at 8%.

PollTrack Analysis: Tomorrow's Special Election in NY-9

Posted Sep 12, 2011 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

Tomorrow's special election in New York's 9th congressional district, for the seat vacated by Rep. Anthony Weiner who resigned earlier this year, a new Siena poll reports that the Republican candidate, Robert Turner, now holds a six point lead over David Weprin, 50% to 44%. If Turner should win in this vastly Democratic district, Weprin's loss may hold real implications for next year's election cycle. Anecdotal reporting suggests that some Democrats, upset with the Obama administration, may intend to send a message to the president by voting for Turner. The problem for the Democrats: if the heavily Democratic, New York district tips into the Republican column, then far closer swing states, such as Florida, Ohio, and even Pennsylvania--Obama's approval in the three states is somewhere in the mid to high 30s--are undoubtedly in play. The president's approval numbers at this point remain problematic. Two previous incumbents with relatively low numbers in their third year, but who went on to win reelection--Reagan and Clinton--were at this point in their presidency recovering politically, each nearing the 50% mark. Obama's present approval number averages 44%, far below the 48% thought to be a good marker of potential reelection. Stay tuned.


GOP Advantage: States Slated To Gain or Loose US House Seats

Posted Dec 21, 2010 at 7:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Based on the 2010 census, which states are now slated to gain or loose U.S. House seats (and well as electoral votes, one per house seat lost). Next week, the Census Bureau will release its official state population totals and the allotment of House seats for the next decade. The Waal Street Journal reports that  "Republicans tightened their grip on the U.S. House with the release of new population figures that show GOP-leaning states in the South and Southwest will add congressional seats in the next election. . . . The big winner in 2012 and beyond is Texas, which will add four seats. Ohio and New York will each lose two seats. Elsewhere in the South, Florida will add two seats, and Georgia will add one . . .
The population count "confirmed long-held assumptions that the balance of power in the country is tilting away from Democratic strongholds in the Northeast and Midwest to warmer states in the Sunbelt, where Republicans hold sway."

Charlie Cook's Crystal Ball: Congressional Midterm Elections, 2010

Posted Jun 10, 2009 at 1:50 AM by Maurice Berger

The brilliant political analyst Charlie Cook--taking an early look at the electoral landscape for the 2010 congressional midterm election--predicts a split decision, "with Republicans picking up a few House seats but losing a Senate seat or two. The difference is that Democrats have the larger number of vulnerable House districts, while Senate Republicans have more seats that are in serious jeopardy."

Cook on the House: "Having gained 54 House seats over the past two elections, Democrats now represent 49 districts that GOP presidential nominee John McCain won last year. By comparison, Republicans represent 34 districts that Obama won. Simple arithmetic indicates that in the absence of overwhelming hostility toward the Republican Party, the GOP ought to gain a few, maybe even a dozen or so, House seats."

Cook on the Senate: "On the Senate side, the math is a bit different and is not driven directly by the results of the past two elections. In 2010, Republicans will be defending 19 seats, only one more than Democrats will. Originally, Republicans would have had 20 seats to defend versus 15 for the Democrats, but that changed with Joe Biden's election to the vice presidency and Hillary Rodham Clinton's selection as secretary of State. Two Democratic seats that would not have been up again until 2014 and 2012, respectively, will be in 2010. Add in Arlen Specter's party switch, and next year's lineup brings almost complete parity in the parties' exposure."

For more of Cook's fascinating analysis click here.

The Hill: No National Implications For NY-20

Posted Apr 16, 2009 at 2:09 AM by Maurice Berger

The Hill argues that the razor-thin closeness of the special election in NY-20--a race that is bound to end close given the breakdown of the vote count--gives neither party an advantage in the national preception of the health of the Democratic and Republican brand: "Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele made the contest a central focus of his first two months as head of the GOP, and NRCC chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) have each invested their own reputations on Tedisco's behalf. Without a clear win, some could lose confidence in all three leaders. Tedisco also publicly distanced himself from the national party and said he would run a local campaign without the NRCC's message, giving pundits the opportunity to recall that having an "R" after one's name, at least in the Northeast, is still political suicide."

The Hill continues: "Democrats spent less on Murphy's behalf, but by allowing both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to get involved in the race, they ensured any result would be seen as a national referendum on the early days of the administration, when many bold economic policies dominated headlines. A loss for Murphy would certainly be viewed as a reproach of the president. With much risked and with such a close election, either Scott Murphy or Jim Tedisco will be headed to Congress. But both parties failed in their quest; Democrats did not win a sweeping victory for Obama's agenda, while Republicans -- most notably Steele -- could not prove the party is on an early course for a comeback."

NY-20: National Implications Or Just Two Close To Call

Posted Apr 02, 2009 at 1:49 AM by Maurice Berger

The national parties are trying hard to spin the results of the special election in NY-20. Democrats say their "voter models" for absentee voters in the district indicate a win for Murphy. Republucans say that more GOP voters requested absentee ballots than Democrats. Whatever the logic, the parties are trying to create the perception that their guy won. As Florida 2000 proved, who ever comes out on election day "ahead," if even by a few hundred votes, is in a better position with regard to public perceptions about, and expectations for, the outcome. We'll it now looks like NY-20 is even more of a tie than first reported. According to the Albany Times Union, the "too-close-to-call race in the 20th Congressional District between Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy just got considerably closer. Following a review of votes in Columbia County, Murphy still leads Tedisco — but only by 25 votes, 77,217 to 77,192. That result peels off 127 votes for Murphy and 93 for Tedisco from last night's results." On election night, the final margin was alternately reported as 59 (by the Times Union) or 65 (the Associated Press and The New York Times). The narrowing of the gap doesn't change an essential reality: no winner can be declared until after thousands of absentee ballots are counted, a process that can legally continue until 13 April.

NY-20: National Implications?

Posted Apr 01, 2009 at 1:58 AM by Maurice Berger

With the NY-20 special election ending in a virtual tie--with Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco at 50% each--it's hard to ascribe a trend to the results. Indeed, as PollTrack has observed before, the traditionally low turnout in special elections almost guarantees that the results will be ambiguous at best. But there are two take aways from yesterday's content: [1] Even after the national GOP poured a good deal of time and money into the local contest, in a district with a decided Republican advatage in registration, its candudate still lost. There cannot be joy in the offices of the RNC this morning. [2] The extreme closeness of the race--in a swing district where Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand nevertheless won by a large margin last November--suggests that the district, and by a slight stretch of the imagination, the nation remains more divided than many pundits realize.

Full Coverage of NY-20: Spread The Word

Posted Mar 31, 2009 at 5:36 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack is one of the few websites offering fresh reporting on today's special election in New York's 20th Congressional District. If you like what you are reading, SPREAD THE WORD. We'll have reports from our political director, Maurice Berger (who is also a part-time resident of the 20th Congressional District) throughout the day--both on our Presidential and Writing on the Wall Blog pages. These reports should satisfy political junkies as well as anyone interested in the NY-20 race, its outcome, and its national implications.

Some Perspective On The National Implications Of NY-20

Posted Mar 31, 2009 at 5:30 AM by Maurice Berger

The esteemed polytical anaylast Charlie Cook--one of the very best in the business--cautions political observers to be cautious about the results of today special election in New York's 20th Congressional District to fill the seat vacated by Kirsten Gillibrand: “Assuming that the margin in this upstate contest to fill the seat of newly-appointed Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is three or four points or less, my advice is to respond ‘that’s nice,’ then yawn, and walk away… What is more important is if there is a uniform direction to several odd-year elections. If, for example, Republicans were to win tonight and knock off Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey in November, and pick up the open governor seat in Virginia, then it is fair to say that they will have exorcised the demons of 2006 and 2008 . . . If Democrats hold NY-20 as well as New Jersey and Virginia, they can enter 2010 knowing that even if the wind isn’t at their backs, there also isn’t a headwind.” PollTrack agrees with Cook. Is is doubtful that the outcome of NY-20 will serve as a bellwether. Rather it could hint at an impending problem for one of the national parties, at best.

NY-20: A Referendum on Obama?

Posted Mar 31, 2009 at 2:06 AM by Maurice Berger

Voting has begun in the special election in New York's 20th congressional district to fill the seat vacated by now US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Will the outcome have great national significance? Will it be seen by the media as an early referendum on the new Obama administration? PollTrack notes that while the central issues of the campaign--the state of the economy and the loss of jobs in the district--dominated the debate between Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco, it's hard to say that the results this evening will shed light on the state of the national electorate.

Special elections are generally decided by a relatively small sector of registered voters. Often the part faithful have an advantage. And in New York's 20th, the Republicans have a decided edge: There are more than 477,000 registered voters in the district, with Republicans enjoying a 70,000 voter registration advantage over Democrats. Independents make up a quarter of the voting population. Even with a highly competitive election in 2008--and Obama enjoying enough support in this traditionally Republican district to win it with 51% of the vote--its VERY popular Democratic congresswoman, Kirsten Gillibrand, won reelection by 80,000 votes. A solid majority, yes. But achieved in a highly competitive environment, favorable to Democrats with a very popular candidate at the head of the ticket.

Today's outcome will come down to turnout. As CQ's Politics reports, if the election is tight, as most polls suggest, the election may not be decided easily: "Turnout is expected to be low, given that it is a special election at an unusual time and there are no national races on the ballot. If the vote is close, it could take weeks to sort out a winner, said John Conklin, director of public information at the New York Board of Elections. “If the result is significant, meaning [the victor] won by 20,000 or 30,000 votes I don’t think the House will wait for our certification,” he said. However, if the result is determined by a few thousand votes or less, “It will be a while because the Justice Department requires us to wait until at least April 13 for the military and overseas ballots” to arrive and be included in the official count."

Close or otherwise, the result may well seem like a national referedum, not because it validates or invalidates specfic policies of the Obama adminstration but because of the increasingly intense involvement of the national parties and even the president himself (who taped a TV commercial for Scott Murphy last week). In other words, no matter who wins, the well reported and debated involvement of such national figures as Obama and the new GOP chairman, Michael Steele, will undoubtedly spur the media and political anaylsts to spin the election's results as a kind of gauge of national sentiment, especially in a classic swing district such as NY-20, where Republicans have dominated for decades but where Democratics have made solid inroads over the past two cylces.

Obama Victory Not Tied To Voter Surge

Posted Dec 02, 2008 at 4:22 AM by Maurice Berger

While Obama was able to count on an increase in intensity of support and turnout among African-American, Hispanic, and young voters, his victory was not built on a surge of voters (as his campaign had hoped). According to Bloomberg News: The Democrats "bet on an unprecedented surge of new voters to carry him to victory last month . . . but [Obama] won without the record turnout . . .  About 130 million Americans voted, up from 122 million four years ago. Still, turnout fell short of the 140 million voters many experts had forecast. With a little more than 61 percent of eligible voters casting ballots, the 2008 results also didn't match the record 63.8 percent turnout rate that helped propel President John F. Kennedy to victory in 1960."The reasons for this shortfall were complex and varied: "Many disaffected Republicans stayed home. Young voters, particularly those without college degrees, didn’t turn out in the numbers that the Obama campaign projected. In states where the presidential race wasn’t in doubt -- such as Obama strongholds in California and New York, or reliably Republican outposts such as Oklahoma and Utah -- turnout was lower than in 2004."

Intensity Of The Kerry-Blue States

Posted Nov 04, 2008 at 12:30 PM by Maurice Berger

The intensity of Obama's victories in the Kerry-Blue states thus far--large enough to allow the networks to call many of these state based on exit poll data alone--bodes well for the Democrat's overall performance. By 9:00 PM, with New York and other big-blue states reporting, Obama's should start pulling away from McCain in his electoral advantage.

FINAL Daily Tracking Poll Average: Obama, +6.1%, 51.6% to 45.5%

Posted Nov 04, 2008 at 4:29 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack's FINAL election day daily tracking poll average puts Obama in the lead by +6.1%--51.6% to 45.5%. One poll indicates that undecided voters have moved sharply in McCain's direction (GWU/Battleground-Tarrance model), another indicates a big shift of undecided and persuadable voters for Obama (IBD/TIPP). One thing to consider: with Obama racking up enormous margins in many of the nation's most populous states (CA, NY, IL, MA, for example), leads as high as +25% or more, as well as many of the Kerry-blue states--and McCain taking a number of red states by very modest margins--this final tracking number may not reflect the relative closeness in a number of the remaining swing and battleground states.

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?


Daily Tracking Poll Average: National Average Tightens Overnight

Posted Nov 02, 2008 at 5:31 AM by Maurice Berger

This afternoon, four of five tracking polls out today report that the race has tightening over the past 24 hours (except for the erratic Zobgy survey). Today's PollTrack daily tracking poll average indicates that Obama's lead is down -1.3% from yesterday to 49.8% to 44.8%, for an aggregate advantage of +5% DEM. One poll, TIPP, the most accurate in 2004, reports a dramatic tightening of the race (Obama by +2%, 47% to 45%): "The race tightened again Sunday as independents who'd been leaning to Obama shifted to McCain to leave that key group a toss-up. McCain also pulled even in the Midwest, moved back into the lead with men, padded his gains among Protestants and Catholics, and is favored for the first time by high school graduates." One other thing to consider, with Obama's national lead down to 5%--and his lead in high-population Kerry-blue states such as NY, IL, CA, MA, and NJ ballooning to 15-25% in most--the shrinking national total might also suggest that the races in more highly competitive battleground states may be drawing closer. Stay tuned.

Dueling Poll Results: Are The Voters or The Polls in Flux?

Posted Sep 15, 2008 at 7:43 AM by Maurice Berger

With Survey USA showing Obama up by 4% in Virginia and Siena reporting today that the Democrat's once commanding lead in New York has shrunk to 5%, it's time to take a deep breath. Both polls contradict most other surveys in the two states. PollTrack suspects that statistical irregularities, conflicting models, and margins of error are only part of the problem. Also in play: voter attitudes are in flux. After Labor Day the electorate traditionally begins to pay attention. Yet, never before have voters been bombarded with more and more varied news sources--from broadcast TV and cable news and newspapers to myriad political and news websites and news magazines. Like the polls, voter sentiment itself may be volatile because news cycles now turn over in a matters of hours rather than days or even weeks.

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.