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Party ID and Libertarians PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 19 June 2008 09:03
Now that the Libertarians have chosen their candidates, I wanted to see if there would be any significant change to the presidential and Senate races in Texas. On a somewhat related topic, I thought I would also look at changing party ID. After asking about the two races, I asked about current party affiliation and then about affiliation in 2004. The questions were structured like the ones below. Note that on the election questions, the order of the three candidates is randomized.

In the Presidential election, the candidates are Republican John McCain, Democrat Barack Obama and Libertarian Bob Barr
If you would vote for Republican John McCain, press 1
If you would vote for Democrat Barack Obama, press 2
If you would vote for Libertarian Bob Barr, press 3
If you would vote for another candidate, or if you would not vote, press 4
If you are undecided, press 5

The Senate question is structured the same way. The party questions are as follows:

Regardless of how you will vote in these elections, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent or a member of another party?
If you are a Republican, press 1
if you are a Democrat press 2
If you are an Independent press 3
if you are a member of another party, press 4
If you're not sure, press 5

Thinking back to the last presidential election in 2004, which party did you consider yourself a member of at that time?
If you were a Republican, press 1
if you were a Democrat press 2
If you were an Independent press 3
if you were a member of another party, press 4
If you're not sure, press 5

Unfortunately, the response rate was lower than average and at the end of the night I only had 338 responses. The general results are clear enough that I won't make additional calls, but I will mostly talk of results in general terms rather than publishing precise percentages.

At this point, the Libertarian candidates are not going to be spoilers in either race. Each pulled a small percentage, similar to polling I did in 2006 races. Yvonne Schick got a few more votes than Bob Barr, pulling both McCain and Obama voters, but consider that information anecdotal rather than statistical due to the numbers. Libertarian votes mostly came from self-described Independents or 'members of another party.'

Even with the Libertarians factored into the mix, McCain and Cornyn hold comfortable leads. This poll does not address potential first time voters, as it is too soon to assess their numbers, but there would have to be a very large, one sided turnout of first time voters to put these races in play. There was a very large, one sided turnout of first time primary voters in March, but the vast majority had previously voted in general elections. Certainly, there are enough non-voters to swing the general election, but it remains to be seen whether they will make it to the polls.

On the party ID questions, there were very few respondents that flipped from R to D or D to R, but there was a big increase in Independents. Of the respondents that said they were Democrats in 2004, 9% said they were now Independents. Of the respondents that said they were Republicans in 2004, 11% said they were now Independents. Only one 2004 Independent responded that he was no longer Independent, but he joined 'another party' rather than the Democrats or Republicans. Surveys have shown a divergence in respondent's recollections of prior votes and actual results, so these results should be taken with a grain of salt, but there does seem to be dissatisfaction with both parties. Despite the movement, about half of the new Independents supported both candidates from their prior party, with most of the rest splitting their support.

338 prior voters polled 6/18/2008. Margin of error 5.3%
Texas House District 52 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 06 June 2008 12:25

On 6/3, I polled 489 likely voters in District 52. The results mirror the 2006 election numbers, with the Republican Bryan Daniel leading Democrat Diana Maldonado by 6.3 points. The 2006 election was a 6.2 point victory for the Republican Mike Krusee. The Libertarian candidate pulled 5.3% in that election, and while I did not specifically name the Libertarian candidate this time, 7% chose the 'not vote or vote third party' option which is higher than I typically see and higher than the same option got in the presidential and senate matchups from the same poll. If the option is interpreted as 'not vote' rather than 'vote third party', the margin increases to 6.8 points.

489 likely voters polled 6/3/2008, margin of error 4.4%

Daniel 48.0%
Maldonado 41.7%
Third part/not vote 6.9%
Undecided 2.9%

Excluding third party/not vote
Daniel 51.6%
Maldonado 44.8%
Undecided 3.1%
Last Updated on Friday, 06 June 2008 12:44
TX CD7 - 4/8 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 10 April 2008 09:30

Michael Skelly made news recently by reporting extremely robust fundraising for a first time Democratic challenger in a traditionally Republican district. A high dollar DC pollster surveyed the race back in December and found him trailing incumbent John Culberson 52 to 33, with 16% undecided. After voters heard 'positive bios' for both candidates, that became a tie at 44. With the recent flurry of news on Skelly's fundraising, I thought I'd poll the race and see if there had been movement. Skelly's campaign has been out blockwalking, and I have noticed many online ads, but I don't think they have done any traditional advertising at this point.

My poll asked a series of questions about possible presidential matchups, the Senate race and finally the CD7 race. I also asked about the 2004 Bush/Kerry vote, which came back 64/36 for Bush, in line with the actual results for the district. Of the presidential matchups, Obama did slightly better than Clinton against McCain, but the Republican held a large lead in both matchups.

In the CD7 race, I identified each candidate's party, which may explain the unexpectedly low undecided response. Only 4% said they were undecided, with Culberson receiving 57% to Skelly's 39%. On the other hand, there was a significant amount of mixed-party support in various forms. Some went with Cornyn and Skelly, others with Noriega and Culberson, some that went Democratic for president but Republican for the lower ticket races and some that went McCain, Noriega and Skelly. Less than half supported all three Republicans, though that is probably the best spin for the Democrats to come out of this poll. Enough voters are willing to consider a non-Republican, but a Democratic candidate would need flawless execution and a little luck.

For CD7, the older the voter, the more likely the support for Culberson. Voters under 40 were +8 for Culberson, 40-59 were +18 and 60+ were +23. There was no gender gap, as Culberson got the same percentage from both men and women. Non-white percentages are too small to provide meaningful crosstabs, but Skelly does lead Culberson here.

For the Senate race, Cornyn leads Noriega 58 to 39 within CD7. Despite the similar results, about 6% of Cornyn's support went with Skelly, and a similar amount of Culberson's support went with Noriega. In general, the Noriega/Culberson flippers have a higher percentage of older women than average, and the Cornyn/Skelly flippers have a higher percentage of men than average, not concentrated in any one age group.

536 likely voters polled 4/8/08, Margin of error 4.2%

Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2008 07:23
TX-10 Leans Red, Moving Blue PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 03 June 2008 09:39

In 2004, George Bush took 62% of the vote in Texas' 10th Congressional District. In 2006, Michael McCaul was held to 55% by a poorly funded Democrat and a relatively well funded Libertarian. My own polling a week before the election found 7% undecided, but the challengers had no funds to close the deal and undecided stayed with the incumbent. As a disclaimer, and an illustration of the funding issue, I did $90 in robocalls for the challenger, Ted Ankrum, in the closing days.

For the 2008 race, in polling on June 2, 528 likely voters gave McCaul a 5.4% lead over Democratic challenger Larry Joe Doherty. McCaul received 51.7% to Doherty's 46.3%, with 2.0% undecided.

TX-10 is described as a 'barbell district' due to having a large chunk of the district in Travis County (Austin), a large chunk in Harris County (Houston) and a thin strip of highway frontage in between. In 2006, Harris went 71-26 for McCaul and Travis went 56-38 for Ankrum. In this poll, McCaul takes Harris 63-33 and Doherty takes Travis by the same 63-33. Travis is the slightly larger end of the TX-10 barbell, but the 'bar' in between went 70-30 for McCaul, resulting in a McCaul lead.

Of note, I also polled Obama-McCain and Cornyn-Noriega in this district and found those races to be more favorable to the other Republicans than they are to McCaul. Cornyn leads Noriega 54-44 and McCain leads Obama 55-41. Statewide, my past results have been more in line with Baselice than SurveyUSA or Rasmussen on these races, but I do not have current statewide numbers to report.

Historically, turnout in this district doesn't include large numbers of Latinos or African-Americans. In this poll, both groups went with Doherty, Latinos by 2-1 and African-Americans by 7-1. If Obama at the top of the ticket increases African-American general election turnout as he has in the primary, and these additional voters follow through on the down-ballot races, Doherty could close the gap even further. Increased Latino turnout in the primary was mainly a reflection of Clinton's popularity, but there is a possibility that Noriega could also increase Latino turnout for the general, further benefitting Doherty.

There is no significant gender gap in these results, but age is a factor. Voters under 40 go with the Democrat in each race. Voters from 40-59 go with the Republican by small margins. Voters over 60 go Republican in all cases, but margin is much larger in races for President and Senator.

528 likely voters polled 6/2/2008, margin of error 4.3%


Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 June 2008 09:44
Texas 3/2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 03 March 2008 11:45
In polling conducted 2/28 and 3/2, Clinton leads Obama 56% to 38% among Whites and 64% to 30% among Latinos. Obama leads Clinton 86% to 13% among African-Americans. Women favor Clinton by six points, with men tied. Obama leads Clinton by ten points in the <40 age group and by one point in the 40-59 AG. Clinton leads Obama by sixteen points in the 60+ AG. Bush voters gave Obama a 14 point lead, while Kerry voters give Clinton a 14 point lead. Those that didn't vote in 2004 were evenly split.

My turnout model results in a 49-46 Clinton lead.

Texas voting age population is 52% white, 33% Latino, 11% African-American and 4% 'Other,' based on data from the State Demographer. This includes non-citizens and others who are not registered to vote, so registration numbers will differ from these percentages. In my survey, 97% of African-Americans, 80% of Latinos and 53% of whites who plan to vote in a primary plan to vote in the Democratic primary. One in four Democratic Primary voter voted for Bush in 2004. Eighty percent of these crossovers are white, 15% are Latino and 5% are African-American.

Exit polling from the 2004 Democratic primary estimated that Latinos were 24% and African-Americans were 21%. I do not believe this data is accurate. Analysis of the voter file shows a makeup that is similar to the voting age breakdowns above. Most counties with high turnout percentages were majority Latino counties in south Texas. Webb County (Laredo) had a high profile contested Congressional Primary and turned out 29%. Harris County (Houston) turned out 4%. South Texas turnout is average or a little low in the general election, but it is very high for the primaries.

To prepare my model, I broke down the actual 2004 primary vote by age group, ethnicity and gender. Then I multiplied the turnout by different factors - women were given a small bump, while voters under 40 and African-Americans were given a very large increase. These factors were based on earlier primaries and reports of early voting turnout. At the end, Latinos were still a larger share than African-Americans, and the influx of white Bush voters kept the non-white percentages down more than they probably would have if the GOP race was still competitive.

I find that Clinton has a slight lead in early voting. If the model was reweighted with a higher percentage of African-Americans, Obama would have led early voting. In particular, the part of Harris County where State Senate District 13 and Congressional District 18 intersect shows Obama dominating in overall margin, early voting and intent to attend the precint convention, all with very high turnout.

Statewide, Obama and Clinton were about even in intent to caucus. As with early voting, Obama had significant leads in Harris, Dallas, Travis and Tarrant, but Clinton had smaller leads in other areas around the state. I project many of the four delegate districts to give Clinton three to Obama's one, but Clinton only coming away with one or two from each of the largest districts.

In earlier polling, I had noted a meaningful number of Bush voters who said they planned to vote in the primary for Obama after saying they would vote against him in a general election matchup. A smaller number would do the same with respect to Clinton. At that time, the gap was enough to give Obama an advantage of several points. In the latest polling, the number doing this with respect to Obama has decreased, while the number doing it with respect to Clinton has increased. It is still a net advantage to Obama, but the gain is much smaller than before. If turnout is high and lines are long, these voters may not actually vote. Both Clinton and Obama would pull a similar number of Bush voters in the general, with Clinton's crossover support mostly female while Obama's is slightly more male.

In general election matchups, McCain would beat Clinton by 14 points and Obama by 22 points. Latinos are the majority of the swing vote here. Against Huckabee, Obama would lose by 10 points and Clinton would lose by 14 points.

McCain leads Huckabee in the primary 54-38, with Paul slipping to 4 points. Paul's young white male base seems to have abandoned him, and is coincedentally the demographic that has increased in Clinton's short term crossovers. Huckabee leads McCain in voters under 40, and also among non-white voters, but McCain crushes him 2-1 among white voters over 60.

2922 likely general election voters, including 1162 likely Dem primary voters and 772 likely GOP primary voters polled 2/28 and 3/2. MoE of 1.8%, 2.9% and 3.5% respectively. Modeling flaws may exceed any statistical error.
3/2 numbers favored Clinton more than the 2/28 numbers.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2008 11:58
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