As was the case on Tuesday, a new day brought another smattering of presidential polls with results that had a spread of a full ten points. Taken as a whole, they give a picture of a race that is reasonably close, and tightening to some extent. Individually, however, there is a poll to fit every partisan and their favored meme.
And, thanks to some eagle eyes in our own Daily Kos community, we can begin to explain, and understand, a possible root cause for that disparity. Simply put: it's race.
More on that after the jump. For now, the numbers:
(GOP) PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY POLLING (Yes ... there still are some!):
NATIONAL (CBS/NY Times): Romney 54, Gingrich 20, Paul 12PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (PPP): Romney 54, Gingrich 24, Paul 14
NATIONAL (CBS/New York Times): Obama tied with Romney (46-46)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (48-44)
NATIONAL (PPP): Obama d. Romney (50-44)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-43)
NEW YORK (NY1/Marist): Obama d. Romney (57-35)
FL-SEN (PPP): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 47, Connie Mack IV (R) 37; Nelson 47, Mike McCallister (R) 35; Nelson 48, George LeMieux (R) 34A few thoughts, as always, after the jump...
FL-22--D (Anzalone Liszt for Frankel): Lois Frankel 46, Kristin Jacobs 16
IN-SEN--R (McLaughlin and Associates for Mourdock): Richard Mourdock 42, Sen. Dick Lugar 41
PA-12--D (Susquehanna Research): Jason Altmire 43, Mark Critz 39
UT-GOV--R (Dan Jones and Associates): Gov. Gary Herbert 61, Morgan Philpot 12, David Kirkham 10, Ken Sumsion 5
UT-SEN--D (Dan Jones and Associates): Pete Ashdown 39, Scott Howell 31
UT-SEN--R (Dan Jones and Associates): Orrin Hatch 61, Dan Liljenquist 21, Chris Herrod 4
UT-SEN--R (Mason Dixon): Sen. Orrin Hatch 62, Dan Liljenquist 20, Chris Herrod 6
UT-01--D (Dan Jones and Associates): Donna McAleer 42, Ryan Combe 37
UT-02--D (Dan Jones and Associates): Jay Seegmiller 43, Dean Collinwood 13, Mike Small 7
UT-02--R (Dan Jones and Associates): Chris Stewart 34, Dave Clark 21, Jason Buck 6, Cherilyn Eagar 5, Bob Fuehr 3, Howard Wallack 3
UT-03--D (Dan Jones and Associates): Soren Simonsen 28, Richard Clark 19
UT-04--R (Dan Jones and Associates): Mia Love 38, Carl Wimmer 25, Stephen Sandstrom 18, Jay Cobb 5
Yesterday, several of our sharp-eyed readers took note of a most interesting poll analysis done by Ron Brownstein over at National Journal. In his article, Brownstein (long of the Los Angeles Times) took a look under the hood of the polling at Gallup and made the following observation:
the Gallup track, which is conducted among registered voters, has a sample that looks much more like the electorate in 2010 than the voting population that is likely to turn out in 2012: only 22 percent of the Gallup survey was non-white, according to figures the organization provided to Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz. That was close to the non-white share of the vote in 2010 (23 percent), but in 2008, minorities comprised 26 percent of all voters, according to exit polls; the Obama campaign, and other analysts, project the minority share of the vote will increase to 28 percent in 2012. In its survey, Pew, for instance, puts the non-white share at 25 percent.As it happens, our own SEIU/Daily Kos State of the Nation Poll assumes a non-white turnout of 29 percent. If Gallup is at 22 percent, and PPP is at 29 percent, that could go quite a bit of the way towards explaining the ten-point spread in their numbers.
Why? A cursory look at the demographic breakdowns of the SEIU/Daily Kos poll released today break it down rather easily. Almost every non-white group (save for the rather small, and perplexing, movement to Romney among native Americans) goes heavily for Obama. He carried African-Americans by 82 percent, predictably. But he also carried Hispanic voters by 22 points (and many polls have that gap wider), Asian voters by 34 points, and self-identified "other" ethnic groups by 38.
Therefore, a sample with fewer of these groups chiming in is a sample that is going to favor Mitt Romney.
In other news today:
- It was Utah-palooza downballot, as Dan Jones and Associates (a local pollster) and Mason Dixon (a national pollster) both looked ahead to the coming week's state conventions in Utah, trying to divine whether the tea-infused challenge to incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch (R) will bear fruit. The answer, for now, appears to be a resounding "no." It is becoming increasingly likely that Hatch may end this thing at the convention level, where he needs 60 percent support to clinch the nomination and eliminate the prospect of a June primary. Governor Gary Herbert, according to a poll of delegates by Dan Jones, also looks good to go, as he was easily repelling the challenge from a handful of intraparty rivals. Jones and Associates gets even deeper into the weeds, so if you were really wondering who will be the sacrificial lamb to challenge Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz this November for the Democrats, now you know!
- The big electoral story on deck next week, besides the growing interest in the Democratic primary in PA-17 (Holden v. Cartwright), is the incumbent-on-incumbent battle between Jason Altmire and Mark Critz in PA-12. Today's independent poll by Susquehanna (which is a GOP pollster but does independent work for media outlets, including the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) is the best poll we have seen for Critz to date. It's even better than Critz's own internals have been to this point. Could this race be a bit closer than previously thought? It was already one to watch next week, but it is becoming increasingly evident that there will be good reason to keep both eyes peeled on Southwest PA on Tuesday.
- It is not always a safe rule, but here is my take on the new poll for Richard Mourdock in Indiana, where he now claims an internal poll gives him a one-point edge over longtime incumbent Republican Dick Lugar in the forthcoming GOP primary: if Lugar had better news, he'd have released it by now. If we don't see contradictory data, and stat, I have to really wonder about whether his long career in the Senate may be in jeopardy long before November rolls around. Also, tellingly, Mourdock did not release general election data. Another possibly errant conclusion: if he had closed the electability gap when paired with Democrat Joe Donnelly (previous polls have shown him in a dead heat, while Lugar wins rather easily, when paired with Donnelly), it would have made its way into that polling memo.