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Two new horse race polls today, and a couple of other more demographic-specific pieces of information, seem to declare President Obama's call to end the deportation of those brought to the United States as youths a winner.

In both our national Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation poll, and a separate PPP poll out of the key battleground state of Colorado, Obama held leads, in no small part because of excellent support among Latino voters.

This dovetails with other polling that suggests that both Latinos and the nation at-large applaud the president's decision.

On to the numbers:

PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45)

NATIONAL (PPP for Daily Kos/SEIU): Obama d. Romney (49-45)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (48-44)

ARIZONA (PPP for Project New West): Romney d. Obama (49-46)

COLORADO (PPP): Obama d. Romney (49-42)

WASHINGTON (Elway Poll): Obama d. Romney (49-41)

DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
AZ-SEN (PPP for Project New West): Jeff Flake (R) 43, Richard Carmona (D) 41

HI-02--D (QMark for Hannemann): Mufi Hannemann 45, Tulsi Gabbard 27, Bob Marx 8, Esther Kiaaina 2

MT-SEN (Rasmussen): Denny Rehberg (R) 49, Sen. Jon Tester (D) 47

NE-SEN (Public Opinion Strategies for Fischer): Deb Fischer (R) 58, Bob Kerrey (D) 33

WA-GOV (PPP): Rob McKenna (R) 43, Jay Inslee (D) 40

A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...

Perhaps this will prove to be an ephemeral post-announcement "bounce," but the political dividends for Barack Obama's decision on immigration last week seem to be well outweighing the costs.

Start with our own Daily Kos/SEIU "State of the Nation" poll. Though Obama's lead was halved this week (from Obama +8 in last week's poll to Obama +4 in this week's survey), it could have been, and perhaps should have been, considerably worse. The difference is in the samples. This week's sample, when looking at the party ID and the ideological breakdown, should've been a really pro-Romney sample. The liberal/conservative spread was 18/42, and the partisan ID spread was D+2. Those are damned near 2010 exit poll numbers. And, yet, Obama kept a lead.

One of the reasons why was his performance with Hispanic voters improved considerably. He went from a 21-point edge last week (when, remember, he led overall by eight points) to a 29-point edge this week.

What's more, there was a dividend paid for doing the right thing with other voters, as well. Sure, his numbers with conservatives were markedly worse this week (he went from losing that demo group by 51 points to losing them by 63). But look at how he performed with liberals and moderates. With liberals, the Obama lead went from 66 points to 82 points. With moderates, Obama's already enormous lead (37 points) held steady, dispelling the long-absurd notion that leading on issues is a way to repel wary "centrist" voters.

We also see some evidence of this in PPP's new poll out of Colorado, a potential battleground in November. In PPP's write-up of their new poll there, they note that Barack Obama nearly doubled his lead with Latino voters in the state, which has a rapidly growing Latino population. Obama's lead with white voters eroded, but looking at the numbers, my supposition is that erosion occurred prior to last week's immigration decision. My guess is that shift emanates from white independent voters (of which there are plenty in Colorado) settling for Romney once he clinched the GOP nomination (the previous PPP poll there was in the field prior to Romney snagging the Republican nod).

These polls, in addition to the ones that specifically looked at the immigration issue (like the Bloomberg poll released earlier today), give us an early hint that this might've not only been the right thing to do from a policy standpoint, it may well have been the popular thing to do, as well.

In other polling news ...

  • After showing challenger Denny Rehberg up double-digits the last time they trudged into Big Sky country, the House of Ras has backed way off on their bullish assessment of the GOP's chances to knock off incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. Their new poll puts Rehberg in the lead, but by just two points. This is much more in line with where most pollsters have had this race for most of the cycle. It will be interesting to see if this is merely the product of a shift in the sample (which would mean their presidential numbers here would have the battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as close as anyone has had it to date), or whether Tester made this move entirely on his own.
  • The "holy crap" poll of the day may well be the one PPP did for Project New America, which shows not one, but two, toss-up races in the Grand Canyon State. The idea of Arizona as a presidential coin flip is nothing new, of course, though this is the first poll of recent vintage to show it as such. What's more, this poll was conducted before the presidential announcement on immigration, in a state where nearly one-in-five voters are Latino. What's truly remarkable, though, is the idea that the Democrats could add another seat to the plausible target list for November in the Senate. While a poll or two has shown Democrat Richard Carmona within striking range of Republican Jeff Flake, the bulk of the polling has given him a pretty respectable lead.
  • The campaign of longtime HI-02 Democratic frontrunner Mufi Hannemann wasted little time pushing back on that Civil Beat poll vaulting Tulsi Gabbard into co-favorite status, didn't they? Their internal polling shows a much wider Hannemann lead, though it is worth noting that even in their own polling, there has been movement. Yesterday's link to the new Merriman River polling noted that a previous QMark poll had Hannemann up by over forty points. So, even in their own polling, his lead has been halved. However, eighteen points is still a pretty sizable margin, and also a pretty wide gap between polls, to be sure.
  • Yesterday's Elway poll showing Rob McKenna locked in a coin flip with Democrat Jay Inslee in the open Washington gubernatorial election got some credibility added to it by the subsequent presidential polling released today. Given that Elway is as bearish as anyone has been on the president in the great Northwest (Obama +8 is about as tight a margin as we have seen there in a long time), it is hard to dismiss the gubernatorial poll as the result of an optimistically Democratic sample. PPP confirmed Elway's numbers, as well, by dropping a poll today showing the Democrat trailing by just three points. Presidential numbers are due out soon.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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