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Two new state polls were released this morning, with the common thread that both of them were in the field after the Supreme Court decision on the president's signature legislative achievement (ACA) last Thursday.

And, if you put stock into them, they tell you that the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the ACA had minimal impact on the state of play in the presidential race. Put more specifically, it might have helped the president slightly in one poll, and hurt him slightly, according to the other.

Like I said, a minimal impact, at best. But that might be expected during a holiday week where most folks (except for y'all, and bless you for that) are not focused on the electoral sweepstakes just four months into the future.

On to the numbers:


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

NATIONAL (PPP for Daily Kos/SEIU): Obama d. Romney (48-45)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-44)

FLORIDA (We Ask America—R): Obama d. Romney (46-45)

NORTH CAROLINA (SurveyUSA for Civitas): Romney d. Obama (50-45)

HI-SEN—D (Benenson Strategy Group for Hirono): Mazie Hirono 53, Ed Case 38

OH-16 (Normington Petts for SEIU/House Majority PAC): Rep. Betty Sutton (D) 41, Rep. Jim Renacci (R) 38

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

At this point, we are getting close to the tipping point where we can start to draw conclusions about the political/electoral impact of the Supreme Court HCR decision. The short answer, at least at this point, appears to be "not much."

At least, that appears to be the case as it relates to the topline numbers. Our own Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation poll had the presidential race at Obama 48, Romney 45. Which is precisely where it was prior to the decision. Rasmussen, perhaps predictably, actually has Mitt Romney in a position that is a point or two better than he was at this time last week, while Gallup has the president a few points better than he was at this point last week. So, if we are putting stock into these daily tracking polls (warts and all), one would have to call them a wash.

And our two new state polls today also look like a bit of a wash. SurveyUSA (which, while polling on behalf of the conservative Civitas group, is not by definition a GOP-affiliated pollster) has the president doing a tiny bit worse than most polling has shown in North Carolina (even Rasmussen had it at three points here last week). However, a GOP pollster (We Ask America) also has the president leading by a point in Florida. While this is more in line with those recent Quinnipiac polls, seeing a GOP pollster with an Obama lead in the Sunshine State has to be a pleasant surprise for Democrats.

In sum, however, it looks like this presidential race has drifted into an early summer plateau. Perhaps the president has an edge of a few points, but he is certainly not staked to a dramatic edge, nor does it appear that his ACA victory in court is giving him any kind of palpable bounce.

However (and our own State of the Nation poll became the second poll to bear this out), if there is a trend developing it might be in the changing levels of intensity between the parties. As our own David Nir noted earlier today, the percentage of Democrats who self-identified as "very excited" about the election is now measurably higher than the number of Republicans who identified as such (58 percent to 51 percent). That is a fairly substantial shift from last week, when those intensity numbers were basically reversed (62 percent of GOP voters versus 54 percent of Democrats). CNN found a similar split in their poll yesterday. If that is true, it might call into question some of the assumptions being made in likely voter screens like Rasmussen's, which is assuming more Republicans in the electorate in November than Democrats (something which, I point out again, has not happened in a presidential election in a generation or more).

In other polling news ...

  • A hearty "welcome aboard" to our first Featured Writer here at Daily Kos Elections: dreaminonempty. There is a shared love for polling data there which makes him a must-read, in my opinion. Indeed, you can check out the latest offering from him right here.
  • Mazie Hirono's campaign team dropped a slightly dusty poll, well in advance of their August 11th primary, which showed that the fundamentals of her race against former Rep. Ed Case appear to have changed little. The last Hirono poll we got wind of (which was late 2011) had her up by 18 points. This one gave her a lead of 15 points. If Case is really making up three points every nine months, he should pull into the lead sometime in about 2016. Of course, it has to be noted that other polls in the race have this primary considerably closer, including a Merriman River poll last month which had Case and Hirono deadlocked at 46.
  • When the GOP gerrymander in Ohio was drawn up, the assumption was that the newly created 16th district, which pitted incumbents Betty Sutton (D) and Jim Renacci (R) together, would favor the Republican. However, we now have the second poll out of that district showing either a deadlocked race, or one that very narrowly favors the Democrat. That first poll (a January PPP poll) was not answered by Renacci or his allies in the GOP. We'll wait and see if this second one gets an answer sometime after the holiday.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn" (BRMC)
    Contributing Editor, Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections

    by Steve Singiser on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 05:00:10 PM PDT

  •  OT: Snyder vetoes portion of new Michigan election (11+ / 0-)

    Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is showing a bit of the independence he promised as a candidate that we've seen so very rarely, but I'll take it where I can get it:

    LANSING — Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed bills sponsored by his own party that would have required some voters to show a photo ID before they could get an absentee ballot and mandated extra training for groups registering voters.

    He also vetoed legislation to require voters to reaffirm their U.S. citizenship before receiving a ballot. The governor said in a statement Tuesday that he signed 11 other election bills into law.

    Common Cause of Michigan and the League of Women Voters are among groups praising Snyder’s veto of the voter registration measure.

    Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger says he’s “very disappointed” his party’s governor vetoed “very reasonable” changes to election laws.

    Snyder says the vetoed bills could have created confusion among absentee voters and groups conducting voter registration drives.

    •  What a pleasant surprise. (5+ / 0-)

      He'll doubtless be disowned by most of his own party and attacked as a RINO as a result. The Romney campaign, the RCCC, and the rest of them can't be too pleased that he is mucking with their plans to shrink the MI electorate and keep them competitive in the state.

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

      by terjeanderson on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:12:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They already (4+ / 0-)

        They already hated the guy, but they were willing to take anyone after Granholm.  What happened was that the conservative vote was split two or three ways during the primary allowing him to sneak through the middle.  That said, they can't be too disappointed, because they've elected the most right-wing legislature in probably ever.

        I have to admit, though, that I was kind of surprised.  He's rubber-stamped just about everything this legislature has written.  Up until know, I think the amount of times he'd vetoed crazy-@ssed legislation I could count on one hand, and even less than that on major legislation.  Apparently, he talked with the group of local pastors in Detroit who'd railed against this the other day...and it seems as if he actually listened to them, which seems crazy to me because it's so incredibly and politically easy (and often advantages for local Dems and Republicans, alike) to ignore any group based in Detroit.

  •  thanks for this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, OhioNatureMom

    it's always nice to have these numbers and your analysis

  •  I've said this before (11+ / 0-)

    the ACA has already been set into Obama's numbers. Having the court up hold the ACA isn't going to turn Obama supporters into mitt romney supporters.

    Also American's like a winner and Obama won so at this point support for the ACA can only go up...

  •  Josh Marshall writes: (5+ / 0-)
    Clearly the economy is the first, second and third issue in this year’s election. But I don’t remember a Democrat in a presidential race ever so clearly outpolling the Republican as this time. Look at these numbers. It helps to the be the incumbent. But it’s not just that.
    I guess he's looking at older polls?
    •  It references a poll about foreign policy (5+ / 0-)

      I assume Josh is referring to the linked poll showing Obama rated better than Romney among voters on foreign policy (53% to 41%).  While he doesn't make it clear from his comment, it seems that he is comparing the economic question (a dead heat) with the foreign policy question (an Obama runaway). Given that historically, even against incumbent Democrats, Republicans have polled stronger on foreign policy, security, etc - this is a not insignificant finding.

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

      by terjeanderson on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:18:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hopefully this will be the end (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of that bad penny Case.

    He's run and lost more than Mitt Romney.

  •  Obama seems to be weathering whatever (5+ / 0-)

    the gods are tossing at him. I can imagine his shirt open, facing the lash of wind and rain, his eyes stung by smashing,
    enormous drops.

    Cut. Print.

    I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation - the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence. --The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley

    by Wildthumb on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 08:32:37 PM PDT

  •  Concerning national polls, especially tracking (0+ / 0-)

    polls, which have to be taken every day no matter what holidays, seasons, and events:

    I think Mormons are swinging the numbers toward Romney. This map shows that, of course, there are a lot of Mormons in Utah and the neighboring states. More importantly, there are a significant number of Mormons in all the western states--including California, which has more than half a million Mormons. Also, the populous states of the northeast have a significant Mormon population.

    I wonder if, either by an organized whisper campaign, by instructions to/from Mormon leaders, or by just a feeling of pride among Mormons, there has been a determination among Mormons always to make themselves available when a pollster calls this year. Needless to say, pollsters have to call many, many, many houses to get their requisite number of respondents every evening. If someone calls my land line (why haven't I gotten rid of it yet?) I do not answer. Period. I listen to the answering machine or wait for the number to pop up on my TV before I even think of picking it up. And I'm not picking up for a pollster most of the time; I'm busy. A lot of people, even if they do answer their land lines, would hang up as soon as they hear a recording or if they are asked "for a moment of their time" for a survey.

    But. BUT. If a significant (even though rather small) portion of the population said, "By golly, I am answering my phone, and if it's a pollster, I'm going to do my duty by supporting my guy," then that could push poll numbers by at least 2%--the approximate percentage of Mormons in the country. But it could easily be more, since, perhaps, a higher percentage of Mormons compared to the general population tend to be sitting at home in the evening waiting for the phone to ring. After all, the Mormons are not out drinking. They are not out at Starbucks drinking coffee. They tend to have large families, which tends to tie at least one parent to the house most evenings.

    So that's my theory about why the tracking polls tend to look more Romney than they should. (And, of course, the night I have time to post my theory, I see that Gallup looks pretty good for Obama, but I still think my theory might hold water.)

    A way to test my theory: are there any national Mormon conventions or any events that would call Mormons away from home coming up? If so, we could check the numbers gleaned on those night against other nights.

  •  I worry about the monthly jobs numbers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rennert, OhioNatureMom

    But I have a question: I think my worry is that bad numbers will get bad news coverage and affect voter attitudes.  But ... I have to remember that not everyone -- in fact, probably fewer than half -- follow 'the news' that closely.  (Look at the ACA polls.) And the job numbers reflect reality, which people live every day.  So I think my question is: do the monthly number announcements themselves mean that much politically?  Or is the political effect baked-in the daily reality?

    Yes, I'm pretty obtuse and verbose on this one ...

  •  Civitas has Romney winning 65% of Latino vote (9+ / 0-)

    Which they have as fully 6% of the NC electorate.

    Since there is no Little Havana anywhere in NC full of Republican leaning Latinos, that number is nothing short of ludicrous. (Obviously the small sample size for a sub-population can produce wacky results like this).  If you reverse the numbers among Latinos to reflect the reality of Latino votes, it nets President Obama a full 2%, and turns the poll into a 48%-47% Romney lead.

    They also show Romney winning 14% of the African-American vote - far out of the range he is likely to win. (Yes, I know that some right wingers believe that marriage equality will propel some black voters to peel away from President Obama - but they're simply wrong believing that). And their poll finds African-Americans slightly underrepresented compared to the 2008 share of the electorate (20% vs. 23%).  Factoring both of those factors in, Obama's share of the vote would likely rise another couple of points.

    Bottom line, the Civitas poll is likely overstating Romney's support in the state and understating the President's. The most common sense interpretation of the results is that North Carolina is a dead head.

    My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

    by terjeanderson on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:10:16 PM PDT

    •  Does SUSA not weigh their samples or something? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I remember something about that back on SSP which was flubbing their results for WA-Sen and Perriello's district back in '10.  Dead heat/tilt GOP sounds about right for NC right now

      •  PPP will have a NC Pres poll in a few days (3+ / 0-)

        I'd wait to see what it says.  It's polls of NC are always dead on (of course PPP being based in NC gives it a very good feel on the proper demographics for the state).

      •  It isn't clear (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rennert, Sherri in TX

        They don't say so explicitly, but they quantify each of their demographic sub-samples by labeling them "composition of registered voters". But they could simply be referring to the numbers of registered voters they polled in each category.

        My issue isn't the weighting (although I think they are probably under-sampling African-Americans slightly - but a lot of pollsters do that). My issue is that they are showing Romney winning 2/3rds of the Latino vote and 14% of the African-American vote. Both numbers are ridiculously high compared with any other credible poll out there, and calls into question the underlying numbers in this poll.

        My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

        by terjeanderson on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 10:14:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You know, I seem to remember (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a Survey USA poll of North Carolina in September 2008 or maybe even October that had McCain at 58% and Obama at 38%.  These polls can be outliers.  

      Check out my new blog:

      by SoCalLiberal on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 05:00:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yup, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        you're right. It was post-Palin/Republican convention I believe. SurveyUSA is good at the end but produces wacky outliers on the way. And even right before the election they can mess up (they have trouble polling Minnesota and Oregon for instance).

        Male, currently staying in CA-24. Voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

        by sapelcovits on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:52:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The thing is, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      if you're going to project the toplines based on more "realistic" results for non-white voters in the cross-tabs, wouldn't you also need to do the same for whites?

      I'm not sure if the white numbers for Civitas are optimistic or pessimistic for Obama (I would guess optimistic, given that the non-white numbers seem pessimistic for him), but this is why a pollster can sometimes get the topline right even if the sub-samples are screwed up.

      •  Their white results are very pro-Romney (0+ / 0-)

        They have him winning white voters by a 25% margin --  59% to 34%, comparable to the 2008 McCain/Obama 27% margin among white voters in the state.

        My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

        by terjeanderson on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:33:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  NC Pres poll is outlier (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rennert, Pinto Pony, EcosseNJ, itskevin

    I say that because according to the poll both candidates have strong support among their base.  If that's true Obama would lead because Dems outnumber Reps in NC by 13%.  Even if Indies went for Rmoney by 10% he'd still be behind - remember this is supposed to be a poll only of registered voters.  So there is no way Obama is holding his Dem base and losing in NC. None period.

  •  4th of July probably ushers in the summer doldrums (0+ / 0-)

    We saw that with '08 Prez polling where Obama and McCain were trading 1-2pt leads every few days, and we'll probably see that today as well.  If either candidate stakes a 5 pt lead or more for over two weeks in the Gallup poll (Ras too, but they seem to give the benefit of the doubt to Romney a bit much), then something probably happened, but I doubt we will see a lot of interesting data until after we screen out convention bounce noise.  

    In the meantime, probably more interesting to look at downballot polling.  Seems like the GOP is still more likely than not to keep the House, but I'm concerned at how many Dem Senate seats are seemingly in danger right now.  I would've expected the swing seats to be MO, MT, VA (ND and NE seemingly already gone), with possible/likely pickups in MA,ME, NV, and maybe even AZ, but it seems like Baldwin's polling in WI is concerning, and Mack is polling a bit well against Sen. Nelson in FL despite his mishaps.  At the same time, Heitkamp has turned out to be a top tier recruit in ND, so those numbers are probably something to keep an eye out for.

  •  I cannot end (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    or start my day without Steve Singiser!

    Obama's defining political trait is the belief that conciliatory rhetoric is a ruthless strategy

    by AAMOM on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 03:58:58 AM PDT

  •  A dumb question.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..but one that's been bothering me since I started following these tracking polls back in April.  None of them add up to 100.  Taking today's polls for example, the range is from 5 to 9  per cent of the folks who apparently answered the pollsters' questions but didn't express support for either candidate.  Is the answer as simple as that?  Are these people undecided or just unwilling to say for whom they might vote? I realize I'm displaying a colossal amount of ignorance here in the way polls work.  

    As I understand it, all polls have a statistical error of 3 to 5 per cent.  Add that number to the number of those expressing no preference and you've got a number somewhere in the teens.

    Since the margins in the polls seem to average out to around 4, why should they be viewed as a measure of anything, except as a general sort of trend?  But, maybe that's all they're intended to do?

  •  We Ask America has Obama up in Florida?! (4+ / 0-)


    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

    by AnnieJo on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:15:10 AM PDT

  •  not to stir up a hornet's nest but... (0+ / 0-)

    It bothers me that Kos uses PPP, since they are a robocaller. As Nate Silver observed, since 50% of the country is cellphone only or rarely uses a cellphone (the second would include me) it undermines any credibility a poll has when it has to weight and adjust 1/2 its sample.  Silver feels this is such a corrupted and unreliable method that he does not include robocallers in his consensus of polls. He is right on that.

    I, along with many on here, rightly critique Rasmussen for the farce it is. One of the damning critiques of it on a methodological basis is that it is a robocaller, meaning not only does it miss 1/2 the population, but it has not idea whether or not the person answering the phone on the landline is who he/she says or the neighborhood babysitter or someone robbing the house who stopped to take a poll. While PPP produces #s in line with the consensus, it is legitimately subject to the exact same criticism.  

    Is it $ that causes Markos to hire a robocaller?  Since any pollster hired by the Daily Kos is going to be subject to MSM and right wing critiques anyway, does it not make sense to at least hire a credible pollster that does not miss 1/2 the population in its calls? I am a fan of the DK, but would like it to hire a pollster who A) does not make up #s like Research 2000 did or B) misses 1/2 the population with its calls, as PPP does.

    •  Polling is more like astrology than a science (0+ / 0-)

      in my opinion but there are ways to factor in the issues you present.  The proof is in the pudding when they poll an election days out as then one can compare their final polling with the election results and see how accurate or inaccurate they are.  

      Basically playing with the demo's you can get any desired result you basically want.  Now when you desire to be correct that is a good thing, but when you desire to use your results to create/control a narrative than it's pure propaganda sold as legit polling.  

      Either way it's nothing but an educated guess at best.  

      •  i don't disagree, but... (0+ / 0-)

        regardless, I agree with Nate Silver on this one: a poll that does not reach 50% of the population, by definition a robocaller, is not a credible poll, whether we like the results as in PPP or dislike them, as in RAsmussen...

    •  I don't understand this comment (0+ / 0-)

      Why would a robo-caller be any less likely to dial cell phones than a live caller? Polls use random digit dialing to find their respondents, and most include a cell-only sample.

      •  you are in error (0+ / 0-)

        the only major robocaller that uses a cellphone sample, to my knowledge, is Survey USA.  By law you are not allowed to use a robocaller to call cell phones, and most robocallers don't want to foot the bill for live callers. If I am wrong on PPP I stand corrected, but by their description of their own methodology, they are a robocaller only.

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