Tag Archive: polls

Poll wording matters

I wish Patrick Murray at Monmouth would post on his polling blog more often, because I always learn something when he does.

Here are questions asked by two different pollsters:

  • “At age 84, do you think Frank Lautenberg is too old to effectively serve another six year term as United States Senator?”
  • “Do you agree or disagree that Frank Lautenberg is too old to be an effective senator?”

    One of these finds that the majority of New Jersey voters think the Senator is too old, and the other finds the opposite.   Guess yourself, and then click through to read Murray’s theories why.  

  • The Democratic advantage in New Jersey

    Patrick Murray of Monmouth University has another blog post up, this one on Party ID Apples and Oranges. I’ve pointed to his thought before on how many registered “unaffiliated” voters think of themselves as Democrats.  

    This time, he’s noted that the true Democratic advantage is still growing by looking at the responses to Monmouth University polls.  In February 2007, Democrats led Republicans 36%-25%; by July 2008 it was 42%-25%.  Or as he says:

    The bottom line is that the apples of party ID as measured in polls are not the same as the oranges of party registration. If you see a poll with party ID that matches New Jersey’s registration, the pollster likely gave too much weight to unaffiliateds who are unlikely to vote.


    No More Excuses – Marriage Equality NOW!

    New Jerseyans believe our state should continue to lead the way on marriage equality.  That is now a fact of record:

    By a 50%-42% margin, likely New Jersey voters support allowing same sex couples to marry.  59% say they would be fine with a same sex marriage law, and 57% say New Jersey should recognize same sex marriages that took place outside New Jersey.

    This is pretty close to the partisan breakdown of statewide elections.  In 2006, Menendez bested Kean 53-45.  In 2005, Corzine beat Forrester 53-43.  In 2002, Lautenberg beat Forrester 54-44.  While we are sure to find Dems that oppose marriage equality and some Republicans that support it, it surely looks as if we have seen nothing more than a hardening of the ideological/partisan positions.

    The eye-opener is at the end of the PNJ post:

    State legislators who vote in favor of same sex marriage would get re-elected, according to 71% of the likely voters surveyed.

    Only twenty-nine percent think anyone would lose their seat over doing the right thing.  If that seems like a lot, make the jump with me.  

    One hundred days out: The state of the Presidential race in New Jersey

    We have one hundred days for the Presidential election, so it’s worth considering how the campaign has shaped up here in New Jersey. Monmouth (48-34),Strategic Vision  (47-38),  Rasmussen (47-44), Farleigh Dickinson (49-33), and Quinnipiac (46-39) all have found Obama leading since the end of the primary process.  The average of the these five polls gives Obama 47.4  tp McCain 37.6, a comfortable and solid lead.  The local Super-Tuesday battle, the April Pennsylvania primary, and the coverage of the long national primary mean that Barack Obama is familiar, well-known figure, so these numbers are not likely to change easily.

    As in recent Presidential elections, our neighbors New York and Delaware are not competitive, but recent polls show a significant Obama (+8.3) lead in Pennsylvania.  If the Pennsylvania results hold up, the nearest battleground states for New Jerseyans willing to travel will be Virginia and Ohio.  

    Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver is simulating the November election.  Taking into account the New Jersey polls, the nationa polls, and demographic models, New Jersey has a 91% chance of voting for Obama in November.  (This is a recent improvement after staying in 80s for most of the summer.)  The simulation also says we are not worth investing in, and have virtually no chance of being the key 270th electoral vote for either candidate.  

    Overall, despite New Jersey voters’ preference for Hillary Clinton and John McCain in the primaries, our state seems to have become even more solidly “blue” for Barack Obama.  I wonder if we will even see the usual scare when polls seem offer a brief hope for the Republican.

    Another pollster finds Lautenberg, Obama ahead

    Strategic Vision has a new poll of New Jersey with margin of error of 3%.  The results look good for Democrats.

  • Lautenberg 48, Zimmer 32

  • Obama 47, McCain 38

  • Bush Approve/Disapprove: 15/70

  • Lautenberg Approve/Disapprove: 48/40

  • Menendez Approve/Disapprove 46/37

    The exception is Governor Corzine: 39% approve and 47% disapprove.  

    15% approval of Bush’s overall job performance (and 14% when restricted to the economy) is a staggering number.  Has anyone seen someone so unpopular in New Jersey?

    (I found the poll in Davidsfr’s dailykos diary.)

  • Rasmussen: Lautenberg increases lead; Corzine unpopular

    Good news from Rasmussen Reports on the New Jersey Senate Race.  Frank Lautenberg leads Dick Zimmer 49-36, or 50-37 when “leaners” are included.  Women provide Lautenberg with his huge lead, breaking for him 55-29.  The margin of error is 4.5%.

    The outlook for 2009 is somewhat different…

    Ratings for New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine (D) continue to slip. Just 27% of voters give him good or excellent ratings, while 40% say he is doing a poor job. Last month, his numbers were 29% good or excellent, and 37% poor.

    Rasmussen: New Jersey Senate race starts tied

    Rasmussen Reports polled New Jersey the day after the primary, and found Frank Lautenberg at 46% and Dick Zimmer at 45%.  

    We’ve seen this picture before though.  In this poll, Lautenberg clearly has room to consolidate the base:

    Given Lautenberg’s liberal voting record in the Senate, it is no surprise that conservatives overwhelmingly support Zimmer (79%) over the incumbent (13%). By contrast, liberals back the Democrat (70%), but 22% support the Republican. Moderates give the nod to Lautenberg (49%) over Zimmer (39%), with 6% looking for a third party candidate and 6% undecided.

    I’m sorry, but no self-described Liberal should be voting Republican for Senate in 2008.

    The New Jersey Effect: Democrats poll poorly and win big… but is it voters, or pollsters?

    If you’ve read any blogs in recent years, you’ve noticed the trend.  Lautenberg, or McGreevey, or Corzine, or Kerry, or Menendez, polls below 50%.  Republicans even get excited and spend extra money.  Meanwhile, our fellow Democrats post worried comments about “What’s wrong with New Jersey?,”  and others reply “Don’t Worry, New Jersey hates all politicians.”  Come election day, the election isn’t even close. What happened? And how could it keep happening?

    The usual explanation is that New Jersey voters dislike our Democrats, but vote for them in the end since they dislike Republicans more. Obviously that has an element of truth, but why wouldn’t voters tell pollsters that?  Do they really make up their mind in the voting booth?  There’s a new theory that, as I interpret it, says all this drama in recent years may be due to pollsters.

    DSCC to Andrews: Fuhgettaboutit!

    PolitickerNJ reports that Frank Lautenberg leads 57-22 over Rob Andrews in the first night of a two-night poll commissioned by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.  The Chuck Schumer-led DSCC, which backs supporting Lautenberg, yesterday released results of a poll conducted last weekend (while Tom Byrne was still mulling a challenge) which pegged Lautenberg’s job approval rating at 77% among likely Democratic primary voters.