Penn poll wrap-up (SUSA, PPP) Reverse Cling

IA has their poll out in PA, showing a 49-39 point lead for Clinton. They will also have Monday results out, as will Zogby, so we are going to be poll reading tomorrow as well.

A couple things to note about the vote counting tomorrow. Traditionally, I've noticed that Philadelphia suburbs tend to report earliest in statewide elections. Because of the GOP gerrymandering in 2000, there are many CD's that stretch across county lines, so it will be very difficult to get beyond a rough estimate of the delegate breakdown based on the results tomorrow night.

Jay Cost has a post on the likeness of Ohio and Penn in the closing days of the campaign poll numbers. You'll notice from the graph he has on his blog, that basically the candidates close out the contests with Clinton upticking and Obama staying even. He did this a few days ago, when it was about 47.5 to 43, in favor of Clinton. For Ohio, that upticked to, the day before the election, a 49 to 43 poll of polls result. Right now, with the ten latest poll results in PA, its upticked for Clinton to a 49.5 to 43 result, nearly exact the final margin for PA (50-43). We'll see what the final day brings tomorrow.

I also looked into the two polls that are showing divergence from all the others, SUSA and PPP. The numbers for PPP, 49-46 in favor of Obama, over a weekend poll, are wildly different, even from SUSA, as for their reasoning. PPP shows a single-digit lead for Clinton among women and older voters. That alone skews everything else. There's nothing in external events to explain such a movement, and none of the other polls pick it up. Since not even SUSA shows this movement, I hope for PPP's sake that they are doing some final polling today to save some of their credibility. Without PPP, the final poll of polls result would be 49.9 to 42.2, a 7.7 lead by Clinton with 7.7 remaining.

SUSA's movement seems more plausible, because it resonates with the issues that have been brought up recently. I would dub it the 'reverse cling' voter reaction. It's nearly all happened in the southeast Philadelphia region. They are white and black men, predominantly 18-34, but also 35 to 45. Liberal, they are not church goers. However, they are not college graduates either. I wouldn't be surprised if they were mostly single too. Now, this group is what comprises the movement away from Clinton and toward Obama in the poll to poll shift of a 54-40 lead by Clinton to a 50-44 lead. I suspect this group is also not usually a participant in the primary system, so counting on their vote might be dubious (also note that SUSA has a gender turnout gap that shows a M-F 45-55 split instead of the norm 40-60 that has been happening). It's a very interesting shift, if correct, that SUSA points toward having happened. Not surprisingly, Clinton winds up her campaign in Philadelphia for a last minute appeal. We'll see how crazy it is at the poll booths tomorrow for an indication of turnout.

Update [2008-4-21 22:8:21 by Jerome Armstrong]: Terence Samuel sees this Philly electorate as the key that will swing PA to Obama's column, Why Obama Will Win Pennsylvania, predicting Obama by a point and a half.

Update [2008-4-22 6:21:19 by Jerome Armstrong]: Duh. This demographic above is the Jay-Z' Obama vote!

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Barack Obama Townhall

I'm not currently in PA, unfortunately, so I'm relying on CNN.com to be my eyes and ears on the campaign trail, which actually is a really great tool we should all use to see the candidates on the ground. I was just watching the tail end of a Barack Obama townhall meeting in McKeesport, PA. I highly recommend everyone, whether you're for or against Barack, to see him in this context at least once. Not only does it undermine the entire concept of Barack as a candidate without substance, but it gives you a far more complete sense of the differences between the candidates.

The final question was about their differences on healthcare. His language is better than it used to be. He is no longer claiming to offer "universal" coverage but instead stresses that he and Hillary have a "philosophical difference": that she believes the way to achieve universal coverage is to have the government require people to buy health insurance, but that his method is to reduce costs so that everyone can afford healthcare. I don't fully agree with this, but his repeated refrain is "the reason people don't have healthcare isn't that they don't want it, it's that they can't afford it." The thing is, Hillary's plan also reduces costs, it's not like it will impose impossible costs on people. And I actually do think there are plenty of people, mostly young, who can afford it but who don't buy it. But I will say that Barack's formulation always gets a surprisingly strong response from the audience.

His closing on the topic:

I respect that Hillary Clinton tried to achieve universal healthcare in the 90s but she went about it the wrong way...I will do this whole negotiation on CSPAN, everyone will be able to see what's going on. I will be accountable to you and members of congress will be accountable to you.

Both candidates have promised remarkable transparency via technology once they take office. When one of our candidates wins the presidency, I look forward to the whole new world of government we will have to look forward to.

Hillary Clinton's final PA campaign rally is taking place in Philly tonight, I suspect it will be on CNN.com as well. Look for it around 10pm EDT.

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Final PA Polls And Prediction Thread

Interesting stuff. Most polls agree the race is in the 6 or 7 point range. Hell, even Zogby and Survey USA are in agreement, strange bedfellows to be sure.

CandidateRasmussen 4/20 (4/17)Zogby 4/19-20 (4/18-19)Suffolk U 4/19-20PPP 4/19-20 (4/14-15)Strategic Vision 4/18-20 (4/11-13)Quinnipiac U 4/18-20 (4/9-13)Survey USA 4/18-20) (4/12-14)RCP 8-poll Ave.
Clinton49 (47)48 (46)5246 (42)48 (49)51 (50)50 (54)49
Obama44 (44)42 (43)4249 (45)41 (40)44 (44)44 (40)43.6

Even though most polls seem to have come to a consensus (ignoring for a moment PPP and Suffolk), what makes a final prediction difficult here is the lack of agreement on the question of who has the momentum. Notice that Zogby and Rasmussen have Clinton gaining while SUSA and Strategic Vision indicate that Obama is. It shouldn't go unnoticed, however, that the polls showing Clinton gaining are more recent by a hair and the only tracking poll in the state is among them, which, even though it is Zogby, tells me that undecideds are breaking late for Clinton as they have in other Clinton country states.

This conclusion is somewhat contradicted by an interesting switch in methodology on the part of PPP this time. Note that their latest poll has both Obama and Clinton gaining 4 points since their last one. This should not be seen as undecideds suddenly figuring out their preference in the closing days, however. As Tom Jensen explains on the PPP blog:

Basically most polls show Obama's percentage within a small range but Clinton's number is all over the place- greater in polls with small undecideds, worse in polls with larger undecideds. This could be an indication that leaners are going for Clinton, but we don't really prod them to pick one of the two candidates whereas other companies might do more of that. That could help explain why Obama is doing so much better with us than in other polls.

Before prodding leaners, the result was Obama by 4 points with 10% undecided; after leaners, Obama by 3% with 5% still undecided. In other words, undecideds in their turnout model broke for Clinton and Obama essentially equally. But considering PPP has been the only poll to ever have Obama up, I question their model, despite a pretty good track record this cycle. Rather, according to Zogby, in the last 24 hours undecideds have dropped by 2% and Clinton has gained 2% (while Obama has lost 1%.) I suspect this is more in keeping with reality. My prediction: Clinton by 8%.

What do you think?

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Things Look Good for Clinton

First the good news for Hillary - -

http://www.gallup.com/poll/106606/Gallup -Daily-Clinton-46-Obama-45.aspx

In the Gallup national tracking poll -
Clinton has gained six points while Obama has lost six -
Both statistically significant.  Just before next Tuesday.
And since the Gallup daily poll is a three-day average -
Clinton's numbers are likely to rise even further.

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Post-Debate Pennsylvania Polls

There are two new polls out of Pennsylvania that were in the field yesterday, the first full day after the debate. And as you might expect, we're getting some mixed messages.

Zogby, which began its Pennsylvania daily tracking poll yesterday, showed Clinton gaining a net 3 points when the 17th, the day after the debate, was added to its 2-day rolling average.

CandidateApril 16-17April 15-16
Clinton4745
Obama4344

John Zogby doesn't attribute the movement to a post-debate bounce for Clinton though, but does see a disturbing trend for Obama in the fall if he is the nominee.

"No ground really gained or lost by either candidate after Wednesday's debate. The one day sample had Clinton leading by 4 points. She is solid with Catholics, whites, Hispanics, and older voters. Obama holds his strong support among African Americans, the young , and Very Liberals. What is very significant here is that when we ask these likely primary voters who they would vote for today in the general election, Clinton scores 75% to 9% against McCain, while Obama leads McCain 72% to 14%. The difference? Only 11% of Catholic Democrats and 12% of white Democrats choose McCain in the match against Clinton, while 22% of Catholic Democrats and 18% of white Democrats choose McCain against Obama."

Rasmussen Reports, on the other hand, released a poll taken entirely over the course of yesterday and finds a 6-point turnaround in Obama's direction in the aftermath of the debate.

CandidateApril 17April 14
Clinton4750
Obama4441

Rasmussen doesn't address whether the movement was in any impacted by the debate but this bit of analysis leads me to believe that there may be a slight inflation of Obama's numbers here and that in PA as we've seen elsewhere, we'll probably see undecideds and soft Obama supporters come home to Clinton in the end.

Obama's support appears to be a bit softer than Clinton's at this point in time. Six percent (6%) of Obama voters say there's a good chance they could change their mind before voting. Only 2% of Clinton supporters say the same.

Overall, with less than a week to go, 9% of Pennsylvania voters remain undecided, 3% say there's a good chance they will change their mind, and another 12% might change their mind. Among those who are certain how they will vote, Clinton leads 53% to 47%.

Zogby has definitely had some questionable results this cycle but I've found the statewide tracking polls to be interesting to the extent that they measure small shifts in real time, but it's only really helpful (if at all) once you have 3 to 4 days of results to go by.

Update [2008-4-18 13:46:14 by Todd Beeton]:And speaking of post-debate polls:

These results are based on interviewing conducted April 15-17, with Thursday night's interviewing the first conducted following the April 16 debate in Philadelphia. [...]

In Thursday night's interviewing, Clinton received a greater share of national Democratic support than Obama, the first time she has done so in an individual night's interviewing since April 3. That stronger showing for Clinton helped to snap Obama's streak of statistically significant leads in the three-day rolling averages Gallup reports each day. Until today, he had led Clinton by a statistically significant margin in each of the prior 11 Gallup releases.

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