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CNN 12/31/08
Obama leadership rates high as Bush's after 9/11
A national poll suggests that three-quarters of the public thinks President-elect Barack Obama is a strong and decisive leader, the highest marks for a president-elect on that characteristic in nearly three decades. . . .

Pew Internet Project (pdf) 12/30
Post-election voter engagement
... A majority of Obama voters expect to carry on efforts to support his policies and try to persuade others to back his initiatives in the coming year; a substantial number expect to hear directly from Obama and his team; and a notable cohort say they have followed the transition online. . . .

ABC News 12/30
Confidence Closes Out 2008 With Worst 4th Qtr Ever
Consumer confidence struggled through its second-worst year capped off by the worst fourth quarter ever. Along the way, it set or tied new lows four times. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 12/25
The Veteran Vote -- an Update
... While veterans clearly favored John McCain, it was by less of a margin than you might suppose for a candidate with a celebrated war record: McCain won veterans by 10 points, compared with George W. Bush's 16-point margin in 2004. . . .

Pew Research Center 12/24
Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Source
The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news. . . .

ABC News 12/24
America's Christmas Wish List
Under the tree, let's just call it a year of modest expectations. . . .

Gallup 12/23
An Economic Depression?
Since March, the percentage of Americans largely ruling out the possibility of an economic depression in the next two years has shrunk from 40% to 25%, while the percentage saying it is "very likely" has grown from 23% to 35%. . . .

Washington Post 12/21
Optimism High About Obama Policies
Most Americans are optimistic about the policies that Barack Obama will pursue when he becomes the country's 44th president next month, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, and there is a widespread public desire that he quickly expand his focus beyond the economy, the dominant issue facing the country. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 12/19
Requiem for a Poll
This note marks the passing of a fallen comrade: The Los Angeles Times Poll, dead at age 31. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 12/18
Advantage, Democrats
The Democratic Party has soared to its widest advantage over the Republicans in trust to handle the nation's main problems in 26 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls, aided both by Barack Obama's strong ratings and George W. Bush's weak ones. . . .

Pew Global Attitudes Project 12/18
Global Public Opinion in the Bush Years
... The president-elect has indicated that he will focus on international cooperation in addressing global problems, but he will have to navigate a world that has grown highly critical of the United States. The U.S. image abroad is suffering almost everywhere. . . .

Pew Research Center 12/18
Reviewing the Bush Years
... In a December 2008 Pew Research Center survey, just 11% said Bush will be remembered as an outstanding or above average president -- by far the lowest positive end-of-term rating for any of the past four presidents. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 12/18
The Walking Wounded
Job losses are a common focus in evaluating economic pain, and for good reason. But there are other approaches employers use to adjust to a shrinking economy – cuts in pay or in work hours – that also have powerful effects on public attitudes and behavior. . . .

Pew Research Center (pdf) 12/18
Calling cell phones in '08 pre-election polls
Public opinion polling faced many challenges during the 2008 presidential election. None was more daunting than the rising number of "cell phone only" voters who could not be reached over the landline telephones. . . .

Financial Week 12/17
Public beat economists in calling the recession
Which of two groups -- economists or the general public -- came closer to predicting the recession? Surprisingly, it looks like the Joe Six Packs of the world were better economic prognosticators than the elbow patch set. . . .

Wall Street Journal 12/17
Cellphones Challenge for Pollsters Grows
While telephone polls did a good job of predicting last month's presidential race, the increasing number of Americans who are ditching their landlines creates a big challenge for pollsters. . . . A reminder of this challenge came Wednesday, as it comes every six months, in the latest numbers on wireless-only households from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. . . ..

Washington Post 12/17
63% Are Already Hurt by Downturn
The deepening recession has eroded the financial standing and optimism of a broad swath of Americans, nearly two-thirds of whom say that they have been hurt by the downturn and that the country has slipped into long-term economic decline. . . .

The Hill: David Hill 12/17
Blago impact likely slight
Republicans in Illinois are doubtless convinced that our party will benefit from the fall of Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D). Heck, I imagine that Republicans in other states are also trying to figure out how they can leverage this mess in Illinois to have their own Republicans come out looking like the good guys in the white hats. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 12/17
International Opposition to US Bases in Persian Gulf
A WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 21 nations around the world finds widespread opposition to the United States having naval forces based in the Persian Gulf. . . .

Pew Research Center 12/16
Public Affairs Knowledge
A new Pew News IQ survey yields some predictable results about the public's knowledge of facts about politics and world affairs, but also a few surprises. . . .

Los Angeles Times 12/10
Obama enjoys strong public support
Barack Obama approaches the White House with a deep well of public support, even though many doubt the president-elect can fulfill some key promises, according to a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 12/10
What the heck happened in Indiana?
While some have spent the last four years asking, "What’s the matter with Kansas?" the more interesting question, in the aftermath of this election, is what the heck happened in Indiana? . . .

The Hill: David Hill 12/10
Texas GOPers need their 'Howdy!' back
Texas Republicans -- like Republicans in the rest of the nation -- have some fence-mending to do. This will surprise outsiders who wrongly suppose that Texas is the reddest of red states. . . .

ABC News 12/9
Confidence in a Record Slump
The weekly ABC News Consumer Comfort Index entered its 23rd year this week with consumer confidence mired at historic lows. . . .

Gallup 12/9
Car Company Execs Blamed for U.S. Auto Crisis
Americans place the blame for the current U.S. auto company crisis squarely on the backs of those companies' executives, with 65% of Americans saying the execs deserve a great deal of blame for the problems of the auto industry -- a much higher percentage than blame labor unions, the current economic recession, government regulations, or the American consumer. . . .

Pew Research Center 12/8
Some Final Thoughts on Campaign '08
From the beginning of the campaign to its conclusion, Democrats consistently expressed more interest in election news than did Republicans. That represents a change from previous campaigns. . . .

New York Times 12/7
Not All New Democrats Rode an Obama Tide
The House will be awash in Democrats next year, but they did not all ride in on an Obama tide. A new look at Congressional election results shows that in most of the 71 more competitive House races, the Democrats ran stronger than President-elect Barack Obama did. . . .

PPIC (pfd) 12/4
Calif.: Proposition 8 Results Expose Deep Rifts
Proposition 8, the ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in the state, drew its strongest support from evangelical Christians and Republicans, according to a postelection survey released today . . . . Majorities of Latinos, voters without a college degree, and those age 55 and older also backed the measure, which passed by a 4-point margin (52% yes, 48% no). . . .

Democracy Corps 12/3
The President-elect's Standing
The latest national survey from Democracy Corps finds an electorate that gives President-elect Barack Obama strong marks -- even stronger than on the last occasion when the country turned to a Democrat to lead in 1992 -- and with even higher expectations. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 12/3
Three groups to watch
Take a guess. Which demographic group doubled its share of the electorate from 2004 to 2008? Here's a hint. It's the same segment that increased its support for the Democratic presidential candidate more than any other. . . .

ABC News 12/2
Confidence Hits Another New Low
Consumer confidence has reached a new low in weekly polling since late 1985, coinciding with official word the U.S. economy has been in recession the past year. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 12/2
The Flip States
Nine states with 112 electoral votes made the difference for Barack Obama this year -- the flip states John Kerry lost to George W. Bush in 2004, but Obama won. . . . The question: What changed? . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 11/20
World Publics Favor More Wind and Solar Energy
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 21 nations finds very strong support for the government requiring utilities to use more alternative energy, such as wind and solar, and requiring businesses to use energy more efficiently, even if these steps increase the costs of energy and other products. . . .

ABC News 11/19
Holiday Spending Plans Plummet
Americans plan to cut back drastically on holiday spending this year, a dismal prospect for retailers in their most critical season. Fifty-one percent in this ABC News poll say they'll spend less this year than last on holiday gifts, matching the sharpest consumer retreat in polls dating back 23 years -- last seen ahead of the dreadful Christmas retail performance just after the 1990-91 recession. . . .

ABC News 11/18
Confidence Drops to a 22-Year Low
Consumer confidence dropped this week to its lowest in 22 years of weekly polls by ABC News, hammered by the global economic crisis and threatening a grim holiday season for the nation's retailers. . . .

Washington Post 11/18
Voters' Vantage Point: SCOTUS
President-elect Barack Obama is expected to have the opportunity to appoint several justices to the Supreme Court, with much of the speculation centered on Justice John Paul Stevens, the oldest and longest-serving of the nine. While Stevens is giving few signals about when he intends to step down, voters who cast their ballots with the high court in mind made some of their views known on Election Day. . . .

Washington Post 11/15
Voters' Vantage Point: The Economy
... The economy's rise as the election's top issue helped propel Barack Obama's campaign to victory, and amid widespread concern over the economy's direction are signs most voters who cast a ballot with the economy in mind favor a stronger - and different - approach from the federal government. . . .

Pew Research Center 11/13
High Marks for the Campaign, a High Bar for Obama
A week after the election, voters are feeling good about themselves, the presidential campaign and Barack Obama. Looking ahead, they have high expectations for the Obama administration, with two-thirds predicting that he will have a successful first term. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 11/13
From Republican lock to Republican lockout?
... It is hard to imagine that barely 20 years ago, it was fashionable to talk of a Republican 'lock' -- a GOP dominance of the electoral map so strong that it appeared to guarantee the party possession of the White House for years to come. But, as is often said: That was then and this is now. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 11/11
Ideological Underpinnings
Republicans pondering their fate and future have noted that while there was a partisan shift in voter turnout this year, there wasn't an ideological one: Conservatives still outnumber liberals by 50 percent. It's true -- but the comfort may be, let's say, a cool one. . . .

New York Times: Stan Greenberg 11/11
Goodbye, Reagan Democrats
I'm finished with the Reagan Democrats of Macomb County in suburban Detroit after making a career of spotlighting their middle-class anger and frustrations about race and Democratic politicians. . . .

New York Times 11/11
For South, a Waning Hold on National Politics
... By voting so emphatically for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama -- supporting him in some areas in even greater numbers than they did President Bush -- voters from Texas to South Carolina and Kentucky may have marginalized their region for some time to come, political experts say. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 11/11
Ensuring Basic Healthcare, Food, and Education Needs
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 21 nations around the world finds that large majorities in every country say their government should be responsible for ensuring that citizens can meet their basic needs for food, healthcare, and education. . . .

CNN 11/10
Belief that country headed in right direction at new low
... Only 16 percent of those questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday say things are going well in the country today. That's an all-time low. . . . The all-time low on the public's mood may have something to do with the poll's finding that President Bush is the most unpopular president since approval ratings were first sought more than six decades ago. . . .

IndyStar.com: J. Ann Selzer 11/10
Worry drives pollster to get Indiana right
... The secret to my success as a pollster is that I know how much to worry and where to direct that worry-driven energy. I've been worrying about Indiana for months. We predicted a tight race with Obama one point up, and that is exactly what happened. . . .

New York Times 11/9
Dissecting the Changing Electorate
One way to consider Barack Obama's success last Tuesday is to consider John McCain's failure. By virtually every electoral measure -- including age, sex, race, religion, income and region -- Mr. McCain lost ground won by George W. Bush four years ago. . . .

Associated Press 11/8
Exit Poll Confirms Partisan Shift
The 2008 presidential election saw the biggest partisan shift in a generation -- more of a rejection of Republicans than an embrace of Democrats -- but voter surveys find no broad ideological realignment behind that shift. . . .

Los Angeles Times 11/8
L.A.'s shade of blue
In national terms, California is about as indelibly blue as the political process permits, but an unusually comprehensive exit poll of voters in Tuesday's presidential election confirms that Los Angeles is perhaps the bluest of the blue; it is now more liberal and Democratic than the state as a whole. . . .

CAIR 11/7
89% of Muslim Voters Picked Obama
The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) today released the results of a poll indicating that almost 90% of American Muslim voters picked Barack Obama in Tuesday's election. That survey of more than 600 American Muslim voters also indicated that just 2% of respondents cast their ballots for Sen. John McCain. . . .

Washington Post: Behind the Numbers
A Look at Cell-Only Voters  11/7
Exit polling is notable after Election Day primarily for its massive store of data on voters. Among the unexplored numbers so far this year is new information about those voters who have abandoned their home phones and gone "cell-only." . . .

New York Times 11/7
Obama Made Gains Among Younger Evangelical Voters
President-elect Barack Obama succeeded in chiseling off small but significant chunks of white evangelical voters who have been the foundation of the Republican Party for decades, a close look at voting patterns reveals. The change reflects a broader shift among religious voters in every category. . . .

Gallup 11/6
Blacks, Postgrads, Young Adults Help Obama Prevail
The final pre-election Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey of nearly 2,500 likely voters shows that Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election with practically total support from black Americans, and heavy backing from those with postgraduate educations, young adults (male and female alike), and non-churchgoers. At least 6 in 10 voters in all of these categories cast their votes for Obama. . . .

Washington Post 11/6
Democrats Add Suburbs to Their Growing Coalition
After President Bush's reelection in 2004, top strategist Karl Rove proclaimed the arrival of a permanent Republican majority. Just four years later, the results from Sen. Barack Obama's definitive victory suggest that the opposite may be underway. . . .

Contra Costa Times 11/6
Pollsters wonder why Prop. 8 defied expectations
... "The bottom line is the public, the voters, are very closely divided on same-sex marriage today," said Mark Baldassare, president of the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. "And when all was said and done, you just have to say the 'yes' side was just a little bit more persuasive than the 'no' side." . . .

AP/LAT 11/6
Obama results show narrowing of 'God gap'
In building a winning coalition of religious voters, Barack Obama cut into the so-called God gap that puts frequent worshippers in the Republican column, won Catholics, made inroads with younger evangelicals, and racked up huge numbers with minorities and people with no religious affiliation. . . .

Pew Research Center 11/5
Inside Obama's Sweeping Victory
Barack Obama captured the White House on the strength of a substantial electoral shift toward the Democratic Party and by winning a number of key groups in the middle of the electorate. . . .

ABC News 11/5
Storm of Voter Dissatisfaction Lifts Obama
Barack Obama rode a storm of voter dissatisfaction to his history-making victory, lifted to office as the first African-American president by the battered economy, a generational and partisan shift in political power and the resonance of his promise of change. . . .

Gallup 11/5
Obama's Road to the White House
Barack Obama's victory over John McCain in the 2008 presidential election concludes a race that was highly competitive for much of the year. . . .

CBS News 11/5
What Obama's Win Means
Barack Obama's decisive win over McCain signaled more than just the voters' preferred candidate; it offered valuable insights about the future of American politics. An analysis of the CBS exit polls reveals six key lessons from the 2008 presidential election. . . .

New York Times 11/5
Obama Built a Broad Coalition
Senator Barack Obama, the first African-American nominee for president, drew more support in Tuesday's election than any recent candidates of the Democratic Party among a broad range of demographic groups, including several that typically favor Republicans. . . .

ABC News 11/4
Consumer Confidence is Election-Day Worst Since '92
Consumer confidence is its Election-Day worst since 1992, only 3 points from its low in 22 years of weekly ABC News polls. ABC's Consumer Comfort Index stands at -48 on its scale of -100 to +100, very near its worst ever, -51 in May. The last time it languished this low for this long was after the 1990-91 recession, sealing George H.W. Bush's loss in 1992. . . .

Gallup 11/4
High Personal Investment in Election Outcome
A recent Gallup Poll finds 74% of Americans saying the outcome of this year's presidential election matters more to them than in previous years -- slightly more than said this about the 2004 election, and well above the figures from the 1996 and 2000 elections. . . .

Gallup 11/3
Obama vs. McCain, Change vs. Experience
As voters prepare to go to the polls on Nov. 4, a new Gallup Poll panel survey shows that Barack Obama voters say they are motivated to vote for their candidate because he would bring about change and provide a fresh approach to governing, while John McCain voters are supporting their candidate both because of his experience, and because they agree with his views on issues. . . .

ABC News 11/3
Obama Leads; Economy Makes the Difference
Barack Obama has ridden his theme of change to a clear advantage in the closing days of the 2008 presidential campaign, his lead in overall vote preference buttressed by his personal and policy ratings alike -- and above all his trust to handle the battered economy. . . .

Democracy Corps 11/3
Obama Lead Built on Expanding Advantage on Issues
The final national survey from Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner shows Obama with a stable and decisive lead in the race for president. But there is much more going on that will likely produce an even bigger outcome. . . .

Washington Post: Jon Cohen 11/1
Our Polls Are on the Mark. I Think.
January, you may recall, was a rough month for the pollsters. All the polls showed Sen. Barack Obama poised to follow up his big win in the Iowa caucuses with a knockout blow to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the New Hampshire primary. But he lost, sending the 13 firms that did public pre-election polls there scrambling for explanations. Could polling be similarly embarrassed this month, misjudging the last chapter of this epic presidential election? Thoughts of the Granite State jolt me and my fellow pollsters awake in the dead of night during these final days. . . .

GQRR 10/30
Stan Greenberg's Letter To Bill McInturff
Dear Bill: I very much enjoyed your spirited note on the state of the race and Barack Obama’s "ballot position." It reminds me how much I miss our times working together on the bipartisan polls for NPR and for many of our corporate clients. I miss in particular the banter before those meetings when your Republican colleagues fretted over their teenage children going off to Obama rallies. . . .

Bill McInturff (via Time.com) 10/29
State of the Race and Ballot Position
First, let's be clear: This is a hard election to "predict." The historic nature of the candidates on both tickets, the huge influx of unregulated money by the Obama campaign, the dour public mood, and the unique level of voter interest all suggest an historic level of turn-out, not witnessed in over 40 years. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 10/29
Do You Know This Candidate?
Barack Obama and John McCain alike have made strides since June in acquainting likely voters with their positions. The difference: For Obama’s supporters, it looks much more likely to matter. . . .

Democracy Corps 10/29
Democrats Poised to Make Gains in Mountain West
Democrats are on the brink of making historic gains in swing Mountain West Congressional districts. Four years ago in these 11 targeted districts, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry lost by 15 points and Democratic Congressional candidates lost by an average of 23 points. Now, however, a sea change has occurred as Obama is nearly tied with McCain (trailing by just thee points – 45 – 48 percent) and Democrats lead in the aggregate vote (50 – 45 percent in the named Congressional vote). . . .

Washington Post 10/29
Accuracy Of Polls a Question In Itself
Could the polls be wrong? Sen. John McCain and his allies say that they are. The country, they say, could be headed to a 2008 version of the famous 1948 upset election, with McCain in the role of Harry S. Truman and Sen. Barack Obama as Thomas E. Dewey, lulled into overconfidence by inaccurate polls. . . . Few analysts outside the McCain campaign appear to share this view. . . .

Los Angeles Times 10/29
Rethinking the 'Bradley effect'
It has entered political lore as the "Bradley effect" -- the supposed tendency of some white voters to lie when asked if they support a black candidate, producing a bubble of support that isn't really there. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 10/28
Ready for 2012
For nearly one in 10 likely voters, it’s not a week from Election Day, it’s four years and a week. Their work in 2008 is done. Those are the 9 percent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll who say they’ve already voted, either by early in-person voting or absentee ballot. Their preference: Barack Obama over John McCain, by 60-39 percent. . . .

New York Times: Sam Wang & Joshua Gold 10/28
Your Brain's Secret Ballot
As we enter the final week of a seemingly endless election campaign, opinion polls continue to identify a substantial fraction of voters who consider themselves "undecided." ... Comedians and other commentators have portrayed these people as fools, unable to choose even when confronted with the starkest of contrasts. Recent research in neuroscience and psychology, however, suggests that most undecided voters may be smarter than you think. . . .

Gallup 10/27
Late Upsets Are Rare, but Have Happened
There have been only 2 instances in the past 14 elections, from 1952 to 2004, when the presidential candidate ahead in Gallup polling a week or so before the election did not win the national popular vote: in 2000 (George W. Bush) and 1980 (Jimmy Carter). And in only one of these, in 1980, did the candidate who was behind (Ronald Reagan) pull ahead in both the popular vote and the Electoral College and thus win the election. . . .

New York Times 10/27
Rethinking the Notion of Political Dominance
... In 2004, after President Bush won re-election with expanded Republican majorities in Congress, academics, journalists and party strategists wondered whether his blend of free-market economics, cultural conservatism and hawkishness on national security might create long-lasting Republican rule. . . . Today that Republican dream appears in shambles. . . .

Washington Post 10/25
Perceptions of Palin Grow Increasingly Negative
While top-of-the-ticket rivals John McCain and Barack Obama both remain broadly popular heading into Election Day, public perceptions of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin have fallen dramatically since she emerged on the national political scene at the GOP convention. . . .

Salon: Paul Maslin 10/25
Obama's big lead in the polls is real
At the time of this writing, just past midnight in the opening minutes of Oct. 24 -- meaning a mere 11 days before the first votes in the 2008 presidential election will be cast in Dixville Notch, N.H. -- I am looking at the results of no fewer than 11 national polls. Barack Obama leads in every one. . . .

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 10/24
NPR Poll: Commanding Obama lead in battlegrounds
With just over a week left before the election, Barack Obama's strategy of campaigning on a big battlefield may be paying off in a second wave election in a row, and in an entirely new electoral map both for the White House and all other offices. . . .

Democracy Corps 10/24
Survey of Republican Party supporters
With the country poised for its second wave election, Republican supporters are on a different page and disconnected from the rest of the country. That helps explain John McCain's implausible close to the campaign and perhaps foretells difficulties Republicans will face dealing with the aftermath. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 10/24
The Ground War Rages
Three in 10 likely voters say they've been contacted by phone, e-mail or in person by Barack Obama's campaign, rising to four in 10 in the battleground states – in both cases an advantage for Obama over John McCain in the ground game. . . .

New York Times 10/24
Obama Gaining Among Bush Voters
Senator Barack Obama is showing surprising strength among portions of the political coalition that returned George W. Bush to the White House four years ago, a cross section of support that, if it continues through Election Day, would exceed that of Bill Clinton in 1992, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News polls. . . .

Gallup 10/24
Obama Winning Over the Jewish Vote
Jewish voters nationwide have grown increasingly comfortable with voting for Barack Obama for president since the Illinois senator secured the Democratic nomination in June. They now favor Obama over John McCain by more than 3 to 1, 74% to 22%. . . .

Pew Research Center 10/24
Liberal Dems Top Conservative Reps in Activism
With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, voters remain riveted to the presidential campaign. But liberal Democrats are leading the way by engaging in far more activism than other partisan and ideological groups. . . .

NPR 10/23
McCain Lost Key Rural Support In Early October
Republican John McCain was doing so poorly among a key voter group during the first three weeks of October, it seemed unlikely he could capture the presidency. . . . Rural voters were instrumental in the election and re-election of President Bush, and big Republican margins in rural areas are considered critical to a John McCain victory next month. . . .

GQRR/Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/UN Foundation 10/22
Religion and America's Role in the World
Since 9/11, America's role in the world has taken on an increasingly important part of our political discourse. . . . In this first major study of religion and international affairs, we explore the role that religious worldviews play in shaping views about America’s role in the world and foreign policy priorities. . . .

ABC News 10/21
The Economy... and those Clinton Democrats
Two factors that weren't fully anticipated early this summer are boosting Barack Obama in the presidential race. One, most powerfully, is the economy; another – surprise – are Clinton Democrats. . . .

Wilson Quarterly: Scott Keeter 10/21
Poll Power
... As the votes were counted on the night of this past January's New Hampshire Democratic presidential New Hampshire gave new life to many nagging doubts about polling and criticisms of its role in American politics. . . . At a deeper level, the unease about polling grows out of fears about its impact on democracy. . . .

New York Times 10/21
Obama Appeal Rises in Poll; No Gains for McCain Ticket
As voters have gotten to know Senator Barack Obama, they have warmed up to him, with more than half, 53 percent, now saying they have a favorable impression of him and 33 percent saying they have an unfavorable view. But as voters have gotten to know Senator John McCain, they have not warmed, with only 36 percent of voters saying they view him favorably while 45 percent view him unfavorably. . . .

Washington Post 10/20
Democrats See Opportunity In Outer Suburbs' Troubles
For all the emphasis on Sen. Barack Obama's chances with working-class voters in declining Rust Belt cities, the biggest swing vote in the presidential election is likely to be in outer suburban communities, where Democrats hope to capitalize on economic unease and demographic shifts to overturn traditional Republican strengths. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 10/19
The Powell Endorsement
Endorsements tend to reinforce predispositions rather than change them. Nonetheless Colin Powell's is unusual, in that it both crosses the aisle and comes from a particularly well-liked quasi-political figure -- one, as a bonus, who's steeped in the military experience Barack Obama lacks. . . .

ABC News 10/19
Debate Scores: McCain Improves, Obama Takes Prize
John McCain improved his debate scores in his final encounter with Barack Obama, but not enough to challenge Obama's dominance across their three meetings -- an advantage that's improved Obama's image well beyond his core supporters. . . .

PBS: Now 10/18
Prejudice, Polling, and the Election
In the 1982 California gubernatorial election, Democratic candidate Tom Bradley lost to the Republican candidate George Deukmejian, even though several public polls showed Bradley with a clear lead. This led to speculation that voters purposely misrepresented themselves and their biases against an African American candidate, such as Bradley, leading to wildly inaccurate poll results. . . .

AP/Yahoo 10/17
Voters souring on McCain, Obama stays steady
When it comes to the public's image of John McCain, it's as if somebody dialed the electricity down in the past month. For Barack Obama, the juice is still flowing. People's regard for the Republican presidential nominee has deteriorated across-the-board since September, an Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll showed Friday, with McCain losing ground in how favorably he's seen and in a long list of personal qualities voters seek in White House contenders. . . .

Gallup 10/17
Surprising Decline in Economic Pessimism
Consumer pessimism, although still overwhelmingly high, has declined somewhat in the past several days -- particularly in terms of future economic expectations, with 83% of Americans saying economic conditions are "getting worse" -- down 7 points from last week and only 2 points worse than a month ago. . . .

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research 10/17
Marriage Gap Drives Obama Margin
In national surveys, Obama now leads McCain by up to 10 points and has built support among Independents, older voters and other swing voters. But his margin among unmarried women -- the largest demographic base group at 26 percent of the voting age population -- anchors his margin. . . .

National Journal 10/17
The Hidden History Of The American Electorate
With anxiety over the nation's direction approaching hurricane force, the 2008 election could blow away many of America's familiar political landmarks. The collapse of public faith in Washington and the meltdown on Wall Street are generating gales of discontent that could reconfigure each party's electoral coalition and reorder long-standing patterns of support. . . .

Washington Post: Behind the Numbers 10/17
Obama v. Bush on "Experience"
Today GOP strategist Karl Rove highlights a continued weak point for Barack Obama - that 45 percent of registered voters in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll doubt the Illinois senator's readiness to be president. But Rove exaggerates the extent of public doubts about Obama's experience compared with George W. Bush's in 2000. . . .

Star Tribune 10/16
Judge rules in favor of exit polling in Minnesota
Exit pollsters have a right to do their work within 100 feet of Minnesota polling places, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. U.S. Chief Judge Michael Davis called the state's new exit poll law unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction allowing ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN and the Associated Press to conduct polls close to voting places Nov. 4. . . .

UVA: Crystal Ball 10/16
Democrats roll in U.S. House races
The good news just keeps on coming for Democrats. . . we believe that Democrats have a solid chance to add 15 to 20 more House seats to their total, putting the party's seat share at 251 to 256 of 435 members (up to 59% of the total House) -- the party's highest share since the first two years of the Clinton Administration (1993-1995). . . .

Gallup 10/16
Obama Surge Evident Among Men, Less Educated
In the week after the Republican National Convention, John McCain led Barack Obama 47% to 45% among registered voters nationwide. Then the financial crisis emerged as a major issue, and Obama quickly took the lead. . . . With only a few exceptions, most voter subgroups have shifted in Obama's direction since mid-September, about the time that the economic crisis came to dominate the news headlines. . . .

Democracy Corps 10/16
McCain Digs Himself a Deeper Hole
John McCain entered tonight's debate needing to halt Barack Obama's momentum and fundamentally change the dynamic of the race. Not only did he fail to achieve this goal, McCain dug himself an even deeper hole. . . .

CBS News 10/16
Uncommitted Voters Say Obama Won Final Debate
As in the previous debates, CBS News and Knowledge Networks have conducted a nationally representative poll of uncommitted voters to get their immediate reaction to tonight's presidential debate. In the first presidential debate, second presidential debate and vice presidential debate, more uncommitted voters said the Democratic candidate was the victor. And tonight's results have, by a wide margin, made it a clean sweep. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 10/15
Dissecting the "Bradley Effect"
Barack Obama's lead over John McCain has reignited debate about the alleged "Bradley effect" -- the notion that, in polls, white people lie about voting for a black candidate. It remains, at best, what I called it nine months ago: a theory in search of data. . . .

Gallup 10/15
Previewing the Final Presidential Debate
... A review of recent Gallup polling suggests that while Barack Obama leads McCain on the ballot and has clear strengths on key dimensions such as the economy, McCain himself is not without his own strengths, which he could in theory build on in the debate. . . .

New York Times 10/15
Poll Says Attacks Backfire on McCain
The McCain campaign's recent angry tone and sharply personal attacks on Senator Barack Obama appear to have backfired and tarnished Senator John McCain more than their intended target, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll has found. . . .

Los Angeles Times 10/15
Worry about economy helps Obama widen gap
With fear about the economy driving voters his way, Barack Obama has broadened his lead over John McCain and strengthened his hold on key groups both presidential candidates are courting, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 10/14
Time To Move Beyond "The Bradley Effect?"
Sometimes I feel like a broken record. Despite all the claims that Americans have moved beyond race, we still want to talk about race! . . .

New York Magazine 10/14
The Spreadsheet Psychic
Nate Silver is a number-crunching prodigy who went from correctly forecasting baseball games to correctly forecasting presidential primaries—and perhaps the election itself. Here's how he built a better crystal ball. . . .

Washington Post: Behind the Numbers 10/13
In the Margins: Three Weeks to Go
Barack Obama enters the final three weeks of the presidential campaign with the wind at his back. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, Obama's favorability has climbed and the proportion who view him as a safe choice is on the rise, while positive views of McCain have dropped and fewer than three in 10 said he understands the economic problems Americans are having. And the vote margins are changing as a result. . . .

Democracy Corps 10/13
Congressional battleground tilts further against GOP
The latest congressional battleground survey of 2,460 likely voters by Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, part of our ongoing weekly tracking of the most competitive House races, finds that the nation's deepening financial crisis is taking its toll, not on incumbents, but specifically on Republicans, resulting in a significant shift in the electoral playing field in the Democrats' favor. . . .

Washington Post 10/13
Obama Up by 10, as McCain Favorability Ratings Fall
With just over three weeks until Election Day, the two presidential nominees appear to be on opposite trajectories, with Sen. Barack Obama gaining momentum and Sen. John McCain stalled or losing ground on a range of issues and personal traits, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. . . .

Washington Post 10/13
Does Your Subconscious Think Obama Is Foreign?
A few years ago, psychologists Mahzarin Banaji and Thierry Devos showed the names of a number of celebrities to a group of volunteers and asked them to classify the well-known personalities as American or non-American. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 10/12
Attack Blowback
The McCain campaign's more aggressive tone is prompting pushback from the public: Registered voters by a broad margin now believe John McCain is more focused on attacking his opponent than on addressing the issues in the 2008 presidential election. . . .

Washington Post 10/12
Pollsters Debate 'Bradley Effect'
Not long ago, it was considered political gospel: Be wary of polls when an election involves an African American candidate, because many whites will voice support but then vote for the white opponent. Now, poll-watchers are asking whether that could be skewing the numbers as Democrat Barack Obama, the first African American presidential nominee, moves ahead of Republican John McCain. . . .

New York Times 10/12
Do Polls Lie About Race?
THREE weeks to Election Day and polls project a victory, possibly a big one, for Barack Obama. Yet everywhere, anxious Democrats wring their hands. They've seen this Lucy-and-the-football routine before, and they're just waiting for their ball to be snatched away, the foiled Charlie Browns again. Remember how the exit polls in 2004 predicted President Kerry? . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 10/10
Of Markets and Marriages
In the past the public has reacted with fortitude to steep declines in the stock market. There are several reasons. . . .

Democracy Corps 10/10
And it's not just TV
As reports emerge of Barack Obama far outspending John McCain’s campaign in key battleground states, Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner's survey in the presidential battleground states shows Obama's campaign is dominating in every medium -- from television to traditional campaign methods, like canvassing and phone, to modern techniques, like viral videos and emails. . . .

Scripps Howard 10/10
94% have heard way-out Obama, McCain rumors
Ninety-four percent of adult Americans have heard at least one of the ridiculous and false rumors chasing John McCain and Barack Obama on the campaign trail, according to a Scripps poll. . . .

UVA: Larry J. Sabato 10/9
Is the electoral dam breaking for Obama?
All season, political observers have been speculating when, if ever, the Electoral College and the state and national polls would reflect the basic pro-Democratic fundamentals of the presidential election year. Those fundamentals, historic true-blues (pun intended in this case), include presidential popularity (the Republican incumbent is at rock-bottom), a horribly weak economy, and a disliked foreign war. All point to a sizeable Democratic victory. . . .

New York Times 10/9
G.O.P. Facing Tougher Battle for Congress
The economic upheaval is threatening to topple Republican Congressional candidates, putting more Senate and House seats within Democratic reach less than a month before the elections, lawmakers and campaign strategists say. . . .

Democracy Corps 10/8
Obama Expands Lead in Battleground States
With less than 4 weeks until Election Day, a new poll from Democracy Corps in the 16 battleground states that will decide the Electoral College shows important improvement for Barack Obama. . . .

CBS News 10/8
Uncommitted Voters Say Obama Won Debate
CBS News and Knowledge Networks have, once again, conducted a nationally representative poll of uncommitted voters to get their immediate reaction to tonight's presidential debate. And this new poll has good news for the Democratic ticket: Just as in the first presidential debate and the vice presidential face off, more uncommitted voters say the Democratic candidate won the debate. . . .

Democracy Corps 10/8
Undecided Voters Move Decisively Toward Obama
Barack Obama once again won tonight's debate, and undecided voters are prepared to move toward his candidacy, according to Democracy Corps research conducted around tonight's second presidential debate. . . .

CNN 10/8
Obama won the night
A national poll of debate watchers suggests that Barack Obama won the second presidential debate. Fifty-four percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted after the debate ended said that Obama did the best job in the debate, with 30 percent saying John McCain performed better. . . .

Democracy Corps 10/7
Democrats Lead in GOP-held Congressional Seats
The new Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey of the most competitive Republican-held battleground districts finds Democrats maintaining their surprise lead as the mood of the nation continues to sour. . . .

Washington Post 10/7
Obama Leading In Ohio
Aided by the faltering economy, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has the upper hand in the race for Ohio, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, putting Republican John McCain at a disadvantage in a state considered vital to his chances of winning the White House in November. . . .

Reader's Digest 10/7
How the World Sees the 2008 Election
It's a good thing for John McCain that only American citizens can vote in U.S. presidential elections. If the election were held overseas, or even in the rest of North America, the Republican nominee wouldn't stand a chance. This was just one of the remarkable findings in a new Reader's Digest Global Poll in which we asked people in 17 countries, including the United States, to name the issues they care about most and tell how they feel about the United States and the presidential contenders. . . .

USA Today 10/6
Young voters hint at electorate shift
Some voters under 30 are conservatives. An equal number are liberals. But a striking majority of the Millennial generation agrees on one thing: who should be the next president. A USA TODAY/MTV/Gallup Poll of registered voters 18 to 29 years old shows Democrat Barack Obama leading Republican John McCain by 61%-32%, the most lopsided contest within an age group in any presidential election in modern times. . . .

New York Times: Michael A. Cohen 10/6
Does Race Really Matter?
... With the first ever African-American presidential candidate, race is certainly the great unknown of the 2008 campaign, but there is significant empirical evidence to suggest that Mr. Obama's skin color may be far less consequential than some believe -- and may even benefit him. . . .

Washington Post 10/6
Registration Gains Favor Democrats
As the deadline for voter registration arrives today in many states, Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is poised to benefit from a wave of newcomers to the rolls in key states in numbers that far outweigh any gains made by Republicans. . .

Washington Post 10/6
Nebraska Becomes Unlikely Battleground
With a month to go before Election Day, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, touched down here Sunday for an unexpected rally in a state that President Bush won by 22 percentage points in 2004. In early September, even as it was shifting resources out of other traditionally Republican states to key electoral battlegrounds, Sen. Barack Obama's campaign sent 15 paid staffers to Nebraska, a state that has backed a Democrat for president just once since 1936. . . . Both camps have their eyes on the same reward: a single electoral vote that could prove pivotal in determining the next president. . . .

Los Angeles Times 10/5
Frank talk of Obama and race in Virginia
The isolated towns of Virginia's Appalachian coal region are home to strong labor unions and Democratic political machines that date back generations. Yet voters here who eagerly pushed Democrats into the Senate and the governor's office are resisting Barack Obama. . . .

New York Times 10/5
Economic Unrest Shifts Electoral Battlegrounds
The turmoil on Wall Street and the weakening economy are changing the contours of the presidential campaign map, giving new force to Senator Barack Obama's ambitious strategy to make incursions into Republican territory, while leading Senator John McCain to scale back his efforts to capture Democratic states. . . .

MSNBC 10/4
How will MO blue-collar voters break?
... In 2000 and 2004, Bush won Missouri -- a state that has predicted the president in all but one election since 1950. But recent public polling indicates Obama has moved into a virtual tie in the Show-Me State. For Obama to win it, though, he is going to have to "show" something to those blue-collar Bush voters, some of whom appear open to voting for him. A focus group of working-class Missouri voters conducted yesterday by pollster Peter Hart (the Democratic part of the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll) was evidence of that. . . .

Democracy Corps 10/3
Impact of Rescue Package in GOP Battleground Districts
With the House of Representatives joining the Senate today in passing the financial rescue package, Democracy Corps is releasing new research showing that voters are conflicted about the proposal. This is a difficult issue, particularly for members who support the bill and are worried about its electoral implications. . . .

CBS News 10/3
Uncommitted Voters Say Biden Won
Uncommitted voters who watched the vice presidential debate thought Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden did the best job by a margin of more than two to one, according to a CBS News/Knowledge Networks poll taken immediately following the debate. However, there was good news in the poll for Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as well. . . .

CNN 10/3
Debate poll says Biden won, Palin beat expectations
A national poll of people who watched the vice presidential debate Thursday night suggests that Democratic Sen. Joe Biden won, but also says Republican Gov. Sarah Palin exceeded expectations. . . .

ABC News 10/2
Sarah Palin Boom Busts
Skepticism about Sarah Palin has soared since she entered the national political stage, with six in 10 Americans now doubting her qualifications for office and fewer than half convinced of her grasp of complex issues. In advance of her debate against Joe Biden on Thursday, Palin now looks more like a drag than a boost to the GOP ticket . . . .

CBS News 10/2
What Do Polls Mean Come Election Day?
National polls, including CBS News Polls, can measure the preference of voters nationwide. But the winner in a presidential election is decided by electoral votes accumulated state-by-state. CBS News has partnered with YouGov/Polimetrix to model how shifts in the national horserace numbers would most likely affect the overall electoral vote outcome. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 10/2
Democrats winning registration wars
The presidential debate season is just underway. The polls are in flux. The issue agenda--which has already shifted in the last month from the Sarah Palin effect to "lipstick on a pig" to the nation's worst economic crisis since the Depression--may shift again before Election Day. But one important factor has remained constant: the Democrats' clear-cut advantage in the ongoing voter registration wars. . . .

Wall Street Journal 10/1
New Voters Like Obama, But May Not Show up at Polls
This year's flood of newly registered voters heavily favor Sen. Barack Obama in the presidential contest, but they won't necessarily show up to support him on Election Day, a new survey indicates. . . .

Washington Post 10/1
Voters Fear Failure of Bailout Bill Could Deepen Crisis
Voters are deeply divided over the terms of the government's $700 billion economic rescue package, but overwhelmingly fear the House's rejection of the measure on Monday could deepen the country's financial woes, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. . . .

PBS 9/30
Young white evangelicals less supportive McCain
A recent survey conducted for Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly finds that young white evangelical Christians are less supportive of John McCain for president than their older counterparts. Although McCain maintains a solid winning margin among white evangelical Christians on the ballot, white evangelicals ages 18-29 are less supportive of his candidacy and express less favorable impressions of McCain than older white evangelical Christians. . . .

Los Angeles Times 9/30
In Nevada, Democrats are on a roll
By just about any measure, now is a fine time to be a Democrat in Nevada. Barack Obama has built one of the most formidable political operations the state has ever seen. Party registration is soaring. The Republican governor, Jim Gibbons, may be the most unpopular state executive in the country. . . .

Democracy Corps 9/29
GOP at Edge of Even Bigger Congressional Losses
The latest Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey of the competitive battleground districts reveals an intensely angry electorate, even more sour on Republicans who have not distanced themselves enough from Bush and are now at risk even at the edge of the current map of competitive congressional seats. . . .

Hofstra University 9/29
Suburban Voters
America's suburban voters regard the economy as the most important issue in the 2008 presidential campaign and report overwhelmingly that they or someone they know has been affected by high energy prices and job and benefit cuts, according to the nation's only 2008 presidential poll to focus exclusively on suburban voters. . . .

Los Angeles Times: Douglas E. Schoen 9/29
The power of the other candidates
The presidential election could well turn on a factor that has gotten virtually no discussion this year -- the votes drawn by Libertarian Bob Barr, Green Cynthia McKinney and independent Ralph Nader. . . .

Washington Post 9/29
My Team vs. Your Team
With America divided right down the middle for the third presidential election in a row, most people would not be surprised to hear that Democratic and Republican partisans perceive a widening gap between their presidential choices. . . . "Party identification is part of your social identity, in the same way you relate to your religion or ethnic group or baseball team," said Gary C. Jacobson, a political scientist at the University of California at San Diego. . . .

Los Angeles Times 9/28
Obama slightly widens lead after debate
The much-anticipated first presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama on Friday appears to have helped Obama slightly widen a lead over his Republican opponent, a post-debate Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg survey shows. . . .

Democracy Corps 9/27
Obama Makes Personal and National Security Gains
With Barack Obama gaining momentum, John McCain needed to change the dynamic in the race during tonight's debate and to shift the focus of the campaign onto friendlier terrain. Instead, Democracy Corps research finds that McCain essentially held his ground in this debate, while Obama emerged with higher personal favorability and increased confidence in his ability to handle critical foreign policy and national security issues. . . .

CBS News 9/27
Obama Boosted Most By Debate
The first presidential debate helped uncommitted voters learn about the candidates - and it appears that Democrat Barack Obama benefited the most, according to a CBS News/Knowledge Networks poll taken immediately following the debate. . . .

CNN 9/27
Round 1 in debates goes to Obama, poll says
A national poll of people who watched the first presidential debate suggests that Barack Obama came out on top, but there was overwhelming agreement that both Obama and John McCain would be able to handle the job of president if elected. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 9/26
Do Debates Matter?
The presidential debates are scheduled to start tonight, inevitably portrayed as potentially decisive. Is it so? Do debates change things? Directly and measurably, generally not. But indirectly or more subtly, likely so. And there are plenty of reasons to think that this year’s campaign could be especially sensitive to the candidates’ debate performances. . . .

Democracy Corps 9/26
Obama Gains in Macomb, is Ahead in Michigan
Entering the first debate of the presidential contest, Barack Obama has significantly improved his standing in one of the key bellwether counties in the country -- Macomb County, Michigan. . . .

New York Times 9/26
McCain Still Favored on Foreign Policy
Heading into the first scheduled presidential debate, Senator John McCain is seen by voters as more capable on national security and more knowledgeable about foreign policy, the focus of the debate, than is Senator Barack Obama, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. But discussion at the debate is sure to turn to the pressing problems posed by the faltering economy and on that score, Mr. Obama outpaces Mr. McCain. . . .

Gallup 9/25
Presidential Debates Rarely Game-Changers
Gallup election polling trends since the advent of televised presidential debates a nearly a half-century ago reveal few instances in which the debates may have had a substantive impact on election outcomes. The two exceptions are 1960 and 2000, both very close elections in which even small changes could have determined who won. . . .

Pew Research Center 9/25
McCain's Image Falls as Economic Worries Rise
Views of John McCain turned somewhat more negative last week, amid record public interest in economic news. In a survey conducted Sept. 19-22, fully half of the public said their opinion of the GOP nominee had changed in the past few days, with 30% saying their opinion has become less favorable and only 20% saying their view has become more favorable. . . .

Pew Research Center 9/25
Declining Public Support for Global Engagement
The public is feeling much better about how the war in Iraq is going these days, but at the same time has a sharply diminished appetite for U.S. efforts to deal with an array of global problems. . . .

Washington Post 9/24
Economic Fears Give Obama Clear Lead
Turmoil in the financial industry and growing pessimism about the economy have altered the shape of the presidential race, giving Democratic nominee Barack Obama the first clear lead of the general-election campaign over Republican John McCain, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll. . . .

Rock the Vote 9/23
Young Voters' Election Energy Intensifies
Rock the Vote's latest poll of 18-29 year olds shows young voters are increasingly engaged in the upcoming presidential election, driven by concerns over the faltering economy and a sense that our country needs a new direction. Concern over the economy, while a top issue for young people since 2006, has intensified and is now the number one issue this election for nearly half (41%) of 18-29 year olds. . . .

ABC News 9/23
Blacks' Political Engagement Spikes
Barack Obama's candidacy for president both underscores sharp racial divides in this country and offers avenues for progress: Political engagement by blacks is up sharply, Americans across racial lines think the 2008 campaign will change blacks' self-image for the better and most see Obama's nomination as a sign of broader racial progress. . . .

Chicago Council on Global Affairs (pdf) 9/22
Americans Support Major Foreign Policy Changes
A new poll of the American public by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs shows overwhelming bipartisan concern about America's standing in the world and support for new policy directions, including talking to enemies, setting a timetable to withdraw from Iraq, making a deal with Iran, using force to strike leaders of terrorist groups operating in Pakistan, working more through international institutions, and participating in a new climate-change treaty. . . .

Center for Rural Strategies 9/22
McCain leads in rural battleground
Republican John McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 10 points among rural voters in battleground states, according to a poll released Sept. 22, 2008, by the Center for Rural Strategies on behalf of the National Rural Assembly. Among likely voters in rural parts of 13 swing states, 51 percent favored McCain while 41 percent supported Obama. . . .

Associated Press 9/21
Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama
Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks -- many calling them "lazy," "violent," responsible for their own troubles. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 9/20
Does Race Skew Polling?
In every election, people make claims about polls - what they mean, what their weaknesses might be this time around, what the poll consumer needs to be aware of. But not all of those claims are true, including some that figure in many current political discussions. Some claims about possible polling errors even contradict each other! . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 9/19
Cell-Onlies: Report on a Test
Including cell-phone only respondents in a political poll produces a negligible impact on overall results. An ABC News/Washington Post poll done to test the approach found slight changes at most when cell-only respondents were included with a traditional land-line telephone sample. . . .

Pew Hispanic Center (pdf) 9/19
Hispanics See Their Situation in U.S. Deteriorating
Half (50%) of all Latinos say that the situation of Latinos in this country is worse now than it was a year ago, according to a new nationwide survey of 2,015 Hispanic adults conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center. This pessimism is especially prevalent among immigrants, who account for 54% of all Hispanic adults in the United States. . . .

Pew Research Center 9/18
Presidential Race Remains Even
... Although bottom-line voter attitudes have changed little since early August, the new survey finds that McCain has made considerably more progress than has his opponent in changing fundamental attitudes toward his candidacy. Yet the race remains close largely because Obama continues to be seen as the candidate of change, and voters remain divided over whether McCain would govern differently than President Bush. . . .

New York Times 9/18
McCain, in Tight Race, Is Still Tied to Bush
Despite an intense effort to distance himself from the way his party has done business in Washington, Senator John McCain is seen by voters as far less likely to bring change to Washington than Senator Barack Obama. Mr. McCain is widely viewed as a "typical Republican" who would continue or expand President Bush’s policies, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. . . .

Pew Global Attitudes Project 9/18
Unfavorable Views of Jews, Muslims Up in Europe
Ethnocentric attitudes are on the rise in Europe. Growing numbers of people in several major European countries say they have an unfavorable opinion of Jews, and opinions of Muslims also are more negative than they were several years ago. . . .

Gallup 9/17
Shifts in Last Two Months of Election Not Uncommon
A question of keen interest to election observers is the following: To what degree do presidential elections change between the end of the political conventions and Election Day? . . .

New York Times: Mark Mellman 9/17
Another Country
VOTERS not only express a desire for change in the coming election, they themselves have changed, and their shifting values are likely to alter the course of future policy debates. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 9/16
Game On: Here Come the Votes
Pennsylvanians serving in the military may have completed the task already. Kentuckians and North Carolinians can start any time now. And in the next week or so people in up to a dozen more states can go ahead and be done with it. Voting for president, that is. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 9/15
Economic Discontent: The Brass Ring
Today's turmoil on Wall Street underscores the brass ring of the presidential election – the American public's deep economic discontent. The candidate who seizes it very likely wins. Yet both are still grasping. . . .

New York Times 9/15
Both Sides Seeking to Be What Women Want
For evidence of how intensely the presidential candidates are battling over women, consider their investment in Oprah Winfrey. After the news programs, "Oprah" is the chief recipient of campaign advertisements this year, with Senator John McCain buying more commercial spots on the program in the last month than Senator Barack Obama — even though Ms. Winfrey herself is backing Mr. Obama. . . .

Washington Post 9/15
The Power of Political Misinformation
... [A] series of new experiments show that misinformation can exercise a ghostly influence on people's minds after it has been debunked -- even among people who recognize it as misinformation. In some cases, correcting misinformation serves to increase the power of bad information. . . .

Washington Post 9/15
Familiar Ground May Be Election's Deciding Factor
When the general election began a few months ago, Barack Obama's advisers talked optimistically about dramatically redrawing the electoral map. Their optimism remains, but as the campaign heads into its final 50 days, strategists for both parties say the election is likely to be decided on mostly familiar ground. . . .

McClatchy 9/12
Biden seen as more qualified than Palin
John McCain and Barack Obama head into the fall campaign neck and neck, despite questions in many voters' minds about whether McCain's running mate is as qualified as Obama's, according to a new Ipsos/McClatchy poll. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 9/11
What Does A Woman Bring To A Ticket?
Twenty-four years ago, when Walter Mondale selected Representative Geraldine Ferraro to be his running mate, he was running far behind Ronald Reagan in the polls. His choice was in part a response to demands by women's groups to put a woman on the Democratic ballot. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 9/11
Obama's New Look at the Map
This is the time of the presidential campaign for "game-changing" moments, whether it is a huge outdoor acceptance speech in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains or the vice presidential selection of a largely unknown young female governor from Alaska. It is a potentially pivotal time in an historic election. But what the campaign of Barack Obama is ultimately looking for is a "map changer," a path to an Electoral College majority that they hope will take them through plenty of Republican terrain. . . .

Gallup 9/11
GOP Increase in Party ID After Convention Not Unusual
The percentage of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans has increased from 26% immediately before last week's Republican National Convention began to 30% immediately after it. That increase, combined with a slight 2-point drop in Democratic identification from 37% to 35%, has reduced the Democrats' formidable advantage in national party identification from 11 points to 5. . . .

CBS News 9/11
Most Say U.S. Prepared For Attacks
As the nation marks the seventh anniversary of 9/11, most Americans believe the U.S. is adequately prepared to deal with another terrorist attack against the country, according to a new CBS News poll. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion 9/11
Int'l Poll: No Consensus On Who Was Behind 9/11
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 17 nations finds that majorities in only nine of them believe that al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In no country does a majority agree on another possible perpetrator, but in most countries significant minorities cite the US government itself and, in a few countries, Israel. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 9/10
Tax Impact
There are some interesting nuggets on taxes in our latest ABC/Post poll: Registered voters by a 17-point margin are more apt to think their taxes would rise under Barack Obama than under John McCain, a perception that cuts closely to vote preference. So why are they even overall? Because Obama makes it back among those who see a positive or neutral tax impact. . . .

CNN 9/10
Race a dead heat in key states
New state polls indicate that the race for the White House remains a dead heat in four crucial battleground states that could determine the outcome of the election. CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls for Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire and Virginia out Wednesday suggest the race between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain is statistically tied. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion 9/10
All Countries in BBC Poll Prefer Obama to McCain
All 22 countries in a BBC World Service poll would prefer Democratic nominee Barack Obama elected US president instead of his Republican rival John McCain. Obama is preferred by a four to one margin on average across the 22,000 people polled. . . .

Los Angeles Times 9/10
Palin bounce has Democrats off balance
The emergence of Sarah Palin as a political force in the presidential race has left many top Democrats fretting that, just two weeks after their convention ended on an emotional high, Barack Obama's campaign has suddenly lost its stride. . . .

CBS News 9/10
Uncommitted Voters Move To McCain
About a third of the voters who were uncommitted to either Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama or Republican rival Sen. John McCain one month ago have now made up their minds, and more have settled on the Republican ticket than the Democratic one, a new CBS News poll finds. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 9/9
White Women and Movability
A good follow-up question to our latest poll's finding on white women is whether they’ve been more changeable overall in their vote preferences in this year of the historic Clinton and Palin candidates. The answer: Yep. . . .

Annenberg Public Policy Center 9/9
Ready to elect a president who is a woman?
After Senator John McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate on Friday, August 29, 2008, self-identified Republicans and Independents are significantly more likely to think that the United States is ready to elect a president who is a woman, according to the National Annenberg Election Survey. . . .

Washington Post 9/9
McCain Closes the Gap With Obama
Sen. John McCain has wiped away many of Sen. Barack Obama's pre-convention advantages, and the race for the White House is now basically deadlocked at 47 percent for Obama and 46 percent for McCain among registered voters, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The presidential contest is also about even among those who are the most likely to vote in November: 49 percent for McCain, 47 percent for Obama. . . .

CBS News 9/8
McCain Takes Post-Convention Lead
Republican presidential nominee John McCain leads Democratic rival Barack Obama 46 percent to 44 percent in the latest CBS News poll, which was taken in the three days following the completion of the parties' nominating conventions. . . . In this survey, CBS News re-interviewed respondents to a CBS News/New York Times poll taken in mid-August. . . .

USA Today 9/8
Convention lifts McCain over Obama
The Republican National Convention has given John McCain and his party a significant boost, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend shows, as running mate Sarah Palin helps close an "enthusiasm gap" that has dogged the GOP all year. . . .

Wall Street Journal: Alan Brinkley 9/7
The Party's Over
One of the conundrums of this political year is why, at a moment when Democrats are clearly preferred over Republicans, the presidential race remains so close. But for the past 40 years, close and unpredictable elections have increasingly become the norm. The most important reason for our volatile presidential elections is a fundamental change in American politics -- the birth of a post-partisan world. . . .

Washington Post: Rick Shenkman 9/6
About Those Civic-Minded, Deeply Informed Voters
One thing both Democrats and Republicans agreed about in their vastly different conventions: The American voter will not only decide but decide wisely. But does the electorate really know what it's talking about? . . .

Washington Post 9/6
Partisanship Appears to Sway Opinions on Palin
Republicans and Democrats have deeply contrasting first impressions of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, suggesting partisanship, not gender, is paramount in the initial public reviews. Overall, Palin, the governor of Alaska and the first woman to run on a Republican presidential ticket, gets positive marks in a new ABC News national poll, despite broad skepticism that she has the necessary experience to serve as president. Most Americans approve of her selection, and six in 10 of those polled said she made the right call to join the contest. . . .

GQRR / Third Way (pdf) 9/5
Winning on National Security
In 2008, Democrats have an opportunity to achieve a major and lasting shift in public attitudes about the two parties on national security for the first time in a generation. By doing so, Democrats could ease long-standing concerns about their party on national security, improve their political standing, and cut into one of the last issue areas in which Republicans hold a strong advantage. . . .

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (pdf) 9/4
Assessing the Impact of Palin on the Women's Vote
... Overall, while the selection of Palin is seen positively by women voters, it is also the case that her selection has given little lift to the Republican ticket and significant questions remain about her to be answered. Women voters – married and unmarried alike – were impressed with Palin's poise and confidence, but wonder what she stood for and how she would address America’s most pressing problems. . . .

Democracy Corps 9/4
Obama Consolidates Democrats and Clinton Supporters
Barack Obama emerged from the Democratic convention with the Democratic Party unified behind him and a solid lead in the presidential battleground states. In the latest Democracy Corps survey, conducted after the Democratic convention, Obama leads John McCain by 5 points nationally (49 to 44 percent) and holds a striking 6-point advantage (49 to 43 percent) in a Republican-tilted battlefield that voted for Bush by 4 points in 2004. . . .

EMILY's List (pdf) 9/4
Women Voters and Sarah Palin
Independently of any late-breaking news regarding Sarah Palin's family situation, the results of this poll for EMILY's List among women voters clearly demonstrate that John McCain selection of Governor Palin as his running mate will create more of a drag than a lift on the Republican ticket. . . .

Charlie Cook 9/4
Obama Win Requires Four-Part Coalition
There are a dozen ways to slice and dice this year's electorate and how it breaks down. Indeed, every pollster and analyst seems to do it a bit differently. One way is to think of a stool with four legs. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 9/3
The Politics Of Hurricanes
Three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, another major storm - Gustav - was heading that way, just as the Republican National Convention was about to start. Hurricanes do sometimes have an impact, not only on campaigns, but on opinions about the president, and perceptions of government in general. . . .

ABC News 9/2
With Gustav Gone, Economy's Still Stormy
Hurricane Gustav's blown through, but the Republican National Convention still faces a more long-running storm: Consumer confidence, in the tank all year, is its lowest since the GOP lost the White House in 1992. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 9/2
Work-Life Balance: Beyond the Politics
Sarah Palin's selection as the Republican nominee for vice president has created a swirl of interest in a sensitive subject: The challenging decisions faced by parents in their home-life vs. work-life balance. . . .

Campaigns & Elections: John Zogby 9/2
Why We Won't Call Cells
... I get asked regularly why it is we have opted not to conduct surveys using cell phones, so let me explain why. The question arises because of reports in the media about the increasing number of households-particularly those with younger adults-who have chosen not to install land-line phones, relying instead on their cell phones. . . .

USA Today 9/2
Obama gets 'convention bounce'
The Democratic National Convention significantly boosted Americans' views of Barack Obama as a strong leader who "shares your values" and can manage the economy and Iraq, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Saturday and Sunday finds. . . .

CBS News 9/2
Obama/Biden Take Eight-Point Lead
Democratic nominee Barack Obama's lead over Republican John McCain has grown after the Democratic convention, which 71 percent of Americans say they watched. Obama and his running mate Joe Biden now lead McCain and Sarah Palin 48 percent to 40 percent, according to the latest CBS News poll. . . .

CBS News 9/1
GOP Delegates Strongly Back Bush
The vast majority of delegates to the Republican National Convention approve of the job George W. Bush has done as president, putting them at odds with most American people and forcing soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee John McCain into a balancing act as he looks to fire up delegates in St. Paul while also courting a nationwide audience. . . .

Gallup 8/30
Can Sarah Palin Appeal to White, Female Independents?
John McCain's surprise selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate raises again the issue of gender in presidential politics. McCain, as is typical of Republican presidential candidates, does significantly less well among women than among men, and an analysis of more than 25,000 Gallup Poll Daily tracking interviews in August shows that the biggest gender gap is among whites who are independents. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 8/29
The Palin Equation
Part of the immediate Sarah Palin spin has been to suggest that the Alaska governor's position on the Republican ticket is a play for former supporters of Hillary Clinton. In the data, it’s hard to see. . . .

Democracy Corps 8/29
Consolidating the Hispanic Vote
Just a few months ago, analysts were questioning whether Obama had a Latino problem, given the success of Hillary Clinton among Hispanics during the primaries. Today, Obama has a chance to perform better among Hispanic voters than any Democratic presidential candidate in recent history. . . .

New York Times 8/29
Delegates Lean Toward Romney for V.P.
As Senator John McCain nears an announcement on his choice for a running mate, nearly 4 in 10 of the Republican delegates preparing to head to St. Paul, Minnesota for their party’s convention say they would like to see the presumptive nominee select Mitt Romney, according to a New York Times/CBS News Poll. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 8/28
Obama's Laundry List
Barack Obama’s chief challenges tonight are to persuade voters he’s sufficiently seasoned for the presidency, better define his theme of “change” and cement his advantages on key domestic issues, chiefly the economy. . . .

ABC News 8/28
Surging Pride Among Blacks Greets Nomination
Nearly two-thirds of African-Americans believe their child could be president -- far more than the number of whites who say so, and an example of the surging pride blacks express in Barack Obama's nomination for the presidency. . . .

Better World Campaign 8/28
American Voters Reject "Going It Alone"
The United Nations Foundation and its sister organization, the Better World Campaign, released today the results of a six-month public opinion research project indicating shifts in the issues Americans are concerned about internationally and the approach they want the United States to take. . . .

Los Angeles Times: Dick Meyer 8/27
What 'culture war'?
... The idea that there is vast war over the moral and spiritual compass of the nation is a dramatic narrative, and it has dominated popular political analysis for nearly two decades. It makes for potent, inflammatory political commercials. It just doesn't have the added virtue of being true. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 8/27
A plethora of polls, a net loss of knowledge
I'd love to know what is going on in this presidential race — and as a pollster I really should. Instead of enhancing my overall understanding, though, the plethora of polls too often leads to a net loss of knowledge. . . .

Democracy Corps 8/26
Audacity of Hope
At a time when most national surveys show the presidential race tightening, Barack Obama’s support among America’s youth remains robust and stable. Young people’s enthusiasm for turning out and their engagement in this election are undiminished in this time period, despite the new, largely negative tone of the campaign. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 8/26
How Do You Gauge Voters' Feelings?
... Polls measure not only how people view the candidates, not only whether or not they will vote for them, not only whether they generally like them or dislike them. Rather, polls try to sort out the nuances in how voters feel about the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates, setting up the convention narratives. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 8/25
Rethinking Working-Class Whites
Who’s a working-class white? In political terms it matters more than you might think. Barack Obama trails John McCain among whites who haven't gotten through college, the definition that caught on during the Democratic primaries. But use another definition and the tables turn: Among whites with incomes under $50,000, our latest ABC/Post poll finds Obama slightly ahead. . . .

Harvard Institute of Politics 8/25
Youth Polling Update
As part of Harvard’s Institute of Politics ongoing analysis of 18 to 24 year old voters dating back to 2000, the IOP has conducted a survey of N=1,031 18 to 24 year olds on issues related to the 2008 campaign for President. . . . Heading into the Democratic convention, Senator Obama holds a solid 23-percentage point lead over Senator McCain, 55% to 32% -- with 13% undecided. . . .

Pew Research Center 8/25
Men or Women: Who's the Better Leader?
Americans believe women have the right stuff to be political leaders. When it comes to honesty, intelligence and a handful of other character traits they value highly in leaders, the public rates women superior to men, according to a new nationwide Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends survey. . . .

Democracy Corps 8/25
Reagan Democrats and Barack Obama
Going into the Democratic convention, Barack Obama remains a candidate with unique strengths and unique challenges. He has yet to close the deal with many white, working-class voters who normally vote Democratic. Winning back these Democratic defectors and Reagan Democrats will be a key goal for Obama in his quest for the presidency. . . .

Washington Post 8/25
In the Quake Model, Rumblings Favor Obama
More than a quarter-century ago, a historian with an interest in American politics was at a dinner party at the California Institute of Technology and found himself seated next to a Soviet geophysicist and mathematician who studied earthquake prediction. Before the evening was out, Allan Lichtman, the historian, and Vladimir Keilis-Borok, the geophysicist, started on a collaboration that would eventually draw the attention of presidents and politicians who would be president. . . .

New York Times 8/25
Delegates for Clinton Back Obama, but Show Concerns
Delegates to the Democratic National Convention arrive in Denver having largely put aside the deep divisions of the primary fight between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, although some hold lingering concerns about Mr. Obama’s level of experience, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. . . .

Washington Post 8/24
Support for Each Candidate Holds Steady
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain are locked in a highly competitive race for the White House, with voters giving McCain a clear edge as a potential commander in chief but Obama a sizable advantage on economic issues, the subject of greatest concern to voters, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. . . .

Gallup 8/24
Biden Does No Harm, but May Not Help Much
Barack Obama's selection of U.S. Sen. and former presidential candidate Joe Biden as his running mate is not generating a momentous immediate reaction from the nation's voters. Just 14% of registered voters interviewed in a new USA Today/Gallup poll say Biden makes them more likely to vote for Obama in November and 7% say less likely while 72% say he will not have much effect on their vote. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 8/23
Veepwatch
As with the previous vice presidential picks I've outlined below, Joe Biden looks likely to have little if any direct effect on vote preferences. In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll completed last night, 13 percent of registered voters said having Biden on the ticket would make them more likely to support Obama, while about as many, 10 percent, said it would make them less likely to do so. But most by far – 75 percent – said it would make no difference in their choice. . . .

Pew Research Center (pdf) 8/22
A closer look at the parties
As the 2008 conventions approach, the Democratic Party’s advantage in party identification remains as large as it has been over the past two decades, and the Democratic Party's image remains substantially more positive than the GOP's. . . .

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 8/22
Unmarried Women and the Progressive Coalition
A new survey released today finds unmarried women committed to change, engaged in this election, but their commitment to voting lags behind the rest of the country. If this trend continues, progressives will leave millions of votes on the table in November. . . .

University of Western Ontario 8/22
Undecided voters may not be undecided after all
As the American Presidential election approaches, and talks of a fall federal election in Canada swirl about, pollsters are scrambling to predict who will win. And while some voters say they’re undecided as to whom they’ll vote for, a University of Western Ontario professor tends to think otherwise. A new study by psychologist Bertram Gawronski suggests a new way to read the minds of undecided voters. . . .

Catholics for Choice 8/22
The Catholic Voter
Catholic voters, who make up 25% of the American electorate, show little interest in so-called values issues to help them decide who should be the next president, according to a survey of 1,033 Catholic voters conducted July 8 to 15, 2008. Instead, they want the next president to focus on the basics of improving the economy, ending the war in Iraq, and keeping the country safe from terrorism. . . ..

Pew Research Center 8/21
More Americans Question Religion's Role In Politics
Some Americans are having a change of heart about mixing religion and politics. A new survey finds a narrow majority of the public saying that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters and not express their views on day-to-day social and political matters. For a decade, majorities of Americans had voiced support for religious institutions speaking out on such issues. . . .

NPR 8/21
Poll Zeroes In On Weak Spots For McCain, Obama
An NPR poll of likely voters in 19 battleground states finds about half consider Illinois Sen. Barack Obama too risky. Those polled rank Arizona Sen. John McCain slightly behind Obama in terms of independence. . . .

New York Times 8/21
Voters Want Priority to Be Economy
Senators Barack Obama and John McCain are heading into their conventions neck and neck in the presidential race, with voters focused overwhelmingly on economic issues but convinced that the candidates are not paying enough attention to their priorities, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 8/20
Tightness
We're looking today at the latest polls -- there's been a bunch out this week. Whether the race has tightened gets a "probably-a-little" from us. But while it is tight, it's been tight. More important is why, and how the campaigns are attacking it. . . .

UVA: Larry J. Sabato 8/20
Convention bounces in recent history
Forget the Olympics. Political junkies are in the convention pre-season. As we approach the Democratic National Convention on August 25 to 28 and the Republican National Convention on September 1 to 4, analysts just want to know one thing: How big are the bounces? . . .

Battleground 2008: Democratic Analysis (pdf) 8/20
An Appetite for Change
With fewer than 11 weeks to go, Americans remain deeply dissatisfied with the direction of the country and President Bush’s leadership. Four dollar a gallon gas, a war that has dragged our country into recession and made us less safe, a health care system in crisis – and a President and Party seemingly oblivious to the nation’s pain. Voters’ appetite for change remains intense and palpable. . . .

Battleground 2008: Republican Analysis (pdf) 8/20
Not So Fast Mr. Obama
Many Americans, and perhaps observers from around the world, seem to be convinced that Barack Obama is the next President of the United States – as if there were no election this fall and the voters did not have a choice to make. This attitude is one that has permeated the pundits, the media and some critics contend even the Democratic nominee’s campaign. But it is not true. . . .

EMILY'S List (pdf) 8/20
Women on Politics and Society
Women voters' strong support is giving Barack Obama a sizable base in his race against John McCain and it also is providing Democrats with a significant advantage in the race for Congress. . . .

Bloomberg 8/20
Obama, McCain Deadlocked
Barack Obama and John McCain are locked in a tight battle for president, with the Democrat capitalizing on voter concern over the economy and energy and the Republican benefiting from his experience and success in neutralizing the issue of the unpopular Iraq war. . . .

Drum Major Institute 8/19
Middle Class Households are Fearful Families
DMI's first annual survey on the Middle Class and Public Policy reveals that America’s middle-class households are fearful families -- overwhelmingly pessimistic about the direction of the country, especially the economy and high gas prices. . . .

CBS News 8/19
Clinton Is VP Favorite Among Dem Delegates
Senator Hillary Clinton is by far the favorite choice for the number two spot on the Democratic ticket, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll of delegates to the Democratic convention. When asked who they would like Barack Obama to select, 28 percent volunteer her as their top choice for Vice Presidential nominee. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 8/18
The View from Tblisi
A poll done in Tblisi and Moscow finds sharp differences in the two capitals over their conflict – but a substantial sense in Tblisi that the Georgian government shares some responsibility for it. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 8/18
The Veteran Vote
The presidential candidates' visits to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Orlando today and tomorrow raise the question of just what the "veteran vote" looks like -- including to what extent being a veteran actually informs vote preferences. . . .

Washington Post 8/18
Voter Reg. Key to Obama's Efforts to Put VA in Play
Virginia has added nearly a quarter-million registered voters since the 2004 elections, and about half of that growth came from increasingly Democratic Northern Virginia. With Virginia a battleground state in the presidential race for the first time in 44 years, the additional voters have the potential to alter long-standing electoral patterns in some historically Republican counties while reinforcing the Democratic tilt of others. . . .

Pew Research Center 8/17
Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources
For more than a decade, the audiences for most traditional news sources have steadily declined, as the number of people getting news online has surged. However, today it is not a choice between traditional sources and the internet for the core elements of today's news audiences. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 8/15
The Evangelical Vote
John McCain and Barack Obama's visits with megachurch minister Rick Warren tomorrow raise key questions about evangelicals: what they think, how they vote – and whether or not Obama has a good shot at winning a substantial share of their support. The answer to that last question: Almost certainly not. But getting there is a trip worth taking. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 8/15
Convention Bounce, Bump Or Noise?
Will the party conventions have an impact on the presidential race? Historically, conventions can give a candidate a "bounce" or a "bump" in the polls, though sometimes it's just a slight one. How likely is that this year? Could it just be a lot of "noise?" . . .

Washington Post 8/15
GOP Loyalty Not a Given For Young Evangelicals
Jonathan Merritt is a Baptist preacher's son with a pristine evangelical lineage. . . . He is part of a growing group of young born-again Christians standing on one of the many generational breaks surfacing in this election cycle. Merritt still shares his parents' conservative convictions on abortion, a core issue that forged Falwell's Moral Majority and brought evangelicals firmly into the Republican camp, but he says they are no longer enough for him to claim the Republican Party. . . .

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 8/15
Desire for Change Opens Door for Bold Policies
Dissatisfaction with the direction of the country is at a historic level, leaving the public desperate for a fundamental change of direction. Voters believe that America could be on the verge of a new chapter in our nation's history. In a new report commissioned by the Public Interest Projects, Inc., Stanley Greenberg and Andrew Baumann take a different approach to examining the depths of the American voter’s dissatisfaction by putting today’s problems in a historical context, comparing them to three other political eras: the 1930s FDR "New Deal" Era, the late 1970s and early 1980s. . . .

Los Angeles Times 8/12
Longtime Republican voters are airing new views
Cheap mortgages and cheap gas built this sprawling landscape of tan and gray stucco homes, iron gates and golf course communities. And the people who flocked here over the last decade -- upwardly mobile young families in pursuit of lower taxes and wholesome neighborhoods -- emerged as a Republican voting bloc crucial to President Bush's 2004 reelection. But listen to Anna Rodriguez and her neighbors who gather nightly on lawn chairs to unwind, and a change comes into focus that could shift the national political landscape in 2008 and beyond. . . .

Washington Post 8/12
Glimpse of Obama's Age Problem
... Even as younger voters are showing signs of breaking with years of lackluster turnout to support him, Obama is facing singular resistance from voters over 65. That age group turns out at the highest rate on Election Day and is disproportionately represented in the swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania; Bill Clinton and Al Gore both relied on it in winning the Democrats' only popular-vote majorities of the past two decades. . . .

Des Moines Register 8/11
Iowa leads Democratic charge
The dramatic resurgence of registered Democrats in Iowa means the Midwestern battleground that Republican George W. Bush carried by a whisker four years ago may be far less competitive in November, national experts in voter registration say. None of the states viewed early this year as competitive in the presidential campaign has swung more decisively than Iowa since Bush's re-election, based on a comparison of voter registration statistics. . . .

Arizona Republic 8/11
West emerges as new battleground region
Long viewed as safely in the Republican fold, the eight states just east of the Pacific Coast states are expected to play their biggest role yet in a modern presidential election. Republicans and Democrats are targeting this Western region for a simple reason: Republicans want to keep as many of the states as they can while Democrats want to pick up as many as possible. . . .

ABC News 8/9
Concern for Environment, Support for Drilling
High energy prices are double-teaming with environmental concerns to prompt broad conservation efforts, with seven in 10 Americans saying they're trying to reduce their "carbon footprint," chiefly by driving less, using less electricity and recycling. More controversial are policy responses to the nation's energy problems: Majorities in this ABC News/Planet Green/Stanford University poll support oil drilling in protected coastal and wilderness areas. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 8/8
Too Early To Obsess Over Horserace Polls?
The question of which presidential candidate is ahead - the poll question that surveys "the horserace" - is hard to answer sometimes, but especially in the summer, when voters typically have other things to think about. But there has been such an intense focus on the horserace this summer that it has spawned some humorous but true criticisms of (what else?) the intense focus on the horserace. . . .

Wall Street Journal 8/7
The New Southern Strategy
... Spurred by the souring economy and a newfound willingness to embrace conservative candidates, the Democratic Party is running its most competitive campaign across the South in 40 years, fielding potential winners along a rib of states stretching from Louisiana to Virginia, the heart of the Old Confederacy. . . .

National Women's Law Center 8/6
Women pessimistic on economy
Women feel the impact of economic insecurity and rising food, energy, education, and health care costs more deeply than men – and see government as a key to the solution, the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) announced today. . . .

New York Times 8/6
Is Obama the End of Black Politics?
... The generational transition that is reordering black politics didn’t start this year. It has been happening, gradually and quietly, for at least a decade, as younger African-Americans, Barack Obama among them, have challenged their elders in traditionally black districts. What this year’s Democratic nomination fight did was to accelerate that transition and thrust it into the open as never before, exposing and intensifying friction that was already there. . . .

Time 8/6
Trouble Signs in Obama's Lead
After two weeks of sharpened attacks between the campaigns, Barack Obama is maintaining a narrow 5% lead over John McCain in the race for the White House, a new TIME poll shows. . . .

Lifetime Networks 8/5
Where Women Voters Stand Post-Hillary
As part of its nonpartisan Every Woman Counts campaign to engage women in the political process, Lifetime Networks today announced the results of a national poll of women likely voters conducted by Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway of the polling company(TM), inc./WomanTrend and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. The survey provides insight into women's positive and negative impressions of McCain and Obama; indicates that economic worries continue to dominate the issues driving women to the polls; and shows that putting a woman on the ticket matters little to women voters. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 8/5
State of Play: Obama
A poll late last week noted no immediate change in views of Barack Obama's foreign policy skills as a result of his trip abroad. That was reassuring, because it fits with the best construct of how public opinion works. . . .

Democracy Corps 8/5
Targeting analysis based on post-primary polls
This targeting memo for the general election will identify first the groups where Obama is doing well and shaping the image of the current coalition of support, but then will focus on groups where he is underperforming relative to history and other Democrats, and where there are signs of movement and receptivity. Finally, the memo will identify underperforming groups, where Obama is not making gains, that pose special challenges. . . .

New York Times 8/5
G.O.P. Drops in Voting Rolls in Many States
Well before Senators Barack Obama and John McCain rose to the top of their parties, a partisan shift was under way at the local and state level. . . . While the implications of the changing landscape for Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain are far from clear, voting experts say the registration numbers may signal the beginning of a move away from Republicans that could affect local, state and national politics over several election cycles. . . .

Washington Post 8/4
Obama Leads, Pessimism Reigns Among Key Group
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama holds a 2 to 1 edge over Republican Sen. John McCain among the nation's low-wage workers, but many are unconvinced that either presidential candidate would be better than the other at fixing the ailing economy or improving the health-care system, according to a new national poll. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 8/1
Economy Still First In Voters' Minds
. . . In a CBS News/New York Times poll completed a few weeks ago, the economy had much the same importance it had in 1992. Fifty-three percent of Americans volunteered an economic problem as the "most important" facing the country. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 7/30
Changing electoral demographics
Among the many good deeds done by the Pew Research Center is a handy comparison of its June polls, conducted during each of the last three presidential election cycles. Holding other variations constant by using the same pollster and the same methodology at equivalent points in the cycle, and by interviewing large samples, the surveys paint a fascinating portrait of changing electoral demography. . . .

Huffington Post: David Moore 7/27
Note for Wolf Blitzer, et al, on Congressional Approval
Last weekend, Wolf Blitzer began his interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a typical journalistic gotcha. The latest Gallup poll, he intoned, showed Congress with its lowest rating ever - just 14 percent approved of the job it was doing, while 75 percent disapproved. Then he added the coup de grace - the rating was even worse than President Bush's approval rating, 31 percent in the same poll. How did the Speaker explain that? . . .

Los Angeles Times 7/25
Obama's path to presidency is far from clear
Even as his turn on the global stage hit an emotional peak Thursday with a speech before a cheering crowd of more than 200,000 in Germany, Barack Obama faced new evidence of stubborn election challenges back home. Fresh polls show that he has been unable to convert weeks of extensive media coverage into a widened lead. . . .

UVA: Abramowitz, Mann, and Sabato 7/25
The myth of a toss-up election
"Too close to call." "Within the margin of error." "A statistical dead heat." If you've been following news coverage of the 2008 presidential election, you're probably familiar with these phrases. Media commentary on the presidential horserace, reflecting the results of a series of new national polls, has strained to make a case for a hotly contested election that is essentially up for grabs. . . .

UVA: James E. Campbell 7/25
Anybody's ball game
In their examination of the fundamentals and the polls to this point in the 2008 election, my esteemed colleagues Alan Abramowitz, Tom Mann, and Larry Sabato indicate that they believe that the presidential election is essentially a done deal. As they see the 2008 story developing, Barack Obama will win a comfortable victory, if not in an outright landslide, over John McCain. . . .

Pew Hispanic Center 7/25
Hispanic Voter Attitudes
Hispanic registered voters support Democrat Barack Obama for president over Republican John McCain by 66% to 23%, according to a nationwide survey of 2,015 Latinos conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, from June 9 through July 13, 2008. . . .

Washington Post 7/24
Another Peek Inside the Brain of the Electorate
So a bunch of academics decides to revisit one of the defining books of modern American politics, a 1960 tome on the electorate. They spend years comparing interviews with voting-age Americans from 2000 and 2004 to what Americans said during elections in the 1950s. The academics' question: How much has the American voter changed over the past 50 years? . . .

The Hill: David Hill 7/23
Parties ignore polls on oil
The single biggest myth of contemporary politics is that most politicians are slaves to public opinion as expressed through polls and polling. Nothing could be further removed from the truth. And the response of both parties and most politicians to the current imbroglio over energy policies proves my point. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 7/23
McCain's foreign policy woes
As Barack Obama earns plaudits around the globe, the Bush administration is embracing the central tenets of Obama's foreign policy, as voters did long ago, leaving John McCain alone and isolated in an arena he once claimed as his strength. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 7/22
Taking Aim at the Military Vote
Barack Obama is playing to a variety of audiences while he travels abroad this week, with stops in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Europe. One of them is an interesting voting group that could pack some surprises: Active-duty U.S. military. . . .

Pew Research Center 7/22
Chinese Celebrate Their Roaring Economy
As they eagerly await the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese people express extraordinary levels of satisfaction with the way things are going in their country and with their nation's economy. With more than eight-in-ten having a positive view of both, China ranks number one among 24 countries on both measures in the 2008 survey by the Pew Research Center's Pew Global Attitudes Project. . . .

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 7/22
Young Americans: Living on the Financial Edge
As the media and national leaders focus on the current economic downturn in America - the credit crunch, mortgage crisis, and rising cost of living - less attention is paid to the impact the rocky economy is having on its young people. . . .

Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law 7/21
Better Ballots
The notorious butterfly ballot that Palm Beach County, Florida, election officials used in the 2000 election is probably the most infamous of all election design snafus. . . . Yet, ironically, eight years after the 2000 election, and billions of dollars spent on new voting technology, the problems caused by poor ballot design have not been fully and effectively addressed on a national level. . . .

National Annenberg Election Survey 7/20
Young less likely to follow campaign very closely
Young adults 18 to 29 years of age are more likely to describe themselves as liberal in comparison to other age groups, according to recent data collected by the Annenberg Public Policy Center's National Annenberg Election Survey. . . . The youngest cohort of potential voters is also less likely to describe itself as following the 2008 presidential campaign "very closely" in comparison to older cohorts. . . .

ABC News 7/19
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
On the 15th anniversary of "don't ask, don't tell," three-quarters of Americans support allowing gays to serve in the military, whether they "tell" or not -- much broader support than existed when the compromise policy was put in place. Military service by gays is backed by large majorities across most groups, including, perhaps surprisingly, Republicans, conservatives and evangelicals. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 7/18
A New Electorate in the Making?
Speculation abounds these days about whether this fall's presidential election will produce a dramatically different electoral map than the virtually static one of the last two contests. . . . But one thing's for sure: changes in the electoral map require some alterations in the electorate itself. And that seems to be happening. . . .

Pew Research Center: Juliana Menasce Horowitz 7/18
Should Women Worry Obama?
Whether female voters, who largely favored Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, will give broad support to Barack Obama this fall remains a key to the outcome of the election. The latest survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that Obama is, in fact, performing quite well among this key voting bloc, largely as the result of his substantial lead among politically independent and younger women. However, a significant numbers of older women, especially those who backed Clinton for the Democratic nomination, are not yet ready to throw their support behind Obama. . . .

Pew Research Center 7/17
Cell Phones and the 2008 Vote
Pollsters are continuing to monitor changes in telephone use by the U.S. public, since most surveys are still conducted using only landline telephones. . . . The latest Pew Research Center national survey, conducted June 18-29 with a sample of 2,004 adults including 503 on a cell phone, finds that the overall estimate of voter presidential preference is modestly affected by whether or not the cell phone respondents are included. . . .

New York Times 7/16
Obama Candidacy Isn't Closing Divide on Race
Americans are sharply divided by race heading into the first election in which an African-American will be a major-party presidential nominee, with blacks and whites holding vastly different views of Senator Barack Obama, the state of race relations and how black Americans are treated by society, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. . . .

Washington Post 7/15
Voters Split on Candidates' Iraq-Pullout Positions
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the country split down the middle between those backing Sen. Barack Obama's 16-month timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and those agreeing with Sen. John McCain's position that events, not timetables, should dictate when forces come home. . . .

Salon: Jonathan Brown and Paul Maslin 7/14
Can you hear me now? Obama's missing 2 percent
... Heretofore my industry has dismissed the cellphone-only population with a troika of "yes, buts." Yes, they're undercounted, but 1) they don't vote anyway; 2) their numbers are still small; and 3) we can find acceptable substitutes in the land-line population. And to be honest, there is a fourth, still more powerful rationale that remains unstated: "Yes, they're undercounted, but it's too damn difficult and expensive to reach them." . . .

AdWeek 7/14
Double Vision: The Race Issue Revisited
While few people would deny that race relations are better than when Obama was a child, opinion data show that black and white Americans don't see eye to eye on the degree to which things have changed. Writing just over 100 years ago, W.E.B. Du Bois famously declared that "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." Now, with polls indicating the U.S. is as likely as not to make Barack Obama its president, it's clear the line has blurred. But does the problem remain? . . .

USA Today 7/14
Hopes on race relations are high
Barack Obama's groundbreaking candidacy has raised high expectations among blacks and whites that his election would make race relations in the United States better. A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of nearly 2,000 Americans also finds about a third of both groups say the defeat of the first black to win a major party's presidential nomination would worsen race relations. . . .

Wall Street Journal 7/14
Changes in Fast-Growing States May Sway Election
Some of the nation's fastest-growing states are undergoing demographic changes that could transform Republican strongholds into swing states in 2008 -- and even trend toward Democrats in the long run. Many of the new voters in these states -- younger, with a higher mix of minorities -- typically lean toward Democrats, polls and voting statistics show. . . .

Newsweek 7/12
Glow Fading?
A month after emerging victorious from the bruising Democratic nominating contest, some of Barack Obama's glow may be fading. In the latest NEWSWEEK Poll, the Illinois senator leads Republican nominee John McCain by just 3 percentage points, 44 percent to 41 percent. The statistical dead heat is a marked change from last month's NEWSWEEK Poll, where Obama led McCain by 15 points, 51 percent to 36 percent. . . .

Pew Research Center 7/11
Likely Rise in Voter Turnout Bodes Well for Democrats
If current levels of voter engagement and interest in the 2008 campaign are any measure, the 2008 election could have historically high levels of voter turnout. . . . Engagement is up across the board this election cycle, but the increase is far greater among Democrats than among Republicans. . . .

CBS News 7/11
Seeing (Sometimes False) Safety In Numbers
Exit polls date back to the 1960s and are now a cornerstone of American elections and election coverage. We expect them to be accurate and precise, even though those of us who work on them frequently have to warn people about trusting too much in early and incomplete results. . . .

Inside Higher Ed 7/11
The Perils of the Polling Shop
Many political scientists who study polling also engage in the practice themselves. Several colleges have even made a name for themselves through affiliated public opinion institutes, and some -- like Marist College and Quinnipiac University -- have become nearly synonymous with the independent polls they're popularly attached to, especially during election season. But what if the professor conducting the surveys is working not for the university, but for political clients? . . .

USA Today 7/10
6 types of voters will decide the presidential election
All voters are not created equal. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama leads Republican John McCain in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll by only single digits among registered voters, 48%-42%, at the edge of the survey's margin of error. However, an analysis of how Americans view the election -- whether they think it matters and how strongly they're committed to a candidate -- shows a more lopsided contest. . . .

Democracy Corps 7/10
The New Stage of the 2008 Election
Barack Obama has slowly moved up to a 4-point lead over John McCain in the race for president (49 to 45 percent) in this special 2,000-sample Democracy Corps survey, a margin consistent with the most recent national poll estimates. In an important step following a difficult primary, he has consolidated about half the Democrats he will need to match earlier presidential runs. . . .

The Hill: David Hill 7/9
Baffled by floating Republicans
Being a Republican pollster can bring grim tasks these days. More often than not, you have to deliver some measure of bad news to clients. The responses of clients given bad news varies widely. Some nod in a knowing way; they expected it. Others get melancholy, while still others steel themselves for the fight of their life. . . .

Gallup 7/7
July Leader Lost in 6 of Last 9 Competitive Elections
In 9 of the past 15 U.S. presidential elections, the candidate who was leading in Gallup polling roughly four months before the election ultimately won the popular vote for president. However, narrowing the set of races to the nine that were competitive, the early polling proved prescient in only three of those. . . .

New Republic: Alan Abramowitz 7/7
Generation Gap
Young voters played a crucial role in Barack Obama's successful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. . . . Now that he has clinched the Democratic nomination, Obama is counting on strong support from under-thirties to offset John McCain's expected advantage among older white voters, some of whom continue to be uneasy about the prospect of an African American president. . . .

Scientists and Engineers for America 7/5
The Voters on Science
As part of our Innovation & the Elections 2008 initiative, SEA commissioned a national poll to gauge whether American voters care about science. In a nutshell, the answer is yes. . . .

Gallup 7/2
Hispanic Voters Solidly Behind Obama
Hispanic registered voters' support for Barack Obama for president remained consistent and strong in June, with Obama leading John McCain by 59% to 29% among this group. While Hispanics generally preferred Hillary Clinton to Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, a solid majority of Hispanics have consistently backed Obama against McCain in general-election trial heats. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 7/2
The cultural politics of guns
With so many other pressing problems vying for top billing, gun issues will not decide this presidential election. Nonetheless, gun control has helped Democrats win in places like California and New Jersey, as well as in less obvious spots like Michigan. At the same time, advocating gun regulations has cost Democrats dearly in the South, the West and in rural areas. . . .

The Hill: David Hill 7/2
Obama youth pitch misses its mark
... A second stream of conventional wisdom that merits challenge is the notion that age will be a key driver in this election, with the young voting for Barack Obama in overwhelming percentages and, presumably, senior citizens defaulting to their aged cohort, John McCain. This assumed link between age and voting is, I believe, mostly an artifact of the Democratic primary process wherein Obama benefited heavily from the youth vote. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 7/1
International Poll: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 18 countries finds that in 14 of them people mostly say their government should not take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just three countries favor taking the Palestinian side (Egypt, Iran, and Turkey) and one is divided (India). No country favors taking Israel's side, including the United States, where 71 percent favor taking neither side. . . .

Pew Research Center 7/1
Support for Energy Exploration Rises
Amid record gas prices, public support for greater energy exploration is spiking. Compared with just a few months ago, many more Americans are giving higher priority to more energy exploration, rather than more conservation. . . .

New York Times: Thomas F. Schaller 7/1
The South Will Fall Again
... Barack Obama's strategists are suggesting that the first African-American presidential nominee of a major political party can parlay increased turnout among black voters into a string of victories in the South. Given that roughly half of all African-Americans live in the 11 former Confederate states, the idea seems intuitive enough. It's also wrong. . . .

Huffington Post: Mark Feierstein & Ana Iparraguirre 6/30
Obama and Hispanics: Another Myth Exposed
This election season has been full of myths. Hillary Clinton is the inevitable Democratic nominee. John McCain's days as a candidate are numbered. With the primary season past, the myths continue, in the face of contrary evidence. Among the most persistent, and most inaccurate, is the idea that Barack Obama has trouble attracting Hispanic support. . . .

Washington Post 6/30
Focus Groups: Hearts, Not Minds
What if the 2008 presidential election were decided by voters acting not on their political judgments or analyses of the candidates, but on their emotions? In the view of some experts, this is a trick question -- of course the election will be decided emotionally. Elections always are. . . .

New York Times 6/30
Obama Camp Thinks Democrats Can Rise in South
As they look to the fall election, Democrats face a strategic decision that has bedeviled their party for 40 years: How hard should they fight in the South? . . . Officials in Mr. Obama's campaign say they are bullish on the South, and they have signaled their aggressiveness with early campaign appearances in North Carolina and Virginia, major voter registration drives in the region, and television advertising in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. . . .

Washington Post 6/29
A New Political Geography
... The emerging political reversals of the two Virginias are part of a national shift that has been underway for at least a decade and is expected to reveal itself more clearly than ever this November. As the gap grows between places that are prospering and those that are not, Democrats are strengthening their hold in major metropolitan areas, particularly in places faring well in the technology-driven economy. . . . Republicans, meanwhile, are consolidating their hold in rural areas and small cities, while making inroads in struggling Appalachian and Rust Belt regions that were a core of the Democratic base. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 6/29
The Hispanic Vote
Today's back-to-back appearances by John McCain and Barack Obama before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials encourage another look at Hispanics as a voting group -- not least because there are some misperceptions about the Hispanic vote worth knowing. . . .

Time 6/27
Obama Lead Tight Over McCain
Illinois Senator Barack Obama enters the General Election with a tight lead, 43% to 38%, over Arizona Senator John McCain, according to a new TIME magazine poll of likely voters. The poll shows Obama gaining only a slight bounce from Hillary Clinton's departure from the campaign early this month. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 6/26
Guns and the Court
Most Americans long have supported handgun ownership, and a big majority believes the Constitution allows citizens -- not just militias -- to possess firearms. That sentence might be slightly at odds with other things you've heard about public attitudes about gun control -- specifically, that most Americans favor stricter gun control laws. This, too, is true. . . .

washingtonpost.com 6/26
Obama Leads in Four Key Battleground States
Democrat Barack Obama holds narrow leads over GOP rival John McCain in Colorado and Michigan, two of the most competitive states in two of the most competitive regions of the country heading into the general-election campaign, according to surveys conducted by Quinnipiac University for washingtonpost.com and the Wall Street Journal. . . .

L.A. Times 6/25
75% blame Bush's policies for deteriorating economy
Three out of four Americans, including large numbers of Republicans, blame President Bush's economic policies for making the country worse off during the last eight years, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll released today, reflecting a sharp increase in public pessimism during the last year. . . .

AP/Yahoo 6/25
Voters say McCain better suited to handle Iraq
John McCain's stance on the war is unambiguous: He voted for it, supports the current enhanced U.S. troop presence in Iraq and vigorously opposes any timetable to withdraw. The public's stance on the war is as equivocal as McCain's is not: A strong majority of Americans oppose it and believe it was wrong in the first place, but more find McCain better suited to handle Iraq than his Democratic presidential rival, Barack Obama. . . .

Kaiser Family Foundation (pdf) 6/25
Economy continues to dominate issue list
Since the start of the year, the economy has dominated the list of issues that voters say they want the presidential candidates to discuss, with Iraq and health care consistently rounding out the top three. The past two months, however, have seen another issue crack the top three list: gas prices. . . .

Wall Street Journal: Steven Waldman 6/25
Survey on Religion Offers Good News for Democrats
Buried in the spectacularly deep U.S. Religious Landscape Survey are some statistics of great interest to politicos, especially on the three big religion-and-politics questions of 2008. . . .

Los Angeles Times 6/24
Obama holds 12-point lead over McCain
Buoyed by enthusiasm among Democrats and public concern over the economy, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has captured a sizable lead over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the opening of the general election campaign for president, the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll has found. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 6/24
Early Voting Creates Polling Challenges
During the primaries, there were no mistakes in projections that could be traced to exit poll problems . ... But doing good exit polls sometimes requires more traditional polling methods that go beyond simply sampling voters at polling places. That's because, in a growing number of states, more and more people aren't waiting for Election Day to cast their ballots. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 6/24
World Publics Reject Torture
A WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 19 nations finds that in 14 of them most people favor an unequivocal rule against torture, even in the case of terrorists who have information that could save innocent lives. Four nations lean toward favoring an exception in the case of terrorists. However, large majorities in all 19 nations favor a general prohibition against torture. . . .

Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life 6/23
Religion: Non-Dogmatic, Diverse, Politically Relevant
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life today released its second report on the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, which finds that while many Americans are highly religious, most are not dogmatic in their approach to faith. This new analysis examines the diversity of Americans' religious beliefs and practices as well as their social and political attitudes. . . .

Democracy Corps 6/23
Youth for the Win!
Democracy Corps' tracking of young voters reveals dramatic movement in the vote for president at the conclusion of the primaries. Democratic support among America’s youth now reaches 2006 levels, not only in the generic vote for president, which has been true for some time, but also in the named trial heat. . . .

Washington Post 6/23
Financial Hardship and the Happiness Paradox
The United States is awash in gloom. Overwhelming majorities of Americans say they are dissatisfied with the country's economic direction, and the intensity of unhappiness is greater than it has been in 15 years, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. The answer, pundits, politicians and policy wonks agree, is to find a way to quickly return to economic growth. . . .

Washington Post 6/22
3 in 10 Americans Admit to Race Bias
As Sen. Barack Obama opens his campaign as the first African American on a major party presidential ticket, nearly half of all Americans say race relations in the country are in bad shape and three in 10 acknowledge feelings of racial prejudice, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. . . .

Newsweek 6/20
Barack's Bounce
Barack finally has his bounce. For weeks many political experts and pollsters have been wondering why the race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain had stayed so tight, even after the Illinois senator wrested the nomination from Hillary Clinton. With numbers consistently showing rock-bottom approval ratings for President Bush and a large majority of Americans unhappy with the country's direction, the opposing-party candidate should, in the normal course, have attracted more disaffected voters. Now it looks as if Obama is doing just that. . . .

Gallup 6/20
Confidence in Congress: Lowest Ever for U.S. Institution
Gallup's annual update on confidence in institutions finds just 12% of Americans expressing confidence in Congress, the lowest of the 16 institutions tested this year, and the worst rating Gallup has measured for any institution in the 35-year history of this question. . . .

Washington Post: Behind the Numbers 6/20
Post-Primary Views of Clinton
In the first Washington Post-ABC News poll since she ended her presidential bid, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's favorability ratings have rebounded after reaching a campaign low-point in April. . . ..

Midwest Democracy Network (pdf) 6/19
Midwestern Attitudes on Political Reform
In the 2008 Midwest Political Reform Survey, large majorities of Midwesterners continue to distrust their state governments. At the same time, many continue to hold on to an abiding faith in the ability to change state government to be less influenced by moneyed interests and more responsive and accountable to constituents. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 6/19
What's the Right Age for a President?
Is John McCain too old to be President? More to the point: do people think he is too old? When we ask Americans, "In general, what is the best age for a president of the United States?" as a CBS News/New York Times poll did last February, we get some surprising results, although it just might show their ignorance about how old the candidates are. . . .

ABC News 6/18
Battle of the Spouses
In the battle of the spouses the early edge is Michelle Obama's, in favorable views and intensity of sentiment alike. But there are sharp differences among groups, and plenty of room to move for the less well-known Cindy McCain. . . .

Washington Post 6/18
Consumer Anxiety Outstrips the Data
Ask Americans how the economy is doing, and their answer is stark: It is not just bad, it is run-for-the-hills terrible. Consumer confidence is at its lowest level in almost 30 years. Only 12 percent of Americans think the economy is in good shape. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 6/18
Ignore the polls -- trust fundamentals
Analysts of the latest ABC/Washington Post poll note ominously that Barack Obama’s current lead is identical to John Kerry’s in June 2004. True, but the context, and thus the meaning, of those results could not be more different. . . .

University of Washington 6/17
Latino voters favor Obama over McCain
A new national survey of Latino voters shows Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama with a nearly 3-to-1 advantage over his rival, Republican John McCain. The survey found that 60 percent of Latinos planned to vote for Obama, compared to 23 percent for McCain, while 16 percent were undecided. Latino Decisions, a joint effort between Pacific Market Research and University of Washington political scientists Matt Barreto and Gary Segura, conducted the poll by telephone June 1-12. . . .

ABC News 6/17
McCain Stays in Range
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll underscores the conundrum of the 2008 presidential election: If everything is so good for Barack Obama, why isn't everything so good for Barack Obama? . . . .

NARAL 6/17
How Choice Helps Obama
While choice will not be the defining issue of the 2008 presidential election, nor the central critique of John McCain overall, it is an issue that can play an important role in building Barack Obama’s winning coalition. For key blocs of women voters—specifically pro-choice Republican and Independent women—choice creates a sharp contrast between the two candidates and is a deciding issue. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 6/16
World Poll Finds Global Leadership Vacuum
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 20 nations around the world finds that none of the national leaders on the world stage inspire wide confidence. While US President George W. Bush is one of the least trusted leaders, no other leader -- including China's Hu Jintao and Russia's Vladimir Putin -- has gained a broad international base of support. . . .

Pew Internet & American Life Project 6/15
The Internet and the 2008 Election
A record-breaking 46% of Americans have used the internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views and mobilize others. And Barack Obama's backers have an edge in the online political environment. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 6/13
Can Voters Be Objective About The Economy?
It's unusual for a majority of Democrats to approve of a Republican president. . . . And, at least in recent years, it's even more rare for a majority of Republicans to express approval of a Democrat. . . . The big question is: when voters make decisions about presidents, about how things are going in the country and about policy, are they making an objective assessment, or are they expressing an opinion to which they are already predisposed -- and which is expected? . . .

Diageo/Hotline 6/13
As Obama and McCain Take Center Stage, So Do Issues
Barack Obama has replaced one opponent with another following the conclusion of a marathon Democratic contest that began five months ago in Iowa. Now that Obama has locked in the Democratic nomination, the stage is set for what is expected to be a contentious general election between two candidates that are offering sharply contrasting policy solutions. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 6/13
SCOTUS, Security and Civil Rights
What's fascinating about today's sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court ruling on GITMO detentions is the extent to which the court's debate mirrors the same tensions between civil rights and terrorism protection that exist in society more broadly. . . .

Pew Global Attitudes 6/12
Global Economic Gloom
... Around the world, people have a new concern: slumping economic conditions. And they have a familiar complaint -- most think the U.S. is having a considerable influence on their economy, and it is largely seen as a negative one. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 6/12
McCain, Obama have some base building to do
For the first time in 40 years, the Democrats and Republicans are each on the verge of nominating a candidate who failed to attract even half of their party's primary vote. . . .

Gallup 6/11
Obama Gains Among Women After Clinton Exit
Since Hillary Clinton decided to concede the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama last week, Obama has established a lead over Republican John McCain in general-election polling. Obama's gains have come more from women than men, though he has picked up among both groups in recent days. . . .

Washington Post 6/8
Each Party Is Set to Hunt The Other's Usual Ground
The 2008 general election will pit the best-organized nomination campaign in the history of modern Democratic politics against the battle-tested machinery of the Republican Party, with both Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) determined to shake up an electoral map that has been virtually static over the past two elections. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 6/6
Do VP Choices Matter?
Would adding Hillary Clinton to his ticket help the presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama? Do vice presidential candidates matter? The survey evidence is mixed, on the extent to which vice-presidential choices help a ticket win. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 6/6
HRC for VP?
Support among Democrats for having Barack Obama pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate is just that – support, but well short of demand. In fact it's a somewhat polarizing issue – and perhaps increasingly so – between Obama's and Clinton's backers. . . .

Los Angeles Times 6/6
Obama leads in battle for Latino vote
... Some Democrats have worried that Latinos view Obama warily and will be drawn to Republican nominee John McCain, who has been popular in that community and has campaigned in it aggressively -- already airing Spanish-language radio ads in the heavily Latino battlegrounds of New Mexico and Nevada. But there are signs that Obama begins the general election battle for Latinos with significant advantages. . . .

UVA: Justin M. Sizemore 6/5
How Obama Did It
Shortly before ten o'clock on the evening February 1, 2008, Barack Obama's chartered 737 took off from Albuquerque International Airport bound for Boise, Idaho. . . . "It may not be California," an aide commented, "but smaller states like Idaho and Delaware add up." Barack Obama will become the Democratic Party's presidential standard bearer in 2008 precisely because small states -- particularly small caucus states -- add up. . . .

Los Angeles Times 6/5
Obama vs. McCain, by the map
In many states that President Bush captured in the 2004 election, Barack Obama has swelled the ranks of Democrats by the thousands, drawing record numbers of young people and African Americans to the polls. But will this enthusiasm -- which propelled his victory Tuesday in the race for the Democratic nomination -- deliver enough of these states to Obama to win the presidency? . . .

CBS News (pdf) 6/4
Is America Ready for Barack Obama?
Barack Obama now has enough pledged delegates and superdelegate commitments to claim the Democratic nomination -- and most Americans believe the country is ready for a black president. . . .

CBS News (pdf) 6/4
Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Hillary Clinton's campaign as the first serious woman contender for the Democratic presidential nomination represents a shattering of the glass ceiling in presidential politics. Most voters think that win or lose, her candidacy will make it easier for other women to run for president. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 6/4
Catching up on global warming
Once again, the American people have come together to demand action while Congress writhes in partisan conflict as many in the GOP focus on blocking action rather than solving problems. This time the issue is global warming. . . .

ABC News: Gary Langer 6/3
How the Primaries Rewrote the Script
It was going to be short and simple: Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani. Those were the long-ago and far-away days of initial preferences, when the two best-known candidates held commanding leads for their parties' presidential nominations. That it didn't end that way underscores an eternal truth of American politics: Campaigns matter. . . .

Democracy Corps 6/3
Another Congressional Wave Election
Even as we modified our sample design to include more hard-to-reach Republican-held districts, Democrats have significantly expanded their lead in this totally Republican battleground that Bush won by 12 points in 2004 and Republican members won by the same margin in 2006. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 6/2
Dicing the Democratic Vote
Hillary Clinton is still contending that she's ahead in the Democratic popular vote, repeating that claim Sunday in a TV ad airing in Montana and South Dakota. But figuring in the DNC's weekend machinations, there are reasonable arguments to the contrary. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 5/30
What the Heck Happened
The approaching end of the primary season prompts a terrific question: What the heck happened? You'll hear answers from a lot of sources. But a beautiful thing about the internet is that you can also dig out some of your own conclusions – or fact-check what you’re hearing from others – by going directly to the source. With that in mind we’ve posted full exit poll results from each state contest in which they were conducted. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 5/30
A Puerto Rico Lookahead
If Hillary Clinton does well in Puerto Rico on Sunday, it shouldn’t be a surprise: She’s been strong among Hispanic Democrats all year, a group that lifted her to victory notably in the California and Texas primaries; and likewise among Catholics. Put the two together – Hispanic Catholic voters – and you’ve got a powerful Clinton advantage. . . .

Pew Research Center 5/29
McCain's Negatives Political, Obama's Personal
As the end of the primary season draws near, Barack Obama is the clear favorite of Democratic voters for their party's presidential nomination. . . . But when the Illinois Democrat is tested against John McCain in a general election matchup, he now runs about even against the presumptive Republican nominee. . . .

Democracy Corps (pdf) 5/29
Obama Emerging Ahead in Close Race
As the Democratic nomination contest comes to an end and candidates shift their focus to the general election, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are emerging comparably ahead of John McCain in a close race for the White House. . . .

UVA: Alan I. Abramowitz 5/29
Electoral Barometer Shows Democratic Advantage
... Three indicators of the national political climate have accurately predicted the outcomes of presidential elections since the end of World War II: the incumbent president's approval rating at mid-year, the growth rate of the economy during the second quarter of the election year, and the length of time the president's party has held the White House. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 5/29
The 'Controversial' Caucuses
Maybe one of the most intriguing -- and nefarious -- aspects of this long-running Democratic presidential campaign is that the legitimacy of the system itself has come into question. Doubts, to be sure, have been raised about the role of the unelected "superdelegates." But the campaign of Hillary Clinton has fingered a different villain for its greatest contempt -- namely, the caucuses, which it claims are undemocratic as well as unrepresentative. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 5/28
Gay Marriage: The California Questions
In the wake of this month's state Supreme Court ruling, do most Californians support gay marriage? It depends -- and therein lies a cautionary tale in understanding poll results. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 5/28
Where Are The 'Big' Issues?
The Democratic presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton seem to have become all about discussions of their personal qualities -- honesty, experience, and judgment. The issues that have gained the most coverage and attention are not the ones that people cite as the most important. Controversies over who endorsed whom, or what a candidate may or may not have said, or even who each candidate knows and likes have somehow supplanted the war in Iraq, the mortgage crisis, and health care. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 5/27
Democratic Voter Groups: A Second Look
Voter-group analysis in the Democratic contest has been flying thick and fast lately. Among the arguments: Barack Obama has a problem with white voters. And/or with Jewish voters. And/or with supporters of Hillary Clinton. Each can use a second look. . . .

New Yorker: George Packer 5/26
The Fall of Conservatism
The era of American politics that has been dying before our eyes was born in 1966. That January, a twenty-seven-year-old editorial writer for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat named Patrick Buchanan went to work for Richard Nixon, who was just beginning the most improbable political comeback in American history. . . .

Newsweek: Evan Thomas 5/26
Memo to Senator Obama
Race is a difficult subject to talk and write about. Although the blogosphere is rarely shy, mainstream journalists often tread lightly for fear of giving offense or indulging in stereotypes. Political candidates sometimes slyly play the race card, but rarely overtly. Not eager to call attention to race as an issue, the Obama campaign plays it down as a factor in the election. But if an Obama adviser were writing an honest memo to the candidate, here's how it might read. . . .

New York Times: John Harwood 5/26
The White Working Class: Forgotten Voters No More
Ruy Teixeira, a Democratic analyst of voting trends, wrote the book on the core issue in the endgame of the party's nomination fight. Its title is "America's Forgotten Majority: Why the White Working Class Still Matters." One might conclude that Mr. Teixeira is troubled by Senator Barack Obama's performance in recent primaries against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton among the voters known by nicknames like Joe Sixpack or Nascar Dad or Waitress Mom. Actually, he is not. . . .

Pew Research Center: Scott Keeter 5/23
Cell Phones and Polling
Last week the National Center for Health Statistics released new government estimates of the number of Americans who can now be reached only by a cell phone -- an estimated 14.5% of all adults, and significantly larger percentages in certain population subgroups such as young people and Hispanics. The growing number of wireless-only households poses a serious challenge to survey research, much of which relies upon landline surveys to reach respondents. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 5/23
McCain: Health and Age
The release today of John McCain’s health records raises again the question of whether his age can hurt him in the 2008 campaign. The best answer: You bet. . . .

ABC News 5/21
Socioeconomics, Not Race, Drives Vote
Tuesday's Democratic primaries told a tale of two states, with Southern whites overwhelmingly rejecting Barack Obama in Kentucky while an equally white electorate in Oregon brought differing political views and socioeconomic profiles to the table. . . .

Salon: Dee Davis 5/20
Obama's "Appalachian problem"
In analyzing the returns from last week's West Virginia Democratic primary, a phalanx of reporters and commentators have explained Hillary Clinton’s landslide victory by pointing out that West Virginians are a special set of Democrats, white, low income, and under-educated. . . . However, the unnerving truth for the erstwhile party of Jefferson may be that Appalachia, for all its legend and lore, is not that different politically from the rest of the small-town-and-rural parts of the country where 60 million of us live. And that could mean trouble for the fall. . . .

New York Times 5/19
Oregon Still Embraces the Unconventional
HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- The Obama '08 signs end roughly where the orchards begin. . . . Oregon is well known for the sharp divide between its more liberal and populated west and its rural east. That tension has often made statewide races close. Yet while the farmers who once dominated this part of Oregon still own much of the land, they no longer own most of the vote. . . .

Wall Street Journal: The Numbers Guy 5/19
Cellphone Surveys Get a Boost
About 63 million American adults either don’t have a landline at home or hardly use one, according to the government’s latest estimate released last week. The steady displacement of landline usage by cellphones is the latest development that could push more pollsters to try to reach Americans on their cellphones. . . .

NPR 5/18
Rural Voters Not Reliably Republican in 2008
Overwhelming support in the nation's least populated counties was key to Republican victories in the last two presidential elections. But a new bipartisan survey indicates rural voters are not so reliably Republican in 2008. . . .

New York Times: Charles M. Blow 5/17
Skirting Appalachia
As Hillary Clinton's rout in West Virginia underscores, Appalachia is not Obama country. Of 410 counties in the region, which stretches from New York to Mississippi, Barack Obama has won only 48 (12 percent) so far. Of the counties he has lost, nearly 80 percent have been by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The region is whiter, poorer, older, more rural and less educated than the rest of the country, and seems to be voting like a bloc. . . .

Salon: Paul Maslin 5/17
How will Barack Obama get to 270?
Thanks to John Adams and James Madison, an American presidential election really does begin and end with the Electoral College. . . . To figure out how Obama can assemble the magic 270, then, let's look at the 17 states where this fall's outcome is not a mortal lock. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 5/16
Counting the Vote
In an interview with Charlie Gibson this week, Hillary Clinton contended that she's ahead in the popular vote -- a critical claim in her last-ditch attempt to win over super delegates. The problem: It's arguably not so. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 5/16
How Does Age Affect Polls?
... We have long believed that the older you are, the more likely you are to have strongly-held opinions. A lifetime of thinking about political issues should make opinions part of your identity -- if you think about politics at all. But a new article by a team of American, Canadian and German researchers suggests a different reason for why question order has less of an effect on older respondents. . . .

New York Times 5/16
In the South, a Force to Challenge the GOP
The sharp surge in black turnout that Senator Barack Obama has helped to generate in recent primaries and Congressional races could signal a threat this fall to the longtime Republican dominance of the South, according to politicians and voting experts. . . .

NPR 5/15
U.S. Is Headed in the Wrong Direction
Americans are feeling pessimistic about the direction the country is heading, a new bipartisan NPR poll suggests. They're increasingly leaning toward alignment with the Democratic Party and divided over their choices for president in the fall. . . .

UVA: Alan I. Abramowitz 5/15
Not Your Father's (or Mother's) Democratic Party
Forget about soccer moms and NASCAR dads. The key voting bloc in 2008 is the white working class. According to the new conventional wisdom of American politics, the presidential candidate who can win the support of white working class voters will have the inside track on becoming the next president of the United States. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 5/15
Obama's Next Challenge
As Barack Obama prepares to move from the primary to the general election phase of the 2008 presidential election, he faces a new challenge which combines both - to bring many of the states where he suffered primary losses this winter and spring into the Democratic column this fall. . . .

Washington Post 5/14
Burdened by the Weight of Inflation
Nearly seven in 10 Americans are worried about maintaining their standard of living, as concern has spiked higher in just the past five months, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Soaring consumer prices are a major challenge, with many people struggling under the weight of the rising costs of fuel, food and health care. . . .

ABC News 5/14
The Race Factor in West Virginia
A confluence of groups inclined toward Hillary Clinton gave her an easy victory in the West Virginia primary, with less-educated, lower-income whites predominating in this Southern state. In a trouble sign for delegate-leader Barack Obama, barely more than half said they'd vote for him in November if he's the party's nominee. . . .

Los Angeles Times 5/14
Most don't see economy improving soon
Most Americans see little hope that the economy will improve in the next six months, and many also are decidedly pessimistic about the direction of oil prices and inflation, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll released today. The views on inflation could become troublesome for the Federal Reserve: If more Americans believe inflation will worsen there is a risk of those expectations becoming self-fulfilling. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 5/13
Obama and Working-Class Whites
The anticipated outcome of today's contest in West Virginia is prompting a fresh review of Barack Obama's difficulties winning support from working-class white voters in this year's Democratic primaries. One question: The extent to which it does or doesn't predict problems for Obama if he's the party's nominee in November. . . .

Democracy Corps 5/13
Youth for the Win!
... Young voters at this point are as supportive of Democrats as they were in 2004 and 2006. Democratic identification is stable and young people’s support for a generic Democratic candidate for President stands at 59 to 32 percent, a margin which exceeds young voters’ Democratic performance in the 2006 elections. There is every reason for Democrats to seek an even bigger youth margin in 2008. . . .

ABC News 5/13
Advantage Obama
Pushing back against political punditry, more than six in 10 Democrats say there's no rush for Hillary Clinton to leave the presidential race, even as Barack Obama consolidates his support for the nomination and scores solidly in general-election tests. . . .

ABC News 5/12
Bush Hits New Low as 'Wrong Track' Rises
Public disgruntlement neared a record high and President Bush slipped to his career low in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. Eighty-two percent of Americans now say the country's seriously off on the wrong track, up 10 points in the last year to a point from its record high in polls since 1973. And 31 percent approve of Bush's job performance overall, while 66 percent disapprove. . . .

Politico 5/12
The Obama campaign's 'unsung hero'

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had just declared victory in the Nevada caucuses when most campaign reporters heard Jeffrey Berman's voice for the first and only time. Berman, Sen. Barack Obama's director of delegate selection, chimed in during a conference call with the media to make an unexpected case: Despite Clinton’s popular vote victory in Nevada and an authoritative Associated Press count giving Clinton the edge in the Nevada delegate count, Obama had actually won the state by the only measure that mattered. . . .

New York Times: Willam Galston & Pietro Nivola 5/11
Vote Like Thy Neighbor
The buzz these days is that American politics may be entering a "postpartisan" era, as a new generation finds the old ideological quarrels among baby boomers to be increasingly irrelevant. In reality, matters are not so simple. Far from being postpartisan, today's young adults are significantly more likely to identify as Democrats than were their predecessors. . . .

New York Times: Jack Bass 5/11
In Dixie, Signs of a Rising Biracial Politics
Across the South, Barack Obama's smashing primary victory in North Carolina last week reflects a new reality -- a half-century of rising Republican red tide has crested, with signs of receding. . . .

Bloomberg 5/10
Clinton, Obama Top McCain on Handling the Economy
Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama get higher marks than Republican John McCain from voters on handling the U.S. economy, which Americans now consider the nation's top issue. A Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times survey shows Clinton is favored by 32 percent of registered voters as the presidential candidate best equipped to manage the economy, followed by Obama at 26 percent and McCain with 23 percent. . . .

New York Times: Andrew Kohut 5/9
The Widening Gap
The phrase "generation gap" came into vogue in the 1960s as a way of describing the wide gulf in values, beliefs and lifestyles that emerged between baby boomers and their parents and grandparents. Indeed, this difference between younger and older people played out sometimes turbulently in the '60s in virtually all aspects of life, including the ballot box. . . .

Washington Post: Behind the Numbers 5/8
Clinton's Broader Base?
Hillary Clinton's comments to USA Today arguing that her support among white voters in the primaries provides her with a broader base of support have set the blogosphere abuzz. . . .

Gallup 5/8
Obama's Support Similar to Kerry's in 2004
Barack Obama's current level of support among white voters in a head-to-head matchup against John McCain is no worse than John Kerry's margin of support among whites against George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election. . . .

Salon: Dan Conley 5/8
What does Hillary want?
From watching the coverage of the 2008 race, you'd think that the Democratic Party has never been down this road before -- divided along racial lines, mired in a bitter personal battle, seemingly incapable of repairing the divisions in time to defeat the Republicans. If you believe this, then you probably didn't experience the 1994 U.S. Senate race in Virginia. . . .

CBS News 5/7
Non-Democrats Influenced IN, NC Vote
Sen. Barack Obama sailed to an easy victory in North Carolina, while Sen. Hillary Clinton edged him out in Indiana. National exit polls conducted for CBS News by Edison/Mitofsky. Research show that each candidate retained the bases they have held throughout the primary season, with state characteristics making most of the difference. . . .

ABC News 5/7
White Working-Class vs. Change in IN; Blacks Lift Obama to NC Victory
A divided electorate made for a close contest in the Indiana Democratic primary, where working-class whites and controversy over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright worked to Hillary Clinton's advantage, while liberals, new voters and the mantle of "change" boosted Barack Obama. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 5/6
Why Do Polls Yield Different Results?
If polls that seem to be similar yield different results, you've got to find out why. And this week, we've seen different results from several polls that apparently asked the same "horserace" question: Who's ahead -- Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? . . .

Salon: Thomas F. Schaller 5/6
How Hillary Clinton botched the black vote
If Hillary Clinton fails to wrest the Democratic presidential nomination from Barack Obama, there will be plenty of second-guessing about how she ran her campaign. . . . [O]ne little-discussed factor (with direct or indirect relation to all of the above) appears to have had fatal consequences for Clinton's campaign: She failed to mount a strong enough challenge to Obama's claim on the African-American vote. . . .

Pew Research Center 5/6
Pope Benedict's Image Improves Following U.S. Visit
Following his first visit to the United States as spiritual leader of the world's Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI is viewed more favorably than he was a few weeks before his trip. Currently, 61% of Americans say they have a favorable impression of the pope, up from 52% in late March. . . .

Democracy Corps 5/5
The MySpace Election
Two outcomes are almost certain in 2008 -- Democrats will win the youth vote and young people will vote in record numbers. What is less obvious is the size of the margin and the scale of their participation. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 5/5
Battling Data: What Gives?
There were at least a few crossed eyes today over conflicting data and analysis in the latest New York Times/CBS and USA Today/Gallup polls. We share your pain. . . . Before we get into what gives, we'll use this as an opportunity to repeat our long-standing advice to de-emphasize the horse race in pre-election polls. It is lowest-common-denominator reporting. And in poll-to-poll comparisons it's the single most unstable measure we see. . . .

New York Times: Rhodes Cook 5/5
Popular Mechanics
While Hillary Clinton probably can't catch Barack Obama in the race for most pledged delegates at the Democratic presidential nominating convention, she does have a shot at overtaking him in the popular vote. Whoever triumphs in that symbolic total will have a persuasive argument to use with the wavering superdelegates who are likely to decide the race this summer. . . .

New York Times 5/5
Voters Say Wright Could Weigh on Obama
A majority of American voters say the furor over the relationship between Senator Barack Obama and his former pastor has not affected their opinion of Mr. Obama, but a substantial number say it could influence voters this fall should he be the Democratic presidential nominee, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. . . .

New York Times: John Harwood 5/4
A Fault Line That Haunts the Democrats
AS this historic Democratic primary season enters its next grueling phase, the party has become embroiled in a conflict between antagonists who would seem better cast as allies. Senator Barack Obama is a black candidate who has built his career on de-emphasizing race, while Senator Hillary Clinton is a white liberal who has been sensitive to minorities, and the issues facing them, during her long years of political activism. . . .

National Journal: Ronald Brownstein 5/3
When Blue Collars Are a Tight Fit
After Hillary Rodham Clinton's decisive win in last week's Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama and his advisers quickly offered a series of explanations for her resounding advantage among working-class white voters there. In rapid fire, Obama and his team insisted that he had carried those voters in many other states, was improving his performance among them, and did not need them to win a general election; to the extent he faced a problem at all, Obama declared, the difficulty was age and not class. But exit polls from this year's Democratic primaries show that almost all of those assertions are debatable and some are flat-out wrong. . . .

Washington Post: Behind the Numbers 5/3
White Catholics for Clinton: A Demographic Look
Throughout the Democratic party's nomination process, white Catholics have consistently been a strong point for Hillary Clinton, a group among which she tops or ties Barack Obama in almost every single state where exit polling has measured their votes. Exit polling conducted in Pennsylvania shows that Clinton's edge with Catholics is not a function of the demographic makeup of Catholics themselves, but instead cuts across demographic lines. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 5/2
Why Question Order Changes Poll Results
Polling seems easy. Write questions. Make sure the options balance, and that the choices cover the range of options. Train interviewers to ask the questions as written, and tally the results. But if you don't also ask those questions in the right order, things can get complicated. . . .

Pew Research Center 5/2
Obama's Image Slips, His Lead Over Clinton Disappears
Democratic voters are not as positive about Barack Obama as they were a month ago. Somewhat smaller percentages of Democrats describe Obama in favorable terms, and he has lost his lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. Nationally, Democratic voters are about evenly divided between Obama and Clinton; Obama holds a slight 47% to 45% edge. . . .

UVA: Alan I. Abramowitz 5/1
Societal trends reshaping American electorate
Discussions of the current political situation and comparisons between the 2008 election and earlier contests frequently overlook a crucial fact. As a result of changes in American society, today's electorate is very different from the electorate of twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. Three long-term trends have been especially significant in this regard: increasing racial diversity, declining rates of marriage, and changes in religious beliefs. . . .

New York Times 5/1
Primary Loss and Furor Over Ex-Pastor Hurt Obama
Senator Barack Obama's aura of inevitability in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination has diminished after his loss in the Pennsylvania primary and amid the furor over his former pastor, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. . . .

MSNBC 5/1
Bush a liability for McCain
Sen. Barack Obama’s ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright could hurt his presidential hopes. So could his comment about "bitter" small-town America clinging to guns and religion. And Americans might question Sen. Hillary Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness. But according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the bigger problem appears to be John McCain's ties to President Bush. . . .

Public Agenda 4/30
Energy, Economy New Focal Points for Anxiety
It's been more than 15 years since Bill Clinton’s campaign advisors confidently declared "it's the economy, stupid," to sum up the public's mood of the moment. For the past few years, foreign policy and the war in Iraq in particular have been at the forefront of public concern. But the economy is reasserting itself as a priority -- and economic concerns are shaping how the public views foreign policy. . . .

ABC News 4/30
Confidence at Another 2008 Low
Consumer confidence reached another new low for the year this week, moving within sight of its lowest in 22 years of weekly ABC News surveys. . . .

Kaiser Family Foundation 4/29
Health Care Near Top of Economic Woes
Health care costs rank among Americans' top personal economic problems, and their struggles to deal with those costs have affected both their financial well-being and their family's health care, a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds. . . .

Field Poll (pdf) 4/28
CA: Health Care Insecurities
California voters report growing insecurities about the workings of the state's health care system according to a new Field Health Policy Survey, and nearly three in four (73%) say they are concerned about the state's failure to enact health reform legislation. . . .

Pew Research Center 4/28
Gen Dems: Party's Advantage Among Young Widens
Trends in the opinions of America's youngest voters are often a barometer of shifting political winds. And that appears to be the case in 2008. The current generation of young voters, who came of age during the George W. Bush years, is leading the way in giving the Democrats a wide advantage in party identification, just as the previous generation of young people who grew up in the Reagan years -- Generation X -- fueled the Republican surge of the mid-1990's. . . .

Newsweek 4/26
McCain's Hidden Advantage
If there was any surprise in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, it was that recent events had virtually no effect on the result. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton could have stayed home for the past month and a half and the outcome would have been essentially the same. . . .

New York Times 4/26
Rifts Mend, Unless Identity Politics Is a Different Stripe
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's victory last week in the Pennsylvania presidential primary bought Mrs. Clinton time, but it's what might fill the time that troubles Democrats: an increasingly sharp dialogue between core Democratic constituencies -- blacks and a wide swath of women. . . .

Sierra Club 4/25
Hispanic Voters Concerned about Environment
Hispanic voters are overwhelmingly concerned about energy, global warming and environmental issues and are willing to take action to find solutions, according to results of a Sierra Club-sponsored national poll released today and conducted by Bendixen & Associates. . . .

Washington Post: Behind the Numbers 4/25
A Democratic Edge on Top Issues
The economy and the situation in Iraq have long been the public's top two priorities for this year's presidential election, and on both, more Americans said they think a Democratic president would do a better job handling the issue than a Republican. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 4/25
Age Gap May Start Younger Than Thought
Age and education do affect the vote. Many of Barack Obama’s wins have been fueled by big turnouts from younger voters, who have come out strongly for him. In many states, they also increased their share of the total votes cast. . . .

New Republic: Alan I. Abramowitz 4/25
Cheer Up, Democrats!
It's all over but the shouting. Even though the Democratic Convention is still four months away and the presidential election is more than six months off, Barack Obama might as well admit that John McCain will beat him so squarely that he might as well start working on his concession speech. At least that's what you'd assume if you've been reading the latest musings of the Washington commentariat, which have only amplified in the wake of Hillary Clinton's victory in Pennsylvania. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 4/24
Is it Age?
In the midst of the current discussion of the role of race in the campaign (see yesterday's blog) comes the curious suggestion from Sen. Obama that his chief challenge is about age, not socioeconomic status. The data don't seem to bear it out. . . .

Harvard University 4/24
Obama Dominating Highly-charged Youth Vote
A new national poll by Harvard University's Institute of Politics (IOP), located at Harvard Kennedy School, finds 18-24 year-olds who plan to vote for the Democratic candidate in November strongly prefer U.S. Senator Barack Obama over U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (70% to 30%) to be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 4/24
Obama and Small-town America
Barack Obama caused quite a stir a fortnight ago when he told a suburban San Francisco fund raiser that small-town Pennsylvania voters were "bitter" about their economic plight. As a consequence, he added, "they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them..." . . . Yet as controversial as they were, Obama's remarks basically have reflected the contours of his vote-getting appeal. . . .

New York Times 4/24
For Democrats, Questions Over Race and Electability
It is the question that has hung over Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign, and it loomed large on Tuesday night after his loss to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Pennsylvania: Why has he been unable to win over enough working-class and white voters to wrap up the Democratic nomination? . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 4/23
The Role of Race, Revisited
Results in the Pennsylvania exit poll, not available from previous contests, underscore a potentially sensitive point should Barack Obama win the Democratic party's presidential nomination: The role of race in voters' decisions. . . .

Washington Post 4/23
Signs Indicate That Duels May Be Hurting Party
With Democratic voters falling into generally predictable patterns, there are signs in the Pennsylvania exit poll that the prolonged battle for the Democratic nomination may have negative consequences for the party. . . .

Pew Research Center 4/23
People Who Don't Respond to Pollsters
... Fewer people respond to surveys now than in the past. These failures to complete interviews result from a variety of factors, but the largest components are non-contact (that is, the failure ever to reach a person at the location or phone number designated as part of the sample) and refusal (the result of active or passive activities to avoid completing the survey). Thus, the question: How do the people who did not complete the survey differ from those who did? . . .

ABC News 4/23
Negative Campaign Tarnishes Clinton, Obama
The tough tone of the Pennsylvania Democratic campaign tarnished both candidates -- more so Hillary Clinton, with 68% of voters saying she attacked Barack Obama unfairly. Yet it appears to have worked: Late deciders favored Clinton by a wide margin, boosting her to an essential victory in the state. . . .

CBS News 4/23
Why Clinton Won Pennsylvania
Hillary Clinton won the Pennsylvania Democratic primary by hanging tough with her base supporters in a state in which they are plentiful, even managing to beat back strong Obama support from a sizable bloc of newly registered Democrats. The biggest story of the evening, however, may be the polarized electorate that turned out to vote. . . .

USA Today 4/23
Food costs a major worry for consumers
Rising food prices are a significant worry for Americans, with 73% of consumers in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll citing higher grocery bills as a concern, and nearly half saying food inflation has caused a hardship for their households. . . .

USA Today 4/22
Bush's disapproval worst of any president in 70 years
President Bush has set a record he'd presumably prefer to avoid: the highest disapproval rating of any president in the 70-year history of the Gallup Poll. In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, 28% of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing; 69% disapprove. . . .

New York Times 4/22
In Clinton vs. Obama, Age One of Greatest Predictors
... In a campaign where demographics seem to be destiny, one of the most striking factors is the segregation of voters by age. In state after state, older voters have formed a core constituency for Mrs. Clinton, who is 60, while younger voters have coalesced around Mr. Obama, who is 46. Age has been one of the most consistent indicators of how someone might vote -- more than sex, more than income, more than education. . . .

CBS News 4/21
Economy Worries Young Voters
Concerns about the state of the economy have passed the Iraq war as the top concern for voters between the ages of 18 and 29, according to a poll conducted by CBS News and MTV. Twenty-two percent of young adults surveyed cited the economy as the number one issue facing their generation, compared to 13 percent who said the war in Iraq. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 4/21
PA Primary: What to Watch
Groups to watch – and perhaps not watch - in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary: EDUCATION - It's hard see a single factor more compelling than socioeconomic status, particularly as defined by education. It's split the Democratic electorate nearly all year, and as with her past victories, it's what Hillary Clinton will be counting on tomorrow. . . .

New Republic 4/21
The New Class
Amidst all the statistics clamoring for attention during the last six weeks of 24/7 Pennsylvania primary coverage, there's one key number that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves: 306,918. That's the number of new Democrats added to the voter rolls in Pennsylvania between January 1 and the voter registration deadline on March 24. . . .

Newsweek 4/19
Hillary Drops Back
Despite her campaign's relentless attacks on Barack Obama's qualifications and electability, Hillary Clinton has lost a lot of ground with Democratic voters nationwide going into Tuesday's critical primary in Pennsylvania, a new NEWSWEEK poll shows. . . .

CBS News 4/18
Obama Dominant At Pa. Colleges
Most students attending four-year colleges and universities in Pennsylvania are enthusiastic about voting in the presidential campaign, according to a poll conducted by CBS News and UWIRE, and Barack Obama is the overwhelming favorite among those who intend to vote in the Democratic primary. . . .

Washington Post 4/18
Public's View of Economy Takes Fast Turn Downward
The public's ratings of the national economy continue to sour, with assessments deteriorating faster than at any point in Washington Post-ABC News polling. Views on the Iraq war have also turned more negative, with six in 10 now rejecting the notion that the United States needs to win there to effectively battle terrorism. . . .

New York Times: Larry M. Bartels 4/17
Who's Bitter Now?
During Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia, Barack Obama once more tried to explain what he meant when he suggested earlier this month that small-town people of modest means "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them" out of frustration with their place in a changing American economy. . . . Small-town people of modest means and limited education are not fixated on cultural issues. Rather, it is affluent, college-educated people living in cities and suburbs who are most exercised by guns and religion. . . .

UVA: Alan I. Abramowitz 4/17
Will Disappointed Democrats vote for McCain?
Democratic leaders are becoming increasingly worried about the long-term consequences of the drawn-out and contentious presidential nomination race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. . . . Recent public opinion polls appear to support the argument that the extended nomination battle between Clinton and Obama is helping John McCain. . . .

Gallup 4/17
Democrats Leading McCain in 'Purple' States
Democratic front-runner Barack Obama has a four-point advantage over presumptive Republican nominee John McCain among registered voters residing in states that were competitive in the 2004 election. Obama has a comfortable lead in states John Kerry won comfortably in 2004, as does McCain in states George W. Bush won easily. . . .

New York Times: Andrew Kohut 4/17
No Clear Advantage
One of the more surprising twists in a surprising year is that despite the obvious Republican disadvantages in this election cycle, John McCain is matching up pretty well against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in tests being conducted by national polls. . . .

Los Angeles Times 4/17
Democratic voters warm up to government bailouts
Democratic voters in key primary states don't oppose the Bush administration's action to save investment firm Bear Stearns Cos. from bankruptcy, but most also think the government should bail out homeowners caught between rising mortgage payments and falling home values, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 4/16
Economic Concerns Recall Past Campaigns
The latest polls - those of CBS News as well as those of other organizations - show enormous and growing concerns about the nation's economy. Eighty one percent say the country is headed in the wrong direction - the highest percentage in the 25 years that CBS News has been asking the question. More than three in four say the economy is in bad condition, and the same percentage think things in the U.S. are worse than they were five years ago. . . .

Washington Post 4/16
Gains in Key Areas for Obama
Sen. Barack Obama holds a 10-point lead over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton when Democrats are asked whom they would prefer to see emerge as the party's presidential nominee, but there is little public pressure to bring the long and increasingly heated contest to an end, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. . . .

Bloomberg 4/15
Obama Leads in 2 States; Clinton Holds Pennsylvania
Barack Obama is leading Hillary Clinton in two of the next three Democratic primaries, an advantage, if it holds, that would allow him to sew up the nomination. A new Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll of likely Democratic voters gives Clinton a 46 percent to 41 percent edge in Pennsylvania, and a similar 40 percent to 35 percent lead for Obama in Indiana. In North Carolina, Obama has a larger, 13-point advantage. . . .

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 4/15
Differences Between Married and Unmarried Women
A national survey of adult-aged women shows some real commonalities of among women almost across the board. . . . However, the survey also highlights key political and economic differences between married and unmarried women. . . . These differences lead to different conclusions, not only politically, but also in terms of policy, and challenge the conventional and now-outdated notion of a "women's vote" or even a "women's agenda." . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 4/15
Erosion of Support for Free Market System
Majorities in most countries continue to support the free market system, but over the last two years support has eroded in 10 of 18 countries regularly polled by GlobeScan. In several countries this drop in support has been quite sharp. . . .

ABC News 4/15
Bush Defeats Truman
At 39 months in the doghouse, George W. Bush has surpassed Harry Truman's record as the postwar president to linger longest without majority public approval. Bush hasn't received majority approval for his work in office in ABC News/Washington Post polls since Jan. 16, 2005 -- three years and three months ago. The previous record was Truman's during his last 38 months in office. . . .

Washington Post 4/15
U.S. Catholics Support Benedict
Nearly three-quarters of U.S. Catholics have a positive impression of Pope Benedict XVI, but most see the Church he leads as out of touch with their views and few approve of the way the clergy sex abuse scandal has been handled, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. . . .

Kaiser Family Foundation (pdf) 4/14
Health Care and Elections
With the presidential election coming up in November 2008, an examination of recent public opinion data as well as historical trends can give some insight into the potential role health care might play as an election issue. When it comes to the relative importance of different issues in deciding their vote, health care was one of the top five issues chosen by voters in three out of four presidential elections since 1992, while its ranking varied in congressional elections from 1994 through 2006. . . .

Newsday 4/14
Obama campaign struggles to win over Catholics
... Catholics are among the most powerful swing voting blocs in American politics; they backed the winner in seven of the last eight presidential elections. And Obama's failure to connect with a majority of Catholics in the Democratic primaries is one of his campaign's biggest headaches - one that poses a major threat to his chances of winning heavily-Catholic Pennsylvania next week and the big prize in November, experts say. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 4/12
"Limbaugh Effect" Is Fairly Insignificant
What happens when primary voters "cross over" to vote in the other party's primary? Do they wish that party good, or ill, when they choose a candidate? Before the March 4th primaries in Texas and Ohio, Rush Limbaugh urged Republicans to cross over to keep the Democratic Party full of what he called "chaos and tumult." Is there any evidence that Republicans did that? ...

Time 4/11
PA Gets its Political Close-Up
Of all the places Democrats could hunker down for a long fight in their epic 50-state scramble for the presidential nomination, Pennsylvania is perhaps the most illuminating. Politically speaking, when Pennsylvania gets the sniffles, America braces for a fever. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 4/10
The Democratic End Game
One of the basic themes of the long-running Democratic nominating campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speaks to the need for a new era in American politics. But increasingly it seems as though their race could be decided by a method quite old -- a decision by the convention credentials committee that is voted up or down on the convention floor. . . .

Annenberg Public Policy Center (pdf) 4/10
Satisfaction with Presidential Primary Process Dropping
Fewer than one in three Democrats (30.9%) is satisfied with the presidential primary process this election season. That level has dropped significantly since the beginning of the year. Although satisfaction rates with the primary process are significantly higher among Republicans, those rates also have declined substantially since the first of the year. . . .

Pew Research Center 4/9
Bad Times Hit the Good Life
Fewer Americans now than at any time in the past half century believe they're moving forward in life. Americans feel stuck in their tracks. A majority of survey respondents say that in the past five years, they either haven't moved forward in life (25%) or have fallen backward (31%). This is the most downbeat short-term assessment of personal progress in nearly half a century of polling by the Pew Research Center and the Gallup organization. . . .

The Hill: David Hill 4/9
Penn: Culprit or victim?
The Republican in me felt some satisfaction last week when I saw the news scroll across my TV screen: "Pollster Mark Penn leaving Clinton campaign." But the pollster part of me felt a sense of melancholy. One of "us," a member of the polling fraternity, didn’t make it. Again. ...

The Hill: Mark Mellman 4/9
The real Clinton mistakes
A post-mortem on the Clinton campaign is premature, but it's never too early to learn from mistakes. While everyone agrees mistakes were made, the nature of those errors remains a matter of debate. . . .

Wall Street Journal: The Numbers Guy 4/9
Pollsters Debate the Internet
Is the Internet becoming a better medium for polling young people than the landline telephone? The Harris Poll claimed as much last week, in an online survey that bolstered two of the firm's arguments, by showing its online survey could produce reasonable results and that an increasing number of Americans can't be reached by landlines. . . .

Time 4/8
Can Geoff Garin Save Clinton?
The man that Hillary Clinton brought in to replace controversial strategist Mark Penn got his start in politics 32 years ago in Pennsylvania, the very state that is so crucial to her presidential hopes now. Back then, however, Geoff Garin was working for a Republican. . . .

Advertising Age 4/8
Mark Penn Gets Run Over on Way to White House
Last summer, when Hillary Clinton's nomination was a question of when, not if, her chief adviser, too, had an aura of inevitability around him. Mark Penn, the longtime Clinton pollster whose other job is running one of the largest PR firms in the world, seemed ready to transcend the drab world of spreadsheets and segmentation. Not only was he the brains behind the presumptive nominee, but his quaint worldview was enshrined in the hot-selling book "Microtrends," a compendium of subtle cultural, social and economic shifts that, the author argues, are key to understanding how people act. . . . Then Ms. Clinton and Mr. Penn were hit by the juggernaut that is Barack Obama and a campaign based not on segmentation but on an idea of change that, though often vague, clearly has hit the right emotional pitch for Democratic voters. . . .

Los Angeles Times 4/7
The race might come down to issues -- or not
There's a reason Democrats are confident they'll win the White House this fall: On the issues that rank highest, Americans seem to agree with their candidates. There's also a reason Republicans think their party will prevail: In several recent presidential elections, issues took a back seat to personality. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 4/7
Iranians Favor Direct Talks with U.S.
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org polls finds that although Iranians continue to view the United States negatively, they strongly support steps to improve U.S.-Iran relations including direct talks, greater access for each others' journalists, increased trade and more cultural, educational and athletic exchanges. While majorities of Iranians think the United States threatens Iran and is hostile to Islam, these numbers have diminished over the past year. . . .

New York Times 4/6
Change Makes a Call on Levittown
The Obama for President headquarters in Levittown, Pa., is set on a busy thoroughfare just to the east of where all the houses begin -- 17,311 of them built by the developer William Levitt between 1952 and 1957. . . . Here, after all, was a place that needed a big change, a new dream, which for many voters Obama -- with his mixed race, international background, inspiring life story and his soaring rhetoric -- represents. But Levittown, while largely Democratic, is composed of many white, working-class "Reagan Democrats," exactly the part of the electorate that has been least receptive to him . . . .

New York Times 4/5
Meet the Oboptimists
Maybe they should be called the Oboptimists. The latest New York Times/CBS News poll found a striking difference between the way that Senator Barack Obama’s voters think about the future and the that way Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s voters do. Both groups overwhelmingly say that the country is in rough shape -- headed in the wrong direction, with an economy that is bad and getting worse. But when they are asked how well the next generation will live, the two groups diverge. . . .

New York Times 4/4
Obama's Support Softens, Suggesting Peak Has Passed
Senator Barack Obama’s support among Democrats nationally has softened over the last month, particularly among men and upper-income voters, as voters have taken a slightly less positive view of him than they did after his burst of victories in February, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. . . .

Pew Research Center 4/3
Pope Benedict Still Unknown to Many Americans
Two weeks before his first visit to the United States as spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI continues to be viewed favorably by a majority (52%) of Americans, a level virtually unchanged from August 2007 (50%). However, the pope remains unfamiliar to a relatively large number of Americans. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 4/2
Precarious polling playthings
Few spectacles look sillier than adults engaged in serious play with children’s toys. It’s an apt description of the current discussion of presidential general election polls. Polls at this point are often inaccurate because people are only mediocre predictors of their own future behavior. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 4/2
Going Global?
A poll put out by the BBC World Service that's getting some attention today headlines a 4-point improvement in positive views of the United States in the 34 countries in which it was conducted. But before jumping on the result, consider the methodology. . . .

BBC 4/2
World views US 'more positively'
Attitudes to the United States are improving, an opinion poll carried out for the BBC World Service suggests. The average percentage of people saying that the US has a positive influence has risen to 35% from 31% a year ago, according to the survey. Those saying the US has a negative influence fell five percentage points to 47%. The poll, part of a regular survey of world opinion, interviewed more than 17,000 people in 34 countries. . . .

New York Times 4/1
Carrying Primary Scars Into the General Election
... For all the sirens warning of disaster, history offers mixed guidance on whether spirited primary fights are fatal. Many historians and analysts say that while protracted primaries can weaken a nominee, bigger factors are usually at play. Voters are often swayed by whether they feel the country is headed in the right direction. They take into account whether primary battles are personal or political. They want to see whether the winner and the loser can patch things up. And time can make a difference. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 4/1
November
Despite the intense interest, we’re urging our shop not to put too much weight on general election polling just yet; November is a long way off, and the continued bloodletting in the Democratic race makes it a less-than-ideal time to ask Democrats, or independents for that matter, their preference in the fall contest. . . .

History News Network: Mark D. Nevin 3/31
Those "Undemocratic" Party Conventions
... To many critics the superdelegates are anathema to the ideals of representative government and democratic choice. They are relics of the period before the adoption of the primary system in the 1970s when unaccountable and self serving party bosses met behind closed doors to bargain over the selection of presidential candidates without regard to the wishes of party members. But was the previous presidential nomination system as unrepresentative as critics contend? . . .

New York Times 3/30
A Case of the Blues
... For [Mark] Gersh, the modern political map has sustained two basic changes in the past 30 years. The first, beginning with Ronald Reagan's election in 1980 but only culminating with the 1994 election of Newt Gingrich's insurgents, was the slow, top-down conversion of socially conservative blue-collar voters, in the South and elsewhere, from Democratic partisans to Republican ones. In 2006, Gersh saw the culmination of the second big shift. "The biggest thing that happened in 2006 was the final movement of upper-income, well-educated, largely suburban voters to the Democrats, which started in 1992," he says. . . .

Wall Street Journal 3/29
At the Barricades In the Gender Wars
... When Sen. Clinton started her presidential campaign more than a year ago, she said she wanted to shatter the ultimate glass ceiling. But many of her supporters see something troubling in the sometimes bitter resistance to her campaign and the looming possibility of her defeat: a seeming backlash against the opportunities women have gained. . . .

Annenberg Public Policy Center 3/28
Internet Popular Political Info Tool, TV Dominates
Despite the popularity of the Internet during this campaign season, television remains the top source among all age groups for obtaining information about the 2008 presidential campaign, according to data released today by the National Annenberg Election Survey of the University of Pennsylvania. . . .

Pew Research Center 3/27
Obama Weathers the Wright Storm
The videos of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial sermons and Barack Obama's subsequent speech on race and politics have attracted more public attention than any events thus far in the 2008 presidential campaign. ... Most voters aware of the sermons say they were personally offended by Wright's comments, and a sizable minority (35%) says that their opinion of Obama has grown less favorable because of Wright's statements. ... However, the Wright controversy does not appear to have undermined support for Obama's candidacy. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 3/26
Out of the press, out of mind
Seven months ago, I suggested here that economic issues were rising in salience and might even displace Iraq as voters’ primary concern. Nevertheless, it is hard to grasp how thoroughly Iraq has been supplanted as a public priority. . . . Media coverage plays a central role in agenda setting -- in determining the priority Americans attach to various issues. . . . With the press abdicating its responsibility in covering the ongoing war in Iraq, it is not surprising that concern has waned. . . .

Pew Research Center 3/22
Fewer Voters Identify as Republicans
The balance of party identification in the American electorate now favors the Democratic Party by a decidedly larger margin than in either of the two previous presidential election cycles. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 3/22
Government Leaders Should Pay Attention to Polls
In sharp contrast to views recently expressed by Vice President Cheney, a new poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe government leaders should pay attention to public opinion polls and that the public should generally have more influence over government leaders than it does. . . .

CBS News 3/21
Good Reviews for Obama Speech
Sen. Barack Obama's speech on race this week, in which he discussed his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his controversial longtime minister, has received largely positive reviews, according to a new CBS News poll. But the percentage of voters who think Obama would unite the country as president has dropped since late February. . . .

FOX News 3/21
Senator Obama and Pastor Wright
Fifty-seven percent of Americans do not believe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama shares the controversial views of his former spiritual mentor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, while about one in four (24 percent) believes he does share Wright’s views. And a sizable minority has doubts about Obama because of his pastor’s comments, according to a new FOX News poll. . . .

UVA: Larry Sabato 3/21
The crapshoot of presidential politics
This week's detour into the murk of racial politics underlines that it's going to be a long, hard slog on the Democratic side. The next opportunity for Democrats to resolve their deadlock will come in June, once the primaries are over and every state (and territory) has had its say. And that is actually good news in a way. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 3/19
Europeans and Americans Desire Closer Relations
A poll of seven European countries, Canada, and the United States finds widespread support for closer relations between Europe and the United States. However, currently, cooperation between Europe and North America is seen as largely ineffective and overall transatlantic feelings are fairly cool, especially on the side of the Europeans. Yet Americans, Canadians and Europeans hold surprising consensus on the issues of greatest importance for their countries to address together. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 3/18
Criticism of Chinese Policy on Tibet
A poll of three western and three Asian countries finds widespread criticism of Chinese policies toward Tibet. This critical view is held by large majorities in all three western countries--the United States (74%), France (75%) and Britain (63%). . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 3/18
Race, Gender And Bias In The Electorate
Will Americans admit to bias? For years, survey researchers have tried to figure out how to measure bias in voting behavior -- whether or not people will say they would not vote for certain types of people. . . .

ABC News 3/17
Security Gains Reverse Iraq's Spiral
Improved security and economic conditions have reversed Iraqis' spiral of despair, sharply improving hopes for the country's future. Yet deep problems remain in terms of security, living conditions, reconciliation and political progress alike. . . .

Washington Post 3/17
White Male Vote Especially Critical
In the fierce campaign between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, a battle dominated by questions of race and gender, white men have emerged as perhaps the single critical swing constituency. The competition for the support of white men, particularly those defined as working-class, will shape the showdown between Clinton and Obama in Pennsylvania's Democratic presidential primary on April 22. . . .

ASNE 3/16
More People See Federal Government as Secretive
Three-quarters of American adults view the federal government as secretive, and nearly nine in 10 say it's important to know presidential and congressional candidates' positions on open government when deciding who to vote for, according to a Sunshine Week survey by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University. . . .

Franklin & Marshall College: Madonna & Young 3/14
Obama's Keys to the Keystone State
... Ironically Obama’s keys to victory were first fashioned by electoral locksmith and current Governor Ed Rendell, aka, chief Clinton surrogate in Pennsylvania, during his own 2002 primary fight for the governorship. That 2002 gubernatorial primary between then Mayor Ed Rendell of Philadelphia and then State Auditor General Bob Casey presents a blueprint for Obama running against Clinton. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 3/14
War in Iraq: The Five-Year View
Five years ago next week, 72 percent of Americans supported going to war with Iraq. Six weeks later, with Baghdad in hand and "major combat operations" declared over, 70 percent said it’d been worth it. Today, half as many agree. . . .

New York Times: Andrew Kohut 3/14
What Foreign Policy Agenda?
Issues have hardly played a dominant role in the nominating races, especially on the Democratic side. Still, the public has a clear domestic agenda for the next president. . . . But, the public is far less clear as to what it wants with respect to foreign policy. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 3/13
Clinton, Obama divide the Democratic primary vote
As the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama approach the ides of March, they are virtually tied in the Democratic primary vote count. Include results from the unsanctioned contests in Florida and Michigan and Clinton leads by less than 80,000 votes out of almost 30 million Democratic primary ballots cast. . . .

Annenberg Public Policy Center (pdf) 3/13
Best Choice for Commander in Chief
In the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the gender, age, race and ethnicity of the voter play significant roles in whom Democrats and independents identify as the Democratic candidate who would make the best commander in chief of the military, according to data released today by the National Annenberg Election Survey. . . .

Pew Research Center 3/13
Awareness of Iraq War Fatalities Plummets
Public awareness of the number of American military fatalities in Iraq has declined sharply since last August. Today, just 28% of adults are able to say that approximately 4,000 Americans have died in the Iraq war. As of March 10, the Department of Defense had confirmed the deaths of 3,974 U.S. military personnel in Iraq. . . .

Campaign for America's Future (pdf) 3/13
Progressives Rising: A Sea-Change Election
The 2008 election has the potential to be not simply one of change, as conventional wisdom suggests, but of sea-change, one that marks the end of the conservative era that has dominated our politics over the past three decades and the beginning of a new era of progressive reform. This report details the signs of the emergence of that era, and cautions that progressives will not only have to continue to drive the debate in the election season, but will also have to define, expand and claim the mandate after the election. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 3/12
Iraq and AQ: Suspicion vs. Belief
Today's Defense Department report concluding that Saddam Hussein wasn't in cahoots with al Qaeda after all again raises questions about the public's perceptions in advance of the Iraq war -- views that have been widely misanalyzed. . . .

Los Angeles Times 3/12
Democrats and blue-collar workers
With two celebrity-class candidates, Democrats have seen their presidential contest draw record voter turnout and an influx of Latinos and younger Americans to the party. But some are becoming concerned that the party now risks losing its hold on a more established set of needed supporters: blue-collar workers. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 3/12
Primary fortunes and election tales
Start with the obvious: Hillary Clinton is very unlikely to catch up to Barack Obama in the number of pledged delegates won, and Barack Obama is very unlikely to win enough pledged delegates to capture the nomination. As a result, the superdelegates are going to decide the Democratic presidential nomination. Whether you celebrate or bemoan this fact, it appears inescapable. . . .

WorldPublicOpinion.org 3/11
Iran's Nuclear Program
Support for tough measures against Iran's nuclear program has fallen in 13 out of 21 countries according to a new BBC World Service Poll. Compared to results from a June 2006 BBC World Service Poll, support for economic sanctions or military strikes has declined significantly, including in countries that were previously among the highest supporters of tough action. . . .

Pew Hispanic Center (pdf) 3/7
The Hispanic Vote in the Democratic Primaries
Hispanics have emerged as a pivotal constituency in the battle between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. In the primaries and caucuses held so far, Latinos’ share of the Democratic primary vote has risen in 16 of the 19 states for which exit polling makes it possible to compare 2008 and 2004 turnout shares. . .

Washington Post 3/6
Both Obama and Clinton Hold Edge Over McCain
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) kicks off his general-election campaign trailing both potential Democratic nominees in hypothetical matchups, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. . . . Both Democrats are buoyed by moderates and independents when going head to head with McCain and benefit from sustained negative public assessments of President Bush and the war in Iraq. . . .

CBS News 3/5
Why Hillary Won
Senator Hillary Clinton pulled out victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island tonight showing the same strengths she has throughout the electoral season among the Democratic Party's base voters. She stopped an 11-state winning streak by her opponent Senator Barack Obama by trumping his inspirational advantage with her message of policy. . . .

ABC News 3/5
Latinos, Lunch Bucket Voters, and Late Deciders
Latinos, working-class voters, women and late deciders helped Hillary Clinton push back against Barack Obama's recent winning streak, while some Texas and Ohio Republicans fired a warning shot at John McCain even as he clinched his party's presidential nomination. . . .

The Hill: David Hill 3/5
Youth vote over-hyped again
... If Barack Obama wants to build his entire campaign on exciting the youth vote, then as a Republican I hope he does exactly that, because it will lead to his defeat. The hard numbers don't lie. . . .

Annenberg Public Policy Center (pdf) 3/4
Public Believes McCain Over New York Times
Two-thirds of adults in the U.S. heard or read about the New York Times February 21 story alluding to a potentially inappropriate relationship between Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain and a female lobbyist during his presidential bid in 2000, according to recent data collected by the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey. Of those who were aware of the story, twice as many people stated that Senator McCain’s version of events was more believable than those reported in the Times story. . . .

CBS News: Poll Positions 3/4
Polling In Developing Nations
Polling is a very American activity -- it was invented here and exported along with democracy to much of the rest of the world. . . . This American export is now routinely used elsewhere in the world, both in elections and in non-election circumstances. But pollsters in developing democracies face difficulties unimaginable in the U.S. . . .

ABC News 3/4
Should She Stay or Should She Go?
Democrats by more than a 2-1 margin say Hillary Clinton should stay in the presidential race even if she loses either the Texas or Ohio primary on Tuesday. But if she fails in both, fewer than half say they'd want her to fight on. Many, in that case, have another idea for Clinton: the vice presidency. . . .

L.A. Times: Abigail Thernstrom & Stephan Thernstrom 3/2
Is race out of the race?
One of the most notable -- yet unremarked-on -- lessons of this year's Democratic presidential nominating contest is the demolition of the long-held belief that whites simply won't vote for black candidates for higher office. Before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, who could have predicted the remarkable outpouring of white support for Sen. Barack Obama? . . .

New York Times: Andrew Kohut 3/2
Getting to Know Them
If they turn out to be their party's nominees, both Barack Obama and John McCain need to educate voters about themselves in some pretty basic, and challenging, ways. The Democratic candidate has to give voters a better sense of what he stands for, and the Republican candidate has to assure members of his own party that he is conservative enough. . . .

New York Times: Robin Toner 3/1
Separating Gender, Political Identity in Clinton Story
Move beyond the tactical skirmishes in this campaign, and one of the most intriguing issues remains the influence of gender on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy. The questions are fundamental and -- even with modern polling technology -- almost impossible to answer. . . .

Washington Post: Linda Hirshman 3/1
For Hillary's Campaign, It's Been a Class Struggle
... Black voters of all socioeconomic classes are voting for the black candidate. Men are voting for the male candidate regardless of race or class. But even though this is also a year with the first major female presidential candidate, women are split every way they can be. They're the only voting bloc not voting their bloc. . . .

NPR/Kaiser/Harvard School of Public Health 2/29
Requiring Individuals to Have Health Insurance
This latest NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health survey examines how the public thinks about requiring individuals to have health insurance, just one of a variety of approaches often discussed as a means to reform the health care system and expand the number of insured Americans. . . . The vast majority of the public believes that the issue of the uninsured is a very serious problem. Perhaps as a result, two ideas that have often been discussed to address this issue are popular with the public. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 2/29
A New Hampshire Post-Mortem
Pollsters shed some light on their New Hampshire problem last night, with the Gallup Organization reporting that half the misstatement in its final pre-election poll was caused by its likely voter modeling. But other pollsters differed, agreeing chiefly that the causes of the meltdown remain elusive. . . .

Pew Research Center 2/28
Obama Has The Lead, But Potential Problems Too
Barack Obama is riding high as the March 4 primaries approach. Obama has moved out to a broad-based advantage over Hillary Clinton in the national Democratic primary contest and holds a 50%-43% lead over John McCain in a general election matchup. However, the survey results point to several potential hazards for Obama. . . .

Wall Street Journal 2/28
Young America May Lift Democrats, Shape Agendas
Behind the surge in voter turnout this year has been a particularly sharp rise among people younger than age 30. In 18 states that have voted in the past two months, younger voters made up 13% of the Democratic electorate, up from 9% in the nominating contests four years ago, an analysis of primary and caucus exit polls shows. . . .

Los Angeles Times 2/28
Taxpayers not planning rebate spending spree
Most Americans are planning to use their stimulus rebate checks to pay down existing debt or add to their savings, not to fuel the kind of consumer spending that would bolster the economy, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found. . . .

Bloomberg 2/27
Obama Surges Past Clinton, Trails McCain on Security
Barack Obama has surged ahead of Hillary Clinton in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, though he would face a tough general election against Republican John McCain, who enjoys a huge advantage on national-security issues. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 2/27
Lessons from Wisconsin
... As I argued last week, despite commentary to the contrary, Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) largely maintained their respective coalitions in the Potomac Primaries. In Wisconsin, really for the first time, Obama launched a successful assault on key elements of the Clinton coalition. . . .

New York Times 2/26
Obama’s Support Grows Broader
In the past two months, Senator Barack Obama has built a commanding coalition among Democratic voters, with especially strong support among men, and is now viewed by most Democrats as the candidate best able to beat Senator John McCain in the general election, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. After 40 Democratic primaries and caucuses, capped by a winning streak in 11 contests over the last two weeks, Mr. Obama has made substantial gains across most major demographic groups in the Democratic Party, including men and women, liberals and moderates, higher and lower income voters, and those with and without college degrees. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 2/25
Spoilage?
Ralph Nader's announcement of his latest tilt at the presidency promptly launched a fresh round of the parlor game called "spoiler" -- this round arguing that Nader could cost the Democratic nominee the presidency in 2008, as he allegedly did in 2000. . . .

Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life 2/25
U.S. Religious Landscape Survey
An extensive new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details the religious affiliation of the American public and explores the shifts taking place in the U.S. religious landscape. Based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid. . . .

New York Times: Andrew Kohut 2/25
In November, Will Age Matter?
As John McCain comes ever closer to securing the Republican nomination, his age has remained notably absent as a campaign issue. So far it has attracted so little attention that the network exit pollsters have not included even one question on the subject in 23 state surveys -- an extraordinary occurrence given that Senator McCain would be the oldest man ever to take office, if he were to win the presidency. . . .

Washington Post 2/24
Obama's Red-State Prospects Unclear
For Democrats desperate to reclaim the White House, the numbers have been tantalizing. . . . All along, Obama has argued that he can redraw the political map for Democrats by turning out unprecedented numbers of young voters and African Americans, and by attracting independents and even Republicans with his message of national reconciliation. But the picture emerging of his appeal in GOP strongholds and in swing states, even as he widens his delegate lead over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), is more complex than his claim to broad popularity in "red state" America would have one believe. . . .

Washington Post: Samuel Rodriguez Jr. 2/23
Our Flagging Faith in the GOP
It's immigration, stupid. That's the message from Hispanic faith voters -- the de facto swing vote in this year's presidential election. The candidate who hears and heeds it may well win the White House in November. And despite the patterns of the past, that candidate may not be a Republican. . . .

UVA: Rhodes Cook 2/22
Democrats and the Popular Vote
As the closely fought Democratic presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama moves deeper and deeper into the primary season, there is a growing sentiment that the nomination should go to the candidate that ultimately wins the popular vote. . . . It would probably take a judge wiser than Solomon to declare a hard and fast winner at the end of the primary season in June if different formulations of the popular vote produce different winners. . . .

Washington Post 2/22
Clinton Has Edge in Ohio; Race in Texas Deadlocked
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, facing a pair of big Democratic primary tests on March 4 that could determine the fate of her presidential candidacy, is deadlocked with Sen. Barack Obama here in Texas and holds a slender lead over him in Ohio, according to two new Washington Post-ABC News polls. The closeness of the races in Texas and Ohio underscores the challenges facing Clinton over the next 12 days of campaigning as she seeks to end Obama's double-digit winning streak in their battle for the Democratic nomination. . . .

Democracy Corps 2/20
Economic Anger
As anger about the economy shapes public reactions to growing economic troubles and the government’s response to these problems, the latest wave of Democracy Corps focus groups took a deep look at voters’ attitudes toward the economy. Their anger is deepening, and some participants were already saying that the new stimulus package looks like politicians throwing money at the problem when there are structural and long-term problems to address. . . .

Foreign Policy 2/20
The U.S. Military Index
In an exclusive new index, Foreign Policy and the Center for a New American Security surveyed more than 3,400 active and retired officers at the highest levels of command about the state of the U.S. military. They see a force stretched dangerously thin and a country ill-prepared for the next fight. . . .

ABC News 2/20
WI: Obama Makes Big Gains in Clinton's Core Support
Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in some of her core support groups, trounced her on electability and rode broad support from independents to victory in Wisconsin, while John McCain gained ground among conservatives in winning his party's primary. . . .

Washington Post 2/20
McCain's Rise May Upset Democrats' Western Strategy
For Democrats, 2008 was supposed to be the year of the Mountain West, when three years of relentless Republican attacks on undocumented immigrants would fuel a backlash among Hispanics that would change the playing field in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, and perhaps alter the landscape of presidential politics for a generation. But the emergence of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) as the likely standard-bearer for the GOP may have scrambled the equation, cooling a potential political revolt among Hispanics and sending Democrats in search of a new playbook. . . .

Polling Report: Tad Devine & Anthony Corrado 2/19
Delegate Selection and the Democrats' End Game
Super Tuesday 2008 was the largest single day of primary voting in American history. Democratic Party candidates competed for 1,678 delegates that day, and when all the votes were counted, the two frontrunners -- Senators Clinton and Obama -- were separated by a handful of delegates. . . . The Solomonic impact of proportional representation was experienced by the campaigns and witnessed by the voters. But that fact does not mean that the Democratic Party cannot still render a clear decision soon, or that the uncertainty that the process has produced is the inevitable end result. . . .

MinnPost.com 2/19
Where have all the polls gone?
Who knew that Mitt Romney would crush John McCain and Mike Huckabee in Minnesota on Super Tuesday? Who knew that Barack Obama would so easily smother Hillary Clinton? Who expected traffic jams outside polling places, voters casting ballots on Post-it Notes, and would-be voters giving up before they could get inside to vote? The answer: Not many of us. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 2/19
The SES Factor
My last couple of items have looked at race and sex as factors in the Democratic presidential campaign (and separately we've examined the role of ideology and religious belief on the Republican side). The Clinton-Obama contest includes another crucial variable to watch: socioeconomic status. . . .

Wall Street Journal 2/19
THE DECIDERS: White Men Hold Key for Democrats
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- In a Democratic presidential nomination race that pits a black man against a woman, the victor may well be determined by white men. The working-class white men who toil in the steel mills and auto plants here are part of a volatile cohort that has long helped steer the nation's political course. . . .

New York Times 2/18
Superdelegate Poll: Unsettled Ground
Despite Senator Barack Obama’s strong showing in recent primaries, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to hold onto more support from superdelegates, the Democratic Party elites, according to a survey by The New York Times and CBS News. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 2/15
The Role of Race
Race has been a riveting factor in the Democratic presidential primaries; even beyond sex, age and socioeconomics, it looks to be the single most powerful demographic in vote choices -- at least for nonwhites. . . .

Pew Research Center 2/14
Economic Discontent Deepens, Inflation Concerns Rise
Public views of the U.S. economy, already quite negative, have plummeted since January. Just 17% currently rate the nation's economy as excellent or good, down from 26% last month. The percentage of Americans rating the economy as "poor" has increased even more dramatically, from 28% to 45% in one month. . . .

Edison Media Research 2/14
Does Talk Radio Make a Difference?
Much has been made over the past few weeks of the possible influence of conservative talk radio upon the race to decide the 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee. While John McCain now appears to be the candidate, there has been a considerable backlash against McCain from several notable conservative radio talk show hosts. Have Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others had any impact upon the hearts and minds of Republican voters? With the help of the National Election Pool, Edison decided to find out -- and the results may surprise you. . . .

New York Times: David Leonhardt 2/14
Looking for Sure Political Bets
There is a professional poker player in Queens named Serge Ravitch who is convinced that he can make money off this year’s presidential election. But to explain what he’s up to, I want to start with a story about last week’s Democratic primary in California. . . .

BBC 2/14
Musharraf 'obstacle to stability'
A majority of Pakistanis say stability and security in Pakistan would improve if President Pervez Musharraf resigned, according to a BBC World Service poll. The survey of more than 1,400 people across Pakistan suggested support for Mr Musharraf has fallen dramatically. . . .

USAction and USAction Education Fund (pdf) 2/13
Swing Nation, Revised
In 2006, Independents voted overwhelmingly for change and for new priorities. A new survey of swing voters shows this vote every bit as angry and hungry for change as was the case then. As a result, a new program of investments finds overwhelming support among swing voters in this country. However, these voters’ biases against government are real and politically powerful and must be addressed proactively if this progressive project is to proceed. . . .

CBS News 2/13
Why Obama Won the Potomac Primary
Sen. Barack Obama swept to an easy victory in the Democratic presidential primaries in Virginia and Maryland chiefly on the strength of his support among African-American voters, according to CBS News exit polls in these two states. He was also aided by a small boost in turnout among young voters - another core support group. Despite talk that Obama might be gaining momentum by picking up support from John Edwards' supporters, and that the nature of the contest between him and Sen. Hillary Clinton might be changing, the exit polls demonstrate that his strength today came more from the make-up of these primary states than from any fundamental shift in this two-person contest. . . .

Washington Post 2/13
Cracks in Clinton Coalition May Mark a Turning Point
For more than a month, the grand coalitions of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama battled to a draw: women, rural Democrats and the white working class pairing almost evenly with African Americans, young voters and affluent, educated whites. Then came Virginia and Maryland. . . .

The Hill: Mark Mellman 2/13
The politics of identity
While politics, like all social activities, often implicates questions of identity, this primary season, chock-full of historic candidacies, affords many more opportunities than usual for identity politics, and for its evil twin -- outgroup prejudice. . . .

The Hill: David Hill 2/13
Lesson: Immigration is a dud issue
Many Republican pollsters and strategists have a blind spot on immigration. Yes, immigration often shows up as a top concern when we ask the “most important issue” question. But is it really salient to voters? Or are they just paying lip service to an issue they feel obligated to salute because of conservative media attention? . . .

Stateline.org 2/12
Obama's friends in unlikely places
One of the more striking patterns to emerge from Super Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses – and Nebraska’s last weekend – is how thoroughly U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) triumphed in the very red states of the Great Plains and Mountain West. . . .

ABC News: The Numbers 2/11
In the Democratic Race, Whither White Men
Tomorrow’s primaries may present an opportunity to look at the preference of white men for Obama over Clinton in some contests. While far from consistent in primaries, it’s been an important factor in their support profiles: Where white men favor Obama, he's far likelier to win. . . .

New York Times 2/11
As Voting Pattern Emerges, So Does Need to Break It
Senator Barack Obama scored impressive weekend victories over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in several Democratic presidential nomination contests. He is well positioned for this week’s voting in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. But neither candidate has achieved what is most important for deciding their battle. That is breaking the pattern of voter preferences that has structured their competition so far. . . .

Los Angeles Times 2/10
Technology peeks inside voters' minds
Wearing electrode-studded headbands to track their brain waves, two subjects watched the campaign commercial on a monitor in front of them. Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, clutching a microphone as she spoke to an approving crowd, promised that people in need would never be "invisible" to her. When the volunteers heard "invisible," the equipment registered a jolt of electricity in their frontal lobes. . . .

Washington Post: Douglas E. Schoen 2/10/08
The Disaffected Voters Who'll Decide 2008
It has been a totally confusing election -- and the 2008 race is only getting started. . . . In fact, there's a simple reason why the chattering classes have so consistently called this election wrong. They're missing the most important dynamic of this race: the appearance of a crucially important new bloc of voters who are clamoring for bold, nonpartisan solutions and are disgusted with today's Washington politics. . . .

 

 

 

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