Monday, September 24, 2007

SurveyUSA: Edwards does best in swing & red states

(Also diaried on DailyKos here and here, with additional commentary.)

SurveyUSA finally came out with a new batch of state polls where they didn't just ask about Hillary Clinton, but about all three Democratic frontrunners, matched up against Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Mitt Romney. They did not test John McCain, and given his Q3 numbers so far, that may have been for a reason. Finally, we can do a candidate comparison. The national comparison jamess did earlier this month was useful, but since the election is decided state by state, and not by national vote, these are much more informative.

The states surveyed were Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Iowa, and Missouri. All states that voted for Bush in 2004, and all but Iowa also went for Bush in 2000. What happens in 2008?

For each GOP candidate, in the margin column I've bolded the race that would give us the best margin of victory, or at least the closest race when all our candidates would lose. Remember, Democrats aren't even supposed to be competitive in some of these states.


Clinton 47%Giuliani 48%Lose by 1%
Obama 39%Giuliani 52%Lose by 13%
Edwards 47%Giuliani 48%Lose by 1%
Clinton 48%Thompson 47%Win by 1%
Obama 42%Thompson 50%Lose by 8%
Edwards 52%Thompson 43%Win by 9%
Clinton 52%Romney 42%Win by 10%
Obama 45%Romney 46%Lose by 1%
Edwards 56%Romney 36%Win by 20%

While everyone would lose to Rudy, the margins for Edwards against Thompson and Romney are amazing. He's well outside the margin of error in victory in those match-ups. Interesting that both he and Hillary would barely lose to Rudy 48%-47% here, but when matched up against Thompson or Romney, Edwards' leads over them are significantly greater than Hillary's leads over them.


Clinton 50%Giuliani 42%Win by 8%
Obama 50%Giuliani 42%Win by 8%
Edwards 53%Giuliani 39%Win by 14%
Clinton 50%Thompson 44%Win by 6%
Obama 51%Thompson 41%Win by 10%
Edwards 54%Thompson 37%Win by 17%
Clinton 50%Romney 43%Win by 7%
Obama 51%Romney 41%Win by 10%
Edwards 54%Romney 38%Win by 16%

In a nutshell, we're taking Iowa back. This is the state that's been getting the most attention from candidates from both sides of the aisle. There shouldn't be name recognition problems with the frontrunners by now. We can clearly see here that any of our three Democratic frontrunners would easily win back Iowa. But the difference between winning by single digits versus winning by double digits can make a huge difference in downticket races. Wanna get rid of Steve King (IA-05) or Tom Latham (IA-04)? A Democrat at the top of the ticket who would win in a blowout would make their lives that much tougher.


Clinton 40%Giuliani 52%Lose by 12%
Obama 40%Giuliani 51%Lose by 11%
Edwards 40%Giuliani 50%Lose by 10%
Clinton 40%Thompson 53%Lose by 13%
Obama 40%Thompson 50%Lose by 10%
Edwards 39%Thompson 46%Lose by 7%
Clinton 46%Romney 45%Win by 1%
Obama 47%Romney 41%Win by 6%
Edwards 48%Romney 34%Win by 14%

Democrats all have a very rough time in Kansas. Unless Mitt Romney is the candidate. Again, Edwards would crush Romney by double digits, when usually it's the Democrat that would lose by double digits here.


Clinton 41%Giuliani 51%Lose by 10%
Obama 36%Giuliani 54%Lose by 18%
Edwards 43%Giuliani 50%Lose by 7%
Clinton 45%Thompson 50%Lose by 5%
Obama 37%Thompson 54%Lose by 17%
Edwards 45%Thompson 44%Win by 1%
Clinton 46%Romney 46%Tie
Obama 43%Romney 45%Lose by 2%
Edwards 48%Romney 38%Win by 10%

This state is not kind to Obama. Hillary doesn't fare too well either. Again, the only sizable win for a Democrat is when Edwards is pitted against Romney.


Clinton 41%Giuliani 52%Lose by 11%
Obama 32%Giuliani 59%Lose by 27%
Edwards 40%Giuliani 50%Lose by 10%
Clinton 41%Thompson 54%Lose by 13%
Obama 34%Thompson 60%Lose by 26%
Edwards 38%Thompson 50%Lose by 12%
Clinton 45%Romney 46%Lose by 1%
Obama 36%Romney 53%Lose by 17%
Edwards 45%Romney 39%Win by 6%

The only way we're winning Alabama is if Edwards is pitted against Romney. Otherwise, we can probably write it off. But hey, it is Alabama, after all. If we're actually competitive in Alabama, I don't think we have to worry too much about winning the Presidency. It would then be a matter of how big the electoral vote rout would be.


Clinton 45%Giuliani 48%Lose by 3%
Obama 46%Giuliani 44%Win by 2%
Edwards 47%Giuliani 42%Win by 5%
Clinton 48%Thompson 45%Win by 3%
Obama 48%Thompson 45%Win by 3%
Edwards 50%Thompson 40%Win by 10%
Clinton 51%Romney 40%Win by 9%
Obama 51%Romney 40%Win by 9%
Edwards 56%Romney 32%Win by 24%

Hillary vs. Rudy seems to be the only way we can lose Missouri. Just think, Missouri swinging back to the blue column. The Romney numbers, especially, are truly staggering. Currently, Missouri's Congressional delegation has a 5-4 Republican majority. A solid win for the Democrat could again wash away one of those Republicans in the House.

So, the latest batch of SurveyUSA polls show that time after time again, Edwards performs best out of the three frontrunners in the head-to-head match-ups against the GOP frontrunners (sans McCain). And these differences cannot really be attributed to name recognition; Gallup showed that all three Democratic frontrunners have pretty high name recognition, though Hillary's is the highest. But Edwards and Obama are pretty much tied in name recognition.

Yes, these polls are just a snapshot in time, and things can change, but right now, it does seem there is a noticeable gap between Edwards and Hillary and Obama when it comes to who can win these states, or at least make them close races.

So in the final tally, when comparing one of the 18 possible match-ups against each of our frontrunners, how many would we win?

John Edwards: win 12, lose 6
Hillary Clinton: win 8, lose 9, tie 1
Barack Obama: win 7, lose 11

So, with these new numbers, let the "electability" arguments flare up once more.

(BTW, special treat if you click on the graphs themselves.)

Note: For all those who want to bash SurveyUSA as being unreliable, they were the most accurate polling firm in 2004 for the presidency. Nailed it 29 out of 30 times, with no bad misses, and with 18 of those polls being the CLOSEST out of ALL the major polling firms. Rasmussen came in second. Both these firms use recorded messages instead of a live operator asking these questions.

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