Sunday, March 16, 2008

Obama's electability & coattail advantage over Hillary

silver spring recently did an excellent analysis of the SurveyUSA numbers that show Obama has greater coattails than Hillary. This coattail effect was shown last week when Democrats took control of Dennis Hastert's former seat in Illinois. Regardless of who's president, unless the Democrats get a supermajority, expect to see the remaining Senate Republicans filibuster all good progressive legislation, especially under a Democratic president. So the issue of coattails becomes important.

I want to extend what silver spring did by looking at Rasmussen's state numbers. Now, I trust SurveyUSA the most, as they've consistently shown themselves to get very accurate results. In 2004, they did the best job of any polling firm, and their track record's holding this year too. The second best pollster from 2004 is Rasmussen Reports. Let's look at their state numbers. I've bolded which Dem does better against McCain in each state.

StateDemRepDem Margin
CaliforniaObama 53%McCain 38%Win by 15%
Clinton 46%McCain 39%Win by 7%
ColoradoObama 46%McCain 39%Win by 7%
Clinton 35%McCain 49%Lose by 14%
ConnecticutObama 50%McCain 38%Win by 12%
Clinton 47%McCain 44%Win by 3%
FloridaObama 43%McCain 47%Lose by 4%
Clinton 40%McCain 47%Lose by 7%
IowaObama 44%McCain 41%Win by 3%
Clinton 37%McCain 47%Lose by 10%
MichiganObama 41%McCain 44%Lose by 3%
Clinton 43%McCain 46%Lose by 3%
MinnesotaObama 53%McCain 38%Win by 15%
Clinton 42%McCain 47%Lose by 5%
MissouriObama 40%McCain 42%Lose by 2%
Clinton 42%McCain 43%Lose by 1%
NevadaObama 50%McCain 38%Win by 12%
Clinton 40%McCain 49%Lose by 9%
New HampshireObama 49%McCain 36%Win by 13%
Clinton 43%McCain 41%Win by 2%
New JerseyObama 43%McCain 45%Lose by 2%
Clinton 50%McCain 39%Win by 11%
New MexicoObama 44%McCain 44%Tie
Clinton 38%McCain 50%Lose by 12%
OhioObama 40%McCain 46%Lose by 6%
Clinton 40%McCain 46%Lose by 6%
OregonObama 49%McCain 40%Win by 9%
Clinton 42%McCain 45%Lose by 3%
PennsylvaniaObama 43%McCain 44%Lose by 1%
Clinton 44%McCain 46%Lose by 2%
South DakotaObama 38%McCain 48%Lose by 10%
Clinton 38%McCain 50%Lose by 12%
VirginiaObama 44%McCain 49%Lose by 5%
Clinton 41%McCain 51%Lose by 10%
WashingtonObama 44%McCain 45%Lose by 1%
Clinton 40%McCain 48%Lose by 8%
WisconsinObama 44%McCain 43%Win by 1%
Clinton 38%McCain 50%Lose by 12%

And for you visual types, here it is in graphical form, based on the Democratic margin of victory.

In 14 of those states Rasmussen surveyed, Obama outperforms Hillary against McCain. In only 3 states does Hillary do better, and only in one of them does she actually have the lead over McCain, in New Jersey. And no, a Democrat is not going to lose New Jersey, no matter what some Hillary supporters are saying. A "safe" blue state is not suddenly flipping red in 2008.

Now, regarding what I said earlier about the polls agreeing? When do SurveyUSA and Rasmussen agree on who does better against McCain? Well, pretty much, they agree who does better almost every single time. So let's look at who does better against McCain, starting from Obama's most favorable to Clinton's most favorable, per Rasmussen, with the SurveyUSA margin in parentheses. I've also bolded the ones where there's a key Senate race going on.

Colorado, Obama +21 (SUSA: Obama +15)
Nevada, Obama +21 (SUSA: Obama +13)
Minnesota, Obama +20 (SUSA: Obama +3)
Iowa, Obama +13 (SUSA: Obama +14)
Wisconsin, Obama +13 (SUSA: Obama +7)
New Mexico, Obama +12 (SUSA: Obama +7)
Oregon, Obama +12 (SUSA: Obama +13)
New Hampshire, Obama +11 (SUSA: Obama +10)
Connecticut, Obama +9 (SUSA: Obama +11)
California, Obama +8 (SUSA: Obama +1)
Washington, Obama +7 (SUSA: Obama +16)
Virginia, Obama +5 (SUSA: Obama +10)
Florida, Obama +3 (SUSA: Clinton +11)
South Dakota, Obama +2 (SUSA: Obama +8)
Ohio, Tie (SUSA: Tie)
Missouri, Clinton +1 (SUSA: Clinton +2)
New Jersey, Clinton +13 (SUSA: Clinton +5)

Only three states give contradictory data, and with the margins so close, you can't really say that there's contradictory data for Michigan. In the other two, Rasmussen has Obama doing significantly better than Hillary.

Florida, Obama +3 (SUSA: Clinton +11)
Michigan, Tie (SUSA: Obama +1)
Pennsylvania, Obama +1 (SUSA: Clinton +6)

(Yes, I know, New Jersey has a Senate race too. But after Estabrook dropped out, in terms of it being a "key" Senate race, well... it's not. For now.)

Now, just because Obama or Hillary does better than McCain in those numbers I've listed above doesn't mean they'll actually win those states. Sometimes it's a matter of not losing by as much as the other person.

Strangely enough, both Rasmussen and SurveyUSA show Clinton and Obama performing the same against McCain, though Rasmussen has both of them losing by 6 points to McCain, while SurveyUSA has both of them handily beating him by 10 points! Now that's unexpected, unless you think that Ohioans really don't care which person's the Democratic candidate. But that still doesn't explain going from losing the state by 6 to winning the state by 10.

But for the most part, the two polling firms agree on who does better against McCain, thus making us more sure in stating that that candidate really does indeed have an advantage over the other one. And in terms of possible coattails, it's almost pretty obvious Obama will do a better job. Especially in Colorado and Oregon, where both firms show Obama does considerably better than Clinton against McCain, the coattail factor may be critical in ensuring a Democrat wins those two Senate seats, especially with the polling in those two Senate races not exactly in our favor right now.

Of course, all this just a snapshot in time, and things can change if some revelations come to light in the next couple weeks or months on any of the candidates. But for now, it does seem that the talk about Obama being a map-changer is justified by the polling data, from both SurveyUSA and Rasmussen.


Wellstone said...

Interesting masturbatory exercise.

It presumes, of course, that Obama's margins are his to keep from now on.

As we've seen this weekend from the absolute Obama firestorm caused by the attack on Obama's PASTOR by the Right wing media machine, Obama has a glass jaw.

Two or three solid shots, and he's going down below Hillary's numbers everywhere.

When are you Obamas going to wake up and smell the coffee? You're send a lightweight into a heavyweight prizefight.

Anonymous said...

Like Clinton isn't going to have her skeletons brought out and paraded around? The difference is people *like* Obama.

Jeffro Bordine said...

Obama will not be unbloodied, but even after all the scurrilous attacks on him by proxy --who the heck cares what his preacher has said on occasion?-- he can't begin to approach the negatives Sen. Clinton brings. Firestorm? Maybe in the world of Sean Hannity worshippers, but they're never going to vote for a Democrat anyhow. This whole episode smacks of such rank racism as to be sickening. What about that nutty anti-Catholic preacher McCain embraces with such fervor, the guy who calls the Pope a whore? Where's the media? Why do lunatics like Pat Robertson always get a pass for suggesting that God punishes America with hurricanes and we ought to assassiinate Hugo Chavez? Oh, I forgot. White preachers can say whatever they want.

The race is over. All the Clintonites can do now is slime the expected nominee, hope he loses in November, then say, `We told you so" and reboot for 2012.

In short, the Clintons would rather shatter the party, trash the most charismatic Democrat to emerge in a generation and pave the road to the White House for John McCain than do the noble thing.

I've had ambivalent feelings about the Clintons for many years. I now actively dislike them and see them as bad for the progressive movement. No, check that. They're horrible for the progressive movement.