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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

SUSA Polls Suggest a Swing State Bounce for Kerry

Posted by DavidNYC

Hmm... is there evidence of a swing state bounce for Kerry? Check out the polls below & decide for yourselves.

A huge jump for Kerry in Pennsylvania (PDF, likely voters, June in parens):

Kerry: 53 (47)
Bush: 41 (46)
Other/Undecided: 7 (7)
(MoE: ��3.7%)

This lead is clearly well outside the MoE. Part of it surely must be because the June sample was split equally between Dems and Republicans (41% apiece), while the August poll was 46% Dem and just 34% GOP. Ruy Teixeira has ably explained why it doesn't make sense to weight polls by party ID - there are a lot of reasons not to do so. (For example, one reason why more Dems might be responding is that there is simply a surge in people identifying as Democrats.) I'd be very curious to see if this trend holds in SUSA's next PA poll.

Meanwhile, Arlen Specter saw a big drop in his support, but challenger Joe Hoeffel seems unable to increase his poll numbers.

Another big jump - and a surprisingly close race - in Tennessee (PDF, likely voters, June in parens):

Kerry: 46 (41)
Bush: 48 (51)
Other/Undecided: 6 (8)
(MoE: ��4.2%)

Like many other observers, I've mostly written off TN for this election - and for the future - on the presidential level. (Don't get me wrong, though: I definitely think this is a state where we can compete strongly on the congressional level.) Al Gore's residual Tennessee background definitely kept the state closer than it otherwise would have been in 2000, so a poll result like this is certainly a surprise. So I'm still going to follow the "This is just one poll" rule - if you don't, you wind up standing on the ledge of a building because of one wacky New Jersey or California survey which shows George Bush one point behind.

And lastly, good old Washington State, where it's all over but the voting (PDF, likely voters, June in parens):

Kerry: 51 (49)
Bush: 43 (44)
Other/Undecided: 5 (7)
(MoE: ��4.2%)

I've grown pretty convinced that Bush has no shot in WA. It definitely has to be considered a second-tier swing state: If we win it, it doesn't mean we've won the whole thing, but if we've lost it, it almost certainly means we're hitting the Jack. I don't think WA is as hopeless for Bush as LA is for us, but it's approaching that territory.

It also appears that the Senate campaign of one-time giant-slayer Republican George Nethercutt is crashing and burning as well. SUSA shows him down eleven points. It's hard to prise apart cause and effect here, but Bush certainly isn't helping Nethercutt and vice-versa. Speaking of which, an internal poll conducted by the campaign of the incumbent, Sen. Patty Murray, showed Kerry ahead 49-41. (Available on Polling Report.)

Some general notes: SUSA only asks horserace questions, so no favorability ratings for any of these polls. Also, the low number of undecideds may have a lot to do with how SUSA words their questions: "If the election for President of the United States were today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, who would you vote for?" (Argh - as a grammar geek, it infuriates me that they say "who" and not "whom," especially since they manage to get the subjunctive "were" right.) Anyhow, I think that wording exerts as much pressure as possible, so it may mask the true number of undecideds. But given that undecideds are expected to break our way, this probably doesn't matter much.

Posted at 08:05 AM in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington | Technorati


Do you know what Nethercutt's name recognition #'s are?

Posted by: Scott at August 4, 2004 01:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't have any recent numbers. A late April poll done for the Murray campaign had Nethercutt's fave-unfave-don't know ratings at 28-22-50. (By contrast, Murray's DK was just 10%.) An EMILY's List poll from all the way back in November had Nethercutt's DK's at 57%.

I'm sure his numbers are better now, but every poll shows Murray with a commanding (and unslipping) lead. There was a time where Murray appeared potentially threatened, but that time has since passed.

Posted by: DavidNYC at August 4, 2004 03:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You were upset about "who" but not "for"? Typical Kerryite flip-flopping! Are you a grammar snob or not?

Posted by: ESL at August 4, 2004 08:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Posted by: harold dudley at October 19, 2004 10:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment