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Saturday, September 11, 2004

Two More SUSA Polls (MO & PA)

Posted by DavidNYC

There's no way I'm going to be able to keep up with all the polls. The prolific Survey USA makes things especially difficult for an obsessive poll-watcher like myself - they use an entirely automated system to collect their samples, so they can keep churning out polls as fast as their robo-dialers can make calls. They've released two more swing state polls today (in addition to several that cover non-swing states). Hopefully I'll get the numbers in order this time.

First up is Missouri (PDF) (likely voters, mid-August in parens):

Kerry: 46 (47)
Bush: 48 (48)
Other/undecided: 5 (5)
(MoE: ��3.9%)

As in Ohio, Bush and Kerry do almost equally well among their respective bases (90%+ for both), and Bush leads among independents, 49-40.

Perhaps not surprisingly, 80% of Bush voters say they are voting "for" Bush, while only 19% say they are voting "against" Kerry. For Kerry, though, only 41% say they are voting for him, while 56% say they are voting against Bush. I wish SUSA included questions about favorability, because then these numbers would mean a lot more. If Bush's unfavorables are high, then this sort of split is nothing to be concerned about - it means the "anti" vote will come out in force.

SUSA's results also show a deadlocked Governor's race. In a somewhat unusual development, the incumbent Democrat Bob Holden actually lost his primary to challenger Claire McCaskill. McCaskill, though, went from a five-point margin against Republican Matt Blunt in August to a one-point margin this time around. We can definitely hold on to the Governor's mansion here. The Senate outlook, however, is fairly bleak.

Missouri is not a terribly likely pickup for us - I certainly think we have a better shot at (bigger) Ohio. And I don't see us taking MO but not OH. Nonetheless, this is a state in which we want to remain competitive, given the other important races here. And a final note: This poll was taken not long after the Republican convention, at a point when Bush should be riding highest. So the fact that things are still so close here is very good news for us.

And now, Pennsylvania (PDF) (likely voters, early August in parens):

Kerry: 49 (53)
Bush: 47 (41)
Other/undecided: 5 (7)
(MoE: ��3.8%)

Those trendlines sure are ugly, but a lot has happened since this poll was taken - not least of all the Swift Boat Liars and the Republican convention (which appear to have had a greater affect here than in MO). At the same time, I don't think any reasonable person could have expected Kerry to win PA by 12 points, so that early August poll strikes me as something of an outlier - it was taken right after the DNC.

Speaking of the Swift Vets, SUSA shows those with a military/veteran background preferring Bush 50-46 in this poll. The previous poll had Kerry winning this group 52-42. I'd caution against reading too much into this particular observation, though, for two reasons: First, again, the August poll seems too pro-Kerry to me, and second, for polling sub-groups, margins of error can skyrocket because you're likely dealing with tiny numbers of people.

As above, both candidates do just about equally well with their base (86% for Bush, 82% for Kerry). I bring this up again partly because SUSA actually provides this info, but also because a lot of polls seem to show Bush doing significantly better with Republicans than Kerry does with Democrats (on the order of 15 points or so). At least we aren't seeing evidence of that here.

One side note: The Senate results again are quite disappointing here - SUSA has Hoeffel back 18 points. Like many other people, I wonder how things might have been different had Arlen Specter lost his primary.

Posted at 12:21 AM in Missouri, Pennsylvania | Technorati


Not looking bad for Kerry. MO is still close. Kerry maintains a small lead in PA. Looks like the convention effect has worn off Bush really fast. Thank god. Now we can return to the normal campaign.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 11, 2004 05:46 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I expect for Pres. Bush to get a small bounce this weekend due to the 9/11 anniversary.

Posted by: David at September 11, 2004 10:55 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Check the state abbreviations in your title for this post.

Posted by: Marsden at September 11, 2004 12:21 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Missouri = MO. ;)

MO is going to come down to GOTV. I think that crappy Gallup poll showing Bush with a huge lead here gave people the wrong impression. A win for Kerry is certainly possible in MO.

Posted by: Brandon R. at September 11, 2004 05:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Sigh... well, I got the numbers right, even if I got the abbreviations wrong!

Posted by: DavidNYC at September 11, 2004 06:10 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment