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Friday, June 02, 2006

CA-50: SUSA Poll Shows Narrow Lead for Bilbray

Posted by DavidNYC

SUSA just released what I imagine will be their final poll in CA-50 (likely voters, early May in parens):

Busby: 45 (45)
Bilbray: 47 (45)
Other: 9 (9)
Undecided: 0 (1)
(MoE: ±4.7%)

Bilbray's bump accounts for a better showing among independents: Busby previously led among that group by 54-19. Now it's down to 56-31. Given the negativity of the campaign, I'm surprised that Bilbray jumped 12 points among indies, who (at least CW tells us) are the kinds of voters most likely to be turned off by negative campaigning. Then again, most indies actually do identify with a particular party - there are very few "true" independents. So these might just be slightly hesitant Republicans coming home to roost.

SUSA also makes the following observation:

Bilbray leads by 14 points among voters age 65 plus; Busby leads by 20 points among voters younger than 35. The two candidates are effectively tied among voters 35 to 64. Should younger voters, historically unreliable, vote in unexpectedly large numbers: advantage Busby. Should older voters vote in disproportionately large numbers: advantage Bilbray.

I never like it when we have to rely on young voters turning out. It just never happens. What I don't understand, though, is why young people have flocked to Busby in the last month, while older folks have turned toward Bilbray. In the previous SUSA poll, all four age brackets were pretty evenly divided between both candidates. Any thoughts?

Stepping back a bit, I'm not sure that any poll this late in the game will tell us anything we didn't already know in such a close race. It's going to be a nailbiter no matter what. I will say this, though: If Busby loses in a squeaker, the tradmed will talk about how Dems "failed to capitalize" on all manner of GOP sins and flaws. But this storyline will miss an important point: If Democrats across the map improve over their baselines as much as Busby has in CA-50, we will do quite well in November.

But as far as June 6th goes, I'm not making any predictions, except to say that this one is gonna be close - darn close.

(Thanks to AnthonyLA.)

Posted at 09:57 PM in 2006 Elections - House, California | Technorati

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I'd bet money that Bilbray's momentum, and the age gap between Bilbraby and Busby supporters, is the direct consequence of the immigration issue. Were it not for immigration front-and-center, I have little doubt Busby would win this seat. Unfortunately, I fear that could be the case with any number of battleground House races come fall.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 2, 2006 11:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

A race this close this late comes down to one thing: Getting Out The Vote!

Why do I get the sinking feeling that I'm going to have to stay up until 4AM on Wednesday morning? Oy...

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 3, 2006 01:27 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The suggestion that the age gap is due to the immigration issue is interesting, but I don't think it's actually the case. Maybe an excuse, but not the real reason. Knowing the 50th District as a local, the age gap is most likely due to ingrained voting habits among older voters. Many of these voters have voted Republicant for so long that cognitive dissonances such as corruption and cronyism, national security, and social services (Social Security and Medicare) are dismissed and not even considered incongruous with supporting Republicants. I'm happy that Busby is doing as well as she is among the older age group! Changing those voting patterns will take time and a successful incumbency by Busby.

If this poll is accurate, then Busby has her Democratic label going for her. Why? For two reasons. First, when Democrats are strongly motivated as a party, historically they know how to turn out their base and to court undecided voters. Second, this particular campaign's different interest group supporters also have been mobilizing strongly.

I'm not promising a win, folks. But I am telling you to hold your breath and wait and see. While this appears to be a toss-up, I would give the edge to Busby despite Bilbray's advantage as the Republicant on the ballot. Though I will acknowledge that Republicants are running scared and that fear is a very motivating factor in these situations.

And David, your assessment of what this means, win or lose, is right on! Despite the local disgust with Cunningham's corruption, a shift is happening in voter baselines as this district demonstrates.

Posted by: phonatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 3, 2006 02:14 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well that means that Busby will have to make an outreach to seniors with a final ad or somthing about a Medicare plan or somthing of that nature.

Posted by: D in FL. [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 3, 2006 12:32 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, SUSA's last 2 polls on the Dem Gov Primary show some widely varying results, although they are just a week apart. The latest poll is closer to the recent Field Poll and PPIC polls, I question the wide swings between the two SUSA polls in the "Other" and "Undecided" categories.

Angelides 44%
Westly 32%
Other 17%
Undecided 7%
(MOE = 4.8%)
Angelides 41%
Westly 37%
Other 1%
Undecided 21%
(MOE 4.3%)

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 3, 2006 01:04 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I am having a difficult time understanding this poll. as I read it, the poll shows Bilbray getting 55% of the African American vote. that sounds outrageously high but maybe someone who knows this district better than I do can explain it to me. it also shows him getting 53% of the Hispanic vote which seems very, very high for an anti immigration republican.

Posted by: mike_charlton [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 3, 2006 04:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

That is bizarre, Mike, but it may just be random. The error on the numbers for black and Hispanic voters is going to be much higher than the 4.7% overall sampling error because the absolute numbers in the sample are so small. This was a sample with 448 likely voters, of whom 3%, or about 13, were black and 7%, or about 31, were Hispanic.

Posted by: KCinDC [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 3, 2006 05:21 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This should help out Busby:

"Bush approval ratings hit new low in California
Poll reflects growing discontent with president, Congress
Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Washington -- President Bush's job approval ratings have fallen to a new low among California voters, as Republicans once loyal to the commander-in-chief are abandoning him over issues from the Iraq war to immigration to runaway federal spending, according to a Field Poll released today.

Even as Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has seen his ratings start to rebound among state voters, 28 percent of Californians now approve of the job Bush is doing, while 65 percent of state voters disapprove."
The poll is here (having a problem with direct/direct link see "latest poll":

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2006 02:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I really think Bush and Cheney need to fly out there for an election eve appearance with Bilbray, like Bush did for Kilgore in the Virginia gubernatorial election.

Posted by: KCinDC [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2006 08:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Naw, no way they'd make the same mistake twice..then again...LOL
Don't think Arnie will be hosting either.

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2006 10:32 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You're probably right, Predictor. But at least Cheney was embracing Pombo a while back. Hopefully he'll keep that up.

Posted by: KCinDC [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 5, 2006 10:41 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Keep in mind that Busby's "gaffe" occurred after many absentee ballots had already been cast.
The AM Radio is ravaging Busby so she called them, here is here audio response:

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 5, 2006 06:55 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

In case you can't navigate that or it doesn't direct link, try this:

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 5, 2006 06:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment