Monday, April 21, 2008

Pennsylvania Polling (and Poll)

Finally! It feels like we've been trapped in some version of hell these past six weeks as everyone tried to manufacture news from the mutterings of candidate surrogates. It's like a breath of fresh air to actually focus on voting again. So what to expect tomorrow? Here are the recent poll numbers in PA (aggregate of seven polls taken between 4/18-20):
Obama: 43.7%
Clinton: 49.1%
Average undecideds: 6.1%
But, as you know, the aggregates fail to tell the full story. You can tell more by what the trend is. So, for recent polls, here's what the movement looks like:
PPP: Clinton +8%
Zogby: Clinton +4%
Rasmussen: Clinton +2%
Quinnipiac: Clinton +1%
Strategic Vision: Obama +2%
ARG: Obama +7%
SurveyUSA: Obama +8%
All of those include debate before and afters, so it captures an important spread. I think the thing to look at are the undecideds. Based on what the Pollster brains believe, they're likely to favor Clinton. This corresponds to what we have seen recently, particularly in Ohio and Texas. Franklin believes it's because undecideds skew older, which is good evidence.

On the other hand, the big question is: have the pollsters weighted their numbers correctly? Pennsylvania is a closed-primary state, so pollsters have been adjusting for Clinton's strength among Dems. But wait! There was a huge rush of new voters (200k+) who are likely disproportionately Obama voters. How disproportionate? How much will the Obama ground game affect turnout?

Here's my guess. Let's call Clinton's lead six points. She will pick up another two points from late-deciders. Obama will offset that with new voters and a better ground game--though since Hillary has had six weeks to prepare, his advantage will be less. Give him 2-3 points back, and I see Hillary winning a 5%-6% vote.

(That, of course, creates a morass in the primary, with neither candidate able to claim an outright win. But Hillary will pick up just a few delegates and perhaps 150,000 popular votes, both of which put her further in the hole.)

But that's just one blogger's opinion. What thinks you?

1 comment:

The Bar Stool said...

Penn. will be one of the states where the polls are significantly off the mark and Obama wins in a "surprise." Many of these polls don't access the younger & minority Obama supporters in adequate numbers to guarantee accuracy.