Even the Fox News poll finds evidence of Republicans down on Republicans. Two new polls in Virginia, including a Republican sponsored poll that had eyes rolling, do little to change our polling model's take on the governor's race. And SurveyUSA finds something strange in Kansas. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, October 24, 2013.
AMERICANS SEE ANTI-OBAMACARE EFFORTS AS BACKFIRING - Dana Blanton: "Six voters in ten describe implementation of ObamaCare as 'a joke,' and more voters than not say problems with the government’s health insurance website are so bad someone should be fired, according to a Fox News national poll. The new poll, released Wednesday, also finds a majority continues to dislike President Obama’s signature achievement: 51 percent of voters use negative terms to describe the health care law, saying it is either 'a step backward' or 'disastrous.' That’s down two percentage points from 53 percent in August….Voters are almost six times as likely to think the government shutdown and Republican attempts to delay or defund ObamaCare did more to hurt (39 percent) than help (7 percent) the GOP’s chances of killing the law." [Fox]
ONE NEW VIRGINIA POLL SHOWS MCAULIFFE LEADING... - "A statewide poll released Wednesday, Oct. 23, by the Old Dominion University Social Science Research Center shows Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe with a significant lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race for Virginia governor...ODU researchers randomly queried 670 likely voters by cell phone and landline and determined that support for McAuliffe currently stands at 44.1 percent. That gives him a 7.2 percentage point lead over Cuccinelli, who was supported by 36.9 percent of respondents. Libertarian Rob Sarvis was supported by 6.9 percent of likely voters, a substantial number given Virginia's tendency to shun third party candidates, the poll concluded" [ODU]
And another... - A new automated poll from Wenzel Strategies, conducted for a pro-Cuccinelli conservative group, and posted Thursday on Breitbart.com, found McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli by a single percentage point (41 to 40 percent) with Sarvis at 10 percent and 9 percent undecided. If nothing else, the Wenzel result, along with a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted a day earlier giving McAuliffe a 17 point lead (50 to 33 percent), provide an inadvertent commentary on the current reliability of automated polling. [Ending Spending Action Fund]
Wenzel skepticism erupts:
-National Journal polling editor Steven Shepard reposted a link to a compilation of his tweets February that reviewed Wenzel's 2012 record and noted eight instances in which Wenzel polls significantly overstated the standing of Republican candidates in mid to late October. [Storify]
-Washington Post polling director Scott Clement reduced the 2012 Wenzel record to a table that explained "Why you should ignore Wenzel's (R) Va. poll." [@SFCpoll]
-The headline of Dave Weigel's write-up of the poll read simply, "Pollster That's Always Wrong Has Cuccinelli Surging in Virginia." [Slate]
Pollster model shows McAuliffe leading by 8.5 - The HuffPost Pollster poll tracking model, which based on all available public polls, gives gives McAuliffe a lead of 8.5 percentage points (44.9 to 36.4 percent). Neither the Wenzel poll nor the Rasmussen automated survey conducted earlier in the week (showing McAuliffe leading by 17 percentage points) makes much of a dent in its trend lines. The poll tracking model, designed by Stanford Professor Simon Jackman, detects that the two polls by Wenzel show evidence of "house effects" favoring Cuccinelli and attempts to control for them. relative to the industry average in Virginia. [Pollster]
Some wondered about missing "unsure" category - Some of the Twitter commentary wondered why some of the questions on the Wenzel poll, including a series asking about the perceived ideologies of McAuliffe, Cuccinelli and Sarvis lacked a standard "don't know" category. We asked Fritz Wenzel, who provided this answer via email: "We don’t offer those options on demographic questions, and questions related to philosophy we normally treat similarly to demographic questions because of how we crosstab the data."
DE BLASIO HOLDS MASSIVE LEAD - Emily Ngo: "New York City voters are poised to choose Bill de Blasio as their next mayor by a landslide ratio of almost 3 to 1 amid broad consensus that he is the best choice to improve schools, create affordable housing and give the middle class and poor a better break than they've had in the Bloomberg years, an amNewYork-News 12 poll found. Democrat de Blasio leads Republican Joe Lhota 64 percent to 23 percent, with 4 percent choosing other candidates and 8 percent undecided." [Newsday]
LIMITED CONCERN ABOUT ONLINE SNOOPING - Art Swift: "Despite revelations this year that the National Security Agency has been monitoring Americans' activities online, U.S. Internet users are not as concerned about the government's having access to suspects' home computers or email accounts as they were in 2000 -- during an earlier Internet age. When asked three separate questions relating to the government's ability to "tap" into a home computer and to monitor email, Internet users express varying degrees of concern. In all cases, however, they are less likely to say they are 'very concerned' than when Gallup first asked these questions in 2000." [Gallup]
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THURSDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-49 percent of young people ages 14--24 report at least one brush with online harassment. [AP/HuffPost]
-75 percent of U.S. Catholics say reforming the Vatican is an important priority for Pope Francis. [Pew Research]
-Of 47 percent of Facebook users who say they get news there, just 22 percent think of it as a useful way to get news. [Pew Research]
-Another poll gives Connolly a narrow lead in Boston. [Globe]
-Greg Sargent plots the "implosion of the GOP brand" in one chart. [WaPost's Plum Line]