US presidential primaries: week off edition

We’re now half way through a quiet period in the presidential primaries calendar, which will end with the last major contests in Texas and Ohio next Tuesday. The graphs below show Democratic opinion polling over the past two weeks, bearing in mind that there are almost as many pollsters represented here as polls. The pollsters only record responses from “likely” Democratic voters, which makes it hard for them to get what would strike Australian observers as an impressive sample size: the range was 564 to 902 in Ohio, and 403 to 660 in Texas. Figures sourced from Real Clear Politics.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

742 comments on “US presidential primaries: week off edition”

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  1. Ron @ 695 – “Obama would be wise to ensure everthing is out onto the public domain NOW…before the ’swiftboats’ leak it gradually You agree ?”

    I do agree, no choice there. But hanging the dirty linen on the fence won’t stop the onslaught. They will just repeat the same things over and over following the lovely old homily that if you repeat a big enough lie often enough it becomes the truth – as espoused by Joseph Goebbels I believe.

    Two separate articles on one such lie from the current Times online list:
    “Obama hits back after Hussein taunts”
    “Obama confronted by Muslim smear attacks”

  2. They breed ’em young in Texas:

    The Texas women’s vote is also considered crucial. Older white women are Mrs. Clinton’s mainstay, nationwide results to date have shown. But, said Richard Murray, a professor of political science at the University of Houston, “women are younger in Texas than in Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

  3. j/v # 701 , no it won’t stop the inevitable onslaught but as we both agree putting all info out there publicly at least prevents the claim info was withheld.

    Brian Burke & Rudd come to mind with rudd releasing every single email & then the story stopped

  4. Nah, there’s no recession, and in the words of the Decider in Chief:

    “We’ll see the effects of this pro-growth package,” Mr. Bush told reporters at a White House news conference. “I know there’s a lot of, here in Washington people are trying to – stimulus package two – and all that stuff. Why don’t we let stimulus package one, which seemed like a good idea at the time, have a chance to kick in?”

    …inspiring, huh?

    Bring on Obama, soon please.

  5. 707 Ogmios – of course! Told you I was slow. As for whether the USA will follow Australia’s magnificent lead, I’m not sure at this stage. I think they want to. The Obama phenomenon reveals a serious, passionate grassroots desire for a change in the way things are done. They want leadership, vision, hope and purpose; they want to feel proud to be Americans again – that’s for sure.

    But November is a long way off and I can’t see beyond next Tuesday yet.

    Obama is often referred to as a messiah. Messiahs inspire me – and worry me. The last Messiah entered Jericho on a donkey and the whole city cried ‘Hosanna’, laid palm leaves in his path and hailed him as their saviour. But just one week later the crowd was calling for his crucifixion…and they got it.

    Heightened emotions are difficult to control and the mood can turn from ‘hero’ to ‘hate’ in the blink of an eye.

    Do I think Obama wil beat Hillary. Yes….just.

    Do I think he will beat McCain? I hope so, for all our sakes.

  6. There ya go! Turkey is going to be in Kurdistan for, oh, maybe a year:

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s military chief on Thursday refrained from setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq after meeting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who urged Turkey to keep its ground incursion short and focused.

    “Short term is a relative notion,” Gen. Yasar Buyukanit told NTV and CNN-Turk television news stations.

    “Sometimes it is a day, sometimes it is a year,” Buyukanit said. “We have been struggling against terrorism for 24 years. That is why our struggle against terrorism will continue.”

    …while, the Doofus in Chief, GWBush said:

    “It should not be long-lasting,” Mr. Bush said. “The Turks need to move, move quickly, achieve their objective and get out.”

    …ah, George, they’re not listening to you. And since you handed them the formula, ie anyone who won’t be surpressed with violence is ipso facto a ‘terrorist’, they can invade at will! Thanks George, that’s a great idea.

  7. I wonder if the likes of Gore, Clinton, Edwards, Dean and other heavyweights would want places in an Obama cabinet? And whether they would be offered them. Would it need to be a case of needing new blood if he was to run on a ticket of change? There has been some talk of Edwards as A.G., and that seems like a great fit.

  8. About which we have spoken, an article from NYT :
    “For Obama, a Taste of What a Long Battle Holds”

    Talking about the tactics of smear –

    “Should Mr. Obama win the nomination, his candidacy could well be a test of whether these tactics still work or whether, used against a candidate who is trying to cultivate an appeal that transcends policy specifics, would fall flat this time. The fact that Mr. McCain felt compelled to rebuke some critics of Mr. Obama over the past few days suggests he might see a danger in attacking too aggressively.”

  9. Dubbya talks tough:

    He said that Raul Castro is “nothing more than an extension of what his brother did, which is ruin an island.” island? What a little pissant! He ONLY ruined a friggin’ island!

    George, on the other hand has ruined two entire countires: Iraq and America.

    Now that, you MoFo, is what ya call ‘ruin’.

  10. agree Al would win

    Hillary close race
    Hillary would win Repug Ohio & Missouri easier than Obama whereas Obama is stronger in other Repug States

    Pancho think Edwards is a chance of cabinet but doubt Hillary or Dean would get offered

  11. jv,

    ain’t no doubt that running for POTUS is a character building exercise. To dream anything else is folly.

  12. The RNC also today denounced the use of ‘Hussein’ by state branches. Seems like the old tactic of not going negative first. And the GOP not wanting to be painted as the nasty party from the start. Particularly while both sides are presenting with likeable candidates at this stage, it could be a real blow to get the ‘mean and tricky’ tag attached already.

  13. GG – if she gets the nomination she’ll have my support (well…moral support means something doesn’t it?).

    Would she win against McCain? It would be a tight contest. I don’t think we can pay much attention to the current head to head polls which consistently show McCain several points ahead of Hillary (while Obama is a few points ahead of McCain).

    The reason I’m dubious of head to heads at the moment is, as I’ve said a few times, because the electorate isn’t focussed on that competition yet. They don’t yet know who the final contenders will be. They haven’t yet seen the contenders go head to head and can’t yet make those kind of comparisons. American polling is dodgy at the best of times. Trying to survey November intentions now is pure guesswork this far out.

    So GG, I think she would have a good chance, in spite of all the supposed baggage she has and the passionate antipathy of the Right. I think she could win it. If it was anyone but McCain, I’d be certain she’d win it. As it is, I wouldn’t bet my house on her, but I’d have a lazy 50 on a very tight win.

  14. Good night all, and I’ll leave this little gem with you:

    Mixed in with Queen Elizabeth’s blue blood is the blood of the Moslem prophet Mohammed, according to Burke’s Peerage, the geneological guide to royalty. The relation came out when Harold B. Brooks-Baker, publishing director of Burke’s, wrote Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to ask for better security for the royal family. ”The royal family’s direct descent from the prophet Mohammed cannot be relied upon to protect the royal family forever from Moslem terrorists,” he said. Probably realizing the connection would be a surprise to many, he added, ”It is little known by the British people that the blood of Mohammed flows in the veins of the queen. However, all Moslem religious leaders are proud of this fact.”

    Brooks-Baker said the British royal family is descended from Mohammed through the Arab kings of Seville, who once ruled Spain. By marriage, their blood passed to the European kings of Portugal and Castille, and through them to England’s 15th century King Edward IV. ‘

    …who’s sayin’ he ain’t a terrorist? Barack who’s sayin’ Obama ain’t one?

  15. Oh no! Branded! (You’re going to like this story GG)

    Fire up your espresso machines fellow Obama travellers …

    from The New Republic – “Grande Un-Americano”
    by Jonathan Chait
    “Clinton smears latte liberals everywhere”

    “Clinton supporter Garry Mauro of Texas used the dreaded appellation “latte Democrats,” to describe Obama’s voters. Fellow Clintonite Chris Lehane twisted the knife by calling them “latte-sipping Democrats”–a deeper insult, as latte consumption of any kind is decadent enough, but only the truly effete sip their latte, pinky fingers presumably extended. Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, another Clinton backer, announced of his state, “we’re working-class folks, by and large.” (Strickland himself earns $144,831 per year, which probably explains his “by and large” qualifier.)”

    It’s quite an interesting article in fact, about how Penn & Co read the demographics of the party.

  16. Hi FG,

    Que sera sera.

    But agree with your analysis. Hillary is a far stronger candidate than McCain and would win comfortably.

    Obama is unknown. Lacks real time experience. Big risk. I just think he would be smashed by the Republicans.

    Others with rose tinted glasses think differently.

    Shocks can happen!

  17. Obama a messiah ?
    No , he has a vision which many agree with , after years of US domestic & foreign policy being itself corrupted.

    My only cautions are that the Media treat him as a messaih & not scrutinise him objectively to test his mettle & policy base.Something Hillary never did !

    IF McCain was clever that would be his path also , rather than allow Obama to use his brilliant oratory & debating skills with an overall message to escape the close attention a Pres. candidate should endure.

    any views on this ?

  18. I’ve said it once before. These tactics are Rove-ian in the strict sense that they’re designed to mobilise the Republican base not win over swinging voters. Perhaps all this crude swift-boating will bring some more conservatives to vote on the basis of hating “Hussein”.
    But the point about Obama is that he allows the Dems to do their own version of Rove and the potential there is so much greater than anything the Republicans could ever muster, especially at the moment when Iraq and Katrina have been followed by recession.
    The turnouts to the Dem primaries versus the turnouts to the Repug primaries say it all. Every once in a while the great beast of the forgotten America stirs from its slumber and engages with politics. Whatever you think of Obama, he is seems to be waking the beast.
    Once it’s awake it may do things its waker never dreamed of. Think of what followed in the ’60s after Kennedy. Think of what followed FDR’s election win. I’m aware of Obama’s policy limitations. He is not that different to Clinton. Kennedy was to the right of Adlai Stevenson. FDR was not that different to Al Smith. But Kennedy and FDR, in their own ways, inspired leviathan to stir. Hillary will never do that. Obama will.

  19. should completely forget 3 corned National Polls out presently

    BUT on a State to State basis , Obama vs McCain and Hillary vs McCain:

    Hillary would win Repug Ohio & Missouri easier than Obama whereas Obama is stronger in other Repug States (

    which Hillary may pick up obama’s votes if he was not there & vice versa making these 3 cornered Polling difficult to assess but it does show hillary is competitive in epug states needing to be won

  20. Obviously McCain and the Republican strategists are clever, but they are not in the acsendency at the moment. And a Democrat candidate shouldn’t, and shouldn’t need to, overly worry about playing defence. Apart from the fact that McCain is coming off the Bush years (and everything associated with them, including Iraq) which is a burden from the beginning, he will not have the base that Rove had raring to go 4 and 8 years ago.

    Add to this the (far) superior organisations and funds that the Democrats have already, and the fact that, in spite of the mythical campaigning strategies that Republicans seem to have gained a reputation for over the past decade, McCain is already copping hits (and was destroyed by Bush in 2000) I have little doubt any of the top 3 Dems would win a General.

    This is not to say the contest should be ignored, but that 1.90 on Obama still seem pretty good odds at this stage.

  21. Nah GG, I don’t think Obama is much of a risk.

    From where I sit, he’s a fairly conservative, church-going, hymn-singing, happily married, Harvard educated lawyer. He’s as all-American as they come.

    As for experience, I’ve spoken of that elsewhere, but I think he has more ‘real time’ experience – in life, in leadership, in service, in hardship and in politics – than most who run for the job. What he lacks is Washington experience – and I see that as a plus.

    My glasses aren’t rose-coloured, but nor is my view jaundiced.

  22. Ron @ 725 – Yes, no messiah complexes please – it goes against my grain as a non-believer in the ‘great man’ approach to history, and also my atheistic extremism.
    As to scrutiny I think it has to bebut tempered a bit – the Pres is something of a figurehead – unlike the Westminster style PM – who should be an inspirational figure with charisma and the capacity to influence the people and congress. There have been many examples in modern times, so let’s see … ah no, not Nixon of course, not bumbling Ford …. ahhm .. ha! not Bush .. not Johnson .. wouldn’t say Carter was… or Eisenhower .. well … only JFK then, but you get the idea.

    It’s just that the level of scrutiny for modern day political figures as far as their personal lives go is absurd. You can bring anyone down if you keep at it, and I would hope that ‘scrutiny’ isn’t always synonymous with ‘smears’ in this campaign, but that is an idiotic hope

  23. j/v I believe Obama is a once in a generation leader

    The US needs one after the shambles domestic policy has reeked on 50% of US citizens & the disgrace of its unbalanced foreign policy and I believe Obama can generally correct this. His site contains policys

    Growler says: others with rose tinted glasses think differently.

    Do not agree at all Growler, some of us still expect him to be subject to intense policy scrutiny , as opposed to ‘swiftboating’ , to confirm our present Obama views as any sensible person would given the power of a President.

  24. Ferny G & Ron – I always like my latte in a rose tinted glass, don’t you?

    I thought I’d responded earlier to your 732 Ferny G but it must have got lost – but feel free to allow your view to adopt the jaundiced position as it sees fit. I won’t be miffed.

    Ron @ 738- Agree. Message to media & Clinton camp – ask the questions, but if he measures up, let Obama get in there and lead, don’t tear him down before he starts over 3/4 of 5/8 of f**k all.

  25. Pancho :
    mythical campaigning strategies that Republicans seem to have gained a reputation for over the past decade

    Ron , Pancho it is mythical !!…without Nader pinching 97,000 votes of gore in florida in 2000 , Al Gore WOULD have been President ?

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