Here Are The Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #10438

Geography Surveyed: Missouri
Data Collected: 10/21/2006 - 10/23/2006
Release Date: 10/24/2006 11:45 AM ET
Sponsors: KCTV-TV Kansas City, KSDK-TV St. Louis

MO Senate Seat Tips Back To Republican Incumbent Talent: In an election for United States Senator from Missouri today, 10/24/06, 2 weeks to Election Day, incumbent Republican Jim Talent rebounds to inch ahead of Democrat challenger Claire McCaskill, 48% to 45%, according to a poll of 630 Likely Voters conducted exclusively for KSDK-TV St. Louis and KCTV-TV Kansas City. This is a dramatic reversal when compared to an identical SurveyUSA tracking poll in Missouri released 10/12/06. In the 10/12 SurveyUSA poll, Talent had 42%, today 48%, a gain of 6. In the 10/12 poll, McCaskill had 51%, now 45%, a loss of 6. Talent trailed by 9, now leads by 3, a 12-point swing. Two things are simultaneously at work: In the 10/12 poll, 32% of Likely Voters identified themselves as Republican. Today, 38% do. Republicans appear newly energized in this contest, in part driven by the forces at work on Amendment 2, separate analysis to follow. Second, in the 10/12 poll, McCaskill led by 13 points among Independent voters. Today, Independents are tied at 41%. The number of "undecided" Independents has doubled since the 10/12 poll, and the number of Independents voting for Libertarian Frank Gilmour has doubled since the 10/12 poll. In the Ozark Region, Talent led by 6 on 10/12. Today Talent leads by 36, a 30-point swing to the Republican. In rural Central Missouri, McCaskill led by 16 on 10/12. Today, Talent leads by 8, a 24-point swing to the Republican. The St. Louis and Kansas City regions continue to favor McCaskill. There is other movement: Talent had trailed among whites, now leads. Talent had trailed among the youngest voters, now leads. Here is the inter-relationship with the Stem Cell Amendment: On 10/12, McCaskill led by 44 points among voters who were certain to vote "Yes" on Amendment 2. Today, McCaskill leads by 38 points among the "Certain Yes" voters. But: the size of the "Certain Yes" group has shrunk from 57% of Likely Voters on 10/12 to today 45%. On 10/12, Talent led by 68 points among voters who were certain to vote "No" on Amendment 2. Today, Talent leads by 56 points among the "Certain No" voters. But: the size of the "Certain No" group has grown from 27% of Likely Voters on 10/12 to today 36% of Likely Voters. Last, an imponderable: On 10/21/06, the first day of the field period for this survey, McCaskill began airing a TV commercial that featured the actor Michael J Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease. There is no way to estimate, or even guess at, whether this advertisement had an impact on the numbers that SurveyUSA reports today. SurveyUSA will make note, however, that the interviews for a competing poll released today by Mason-Dixon, which show McCaskill ahead by 3 points, were completed on 10/19, before the Michael J Fox advertisement aired. It is unclear if the airing of the Fox ad is entirely coincidental to the movement observed here by SurveyUSA, or if there is some relationship. Many other factors were simultaneously at work in Missouri, including a tougher, more aggressive stance taken by Talent in his debate appearances with McCaskill, and advertisements taken out by Talent attacking McCaskill. Those factors acknowledged, Talent did better day-by-day in this survey, from Minus 1 on Saturday 10/21, to Plus 5 on Sunday 10/22, to Plus 7 on Monday 10/23. When the 3 days of interviewing are averaged, Talent is up 3 points, which are the results SurveyUSA presents here.

Support For Stem Cell Amendment Begins to Erode, Opposition Increases; Males Bail: In a referendum today, 10/24/06, 2 weeks to Election Day, Constitutional Amendment 2, the Stem Cell Initiative, has more support than opposition, but: with 18% of Likely Voters Not Yet Certain how they will vote on the Amendment, and with some demographic groups dramatically shifting their position on the Amendment, the contest is too volatile, and too unpredictable, to reliably forecast. Twelve days ago, in an identical SurveyUSA poll, Amendment 2 passed, 57% 'Certain' to vote Yes, 27% 'Certain' to vote No. Since then, 'Certain Yes' is down to 45%, 'Certain No' is up to 36%; a 30-point cushion on 10/12 is today a 9-point cushion. Among males, the Amendment had passed by 49 points on 10/12. Today, it passes by 6, a 43-point swing. Among voters age 35 to 49, opposition to the Amendment has doubled from a SurveyUSA poll on 9/14. Among affluent voters, the Amendment passed by 35 points on 10/12, passes by 2 points today, a 33-point swing. In Central MO, the Amendment had passed by 32 points, now is defeated by 6, a 38-point swing. SurveyUSA did not read the full text of the Constitutional Amendment to respondents. The exact language that SurveyUSA read to respondents appears in the table below.

Filtering: 900 Missouri adults were interviewed 10/21/06 through 10/23/06. Of them, 821 were registered to vote. Of them, 630 were judged to be "likely" voters. Crosstabs reflect Likely Voters. Note On 10/21 and 10/22, the first two days of the field period for this survey, a World Series game was played, featuring a team from St. Louis. The Michael J Fox advertisements aired during the World Series, and possibly at other times. It is unclear what affect the overlap of the World Series and the interviewing period for this survey had on the outcome, but we note it here, as a factor to consider.

1
  Asked of 630 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4%

If the election for United States Senator were today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, who would you vote for? Republican Jim Talent? Democrat Claire McCaskill? Libertarian Frank Gilmour? Or some other candidate?

48% Talent (R)
45% McCaskill (D)
2% Gilmour (L)
5% Other/Undecided

2
  Asked of 630 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4%

Also on the ballot is Constitutional Amendment 2, the Stem Cell Initiative. In an election today, are you certain to vote yes? Certain to vote no? Or, are you not certain how you will vote on Constitutional Amendment 2, the Stem Cell initiative?

45% 'Certain' Yes
36% 'Certain' No
18% Not Certain

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  Complete Interactive Crosstabs
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  Statement of Methodology
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