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3 Weeks Till Votes Are Counted, Hours Before 2nd Presidential Debate Begins, Early Voters Give Obama An Edge in Ohio

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/17/12 07:22 PM

In an election for President of the United States in Ohio today, 10/16/12, Barack Obama edges Mitt Romney 45% to 42%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WCMH-TV in Columbus. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll one week ago, Obama is flat at 45%, Romney is down 2 points, from 44% to 42%.

Obama’s entire advantage comes from those Ohioans who tell SurveyUSA they have already voted. Among early voters, Obama leads 57% to 38%. Among Ohioans who are likely to vote, but who have not yet done so, the contest is tied, 43% to 43%. When the two groups are proportionally blended, Obama leads by the 3 points reported here. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll one week ago, women are stable, but Obama picks up a couple of points among men. The gender gap today is 13 points. Both Obama and Romney lost support among Independents week-on-week. Romney declined 3 points, from 44% to 41%. Obama declined 2 points, from 35% to 33%. Obama gained ground week-on-week among middle-income voters. In greater Columbus, the contest is absolutely unchanged: 47% to 41% Obama last week; 47% to 41% Obama this week.

In an election for United States Senator from Ohio today, Democrat Sherrod Brown defeats Republican Josh Mandel 43% to 38%. Week-on-week, Brown is up 1 point, Mandel is flat. Brown leads by 14 points among Ohioans who tell SurveyUSA they have already voted, and by 2 points among likely voters who have not yet marked a ballot. Week-on-week, Mandel lost 2 points among voters under age 50, and gained 2 points among voters age 50+. In greater Columbus, Mandel lost 3 points week-on-week. In greater Cleveland, Mandel gained 3 points week-on-week.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this survey: SurveyUSA interviewed 675 Ohio adults 10/12/12 through 10/15/12. Of the adults, 613 had either already returned a ballot or were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to do so before Election Day. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (74% of voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (26% of voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device. Obama leads by 12 points among cell-phone respondents. Obama and Romney are tied, 46% to 46%, among landline respondents. When the two groups are proportionally blended, Obama leads by the 3 points reported here.

Obama Gets Up Off the Mat In Town-Hall Debate, California Says; Out-duels Romney 56% to 32%; Independents Split Evenly

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/17/12 07:16 AM

Immediately following tonight’s town-hall-style presidential debate between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama, SurveyUSA interviewed 800 California adults, of whom 656 watched the debate. Results of tonight’s 10/16/12 debate follow (with results of the 10/03/12 Denver presidential debate in parenthesis).

56% say Obama was the clear winner tonight (compared to 34% who say Obama won the 1st debate in Denver ).
32% say Romney was the clear winner tonight (compared to 48% who say Romney won the 1st debate in Denver).
12% say there was no clear winner tonight.

As always, the caution that California is a “blue” state and more Democrats in California watch a debate than do Republicans. That’s why it’s important to study reaction along party lines:

Democrats by 72 points say Obama was tonight’s clear winner (Democrats gave Obama a 30-point margin in Denver).
Republicans by 41 points say Romney was tonight’s clear winner (Republicans gave Romney a 65-point margin in Denver).
Independents split, 44% for Romney, 44% for Obama (Independents favored Romney by 34 points in Denver).
Every region of the state scored the debate for Obama.

SurveyUSA’s California research conducted exclusively for KABC-TV Los Angeles, KPIX-TV San Francisco, KFSN-TV Fresno, and KGTV-TV San Diego.

Washington State Governor Race Re-Tightens; Inslee Now 3 Atop McKenna, 3 Weeks Till Votes are Counted

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/16/12 04:33 PM

In an election for Governor of Washington state today, 10/15/12, Democrat Jay Inslee edges Republican Rob McKenna 47% to 44%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for KING-TV in Seattle. In 4 SurveyUSA polls of likely voters going back to August, Inslee has led by 3 points, 5 points, 6 points and now by 3 points again.

Compared to SurveyUSA’s most recent poll on 10/01/12, McKenna has gained ground among voters age 50+, where Inslee had led by 8 points and now trails by 2. There is offsetting movement among political moderates, where Inslee had led by 15, now leads by 28.

Inslee’s Net Favorability has declined to Plus 7, which is the lowest rating SurveyUSA has recorded among likely voters. 35% today have a favorable opinion of Inslee, 28% have an unfavorable opinion. In previous measurements, Inslee had been at Plus 11, Plus 13, and Plus 10.

McKenna’s Net Favorability is at Plus 11 today. In previous measurements, his Net Favorability was at Plus 16, Plus 14, and Plus 8.

By 43% to 32%, voters today say Inslee would be more likely to raise taxes.
By 42% to 35%, voters today say McKenna would be stronger on education. This is a departure from 3 previous polls, when McKenna and Inslee were never more than 1 point apart.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 700 adults 10/12/12 through 10/14/12. Of the adults, 628 were registered to vote in Washington state. Of the registered, 543 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote on or before Election Day 11/06/12. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (75% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home phone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

On Eve of 2nd Presidential Debate, Obama’s Washington State Lead Sliced By 6 Points Following 1st Debate Performance

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/16/12 04:27 PM

In an election for President of the United States in Washington state today, 10/15/12, three weeks until votes are counted, Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 54% to 40%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for KING-TV in Seattle.

Compared to a SurveyUSA poll released 10/01/12, on the eve of the 1st Presidential debate, Obama’s lead has been sliced from 20 points to 14. Among Independent voters, Obama had led by 20 points on 10/01/12, now leads by 9 points today. Among middle-income voters, Obama had led by 18 points, now leads by 7.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 700 adults 10/12/12 through 10/14/12. Of the adults, 628 were registered to vote in Washington state. Of the registered, 543 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote on or before Election Day 11/06/12. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (75% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home phone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

Colorado Teeter-Totter Tips Ever-So-Slightly To Romney Following Denver Debate, Every Vote Vital; Amendment 64 Tightens

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/14/12 08:36 PM

In an election today for President of the United States in Colorado, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama finish a whisker apart, with Romney nominally ahead 48% to 47% in a 2-way matchup, and with Romney nominally ahead 46% to 45% in a 3-way matchup that includes Libertarian Gary Johnson polling at 2%.

Today’s results reflect a 2-point shift to Romney when compared to a SurveyUSA Denver Post poll conducted 5 weeks ago. Then: Obama had a nominal 1-point advantage. Today: Romney has a nominal 1-point advantage. In between: Romney’s “47%” comments were publicized, which may have tipped the teeter-totter to the left, and Obama’s Denver debate was derided, which may have tipped the teeter-totter to the right. The 2-point shift reported here, poll-on-poll, likely masks a larger volatility. Any outcome in the fight for Colorado’s 9 electoral votes remains possible, 4 days till voting begins.

Given a 2-point shift in the overall numbers, few of the underlying demographic groups show dramatic movement. Exceptions: Among voters with a 4-year college degree, Obama had led by 5 points, Romney now leads by 5 points, a 10-point right turn. Among gun owners, Romney had led by 10 points, now leads by 22 points, a 12-point right turn. More typical: Romney is up 2 points among Independents, up 3 points among men, up 4 points among middle-income voters and among moderates, and up 5 points among voters under age 50. There is some offsetting movement to Obama, who among voters age 50 to 64, had been up 9, now is up 14, and among voters with some college education, where Obama had trailed by 10 and now trails by 2.

About 1 in 8 of those who watched the 10/03/12 Denver Presidential debate changed their mind after watching. Of the mind-changers: twice as many switched to Romney as switched to Obama. Specifically, in the pivotal group that switched candidate preference as a result of what they saw in Denver, 34% switched from Obama to Romney and another 25% switched from undecided to Romney, for a total of 59% who switched to Romney. Disproportionately, those who switched to Romney were men. 16% switched from Romney to Obama, and another 13% switched from undecided to Obama, for a total of 29% who switched to Obama. Disproportionately, those who switched to Obama were women.

Poll-on-poll, there is little movement in who voters trust to fix the economy (Romney, barely), who voters think would do better at reducing the federal debt (Romney), and which candidate is more in touch with the average working person (Obama). Voters still say that the President should focus on “jobs” ahead of all other issues, with “balancing the federal budget” still in 2nd place.

Amendment 64, which led by 11 points 5 weeks ago, leads by 5 points today. 48% vote Yes, 43% vote No. There has been an 18-point erosion in support among women, who 5 weeks ago favored Amendment 64 by 10 points, but who today oppose the Amendment by 8 points. There has been 14-points of erosion among those with a 4-year college degree, who 5 weeks ago favored the Amendment by 9 points, and now oppose it by 5 points. A similar but smaller shift occurred among upper-income voters.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research. 725 adults from the state of Colorado were interviewed by SurveyUSA Tuesday 10/09/12 and Wednesday 10/10/12. Of the adults, 661 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 614 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 11/06/12 election. 70% of likely voters, reachable on a home telephone, were interviewed using recorded-voice telephone calls to landline phones. Sample was provided by SSI. The youngest-male method of respondent selection was used on calls to landlines. 30% of likely voters, unreachable on a home telephone, were shown an HTML questionnaire on their smart-phone or other electronic device. Sample provided by United Sample. Responses were minimally weighted to U.S. Census targets for gender, age, race and region. Where necessary, answer choices were rotated to prevent order bias, recency and latency effects. SurveyUSA assigns to each question within the instrument a theoretical margin of sampling error, and while such error is useful in theory, and is commonly cited in the presentation of research results, sampling error is only one of many types of error that may influence the outcome of an opinion research study. More practical concerns include the inability to contact some, the refusal of others to be interviewed and the inability of still others to speak the language. It is difficult to quantify non-sampling errors. Timing: All interviews for this survey were completed prior to the Vice Presidential debate on 10/11/12.

Californians React to VP Debate: Independents Split, Moderates See Biden as Winner, But “Vote Swtichers” 3:2 Like Romney-Ryan

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/12/12 07:04 AM

1,000 California adults were interviewed by SurveyUSA immediately following tonight’s Vice Presidential debate. Of the adults, 701 watched the debate. Results of debate watchers:

48% say Joe Biden clearly won the debate.
41% say Paul Ryan clearly won the debate.
10% say there was no clear winner.

In a “blue” state such as California, it is not surprising to find that more Democrats watched the debate than did Republicans. Looking just at the reaction of Independent voters, Biden and Ryan battle to an effective draw: 44% Biden, 42% Ryan. Looking just a moderates, Biden is seen as the winner, 50% to 38%.

22% say they changed which candidate for President they support as a result of the debate. Of those who tell SurveyUSA they changed their mind:

30% switched from the Obama ticket to the Romney ticket.
29% switched from undecided to the Romney ticket.
A total of 59% switched to the Romney ticket.

20% switched from the Romney ticket to the Obama ticket.
20% switched from undecided to the Obama ticket.
A total of 40% switched to the Obama ticket.

53% say Biden is ready to be President, if needed.
46% say Ryan is ready to be President, if needed.

CA Still Safely Blue, But Romney Slices 8 Points Off Obama’s Lead After Romney’s Strong First Debate Performance

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/11/12 05:26 PM

The effects of President Barack Obama’s falter in the first debate with Mitt Romney are not just being felt in battleground states, according to SurveyUSA’s latest tracking poll of California, conducted for KABC-TV Los Angeles, KPIX-TV San Francisco, KGTV-TV San Diego, and KFSN-TV Fresno. Obama had led by 22 points in a SurveyUSA tracking poll released 4 weeks ago. Obama leads by 14 points today, an 8-point improvement for Romney. At the same time, the Dianne Feinstein contest for United States Senate remains largely unchanged, month-on-month, suggesting that the erosion in Democratic support is not across-the-board, but contained to Obama. Unclear is whether the Obama erosion is fleeting or long-lasting.

Obama 53%, Romney 39%, in today’s numbers. Obama carried California by 24 points in 2008, so today Obama is running 10 points weaker than he ran 4 years ago, 8 points weaker than he ran 4 weeks ago. Among Independents, Obama led by 14 in September, trails by 9 in October, a 23-point right turn among the most coveted voters. One explanation: the number of Romney supporters who tell SurveyUSA they are voting “for Mitt Romney” as opposed to “against Barack Obama” is way up, month on month.

Feinstein 54%, Republican Elizabeth Emken 35%, in today’s numbers, largely unchanged from SurveyUSA’s last measurement in CA, when Emken trailed incumbent Feinstein by 18 points.

SurveyUSA asked about Proposition 30 in 2 different ways for this release. First, consistent with last month, SurveyUSA told voters very little about the Proposition and measured “certain” support. This approach is designed to identify the most-committed backers and detractors of a proposition, and to measure public awareness. Using this approach, 38% of voters tell SurveyUSA they are “certain” to vote No on Proposition 30. 33% of voters tell SurveyUSA they are “certain” to vote Yes on Proposition 30. 29% of voters are “not certain” how they will vote, which is largely unchanged from a month ago. This approach to measuring ballot support is comparable to the “strongly support” and “strongly oppose” measurement that is taken by others pollsters who are working on Proposition 30. Separately, SurveyUSA read to voters a complete description of Proposition 30, including the 100 words that appear on the ballot. By this measure, Yes on 30 leads No, 45% to 39%, with 16% undecided. This measurement includes “soft” support as well as “hard” support. The two measurements are not inconsistent: among the most committed, No narrowly leads Yes. Among a larger group of voters, including those with soft support, Yes narrowly leads No. Neither passage nor rejection of 30 is assured at this hour.

On Proposition 34, which would repeal the death penalty, 32% are certain to vote Yes, 48% are certain to vote No, unchanged from a month ago. Whites, a majority of pro-life voters, and a majority of voters in Greater Los Angeles and the Central Valley oppose the repeal. Only the Bay Area and liberals support the repeal.

On Proposition 36 , which would revise the 3-strikes law, 44% are certain to vote Yes, 22% are certain to vote No, unchanged from a month ago. Hispanics, blacks, Democrats, and liberals disproportionately support. Republicans, conservatives and Asians disproportionately oppose.

On Proposition 37 , about the labeling on genetically modified food, 39% are certain to vote Yes, 30% are certain to vote No, 31% are not certain. This is a significant change from a month ago, when the measure was supported 51% to 16%. Republicans had supported the measure by 29 points, now oppose the measure by 7 points, a 36-point swing to No. Men had supported the measure by 35 points, now support by 2 points, a 33-point swing to No.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research. SurveyUSA interviewed 700 California adults 10/07/12 through 10/09/12. Of the adults, 617 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 539 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote on or before Election Day. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (74% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (26% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

In Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, Jump Ball Between 1st-Term Incumbent Republican Cravaack and DFL Challenger Nolan

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/10/12 11:55 PM

In an election for the U.S. House of Representatives today from Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, incumbent Republican Chip Cravaack and former Congressman Rick Nolan are eyeball-to-eyeball in a contest too-close-to-call, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities. Nolan is at 46%, Cravaack is at 45% in today’s results.

The 20-point gender gap and 26-point age gap are significant: Nolan leads by 10 among women. Cravaack leads by 10 among men. Cravaack leads by 15 points among voters under age 50. Nolan leads by 11 points among voters age 50+. Independents break 5:3 Republican. Moderates break 2:1 Democrat. Nolan has a 17-point lead in union households. Cravaack has a 9-point lead in non-union households. Of Barack Obama voters, 88% vote for the DFL candidate for Congress. Of Mitt Romney voters, 89% vote for the Republican for Congress.

By 34% to 31%, Cravaack is seen as stronger on mining issues.
By 41% to 36%, voters say Nolan will do more to protect Medicare.
By 41% to 38%, voters say Cravaack will do more to bring jobs to the district.

Nolan has a Plus 8 Net Favorability rating: 34% of voters see him favorably, compared to 26% who see him unfavorably.
Cravaack has a Plus 5 Net Favorability rating: 38% of voters see him favorably, compared to 33% who see him unfavorably.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research. SurveyUSA interviewed 700 registered voters from Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District 10/07/12 through 10/09/12, using registration-based (voter-list) sample from Aristotle in Washington DC. Of the registered voters, SurveyUSA determined that 578 were likely to vote in the 11/06/12 election. This research was conducted 100% by telephone. Respondents reachable on a home telephone were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone were called on their cell phones, by live operators who hand-dialed the phone, qualified the respondent, secured the respondent’s cooperation, asked the questions and remained on the line until the conclusion of the interview.

In Election For Mayor of Portland OR, Hales Increases Lead Over Jefferson, But Many Still Undecided 1 Month Till Votes are Counted

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/10/12 05:47 PM

In an election today, 10/10/12, for Portland Mayor, Charlie Hales gets 37% to Jefferson Smith’s 30%, with 33% of voters undecided, 1 month till votes are counted, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for KATU-TV.

Compared to an identical SurveyUSA tracking poll 3 weeks ago, Hale’s support has jumped among Republicans, where Hales had led by 4, now leads by 25. Hales has doubled his advantage among voters age 50 to 64, where he had led by 14, but now leads by 25.

There is little or no movement on 3 city of Portland ballot measures. On the City Arts Tax ballot measure, 21% are certain to vote Yes today, 22% are certain to vote no. This is effectively unchanged from a month ago, especially given that 58% of voters today are not certain how they will vote on the Arts Tax.

On the Portland School District Bond Measure, Yes leads No 42% to 24% today, almost identical to SurveyUSA’s findings 3 weeks ago. The measure is strongly supported Democrats and Independents, opposed by Republicans.

The Multnomah County Library Taxing District Creation measure leads by 21 points today, which is up slightly from a 17-point lead 3 weeks ago. Republicans oppose. Democrats and Independents support.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 850 Multnomah County adults 10/07/12 through 10/09/12. After filtering questions were applied, 675 likely voters in Multnomah County were identified, of which 513 were also likely voters in the city of Portland. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device. Incumbent mayor Sam Adams is not seeking a second term.

With Voting Underway In Oh-So-Important Ohio, Romney Nose-to-Nose with Obama

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/09/12 11:00 PM

In an election for Ohio’s 18 vital electoral votes today, 10/09/12, one week after Buckeye voting began and 4 weeks till votes are counted, Barack Obama is at 45% to Mitt Romney’s 44%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WCMH-TV, NBC4 in Columbus. Obama’s advantage is within the survey’s possible sources of error and may or may not be significant.

“Optimistic” Ohio voters back Obama 4:1. “Worried” Ohio voters back Romney 2:1. “Angry” Ohio voters back Romney 3:1.
Romney leads among voters who are married. Obama leads among voters who are single, divorced or widowed.
Greater Dayton and greater Cincinnati favor Romney. Greater Columbus, greater Toledo and greater Cleveland favor Obama.
Union households break for Obama. Non-union households split.
Evangelicals vote for Romney. Non-evangelicals vote for Obama.
Independents break for Romney. Moderates break for Obama.
Voters who say abortion should be legal in every case vote overwhelmingly for Obama.
Voters who say abortion should be illegal in every case vote overwhelmingly for Romney.
Voters who earn less than $60,000 a year vote for Obama. Voters who earn more than $60,000 a year vote for Romney.
Ohio voters, narrowly, say Romney would do a better job balancing the federal budget.
Ohio voters split on who would do better at keeping America safe.
Ohio voters say Obama is more in touch with the average person.

In an election for United States Senator from Ohio, Democrat Sherrod Brown defeats Republican Josh Mandel 42% to 38% today. White voters narrowly favor Mandel, the Republican. Brown’s entire advantage comes from African Americans, who vote 6:1 for Brown, the Democrat. Brown leads in greater Cleveland, greater Columbus, and greater Toledo. Mandel leads in greater Cincinnati and greater Dayton.

Brown holds 79% of the Democratic base, compared to Mandel, who holds 73% of the Republican base. Mandel leads by 7 points among Independents, but that is offset by Brown’s 28-point advantage among moderates.

Brown leads by 21 points in union houeholds; non-union households split.
Mandel leads by 12 points among evangelicals.
Brown leads 3:1 among those who say abortion should be legal in all cases. Mandel leads 3:1 among those who say abortion should never be legal.
Brown leads among those earning less than $80,000 a year. Mandel leads among those earning more than $80,000 a year.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this survey: SurveyUSA interviewed 925 Ohio adults 10/05/12 through 10/08/12. Of the adults, 808 had either already returned a ballot or were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to do so before Election Day. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (73% of voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (27% of voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device. As SurveyUSA has found in many geographies, cell-phone and home-phone respondents vote differently. In Ohio: Romney leads by 5 points among home phone respondents. Obama leads by 17 points among cell-phone respondents. When the two groups are proportionally blended, Obama has the nominal 1-point advantage that SurveyUSA reports here.

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