Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are California Dems THAT Excited To Vote On November 2?

Some interesting poll numbers from the once Golden State are producing results that seem to be bucking the Republican trend nationwide.
The latest numbers from three polls show Democrat gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown leading Republican Meg Whitman. Ditto Democrat Sen. Ma'am Boxer over Republican Carly Fiorina.
Funny thing is that maybe, just maybe all the polls have one problem.
They are oversampling Democrat voters.
Now the latest Field Poll for the senate race shows Sen. Ma'am leading Mrs. Fiorina 47% to 41% with 12% undecided. In the governor's race, it shows Mr. Brown and Mrs. Whitman in a dead heat.
The Field Poll is lazy because it pretty much goes on the party registration to get its numbers. So, it appears that they may have a fairly decent read of the California voter.
Fast forward to the Los Angeles Times/USC poll showing Democrat Brown with a lead over Republican Whitman, 49% to 44%. But, this was done by a Democrat polling firm head by Stan Greenberg. Oh, and the same poll had Sen. Ma'am Boxer leading Mrs. Fiorina, 51%-43%.
Funny thing about this poll.
It appears that Democrats are more likely to vote than Republicans.
As Tony Quinn points out here, in the June primary, 33% of voters showed up. But, the number for Republicans was 44% and for the Dems an anemic 32%. That would be an enthusiasm gap of 12%. Yet the Times/USC poll has the self-identified likely voter spread like this.
Democrat: 43%
Republican: 28%
Decline to state: 28%
This defies logic. The poll suggests that California Democrats are more excited and likely to turn out than Republicans were in 2008. Not. Likely.
The CNN/Time poll is a real weird one. It shows Mr. Brown leading Mrs. Whitman 53% to 43%. Ditto in the senate race with Sen. Ma'am Boxer leading Mrs. Fiorina.
The Weekly Standard's Jay Cost deconstructs the CNN/Time poll that there is no question it is way overstating the Democrat enthusiasm.
Take the senate race.
How can Mrs. Fiorina be leading 53% to 39% among independents, 92% to 2% among Republicans and yet be losing by 10 points to Sen. Ma"am Boxer? Again, like the Times/USC poll, based on nothing empirical, they assume that there is more enthusiasm among California Democrats now than in the presidential election year of 2008.
So what to make of all this?
That we should not over do our dependence on polls. When you look at all three polls combined for the senate race, it shows Sen. Ma'am Boxer leading Mrs. Fiorina 50.3% to 42.3%. Again, two of the three polls show a strong Democrat enthusiasm. As for the governor's race, average the three and Mr. Brown leads Mrs. Whitman, 47.7% to 42.7%.
One other thing to look at is the undecideds. Two of the three polls show a high number of undecideds. And there is where the underdog, Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Fiorina, will have to turn the tide.
I do not see that Democrats are that fired up to vote this time around. And stuffing poll numbers to reflect something that is not there will not help.

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