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No Matter How You Pick Your Horse Race, It's Still Pretty Good News

The good folks at D-Corps have released their latest survey, along with an accompanying analysis memo, "Report on the Stable Framework Favoring John Kerry’s Election". One of the features of the new survey is that they provide not one, not two, not three, but four different horse race results for your edification (all among likely voters).

Kerry-Edwards vs. Bush-Cheney (split sample): 52-45
Kerry vs. Bush (split sample): 50-47
Kerry vs. Bush (combining split samples): 51-46
Kerry vs. Bush vs. Nader: 48-45-4

So pick whichever one suits your methodological fancy, secure in the knowledge that Kerry's ahead in all of 'em.

The D-Corps survey also shows the Democrats up by 7 points (49-42), in the generic congressional contest, another good sign.

The poll, in fact, is full of good signs "favoring John Kerry's election", as they put it in the title of their analysis memo.

For example, the poll has right direction/wrong track at 41/54 and has DCorps' related question "do you think the country should continue in the direction Bush is headed or go in a significantly different direction?" at 43 Bush's direction/54 significantly different direction.

Moreover, when this question is applied to 9 different specific issue areas, voters only want to continue in Bush's direction on one area, the war on terrorism (54/43), but even here Bush's net of +11 is sharply down from a net of +33 in January. In all other areas, Bush is net negative on which direction the country should go in: prescription drug coverage for seniors (-27); jobs in America (-12); middle class living standards (-11); education (-11); foreign policy (-10); Iraq (-10); the economy (-8); and taxes (-6).

The poll also asked about whether voters preferred Kerry or Bush on handling a wide variety of issues. Bush has a lead on the war on terrorism (11 points) and on Iraq (4 points) and is tied on foreign policy. On all other issues, ranging from the economy, education and taxes to jobs, middle class living standards an energy policy, Kerry is ahead by from 3-11 points.

Consistent with other recent polls, the survey finds negative sentiment about Iraq continuing to worsen. By 15 points (56-41), voters now say the war in Iraq was not worth the cost of US lives and dollars. And, by a 52-45 margin, voters now believe that the Iraq war has made us less, not more, secure.

On the economy, it's worth quoting the DCorps analysis memo at length:

In the great majority of areas, people are worried more, not less – particularly about health care costs, which jumped 8 points this month alone (to 54 percent very worried). While worry about gas prices has fallen off a little, the dominant pattern is growing worries about health care costs and employers cutting back benefits, particularly for health care.

Not surprisingly, Democrats continue to win the essential economic debate between a middle class squeezed and the evidence of economic progress. By 59 to 38 percent, voters believe that the middle class faces stagnant incomes, scarce jobs, cuts in benefits as health care costs are rising; not as the economists say, that the economy is showing signs of success, with increased employment, high home ownership, stock values and the like. That outcome of that debate remains largely unchanged, with the slightest of narrowing. Giving stability to this structure are the 51 percent who “strongly” reject the economic progress argument, down only 2 points from June and 5 points from May. Still, a majority of the electorate, on the eve of the Democratic convention, strongly reject Bush’s core case for progress.

I realize D-Corps' analysis can seem a bit over-optimistic at times, making even DR seem like kind of a grumpy Gus. But, on the other hand, as these and other data accumulate, it does seem like a measure of real optimism may be in order.


Any thoughts on the NYTimes poll?


the one thing I always look for in these kinds of polls is the question "how did you vote in 2000?"

The NYT poll results were 33% Gore and 38% Bush. (the rest were mostly "didn't vote").

The NYT polls are almost always significantly skewed toward those who voted for Bush in 2000...sometimes by as much as 10 points.

So I think that the NYT poll is very good news for Kerry, because its pretty obviously which way the "margin of error" would fall...

Though the current poll numbers were buried deep in the article, the poll shows Kerry up 49-44. I'll take those numbers any day. The theme of the article is that Edwards did not significantly help Kerry in the polls. The times says though that the intensity of Kerry's support has increased so I think the news is good for our side.

Take the "how did you vote in 2000?" question with a grain of salt. I've read that there's a signficant tendency for the response on questions like that to favor the winner of the election (whether he's beloved or not) by a larger margin than actually happened. When the guy who you voted for wins, that makes it more likely that you'll remember you voted for him; some people may also be constructing false memories.

(In this case, regardless of who you think would have been the actual winner in a flawless election, Bush would presumably get the benefit of the effect because he took office and got all the resulting publicity.)

Although this keeps fluctuating, I'm noticing a trend concerning the Nader factor, i.e., that while holding steady at around 3-4%, he is less and less skewing votes toward Bush. Yes, I know that Republicans are in some cases helping his ballot access, but as I glean from your site, they are not universal geniuses.

In other words, while Dems are falling into line to oust Bush, perhaps Republican moderates are finding in Nader a vehicle to express their displeasure at Bush's multifarious follies?

I'm glad to see the data shaping up the way it has and appreciate all the work you do on analyzing it, etc. Thanks much.

Now answer me one thing: What is up with anti-Kerry fetishist Mickey Kaus? Every other post on his blog is about how the polls show Kerry doing poorly. Is he just cherry picking the results he likes? Misreading the data? Lying? I'm not asking why he's such an anti-Kerry (or anti-New York Times or whatever) obsessive. I just want to understanding how he comes up with this stuff.

Does anyone have any ideas.

One of the best of the good news items I've seen in a while is the finding in Rasmussen Reports that more people polled of either party now believe that Kerry will win over Bush. Its a slim 46-45%, but I'll take it. Compared to voter expectations of even a month ago its a great improvement because it helps to fuel the power of inevitability.

I don't think the CBS-NYTimes polls significantly skew toward Bush, nor do I think it clear that skewness on one type of question carries over to skewness on all questions:

Here is a plot and trend line for national Bush-Kerry polls:

Cause has always been like that. Plus he is no writer, if you look.

He basically writes a political gossip column. Myself, I prefer Wonkette.

At least she talks about interesting things, like rim jobs.

I meant to write "Cause Kaus" not just "Cause"

> What is up with anti-Kerry fetishist Mickey Kaus?

Kausfiles is WEIRD. Mickey K. _claims_ he is a Democrat, yet it seems his website is mostly devoted to bashing Kerry (and Gray Davis before that), the liberal journalists of the Los Angeles Times, NYT etc.. He has never seen a Kerry smear he did not like, yet he also says he is going to vote for JFK in November!! Go figure...

Nonetheless, I enjoy his blog. He's got a great sense of humor, which tends to reduce the sharpness of his attacks on "liberals".


Really? I find Mickey Kaus about as funny as I find Canadian humor.

In other words: Not at all, it's just too damn stupid.