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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:15 pm 
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Obama leads in Wisconsin

Barack Obama leads the top Republican candidates for President in Wisconsin, but for the most part his margins over them are a good deal less than what he won against John McCain in 2008- this is one state where Obama's position clearly has weakened over the last couple years.

Mitt Romney comes closest to Obama, trailing 46-42. Obama's lead over Mike Huckabee is 47-41 and against Newt Gingrich it's 50-41. Only against Sarah Palin does Obama match his 14 point margin from 2008- he leads her 52-38.

The big differences for Obama between now and 2008 come with Republicans and independents. Against McCain exit polls showed Obama taking 10% of the Republican vote. That may not sound like much- and it isn't- but that's a strong performance compared to the 2% against Romney, 4% against Huckabee, 5% against Gingrich, and 6% against Palin that Obama gets now. Whatever little crossover support he once had has pretty much evaporated.

With independents Obama actually does lead all of the Republicans- by 7 points over Romney, 9 over Huckabee, 16 against Gingrich, and 20% against Palin. But again- with the exception of the Palin match up- those margins don't hold up to the 19 point win with independents exit polls showed him earning against McCain last time around.

Opinions about Obama in the state are divided almost evenly with 47% of voters approving of him and 46% disapproving. You might expect his horse race numbers to be even weaker with those kinds of approval figures but as is the case elsewhere voters in Wisconsin look very unfavorably upon the Republican field. Mitt Romney is the most 'popular,' if you can call it that, with 33% of voters holding a favorable opinion of him to 45% with a negative one. Mike Huckabee's reviews are pretty similar at 32% favorable and an identical 45% unfavorable. The other two Republicans are far more unpopular with Sarah Palin's at a 35/58 spread and Newt Gingrich at 28/54. Obama's best ally as he heads toward reelection is the likely Republican candidate field.

Obama would win Wisconsin again if the election was today- and he'll probably win it in 2012 if the GOP nominee is one of these folks- but his numbers in Wisconsin still speak to a weakened position for him in the Midwest relative to 2008.

Full results here
Posted by Tom Jensen at 12:32 PM

http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com ... onsin.html


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:10 pm 
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Only against Sarah Palin does Obama match his 14 point margin from 2008- he leads her 52-38


This is another indication that my long standing theory that Palin hurt McCain by about 3% or so on a national average is valid. Her high unfavorables did not just suddenly start once the election had ended. She helped him for the first two weeks, but from that point on, as she became more well known, she dragged him down.

On the positive side for Huckabee, he does very well in comparison to both Obama and Romney, the two potential front-runners for the liberal party.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:12 am 
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Don't Wisconsin & Minnesota lean GOP moderate & Democrat lite?

The Katie Couric interview is probably what caused the most damage with moderates, independents & fence sitters - it was pretty clear at that point that Palin was not yet ready for the national stage.

I still think Palin helped McCain more than she hurt him overall though.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:37 am 
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When you think back about the last presidential campaign after the primaries, what comes to your mind? Chances are you have visions of Obama and Palin more than Obama and McCain. Secret flights from Alaska, the glass ceiling introduction speech, the lipstick on a pit bull speech, the pregnant daughter revelation, the “I can see Alaska from my house interview,” and on and on. Only one or two McCain moments are memorable.

My point is, from the time McCain put her on the stage, the fate of the Republican ticket was in her hands; he faded and she took the spotlight. In essence, we already know how she does against Obama -- she loses badly. The polls that we have presently which show that Palin still loses to Obama, even when he is greatly weakened, only confirms that McCain helped keep the ticket afloat somewhat because he was still on the top of the ticket. With Palin on the top she fairs more poorly in general. You see, even though Romney and Huckabee are nearly even with Obama in Wisconsin, Palin can do no better than what the McCain/Palin ticket did in 2008 when Obama was much better liked. In other words, in Wisconsin, McCain kept the ticket up, while Palin drove it down. With Palin on the top of the ticket, 2012 could be even uglier than 2008 for Republicans, even though Obama might be quite vulnerable against another opponent.

Sure, Palin added energy to an anemic campaign, but just as a methane explosion is a marvelous demonstration of energy being released; if not controlled properly, it is not always a constructive phenomenon.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:10 pm 
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I think Palin on the ticket was a wash. The base flocked and the indies ran.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Iowans Rock wrote:
I think Palin on the ticket was a wash. The base flocked and the indies ran.


Short and sweet and accurate IMO!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:09 pm 
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Iowans Rock wrote:
I think Palin on the ticket was a wash. The base flocked and the indies ran.

Yes, but you are missing the point a bit I think.

I really don't care much if she hurt McCain or not. That is in the past. What I care about is that people learned from that experience. McCain did need to secure the Republican base, but he did so with a very polarizing character, thus he drove away any chance he had.

I don't know much about politics, but my observation is that unfavorable numbers are much more significant than favorable ones and especially when one is well known. There are virtually no undecideds regarding either Obama or Palin, but in contrast to Obama, Palin's unfavorable numbers are very high. It really doesn't matter in a general election if even a large group of people really really like you, if an even larger group really, really don't like you then you are sunk, and so is your party.

My point is that Palin's high unfavorables did not just suddenly begin with the end of the campaign in 2008. One needs to only extrapolate backwards and see that even before they started taking these polls which showed favorables/unfavorables, she must have been cultivating a fairly high unfavorable opinion across America. Yes, it was not as high in the beginning of 2009 as it is today, but all that means is that she is not improving her position but making it worse. What that also means is that McCain would be even more foolish if he added her to the ticket today, and if he did so anyway, he could expect to lose by even a greater margin.

It is said that VP selections usually only affect the outcome by plus or minus one percentage point. However, rarely if ever (that I am aware of) has a VP selection become such a major and prominent issue. They always make the news, and sometimes in a negative way, but in the end, how one spells potato is not as significant as when a large number of people think of you unfavorably and genuinely do not think you are qualified for the position.

You can not argue with the fact that poll after poll says that Palin loses to Obama by a large margin now. I am simply saying that this is not a recent phenomena, and we have in effect already seen this match-up. That Palin continues to do very poorly against Obama even when others do quite a bit better if not outright beat Obama is just further evidence that she hurt the ticket in 2008 and would be a terrible disappointment if she secured the nomination in 2012.

I know of no one personally who voted for McCain because he picked Palin, but I do know of several who gave as their specific reason that they would not vote for him because he picked her. I know I live in a very liberal area, but even among my more conservative friends, no one was all that thrilled with the selection, they simply tolerated it, and as I said, even some of the most conservative ones rejected the ticket outright partly due to the lack of judgment in her selection.

McCain's poor judgment may have been the reason he crashed four planes as a pilot in the Navy, one marriage, and one bid for the White House. Does the Republican party really want to go down in flames in 2012 once again?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:23 pm 
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I agree that the biggest thing the Palin pick for vp wound up doing was paining John McCain as someone who made rash decisions without seriously looking into the situation. Had Palin been researched throughly as any potential vp on a short list should have been, it would have been discovered that she wasn't ready to be tossed out there. Once the media (and the public) got a taste of her, those who weren't blinded by her charm realized this was NOT a good decision on MCain's part. Nothing has happened since to change my mind.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:41 am 
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byourCreator wrote:
Iowans Rock wrote:
I think Palin on the ticket was a wash. The base flocked and the indies ran.

Yes, but you are missing the point a bit I think.

I really don't care much if she hurt McCain or not. That is in the past. What I care about is that people learned from that experience. McCain did need to secure the Republican base, but he did so with a very polarizing character, thus he drove away any chance he had.

I don't know much about politics, but my observation is that unfavorable numbers are much more significant than favorable ones and especially when one is well known. There are virtually no undecideds regarding either Obama or Palin, but in contrast to Obama, Palin's unfavorable numbers are very high. It really doesn't matter in a general election if even a large group of people really really like you, if an even larger group really, really don't like you then you are sunk, and so is your party.

My point is that Palin's high unfavorables did not just suddenly begin with the end of the campaign in 2008. One needs to only extrapolate backwards and see that even before they started taking these polls which showed favorables/unfavorables, she must have been cultivating a fairly high unfavorable opinion across America. Yes, it was not as high in the beginning of 2009 as it is today, but all that means is that she is not improving her position but making it worse. What that also means is that McCain would be even more foolish if he added her to the ticket today, and if he did so anyway, he could expect to lose by even a greater margin.

It is said that VP selections usually only affect the outcome by plus or minus one percentage point. However, rarely if ever (that I am aware of) has a VP selection become such a major and prominent issue. They always make the news, and sometimes in a negative way, but in the end, how one spells potato is not as significant as when a large number of people think of you unfavorably and genuinely do not think you are qualified for the position.

You can not argue with the fact that poll after poll says that Palin loses to Obama by a large margin now. I am simply saying that this is not a recent phenomena, and we have in effect already seen this match-up. That Palin continues to do very poorly against Obama even when others do quite a bit better if not outright beat Obama is just further evidence that she hurt the ticket in 2008 and would be a terrible disappointment if she secured the nomination in 2012.

I know of no one personally who voted for McCain because he picked Palin, but I do know of several who gave as their specific reason that they would not vote for him because he picked her. I know I live in a very liberal area, but even among my more conservative friends, no one was all that thrilled with the selection, they simply tolerated it, and as I said, even some of the most conservative ones rejected the ticket outright partly due to the lack of judgment in her selection.

McCain's poor judgment may have been the reason he crashed four planes as a pilot in the Navy, one marriage, and one bid for the White House. Does the Republican party really want to go down in flames in 2012 once again?


The biggest reason McCain lost was McCain. He was going to return to Washington to make sure the TARP bill did not pass, but then he wimped out. Palin seemed stronger than he at that point. Not good. He might have won with Huckabee as V.P. It always seemed that McCain didn't quite know what to do with Gov. Palin, either. She was sort of like Maria in Sound of Music. "How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?"

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:44 am 
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Let's see:

42 Romney
41 Huckabee, Gingrich
40
39
38 Palin
37
36

Now if John McCain were four years younger and had not just lost to Obama, where would you expect to find him in this poll? Even with the loss and his age, if he had been included, where would you expect to find him in this poll?

Might that suggest something?


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