Saturday, October 31, 2009

Polling in the NY-23 Election

In my last post , I updated with Ed Morrissey's analysis of the Siena poll that led to Scazzafava dropping from the race. Allahpundit has another take that points to a few potential problems for Hoffman:
Ed argued this morning that Scozzafava’s withdrawal is likely to hurt Owens “tremendously” because it frees up a ton of Republican votes. Could be, but how conservative are those votes? Turns out Obama’s net favorable rating among Scozzafava loyalists is … +33, with the split almost a perfect mirror image of The One’s favorables among Hoffman’s supporters.
Allahpundit links Nate Silver's analysis who figures although Scozzafava voters are approximately 62% Republican which would intuitively seem like a huge boost to the Hoffman campaign.  Hoffman had high unfavorables, however among this groups as did Bill Owens the Democratic candidate.  Surely the more conservative voters had already broken away to support Hoffman leaving the question how are the moderates going to break this Tuesday.  Silver thinks it is possible some will sit this one out while others might break for Hoffman reluctantly:
If I had to guess, I'd think that of Scozzafava's support, one-quarter of people don't vote, one-quarter vote for Scozzafava anyway, 30 percent defect to Hoffman and 20 percent defect to Owens. Extrapolating from the morning's Siena poll, that would produce a result of Hoffman 43, Owens 42, Scozzafava 5, with 10 percent of the voters still up for grabs. 
Gun to my head? Sure, I'd take Hoffman at this point. But I'd also take the short side of the 67 percent odds that he's been given at Intrade. 
Jimmie Bise of Sundries Shack fame, guest posted at The Other McCain on a PPP  poll showing massive leads for Hoffman.  After a few hundred unweighted interviews Hoffman was leading 45% to Owens 26%.  Scozzafava was trailing with 17%.  Jimmie Bise points out two giant caveats in this poll.  The poll has a very small sample and it was taken prior to Scozzafava's announcement which will take a while to settle in.  Silver adds an additional point, however, the enthusiasm/turn out factor seems to benefit Hoffman.

Indeed, respected pollster Charlie Cook has been sounding the alarm bells to Democrats with ears, the enthusiasm is completely one-sided:
Democrats would have to set up machine-gun nests to keep these people from voting, while the lethargy among Democratic voters is palpable.
This factor is quite evident in the Siena poll crosstabs:

Hoffman shows the greatest percentage of voters absolutely certain and fairly certain they will vote for him and the lowest percentage of voters not very certain or not certain at all.  While Scozzafava had the lowest percentage of voters absolutely certain they would vote for her, a full 88% were either absolutely or fairly certain of their vote.  Owens voters came in third with 84% either absolutely certain or fairly certain they would vote for him.  Owens also had the highest percentage not very certain or not certain at all they would change their minds.  In short, Owens support is the softest of the three.  Now that Scozzafava is out of the race, the voters most likely to sit out the election would be the Owens' voters.

One last note, Barack Obama's favorables among Scozzafava voters are indeed high but his favorables are polling higher in general than his policies, which are more relevant when electing your local representative:

Silver manages to break the Scozzafava vote down so the fundamentals between the two front runners are unchanged, it seems more likely those shifting to Hoffman are higher than the 30% he suggests. Thirty-one percent of Scozzafava voters had an unfavorable opinion of Obama which is already higher than Silver's numbers.  It doesn't follow that of the 64% with favorable opinions of Obama, none of those voters would be motivated by opposition to policies.  Personally I think there are more in the moderate category who have difficulty saying they don't like Obama even to a pollster over the phone.  It seems more likely that the Scozzafava announcement gives Hoffman a convincing lead.  Nevertheless, the only poll that matters is the one taken by voters on Tuesday in the New York 23rd.   Those opposed to the expansion of government and tax and spend policies of this administration need to vote, it would be fatal to assume your vote is not needed.

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