It’s early in the morning, but we already have enough survey data for an entire polling thread! Particularly noteworthy are Quinnipiac’s latest release from four battleground states (CO, MI, MN and WI, which all favor Obama), and SUSA’s polling data from four highly competitive House districts in Ohio - especially since SUSA has also released presidential match-ups for three out of those four districts (there again finding good news for Obama).
Overall, this polling roundup brings good news to Democrats, as Obama leads in a number of swing states, posts yet another outside-of-the-MoE Michigan lead, and get some encouraging results from down-the-ballot races as well.
Note that Quinnipiac’s polls are somewhat dated and taken over an entire week (as are most of Quinnipiac’s surveys); they were in the field from the 14th to the 21st - so throughout the financial crisis and its immediate aftermath. But they have a very large sample (more than 1,300 likely voter in each state) and a relatively small margin of error (under 3%). That said, here’s the full roundup of morning’s polls:
- Obama leads 49% to 45% in a Quinnipiac poll of Colorado. He trailed by 1% in August and 2% in July; Obama’s edge is outside of the MoE. Obama gets 68% of Hispanics, McCain leads by 7% among whites.
- Obama leads 48% to 44% in a Quinnipiac poll of Michigan. The margin is the same as late July and is outside of the MoE. 58% of voters say the economy is the most important issue, and respondents think Obama understands that topic better 50% to 38%.
- Obama leads 47% to 45% in a Quinnipiac poll of Minnesota, the same margin as in late July.
- Obama leads 49% to 42% in a Quinnipiac poll of Wisconsin. He led by 11% in late July, but 7% is most definitely on the larger size of recent results.
- Obama leads 47% to 45% in a Mason Dixon poll of Florida. That’s well within the poll’s MoE. Even more encouraging for Obama: he leads by 6% in the Tampa region.
- The candidates are tied at 45% in a Civitas poll of North Carolina. Two weeks ago, McCain led by 3%; this is in fact the first time McCain has not led in a Civitas poll of this state.
- Finally, SUSA released House polls from four Ohio districts. In three of them, they also polled the presidential race - and found significant improvements for Obama over Kerry’s performance in each. In OH-01, Bush won 51% to 49% in 2004 (his statewide margin); Obama leads 52% to 43%. In OH-02, Bush led 64% to 36% of the vote in 2004; McCain leads 58% to 39%. In OH-16, Bush won 54% to 46%; McCain leads 48% to 46%. Those shifts would put Obama in a strong position in the statewide race.
Let’s focus in more carefully on two states. First, North Carolina, where the race looks to be tightening indeed: this is the second poll in three days (after PPP’s poll) to find the race tied in the Tar Heel state - something that had not happened since one April survey that looked like an outlier. Second, Michigan: This is the third poll in a row (after Marist and Rasmussen) to find Obama’s lead outside of the margin of error, which should be a huge relief for the Democrat. We will be in a position to talk more about Colorado once PPP releases their poll later today.
Meanwhile, in down-the-ballot polls:
- In OH-01, Rep. Chabot leads Democratic challenger Steve Driehaus 46% to 44% in a SUSA poll. Black turnout will be key to deciding this race.
- In OH-02, Rep. Schmidt leads Democratic challenger Wulsin 48% to 40% in a SUSA poll.
- In OH-15, Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy leads 47% to 42% against Steve Stivers in a SUSA poll. Kilroy led by 3% in early August.
- In OH-16, Democrat John Boccieri leads 49% to 41% against Kirk Schuring in a SUSA poll. Schuring’s favorability rating is far lower, so perhaps the DCCC’s ads are functioning.
- Elizabeth Dole leads Kay Hagan 43% to 41% in a Civitas poll of North Carolina’s Senate race. Before leaners are included, Hagan was up 41% to 40%.
- Mark Udall leads 48% to 40% in a Quinnipiac poll of Colorado’s Senate race. The contest was tied in July.
- Al Franken has gained ground but trails 49% to 42% in Quinnipiac’s poll of Minnesota’s Senate race. Coleman led by 15% in July.
- Mark Warner leads 57% to 34% in SUSA’s latest poll of Virginia’s Senate race.
- A stunning internal Democratic poll of ID-01 has Walt Minnick leading GOP Rep. Bill Sali 43% to 38%. One possible problem in the poll is that it is convincing those final 19% of undecided that is bound to be the most difficult for a Democratic candidate in a staunchly conservative district.
OH-15 and OH-16 are among the highest priorities for House Democrats, as demonstrated by the hundreds of thousands the DCCC is already spending in these districts. To be fair to Republicans, many expected them to be in a much worse position in both of these open seats by this time, and the fact that they have managed to keep OH-15 competitive in particular is a testament to Mary Jo Kilroy’s struggles. Kilroy was favored to beat the incumbent in 2006 but narrowly lost, and she now has to battle the high unfavorables that she has left over from that race. OH-01 is a also a top Democratic target (and another narrow 2006 loss), though that contest has always been expected to be tight.
In Senate race, Civitas’s North Carolina numbers are a reminder that Dole still has some life in her but also further confirmation of Hagan’s momentum. Quinnipiac has Coleman leading by a larger margin than other surveys (SUSA, Rasmussen, Minnesota Public Radio) have shown lately, but Quinnipiac doesn’t appear to have included third-party candidate Dean Barkley. As for Colorado, the race has been static for more than a year: Udall is in the lead, but he has not closed the deal