Shenandoah County GOP

It’s tightening up…..
October 25, 2008, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Election 2008, MSM, Polling

From Delegate Chris Saxman (hat tip to Suzanne Curran:

Over the past few weeks, I have heard from many of you expressing concern and frustration over polling numbers. And while the other side is trying to distract voters by spending millions of dollars to plan a huge election night party, our team is continuing our hard work of contacting voters and sharing Senator McCain’s and Governor Palin’s positive plans for America- and that work is paying off as reflected in a number of polls this week showing that this race is much closer than the main stream media would have us believe.
On the side bar, I have included several links to some of this week’s polling. Yesterday’s IBD/TIPP poll (which was found to be the most accurate pollster of the 2004 campaign season), showed the race tightening to just a 1.1% difference.
Earlier this week, many were surprised by an Associated Press-GfK poll, which also showed the race within 1%.
The truth is, this race is closing in fast, for many reasons:
  • Joe the Plumber exposed Obama’s ideology to where the press HAD to report it.
  • Voters are seeing that Obama is the most liberal member of the US Senate . There is no Teflon for a voting record to the LEFT of the only Socialist in the US Senate – Bernie Sanders.
  • Voters are recalling just what socialism is and what it means. (Marx believed that socialism represents the transition between capitalism and communism.)
  • Experience still matters.
  • Biden and Albright admitted that because Obama is so inexperienced America would be tested with an international crisis. Biden: “Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
  • Voters are realizing that Obama/Pelosi/Reid is a REALLY bad idea and that bipartisanship is necessary to fix our problems.
And finally, our message is coming home to voters because of you- because of our hard working volunteers who are out every day, knocking on doors, making phone calls, talking to their friends and family, and getting our message out. John McCain and Sarah Palin have the experience and the leadership to fix Washington, to get our economy back on track, to create jobs and to keep our country safe. They are the team we know and trust to fight for us, to fight with us, to fight for America.
In today’s TIPP poll, Obama expanded his lead to 3.5%, but looking at the sample size, that should be within the margin of error. Meanwhile, in our own little commonwealth, two consecutive polls shows McCain and Obama back within the margin of error, meaning this race isn’t quite done yet, even though NBC is moving Virginia into the “leans Obama ” column this weekend.
From NBC (yes, the very same NBC that is giving Obama the state this weekend) and Mason Dixon:

In the survey, Obama receives 47 percent of the vote compared to McCain’s 45 percent. But the survey indicates Obama has been gaining ground in Virginia. In a Mason-Dixon poll earlier this month, McCain led Obama by a margin of 48 percent to 45 percent.

The poll finds Obama with a 30 -point lead in Northern Virginia, 61 percent to 31 percent. McCain leads by 23 percentage points in the Shenandoah Valley, and by 15 points in Southwest Virginia. He holds a smaller 11-point edge in the Richmond media market, but Obama now has a 5-point advantage in the critical Hampton Roads region.

And from Winthrop/ETV:


All White Women Working Class Whites
McCain 43.6% 48.3% 53.7%
Obama 44.6% 40.5% 36.6%
Someone Else 2.1% 1.3% 1.5%
Undecided 5.9% 6% 7.5%
Refused 3.8% 3.9% 0.7%

It’s not over till Election Day. Do your part by volunteering for get-out-the-vote calls and knocks all next week and during the 72 Hour period, Click here to see where we need help, then click here to sign up for shifts. Be sure to denote which shifts you can work in the message box on our form.


Polling Chaos
September 23, 2008, 10:01 am
Filed under: Election 2008, Polling, State Government and Politics, Technology and Politics

Obama +2…Tie…..McCain +2……Obama +4……McCain +9. If you’re like me, you’re probably starting to get a headache from all the different polling results on the presidential race here in Virginia. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again–polling is as much an art as it is a science. I’ll try to write a post soon about how to be a careful consumer of polls in this “silly season,” but for now here’s some food for thought from the RTD:

Some supporters of Sen. Barack Obama, puzzled by why he can’t mount a big lead over Sen. John McCain in a difficult environment for Republicans, say the pollsters are missing younger, pro-Obama voters who have cell phones only.

Even some pollsters raise another uncertainty about the plethora of Virginia polls — whether all of the respondents who say they back Obama will vote in November for the nation’s first black major-party nominee.

Nearly 250,000 first-time voters have registered in Virginia this year, and 42 percent are under the age of 25. The overall gain has pushed Virginia’s voter rolls to 4.8 million people.

Coker said if the sample for a poll includes the number of young voters in proportion to the population, the absence of cell-phone users doesn’t matter. He said exit polls taken during the 2004 presidential election showed no difference in voting behavior between landline and cell-phone users.

Polls are weighted to match the demographic composition of the electorate, Coker said.

The Pew Research Center’s Scott Keeter, a former pollster at Virginia Commonwealth University, found that cell-only respondents are significantly more likely to support Obama. But he said they also are substantially less likely to be registered to vote and, if registered, less likely to go to the polls.

A Pew survey in June found that Obama held a 48 percent to 40 percent advantage over McCain among cell-phone users and a 46 percent to 41 percent advantage among landline users.

The Gallup organization, one of the oldest and most respected polls, says it does account for cell-phone users. About 15 percent of households now use cell phones only.

Residents of those households tend to be younger, more minorities and more transient, the Gallup organization’s Web site says.

Those would be more likely to be Obama supporters.

Since Jan. 2, Gallup has been including cell phone-only households in all of its telephone surveys, the Web site says. The most recent national Gallup poll, taken Friday, shows Obama leading by 5 percentage points.

Coker said the Obama campaign should be more worried about the so-called “Wilder effect” or “Bradley effect.”

The phenomenon was named for Virginia’s L. Douglas Wilder and California’s Tom Bradley, black office holders who saw substantial poll leads disappear on Election Day. This resulted in a theory that some voters are embarrassed to tell pollsters that they will not support a black candidate.

In 1982, Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles, led in the polls but lost California’s election for governor.

Two days before Virginia’s 1989 election for governor, Wilder led his Republican opponent, J. Marshall Coleman, by 15 percentage points, according to one poll. Wilder won the election, but it was so close there was a recount.

In an interview last week, Wilder, now Richmond’s mayor and an Obama backer, said the public polls were wrong in 1989. Wilder said his own campaign’s internal polling showed the contest was much closer.

McCain pulling ahead
August 20, 2008, 11:01 am
Filed under: Election 2008, Polling, POTUS

Signs have been pointing all month to an Obama fade and a McCain surge, but now the poll numbers are really starting to show it. This morning CNN reported that their “poll of polls” (always beware of poll averages, but that’s a story for another post) showed that the gap between Obama and McCain had narrowed to two percentage points.

Then they turn right around to show that Senator McCain has a five point lead. Nationally.

It has been just a bad month for Obama. I think alot of this has to do with what will end up being a major strategic error in not selecting his running mate. If Obama had gone ahead and selected a running mate that is more moderate (not a certainty, given that only one of the top three is know as a true DLC type), he likely could have softened the blow of the constant barrage of media profiles that have highlighted his left leaning views and his true Chicago political style. At that same time, McCain has been able to galvanize his base–perhaps the best thing that has happened to him was the Saddleback appearance, in which he was able to state his opposition to abortion. Some feel that this could hurt his chances with moderates, but McCain’s larger problem has been making sure that conservatives stay on board and don’t defect to any third party candidacy in large numbers.

McCain’s statement, along with revelations about just how liberal Obama is on abortion, seems to have helped push Catholics and born-again Christians away from Obama. Additionally, Obama has lost his lead on economic issues, perhaps again owing to revelations that his views on economics seem to be far away from those that have been favored of recent vintage. With a book coming out soon that will argue that Obama needs to paint a bold “progressive” vision for the nation’s economy, this case against him may only be bolstered.

As I’ve argued several times, polling is as much an art as it is a science. But if this Reuters poll, along with polling showing that Indiana is evolving into soft McCain territory rather than a battleground, the momentum in this race is clearly in John McCain’s favor.

Yes Virginia, there is a Straight Talker
July 23, 2008, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Election 2008, Local Government and Politics, Polling

The battle for Virginia continues to heat up. One of the Senator’s hometown papers is examining the race from miles away, while a poll released today shows Barack Obama with a slight edge, 46% to 44%, still outside the margin of error and both candidates down a percentage from last month. This seems to match up with Obama’s sliding favorability in the latest Rasmussen poll, indicating that perhaps people are rethinking reflexively voting for Obama simply because he is the “Change” candidate and are beginning to examine his hard left agenda. (It should also be noted that this poll was apparently a robo-call–the method of asking questions can be one of many factors affecting a poll’s credibility, a topic I hope to discuss in depth in the future)

Meanwhile, Garren Shipley has a light-hearted look at the sudden attention that is being lavished upon Virginia’s newspaper writers, who are used to a slightly different tone and pace.