Friday, February 08, 2008

To watch for in Washington State

Survey USA did a follow up poll conducted yesterday and today (though probably missing the turmoil over the Shuster statement) that has Hillary up 5 points to 45%, and has Obama dropping from 53% down to 50%. If the primary counted in the state, I think Hillary could probably win. Unfortunately, the primary does nothing and all delegates are chosen through the caucuses. Washington has been a caucus state for a long time. While the survey doesn't give HRC supporters thrilling news, it does provide a way to see if trends from Super Tuesday are continuing.

Poll crosstabs for 2/07 - 2/08
Poll crosstabs for 2/03 - 2/03

The biggest difference in the polls is that Survey USA has adjusted the gender demographic. The first two columns are the old poll, the second two columns are the new poll:


First of all, they shifted the gender ratio to be more like the turn out in Super Tuesday. What is very interesting is that HRC's support among both men as well as among women has increased - 4% for men and 5% for women. She still polls lower with women in Wshington than she did in most other states. The undecideds who made up their minds have gone for HRC, which reinforces the trend we've seen in both the Super Tuesday exit polls and in the Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls. Undecided voters are more likely to decide for her.

Survey SA also changed its ethnicity balance, to include a larger portion of the non-white public in the sample. The columns indicate White, Black, Hispanic and Asian, with the oldest poll in the first four columns and the newest poll in the last four:


Hillary's percentages go up among all groups except AA voters. HRC is now at parity with BHO with white voters, and has improved her margin slightly with Hispanic voters. The Asian voter columns are the most dramatic with her support almost doubling and the change clearly coming from both undecideds and Obama defectors. Even so, she still lags with this group. It is a larger constituency than Black or Hispanic voters in the state.

The bad news, though, is that only 33% of those who intend to caucus say they will vote for Hillary. Less than 40% of Democrats say they will caucus at all, so Obama "wins" (assuming Survey USA is accurate and this number holds for tomorrow) with less than 25% of Democratic voters. The survey also shows that the majority of Obama supporters have no intention of going to the state primary, which is where state measures are voted on as well as conducting a straw poll of the presidential candidates.

HRC is in the lead with voters in the western portion of the state, though lags in the Seattle metro area. She is slightly behind in eastern Washington, which is rural and very conservative, much like rural Nevada and Idaho.

If Washington was a primary, Hilary would be very competitive, and she might even win. There is also the fact that a significant number of voters don't even know that the delegates are only chosen from the caucuses, not from the primary. Given the difficulties of caucusing, it is unlikely she can pull out a win. Someone is doing a huge GOTC (Get Out The Caucus) effort with Asian voters, however.

Old Poll26%42%27%19%
New Poll29%73%36%52%

The percentage of a given ethnic group that said it would caucus is shown in the columns. The first row is the results of the first poll, the scond row is the newer poll, and the final row is the percent increase. Whites show the least increase. AA and Asian voters are increasing by over 30% each. This increase in Asian turnout is phenomenal. A note of caution about these last caucus numbers - they mix Republican and Democrat together, so this shouldn't be seen as poll movement exclusive to Democrats.

Overall, it looks like HRC's percentages with voters have gone up by a statistically significant amount in Washington, mostly attributable by the greater weight given to women voters in the voting sample. Male voters are also more likely to support her than a week ago (everybody likes a winner...). At the same time, though I do think she is gaining strength in Washington, I don't think it is enough to overcome the structural advantage Obama enjoys with caucuses.



Anonymous said...

Ang, about your parents not being up to a 2-hour caucus. I've been looking through various web pages with instructions for the WA caucus and at least one of them said that you COULD just sign in with your preference and leave.

Btw Admin at just gave my website a nice compliment -- thanks again for the logo!

Anonymous said...

Do we know why her support among Asn and Hsp demos are so low? These were major strengths for her in CA.

I had thought that the SUSA polls were bad because those groups just couldn't offset BHO's support in his key demos.

Is it a longterm BHO ground game?

Anonymous said...

It's going to be a long month for the Clinton campaign. Let's hope she can make it through all of the media attacks to win the primaries in March and April.

1950 Democrat said...

"Do we know why her support among Asn and Hsp demos are so low? "

Who says that? I heard that her support in WA among Asians and Hispanics was very good -- just not enough of them in WA.