Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Howey-Gauge Poll Results Not Good News For Democrats

I just finished attending a briefing on the release of the latest Howey-Gauge Poll numbers at a luncheon hosted by Barnes & Thornburg. I suspect the numbers will not be music to many Democrats. In the Democratic primary race for president in Indiana, Obama and Clinton are locked in a tight race, with Obama up 2 points at 47%-45% and 8% undecided. On a statewide basis, neither Clinton nor Obama fare well with voters, although Obama's negatives aren't as high as Clinton's at this moment. Obama's favorable/unfavorable numbers are 41%-34%, while Clinton's are 37%-42%. McCain, by comparison, polls favorable/unfavorable numbers of 47%-25%. With a plus or minus margin of error rate of 4.1%, Obama's 2-point lead is within the margin of error. Nevertheless, I see this race going to Clinton when you see how well she is running ahead of Obama among female voters and older voters, two big blocs of voters. It also appears Republican cross over votes could help Clinton. According to Holly Davis, the poll anticipates that as many as 1 in 5 of the people who vote in the Democratic primary will be either Republican or independent voters. A surprising finding of this latest poll was just how little voters seemed concerned about the Iraq War. Pocketbook issues are on the minds of voters. Note also that this same poll found Obama with a 15-point lead over Clinton in February. Rev. Wright and Obama's dissing of small town folks have definitely taken their toll on his campaign in the Hoosier state.

The poll brings more bad news to the troubled campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Schellinger. He trails Thompson by a 45%-27% margin with 28% undecided. In a match-up with Gov. Mitch Daniels, Thompson loses 55%-36%. Daniels scores a positive favorable/unfavorable rating of 51%-28%. Also, voters prefer to re-elect him as governor as opposed to those who favor someone new by a 47%-41% margin according to the poll. The poll finds that issues like daylight savings time and toll roads are not registering with voters. Once again, it's the economy, stupid.

In the 7th District, the poll numbers suggests it's a two-man race between U.S. Rep. Andre Carson and Dr. Woody Myers. Orentlicher and Mays are trailing far behind in third and fourth place, respectively. Howey suggests that Myers' only hope at closing the 17-point gap between him and Carson may be a late, negative attack against him by one of Carson's opponents, preferably Mays or Orentlicher. The poll suggests white voters are gravitating to Myers instead of Orentlicher, contrary to the conventional thinking of many. Surprisingly, the poll shows Myers with higher name recognition in the district than Orentlicher. Only 67% of the voters could identify Orenticher compared to the 82% who could identify Myers.

The poll produced little hope that Dr. John McGoff will succeed in unseating U.S. Rep. Dan Burton in the 5th District. Burton is leading McGoff by a whopping 57%-22% margin with 20% undecided according the poll results. The only good news for McGoff in the poll is his apparent lead in Marion County where voters prefer him over Burton by a 40%-35% margin. Only 20% of the district's voters, however, live within Marion County. One of Dr. McGoff's biggest problems is a lack of name recognition district-wide.

Democratic Presidential Primary

Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

7th District Democratic Primary

5th District Democratic Primary


Anonymous said...

Darn! Nobody asked me! I will definitely be voting AGAINST Burton!

artfuggins said...

I sent money to McGoff even though I dont live in his district... surely the republicans in that district are embarrassed to be represented by him.

Anonymous said...

If Julia lasted as along as she did - Burton has nothing to fear.


David Myers said...

Remember who the polls picked for Mayor of Indianapolis? Remember that the polls had Kerry as President?

artfuggins said...

I wonder what members of the GLTB community who are supporting Clinton think now that the Governor introduced and used a derogatory term for gays and Hillary stood there and said nothing......Is Hillary afraid to speak up when someone makes an anti gay slur? I thought she claimed to be fighting for us??

Unknown said...

Most polls showed Bush several points ahead of Kerry at the end. It was actually closer than the polls indicated, not the other way around.

As far as Peterson v. Ballard, the polls at the end were showing that Ballard was within the margin of error...essentially a tie. And polls don't taken into account the anger that was out there regarding Ballard. The result on election day wasn't really that big of a surprise.

Orentlicher for Congress said...

With all due respect to Brian Howey, the sample his pollster used in the 7th District is so far out of whack as to be useless.

The sample was 60% African American when history indicates that even in the Democratic Primary African-American participation rarely gets above the 45-50% range.

The poll sample is also only 37% men and while it is true that women usually outnumber men in Democratic primaries, the turnout is usually much closer to 45% men and 55% women. In addition, 47% of the sample is unemployed, a figure that is too high.

The point is not that one candidate or another would do better with a different sample -- it's that this sample is so far off the mark that none of its conclusions are really valid.

Indeed, the poll results don't make any sense given what's been happening in the race. According to the poll, Carson has been gaining ground while he's been off the air, and Orentlicher has been losing ground while on the air. In fact, the reverse has been happening, as one would expect.