Wednesday, March 3, 2010
As promised, here's a more detailed look at the results from the Public Policy Polling survey of the 2nd District race.
I'll just start at the beginning, and give my commentary as we go down. You can "follow along" on this pdf if you like - I won't cover everything, and there's some fascinating stuff in these crosstabs.
For starters, 8% of the respondents identify as liberals, 45% as moderates, and 47% as conservatives. 55% call themselves Democrats, 33% Republicans, and 11% Independents.
President Obama gets a 27% approval rating, and a 65% disapproval. Not terribly surprising, since he lost this district by a somewhat similar margin. However, 20% of 2008 Obama voters disapprove. Liberals approve by a 2-1 margin, but he loses moderates (40-51) and conservatives (10-85). 47% of Democrats disapprove, while 42% approve. Republicans and Independents are overwhelmingly disapproving. Another interesting item: voters are slightly more approving the older they get - his worst approval rating (20%) is with 18-29 year-olds, and his best is with senior citizens (31%).
Congressman Boren gets a 51/33 approval rating, virtually identical percentages among McCain and Obama voters. He gets slightly higher approval among conservatives (46/38) than he does liberals (43/38), but moderates are higher (57/27). While there was no significant difference among gender in Obama's approval, woman are very approving of Boren (52/26), while men are mixed (49/40). Democrats approve on a 55/27 split, Republicans somewhat approve (47/38), but independents are divided (40/43).
11% of poll respondents consider Boren to be too conservative, 31% say he's too liberal, and 45% says he's just about right.
I fully expected Boren to be over 50% - in fact, I half-thought he'd be at or around 60%. For him to be in the mid- to upper-40s (as you will see below) surprised me. Could he be vulnerable? The odds are still long at defeating him, but it can't be put completely out of the question, especially if the Republican nominee can improve his own name recognition percentages.
17% approve of the health care bill passed by the House in November, while 61% disapprove. Liberals approve (54/34), but moderates (26/43) and conservatives (2/82) don't. Democrats (29/42), Republicans (2/86) and Independents (5/78) all disapprove.
32% think that Boren voted for the health care bill, but only 30% actually get it right, and say that he voted against it.
Arnett vs. Boren
Dan Arnett was the poorest performer against Boren, attracting only 22% of the vote against Boren's 49% - a 27 point deficit. These were the lowest and the highest numbers for the respective candidates. Independent Miki Booth received 7%, and 22% were undecided.
Arnett lost McCain voters to Boren 33-39, barely won conservatives (33-32), and got the lowest marks among moderates (10%) and liberals (12%). He also got the lowest marks among Republicans (42%) and Independents (19%).
This poll was obviously not kind to Arnett, who seems to be struggling more so than the other candidates to gain traction.
Houchen vs. Boren
Howard Houchen surprisingly had the second-worst performance, earning 26% to Boren's 48%, a 22 point deficit. Booth again received 7% of the vote.
Houchen edged out Boren in McCain voters 39-36. He gets the highest mark (ties the highest spread) in conservatives, beating Boren 43-29. He has the second-best performance among Republicans (51%), and the best showing among Independents, beating Boren 27-25.
This wasn't the best news for Houchen, as he has widely been considered the frontrunner (he's placed first in both of our candidates rankings to date). It's also by no means crushing information, but it's not great, either. I was, frankly, surprised at his showing.
Thompson vs. Boren
Charles Thompson had the second-best showing in this poll, getting 25% of the vote to Boren's 45% - a 20 point deficit. Booth received 8% this time.
Thompson won McCain voters 38-33. He came in second of the GOP candidates among liberals (20%) and third among conservatives, beating Boren 39-28. He was tied for first among Democrats (12%), third among Republicans (48%), and second in Independents (25%) - tied with Boren.
This has to be encouraging news for Thompson, the latest entry into this race. His numbers surprised me, as I fully expected him to be either third or fourth.
Edmonds vs. Boren
Daniel Edmonds comes out as the big winner in this poll, garnering 28% of the vote compared to Boren's 44% - a 16 point deficit. This is by far the best Republican performance, being the highest and the lowest percentages for the respective candidates. Booth again received 8%.
Edmonds received the highest percentage of McCain voters, beating Boren 42-33. He got the most of the GOP candidates among liberals (23%) and moderates (15%), and came in a close second among conservatives, beating Boren 42%-28% (tied for the highest spread). He tied for most Democrat supporters (12%), was the clear leader among Republicans (56%), and came in third in Independents (23%). He also did best among female voters (26%), and was in a three-way tie on male voters (31%).
This poll placed Edmonds as the clear frontrunner in the GOP primary - great news for his campaign. As well as he did, it would seem logical that he would have the best shot at swaying those undecideds away from Boren, and to him. Now, will he be able to transform this into greater fundraising figures?
Miki Booth is running as an Independent, although there are rumors that she's switching to run as a Republican now. She's probably most well known for her outspokenness on the Obama birth certificate controversy - arguably her most talked about issue. Still, even as a 'birther' candidate, there were very interesting tidbits in this poll.
Booth received 7% or 8% in every single matchup, drawing equal percentages from McCain voters and Obama voters. This tells me that those are the people that refuse to vote for either a Republican or a Democrat candidate.
What's intriguing is that she draws 5%-8% of conservatives and moderates, while getting 14% of liberals in the Boren/Arnett matchup, 20% in the Boren/Edmonds grouping, 23% against Boren and Thompson, and 24% in the Boren/Houchen pairing. This is especially interesting given her 'birther' stand - another indication that her voters don't know (or care) what she stands for, only that she's not a Republican or a Democrat.
She draws 5% of Democrats in all the matchups, 8%-12% of Republicans, 10%-19% of Independents. She also does 3-6 points better among minorities than she does among whites, and does better among 18-29 year-olds and seniors citizens.
The winners in this poll are Daniel Edmonds and Charles Thompson. The results were very encouraging for them.
The losers are Dan Arnett, Howard Houchen, and Dan Boren. For Arnett, this has to be either a shape-up signal or a get-out-of-the-race call. For Houchen, it's a little embarrassing, given his perceived front-runner status. Boren should be disappointed at his somewhat unimpressive lead, as someone of his establishment should have performed better. This more than likely will shape up to be his toughest political climate ever.
Given that this poll has shown some possible vulnerability for Boren, the Republican candidates need to seriously consider whether or not they belong in the race. With four (and possibly more) candidates running, the likelihood of the race going to a runoff is fairly high. A runoff would essentially ruin a Republican candidate's chances, as valuable and hard-to-come-by resources would be wasted.
We remain committed to reporting the latest developments in this race. Keep an eye, and a mouse-click, on the Muskogee Politico blog!