Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Public Policy Polling: Virginia

The latest edition of the monthly Public Policy Polling data is out for September 13 & 14th which polled 1,090 Virgianians regarding.

Very little has changed in Virginia, a critical battleground state for both candidates and Barack Obama still leads John McCain by 2 pts. The current polling has the race sitting at 48-46.

Just as last month the number of respondents to the poll were mostly declared Democrats but of those total respondents 93% declared themselves firm in their descision while 5% remained undecided. 55% of those polled were woman.

So far it appears as though Obama is strong with voters under 65, women, and minority voters whereas McCain has commanding lead with voters that are male, those over 65, and those white.

Virginia is remarkable in one respect and that is it has been relatively unaffected thus far by the conventions in terms of the polls. Other States like OHIO have moved over to John McCain.

PPP data for September has McCain 48-44 in OHIO where is has taken over Obama through his increases in declared independents supporting his campaign. Last month Obama has control of these voters, but there has been an eighteen point shift in white independent voters since August.

The ground game in Virginia the last few months has been overwhelmingly favoring Obama. If the polls in Ohio and Florida remain firm, expect resources from the McCain campaign to move into Virginia. The areas the campaign will target will be Hampton Roads/Va Beach and a return to Fairfax and Loudon areas where there is still Republican support. McCain will need these voters to offset the gains Obama will be handed by Alexandria, Arlington and Democrats in Fairfax.

I would expect and there is some talk of a Sarah Palin visit to Chesepeake/Va Beach while John McCain will revisit and campaign in NOVA where there is a considerable number independent voters.

Obama on the other hand may have to shift focus back to OHIO and Michigan and now even Wisconsin where his numbers are either falling or is getting tighter. Obama knows that if he wins Virginia it would be a severe blow to McCain, but if he loses the other states and PA remains competetive he may have to go defensive in areas that he did not plan on. No one thought that PA and Wisconsin would really be in play and with McCain remaining ahead in OH and FL the map is getting really tight.


Bill Garnett said...


The most recent Virginia polls show Obama ahead or tied:

September 12-14 SurveyUSA pol: McCain 46%, Obama 50%

September 13-14 PPP (D): McCain 46%, Obama 48%

September 14 FOX/Rasmussen: McCain 48%, Obama 48%

And nationally, what ever bump either candidate got from their conventions, the momentum short term seems in Obama’s favor.

Alter of Freedom said...

I like to examine the the PPP data because I find it to be a better cross reference of demographics.

For example there has been criticism of the Christopher Newport University poll which targeted cell phone owners for its poll of 500 Virginians where McCain had a 7 pt lead.

Survey/USA always seems to come in above its margin of error if you like at Primaries and you have to look at the demographics. I usually discount it generally because it fails to have enough voters from the midwest and southeast, traditional GOP stongholds. Remember this is supposed to be a national poll.

I like PPP for internal State polls because they demonstrate an attempt to get a bonafide cross reference. This last one (September) was not as good as August in my opinion because of the rural, urban ,suburban ratio as well as the concentration of a tan percent differecne in the gender ratio in terms of respondents.

It is important to note that Joe Biden did better than Sarah Palin in terms of influence in the vote for the top of ticket. That is much different that states like OH.

I think we will stay in this range until the debates, but it appears as though McCain has not held at least in VA a post-convention bump like Bush had in 2000/2004.

The independents are key for McCain and that is where he is gaining some Mo over Obama here and elsewhere. 5% in VA polled were also undecided.

A greater question will be the turnout of African-Amercians; historically 18% or so in these elections for those registered given that percentage of those supporting Obama (95%).

Anonymous said...

And lest you forget there are zero military polled and given Virginia's numbers in that regard that is significant.

If people think that Obama is going to earn more than 15% of the military than I to have a bridge to fantasyland to sell you.

John said...

Word has it, Sarah Palin may be coming back to Virginia and campaigning with Jim Gilmore while John McCain continues pressing through the Midwest.

It appears as though McCain has solidified with Palin Missouri, Indiana, and Ohio and will concentrate on Pennsylvania.

Has anyone been looking at the polls in New Jersey? Why is Obama's lead shrinking there.? Is it the women there that supported the former GOP Governor that was of course a woman as well?

Anonymous said...

The PPP (D) polling was done on a Saturday and Sunday. Gee I wonder where those conservative, especially social ones where on Sunday morning to take that call.

Other polls:

CNN/Time--McCain +4
CNU- McCain +9
National Journal -McCain +7
InAdv- McCain +2
PPP (D)- +2 Obama
Survey/USA: Obama +4
Fox/Rasmussen- tied

In short, these polls are all over the place.