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May 09, 2007

The ARG Poll

I don't think Michael Crowley's read of the ARG poll's trend lines is quite right. It's not so much that "Clinton's ARG lead over Obama in New Hampshire has also soared," it's that Obama's position in the poll has plummeted. Take December out of the the equation, as it's both the oldest month and, by far, the lowest for Clinton, suggesting it's a possible outlier. Over the past four months, she's held steady between 39% and 37%, a two percent swing. Obama has dropped from a high of 23% in March to 14% in April, a nine percent loss. And Edwards has risen from 13% in January to 26% now, a 13 percent improvement. So what you're seeing is an apparently durable lead for Clinton, significant downward motion for Clinton, and serious improvement for Edwards.

May 9, 2007 in Polls | Permalink

Comments

"So what you're seeing is an apparently durable lead for Clinton, significant downward motion for Clinton, and serious improvement for Edwards."

You mean Obama.

Posted by: Sam L. | May 9, 2007 10:55:45 PM

Man... I 'd love to believe this, but it's such a surprising bit of data and I don't have an explanation for it. I could see Edwards moving up a little after the debate, but a 37 C - 26 E - 14 O poll is a stunner.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | May 9, 2007 11:13:52 PM

Doesn't make sense with Obama. This is probably more like Edwards 13% poll number earlier which immediately popped back up the next month. More likely to be an outlier then an actual trend

Posted by: PM | May 9, 2007 11:33:16 PM

You're confusing percent with points, an increase from 13% to 26% is a gain of 13 points but a 100 percent increase.

Posted by: beowulf | May 9, 2007 11:38:27 PM

Obama is not wearing well. His hype peaked a while ago, and as the campaign begins to chug into motion, and he has to actually get up on a stage and stand next to the other candidates, he begins to look more and more ordinary. Which is no crime, but it is fatal to the entire rationale for the Obama campaign, which is premised on his specialness.

He also seems to have lost his sunny demeanor to some extent - at times appearing almost cranky. And tired, too, which is strange considering he's the youngest candidate.

The more I look at the various polls, the more inevitable Hillary looks, which is painful for me to even say. I don't see a plausible route to the nomination for Obama. The only real chance I can see for a non-Hillary nominee is for Edwards to win convincingly in Iowa (where he is ahead) and ride the momentum the way Kerry did.

Posted by: Jason | May 9, 2007 11:46:22 PM

The only real chance I can see for a non-Hillary nominee is for Edwards to win convincingly in Iowa (where he is ahead) and ride the momentum the way Kerry did.

That would be the plan. I don't think it has to be a particularly big victory, though -- just enough to turn the media narrative into Edwards vs. Clinton, so Edwards can unite all the anti-Hillary forces behind him. (It's possible that a good Iowa showing and a union-fueled Nevada victory could do the job too.) If he gets the media attention, he can unite the electability crowd and the high-information progressives, which is how you beat Hillary in NH.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | May 10, 2007 12:18:08 AM

a union-fueled Nevada victory could do the job too

Isn't Hillary way, way up there? Does the Edwards camp have reason to think they're in striking distance there?

Posted by: Jason | May 10, 2007 12:41:14 AM

This poll smells suspiciously outlierish.

Posted by: Christmas | May 10, 2007 12:41:43 AM

"Man... I 'd love to believe this, but it's such a surprising bit of data and I don't have an explanation for it. I could see Edwards moving up a little after the debate, but a 37 C - 26 E - 14 O poll is a stunner."

Meh. Edwards had been at 19% and 20% in the two months before he moved up to 26%. It's only a small jump.

ARG isn't my favorite outfit, but at least they've polling consistently enough to have trend lines.

Posted by: Petey | May 10, 2007 1:11:11 AM

"I don't think Michael Crowley's read of the ARG poll's trend lines is quite right."

Yup. I read that Crowley piece and thought it was a damn odd interpretation.

You would think one wouldn't write a piece about the relationship between the first and third place candidates in the poll without mentioning that there was a second place candidate in between them...

Posted by: Petey | May 10, 2007 1:13:43 AM

Hillary is indeed way up in NV, Jason. The Edwards advantage is primarily organizational -- the SEIU loves him, and Nevada unions are (from what I've heard) a lot more powerful than Iowa unions. Las Vegas is apparently one of the most unionized towns in the country. If the SEIU high command says that folks need to show up and caucus for John Edwards, that'll be a huge asset in a disorganized low-turnout caucus environment.

Or at least, that's the theory.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | May 10, 2007 1:31:41 AM

I suppose it makes some sense for Edwards' numbers to be rising - watching him on stage at the debate should have made fairly clear that, yes, he's a frontrunner, too, and it's okay to support him. My question is - what's with Obama's nine-point drop? Frankly, I haven't seen any gaffes remotely justifying a drop like that in the polls, and his debate performance would have had to have been Giuliani bad to precipitate a drop like that, which you'd be hard-pressed to argue. Trust me on scandal knowledge, too - I'm in Chicago, and both of our newspapers have re-learned the art of muckraking specifically for this guy in the past month or so.

Upon further look at the numbers, it looks like the only statistical movement since the previous month was away from Obama, towards Edwards, and a little bit toward Undecided. Now, we can't say for sure that all of Edwards' new support is all former Obamaniacs (I sincerely hope that term is never used again), but there is definitely some movement there. We need crosstabs!

Posted by: Jon O. | May 10, 2007 8:25:33 AM

Somebody always has to say it: It's May 2007, folks. Don't put too much stake in any polls yet. Lieberman was winning, BIG, in May 2003, and nobody had heard of Bill Clinton in May, 1991. Times were different then, of course, but still, there's far too much to go, still.

Posted by: Mikey | May 10, 2007 9:19:10 AM

With any swing this big, I'd expect it to include a combination of a move and a swing in the bias within the MOE. If Edwards is really at 23%, that's 2.5% a month, which would not be surprising for the candidate with the strongest current anti-war stance in the part of the country that, on the 2006 vote, was the strongest anti-war region.

Some of the new Edwards supporters will be former soft Obama support, and some will be former Gore supporters ... or possibly current Gore supporters, since I don't know how hard ARG pushes to get people to declare preference for one of the declared candidates.

Posted by: BruceMcF | May 10, 2007 9:26:38 AM

ARG has been all over the map ... is Edwards even running ads in New Hampshire?

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | May 10, 2007 10:27:29 AM

Doesn't it bother anyone that our weakest candidate polling against the GOP is primary voters chief choice? Why does this feel like Mondale?

Posted by: akaison | May 10, 2007 10:32:49 AM

Yes, it bothers me. A lot.

Posted by: RW | May 10, 2007 10:47:50 AM

I am strongly opposed to a Hillary candidacy because I think we can do much, much better. That said, I think there's at least some cause for hope that her chances in the general are better than they look.

As it is, she's already ahead of both Giuliani and McCain in national polls. Granted, not by very much at all, maybe even a statistically insignificant figure depending on the poll. But people already know Hillary quite well, the good and the bad, because she's been one of the most famous people in the world for the last 15 years. But to the extent that people know Giuliani and McCain, it's as 9/11 savior and POW hero/badass - their reputations are still pretty sterling on a national level.

This will all change, of course, if one of them becomes the nominee. So the way I see it, McCain and Giuliani have nowhere to go but down.

Plus, neither of them has demonstrated that they are particularly skillful campaigners. McCain's just sort of OK, but Giuliani's campaign so far has been inexplicably bad. I mean for god's sake the guy seems totally unprepared to answer questions about his position on abortion!!! If there is one thing they should have been prepared for, it's that. I don't know if Rudy just thought he would float to the nomination or what. Maybe he still will. But it's just kind of crazy not to be better prepared. I mean, give me an afternoon with the guy and I'd have him in better shape. It's like he and his advisers talked about the abortion thing for five minutes on the limo ride to the debate!

(If Romney is the nominee, this is all a moot point, as he would be trounced by almost anybody the Dems put up. I think Kucinich might even give him a run for his money! I don't want to jinx it by saying it out loud, but I am praying to the Godhead that the GOP sees fit to nominate a blow-dried, patently insincere, flip-flopping, Battlefield Earth reading Mormon from Massachusetts.)

Posted by: Jason | May 10, 2007 1:12:47 PM

What the hell is wrong with Crowley?

Today in The Plank, he writes about the International Association of Fire Fighters:

They preferred Hillary, and, well, just about every one else. (Especially Dodd and Biden.)

But when I click through to the story, I find that Schaitberger's top tier is "Edwards or Dodd or Biden".

Two days in a row makes a trend. What's Crowley's problem with Edwards?

Posted by: Petey | May 10, 2007 5:53:43 PM

Petey,

Its weird, he's not even mentioned in passing. Is it Crowley or perhaps its TNR policy? Maybe the word has come down from on high that Marty does not like Johnny.

Posted by: beowulf | May 11, 2007 1:52:41 AM

"Is it Crowley or perhaps its TNR policy? Maybe the word has come down from on high that Marty does not like Johnny."

I assume it's just Crowley, whom I normally like.

I get the impression that folks on The Plank aren't required to closely follow the Marty line.

Posted by: Petey | May 11, 2007 9:05:05 AM

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Posted by: judy | Oct 8, 2007 6:01:54 AM

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