25 November 2011

"Kansas or OZ?" - 2011 Edition

Almost exactly four years ago, at my blog here on blogspot.com, I wrote a posting with this title:

KANSAS - or OZ?

In November 2007, SUSA put out Prez match-up results for Kansas between both Clinton and Obama and 4 prospective Republicans: Guiliani, Romney, Huckabee and McCain.

The results were surprising, to say the least. You can read the entire posting here. The entire results from the SUSA from 2007 are in posting number 2 on this thread.

The gist of the post was that the Democrats won in 4 of 8 matchups. Clinton and Obama both beat Huckabee AND Romney in Kansas in this poll:

Clinton 48  / Romney 44  (Clinton +4)
Clinton 49 / Huckabee 43 (Clinton +6)

Obama 46 / Romney 43  (Obama +3)
Obama 47 / Huckabee 41 (Obama +6)

Clinton 43 / Giuliani 49 (Giuliani +6)Obama 42 / Giuliani 47 (Giuliani +5)

​Clinton 38 / McCain 55 (McCain +15)
Obama 37 / McCain 53 (McCain +16)

This was the first time in a long time that any poll had ever shown a Democratic presidential candidate running ahead of a Republican in KS.  I wrote some very interesting commentary at that posting. The two candidates that both Democrats were losing to were Giuliani and McCain. At that time, Guliani was the top candidate in GOP polling, followed by Thompson (2), Romney (3), McCain (4), Huckabee (5) and Paul (6):



FAST FORWARD four years in history:

In November 2011, in KS, a state known for large double-digit wins for Republicans, SUSA has put out a poll:

Obama 39 / Romney 48 (Romney +11)

Obama 45 / Gingrich 40 (Obama +5)

Once again, we have surprising results in a state that should be dark, dark, dark red. Does this mean that I think that President Obama will flip KS for the Democrats in 2012? Not for a minute. The Republican candidate will win this state. But one of the warning signs for the Republicans and for John McCain in specific in 2008 was the weaking in margins in traditionally dark red states like KS, NE, ND, SD, MT, UT, ID, WY - these were signs that the tide was rising in the direction of the Democratic Party in 2008. Were it so right now that a huge backlash wave for the GOP would be developing, then we would think that polling in these dark red states would be showing huge margins for ALL GOP candidates against the President, but up till now, the margins in the deep red states that have been polled are closely paralleling 2008. And in many red states, Obama is beating or in a statistical tie with the other GOP hopefuls (the "not-Romneys").

John McCain easily won Kansas in 2008 with a +14.92% winning margin. However, this margin was the leanest GOP margin in a two-man race in KS since 1988 (Bush, Sr. / Dukakis). In fact, those two races look very similar to each other. John McCain's margin in KS was greatly reduced from Bush 43's whalloping +25.38% margin from 2004. In fact, 10 of the last 20 presidential cycles have see +20% or more margins in KS, 11 of the last 20 cycles in KS showed better margins that 2008. Only four Democratic candidates in our history have ever won KS (Bryan 1896, Wilson 1912 and 1916, FDR 1932 and 1936, Johnson 1964), but no Democrat has ever won KS with more than a single digit margin on the presidential level.

So, how did SUSA do in 2008? We know that McCain won with +14.92%, which is essentially +15. The final SUSA poll showed McCain at +21, so it overstated his margin by 6 points. The final Rasmussen poll from 10/15 came closer, showing McCain at +13. But the average was very close to the final results:

Kansas – 2008: safe  GOP


Pollster
Date
Obama 
McCain 
Other   
Und.   
Margin
FINAL AVG:

39.00
56.00
2.50
2.50
+17.00
2008 results
11/04
41.55
56.48
1.97
---
+14.92
Diff:

+2.55
-0.48
-0.53
---
-2.08







10/29
37
58
3
2
21
10/23
41
53
4
2
12
10/15
41
54
2
3
13
09/23
38
58
1
3
20
09/23
41
53
4
3
12
09/17
31
63
--
6
32
08/22
35
58
4
3
23
08/13
41
55
1
4
14
07/16
32
52
9
7
20
07/08
36
49
--
15
13
06/26   
39
50
--
11
11
06/16   
37
47
6
10
10
06/13   
41
45
-
14
4
06/06   
41
50
-
9
11
05/29   
39
49
-
12
10
05/13   
34
55
7
4
21
05/10   
33
58
-
9
25
04/17   
37
54
-
9
17
03/20   
39
51


12
03/06   
41
50


9
02/21   
44
50


6
01/16   
39
53


14
12/19   
36
56


20
11/26   
37
53


15


Finally, there was already a poll of KS from SUSA in November, with drastically different results:

Kansas – GOP


Pollster
Date
Romney
Gingrich
Perry
Cain
other
11/24/11
39 / 48
45 / 40
---
---
---
11/11/11
31 / 56
35 / 52
---
---
Obama-Biden 32 /Romney-Gingrich 56

Obama-Clinton 34 /Romney-Gingrich 56

Obama-Biden 34 / Gingrich-Romney 53

Obama-Clinton 34 / Gingrich-Romney 52

McCain 2008 margin: +14.92
Bush 2004 margin: +25.38
GOP combined margin average 1948-2004: +19.84

That poll shows Obama getting buried at -24 behind Romney and -17 behind Gingrich.

Can the mood of the nation have changed that much in just 2 weeks? Or are voters playing games with pollsters? Is SUSA moving to a more cellphone mode than in 2008? You can see the full results of these two polls by clicking on the hyperlinks.


FACIT: I am really pretty sure that Obama will lose KS in 2012, by a double-digit margin. That is the tradition and the trend in this state. But there are also no indications of a massive GOP counterwave to 2008 - yet.

OZ?

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