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In the News
State of the Union 2014: At Critical Juncture, President Makes Major Gains
Wednesday, January 29 2014

During Tuesday night's State of the Union Address, Democracy Corps conducted dial tests and follow-up focus groups with 44 swing voters in Colorado. We found President Obama’s agenda for a “year of action”—expressed through new policies for energy, pay equity, jobs, and education—was well-received by voters. The President made impressive gains on his personal favorability, improving from net -2 (48 percent warm, 50 percent cool) to net +27 (64 percent warm, 37 percent cool.)  On this key metric—voters’ personal feelings toward the President—he clearly won our audience in Denver.

There is much here to commend the President’s performance.  He made major gains on having good plans for the economy, looking out for the middle class, and looking out for the interest of women. And in focus groups following the speech, voters gave him high marks on his push for paycheck fairness, minimum wage, education, student loans, and job training. Even Republicans in our audience responded positively to Obama’s plan for paycheck fairness.

As voters told us in follow-up focus groups, they were skeptical of the President heading into this speech. But his heavy emphasis on improving the economy at the pocketbook level—especially for women—won these voters over.  The president made major gains on these key economic metrics and on looking out for the interests of women.

These voters are looking to Washington to move on these important issues that affect them at a pocketbook level every day.  Republicans should not believe that these voters blame both parties equally.  They do not.  However, these voters are looking to the President for real leadership and real action.  They like what he had to say.  Now they want him to follow through. 

SOTU Shift Graph

 
What the Numbers Really Say About President Obama and Republicans in Congress
Monday, January 27 2014

ABC has released a poll and reported in the Washington Post that the president is in trouble and that both his standing and health care hang over the mid-term elections, or as Gary Langer put it, "Barack Obama starts his sixth year in office with the public divided about his overall leadership, dissatisfied with his economic stewardship and still steaming about his rollout of the health care law – all factors threatening not only the president but his party in the midterm elections ahead."

 

Dan Balz and Peyton Craighill write, "Obama’s general weakness and the overall lack of confidence in the country’s political leadership provide a stark backdrop to the beginning of a potentially significant election year.”

 

While the president surely needs to raise his standing and address many issues, this is a remarkably biased reading of their own poll.  Too bad the last month has not fit the narrative of a failed president on a downward trajectory like George Bush.

 

What is wrong with their interpretation?  It’s hard to know where to start.

 

·         They have the President’s approval rating at 46 percent.  The average in all the polls is up, not down.  Congressional Democrats would be quite content if the President’s approval rating were in the upper 40s.  This is not a blip, but rather the trend based on multiple polls. Commentators should pay attention.

·         The congressional generic vote is even but they failed to note that Republicans had taken the lead at the end last year — and that this is an improvement.

·         Republicans in Congress are at a remarkable low, relative to the president and Congressional Democrats.  They are 18 points lower than the president on confidence and 8 points behind the Democrats in Congress.  How could you ignore that in a congressional election year—especially when voters in this poll  express a strong commitment to vote against incumbents?  Did they pay attention to earlier polls from Democracy Corps that showed 50 percent (in an open-ended question) think Republicans are in control of the whole Congress? 

·         Health care produced one of the more amazing contortions in the poll. They focus on Obama’s handling of the rollout and bury the fact that the country is evenly split on whether they favor or oppose the law.  As we have said, the issue unites Republicans and is not a wining issue for them in 2014.  Maybe the voters are paying attention to Congress’s failure to extend unemployment benefits and pass a minimum wage bill— issues that have 60 percent support.  Maybe there is a reason Republican standing continues to drag them down.

 

Many compare Obama’s number after his inauguration and make that the standard for his standing.  He took a very hard  hit that hurt Democrats.  But his position is improving and health care is no wedge issue.  The Congress is on the ballot in November, and I urge those reporting on polls to escape the conventional wisdom about the narrative.

 

 
State of the Union 2014
Thursday, January 23 2014

It's Time: On Tuesday night Democracy Corps and

Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund will conduct live dial meter tests and focus groups with swing voters in Colorado. 

Don't miss Stan Greenberg's expert analysis! 

Tune In for SOTU

 
Unmarried Women Cast Deciding Votes in Virginia Election
Friday, November 08 2013
Attachments:
Download this file (dcwv.exit.graphs.final.pdf)Graphs[ ]1021 Kb
Download this file (dcwv.va.exit.memo.final.pdf)Memo[ ]567 Kb

On November 5, 2013, Terry McAuliffe won the gubernatorial election with the overwhelming support of Virginia’s unmarried women.  Unmarried women, who gave McAuliffe two thirds of their votes, matching President Obama’s vote among this group, were decisive in the Democrat’s narrow victory over Republican Ken Cuccinelli.  While unmarried women turned out in the off-year election in smaller numbers than in 2012 and slightly below 2009, they supported McAuliffe in strong numbers.  This is both a good early indicator for Democrats in 2014, but also an equally important warning sign. Democrats need these voters to win and that means turnout to vote.  But in order to turn them out, Democrats must speak to the issues that matter to them most.   

Read more... [Unmarried Women Cast Deciding Votes in Virginia Election]
 
Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Ranked Most Accurate of All National Pollsters in 2012 Election
Thursday, November 15 2012

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Democracy Corps are proud to have produced the most accurate national polls in the last three weeks of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, according to Nate Silver of New York Times FiveThirtyEight, with a smaller error than any national pollster – less than 1 percentage point – as highlighted by the graphic below from Silver’s blog. 

Our accuracy in this election reflected years of intense study and a series of careful decisions about key assumptions in our election modeling, including ones regarding demographic and turnout trends among pivotal voting groups, notably Latinos.  It reflected our years of attention to the composition and dynamics of the “Rising American Electorate” – young voters, non-whites, and unmarried women – a set of voters who decided this election, and who will be a core element of the progressive coalition for years to come.  And our accuracy reflected our intense focus on the methodological changes necessary to accurately sample the full American electorate – such as insisting on a higher proportion of cell phone interviews, despite the higher costs. 

 
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