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In the News
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
Download this file ([ ]1021 Kb
Download this file ([ ]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. 

How unmarried women, youth and people of color defined this election
Thursday, November 08 2012
Download this file (WVWV post-elect (draft6).pdf)Graphs[ ]679 Kb

Democracy Corps, along with partners at Campaign for America’s Future and Women's Voices. Women Vote Action Fund, conducted election night and day-after interviews among those who voted this week to probe attitudes about why they made the choices they made in this election, what they expect of their leaders, and what their priorities are for the period ahead.

Read more... [How unmarried women, youth and people of color defined this election]
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