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A dead heat in California? Yes, You Can!

by: Brian Leubitz

Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 22:27:01 PM PST

The Field Poll on the presidential race is expected out like...um a few minutes.  I'm hearing right now that the race is now within the margin of error.  If this is true, which at this point I am not able to confirm, this would be a tremendous showing of momentum for the Illinois Senator.  Senator Clinton has dominated the polling in the state since well, forever.

Apparently, this was on the KTVU news at 10 here in San Francisco. I don't know if that means they violated the embargo or what not, but if you saw KTVU news at 10 just now, help us out here.  The numbers I heard from a friend who saw it on Ch. 2 here in SF said that it was running at Clinton 36, Obama 34, Undecided 18.

At any rate, hard data will be all over the California media within a couple of hours, and likely posted at Field's archives shortly.

UPDATE: Yup, those numbers were correct. Other/Already voted also had 12%. You can now grab the details here (PDF). As CarlsbadDem points out in the comments, this is a huge surge for Obama, and a slight downward trend for Clinton. It looks like the key will be the number of DTSers who vote in the Democratic primary:

Registered Democrats, who the poll finds are accounting for 87% of those likely to vote in the Democratic primary, favor Clinton by six points, 37% to 31%.  However, non-partisans who represent another 13% of likely Democratic primary voters now favor Obama by a five to three margin (54% to 32%).

Also of note in this poll are the general election matchups. They have Obama leading McCain 47-40, but Clinton at only 45-43. This is a marked difference from the December poll which showed very large leads (and slightly larger for Clinton) against McCain. I'm not sure why this is the case, other than perhaps McCain wasn't considered really viable in December before the New Hampshire primary.

I also want to point out that if you have marked your VBM ballot for a candidate that has dropped out, just bring your ballot to your regular precinct. They should just tear it up or mark it void and then give you a fresh regular ballot.

Brian Leubitz :: A dead heat in California? Yes, You Can!
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18% undecided?? (0.00 / 0)
As if I needed to be buried any deeper in tension and stress between now and Tues!!! ack!!!!

Here you go (0.00 / 0)
Clinton 36
Obama 34
Undecided 18

Oh, you had the numbers... (0.00 / 0)
Regardless, that's indeed what they said. And that's among "likely voters".

Bay Area Obama 41- Clinton 31
Los Angeles Clinton 42 - Obama 34

[ Parent ]
Wow those (0.00 / 0)
numbers are striking.

Keep in mind when watching returns that Los Angeles, while they normally come in later than other counties may be relatively early this year.  They were not effected by Bowen's rulings.  Many other counties will have a much slower count than normal, perhaps taking days.

[ Parent ]
Check the internals (0.00 / 0)
The Field poll's internals last time were very unfavorable for Obama -- ie it probably underestimated black and indie turnout and overestimated latino turnout.

That would be a reason for the big jump (0.00 / 0)
Would certainly make sense, anyway.

I think?

[ Parent ]
trends (0.00 / 0)
For comparison, Field's 1/22 numbers were Clinton 39, Obama 27, Undecided 20 (Edwards 10).

So not only is Obama rapidly closing the gap, but Clinton went DOWN (granted, within MOE, but still).  

A cautionary note (8.00 / 1)

On Pages 8-9 the Field Pollsters include a cautionary note.  It's actually quite remarkable. It points out the DTS issue, the high #s of undecideds, and the large divisions within subgroups of the party. Here it is:


A cautionary note
It is standard professional practice for a polling organization to caution that there are many factors
that could cause a pre-election poll result to vary from an election outcome.  The litany of the most
oft-repeated warnings include such things as variations resulting from the poll's sampling error,
changes in voter sentiment after the polling data are collected, variations in voter turnout from what
the pre-election poll was showing, and the unknown voting preferences of undecided voters.
Both the Democratic and Republican primary campaigns have featured some dynamic changes in
recent weeks.  In the Democratic contest, Obama’s support has been increasing steadily, while
support for Clinton has been relatively stagnant.  On the GOP side, support for both McCain and
Romney have been increasing, although McCain’s increase has been steeper.  

These shifting preferences raise these questions:  Will these increases in support stabilize or
continue?  Will counter trends develop in the closing days altering the standings found in this
Another fact to consider is that 12%  of the Democratic voters and 6% of the Republicans either
already voted for or expressed a preference for a candidate other than those who remain in the
running.  According to the poll, over half of these voters were early mail ballot voters, and have
already sent them in.  Yet, for those voters who haven’t yet cast their ballot, there is some
uncertainty as to whether they will follow through and support a candidate who has withdrawn from
the race.  They may not vote at all or switch to another candidate.
In both major party races, there are also unusually large proportions of voters – 18% in the
Democratic primary and 15% in the Republican – who were undecided in the final days of the
campaign.  These voters had indicated in prior questions that they were highly likely to vote. 
Considering the many months of campaigning, extensive free media coverage, advertising, and
recent televised debates, these voters have been exposed to considerable information about the
candidates and appear to be in some real conflict as to whom to support.  How these voters come to
judgment will have a big bearing on the election outcome of both sides. 
There is another aspect to the Democratic primary findings that is unique and where there is not
much precedence in previous presidential elections.  It is the group of non-partisans who say they
will vote in the Democratic primary.  These voters have candidate preferences that counter those of
registered Democrats.  The relative size of each eventual voting bloc, therefore, will have a major
impact on the outcome.
Further, there are unusually large differences in candidate preferences among some of the standard
voter sub-groups of each party.  To pose just one example from each of the Democratic and
Republican contests:  (1) the large divisions in support between men and women voters in the
Democratic primary, and (2) the big split in preferences between strong conservatives and
Republicans who are not strong conservatives.  In each of these examples, it would not take large
changes in voter turnout proportions from those shown in this report to produce a very different
election outcome.

I think?

Delegate count (0.00 / 0)
The delegate count is a lot more predictable than who comes in first.  I'd be really surprised to see either candidate take more than 60% of California's pledged delegates.

A Rough & Tumble reader.

[ Parent ]
Rasmussen (via Drudge) (0.00 / 0)
CA: Obama 45% Clinton 44%
McCain 38% Romney 38%

GA: McCain 31% Romney 29% Huck 28%
Obama 52% Clinton 37%  

I think Romney has to win Georgia (0.00 / 0)
He could afford to lose California as long as he keeps it kind of close, but if he loses Georgia, it's going to be tough to imagine him getting nominated.

Goooooo Romney!

I think?

[ Parent ]
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