[close]

While you make your giving decisions this Christmas Season, I hope you'll keep the Civitas Institute in mind.

We're here every single day, fighting for small, accountable government, and working to diminish the influence of the liberal Left in our state.

We don’t take government funds, and we won’t ever take stolen taxpayer money. We go out and ask for it, and now I'm asking you.

If you like our work and you think our mission is valuable, will you help keep us in the fight?

Donate Tax Deductible

Analyzing the State Legislative District Polling – Part 4: The Intensity Gap and Definite Voters

Summer is quickly coming to a close and election season is
in full swing.  Therefore it makes sense to stop and see what the
landscape looks like right now by analyzing some of the details of the
legislative district polling that Civitas has done over the past couple of
months.

In non-presidential year elections, when voter turnout regularly falls below 50 percent of registered voters, election outcomes can hinge on which party’s base vote is more motivated to turn out. As the calendar turned to 2010, a clear intensity gap in base-party motivation began to be evident in Civitas polling.

Indeed, a Gallup Poll released on Monday revealed a 25-point motivation gap between the percentage of Republicans (50%) who said they were “very enthusiastic” about voting this year compared to Democrats (25%).  In fact, unaffiliated voters are more motivated about voting this year than registered Democrats – due in no small part to their widespread disapproval of Democratic President Obama’s policies as we profiled last week.

But gauging voter enthusiasm is only one indicator of turnout in off-year elections. Determining who exactly are likely voters, and their preferences, can also be helpful in detecting trends among the electorate.

In looking at the Civitas polls taken in competitive legislative districts over the past few months, a definite trend emerges – those saying they are most likely to vote are more disapproving of the job Obama is doing as President and are more likely to vote for Republican candidates.

In each poll conducted, Civitas asked voters to rate themselves on a 1-10 scale on how likely they were to vote in the upcoming election, with 10 meaning they were definite to vote.

Below is a chart looking at the difference between the answers of all voters versus those who say they are 10 out of 10 likely to vote on the generic ballot question:

Generic Ballot GOP Margin

All Voters

Most Likely (10/10)

Difference

SD 43

+31

+32

+1

SD 45

+12

+18

+6

SD 50

+14

+17

+3

SD 9

+11

+9

-2

SD 8

+10

+25

+15

SD 10

-9

+6

+17

SD 19

+7

+19

+12

SD 25

-2

-2

0

SD 1

+16

+23

+7

HD 116

+5

+13

+8

HD 25

+7

+23

+16

HD 6

+12

+29

+17

HD 51

+13

+24

+11

HD 36

+16

+22

+6

HD 103

+11

+17

+6

HD 112

+10

+25

+15

HD 54

-9

0

+9

HD 4

+5

+23

+18

HD 22

+6

+8

+2

In all but two legislative districts (SD 9 and SD 25), when looking at definite voters, the generic ballot shifted further for the Republicans than the results for all voters. On average, the definite voter shift towards Republicans is nearly 10-percentage points.

As we discussed in Part 3 last week, voter opinion on Obama is driving much of the increased likelihood to vote for Republican
candidates.  The following is a similar chart of the legislative districts, but this time, looking at the shift among definite voters on their opinion of Obama’s job performance.  You’ll notice a similar move towards disapproval occurs among definite voters.

Obama Job Approval

All Voters

Most Likely (10/10)

Difference

SD 43

-39

-40

-1

SD 45

-26

-29

-3

SD 50

-25

-24

+1

SD 9

-10

-10

0

SD 8

-18

-34

-16

SD 10

+2

-13

-15

SD 19

-18

-28

-10

SD 25

-18

-15

+3

HD 116

-16

-18

-2

HD 25

-11

-29

-18

HD 6

-19

-35

-16

HD 51

-17

-26

-9

HD 36

-16

-21

-5

HD 103

-10

-18

-8

HD 112

-32

-43

-11

HD 54

-2

-5

-3

HD 4

-22

-40

-18

HD 22

-26

-22

+4

On this question, three districts (SD 50, SD 25 and HD 22) move a few points more positive for Obama’s job approval, but in the remaining 15, the more likely voters have higher disapproval ratings for Obama.  This anti-Obama intensity surely is not good news for Democratic candidates in those districts.

When looking at the head-to-head matchups in particular, a similar trend holds – definite voters move towards the Republican legislative candidate by an average of six percentage points.  In HD 4, for example, Republican Jimmy Dixon leads Democrat Mott Blair by four points among all voters (43%-39%).  But among self-described definite voters, Dixon’s lead jumps to 20 (51%-31%).  This is the most extreme example, but it is indicative of the intensity gap favoring Republican legislative candidates this cycle.

This article was posted in Polling by Chris Hayes on August 31, 2010 at 2:54 PM.

© 2011 The Civitas Institute. Visit us on the web at www.nccivitas.org.
This article can be found at http://www.nccivitas.org/2010/analyzing-state-legislative-district-polling-part-4-intensity/

Comments on this article

No Comments Yet...

Leave a Reply

Sorry, due to spammers you must have Javascript enabled to make comments.