Thursday, February 21, 2008

Michigan to Obama: We Forgive You? Florida to Obama: We Don't?

There have been a slew of polls in the last week or so showing essentially the same thing: nationally, Obama fares better than Clinton against McCain and the same is true in most states. Some of the most notable states where this is the case are red states. In Virginia, SurveyUSA shows Clinton trailing McCain by 3% while Obama leads McCain by 6%. In Kansas, they show Clinton trailing McCain by 24%, but Obama behind by just 6%. In Iowa, they show Clinton down by 11% to McCain, while Obama is up by 10%. Even in Clinton's home state of New York, they show Obama beating McCain by a larger percentage than Clinton.

These survey results all play into Obama's claim that he is the strongest opponent to face McCain in the fall. But the state numbers I found most interesting were those from Michigan and Florida (these courtesy of Rasmussen). Some Democrats have feared that if Obama was the nominee, he might suffer in Michigan and Florida during the general election because of the controversy surrounding whether the delegates will be counted at the general election. In Michigan, Obama went so far as to have his name removed from the ballot. Yet, if there is significant residual unhappiness with Obama over this move, it is not showing up in these survey results. While Clinton and McCain are tied in Michigan at 44%, Obama holds a 47%-39% lead over McCain.

Florida's memory may not be as short as Michigan's, however. In Florida, while McCain leads Clinton 49-43% in Florida, he is ahead of Obama in the state by 16% (54-37%).

If Obama is the nominee, will he be able to close the gap with McCain in Florida? How much would it help his general election campaign if he finds a way to make sure the Florida delegation is seated?


mike said...

Are these results examples of how older whites and older white women are more likely to be Clinton supporters?

Brian Schaffner said...

Just checked the 2004 general election exit polls. In Michigan, 14% of the electorate was over 65. In Florida, 20% was over 65. Based on that, I think age can account for some of this gap, but not nearly all of it.