Author Archives: Jim Ellis

Online Polling Project Across 50 States Yields Surprising Results

YouGov, an international Internet pollster, has been surveying campaigns and corporate marketing programs in many regions around the world. While most are skeptical of Internet polling, as they should be, YouGov’s highly sophisticated and targeted approach has enjoyed a better than average record in terms of projecting political victories around the world.

YouGov and the New York Times recently partnered to conduct a simultaneous 50-state US polling project. The results were released yesterday. By and large, the vast majority of their polls track with what we have seen from other survey research firms over the past months. The YG/NYT project polled the key statewide campaigns in every state, and then asked a generic party question about US House preference.

Here, we highlight some of the surprise findings:

Alaska: The Last Frontier polls were very different from the preponderance of other polling from this electorate. While the Senate race has been tight for months, this YouGov survey of 452 registered Alaska voters gives Sen. Mark Begich (D) a 46-35 percent advantage, adjusting for leaners as  Continue reading >

First General Polls from Georgia; A Look at Nebraska, New York House Races

Georgia Senate

The first two Georgia Senate general election polls have been released, and it’s not particularly surprising that we already have a conflict. The Peach State campaign has already witnessed more than its fair share of controversy and surprise happenings. Now two pollsters, Rasmussen Reports and Landmark Communications, surveyed the electorate immediately after the July 22nd Republican run-off election and found very different results.

Rasmussen Reports (July 23-24; 750 registered Georgia voters) began polling the day after businessman David Perdue scored an upset win over Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) in the Republican run-off. The firm finds the new GOP nominee leading Democrat Michelle Nunn 46-40 percent, at least one point beyond the polling margin of error.

But, Landmark Communications, in data released on July 25 (also 750 registered Georgia voters), finds Nunn claiming a four-point advantage, 47-43 percent. This  Continue reading >

Entering Primary Season’s Final Stretch

As we enter the primary season’s final stretch, 19 states still have yet to choose their 2014 nominees. The first nine days of August will bring voters to the polls in a half-dozen states with much to be decided.

August 5

The most active day is the first Tuesday in August. Four states are holding primaries, featuring one key Senate nomination battle.

In Kansas, Sen. Pat Roberts (R) faces a GOP challenge from physician Milton Wolf. Roberts has made several mis-steps during the campaign, including admitting that he doesn’t own property in his state, possessing a Virginia personalized license plate that identifies him as the Kansas senator, and saying that he returns home, “every time he has an opponent.” Despite the gaffes, Dr. Wolf appears to be a flawed candidate and is not likely to deny Roberts renomination.
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Digging Deeper into Polling Results

Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue is credited with winning an upset victory in the Georgia Republican senatorial run-off because all of the public pollsters save one – Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research (Perdue’s own pollsters) – never projected Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) to be trailing.

While 10 post-primary polls were released and nine of them found Kingston ahead, the cumulative result is not necessarily an example of group inaccuracy. Such was the case, however, in Virginia when no survey firm predicted that David Brat would even come close to defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-7) in his widely publicized David vs. Goliath campaign, let alone unseat him.

In the Georgia senatorial run-off, it is likely that Kingston was in fact the early post-primary leader because he successfully maneuvered himself to the right of Perdue immediately after the May 20 vote. Additionally, the losing candidates all endorsed him, and the veteran Savannah congressman was the beneficiary of a major multi-million dollar independent expenditure from the US Chamber of Commerce.
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Perdue Notches Upset in Georgia Senate Win; House Results

Georgia Senate

Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue came from well behind to defeat Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) in the US Senate Republican run-off to score what most believe is an upset win for the GOP nomination. He now faces Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, who won her own primary outright back on May 20.

With just over 480,000 people voting in the run-off contest, Perdue captured 51 percent of the vote. The contest see-sawed early, but Perdue’s dominance in the more populous northern part of the state provided a strong clue that he would prevail in the end. As in the primary election, Kingston ran very strong south of Interstate 16, thus taking virtually all of southern Georgia, but failed to make enough inroads in the central and northern geographic sectors with the exception of the extreme northwestern counties hugging the Tennessee border. Therefore, since both candidates were demonstrating regional strength the campaign became a numbers game, and Perdue’s region was simply larger.
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