October 30, 2008
One last UT poll

One more poll to consider as we approach the end of early voting. This one is from the University of Texas.

The UT poll shows McCain running ahead of Obama statewide, with a 51 percent to 40 percent margin. Cornyn, a first-term Republican from San Antonio, leads Noriega, a state representative from Houston, 45 percent to 36 percent. Another 14 percent of voters remain undecided in the Senate contest.

The poll found that 89 percent of Lone Star State voters say the country's economic situation is worse than a year ago. And President Bush and Congress both get record low marks.

Just 34 percent of Texans approve of Bush's job performance -- a big change for a former governor who won re-election 10 years ago with 70 percent of the vote. And Congress is even more unpopular: Just 8 percent of Texas voters approve of the work being done on Capitol Hill.

The telephone poll was conducted by the Texas Politics Project and Department of Government at The University of Texas at Austin. The poll was conducted from October 15 to 22, and had a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.

The first point to make is that this data is up to two weeks old. As Nate says, that's pretty unusual these days. I have no idea why a poll conducted between the 15th and the 22nd is just being released on the 30th.

Some limited data about the survey is here. I'll note that whatever else one may think, the results are in line with most other recent polls, the last Rasmussen Senate poll being an exception. The (too) high number of undecideds skews things a bit - in particular, for the one bit of sample breakdown that we do get, the poll claims 16% of black respondents and 17% of Hispanics are undecided in the Senate race. I can just about guarantee you that a large majority of each will ultimately cast their ballots for Rick Noriega. On the flip side, I think the five percent showing for Libertarian Yvonne Schick is too high - I believe she'll ultimately get two to three percent, with the rest mostly going back to Cornyn.

I note, by the way, that Evan Smith thinks Cornyn will do better in Texas than McCain will. I've been arguing for the opposite, in part because I think Noriega will do better among Hispanic voters than Obama will. On the other hand, there may be a greater dropoff in Democratic participation after Obama than there is Republican participation after McCain, and that could make up the gap that I foresee. Which do you think will be the case?

Finally, the bit about an abnormally large number of people in Texas still believing Obama is a Muslim is weird, but probably not worth fretting about. You have to wonder, if the Obama campaign had done any field work here for November like they've been doing in so many other states, would that number be closer to the national average? Guess we'll never know.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 30, 2008 to Election 2008

Hmm, President Bush has 27% approval ratings. 23% of Texas voters think that Obama is Muslim. Seems like the "moron voter" makes up roughly 25% of the electorate.

Posted by: Mike on October 30, 2008 11:08 PM
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