Wednesday polls: Obama polls well in general election match-ups, Dems have a shot at IL-14

  • General election
Rasmussen released three state general election polls today, with Barack Obama polling much better than Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and Colorado, while the two are at the same position in Missouri:

  • In Missouri, McCain leads Clinton by 1%, 43% to 42%. Against Obama, he is ahead by 2%, 42% to 40%.
  • The Colorado numbers show some major discrepancy: McCain leads Clinton by double-digits, 49% to 35%, while Obama is ahead 46% to 37%.
  • In New Hampshire, finally, Obama is ahead 49% to 36% against McCain, while Clinton only leads him 43% to 41%. This is entirely due to the male population, which favors Obama over Clinton by 18%, while the two run equally well among women.
Three things to point out from these numbers: (1) We are used to seeing Missouri numbers that are much more favorable to Dems, but that is because the numbers we usually looked at where the match-ups with Rudy Giuliani. SUSA's last Missouri poll, for example, showed Clinton and Obama leading Giuliani but trailing McCain. This trend will likely hold in other purlpish-red states like Virginia and Kentucky.

(2) I wrote in my last detailed discussion of electability that Obama polls better than Hillary in the West (I particularly had in mind Washington, Oregon, and Colorado) and Clinton polls better in the South and very red states (I had in mind Kentucky and Virginia), with the electability question more unclear in the rest of the country. This poll confirms that, and Colorado especially shows a gigantic advantage for Obama.

(3) This is the point in the election season that the good coverage McCain and Obama are having will impact their general election poll numbers, just as Kerry rose against Bush in the weeks after his primary victory. The latest Rasmussen tracking, for example, shows Obama gaining two points against McCain after the week-end, with Clinton losing two points. This opposite trend can clearly be attributed to their divergent fates and the kind of coverage they are getting. But this obviously comes at the worst time for Clinton, and allows Obama to step up an electability argument two weeks from March 4th and at a time they are trying to both court superdelegates.

  • IL-14, special election
The special election in IL-14 to fill Dennis Hastert's House seat is scheduled for March 8th. Both parties selected their nominees for the special election on February 5th, with Jim Oberweis representing the GOP and Bill Foster the Democrats. Oberweis had lost a few GOP primaries before, so this is already an improvement for him.

You might remember that the timing of this election provoked some controversy, as Democrats were hoping that Hastert would resign in time to let the governor schedule the general election on February 5th and not the primary, in the hope that the high Super Tuesday turnout in Obama's home-state might help Democrats pick-up this usually reliably Republican seat and Hastert made sure to wait off on his resignation, reassuring the GOP about their prospects here.

But a new poll released today by the Foster campaign has this as a very tight race, with Oberweis up 45% to 43%. This is an internal poll so take it with a lot of caution, but it still underscores the tricky nature of any special election, low turnout affair where the most motivated party often wins (and this year that clearly seems to mean Democrats).

This is not the kind of seat Republicans want to be defending right now, as the NRCC is at a significant financial deficit. Democrats have been very effective at expanding the map, and while they fell short in OH-06 in December they forced the NRCC to spend a considerable amount of money. Will they make a similar play here? We will surely know in the coming weeks by keeping an eye on money spending in this race, and how much both parties are willing to spend.

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  • I'll be donating to Foster. I donated to the last opposition to Hastert as well. I don't even remember his name, only that he was trying to oust Hastert. I check the DNC blog for candidates nationwide as my district is safely blue. I strongly urge others to do the same. Direct contributions help tremendously.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 13 February, 2008 19:49  

  • A special election loss now would really hurt the Republicans. Even if they are forced to spend serious cash defending the seat, it won't help them come November.

    By Anonymous C.S.Strowbridge, At 13 February, 2008 21:32  

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