Thursday, September 04, 2008

Polls on the Impact of Palin's Speech

Polling data measuring the impact of Palin's speech is still limited. It will be several days before the three-day rolling average polls will include data taken completely after Wednesday night. Two results are available and both show promise for the McCain-Palin ticket.

First up is a CBS poll that shows the race tied at 42% each. This is particularly surprising since the data was taken Monday through Wednesday--meaning the impact of Palin's speech was yet to be factored in. Still, last week, the same poll showed a 48% to 40% lead. Comparing across polling agencies is difficult because of the different methodologies used. Comparing the polls from the same agency from week to week isn't rock solid, but should be somewhat more valid.

The second poll is a study conducted specifically after Palin's speech to assess the impact. The data was collected by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion (MCIPO). The most interesting results is described here:
There is a positive change in how independents anticipate voting in the Presidential election after viewing Palin’s speech, with a 9% increase among independents indicating that they will probably or definitely vote for the McCain/Palin ticket after watching the speech.

Palin’s speech proved to be equally effective in swaying votes for both men and women. Among the independents who watched her speech, respondents who report that they will “probably” or “definitely” vote for McCain increased by 10% across both genders, around 38% of female independents and 36% of their male counterparts.
If that holds, a 9% increase in independents for McCain is huge. Palin's strength was to shore up the conservative vote; having such a positive effect on independents would be surprising.

The Gallup and Rassmussen data still doesn't include the effects of the speech, but they show Obama with 7% and 4% leads, respectively.

These data are good reference points to note before Palin and McCain conventions speeches are included early next week.

Update: There's a SurveyUSA poll out with similar data:
24 hours ago, independent voters nationwide were split on whether Palin was an asset or a liability to McCain's campaign. Today, by a 2:1 margin, independents say Palin is an asset. Overnight, the percentage calling the Alaska governor an asset to the campaign climbed 13 points; the percentage calling her a liability fell 17 points.

The numbers are similar among moderates, who 24 hours ago viewed Palin as a liability by an 11 point margin; today, Palin is seen as an asset by an 18 point margin.
24 hours ago, when asked if they would bet on Obama or McCain becoming president, Obama was a 16:15 favorite; today, it's flipped, and McCain is favored by the same ratio.
Full numbers available here. (Hat tip: Hot Air)

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