Either Obama or Clinton would beat McCain

By | April 13, 2008

Either Obama or Clinton would beat McCainSomeone disliked the fact that I posted a year old CNN poll as evidence of McCain’s unpopularity. He cited the CBS/NYT polls. Here is the latest CBS/NYT poll. It is a year later and McCain is still losing.

The CBS News/New York Times poll has both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton leading John McCain in head-to-head races by five points.

According to the poll, Obama leads McCain 47% to 42%, with Clinton leading McCain 48% to 43%.

As always, it is important to see how the poll’s respondents break down by party — a look which shows that those questioned self-identified 39% Dem, 28% Repub, and 33% independent in the unweighted sample. The weighted sample broke down 40% Dem, 26% Repub, and 34% independent.

The unweighted sample shows an 11-point margin for the Dems, while the weighted sample shows a 14-point margin.

Two ways to judge the accuracy of the poll’s 11-point margin favoring Dem respondents might include some historical perspective of other presidential elections and how the CBS News/New York Times poll did forecasting the last national elections.

In the 27 elections since 1900, four Democratic Party presidential candidates won by more than 10% points: in 1912, Woodrow Wilson won by 14.4% over a split Repub ticket of Theodore Roosevelt and President Taft; in 1932, FDR beat President Hoover by 17.8%; in 1936, President Roosevelt beat Alf Landon by 24.3%; in 1964, President Johnson beat Barry Goldwater by 22.6%.

In the 2006 mid-term elections, when the Dems beat the Repubs by about 7.5% in the aggregate House vote, the last CBS News/New York Times poll before the 2006 mid-terms forecast a Dem margin of victory of 18%, missing by about 10 points. – tne

PS. See the categories on the left for my political blog entries over the years.

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