Friday, October 17, 2008

Wisconsin Survey

This semester I'm coordinating a small group of seniors in our new Undergraduate laboratory for the Empirical Analysis of Politics (ULEAP), and I'm also teaching freshman seminar titled, Politics by the Numbers. Both groups of students, along with me and my capable T.A., Aaron Weinshenck, have just completed a survey of Wisconsin voters.

The Survey was conducted from October 8 to October 15, using the CATI lab at the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research (CUIR). There were a total of 434 completed interviews (392 of whom answer the vote question), for a margin of error of appr0ximately +/-4.7 percentage points (+/- 5.0 points for the vote question). The sample was weighted to reflect the distribution of sex, age, and party identification in the Wisconsin electorate, as reflected in exit polls from the 2004 and 2006 elections.

The results of the survey indicate a wide lead in the Badger state for Obama:

Obama's margin of 15 points is wider than most polling in Wisconsin this fall, but is very close to the 17 point spread in a recent Quinnipiac poll.

Why is Obama doing so well in Wisconsin? In a word, the economy. When responding to an open-ended "most important problem" question, Wisconsinites overwhelmingly identified the economy:

When asked which candidate would do a better job handling the most important problem, respondents gave Obama a decided advantage:

When asked more directly to evaluate the state of the economy responses were almost uniformly negative:

Respondents were also decidedly gloomy when asked about general satisfaction with "the way things are going" in the country:

As expected given the nature of these findings, Wisconsin residents view President Bush's job performance negatively:

In Wisconsin, as in the rest of the county, the levels of economic pessimism, dissatisfaction with the direction of the country, and negative evaluations of the president create a hostile environment for the incumbent party candidate, John McCain.


Jay DeSart said...

Just a hunch, but I have a feeling that if I did the same survey here in Utah I might get a different result... Just a bit more conflicted responses between the economy and presidential approval. :P

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