This week, a finding from the Winston Group’s post-election survey was featured in the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” column –
Pollster David Winston provided Secrets with his latest analysis that included his trademark political sliding scale that for the first time tested the public’s opinion of Clinton’s political pulse.
He found that on a scale of 1 for liberal to 9 for conservative, voters put Clinton at 3.6, to the left of the House Democratic Caucus and just shy of Obama’s 3.37, the most liberal on the chart. Voters put themselves at a right-of-center 5.79, a yawning 2 points away from Clinton…
“Looking at 2016, the ideological spectrum should [be] concerning for Democrats, especially the likely front-runner Hillary Clinton. The good news for her is voters put her to the right of President Obama. The bad news for her is voters put her significantly to the left of where they put themselves ideologically,” Winston said.
The Winston Group’s David Winston and CBS’s Anthony Salvanto look beyond the usual political labels and groupings to talk about what voters – whether “base” or “swing” – really want from political parties:
We’ve updated our charts of national and state Party ID and Ideology breakdowns to include 2012 numbers, and is presidential-level data. There are two items to note: 1) states with a (P) label means the data from that still is still preliminary and is subject to change and 2) not every state has exit polls, so some states’ charts only go up to 2008.
Over the course of the next several weeks, there will be many national and state surveys released. In order to help people make sense of this data, we have compiled party identification and ideology results from exit polls in recent elections.
Exit polls are a unique set of numbers, as they are the only major dataset that is directly weighted to election results. That unique quality gives them the reputation of being the “official record” of what happened in an election.
When evaluating a poll, it’s important to take partisan breakdown into account. A survey that dramatically overstates the number of Republicans or Democrats likely to turn out may not give an accurate read on public opinion among the true electorate. For example, the margin between Democrats and Republicans was at its largest since 1984 during the 2008 election. That year, the number of Democrats was larger than the number of Republicans by 7 points — quite a change from 2004 when things were even. The partisan breakdown in Midterm election years is always different from presidential elections, but we include them in our national data here for historical reference.
Ideological makeup is also important. Often, the words “center-right” are used to describe the American electorate. This chart reflects that, as moderates have generally comprised the largest group, with conservatives significantly outnumbering liberals.
As a resource, we have compiled breakdowns by party identification and ideology for the period 1984-2008 at the national level and across the previous four general elections (1996-2008) for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. That information is available on our website, here. We hope this will provide the public with a metric for evaluating polls as they’re released between now and Nov. 6.
Has the number of conservatives in Wisconsin surpassed the number of moderates? That would be the case, according to two different, recent polls conducted statewide. The Journal Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert breaks it down, and turns to David Winston for some explanation:
“What you’re pointing toward is a critical element in understanding where this election is going,” says David Winston, a well-known GOP pollster in Washington, D.C. “Has the electorate moved that much in terms of its ideology? Given what we’ve seen in previous years, based on election-year exit poll surveys, the numbers we’re seeing now are dramatically different. The question is, are they correct?”
The article also includes insight pulled from The WG’s Kristen Soltis, from her recent Huffington Post piece.
To read the entire article on Wisconsin’s electorate, turn to jsonline.com
Kristen Soltis, Jill Bandes and Jon Henke continue to discuss Arlen Specter’s switch from the Republican party to the Democrat party and its implications, as well as questions of how conservatism should be defined.
In her Pollster.com piece, “The Vanishing Young Republicans,” Soltis address the issue of more and more young voters identifying as Democrat, including when the trend really started and how this may affect the GOP.
Yesterday’s departure of Sen. Arlen Specter from the Republican Party re-opened the debate over the ideological direction of the Republican Party. Did the GOP move away from Specter, or was it Specter that left the GOP? Where do the American people fall? (more…)