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A registered voters poll? In October?

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012

* It’s October 11th. Election day is less than four weeks away. Yet the Tribune’s pollster is still surveying registered voters? That’s not great

With national surveys showing the contest between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney tightening, a new Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows the home-state president retains a comfortable advantage in Illinois even though the economy has drained some of the enthusiasm.

Obama scored 55 percent support to 36 percent for Romney, virtually identical to a similar poll in February before Romney had clinched the nomination.

This poll isn’t worth a whole lot unless you factor in the fact that registered voters tend to lean more Democratic than likely voters.

So, with that in mind, here’s a real problem for the Democrats…

…Obama’s slipping support among white suburban women. The voting group, which is considered politically moderate, favored Obama 63 percent to 30 percent eight months ago. Now Obama’s backing has fallen to 50 percent, with 43 percent backing Romney.

That’s not good news for Democrats. White suburban women are the key to statewide races.

* Not that Obama is gonna lose Illinois, but his performance will impact down-ballot candidates. For instance

The poll asked a generic congressional support question. In Chicago and suburban Cook County, large majorities of voters said they would vote for an unspecified Democratic candidate for Congress. Even in the Republican-rich collar counties, 48 percent of voters said they’d side with a Democrat compared with 41 percent for a GOP contender.

That dynamic could help Democrats in three suburban contests: the northwest and west suburban 8th District, where Democrat Tammy Duckworth is challenging freshman Republican Rep. Joe Walsh, the north suburban 10th District where Democrat Brad Schneider is pitted against freshman GOP Rep. Robert Dold, and the far west and southwest suburban 11th District, where former Democratic Rep. Bill Foster is running against veteran Republican Rep. Judy Biggert. Chicago TV is full of millions of dollars in attack ads as interest groups try to sway voters.

But there also are three hard-fought congressional contests Downstate. Outside the Chicago region, 48 percent of voters said they’d side with a generic Republican, compared with 42 percent who preferred a Democrat. That lay of the land could help Republicans retain two seats and pick up a third now held by a retiring Democrat.

Again, adjust those Democratic numbers down and you can see the problem here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


8 Comments
  1. - Downstater - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:16 am:

    Don’t see the problem, if the Republican candidates win. Little bias there, Rich.


  2. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:17 am:

    Hmmm…maybe the party needs to stop traveling out of State and shore up support in IL…hard to beleive suburban women are ok with Romney’s campaign against women that will deny them reproductive rights, healthcare, and equal pay…


  3. - Cassiopeia - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:20 am:

    You are spot on to see the problem with a registered voter as opposed to a likely voter poll. Everybody but the Obama team knows they have a turnout problem that they haven’t been able to crack. The 20-somethings at Obama HQ are so in love with their ability to stream large numbers of emails and social media contacts that they are missing what is happening on the ground.


  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:39 am:

    –Don’t see the problem, if the Republican candidates win. Little bias there, Rich.–

    Where’s the bias, other than in your non-comprehending reading?

    Rich wrote: “…here’s a real problem for the Democrats…” and “…that’s not good news for Democrats.”

    See how that works?

    Romney’s on a roll. Nate Silver had Obama with an 86% chance of winning on October 3. He’s down to 68% today.


  5. - Skeeter - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    So far, the Dems congressional campaigns in Illinois have been awful. They had a great chance to pick up at least three House seats.

    Right now, they will likely either be even or down one.


  6. - just sayin' - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:32 am:

    If the Dems spent even a little money to remind voters here how having an IL native as president helps tremendously in hauling back the pork, you would see tons of Republicans voting for Obama too. It’s all about self interest let’s face it, especially in this state.

    With no reelection to worry about and no nead to keep other states quite as happy, Obama and Durbin and Kirk can ship the pork back in train cars in a 2nd term. Now THAT’S a winning message in IL.


  7. - Logic not emotion - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    “With no reelection to worry about and no nead to keep other states quite as happy, Obama and Durbin and Kirk can ship the pork back in train cars in a 2nd term. Now THAT’S a winning message in IL.”

    But possibly a losing message in swing states so why would they risk pushing something that is almost certain to be distributed elsewhere almost immediately when they are confident of Illinois anyway.


  8. - wishbone - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    And in the face of these problems for the Democrats, Toni Preckwinkle plays directly into the hands of Republicans and the NRA by reinforcing the “grab your guns” theme. Millions of voters nationally who would naturally vote Democratic if they voted their economic interests are lost to the party because of this anti-gun nonsense which will have absolutely no impact on violence.


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