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Posted by on May 24, 2008 in Politics | 3 comments

Election Poll Shocker: Dems may carry California in Fall

It takes time and money to conduct polling, and all of the politically addicted writers around the country really appreciate the effort that goes into it. But did the L.A. Times really need to invest the energy to conduct this poll?

Obama would take California in November, Times/KTLA poll finds

Less than four months after losing the California primary, Democrat Barack Obama leads Republican John McCain in projected November general election matchups, a new Los Angeles Times/KTLA Poll has found.

Obama, the Illinois senator who has inched close to his party’s nomination, would defeat McCain by seven points if the election were held today. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose fortunes have faltered since her Feb. 5 drubbing of Obama in California, would eke out only a three-point victory, the poll found.

I understand that the media (old and new) always love something new to talk about, but have we really gotten to the point where someone is seriously questioning whether or not the Democrats can carry California in November? There are two points to bring up about these numbers. First, as we have pointed out repeatedly, we’re not going to see any serious hard numbers until the Democratic nomination is completed and had some time to settle out. These numbers still include large numbers of people who are Obama supporters saying they would vote for McCain over Clinton, and Clinton supporters saying they will support the Arizona Senator over Obama. This should largely evaporate later in the summer.

Second, flawed though the totals may be, it puts the lie to to the arguments made by both candidates about “who can carry which big states in the Fall” except for the true swing states. Just because, for example, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary against Obama in New York and California, this does not mean that suddenly the Republicans will pull those states in November if Obama is the nominee.

Hey, L.A. Times… if you really want to give us some useful polling data, head up North a little ways and let us know what’s going on in Oregon and Washington or out East a bit in the mountain states. Just a tip for ya’ll. Thanks!

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  • StockBoySF

    I think it’s a no-brainer that CA will go Dem in the Fall.

    But given that McCain is next door in AZ and he probably does well with the defense industry and military establishment here I think the poll was probably necessary. I’d hate to wake up on Jan. 21 to find out that McCain was inaugurated the day before because someone (the Dems) took CA for granted.

    Besides, as you pointed out, just because Hill won CA doesn’t mean that Obama won’t win it. So this poll is just a double-check.

    I see the poll results as one way to convince the superdelegates that Obama is electable. I mean CA is a big prize and if there’s a poll that shows Obama will beat McCain by a wider margin in CA then Hill, then it lessens Hill’s argument that she is more electable.

    So yeah, on one hand the poll is unnecessary because everyone knows (assumes) that CA will go Dem, but on the other hand it’s nice to have evidence (if only from one poll) that CA is still leaning Dem.

    BTW: I love the title of the post and it’s sarcastic tone. It’s right on but I still like the reality check of having an actual poll to back up my own sarcasm on this.

  • superdestroyer

    McCAin has zero chance of winning in Californai and the Republicans will not spend one dollar of their limited public fiancing funds in California.

    In the long run, national politics will resemble California politics: A single party state where there are few competative elections because the districts are draw to protect incumbents.

  • jchem

    “Obama, the Illinois senator who has inched close to his party‚Äôs nomination, would defeat McCain by seven points if the election were held today. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose fortunes have faltered since her Feb. 5 drubbing of Obama in California, would eke out only a three-point victory, the poll found.”

    McCain would only lose to Obama by 7 points and Clinton by 3? Although I too agree that this poll might just be a bit unnecessary, I do find the margins of victory to actually be much closer than what I would have predicted. Is a 7 point lead really that hard to overcome? Granted, the poll points out that if the elections were held today, these would be the numbers. I honestly can’t imagine even the most hardcore of Hillary supporters in California to jump ship for McCain.

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