Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SC polls show Clinton support plummeted over past 2 months, and Obama soared over the past few days

By John Aravosis


Fascinating poll date. Look at what happened to support for Clinton, Obama and Edwards over the past year, and then specifically the past few months.

The polls start in Jan 2007 or so and continue up until the past few days. Note how from January until the end of November, Hillary went steadily up from 32% in the polls to 40%. At the same time, Obama went steadily up from around 20% to 28%. And Edwards just plummeted from 25% to almost nothing. So basically, Clinton and Obama saw steady growth in their support throughout 2007. Then at the end of November, early December, something happened. It's not clear what, but Hillary's support dropped from 40% to 29% over 6 weeks. At the same time, Obama's support skyrocketed from 28% to 43%. And Edwards saw an increase as well, going from 1% or 2% to the mid-teens. This suggests that not only were Hillary supporters going to Obama and Edwards (but more to Obama), but it also suggests that the sudden change in the polls wasn't simply due to something Obama did right. Otherwise, we wouldn't have seen such a large rise in Edwards' support as well. It looks as though people left Hillary and chose whoever they could who wasn't Hillary. That suggests that they may have left Hillary because of something Hillary did. (Or her husband did.)

I'd be curious to check the news stories and see just what happened at the end of November, early December. One possibility is that Obama suddenly was seen as "viable." Maybe that played a role (though I suspect it played more of a role post his Iowa victory), but that doesn't explain why Edwards' support starting rising at the same time. It's not like Edwards suddenly became viable as well at the end of November, or any time since. It looks like something happened that ticked people off against Hillary, then after a week or so they decided to move to Obama instead.

Actually, Greg Sargent just posted an AP story that shows some very interesting exit poll data from today. While half of Obama voters thought that Obama (their own candidate) attacked Hillary unfairly in the past week, nearly two-thirds of Hillary voters thought that SHE attacked Obama unfairly.

After the contentious Democratic debate Monday night, three in four Obama voters said Clinton had attacked Obama unfairly and slightly fewer than half accused their own candidate of attacking Clinton unfairly. Two-thirds of Clinton voters said Obama attacked her unfairly and nearly as many said she attacked him unfairly.

What this suggests is that Obama voters were more ticked off at Hillary than Hillary voters were ticked at Obama. But even more, Hillary's own voters thought she was being unfair to a greater degree than Obama's voters thought that HE was being unfair to her. That means that their little pissing match of the past week may have hurt Hillary more than Obama.

Look at the distance the polls moved from the end of November to today. Hillary went from 40% to 27% today. But far more important, Obama went from maybe 28% to 55% today. That's an insane rise. Hell, look at the polls from the past few days - Obama never got above the mid 40s. Yet today he got 55%. Something happened. But what?