Monday, March 10, 2008

More from the Detroit News Poll

(Many thanks to those of you who continue to share articles from the subscription-only MIRS and Gongwer with me.)

Last week's Detroit News/WXYZ poll conducted by EPIC-MRA showed some trouble for Congressman Walberg. I haven't seen all the data yet or the survey questions, but MIRS and Gongwer have a little bit more than the initial Detroit News article.

Some of the data below is incomplete, and the way I've listed it here is likely different from the way it was asked in the survey. I'm giving you everything the Detroit News, MIRS, and Gongwer have published, as well as data from

(Margin of error +/- 4.9%)

Party Identification:
Democrats and lean (D) independents - 35%
Republicans and lean (R) independents - 47%
Independents/Other - 18%

All Independents - 40%

Walberg versus Schauer, no biographies:
Walberg (R) - 51%
Schauer (D) - 40%

Walberg versus Schauer, with biographies:
Walberg (R) - 48%
Schauer (D) - 49%

By Party:
Republicans, no bio:
Walberg - 82%
Schauer - 9%
Republicans, with bio:
Walberg - 83%
Schauer - 15%

Democrats, no bio:
Walberg - N/A
Schauer - 82%
Democrats, with bio:
Walberg - N/A
Schauer - 91%

Independents, no bio:
Walberg - 35%
Schauer - 46%
Independets, with bio:
Walberg - 38%
Schauer - 55%

By County (2006 results in parentheses):
Calhoun, no bio:
Walberg - 40% (45%)
Schauer - 57% (Renier 51%)
Calhoun, with bio:
Walberg - 38%
Schauer - 59%

Eaton, no bio:
Walberg - 58% (48%)
Schauer - 29% (Renier 50%)
Eaton, with bio:
Walberg - 60%
Schauer - 36%

Jackson, no bio:
Walberg - 55% (51%)
Schauer - 36% (Renier 46%)
Jackson, with bio:
Walberg - 51%
Schauer - 45%

Lenawee, no bio:
Walberg - 60% (56%)
Schauer - 30% (Renier 42%)
Lenawee, with bio:
Walberg - 46%
Schauer - 46%

Washtenaw, no bio:
Walberg - 46% (47%)
Schauer - 43% (Renier 50%)
Washtenaw, with bio:
Walberg - 53%
Schauer - 47%

(Branch, Hillsdale counties were not given in any article.)

Walberg Name Recognition:
Recognize Walberg - 93%
Do Not Recognize - 7%

Schauer Name Recognition:
Recognize Schauer - 47%
Do Not Recognize - 53%

Walberg Favorable vs. Unfavorable:
Favorable - 42%
Unfavorable - 30%

Schauer Favorable vs. Unfavorable:
Favorable - 19%
Unfavorable - 12%

Walberg Job Approval:
Positive - 39%
Negative - 38%

Bush Approval:
Positive - 37%
Negative - 62%

Granholm Approval:
Positive - 34%
Negative - N/A

Country Right Direction/Wrong Track
Right Direction - 17%
Wrong Track - 68%

Presidential Race:
McCain (R) over Clinton (D) by 25%
McCain (R) over Obama (D) by 16%

Most Important Issues:
Improving Economy - 41%
Protecting America From Terrorism - 13%
Health Care - 11%

Pro-Life/Pro-Choice Self-ID:
Pro-life - 43%
Pro-choice - 50%

... And that's all I've got for now. First, for all the reporters out there, the political junkies like me would really appreciate it if, when possible, you posted the complete data in addition to analysis. I had to look through four articles to piece all of that together, and there are still some gaps. I'd love to see the biographical sketches that were read, as well as see any other data from the poll.

I have a few observations, but before I start, I like the introduction to the MIRS article:
Wily Republican strategist Lee ATWATER's axiom was that a candidate was dead when his negatives hit 35 percent and his positives aren't at least 5 points higher — because those figures aren't likely to change.
If you glance up again, you'll notice that Walberg's negatives are at 38 percent, and his positives are only one point higher. So, Lee Atwater (Karl Rove's mentor) would be bailing on Walberg right about now.

I'm surprised by how well Walberg does in Eaton County and Washtenaw County, and I really do expect those numbers to drop this summer. Similarly, while I'd love for Mark Schauer to be able to win Lenawee County (my home county and Tim Walberg's home county), I really doubt that it'll happen. Still, if Schauer can hit 46 percent in Lenawee County with just a biographical sketch, it's definitely a place worth campaigning in.

Schauer is strong among independents (very important), and he improves more than Walberg does in every category when the biographical information is read. Since the poll was commissioned by the Detroit News (a paper that has never endorsed a Democratic presidential nominee), I'm going to assume the biography was fairly balanced.

I think it's also worth pointing out that Schauer gets significant support simply for being a Democrat. The lesson here, I think, is that one shouldn't run away from the (D) after the name this year. Independents are leaning strongly for Democrats, as was demonstrated in the recent Illinois 14th District special election, where Bill Foster won former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's seat with ads prominently featuring his party affiliation.

Still, remember that this is still a lean-Republican district, and it won't be an easy campaign. However, when 53 percent of the voters don't know who the leading Democratic candidate is, these results are pretty good.

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You should ask why there are no numbers for Branch and Hillsdale. Both of those counties are heavy republican and especially Walberg's brand of republican. His numbers would be huge there and an unknown democrat should probably poll close to single digits. If those counties are included, while small, they would definitly go to Walberg.
I might be wrong, but I suspect that Branch and Hillsdale were both included in the poll, but their results were not mentioned in any media reports. If they did fail to include two counties of the district, that would just be really sloppy polling, and the poll wouldn't be worth much. I'm guessing the journalists who wrote up the articles I was drawing from decided that Branch and Hillsdale's results were exactly what they expected (Walberg wins big) and weren't worth mentioning.

It'd be a lot easier for me if they'd just attach a copy of their poll to the online articles...
Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act

On Passage
House Roll Call No. 101
110th Congress, 2nd Session

Passed: 268-148 (see complete tally)
The House passed H.R. 1424, to amend section 712 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, section 2705 of the Public Health Service Act, and section 9812 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require equity in the provision of mental health and substance-related disorder benefits under group health plans, by a yea-and-nay vote of 268 yeas to 148 nays, Roll No. 101.


Tim Walberg - Republican - CD 07
I just saw this vote on BFM. It is a mental health parity bill. It passed, but Walberg missed the vote. If he missed it because he was stumping for cash with Cheney, we need to know.

From BFM:

Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act - Vote Passed (268-148, 13 Not Voting) - The House voted to require employee health plans to provide the same coverage for mental illness as they do for physical health issues.
Fitzy, flex some muscle as a big time blogger and ask them for the poll. They may share it with you. I think the omission of 2 counties is worth investigating if you have the time.
The Hillsdale paper has an article about a forum:

In it, they paraphrase Walberg:

"He said medical care is becoming a sort of lottery system and that is not good for anyone."

I don't understand his point at all, it is such a crappy, vague article that I cannot get it, but does this mean Walberg is going to pretend to be a champion for reform in health care? Up to this point, his "enlightened" perspective on health care is "let the market sort it out." A very admirable position for a conservative. But this last quote seems to shatter his former position.

Which is it Mr. Walberg? Free market rules or it is broken? Or, is it broken but you promise to ignore it? And, is your health care for life O.K.?
Maybe, too, the good Congressman from the 7th District can explain if he's such a big supporter of the human life, la la la, why the USA is 27th in the level of infant mortality.

I guess God isn't keeping a scorecard on that issue?
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