Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Is Georgia In Play?

Two polls out suggest Georgia is "in play" in terms of the upcoming U.S. presidential election. One poll is by Landmark/Rosetta, which gets only a "B" in 538's pollster grading scheme, but SurveyUSA gets an "A" in the same scale. The "why" of these grades has to do with reliance on robo-calls, on landlines (bad, and HuffPo just announced it is no longer using such polls in its aggregate measure of opinion), accuracy in previous polls, and being forthcoming in poll methodology. The Landmark poll has it dead even between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (45-45), but the SurveyUSA poll has it Trump 46, Clinton 42, just within the 4 percentage point margin of error. I'd lean toward the latter poll and a nod toward Trump given Georgia's previous election tendencies and fundamentals.

So, is Georgia "in play?" Not in the same way Florida or Ohio or Pennsylvania are "in play," despite these polls. They will require Trump to spend a few more bucks here than Romney did in 2012 (Romney aired all of four ads, best I can tell, and Obama zero). Then again, as tightfisted as Trump has been, he'll probably visit Atlanta more than Romney did in 2012. In other words, Georgia is just close enough that Trump will need to play a little defense to keep Georgia red.

Other interesting stuff from the polls.

Landmark has it 2/3 of independents do not believe Trump has the temperament to be president. Those independent voters matter, and that's a damaging number (crosstabs here).  We see similar stuff in the SurveyUSA details (available here). Clinton has only double of Trump's Hispanic vote. I thought it'd be more, though keep in mind the numbers surveyed are relatively small, so these numbers are iffy.

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