It’s very interesting stuff. Of course, many people focus on the “top numbers” (cough, cough, our useless media) which can lead to fascinating assumptions given the usual margin of error. The really interesting stuff comes when you delve deeper into the numbers.

For instance, SurveyUSA did a 2000 sample of Missouri adults January 30th and 31st. That’s serious effort and money for opinion research. From that sample they split out 664 likely voters in the Democratic primary. Think about that for a minute. If their initial screen consists of 2000 adults (not registered voters) we might assume, extrapolating the assumptions of the original sample if it represents the actual population, that 33.2% of Missouri adults (not registered voters) are going to participate in the Democratic primary on February 5th.

According to the Missouri Secretary of State Missouri had 4,007,174 registered voters in 2006 (that number has probably gone up since then). Now these are going to be rough numbers, but keep following me. The U.S. Census estimates that Missouri’s 2006 population was 5,842,713 of which 24.2% were under the age of 18 (and thus, not eligible to vote). That would leave 4,428,776 adults in Missouri. You’ve got to love those round numbers for estimates, eh? That would mean that 90% (in 2006) of Missouri adults were registered to vote. And, applying the recent SurveyUSA sample, I assume that means that (roughly) 1,470,354 people will vote in the Democratic Primary on February 5th.

Okay, in the 2006 election Claire McCaskill garnered 1,055,255 votes. In 2004 John Kerry received 1,259,171 votes and Claire McCaskill received 1,301,442 votes.

Am I missing something here?

According to the SurveyUSA poll 7% of the Democratic presidential primary likely voters will be republicans. That leaves 93% who are not republican. I’ll assume that 7% didn’t vote for Claire in 2006 or John Kerry and Claire McCaskill in 2004. So 1,367,429 non-republican voters in the Democratic primary on February 5th – compared to the number of votes in 2004 and 2006?

Ah, maybe it’s the 2004 Robin Carnahan vote (1,367,783). But then, she was running against Catherine Hanaway.

Will turnout be higher than usual? You better believe it. Will it be higher than the 2004 and 2006 general elections? It’s possible, but I’d be greatly surprised.

Update: Mason-Dixon released a poll for McClatchy/MSNBC this morning (see below).

In 2004 543,392 voters participated in the presidential preference primary for all parties. 418,339 people voted in the Democratic primary. Now, of course, the Democratic nominee had been anointed by the media at this point in 2006, so that did suppress the turnout.

I digress way too much.

Getting back to SurveyUSA:

Top Issue for Next President (Democratic primary preference numbers within each group)

Economy [44% of sample]

48% – Hillary Clinton

45% – Barack Obama

4% – Other

3% – Undecided

Health Care [22% of sample]

50% – Hillary Clinton

45% – Barack Obama

2% – Other

2% – Undecided

Iraq [13% of sample]

48% – Hillary Clinton

46% – Barack Obama

6% – Other

0% – Undecided

Environment [4% of sample]

52% – Hillary Clinton

45% – Barack Obama

3% – Other

0% – Undecided

Social Security [4% of sample]

59% – Hillary Clinton

29% – Barack Obama

11% – Other

1% – Undecided

Education [3% of sample]

35% – Hillary Clinton

59% – Barack Obama

2% – Other

4% – Undecided

Immigration [3% of sample]

77% – Hillary Clinton

14% – Barack Obama

9% – Other

0% – Undecided

Terrorism [2% of sample]

34% – Hillary Clinton

17% – Barack Obama

49% – Other

0% – Undecided

The economy is a big concern of Democratic primary voters. I was wondering why we haven’t seen any commercials on the war in Iraq (well, okay, John McCain).

Let’s take a look at the numbers from likely Democratic presidential primary voters by region of the state:

Region

Ozark [16% of sample]

62% – Hillary Clinton

32% – Barack Obama

6% – Other

0% – Undecided

Kansas City [25% of sample]

43% – Hillary Clinton

50% – Barack Obama

5% – Other

3% – Undecided

Central [8% of sample]

50% – Hillary Clinton

34% – Barack Obama

12% – Other

5% – Undecided

St. Louis [50% of sample]

46% – Hillary Clinton

48% – Barack Obama

5% – Other

2% – Undecided

It would appear that the circulated meme about a negative “Hillary effect” on outstate legislative races hasn’t had very much impact with Democratic voters in those areas.

Gender:

male [46% of sample]

36% – Hillary Clinton

54% – Barack Obama

8% – Other

2% – Undecided

female [54% of sample]

58% – Hillary Clinton

36% – Barack Obama

4% – Other

2% – Undecided

There’s the GOTV strategy. Need I say more?

On to others.

ARG did a 600 sample poll (490 Democrats and 110 independent and Republicans):

If the 2008 Democratic presidential preference primary were being held today between (names rotated) Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, for whom would you vote – Clinton, Obama, or someone else?

Likely Democratic Primary Voters Jan 31-Feb 1

Clinton – 42%

Obama – 44%

Someone else – 5%

Undecided – 9%

Missouri

Likely Democratic Primary Voters

Democrats [82%] – Independents (18%) [sample]

Clinton – [44%] – (31%)

Obama – [41%] – (59%)

Someone else – [6%] – (2%)

Undecided – [9%] – (8%)

I don’t think they pushed the “undecideds”. SurveyUSA had the undecideds at 2%.

Rasmussen came out with a 507 sample of “Likely Democratic Primary Voters” which was conducted on January 31, 2008:

…The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows Clinton attracting 47% of the vote while Obama earns 39%. Eleven percent (11%) still plan on supporting some other candidate while 4% are undecided. Just 66% of voters are “certain” they have settled on their final choice in this election and events over the final weekend of the campaign could impact the final results…

They have some interesting observations:

In Missouri, Clinton leads by fifteen points among women and by three points among men.

The former First Lady is viewed favorably by 76% of Likely Primary Voters while Obama earns such positive reviews from 72%.

Forty-six percent (46%) say the economy is the top voting issue. Nineteen percent (19%) name the War in Iraq while 14% say Health Care is the top priority

[emphasis added]

Note the similarities in issues with SurveyUSA (given the margin of error).

As for gender and GOTV? Uh, yeah.

Update:

The Mason-Dixon poll [pdf] from January 30th through February 1st of 400 likely Democratic primary voters has margin of error of 5%. As always, it’s really not about the top numbers, especially with a 400 sample for a statewide poll.

QUESTION: If the 2008 Missouri Democratic primary were held today, which one of the following candidates would get your vote: (ORDER ROTATED)

All

Hillary Clinton – 47%

Barack Obama  – 41%

Others (NOT READ) ** – 2%

Undecided (NOT READ) – 10%

Gender:

Men

Hillary Clinton – 41%

Barack Obama  – 47%

Others (NOT READ) ** – 3%

Undecided (NOT READ) – 9%

Women

Hillary Clinton – 51%

Barack Obama  – 37%

Others (NOT READ) ** – 1%

Undecided (NOT READ) – 11%

Democrats

Hillary Clinton – 53%

Barack Obama  – 37%

Others (NOT READ) ** – 1%

Undecided (NOT READ) – 9%

QUESTION: Which ONE of the following issues do you feel is MOST important: (ORDER ROTATED)

The Economy & Jobs –  46%

Health care – 23%

Iraq – 12%

National Security or Terrorism – 5%

The Environment, Energy & Climate Change – 5%

Social Security – 1%

Other/Not Sure (NOT READ) – 8%

DEMOGRAPHICS:

SEX:

Men 42%

Women 58%

Those issues again. In the same priority. The demographics tell the GOTV tale.