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Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a poll [pdf] today of 632 Missouri voters taken from September 9th through the 12th. The margin of error is 3.9%. This being crazy times, the race is close. Then again, it is a long time to November 2012.

…PPP is a Democratic polling company, but polling expert Nate Silver of the New York Times found that its surveys in 2010 actually exhibited a slight bias toward Republican candidates…

More on that later.

Some of the top line results:

43% approve of McCaskill’s work in Washington, down from 46% four months ago. The same 47% disapprove. Among the 87 senators on which PPP has polled, only one of the 23 Democrats on the ballot next year has a worse standing-Nebraska’s Ben Nelson.

But for now at least, McCaskill leads three Republicans running to replace her. She tops former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, 43-42, down from 45-42 in the previous poll. McCaskill also edges Rep. Todd Akin, 45-43, versus 46-45 in May. And she leads businessman John Brunner, 46-37, up from 47-41.

This is an interesting aspect of the sample:

Q8 Who did you vote for President in 2008?

John McCain…………………………………………… 48%

Barack Obama………………………………………… 45%

Someone else/Don’t remember …………………. 7%

This is what actually happened in 2008:

Official Election Returns

State of Missouri General Election  – 2008 General Election

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

As announced by the Board of State Canvassers

on Tuesday, December 02, 2008

U.S. President And Vice President   Precincts Reporting 3532 of 3532

  John McCain, Sarah Palin REP 1,445,814 49.4%

  Barack Obama, Joe Biden DEM 1,441,911 49.3%

  Bob Barr, Wayne A. Root LIB 11,386 .4%

  Chuck Baldwin, Darrell Castle CST 8,201 .3%

  Ralph Nader, Matt Gonzalez IND 17,813 .6%

  Cynthia McKinney, Rosa Clemente WI 80 .0%

Total Votes   2,925,205

[emphasis added]

This could mean that Democratic voters have left the state, that republican voter suppression efforts are taking a toll, that Democratic voters don’t answer the phone, that Democratic voters by a larger margin forgot who the voted for, or all of the above and maybe more. Or, maybe, there’s a slight republican bias to the poll.

There are some interesting crosstabulations:

McCaskill Approval

Very liberal

Approve 84%

Disapprove 10%

Not sure 6%

Somewhat liberal

Approve 74%

Disapprove 16%

Not sure 10%


Approve 61%

Disapprove 28%

Not sure 11%

Somewhat conservative

Approve 22%

Disapprove 66%

Not sure 13%

Very conservative

Approve 9%

Disapprove 84%

Not sure 7%

Those very conservative voters don’t like Claire McCaskill at all. Anyone think they’ll vote for her?:


Very liberal

Claire McCaskill 89%

Todd Akin 2%

Undecided 9%

Somewhat liberal

Claire McCaskill 79%

Todd Akin 16%

Undecided 5%


Claire McCaskill 67%

Todd Akin 19%

Undecided 14%

Somewhat conservative

Claire McCaskill 21%

Todd Akin 64%

Undecided 15%

Very conservative

Claire McCaskill 8%

Todd Akin 82%

Undecided 10%

Nope, those very conservative voters ain’t gonna vote for Claire. But, what’s this? 16% of “somewhat liberal” voters say they’re going to vote for Rep. Todd Aiken (r), arguably the most rabid right wingnut in the Missouri congressional delegation? That’s crazy talk. This is either a bad sample, or Claire has pissed of a significant portion of the base. Any guesses?

By the way, neither Sarah Steelman (r) nor John Brunner (r) do as well with “somewhat liberal” voters as Todd Aiken (r).

There is a gender gap in Claire McCaskill’s (D) approval:

McCaskill Approval


Approve 46%

Disapprove 39%

Not sure 15%


Approve 40%

Disapprove 55%

Not sure 5%

Uh, the men have made up their minds it would seem. Women could make a significant difference in this election.

“….Claire McCaskill continues to look extremely vulnerable for reelection,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But it bodes well for her that even at a low time for her party she’s running slightly ahead of her opposition. She might be able to hang on if Democrats see any improvement in their position over the next year….”


It’s about jobs. I wonder why no one thought of that before. Oh, right. They did.