Thursday's Political Wire
The Michael J. Fox Effect
In light of actor Michael J. Fox's recent television commercial appearances supporting Democratic political candidates who support stem cell research, Political Wire cited a study from HCD Research and Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion that states "voters' support increased after they viewed an ad featuring Michael J. Fox in which he expresses his support for candidates who are in favor of stem cell research." The study also asserts that the number of Republicans who indicated that they were voting for a Republican candidate decreased by 10 percentage points after viewing the ad and that independents planning to vote for Democrats increased by 10 percentage points.
The 15 Percent Lie
According to Political Wire, the Wall Street Journal uses Tennessee's Senate race to explore the "15 percent lie," which occurs "when whites, bowing to societal pressure, tell pollsters they intend to vote for a black candidate but fail to do so in the voting booths. Indeed, several political experts believe that despite Harold Ford Jr.'s strong showing in the polls, some whites may desert him at the last minute." That reality may pose trouble for the Democrats, who are hoping to regain control of the Senate on Election Day.
SurveyUSA Breaks the Tie in the Virginia Senate Poll Race
At the beginning of the week, Political Wire noted that the MSNBC/McClatchy Senate poll showed Republican George Allen leading Democratic challenger James Webb, 47 to 43 percent. Later in the week, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll reported Webb leading Allen 47 to 44 percent.
Most recently, SurveyUSA released its results, siding with MSNBC in a poll that shows Allen edging out Webb 49 to 46 percent. Political Wire also reports this key finding in the study: "Allen leads by 15 among white voters. Webb leads by 62 points among black voters. Blacks made up 14 percent of likely voters in SurveyUSA's turnout model. If blacks vote in larger numbers, the Democrat benefits. If blacks vote in smaller numbers, the Republican benefits."
Schwarzenegger Holds Huge Lead in California
Political Wire cites a new Public Policy Institute of California poll showing Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger quietly running way ahead of Democratic challenger Phil Angelides, 48 to 30 percent.
But the study also states that "most voters (60 percent), and at least half of Democrats (67 percent), Republicans (50 percent), and independents (60 percent), say they are dissatisfied with the attention that the gubernatorial candidates are giving to the issues."