Sure it's too early to be looking forward to 2012 and sure we have a lot of actual, you know, policy to be talking about, but the folks at PPP have recently completed two interesting polls in North Carolina that I'd like to speculate about. Of course this makes me part of the problem of highlighting horse-race coverage at the expense of policy, but what the hell?
First, PPP polled GOP voters in North Carolina about who they plan to vote for in 2012. I graphed the results below:
My guess is that every Democrat who's reading this blog is licking their lips at the prospect of a Palin candidacy and, at least early on, Republican voters might be up to the challenge. I don't know about you, but I'll be watching Sarah Palin's Alaska with a slightly different eye now.
PPP also polled general election voters (without a partisanship screen) and found tested a few match-ups:
- Obama vs. Romney (tied)
- Obama vs. Huckabee (Huackabee up, but barely within the margin of error)
- Obama vs. Palin (Obama up)
- Obama vs. Gingrich (tied)
Perhaps more interesting, PPP also reports their results in bivariate form so we can see whether how many Obama voters are planning to defect to the Republican party and how many McCain voters are planning to defect to the Democrats. If we see of Obama voters planning to defect, then that would be a terrifically bad sign for the incumbent President. Fortunately for Obama, however, that is not what the results suggest. There are just as many McCain voters are planning to vote for Obama as there are Obama voters who are planning to vote for McCain. Simply put: Obama is not losing any ground in the Tar Heel state (at least thus far).
Of course, a lot can (and will) happen in the next months and years. And a good deal of it will likely be bad for the incumbent