by Todd Beeton, Thu May 29, 2008 at 07:33:03 AM EDT
I wonder if this is a sign of things to come -- pollsters polling not just Obama vs. McCain, but also Obama/Clinton vs. McCain/[insert Republican VP pick of choice here.] Because if they do, I suspect the results will make Clinton's case for VP for her.
WXYZ-Action News/EPIC-MRA poll out of Michigan (600 LVs, May 19-22, MOE +/- 4%) finds Obama/Clinton beating McCain/Romney by 7 points.
This result represents an impressive improvement over Kerry's 3 point win there in 2004. Even more notable, however, is the improvement it represents over Obama's numbers in a head to head match-up against McCain.
Contrary to conventional wisdom about Obama, one of the reasons he performs so poorly against McCain is his relative weakness among independents.
One-on-one against Obama, McCain led among independent Michigan voters, 41-28, although the error margin is considerably larger in the smaller group than for the statewide polling sample. Independents made up about one in six voters in the poll.
Now, clearly, outside factors are informing Obama's performance in this poll, particularly the Michigan delegate fight and the fact that he didn't campaign there except for one recent visit. And to the extent that Michigan voters are tuned in to the whole delegate showdown, perhaps it makes sense that Clinton would provide a boost to the ticket since she is the one, as she would put it, fighting for their votes to count. But my suspicion is that we will see similar results in many other states, particularly where under-performs Kerry in 2004, which is, let's face it, the minimum any Democrat should do this year. General election polls are of questionable merit this far out, but the more statewide polls we see that show an Obama/Clinton ticket outperforming Obama on his own against McCain, the more the evidence will mount that adding her to the ticket is the key to expanding the map to the Chris Bowers re-alignment scenario.
Update [2008-5-29 12:10:34 by Todd Beeton]:OK, so Survey USA has added Clinton to the Obama tickets they're polling and their new Michigan poll contradicts my thesis above. The poll shows Obama/Clinton losing to McCain/Romney by 5 points, performing 1 point worse than Obama performs on his own. The best VP pick for Obama, according to Survey USA, would be Edwards, who helps keep the loss to McCain/Romney to just 3 points. Sad that they have Obama losing Michigan to McCain in every scenario. I suspect that will change as the general heats up and as Obama becomes more familiar in the state, but not an encouraging sign at this point for a state that should be in the blue column.