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Red Racing Horses analyzes and discusses elections from a Republican-leaning perspective. Thank you for visiting, and we hope you'll enjoy the blog. Please read our site Terms of Use.

~The RRH Moderators: BostonPatriot, Daniel Surman, GoBigRedState, Greyhound, James_Nola, Right Reformer, Ryan_in_SEPA, and Shamlet.

Problems logging into your account? Inside information? Complaints? Compliments? E-Mail us at: redracinghorses@yahoo.com. We check it often!

RRH's 2014 General Election Preview Series:

Part 7 - Senate

Part 6 - Eastern Governors

Part 5 - Western Governors

Part 4 - Northeast/South House

Part 3 - Midwest/West House

Part 2 - Row Officers

Part 1 - Legislatures and Local

The Current RRH Race Ratings:

Senate

Governor

House

Row Officers


RRH/PMI SC-1 Poll: Sanford 46, Colbert-Busch 46

by: shamlet

Thu May 02, 2013 at 12:00:00 PM EDT


If you have questions on this poll or would like a PDF copy, please e-mail redracinghorses at yahoo dot com with the subject "Poll".

Less than a week before the contentious special election between Mark Sanford (R) and Elizabeth Colbert-Busch (D), a RRH/PMI automated survey of 650 likely voters in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District finds the race as close as can be, with both candidates taking 46% of the vote and 7% undecided. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 5%.

In addition, RRH tested a hypothetical 2014 matchup between Colbert-Busch and State Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Bonneau), who came in third in the GOP primary. In that case, Grooms leads with 47% to Colbert-Busch's 40%, with 14% undecided.  

The poll was principally conducted by Red Racing Horses, with IVR phone surveys conducted by PMI Inc. of Marianna, Fla. All survey design and data analysis (including weighting) is the sole responsibility of Red Racing Horses. The methodology used in this survey is very similar to that of our last poll, which accurately predicted the outcome of December's Runoff Congressional Election in Louisiana's 3rd district.

Flip over for the full survey...

shamlet :: RRH/PMI SC-1 Poll: Sanford 46, Colbert-Busch 46

Survey Design and Methodology:

5000 calls were placed to a list of voters in South Carolina's first congressional district that had voted in recent previous general elections. The list was commercially obtained from Gravis Marketing Inc.; after the purchase of the phone number list Gravis was not involved in polling activity. Calls from the list were conducted from April 29-May 1, 2013. 

The survey consisted of six questions: A likely voter screen, a Sanford/Colbert-Busch topline, a Grooms/Colbert-Busch topline, an Obama/Romney survey, and questions about the respondent's gender and race. Individuals that indicated a disinclination to vote on May 7 or did not complete the six-question survey were not counted as part of the results, effectively preserving the toplines while lowering the undecided percentage. The only statistical weighting conducted for this poll was by race; RRH believed the raw data did not sample African-American voters at a high enough rate, based on the district's demographics.  

In order to isolate the impact of Mark Sanford's personal life on the race, we chose to test a 2014 re-election scenario for a hypothetical US Congresswoman Colbert-Busch. The Republican we chose to pit against her was State Sen. Larry Grooms, because of two factors: 1) his relatively high name recognition from his recent Congressional run and 2) his similar ideology to Sanford. Grooms's inclusion in the poll is in no way meant to encourage or discourage a potential future run by the Senator or to suggest that RRH prefers him as a candidate over any other Republican. We merely felt that Grooms was the Republican who best facilitated an apples-to-apples comparison to isolate Sanford's personal issues.

Toplines:

Less than a week before next Tuesday's election, Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert-Busch are tied at 46%, with 7% undecided. In a possible 2014 preview, State Sen. Larry Grooms takes 47% to 40% for Colbert-Busch, with 14% undecided. The disparate results among two candidates with similar ideologies suggest that Sanford's personal troubles are indeed the main reason for Colbert-Busch's strong performance in the heavily Republican district.

Demographic Questions:

2012 presidential results in the survey were 54% Romney, 41% Obama. This result shows a turnout marginally more Democratic than the turnout in the 2012 presidential election, in which Romney won the seat 58-40. The relatively Democratic electorate suggests somewhat high enthusiasm among Democrats and liberals, and somewhat decreased enthusiasm among conservatives.

The electorate we found was 60% Female and 40% Male. The electorate was weighted to the following racial balance: 79% White, 15% African American, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian, and 3% Other races.

Crosstabs:


SanfordColbert-BuschUndecided
Males49%44%7%
Females44%48%8%
Whites52%41%6%
African-Americans15%79%6%

We find a very small gender gap, with females slightly preferring Colbert-Busch and males slightly preferring Sanford. This works to Colbert-Busch’s benefit in the heavily female sample. As one would expect, African-Americans vote heavily for Colbert-Busch, while whites support Sanford by a moderate margin.

SanfordColbert-BuschUndecided
Obama Voters3%95%3%
Romney Voters79%13%8%
Other Voters41%26%33%

Colbert-Busch is doing a very good job at making sure Obama voters stay loyal, taking well over 90% of the Obama vote. Sanford does decently with Romney voters, but his 79% is far below Colbert-Busch's score among Obama partisans. A reason for Sanford to be optimistic is the undecided population, which is much more heavily Romney-supporting than the voters that have made up their minds.

ObamaRomneyOthers
Undecided Voters14%63%23%

Grooms does a better job of keeping Romney voters from defecting to Colbert-Busch, and even peels off a few Obama voters, accounting for his strong lead over Colbert-Busch.

GroomsColbert-BuschUndecided
Obama Voters8%85%7%
Romney Voters77%7%16%
Other Voters32%23%45%

Geography:

&

Sanford/Colbert-Busch Performance by County. Red: Sanford by more than 10. Light Blue: Colbert-Busch by less than 10. Dark Blue: Colbert-Busch by more than 10. Black: No data.

CountyCounty % of surveyCounty % of districtSanfordColbert-BuschUndecided
Beaufort27.2%22.4%39%52%10%
Berkeley16.1%22.7%55%35%10%
Charleston42.2%37.6%45%49%6%
Colleton0.4%0.1%N/AN/AN/A
Dorchester14.0%17.6%54%41%4%

Our sample undervalues the most Republican parts of the district in Berkeley and Dorchester relative to their proportion of the population. It appears that the socially conservative suburban areas north of Charleston have depressed enthusiasm. If Sanford can get those voters out at the same rate as Colbert-Busch is turning out her base in Beaufort and Charleston, he will win easily. But as of now it is easy to conclude that there is a turnout disparity working in Colbert-Busch’s favor.

On the other hand, this survey has some good news for Sanford. He is holding things close in Charleston County, the most Democratic and largest portion of the district. Beaufort County may be a place Sanford wants to devote more time in the final days, as his 52-39 deficit to Colbert-Busch means he is dramatically underperforming a generic Republican in that region.

Discussion:

The RRH-PMI survey shows a district very enthusiastic about the upcoming special election, and a race that is dead-even heading into the final stretch. The high response rate to the survey suggests that turnout on Tuesday will be high across the board.

The closeness of the race in the normally Republican district is almost certainly due exclusively to Republican ex-Gov. Mark Sanford's personal issues. Problematic for Sanford is the suggestion that some of his core voters, particularly Social Conservatives in the suburban Charleston area, may stay home Tuesday. Sanford should focus his resources on getting these conservatives (who may be put off by his personal issues) to hold their nose and turn out. An encouraging point for Sanford is the undecided population, who  overwhelmingly voted for Romney. Sanford would be best to try and stick to the issues for the last few days, and hope that the policy positions  of these voters can outweigh their personal qualms about the former Governor to either get them out to vote or pull them off the fence. Conversely, Colbert-Busch is best served by sticking to personal issues and going negative to drive down turnout. A geographic point of concern for Sanford is the Beaufort area; the normally Republican-friendly part of the district has become Colbert-Busch's major base, giving her a double-digit margin. Sanford will be well served to devote time to that area in the next few days.

If Colbert-Busch enters Congress, she will almost certainly find an uphill battle for re-election awaiting her in 2014. State Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Bonneau), who came in third in the special election primary, does not have to give up his Senate seat to make a bid. Without Sanford's baggage, Grooms causes the district to revert to form and takes an early lead over Colbert-Busch. While this margin suggests that Colbert-Busch could win a full term in 2014, she would have to be regarded as the underdog right from the start without the help of Sanford's personal issues.

About Red Racing Horses:

Red Racing Horses is a collaborative community of politics and election enthusiasts. We provide daily news updates, thoughtful analysis, and stimulating discussion of electoral politics. While our blog is Republican-oriented, we do not discuss policy and are open to respectful commentators of all political views. Run by a team of six volunteer hobbyists, RRH has no connections with any candidate or campaign in this race, or any national, state, or local political figures or organizations active in this election. Our funding for this poll comes entirely from the generous donations of RRH readers interested in seeing quality polling.

If you found this poll informative, please consider making a small donation so RRH can bring you more polls in the future.

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Thanks!!


26, Male, R, NY-10

ALL polls should have this much disclosure!


26, Male, R, NY-10

Thank You
Sanford just needs to get vote out and get undecided to come home or stay home at this point

Kudos on the poll and the hard work with the data
I find it interesting you didn't ask questions about party or age. Being a Romney voter doesn't necessarily make you a Republican voter, especially in the South. In many southern districts, some Romney voters have voted Democratic down ticket for years. Independents who may have voted Romney might not be loyal Republicans. While you may not want to adjust based on party, you might want to know it.

Age is an important factor in voting and most pollsters adjust based on age.

You may have done a good job of determining the special election electorate. The problem with your November 2014 question is that likely May 2013 voters are going to be a subset of those.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


Party and age
We couldn't ask about those without getting rid of something else, so we felt these six questions were the most applicable. There aren't a terrible lot of ConservaDems in this district anyway.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Age is very important
Though not a deal-breaker.

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Age?
On age could you see any more support for Cobert ( basically because of her brother)?

[ Parent ]
Why would you *ask* about age?
Presumably you would get that from Gravis, no? That information is out there.  

[ Parent ]
Multi-Member Households
the head of household is not necessarily the one picking up the phone.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
That's right, but you did get their gender.
There aren't that many households with two registered voters of the same gender. Either way, I agree that it's probably not a big deal, given that your Obama/Romney crosstab shows a relatively D-friendly electorate.

[ Parent ]
Yeah
And as Nir pointed out, the age and gender skews probably wind up more or less cancelling each other out.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Age
If you already know the age, then you can use that data for your results the way you already use the geography. There are often more than one voter in a household but there is less likely to be more than one voter from the same gender in the household. You can make a decent assumption as to who is answering from that.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
The electorate
Actually, our LV screen was based on voters that voted in previous general elections. We're expecting a turnout at near midterm levels.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Thank you
I echo the sentiment of every poll needing to field this much disclosure.

And I also love the fact that it was posted at "12:00:00 PM EDT", when you said that it would be released at noon. A minor detail, but yeah ... :)

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker


You can preset posts to release at a certain time.


[ Parent ]
Yep
but I want people to know we weren't sitting on this, we finished probably 15 minutes before noon.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
There you go ...
You destroyed the magic! ;)

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
the link to
"our last poll" doesn't seem to be pointing correctly in the actual article.  

Question on the poll
"The electorate we found was 60% Female and 40% Male. The electorate was weighted to the following racial balance: 79% White, 15% African American, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian, and 3% Other races." - Is there a place where one can look if that mirrors the electorate of 2012? I can only find the general SC Exit polls, but they don't neccessarily speak for SC-1.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

Good Job
I never said this on RRH since I had nothing to back it up with, but I had a feeling after the trespassing incident came to light that the race was still a tossup simply due to the district's lean, and Sanford being a better ideological fit than Colbert-Busch, so it's nice to see numbers confirming my feelings.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

Nicely detailed analysis - not a "cover your ass poll"
...as somebody at DKE just stupidly called it.

I still predict a narrow win for Busch.


I concur
and as for DKE: Haters gonna hate. /endsnark

We know what we get when we come here (high quality), that's good enough for me.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker


[ Parent ]
i don't know who would say it's a CYA poll
They are obviously very ignorant, as you can basically never claim to have picked the winner if you predict a tie.  You need to be superclose on either side to look good.  If you pick a winner by 8 and then win anywhere from 3-13, you look okay.  I think that window is much smaller with a tie.
Also, you obviously let the numbers speak for themselves.  Why would you want a tie over any other valid result?

[ Parent ]
Good work!
This poll shows that Sanford is coming back and seems to be closing strong. Having GOP pols like Graham, Scott & Haley come out for Sanford now makes a lot of sense to help him get those undecided GOP voters to break for him.  

hope this is accurate
Dueling polls.  

27, R, PA-07.

PPP is polling again
Might not be dueling. The race could be in flux.

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
And the rumors about the private polls are the same


26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
I'm enjoying this.
There's no way you're going to put the raw data out there for analysis, right?

Tell you what
We'll e-mail it to you after Tuesday if you want to fool around with it. But for right now we'd like to keep it under wraps to avoid a whole parlor game in reworking our assumptions.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Sure. That sounds good.
For one, I can probably tell you the age of your respondents :P

[ Parent ]
Right now I predict a very close race
50-48 either way.

Christie 2016  

50-48?
Is there a Libertarian or Green?

Working-class conservative. 22. Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

[ Parent ]
Eugene Platt (G)
nt

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
here was the 2012 breakdowns:
Tim Scott got the following:

Beaufort: 61%
Berkeley: 65%
Charleston: 60%
Colleton: 83%
Dorcester: 64%

Total: 62%


27, R, PA-07.


the district seems monolithically republican
At least at the county level.

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
As always, a high-quality product.


21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

PPP weighs in
it's definitely possible Republican voters have gotten back into it some since we did our poll

PPP might be backing off their previous voter model?

https://twitter.com/ppppolls/s...

33, R, IN-09


"Definitely Possible"
Oh I love statistical speak.

But yeah, we just need to bring enough Rs to the polls here to win.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-18
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
Lol, PPP
Gotta love 'em. But aren't they doing another poll right now? Will be interesting to see how far they'll stray from RRH.

And as for GOP voters coming home, I think that's really where Tim Scott and others with connection to the district(!, not some outside guys) can help a great deal.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker


[ Parent ]
PPP will poll this weekend
They said Saturday/Sunday, though that could be a difficult weekend for polling (college graduation weekend for many families).

33, R, IN-09

[ Parent ]
FITSNews and National Review (Jim Geraghty) are reporting this poll
nt

Of course
thecourse the Post and Courier couches it as a "GOP-leaning poll."

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
The source, yes.
The poll, not necessarily.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Where's that quote from?
That says we call ourselves "a Republican oriented online community"? I've never heard us describe ourselves that way.  

34, R, CO-1 (Degette)

[ Parent ]
Me
I had to think up something to describe us as, and I wanted to explain that we're more than just one person putting out random thoughts.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Wait
So you mean I haven't been posting on Democratic Underground this whole time?!? ;)

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
lol


South Philly Gay Republican

[ Parent ]
The problem
In trying to describe us to laypeople is that "blog" usually connotes one guy with a tumblr account. Wheras what we are is more similar to a small, highly specialized version of Superblogs like Redstate, Kos, or HuffPo. As a result you have to resort to somewhat convoluted descriptions.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Yeah
I've always reflexively called this a "blog" but it really doesn't fit the traditional definition of one. SSP was actually onto something with the term "project."

[ Parent ]
Maybe we should rename this Red Racing Horse Project


[ Parent ]
Lol
Sounds like a arts and crafts group.

(-10.00, -3.49), libertarian socialist, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."



-- Stanisław Lem


[ Parent ]
Jenny
Wonder what Jenny will do? She clearly doesn't want Mark to win.

Grooms
Why did you test him against Colbert-Busch in a hypothetical 2014 matchup instead of Bostic? I think I remember that Grooms raised more money and had wider support and Bostic getting second place in the primary was kind of a fluke.

Ideology, mostly
Sanford and Bostic hail from opposite sides of the party while Grooms is ideologically close to Sanford. Plus we guessed that Grooms might have higher name rec.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
A 3-2 female-male breakdown?
That's a lot of females.

http://mypolitikal.com/

Great job
I see a 50-49 ECB victory so this poll would line right up with that pretty much.

I would not be shocked at all if Sanford wins however.  I do think for Republicans (From my POV at least) ECB winning is the best scenario.  Democrats will spend a ton trying to defend her in 2014, she will almost certainly lose in 2014 and Republicans won't have to defend Sanford anymore.  Now I know there is the Bill Owens arguement, but this district is much more red and Republicans have a solid bench here.  

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat


I would disagree with that
because I think Sanford would be a better Congressman than whomever would get elected in 2014.


Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Until he becomes Souder 2.0 in congress


26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
No proof of that
More women would have come forward if he were a serial adulterer. Sanford was married successfully, it seems, for over 20 years.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.
The Steve Plan for a resurgent GOP: Fewer Steve Kings, more Steve Litzows


[ Parent ]
We don't know
Many people don't come forward because it hurts them just as much.

Why take the risk?

26, Male, R, NY-10


[ Parent ]
This is really low
Sanford's behavior stands on its own.  There is no need to keep spreading unsubstantiated rumors that Sanford may have additional affairs.  Leave that to the Ds to do things like that.


Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Today's Charleston and Columbia paper mention RRH poll
PPP moving toward RRH poll results
We are seeing a very different picture in SC-1 from 2 weeks ago- close race with things moving in Sanford's direction

https://twitter.com/ppppolls/s...

33, R, IN-09


Sounds like a CYA poll
/snark

I'm pretty torn on this race. I almost always want Republicans to win, but in the long run I think it's probably better for the party if he doesn't.  

34, R, CO-1 (Degette)


[ Parent ]
well there's always the
Hope he wins the special election but gets primaried for the next general election.
 

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
Colbert Busch internal had a 3-point lead
http://www.nationalreview.com/...

Usually you adjust internals down, but PPP exceeded that by 6 points.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
The New Republic bashes Red Racing Horses
PPP has a long and solid record. The other pollster of this race does not. Red Racing Horses, a conservative website, commissioned a survey showing a dead-heat, 47-47, but the data analysis, survey design, and weighting was "the sole responsibility of Red Racing Horses," which, in their own words, is "run by a team of 6 volunteer hobbyists." Perhaps as a result, they found that women represented 60 percent of the electorate. Red Racing Horses also bought their call-list from Gravis Marketing, which was only spared the wrath afforded to Gallup and Rasmussen because they were never credible enough to merit significant attention.

http://www.newrepublic.com/art...

It's probably a badge of honor to be bashed by The New Republic, a publication that's only in business because Chris Hughes can lose millions of dollars and not blink.

I'm sure you guys can address the remainder of his criticism, but clearly he has no clue what a call list is. You bought a list of registered voters from Gravis. It's the same list that you could've bought from anyone who gets the voter rolls. You didn't have Gravis do anything. So his allusion to Gallup and Rasmussen is irrelevant.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


Lol. Talk about grasping at straws...


21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
the only attacks I've heard of
Have been by people that had no understanding of the process and the transparency.  Even liberals have said nice things about the poll, if they've been honest with themselves.

[ Parent ]
RRH has more credibility than Jonathan Chait
That's all I have to say about that.

And if Chait's reading this - Go Green! Go White!

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  


[ Parent ]
Ha
That's pretty hysterical.

[ Parent ]
It's ok
We're still new.
PPP faced the same thing when they started out.

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
LOL
So let me get this straight: they're bashing the RRH poll for showing a tie, and then stating that PPP is more credible, while it showed a 1-point Sanford lead?

This is pretty much the definition of petty partisan bashing.  I remember when TNR would at least follow an internal logic in its left-wing articles.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-18
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
Also
YAY WE MADE IT!  Having TNR criticize you means that we've moved up a tier on the internet.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-18
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
Read the whole article.
It does follow logic for the most part. Cohn even gives Sanford the edge. He just takes a break to bash RRH in the middle of the article.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Nice.
I'm even more proud to have donated.

Working-class conservative. 22. Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

[ Parent ]
Right there with you
The fact that we seem to be able to do this fairly cheaply and very effectively is very encouraging. It should also make future efforts easier. Donations should flow in if it is demonstrated that RRH produces good polls.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Tweets
Karen Tumulty ‏@ktumulty 33m
Interviewed about a dozen voters at @ColbertBuschSC home polling place in Mt Pleasant. All but one had voted for @MarkSanford #sc01  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

Anecdotes on election day are worthless


26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Eh
This one may be worth something as Mt. Pleasant is Sanford's core base.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Please!
It's a boring day at work and in politics.
A prediction thread!

26, Male, R, NY-10

Will be up at 4
nt

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
I will be bold
54-46 Sanford.

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Would not surprise me
nt

Male, LA-01

Cassidy, Rounds, Ernst, Handel, Land for Senate!  


[ Parent ]
SC official numbers
[ Parent ]
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