SurveyUSA just published results of a primary and caucus poll in Washington state.
On the Republican side McCain leads with 40% support, and Romney is a distant second at 26%. Huckabee gets 17% and Paul shares 9% with the undecideds. (Yeah…there is probably an anti-Paul conspiracy involved in these results. Right.)
Obama leads the Democratic field with 53% to Clinton’s 40%.
Given (1) the fluidity of the Democratic race, (2) the fact that Super Tuesday comes before next Saturday’s Washington Caucus, (3) that polls–which assume statistical independence among respondents–don’t represent social processes like caucuses very well, and (4) that the poll excluded independents, I won’t be placing (or taking) any bets on the outcome. Even so, Sen. Obama must be happy with Washington state right now.
Personally, I don’t really care what the outcome is. I see great, if different, strengths in either of the Democratic front-runners.
Who plans on participating? About 26% of those questioned said they would participate in their party caucuses. But when subdivided by party, 28% of Democrats said they will participate in their caucus versus 22% of Republicans.
Overall, 88% said they would participate in the primary election, including 91% of Republicans and 86% of Democrats. The Democratic primary counts for almost nothing (except bragging rights for the winner, I suppose), whereas the Republican primary will determine about half the delegates.
Perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part, but the higher planned participation by Democrats in the caucuses and the surprisingly high planned participation by Democrats in a meaningless primary election sure makes it look like the Democrats have the edge in enthusiasm.
(The more detailed poll cross-tabs are given here.)