Sunday, October 12, 2014

Overnight developments in voter ID case, polling

-- YouGov, which polled me on September 20 and completed fieldwork on these latest results on October 1, has Greg Abbott at 54% and Wendy Davis at 40%. (John Cornyn leads David Alameel 55-35).  In other words, nothing has changed.

YouGov has already polled me again over the weekend, for Texas statewide races all the way down to Land Commissioner (no judicials) and several hot-button issues.  Those include the National Guard at the border, supporting or opposing deportation of immigrants and the photo ID law, various circumstances under which a woman should be able to have an abortion, whether undocumenteds should receive in-state tuition, and gay marriage.  This sounds like a Texas Tribune/UT profile to me, and thus I would expect results from this polling in a week... just in time for early voting

In their overall US Senate measurements, YouGov has the Democrats losing Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and South Dakota.   They hold Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado, and Michigan.  Kansas is dead even.  In that scenario, Mitch McConnell becomes Senate Majority Leader (if his caucus will still have him, that is).

-- The Fifth Circuit has ordered all parties in the Texas photo ID case to submit their arguments by 3 p.m. today.  Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS blog reiterates what was posted here previously.

If this dispute moves on to the Supreme Court, which seems quite likely, it will be the fourth time in recent days that the Justices have been drawn into the widespread controversy in this election season over new restrictions on voting rights.

In three separate actions, the Justices blocked a voter ID law in Wisconsin, but permitted limitations on early voting in Ohio and limits on same-day registration and voting as well as some limits on vote counting in North Carolina.

The differing treatment has not been explained, but it appears that the Court has been less willing to permit changes in voting procedures to be changed close to elections.  That is a principle the Court appeared to establish in a late October 2006 decision, Purcell v. Gonzalez, involving an Arizona proof-of-citizenship requirement, which the Justices allowed to remain in effect, citing “the imminence of the election and the inadequate time to resolve the factual disputes.”

In the Texas dispute, the Fifth Circuit is expected to act quickly after the challengers and the Justice Department offer their views on the postponement request.  Those filings were limited to ten pages.

Texas conducted elections in 2013 using photo IDs.  Not requiring them for voting beginning a week from tomorrow could be considered a material enough revision by the SCOTUS for them to dodge an appeal from the plaintiffs if/when the Fifth Circuit rules against them.   If I were a betting man -- and I am -- my guess is that the Fifth overturns Judge Ramos' decision tomorrow evening or Tuesday morning, there is an immediate appeal to the SC which they decline to consider, and photo IDs go back into effect for the Texas election.

I'd be delighted to be wrong somewhere in there.

Updates: This report in the DMN details the hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions that Fulbright & Jaworski and Vinson & Elkins, two of the largest law firms in Texas, have made to Greg Abbott in exchange for even larger-dollar contracts for legal work from the state of Texas.  Thirty-nine million dollars to F&J, $13 million to V&E.  It's more of the same old quid pro quo from Abbott.

And via e-mail, the two major party state Comptroller candidates, Mike Collier and Glenn Hegar, will hold a debate on October 29, to be televised by Time Warner Cable.


Gadfly said...

Adding the Snooze link to my money-waster in chief blog post.

And, I just don't "see" YouGov on the Senate, in part based on that link I posted here sometime last week about pollsters undercounting black votes in at least Georgia. I'll assume the same is likely happening in NC, Louisiana and Arkansas. I'll put at last 1 of those 3, plus Kansas, in the D corner.

Gadfly said...

YouGov is also a LOT different than what I read on Friday about South Dakota, where there's halfway serious speculation Pressler could actually win, despite a shoestring budget, which then leads to caucusing questions.

PDiddie said...

You are correct re: SD. It's more recently been a three way split as polled by Survey USA, with those results revealed going back to last Wednesday. Which is why everybody suddenly got excited by it. I'm tracking YouGov's numbers because a) they've been the only outfit that has consistently polled Texas, b) either their methodology has some value or it does not, and the end results in the various races they have consistently sampled will (hopefully) clarify that.

As Nate Silver says, it's more about the trends among polling than it is one poll.

Gadfly said...

Right on trends. I know that the Dems SCC is sending more money to South Dakota.

On the story on top polls undercounting likely black voters, we'll have to see how true that story is in Georgia, and how much it's happening in other Southern states.