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Thread: Modi survey shockers: Big Southern advantage, gender gap

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    Default Modi survey shockers: Big Southern advantage, gender gap

    Every survey throws up the same result. Narendra Modi beats Rahul Gandhi in a leadership face-off. What varies from one poll to another is the size of the gap. And the latest Open/ C-Voter survey is no different. Modi trumps Rahul by a whopping 10- percentage points. It doesn’t matter how they slice the piece, he comes up on top — other than a few remarkable exceptions.Take, for instance, the geographical breakdown which offers a bit of a shocker.


    Modi trails Rahul by one point in the West — yes, that’s right! In the West, which is defined as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Rajasthan. If that doesn’t evoke a suitable gasp of surprise, the numbers in the South will. Modi collectively outstrips Rahul by 55-26 in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala.
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    The magazine is cautious in interpreting the significance of his Southern advantage: “While the survey does not reflect electoral reality—for instance, the South is unlikely to support the BJP in such numbers—it does seem to indicate that the shifting demographics of a country that is urbanising and where incomes are growing strongly favour Modi, who can only expect to see his support base grow.”
    The editors also insist, however, that their sample size and methodology is fully representative. Each story pegged to the poll comes with this bold-faced claim: “Thus, the calling data fully covers India, both geographically and demographically.”

    If we take them at their word, then, without a urban, high income or education skew in the sample, Modi still comes out way ahead in the South. But if we are to take the South results seriously, what should we make of the bizarre outcome in the West — which includes the home state of Gujarat where Modi just won a rousing reelection? This is a region where he surely enjoys far greater name recognition than any southern state. And they are also far more likely to be familiar with his record of governance.

    Apart from this puzzle, some of the results underline what we already know about Modi’s base. He does very well with upper and middle income groups, but lags 46-52 in the low income segment. The same holds for levels of education. Those with only primary education or less are more likely to support Rahul by three percentage points.

    In terms of caste and religion breakup, Modi loses out with Dalits (34-51), Tribals (44-49) and muslims, where the numbers are shockingly low. A minus-five percentage points support Modi compared to the 69 percent who back Rahul. His numbers with upper caste Hindus are, as expected, dizzyingly high (62-31).






    For all the fuss made over Modi’s allure for the female voter, he faces a daunting gender gap. When it comes to his strongest suit, governance, he does well with men who prefer him by 20 points, but the women are far less enthusiastic (39-36). But he loses out entirely with them on what Open calls ‘emotive issues‘ — for some odd reason — such as taking care of minorities, resolving Kashmir, maintaining communal harmony, working well with coalition partners and the opposition etc. Men still support him (38-31), albeit by a smaller margin, but the women prefer Rahul by 5 points.

    It is perhaps the first clear indication that the ‘strongman’ persona does not resonate as well with women as with men.The magazine spells out the lessons the numbers hold for Rahul — “focus on categories and issues where the gap is small or in his favour” — but offers no analysis of what Modi may need to do, perhaps because he is already far ahead.


    But the data do raise the big question: Can we have a prime minister of India who enjoys little support from the poor, Dalits, tribals and Muslims (the largest minority in the nation), and evokes ambivalence in nearly half of the population, i.e. women. They may represent the weaker sections of society, but taken together, they raise a big question mark about Modi’s ability to turn himself into a truly national leader.
    Irrespective of his survey numbers, to win elections in the real world, he will have appeal to all Indians, and not just those of a certain income or level of education or caste identity. And even if he were to win without their support, can he effectively govern without it?
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    How the Survey Was Done


    The results of the Open/C-Voter exclusive survey are based on interviews of 10,136 randomly selected respondents across India. The first round of interviews was conducted between 14 January and 5 February 2013. This was followed up with detailed interviews of 1,715 respondents, between 6 February and 9 February 2013.


    The basis for this ‘leadership’ research (along with the Issues and political support parameters) is the weekly CTS (C-Voter Tracking Survey), which has now been running for the fifth consecutive year, starting immediately after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. CTS has conducted and analysed close to half a million interviews at the state and national levels, which makes it the largest in any tracking survey of its kind.
    Samples collected during this survey are nationally representative, selected randomly by CATI (computer-aided telephonic interview) across 28 states in India. Once the respondents are randomly selected across the country, their demographic profile is obtained directly from them, and the responses are weighted to take care of any imbalances in the sample. The data is weighted to the known demographic profile of the state as per the 2001 census. Thus, the calling data fully covers India, both geographically and demographically. The margin of error is +/- 3% at the national level and +/- 5% at the regional level.
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    Top 10 Governance Issues

    Narendra Modi leads Rahul Gandhi by 20 percentage points among male voters and by 3 percentage points among female voters on issues of governance.




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    Where Their Support Comes From


    What Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi score in an Open/C-Voter survey among voters based on gender, age, social grouping, zone or region, income groups and education groups


    The 19 percentage point gap between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi among male respondents falls to a much smaller but still large gap of 6 percentage points among women respondents. While the lead Modi enjoys among upper caste Hindus (UCH above) is not a surprise, the advantage he enjoys among OBCs and the narrow gap among Tribals is the real takeaway. The Muslim antipathy to Modi is also clearly reflected in the difference in the third graph below.










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    Top 10 Emotive Issues

    Narendra Modi leads Rahul Gandhi by 7 percentage points among male voters and lags him by 5 percentage points among female voters on emotive issues.




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