This Modern Age

Can Obama Win? Quick Thoughts on Current Polling

with 9 comments

To start – My heart and prayers go out to Robert Novak.  He is a strong man and has been a great patriot.  I am confident that he has courage to face his current trial.

The screaming headline on Drudge recently was Obama’s new growing lead.  Really?  The referenced poll was Gallup with Obama over McCain 48/40.  But there are two obvious flaws with the data:

  1. Gallop polled registered voters.  The most accurate polls are of likely voters, ‘registered voter’ polls always trend favoring the Democrat.
  2. Gallop polled over July 25-27.  Weekend polls also traditionally favor Democrats (care to guess why?).

So, the media got the news they wanted – Obama’s big lead is starting to show. 

USA Today/Gallup, also a weekend poll, shows McCain over Obama 49/45.

Rasmussen has Obama over McCain 45/42.

So it’s a horse race.  After everything positive for Obamahas occurred and McCain can’t find any real traction with conservatives, Obama still doesn’t have this wrapped up in a nice little package. 

As Robert Novak points out in his most recent column, in the summer:

  • Carter had a 33 point lead over Ford, only to finish with razor thin margins.
  • Dukakis held a 17 point lead over George H.W. Bush and lost.
  • Gore and Kerry had leads on George W. Bush as well and both lost.

So why is McCain so close still?  Novak offers up the data point that 10%-15% of the white vote is still undecided.  Fair enough – it might be very difficult for Obama to close that one.

And we still have a long way to go – what about when everyone starts talking about the Induced Infant Liability Act?

9 Responses

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  1. I don’t think I’ll be able to think about Obama without being enraged after reading that article on his abortion stance. I don’t understand how he can love his children.

    Keegan Sparks

    July 29, 2008 at 10:29 pm

  2. I wonder how his abortion stance will play with voters in Pennsylvania.

    Michael Ejercito

    July 31, 2008 at 1:49 pm

  3. One of the main reasons that I am not a conservative Repblican by definition, and am more of a Libertarian (albeit a minarchist), is that I do not believe that it is anyone’s right to tell a pregnant woman what she may or may not do with her own body. It’s none of my (or your) business. Once the fetus leaves the body as an actual baby, however, things change.

    Allowing the murder of a live child is something altogether different. Michael Vick was sent to prison for killing unwanted dogs. What should we be doing to people who kill actual live babies? How on earth does a politician even get re-elected after taking such a reprehensible position, let alone, become the Democratic Party’s presumptive Presidential Nominee?

    I’ve known about Obama’s position on this for quite some time but you will never hear it discussed on the major media. It would end his political campaign immediately. I have a funny feeling this shocking revelation about Obama is being saved for just the right moment.

    McCain won’t say anything about it. He’s trying so hard to be politically correct that he’s scared to say anything at all about Obama. Some conservative “Swift Boat” group will surely wait until the month before the general election to start airing ads denouncing Obama’s horrific voting record on this Act. Or, there’s always the possibility that someone on the Hillary Clinton side of things might put together a baby killing ad two weeks before the Democratic Convention that will send the convention into a tizzy.

    Even Sean Hannity is not commenting on TV about it as far as I’m aware (although he has mentioned it several times on his radio show). Timing is everything and the best time to spring this sort of thing en masse is at the last possible moment. Republicans wouldn’t want to jump on it right now, fearing Hillary could get the Democratic nod. Waiting until a couple weeks before the general election would make it impossible for the Democrats to reorganize in time to survive.

    I just love a good conspiracy!


    July 31, 2008 at 7:22 pm

  4. i like how you say, “polls aren’t to be trusted,” and back to that, you say “yay, the polls say obama’s gonna lose.”

    praise allah, the gods are on the side of McCain (today at least, the un/trustworthy polls might say something different tomorrow.”


    August 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm

  5. Polls at face value aren’t to be trusted. You always have to look at the internal numbers, methodologies and surrounding events – that’s analysis rather than just taking what some editor wants to give you.

    At this point, it would seem like Obama is in real trouble if his lead isn’t any larger than it is.

    I don’t see where your “praise allah…” comes from. This election isn’t being painted as a Muslim vs. Christian thing by anyone serious.


    August 5, 2008 at 11:18 pm

  6. Obama is not the one in trouble here, it’s McCain. After all, he is the one behind in almost every poll. Another factor that these polls don’t take into account is the electoral map. If you look at those numbers and the predictions on which states will vote for which candidate, Obama is in very solid shape at the moment, regardless of the popular vote.


    August 6, 2008 at 1:53 am

  7. i wasn’t referring to the 12% of the U.S. that still think he’s a muslim- didn’t mean that, it was a joke. It actually comes from a scene in “Aladin” where the sultan says “praise allah…” Yeah that’s right, i’m a geek


    August 6, 2008 at 2:08 am

  8. Zach –

    Great to see you commenting here. Thanks.

    So looking into the polling methods and how Obama trends relative to his Democratic peers in the past isn’t important?

    And polls do take the electoral map into account, just indirectly, by wieghting the pool by state.

    And to say Obama is in “solid shape” just comes across as wishful. It is a rare, but not impossible, day that this country elects liberals into national office.

    So, Obama’s lack of pop in the polls from beating Hillary, running against John McCain and a celebrated trip to Europe seems to be a cause for legitimate concern.


    August 6, 2008 at 2:40 am

  9. I think looking at the trends can be helpful, sure. But I think saying that McCain is in not the one in trouble seems to require more intellectual gymnastics than saying Obama is in trouble. Is it close? Sure, so maybe both candidates’ futures are uncertain.

    Another factor could be the age differences of the supporters of both candidates. Obama’s support base tends to be younger than McCain’s and their interest probably won’t peak until the convention and beyond. Older folks tend to be paying more attention right now, but we’ll see in a month or so.

    Another reason that Obama might not be doing as well right now is that he’s a different kind of politician. He’s hard for many to figure out because he’s not playing the childish partisan games that we are so conditioned to expect from our political leaders. I think initially, his vibe gives people a general sense of unease because it’s harder to peg him down with the typical either/or talking points. But I guess I’m confident that his numbers will start to improve, especially when his younger base turns up the heat after the convention.

    If not, so be it. I’ll at least be a little bit happy that George Bush will be adios.


    August 6, 2008 at 7:12 pm

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