Patterico's Pontifications

7/28/2008

Now Isn’t This Interesting: USA Today/Gallup — McCain +4 over Obama

Filed under: General — WLS @ 1:07 pm



Posted by WLS:

Fresh off his whirlwind tour of European Capitols, Obama returns home to find himself suddenly behind in the newest USA Today/Gallup poll out — 49-45. 

I wonder if the Obama camp’s internal polling had some indications that the grand Euro tour might not sit well with certain segment of the electorate, hence their putting out some suggestions over the weekend that they expected their polls to bump-down a little (thank you DRJ).  Some commentators suggested it was simply an effort to lower the bar on expectations with respect to the “bounce” expected by the press’ conventional wisdom, but maybe the campaign saw it coming a day or two ago. 

This poll is 791 likely voters, and is separate from Gallups daily tracking poll.  The article mentions that the number of GOP respondents in the poll is up, and attributes that to the press coverage of Obama’s trip, and the likelihood that the trip energized GOP opposition to Obama. 

I’m not completely sure why this would be the case — that there would be more GOP respondents to the poll — and the fact that the poll was taken Fri-Sun generally works against the GOP.  But I suspect that the press coverage of Obama’s trip had the effect of driving some “independents” who have previously voted Rep. off the fence and back into the GOP.  So, the increase in GOP numbers probably comes from the ranks of people who had previously described themselves as independents.   

I also suspect that the story about his failure to visit the wounded troops in Germany, which really only broke out into the open on Sat. and Sun., hurt Obama.  Both tracking polls — Gallup and Rasmussen — show his support dropping some on Sunday in the rolling 3 day averages. 

I don’t recall looking at a story about the USA Today poll in the past, so maybe someone else can enlighted me — has USA Today always included the large red, white, and blue disclaimer off  the right hand margin of the story which states:

*WARNING*

Polls are snapshots of public opinion, not forecasts of far-off election days.”

Did they just break that out for today’s poll showing McCain in the lead?

UPDATED:  Over at Time’s Swampland, Ana Marie Cox throws a little cold water on this new poll — and I don’t necessarily disagree — saying in effect that all these mid-summer polls need to be taken with a grain of salt. 

But she does print one interesting comment from an unnamed GOP’er with ties to the campaign — “I always have to remind myself that national reporters don’t really see things like voters do.”

49 Responses to “Now Isn’t This Interesting: USA Today/Gallup — McCain +4 over Obama”

  1. *WARNING*

    Polls are snapshots of public opinion, not forecasts of far-off election days.”

    Did they just break that out for today’s poll showing McCain in the lead?

    “WARNING: In spite of these poll results we wouldn’t want you actually thinking McSame is *gasp* more popular than the Lightworker ™ !!!eleventy!

    Hmm, suddenly I have a desire to YouTube old Lost In Space videos. Wonder why?

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  2. I’d point out that on July 28, 1988, Michael Dukakis was just obviously going to be the 41st President of the United States.

    Dana R Pico (3e4784)

  3. Apologies for referring to an overused expression, but both my wife and I commented this weekend that the extreme media fawning over Obama struck us as a shark jumping moment for the media and for Obama.

    Obama’s speech in Germany had the same effect on us as did Britney Spears stepping out of the car sans undergarments. It was one of those “Enough!” moments were we decided to tune out and write it off.

    We canceled our local Omaha newspaper this spring because I tired of all the AP bias. This weekend, Daniel Schnorr’s defense of media fawning (“they can’t help it… he’s such an exciting phenomenon while John McCain is just dull”) was it for NPR in this household.

    redherkey (9f5961)

  4. I’d like to point out that as late as 8:05pm EST on November 7, 2000, Al Gore was already planning his inaugural dinner menu.

    Even exit polls don’t mean anything.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  5. WLS From your link.

    “The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.

    Among registered voters, McCain still trails Obama, but by less. He is behind by 3 percentage points in the new poll (47%-44%) vs. a 6-point disadvantage (48%-42%) in late June.

    JAR (08d0b1)

  6. JAR makes a good point, but even when you split the difference, McCain’s on top.

    Obama loses because his core (the poor and the young) aren’t all that great about actually MAKING it to the polling place.

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  7. I don’t understand – how can a screaming throng of Germans be wrong? You VILL elect the Lightworker! Schnell!

    Dmac (416471)

  8. And at the same link- again the one YOU SUPPLY! (really you should try harder):

    The USA TODAY/Gallup Poll is separate from Gallup’s daily “tracking” poll on the presidential race, which this afternoon shows Obama ahead by 8 points among registered voters — 48%-40%.

    JAR (08d0b1)

  9. Sadly, I don’t think the average German gets to the polls in november here quite as often as Obama might be hoping…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  10. Drum: Gore was planning his inaugural meal until December 12.

    steve sturm (a0236e)

  11. McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.

    That’s:

    1) a five-point swing in a month,
    2) among those “likely to go to the polls”, and
    3) at the end of Obama’s World Tour 2008 (TM), where not one, not two, but all three of the major networks sent their anchors along…

    Now whose link doesn’t say what they want it to again?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  12. “I wonder if the Obama camp’s internal polling had some indications that the grand Euro tour might not sit well with certain segment of the electorate, hence their putting out some suggestions over the weekend that they expected their polls to bump-down a little.”

    I’d expect suggestions of downward polls whether the internals show upswings or downswings. Its always better to beat expectations.

    afall (23c2b4)

  13. I don’t understand – how can a screaming throng of Germans be wrong?

    They probably thought he was a comedian up after the two bands played, and after all, how many Germans understand English? (I am still laughing at whoever that moron was that thought that lying to Israelis was okay, because “they probably don’t speak very good English anyway”…)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  14. WLS,

    Good post, and here’s a 7/26/2008 Politico link quoting Obama as saying he doesn’t expect any bounce from his world tour:

    “I wouldn’t even be surprised if in some polls we saw a little bit of a dip because we’ve been out of the country for a week.”

    Plus this from his campaign manager:

    “We wouldn’t expect any sort of, I guess the term people use is ‘bounce,’” Plouffe said by phone from campaign headquarters in Chicago.

    DRJ (de3993)

  15. JAR — what freaking point are you trying to make? I’m posting on the NEW USA Today/Gallup poll showing McCain ahead among “likely voters.”

    Beginning immediately after the conventions you will see all polls switch to “likely voters” and no longer polling “registered voters.” You should google up the reasons why.

    The fact that Obama is ahead among “registered voters” by +3 isn’t news — he’s been ahead among RVs for two months. He’s ahead among RVs in about 40 different polls.

    But not all RVs “vote” — voter participation is around 60% of all RVs, thus the reason why some polls focus on “Likely Voters.”

    If you were a candidate whose chances were being polled, would you rather lead among 100 people of whom only 60 will vote and you don’t know which 60, or would you rather lead among those 60 people who are identified as the most likely to vote?

    WLS (26b1e5)

  16. Not a comment on this poll specifically, but I wonder when the trend toward consumers abandoning landlines for wireless only will become significant enough to throw this type of poll out of whack, if it hasn’t already. As far as I know, they only call out to landlines to take this type of poll.

    I read recently that one out of six consumers don’t have a landline, the trend is accelerating, and most of those are young people and the poor.

    If the pollsters don’t account for this, it may be such polls are already oversampling older and richer people.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  17. Aplomb,

    A Pew study said the results from cell and landline surveys are “virtually identical” to landline alone but, like you, FactCheck.org isn’t convinced.

    DRJ (de3993)

  18. Aplomb — that really shouldn’t matter if the poll is correctly weighted. The manner in which the respondents are weighted is the most significant variable in polling. Randomly calling 791 people won’t necessarily get you a representative cross-section of the voting public — you might get 50% Dems, 25% GOP, and 25% Independents. But historical models show that the actual voting populace won’t break down 50/25/25, so the poll needs to be weighted so that its results more closely track who will actually vote. It might be 40/30/30, or some other number. How accurate that weighting turns out to be is the biggest factor in determining the accuracy of the poll.

    So, even if the poll respondents turn out to oversample certain segments of the population due to this cell v. land line divergence, the weighting should bring it back into balance.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  19. Very interesting. And the plot thickens.

    Were McCain supporters expecting a bounce for Obama, and that’s why they complained about Obama being the media’s darling?

    It seems to me by this poll that Obama was hurt by the supposed media bias.

    If you think Obama’s trip, Germany etc. hurt Obama, then be happy about him being the media darling and call it a day. No more whining please :(

    Many of us Democrats have wanted to see McCain have his day in the sun as well.

    Perhaps we’ll see McCain’s numbers go down if he were to become the media’s darling too :)

    Campaign is a long ways away folks.

    Oiram (983921)

  20. Oiram,

    It could be that voters don’t like what Obama said and did on his world tour.

    DRJ (de3993)

  21. I know that DRJ, that’s why I’m telling you maybe you guys should re-think your whining.

    I would love to see McCain’s turn as the Media’s darling.

    Oiram (983921)

  22. Me, too, but it won’t happen.

    DRJ (de3993)

  23. It seems to me by this poll that Obama was hurt by the supposed media bias.

    Actually, Obama was hurt by his own personal bias.

    I would love to see McCain’s turn as the Media’s darling.

    Check back a few years, when McCain was opposing Bush on several fronts – tax cuts, judicial nominees, military policy, etc.

    The NYT could say nothing bad about anyone who disagreed with Bush, and that lasted right up until there was a winner in the Democratic primaries…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  24. Your right DRJ, I guess we wont really get to know all of McCain’s misrepresentations.

    Oiram (983921)

  25. Oiram,

    Fortunately ThinkProgress, MoveOn.org, and DailyKos are there to pick up the slack. Have you ever thought about participating at those sites?

    DRJ (de3993)

  26. “Check back a few years, when McCain was opposing Bush on several fronts – tax cuts, judicial nominees, military policy, etc.”

    Yeah your right Drum. Mcain would of been a better choice than Bush. Oh well, you live and you learn.

    Oiram (983921)

  27. McCain was the media’s darling only when he went against the Bush administration’s policies – once he became the presumptive GOP nominee, there went Cinderella (to be replaced by Cinderfella). Honestly, how can anyone expect favorable coverage when the leading Leftie rag prints an unsubstantiated rumor about an alleged tryst with a lobbyist? All for the public interest, of course.

    Dmac (416471)

  28. “Your right DRJ, I guess we wont really get to know all of McCain’s misrepresentations.”

    This is a joke – right?

    Dmac (416471)

  29. Oiram – Google the words “contraction” and “homophone”, then re-read your recent comments.

    Yeah your right Drum.

    “,”
    “you’re”
    “,”

    Mcain would of been a better choice than Bush.

    “McCain”
    “would have

    Your right DRJ

    “You’re”

    Now that we have the most recent corrections out of the way, have you any facts to share? Or is this just another “Spew the Talking Points” visit?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  30. McCain was my alternate party hope, right up until he went to Iraq and went shopping with a bullet proof vest, and needed the coverage of hundreds of our soldiers and helicopters without any of Iraq’s help.
    What did he do buy a rug or something? Don’t remember.

    I do remember that that market placed was of course bombed one or two days later without any protection.

    If McCain wouldn’t of talked about how rosy things were in Iraq after his visit, I might have more hope at this point if he were to win.

    Eh, I still hope for the best.

    Oiram (983921)

  31. Thanks Mr. Drumaster for the English lesson. Your right…… or rather you’re right.
    It must feel nice to be right once in a while. 😉

    Oiram (983921)

  32. It must feel nice to be right once in a while.

    It’s even nicer to be wrong only every once in a (long) while.

    My wife is actually starting to search out Blue Moons on the calendar for me, just so she can remind me when it’s time to be wrong again.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  33. I was admittedly exaggerating Drum when I said “It must feel nice to be right once in a while. ;)”

    But you really take the cake with:
    “My wife is actually starting to search out Blue Moons on the calendar for me, just so she can remind me when it’s time to be wrong again.”

    Thanks for making me laugh. :)

    Oiram (983921)

  34. I used to do stand-up comedy in N’Awlins, many moons ago…

    Delivering pizzas paid more.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  35. I think its starting to sink in among the voting electorate that obama, although charismatic and a good speaker, is a light weight who is simply not ready to be president.

    james conrad (b2891a)

  36. I hear they need good pizza delivery guys in New Orleans…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  37. All Obama needed at his speech was Leni Reifenstahl with a camera crew and it would have been perfect.

    Leni died in 2003, so she wasn’t there.

    Perfect!

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  38. If another poll backs this up the MSM will have to step up and call out the McCain backers as racists. So far the campaign has been wildly entertaining (tracking back to January, also I had no strong preference amongst the Republicans) for me but I suspect that’s all about to change. I think we’re going to see some ugliness and I’m betting it will be on TV, live and in color.

    Probably not on Fox as the racism charges would be challenged factually there. I’m guessing CNN over MSNBC with a prominent Obama backer accusing a Clinton or McCain backer of big R Racism.

    Bel Aire (2fd7f7)

  39. #38

    Put me down for $10 that it’s Countdown…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  40. #35 — I think James Conrad has it exactly right.

    And once that slide begins, it’ll be hard for Obama to correct. I think the public beyond MoveOn, Daily Kos and Hollywood is beginning to see Obama is not ready.

    Obama made his first huge fundraising haul in Feb., the same month he took the lead over Hillary on the back of low-turnout caucuses in small states. From that point until June he spent something like $150 million, but his poll performance against Hillary steadily declined. He lost huge in three battleground states because white males never crossed the threashold to vote for him as commander in chief.

    The gap between he and McCain on that issue dwarfs the gap between Obama and Hillary. His inability to put McCain away even with the fawning press attention and the huge money advantage is likely a fatal flaw in his campaign. McCain is going to hang around just as he did in the GOP primary, and at the end of the day he’s going to simply be accepted by voters because Obama is not YET acceptable.

    Obama would have been better served to have not run, let Hillary have the nomination, and then served as her VP.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  41. “This poll is 791 likely voters, and is separate from Gallups daily tracking poll. The article mentions that the number of GOP respondents in the poll is up, and attributes that to the press coverage of Obama’s trip, and the likelihood that the trip energized GOP opposition to Obama. ”

    And there’s no indication that they normalized for that. Though it’s not clear whether he meant people that were republicans, or whether he meant people that were going to vote FOR the republican.

    afall (7c85b9)

  42. MarkJ…
    “…Leni Reifenstahl …”
    Well, someone had to be channelling her when they set up that shot with his right arm outstreched, with the Victory column in the background.
    I hear that Peter Sellers’ body even twitched in the grave over that.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  43. Where do we fix this? Obama seems to be leading according to this:

    Election Center: Check out the latest state and national polls

    Obama now holds a 6-point lead in CNN’s average of national polls, 45 percent to 39 percent, up from the 3-point margin over McCain the Democratic presidential candidate held at the end of last week. The increase is due to the wider spread Gallup is reporting — a poll that was conducted toward the end of Obama’s highly covered trip abroad. The results suggest Obama’s trip — which was extensively covered by the national and international media — may have given the Illinois senator a sizeable bump in the polls. By comparison, the Gallup daily tracking poll showed Obama only up by 3 points at the end of last week.

    “There are early indications that Obama has received a boost from his trip to Europe and the Middle East,” said CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “The key question, however, is whether or not Obama has eroded McCain’s advantage on the issues of national security and foreign policy. If McCain loses that edge, his road to victory in November will become much tougher.”

    The latest Gallup poll also differs markedly from a Fox News poll released at the end of last week that showed the two presidential hopefuls only separated by 1 point — a sign of just how volatile national surveys are in the summer months with the majority of the American public yet to be focused on the race for the White House.

    In addition to the Gallup poll and the Fox News poll, the CNN poll of polls also included a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing Obama with a 6-point advantage.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  44. Love, the only poll that really counts is the one in November. McCain will lead in that poll and Obama can try to justify his loss to his puppet masters.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (e18128)

  45. Racists

    JD (5f0e11)

  46. No one is counting the pi$$ed off women who will not vote or vote Republican to give Shillary Thunderthighs another shot in 4 years.

    Hazy (c36902)

  47. RE: #40 “He lost huge in three battleground states because white males never crossed the threashold to vote for him as commander in chief.”

    According to Dick Morris, Obama is not only losing to white males, hes losing to white females 40 and over by 6 points to JMAC. This is a stunning number if true as fem voters over 40 are the backbone of the dem party. Perhaps the “angry” white female voter is going to get in the game this election cycle instead of the “tank”.

    james conrad (b2891a)

  48. love2008 asked: Where do we fix this? Obama seems to be leading

    — Where we fix this is at the ballot box in November . . . and we will.

    Icy Truth (8731ef)

  49. I think Obama can survive without your vote, Icy. Sie sind ein sehr verärgerter Mann. Ich weiß, dass Obama die Ursache ist. Eat your heart out! :)

    love2008 (1b037c)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3192 secs.