Patterico's Pontifications

8/1/2008

Polling Data to Make Dems Very Nervous

Filed under: General — WLS @ 6:59 pm



[Posted by WLS]

Something that should worry Dems about Obama’s current polling rut is the fact that he’s doing so after a pretty much non-stop campaign for 7 months since the first ballot was cast in Iowa, and nearly a year since the battle was joined in earnest after Labor Day 2007.

It has been discussed across the blogosphere and in the media that Obama continues to trail significantly the generic polling advantage that Dems have over Reps in the national polls, and that he is pretty much in a statistical dead heat in the national preference poll.  But, as is less often pointed out, Presidential elections are really 51 separate elections with winner-take-all in the electoral college vote allocations (with a couple exceptions).  This is where Obama’s bigger difficulties are revealed.  

The problem is that one must consider the current poll standing of Obama v. McCain in the key battleground states where the contest will be decided, against the primary history of the last 7 months. 

Consider Ohio —  Quinnipiac’s polling out this week has Obama +2, 46-44.  But that leaves 10% undecided.  Why significant? 

Obama and Hillary battled over Dem. voters in Ohio for a month, with each side spending massive amounts of money on advertising.  Obama has been the rage of the liberal media for months, with nary a bad word spoken about him other than from his opponents. 

Yet 56% of Ohio voters can’t say they would vote for him — and I suspect the number is higher than that once you factor in the “Bradley Factor.” 

What more can Obama do to win over +4% more voters to get himself above 50%?  I’m not sure there is anything he can do.  Its hard to imagine that his standing in the eyes of the Ohio votes is going to get any better between now and November — how could he enjoy better coverage now than he did in March and April?  He’s got the GOP firing hard shots at him now, not  slap-fighting with members of his own party who agree with him on 95% of the agenda.

The same goes for other battleground states like Nevada.  I spent 2 weeks in Nevada in January, and there were ads running non-stop for both Obama and Hillary.   Yet the mid-July polling out of Nevada — when Obama was doing much better than he is now — showed him ahead 47-45.  

Missouri — again, a huge battle with Clinton that he pulled out just barely, with each side spending a ton of money.  Has elected Dems statewide the last couple elections.  But Obama trails 49-44.   With only one exception, Missouri has voted for the winning candidate in every Presidential election going back to 1904.

Obama hasn’t closed the deal with voters, and its hard to imagine how he can do so now in a contested general election compared to the primary election.

14 Responses to “Polling Data to Make Dems Very Nervous”

  1. Voters are starting to find that empty suit lying on the floor – flat!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  2. I think we are in trouble, regardless.

    If BO wins, with a Democratically controlled Congress and two Supreme Court nominations (and maybe three) looming, oh dear Lord. Bad trouble.

    If BO doesn’t win, we will have to hear ENDLESSLY that the loss was due to racism or “dirty tricks” rather than the guy being an empty suit with delusions of grandeur and more flip-flops than a beach store in Waikiki.

    You thought 2000 was fun? Just wait.

    Yuck.

    Eric Blair (6c5b7e)

  3. Even his enthusiasm from those on the left might not be enough. The only significant marker that can be pointed at is the number of primary voters that turned out, but the historical trend shows that the number of primary voters in any given cycle has no identifiable impact on the general election results, (Link)

    The highest voter turnout in a Democratic primary before this cycle was in ’88 with then-Vice President Bush going up against Michael Dukakis, and they outvoted Republicans by more than ten million votes cast, yet Dukakis is relegated to the history books as an also-ran…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  4. If BO doesn’t win, we will have to hear ENDLESSLY that the loss was due to racism or “dirty tricks” rather than the guy being an empty suit with delusions of grandeur and more flip-flops than a beach store in Waikiki.

    The country will get over an Obama loss. California got over Tom Bradley losing, and he was a much better candidate than Obama.

    Steverino (1dda08)

  5. Or is McCain peaking too early?

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  6. WLS – You obviously haven’t been paying attention. Presidential elections are really 57 separate elections, and Obama warned you about this in his May 2008 speech in Oregon. This is how he’s going to win – those extra states.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  7. Perfect Sense, I have no idea why anyone would think this is Mccain’s peak. the trend has shown little sign of abatement. Yeah, he’s doing a hell of a lot better than republicans do this far from the election, but given that Obama always polls better than he actually does in elections, as proven over and over in so many primaries (due to Obama seeming trendy, or fear of looking racist, I guess), and due to the fact that most polls oversample democrats and undersample likely voters (gop voters, therefore), unless Obama has a pretty big margin, he’s in deep trouble. If it’s 52-48 favoring Obama, I will expect a near tie.

    I think Obama is the one who has peaked. He’s starting to make at least a few gaffes a week, and Mccain isn’t, unless you consider pointing out Obama’s gaffes to be a mistake. And the slimey 527 crap hasn’t even begun yet. When Obama starts having to answer for Ayers and Wright again, and starts having to answer for his 100+ ‘present’ votes, and general lack of consistency in his policies, I believe that Obama’s inner circle will try too hard to counterattack.

    When Mccain overreacts, he looks like a angry old man who doesn’t take any crap. When Obama overreacts, it’s always via a surrogate, and it makes Obama look like he’s not in command, and irresponsible. Doubly so if the eventual big momentous gaffe comes from his unlikable wife (not that Mccain’s wife is likable, but she is a lot less likely to say something stupid in public).

    I’m shocked to say that I think Mccain will win this one. Obama has done a terrible job in the past few weeks. All the stereotypes of troop ignoring Eurocentric weenie were pretty much proven in Obama’s European trip. The dems really should have picked Hillary Clinton. they had a sure victory, but picked the unreliable new kid because they got cocky.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  8. I agree with Eric Blair. If Obama blows it, his partisans will have every interest in portraying McCain’s victory as dirty. Even if McCain himself escapes, his voters will be tarred as racists.

    The goal: pressure President McCain to go along with much of the Dem agenda, to cleanse himself of the taint of racism and advance national healing.

    I think he’ll fall for it, too.

    Steverino–The folks who haven’t gotten over Gore’s loss after 8 years will NEVER get over Obama’s loss.

    The Professor (da6c19)

  9. Even if Obama were to win, it would be “in spite” of all the racists, not evidence of any lack thereof.

    Its a shell game. Obama is all about race and absolutely nothing else.

    ccoffer (681bab)

  10. McCain will win . . . as long as the wishy-washy types get over their bedazzlement over the Messiah and focus on one thing — HE is a Socialist, pure and simple.

    Icy Truth (7b38bb)

  11. We can only imagine what the polling numbers would look like if the MSM were covering the two Presidential candidates in a truly objective manner.

    Channel surfing the other night, I stumbled across a CNN segment in which the “reporter” was criticizing Republican attempts to paint Obama as a liberal.

    According to the “reporter”, Obama is and has always been a straight-down-the-middle “moderate”, with a slightly “progressive” record on a few issues.

    (Keep in mind, this was an “objective” news segment on CNN, not one of the opinion shows.)

    I tend to agree with Icy Truth that the truly undecided voters will come to their senses before pulling the lever for Obama. That’s my hope, anayway.

    Bubba Maximus (456175)

  12. I say we’re all victims of the dreaded MF (Media Fatigue). Honestly, I’m so sick of both of them I’m now switching channels whenever they appear. Obama’s glib and McCain is old. Obama will switch views on a dime and give you change for a penny while McCain won’t change his mind, even under torture. Glad football season is finally here.

    Howard Veit (cc8b85)

  13. I see Google is shutting down any blogspot site that posts anti-Obama messages, even the Hillary sites.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  14. I can’t think of anything that would make McCain more likely to become a reliable roadblock against Democratic excesses in Congress than for the moonbats to go berserk yet again after a tough loss and to go after him like they did GWB.

    M. Scott Eiland (a16843)


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