[Posted by WLS Shipwrecked (yeah, that’s new]
I’ve posted here before that, in my opinion, the Battleground Poll done jointly by Ed Goeas and Celinda Lake is the most unbiased of all the national polls — given that it isn’t sponsored by a media organization with questionable editorial bias, and because both a GOP pollster and a DNC pollster collaborate on it, so you expect internal biases in the poll to be minimized.
Every day they publish a “snapshot” of their “Aided” ballot question, where the respondents are given the names of the candidates before being asked who they intend to vote for. This is a “tracking” poll, which averages the responses over the three previous days. Today this tracking poll stands at 49-45, with Obama in the lead. Obama has been between 48-50% in this poll for 7 days, while McCain has been between 44-47%.
But each week the Battleground Poll also puts out a much longer poll that covers a lot of internal issues, such as favorables/unfavorables, and which candidate is favored on a series of issues.
Also in this weekly release is what is called the “Unaided” ballot question, where the respondents are asked for whom they intend to vote for President without being given the candidates’ names.
On the “Unaided” ballot, Obama has only a 2 point lead — 44-42, with 13% undecided.
The aided ballot question has 5% undecided, while the unaided ballot question has 13% undecided. That’s a pretty soft 8% who don’t know the candidates’ names well enough two weeks before the election to give an answer unprompted. In other words, 5% of Obama’s 49% aren’t solid enough to have named him without being prompted to do so. That’s slightly more than 1 in 10 Obama voters.
More significantly, the internals in this poll show some significant movement over the last 2 weeks — ever since McCain was knocked off message by the financial crisis.
Two weeks ago McCain’s favorables were at 52% — having fallen from 58% in September — and his unfavorables were up to their highest point at 44%. Today his favorables are back to 54%, and his unfavorables are down to 42%. More movement in these numbers is necessary, but they are going in the right direction for now.
Obama, on the other hand, has seen the opposite happen in the last two weeks. His favorables peaked at the time of the financial crisis, reaching 62%, with unfavorables dropping to 35%. Now he’s down to 58% favorable, and up to 39% unfavorable. That’s a four-point loss for him on both.
Finally, Obama has seen a significant shift against him on the issues of “Keeping American Prosperous” and “Creating Jobs.”
Two weeks ago Obama led McCain 49-36 on keeping America prosperous.
Today that lead is only 45-39. That’s a four-point shift away from Obama.
Two weeks ago Obama led McCain 55-32 on creating jobs.
Today that lead is 51-36 — again, a four-point shift away from Obama.
There is no other real explanation for this than the “Joe The Plumber” imbroglio, and the blowback against the media after it attacked him for simply asking a question.
Obama generally lost ground to Hillary as election day drew near in most of their primary contests (not caucuses where organization is key). He’s losing ground to McCain right now, and McCain has a message that he is exploiting every day.
It’s going to be an interesting 12 days.
Re: the handle change, I was given some advice from an internet-savvy friend who said that the use of a blog identity is necessary to not be overlooked or forgotten. “Shipwrecked” is something that I’ve used on other sites as an Internet moniker, and I’m going to use it here from now on. For the time being I’m going to put “WLS” in front of it so there is no confusion.
— WLS Shipwrecked