06 September, 2008

Yesterday Rasmussen, today Gallup

Gallup today has Obama's lead shrinking to 2 points, 47-45 over McCain. This is very good news for McCain.  This is based on polling on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. My analysis of the three day tracks (and it's hard to do--I admit I'm guessing a little) leads me to believe that Wednesday was a very good day for Obama. Unless I'm wrong about that (quite possible), or today is a very bad day of polling for McCain, I would expect McCain to be leading when the three day track is released tomorrow.

Now, before I get accused of cherry-picking polls, let's look at Rasmussen too. Rasmussen has it 49%-46% Obama. This is a one-point uptick for Obama since yesterday. I haven't done an analysis of the daily tracks from Rasmussen yet, so I can't say much about it, but Rasmussen gives us some clues as to what to expect in their analysis (both Gallup and Rasmussen do that often--they see the trend coming and hint to us about it before they have a three day track that verifies it).

As McCain has begun to chip away as Obama’s convention bounce, most of his gains have come among women voters. Obama still leads 51% to 44% among women, but that seven-point edge is just half the fourteen point lead he enjoyed last Tuesday.

This is obviously a Palin effect. Palin's speech is only in two days of this poll. You would expect that gap to shrink more when it's in all three days.

McCain is now viewed favorably by 58% of the nation’s voters while Obama earns positive reviews from 57% (see trends). McCain earns favorable reviews from 91% of Republicans while Obama is viewed favorably by 87% of Democrats. Among unaffiliated voters, McCain’s favorable ratings are at 64%, Obama’s at 54%.

Rasmussen is hinting here at expectations of a bigger McCain bounce on the horizon.  And that last sentence is very bad news for Obama.  McCain has a ten point edge in favorable ratings among unaffiliated voters. In the end, unaffiliated voters choose the person they find most favorable.

05 September, 2008

Interesting Numbers From Rasmussen's Daily Track for 09/05

The race is exactly the same as it was on 8/23. Obama: 48, McCain: 46. This is a three point swing from yesterday which means that today’s numbers are roughly nine points than the day that rolled off, Tuesday. Don’t be surprised if tomorrow’s numbers are even better.

Here’s a great quote:

However, following the Wednesday night speech, voters are fairly evenly divided as to whether Palin or Obama has the better experience to be President. Forty-four percent (44%) of voters say Palin has the better experience while 48% say Obama has the edge. Among unaffiliated voters, 45% say Obama has better experience while 42% say Palin.

What’s the real problem with this? Obama isn’t running against Palin!!!

God, I would hate to be a pollster this year. After months of me worrying if they might be under-polling Democrats, they now have to worry if they’re under-polling Republicans.

During August, the number of Americans who consider themselves to be Republicans increased two percentage points to 33.2% while the number of Democrats was little changed at 38.9%.

That gives the Democrats a net advantage of 5.7 percentage points, down two points from a month ago and down significantly from the double digit advantage they enjoyed in April and May.


These new results have very little to do with recent news events such as the Democratic National Convention or selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be John McCain’s running mate. Interviews are conducted throughout the month and the vast majority were completed before these events dominated the news cycle.

Ok, so the new uptick in people calling themselves Republicans doesn’t include any Sarah Palin effects in GOTV yet. Assuming that she has energized the base (yeah, like that's a risky assumption) and will continue to do so, you would expect this to continue to slide towards Republicans. This represents possibly a fundamental shift in the electoral picture.


UPDATE: Gallup Track Similar. Obama 48, McCain 44. Two weeks ago in Gallup it was 45/45, so not quite as good, but again a three point difference from yesterday, meaning that yesterday's numbers again were about nine points better than Tuesday's. Gallup doesn't ask the "extra" questions that Rasmussen asks, and just breaks the poll down by demographic groups. And, unfortunately, those are aggregates by week, so to really gauge how the race stands post convention, we'll have to look at NEXT week's numbers. This week's aggregates have not yet been released.

03 September, 2008

Newt in Smackdown on MSNBC


Pardon my "all Sarah Palin, all the time" coverage of late, but this deserves to be seen. And Newt knows a bit about unfair smears on Republicans.  That's why he's Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA).


31 August, 2008

Palin Is NOT a Game-Changer OR An Act of Desperation

There's been a lot of talk in the media this weekend that Governor Sarah Palin's (R-AK) selection as Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) VP pick is a "game-changer". And plenty of speculation that her selection is an "act of desperation" from the McCain campaign.

I may have even called her a "game-changer" myself.

But both ideas are wrong.

McCain's playing the same game he's been playing for about the last 45 days.  Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) just hasn't figured out the rules yet. Since I doubt Mr. Obama reads this blog (based on my pitiful subscriber count :)), I'm probably safe in announcing the rules here.

What do you think was the point of those "celebrity" and "The One" ads? The purpose was five-fold:

  1. Get Media Attention. His other "issue-based" ads certainly weren't doing it. Neither were his town hall meetings. I think we can give him a big CHECK here.
  2. Negate Obama's biggest strength (or even turn it against him), by mocking him as more of a media figure than a politician. Another CHECK.
  3. Improve his standing with the base.  A CHECK here, but not a big one.
  4. Put Obama on the defensive. Make their campaign reactionary and therefore control their message and delivery. CHECK.
  5. Move up in the polls. CHECK.

Krauthammer almost gets it in his editorial in the Washington Post.

McCain had been steadily gaining on Obama (before the inevitable convention bounce) and had the race in a dead heat in a year in which the generic Democrat is running ten points ahead of the generic Republican. He had succeeded in making this a referendum on Obama. The devastating line of attack was, "Is he ready to lead?"


The McCain campaign is reveling in the fact that Palin is a game changer. But why a game changer when you’ve been gaining?

Oh, you were so close. Like a bloodhound on the scent, but then you lost it.

Everything he said there is exactly right. McCain had been gaining, and doesn't need a game changer.

What's the purpose of the Palin pick? Unsurprisingly, it's five-fold:

  1. Get Media Attention. The celebrity ads were yesterday's news.  The media wasn't talking about them anymore. Pretty soon it was going to be "all Obama, all the time" again. The Democratic National Convention was the start of that. I think we can give him a big CHECK here. The selection even took Obama's speech off the front page everywhere. Sarah Palin will continue to suck the oxygen from the Obama campaign.  Probably not for the next 66 days, but for a while.
  2. Negate Obama's second biggest strength. How many times have you heard about how "historical" the Obama campaign is? Well, now McCain's campaign is also "historical". Some people have caught on to that, and called Palin an  "affirmative action" pick, but I'm not so sure. I think after Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) was selected, it was important for McCain to pick a Governor. it's a good thing to have some executive experience on the ticket. How many Republican governors are there? 22. How many who are true conservatives? I don't know, but I'm going to guess less than 10. How many of those 10 can also accomplish #3?  Probably just 1.  Sarah Palin. Anyway, McCain gets a CHECK here.
  3. Improve his standing with the base. A huge CHECK here.  The base loves her.
  4. Put Obama on the defensive. Make their campaign reactionary and therefore control their message and delivery. Definitely the Obama campaign was unprepared for this.  Witness their ludicrous immediate attack (there's a 3 AM call ad based on that attack to be made, I think). They have to completely change how they're going to manage Biden in the debates. They have to figure out the best way to attack Palin without appearing sexist and bullying. Once again, it puts Obama off-stride. This won't last for  long, but every day McCain can be "on-message" and Obama is "off-message" is a win for McCain.
  5. Move up in the polls. Too early to tell. Zogby says yes, and certainly it appears that Obama got no bounce from his speech, but it'll be a week or two before we fully know the answer to that. However, given the success of the first four, #5 seems pretty likely, unless Palin totally screws up on the stump. We can pencil in a CHECK, I think.

Hmm...it's the exact same 5 points.

McCain's still playing the same game. It's not an act of desperation, just the next play in the game. As long as he can keep surprising Obama, things are going to continue to get better for him.

McCain is proving himself to be a master campaigner right now. Democrats under-estimate him at their own peril. Hmm, what other Republican have Democrats consistently under-estimated? Maybe he's Bush's third term after all.  ;-)


UPDATE: It's also not a "Hail Mary".  That would be an act of desperation. And as Krauthammer correctly points out, there's no need for desperation on McCain's part. It is a long pass though. It's more like the long pass you throw on 2nd and 1, when you think you've caught the defense napping. And the Obama campaign was certainly napping here.

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