October 19, 2008

Reuters: Obama Ahead by Three Points

No, not just a Zogby poll; Reuters and C-Span also participated. I'm hoping that means the methodology was reasonably balanced. The good news: margin of error is 2.9 points on this.

Of course, I need to go back and check on the Electoral College: I know the widget I've got on my sidebar is based on the traditional practice of oversampling Democrats, so I should probably ditch it for something better. (Something that's less demoralizing to most of my readership.)

Irrespective, this thing is going to be close, which means that minimizing fraud and keeping the turnout high are key. Remember the old Hugh Hewitt line: "if it isn't close, they can't cheat."

Democrat Barack Obama's lead over Republican John McCain in the presidential race has dropped to 3 points, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Sunday.

Obama leads McCain by 48 to 45 percent among likely U.S. voters, down 1 percentage point from Saturday. The four-day tracking polll . . . has a margin of error of 2.9 points.

Pollster John Zogby said the numbers were good news for McCain, and probably reflected a bump following his appearance in the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday.

"For the first time in the polling McCain is up above 45 percent. There is no question something has happened," Zogby said.

He said the Arizona senator appeared to have solidified his support with the Republican base -- where 9 out of 10 voters now back him -- and was also gaining ground among the independents who may play a decisive role in the November 4 election.

Obama's lead among independent voters dropped to 8 points on Sunday from 16 points a day earlier.


"If that trend continues, it is something that has got to raise red flags for Obama," Zogby said. "It suggests to me that his outward look of confidence may be as much strategy as it is real."

Other national polls have given Obama a double-digit overall lead, fueled by perceptions he would do a better job managing the faltering economy and unhappiness with McCain's attacks on him over the past week.

But he has cautioned his supporters against overconfidence and most polls now put his lead in single digits.

Obama, 47, who would be the first black president, enjoys strong support among black, Hispanic, Catholic and Jewish voters while the 72-year-old McCain holds a narrower lead among male and white voters.

Women, who are expected to be an important factor in the election, still favor Obama by a 6-point margin, although this has been declining in recent days.

It's weird, what happens when you out yourself as a socialist. And when your running-mate is out-drawn by his opposite number by a 4:1 ratio, that can't help but be a little bit embarrassing.

Vote, no matter what. Vote, even if you live in a solid blue/red state like I do; they still need to hear your voice on legislators and initiatives, bond measures and the like. (CalTech Girl tells me that Halloween is usually "Initiative Weekend" in her family—they get together and read all the initiatives and bond measures. They do it aloud, but we might not do it that way here, since A the H and I nearly came to blows over Prop. 8.)

If your state is still solidly blue, a robust showing in the red counties will make the other side sweat, and vice versa. Turn your state purple for democracy!

Halloween is probably also the weekend to run over your legislators' records, so you aren't just using the voter guides sent out by your pet group (whether it's NRA or the Sierra Club) for that kind of thing. Particularly given the work Congress and Senate have ahead of them (passing laws, or--my preference--overturning 'em) in order to save the economy, we need to do our homework there. For the record, capitalism is better run by capitalists. And capitalism creates more jobs than any other system. So a few pro-business people in Congress and in your state capitols will help us enormously, given the times we find ourselves in.

It's probably better to vote early in the day, rather than late, but I've never managed it. If you vote after work, don't get "Florida Panhandled": if you cannot keep the news from affecting whether you make it to the polls, best take a "media blackout day" in case some states are "accidentally" called early at some news desks.

To be honest, I think a lot of states will "accidentally" be called early and incorrectly this time. We cannot listen. We cannot.

Most of us will be better-served by keeping the radio off, and the TV off for that one day until we've gotten home from the polls.

Obama is out-spending McCain about four to one at this point. If he doesn't win in a landslide (which he will not), it's going to make him look a bit bad.

All we need do is turn the screw one more notch.

Posted by Attila Girl at October 19, 2008 10:09 PM | TrackBack

Once a market research firm crosses the line between science (statistics, and proven bias-minimizing techniques) and advocacy, there is no reason to EVER pay attention to what they have to say. One could make a case that the line was crossed thirty years ago--maybe longer.

Right now, they are only trying new techniques, making adjustments from their past mistakes, that are designed to put a Democrat in the White House and give that party an unassailable majority in the legislature. They have to walk the fine line between having voters think that victory is in the bag and there is no need to actually vote--and causing voters to get discouraged and stay home for that reason.

We have to ignore anything we hear and vote regardless. We have roughly two million more votes than Kerry to contend with this election.

Does anyone think they are better off than they were two years ago when the Democrats took BOTH legislative branches? Hell no. Do those 9% approval ratings the Democrats have earned from taking charge mean that people can't wait to get more of that Democratic magic? Of course not. That air of inevitability is an illusion. It's a bold face lie. Are the Dems going to tax us into economic recovery? Under Clinton, a married couple making $60,000 paid $16,800 in federal taxes versus $9000 under Bush. The Democrats have been telling you for 8 years that they can't wait to repeal Bush's tax cuts for the rich. They used their new power to defeat making the tax cuts permanent. Boxer's carbon taxing plan alone is estimated to add an additional $5000-$7000 in costs annually for the average family.

Nothing the Democrats proposed over the last two years did anything to help the economy or try to head off any problems. Is that the leadership America has been waiting for?

A couple days ago the MSM was touting their polls with a 25-point lead for Obama and now they are tell you it's neck-and-neck within their margin of error. Did that much happen overnight? Of course not. The pollsters would serve us better if they printed the results on Charmin. I'll take two rolls.

Posted by: Darrell at October 19, 2008 11:15 PM

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