Saturday, October 18, 2008

Polls Show Tightening Race, From as Low as a Two-Point Spread

Several polls have shown the presidential race tightening since the last debate between the candidates. Gallup, Rasmussen, GWU, ARG, and even the Daily Kos poll shows McCain closing in on Obama's lead that emerged and expanded during the financial meltdown on Wall Street.

Gallup Poll. Gallup has three different poll results. The three polls track "registered voters," "likely voters" under traditional data," and "likely voters" using expanded data. The poll of traditional likely voters patterns the demographics of voters in recent elections. The expanded data likely voters poll tries to predict how Obama's candidacy might alter the landscape, with more persons of color and younger people voting. Obama would naturally have a stronger showing in this last category. Gallup shows: Registered voters, Obama 50, McCain 42; Likely Voters (Traditional), Obama 49, McCain 47; Likely Voters (Expanded) Obama 50, McCain 46. This is the first time I have seen Obama's lead in the expanded category differ much from the registered voter statistic.

Rasmussen: Rasmussen Reports keeps it simpler by just reporting one result: likely voters. That poll has Obama 50, McCain 46.

Daily Kos: Daily Kos, the liberal blog that created the Palin's daughter-baby mama drama, sponsors a poll conducted by Research 2000. In the Daily Kos poll, Obama leads McCain 50 to 43 among likely voters. Just one week ago, the same poll showed Obama leading by 12 points.

ARG: The ARG poll has Obama up by 5 over McCain, 50 to 45 among likely voters. The previous ARG poll had the race even closer (a 4-point spread), but it was considered a definite outlier at the time.

GWU: GWU's presidential poll has tightened substantially. Now, Obama leads McCain 49 to 45 among likely voters.

If you consider traditional likely voters (Gallup), the poll race is as close as two points. Even assuming the accuracy of the 5-point spread that appears consistently at many pollsters, a mere shift of 2.5 percent makes the national race a tie. Perhaps this caused Obama earlier this week to caution his supporters not to "get cocky."

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CKAinRedStateUSA said...

The polls might be the collective "October surprise."

And the final "October surprise" might be McCain winning by more than anyone can predict.

Anonymous said...

If Obama is so far ahead in the polls, why are the Democrats so worried? Why the constant vicious attacks on people like "Joe the plumber" and Sarah Palin. Could it be that they know these polls are bogus? My gut tells me McCain is going to win.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

I think it is smart to always keep running. Obama knows this. Also, in addition to following these polls, the campaigns run their own. Although I consider Joe a distraction, I believe that anyone thrust in the national spotlight will receive scrutiny. Palin is a VP candidate so she warrants scrutiny. I do believe that to some extent she has received a great deal of scrutiny and I have written on here that I accept claims of media bias. BUT, the media did let "Troopergate" go away, when they could have just gone on and on about it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Darren - The media didn't let "Troopergate" just go away. The judgement was made(a judgement which I believe was wrong) - that she abused her powers as Gov. and that was it. There was nothing else to cover. And I'm sure this whole "Troopergate" thing wouldn't have been such a big deal if Obama's dogs and the MSM weren't try to dig up any dirt on Palin and family all hours of the day and night. It wasn't like the MSM just let Palin off the hook like they do for Obama 24/7.

Palin is squeeky clean compared to Obama and his gang of thugs.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

On the media and Troopergate -- I certainly thought that there was not too much either. On the one hand, she acted within her constitutional authority, but on the other hand, she abused her power by violated a statute preventing using office for personal gain. I didn't find the idea of reading the 300-page report that stimulating, so I didn't do it. But I am still trying to reconcile the two things. I guess it depends upon what they mean by "within constitutional authority." Unclear.

Finally, the media have held on to things long after they should have let go. The original OJ trial comes to mind immediately. There are so many others. Check out this post to see what I mean:

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