Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obama Lead Slipping Away?

Obama's appears to be looking for McCain

credit: Christine Baker, Of The Patriot-News

It’s way too early to read much into poll numbers and polls will change several times between now and the election, especially after the conventions, but polls released today are interesting.

According to the Reuters/Zogby poll released today here McCain has a 5 point lead, 46% to 41%, over Obama. There are several reasons why this is significant.

It is the first time McCain has led Obama in this poll and erases a 7 point lead for Obama in July.

Also it is outside the margin of error of 3 percent.

Finally the poll is among likely voters. A lot of the polls showing Obama with a large lead are among registered voters. This difference is important. First, likely voters are obviously a better predictor of how the vote will go than measuring registered voters, some of which won’t vote. Second Democrats have a greater tendency to be among the non-voters in the registered voter count than Republicans. What this means in short is that when registered voters are counted, the Democrat has a tendency to poll higher than the actual vote will be.

There are other things in this poll that should make the Obama team a little nervous.

McCain is polling higher on the economy than Obama, 49% to 40%. This is quite significant not only because the economy tends to be a Democratic strong point but also is listed as the number one issue for voters this year. Again this is a reversal from a 4 point Obama lead last month.

Obama lost 9 points from July on his support among Democrats to 74% while McCain has the support of 81% of Republicans. Further, more Democrats, 10%, are undecided than Republicans, 9%. This is interesting in that the media has depicted Obama as the darling of the Democratic party while portraying the Republican party as running away screaming from McCain.

Possibly the most worrisome for Obama is his support among young voters, slipping 12 points from 64% to 52% giving him only a 12% lead over McCain. This was supposed to be the group to carry Obama to the White House.

Now we do have to keep in mind that these poll numbers will change, sometimes in favor of McCain and sometimes for Obama. If I’m Obama though, I would be worried about these numbers. This is supposed to be a banner year for Democrats and Obama at best has been managing to just barely stay ahead of McCain and now is trailing. This has to give Obama and the rest of the Democratic party some sleepless nights.


Always On Watch said...

Obama did himself some damage at Saddleback. Could that damage start showing up in the polls?

Chuck said...

It's possible. I think though it could be a cummulative effect. His "chickens are coming home to roost"

Randy said...

Obama tends to do well among young voters, but traditionally young voters don't vote. I've been watching this for some time, wondering if this was going to be the election that bucks that trend (last election was supposed to do that, but it failed).

Brooke said...

Yes, at Saddleback even the hard-core Dems were irritated by his lack of specificity.

cube said...

The polls are encouraging, but McCain should not let up for one minute. Basically, polls can be cooked up to make anyone's point. The only "poll" that matters is the one in November.

Papa Frank said...

Young voters have never carried ANYONE to the White House as there are more of them willing to get out and see the latest movie than will get out and vote.

Steve Harkonnen said...

More on the same topic over on our blog. Glad we're all talking about this. It helps place McCain on the media map for once.

In Europe, it's always Obama this, Obama that....NEVER anything about McCain.

That comes directly from my daughter who happens to live in Belgium

Z said...

wait till the NEXT 'debate'...though his handlers would have MIGHTILY prepared him better than they did for Saddleback (oh, for JOY!)

I'd be worried were I Obama because the media's SO on his side and still the numbers are even....but, 'miles to go before I sleep', that's for sure...........

Nikki said...

Great post Chuck...a nice summation of polling and the decreasing numbers of obama. Momentum is all McCain needs and the old man just might scrape out a W...let's hope the numbers are accurate. I did see a report on the inflation of Obama's numbers. Interesting stuff, but I have to say I have NEVER taken a poll! I feel so left out. :)N

Chuck said...

randy, part of this poll showed young voters straying also. This group may not be in the bank for Obama like we thought

brooke, they were also concerned by it. I think they may be seeing some of the writting on the wall.

cube, exactly. I think McCaain is in it to stay but time will tell.

papa frank, I was concerned that this time was different. Mind you I do want the young to vote, but I thought they could put Obama over the edge. There is a small but growing youth vote for McCain though so this may be worth watching.

steve, luckily the Euros can't vote. We would have a problem then.

z, right on both points. The Obamanation should be worried. It's a "Democratic year" (I'm still not sold on this), Bush is supposedly dragging McCain down, the media is completely in the tank for him, even Drudge is got a obsession. He should be up 10 - 15 points. But he's not, why...

nikki, Obama has consistently overpolled in most of the big states, Ohio, California, Pennsylvania. This may provide for a NOvember surprise.

Karma said...

Nope, he is looking for someone to come save him. =Þ

MK said...

I heard about this elsewhere too, but call me a pessimist, i'll believe it when the elections are over and the dust has settled. I just hope more Americans start asking some hard questions of B. Hussein because there's a lot under that pious facade that ought to scare the daylights out of people.

Chuck said...

karma, welcome, I believe this is your first time here, thans for stopping by.

I like, that looking for someone to save him. Too bad his eyesight isn't better, all he saw was Biden.

mk, agreed, the proof is in the long haul. If McCain is in to go the distance I think he has a chance, if he lets up even a little he could be sunk.