Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Calm down, Democrats

Obama was leading into the DNC convention, although by the time of the convention it was close to the margin of error. He spiked up to a 6-8 point lead in the poll *averages* thereafter. The Palin/RNC convention bump erased that lead. Fears of a shift to McCain have not materialized - it's just a few points more pro-McCain than it was a few weeks ago, and that is still in the margin of error. notes that the polling data really just shows an uptick in support in the deep South, where it is of no electoral value. The electoral map is shifting today not because of momentum to McCain, but because aggregations of state polls lag national polls. We've got a tie ballgame.

Is this surprising? Did anyone really think that McCain would never be able to make it close? I have done a bit of research, and polls showed even Mondale leading at one point. Dukakis and Bush Sr. also pulled ahead or led at some point in their ill-fated campaigns.

Frankly, the tiny bump is actually bad for McCain. The RNC with its wild Palin pick was his only chance to build up a national lead. It didn't materialize. Enthusiasm for Palin will inevitably wane as the bloom of novelty wears off and the fluff starts to ooze out. All he managed to do was get back to barely even or just above. Like Pickett's charge, these post-RNC-bump numbers are the high water mark for the Southern Party. And it's not enough. Expect to see the underlying dynamics of the race reassert themselves over the next 2-3 weeks. Republican mismanagement of everything - the war(s), the economy, health care, education, the budget, foreign policy - plus disgust with the incumbent at record levels remains very strong. Obama's strengths as a candidate -his charisma, intelligence, and organizational skills - beat McCain on every score.

I expect that by the time of the debates, Obama will again be leading, perhaps outside of the margin of error, and certainly in the Electoral College. The debates will refocus the race on Bush, health care, and the economy. That will create momentum toward Obama and probably seal the deal.


Dr. Strangelove said...

Does anyone else think Obama seems to be speaking somwhat less fluidly over the past couple of months? Could his campaign subtly be trying to manage expectations over the debates? Just a thought. Thinking of LTG's advice here, maybe it is good for the Obama campaign to wait a bit before striking back.

Good point about the Southern bounce. That is good to know. Although now has McCain edging out Obama by electoral votes. I hope the novelty wears off and people realize what bad candidate Palin is.

Raised By Republicans said...

Two words: Donate! Volunteer!

The Law Talking Guy said...

I know they do not want to give Sarah Palin a pass on the debates by knocking her down first.

The Law Talking Guy said...

It has been exactly 9 days since Palin spoke and 7 days after the RNC ended. The state poll data is just starting to come in and is reflecting the height of the McCain/Palin 'bump'. I'm not trying to be pollyannish, I'm just saying: why are people panicking when McCain is 2 points ahead when they weren't celebrating when Obama was 6 points ahead?

The Law Talking Guy said...

In fact, just ten days ago (9/2/08) five national polls were released showing Obama ahead by 6-9%. Let's wait and see how the next couple weeks unfold.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I need to be clear about the EV map and momentum. In a perfect world, we would have seen the national polls and the state map lurch to McCain (just ahead of Obama 3-5%) over the weekend of 9/5-9/6, then begin to retreat this week. But polls are taken and released slowly and aggregated on maps slowly. So national polls showed the move to McCain starting on 9/7, and state aggregated maps are just starting to catch up. It looks like a wave or momentum, but - it isn't. State EV maps will remain more favorable to McCain for a week or more even as the national polls trend back to Obama for the same reason.

Raised By Republicans said...

LTG may be right. The state by state polls went on a break starting before the DNC and didn't start up again until after the RNC. So we never saw state polls that would have reflected the DNC bounce. What are seeing now could be instability rather than a wave.

Still, the thing to do regardless of whether Obama is tied or behind it to donate money to his campaign and volunteer to help get out the vote!