Oct 08 2008

Obama Is Sliding In Other Polls Now – Updated!

Published by at 11:14 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

McCain wants to change DC, Obama wants to change America!

It seems Obama is floating back down to earth in the polls out today. For example, Obama has dropped from a +7% lead to a +1 statistical tie in the Diageo/Hotline daily tracking poll in the last three days. The following graph shows the trend without today’s results factored in:

In the Battleground Daily Tracking Poll Obama’s +7% lead has shrunk to +4% in one day. Will have to wait and see if Gallup is also finally detecting the downwards shift for Obama.

In the Rassmussen Daily Tracking Poll Obama’s +8% lead has dropped to +6% in one day.

As many predicted, this race is tightening up rather quickly.

Update: Wow – The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll now seems to be the outlier with a huge jump for Obama to an +11% lead. All other polls show a dip in support for Obama, so go figure.

McCain wants to change DC, Obama wants to change America!

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “Obama Is Sliding In Other Polls Now – Updated!”

  1. AJ,

    I have a friend who is currently a market ‘intelligence analyst’ and a former pollster. I sent him a copy of a blog post on a report on the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) at this link:


    That blog post said in part:

    The American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) provides some answers.

    The AAPOR suggests that of each 100 calls a typical pollster makes just 12 fully completed interviews of “registered” voters will be conducted. There are 88 calls that fail to meet the standard for a usable interview and are disgarded. There are hang-ups, bad numbers, answering machines and most frequently, refusals to even start. Consequently, in order to get 500 respondents, the usual number used in state polls, they have to make 6,000 calls.

    As experience has shown us, “registered voters” are less reliable indicators of eventual electoral outcomes than “likely voters.” Since just 60% of registered voters are likely voters, the number of calls balloons to 9600. This is why, although it is the actual ‘gold standard” of polling, we rarely see polls of likely voters, except from the largest companies.

    AAPOR acknowledges that pollsters can make polls “come out” as they want them to.

    As AAPOR reports, there is nothing random about polls. Zogby uses Internet polls that beg for abuse by agenda motivated respondents.

    Pollsters re-call the same people and admit doing so.

    How else could they meet deadlines and budget targets?

    This was what the market intel guy said about it when I forwarded that to him:

    Bits of this are dead-on, bits are exaggerated, and many of the interesting points are missed:

    Democrats have been particularly good in the last two electoral cycles at encouraging their members not to hang up on pollsters and to put in the time to give a usable interview, because it’s important (and in the present system, it is). Republicans have trouble overcoming their own membership’s distaste for the media (however earned that may be) and have simply found it cheaper and more effective to cast doubt on polling in general.

    Many polltakers are bottom of the barrel barely-employables, the same population that gets shunted into maintenance at fast food populations and low-end boiler room phone sales. They’re often motivated — the difference a job makes in their lives is huge, and they want to do well — but they lack skills, tact, vocabulary, and sometimes just plain comprehension. “Well-meaning idiots with erratic impulse control” pretty much covers it. So on open-ended interviews, ones in which they ask a series of questions and write down answers rather than code them with check boxes, you have a lot of them who don’t understand the question they are asking (even if they were put through training, and many weren’t) and that’s at least a script they get to practice. Their actual understanding of the oral response is close to nil, and their ability to write it down even if they understood it sharply limited. Generally a “back up” reads through those written records and then listens to recordings of the ones that look like they might be usable, and does the actual coding that is used — but that still means the calls are idiot-screened. Thus respondents who use a lot of buzz words and have an unambiguous preference are drastically over-sampled, because they’re much more likely to make it through that screening process.

    For the low-budget media polls (independent or in-house) stratifications are badly out of date, sometimes by as much as 12 or even 15 years. Good strats are done every couple years by marketing research companies like Claris, and updated every 3 months in between, but access to a good-quality commercial marketing strat is about a million a year, and they generally require you to sign up for a multi-year contract. So even if you get, e.g., an accurate picture of the preferences of middle-income Evangelicals in mainly-wheat counties on the Great Plains, your results are going to be multiplied by the number of them there were in 1998, which may have gone up, down, or sideways (sideways meaning the demographic may have split, fused into another, or become something else entirely).

    When I first started analyzing market research, there wasn’t even a category for “hostile respondent trying to sabotage the results.” They went into “Other” along with the apparently mentally ill, pranksters, non-English-speaking, and other “Wow that was weird” calls, and the people doing the sampling were mostly college students, so they had a fair bit of ability to evaluate what the responses were. (Favorite of mine: “And what do you like best about (SOAP)?” “After I eat a big bowl of it, I feel horny all day.”) Nowadays, hostile respondents are more than common enough to have their own category, and the people doing the categorizing often don’t catch on that that’s what they have. Hostile respondents tend to cluster in groups that feel disenfranchised; I’m guessing in this election that’s pritnear everyone.

    The short story is that really good and trustworthy polls cost a great deal of money because

    1) They need expensive market research that costs $1 million (+) a year,

    2) Uses “Hostile territory” polling methods to get past the public’s growing hate of telemarketers and politics and

    3) Uses lots of really expensive per hour used human talent to do the polling questions, often via face to face interviews.

    The only groups who can afford to do that kind of polling are the major campaigns, Political Parties, Corporate giants or their trade associations and deep pockets like George Soros.

    Note as well that there is an absolute limit to the number of firms in the polling industry capable of doing this type of polling and those firms don’t have the ability to do more than a limited number of polls of this type due to industrial capability limits.

    Getting people who are not “bottom of the barrel barely-employables” to do this interview and coding work right is a matter of long term training and experience that throwing short term money at the problem doesn’t help.

    It takes 1-2 years to create a pool of good interviewers and 2-3 to create good poll coders. No one in the industry wants to create “interview techs” at $50k per year when you can get by with $20k or less temps.

    The bean counters in the polling firms and in the management of the polling customers won’t pay for those people between the American Presidential elections.

    It is a violations of the tenets of the empty suit faith.

    That is why President Clinton was such a marvel. People who criticized him for “Running His Administration by Polls” didn’t realize he was keeping a large standing army of good Democratic pollsters for his reelection campaign and for his wife’s Senate race.

  2. >The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll now seems to be the outlier with
    >a huge jump for Obama to an +11% lead.

    Gallup just changed it’s party ID weightings again.

    There is a huge anger over the Financial mess and Gallup is thinking that it will cause an anti-Republican Party turn out bigger than 2006.

    Exactly how people will fall on this is the real unknown. One that the McCain campaign has the opportunity to change to his advantage. If he simply has the wit to grasp the opportunities in front of his campaign.

  3. Redteam says:

    The Gallup poll seems to be in the tank. Is it run by Obamicans? All other polls are closing and it’s opening. Seems it has become their tool. You would think they would care about the reputation of their product, but seeing the formerly MSM completely in the tank makes me believe their political goals are more important than their reputations. So if, and when it turns, the game is over for Obama.

  4. Sandlapper says:

    Zogby has the race tightening also – Obama 47 McCain 45. It is good to see this trend for a change. I was getting worried about the slip in the polls. I have to wonder about some of the Battleground polls. It seems that some of them are skewed Democratic and give Obama a large lead. I have to think much of Obama’s support is soft and subject to change.

  5. Cepik says:

    So could there plan be (conceivably) to demoralize the opposition into thinking the contest is all but over? No more funds go to GOTV or key battleground states, swing voters are not reached and opposition voters sit it out because they think the cause is lost.

    Then the Obama campaign marches to victory due to suppressed turnout? Isn’t that what they did to Hillary who in the end wound up with more votes than Obama?

  6. Cepik says:

    In addendum,

    If this is true, then McCain’s GOTV is going to be critical to success and the spin has to countered as the polls tighten.

    AJ, Trent, any ideas?

  7. Terrye says:

    It might just be noise in the Gallup poll too. Who knows what it will be in a week?

    I think there is anger out there, but I think that Democrats are catching their share of it.

  8. DJStrata says:

    Just to spark some conversation… Everyone is beginning to talk about the young voters and whether they will actually turn out. I don’t know about other states, but in VA the first vote after you register to vote has to be in person. Most people do not know that, and the people who register you are not passing this information on. So for all those college kids who registered to vote this year or who have registered and have never voted before, heads up if you are in VA your vote will not count unless you high-tail it back home for early voting or on Nov. 4th.

  9. crosspatch says:

    Well, DJStrata, with 105% of its population registered it looks like Indianapolis is leading the way in having people not even born yet getting registered to vote. That is, if you ask me, mighty young!

    And it is stuff like this that skews polls based on registrations. Obama has paid over $800,000 to ACORN to “get out the vote” and ACORN has a pretty consistent track record of phony registration.

    Now, how would Indianapolis manage to have voter registrations at 105% of the actual number of people even eligible to vote? Imagine a poller going through the registration records to find respondents. My guess is that the same people are being polled several times as Democrats.

    It is just plain fraud. Obama surrounds himself with criminals and acts like a criminal. There is no way that man can be allowed into office.

  10. Redteam says:

    crosspatch, I voted in a local primary last week here in Louisiana. while in the precinct, I asked if they allowed dead people to vote. they laughed and said no, but if they come in, they send them to the local funeral home. Then she added, that’s why La requires a photo ID to vote, there had been too many dead people voting in the past.

  11. crosspatch says:

    Oh, and one of the reasons for the inflating of polling numbers is to keep the funding coming in. If Obama falls behind by any significant margin this late in the campaign, the dollars will begin to dry up. They have to keep the poll numbers by hook or by crook in order to keep the campaign funded.

  12. patch says:

    While I would like to believe what I’ve read here; I’m a firm believer in following Intrade.com

    The current probability of Senator Obama winning is 75%; while Senator McCain is 25%. Intrade is people voting with their money on the line.

    The two major contracts now have over sixteen million dollars on the line. With some of the other variations in the contracts added in; it is almost 30 Million dollars and most of it points to a Obama victory.

    Unless there is a big swing in the contracts; we’re headed for a major disaster of a President Obama administration.

  13. Cepik says:


    Do you think the race is a lot closer than they are saying?

  14. crosspatch says:

    I don’t really know, Cepik. We will see in about a month. But if Obama is elected, I sincerely believe it would be a disaster for this country. It isn’t like you can hold a recall election and vote a President out of office if you don’t like him and you can’t impeach just because you don’t like him. I think the vast majority of people in this country are uninformed and only know what they hear on the radio during their commute.

    Most people do not watch a TV news broadcast or read political blogs. Most people are listening to their iPod and hanging out on MySpace of Facebook. Last I saw, only something like 1% of the population reads political blogs. They believe the “conventional wisdom” that all their friends blab about repeating what they heard on the car radio between traffic reports today and so that becomes the “truth”. It is so sad. We are becoming a nation of idiots.

  15. kathie says:


    The October Surprise Is No Surprise At All
    RedState ^ | 10/8/2008 | Erick Erickson
    Posted on 10/08/2008 4:27:41 PM PDT by Bobkk47

    Don’t underestimate the McCain campaign.

    What type of movie do Americans really like? Not the popcorn flicks, but the ones that leave you saying “holy sh–” at the end when the credits roll. The Usual Suspects comes to mind.

    Here’s a movie where you have multiple story lines coming together toward the end, all connected to a central character, and when it finally dawns on you what just happened, wow — it is one heck of a movie. Separate plot elements dramatically merge into one coherent narrative and you realize had you been paying attention all along you would have seen it.

  16. kathie says:


    EXPLOSIVE NEWS: Obama Collaborated with Chicago Democratic Socialist Party
    Grizzly Groundswell ^ | 10/08/08 | Winged Hussar 1683
    Posted on 10/08/2008 4:54:22 PM PDT by Winged Hussar

    Obama encouraged Socialists to join his voter education and voter registration task forces

    Due credit to Yid with Lid for breaking the news that will end Barack Obama’s run for the White House.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 Senator Obama Signed a CONTRACT WITH THE CHICAGO SOCIALIST PARTY
    Everything on the Post Below is Hyperlinked to a site within the Chicago Democratic party archives, there is no conjecture, no guessing, The fact is that as recently as 1996 Senator Obama was an active member of the Chicago Democratic Socialist Party.

  17. Snapple says:

    In about 2000, the San Francisco Police Department secretly reopened an investigation into the murders of two police officers killed in the 1970s. The police were armed with new forensic technology and help from state and federal agencies.

    The potential suspects were Vietnam-era communist radicals now in their 60s such as the Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn, whose husband, Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers, has been associated with Senator Barack Obama.

    In about 2002, according to law enforcement sources, San Francisco police turned over its evidence to the US attorney, who took over the investigation. The government quietly convened a federal grand jury which subpoenaed former members of not only the Weather Underground but the Black Panthers and the more militant Black Liberation Army.

    I don’t know if this grand jury is still sitting or decided not to pursue the case.


  18. Snapple says:

    Bill Ayers’ wife Bernardine Dohrn was the head of the Weather Underground. Testimony before a Federal Grand Jury in 1970 linked her to the bombing of a police station in Berkeley. Three days later a policeman named Brian McDonnell was killed by a bomb in San Francisco. It is the investigation into this second bombing which was reopened in about 2000 and sent to the US Attorney and grand jury in (I think) Fall 2002.

    Bill Ayers reportedly knew all about the bombing that killed Brian McDonnell, according to a federal informant named Larry Grathwohl.

    “Larry Grathwohl, an FBI mole within the Weathermen, connected Ayers to the planning — and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, to the execution— of a police station bombing in San Francisco in February 1970 that killed one officer and injured two others.”

    See also:

    “Testimony before a federal grand jury in 1970 allegedly linked Dohrn to a February bombing attack of the Berkeley police department in which two officers were injured. And now, 30 years later [this article was written in 2003], law enforcement sources tell KRON 4 News they believe Dohrn and members of the Weather Underground may have been responsible for the bombing of Park Police Station in San Francisco three days later, a bombing that killed officer Brian McDonnell.”


  19. […] Just watching him hem and haw would be worth it. H/T Reader Snapple. […]

  20. bush_is_best says:

    It’s interesting that the race is as close as it is, with people actually putting Obama ahead of McCain in these “polls”… I’m sure the ones that favor the GOP are the most accurate and truthful, and the ones favoring the Liberal Enemy are corrupt, depending, of course, on how far ahead they put Obama. (farther ahead = more corrupt) Lucky for us, the race/fear factor is not apparent in these so called ‘polls’. Once the closet racists, who think its makes them look smart and rational to support Obama in public, will actually come out to vote for McCain on election day and the tally will be alot closer, perhaps even putting McCain ahead by a very small margin. At which point, everything will be great, and more the same as it is now than if Obama were to win. Also, other countries, like the 100% (as in one hundred percent, all of them) will realize that they were wrong for favoring Obama.. like their opinion of us matters anyway…ha!