Oct 16 2008

Listen To Obi-Wan, And Watch Those Polls! – Updated!

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

2nd Major Update: Did Obama commit a fatal unforced error when he let slip his liberal/socialist plans for redistributing wealth?

This is still a center-right country, gang. Note this Gallup poll from June:

When given a choice about how government should address the numerous economic difficulties facing today’s consumer, Americans overwhelmingly—by 84% to 13%—prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans.

Emphasis mine. Obama has had to pretend to be something he is not to try and con the moderate middle he is not who he really is. It was inevitable he would slip up, especially if he thought he was unstoppable.

Major Update: OK folks, according to Gallup, it is now official – Obama is slipping in the polls. In a little over a week Obama’s +11% lead has been nearly cut in half to +6% with registered voters. But what really has me jazzed is the traditional turnout model poll shows a tie race:


Note how the pro-Obama model simply reflects registered voters, which always trend 3-5% below the final election day numbers.  The only question is whether Obama gets a boost from the debate. Even if he does get a bounce it may not be sustainable.  If he doesn’t then expect the left to go nuclear. The next week is going to be interesting. – end update

Jim Geraghty is getting a lot of good news today after the debate, especially from the master political guru he refers to Obi-Wan Kenobi (H/T Reader Frogg).  You can go there to read the sage advice, but there are other indicators that O-Bomba may be faltering as we go into the home stretch (as I predicted would happen):

The second bit of good news for McCain is comes from a source in the Midwest, plugged into various GOP operations, who told me that “key metrics” in “bellweather areas” of Ohio are showing very favorable McCain numbers and that these indicators may also signal important metrics for Pennsylvania, esp. western Pennsylvania. This source has no illusions, and is worried about other states — the same ones you and I are worried about when we look at an Electoral College map — but those two states are looking surprisingly strong for McCain, with some evidence that the same folks who were skeptical of Obama in the Democratic primary are still not on board and may not ever be on board.

If Ohio and Pennsylvania turn, so will Virginia and Florida and a lot of other states. The other interesting piece of news from Jim is this:

Another state-level GOP guy I talk to regularly says that what he is seeing in internal polling lines up with the commentary you see in this RedState post, purportedly from an Obama campaign internal pollster, indicating that they are “very worried about how Palin appears to be energizing whole groups of people who don’t typically get energized about politics, precisely because she appeals so strongly to the middle class, as well as women and dissatisfied republicans that stayed home in 2006.”

I say all of this because this pollster conveyed strong concern about their standing going into the homestretch. They are very concerned about winning the vote of the middle class and whole swaths of the electorate they consider the “unkowns.” In fact, and based on her conversation with this internal pollster for Obama, he’s not ahead in the polls as we’re being told. He’s at best tied.

I have been saying for weeks now that Palin would be the magic bullet, that she was pulling in crowds that rival or beat Obama’s. And I keep going back to the hard data that shows her debate was the all time most watched debate in election history (if you add in C-SPAN and/or PBS viewers). 

And I can point to other indicators as well.  The Battleground Tracking Poll shows Obama losing half his lead in the span of 3 days (from +13% down to +6%). If McCain can gain 3% a week running up to the election Obama loses. Note: State polls will lag national polls in detecting this shift, so don’t expect to see movement until next week at the earliest.

Rassmussen’s Daily Tracking Poll shows the same sagging support for Obama over the last week, going fomr +8% to +4%.

I am awaiting the latest Gallup Daily Tracking Poll to see if the trend is as wide spread as I think it is.

As I noted yesterday the key is turnout. All these polls assuming the right will stay home, Sarah is not a factor in energizing new voters (and she is, trust me on this one) and the Dems are immune to the anti-DC mood of the country are probably way off base. Since it is clear Americans are not tying McCain to Bush anymore – made clear in last nights debate and focus group responses – Obama may have peaked too early and come off to aloof to hold the magic. McCain-Palin are taking the anti-DC movement from him piece by piece.

We are a nation of Joe The Plumber and Sarah Palin voters, and Obama has ceded his mantle as the agent of change for these regular folks. The Reagan democrats and independents are possibly moving to becoming McCain-Palin democrats and independents.

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

41 responses so far

41 Responses to “Listen To Obi-Wan, And Watch Those Polls! – Updated!”

  1. AJ,

    This is a comment I got from an astute, retired from professional politics, “semi-pro” regards the Obama’s “Scary” internal polling on Palin:

    “There is a possiblity that Palin is really energizing the evangelical vote, and those folk were seldom seen in 2006 voting booths.

    The Obama campaign is right to worry that this is an ‘unknown unknown’.”

  2. AJStrata says:

    CP – Joe has been all over the TV tonight on all stations!

  3. daralharb says:

    The media and the progressive blogosphere have set out to teach “Joe the Plumber” the price of giving John McCain some good lines. He’s getting the Sarah Palin treatment. If one checks “Memeorandum,” one will find viciously personal and brutally hostile blog posts appearing by the score:

    * Andrew Sullivan at the “Atlantic Monthly” insists he’s not really a plumber, because he doesn’t have a license. (As an employee, he currently doesn’t need one). Checking Sullivan’s live bookmark feed, he’s is now up to three “Joe” posts.
    * A news report from Bloomberg says Joe has a $1,200 tax lien against him.
    * KOS has searched the tax records to find the tax lien, and takes it to the next level by publishing Joe’s home address.
    * “Democratic Underground” is publishing any rumor they can get and soliciting more: “Feel free to post your own JOE THE PLUMBER facts, links and trivia. I have a good nose for bull shit and man my bull shit detector is off the dial right now with this guy.”

    (H/T to Instapundit)

    It’s the “Chicago Way”. What the progressives have done in taking out after “Joe the Plumber” is to serve notice that the same attack machine which has been savaging first Bush, then McCain, and then Palin will be turned instantly on any individual, however unimportant, who inconveniences them in any way, however slightly and however briefly. The question may have ceased to be Barack Obama or John McCain, but rather surrender or resistance.

  4. MarkN says:


    They can’t destroy Joe’s life. That would be inexcusable behavior. HE IS NOT FAIR GAME. He is a private citizen exercising his first amendment right. It would be the same if they tried to destroy AJ’s life because he posted on Obama’s Mondale moment.

    How dare AJ call out Obama on his tax plans. Let’s destroy that little bloggers life. Job what job, no more. Reputation, what reputation no more. That little blogger AJ would have wished he had never written an negative word about Obama. How far will that fly with the American people, especailly those in the middle.

    McCain and Palin should call Obama on this one, big time.

  5. conman says:


    I’m not the only one that you have shown to be a fool and math challenged. Apparently, all of the pollsters who do this for a living are fools and math challenged as well because ALL of them are using “left-leaning polls”. Isn’t it amazing that none of the professional pollsters were able to recognize this error when someone like yourself, who is not even a pollster, was able to figure it all out on his own. Thanks god you are around to clear these issues up. What is it like to be a genius in a sea of idiots?

    At the risk of making myself look stupid once again, I’m still confused about this trend thingy. When you say that the trends are the only important factor for polls, does that apply to trends in favor of Obama? The polls have been trending in Obama’s favor for almost a month and you have repeatedly dismissed them. And yet when the polls trend back toward McCain for less than a week, but still show McCain behind, you declare it as a sign of a McCain victory. Does that mean that you think short-term trends are more relevant than long-term trends or just that only the favorable Republican trends matter?

    When you said in your post that “it is clear Americans are not tying McCain to Bush anymore – made clear in last nights debate and focus group responses”, what trend were you relying on? Was it the 5 second trend between before McCain made that statement and after he made it at the debate? Do you consider the focus group as a reliable sample? If so, what do you think about the fact that these same focus groups (including Fox News’ focus groups) said Obama won every debate? I’m sure there is a reason why only their reaction to McCain’s statement about Bush is relevant or reliable, but you know, I’m too stupid to figure out complicated stuff like that.

    When you say that only the traditional poll model is reliable because it is the only one that is not “left-leaning”, does that mean you assume this is going to be a traditional election? We have record overall voter registration, much larger Democratic voter registration numbers than Republicans, record youth voter registration, record african-american registration, all groups that favor Obama. I know it is silly for me to even ask this question – but do you think it is possible that these new dynamics are the reason NONE of the pollsters are relying heavily on the traditional model?

    Sorry to bother you with this silly questions – like you said, i’m not very good with math – especially the fuzzy kind of math you like to use.

  6. Redteam says:

    mvymvy, no way….
    First, to do away with the electoral college would take a constitutional amendment and that takes 75% of the states, not a simple majority.
    Second, if you elected by popular vote throughout the states, then candidates would only have to campaign in about 4 states, NY, Ca, Tx and Fl. those 4 could have enough votes to outvote the other 46 (approx) at any rate, you could get a coalition of NE states or Western states and the rest of the states would be insignificant. No, in this, as in many others, the founding fathers knew what they were doing. As it is, the votes in small states equal more than votes in large states. without the electoral college, their votes wouldn’t count at all.

  7. Redteam says:

    Well, I’m a little off on my numbers, 9 states have over 50% of the votes. the bottom 25 states only have 16% of the votes. those 25 states would never see a presidential candidate in an election.

  8. Redteam says:

    conguy, let me wade in here. First, polls are unreliable in all cases. Why, because they want the liberal to win and they will do what is necessary to sway voters that way. they don’t care if they are right because ‘everyone’ knows polls are never right anyhow. so there is no ‘hit’ to their reputation if they are wrong and getting Obama a win is all they consider important anyhow.
    yeah, there are record numbers of registered voters, many of them fraudulently. Just what ‘race’ did they sign Mickey Mouse up as? They weight them heavily toward the lib, so any small move left ‘looks’ big, so it take a ‘big’ move back right to see any movement at all. That’s why when you do see a move right, it’s a move ‘before’ they have time to re-do the models to sway you back left again. So, as AJ says, when you see a ‘move’ right, it’s a move ‘right’. It’s hard to separate the leftie polls from the leftie MSM. Two peas in a pod. You don’t have to be ‘challenged’ in math skills, but it helps the leftie cause if you are.

  9. crosspatch says:

    AJ, yeah, I guess he has. I am surprised. I stand corrected.

    Also, on my way home from work tonight I heard a local real estate broker being interviewed on KCBS radio about the local housing crunch. He said that the very high-end homes are sitting on the market much longer than in the past but the market has completely turned around for the average homes compared to what it was only a few weeks ago. He said that getting 6 to 10 bids on a home, often for more than the asking price (overbidding he called it) is now back like it was before. He said the more modest properties are now “selling like hotcakes”.

  10. breschau says:


    Let’s also please not ignore this gem:

    “The second bit of good news for McCain is comes from a source in the Midwest, plugged into various GOP operations, who told me that “key metrics” in “bellweather areas” of Ohio are showing very favorable McCain numbers and that these indicators may also signal important metrics for Pennsylvania, esp. western Pennsylvania.”

    So, if you want to know who’s going to win PA, you should ignore every single poll taken in that state this month, which all show an Obama lead somewhere between 11.4 and 15.

    No, instead you should rely on some super secret numbers from “GOP operations” that are in Ohio that nobody else has seen. Those numbers, from “bellweather areas” of Ohio, will tell you who is going to win PA.

    Wow. I sure am glad you’re around to explain this stuff AJ, cuz math is hard. (Well, your math, at least.)

  11. archtop says:

    The word is getting out…



    Liberal’s heads will begin to explode in 5..4..3..2..1…

  12. breschau says:

    No heads will be exploding. Thanks anyway.

    Obama will win at least 320 of the 528 electoral votes.

    Spin that into “panic” however you wish.

  13. Redteam says:

    bresch? back from Scotland again?
    Wow. I sure am glad you’re around to explain this stuff AJ, cuz math is hard.
    You need a course in liberalism and logic to understand polls, math has nothing to do with it. It’s called “in the tank” for Libs.

  14. MerlinOS2 says:

    For a couple of years now there has been a Dem sponsored way to undermine the electoral vote without an amendment.

    What they are proposing is a change to state laws that whoever wins the nationwide popular vote must be the candidate you cast all your electoral votes for.

    If that ever gains a foothold the 11 or so most populous states will have a stranglehold on the issue and all the small states will be second class citizens at the table.

    That is exactly what the electoral vote concept is designed to prevent.

  15. conman says:


    You need to stop being so paranoid and blaming EVERYTHING on some secret liberal power that is supposedly tilting everything in their favor. Think about it this way – if the media, pollsters, etc. are a bunch of rabid liberals that have enough power to rig everything in the Democrats favor, where the hell have they been for the last several years? Republicans have had control over Congress for 12 of the last 14 years and the White House for the last 8 years. Where the hell was this super secret liberal power machine during all of these GOP years – on vacation?

    Rather than jumping straight to the conspriacy theory every time you are confronted with a fact that you don’t agree with, maybe you could start by asking yourself if it makes logical sense before you dismiss it as a liberal power grab. Like maybe, just maybe, the polls are tilting to the left because the GOP has been largely in control for the last 8 years and screwed everything up. Maybe people got tired of all the GOP corruption in Congress that led to the Democrats winning in 2006. Maybe people have seen the worst economic crises since the Great Depression and decided perhaps we should put someone else in charge and see if we could do a little better. Maybe people are starting to wonder if the GOP isn’t really that strong on national security because they allowed the worst terrorist attack on America to happen on their watch, allowed Al Qaeda leaders to get away and find an even better safehaven in Pakistan (since they have nukes, so we cannot invade like Afghanistan), totally screwed up Iraq until Petraus came to the rescue and at least stabilized it and our military is at the lowest state of readiness since WWII.

    If logic doesn’t work, perhaps you can talk to your doctor about upping your meds so all of those liberal monsters go away.

  16. […] Strata on the same page. So is Yid with […]

  17. Frogg says:

    Surveys Split on Who Has Lead in Presidential Race

    Differences in Predicting Outcome Result From How Pollsters Gauge Voter Turnout and Weight Party Affiliation


  18. Frogg says:

    I was thinking about something the other day. It was the far left that gave Obama his nomination. It was independents who gave McCain his nomination. McCain will win or lose based on the independent vote. Somehow, I don’t think they will desert him on election day.

  19. archtop says:

    This just in…

    * AP/YAHOO Poll of 873 Democrats; 650 Republicans shows OBAMA 44%, MCCAIN 42%…

    * Obama: ‘Don’t Underestimate Our Ability to Screw It Up’…

    * Some Polls Indicate Tighter Race…


    Liberals deluding themselves into thinking they really have 320 electoral votes in 5..4..3..2..1…

  20. AJStrata says:


    I said that months ago!