Oct 30 2008

Another Poll Shocker – Obama Loses 2/3rds Of His Lead In One Week

Published by at 1:16 pm under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

The race is clearly tightening, according to another new national poll out today:

As the candidates make their closing arguments before the election, the race has tightened with Barack Obama now leading John McCain by 47 percent to 44 percent among likely voters, according to a FOX News poll released Thursday. Last week Obama led by 49-40 percent among likely voters.

The economy continues to far outdistance all other issues as the top priority for voters this year, and while Obama maintains an advantage on the economy, McCain has chipped away at those numbers. By an 8-point margin Obama is seen as the candidate who voters trust to handle the economy, down from a 15-point edge.

The only question is whether it is tightening fast enough for McCain-Palin to pull a historic upset.

Update: Looking at the internals there are some real shockers.

  1. Interest In The Election: Since last week Dems went from 66% to 62%, Reps went from 64% to 70%, which would indicate the Reps are more energized than the dems right now.
  2. Experience To Be President: McCain “yes-no” is 78-19%, Obama “yes-no” is 49-48%
  3. Candidate “Too Liberal-About Right-Too Conservative”: McCain is 9-46-38, Obama is 43-50-3
It would seem some people are not being honest with their selections. with 43% saying Obama is too liberal and 48% saying he doesn’t have the experience for the job it would seem Obama is at his ceiling. With 6% undecided and only a 3% gap (statistical tie) it would seem Obama has the bigger hill to climb, IMHO.

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Another Poll Shocker – Obama Loses 2/3rds Of His Lead In One Week”

  1. MarkN says:

    IBD had it 47-44 yesterday. Very interesting. All these pollster showing a tightening race. Except Gallup who didn’t like all the attention of a 2% lead so they are back up to 5%.

    The polls have been strange and wacky. The battleground had Obama up 8 – 12% then tightened to 3% and now has held steady for many days, all the while the other polls have just bounced around.

    I don’t think any pollster knows what is going to happen. The Florida and Nevada exit polls are just strange. I would like to get a hold of their internals.

    Also, Battleground has the generic house ballot as a 4% lead for the dems. Not very big on that ballot which usually runs in the double digits. Just vote for McCain and tell 10 friends.

  2. drslogan says:

    A reader left a very relevant comment on my post about the true nature of this election and the fact that it’s no longer about GOP vs. Dems:

    I wore my McCain-Palin t-shirt to Costco today and recieved MANY “thumbs up” signals and many honks and waves! But what gives me hope is the many who whispered “I like your shirt”. My prediction is that there are many of these “whisperers” that have skewed the polls towards B.O. , for fear of being called a racist if they spoke against him, that are going to vote for McCain in reality.

    Perhaps there will be enough “whisper voters” who will define the election.

  3. MerlinOS2 says:

    Some polls are even showing Mc took over the who would handle the economy best bracket after Obama having double digit leads.

    The Joe the Plumber effect and Obama’s spread the wealth thing is hitting home.

    Some also finally figured out if Obama sends me a 500.00 check at the bottom of the heap and then retail prices jump due to new taxes or expiring breaks then my ‘wealth spread sure won’t last very long’. That even assumes not wasting of the check by the person getting it.

    Also at the bottom end the number of drug dealers, pimps and other social misfits won’t change much and those with no skills to be employed won’t magically become employable or even motivated to. Some will always just want to sit back and collect the stuff raining down on them. After all many welfare types complained long and loud about how going to work would be a pay cut even during the Clinton years when the rolls were trimmed. It isn’t just the monthly check but all the ‘other’ benefits that add up.

  4. MerlinOS2 says:

    Some sites are even commenting on the mismatch between the state poll trends and the national polls even if you weight by state population or registration numbers.

    The range of undecided voters is all over the map in polls right now and the party numbers for some are clearly suspect.

    Polls in the same state or national polls showing headed opposite directions don’t help either. The spreads also make for fun analysis.

    I see EV projections from nobody has it locked to 370 already for Obama…clearly somebody is a bit off.

  5. AJStrata says:


    We get the same thing all the time – the whispered support, the flash of a thumbs up. It is truly interesting.

  6. MarkN says:

    The reason I want to see the internals of the Florida exit poll is I have been looking for a month for a poll which will show McCain-Palin ahead. I have finally found one and would be very interested in whether it is valid.

    An analysis of the poll against the 2004 results and the 2006 election stats from Florida would be helpful.

  7. Toes192 says:

    I think Frank Lunz focus groups may give a pretty good idea of how Senator Obama did with his network half hour show Wed night… He is usually on Fox news… Hannity & someone show after Oreilly

  8. Terrye says:

    Rasmussen has McCain catching or passing Obama on the economy.

    But after saying that Obama was only up by 3 yesterday, they took it back up to five. One thing I did notice however, in their weighting they said that for the week beginning with calls on 26th they would raise the number of Democrats called to 40%. Republicans are only about 32%. I do not know why they changed their weighting. Maybe it had something to do with the 80% refusal rate they were getting on responses.

    But that might explain why McCain lost a couple of points overnight.

    Strangest polls I have ever seen.

  9. AJStrata says:


    That weighting by Rassmussen is why I book keep him in the ‘extended’ family.

  10. Jetcitywoman says:

    Hi there –
    Let me just say that I am new to your site – I LOVE all the information I am finding here. Fascinating.
    I am by no means a “numbers” person – I barely managed C’s in math all through school 🙂 Your site does an EXCELLENT job of breaking it all down! It’s been hard to stay hopeful, with all the negativity regarding a John McCain Victory, so I TRULY appreciate the “stay positive” messages I get from your writings. I am keeping the faith that honest, decent Americans will pick the right President Nov. 4th. Thanks again for your uplifting messages.

  11. AJStrata says:


    Many thanks and welcome to the site!

  12. archtop says:

    “One thing I did notice however, in their weighting they said that for the week beginning with calls on 26th they would raise the number of Democrats called to 40%. Republicans are only about 32%. I do not know why they changed their weighting. Maybe it had something to do with the 80% refusal rate they were getting on responses.”

    This is the fundamental flaw in their methodology. Am I to believe they are weighting the percentages simply on the number of respondents from each party they’re getting?!

    Here’s an anecdote. I received a robo call from Rasmussen earlier this year (during the primaries). The reason I picked up the phone was because the name “Rasmussen” came up on the caller ID!! Gee, I wonder who this is? OK I’ll play. The robo call then led you through a series of questions, to which you responded by typing in a number from your phone (e.g. “on a scale of 1 – 9 please describe yourself, very liberal = 1, very conservative = 9”). You could, of course, pass yourself off as anything from Bob the rightwinger to Bob the progressive! Since you don’t talk with a live person, it would be difficult to detect mischief with this approach.

    So the question is – How accurate is a “random” poll when poll-ee can refuse to answer (i.e. not pick up the phone) or, knowing who the pollster is (as in my case) can deliberately give false answers (I didn’t BTW)? The traditional measures of “margin of error” go right out the window, and the accuracy of such polls should be questioned. And I’m sure the collection techniques of other pollsters are just as bad as Rasmussen’s…

  13. Aitch748 says:

    I read something interesting this morning. Some commenter on HillBuzz said that he does this kind of statistical work for a living. He said that if he gets a refusal rate of 15% or more, then the poll needs to be either rethought or thrown out, or else you end up with crap data. So he says that if a poll has a refusal rate of 80%, then the poll results are crap.

    Does anybody have any idea what the refusal rates for all of these polls have been? I keep reading about 80% refusal rates as well. I guess it would account for the polls being all over the place. If most of the people refusing to participate in polls are going for McCain instead of Obama, then the Obama supporters could be in for a shocking surprise.

  14. Terrye says:


    I think all sorts of people do not take part in the polls, in fact I think more and more people are turned off to politics in general. Sometimes I think the extremes want it that way. Drive the normal people away.

  15. conman says:


    Given your penchant for repackaging the same arguments over and over, I thought it would be interesting to see what you said the week before the 2006 election to compare to this year. Boy was it enlightening.

    Here are the initial posts claiming that all the polls showing big DNC leads over the GOP are a byproduct of liberal bias pollsters who assume way too large of a Democratic turnout. http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/2798

    Then suddenly there are a couple polls a few days before the election that supposedly show the GOP closing the gap and you start predicting a huge wave of momentum in favor of the GOP that has the DNC shaking in its boots.

    You even cite the infamous internal polls as a true barometer of how the country is quickly shifting back to the GOP.

    It then culminates with your prediction on the eve of the election:
    “So folks don’t need to wade through my three big posts below: Reps easily hold senate taking at most a two seat loss. Reps will also hold the house with Dems picking up a maximum of 9 seats. It get’s better from there if the GOP has a good turnout.” http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/2850

    Sound familiar? You are so predictable.

    By the way, no need for you to explain after Nov. 4th why your predictions were so off. You can just recycle your 2006 explanation:

    “My assumptions on the outcome of the election resided in the belief the voters in the middle had not given up on the insufferable right wing of the Republican party. Obviously my tolerance is higher than the average independent voter, because I was still supporting the Reps when most of the middle voted for conservative Dems are stayed home.” http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/2936 Oh yeah, and don’t forget to blame the liberal media, liberal pollsters and political industrial complex!

  16. AJStrata says:

    Geesh Conman,

    Do you ever read these posts? I said I got it wrong in 2006!

    You sure are quick there slick …