Monday, July 28, 2008

Gallup Poll Puts McCain Ahead By Four Points

A USA Today/Gallup Poll released today gives Sen. John McCain a 4-point, 49%-45% lead in the presidential race over Sen. Barack Obama. Those numbers are absolutely stunning given that the poll was released after Obama's much ballyooed trip to the Middle East and Europe this past week. Last month, this same poll showed McCain down by six points. Most polls still show Obama with a slight lead. Over the years, I've found presidential polls taken prior to Labor Day to be pretty useless. Syndicated columnist Robert Novak makes this point well in his column today. Novak observes that Obama's lead over McCain in most polls is not nearly as good as that held by Democratic candidates at similar points in past presidential elections. Novak writes:

In 1976, Jimmy Carter took a 33-point summer lead over President Gerald Ford and won in a photo finish. In 1988, Michael Dukakis led George H.W. Bush by 17 points after being nominated in Atlanta before he lost the election. Al Gore and John Kerry were ahead of George W. Bush in the summer.

Novak notes that Obama's numbers, despite his lead, have remained below the 50% level, suggesting he is far from closing the deal with voters. This suggests to Novak that McCain could still back into a win despite the lousy campaign he is running. This will be Novak's last column for awhile. He announced today he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. This may explain the confused state he seemed to be in last week when he was cited by D.C. police for striking a pedestrian and driving away. Press coverage of this year's presidential race just won't be the same with Tim Russert and now Robert Novak gone from the day-to-day coverage.


Wilson46201 said...

"The USA TODAY/Gallup Poll is separate from Gallup's daily "tracking" poll on the presidential race, which this afternoon shows Obama ahead by 8 points among registered voters -- 48%-40%."

Jon E. Easter said...

Yeah...two of three of Gallup's own polls show Obama is up. I think it's a close race. For someone that always pledges to tell the whole story, you'd think that you would report that AI.

Still, it's significant that McCain's baseless charges and ads are sticking. Obama needs to fight back before he gets swiftboated.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jon Easter, If you want a mouthpiece for Obama, then go to Blue Indiana. My job is to make sure people are getting a different view than what is being fed in the mainstream media. In their minds, they have already elected Obama. People like me are the only hope for a fair election in this country. I will continue to tell the truth about Obama. He is the most unqualified, unaccomplished person ever nominated by either party. His entire candidacy is a fraud. I will tell it like it is. People like you come over here and make your negative jabs at me every day because you know this blog is read and it is having an impact. I have decimated the opinion of Obama in the minds of the objective people who read this blog. You know that and you can't stand it.

Unknown said...

AI, this will not be a close election. You can't just look at the polls number. You have to look at the motivation and the excitement behind the numbers.

There is no excitement for McCain while there is enormous excitement for Obama. The pro-Obama turnout will swamp McCain.

This election reminds me so much of 1980. People forget that Reagan and Carter were nearly dead even in the polls going into Election Day that year. Reagan won an enormous landsllide because his people came to the polls while Carter's did not.

It won't be an electoral landslide of the magnitude of Reagan's where he won every state but Minnesota and D.C. But I can see Obama with 400 plus electoral votes and winning a lot of formerly 'red" states such as Indiana.

A side note: Not that long ago, Republicans were the blue color on the map and the Dems were the red. For some reason they got switched. I'd like to know why.

Jon E. Easter said...

Well, the way I see it, you keep publishing my comments. You must like the banter back and forth.

I'm sorry that I've ruffled your feathers by pointing out some facts here. It concerns me that you would treat a loyal blog reader that sometimes finds agreement with you on some issues so abruptly.

That's okay. I'll keep reading and commenting. You can publish my comments if you want.

Covenant60 said...

Likely voters are a better indicator than registered voters, which is better than all voters. Typically, there is a 3-4% advantage to GOP when considering LV over RV.

Still, it is not even August, and the conventions have not been had, and McCain has not yet begun a national campaign. The USA/Gallup may be an outlier, though.

However, no one can seriously argue that Obama is far from closing any sale with the electorate. He has made no lasting gains from his European primary. In fact, his trip and anti-American rhetoric on foreign soil may have had the effect of a lead balloon.

Many on the left lament why Obama is not far ahead...

Perhaps Obama is wearing out his welcome (if he was ever welcome) with the electorate. At some point, he is going to wear out his welcome with the media, which will turn on him in some fashion. When the media creates someone (like they have with Obama) they always at some point tear him down. One sign of this will be when Obama becomes the butt of jokes on late night etc... which so far has treated him with reverence for some unknown reason. That has been humorous, though. But once you see Leno, et al making fun of his gaffes and such... the writing will be on the wall that Obama will have come down from his self-erected pedestal to join his fellow mortal politicians. The media will not be far behind.

I think the McCain campaign, which has been hard to find from Indiana, but is very active in local markets in battleground states like Ohio and PA, will find its stride after the convention and steadily advance in the polling.

Obama is simply not well spoken unless he is reciting someone else's written speech with a teleprompter. Otherwise, he sounds like a tongue tied brain dead moron, unable to form a coherent thought. McCain, on the other hand, has the opposite problem.

His performance in a big speech is servicable.... but not great. He does, however, actually say things that make sense, as opposed to empty bromides and sing song chants.

With regular people and with the media in small groups, he is far more engaging and conveys a strong sense of command over his thoughts, and has a very good sense of humor, most of which is self deprecating. This is a powerful contrast to Obama's incredible "you are not permitted to ask questions about me" ego, and will be noticed in a big way by the electorate.

When campaigning goes national in mid September, McCain's brand will be ready to go and people will be so sick and tired of Obama and his empty suit egotistical rhetoric and ridiculously fawning media love that they will easily turn to the experienced, well spoken and self deprecating modesty of McCain.

My guess is that this goes like 1988, maybe a little better for the GOP.... something in the neighborhood of McCain 54 Obama 46.

Remember, since LBJ won over 60% of the vote in 1964, only one Dem candidate reached 50%... and that was Jimmy Carter in 1976 who only got 50.8% is what was supposed to be a huge Dem year what with Watergate and the Nixon pardon. Even Dole had a rush at the end of 1996 which closed a gap from about 10-12 points to 5.

Don't expect an Obama blowout. If he wins, it will be by a whisker of recount proportions.

It's just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea. Look at the state polls rather then the national polls. The truth is we run on a electoral college - as we all learned very clearly in 2000. Without leaners, and based on the average of most polls, Obama would win hands down with 322 electoral votes to John McCain's 216, if the election were held today. National polls don't mean jack!

Gary R. Welsh said...

None of the polls mean jack at this point. In almost every presidential election I've watched since 1976, the Democrat always holds a lead--sometimes a double-digit lead--during the summer months. The race always closes and as Mike observed, the Democrat has barely gotten above 50% in every election after 1964. There will be a Swift boating of Obama that will make John Kerry's look like a walk in the park. He will be hated so badly by large segments of the country that he will do no better than eke out a Clinton-like win where he wins a clear majority of electoral college electors, but falls below the 50% mark in the popular vote. That's the best outcome for Obama. As Novak said, McCain could still back into a win.

Unknown said...


Almost all polls attempt to screen for "likely voters." The Reagan-Carter polls, were "likely voter" polls and they were nowhere close to accurate.

The fact is, even with an LV screen it's very difficult to identify which voters will come to the polls and which will stay home on Election Day. That sad truth is that people like about the likelihood they'll vote when you ask them during a survey. Few want to admit they won't vote.

I'm a Republican and I'd love to say McCain had a chance. (I'm terribly worried about the Supreme Court appointment of Obama.) But in this year where the nation is desperate for change we Republicans nominated an older version of Bob Dole.

This year, in a year when the economy will play a huge role, we nominated a candidate who doesn't particularly care about economic issues. With that and the unpopularity of the war in Iraq, our goose is cooked. This election won't even be remotely close.

Scott Ellis said...

Someone asked why we use red for repubs and blue for dems. Thank Tim Russert. See