Sunday, June 15, 2008

Obama: Still no bounce

UPDATED & BUMPED: The latest Gallup report shows the contest narrowing still further, with Obama at 44% and McCain at 42%. Notice that the change is entirely a function of an Obama decline (from a three-day Gallup peak of 48% June 8-10) while McCain has been more or less steady around 42% for more than a week.

6/16: Greetings, Instapundit readers! There's more bad news for Democrats today.

PREVIOUSLY: Still a statistically insignificant 3-point margin for Barack Obama in the latest Gallup daily tracking poll. Immediately after Clinton's concession, Obama "bounced" from 46% to 48%, and has since faded, now down to 45%.
Obama's three percentage point advantage remains slightly smaller than his average lead in the days after Hillary Clinton let it be known that she was suspending her campaign on June 4. This suggests that while Obama experienced a small "bounce" from the attention he received, the possibility exists that the bounce will be short-lived and that the race will settle back down to the close margin that has characterized it for much of the last few months.
John McCain hasn't really been able to take advantage of this bored-with-Obama factor, probably because McCain's pretty doggone boring himself. The important thing, however, is that the pet notion of the Democratic/MSM elites -- that Americans are "hungry for change" and that Obama is the answer -- hasn't been borne out by an instant tsunami of voters jumping on the Obama bandwagon.

If Obama doesn't open up a major lead soon, if the contest remains neck-and-neck throughout the summer, the likelihood is that Obama will be a loser in November. Keep an eye on Democrats and their MSM friends for signs that they're starting to sweat.

As I said yesterday, if the McCain campaign were smart (a mighty big "if") they'd move quickly to push Obama in key swing states. A new "positive" ad for McCain, a total ad buy of $1 million or more -- a newsworthy amount -- and targeting just a few markets: Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA; Orlando, Jacksonville and Tallahassee, FL; Cincinnati and Columbus, OH; Louisville, KY; and Charleston, WV. (The Philadelphia market bleeds into southern New Jersey; Cincinatti similarly bleeds into northern Kentucky.) Reinforce the ad buy with campaign visits by the candidate.

A million bucks is chump change in a presidential race. If, in the next couple of weeks, the McCain campaign could develop significant leads in Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia -- all "swing" states won by Hillary in the Democratic primaries -- and at least make Pennsylvania look competitive, they'd have a major strategic advantage over Obama in the six-week runup to the conventions.


  1. Robert, I think the next big trend we need to watch for is the continuing number of prominent Dems bolting from Obama to McCain or "Undecided." Three biggies as of today: TN Cong. Davis, OK Cong. Boren, and DNC Hillary Delegate Bostevevich of Wisconsin.

    Add to that the whole Hillary supporters for McCain deal featured by Hannity, and you've got a genuine movement.

    If two or three more jump ship this week, watch out. Dems will be a panickin' for sure.

    Though, McCain has his own problems on his libertarian flank with Barr. And I expect that to continue to gain steam.

  2. I haven't taken the time to look, but, if memory serves, Republicans are nearly always down in the pols at this distance from the general election. It would be interesting to see mid-June polls from the last five or six elections.

    If my memory is correct, Obama is in much worse trouble than has been made apparent.

  3. I'm not sure McCain needs to bother buying ad space in WV or KY. These are states where Republicans could stay home and McCain would still win the majority of Democrats.

    The Cincinnati market will probably go to McCain, but he's gonna want to run up the margins to overcome the Columbus/Cleveland/Akron numbers.

    Philly would be a great ad buy, especially if DE and NJ are "in play." (Of which I'm dubious, but it would be a great offensive move from the campaign.)

    I would like to see them target Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, Minneapolis...

  4. Last I looked, Intrade had Obama at 60 and McCain at 40. I don't see how that can be possible given these poll results, and the electoral map.

    Today I saw a story about how the Obama campaign is confidently mapping out ways to win without winning Ohio and Florida. A clear case of whistling past the graveyard.

  5. Looking at the gallup numbers...

    14% undecided?

    Historically, the undecideds break gop 2-1.

    Is 48% the high water mark for Obama?

    In June 1992, Dukakis held a 53-38 over Bush, in a gallup poll-wasn't that somebody else's third term?

    While I've read of attempts to dismiss the Bradley effect, I've seen it play out-ironically for Obama...

    Hillary was doing excedingly well with African Americans, until it was time to vote. did she lose in the Carolina's because of Bill, or simply becuase racial prefreneces in voting don't occur until the vote is exercised?

    One large caveat for Obama:
    If you chase McCain down for verbal gaffes, indicating that 'maybe' he is too old for the job, you must come up with a plausible explanation for Obama'a gaffes which won't be attributed to his lack of experience or his liberalism.

    I don't see how it is possible to steer any of O's mistakes away from liberalism or niavete.

  6. Last I looked, Intrade had Obama at 60 and McCain at 40.

    Look at Intrade's demographic - highly educated professionals interested in theoretical and highly academic markets. Not exactly your lower-middle class shift worker or middle-class soccer mom.

    I've also been troubled by what appears to be a political party correlation between aggressive trading and progressive ideology. Most of the day traders I've known have been idealistic Obama-type leftists, and I've subscribed to the anecdote that perhaps if you believe that your technical analysis savvy (in a near random walk market) can overcome all the risks and costs of the strategy, you probably also believe that government planning and management-by-decree can be successful.

    Most of the strategic, market rotation index investors I encounter, on the other hand, are also quite politically conservative/libertarian. There's a distrust at the micro level which you try to wash out in aggregate, and a healthy skepticism applied to earnings-call analysis and investing.

  7. "In June 1992, Dukakis held a 53-38 over Bush, in a gallup poll"

    change the year to '1988', and the other numbers will hold.

  8. The obama slide must be laid at the feet of oil prices...

    McCain failed to capture those who fell off the O bandwagon, with the simple utterance of No drilling in ANWR(worth noting how the press provided that little tidbit, but failed to present his willingness to leave offshore drilling to the states.)

    The question that Obama must answer:

    does the US need to produce/refine more oil?

    His constituency demands a 'no', but if he fails to accept that we must answer our relative short term needs, he will look like Carter's red headed step child-with a tan.

    The 'Cosby Speech' on father's day was nice, but it doesn't address why he is losing support.

  9. It's hard to see how Obama could NOT win. The Dems are on the offense and the electorate is in an anti-GOP mood.

    Obama is competative in at least half a dozen "red" states, while McCain likely won't win any states that Bush didn't. Obama will ride the anti-GOP coattails, and he and the Dems will have the $ to go on the offense everywhere, while McCain has to play defense -- along with the rest of the GOP.

    Many people don't realize just how damaged the GOP brand has become. And the fact the the GOP has in effect conceeded many issues to the Dems due to their almost singular emphasis on Iraq.

    This will not end well.

  10. And the fact the the GOP has in effect conceeded many issues to the Dems due to their almost singular emphasis on Iraq.

    You misunderstand the American public on Iraq. The problem was not Iraq per se. It was losing at great expense. Now that winning looks possible the "leave at any cost" narrative is losing steam.

    The problem - there has already been one blood bath in Iraq. No one of good intentions wants to see it repeated if there is a decent chance to avoid it with an American presence there.