Saturday, September 20, 2008

Got Panic?

Obama hits 50% in today's Gallup daily tracking poll. His six-point lead over Crazy Cousin John is less important than that 50% number. But . . .

Gallup's daily tracking surveys only registered voters, and we know that likely voters tilt more Republican than those who are merely registered. Yet . . .

Beyond the numbers themselves is the trend and the timing. There has been a net 11-point swing toward Obama since Sept. 8 (when McCain led by 5) and a similar trend has been picked up by all the national polls. So we have a clear indication that the campaign is trending toward the Democrat. And, it's after both conventions, after both VP selections, after Labor Day -- a little more than seven weeks before Election Day (early voting is already underway in many states).

So Team Maverick is on the wrong end of a momentum shift, late in the game, when the number of undecided voters is small and shrinking steadily. This really raises the stakes for Friday's first debate. McCain really needs to score big.

As always when things are looking shaky for the GOP, it's time to check Allahpundit's pessimism meter, which he reports as stable at 4. I'll be back later to update with thoughts on the causes of the poll trend. Meanwhile, commenters are free to offer their own thoughts: Did Palin blow the Gibson interview? Have the media attacks taken their inevitable toll? Or was the Wall Street crisis the iceberg that punched a hole in SS Maverick?


  1. Given that I believe close to nothing about the polls beyond their existence,
    I'd say that the narrative is to rebuild the Obama campaign confidence so that the appearance of competition is in place prior to the debates.
    It remains to be seen if Cousin John can sell his economic ideas better in the debate.
    Then again, it may not matter. Socialism is the opiate of the bureaucracy, and it's been packaged as a religion for sale to the proletariat.
    We may be dead men typing.

  2. I agree with you, smitty, about the narrative to rebuild O's confidence. I'm hoping that Obama gets cocky and it actually helps JMac. McCain seems to get all thumbsy and clumsy when he's ahead - didn't know what to do with himself when Palin wowed crowds. However, he seems to get energized being behind, so I am hopeful that this positions McCain well for the debate with Obamalinsky. Also, most Americans won't know socialism till it hits them in the face...heck, they are already happy as pigs in slop with a nanny state.

  3. Yes, but which way is the Gallup sampling trending? Are they not sampling more Democrats, and less Republicans, in the last few weeks?

  4. The Gibson interview is part of it, but I think it's really just Palin in general. She was good for a quick pump-up in the polls, but over anything like the long-term, she's a huge drain on McCain's campaign.

  5. @knappster
    Sarah Palin could mature into a Margaret Thatcher figure. The fact that several weeks of furious muckraking have turned up nothing of substance bespeaks a healthy character.
    The whole "got no experience" meme takes on an air of sad comedy in the light of the financial meltdown: WTF were the elites doing, these frivolous decades?
    Our leadership appears to be some of my own whacky cousins, only with a bigger credit card.

  6. It was the Wall Street crisis that caused my husband to say that he's back to voting for Senator Obama. And both of us are sick of hearing the two candidates compete for Who Can Promise the Most Tax Cuts. The entire financial stability of the U.S. is going to hell in a handbasket, and they think we'll be happy if they send us another $300???