Friday, September 19, 2008

The Great GOP Panic of '08

Having written about the Democrats' recent poll-driven panic, I'm dismayed to observe that some faint-hearted Republicans are becoming hysterical now that Barack Obama is up by 5 points in the Gallup daily tracking poll.

According to the new panic narrative, the GOP's convention bounce has expired, the Palin pick has turned into a deficit, and the economic crisis is sending voters streaming into the Obama camp.

Please. Calm. Down. The relative merits of Obama and John McCain are unchanged. If Palin's poll popularity is down, well, three weeks of relentless media negativity can have that effect, but the damage is not necessarily permanent. And excuse my skepticism, but I'm having a hard time seeing how independent voters are going to be persuaded that Obama's vague talk of Hope and Change is the solution to the problems of the financial sector.

If the past is prologue, it is likely that the current trend toward Obama will peak in a couple of days, and a week from now the race will be back in a statistical tie going into the first presidential debate Sept. 26. Besides, we're now at the point in the campaign where the opinions of likely voters matter more than registered voters (and the Gallup tracking poll surveys registered voters). Both the Rasmussen and Battleground tracking polls of likely voters show a dead heat.

Panic is not a strategy. Please. Calm. Down.

UPDATE: Look, if this was an honest-to-goodness GOP meltdown, the eternal pessimist Allahpundit would be all doom-and-gloom, right? He's at least semi-hopeful, which means . . . ? Yeah. Maverick in a landslide.

UPDATE II: Linked at Conservative Grapevine. Thanks.


  1. Actually, even more important than likely voters are the likely voters in the individual states that will decide how that state votes in the electoral college. Those are the votes that ultimately elect the president. Realclearpolitics keeps track of that on a state by state basis.

    By the way, nice site - I was directed here by a link on Michelle Malkin's website.

  2. I know a lot of people who were seriously thinking of not voting for a president this year until McCain chose Sarah Palin. We were THRILLED and immediately jumped on board. There's no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks we'd back out now. Once again we've become broken glass Republicans anxious to vote Sarah into office. So I don't know where this panic is coming from, unless it's the MSM trying to drum it up.


  3. Man, gimme LIKELY voters in an ELECTORAL COLLEGE breakdown...

    Nothing else really matters.

  4. I don't know if the dreaded "Bradley Effect" isn't starting to kick in. For the last week we've been hearing that "the only way Obama could lose is because of racism." Now that had been suggested before of course and it's always sort of hung around his campaign, but now it is apparently a major talking point.

    Voters will go underground with their opinions if you hit threaten them with the Scarlet R.

  5. Whenever I am contacted by pollsters, I either,depending on my mood, hang up refusing to answer or have a little mahem fun telling them I'm crazy for Obama. D'ya think there are others like me? I hate the nosiness and (intrusion on my dinner hour) of polls; and, unless it's the gender of my next grandchild, I'd rather keep not know...and keep the nosy parkers in the dark or guessing. Polls Schmolls. I like an exciting November.

  6. Robert, the deregulation is the fault for the excesses of the bankers, you would not let your kids grow up without limits, why have we as a nation allowed the banks/finance/wall street forces to exist w/out limits, John McCain has enabled this, along w/ a host of other so called experts, THAT is the problem John has to deal with