The Polls - 10/7

On the eve of the second Presidential townhall/debate, the polls show Barack Obama with a significant lead. DKos/R2000 (10/4-6) has Obama up 11, 52-41. Ras (10/4-6) has Obama up 8, 52-44. Gallup (10/3-5) has Obama up 8, 50-42. Hotline (10/4-6) has Obama up 2, 46-44. Battleground (10/4-6) has Obama up 7, 50-43. And just for fun, the charlatan John Zogby has started a tracking poll for Reuters with Obama leading by 3, 49-46.

Among the non-trackers, NBC/WSJ (10/4-5) has Obama up 6, 49-43. NYT/CBS (10/3-5) has Obama up 3, 48-45. CNN/Opinion Research (10/3-5) has Obama up 8, 53-45.

By Big Tent Democrat

< Ohio Breaking To Obama | Beltway Media: Fortune 500 Equals "Main Street" >
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    At this point, as a social experiment, I'd (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by tigercourse on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:01:41 AM EST
    like to see Obama push over that nun just to see if he'd lose any support. Who do I have to contact in his campaign to get that ball rolling?

    No doubt exactly that will happen. . . (5.00 / 0) (#25)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:03:48 AM EST
    in a Sarah Palin speech if not in real life.

    Palin Speech (none / 0) (#46)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 02:54:41 PM EST
    Personally, I'm still holding out hope that she gives a concession speech from Alaska that's interrupted by a mass Polar Bear attack.

    Serious question ... (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:08:15 AM EST
    why hasn't he hit 10-12%?  

    (Other than in the Orange one.)

    I thought he would last week, then maybe by Tuesday.

    What's holding him back?

    Because (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:16:17 AM EST
    We are a divided country and no candidate can achieve that kind of lead.

    Well, that's not true, Hillary would have a double digit lead because the economy issue is so dominant.

    In all seriousness, a 6 point win qualifies as a landslide now.


    I know what you mean ... (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:19:49 AM EST
    but I favor only calling real landslides, landslides.

    I have very little fear that (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:24:50 AM EST
    Obama isn't going to hit double digits too coming across the finish line.  I think he's going to have some things to offer the people tonight and I think John McCain is going to have what Palin had to offer the people.  I've heard he even winks these days.  What economic solution can offer though that his party base will be happy with?  I'm trying very hard to not just pull some of my neighbors aside and begin a ranting chat, but we do have McCain signs up in the neighborhood now.  No Obama signs though and I'm certain that that is because this is the deep South and none of us really feels like having to replace our mailboxes two or three times this year by promoting the Presidency of someone who is black.

    Tacy, I only see a few Obama (none / 0) (#13)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:35:32 AM EST
    signs in my part of the state.

    But I see fewer McCain signs.

    Admittedly this is a 'bastion of liberals (Imagine saying that in Alabama),' and the state will probably go for McCain, but some of the down-ticket races are interesting-- Bright in Montgomery, for instance.


    I saw a lot of Obama (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:40:58 AM EST
    stuff driving in and out of Birmingham too during our son's foot surgery and recasting.  Birmingham has a whole different social feeling in the air.  The hospitals employ people based on their skills too it seems.  Very few black people working in the small hospital here.  Speaking to most of the nonwhite people in Birmingham has no noticeable tensions but sadly here most nonwhites will not look me in the eye when speaking to me.  Sadly I get used to it and then when we go to Birmingham it becomes very clear to me what my life here lacks.

    I didn't even know who Bright was at first (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:48:24 AM EST
    and then I started seeing these signs all over town that said, "Say No to Bright" and then under Bright in the same size lettering it says "Obama".  I thought maybe I was losing my mind because I have come to know what bright means here to some when making reference to darker folks.  Then I also wondered if perhaps they were calling Obama intelligent :)

    Because he's black. . . (none / 0) (#9)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:25:12 AM EST
    if he were white he'd be a further five percent ahead in the polls.

    Of course, if he were white, he wouldn't be the nominee.


    i think being black (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:33:38 AM EST
    is a net negative 2 for Obama.

    I see it this way - an increase of net 2% of the electorate will be A-A turnout almost alll for Obama.

    A loss of about 4% of white Dem voters on racial grounds.


    Do you think the polls are adequately (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:37:50 AM EST
    sampling the different groups, or do you think the numbers might be skewed by 1-2 percentage points in either direction, BTD?

    Either way it's apparent that the race is breaking in key states.


    honestly (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:42:20 AM EST
    I think there are two possibilities.

    there COULD be a lingering Bradley Effect. I'll get into that in the last 2 weeks of the campaign when we discuss LVs and turnout models. A little too early for that imo.

    the other is underrepresentation of A-A voters and younger voter. does the historic model with a  slight up adjustment describe the turnout model? Because that is what the polling is using for the most part. If they are right, it looks like Obama by 4-7 to me.

    But if there is massive young voter turnout and A-A turnout, then Larry might be right, a 10 point win.

    we'll think about that in detailed terms in the last two weeks of the election.

    Remember, after the last debate, the election is just a sprint to get out your vote.


    anecdotal, but students here (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:55:25 AM EST
    are passionate, irrespective of their candidate. But the young Democrats have made significant gains the past two years. I am expecting a serious GOTV effort on this campus, much larger than in the past.

    Students are angry and they are worried about getting loans to mortgage their education.

    The economy is scaring the students. Heck, it's scaring me also.


    It is a scary time (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:03:58 AM EST
    As scary times often go though it is also a tremendous opportunity.  As you have noted, look at what the young Democrats have done.  Heck, last I read the military has donated to Obama over McCain like 3 to 1 or some such thing.  It is during times like these when new inroads are created within our society and people begin to see an upside to exploring a different viewpoint.

    Agree (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CST on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:08:36 AM EST
    I was a student in 2004 when I was pleading with my friends to get out and vote, but no one was enthused about Kerry, and everyone figured we were in a sh*t hole anyway.

    Speaking to those same people today I get a VERY different response.  And they live in a swing state.

    My parents have been going door to door in NH and they said they haven't seen this kind of involvement from people since 1968.

    A nice story - my mom talked about the difference btwn getting out the vote today and when she was a kid.  My grandmother ran the voter rolls in their NH town, and in the afternoon she would send my mom out to knock on all the doors of the Democrats in town who hadn't voted and get them out.  They knew who all the democrats were in town and could guilt trip every one of them into voting.


    Well, the good news is (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:10:08 AM EST
    that New Hampshire is gone for McCain.

    I think it's blue for good now.


    Times have definitely changed there (none / 0) (#30)
    by CST on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:11:38 AM EST
    But I think you're right.  Now if only they would stop running ads...

    I also think Gene Shaheen is in for a solid win.


    I hope Jeanne Shaheen's ads are good enough (none / 0) (#31)
    by andgarden on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:13:58 AM EST
    that you know she's not a man!

    Oops! (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by CST on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:18:47 AM EST
    I know she's not a man, I just don't know how to spell.  Is Gene the male spelling?

    I am surprised I got Shaheen right.

    I don't know about her ads, John Sununu's are pretty hard hitting.  That being said, I think Obama's ads in this region are much better than McCain's and I guess she has pretty broad support among Obama supporters.  I think if he wins by the margins I expect in NH, she will pull out too.


    Heh, my grandmother did that too :) (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:10:56 AM EST
    so of the 2% (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by Howard Zinn on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 11:00:38 AM EST
    who wouldn't vote for a black man, will they not vote at all, or would they swing to McCain?  That could change it from just a -2% for Obama to a +2% for McCain on top of the -2% for Obama.

    And what about the racist Repubs who wouldn't bother voting for "centrist" McCain, but are now motivated to vote against Obama?  I'm especially thinking about anti-immigration Repubs, who are both probably more likely to be racist and who might not be sure about McCain's immigration stance.

    I personally think that the race issue makes polling a less-precise measure.  On one hand, there could be a groundswell of support for the first AA candidate (both from the AA and white community).  But on the other hand, it could cause people to second guess their vote whilst in the booth.  Regardless, I think we'll see a substantial deviation from poll numbers to actual votes.  My guess is that this will skew to Obama's favor.


    oops I meant 4%, per BTD's post n/t (none / 0) (#39)
    by Howard Zinn on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 11:01:31 AM EST
    I don't think his race has much to do with (none / 0) (#10)
    by tigercourse on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:29:03 AM EST
    it at all. Anyway, winning by just one vote is fine with me.

    Many people aren't exceptionally excited (none / 0) (#37)
    by esmense on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:56:30 AM EST
    about either candidate, although Democrats are very excited about returning to power. Which is why, although Obama is going to win, the spread isn't bigger and is likely to get smaller on election day.

    And, in terms of being excited, with the exception of the historic, precedent breaking aspect of an Obama presidency, why should they be? Both of these men have energetically avoided any attempt at leadership on the huge crisis staring us squarely in the face. And neither of these men, when you get past the self-serving, self-congratulatory, opponent demonizing rhetoric, have significantly different, or in any way bold, approaches or solutions to the other great issue; Iraq.*

    Instead, they have run campaigns too dependent on negative, character based attacks, specious guilt by association gambits, and dog whistle tribal appeals. If you are a smug, or paranoid, "liberal" whose identity depends on seeing yourself as superior to (or who just fears) the hordes of racist, redneck, ignorant, low information, god-addled Americans who occupy your fetid imagination, or, a resentful or paranoid small town or suburban "conservative" who fears, or whose self-worth is based in  notions of your superiority to (in terms of religious virtue, patriotism, common sense) the horrifying hordes of godless, treasonous, naive, gutless, ignorant, feckless and "America hating" Americans (and treacherous foreigners) who occupy your fetid imagination, then this campaign has been right up your alley. And probably even a whole lot of fun.

    But many others are finding it very discouraging. If the times didn't make change so necessary the response to these campaigns would be, I think, much more apathy.

    Over the course of the campaign I've come to wonder if either of these men like their fellow Americans very much. McCain constantly claims a "love" of "country" that doesn't appear to include a concern for the people in it. (He'd enjoyably weep over the flag-draped coffin of a dead American but contemplation of a health care system that needlessly contributes to the deaths of thousands leaves him dry-eyed.) And Obama's "bitter" and "typical" comments, among others, have at times hinted at not so much a disdain for but rather an unfamiliarity with, and unease and distrust of, Americans outside the sophisticated, white elite and the urban black community he knows and relates to best.  

    *(Obama's rhetoric implies a speedier exit on his part and no exit with his opponent. McCain's claims a dishonorable and hasty exit is his opponents policy, while his own policy is honorable and measured. Both would leave Iraq on very similar time tables depending on very similar benchmarks and conditions.)


    Wow, you nailed it (none / 0) (#43)
    by Cream City on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 02:45:21 PM EST
    for the older Dems I know.  They're voting for him because they should -- it's the Dem ticket, they've got liberal guilt, whatever -- or because, as one (with a Ph.D., a noted scholar, not a McCaskill) said, because her kids are for Obama, and it's "their turn."  (I have no idea why, as her kids are barely 20.)  Etc.

    The look I see most often in their eyes is bewilderment at why -- in this perfect storm of a time of war, economic disaster, and more -- we see the politics of personality winning, rather than a politician with the Dem agenda they want.

    So they will go to the polls, they will vote Dem as they're supposed to do, but they're the base that is not enthusiastic but discouraged.  We sat together watching the returns in 2000 and the post-election chaos, we did so again in 2004 but vowed not to stop fighting, and we thought in 2006 that we had fought hard for Dems who would fight for the Dem agenda.  

    So, sure, they'll vote for Dem power.  But power to do what?  That remains to be seen -- and so, they'll win . . . but it won't be an invigorating victory for a lot of Dems.  It won't be what 1980 was for conservatives.  So will it be a long-term win or just another of the occasional Dem wins over these long decades?  That remains to be seen.


    I feel the opposite (none / 0) (#45)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 02:53:30 PM EST
    This is what 1992 could have been,  I really feel that this time we'll have a president who will be our Reagan, a guy who will make Liberalism acceptable again instead simply cutting it up piece meal to preserve his own popularity.

    I think younger people see Obama as someone (none / 0) (#47)
    by esmense on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 03:33:17 PM EST
    who understands them culturally. Who speaks their language. (Perhaps most especially young people who see themselves as somewhat hip and feel alienated from or superior to what they perceive to be the broader American culture). And, certainly more than any other politician I've ever known, I think he does.

    He speaks their language in much the same way as Bush understands and speaks the language of evangelicals. If you are part of that group, you hear something that people outside that group do not hear; he makes you, often for the first time, feel included and offers you the possibility of power.

    I think that's a good thing -- that he is able to knock down those barriers of alienation and cynicism.

    But being able to talk the language of a younger generation is not at all the same thing as supporting genuinely liberal and progressive policies. Which is what matters to me.

    The man is, quite frankly, while culturally pretty hip, at the same time a very middle of the road, somewhat neo-liberal (Wall Street and Silicon Valley supported) politician -- who never deviates from the disappointing, don't scare the horses or upset the elite interest of the Party's big donors, course of the legislative Democratic leadership.


    Absolutely (none / 0) (#48)
    by CST on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 03:49:50 PM EST
    On the speaks our language bit.  It's something that's really hard to grasp, but I don't think it's quite as simple as defining it as "hip"...  Honestly, I think it has more to do with the post-partisan shtick which appeals to youth who feel disenfranchised with the whole 2-party system. It appeals to the idea of an anti-establishment brand (yes I know he was supported by establishment Dems, but he is not considered one of them, and Hillary is - fair or not).

    The problem with defining Obama as "hip" is that it ignores the fact that there is a real political difference as to how he "speaks our language".  It's not just that our friends think he's cool, or we're naive, or not paying attention, it's that we honestly believe there is another way to do things.  That doesn't mean we don't believe in progressive ideals, it just means that we believe in different ways of achieving those ideals.

    Now, I grant that we could all be wrong, but so could everyone else.  And we won't really know until/if he gets elected.


    Huh (none / 0) (#44)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 02:51:29 PM EST
    See, this is the way I felt in 2004 and probably would feel now if Hillary had won, I'd vote out of duty but not much else. Now though, I feel excited, I feel like America could be changing back into what I dreamed it was growing up in the 90s, that we can really make a difference together. I can't really describe it but there's something different on a deep level I see it with my friends and on campus, people really truly believe in America again, and while its trite and overly simplistic, Obama has kind of cut through the cynicism that to a certain extent defines my generation, I honestly can't think of anything like it (other than the few weeks immediately following 9-11).

    What are non-trackers? (none / 0) (#2)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:05:51 AM EST
    Why are their numbers closer?  Are they more "real"?

    A tracking poll (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:14:29 AM EST
    doe a continuous nightly sample over a period of time beyond a set period. Thus NBC's poll is over. They stopped polling the night of the 5th.

    The trackers have a rolling 3 day average (though Battleground only achieves that in their Wednesday through Saturday results as they do not poll on Saturdays.)

    Trackers are volatile because they have the potential for dropping good nights and adding bad nights for candidates. What would be helpful of course is if they just gave us the nightly results and let us figure out the 3 (or even 4 or 5) day averages. some folks even suggest that the trackers should just report once a week.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#32)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:15:15 AM EST
    R2K/DKos does provide (none / 0) (#40)
    by fuzzyone on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 11:29:14 AM EST
    They are polls. . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:17:07 AM EST
    that are taken only occasionally instead of daily.

    They don't appear to me to be significantly tighter than the other polls.


    Just in time for me to declare the race over (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:32:43 AM EST
    a couple of the trackers tick down. . .

    Obama will win anyway.

    Hotline? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:36:32 AM EST
    A blip. It has been the most volatile of all the polls.

    It would be interesting to understand why. They must fly blind with no census targets or Party Id models.

    Think SUSA doing a daily tracker  without even a census model.

    But that is speculation on my part.

    Strikingly, the Times polls ha been the most volatile Big Media poll. Week to week it will bounce 6 points in either direction. Again, the why of that would be interesting.


    R2k is down a couple too (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:42:01 AM EST
    if you check yesterday's results.

    Ras hasn't moved, so my guess is that party weights are the issue. Ras has them, and Hotline doesn't.

    It would amaze me if any poll released figures without weighting to the census or the ACS. That's like polling malpractice.


    the nightly? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:43:34 AM EST
    come on. Down to 9 from 11? that could mean something or it could be noise.

    Hell, I'll take a 9 every day of the week and twice on Sunday.


    Well, R2k is a poll too favorable to Obama IMO (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 09:53:29 AM EST
    If R2k is right, McCain can't even win Florida on his best day.

    BTW, didn't I say a few weeks ago that Florida was a better target for Obama than Ohio? I stand by that.


    It seems possible (none / 0) (#23)
    by lilburro on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:00:32 AM EST
    to me that these polls are showing not just the importance of the economy as an issue, but the success of Obama's voter registration drives.  It seems as though if Obama is expanding the pool of voters, and the new registrations are going heavily to him, that might in part explain the newly hospitable polling for him in places like NC.  And soon (in NC anyway) all of that will be wrapped up.

    not sure you're right (none / 0) (#35)
    by wystler on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:26:18 AM EST
    Voter registration drives? That's hard for  polling outfits to account for in their screens. Most LV screens discount newly-reg'd voters, while RV screens fail to find votes on campus.

    A big turnout among the young means the LV screens are wrong.


    cnn (none / 0) (#24)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:00:36 AM EST
    CNN's EC map has moved VA to a blue state and NC to tossup (from leaning McCain).

    Any of the Past Presidential Races (none / 0) (#33)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:17:48 AM EST
    Released their internal polling data they used?  It would be interesting to see how their data compared and what they were looking at.

    Hi, I guess I am a litle bit out of (none / 0) (#36)
    by Blowback on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:49:38 AM EST
    touch. Can somebody please point out to me why
    do people refer to Zogby as "the charlatan John Zogby"?


    new (none / 0) (#41)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 01:30:02 PM EST
    New Gallup:  Obama by 9.  

    Ties his all time best on gallup.

    over 50% this time too. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Lil on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 02:21:12 PM EST