A Better Week For Obama

By the end of last week, it was looking as though Team Obama was in political freefall, not just falling behind Hillary in the national polls, but also ceding to her large leads in the vital early voting states of New Hampshire and Iowa.

Couple with a series of rookie mistakes, the campaign had come under assault from insider sheets calling the Sen. Obama the next Howard Dean. Only a couple of months into the campaign, the number one contender to Hillary was already on his way out the door.

So I’m pretty sure that Barak would be pleased to find that this week is turning out to be much better, with recent polling showing him drawing to a statistical tie with Hillary in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and making small gains in the national polls.

But here’s the real story, if every time a new poll comes out you find yourself suffering from minor heart attacks, you need to relax. It is still very very early, and all polling can really do at this point is show trends that will not necessarily predict VOTER behavior as much as perhaps campaign behavior as they try to make sure that their little squiggly line on the graph keeps moving in the right direction.

This is even more true when you take into account the Hillary vs. Obama contests. I remember at the beginning of the campaigns making the case that one thing working against Hillary is that everyone knows her, the people who support her are solidly going to support her, and the rest probably hate her and wouldn’t vote for her if their life depended on it, resulting essentially in a flatline in the polls, and as the last poll I linked to shows, this has been for the most part true. Compared to the two announced challengers, she has remained relatively flat.

On the other hand, not many people know who Barak is, and I think what we will see as time goes on is that the campaign is going to build a narrative answering that question, introducing more and more of Barak to more and more people. Now, how successful this is is going to be based upon how well the campaign builds this narrative, and how much the people like it, but should this strategem come off, then you’re going to see the Senator from Illinois continue to grow in popularity, most likely stripping more and more support first from Edwards’ less liberal supporters, and then from the less stubborn hangers on to the Hillary ticket.

I’m not saying that this is going to happen, but if Barak does pull ahead of Hillary and somehow manages to win the nomination this is most likely the way it’s going to happen.

But, like I said, the real moral of the story is that this is really way too early in the game to get your knickers in a twist over anything, much less a bad week of polling.

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