Polls Still Looking Good For Obama

For nearly a full week now, Senator John McCain has launched a vicious and unscrupulous campaign against his Democratic opponent in the race to the White House.  In spite of this, polling data continues to show Senator Barack Obama clearly out-performing his opponent, and just as poised as ever to win the election on November 4th.

Yesterday’s Gallup Daily Tracker showed an impressive eleven point lead for Obama, a lead I had expected to diminish at least a little bit today as the numbers appeared to be more outlier than anything else.  Historically, the only other daily tracker that has shown such impressive margins has been Daily Kos’s commissioned poll which I tend to discount due to an apparent Democratic lean.

But much to my surprise, the Gallup held steady at eleven for the second day in a row, with Obama winning 52% of the vote share while McCain is stuck with only 41%.  One possible explanation for this is that the data is now including post debate interviews, and according to another Gallup/USA Today poll, the immediate consensus following the debate has solidified–Obama won the second debate.

Getting into more realistic numbers, the current Pollster aggregated margin is at about seven points, though trend analysis shows that the gap between the two presidential hopefuls continues to widen.  Thus, Gallup’s actual numbers may be on the top end of statistical likelihood, but the trend displayed therein is actually not far off.

Shorter: Obama continues to run away with this thing.  This is great news, but it comes with some serious caveats to it.  The first is the same that I often repeat; polling numbers are snapshots, and not to be taken as gospel.  Further, there are still four weeks left to go in this thing, and when you look at what happened over the past four weeks, the next four weeks should not be seen as anything but highly volatile.

Those are the common refrains, but what I want to illustrate are the sentiments put out yesterday by Nate Silver and Chris Bowers.  Simply put, we can not expect Obama’s upward trend to continue to climb, and indeed we should expect him to hit a ceiling at some point in the very near future.  The fact of the matter is, we’ve entered an age where no matter how much the political climate favors one candidate or party over another, we’re just not going to get jaw dropping blowouts in general elections anymore.  There are too many factors to list here, just suffice it to say that I think it will be a long long time before we will ever, if ever, see the kind of landslide that gets into the 20 point gap range.

The other thing to remember is that, well, Obama is black, and there are a lot of voters out there that would vote Democratic if we had the standard white man running for president.  But we don’t, and therefore they won’t.  As a result that ceiling is going to be lower for Obama than it would be for someone else.

That taken into consideration, the numbers and the sheer size of the polling margin that we are seeing is absolutely phenomenal, and should be treated as such.  And when that margin begins to narrow, as it inevitably will, we should not take that to mean the end of the world, or even that all of a sudden Obama blew it.  It’s going to happen, but Obama will still likely be on track to win the election.

(edited by DrGail)

One Response to “Polls Still Looking Good For Obama”

  1. Chris says:

    Doesn’t matter whether Democratic or Republican candidates. They are all politicians.
    That’s what politicians do…….say things we all loved to hear. It has been the same throughout history.
    This time round, something is amiss in USA today. People just don’t listen, see and hear beyond the candidates. They love the guy based on what he said/promised and they love a candidate with charisma. This is “Fatal Attraction/Decision”

    With due respect –
    Osama bin Ladin is the man accused by USA as the master of terrorism. Now USA is going to vote for a potential President and Vice President with names that sound like:
    Obama (Osama) and Bidin (Ladin) – What a coincidence.

    Well, if we just like what we have heard and like his charisma…in short, the surface, then vote with your heart and not your intellect and brain, it makes no difference to the man in the street, who will be the next President and VP.
    Only those in the upper echelon of society will be much affected.

    So, get real, watch our rice bowl, take care of our family and plan for our future and those of our kids. God Help Those Who Helped Themselves.

    God Bless and Take Care!

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