Campaigns/Elections

Obama By Seven Points Over McCain

|

A new Reuters/Zogby poll of likely voters in the presidential race says:

More than a month after kicking off the general election campaign, Obama leads McCain by 47 percent to 40 percent. That is slightly better than his 5-point cushion in mid-June, shortly after he clinched the Democratic nomination fight against New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

But Obama's 22-point advantage in June among independents, a critical voting bloc that could swing either way in the November election, shrunk to 3 points during a month in which the candidates battled on the economy and Obama was accused of shifting to the centre on several issues….

Voters seem more interested in the economy than anything else:

The economy was ranked as the top issue by nearly half of all likely voters, 47 percent. The Iraq war, in second place, trailed well behind at 12 percent. Energy prices was third at 8 percent.

And what about candidates Ralph Nader and Bob Barr?:

When independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr, who are both in the process of trying to add their names to state ballots, are included in the survey Obama's margin over McCain grows to 10 percentage points, 46 percent to 36 percent.

Nader and Barr each picked up 3 percent, but nearly all of their support came from McCain.

More here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Obama's Memory Hole

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Who exactly supports Nader and McCain at the same time?

  2. Hypothetical that I hadnt considered until a discussion with a friend Monday night:

    Lets say, hypothetically, that between now and the convention, Obama loses his lead, is even starting to trail McCain by a noticable amount. Maybe he says something stupid. Whatever. Does their suddenly become a push (by the Clintons, duh) for the superdelegates to flip? Could we still have a fun convention fight?

    I think the hypothetical would have to happen before the convention fun could happen, but just wondering what others think.

  3. Nigel,

    I remember in 2000 someone telling me they were trying to decide whether to vote for Nader or Browne. I couldnt (and still cant) wrap my brain around that.

  4. If he increases his lead by 3 points overall, while dropping 18 points among independents, that means that there isn’t actually any meaningful “divided Dems” factor, as many had predicted there would be.

    robc,

    For something like that to happen, Obama would have to drop a lot further than a couple of points behind. McCain would need to open up an uncloseable lead, well into the double digits, and I just don’t think such a thing is possible, given the condition of the electorate this year.

  5. I think it speaks volumes that Nader’s bleeding support from McCain. Someone on another board recently said something like: “McCain might reach across the aisle and pick a Republican for VP.” Being a “centrist” has its risks, I guess…
    JMR

  6. joe,

    See thats my question. How far what it have to go? If McCain opened up an uncloseable lead (which I agree, isnt going to happen), it would be stupid NOT to change candidates on the fly, from a pure strategy standpoint. Duh.

    But, there has to be some point beofre “uncloseable” that the Clintons would make a go for it. I dont believe Hillary would pass up an opening, no matter how slight.

    Now, I dont think McCain will have a lead between now and the convention, so the question is purely hypothetical.

    I guess the 2nd question is, how far behind does McCain have to get before the GOP gets a draft “someone else” movement going. The Paul delegates will be going for it anyway, but I mean so that McCain supporters consider it. I doubt it happens, there are too many “guaranteed” red states to make it anything but a close race.

  7. How far would it have to go?

    Thinking is hard.

  8. Ah yes, the always reliable polls. Endlessly pondered while they are current, absolutely forgotten when they are wrong. Which is most of the time.

  9. robc,

    Switching out candidates like that, especially this year, when there was such a huge deal made over Teh Hildebeast owning the party yadda yadda yadda, and such a close, tough primary contest, would do severe damage to the Democrats, in this election and beyond. It’s tough to even imagine a scenario where things are grim enough to make that the better choice.

    I guess the 2nd question is, how far behind does McCain have to get before the GOP gets a draft “someone else” movement going. Never happen. There is no one who could do better than McCain. McCain is paying for the sins of the party. If he finds himself 15 points behind, almost all of that will be because he’s a Republican, not because he’s John McCain.

  10. What kind of person puts two things on a poll, one of which encompasses the other? I’m referring specifically to giving the options of “economy” and “energy prices,” which are arguable driving the problems with the economy.

  11. joe,

    You are right on the GOP. Plus, this is the party that nominated Bob “no chance in hell” Dole. Also, there isnt anyone with a big enough base of support to make a bid for the GOP.

    However, your analysis of the Dems assumes that Hillary (or Bill) care about the future of the Democrat* Party. The superdelegates may not go for it, but that doesnt mean they wouldnt try.

    *Done just for you

  12. Aw, poor Bob Dole. People talk about how terrible he was as a candidate, but who could have beaten Bill Clinton in 1996? Newt? Dick Lugar? I don’t think he came in too far below the GOP’s ceiling that year. It’s like blaming the guys who ran against FDR for running lousy campaigns.

  13. joe,

    Gramm/Keyes ’96

    I still keep meaning to get the bumpersticker made.

    Im not sure if Gramm could have beat Clinton or not. I think 96 is the kind of year where you go crazy and DONT run the obvious guy. That was the year the GOP should have run Paul. 🙂

    Kind of like in 1992 when all the reasonable Dem candidates stayed out of the race and they nominated some loser no one had ever heard of for the slaughter.

    I stand behind my belief that he was the worst of the 7 democratic candidates that year.

  14. Strange how neither candidate can break 50%. There seem to be a lot of undecideds.

    Don’t they usually break Republican? In the primaries I know they tended to break for Clinton.

    And, the nominee is still well behind the generic Democrat in polling.

  15. Huge drop in independent support for Obama + Obama’s lead increases = Poll probably oversampled Democrats.

    Just saying.

  16. “Huge drop in independent support for Obama + Obama’s lead increases = Poll probably oversampled Democrats.”

    Yup.

  17. Nader? Who the fuck, other than Ralph himself, would vote for that guy?

  18. Nader? Who the fuck, other than Ralph himself, would vote for that guy?

    Many people are still stuck in the 20th century. (Like, say, McCain…ooh, too low a blow!). All they remember are Nader’s Raiders and the guy, whatever you might think of him now, did some good work then. I personally appreciate his advocacy for the Freedom of Information Act.

  19. Obama was accused of shifting to the centre on several issues….

    Zogby needs to de-Canadify their spelling.

  20. Huge drop in independent support for Obama + Obama’s lead increases = Poll probably oversampled Democrats.

    More likely is that they undersampled Democrats, as they don’t poll people who only own cell phones. It’s possible that for whatever reason independents self-identified as Democrats on this poll when choosing Obama.

  21. The “cell phone” theory is always dragged out, but it has yet to be proven as anything more than an excuse when Democrats preform badly in polls.

  22. Iow, there are still enough young Demorats with land lines to get a decent sample.

  23. Nader? Who the fuck, other than Ralph himself, would vote for that guy?

    I’d vote for him before McCain or Obama. He’s a socialist, but at the very least he’s honest about it, unlike the aforementioned tools. And he acknowledges the stranglehold corporations and the two parties have on the political system.

  24. Pollsters normalize the responses they get to “known” population characteristics in order to correct for over- and under-sampling.

    This can lead to some wacky outcomes.

    Remember when Barack Obama’s lead dropped from 15 points to 3 points in the Newsweek poll? In the first poll, they assumed a 10 point advantage for the Democrats in party identification, while in the second, they used 2004 splits, which had the parties even.

  25. What kind of person puts two things on a poll, one of which encompasses the other? I’m referring specifically to giving the options of “economy” and “energy prices,”

    This is done on purpose to identify people who are trying to “game” the poll or to idenfity people that are indecisive in their opinions.

  26. Both Nader & Barr drawing from McCain indicates that some of McCain’s support is merely an anti-Obama vote, while none of Obama’s is an anti-McCain vote.

  27. If both Nader and Barr take more votes from McCain, then Obama should be insisting that both be included in the presidential debates.

  28. That would be true if the race was close, creech.

    But if Obama is clearly in the lead, then two things happen:

    1) his interest in maximizing the third-party votes decreases,

    2) the third party candidates spend the debate concentrating their fire on him, rather than dividing it among both of them.

  29. I would bet that, if anything, polls continue to undersample Democrats.

    If the pollsters are using a model that IN ANY WAY relies on party identification figures from the election of 2004, they will wildly and absurdly oversample Republicans.

    The “generic Congressional candidate” polls are the best available predictor of how people are now self-identifying by party. I would not be surprised if the total number of “actual” GOP identifiers is 20% lower now than it was in 2004.

    Want to figure out the true GOP number? Take any poll and recalculate the sample until you have McCain losing by 15 points. Then look at the number of Democrats that gives you.

  30. “Over-sampling” refers to the raw responses, and whether the people you got on the phone that night did or did not represent the actual electorate. It is very likely that pollsters under-sample Democrats and young people because of the cell phone thing.

    “Over-represent” refers to the ultimate numbers released, which have been normalized to weed out over- and under-sampling. In theory, the over- and under-sampling of different groups doesn’t matter, because the normalizing accounts for this.

    But if the Democrats, Independents, and Republicans you reach are somehow skewed from the real populations, then using the breakdown you get from your Democrats and scaling it up to represent the true number of Democrats will still be skewed.

  31. “Over-sampling” refers to the raw responses, and whether the people you got on the phone that night did or did not represent the actual electorate. It is very likely that pollsters under-sample Democrats and young people because of the cell phone thing.”

    Do more Democrats use cell phones than Republicans?

  32. bookworm,

    The theory is that people who have a cell phone instead of a land line – not just use a cell phone, but only use a cell phone – are more likely to be Democrats. They are more likely to be young, more likely to live in urban areas, and more likely to be non-traditional in other ways. That works out to more Democrats than Republicans.

  33. joe | July 16, 2008, 10:01am | #
    If he increases his lead by 3 points overall, while dropping 18 points among independents, that means that there isn’t actually any meaningful “divided Dems” factor, as many had predicted there would be.

    Could also mean that people who said they were independents in the first poll are deciding they are Democrats.

  34. Interesting, Syd.

    If that happened, but they still used the same partisan split as the first poll, then they would be undercounting Obama’s vote.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.