Campaigns/Elections

McCain by 10 points?!?![*]

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A USA Today/Gallup poll gives the McCain/Palin ticket a 10-point boost over Obama/Biden [*: note correction] in the wake of the Republican National Convention.

Whoda thunk it after that lackluster display in the Twin Cities? Even if it did (improbably) pull better ratings than the Dem version with its hero-worship setting and all that.

But does the convention bounce in the USA Today/Gallup poll (or any other poll) really matter?:

In an analysis of the impact of political conventions since 1960, [University of Virginia's Larry] Sabato concluded that post-convention polls signal the election's outcome only about half the time. "You could flip a coin and be about as predictive," he says. "It is really surprising how quickly convention memories fade."

Indeed, I've already forgotten everything about both conventions, other than Jim Leach's riveting oratory.

RealClearPolitics has McCain up by an average of 3.2 points, with McCain ahead in three polls and tied in two others.

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  1. Given that Rasmussen tracking has the race statistically tied, that Gallup tracking has McCain +5 I call B.S.

    Also given the only state poll I’ve seen–Virginia–done by Survey USA having the race statistically tied (49 McCain-47 Obama, before the conventions it was 48-48) makes me especially think it’s B.S. There’s no way in hell McCain is up +10 nationally and TIED in Virginia!

  2. Divided government
    A possible libertarian a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Sounds good to me. Of course the election doesn’t happen for two months.

    Cue joe to come on with some nonsense about electoral map polling,post-convention bounces and/or non-traditional text message voters in 3…2…

  3. Polls: dumber than reading entrails or tea leaves, yet for some reason they’re taken seriously. And when they’re totally wrong, they’re conveniently forgotten.

  4. joe?

  5. joe was letting us know that an Obama lead of @ 3% was not a “statistical tie” because all of the polls had him tied to up by 3%, so I’ll be interested to see whether joe refers to the current state of the race (McCain up by @ 3%) as a statistical tie.

    Still too early, I say. Let it settle a few more days (although it already seems like ages ago that Sarah ‘n’ John gave their speeches).

  6. Does anyone think it’s possible for McCain to be +10 nationally and tied in Virginia during the same period?

  7. You don’t remember the conventions!?!??! How could you? I totally remember this one guy talking about something and a bunch of trained seals excitedly clapping whenever he said certain things.

  8. Also given the only state poll I’ve seen–Virginia–done by Survey USA having the race statistically tied (49 McCain-47 Obama, before the conventions it was 48-48) makes me especially think it’s B.S. There’s no way in hell McCain is up +10 nationally and TIED in Virginia!

    I went to Survey USA’s web site and all i saw was a bunch of Moveon and Obama ads.

  9. Does anyone think it’s possible for McCain to be +10 nationally and tied in Virginia during the same period?

    No

    Not unless there has been a mass exodus from the southern portions of VA.I’ve been puzzling over the VA tie,NC tossup, GA only “leaning” GOP for a while now.

  10. BDB, I’d say it’s possible that McCain could be leading by 10 nationally and within the margin of error in Virginia. Virginia is not the same state it was a few years ago, and up here in northern Virginia you wouldn’t believe the level of support for Obama.

    Virginia is not as red as everyone assumes it will be based on historical voting trends.

  11. Joshua-

    I subscribe to Survey USA. It should be up on the website later if it’s not already there.

  12. Does anyone think it’s possible for McCain to be +10 nationally and tied in Virginia during the same period?

    Is Virginia the new Kansas?

    Anyway to answer your question….the 10% nationally and Virginia numbers are from different polls with different rules as to what questions are asked and how numbers are counted.

  13. SIV-

    I chalk it up to a mass influx in the North and black turnout in Southside. But still, when Obama was +4 or +5 in the national polls VA was tied. So if McCain really is +10, he should be pulling away. I don’t see his national numbers running ahead of his Virginia numbers. That’d be nuts.

  14. * should have footnoted that with “in different polls.” I think joshua is right.

  15. Well, either the national poll is B.S. or the state one is. I think the +10 is an outlier, I wish they would release cross-tabs on it.

  16. A possible libertarian a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    Dude, give it up. Palin is no more a libertarian than McCain is. She’s just your typical garden variety Republican. They use libertarian rhetoric when it suits them (just like Palin) and then jettison it when the time comes to hand out the pork and whip the supporters back into line (again, just like Palin).

  17. You don’t remember the conventions!?!??! How could you? I totally remember this one guy talking about something and a bunch of trained seals excitedly clapping whenever he said certain things

    That was a documentary on N. Korea and Kim Jong-il. Don’t feel bad, the events are frighteningly similar.

  18. The poll referred to does not have McCain up 10 points nationally — it has it McCain up 50-46. The new CNN poll has it tied 48-48. I think the “10 point boost” must refer to the net change in McCain’s numbers from before the convention, not to his current lead (if any), which would indeed be absurd.

  19. Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com has been warning for a while that the Gallup methodology for finding “likely voters” makes their polls more susceptible to short-term fluctuations in enthusiasm than the other major polls. I’d say give it a week or so to work out the convention bump before ascribing any real meaning to it.

  20. Brian Courts,

    In the new poll, taken Friday through Sunday, McCain leads Obama by 54%-44% among those seen as most likely to vote. The survey of 1,022 adults, including 959 registered voters, has a margin of error of +/- 3 points for both samples.

    How they determine who is most likely to vote, I am not sure.

  21. The poll referred to does not have McCain up 10 points nationally — it has it McCain up 50-46

    In the new poll, taken Friday through Sunday, McCain leads Obama by 54%-44% among those seen as most likely to vote.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-07-poll_N.htm

  22. Joshua Corning,

    :^p

  23. I believe the 10 pt lead was from the “likely voter” sample.

    Prior to being selected by McCain ,Palin was looking to be in ideological territory between Flake and Johnson.I haven’t seen anything less encouraging since.I’m keeping my hopes up for now.Y’all should hope I have the opportunity to say “I told you so”.

  24. SIV,

    |8^b

  25. Y’all should hope I have the opportunity to say “I told you so”.

    I have an open mind….I would even give Obama a chance if he ever said anything remotely libertarian.

    That being said i am still voting for Barr.

  26. Hey look Neu Mejican scooped us all!!!

  27. Ok, NM and joshua, I see that buried down the story USA Today has the “most likely to vote” numbers with the 10 point lead whereas the numbers they run at the top of the story show a 4% difference among “registered voters.” I’d suggest where they placed those numbers gives some indication of their relative merit.

    Nonetheless, I think these are bad numbers for Obama given that not so long ago everyone was sure the Democrats would win in a walk. Even a year ago (or less), suggesting that the Republican candidate would have a slight lead/be tied in the polls eight weeks before the election would have gotten you laughed at by most.

    And for the record, I say that as someone who really does not want to see McCain win (though I have any enthusiasm for Obama, just dislike him less than I dislike McCain).

  28. I don’t have any enthusiasm… that is.

  29. Ok, NM and joshua, I see that buried down the story USA Today has the “most likely to vote” numbers with the 10 point lead whereas the numbers they run at the top of the story show a 4% difference among “registered voters.” I’d suggest where they placed those numbers gives some indication of their relative merit.

    Usually the facts that support a libertarian slant does not show itself in a story until the last 3-4 sentences in a typical MSM column.

    Not that McCain 10% among likely voters thing is libertarian. Only that placement is meaningless.

  30. SIV can’t help his girl-crush. Don’t rag on him about it.

  31. The RealClearPolitics average is +3.2 for McCain.

    Of course, when you include Nader and Barr the average is Obama by 3.4.

    Spinning this as “McCain by 10” seems odd.

  32. A USA Today/Gallup poll gives the McCain/Palin ticket a 10-point boost over Obama/Biden [*: note correction] in the wake of the Republican National Convention.

    Ok now I am fucking confused.

    Is it a boost or is it likely voters?

    Both?

  33. From a non-beltway perspective, the hostility to Palin is fascinating. I had no idea that the elitism ran so deep. If this is what the coasties think of fly-over Americans, then you’ve got a lot more posts with multiple exclamation/interrogation marks to write.

  34. I bet I grew up in an area more rural and “non elite” than yours. I still don’t trust her.

  35. I bet I grew up in an area more rural and “non elite” than yours. I still don’t trust her.

    Nor do I. But I don’t trust any living politician. You?

  36. “Nor do I. But I don’t trust any living politician. You?”

    Nope. I especially don’t trust a living politician who rails against “elites”.

  37. He may be ahead right now, but I suspect his numbers will plummet when the media stops the cover-up and people finally hear about the John McCain / Mrs. Welch sex scandle:

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/128661.html

  38. “Sarah Palin plugs Ron Paul in MTV interview”

    [near end]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV9rW25bT5o

  39. hey, nonPaulogist – evil beltway Kochtopus monster CATO came out (8/28) with a podcast that was vaguely favorable to Palin.

  40. Moose sure are fleet-footed!

  41. I’ve determined through months of careful, sometimes drunken, study that non-ironic use of one or more of the phrases “inside/outside the beltway,” “in the heartland,” and “coastal elites” (or variants of those phrases) in a post here is almost perfectly correlated with brainless partisan hackery of a certain type**.

    **Or with someone trying to parody said brainless partisan hacks, like “Neil”

  42. Sparky is obviously a cosmotarian.

  43. Now with Palin on the ticket, both parties’ bases are fired up and chompin’ at the bit to vote. I wouldn’t doubt we see record turnout this election (as I believe both 2000 and 2004 were). It will all turn on who has the best “get out the vote” effort.

  44. Their likely voter model is Republican 40%, Democrat 32%.

    Now, maybe the Republicans will vastly improve their turnout, and Democrats vastly reduce theirs, compared to 2004. And maybe, when Democratic registration has increased by 3 million and Republican registration has decreased by 350,000 since 2006, there really will be an 8 point advantage for Republicans in turnout.

    But I tend to doubt it.

    Did you know that everyone who answers that they did not vote last time is dropped from the Likely Voter results?

  45. The new Rasmussen polls in swing states have McCain locking up Ohio with Palin, but down (!) in Florida from BEFORE the convention.

    I guess they don’t much like Palin in Florida. Trading Ohio for Florida isn’t a smart move.

  46. Er, “McCain trading Florida for Ohio isn’t a smart move”.

  47. joe was letting us know that an Obama lead of @ 3% was not a “statistical tie” because all of the polls had him tied to up by 3%, so I’ll be interested to see whether joe refers to the current state of the race (McCain up by @ 3%) as a statistical tie.

    “Statistical tie” is a term that is only meaningful when applied to individual polls. Setting aside this silly-assed USA Today poll, the polls are coming in between a tie and McCain +5. He’s clearly polling ahead right now.

    Still too early, I say. Let it settle a few more days (although it already seems like ages ago that Sarah ‘n’ John gave their speeches).

    Quite right. I don’t think this lead is phony, any more than I think Obama’s 6-9 point lead last week was phony, but it’s not going to last any longer, either. That’s why they’re called bumps.

  48. BDB,

    I’d want to see more polling from Florida before I drew that conclusion.

  49. If this is what the coasties think of fly-over Americans, then you’ve got a lot more posts with multiple exclamation/interrogation marks to write.

    If Palin is a “fly-over American” than EVERYTHING I learned about U.S. Geography is completely wrong. I’m also now wondering why that Chicago to Anchorage flight that I’ve taken a few times has taken so damn long.

  50. “Sparky is obviously a cosmotarian.”

    According to the most up-to-date polling, I’m a cosmetrosexitoligarian (from the heartland).

  51. Remember when the Republicans used to denounce identity/victim politics?

    You know, like two weeks ago?

    If you don’t vote for John McCain, you have women AND people who don’t live a coast. Except the Alaska coast. Um…can we come back to me?

  52. It really is the election that keeps on giving. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger, and all of Hillary’s coronation duds had been retailored to fit Obama, Sarah Palin comes out of nowhere and throws Democrats and their adoring media enablers into fits of uncertainty. It’s really quite comical and more entertaining than anything Democrat Hollywood could have invented if they weren’t busy bashing Republicans and libertarians alike. Palin may very well crash and burn in a manner more exotic and disturbing than anything we can now envision, but anything is possible. Just seeing Chris Matthews’ expression these last few days is worth the price of admission. I swear, if Bristol Palin’s baby bursts out of her chest like a monster alien lizard I will barely blink.

  53. “Palin may very well crash and burn in a manner more exotic and disturbing than anything we can now envision”

    I already laid in-trade money on it.

  54. BDB –
    “I bet I grew up in an area more rural and ‘non elite’ than yours. I still don’t trust her.”

    Nor should you. Nor do I, but I don’t distrust her more than any other pol. The issue is how out of touch the cosmopolitan commentariat are with red state preferences. The bi-coastal elite’s over-reaction to the Palin nomination actually makes her more appealing, not less.
    Anyone who pisses off the snobs can’t be all bad.

  55. BDB | September 8, 2008, 6:32pm | #
    “Palin may very well crash and burn in a manner more exotic and disturbing than anything we can now envision”

    I already laid in-trade money on it.

    You may as well put it all in FNM and FRE shares

  56. SIV, I know I know I’m committing the unpardonable sin of committing blasphemy against Saint Sarah of Wasilla, She that Bringeth Mooseburgers and She Who Leads the Caribou, but I can smell a George Allen moment coming.

  57. Oh, and Alaska is a coastal state. There’s this little ocean called the Pacific that borders it on three sides.

  58. Palin fired up the fundy loon base of Gods Own Party. Sad, but not a surprise.

  59. I can smell a George Allen moment coming.

    Or a Maggie Thatcher. Or a Tom Eagleton. Or a Dan Quayle.

    All is possible in this topsy-turvy world. Buckle up. It’s gonna get bumpy.

  60. You know, if in 1988 we had year 2008 technology Dan Quayle would have never survived YouTube.

  61. I’m not sure that this could be true, we have it on good authority that McCain’s behavior tells us that he’s already conceded the election.

    You know, if in 1988 we had year 2008 technology Dan Quayle would have never survived YouTube.

    Nothing could be more untrue. The huge number of videos showing every candidate making the kind of slip-ups that doomed Quayle’s reputation is eventually going to teach people that those sorts of things are meaningless.

  62. I will be shocked if the American people hand the nation’s car keys to a neophyte out-of-touch-elitist with no substance in these trying times at home and abroad. We have a Democrat Party controlled congress lead by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi ! Does everyone want to die broke if Al Qaeda attacks again?

  63. By the way, I am a retard. Please shit in my hat!

  64. To quote a really awful 80’s song, most ‘pubs are “fooling yourselves”.

    As it stands right now, with all the new voters, I am betting an actual Demo lead of somewhere around 10 pts overall and 4-5 points in several key swing-states.

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/773/fewer-voters-identify-as-republicans

    My contention is that the only hope ‘pubs have is that the Dems do not get their voters to the polls?. Of course, as it is Pew, and if you are a ‘pub Faithful-Foxer, then you can do your normal thing and discount the messenger, but if the research is right, then there has been a -10 and +4 shift in swing states. Now, that’s not the same thing as actually getting registered voters to the polls, but THAT plays both ways.

    Apart from this whole swing-state shift, the race card will play a big part in the Independents, and I think it will generate more turnout in both rural and urban areas, with urban winning the number battle.

    The Demo turnout will be the highest in (recent) history. As it gets closer, they will actually USE the polling for certain states (KY, WVa., Alabama, etc?) to pump up the base and get ’em up and move ’em out, wooahhhh doggies.

    Free cigs and beer will NOT be needed this time (not that there won’t be any along with the free bus rides to the polls).

    Unless things change radically (like really, man?), Obamaniacs will win big — and tha’s a fac’ Jack, unless all you’re a-listenin’ to is Faux “News” – something that bothers me, until I remember that McCrazy is almost a Democrat, whether or not you don’t believe it?.

  65. Shem:

    amen. but people are dumb enough to fall it with SP as they were with RP. Maybe it’s the last name starting with “P”…

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