Monday, July 28, 2008

Obama's Lost Poll Lead

Everything went right for Barack Obama during his world tour. Nouri al-Maliki seemed to endorse his plan for Iraq. (Not quite, but its not like most voters will care enough to bother finding out what al-Maliki really meant). He got a crowd of 200,000 for his Berlin speech, which was, according to the media, quite brilliant. All in all, his trip was perfect—as superb as the three-pointer he effortlessly drained for the media. (Give Obama credit; making threes isn’t easy, and he would have looked pretty foolish if he had missed). Barack Obama couldn’t ask for more.

John McCain could. It would be unfair to say he had a bad week—he didn’t make any significant gaffes—but he couldn’t say he had a very good week either. He was supposed to visit an oil rig, but he didn’t, he was (according to Bob Novak) supposed to name his running mate, but he didn’t, and he was supposed to publish a New York Times op-ed, but he didn’t. (In fairness to McCain, the Times wouldn’t accept his op-ed, which was staggeringly biased even for them. Even more staggeringly, some in the left-wing blogosphere claimed this represented bias towards McCain). Barack Obama had a good week, McCain didn’t.

Then why does Obama only lead McCain by three points?

That’s the RCP national poll average. True, some polls put Obama up by more (a recent Gallup poll has Obama up eight), and one poll puts McCain up four (among likely voters; that poll was also done by Gallup), but three points is probably a safe estimate of Obama’s lead (that’s what Rasmussen has). And if an unpopular Republican party, adoring media coverage, and well-managed foreign tour doesn’t give Obama a bounce, nothing will.

It’s hard to explain the situation. I’m an optimistic sort of person, as least as regards the GOP’s electoral hopes, (I actually clung to the hope that the Republicans would pull out a stalemate in the 2006 elections), but this is beyond what even the most relentlessly positive Republican could hope for. The most obvious explanation is the notion that Hillary voters are still angry at Obama and haven’t given him their full support yet, which probably accounts for some of the disparity. Another explanation may lie in the fact that at least some voters may be uneasy with the idea of a black president, which may also keep Obama from leading by more. But neither of these explanations is wholly satisfactory—most Hillary voters are probably over there loss, and any racist voters are probably negated by voters happy to have a black presidential candidate.

A more probable reason for Obama’s lack of a larger lead is that he never should have had one anyone. Many of the perceptions of the Obama campaign resemble the point of view of those who supported Ron Paul—against all logic, Paulians constructed an elaborate fantasy world about their candidate, proposing “clever” strategies to ensure his primary victory, and then “crafty” dodges to snatch victory right out of McCain’s hands at convention. The media has done likewise for Obama—it is just barely possible that maybe Obama isn’t the defining, changing movement that so many hoped he was (note how I slipped “hope” and “change” into that sentence—clever, huh?), and that maybe the country isn’t quite as weary of Republican presidents as it is supposed to be.

Back in November, Obama truly seemed unstoppable. He was pulling huge crowds, getting adulatory media attention, and had the luxury of watching his weak GOP opponents try to tear each other down. McCain was hardly in the race—all the other candidates were crushing him in the polls. So naturally, when Fox News did a head to head poll…McCain led Obama by four points. In early January, Rasmussen put McCain up by three. Even after Obama’s Iowa caucus bump, McCain was still tied with him in the polls. McCain still led in a USA Today/Gallup poll as late as early May.

So perhaps the reason Obama isn’t getting his expected lead in the polls is because such expectations weren’t based on reality. Obama was never the transformational leader, the “agent of change”, the Messiah the media billed him as. He was merely a very good (but not great, or even Clintonian) politician. He is not the most capable politician to ever run, or even the most talented of this election cycle. (Mike Huckabee was). Ace writes that “given the wild-eyed zealotry of Obama's cultists, I know that previous voter-turnout models are wrong. I just don't know how wrong.” I predict that the previous voter-turnout models are right (at least as much as anything is “right” in politics). Obama is more John Kerry (typical politician) than Franklin Roosevelt (transformational historical figure).


At July 29, 2008 at 5:38 AM , Blogger Beth said...

I like optimistic people, but I hate to put too much stock in polls generally, didn't polls in 2004 favor John Kerry?

That being said, I also think its still early, the conventions are yet to come.

At July 29, 2008 at 12:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth said...
Well except for napqueen pretending to be someone else and give herself kudos, she doesn't know how to come back when she has clearly been beaten.

Beth, you are even a bigger DOPE than I first thought you were.

Do you REALLY think that I have nothing else to do but play these childish games with you?
And for what it's worth, that was not me on that other comment as you implied!
However my next blog will be in HONOR of YOU

At July 29, 2008 at 12:44 PM , Blogger Beth said...

Do you REALLY think that I have nothing else to do but play these childish games with you?

That's exactly what I think.

At July 29, 2008 at 1:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!!! And have a nice day ;-).
You are such a tool! I don't even have to add anything here.

At July 29, 2008 at 2:21 PM , Blogger Beth said...

I don't even have to add anything here.

You never do!

At July 29, 2008 at 2:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My, my getting a lille snippy my dear? The last time I heard snippy little comments like that was when I was 13.
Actually, to be honest I didn't even want to come back here until I read your lilttle snip at me.
Did you expect me to accept your lovely mouthy gift and your ranty posts without even giving you an answer?
Screw you and the pig you rode in on. Just go away already. Grrr.

At July 29, 2008 at 3:38 PM , Blogger Beth said...

You don't like going back ANYWHERE people who disagree with you happen to ask you for more detail or, heaven forbid, ask a simple question of you. Therefore, you are never missed when you leave, you never added anything to begin with, therefore your absence is not even noted I dare say.

At July 29, 2008 at 6:34 PM , Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

McCain was leading last I checked Daniel!

At July 30, 2008 at 6:34 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Anyway, Napqueen, if I accuse you of being multiple persons posting anonymously and you just go away then most people will assume you are guilty as charged. Now my accusations are based on the fact that soon after you appeared in a few blogs on my blog listing, a variety of anonymous people who either agreed with you or acted as you do started appearing. So if I am wrong and it isn't you (or someone you know) then I apologize. All I really ever wanted from you was a real discussion, but I have long since believed you are capable because you never even try to answer questions I pose to you.

At July 30, 2008 at 7:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Why would I want to write as anonymous persons? As you have seen, I am far from shy about posting what I feel like saying as myself. I have been posting on blogs for years and I have a pretty large following. It's my blog, and I'll write what I want to. So apparently I can write about whatever I please, as I have in the past

I don’t need to do anything like that to back up my position.
2. I don’t know enough about the Jewish plight or the Mideast situation to be as expert as the other bloggers seem to be.
I don’t know if you know it or not, but when a blog is written the title usually can be found on Google, there is where others see it and contribute to it with their comments.
But in any case they were not my doing.
As for YOUR blog, it don’t recall EVER commenting on it. I’m not really interested in Cocoon’s or Butterfly’s

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