Post-Clinch, Obama Builds Leads On McCain

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 14:30

Please consider digging this story.

In the two daily tracking polls for the general election, Gallup and Rasmussen, Barack Obama has shown significant, upward movement since he clinched the nomination on June 3rd.  Here are the current standings in these two polls, with the immediate, pre-June 3rd results in parenthesis:

Obama: 48% (45%)
McCain: 42% (46%)

Obama: 50% (46%)
McCain: 44% (46%)

With only a 2% margin of error in each poll, both of these results are statistically significant. What's more, Obama appears to be rising even faster following Hillary Clinton's concession speech on Saturday than he rose from Wednesday through Friday. Since Clinton's speech, despite only a two-day sample, Obama has gained 5% relative to McCain in Gallup, and 3% relative to McCain in Rasmussen. Cumulatively, that is more than half of Obama's gain, despite only having a two-day sample (the tracking polls measure three days, according to both websites).

Since the start of 2008, at the national level, has shown Obama and McCain within 3% of each other or less, indicating that this would be a third consecutive close election where virtually the entire country already has its mind made up. As such, the question here is if Obama's rise over the past week is merely a temporary bump caused by the positive press following his clinching of the nomination, or if it is a long-term, solid 3-4% increase caused by the consolidation of the party now that the nomination campaign has ended. We would all do well to assume that the bump is the former, but to hope that it is the latter. There isn't enough data to confirm that Obama has consolidated the base at this time, but this is certainly a hopeful sign.  

Chris Bowers :: Post-Clinch, Obama Builds Leads On McCain

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Check out Kerry's numbers when he clinched the nomination (0.00 / 0)
They were a lot better than this is my recollection...I recall he lead Bush handily throughout March and maybe April...but it's just memory not data.

I know we all despise McCain and think his negatives are apparent to all...but he has been a media darling for a long time and most people remember that..not calling his wife C***

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

Funny you should ask (4.00 / 3)
That was the first thing I thought of as well, so I searched it up.  It turns out, Kerry never had it this good.  Here is Rasmussen's tracking poll of Kerry versus Bush.

I don't remember when Kerry "clinched", but his best showing was only +2.8, right after the convention, I think.  He also bumped up in April to +2.1, which might have been the clinch moment.

So this looks very, very good for Obama.

[ Parent ]
Rasmussen is not the pollster I would have used nor remembered (0.00 / 0)
It was the only polling company that ever consisitenly had John polling poorly throughout the race.

The others had John in the lead....NBC, Gallup, CBS, ARG, even SUSA

Every pollster but Rasmussen gave John much bigger numbers than Rasmussen ever did.  So that's what I remember not these Rasmussen polls.  Now you argue that Bush won but that validates the numbers at the end not the beginniing where there was a bog discrepancy between Rasmussen and everyone else

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Also, to give you a full picture check out (4.00 / 2)


They were a statistical tie from what I can read of Real Clear. Not only this, Kerry only started to significant lose in August when he was swiftboated, and his campaign went dark for the month due to his financial limitations (again that's my memory).  

[ Parent ]
Why did he go dark in August? .. (0.00 / 0)
Because his primary funds ran dry? .. even so .. you have to have surrogates out in the media .. or the candidate himself

[ Parent ]
Again just on memory (4.00 / 1)
They felt they didn't need to respond to it. By the time they did, it was too late. The way Kerry choose to respond is that he put it on Bush to call off the attack dog rather than just calling it bullshit. I think the reason for the lack of ads was  money. McCain to me is more like Kerry this term, and Obama (at least financially) is more like Bush. McCain will have to choose his battles, and Obama can push and afford to be more agressive. Kerry wasn't ever aggressive until the end. I remember pining all my hopes on the debates because he hadn't acted as aggressively as he could.

For example, I was on one of the lawyers for kerry committee and quite frankly our training sucked. The organization of our trips to the polls were poorly done. My friend who works in politics said that a lot of things were done last minute that really required field operatives to be out there months setting up.

From what I read of Obama, he isn't doing this. He's setting up organization in all 50 states, he's putting key people into place now rather than later, etc. Remember, Kerry changed several key people late in the race, etc. Part of the story of 2004 was that kerry never delivered on being a great finisher (the tagline for why we should choose him as ABB) because his organization sucked. Bush and co said that they would close well because of their organization. I got to say at the polls the GOP organizers had their shit together.

I guess I am saying all of this to say that the polls are important, but they are to be taken in light of other factors. These other factors didn't favor us. Now they do. The fact the polls are too makes the case for Obama upside even stronger.

[ Parent ]
This is basically right... (0.00 / 0)
I think Kerry's response was more or less "I'm not even going to dignify these charges with a response."  When Bush refused to disown it, the media kept playing it over and over again with only this "We're not even going to respond to that" BS, and then a Democratic Convention where they were cowed into basically never even mentioning Bush (which has to be the absolute dumbest strategy when running against an Incumbent president) which led to zero bounce, and then a Republican Convention that focused SOLELY on vilifying Kerry ("spit-balls" anyone?) which finally led to a massive bounce for Bush that he basically never relinquished.  Kerry came close after Bush's first atrocious debate performance, but it wasn't enough by then.  Kerry was seen as a flip-flopping veteran who lied about his service to get ahead.

[ Parent ]
Dukakis (0.00 / 0)
As I recall, Michael Dukakis was way ahead following his successful convention--maybe something like 20 points ahead. Then he was silent as the Willie Horton ad and the helmet and tank ad did their work. When John Kerry, recalling the Dukakis experience, told Republicans to "bring it on," he didn't mean it. And he shared Dukakis's fate. Somehow I don't believe Obama will make this particular mistake.

[ Parent ]
I told you so (0.00 / 0)
And so the background environment of the election (lousy economy, lameduck President with 25% approval rating, occupation of Iraq that the country hates) starts to take hold...just like I've been saying would happen for weeks every time Chris posted his doom and gloom posts trying to make the case that Obama is the underdog in the general election.

Minds Made Up? SUSA Says, "Not So Much" (4.00 / 1)
Since the start of 2008, at the national level, has shown Obama and McCain within 3% of each other or less, indicating that this would be a third consecutive close election where virtually the entire country already has its mind made up.

The SUSA VP polls show an enormous variation--20 to 30 points for most states--as I noted in my weekend diary analysis that supports your thesis about the relative importance of Dem voters as a swing demographic.

Here's a 24-point swing in Virginia, for example:

In the chart below, the blue line represents the fluctuation in Obama's margins, the orange line represents McCain's fluctuations, and the yellow line represents the average. (The two are not identical, due to variations in losses to "undecided.")  You have to double the yellow line to get the total fluctuation--which is obviously quite a bit more than the paltry 5-10 percent normally considered to be in play:

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


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