Daily Tracking Poll Average: Palin Tanking Edition

by: tremayne

Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 22:32

There's been some debate over the relative advantage or disadvantage of the Obama campaign focusing too much on Sarah Palin. In a moment, I'll give an argument why focusing on her is win-win-win.

First, though, the tracking poll numbers. These were covered earlier today in quick hits but I'll recap here because the news is good for a change. McCain's lead in the tracking poll average had been in the 1-to-2 point range for almost a full week but today dropped to just a 0.25 point lead, 46.25 to 46.0. So my bold prediction from yesterday of the lead falling below 1 today was correct (full numbers on the inside).

Now, back to Palin. One of the 4 tracking polls, Research 2000 for dKos, has some interesting internals which show Palin in a steep favorability dive. Follow along for more.

Update: Almost forgot. I'd like to thank Tina Fey for accepting my plea for her to make cameos as Palin on SNL this fall.

tremayne :: Daily Tracking Poll Average: Palin Tanking Edition

The Research 2000 poll for dKos released Sept. 11 shows Palin at 52% favorable, 35% unfavorable, a 17-point net positive. Over the next several days look at the trend:

Sept. 11: +17 point net positive

Sept. 12: +14 point

Sept. 13: +9

Sept. 14: +5

Palin's unfavorables are up to 42 while here favorables are down to 47. Her Charlie Gibson interview and generally bad press for the McCain-Palin ticket are taking a toll. Here are Barack Obama's net positives for the same four days: 16, 16, 14 and 15 today. Joe Biden: 19, 19, 18 and 16 today. As for McCain, a similar pattern to Palin only not as steep a decline: 11, 13, 12 and 9.

Not reflected in the numbers released today are the SNL lampooning last night and the Sunday political shows which, although I didn't watch, apparently went after Palin hard. Here are some reasons to keep the focus on Palin:

1. Keeping the press focused on Palin's gaffes and general inadequacy for the job prevents the McCain campaign from any positive news.

2. Any of the McCain bounce attributable to Palin will fade even quicker as the shine comes off Palin.

3. If Palin looks corrupt, unqualified, hypocritical and just generally bad, that automatically reflects on McCain and makes him look unprincipled and desperate. And as people start to realize how old he is it just makes it worse for them.

4. The more the focus is on her the more she looks like a female George Bush. This reinforces the main "story" the Obama campaign has been telling, McCain is Bush. Since some people may have doubted that given the 2000 Republican race, Palin helps clarify matters.


Tracking Poll Averages

Sept. 14: Obama, 46.0, McCain 46.25

Sept. 13: Obama 45.5, McCain 47.0

Sept. 12: Obama 45.75, McCain 46.75

Sept. 11: Obama 45.75, McCain 46.75

Sept. 10: Obama 45.3, McCain 46.7

Sept. 9:  Obama 45.3, McCain 47.3

Sept. 8:  Obama 45.0, McCain 47.0

Sept. 7: Obama 45.9, McCain 46.2

Sept. 6: Obama 47.1, McCain 44.1

Sept. 5: Obama 47.3, McCain 43.3


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You guys are jinxing it! (0.00 / 0)
Watch McCain's numbers skyrocket up tomorrow...  Let's not get too excited just yet...  there still is a lot of work to do!

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

I don't believe in jinxes (0.00 / 0)
I believe in the central limit theorem

[ Parent ]
Do other polls (0.00 / 0)
show the same results for Palin?

Once again Midwest to the rescue! (4.00 / 2)
Kos's poll shows Obama up 49-43 in the midwest in the newest version. Hell, let's just have a midwest tracking poll can we?

If Obama holds at 49% there he will win the election.

Obama never below 45% (4.00 / 1)
It's encouraging that Obama's average poll rating has never gone below 45%.... his pre-convention range was generally 46-48%.

It suggests there's a bedrock of support for Obama that has not deserted him.

On the other hand, McCain's pre-convention averages were 41-44%, and he's max'd out at 47% in his "bounce".

If there is "regression to the mean" over the next few weeks, Obama will tend to rise to over 46% again, and McCain fall correspondingly.

It's the amount of that fall/ rise that will be interesting - it should tell us if the mean support of either candidate has really shifted over the past few weeks, and what effect Sarah Palin has had on this campaign.

[ Parent ]
Same with Gallup. (0.00 / 0)
They've shown Obama has never gone below 44% in the Midwest.  New update on Monday for the previous week's data.

[ Parent ]
Midwest is home of common sense (0.00 / 0)
My sense is that Midwesterners are less celebrity-gaga and more common sense than some other parts of the country.  As far away as you can get from Hollywood and NYC.  That's why it's good the Obama campaign is being run out of Chicago.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
SNL video (4.00 / 1)
SNL was mostly the opening skit. But if you haven't seen it, you should check it out:


Brilliant (4.00 / 1)
Hillarious and cutting all at once.

One thing SNL has always excelled at is political satire.

[ Parent ]
One word: (4.00 / 1)

You owe it to yourself to listen to This American Life's fantastic and common-sense explanation of the economic crisis.

[ Parent ]
i have a feeling that there will be a lot more attention (4.00 / 3)
in the next couple of days on the economy and the financial crisis.  The McCain/Palin policy of "drill, baby, drill" is just not going to cut in when the shit starts to hit the economic fan.  I've heard Biden talk at length about the economy, and he kicks ass.  Palin doesn't know what the hell she's talking about.  Palin has paid off for McCain in the short-term, but in the long term he will regret picking her.

I'm hopeful (4.00 / 2)
At some point I hope independents and swing voters start to ask the question, "what the hell does Sarah Palin stand for?" because what I'm hoping is that the canned stump speech in front of frothing conservatives talking about the bridge to nowhere is starting to where thin with people. I'm hoping that's why her negatives are going up. I'm hoping that McCain's extended bounce is due to Sarah's coming out party and now the narrative is starting to shift against her again, I'm hopeful this is especially the case in the following states: OH, MI, CO, NM.

[ Parent ]
lol -- i love the last sentence. (0.00 / 0)
why not add VA in there :-)  

[ Parent ]
heh heh (4.00 / 3)
Yes, VA too. And of course NC would be nice as well, seeing as how I live here and am spending so much time registering people and canvassing.  

[ Parent ]
Kannapolis (0.00 / 0)
Adam,  my wife and I just bought a house in Kannapolis--Kissell's district.  We'll move in either Sun or Mon before election day and are already registered.  If you have a contact in the area who has some idea on how I can help out on election day for sure and possibly also election eve, you/they could contact me at van bloem (no space) AT gmail dot com.  

[ Parent ]
What I hope and actually expect... (4.00 / 1)
is that independents start to ask the question "What the f*** is Palin doing on a presidential ticket?"


[ Parent ]
The "reset" button will be hit tomorrow. (4.00 / 3)

 The coming Wall Street bloodbath will shake the ground for the election.

 We'll see how. I hope Obama is prepared.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

He's already spoken about the need... (4.00 / 8)
...to re-enstate some of the Glass-Steagall regulations to the banking industry, but he hasn't been forceful enough about it.

He should lead with that, and also place part of the blame for the repeal of Glass-Steagall at the foot of Mccain's economics advisor, Phil "nation of whiners" Gramm.

[ Parent ]
Problem-Causers, Not Problem-Solvers (4.00 / 12)
Not only should he hit Graham hard, he should hit McCain's whole team as a bunch of "Problem-causers, not problem-solvers."  Graham and Scheunemann are exhibits "A" and "B" on the list, but they're not the only ones, that's for sure.

"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

[ Parent ]
Good line! (4.00 / 3)
I don't think that message gets across enough. It's not just that they're more of the same as Bush. Of course they are. But your message makes the link even more explicit as to WHY it's a bad thing that they're more of the same. They CAUSE the problems. So how can McCain say he's going to reform Washington and make things better if he is complicit in and surrounds himself with people that caused all these problems in the first place!

Maybe send this to Mike Lux and then try to get him to send it up the line?

Maybe I have no idea about politics but this strikes me as a line of attack they could definitely use to some effect.  

[ Parent ]
What does it mean?! (4.00 / 2)
Agreed. They key in my  mind is not to simply say that McCain = more of the same, but to drive home the point about what more of the same actually means to the American people, to working families, etc.

More of the same means More War
More of the same means A Failing Economy
More of the same means More Tax Breaks For The Rich

[ Parent ]
Nice connection (4.00 / 1)
It is not enough to tie McCain to Bush.  We have to tie McCain to Bush's failures and make him "own" them.  Obama started doing that in Denver and he will have to ramp it up now.  

If the media calls out McCain on his blatant lies, it might even be possible...

[ Parent ]
Yeah - This Is Huge (4.00 / 2)
Lehman going bankrupt, AIG on the way and Merrill Lynch being sold at fire sale prices is going to dominate the news.  It will kill the trivial BS we have been going through the past few weeks and refocus people on what is really at stake.

This will play into Obama's hands b/c it gets the campaign back to issues and this is our turf this year.  

[ Parent ]
this next week will definitely try the media's ability (0.00 / 0)
to make this election about small bullshit issues.  i wouldn't underestimate the media though.  check out cnn.com and you'll know what i mean.

[ Parent ]
Yes (0.00 / 0)
I'm still afraid the "big" issue this week will be whether McCain has the ability to type on a keypad due to his POW injuries.  

[ Parent ]
especially love this "analysis" from cnn (4.00 / 2)
article titled: "Biden goes from hot to not since Palin came along"  I can feel my IQ dropping just from reading the title.


[ Parent ]
Merril Lynch will be especially huge (4.00 / 3)
because they're more of a household name than Lehman Bros.

[ Parent ]
I can see the value of exposing Palin's flaws. (4.00 / 1)
Once the public has accepted the fact that she's not up to the job, though, we're going to have to get back to hammering McCain by treating all her flaws as a symptom of his faulty judgment.

Palin Tanking Is Indeed The Big News Here (4.00 / 1)
She is only golden if no one can say anything bad about her.  That's history now, and she could conceivably fall into Bushville territory on her approval numbers.  There simply isn't anything really positive to know about her, and there's just tons that doesn't look good.

And, of course, once she's seen as a terrible pick, there goes McCain's whole judgment, experience, blah-blah-blah schtick. And what's he left with after that?  A 55-45% shellacking, or worse, that's what I'm hoping.  If only Obama was more aggressive, I'd sure feel a whole lot more confident on that score.

I hate to say it, because it annoys me no end when Clinton primary supporters say it (I did not support her), but right about now I'd say the election would be in the bag if Clinton were the nominee, because she really does know how to throw a bunch.  Obama's got far superior footwork, it's true.  But that alone doesn't get you knockouts.  And a knockout is what we need--particularly to get the kind of strong Democratic Congress that can really get things done.

"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

You really think it could get to 55-45? (0.00 / 0)
I don't see that happening under almost any foreseeable circumstance.  Even Bush vs. Dukakis in '88 was "only" 54-46 in the final tally.  

[ Parent ]
Look At The Way GOP Party ID Tanked (0.00 / 0)
It appears to have made a comeback recently, but whether that will hold is questionable. Bush approval is in the toilet, 80%+ numbers say the country is "on the wrong track" and McCain has a short fuse and failing memory that could easily spell a melt-down in the debates.  So, yes, I think it's quite possible, and could be even worse.  

"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

[ Parent ]
The GOP's recent rise in approval (0.00 / 0)
is, I'm guessing, the result of a passing phenomenon not unlike what causes poor fools to engage in drunk dialing...

They still won't like them in the morning...of the election.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
Do you really think .. (4.00 / 1)
the election would be in the bag with her as the nominee? .. the nutters would already have been fired up to go to the polls

[ Parent ]
I don't think we'd necessarily be in a better position if... (4.00 / 5)
Hillary was the nominee, I just think it would be a different game, with different strengths and weaknesses.

If she were the nominee, We'd probably be competing over Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Florida.  She would definitely be more aggressive, but that would be riskier for her, because she starts out with high unfavorables.  She would probably also made more effective use of 527s

Instead of "Obama is a muslim" rumors we would be hearing "Hillary is a lesbian", and instead of Rezko and William Ayers it would be Bill Clinton's alleged affairs and shady and foreign contributors to his library.  It would be somewhat easier for McCain to run as an "agent of change", as Hillary is also credibly a Washington Insider--though when compared to McCain that would still be a stretch.  It would also be easier for him to be the "bipartisan" one, since Hillary is the rights lighting rod of "Democrat Party" partisanship.

We would have avoided Palin as VP, but I don't think you would see the high interest/turnout that you will see for Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin since Hillary vs McCain is exactly what you would have expected four years ago.  The surprising nature of this campaign is driving interest.  All Obama needs to do is drive the narrative, and I think his campaign is starting to gain some traction.

[ Parent ]
Don't forget that with Hillary... (0.00 / 0)
...WI, MN, OR, and WA would be in play for McCain, even if she could increase competition in the appalachian states...

If she won in February 5th like she predicted, then Mark Penn would still be with her, running her campaign into the ground....  she started off as a huge underdog against McCain to begin with... she wouldn't fare any better than Obama is now...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

[ Parent ]
Not to mention... (4.00 / 1)
that by going with Hilary and trying to capture the KY/WV/FL/OH vote, we would have sold out our party's principles to win over an undeniably racist portion of the electorate--people so out of touch with what the Democratic party stands for that they would actually vote for McCain in protest for not getting their familiar, white nominee in Clinton.  Policy positions be damned!  Frankly, these people weren't ever really Democrats if skin color/non-"Osama"-rhyming names could ever win out over issues like economic justice, health care, and drastically changing the disastrous trajectory that 8 years of Bush have put us on.  Thank God they don't get to call all the shots anymore, and we can build the Democratic party on supporters who won't undermine its principles.

(This coming from a lifelong Kentuckian, btw.)

You owe it to yourself to listen to This American Life's fantastic and common-sense explanation of the economic crisis.

[ Parent ]
if we lose (4.00 / 1)
they get to call the shots again...so we HAVE to win  

[ Parent ]
That analysis is right on (0.00 / 0)
I usually can't get behind spending lots of thought on what-if-history counterfactuals, but I think that this is right.

It also reinforces something I believed during the primary, that there aren't many effective weapons to wield against Obama, which might explain why McCain lies sound more obvious and outlandish than Kerry smears did.

[ Parent ]
I Think Actual History Differs (4.00 / 2)
If Clinton really knew how to throw a knockout punch, then why didn't she knock out Barack?

I mean, H. Clinton has a lot going for her, but let's not give her more credit than she's due. If she's such winner, then she wouldn't have, you know, actually lost.

[ Parent ]
Well she kinda did (0.00 / 0)
once she started paying attention  

[ Parent ]
can we let it go. nt. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
There Are Plenty Of Example In Sports (0.00 / 0)
Where Team A loses to Team B, and Team B loses to Team C, but Team A beats Team C.  It's all about the ways they match up.

And, of course, things are naturally more complicated when "winning" means winning a different kind of contest--primary vs. general election.

"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

[ Parent ]
Perhaps (0.00 / 0)
But McCain wouldn't have gone with Palin, would have attacked on completely different grounds and basically everything would be different.

Like every other theoretical "what-if" history, I'd love to send back a time machine to compare and contrast different turning points, but we obviously can't do that.  My guess is both McCain and Clinton would have much worse favorable/unfavorable numbers and have similar head to head numbers to what we have now, but its all theoretical.

[ Parent ]
If Obama picked Hillary, then it would have just been something else (0.00 / 0)
Here's the scenario: Barack picks Hillary, and McCain picks a likable white guy like Huckabee.

Now it becomes the safe, secure, solid, presidential white men vs the freaks and geeks on the Democratic ticket. We would have been spun as the novelty candidate / identity politics ticket.

They would have had already had the ads made and ready to go in case Obama picked Hillary. No point in grousing over what-ifs.

[ Parent ]
Different candidate, different problems ... (0.00 / 0)
Oh, the moaning continues.  This isn't about Clinton, and it really isn't about Palin.  This is about Obama vs. McCain.  It is time to focus on the issues and how these two individuals will handle the issues.  It really is that simple.

Keep an eye on the polling trends; that is where you get an idea of how things are in play.  And, I do believe that is where you will begin to see the genius of Obama's campaign.  I, for one, do not think he should be waging the same kind of fight that the McCain campaign wages.

[ Parent ]
London Telegraph: Bill Kristol Was Palin's Backer (4.00 / 2)
According to London's Telegraph newspaper, leading light of the neo-Khan nincompoops Bill Kristol the lesser began lobbying McCain to pick Sarah Palin after meeting Palin on the Weekly Standard's cruise to Juneau:

From "Neoconservatives plan Project Sarah Palin to shape future American foreign policy", Telegraph

...Sources in the McCain camp, the Republican Party and Washington think tanks say Mrs Palin was identified as a potential future leader of the neoconservative cause in June 2007. That was when the annual summer cruise organised by the right-of-centre Weekly Standard magazine docked in Juneau, the Alaskan state capital, and the pundits on board took tea with Governor Palin.

Her case as John McCain's running mate was later advanced vociferously by William Kristol, the magazine's editor, who is widely seen as one of the founding fathers of American neoconservative thought - including the robust approach to foreign policy which spurred American intervention in Iraq.

In 1988, Mr Kristol became a leading adviser of another inexperienced Republican vice presidential pick, Dan Quayle, tutoring him in foreign affairs. Last week he praised Mrs Palin as "a spectre of a young, attractive, unapologetic conservatism" that "is haunting the liberal elites"...

And don't forget .. (4.00 / 2)
McCain was Kristol's first pick back in 2000

[ Parent ]
Ha! Neo-Kahn! (4.00 / 1)
That's the first time I've seen "neo-Kahn" - and I really like it!

Also, I love the fact that Kristol wanted Palin. If there's anything reliable in politics, it's that what happens is exactly the opposite of what Kristol expects. He's like an idiot savant of falsity.

[ Parent ]
Having Kristol write for the NYT will be the ruin of Neo-Conism (4.00 / 1)
He can summarize their perspective with the unblinking eye of a believer and has no qualms putting it out there for all to read.  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Juneau she's a VP to Nowhere (4.00 / 1)
But she'll always have that lovely view of Russia from her tanning booth...

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

Media sharks smell Palin blood. Obama can focus on McCain. (0.00 / 0)
I'm so happy that Obama is smarter than me! When I saw the catastrophe that is Candidate Palin, I thought that Obama can just tee off on her before she catches on.

But he did something smarter instead. He's letting the media roast her. He's talking about McCain while Palin just doesn't have the resources to escape the frying pan. The polls above attest to this, and they will stay on that trajectory for a while. To stem the tide, she will be forced to volunteer herself to the media, but won't be able to answer the million questions that they have pent up.

I think the argument about the judgment of McCain will work best closer to the election, because by then, Palin might well be in a freefall. So this is a problem that's solving itself for Obama.

Focusing on Palin is wrong (0.00 / 0)
Here is my thinking:

1.  Focusing on her also prevents Obama from making any positive news.
2.  Though unqualified and uninformed, Palin's public performance probably will only improve, because, frankly, she's not an idiot.
3.  Focusing on her has the potential side effect of helping McCain claim that he is unconventional.

Now, all this may just be a matter of degree, for I'm not suggesting that she be ignored altogether.  I just don't think it's wise to make her the "focus."

If the idea is to attack the opponent's strength (0.00 / 0)
then, there is no reason to attack Palin any longer.

An albatross with lipstick, one could say.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
New York poll (0.00 / 0)
Anyone got any comments on the newly released Siena poll that shows Obama up by only 5 now in New York?


I haven't been able to locate the detailed breakdown, I assume Siena (like other NYS polling organizations) breaks their data down by upstate/downstate.  Since little to no campaign advertising is aired in upstate NY, and if McCain is making gains upstate, that might be an interesting barometer of how much national media coverage of Palin affects things.

This poll was taken Sept 8-10 and things may have changed, but lordy, that's a slide.

Meanwhile, here in upstate, my 63 yr old aunt (the coveted "old white lady" demographic) loves Obama and even called the local Dem office to volunteer.  Nobody ever called her back.


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