The Liberal Crab’s – Poll of “Poll of Polls” – 17 October 2008


Today’s Poll of “Poll of Polls” introduces two graphs.  The one on the left shows the popular vote.  The green bars represent the Y-axis on the right side and shows Obama’s popular vote lead.  The graph on right shows the Electoral Vote count.  270 to clinch.

Popular Vote

Obama – 50.0% +6.4%

McCain – 43.7%

Electoral College

Obama – 360

McCain – 178

Several notes about today’s results.  First, the Electoral College has had no change from yesterday to today.  Additionally, while Obama’s support has dropped slightly over the last couple of days, McCain has been unable to really improve his support.  On October 12th, the first day of the poll, he was at 43.6%.  Today, he is at 43.7%.  Obama, today, is even 50% – lowest since the poll started.  Overall, in reality, the race hasn’t moved in a week.  Obama was up 7% on Sunday and is up 6.4% today.  That’s well within the statistical noise.  Three of the polls are within .2% of each other: 6.7, 6.7, 6.9.  Nate Silver’s model at is really the outlier at 5.5% – so it’s drawing down today’s polls.  Remember, Nate’s model is projecting to November 4, rather than today and he factors in some tightening of the race.  The Electoral College remains the same as yesterday.  I would expect sometime next week that you’ll see some reduction in Obama’s Electoral total, but very little movement towards McCain.  The state polls that provide the EV count tend to lag the National polls.  With the slight tightening we see Nationally, I would expect some of the closer battlegrounds may drift away from Obama in some polls.

Overall, though, the race has been steady for steady for the last six days.  That’s a good sign for Obama.  An even better sign for Obama is he continues to remain right around 50%.  That’s what all the polls have been showing has been about Obama’s floor since early October.  McCain really hasn’t broken over 46% – that seems to be his ceiling.  If Obama can maintain 48-50%, he’ll probably be in good shape.  If you start looking at the numbers, McCain has to break through his ceiling and Obama has to drop through his floor.  I doubt robocalls, negative campaigning, and Joe the plumber can break these thresholds.  It’s going to take something more major – an October surprise or a big mistake by Obama.  If Democrats swant to take more solace, even if the popular vote tightens, he still has a commanding Electoral College lead (as I am writing this David Gergen is making that exact point on CNN).  Some say, in the battle ground states, Obama’s lead might be a point or two higher.

The race is not over – 17 days is still plenty of time for a well guided GOP ship to turn course and make large in roads.  The question is, if and when the race tightens, does Obama have a strategy to protect his advantage. Right now he is on offense and going into very very red states.  That knocks McCain on his heels.  But if the race tightens, Obama must react quickly and aggressively to defend the states he needs to win.


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