The Liberal Crab’s Poll of “Poll of Polls” – 18 October 2008


Popular Vote

Obama – 50.1% +6.0%

McCain – 44.1%

Electoral College

Obama – 361

McCain – 177

A few interesting notes from TLC’s Poll of “Poll of Polls” today.  Through the seven days I’ve done the poll, Obama’s support has remaind between 51.2% and 50.0%.  That is very stable.  McCain was as low as 43.6% and as high as 44.5%.  Again, very stable.  Overall, Obama has lost about 1% over the week.  There is a good chance we’ll see a little more tightening tomorrow.  Most of the national polls are three day rolling averages.  Obama will have Thursday’s strong polling rolling off.  McCain may stay even or drop slightly as his strong Thursday polling will also drop off.  It may be that McCain got a one day debate/Joe the Plumber bump as Obama’s drop and McCain’s gain stalled after that one day.

For Obama supporters, here is the good news.  Tomorrow, barring any other changes, will be the last day of seeing his rolling average drop.  His last two days have been relatively consistent.  For all the hype about the gap closing, McCain is within .5% of where was at the beginning of last week.  Over the last the last five days, he seems to have settled in between 44-44.5%.  In theory, Obama has fallen off his ceiling a little bit, which was to be expected.  Most of the pollsters think McCain’s ceiling is no higher than 46%.  The fact that he seems to be stabilizing at 44% and Obama at 50% is a great sign.  Assuming a 10% undecided and no 3rd party votes, my calculations show that McCain would have to win 63% of the undecideds to win the popular vote.  If the undecided number is lower (and in a lot of polls it is), than McCain would need to perform even better.

As for the Electoral College, no change since yesterday.  I would expect that we’d see some tightening here, as state polls lag the national polls.  Although, most polls are still showing Obama gaining some strength.  If, however, the electoral vote polls do tighten, expect a significant drop (maybe to 300-330 votes).  Many of the close states will end up going back to toss-up or trend to McCain.  States like North Carolina (15) and Ohio (20) wouldn’t take much to sway.

Overall, everyone expects tightening.  If we are seeing the floor, then I think the Obama camp would be very very happy.  Very few expected an eight point lead to last.  just two weeks ago a six point lead would have been fantastic.  Additionally, the tracking polls (not the poll of polls) appear to be going in different direcitions.  Pollster.com believe this may be because the polls reverting to center – as the outliers on both directions are heading toward 6%.  It’s known that different polls can show very contrasting performance throughout the race, but tend to come together toward the end of the election.

For those curious about poll accuracy, the Investor Business Daily poll was the most accurate on Election Day in 2004.  It is showed Obama up by +2 last Monday and +7 today. This, by the way, was the poll conservatives were pointing to last week to show how tight the race had gotten.

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