Monday, July 07, 2008

The Polling Dilemma

I keep being told that the polls in the US are confusing because McCain and Obama seem neck and neck. I expect the confusion is media generated. Filling in the gaps from the last post: Fifty State Campaign – I’d like to see that:

Obama 48% McCain 42%

That doesn’t seem neck and neck from where I’m sitting, it would represent a near landslide here. Mind you, the media are doing a number on Rudd here, suggesting his is in trouble, and he is polling wider than that.

But even if the Obama v McCain fight was truly neck and neck you would need to consider a wider range of data. How people respond to a voting intention question is quite different to the response to a poll on general feelings and attitudes.

Let’s look at a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll:

  • 71% of Americans say the country is on the wrong track
  • 69% say America is in a state of decline



The President

  • 66% disapprove of President Bush
  • 60% hold a very negative view of the President
  • 73% disapprove of his handling of the economy
  • 64% disapprove of his leadership on Iraq

The Election

  • 67% are very interested in the election
  • McCain has a +5 positive rating (39% positive to 34% negative
  • Obama is + 15 (48% positive-33% negative)
  • The Republican Party is -19 (28% positive against 47% negative)
  • The Democratic Party is +11 (43%-32%)

While I was pulling these figures I noted, and then remembered that the media has consistently referred to Obama – Senator Clinton and Senator McCain. I’m not sure if the addition or absence of a title is a positive or negative, but someone has done those numbers too.

I don’t see anything short of a Democrat victory, regardless of media games. These situations take on a life of their own and voters are often inclined to express disinterest rather than offer information they are not confident of supporting.

America and the world are in for big change. Obama might not be the progressive voice you want any more than Rudd is the ideal here, but he is a start. The rest is up to us to create the agenda he and other leaders must work with.

4 comments:

abi said...

America and the world are in for big change.

From your keyboard to the Great Blogger in the Sky's browser.

Or something like that...

Cart said...

Abi, the direction and scope of the change is something you guys need to drive.

abi said...

You're right, Cart. I was just hoping for a little help from the big guy. ;-)

Kvatch said...

While I was pulling these figures I noted, and then remembered that the media has consistently referred to Obama – Senator Clinton and Senator McCain.

Long before Barack Obama entered the scene the MSM, bloggers, coservatives, and her detractors were constantly referring to Senator Clinton as "Hillary" as a sign of their disrespect. If the junior Senator from NY is now getting the honorific she deserves it's only because these constituencies no longer consider her a threat. The target has shifted.

Of course, it didn't help that Senator Clinton herself adopted the moniker for her campaign.