Thursday, October 30, 2008

Presidential Race Continues to Narrow

Major polls updated today continue to show the lead of Senator Barack Obama shrinking, with Rasmussen, IBD and Opinion Dynamics all showing the lead at just three percent.  Gallup traditional, Zogby and Ipsos all have the race at five percent for Obama.

Opinion Dynamics Poll:

Obama has lost two-thirds of his lead over McCain in just the last week in the poll released today, at Obama 47 McCain 44 (3%) .

Among the key issues underlying the top line voter choice percentages there are some interesting items:

  • In the area of trust on economy, Senator McCain has cut Obama's lead in half, from 15% to 8% (Rasmussen shows McCain actually leading Obama this week in this category by 48-47%).
  • “Who would respond better to being “tested” by foreign governments or terrorists in the first six months of his presidency?" -  McCain 52-39 (this includes independents 53-37%) McCain is also viewed as better at managing the war on terror (+14%) and Iraq (+7%).
  • Both candidates are holding support by voters who identify themselves as Democrat or Republican, and both groups still showing greater motivation to vote, as evidenced by willingness to wait "as long as it takes" to vote.
  • Recent movement shows Obama losing almost 50% of the independent voter support he enjoyed last week (he still leads by 5% in this group, down from 9.5% last week).
  • McCain has picked up dramatic support from blue collar and white Catholic voters as well – Obama lead McCain by 11% among white Catholics last week; this week they split the group evenly - 46% apiece.
  • Almost all voters -- 78 percent -- think McCain has the right experience to be president. That number includes a 64 percent majority of Democrats. Significantly fewer voters -- 49 percent -- think Obama has the right experience for the Oval Office (48 percent say he doesn't).
  • An interesting question asked: "If you had to make the toughest decision of your life, would you rather get advice from":  Obama 43% (unchanged) McCain 44% (up ten percent from last week).  This is the first time McCain has lead in this category since the Republican convention.
  • In the battle to ‘claim the middle ground in the election', McCain is viewed as slightly more moderate than Obama – 43% say Obama’s policies are “too liberal”, 38% say McCain is “too conservative”. This may partially account for McCain’s gains among independents this past week.

All of these items indicate that the race continues to get closer, though as the earlier post (Is a McCain Electoral Path Still Possible?) below indicates, it will still take a perfect storm for McCain to win enough votes in the electoral college.  It appears that the Obama campaign is playing rope-a-dope, hoping that the lead holds.  I think it is probably a smart percentage play, avoiding the potential big mistake, because the list of states McCain must win is so long. 

PS-Notice that Senator Biden is nowhere to be seen the last few days?  He apparently has a cold and isn't up to interviews...if I were playing the rope-a-dope strategy he wouldn't be my first pick.  It just isn't his style.

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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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