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Monday, September 08, 2008


a Palin bounce? probably not

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, September 08, 2008 permalink View blog reactions
A batch of polls over the weekend show that McCain has gained serious ground:

USAToday / Gallup 9/5-7/08
McCain 54, Obama 44)
(8/23: Obama 48, McCain 45)

Zogby Interactive 9/5-6/08
McCain 50, Obama 46
(8/30: McCain 47, Obama 45)

Gallup Poll 9/4-6/08
McCain 48, Obama 45

Rasmussen Reports 9/4-6/08
McCain 48, Obama 48

The latter two are daily tracking polls, so you can get a very good sense of the trend and response to various events. All of these polls use "likely voter" models, ie an estimate to try and weight the results using demographics rather than just a straight sampling. Also, national polls of ths sort do not capture the electoral college math - the same kind of thing that lets a candidate win the electoral vote even if they lose the popular vote.

The million-voter question remains: is this due to Palin? It's unlikely - Palin just doesn't appeal to independents and Hillary voters:

When we ask the ultimate question--how does each candidate's VP pick affect one's vote--we see Palin moving the Republican base, but not others. Two-thirds (67%) say Obama's selection of Senator Joe Biden has no difference on their vote, while fewer (55%) say the same about Palin. But Palin elicits more saying they are "less likely" to vote for McCain (19%) than say the Biden pick makes them less likely to vote for Obama (10%).

Further, as the report notes, Palin runs up the score among Republicans and evangelicals (+37, +32 more minus less likely to vote for McCain, respectively). But moderates say Obama's pick of Biden makes them more to vote for Obama (+12 more minus less), with Palin having neither a positive or negative net affect for McCain.

Chris Bowers also says it's McCain, not Palin, that we should be taking more seriously. Keep in mind that McCain was declared dead back in the summer, but still clinched the nomination. Underestimating him, and focusing too much on Palin, is unwise. Joe Trippi says that the advantage is still Obama, but it's going to be tight.

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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.