Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Obama stalls; Can't cross the 50% threshold

David Paul Kuhn reports for The Politico that Obama has stalled in the polls:

In the two months since Barack Obama captured the Democratic nomination, he has hit a ceiling in public opinion polling, proving unable to make significant gains with any segment of the national electorate.

While Obama still leads in most matchups with John McCain, the Illinois senator’s apparent stall in the polls is a sobering reminder to Democrats intoxicated with his campaign’s promises to expand the electoral map beyond the boundaries that have constrained other recent party nominees.

That gap between expectations and reality comes as Democrats enjoy the most favorable political winds since at least 1976. At least eight in ten Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track. The Republican president is historically unpopular. From stunning Democratic gains in party registration to the high levels of economic anxiety, Obama should have a healthy lead by almost every measure. Yet, in poll after poll, Obama conspicuously fails to cross the 50-percent threshold.

ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer asked, “If everything is so good for Barack Obama, why isn’t everything so good for Barack Obama?”

Obama remains ahead, depending on the national poll, by low to high single digits. The Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey, which randomly interviews at least 1,000 voters each day, has recently found that Obama leads by 3 to 4 percentage points.

In the first full week of the general election, June 9-15, Obama led by between 2 and 7 percentage points. Just short of two months later, registered voters have not significantly shifted their views, as Gallup finds public opinion still fluctuating between roughly the same margins.

“What’s remarkable this summer is the stability of this race,” Gallup’s director Frank Newport said. “In a broad sense, it is similar to previous elections.”

So why can't he get any traction? There are a few thoughts on this. We think, most recently, his campaign tour abroad didn't help him. Within a week his 9 point bounce was gone. (We still think this was media-contrived, and not a true bounce.) His waffles on issues from public financing to FISA to drilling offshore to DC v. Heller to Iran have hurt him as some of his supporters have grown dissatisfied with these flips. The media -- notably print media -- have grown disillusioned to him, and are starting to take shots at him. We could go in a different direction and say his past associations with radical figures in his past could be contributing to his stall, as well, but those issues seemed to have passed. (Just a note here, just because they're out of the headlines doesn't mean they've been forgotten.)

Mr. Kuhn notes that his appeal to white men, especially older ones, tend to trump the vibrant youth demographic his campaign is desperately clinging to. He still has blacks and Latinos on his side, but even they are waning as recent Rasmussen polls have shown. Right now Rasmussen reports that John McCain is trusted on nine out of fourteen key election issues more than Obama:

John McCain is now trusted more than Barack Obama on nine out of 14 electoral issues tracked by Rasmussen Reports. The latest national telephone surveys find that McCain has the biggest advantage on the war in Iraq, by a 51% to 39% margin. ...

In the new survey, McCain has tripled his lead on the topic of immigration. He now has a 45% to 36% advantage over his Democratic opponent, up from a three-point lead two weeks ago.

The Republican also has pulled ahead on the issue of balancing the federal budget. Two weeks ago, the candidates were tied on this issue at 40%. McCain now has a 43% to 40% lead on the issue among voters.

McCain used to be behind on the issue of Social Security but has pulled ahead of Obama for a 44% to 38% lead.

On issues that Obama has previously enjoyed huge advantages, such as health care and education, his leads have decreased. On health care, Obama leads 46% to 41%, down from a 12 percentage-point lead just two weeks ago. On education, Obama leads 43% to 39%, down from a 10-point lead two weeks ago. On environmental issues, Obama’s advantage over McCain has gone from 14 percentage points down to eight this week.

The economy is the top issue for the majority of voters this election season. Voters have consistently trusted the Democratic Party more on this issue, but the two presidential candidates are tied at 45% as to who voters trust more. A
week prior, Obama had a statistically insignificant one percentage point lead on the issue.

On national security, an issue that McCain consistently performs well on, the Republican leads 52% to 40%. His lead represents an improvement from the eight-point lead he held the week before.

A poll released this week finds that
over half of voters support Obama’s proposal to provide working families with energy credits but aren’t sure about his idea of taxing big oil companies. When asked who voters trust more when it comes to energy issues, voters choose McCain by a 46% to 42% margin.

On the issues, McCain is beating him. That could very well explain why Obama is stalled. Either way, he's not getting to the level he needs to be at. If he doesn't expand his lead over McCain prior to the Democrat convention, he is in serious trouble. Announcing his veep now might help, depending on who it is, but it won't provide him with the bump he needs to put the screws to McCain. He needs something right now, but at the rate McCain is gaining the trust of the electorate, it just might be too late for the rookie to right himself.

Publius II


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home