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Obama Over McCain

I hate it when I guess something is going to happen, but I'm too lazy to blog it so I get no "Toldja So," credit. On the other hand, sometimes that laziness pays off and I manage to skip some bonehead prediction.

In this case, I was right, but I can't prove it. And really, it is all about me and my giant ego, isn't it?

As expected, one of the two major Democratic candidates saw a downturn in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, but it's not the candidate that you think. Hillary Clinton is sporting the lowest personal ratings of the campaign. Moreover, her 37 percent positive rating is the lowest the NBC/WSJ poll has recorded since March 2001, two months after she was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.

In a head-to-head against McCain, Hillary loses by two. Obama wins by two.

Yes. That's right. Feel the numbers wash over you. After Obama's worst week, the Week of Doom, the Week Of No Return, the Oh-My-God-He's-So-Fucked week, a week in which McCain sailed along with only a few glitches, Obama still beats McCain.

As for the damage this controversy did or didn't do to Obama, it's a mixed bag. Yes, Obama saw some of his numbers go down slightly among certain voting groups, most notably Republicans. But he's still much more competitive with independent voters when matched up against John McCain than Hillary Clinton is. And he still sports a net-positive personal rating of 49-32, which is down only slightly from two weeks ago, when it was 51-28. Again, the biggest shift in those negative numbers were among Republicans.

In other words, people who were never going to vote for Obama became a little more convinced that they were never going to vote for Obama.

On one of the most critical questions we've been tracking for a few months, Obama showed resilience. When asked if the three presidential candidates could be successful in uniting the country if they were elected president, 60 percent of all voters believed Obama could be successful at doing this, 58 percent of all voters said McCain could unite the country while only 46 percent of voters said the same about Clinton. All three candidates saw dips on this issue, by the way. In January, 67 percent thought Obama could unite the country; 68 percent thought McCain could do it; and 55 percent said Clinton would be able to pull it off.

He may be skinny, but the kid can take a hit.

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“Obama Over McCain”

  1. Blogger Tom Strong Says:

    At a typical 95% confidence level, one in twenty polls will be completely wrong. These are usually the outliers.

    That Gallup poll from last week showing Clinton up 49-42, which everyone made such a big deal out of? That seems to have been one of the 5%.

  2. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    And this year, in particular, polls are a mess. I should have included the caveat above that this was "regsistereds" not "likelies." Although at this point I don't think anyone has a clue how to define "likelies."

  3. Blogger Transplanted Lawyer Says:

    I agree that identifying "likely" voters is something of a difficulty. Often, the pollster simply asks the respondent if they are likely to vote.

    But I've got to throw a little water on the gloat here. You read RCP and the poll trackings there, same as me. As of today, their posted results are

    NBC/WSJ (800 RV) -- Obama +2
    Rasmussen (1700 LV) -- McCain +10
    Gallup (4433 RV) -- McCain +2
    Fox (900 RV) -- McCain +1
    CBS (? RV) -- Obama +5
    CNN (950 RV) -- Obama +1

    The Rasmussen result seems off kilter to me. but overall, I'd call it a dead heat at the polls. Still, you Obama supporters can take heart in the fact that Hillary is slipping and Obama is gaining, despite last week's shenanigans. It is a sign of resilience and strength on Obama's part to come out of a flap like that and smell better than he did going into it.

  4. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    It's fucking amazing. I would not have been surprised to see it a ten point split. But I had an intuition that the Wright thing wasn't going to stick. I have a feeling it's going to be like W's drunk driving-National Guard-Snorting lines of coke off a sorority girl's chest thing. The voters are going to deliver a collective Cheney: "So?"

    Note: I may have made that snorting coke thing up. At least the part about the sorority girl.