Breathe, With Graphics

I’ve encountered some sporadic worrying among Obama supporters, but everyone needs to take a deep breath:

This is from FiveThirtyEight, polls in yellow include cell phone users. This graph below shows polling trends between Obama, Kerry, and Gore.

Lastly, there’s been some worry that all of the undecideds will split for McCain. This is from tonight’s CBS poll:


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Last night I was volunteering at attending an awards dinner of sorts, and one of the other guests runs a prominent polling firm. I assumed, that like most people, this person would want to discuss work at a social function, so I asked him for his opinion on the race and if there was any news. He responded, “It’s a blowout.”

This is all a long way of saying that when I pointed out yesterday that the polls hadn’t actually been tightening, I wasn’t blowing smoke. From Pew:

9 Points

On a subject only tangentially related to the bailout, a new Washington-Post / ABC News poll shows Obama leading McCain 52-43. The McCain camp is scared enough to hold a conference call debunking the results, and for what it’s worth, David Pluoffe and the Obama camp think it’s wrong too. This encouraging, and totally non-jinxing bit, to put it in perspective:

As a point of comparison, neither of the last two Democratic nominees –John F. Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000 — recorded support above 50 percent in a pre-election poll by the Post and ABC News.

All that said, this trend probably stems from this (via Ambinder):

By nearly 14 points, independents trust Barack Obama to handle the economy better than John McCain, according to Pew’s latest study. 

This is true of Democrats in general, but it’s good to see McCain’s hysterical flapping on the financial crisis haven’t particularly helped.

Polling Like it’s 1999

Most of my friends don’t have land lines. Most of them will vote for Obama. This should impact election polling, and indeed, according to Nate Silver at, it impacts polling to the tune of 2.8 points.

The Most Important Poll

There are quite a number of polls these days, some more important than others. But one poll I think we can all agree is of paramount importance is the “Who Would You Rather Watch a Football Game With Poll“, which Barack Obama is leading 50 – 47. 

Frankly, I’m surprised more people wouldn’t watch a game with McCain, based solely on his undeniable advantage in “free booze”, secured when he dropped his disfigured wife for a beer heiress 18 years his junior. On the other hand, he probably doesn’t play fantasy, and in the likelihood he’s rooting for another team, he’d probably try to kick your team out of the NFL. Or as one of the poll respondents put it:

“I think he’d be fun to sit back with and hear his experiences, all his stories,” said Kyle Ferguson, 28, a Republican from Santa Rosa, Calif., who picked McCain. But reflecting a sense some voters have of McCain based on the complaints of a few Senate colleagues, he added warily, “I bet he’d probably get pretty angry and lit up if his team was losing.”