Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Losing Ground? Obama's Polling Collapse

One of the most astounding facts of this election season is that for all of the presumed demands for change in American politics, the candidate of "hope" and "transcendence" has failed to gain a lead in public opinion polls.

Commenting on new data showing John McCain pulling ahead of Barack Obama in
Rasmussen, USA Today, and Zogby surveys, the Hedgehog Report notes:

Now I rarely post national polls at this point since they really don’t mean anything when it comes to the Electoral College. But John McCain went nearly three months without leading in any national poll and now within a week, he has been ahead now in three national polls (USAT/Gallup. Rasmussen, and Zogby).

As the old cliche goes - Once is an anomaly, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend...
The focus this morning is not just that Obama's stagnating, but that he's losing ground with key constituencies:

Barack Obama has lost ground among some of his strongest bases of support, including young people, women, Democrats and independents, according to a new ATV/Zogby poll.

The Illinois Democrat has also lost some support among African-Americans and Hispanics, where his lead over Republican John McCain has shrunk, and among Catholics, where he's lost his lead.
While I agree with Hedgehog that today's polls are just a snapshot, it is nevertheless significant that in over a month of campaigning Obama's never really broken out into as sustained double-digit lead.

Some on the left are perplexed, retreating into standard denials of the
statistical significance of polling, media fairness, or even outright rage at the alleged GOP slime machine:

Rasmussen's poll today sends one message to John McCain. His disgusting, sleazy, personal attacks on Obama are working. We can now expect a lot more, and there's little reason to think that they won't be just as effective next time.
You see, with John McCain's new agressiveness, the lefties are shocked - shocked! - that this year's electoral politics would go negative.

Captain Ed adds a nice summary:

This, of course, is August, and the general election is a long way off. However, these trends look very troubling not just for Obama but for the entire Democratic Party.
I'm loving it!