Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain: Momentum as Race Draws Even

There is no doubt that there has been a recent tightening of the race. Today a Zogby poll shows McCain with a five point lead. A battleground Poll today shows McCain with a one point lead. Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls are also showing a narrowing race. These results show McCain has momentum entering the conventions which does not bode well for Obama. State Polls are also narrowing showing that this movement towards McCain is real.

McCain has narrowed the gap and is out performing the Republican party generics. The Rasmussen daily tracking poll is polling 40 % democrats with 30% independents and 30% Republicans. I believe these polls are shifted in Obama's favor yet Obama leads by only 2 %, well within the margin of error. I am not sure where the 40% democrat voter makeup comes from. The democrats certainly have picked up some but the overwhelming trend has been movement from Republicans to independents. Democrats are also moving towards leaning independent. Yet the pollsters are still polling more Democrats.

The spin from the Democrats and Obama is that they only care about the poll results with the economy and change. As long as those two polling samples favor Obama he believes he is in good shape. The problem is that the pollsters are probably over selling the strength of the Democrats and underselling the strength of independents. This does not bode well for Obama.

If my hypothesis is correct McCain is actually the leader in this race. For instance, if Democrats are polled at the 35% area and independents at 35% the net reult would be a 2-3 point swing in McCain's favor. McCain is in great position to pull the upset. This is a democratic year by all accounts yet the democratic presumptive nominee is in a race for his political life. Being in a dead heat this close to the conventions gives McCain the edge and momentum.

Past Democratic candidates that actually won in November had larger leads heading into the conventions. Polling after the Democratic convention had Bill Clinton up big (20+) after his conventions and Carter was up 30% after his convention. All three of these elections ended up rather close. Carter won by less than 1 % and Clinton won both with a plurality rather than a majority. Both Clinton wins were less than 6 points.

McCain has the momentum and can ruin Obama's convention bounce. By all accounts the Denver convention will be a zoo. The protestors are many and Denver even has "secret jails" in store for unruly democrats. McCain is set to announce his Vice President nominee the day after Obama accepts the nominee. McCain then immediately enters his convention. None of this bodes well for the chosen one. If ObM is not up 20+ points at the end of his convention and the beginning of the Republican convention Obama will sink and McCain will win a small but significant victory for all Americans.

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