Friday, September 21, 2012

Don't Count Your Chickens . . .

The most recent (September 19) polling aggregation from shows President Obama with about a three-point lead over Governor Romney.  This, coupled with another bad couple of weeks of media coverage for the Romney campaign, has buoyed the confidence of Obama supporters and has begun to generate a sense of a hapless Romney campaign and an inevitable Obama victory.   Before Obama supporters get too carried away with their euforia, or Romney supporters with their despair, I'd like to remind them both of a guy named Al Gore, who held a fairly commanding lead over George Bush for most the better part of September in the 2000 presidential race:

Note that Gore's lead through about the third week in September was much more substantial than President Obama's current lead in the polls.  Of course, Gore went on to narrowly win the popular vote while narrowly losing the Electoral College vote.  This is not too say I expect a sudden reversal of fortunes in the next couple of weeks.  Just that the current margin really is quite narrow and conditions are still such that a reversal is a real possibility.  Both sides should be anxious; this thing is far from over.


  1. You're confusing polling trends with a single Gallup poll. Prove that Al Gore was consistently ahead at this time in 2000 in multiple battleground states and your argument makes much more sense.

  2. To back up Holbrook's point a bit, throughout the 2012 campaign Gallup has been showing a much narrower lead for Obama than have other polls (right now they are putting Obama and Romney as tied).

    In the 2008 election, they overpredicted Obama and underpredicted McCain.

    On the other hand, according to RealClearPolitics, Obama's lead in the aggregated polls today is a little higher than his lead over McCain 4-years ago on this date.

    I suppose I accord more weight to the aggregate of the polls, leading me to suspect Holbrook is underestimating Obama's chances. But I am worried about the possibility that Gallup is doing something right that other pollsters are not. And yes, Gallup does include cell phones (it is thought that some pollster underestimate Obama's support b/c they exclude cell phones).