28 September 2008

Post Debate: Obama Up in Polls

Saturday's Gallup tracking poll puts Obama at a national lead of 5 points.

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight has more results and some fine analysis. McCain’s main problem? It really is the economy, stupid. And, it turns out, McCain’s refusal to either look at Obama or into the cameras hurt him: people viewing the debate saw Obama as addressing them, while McCain seemed to address a narrower audience: those in the audience at Ole Miss and the punditry. This resulted in the discrepancy between television viewers, the majority of whom saw Obama as the debate’s winner, and the analysts, who claim that it was either a McCain win or an overall draw.

Note this intriguing result:

The CBS poll of undecideds has more confirmatory detail. Obama went from a +18 on "understanding your needs and problems" before the debate to a +56 (!) afterward. And he went from a -9 on "prepared to be president" to a +21. (FiveThirtyEight)

This has got to worry the McCain campaign: they can't simply brush this off. Expect more drama from the Arizona Senator’s side forthwith: time is getting short, and things are going to get brutal. McCain’s strategists (tacticians?) already seem slightly irrational, and this just might send them off the deep end.

Real Clear Politics also puts Obama ahead. He’s at an average of 4.3 points in front of McCain nationally. Not a dramatic number--especially as battleground states remain tight--but significant as things continue to trend his way.

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