Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Morning Polls

The McCain bounce does continue to fade. I organized this really interesting forum at CSUN with a bunch of political consultants last night including Chris Kofinis, who appears regularly on Olberman (in fact, he talked to my class, raced to a studio to appear on Olberman, and then came back for my forum, cool!) and John Shallman, a local but well-known political consultant (he was the guy who engineered Loretta Sanchez’s famous upset of B1 Bob Dornan in 1996). Both Kofinis and Shallman had some really funny lines about how McCain saying “the fundamentals of our economy are strong” on a day when the market is crashing is like “Christmas for Democratic consultants.” They both predicted Obama that IF Obama capitalizes on this as he should and as he did yesterday with his attacks on this point, Obama would move back towards a small lead once the economic news and Obama’s renewed attacks is reflected in the polls.

Today, the trackers do seem to be moving Obama’s direction. Gallup moved from McCain +2 to McCain +1 overnight. Note what the update from Gallup says at the bottom though: “Monday night’s interviewing did show Obama doing better than he has been in recent updates, but it will take several days to see if he can sustain an improved position.”


Rasmussen and Hotline trackers also moved in Obama’s direction last night. Rasmussen went from McCain +2 to McCain +1. Hotline went from Obama +1 to Obama +4. Research 2000 held steady at Obama +4.

All this suggests, it is 1992 all over again in the sense that “it is the economy, stupid!” Obama’s got to hammer that issue and explain to average voters how they will be better off economically if he’s presidents (while reminding them they are worse off than they were 8 years ago).

Both Kofinis and Shallman also agreed that the debates, and especially the first debate, will be critical as voters see Obama sitting next to McCain and can take a measure of whether he makes them feel safe. That is the key test for Obama, they argue, as he wins on the issues but some people are just not sure he’s ready. The first debate is on foreign policy I think. If Obama seems steady there and looks presidential, they argue he’ll win.

Today is a good day!

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