Saturday, September 20, 2008

Morning Polls

The trackers continue to move in Obama’s direction today. Rasmussen moved from a tie to Obama +1 and Gallup moved from Obama +5 to Obama +6. The Hotline poll remained at Obama +1 and the Research 2000 poll moved from Obama +7 to Obama +8. It is also of interest that Obama hit the 50% mark in the Gallup tracker – a number he last hit for just one day in the immediate wake of the Democratic Convention and a number he has not exceeded at any point in the poll’s tracking. I am particularly surprised by this for two reasons:

1) The “what goes up, must come down” theory: I don’t think that any significant lead is going to be sustainable for weeks and weeks by either side. I hope I’m wrong and Obama is building a bigger lead than I had anticipated at this point. I still expect the lead to shrink in the coming days.

2) I believe in the theory that Friday nights are not good polling nights for Obama: Picture in your mind who the typical Obama voter is (urban, younger, unmarried, etc.) and who the typical McCain voter is (rural, older, married, etc.). Now, who is more likely to be home on a Friday night? For this reason, it seems to me that pollsters would get a disproportionate number of McCain voters in their samples on Friday nights.

Nevertheless, Obama continued to gain ground or hold steady when Friday night’s sample was included and Tuesday night’s sample (a good night for Obama for sure) was dropped out.

Two interesting pieces out on polling cellphones. Both estimate that some (only some) pollsters are shorting Obama’s polling results by failing to include cellphones. One by Nate Silver:

One by Mark Blumenthal:

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