Zogby: Obama suffers 15-point swing, trails by 5

posted at 8:25 am on August 20, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The latest Zogby poll reinforces what earlier LA Times/Bloomberg and Pew polls have found: Barack Obama has had a collapse this summer.  Being Zogby, it has a more dramatic collapse than the others.  Obama led John McCain in Zogby’s July poll, 47%-40%, but now trails 46%-41%, a 15-point swing (via JWF):

As Russian tanks rolled into the Republic of Georgia and the presidential candidates met over the weekend in the first joint issues forum of the fall campaign, the latest polling includes drama almost as compelling – Republican John McCain has taken a five-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama in the race for President, the latest Reuters/Zogby telephone survey shows.

McCain leads Obama by a 46% to 41% margin.

And McCain not only enjoys a five-point edge in a two-way race against Obama, but also in a four-way contest including liberal independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr, the poll reveals. In the four-way contest, McCain wins 44% support, Obama 39%, Barr 3% and Nader 2%.

This latest Reuters/Zogby poll is a dramatic reversal from the identical survey taken last month – in the July 9-13 Reuters/Zogby survey, Obama led McCain, 47% to 40%. In the four-way race last month, Obama held a 10-point lead over McCain.

One has to take Zogby with a grain of salt.  Over the years, the predictive value of Zogby’s polling has been questioned, especially this far out from an election.  Zogby has enjoyed some success, too, but usually their results tend toward the dramatic. As a trend, though, it shows the same motion as every other pollster.  Obama did well in July with Zogby, which was actually a bit of an outlier in estimating Obama’s support as strong as seven points head-to-head and 10 in a four-way race.  The same polling shows a dramatic change in the electorate, as does the LAT/Bloomberg and Pew polls.

Zogby’s internals show this change across almost every demographic, too.  Obama lost nine points among Democrats.  He lost 11 poinst among Catholics, college graduates, Southerners, and city-dwellers, where he has dropped below 50% — a stunning result.  Obama dropped 12 points among voters under 35, another power base for his campaign, and seven points among those earning under $50,000 a year.

The difference — and perhaps the reason for the drama — is that this poll surveyed likely voters, while Pew and the LAT/Bloomberg polls surveyed registered voters.  The latter usually favors Democrats, and that could account for the seven-point difference between the two.  The month-on-month results show trends that speak for themselves, as Zogby’s methodology has remained consistent.

Obama is in a free-fall.  McCain got to the heart of the question about Obama, and especially after the crisis in Georgia, he has voters wondering whether Obama is up to the task of running the presidency as his first executive job in politics.  Even a strong VP pick may not help reverse that perception — and could make it worse by overshadowing the nominee.  Democrats may not have been in a weaker position at convention time since 1984.


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I think Obama will be forced to choose Hillary for his ticket. He doesn’t want to, but that is the only way he has a chance to win.

And if he does choose her, McCain needs to have Romney or Rudy on his ticket to win.

carbon_footprint on August 20, 2008 at 8:27 AM

Another terrible Democrat candidate, going over the cliff. Third in a row.

It’s OK Barack, you can always go back to your Senate seat in Congress.

If you can find your way there, that is. I suggest you use your GPS.

NoDonkey on August 20, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Can you say “Super Delegates?”

fossten on August 20, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Love the twin headers

drjohn on August 20, 2008 at 8:29 AM

I do think they’re right when they say McCain has to pick a pro-lifer.

He can have a landslide if he does that.

If not, he undoes all of this.

drjohn on August 20, 2008 at 8:30 AM

It’s not over yet. Let’s not count any chickens and hope conservatives keep the true problems with Obama in front of the public.

jeanie on August 20, 2008 at 8:31 AM

“This is not the comfortable lead I used to know.”

NoDonkey on August 20, 2008 at 8:31 AM

Well, now if the moonbats riot in Denver, and the skies open up during Obama’s acceptance speech…I’d almost feel sorry for Dem delegates. Almost.

Wethal on August 20, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Great, we’re cheering that our candidate can’t break fifty percent either. Outstanding.

Snake307 on August 20, 2008 at 8:33 AM

The Reuters story on this poll is outrageous. It spins that McCain’s “attacks” on Obama are the reason for Obama’s collapse. This is going to be the new meme – here we go again, those nasty Republians don’t have anything to offer but they are just going to attack, attack, attack and smear, smear, smear.

rockmom on August 20, 2008 at 8:33 AM

Go Hillary! Make our day!

Let. The. Riots. Begin!

Aristotle on August 20, 2008 at 8:34 AM

Great, we’re cheering that our candidate can’t break fifty percent either. Outstanding.

Snake307 on August 20, 2008 at 8:33 AM

Why should that surprise you? The country is seriously pissed off right now and the GOP is the incumbent party. Under normal circumstances McCain should be polling at about 40%, so right now he is arguably overperforming. It’s very likely that the popular vote winner in November will get less than 50% of the vote, as Bill Clinton did twice. McCain is getting close to a winning plurality, and it’s only August.

rockmom on August 20, 2008 at 8:36 AM

Barry kills newborns and Maverick picks a pro-abortion mate?

What example is that supposed to set?

Sounds like something Alphie would come up with.

Hening on August 20, 2008 at 8:36 AM

Obama is proving that the IDEA of candidate can hardly survive the reality of the world.

I certainly hope US Voters are not ignorant enough to send this inexperieced boy to do a man’s job.

(Before you accuse me of being racist, would you think that if Obama were White(r)?)

EJDolbow on August 20, 2008 at 8:37 AM

It is a good thing Obama is becoming hardhitting to combat those mean spirited McCain ads.

tomas on August 20, 2008 at 8:41 AM

Panic time over at anti America central. Can’t wait for the Denver hissy fit.

elduende on August 20, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Obama is in a free-fall.

Let’s hope so Ed. And if it does turn out to be the end for Obama, we have you, and AP and Michelle, among others, to heartily thank.

Have a second cup of coffee! Oh hell, go wild–have a sticky bun.

JiangxiDad on August 20, 2008 at 8:45 AM

It’s not too late now dimmycrats…vote Hillary at the convention!!

kanda on August 20, 2008 at 8:45 AM

I bet the downticket Dems are real happy about where they’re riding Obama’s coattails.

OT: According to NRO Campaignspot, Tim Kaine has had meetings with staff on succession in case the VA governor’s office is empty…

Wethal on August 20, 2008 at 8:46 AM

It’s not too late now dimmycrats…vote Hillary at the convention!!

kanda on August 20, 2008 at 8:45 AM

Chaos!!

Though…at this point with all that’s going on in the world, don’t we really NOW want to face the Obamessiah? Though the galactic rip in the Dhim party would be lovely to see.

Maybe she tries, gets close, but loses.

Darksean on August 20, 2008 at 8:48 AM

If Obama’s lapdog Drudge has it as a banner now, it’s time for the O to quit measuring the White House curtains. If Arianna picks it up, he should withdrawal.

Marcus on August 20, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Marcus on August 20, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Matty just couldn’t put it in red with a siren. LMAO

JiangxiDad on August 20, 2008 at 8:49 AM

Who are HIllary’s likely VP picks?

JiangxiDad on August 20, 2008 at 8:50 AM

And the DNC has just issued this:

“Paging Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton to the white courtesy phone please.”

rbj on August 20, 2008 at 8:51 AM

I know Zogby doesn’t have the greatest track record, but I’m starting to think they may be onto something. Obama sounded a little desperate yesterday with his “John McCain doesn’t know what he’s up against” and “I don’t intend to lose this election” rants.

Must be tough on old Barry O, after having been fawned over and treated like some omnipotent divinity for so long, to realize that the presidency may not just be handed to him on a silver platter after all.

AZCoyote on August 20, 2008 at 8:53 AM

This is one of the first polls that shows not just Obama loosing support, but McCain gaining some.

MarkTheGreat on August 20, 2008 at 8:54 AM

McCain’s poll numbers will shoot through the roof if he chooses…wait for it…
PALIN!!

jencab on August 20, 2008 at 8:57 AM

Another terrible Democrat candidate, going over the cliff. Third in a row.

[NoDonkey on August 20, 2008 at 8:28 AM]

And sixth of the last seven.

Time to turn some attention on taking the GPS’s from Congressional Dems across the board. BTW, any word on how Murtha is doing?

Dusty on August 20, 2008 at 8:58 AM

I know Zogby doesn’t have the greatest track record, but I’m starting to think they may be onto something. Obama sounded a little desperate yesterday with his “John McCain doesn’t know what he’s up against” and “I don’t intend to lose this election” rants.

Part of Obama’s inexperience is in hard-fought general elections. He got elected as a Dem from Cook County to the IL state legislature. He breezed into the Senate when his opponent Ryan’s divorce records were made public, and Alan Keyes was the lame replacement.

He might have had to fight Hillary in the primary, but that was preaching to the faithful, and she made a lot of errors. McCain’s team includes some pros, including McCain. Obama doesn’t really know what he’s up against.

Wethal on August 20, 2008 at 8:59 AM

obviously Zogby is a racist

jp on August 20, 2008 at 9:00 AM

When Hillary makes her speech before the floor vote. She should say that if she becomes the nominee that she will pick Obama as her VP, but if Obama is the nominee then Biden will be the VP. She should tell the croud, “Who do you want? Clinton/Obama or Obama/Biden?”

That would be fun to watch.

pappy on August 20, 2008 at 9:01 AM

McCain’s poll numbers will shoot through the roof if he chooses…wait for it…
PALIN!!

jencab on August 20, 2008 at 8:57 AM

I think McCain needs to add something fresh and new to the ticket for a nice balance. basically the opposite of what Obama will likely do. The GOP brand needs something other than McCain to help ‘re-brand’ the image

jp on August 20, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Zogby must have used a lot of his “Zogby Special Sauce” on this poll.

This poll has been added to the RCP averages and it brought Obama’s lead down to under 2% (1.9).

EJDolbow on August 20, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Obama is learning that acting arrogant and spewing empty rhetoric while standing in a neck high pile of bull dung will eventually turn off even the thirstiest Kool-Aid drinkers.

rplat on August 20, 2008 at 9:03 AM

The 13% undecided are waiting to read the right Rev. Wright’s Opus he is currently penning in Ghana… ;-)

How soon the media forgot (intentionally, in hopes we would) that even Hillary kicked Obama’s ass the last 4 months of their campaign.

By the way, if any of you have Netflix, or whatever, rent “Weather Underground”… and give it to an “Independent” to watch. That will generate a vote for McCain before the dvd is a half hour old.

Life is So Grand!!©

Shivas Irons on August 20, 2008 at 9:03 AM

. Obama doesn’t really know what he’s up against.

Wethal on August 20, 2008 at 8:59 AM

It’s a life-long story. In the US he inhabited, all doors were flung open to him, and he was moved to the front of the line. Liberalism and white guilt paved the way for him. What he didn’t know was that some large percentage of the country didn’t play that way and never will. Once he stepped into our half, nothing went smoothly again.

He reached too high, on hubris. Icarus anyone?

JiangxiDad on August 20, 2008 at 9:04 AM

Zogby is an Anti-American Democratic-schill Leftist, who with his brother, have ties to the Jihadis/Muslim Brotherhood and their agenda of subjugating and Islamizcing the West.

The Zogby’s, just like Ralph Nader and Helen Thomas, are Dhimmified Arab Christians; who promote Arab causes, Arab Pan-Nationalism, and are sympathetic if not outright supportive of the Jihadis agendas; they are certainly all Anti-American in their views, beliefs, and agendas, even though all hold “American citizenship”

In other words, I’d trust a Zogby poll just like I believed that Bigfoot story from earlier this week.

Bottomline: IF Rassmussen, or, reluctenly, The Gallup Poll has McCain up by “5″, I’ll believe it; anyone else is suspect; and Zogby’s polls are downright fradulent, and contemptible!

Dale in Atlanta on August 20, 2008 at 9:07 AM

Karl Rove said on F&F this morning that there’s a bipartisan poll coming out in a couple of days showing McCain ahead. Maybe Zogby isn’t that far off?

BJ on August 20, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Zogby seems to be in the tank for the Dems (like calling the election for Kerry in the middle of election afternoon before any polls closed), so this must be giving John ulcers.

…and the skies open up during Obama’s acceptance speech…
Wethal on August 20, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Sigh. I checked the forecast, and the skies are looking to shine down quite beneficently upon the Obamessiah.

eeyore on August 20, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Bottomline: IF Rassmussen, or, reluctenly, The Gallup Poll has McCain up by “5″, I’ll believe it; anyone else is suspect; and Zogby’s polls are downright fradulent, and contemptible!

Dale in Atlanta on August 20, 2008 at 9:07 AM

anyone else doing likely voters though?

jp on August 20, 2008 at 9:25 AM

I bet ole John McCain is sitting in his office thinking, “I can nominate whomever I damn well please, I am winning in the polls.”

I hope somebody tells him he is winnig because more conservatives are favorable to him now and that will change if he picks a candidate as liberal or more liberal than himself.

EJDolbow on August 20, 2008 at 9:27 AM

Paging alphie…

Where are you alphie?

I hear your boy is down 5 points now. That means, according to one of your previous posts, an electoral landslide.

Any comment?

Yes?

No?

Cower in fear?

BKennedy on August 20, 2008 at 9:33 AM

15 point swing? Is that really how math works in polling? He was up by 7, now down by 5… and that’s 15 points? Even additively that’s not 15, and adding that together would seem questionable, since Obama started at 47% and is now at 41% – isn’t that just a 6 point swing?

Midas on August 20, 2008 at 9:34 AM

And yes, McCain’s going to piss this away with an incredibly stupid VP pick, I just know it.

Midas on August 20, 2008 at 9:35 AM

EJDolbow on August 20, 2008 at 9:27 AM

Well, he certainly does not need to make a “Hail Mary” pick like Sarah Palin or Bobby Jindal. I would say these polls argue for a safe pick like Romney or Giuliani. Yesterday I was feeling Rudy, but with these new polls I am feeling Mitt. Mitt’s got the chops, he’s vetted and won’t screw up, and he won’t overshadow McCain. I really liked him Sunday vs. Daschle on Face the Nation. Even his talk about Russia/Georgia sounded informed and forceful.

rockmom on August 20, 2008 at 9:35 AM

This isn’t the McCain Obama knew!

Urban Infidel on August 20, 2008 at 9:39 AM

I am feeling Mitt. Mitt’s got the chops, he’s vetted and won’t screw up, and he won’t overshadow McCain. I really liked him Sunday vs. Daschle on Face the Nation. Even his talk about Russia/Georgia sounded informed and forceful.

rockmom on August 20, 2008 at 9:35 AM

I agree. They say the first rule of picking a running mate is “first do no harm” and Romney is the safest bet for McCain.

Even people who hate him for whatever reason have to see he is capable of being the POTUS and with McCain’s age and health that is all that really matters.

EJDolbow on August 20, 2008 at 9:42 AM

rockmom on August 20, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Oh yeah, and Romney is one smooth attack dog.
He was the best at comparing and contrasting against the Dems this whole election season.

EJDolbow on August 20, 2008 at 9:43 AM

And yes, McCain’s going to piss this away with an incredibly stupid VP pick, I just know it.

Midas on August 20, 2008 at 9:35 AM

I’m really sweating that. Rudy or Mitt will fill out the ticket nicely. Name recognition, executive experience, either one could take over presidential duties well, if necessary. I hope McCain can resist his masochistic impulses.

a capella on August 20, 2008 at 9:59 AM

I’m suspicious of any Zogby poll, including the one taken the day AFTER election day. Anyway, I smell a rat. While there’s no denying that Obambi has been flailing lately, I’m of the opinion that Zogby is setting up his own polling sting. Barry will trail by 5% or so going into Denver and then magically lead by %15 coming out. The bounce will be clear an incontrovertible proof that the Chose One is already president, so please don’t bother voting.

Most pollsters bug me with their biases, but Zogby is in a class by himself. I would not put anything past that douche when it comes to crunching the numbers.

Physics Geek on August 20, 2008 at 10:05 AM

I bet the downticket Dems are real happy about where they’re riding Obama’s coattails.

They are more worried about the effect Queen Nancy and Prince Harry are having with their “let them heat with cake” energy policies then the downdraft from the sinking S.S. Obama.

I think Obama will be forced to choose Hillary for his ticket. He doesn’t want to, but that is the only way he has a chance to win.

Sigh….

What many of you are missing is that for the Clinton’s this is no longer about the nomination* it is about who controls the party.

Hillary told Obama to shove the VP slot where the sun don’t shine when he offered it to her at that meeting they had back in June at Diane Feinstein’s house.

Why would she accept it now when she is in a position of advantage? And, more importantly, how could she trust any “deal” that Obama might toss at her with it? He is not bound by law to honor any deal he made with her and if he got elected he would just ignore her and lock her out of everything he possibly could. Would you trust anything Obama says or promises? If you would you will soon be getting an email from the National Bank of Nigeria.

What would be the benefit of her climbing aboard the sinking S.S. Obama just so she can get sucked down with him. It would be a wiser move to stand on the shore and say “See, I told you so.”

*Unless she manages to rip the nomination away from Obama which is a possibility.

Nahanni on August 20, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Obama’s mechanic: “I’d fix your leak but it’s too crowded under there.”

whitetop on August 20, 2008 at 10:10 AM

I wouldn’t trust Zogby to tally up the check at Friendly’s. Polling is an art, but he seems to think it’s improvisational sketch comedy.

DrSteve on August 20, 2008 at 10:12 AM

The key to this election is to create gridlock. No matter who you may favor for President do not allow all three pillars of government be controlled by one party (check the status of states that have only one party in charge of ever aspect of government-they are on the road to becoming failed states).

Vote for gridlocked so they can do less damage and letting we (the people) to work our way around the various problems they created for us as a country.

MSGTAS on August 20, 2008 at 10:14 AM

Who are HIllary’s likely VP picks?

JiangxiDad on August 20, 2008 at 8:50 AM

Clinton/Obama ’08!

Akzed on August 20, 2008 at 10:39 AM

15 point swing? Is that really how math works in polling? He was up by 7, now down by 5… and that’s 15 points? Even additively that’s not 15, and adding that together would seem questionable, since Obama started at 47% and is now at 41% – isn’t that just a 6 point swing?

Midas on August 20, 2008 at 9:34 AM

In the four-way contest, McCain wins 44% support, Obama 39%, Barr 3% and Nader 2%.

In the four-way race last month, Obama held a 10-point lead over McCain.

Now–44% to 39%–McCain +5
Last month–Obama +10

smellthecoffee on August 20, 2008 at 11:02 AM

“That hairline difference between nuance and what appears to be flip-flopping is hurting [Obama] with liberal voters,” Zogby said.

LOL! Hairline distinguishing between “nuance” and malleable habitual lies? Once upon a time, nuance was a lovely word; but in the hands of progressive Marxists, “nuance” has gone the way of “gay”, corrupted forever by deceit instead of appreciated for the integrity of its origin and purpose in conveying conception via sound. If ever there were a modern epitome of the ancient story regarding the curse on man’s vain attempt to reach God’s habitat by confusing mankind’s language comprehension, Orwellian Marxism is succeeding in revisiting that epic today.

As per hairline distinctions obvious enough for children to distinguish, let the adults demand no alignment between Obama and McCain.

Obama The Perverted Marxist needs to be defeated outright.

maverick muse on August 20, 2008 at 11:10 AM

What many of you are missing is that for the Clinton’s this is no longer about the nomination* it is about who controls the party.

Hillary told Obama to shove the VP slot where the sun don’t shine when he offered it to her at that meeting they had back in June at Diane Feinstein’s house.

Why would she accept it now when she is in a position of advantage? And, more importantly, how could she trust any “deal” that Obama might toss at her with it? He is not bound by law to honor any deal he made with her and if he got elected he would just ignore her and lock her out of everything he possibly could. Would you trust anything Obama says or promises? If you would you will soon be getting an email from the National Bank of Nigeria.

What would be the benefit of her climbing aboard the sinking S.S. Obama just so she can get sucked down with him. It would be a wiser move to stand on the shore and say “See, I told you so.”

yep. If she were going to be the veep, her PUMA attack dogs would have stopped barking last week some time. They are doing real damage to Obama now.

Really, if you haven’t read this guy’s articles on the Obama-Ayers connections, it’s worth your time.

http://www.globallabor.blogspot.com/

Here’s a good, long one and a good starting point:
http://globallabor.blogspot.com/2008/04/who-sent-obama.html

but they all are well written and very, very damaging for Obama

funky chicken on August 20, 2008 at 11:30 AM

The polls that were unreliable a few weeks ago are now perfect. Because they show McCain ahead.

This is why I hate politics :P

lorien1973 on August 20, 2008 at 11:33 AM

I’m John McCain and I resent this racist attack on my good personal friend Barack Obama! I have a long history of reaching across the isle to forge friendships with Democrats to get things done on behalf of the American people and now it is time for me to act to save the reputation of my close personal friend Barack Obama. I am therefore today announcing Joe Lieberman as my VP pick to tell my conservative supporters to go F themselves which should swing the polls back in Baracks favor in the near future.

sabbott on August 20, 2008 at 11:50 AM

As “The Emperor’s New Clothes” becomes more evident, HE will lose 1 to 2 points per week… I wonder if he will even carry ILLINOIS???

pueblo1032 on August 20, 2008 at 11:53 AM

You mean spending half a billion, lying about past positions and selling out every last principle he had didn’t work???????????

Pfffft! Americans! What can you do?

Chuck Schick on August 20, 2008 at 12:43 PM

Jesus Christ, don’t these likely voters recognize a good community organizer when they see one? We’ll all pay the price if Obama loses and they want to hold a pot-luck dinner at the white house. We know who’ll be laughing then.

manfriend on August 20, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Obama was smart to stay on vacation. If he had been on the campaign trail he would have made too many mealy mouthed comments about Georgia. He would have been calling for restraint and constructive engagement. He probably doesn’t have it in him to criticize a former KGB agent. And the nuance would have killed him. McCain would get another bounce from the voters reaction to Democrats blaming Republicans for all of their woes.

snaggletoothie on August 20, 2008 at 1:27 PM

Obama is in a free-fall.

Don’t worry, Ed, he’ll soon figure out a way to tax it.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on August 20, 2008 at 1:41 PM

When will Dems learn?

Socialist, America-haters will be rejected.

Conservative_SAHM on August 20, 2008 at 1:43 PM

See also, “Obama Will Get No Post-Denver Polling Bounce”:

http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/obama-will-get-no-post-denver-polling.html

Donald Douglas on August 20, 2008 at 6:43 PM

“This is not the comfortable lead I used to know.”

NoDonkey on August 20, 2008 at 8:31 AM

“If there was only a way I could throw the Zogby poll under the bus…”

RD on August 20, 2008 at 11:25 PM