Newsweek poll has it tied; Rasmussen puts McCain ahead in the EC

posted at 8:48 am on September 13, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Newsweek’s latest polling shows John McCain pulling into a tie with Barack Obama at 46%, despite a small imbalance in the sample towards Democrats.  McCain has gained 5 points since the last Newsweek poll in July, and more importantly, has surpassed Obama in voter enthusiasm:

With 53 days until Election Day, John McCain has pulled even with Barack Obama in the latest NEWSWEEK Poll. Buoyed by the Republican convention and overwhelming partisan enthusiasm for his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, McCain is now tied with Obama among registered voters nationwide, 46 percent to 46 percent.

Two weeks of all-Sarah Palin-all-the-time media coverage, and the McCain bounce in national and battleground state polls, has spurred Democratic anxieties that despite President Bush’s dismal approval ratings, the party might be squandering the chance to take advantage and reclaim the White House. But NEWSWEEK’s Poll suggests the race is very much still in play. McCain’s current level of support, after all, is up just 5 points from July, before either party’s nominating convention, when Obama led McCain 44 to 41 percent.

Perhaps more troubling for the Obama campaign than the overall head-to-head numbers, however, is the dramatic hardening of McCain’s support suggested in the poll. In July, only 39 percent of McCain voters said they supported McCain strongly. By contrast, 71 percent now say they strongly support the Republican nominee. Obama, meanwhile, has seen support increase from his voters, as well, but far less dramatically—67 percent now say they support him strongly, compared to 61 percent in July. Enthusiastic support will prove crucial to both parties in a close election, as voters are more likely to turn out for, give money to and volunteer on behalf of candidates they firmly back.

It’s important to note that Newsweek polls for registered voters, not likely voters.  Most of the polling we will see from now until the election will focus on likely voters, and it’s unclear why Newsweek didn’t try drilling down for the more predictive sample.  Perhaps they hoped to get better news.

That may explain their satisfaction with a survey that only represents Republicans at 27%, with Democrats at 35% in the overall sample, with a 31-37 split respectively among registered voters.  That’s off slightly from the latest Rasmussen party identification numbers, which show a 33-38 split, meaning that Newsweek oversampled independents.  It’s not as large a difference as seen in CBS or previous Newsweek polling, but it will have a small effect on the predictive value of the poll.   Given the pronounced shift in the Congressional balloting polls in recent weeks, it seems likely that party identification may be even closer than the five-point spread shown from August.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen has a promising shift in their Electoral College projections:

New state polling from Missouri has helped move that state from from “Leans Republican” to “Likely Republican” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. With this change, McCain now leads in states with 200 Electoral College votes while Obama is ahead in states with 193 Electoral College votes. When “leaners” are included, it’s Obama 259, McCain 247.

Currently, states with 124 Electoral College votes are leaning slightly in one way or the other. Four states with a total of 32 votes — Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia — are pure toss-ups.

This is the first time McCain has led in this calculation, I believe.  All of the movement in the last week has come from six states traveling in McCain’s direction.  The four pure toss-ups, though, include three states Bush won in 2004, and are must-wins for McCain.  Iowa is still in the leans-Dem category, but some important states for Obama still remain in that category as well, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Washington — none of which Obama can afford to lose.

The trends show McCain seizing the momentum in this race.


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Comments

Enjoy the moment friends. The tide is turning.

warriorlawyer on September 13, 2008 at 8:51 AM

GOOGLE: Saul Alinsky. He was the mentor for Obama and Hillary did her paper at Wellsley. He wrote the book, “Rules for Radicals.”

volsense on September 13, 2008 at 8:51 AM

Carpe Election!

jwehman on September 13, 2008 at 8:52 AM

Exxxxcelllent.

Can’t wait for Team Obama to finally take the gloves off and hit back.

BadgerHawk on September 13, 2008 at 8:53 AM

Fifty-seven percent of registered voters did not know that Palin opposes abortion even in instances of rape and incest. Sixty-nine percent did not know that she favors teaching creationism in public schools

Nice to see the MSM pushing the creation in schools meme, even through polling.

lodge on September 13, 2008 at 8:54 AM

Can’t wait for Team Obama to finally take the gloves off and hit back.

They’ll break a nail.

fluffy on September 13, 2008 at 8:55 AM

If Newsweek is showing it tied then McCain must have a statistically significant lead. I wonder how long Newsweek pondered flat out lying before they decided they couldn’t get away with it and called it even?

rplat on September 13, 2008 at 8:55 AM

And the liberals respond to the news

ManlyRash on September 13, 2008 at 8:56 AM

I hate to raise false hopes, but those results don’t reflect Washington state’s recent tightening in the race. I know it’s a long shot, but maybe…

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:03 AM

Actually, Bush won all four of those toss-ups in 2004. That’s a little worrisome, but I’m still optimistic that there are some bigger blue states that McCain will make very competitive soon – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota could all be in play within the next month if things keep trending the way they are.

Red Cloud on September 13, 2008 at 9:05 AM

Red Cloud on September 13, 2008 at 9:05 AM

If it makes you feel any better, Newsweek is the organization that had Obama up by 15 a few weeks ago. It’s the trend that counts, and right now it’s all in McCain’s direction.

Yes, there’s still a lot of work to do. So go out and do it.

BadgerHawk on September 13, 2008 at 9:08 AM

Maybe McCain has been ahead all along and now that the pollsters and the MSM have been unable to convince the idiotic American People they should vote for Obama, it is time to slowly start reflecting the real results as to not look a fool on Nov 4.

Elizabetty on September 13, 2008 at 9:11 AM

In their NH results, they have it 43-42, Obambi. I call that a toss up, yet they place it in the leans dem (argghhh). NH will go mcccain/PALIN’s way.

rslancer14 on September 13, 2008 at 9:13 AM

If it makes you feel any better, Newsweek is the organization that had Obama up by 15 a few weeks ago. It’s the trend that counts, and right now it’s all in McCain’s direction.

Yes, there’s still a lot of work to do. So go out and do it.

BadgerHawk on September 13, 2008 at 9:08 AM

I like how you think! Amen.

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:13 AM

I never thought in a million years that Washington would be a tossup.

Lehosh on September 13, 2008 at 9:14 AM

In their NH results, they have it 43-42, Obambi. I call that a toss up, yet they place it in the leans dem (argghhh). NH will go mcccain/PALIN’s way.

rslancer14 on September 13, 2008 at 9:13 AM

I’d always figured the only reason NH went Dem in 2004 was Kerry being from New England. Maybe there’s a shot this year.

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:15 AM

Bradley effect.

You can count the undecided for McCain. Just the facts.

40 states I say!

Kempermanx on September 13, 2008 at 9:16 AM

If the news continues to look bleak for Bambi, it will depress his turnout and move close states to McCain’s column. As long as Barry continues to flounder, a very close state is a likely McCain pickup.

snickelfritz on September 13, 2008 at 9:16 AM

If the news continues to look bleak for Bambi, it will depress his turnout and move close states to McCain’s column. As long as Barry continues to flounder, a very close state is a likely McCain pickup.

snickelfritz on September 13, 2008 at 9:16 AM

The next few days will tell the tale. By Tuesday, the ground will be set.

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Agreed. I’m figuring that Schmidt is keeping his powder dry and waiting for Axelrod to expend precious ammunition before unleashing a full broadside sometime in the first or second week of October. What say you?

ManlyRash on September 13, 2008 at 9:27 AM

and it’s unclear why Newsweek didn’t try drilling down for the more predictive sample. Perhaps they hoped to get better news.

Ed, you are too kind, bless your heart.

No one’s counting chickens before they hatch. But as Hannity reminds folks, let not your heart be troubled.

The trends show McCain seizing the momentum in this race.

FACT CHECK: Polls innately coloring results pro-Obama are forced to acknowledge McCain’s rising momentum and minimal equal popularity amongst registered voters (not mentioning that McCain is the strong preference amongst likely voters).

So keep hammering the Chicken Littles to go home and roost.

maverick muse on September 13, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:15 AM

I’d always figured the only reason NH went Dem in 2004 was Kerry being from New England. Maybe there’s a shot this year.

I figured it was voter fraud. New Hampshire allows same day registration. It’s an hour’s drive from Boston to Manchester, NH and northeastern Massachusetts is the most heavily populated part of the state (outside of Boston).

fluffy on September 13, 2008 at 9:35 AM

All these polls are REGISTERED voters not LIKELY voters. I’m betting its McCain/Palin up 12 if the vote was today.

JAW on September 13, 2008 at 9:38 AM

Four states with a total of 32 votes — Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia — are pure toss-ups.

I’m going to the Carson City, NV, (solo!) Palin rally this afternoon. I’ll do my best to help get Nevada on the Palin/McCain side.

fred5678 on September 13, 2008 at 9:38 AM

Newsweek is so in the tank for Obama that this is really bad news for the Democrats. I am sure if they could have given this to Obama they would have.

Notice the lies about Palin and creationism. These folks just never stop.

Terrye on September 13, 2008 at 9:40 AM

This is not the kind of branding BO wants…

Two Delaware residents driving on I-95 north of the state line were arrested Thursday after police found 52 bags of heroin in their car that had OBAMA and an image of the Democratic presidential candidate stamped on them.

either orr on September 13, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Two weeks of all-Sarah Palin-all-the-time media coverage

Hmmm…
I would call it “Two weeks of bash-Sarah Palin-all-the-time media coverage”.

eea on September 13, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Keep fighting but know we are making progress.

HIT FAST
HIT HARD
HIT OFTEN

sven10077 on September 13, 2008 at 9:44 AM

Our evil plan is working.

Sekhmet on September 13, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Two Delaware residents driving on I-95 north of the state line were arrested Thursday after police found 52 bags of heroin in their car that had OBAMA and an image of the Democratic presidential candidate stamped on them.
either orr on September 13, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Heh. A couple of brand names come to mind:

BambiBlow™
ObamaSmack™

ManlyRash on September 13, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Making popcorn 10,000 miles away.

This is good.

Shame I can’t send a few votes over for McCain/Palin.

Crux Australis on September 13, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Four states with a total of 32 votes — Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia — are pure toss-ups.
I’m going to the Carson City, NV, (solo!) Palin rally this afternoon. I’ll do my best to help get Nevada on the Palin/McCain side.

fred5678 on September 13, 2008 at 9:38 AM

Kick @$$!

Making popcorn 10,000 miles away.

This is good.

Shame I can’t send a few votes over for McCain/Palin.

Crux Australis on September 13, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Sorry, only Democrats are allowed to get foreign contributions.

Our evil plan is working.

Sekhmet on September 13, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Thank you!! (I love that site!)

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Shame I can’t send a few votes over for McCain/Palin. – Crux Australis on September 13, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Your kind thoughts are much appreciated, sir/madam/mate.

ManlyRash on September 13, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Two Delaware residents driving on I-95 north of the state line were arrested Thursday after police found 52 bags of heroin in their car that had OBAMA and an image of the Democratic presidential candidate stamped on them.
either orr on September 13, 2008 at 9:40 AM

There goes that campaign contribution. (No, I don’t care.)

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:57 AM

…police found 52 bags of heroin in their car that had OBAMA and an image of the Democratic presidential candidate stamped on them

Maybe they were headed to an Obama fundraiser…

Kevin71 on September 13, 2008 at 9:57 AM

I proudly paraphrase Rush Limbaugh when I say that Conservatism wins every time it’s tried.

Think of the thousands of budding Republican politicos who saw this election turned on its head by putting an unapologetic, unafraid conservative on the ticket.

Leftists, in contrast, win by hiding who they are.

jeff_from_mpls on September 13, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Many of those state polls in the Rassmussen EC tally are still from early August and do not reflect the Palin bump. Including Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Nethicus on September 13, 2008 at 10:51 AM

And the democRATs wonder…is there enough time to void The One and go with Hillary after all? BWAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Hey rats and media…or just hey RATS…suck it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You better put some ice on that!!!!!!!!!!!! Muhahahahaahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sabbott on September 13, 2008 at 10:52 AM

52 bags of heroin in their car that had OBAMA and an image of the Democratic presidential candidate stamped on them

The base of the Dhimmicrat party speaks out once again.

Mojave Mark on September 13, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Rasmussen has McCain-Palin up by 3 in Nevada, and other recent polls show a definite trend his way in that state. McCain can lose New Mexico (and Iowa), but he must defend all other states Bush won in 2004 to win. Would be nice to pick off a big blue state like Michigan/Pennsylvania for insurance just in case Virginia goes bonkers.

SouthernGent on September 13, 2008 at 10:56 AM

(No, I don’t care.)

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Rat, tat ,tat!

OldEnglish on September 13, 2008 at 11:44 AM

GOOGLE: Saul Alinsky. He was the mentor for Obama and Hillary did her paper at Wellsley. He wrote the book, “Rules for Radicals.”

volsense on September 13, 2008 at 8:51 AM

Uh…dude?

January 30, 1909, Chicago, Illinois – June 12, 1972

Alinsky died when Obama was 10. Let’s be careful with our “facts”.

Jaibones on September 13, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Ed, you seem to lack the HotAir Company Pessimism on this issue, and have failed to clearly explain why the polls do not reflect Obambi’s clearcut advantage.

Shape up.

Jaibones on September 13, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Can’t wait for Team Obama to finally take the gloves off and hit back.

slap fight < counter punching
Obamas glass jaw is going to shatter like Sarah’s shattering the glass ceiling

Mojack420 on September 13, 2008 at 12:22 PM

I never thought in a million years that Washington would be a tossup.

Lehosh on September 13, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Still wondering about a regional impact from Palin. I’ll never hear a word about that from the liberal media, but that’s what I wonder. Washington – close enough to Alaska to talk funny.

Jaibones on September 13, 2008 at 12:23 PM

One thing we won’t have to worry about is half our base being too stoned to vote on Election Day.

whitetop on September 13, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Would be nice to pick off a big blue state like Michigan/Pennsylvania for insurance just in case Virginia goes bonkers.

SouthernGent on September 13, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Virginia won’t. Let’s put it this way: In 2006 Allen lost by just 10,000 votes to Jim Webb, a guy that ran as a conservative.

There was very low Republican turnout and extremely high BDS turnout. And Jim Webb, who campaigned as a conservative, barely won.

There will be much higher conservative turnout this election. Obama is not a conservative Democrat. Independents won’t be voting for a socialist.

Gabe on September 13, 2008 at 12:36 PM

…police found 52 bags of heroin in their car that had OBAMA and an image of the Democratic presidential candidate stamped on them

My collie says:

They were jusr 5 states short of a full load.

They were short because many of their Al Qaeda/Taliban friends in Afghanistan have been having some difficulty bringing in the Opium crop.

CyberCipher on September 13, 2008 at 1:26 PM

…police found 52 bags of heroin in their car that had OBAMA and an image of the Democratic presidential candidate stamped on them

Obvious “Community Oranizer” “earmarks”………

FiveWays on September 13, 2008 at 1:58 PM

…police found 52 bags of heroin in their car that had OBAMA and an image of the Democratic presidential candidate stamped on them

Obvious “Community Organizer” “earmarks”………

there fixed it.

FiveWays on September 13, 2008 at 2:00 PM

I hope this trend holds. It would be best for the country if the race was more desicive than the last few. And I think that is a possibility.

Some 527 needs to get to the important issue of Obama’s character and personal honesty. I think he flat out lied about the flipping Hillary off and the lipstick thing. I don’t know how you prove that but I bet there are other flat out lies that can be proven. Plus, the dishonesty that he is willing to be bi-partisan. Nothing he has ever done supports that.

And lastly. Attacking a war-hero’s handicap is the dirtiest thing I have ever seen in politics. (computer ad) They will say they didn’t know. So what! That is what they did. I haven’t heard an apology! It is despictable. And if that doesn’t show the character of Barack Obama I don’t know what would. He is petty. He is power hungry to the point of maniacal. No moral compass…That should be hammered.

petunia on September 13, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Two more Nationals up, both of registered voters:

Hotline/FD tracking: McCain +1%
Gallup Tracking: McCain +2%

And, via Rasmussen, a Nevada poll of likely voters: McCain +3%

Slowly, but surely.

Dusty on September 13, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Fifty-seven percent of registered voters did not know that Palin opposes abortion even in instances of rape and incest. Sixty-nine percent did not know that she favors teaching creationism in public schools
Nice to see the MSM pushing the creation in schools meme, even through polling.

lodge on September 13, 2008 at 8:54 AM

Someone needs to yell the truth here from the roof tops. This lie is quickly becoming the “truth” that everyone knows.

petunia on September 13, 2008 at 2:29 PM

I hate to raise false hopes, but those results don’t reflect Washington state’s recent tightening in the race. I know it’s a long shot, but maybe…

Tommygun on September 13, 2008 at 9:03 AM

Please please Wash have the courage to clean up your own politcs and elect McCain. That is my native state. It is unbelievable the freedom we had there when I was growing up and how the California transplants have ruined it.

The East side is always conservative…and it has always been only KIng county votes that made any difference. One county determines the whole state. But I know the despictable recount last time has people pretty mad there!

petunia on September 13, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Still wondering about a regional impact from Palin. I’ll never hear a word about that from the liberal media, but that’s what I wonder. Washington – close enough to Alaska to talk funny.

Jaibones on September 13, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Excuse me? Her accent sounds pretty normal to me… well not quite there is BC in there too, me thinks.

petunia on September 13, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Ah, electricity just came back on here in Houston! I was going through acute HotAir withdrawals!

Neocon Peg on September 13, 2008 at 9:52 PM

Excuse me? Her accent sounds pretty normal to me… well not quite there is BC in there too, me thinks.

petunia on September 13, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Heh. I love her dialect, and I am convinced that some voters hear little inflections in the voice and they resonate. “This person sounds like me.” Especially when the rest of the candidates don’t “sound like me”.

She has that northerner thing, where about is “aboot”.

Jaibones on September 14, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Ah, electricity just came back on here in Houston! I was going through acute HotAir withdrawals!

Neocon Peg on September 13, 2008 at 9:52 PM

Good show. All in all, not too bad, eh?

Jaibones on September 14, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Folks……we have A winner!!!!!!!

McCain/Palin ’08

Winebabe on September 14, 2008 at 1:26 PM

…it’s unclear why Newsweek didn’t try drilling down for the more predictive sample.

No, Ed, it’s not, unless you impute impartiality to them, which I do not. They are shills and partisans–I’ll restrain myself from using the t-word.

urbancenturion on September 14, 2008 at 4:04 PM