AP: Obama has lost six points in three weeks among likely voters

posted at 1:45 pm on October 22, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Take this, as with all polling this cycle, with a grain of salt — but usually the error in the AP polling goes the other direction.  A new poll of likely voters has Barack Obama clinging to a one-point lead, 44%-43%, with John McCain making up almost all of a seven-point deficit over the last three weeks.  Guess what may have done the trick, according to the AP?

An Associated Press-GfK poll shows the presidential race tightened after the final debate, with John McCain gaining among whites and people earning less than $50,000. Two weeks before the election, McCain and Barack Obama are essentially running even among likely voters.

The poll put Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent among those voters who are considered likely to vote on Nov. 4. The survey supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race has narrowed as Republicans drift home to their party. McCain’s “Joe the plumber” analogy also seemed to strike a chord.

There’s still plenty of time left in this election.  McCain has now obviously found a winning message that negates Obama’s economic populism.  These respondents hadn’t yet heard Joe Biden’s warning about Obama’s election provoking an international crisis to test his mettle, another message that will regenerate doubts about voting for a man with no executive or military experience in the middle of a war.

The news isn’t great, but there isn’t any need for despair, either.  McCain and Palin need to keep pressing the attack on Obama’s redistributionism and inexperience.

Update: Mary Katharine Ham notes a particularly interesting aspect to this poll:

A significant number of the interviews were conducted by dialing a randomly selected sample of cell phone numbers, and thus this poll had a chance to reach voters who were excluded from some other polls.

Cell-phone users are supposed to be left-leaning demographic historically missed by pollsters (though the vast unpolled cellular herd has never been vast enough to change the game on Election Day). Why would McCain be gaining in a poll with cell-phone users included, and if he is, isn’t it exceedingly promising for the Republican candidate that the numbers are this close? Perhaps they’re polling a disproportionate number of “push-to-talk” Nextel users (read: Joe the Plumber and Tito the Construction Worker) and undersampling Sidekick users.

I’d call that very promising.


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Is it just me or are the Fox All Stars in decline?

CinnamongirlUF on October 22, 2008 at 7:01 PM

Who was on today? I missed it.

Yeah, I think they’ve gone downhill.

Mort has definitely gone over the edge. I prefer *gulp* Juan over Mort at this stage.

I still like Kristol and Krauthammer, most of the time.

Fred has developed a very rushed delivery. I’m actually a little worried about him… he kind of has trouble finding his words now.

I think the best panel is probably Brit moderating, Krauthammer, Juan, and Kristol…

Bret Baier is ok, but I can’t see him taking over the show. I wonder if Cavuto would do it — or is he too economics/business oriented to run a straight political show? Or maybe… this may be a weird idea… Greta? You need someone who is not clearly a Republican, so Hannity is out (although I would love to get him away from Colmes).

Y-not on October 22, 2008 at 7:11 PM

I’m a libertarian (little “l”, not a Ronulan) by philosophy, and I’ve tended to vote Democrat because I’ve been turned off by the Religious Right for almost twenty years. So I’m not really qualified to tell you how to bring conservatism back.

But take these basic points for what you think they might be worth (which could be worthless):

1. Over time, jerks lose. Especially people that look like they’re jerks.

2. Stooping to fight other jerks on their terms just creates two sets of jerks.

3. Not knowing what you’re fighting for means you end up never know what you did or didn’t win.

4. Not starting with a gameplan to accomplish means you don’t know how close or far you are from winning.

5. Not having a gameplan up front means you can’t easily demonstrate to people what you’ve accomplished.

6. Publicly making promises or stating principles that you don’t keep causes people to doubt your ability, sincerity and ethics.

7. Trying to lie about/outrageously spin facts and trying to coverup afterwords doesn’t work in these times of the Internet and makes you look crooked.

8. Not everyone who disagrees with you or tells you bad or cautionary news is your enemy. The best thing you can have may well be someone who can tell you when you’re not doing something right or try to make sure you don’t get too full of yourself.

The basic problem is I can’t for the life of me figure out what the GOP/conservatism is or what it stands for anymore. I don’t think many of you can either. You’ve got to somehow reach consensus in a way that motivates sufficient numbers of people to win elections (many of whom will be non-white immigrants). And then you’ve got to deliver.

Obama will almost surely fail to meet expectations in the next four years. So would McCain if he were elected because the Presidency in 08 is a job no sane person would want given the almost impossible challenges in our economy, country and world. Rallying people against Obama will be a start for the GOP. But it won’t be enough until there’s first a positive gameplan on what conservatives will do and second, the beneficial achievement of a significant portion of that gameplan.

jim m on October 22, 2008 at 7:20 PM

my aren’t we the pessimist today. just marking time till doomsday? – trailboss on October 22, 2008 at 7:10 PM

I’m a rank pessimist. And yes…we are all just marking time – including you.

ManlyRash on October 22, 2008 at 7:25 PM

I’m a libertarian (little “l”, not a Ronulan) by philosophy, and I’ve tended to vote Democrat because I’ve been turned off by the Religious Right for almost twenty years. So I’m not really qualified to tell you how to bring conservatism back.- jim m on October 22, 2008 at 7:20 PM

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you. No informed, intelligent, self-respecting libertarian would ever vote for a Democrat, regardless of any Religious Right bugbear in the Republican party, by dint of the fact that Democrats have, for all practical purposes, become socialists. And socialisim is the very antithesis of libertarianism.

The libertarians I know reject the Republican party not for its alliance with the Religious Right, but because of its dalliances with the political left, and generally vote for Libertarian or Constitution party candidates.

Your quarrel is not with Republicans or their party. Your quarrel is with organized religion – specifically conservative Christians.

ManlyRash on October 22, 2008 at 7:35 PM

Maybe ‘That One, 0B0mber” is runnin off to Hawaii:
1.) to retrieve his legit Birth Cert.?
2.) to produce (with Okra) his 30 minute lie-apaloosa of a T.V. ad?
3.) because there is a Michele 0 taped conversation with API about to hit the airwaves and he wants to be able to cry foul for releasing it while he suspended his campaign?
4.) He’s about to be busted on a RICO charge for giving over $800,000.00 to Project Vote (His pet project where he taught them their dirty tricks), when they are just an arm of ACORN and are using charitable and taxpayer funds as a strictly Dem party apparatus vote stealing machine?
5.) Is consulting his lawyers to see if he can pardon himself from above RICO charges if he is able to steal this election with the help of ACORN, the Mostly Sucks Media, and a lot of single digit IQ voters?
6.) Is tryin to figure out how to throw “0Biden” under the 0B0mber bus?

dhunter on October 22, 2008 at 7:36 PM

I hadn’t thought of that before…Oprah has a lovely home in Hawaii- Perhaps the messiah has plans to pow-wow with her producers after he gives Grandma her alloted hour.

anniekc on October 22, 2008 at 7:44 PM

Expect early riots when McCain takes the lead in a few polls next week.

SouthernGent on October 22, 2008 at 7:54 PM

No, ManlyRash.

We’re not going to get to a flat tax code or the elimination of government subsidies (sic?) in our lifetime no matter who is elected. Both parties are just going to tinker around the edges rather than making any dramatic changes IMHO. And the economy in Democrat administrations has historically tended to be better than its performance in Republican administrations over the longer term. (If you don’t believe me, read the article in last week’s Barrons).
So, economically, I don’t see a huge diffence in practical effect between the two parties.

jim m on October 22, 2008 at 7:58 PM

So, economically, I don’t see a huge diffence in practical effect between the two parties.

Has Carter been forgotten that quickly? Clinton was a pragmatist, Obama is not, he’s a socialist. This will be a huge difference.

Mojave Mark on October 22, 2008 at 8:25 PM

trailboss on October 22, 2008 at 3:12 PM

I’d value a civil conversation with a person of any political persuasion. But you seem to be overlooking the very real possibility that a significant percentage of Obama supporters are genuine enemies, in the sense that they actually desire a socialist society. That doesn’t make them merely wrong, it makes them dangerous, regardless of how sincere or how nice they may be as individuals. More than that, there are some mistakes that no adult can innocently make. Advocating socialism is one of them. And Obama is a socialist. No doubt.

JDPerren on October 22, 2008 at 10:18 PM

I can’t wait until this election cycle is over and we can forget about polls for a while.

t.ferg on October 22, 2008 at 10:29 PM

Obviously not enough people care what Obama is, who his associations are, what he did, what he didn’t do or what he will or won’t do in the future. It is a mental state, messiah-rockstar emotional wave on display by the now well mind-conditioned products of the left’s educational triumphs, welfare system and a corrupt and evil media. If that weren’t the case Hillary would be in the race and not “That One.”

wepeople on October 22, 2008 at 11:02 PM

His attacks on Fred and Palin have been nothing but negative. He does not help conservatives. Allah does not understand flyover country.

unseen on October 22, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Hey Unseen. Good to see you.

I was a Fred! guy and I always thought AP leaned toward him, actually. He gave Fred jabs when he deserved them, (and he DID deserve them), but the vitriol usually came out in the comments by the usual suspects.

Also, it’s always been my understanding that AP’s job is to educate his readers, Conservative or not. Not his job to cheerlead. I don’t agree with him on everything (especially the view phase…), but I’d be lying if I said I’m not much better informed due to what he digs up for us everyday.

techno_barbarian on October 22, 2008 at 11:21 PM

I appreciate the compliment, but Allahpundit takes a lot of crap for telling people the truth. I love AP’s posts. Not all news is good news.

Ed Morrissey on October 22, 2008 at 1:53 PM

I might not agree with Allah but question his integrity?

Never.

Speakup on October 23, 2008 at 12:04 AM

I appreciate the compliment, but Allahpundit takes a lot of crap for telling people the truth. I love AP’s posts. Not all news is good news.

Ed Morrissey on October 22, 2008 at 1:53 PM

I might not agree with Allah but question his integrity?

Never.

Speakup on October 23, 2008 at 12:04 AM

My fellow co-worker, whose spouse owns a physical therapy office, will take a huge hit in tax increases under the Obama plan. They said they might have to lay people off as a result of the greed of the Democrats. So, the workers are all nervous about loosing their jobs now. He is a life long Democrat BTW.

Hope and Change my ass…

Kevin in Washington State on October 23, 2008 at 12:34 AM

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you. No informed, intelligent, self-respecting libertarian would ever vote for a Democrat, regardless of any Religious Right bugbear in the Republican party, by dint of the fact that Democrats have, for all practical purposes, become socialists. And socialisim is the very antithesis of libertarianism.

The libertarians I know reject the Republican party not for its alliance with the Religious Right, but because of its dalliances with the political left, and generally vote for Libertarian or Constitution party candidates.

Manlyrash, you are correct. I don’t believe this guy either. I’ve got a Libertarian resume that would make your head spin: 25 years of hardcore Libertarian activism for both the Libertarian Party and Republican Liberty Caucus. I can smell a “rat” a mile away. There are tons of people who like to use the “libertarian” label who are not members of our movement. This guy is clearly one of them.

Let me tell my Conservative friends something: Win or lose this election WE LIBERTARIANS WILL STAND BY YOUR SIDE!!! We are with you, we Love Sarah Palin, like John McCain for picking her, and will do everything we can to elect the McCain/Palin ticket on Nov. 4.

If we should lose, WE WILL WORK WITH OUR CONSERVATIVE FRIENDS TO REBUILD OUR REPUBLICAN PARTY and fight the G-dammned Leftist bastards with all our might.

And you are correct, Libertarians are dissapointed with the GOP not because of the Religious Right (which is soooooo 1980s – We did hate you guys back then cause of the RR), but we are dissapointed because the GOP is not fighting hard enough against Obama and the Dems.

ericdondero on October 23, 2008 at 6:59 AM

then lets step it up.

I;d also say use the data from the early voters just like Bamma is doing. Hey how’s his Grandmother by the way? Did he ever leave?

This guy isnt dumb folks. Oh they’ll be dancin in the streets or fightin in the streets depending on how this goes.

johnnyU on October 23, 2008 at 8:16 AM

Let me tell my Conservative friends something: Win or lose this election WE LIBERTARIANS WILL STAND BY YOUR SIDE!!! We are with you, we Love Sarah Palin, like John McCain for picking her, and will do everything we can to elect the McCain/Palin ticket on Nov. 4.

ericdondero on October 23, 2008 at 6:59 AM

Tat is much appreciated, Eric. You can do us an even bigger favor than simply standing by our side…you can give us a swift kick in the arse whenever our more wayward members spent too much time flirting with socialists.

ManlyRash on October 23, 2008 at 8:25 AM

jim m on October 22, 2008 at 7:20 PM

Um-hm, and everything you needed to know you learned in kindergarden, right?

ExTex on October 23, 2008 at 8:45 AM

You don’t have to believe me, guys. What I wrote is true. I never said I was a member of the Libertarian Party, by the way, just said I had a libertarian philosphy.

I don’t see anyone here explaining why my economic analysis was wrong. Do you really see either party successfully eliminating or significantly reforming, for instance, Medicare or Social Security?

And for my analysis about the GOP’s troubles: One of the commentators on Town Hall today wrote what I did. The GOP’s brand is all screwed up, in essence.

jim m on October 23, 2008 at 9:08 AM

Palin/Wulzelbacher 2012

It takes a plumber to cut through the excrement.

Disturb the Universe on October 23, 2008 at 10:33 AM

the new AP poll … Obama up by only 1.

Another example of how the righties pee all over themselves when the poll supports their interests and how it’s the big bad liberal media when their interests are behind. Get behind one of your stories and stick to it.

Topic for discussion. $400 haircut or 150,000 wardrobe … which is better, talk amongst yourselves.

Monkei on October 23, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Speaking of “polls,” interesting results from an unscientific poll of Cleveland and Pittsburgh Democrats at Hillbuzz.

I saw you posted remarks on the polls media are pushing, claiming 80% of Clinton voters are backing Obama and that 85% of Democrats are all falling in line…more than the percentage of Republicans who are voting for McCain (which the media claims is only 80%).

Well, the last three days I took the time to call and email everyone I know back home, and everyone my boyfriend knows in Pittsburgh where he is from. Between the two of us, we know about 300 people: our families, our friends, our friends’ families, and our friends’ families’ friends. [snip]

We asked everyone who they are voting for — and all of these people are Democrats. Most of them voted for John Kerry in 2004 (some didn’t vote, and a few voted third party).

Here’s how things broke down:

300 Cleveland and Pittsburgh voters

260 = John McCain, and voting Republican for the first time

10 = voting for Nader, because they just can’t vote Republican, but can’t vote Obama

10 = voting Green, because they specifically said they want to punish Democrats for what they did to Hillary

20= not voting this year (15 of those didn’t vote in 2000, but voted in 2004; 5 of them have always voted so this is the first year they are skipping)

Not a single one of them are voting for Obama.

Now, just a word about our families: both Jason and I come from Teamster/Union families. My dad worked for a trucking company. Jason’s worked for Ford Motor Company. All of our relatives back home are blue collar — Jason’s brothers are electricians and carpenters. Our moms were both secretaries in family-owned companies. Our friends back home are a mix of nurses, marketing managers, salesmen, and other kinds of mid-level managers working for small firms, living just a couple of blocks from where they grew up.

Several of us HA posters are scientists and engineers so I know you all know that obviously this poll is prone to many problems, including sampling biases. However, many of us also have close friends and family who are voting for Obama, even though we’re not, and these folks did sample beyond their immediate circle (to friends’ families and their friends).

Anyway, I thought I’d pass it along for the poll-watching set.

Y-not on October 23, 2008 at 12:55 PM

Other similar unscientific polls I am seeing similar results.

I am seeing a total reluctance to speak against Obama for fear of retibution. No one mentions Obama in thepresence of blacks

My neighborhood is absent of political signs for Presidential candidates but filled with signs for judges. Never saw this before in my lifetime

Voter fraud is the big danger here, and everywhere.

The DEMs picked as controversial candidate as anyone could ever find. They could have slam dunked Hillary into the White House. Now they will have to cheat Obama in

I admit I was surprised in the primaries at the huge support for Hillary among women in my locale. People I never would have assumed were adoring fans. Obama has the ultra love of one group, blacks

entagor on October 23, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Voter fraud is the big danger here, and everywhere.

entagor on October 23, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Yep.

Does anyone know if early voting ballots are more (or less) susceptible to tampering? I know Rush has been encouraging early voting, but I am loathe to have my ballot sitting around somewhere for a couple of weeks where anything might happen to it. Didn’t many of our military voters’ ballots get misplaced last time (or the time before that)?

Y-not on October 23, 2008 at 1:42 PM

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