Obama surges ahead in key swing states

Not relevant in that timeframe-- most people were still focused on the Democratic primary. We’re into the general now. We weren’t then. But thanks for asking!

You still haven’t explained why it’s a bad thing, which is actually what you said.

Kerry had a similar mid-summer spike in polls. It ended in September and he never regained the lead.


Course Obama isn’t Kerry and McCain isn’t Bush and national polls aren’t the election, so of course what happened in '04 won’t necessarily repeat this year. But I think it shows the value of midsummer polls in regards to predicting the election.

No, because there is a very good reason for this surge. I was never surprised that his numbers vs McCain during the primaries were low. When you ask a Hillary supporter to choose between her and Obama, the supporter gets into a negative mindset about Obama, which makes it less likely to choose him vs McCain. Now that she is off the poll, the true numbers are coming back. Things will change, but this is not like the artificial post-convention bump.

I’d definitely stay with the 50 state strategy. First, it helps the Democratic candidates for Congress, and so helps the next Congress be solidly Democratic. Given the good results in very non-Democratic districts, why give up on anything? Second, if Obama can outspend McCain (which is likely especially considering these poll numbers) this will make McCain waste money in safe states. Third, Reducing the number of solidly McCain states will make for a better media story.

I don’t have time to read the poll info in depth, but does it take into account the surge in Democratic registrations and voters from the primary? This I think might be vitally important in November.

Are you really completely unfamiliar with the concept of peaking too soon in a campaign? If so, I’ll spend some time explaining it. But I find it hard to believe that someone who follows politics as closely as you do is unfamiliar with that.

Details. The MOE is 2.6% (big freakin’ sample), so Ohio’s significant as well.

And FL doesn’t miss it by much. The chance that Obama’s ahead in FL is maybe 88% rather than 95% or better.

Are you really speaking to me so condescendingly? I’m not a dumbass. I get why a poll this early “isn’t necessarily a good thing,” which was the second contention you made. Given that there’s so much time between now and the actual election, all kinds of shit can happen, and often does.

But that doesn’t mean it’s “not good”, IOW bad, to have high polling numbers now, which was your original contention.

There is a difference between those two statements. I’m assuming you’re smart enough to grasp that, but if not, I’ll spend some time explaining it to you.

I’ve asked you to explain what you mean by surging this early being “not a good sign”. I’d appreciate the common courtesy that you do so, or simply decline to comment.

Thank you.

Hello - so I didn’t think I was going to post whilst out in Colorado but I think responding to this thread is appropriate will I am plugged in for a couple hours.

I do not agree with John and I too would like to see him explain the “early peaking” thing, and I’m sure he doesn’t mean puberty.

I thought a month ago that Obama would soon surge in polls, and as time passes from the primary and the candidate resonates with more people in the democratic party, his numbers would rise. I think we will see a plateau, but I do not think we are there yet. Rising numbers right now only means one thing, people are deciding to tell the pollsters, that they are now voting Obama. I certainly believe more people are ready for a democrat right now, the season is ripe.

Excellent point. I said the exact same thing when the Celtics were up 58-35 at halftime. They peaked too soon, the Lakers were sure to come back in the second half, then the Lakers would have the momentum.

Terrible strategy by the Celtics.

Fly off the handle much? It was an honest question, no condescension intended.

I didn’t say surging this early isn’t a good sign-- I said peaking this early is not a good sign.

I think I further clarified my position in the second post. It’s an alternative explanation, that is about as good as any right now since it’s so early. It’s only in retrospect that these numbers are going to mean anything.

This is amusing. Obama not getting a big post-Hillary bounce would be a bad sign because he should get one once the nom was wrapped up … and getting a big bounce is bad because doing well early on is “peaking too soon”

Funny that.

Agreed it is early and McCain could get a big GOP convention bounce, people could tire of Obama, he could get caught in contradictory misspeaks, who knows?

But doing better in states that he had been doing poorly in is better than not. McCain will need to work hard to win states that had been thought he could win with less effort. The possible combinations of an Obama electoral victory multiply.

Me, I’ll hold out for seeing Texas in play. And while it is a long way until November, and a lot can and will happen on the way, I think that such is actually possible.

Of course “peaking” this early is not a good thing, since calling it a “peak” presupposes that Obama’s numbers will go down between now and November. We don’t yet have the capability to collect future polling (or voting) data, so we really can’t begin describing the shape of the graph over the entire general campaign season until it’s over.

That said, if you have some sort of argument that Obama’s polling numbers have reached their maximum, that would be interesting and worth discussion.

Of course polls can never be reliably predictable this early, and of course things could change, but, as a general rule, you’d rather be leading in the polls than trailing in them, and you’d rather lead by more rather than less.

The problem is, how do you distinguish between surging and peaking, other than in retrospect?

All other things being equal, it’s better (as Dio and others have said) to be ahead than behind, to have a big lead rather than a small lead, and to be increasing that lead rather than the momentum being with one’s opponent.

I won’t be taking this race for granted until Obama’s ahead by 15% in the fall, and McCain’s clearly made too big of an ass of himself to recover. But while November’s a long, long way off yet, things aren’t looking too bad for early in the game.

Obama taking an early lead in the polls may cause the media to turn on him and play pattycake with McCain.

The media got a huge ratings boost with the close Democratic primary. A four month blow out by Obama would be a yawnfest. They’re going to do everything in their power to keep the perception that this is a close race their top story. Obama is going to have a tough campaign no matter what.

But that’s what they’ve been doing, and look what’s happened.

Well we won’t. That’s why I said:

Great minds think alike. They sometimes even use the exact same words. :wink:

Yep. All things being equal. Unless, of course, you peak too early. Then it’s better not to be ahead. (I honestly think this is all a bunch of over-analysis at this point.)

A lot can happen between now and Nov. One thing for certain, though, is that McCain won’t be any younger then.

It’s been apparent from the outset that Obama will need to do it better and cleaner than the other guy, especially becuase he has set himself up as the change candidate, and every time he tries to press an advantage, he will be knocked for “politics as usual”. So this gives him some much-needed breathing room for a little while. I’d imagine that things will tighten up considerably in the doldrums and we’ll be much tighter going into November than we are now, but better that than being tight now and going into November as the underdog.

Yep. That’s one reason you don’t want to peak too soon-- you don’t want to give the media a long time to try and drag you down. Even if it’s not done consciously, a damaging story about someone way out front in the race is a much bigger story than one about the guy who is losing. Or, a not-so-damaging story can be run in such a way that it’ll do more damage to the front runner.

Rasmussen released a poll today giving McCain a 1 point lead in Ohio.