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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Part #2- Patterns, Trends and Polls: Obama Taking a Big Hit

There was a bit I didn't mention in the part one of this piece, namely the Politico piece and the Reuters piece, so consider this part #2 and Part #1 can be found here.

Polls are but a snapshot in time, but when a variety of polls start showing a trend, it begins to outline a pattern and Reuters reports the most recent poll while The Politico tracks the pattern of multiple polls, all showing Obama's declining numbers.
The Politico reports their findings as they track recent polls and finds Barack Obama taking a serious hit in a variety of polls from multiple polling organizations for a number of different reasons.

They start off by saying "John McCain has overtaken Barack Obama in the presidential race, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released Wednesday morning."

The most recent Reuters/Zogby poll can be found here and the results are called a dramatic reversal over a previous poll conducted in July.

The previous July poll showed Barack Obama held a 7 percentage point lead over McCain and when Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr were added in, Obama held a ten point lead over McCain.

The August Reuters/Zogby Poll shows Obama has not only lost his 7 point lead over McCain individually, but has lost the 10 point lead in the four way race.

The August poll brings good tidings for John McCain, he now leads Obama by 5 points and keeps the same five point lead over Obama in the four way race with Nader and Barr included, which is a 12 point swing against Barack Obama when individually matched up with McCain and a 15 point swing against Obama in a four way race.

Between July and August Obama has lost 9 percentage points among Democrats, lost 8 points among women, lost 11 points among catholics, lost 12 points from people over 35, lost 11 points from college graduates, lost 11 points from those living in cities, lost 7 points from those with an income over $50,000 and lost 11 points from Southerners.

Reuters calls this a "sharp turnaround" and highlights the issue that most concerns likely voters is the economy and "McCain now has a 9-point edge, 49 percent to 40 percent, over Obama on the critical question of who would be the best manager of the economy."

The July poll had Obama up by four points last July on the same question about the economy.

"There is no doubt the campaign to discredit Obama is paying off for McCain right now," pollster John Zogby said. "This is a significant ebb for Obama."

The Politico takes it a step further and tracks other recent polls for a variety of polling organizations, which shows in some polls Obama still holds a slight lead, within the margin of error, but when compared with the same organization's previous polls on the same topic, Obama is showing a decline in numbers and support.

They point to a poll released yesterday, the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll , which had Obama up, within the margin of error, by 2 percentage points, 45 percent to 43 percent and show the same poll in mid-June has Obama ahead by 12 points. A net loss of 10 points.

A more tepid shift was measured in another national poll taken Aug. 12-17 by Quinnipiac University. That survey had Obama leading 47 percent to 42 percent. However, the same poll in mid-July had Obama leading McCain 50 percent to 41 percent.

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found, in a poll taken July 31-Aug. 10, Obama was besting McCain by narrow lead of only 46 percent to 43 percent. Pew's mid-July polling had Obama ahead by 5 points. In late June, Pew had Obama ahead by 8 points, 48 percent to 40 percent.

In looking around I found other polls, such as CNN's polling of polls, which was written before the latest Reuters/Zogby Poll was released today, which showed Obama ahead by three, which they say has seen his lead cut in half in just one week.

According to Real Clear Politics state by state polling page, which lists the latest polls from multiple organizations for individual states, the same type pattern is emerging. Obama has gone from being well ahead of McCain to it being a neck-and-neck race to the finish line.

The good news for Obama is with him due to announce his presidential candidate within days and the Democratic convention being held next week, it is expected he should see some sort of "bounce" in the polls as the coverage focuses on the Democrats that week.

The bad news is reports say John McCain will announce his vice presidential pick on the 29th of August which is the day after the Democratic convention ends, which is the weekend before the Republican convention starts where McCain will then be expected to get the same type of "bounce".