Pumas 4 Palin

Economic news, and it’s impact on the State of the Race

Posted on: October 1, 2008

Immediately prior to the start of the Democratic National Convention, Obama led in the RCP average 45.5% to 43.9%. In June, he had an average lead of 47.1% to 42.4%. So, from June to the beginning of the conventions, McCain whittled down Obama’s lead from 4.5 points to 1.6 points. The Republican National Convention put him ahead of Obama, but recent events have wiped that lead away. Currently, the race stands roughly where it did in June, though McCain is in a slightly better position.

Such is the topsy-turvy progression of public opinion, as observed by the erudite Seer, Prof. Jay Cost, in his most recent essay  RealClearPolitics – HorseRaceBlog – On the State of the Race. He charts the progression of the polls in time, and marks the major events in the last 25 days: failure of various banks, brokerages and bailouts. The timings of the news have a dramatic affect on the poll numbers.

The prinicipal thrust of this latest essay is that Jay Cost believes, news of the economy has reversed a trend toward a tightening of the race, which could still happen because:

i} The number of undecideds has increased in recent weeks again, following a definite decline since end of primaries;

ii} Polls are very volatile this month, and have been compared to the rest of the season, and even more so compared to same time last election cycle. In other words, much could change in weeks to come;

iii) There continues to be voters who will not make up their mind until the last minute, so to speak.

There seems to be a lot of uncertainty out there.

It is fair to say that, on a purely political basis, McCain needs a resolution more than Obama.

McCain needs this issue to become less immediate, less salient. Nothing else is getting through right now. McCain needs this to drop off the front page as a first step to recover the ground he has lost in the last 20 days.

(Emphasis added)

I think most voters will agree with most of Jay Cost’s observations. The debates could still affect the thinking of some people, but nothing like pocket book issues taking up frontpage space. After all, truth be told, something even more critical than election results depends on the bailout plan. So, get to it Congress!


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