Monday, October 27, 2008

Why is McCain so Confident? - Internal polling may be the key.

While the public relations machine for Barack Obama continues to pound away, while CNN, CBS, Zogby, Rasmussen, NBC and Fox show Obama leading in their respective polls (by varying degrees), John McCain continues to stand firm in the face of what, almost every pundit considers to be, insurmountable odds. Polls, mathematical predictors of outcome based on probability, are at issue, specifically the wide range of results shown here at Real Clear Politics. Real Clear Politics takes an average of all polls done, regardless of the sample used, and reaches a conclusion. Currently, Obama is shown to be leading nationwide by 7.6% according to this method. Some polls have been shown to be more accurate that others over the years, with the IBD/TIPPS poll having been the most accurate in 2004. Currently that poll “average” shows a virtual dead heat with 10.1% of the respondents, not sure (or refusing to answer). According to this poll, Obama is at 46.5 percent and McCain at 43.1 percent, there is a 3% margin of error, and an additional 10 points that are up for grabs.

Then there are those polls that the public and the press are not privy - the internal polls done by both campaigns. It is safe to say, at this point, the pollsters, who use a variety of formulas, questions and samples in order to achieve results are confusing due to the range of results as well as the percentage of undecideds. Therefore, one has to look at the reaction of the campaigns to try and guess what their internal polling data suggests. Both McCain and Obama are making stops in states where perhaps, their internal polls show that they need an edge. Interestingly, the VP candidates are most likely in states that are not critical - to shore up the base, as the balance is in line with that particular campaign. Both candidates ignore states that are considered “safe” one way or the other. What’s it all mean? Not one of “us” knows – literally, who will be elected on the 4th of November, not the pollsters, not the press. It will, in all likelihood, be yet another horserace. As Palin suggested, It's not over untl it's over.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

One thing I find interesting is the interest in Pennsylvania. Polls show this as a virtula lock for Obama but everyone is campaigning there, McCain, Obama, both Clintons. I think there is something about PA that the rest of us don't know. Losing PA is not a small deal for Obama.

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