For Those of You Counting Chickens
10-17-2008
As the presidential race enters the homestretch, I was interested to hear Barack Obama raise his loss in the New Hampshire Primary yesterday as a warning to his supporters against cockiness and overconfidence. I mention this because over the past few days I have also received a few emails from Obama supporters expressing concern that the candidate’s current lead may be an indication that he is peaking too early in the polls. These readers do not cite specific reasons for this feeling, only a general concern that in this rollercoaster of campaign season there is still time for the electoral pendulum to swing back towards John McCain one final time.
 
At a minimum, I am sure the Obama campaign would like to avoid any media reports of the measuring the drapes variety, a well-worn hubris line also floated by John McCain at a recent campaign rally. And, my guess is some Obama staffers fear a return of what has come to be known as the Shrum curse, a reference to Democratic consultant Bob Shrum’s penchant for jumping the victory gun. Even though McCain supporters frequently argue the mainstream media is in the tank for Obama, I would bet few journalists would pass up the opportunity to write a stunning McCain comeback story. In the meantime, nervous Obama supporters will have to sit tight (or mobilize), hope for no October surprises, and be prepared for the possibility that the race could tighten again in the next two weeks.

Comments:


Posted On: 10-20-2008 14:58:23 by Dean
There is certainly variation across polls. Each polling organization has its own turnout models and likely voter screens. Differences in sample size and when the polls are conducted can also affect accuracy. That is why I typically look for trends in polling averages of the sort that can be found on websites like Pollster.com and RealClearPolitics.com.


Posted On: 10-20-2008 09:57:24 by Michael Collins
I think that the polls could be slightly inaccurate representation of the actual results, because of the possibility that more Democrats were called than Republican, or vice-versa. Any thoughts?


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