Polls: Race remains close, McCain with slight edge

This Saturday’s polling report headline is the opposite of last week’s in which Obama had a slight edge. Throughout this week McCain did nothing but pull ahead in the polls and today we’ll examine the RealClearPolitics polling averages the same way I did last Saturday to see the trends.

Here is the current RealClearPolitics general election polling average:

Last Saturday it had Obama at 46.60 and McCain at 44.20. This week, the tables have turned in this race and McCain is leading at 47.40 with Obama at 45.1, a start contrast since for months now, the Obama campaign has handily lead the polls on average.

So the question remains, why the sudden swing in the polls? Clearly it can be attributed to Sarah Palin, however, what demographic group has changed so much that it has now given McCain a slight advantage?

A report from Bloomberg on the polling shift:

Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) — Democrats are beginning to worry about losing the presidential election.

After months of leading in voter enthusiasm, fundraising and most surveys, Barack Obama lost momentum to John McCain after the Republican convention last week. McCain has gotten a boost from his pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate and has surged ahead of Obama in some national polls, while running even in others.

Arizona Senator McCain, 72, is drawing larger crowds to his rallies than ever before. Illinois Senator Obama’s campaign, meanwhile, may struggle to keep up the record fundraising pace it has maintained all year.

The campaign’s “novelty has worn off,” said Representative Bill Pascrell, a New Jersey Democrat. The Obama campaign “seems to have lost its speed, its response time.”

The key here is women voters, as reported from VOA News:

Several polls taken after the Republican National Convention show John McCain’s popularity ratings are surging upward, and some show him holding a slight lead over his opponent, Barack Obama.

One poll in particular may be causing concern for the Obama campaign. A new Washington Post/ABC News survey finds McCain is now ahead of Obama by 12 points among white women, 53 to 41 percent.

Last month Senator Obama held an eight point lead over McCain among white women voters in the same poll, representing a stunning, 20 point shift among that group.

So with shift in the past seven days, it’s time to reexamine the RCP electoral map which will shed light on the latest state polling:

As you can see, compared to last week, the electoral map has also shifted. Last week the map had Obama at 238 electoral votes and McCain at a mere 174 electoral votes, with 126 toss-ups. This week, it’s Obama/Biden at 217 electoral votes, McCain/Palin at 227 electoral votes, and only 94 toss-ups.

Georgie and North Carolina were put in the McCain category this week which created a shift. Pennsylvania became a toss-up which took those electoral votes away from Obama.

This is getting fascinating and I enjoy this weekly look at the polling averages. I’ll have another report next Saturday and we’ll see if things have settled down at all.

  • Christopher Schwinger

    We have other options. We can vote third party! 🙂 Chuck Baldwin is where most of the Ron Paul supporters have gone.

  • I just keep banking on Obama to open his mouth and insert that foot. Bring on those sexist comments!

  • And that’s the only way you’re banking on McCain winning? Lets hope she doesn’t have to deal with Ahmadinejad, Castro, Medvedev, Chavez, Asad and whoever’s in charge now of North Korea – “Ooooooo stop picking on me because I’m a woman”

    There’s reports that Palin is actually more popular with male voters than with female ones, I wonder why (MILF) But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t attracted some female voters too. McCain hacked any bump Obama might have got from the DNC by announcing his VP the day after, very smart move by McCain.

    The polls are pretty meaningless this far out from the election, just a point of conversation really, when we get into October then they’ll become a bit more relavent.

    Out of interest, is there an archive of polls from past elections? Would good to compare how up and down Gore/Bush or Kerry/Bush was in the polls to how Obama/McCain are.

  • nzp, I’m the first to say that polls are usually meaningless, however, in this case with the RCP average, they do show the trend and who is up or down any given week. Right now they are reflecting Palin’s popularity and Obama’s inability to get back on his message, it’s quite fascinating. I will more interested in polls following the first debate on Sept. 26th.

    I figured it’s close enough to begin a weekly examination of them, which is what I continue to plan on doing.

  • I agree totally that they’re reflecting Palins popularity NOT McCains funnily enough. And Obama definitely needs to start pulling some rabbits out of his hat or wherever he keeps them 😉

    I like RCP because they do give an average. But when most polls have McCain up by an average 2-3 points and then you have USA Today/Gallup having McCain up by +10…WTF? It makes you wonder exactly who they’re polling and how accurate these polls are.

    Just wondering if anyone on here has ever taken part in one of the polls and if so for who?

  • Dreadsen

    You mean bring on the False allegations of sexism.
    I’ll still point out Carville was called a sexist on Larry King live and all he did was question her experience in regards to the town she was a mayor at.
    But i guess take a win anyway you can get it.a

  • I just keep banking on Obama to open his mouth and insert that foot. Bring on those sexist comments!

    Wow… A woman who is hoping someone acts sexist. I mean… wow.

    This is that ‘phony outrage’ Obama talks about. You really want a presidency to be won on sexist comments vs. policy. ‘OMG, Did he offend women yet? Can I act offended? … oh …no not yet… wait for it… wait for it…’

    That is some deep political insight you have there.

  • Babs

    Since I think CG can defend herself well enough (and I hope she does), I’ll address the “phony outrage” Obama talks about.

    Let’s talk about Obama’s “phony outrage” at the remark made by Pres. Bush that didn’t even name Obama, and that didn’t – according to Bush – even pertain to Obama. But I guess he needed ratings that week, so he jumped up and threw a stomp down fit (and being from Texas, you know well what that is) that Bush had hurt his feelings. Bless his heart. Obama’s outrage about McCain’s outrage is just as phony. It gets a soundbite on the networks, which is what it was designed to do. It was gaffe on Obama’s part, like 57 states, and dead soldiers in an audience. Just another dumb thing he says when he doesn’t have a teleprompter handy.

    But for entertainment purposes, I’m expecting Obama to stick his foot back in his mouth as well. He might even call her sweetie. 😉

  • Since I think CG can defend herself well enough

    Well you seem to be the one to come to everyones defense like the ‘Obmama_Sucks’ guy… so I’ll listen…

    Are you serious? Seriously… You can’t be serious… You bring up the high Emperor of Gaffs in the same paragraph as one of the best speakers in decades? This is what blows my mind about conservatives.. This ability to forget what happened only a year or two out if it doesn’t serve them well.(like maybe that whole WMD thingie) You would think after 8 years of ‘putting food on your family’ Democrats would have a free ride for at least 20 to 30 gaffs!! But nope!

    Seriously no one compares to Bush when it comes to Gaffs.. And no one ever will..
    this is funny, I am actually going to miss Bush as well…

    He might even call her sweetie

    LOL. Yea we can and can’t use that word anymore down here in Texas. That’s just a woman’s perogative. Kind of like playing the Roulette wheel in Vegas. It all seems to depend on the woman’s mood. But they get the right to call us sweetie constantly!! Good or bad mood we just gotta take it! I am definitely PHONY OUTRAGRED on that one!!! lol

    It will not be long before the Rovian Republicans take 1 from your playbook and they publicly call PHONY OUTRAGE on the democrats and we are all back at square 1.

  • Babs

    Eric, I don’t come to everyone’s defense – you’re just new here and don’t know the regulars like those of us who have been here for months on end. Like something you’ve said in your comment referring to me shows me you really are a new kid on the block here – I’m not a conservative. And I don’t consider for one minute Obama to be the best speaker in decades, either. That’s such a koolaid thing to say.

    We all tend to jump entirely too fast on gaffes, expecting the candidates to be perfect, which of course, they’re not. And the anonymous nature of cyberspace affords us the pleasure, perhaps, of setting ourselves up as the supreme judge of the candidates and those who support them, like the people here. But that doesn’t make it right, and it just distracts from the conversation to take everything people say out of context. I’m not speaking to you specifically here, just in general.

  • just distracts from the conversation

    You keep making my point. You can’t honestly have a constructive conversation when someone is stating that your choice ‘sucks’.

    I like how no matter how much I come down to agree with you, you keep presenting me as what I am complaining about in the first place.

    That’s such a koolaid thing to say.
    !??! ok, maybe I should change my handle to ‘your choice sucks’.. That would be more adult. ok.. I see your point.

    yall are becoming no fun. That video was funny, it makes fun of libs too at the end, ah.. never mind. cyall.

  • That’s such a koolaid thing to say.

    that needed to be in quotes… and Nate you need a ‘preview’ ‘edit’ button.

  • “Wow… A woman who is hoping someone acts sexist. I mean… wow.”

    Actually I’m waiting for others to realize that when Obama misspeaks, his true feelings come out. I’m hoping people will get the opportunity to realize that Obama is nothing special, just an empty politician with no core beliefs who says dumb things when he’s not reading a teleprompter. So yes, I am hoping he continues to let us into his mind so we can see how completely inept and inarticulate he truly is without a well-rehearsed script.

    I hope Obama continues to disparage Palin in a way he would never disparage a man so the country can truly see where his heart is and that he transcends nothing.

    I want a presidency won on ideas and principles, both of which Obama wouldn’t recognize if they bit him in the rear. I am glad that Obama has showed that by attacking Palin on personal issues, he is showing how utterly devoid of decency and ideas his campaign is, he has nothing other than belittling her as a “small town mayor.” He doesn’t attack her ideas, her believes, or her principles, he attacks her personally because he has nothing else.

    So yes, Eric K, I am glad to see him implode on himself because, God forbid, his campaign is now being challenged by a principled, conservative woman. He can’t stand it and has no clue how to respond so I enjoy watching him make more gaffes than Biden, who knew that was possible?

    By Obama foolishly attacking Palin on personal issues, he has displayed to the entire country his lack of class and/or ability to fully articulate his position. This is, of course, because he has no positions which he can safely explain to the American people. Therefore he hides them and sounds like a fool when he’s not reading something that was focus-grouped and written for him.

    There is no “phony outrage,” rather there is legitimate outrage when a national political candidate infers that his female opponent should be compared to a pig. Can you honestly tell me that he didn’t immediately realize what he said or how it came out? You can’t! Plus, if he’s such a genius scholar, what does it say that he’s too ignorant to realize it? I thought he was such a smart, articulate, genius of a speaker that he knows what he’s saying.

    Obama doesn’t have a clue, and never will. Thankfully his bumbling buffoonery concerning Palin has given the country a chance to see it on a national stage.

    He can’t even deal with the the opposing vice presidential candidate, how is he going to intelligently deal with foreign leaders and grave national threats? I have a feeling his team of 300 foreign policy advisers will handle that for him by producing a well-written speech. Let’s just hope his teleprompter doesn’t malfunction when he’s addressing our enemies or we’ll be left defenseless.

  • Eric K,

    Actually if you are a registered, logged in user, you can edit your comments.

    Feel free, everyone is welcome as registration always remains open:


    I just don’t like to force people to register just to comment as I hate that at other sites. Registration is optional but does provide benefits such as editing your own comments and avoiding the spam check.

  • Although I think we all like to think our opinions are impartial and based on sound logic and judgement, we’re all biased, except me of course 🙂 I base my opinions as a citizen of the world who realises the outcome of this election doesn’t just affect America and Americans but everyone on the planet.

    Babs is so in the bag for McCain and anyone who supports him or is against Obama (which isn’t necessarily the same) and has been for some time. But I like Babs and we’ve all backed the wrong horse one time or another…LOL

    Who really cares if Palin was called a pig or not anyway apart from Republicans with nothing better to do? I think those who are outraged by this phony accusation are actually doing Palin a disservice as it makes her look weak and can’t handle a few names being thrown her way.


    Eric, you suck.


  • wow. Conservative Gal, my response to your views of reality are not going change your opinion. I’ll just accept that we have two completely different opinions of reality and move on.

    and then, O_S… I mean… I’ve just had a hell of a weekend and the week is not going better here in Hurricane ravaged Houston… I am having a hard time actually believing that you served the country when you treat your country members so rotten just because they have different views than you. Instead I have a vision of a fat Karl Rovian type character, bitter w/out real world friends, making up lies at the other end of his computer to fit in… Sad…

    Might not be true, but that is the only thing I can conjure up when someone is telling me ‘I suck’, because we have differences of opinion.

    But I am sure you will act like I offended you somehow and ‘had it coming’ before hand. Babs will most likely run to your defense regarding such offense. Some kind of preemptive ‘you suck’ strike.

    Yea I don’t want to waste my time here listening to such irrational disrespect from someone I envision being like ‘The Comic Book Guy’ from the Simpsons… No thanks for the registration Nate.

    god bless and gbye.

  • Dreadsen

    Man you all are really stretching this Obama attacking Palin deal beyond reality. I don’t understand how he is an empty suit? Every charge and description I saw in C.G. post in my opinion can also accurately describe Palin herself. Can’t accuse him of being useless with out a teleprompter when the opposition is also using teleprompters. Especially Palin.
    I am glad that a lot of conservatives have even came to Obama’s defense on this pig bullcrap. Some people will reach for anything and try to make it out to be something. If I only listened to Conservative radio you would think that this Pig comment was extremely catastrophic. I am glad McCain also admitted that Obama didn’t mean this.

    “I want a presidency won on ideas and principles, both of which Obama wouldn’t recognize if they bit him in the rear. ”

    Well you definitely don’t want McCain in. The complaint with the Liberal base is while McCain is LYING Obama is trying to fire back by staying on policy which isn’t doing anything. They totally backflipped on all of their principles by picking Palin McCain even attacked Romney, Huckabee and Guiliani on their executive experience in the debates. Made national security and foreign policy the main course of the campaign then picked someone who went against all these principles he outlined. He is against earmarks but he chooses someone who has a pig slaughterhouse and constantly tries to lie about it? This is not principles this is trying to cheat americans out of their votes by lying. Which in my book is Fraud. How about the McCain attack ad painting Obama as someone who wants children to learn about sex before they can read? The press has backlashed viciously on this. Even Mitt Romney (who used it himself) has disagreed with it. If the core principle is winning on a lie well i guess you have your man.

    And McCain’s campaign released a statement that Palin will not be talking to any of the troopergate investigators. You konw the ones she promised she would cooperate with? Very principled woman i see.

    Notice all of the statements being made are from the campaign on her behalf. She doesn’t say anything for herself. She can’t stand on her own two feet she is only a prop. Obama only as good as speeches or a teleprompter? Well dont know if you have noticed but Palin only gives speeches and also reads from teleprompters. She doesn’t face reporters every day or at the end of her so beautiful speeches. Because SHE CAN’T. CNN showed reporters all trying to get one word in with her as they just ignore them and walk off. McCain basically got him a stepford wife robot with no substance in an attempt to sale himself.

    The man and his devoted neocon followers have built this strong case that Obama is so scary and can’t be trusted in charge of the country or talking to russia, iran blah, blah , blah and that McCAin and his mighty Godly potentate superior knowledge is the only thing between us and the next terroist attack but if something happens to him this brand new person plucked out of a town who can’t even handle local news reporters or interviews and has to have the campaign do all the statements for her will be JUST FINE. This is called selling your integrity to win an election. I just don’t see the logic in raising the same argument against obama which is also the same argument which stands for your own candidate. Goes to show you everything is okay as long as it’s done in the name of the GOP.

    McCain keeps on saying that the Economy is strong and great and has an advisor who says we are whiners for complaining about the economy but yet you trust him? If he thinks it’s fine that means he probably doesn’t care to fix it! Greenspan himself had to down play McCain’s tax plan and tell us this is the worse he’s ever seen it yet STILL i see devoted followers trying to argue that it is okay.
    The only way anyone can have the moral of logical authority to raise these types of arguments is if you believe that both of these jokers are bad. But to point at one and decredit him when the other guy is just as guilty or worse in other categories discredits your own argument due to blind devotion.

  • Babs

    Hey, Dreadsen, I hear Obama took his teleprompter to the rodeo yesterday and put it right in the middle of the bullring. *LOL* Here’s my question – why does he need a teleprompter anymore? Is his memory so poor he can’t even remember his “more of same” attack lines? He’s sounding like a broken record with them, every speech is the same. I don’t understand why he still needs a teleprompter.

  • Dreadsen

    LOL teleprompter at the rodeo??

    I will say i am sick of the 4 more years of Bush talking point.
    I don’t even listen to him or Biden much anymore out of fear that i’m going to hear that same repeated talking point.

    I would like to know out of all of his outings just how often is he actually using a teleprompter? I think people may be a little selective on when they want to put the spot light on a teleprompter. And a lot of it may be urban legend. As much as he repeats the exact same things on each road trip i hate to think that a constitutional law professor can’t remember one speech.
    From what I saw a lot of everyone is using teleprompter. That’s why i think to point it out is kind of petty.
    Now if he is the only one using it then i guess you have a good case. I have been seeing Palin saying the exact same things on her bridge to no where speeches which almost sound identical where ever she goes yet she still has sheets she is reading from. As much as she says the same thing I wouldn’t think that she needed the sheets anymore.