John Zogby: Obama hasn’t closed the deal yet

John Zogby, the man behind the Zogby polling organization, which is partnered with Reuters and C-SPAN, made some interesting comments a day ago concerning the Presidential race. In the Zogby tracking polls, Obama leads McCain but hasn’t been able to pull out of the margin of error.

Note: I don’t put much stock into a single poll, however, I found his comments more interesting than the polling data.

The story from The Bulletin:

There is no mistaking that Sen. Barack Obama, thanks in large part to a faltering economy, has made significant gains in the waning days before November’s election. But at least one pollster is adamant that the race is far from over.

“I don’t think Obama has closed the deal yet,” John Zogby told the Boston Herald. The latest Zogby tracking poll released Thursday showed Mr. Obama with a four-point lead over John McCain. Mr. Obama receives 48 percent of the vote and Mr. McCain receives 44 percent.

The poll points out that Mr. Obama retained his lead over Mr. McCain, but the Democrat “has been unable to break away, outside the margin of error of Zogby polling.”

Mr. Zogby compared this election to that of 1980, when Americans did not warm to Ronald Reagan until the days immediately preceding the election.

“The Sunday before the election, the dam burst,” Mr. Zogby said, “That’s when voters determined they were comfortable with Reagan.”

As for now, this election could still “break one way or the other.”

I like reading about historical comparisons as they’re one way to judge where the election might be headed. If Zogby’s assertions are correct, the race will break in the waning few days before election day to either McCain or Obama. As of now, Obama is sitting in a good position.

Then again, he is one pollster so this may be voided by the dozen or so other polls. The RealClearPolitics average keeps inching toward Obama now giving him a 7.6% lead on average, which is probably just outside the margin of error by most polls.

  • xaix

    Zogby may be just one pollster out of many.

    Yet, look to 1996 when all the pollsters were predicting a double digit Clinton win. Some had Clinton winning by 24 points. Only one pollster had it right or was even remotely close: Zogby.

    So the fact that Zogby may be the lone wolf against current polling conventional wisdom does not mean he should be ignored.

  • Zero Spam

    The fat lady’s warming up. Early and absentee voting is going on right now, while Obama enjoys increasing leads in most battleground states. Obama enjoys stronger organizations and more resources. All these factors mitigate against a deciding “swift boat” attack in the closing weeks.

  • Len

    I haven’t trusted Zogby since the afternoon/early evening of November 2, 2004 when he told us that John Kerry had defeated George W. Bush.

    But he is right about one thing… Barack Obama does not yet have this thing locked up. He won’t until the votes are counted on November 4. I’m not celebrating until then.

  • It’s an interesting historical note, but remember that Zogby is not only “just one pollster”, he’s one that’s been consistently wrong, and sometimes very wrong in predicting many of the results in the primaries this year. Nate, you’re veering off course again. Stick with reliable sources, on both sides.

  • Stewf, that’s why I pointed out the fact that the RCP average doesn’t seem to agree with Zogby, I was just interested in his historical perspective. I wasn’t putting more stock in Zogby’s poll than any other, I don’t trust any of them really. Just look back to New Hampshire when they all had Obama winning and Hillary took it easily, polls were all wrong and had Obama up by 4 points or so.

    I just like discussing the historical aspects of polling, which is what Zogby was doing.

  • Alan

    Zogby’s polls are as reliable or as unreliable as many other professional polls. His comments apparently reveal that he is only looking at his poll results instead of taking some sort of average of the best polls we have available. From the point of view of his margin of error, he of course might be right. But if his polls have a margin of error of +/- 4 points, then he should conclude that perhaps it is a dead heat, and thus Obama hasn’t closed the deal, or Obama could be ahead by as much as 8 points, which is well within the range of what most polls are claiming. The latter fact suggests that other polls may not be all wrong after all!

  • Paris

    I am thinking that most of the polls are wrong. This looks like Obama is over polling. This happenned throughoutthe primary season. Polls had him up by a much higher margin than he actually received. None of these polls take into account the fact that MOST people below 40 like my self, do not have home phones, just cell phones. They cannot be polled. Reality, we have no idea who will win

  • Lets not forget that Zogby was the only pollster who accurately predicted that Bush would beat Gore and Gore would win the popular vote. Everyone else had it the other way.

    Before you throw Zogby under the bus about his primary predictions lets also not forget that TexasWatchdog.org has shown that nearly 5,000 dead people managed to cast a vote in one county in Texas during the primary season. With all the voter fraud that is going on this year the polls are just not reliable. Polls take into consideration how many are registered in a party, and we have heard repeatedly that this would be a tough year for Republicans because so many more Democrats have registered. Now we come to find out that tens of thousands of new voter registrations are fraudulent on their face. How many others are fraudulent? What all this says is that no one really knows what will happen on election day.

  • Bill Hedges

    ALEN- I am fancinated in your idea of joining polls. Have you studied standard deviation ? How would you pick your polls and decide the value of each. Can those polls be gotten fron a simular time frame. Each poll would appear to me to have a different set of criteria. Your choice and weight of each seems to be very important for your desired results. I find it a integing ideal, but not of the pratically solution though. Just a thought. Of corse it has been a long time since I studied statisics, my memory may have failed me and advances could haave occured.

  • Bill, you sound more incoherent like Palin every day.

  • Bill Hedges

    Rz- you have no knowlegde in that area.

  • Babs

    Palin incoherent? Not likely. It’s funny how much Palin scares you, Pudding. Aren’t you glad you don’t live in America? You might be called on to say something intelligent, and that would never do.

  • Steve

    The only poll that counts is the one on nov 4th. Now i’m wondering what distorting effects these constant stream of new polls has on the actual voting behavior of people. It can work out several ways.

    Some people may get discouraged that their candidate ‘doesn’t stand a chance’ according to a poll, others might get complacent and stay home because their man is in the lead on the polls anyway.

    The media crave these numbers but what are they really worth besides possibly effecting voting behavior? The US election cycle seems more of a show to fit the media format rather than a real discussion on the actual issues.

    I’d say stop incessant polling and wait for the real deal on nov. 4th.