Weekly Polling Report: The GOP Pulls Back the Curtain on Itself
by CA Pol Junkie
This has been an interesting week, hasn't it! The Democratic convention went off extremely well. Michelle Obama received raves for her speech, Hillary Clinton gave a full-throated endorsement of Barack Obama, and Obama's speech was expertly delivered, showed people the meat of his policies, and took the fight to John McCain.
Then John McCain trashed the Republican brand. McCain exposed for all the world to see the lies behind all the GOP's talk that experience mattered, that they cared about the "War on Terror", and that merit matters. Those of us who closely follow politics understood that a long time ago, but it was a little surreal to see John McCain so plainly declare to the world: "We are frauds!"
None but the hacks and Party apparatchiks really defended the nomination. Others, even on the right, called the pick cynical, near suicidal, and desperate. This does not reflect poorly on Governor Palin, who is not to blame for her own inexperience, except perhaps in accepting the offer. It says alot about McCain for making an unserious choice and a rash decision for a very important post on someone he'd barely even met. Barack Obama says it is about judgment and McCain is proving Obama's point. With his transparently political choice, McCain is telling the voters, "Vote for me because I want to get elected."
There certainly are positives for the GOP from the nomination of Governor Palin. She is adored by the right-wing, who would love someone in power who wants creationism taught in schools, denies that humans are the cause of climate change, and thinks rape and incest victims should be forced to bear the perpetrator's child. She is also very engaging and a needed shot of charisma to an otherwise moribund campaign.
Will she entice women to pull the lever for the GOP? Let's put it this way: Mondale's attempt got him 38% of the male vote and 42% of the female vote. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of putting a woman on the ticket because she is a woman. In 1984, there really weren't many women even marginally qualified to be Vice President. Now, there are lots of women, even in the GOP, who would be well qualified. None of the Republican alternatives, however, would make their base swoon like Governor Palin does. Perhaps none would make McCain swoon as much either.
The polls are going to be goofy for at least another week. Not alot of state polling was done during the Democratic convention, polling over Labor Day weekend is unreliable, and then the GOP convention starts while Gustav rains on their parade. The convention bounces will overlap with each other, creating a confusing signal in the already dubious tracking polls.
The poll averages used are from pollster.com. A 10 point lead puts a state in the base for each candidate, which means it's not going to be the state to put one candidate or the other over 270. Since those states are boring, their status is not updated here. Although there hasn't been new polling, I've taken the liberty of putting Delaware and Alaska into each candidate's respective base. McCain never really had a shot in Delaware without Biden on the ticket. Although Obama was actually leading in the last poll of Alaska, Palin's nomination is probably enough to make it revert to its deep red tendencies.
The current prediction mostly based on pollster.com would be Obama 309, McCain 229 with Colorado as the state that puts Obama over the top and Nevada as the closest state. Arizona and Colorado got bluer than last week, while Nevada shifted back over to the red side.
Obama Base (193 EV): California, Washington, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Illinois, DC, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Delaware
Pennsylvania (Obama +6.9) 229 EV
EPIC/MRA 8/18-21 (7/13-15):
Obama 43 (43)
McCain 41 (41)
Quinnipiad 8/15-21 (7/19-21):
McCain 42 (46)
Obama 41 (44)
Quinnipiac 8/15-21 (7/19-21):
McCain 47 (46)
Obama 46 (44)
Hill Research 8/23-24:
Ohio (Obama +1.7) 292 EV
Public Policy Polling 8/20-22 (7/17-20):
Nevada (McCain +0.7) 229 EV
Florida (McCain +2.1) 224 EV
The Kitchens Group 8/18-21:
Quinnipiac 8/17-24 (7/23-29):
McCain 47 (44)
Obama 43 (46)
Strategic Vision 8/22-24 (6/26-29):
McCain 49 (49)
Obama 42 (41)
Mason-Dixon 8/25-26 (2/21-24):
McCain 45 (47)
Obama 44 (37)
Public Policy Polling 8/20-23 (7/23-27):
McCain 45 (47)
Obama 42 (44)
Rasmussen 8/21 (7/30):
McCain 54 (50)
Obama 44 (41)
McCain Base (81 EV): Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alaska