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POLL: Time National (7/31 - 8/4)


Time/Abt SRBI
7/31-8/4/08; LV, 3%
Mode: Live Telephone Interviews
(story, analysis, results)

National
Obama 46, McCain 41 (June: Obama 47, McCain 43)
Obama 44, McCain 41, Barr 3, Nader 3

 

Comments
Mike_in_CA:

Haha...Obama's numbers are exactly the same as June (actually 1 pt better) in this poll, and yet the headline for conservative-leaning Time magazine is: "Poll: Trouble Signs in Obama's Lead" .... I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

Basically, all of these recent polls are saying the following: NOTHING HAS CHANGED ALL SUMMER. And it's most likely because not many people really care during the summer. McCain has tried to define Obama on his terms and it isn't working, but meanwhile, Obama has tried to define himself on his terms and that's not really working either...

Basically opinions are holding steady...

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boskop:

except for 14%.
There's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.

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carl29:

Told you so!! I've been saying it tireless: This thing is frozen. People are just un-plugged, and hey!, give them a brake for goodness sake. Nothing is going to change until after the conventions and during the debates. Right now people are either 1)On vacation 2)Getting ready for vacations
3)Getting the kids ready for school 4)Working the extra job to put up with living expenses

In September a better picture will emerge. Just wait and see!!

*Contribute with your candidate, get on the phones, register voters. The most crucial months are ahead.

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Undecided:

The "trouble signs" are in the details...

McCain gained a couple of points on the economy (McCain 39-Obama 43) ... but most notably McCain gained 5 points on Iraq to lead 51-36 and 3 points on terrorism 56-29 (Obama lost 4 points).

For comparison the Rasmussen poll has the following:
Economy: McCain and Obama tied at 45%
Iraq: McCain 51-Obama 39
Terrorism (National Security): McCain 52-Obama 40

Bottom line... The Democrats (i.e. Obama) is supposed to be very very strong on the economy, but that is not reflected in the Obama/McCain polls. Obama pushed the initial Iraq War decision as his strong point but it is lost in the focus on the current situation. And no surprise that the GOP is strong in terrorism/national security.

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Patrick:

The reason Time Magazine (as well as virtually every major political magazine and network, left, right or center) is saying that Obama's narrow lead is troubling, is because they all agree that he should be WAY ahead of McCain at this juncture. He's the "fresh face", he's gotten more press than any candidate in recent history, and the country is universally disgusted with Bush and the Republicans. The fact that he is only slightly ahead (or even statistially tied, depending on the poll) with McCain at this time (after the unprecedented "honeymoon" he's had) shows a very real potential weakness and an inability to 'connect' as substantially as he should be with some key swing voting groups, inc. women and independents. If Obama selects a white man as his running mate (as is widely expected) and McCain then selects a woman (e.g. Kay Bailey Hutchison or the former CEO of HP), his ticket will seem more historic and Obamas and McCain will win the election.

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Patrick:

The reason Time Magazine (as well as virtually every major political magazine and network, left, right or center) is saying that Obama's narrow lead is troubling, is because they all agree that he should be WAY ahead of McCain at this juncture. He's the "fresh face", he's gotten more press than any candidate in recent history, and the country is universally disgusted with Bush and the Republicans. The fact that he is only slightly ahead (or even statistially tied, depending on the poll) with McCain at this time (after the unprecedented "honeymoon" he's had) shows a very real potential weakness and an inability to 'connect' as substantially as he should be with some key swing voting groups, inc. women and independents. If Obama selects a white man as his running mate (as is widely expected) and McCain then selects a woman (e.g. Kay Bailey Hutchison or the former CEO of HP), his ticket will seem more historic and Obamas and McCain will win the election.

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Undecided:

Hmmm... I think people still watch TV news during the summer. And some had to forego vacations because of fuel and food prices. In fact, it is the basis for a commercial from one of the big superstores depicting a "backyard" vacation. And that does not explain the "Berlin" bump in the tracking polls. (And that was more than statistical "noise.")

I can understand that people may not be as enthusiastic in the summer, but they are not deaf and dumb.

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Stillow:

But it is definately bad news for Obama to be this tight right now. The disgust with the GOP is equal if not worse than the disgust with the Dems in '94. For some reason Obama is not breaking thru...is it his associations with nuts like Wright, is it cus he is black, is it because he's a far left liberal? I don't know....but its definately something...there's an uneasyness about him out there......people know what to expect from McCain so they might feel safer....its a very strange and akward thing that they are tied with the Dems so heavily favored in this election cycle. But whoever said politics made sense....

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C.S.Strowbridge:

Undecided: "The 'trouble signs' are in the details..."

And yet despite all of that, Obama is ahead and his lead is up 1%.

If this is trouble for Obama, what is it for McCain?

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boskop:

true. if mccain blows a hole in obama's peace maker policy it'll be that he is happy to rattle his saber at afghanistan. seems like every president or wannabe wants his own war. so obama is not one to be found wanting and weak, he has to show some macho..ergo afghanistan.


i've been doing some big time reading on afghanistan. you think iraq's terrain is tough? try the biggest mountain massif in the world and snow and taliban and fractious tribes all harboring grudges. you cant win afghanistan either.


but when obama rattles his trusty sabers, he defeats his little october speech of 2002 (never to be heard of again until he started running for pres) as the anti war candidate.

so in effect, he has pulled even with mccain as a potential war monger and ruined his inviolate image.

thus all that is left for him is the econ and on that he is late to the party. what he might be able to do and i suspect he is based on his incredibly vapid wordisms that get one no where in a sentence, is to run out the clock with charm and broad smiles and oh that remarkable never before used word CHANGE.

there is a chance he can pull it off. we'll see. mike in ca is hoping the election is tomorrow but unfortunately, we have two things or three big things on the horizon:

//olmert is over and netanyahu might put up his hawk candidate. planes over iran, zap the rods and tubes and OMG, here we go again.

//pelosi will have to eat crow in front of the entire world, but here obama will swoop down and act like some savior when in fact he is very late to this party too(the drillers party)

and finally, he looks like hell. old, aging, tired, not the alfalfa sprout he was 6 months ago. if i were him, i'd get me another lung scan. and quick.

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Undecided:

Note that the majority of the details are outside the margin of error... whereas with Nader and Barr... the number is within the margin of error (3%).

Also... I thought that Nader and Barr were supposed to take votes AWAY from McCain... so why did Obama lose points? There is no change in undecided (10%) in both questions (i.e. with and without Nader and Barr).

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carl29:

Did a 20% lead at this time help Dukakis? If I'm not mistaken that was exactly the argument made when the infamous poll showing Obama up by 15% was released. "This is just like Dukakis." If the race stays stable through the summer, just like it did in 2004, "What is wrong with Obama?" If Obama is ahead: "The candidate wining in the summer loses in the fall." See my point? The guy is in a lose-lose situation with those who want him to lose, period.

I don't see why Obama is in bigger trouble than McCain when the poll shows McCain allegedly making up ground on the economy, but losing 2% of support when compared to June, 43% to 41%. Shouldn't it be the opposite? If McCain is improving in the number one issue in Americans' minds, why aren't his numbers moving up, but rather than going back?

If Obama is not ahead by 15%, something is wrong with Obama. If Obama is ahead by 15%, Obama is just like Dukakis and will end up losing. Guys, wait and see! Don't worry the best is coming up. I don't think that people vote x or y just because pundits say so. This election is going to be like any other election in recent history, close my friend.

In addition Obama is winning Ind. by 10%, so that should be good news for him. My huntch is that this election will be decided by independent voters, so See why Obama can't take Hillary? Hillary is a no-no for Independents.

*Bill Clinton never reached the 50% of support in any of his presidential elections. This country is pretty divided my friends.

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Continuing my war on likely voter models...

Here we have 808 "Registered Likely Voters." Q1 reports 100% of the sample is registered and Q2 reports 90% are "definately" going to vote and 10% "probably." I guess this means that registered likely voters must have to respond affirmatively to being registered and "definately" or "probably" to voting. This is different from Gallup, which requires likely voters to have a past history of voting and to express an interest in the campaign. There is no indication of weighting in this survey, so who knows what it going on there.

If I am correct, then this two-question likely voter model seems less biased against young voters and less volatile due to changing interest. This may explain the stability since June in this poll compared with the USAToday/Gallup poll.

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Stillow:

carl29

Well put.

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Undecided:

Regarding today's poll and that of June:
Obama 46, McCain 41 (June: Obama 47, McCain 43)

The margin of error is 3%.
In other words there is a 95% confidence level that Obama is anywhere between 49% and 43% for this poll. Obama's June number (47%) falls within that range.

Same with McCain at 41% means anywhere between 44% and 38%. McCain's June number (43) falls within that range.

Also the 1% differential in Obama's gain is within the margin of error. Today's poll and June's poll are essentially equivalent.

That is why one needs to look at the internals to see if there is any movement.

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Patrick:

Carl29: The big difference between this year and 1988 (when Dukakis was ahead), or any other recent election year, is that Obama, as the Democratic nominee, has the biggest "built in" advantage since at least 1976 (and perhaps even a few decades before that), i.e. a nation absolutely disgusted with a president from the other party. That's why people are worried (including a lot of prominent Democrats). If Obama is only slightly head (or statistically tied) against a 72 year old Republican candidate just coming off a primary season in which he got more coverage and positive press than just about anyone is recent political history, it shows he is really having trouble 'connecting' with key voting groups so far. Yes, there's 3 months until the election, but Obama's negatives have been nudging up and a big majority of Americans are getting tired of seeing him on the news so much (see CNN and Politico today). The Republicans will be desperate to hold on to the White House, so they will be working overtime to portray Obama as too liberal (named most liberal by National Journal), elitist (comments in SF), arrogant (tone of speeches; speech in Berlin), a flip-flopper (change of positions on gun control, windfall taxes, FL and MI delegates, offshore drilling, just to name a few). And since so few Americans still feel they don't really know him, it may very well work. And women will be very angry with Obama when he doesn't offer Hillary the VP slot. They may even vote for McCain in large %, most especially if McCain taps a women as his running mate. So that's why there's concern. As there should be.

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Mike_in_CA:

all of this talk about how "Obama should be doing better" is utter nonsense. In the summer of 1980, when the Democratic brand was at its absolute worst in 80 years Reagan was running BEHIND Jimmy Carter. Reagan was a virtual unknown, who was a good speaker, and who EVERYONE said should have been running better in the polls. Reagan didn't "win" that election until the debates.

Lest we forget how that election turned out?

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Mike_in_CA:

@Patrick,

A new poll out from Lifetime Network shows that McCain would actually LOSE support if he tapped a woman as his VP. 20% would be less likely to vote for him, vs. 15% who would be MORE likely. Just because something is the CW doesn't mean it's necessarily true.

Personally, I think that its WAYYY to early to speculate on Obama getting crushed by McCain. In my opinion, the fact that McCain has made up no ground is far more telling. Basically, these #s are the baseline. Obama has many chances to prove himself to the American public -- his speech in Denver, the debates, the fall campaign. McCain will be greatly overshadowed. This is not an election like 2000, 2004, and assuming it is is what's getting everyone's CW all tied up. Again, look to 1980 for a good comparison. Or even a little closer to 1992, when Clinton was running pretty evenly with Bush during the summer. Clinton won 200 more EVs than Bush, and Reagan won 400 more EVs...

The past two elections are actually quite anomalous in that they were so close....

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carl29:

Guys, did you notice that this poll has less Democrats than the poll in June? In this poll democrats lost 3% party ID gap. Republicans moved up 1% and Democrats lost 2%. Another point, this poll has Hispanics at 4% which is not accurate since Hispanics were 8% of the voters in 2004, the double of this. Remember that Obama is the favorite of Hispanics. On the one hand, white are well represented compared with 2004; however, AA and Hispanics, especially Hispanics, are underestimated.

Furthermore, the 18-29 age group is 9% of this poll, when in 2004 they were 17% of voters. Remember that Obama is the favorite among this age group. However, those over the age of 45 are the 63% of this poll, when in 2004 they were 54% of the voters. Remember that the older the voter, the better McCain does.

Bottom line: This poll not only underestimates the groups that strongly support Barack, minorities and younger voters, compared with turnout in 2004, but it overestimate those groups that back McCain especially people over 45. I am not saying that young people will turnout in unprecedented numbers; however bringing the number down in half doesn’t seem right to me. No way AA and younger voters will turnout in smaller numbers this time than they did in 2004. If you have read my posts, you should know by now that I am not a big supporter of the theory of young people turning out in record numbers; however, I don't think they will turnout in smaller numbers for Obama than they did for Kerry in 2004.

Taking into account that the groups that strongly support Obama are underepresented and still he has a 5% edge, his numbers won't be worst on election day when turnout among Obama's strongest backers will at least be at the same level it was in 2004. Don't buy for a minute that Hispanic turnout will be 50% than it was in 2004. That's plain crazy. Actually, beware that Hispanics most probable will turnout in greater numbers than they did in 2004, make that 8% a 10%. Don't buy that youth turnout will be cut 50% than it was in 2004.

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1magine:

****NEWS FLASH*****
OBAMA GETS 306 ELECTORAL VOTES

REPUBLICANS CRY "ONLY 306 ELECTORAL VOTES THAT'S TERRIBLE NEWS FOR BHO. CLEARLY HE'S ALREADY LOST THE NEXT ELECTION!!!!"******

Boskop notes -"... he obviously isn't connecting with voters..."

Stillow comments - "...only 306 electoral votes, What a joke! Obama will surely be a one term President..."

1magine says: "Whatever gets you through the night."

Of course, you could always walk away from the darkness and despair of 'trickle down (supply side) economics, and social division, fear and hate and become a force for good in the world. I promise you may not always be popular but your children and theirs will appreciate the effort.

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carl29:

Republicans, especially after Karl Rove, will always portray their opponents as the worst of the worst. How did Kerry, a Vietnam hero, ended up looking like a traitor? Well, thanks to the Republicans. In 2004, Democrats picked the candidate they thought would be the best suited to go against Bush; however, Bush won. One very important thing that Karl Rove said in 2004 was that elections will be won based on turnout. The party more energize will end up winning. The republicans really did energize their base in 2004 and Bush won a razor-thin victory in Ohio, giving him the needed edge for the electoral map.

*If you listen to the pundits, McCain is supposed to be the most electable Republican because of his brand as Maverick. If you look at every exit poll during the 2000 and 2004 primaries, McCain was the favorite of Independents and Democrats. This is when the media has to come into play and let people know that McCain is far from the Maverick he used to be. McCain is living off a myth. Yes, he used to be an Independent Republican, but he is not longer so.

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Stillow:

And the Democrats don't portray their rivals as the worst of the worst...I am no Bush fan, but listening to some o nthe left you would think he is the Anti-Christ. For the left to claim some kind of moral highground in elections is a joke, both sides engage in gutter politics. It wasn't Bush or Rove who brought Kerry's service into question, like that fact or dislike that fact, it was the Swift boat guys.....and they were actually htere in Vietnam....that is why so many peole listened to them. In addition it didn't help Kerry's cause to throw his medals away and testify our soldiers were guilty of the worst type of war crimes, etc. Don't claim some kind of moral highground i nelections...both sides are the skum of the earth when it comes to politics, espeically when its for the white house.......that is just partisan nonsense!

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carl29:

So, the Swift Boat Veterans had nothing to do with the Republicans and the Bush campaign? Please Stillow, introduce me to the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny.

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player:

I don't see how this poll is a good sign for the Obama campaign. He has gotten over a year and a half of non stop postive press. If he were a shoo-in as some suggest then he should be polling better. The negative stuff in his background is going to began to get into the mainstream soon. His whole career is going to be laid bare in public. We will see if he holds up under this kind of public scrutiny.

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boskop:

@@1imagine!
please copy me the entry where i say that, "he obviously isnt connecting with voters." while i dont doubt that it's possible i wrote , it does not ring any kind of bell. it would be awful for you to have quoted someone with a complete fabrication. correct?

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boskop:

//mike in ca

i am totally confused why you would reference the reagan carter contest.

if you are drawing lines between reagan as an unknown versus mccain as a known or reagan as an unknown like obama then you have things sadly fuddled.

reagan was a tremendously high profile actor then governor and president of the Screen actors.. though not in that order.

if he was behind in the polls but pulled it out during the debates isnt that running closer to the mccain scenario than obama's who is running ahead in the polls for the moment and is well known as a constitutional lawyer and glib orator.

so, do us all a favor, please clarify your POINT for god's sake!

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Stillow:

carl29

Did the ads running in tennessee about electing a republicans and more black churches will burn, I suppose that was republicans? How about moveon.org getting behind the forged document story about bush ditching out on his service, that wasn't the dems behind that?
If you can't see gutter politics are on both sides, then you are way to partisan to be blogging here.........presidential politics is nasty, it always has been....both sides bend the facts to support there agruments, both engage in garbage ads, etc.....to think its just the gop is again, total partisan nonsense.

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Stillow:

boskop,

He totally made up the quote he said I said, I never even said anything close to that........

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carl29:

I never said that Democrats are the nicest thing in the world. I just responded to your following statement:

"The Republicans will be desperate to hold on to the White House, so they will be working overtime to portray Obama as too liberal (named most liberal by National Journal), elitist (comments in SF), arrogant (tone of speeches; speech in Berlin), a flip-flopper (change of positions on gun control, windfall taxes, FL and MI delegates, offshore drilling, just to name a few)."

In my opinion Republican will behave like Republicans against any democrat, period. That's all. Didn't they portray Kerry as the most liberal senator? Yep!! Didn't they portray Kerry as an elitist? Yep!!! Didn't they portray Kerry as a flip-floper? Yep!!! Will Republicans be desperate to hold on to the White House just as they did in 2004? Yep!!!


I can't ask my dog to behave like a cat. Republicans will always attack democrats on the same lines every election season. It is in their nature. Likewise, Democrats will always attack republicans on the same lines. This election it is not going to be different.

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Stillow:

I agree, they both have there bag of go to tricks.

But I didn't say what you quoted me as saying, you have that quote confused with someone else.

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m finesod:

This election is a pure TOSS-UP. Rasmussen polls have McCain and Obama tied at $$%-44%. This has held steady for the last 6 days. What does this mean.....nothing. The election will be decided at the last second when the 12% of voters (undecideds) make up their minds in the election booth.......Flip of a coin

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Timmeh:

@finesod:

Just the fact that you trust solely Rasmussen for your election predictions really shows you don't know much about this election or elections in general. Why do you assume that the supporters of both candidates won't switch sides after the conventions or debates?

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ki_moo_enim:

Hey... How did this happen? Didn't someone tell voters Barr was supposed to take votes away from McCain and hand the election to Obama?

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m finesod:

I choose Rasmussen as being the most reliable based on past performance comparison to the others ie CBS, Time, NYT etc.
Most of these pollers have a clear bias. Rasmussen is the most neutral Remember, in 2004, ALL the polls showed Kerry winning. Rasmussen had Kerry winning by the least amount.

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