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US: Obama 52, McCain 42 (NBC-WSJ-10/17-20)

Topics: PHome

NBC News / Wall Street Journal
10/17-20/08; 1,159 RV, 3%
Mode: Live Telephone Interviews
(NBC story results, WSJ story results)

National
Obama 52, McCain 42

 

Comments
political_junki:

Batony:
Since you were very proud of Palin's Fav/UnFavs after SNL, maybe you can read this from WSJ too:
------------------------------------------------
The poll finds that his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, still holds the edge on experience, and most voters remain convinced he is better prepared for the White House than Sen. Obama is. But that argument is undercut by concerns about the readiness of his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose popularity has faded.

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AdamSC:

The big lead continues to reconfirm itself through multiple polls, but don't kid yourselves everyone. History always shows that the race tightens in the final weeks of the Presidential Race.


Two weeks can be an eternity in national politics.

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blakec:

What a surge! Way to go McSame.

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oicu:

another plot by the MSM?

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PortlandRocks:

The Obama ARMY unleashed! Watch for it!

(CNN)—With less than two weeks to go before voters cast their ballots, the AFL-CIO launched a massive Get Out The Vote campaign Tuesday, targeting over 13 million union voters across the country in presidential, congressional and gubernatorial battleground states.

250,000 volunteers will disperse across the country in 20 presidential battleground states, including some “non-traditional’ key states like North Carolina and Indiana.

The efforts will also target 12 Senate races and 60 House races in an effort to secure a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.

The group, which has been targeting union voters throughout the campaign season, says it also plans to increase the volume of phone calls and door to door knocking in the key states, with an emphasis on veterans, elderly voters and gun owners, who are typically harder to contact.

According to AFL-CIO Spokesman Steve Smith, in 2004 and 2006 the grassroots organization had about 200,000 volunteers working in only 13 states. Compared to the efforts in 2008, Smith says they are targeting “more states and more House and Senate races than ever.”

These final efforts wrap up a $250 million grassroots mobilization which began in late June after the organization threw its support behind Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

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alanskeyisawesome:

McCain will sweep the nation, getting all the REAL Americans behind him and shut down the lib commys.

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AdamSC:

Also, nobody has been this big in the hole since Bob Dole in 1968.

Are we going to see it tighten or are we going to see a bigger spread?

Chuck Todd has been shocked lately and he's probably one of the most 'cautious' people about polling. But he's pretty much saying that McCain is going to lose in a landslide.

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Hope Reborn:

Close(r)?

Tightening?

Or breaking wide open?

57-40 on election day...

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boomshak:

Wow, the MSM is in full-court press mode to make it look like this race is over. Meanwhile, Rasmussen shows Obama +4 and holding.

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Viperlord:

Transferring boom quotes in here: ""Patrick,

Conversing with you is like fighting with kids on the playground when I was 12.

“Boom is so dumb, Boom is a fool, Boom’s mom wears army boots, Nanny nanny boom boom…”

Dude, let me bottom line it for you ok?

You WERE a PAID consultant on the McCain Campaign. McCain had this nomination wrapped. The MSM wanted him (for obvious reasons) and it was ‘his turn’. Done deal.

And yet, despite HUGE advantages, he managed to throw it away with BOTH HANDS.

He managed to stick his finger in the eye of the Republican base repeatedly. If I took the time to list all of his idiotic moves, the spam filter would probably filter my post for sheer volume.

And you my ‘brilliant’ friend, were one of the people giving him advice, weren’t you?

What are you gonna put on your resume - “…Taught the Captain of the Titanic how to steer the boat”?

Meanwhile my candidate, for whom I have been roundly savaged in this sad excuse for a blog, now holds double digit leads in 3 of the first Primary States and is only 8 points back nationally in the latest Rasmussen Poll even though 60% of Americans have no idea who he is.

So, your man’s campaign is an utter and complete failure, my man’s campaign a growing success…

Yet you are smart and I am dumb?

Lol, dude, this has to be real. You couldn’t make up something this rediculous."

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carl29:

My head hurts with all these polls. Good to see that Barack is doing fine, but I honestly think there is a "little bit" TOO MUCH polling these days.

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boolean_radley:

I remain unconvinced that conventional wisdom is going to hold. Just because previous races have always (I'm always wary of words like this) tightened coming down the stretch doesn't mean this one will. I'm not sure there's evidence to suggest this one will (yet).

I think this election is going to break a lot of previously held rules.

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Dave:

If anybody has paid attention to Obama's most technologically advanced, most efficient, most successful, most incredible campaign operation in the history of the usa, they'd feel differently when they say mccain, who is running a lackluster campaign at best, is supposedly better prepared for anything.

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RussTC3:

Comparison to last poll.

NBC/WSJ, 10/17-20 RV (10/4-5)
Obama 52 (49)
McCain 42 (43)
+3 Obama, -1 McCain = 4 Point Obama Swing

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political_junki:

@AdamSC:
It doesnt matter even if it tightens. Even Rassmussens 4 point is good enough and the lead is probably better than than 4, like 5-7.

Also: Quality of Obama's vote is better EV-wise, meaning even with a popular vote, he will have much more EV's.

Read this:
http://americanresearchgroup.com/
To see how even a TIE popular vote will mean a descent EV victory for OBAMA.
EVEN A TIE IN POPULAR VOTE.

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alankeyesisawesome:

As the Bradley Effect can make Obama's ratings seem 10 points higher than they actually are, especially in a poll done by liberal staples such as NBC and the Wall Street Journal, it's safe to assume this is a tied race. I predicted a tied race by Sunday but I guess Christmas came early this year.

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Viperlord:

Another quote from boomspin: "#

Patrick,

Are you now on Huckabee’s payroll? Whatever happened to McCain? Guess he’s not your boy anymore since he’s not signing your checks?

Dude, you are the consummate CONTRARIAN INDICATOR. Whatever you are in favor of always eventually fails. It’s remarkable.

I had a stock trading friend like that once. It was uncanny how he was ALWAYS WRONG. My other friends and I actually made a lot of money by just doing the opposite of whatever he recommended.

I’ll try to be gentle on this. Mike Huckabee is a nice guy and well-meaning, but he has NO CHANCE to win the Republican Nomination. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Snowballs in hell.

He also has no chance to become the VP Nominee after slamming Romney.

Of course the MSM loves Huckabee BECAUSE he has no chance. Their former favorite loser, McCain, is out of the race so now they are getting on the Huckabee Train.

They want to do everything they can to make sure the weakest possible candidate faces Hillary in the General Election. This is why they pound on Romney 24/7 and throw roses at Huckabee.

I have a good rule of thumb for you as a Conservative. Here it is:

“DON’T TRUST ANYTHING THE MSM LIKES”

It’s funny how Romney’s 32% in Iowa 9and winning every single other straw poll held) is “meaningless”. Yet Huckabee gets 18% in Iowa and boy-oh-biy, here he comes!

Dude, for a guy that gets paid to be smart, you aren’t very smart."

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Knyght:

I'm sorry, did you just call the Wall Street Journal a liberal staple?

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Viperlord:

This is our boom all right.

"HERE’S WHAT THE PUNDITS DON’T REALIZE: ROMNEY ALREADY HAS THIS THING LOCKED UP.

A recent poll by Gallup indicated that only a third of registered Republicans EVEN KNOW THAT ROMNEY WON THE IOWA STRAW POLL!

Now folks, this was ALL over the news for a week and 2/3rds of Republicans don’t even friggin know it happened?

Wow, I would call that, “unengaged”, wouldn’t you? This then explains why Romney is running away with early states such as Iowa, NH and Nevada. They are engaged. They are paying attention. They know who Romney is and they like him.

I mean hell, if 2/3rds of Republicans nationally don’t even know he won the Iowa Straw Poll, that goes 90% of the way there to explain why his national numbers are so low (mid-teens).

So what happens when he sweeps Iowa, NH and Nevada? Then all those clueless Republicans in other states say, “wow, who is this guy, he seems pretty sharp…”

I’m tellin you, this is all over but the braggin."

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Commander_King:

After seeing your comments for a few months now Boom I have come to realize you are a complete idiot.

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Viperlord:

It's Alan Keyes. What do you expect? He also keeps raising his estimate of the non-existent Bradley Effect.

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alanskeyisawesome:

Bradley effect will make this lection a cakewalk for McCain.

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Viperlord:

He also talks about the Bradley Effect. Which has been totally debunked.

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Viperlord:

He also talks about the debunked Bradley Effect.

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alankeyesisawesome:

@Knyght

Yes, I did. The WSJ used to be conservative, but it's just a liberal joke nowadays. I've had to resort to getting my news from the New york post or the Washington Times nowadays.

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muckinello:

Boom, how long will you stay on Ras before dumping it for your flavour of the day?
I thought you were on Zogby... or TIPP.... or was it Battleground?

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syrac818:

While there is certainly exceptions, state polling has seemed to follow national polling in 2008. With that being the general trend, do you guys suppose we see some increased separation for Obama on the state level? Particularly in Florida, Nevada and Ohio?

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carl29:

Palin is just plain crazy. Now she went back to the "vote for me 'cause I'm a woman" argument. She went back to praising Hillary and Geraldine Ferraro and the 18M cracks. This woman is such a joke!!!! What a cheap argument from a "qualified" candidate. More and more reality is sinking in: Palin is a drag for the McCain ticket, and she doesn't know what to do to repair the damage she has done to it. She just doesn't past the "reasonable person" test with average Americans. Good that we just have 2 weeks left to put her out of her misery.

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alanskeyisawesome:

Bradley effect will make this lection a cakewalk for McCain.

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rational exuberance:

This is the first time I have posted here on Pollster. It appears the national polls today have widened Obama's lead while some state polls are tightening. I think it can be explained that the state polls are always slightly behind the national ones and we will see the numbers improve in places like FL and OH in the coming days. Overall I believe Obama's lead is holding pretty steady at 6 to 8 points.

One additional comment for fellow red staters voting for Obama: Just because a majority of your states voters, like mine, will mindlessly vote for McCain--get out and vote anyway. You might not be able to contribute to the EV, but you can contribute to the popular vote. If we can put Obama over 50%, he will have the mandate he needs.

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Kile Thomson:

McCain will win NY

;-)

LOL

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Michael:

"As the Bradley Effect can make Obama's ratings seem 10 points higher than they actually are, especially in a poll done by liberal staples such as NBC and the Wall Street Journal"

Wow, the Bradley Effect is worth 10 pts (as opposed to 2 at most, if anything as others have decisively shown) and the WSJ is a liberal outfit. Puff puff give, man!!

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alanskeyisawesome:

Bradley effect will make this lection a cakewalk for McCain.

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alankeyesisawesome:

@Viperlord

Well, I'd like to think that we as a nation would be over the Bradley effect...as I harbor no resentment towards blacks. However, I guess we're not...and if this lingering bigotry is going to result in a victory for McCain, well, I guess I'm glad it's there.

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carl29:

Guys...let McCain supporters keep their hopes high with the Bradley Effect. On the night of Nov.4th, our victory will be much sweeter :-)!!!

*McCain supporters: Don't worry, remember that Bradley effect will give your guy a landslice!!

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mandalorianarmy:

For the love of God, please stop responding to alankeyes. He is just a troll.

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alanskeyisawesome:

WSJ is super commy liberal.. worser then NYTIMES

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Boris_Dieter:

@alanskeyisawesome

How many frigg'n ways you gonna spell your doofus name? You're hilarious, and it's funny to see how many buttons you push with your juvenile comments. I figure you must be Boomshak's alterego. He tries to mostly act like a reasonable adult, and then he uses you to unload farts on this site. Very cute.

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douglasdao:

Wow, "alankeyesisawesome" says the Wall Street Journal a "liberal staple" - see 6:54 pm comment. Delusion apparently knows no bounds in this man.

BTW - I am a white man proud to vote for Obama and I will gladly tell any pollster that. There is no "Bradley Effect." It was a myth created by a poor campaign (Bradley's) to justify their loss.

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IndependentThinker:

@alanskeyis****ED

You take pride in being dumb and IGNORANT
I know now why you're so hateful towards Obama
It's simply because he's pro-choice and for you it's hard to support a pro-choice candidate cause if your mama had choice she wouldn't be here spewing you insanities, your hateful ideas and nonsense

You're a hatemonger and a SCUMBAG


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Boris_Dieter:

@doublasdao

Notice that alanskeyisawesome has spelled his/her/its name several different ways. He's a troll, probably Booomshak's alter-ego. Don't waste time responding to him. He doesn't believe anything he says, and he's just whacking off to how many people he gets to respond. In fact, I'm entertaining him by having to write this stupid note.

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mrut:

@rational exuberance

I also was wondering if the widening of Obama's lead in the national polls might bode well for state polls in the next few days.

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Jeff:

I don't really buy into the Bradley Effect thing. If a pollster asks who you're voting for saying McCain does not automatically make you a racist. His race has nothing to do with his politics and most people vote on politics. Most of the real racists were already hardcore Republicans anyway.

Where you might see some Bradley Effect is if it was BLACK Republican vs a White Democrat.

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Eternal:

@ AlanKeys...


Well played, very well played (I get it) but most won't. Well done.

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alankeyesisawesome:

@Boris_Dieter
alanskeyisawesome, alankeysisawesome and alankeyesiswoesome are all fakes of my name...I guess libs can't deal with my brilliant posts so they are trying to replicate my genius.

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Bradley effect makes no sense. Are the pollsters asking if you'd vote for the black man or the white man? or are they asking if you'd vote for McCain or Obama? If you were racist towards obama why wouldn't you just say you're voting for mccain. there's no prize to win if you say obama. they won't send you a 'i'm not a racist' button if you say obama.

and if i say i'm voting for obama and not mccain why doesn't that make me sexist? seems i would feel compelled to say im voting for mccain for fear of being branded a sexist?

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TuftsPat:

guys, alankeysisawesome is a really funny liberal satirical poster.

read his posts as if stephen colbert were saying them.

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alankeyesisawesome:

@Boris_Dieter

Oh yes, I'm wackin off to your putrid and idiotic note...your delusions of grandeur are unprecedented.

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joethedummer:

and the beat goes on, get ready to have lighter pockets in the coming yrs boomcrack, gonna dig in and spread that wealth puppy dog!

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mandalorianarmy:

Seriously people, if you think alankeyes is serious then you need to get your heads checked.

He is just making a mockery of this site and trying to rile everyone up.

IGNORE HIM!

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TJIRISH34:

Obama coming to Indy Thursday. What a coincidence. It's the day you can go vote early around state at certain designated spots other than absentee ballot. LOL Obama campaign is so well organized unlike another candidate. How's that Palin stunt working for ya John? Do you realize if mcCain had picked someone else as VP. He could still play the experience card and most likely be in better shape. There are people I believe voting for Obama just to watch that annoying Palin get it shoved up her a__!!!

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SoCal_Rules:

@alankeyesisawesome

Will you be posting here on November 5th under the same username or something different?

Just wondering....

Down goes Grumpy McSame-Dopey Fey ticket....the new era begins November 4th, 2008.

OBAMA-BIDEN 2008!!!!

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saywhat90:

depending on the bradley effect makes you a rascist. why not depend on the ability of your candidate to run an effective campaign.
to hope that white americans are still afraid to vote for a black man is sad. and it makes me feel sad for mccain and this country if that is what happen then america has been set back 20 years

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maddiekat:

This is getting quite a bit of media play for the maverick. As a salesman I never amended my expense reports.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/10/21/politics/main4537742.shtml

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alankeyesisawesome:

@SoCal_Rules

I will be on here with the same username (unless liberals on these boards are sucessful in banning me because they are unable to argue against my points), to celebrate the victory of McCain + Palin!

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katocat:

@alankeyesisawesome

Obama is friends with the Plains Indians that attacked our settlers!

He must explain his relationship with Crazy Horse!

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JoeThePlumber:

DOH!

October 21st, 2008
Pennsy governor asks Obama to return
Posted: 07:10 PM ET
(CNN) — Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor has sent two memos to the Obama campaign in the past five days requesting that the Democratic presidential candidate — as well as Hillary and Bill Clinton — return to campaign in the state, he told CNN’s Gloria Borger on Tuesday.

Gov. Ed Rendell said Sen. John McCain’s campaign is clearly making a push to win Pennsylvania, given the recent visits by the Arizona senator, his wife and his running mate. As a result, Rendell wants Obama

Democrats generally worry that the race is significantly closer than recent polls have suggested. According to Rendell, there is also worry among Democrats that the McCain campaign has successfully raised the enthusiasm level among Republicans in the state.

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Indiana4Obama:

I'd be surprised if Obama didn't go back to PA, simply because it offers so many electoral votes and is such a huge prize.

However, perhaps Obama's internals are saying it's not yet necessary. But didn't Obama recently do a tour of Philly? I thought he had huge crowds and perhaps even increased his popularity in the Philly suburbs.

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maddiekat:

Gov Rendell said with Obama's blessing McCain please spend more time in PA.

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carl29:

PA will be about turning out the base and bringing those new Democrats out to vote. Banning any "external" event, I am betting that Obama will carry PA by a better margin than Kerry did in 2004. Just two weeks to go, kids :-)!!!

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maddiekat:

alankeyes

You have no points. Simply stated you are stupid!

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rational exuberance:

@mrut

It looks like you and I are among the few on here not taking the bait from trolls like alankeys. I thought this was a forum to discuss polling. Oh well, so much for posting "rational and civil comments." Its back over to 538.com for me for a while.

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JoeThePlumber:

"Apparently, Obama's internals were leaked to a radio talk show host in Scranton. they show Obama up by only 2 in PA.
Steve Corbett, a radio talk show host in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, accidentally received a copy of an internal email sent by Grant Olin who heads the Wilkes-Barre headquarters of the Obama campaign. The email went to 627 Obama campaign volunteers in the Wilkes-Barre Scranton region, saying that Obama Headquarters reported an internal poll which shows that Obama is only 2 points up in Pennsylvania.

Sean Smith, who is heading Obama’s Pennsylvania campaign, was interviewed by Steve Corbett via phone at 5:35 today to discuss this. He said that Grant "went rogue", and aknowledged that Grant was "reprimanded" for this.

...

This is important because, if it is true, it undermines the argument that we have a substantial partyId advantage this year.

A partyId of at least +6 this year seems reasonable, as many pollsters are showing. Many rightwingers are arguing that the breakdown should be a push, like 2004, which is ridiculous. However the rumor of +2 in PA reinforces their argument. And that's the last hope they have left.

We need to get on this story as soon as possible before it spreads any further. I don't want them to have any hope left, Let's crush their spirits!


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tom brady:

let's be clear hear: presidential races do NOT historically tighten in the final weeks. Take a look at Gallup trial heat polls dating back to 1952 - races are as likely to break open in the last two weeks as they are to tighten.

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carl29:

I wish we had a very Democratic/go-for-it Gov. like Ed Rendell here in Florida. I know that Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter will deliver PA for Obama. Obviously that Biden/Hillary/Bill don't hurt as well :-)!!!

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Boris_Dieter:

@@alankeyesisawesome

Or whatever your name is, it's wHack, not wack. You are wackie, and you enjoy whacking off. Did you get a little angry little boy? girl? both?

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Paul:

NBC/WSJ Poll Comments:

Black - 9%, Hispanic - 6%
These samples are too low. AA will be 12 or more and Hispanics 10 or more.


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Boris_Dieter:

@alankeyesisawesome

And the only points you make here are whatever happens to get a rise outta the few yokels who don't get how infantile and silly you are.

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logic001:

Good to see things holding steady now. I doubt that the race will tighten enough now to make the issue in doubt. What will be the real question is: is the Bradley effect gone now in America?

If so, that will be a huge, huge positive statement about this country. I think intellectually honest people of both parties would have to be happy about that particular outcome. Even if you don't like Obama, if the outcome is that people who say they will vote for a black man really do that when the time comes, that will be a step forward for this country.

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carl29:

JoeThePlumber, don't tell me that you fall for the Obama camp trap?

Just put it together: Last night CNN informed that the McCain will go "Guliani" by banking the farm in PA. This morning, the "internal poll" is leaked in PA. Get the picture? The Obama campaign knows exactly what kind of reaction they want from their troops and their voters. They are rallying the troops by scaring them. I

*I remember the day when the Obama campaign sent me the video with McCain being declared the next POTUS. They really scared the hell out of me. It really make me think, Jesus I better do something if I don't want to see that happening.

Don't let the Team O. fool you, :-)!!!!

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boomshak:

SOMETHING THAT MAKES LITTLE SENSE:

I was just looking at Zogby's battleground states polling. It seems like every state McCain is within the MOE to Obama.

Yet, Zogby has Obama leading by 8 nationally.

That seems messed up to me.

Here are the details of the 10 states we surveyed.

States Moving from Undecided to McCain-Palin

Indiana (11)


McCain-Palin
52.8%

Obama-Biden
42.3%

Not Sure/Other
4.9%


Despite a big lead among independents, Obama appears unable to overcome the Republican enrollment advantage. So we make Indiana again red.

States Remaining for Obama

New Mexico (5)


Obama-Biden
46.1%

McCain-Palin
45.5%

Not Sure/Other
8.3%


McCain has gained since our last survey of New Mexico on Oct 9-13, closing the Obama lead among independents and doing better among Republicans than Obama is with Democrats. We will soon test the state again, and will wait for that to see whether a status change is called for.

Virginia (13)


Obama-Biden
49.7%

McCain-Palin
46.1%

Not Sure/Other
4.3%


Obama leads among independents and does slightly better among Democrats than McCain does with Republicans. Obama leads among all voters with family incomes under $100,000. Seniors go big for McCain.

States Remaining Undecided

Ohio (20)


McCain-Palin
49.3%

Obama-Biden
46.5%

Not Sure/Other
4.1%


McCain continues to hold a small lead in a state he must win. McCain leads by more than 10 among independents, Catholics and voters older than 50. Turnout will be especially important here in a state with early voting for President for the first time ever.

Colorado (9)


Obama-Biden
48.2%

McCain-Palin
47.9%

Not Sure/Other
3.9%


Loyalty to McCain from Republicans, who outnumber Democrats in Colorado, is keeping him toe-to-toe with Obama. However, Obama leads among independents by 19. McCain is also keeping it very close among voters ages 18-29.

Florida (27)


Obama-Biden
48.8%

McCain-Palin
45.2%

Not Sure/Other
6.0%


A double-digit lead among independents gives Obama a small lead. McCain counters with his advantages among religious voters and seniors. The race is even among Hispanics.

Missouri (11)


McCain-Palin
48.3%

Obama-Biden
48.0%

Not Sure/Other
4.6%


Both candidates run strongly with their base constituencies, and for now independents aren't breaking either way. So we have a tie.

North Carolina (15)


Obama-Biden
49.6%

McCain-Palin
46.5%

Not Sure/Other
3.8%


Large margins among independents and voters under age 35 join African-Americans to give Obama a small lead. North Carolina may have the nation's biggest gender gap. Men favor McCain, 57%-40%. Women choose Obama, 61%-36%.

New Hampshire (4)


Obama-Biden
46.5%

McCain-Palin
46.2%

Not Sure/Other
7.7%


Independents are tied and that is all you need to know. New Hampshire is too close to call.

Nevada (5)


McCain-Palin
51.5%

Obama-Biden
44.0%

Not Sure/Other
4.6%


This is a 7-point swing from our last interactive poll on Oct. 9-13. Obama's Democratic support has slipped, while McCain's Republican support has gone up. We'll keep Nevada undecided.

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rational exuberance:

I would love to see someone do a current poll in my home state of AZ. I mean if we can continue to get regular polls in places like OK and KY, where McCain is ahead by 20 points why not AZ where his lead is probably not more than half of that? I think it might shock some people to know how much McCain is disliked around here.

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carl29:

boomshak, I don't give Zogby's INTERNET polls a minute of my time. I really think that internet polls are just entertainment, but if you like that, go for it :-)!!!!

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saywhat90:

if pa was in danger of going red obama would already be in the state. noone here knows what the internal number was for. it could have been 2% of anything. funny how this story isnt a major one even on fox news. even funnier how you republicans believe daily kos about this story but not on anything else. and notice how sean smith never said it was actual data of the campaign just that it was a leak. and if im not mistaken isnt this old news.

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jrcclark:

I bet this election is a blowout. I bet some states you wouldn't even suspect go blue. But don't let up ... vote vote - vote!

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carl29:

Let Fox help Team O. fire up the troops, :-)

The McCain campaign is just wishing, literally, for a miracle in PA. Even this morning, Joe Scarb. said that McCain has NO GROUND GAME IN PA. Remember that PA is a Democratic state with a Dem. Governor, so in that situation ground game becomes even more important for a Rep. candidate; however, McCain decided too late that PA would be "ground zero." Right now, McCain is just making PA his last Hail Mary pass. How did the others end?

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alanskeyisawesome:

McCain!!!! Down with the commy lib muff-munchers.

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logic001:

One thing for Boomshak etc, to cheer you up:

I work with both liberals and conservatives, travelling as I do for work. When you get right down to it, the only unbridgeable disconnect between Dems and Repubs is the role of religion.

On everything else, the disagreements are on style, language and priority, but not on substance. Everyone is pro health, pro innovation, pro happy children doing well in school, etc. So, an Obama win is not going to be something Repubs can't embrace, with the exception of the "church and state" issues. The gap is not that bad.

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saywhat90:

noone gives any credit to zogby internet polls

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carl29:

Did you hear guys that McCain is also losing hopes about NH? I think that I heard about it.

I also read an article that Republicans in Georgia are nervious about McCain's treatment of the state.

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Oldy75:

AlanKeyes,

Maybe all the fakes on this site are all gay adoption babys who don't know how their fathers are, so they cannot help but commit incest(actual Alan Keyes quote from debate with Obama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9BA7i3sgCU
It is around the 3:30 mark.)

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Oldy75:

Boom,

Let me type this in a manner that you will understand:

ZOGBY INTERACTIVE=FAIL

REALLY YOUR SO DESPERATE THAT YOU ARE TURNING TO THE CRAPPY ZOGBY INTERNETS POLLS?

THE SAME JOHN ZOGBY WHO WAS THE ONLY POLLSTER WHO HAD JOHN KERRY AHEAD THE DAY OF THE ELECTION? THE SAME JOHN ZOGBY WHO SAID THAT JOHN KERRY WOULD WIN COLORADO AND OHIO ON ELECTION DAY 2004? THE SAME JOHN ZOGBY WHO HAD BUSH AHEAD IN THE POPULAR VOTE IN HIS LAST POLL IN 2000? THE SAME JOHN ZOGBY, WHOM HAD HIS ZOGBY INTERACTIVE POLLING RANK LAST IN ACCURACY IN THE PRIMARIES?

ALL THIS EQUALS FAIL, NOW GO BACK TO COPYING AND PASTING REPUBLICAN TALKING POINTS FROM OTHER WEBSITES AND I will go back to typing like a normal person.

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cinnamonape:

Regarding the "internal" leak...either it's an effort by the Obama campaign to rally the supporters, or it's an strategy to encourage McCain into committing everything into Pennsylvania...thus reducing his resources in Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, etc.

Low level campaign people would never have access to such "internal polls"- they are closely held at the highest level. Certainly no one from Wilkes-Barre would have them.

All while dozens of polls have shown Obama handily winning the state...surveys of tens of thousands of different individuals, using different methodologies?

If the McCain campaign falls for this stunt (I hate to give them advice) then they truly are grasping at any straws in a desperate bid. They are laying all their bets on 00 on the roulette table. Win PA and hope that Obama doesn't get any either FL, NC, or VA and one Western State, even though you've drawn all your resources out of them allowing Obama to freely campaign at will? Or even any other combination of various other States.

But the way McCain has run this race, it makes perfectly good sense to abandon closer races and go for 00.

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cinnamonape:

Boom...thats a Zogby "Interactive" Poll. You do know that right-wing bloggers have been on a campaign to flood that poll with "registrations". Several have commented that they have been polled several times each.

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DTM:

I thought the original "alankeyes" was a reasonably clever parody (in part as measured by the fact that a lot of people apparently did not figure out right away that it was a parody). But the recent proliferation of more fake "alan[s]key[e]s" is not particularly amusing.

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Basil:

"Anybody but Obama would have a double-digit lead against McCain." That's the argument that "proves" Obama is weak, if we are to believe some GOP goons.

And now that some double-digit Obama leads are popping up in polls?

Personally, I don't know why Obama doesn't have a triple-digit lead, but that's another story. Heh, heh.

The Biden "gaffe"? Goofy, maybe, but McCain's already been tested this year. The result: FAIL

Obama Tsunami!

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MNLatteLiberal:

I dunno, DTM, I find them pretty amusing. I am expecting alankeyesisathreesome any moment now.
Just imagine a threesome of alan keyes'. How awesome would that be?

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cinnamonape:

In addition Boomie...you are copapring apples to spanners....

Zogby's On-Line Interactives cannot in any way be compared to their National phone surveys. So that is why Zogby can show an 8 point lead nationally. The On-Line polls don't, in any way, contribute to their National polling. They are entirely different samples using different methodology.

Zogby's 3-day series shows from 10/19 from the closest point (48% Obama-45% McCain ) to 50%/44.5% (10/20) to 50.5%/42.5% (10/21). So it's gone from +3 to +5.5 to +8 Obama.

Another McCain "surge" turns out to be just a little vomit in the mouth...acid reflug, I guess.

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cinnamonape:

In addition Boomie...you are copapring apples to spanners....

Zogby's On-Line Interactives cannot in any way be compared to their National phone surveys. So that is why Zogby can show an 8 point lead nationally. The On-Line polls don't, in any way, contribute to their National polling. They are entirely different samples using different methodology.

Zogby's 3-day series shows from 10/19 from the closest point (48% Obama-45% McCain ) to 50%/44.5% (10/20) to 50.5%/42.5% (10/21). So it's gone from +3 to +5.5 to +8 Obama.

Another McCain "surge" turns out to be just a little vomit in the mouth...acid reflux, I guess.

____________________

cinnamonape:

In addition Boomie...you are copapring apples to spanners....

Zogby's On-Line Interactives cannot in any way be compared to their National phone surveys. So that is why Zogby can show an 8 point lead nationally. The On-Line polls don't, in any way, contribute to their National polling. They are entirely different samples using different methodology.

Zogby's 3-day series shows from 10/19 from the closest point (48% Obama-45% McCain ) to 50%/44.5% (10/20) to 50.5%/42.5% (10/21). So it's gone from +3 to +5.5 to +8 Obama.

Another McCain "surge" turns out to be just a little vomit in the mouth...acid reflux, I guess.

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MNLatteLiberal:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14805.html

$150K on Palin makeover. Just goes to show, you can take a girl out of trailer trash, but you can never take trailer trash out of a girl.

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rosh400:

Agree with comments on another thread. Alankeyes should be banned. His posts amount to hate speech and should not be sanctioned by this site.

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boomdoom:
____________________

Oldy75:

No we should let Keyes stay, What would Boom do without his life partner.

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cinnamonape:

So Ed Rendell comes out PUBLICLY with a request (using that ever so secret CNN) about two memos that ask Obama and Hillary return. Goodness, why would he reveal so blatantly the problems in Pennsylvania....

Unless they want to drive poor old Steve Schmidt and John McCain Bat-Sh** crazy?

BTW I heard that Sarah Palin is returning to Alaska to campaign there (maybe for Stevens or Don Edwards). Can you confirm this?

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cinnamonape:

Has McCain gone utterly bonkers! He sounds like Gen. Bat Guano

As the crowd of several thousand began to swell with cheers and applause, he added with dramatic effect: "America will not have a president who needs to be tested. I've been tested, my friends."

McCain recalled being ready to launch a bombing run during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which Biden said over the weekend tested a new President John F. Kennedy and was the template for the kind of "generated crisis" the 47-year-old Obama would face within six months of taking office.

"I was on board the USS Enterprise," McCain, a former naval aviator, said in the capital city of Harrisburg. "I sat in the cockpit, on the flight deck of the USS Enterprise, off of Cuba. I had a target. My friends, you know how close we came to a nuclear war."

Hopefully McCain is not implying that he was in the "decision-making" capacity while sitting on the deck of the Enterprise? That he was willing to undertake the decision that President Kennedy had the authority to make? That he, himself, pulled back at the last moment?

Sheesh!

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Basil:

Help! I want to be a moonbat for halloween but I don't know what one looks like!

I've tried looking in the mirror but all I see is someone who looks the same as an increasingly large majority of Americans--and I'm not gaining weight.

Are we a nation of moonbats? Do we whine at the moon? Are moonbats something Rush saw an Oxycontin hallucination? (If so, I'm sorry I wasn't flittering around with my fellow moonbats slurping up Rush's cholesterol-rich blood.)

Inquiring minds want to know, BooBoo!


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Basil:

Sorry, that should be "IN an Oxycontin hallucination."

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cbeckham:

The Futility of Class Warfare


By Bradley R. Schiller

Why “us” versus “them” doesn’t sell

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The “race card” was once an effective ploy in electoral politics. Southern Democrats long used it to rally white voters. In the wake of the civil rights movement, the Republicans took possession of the race card. Nixon used it to strike fear in the minds of white voters, helping to transform a solid South into a Republican bastion. That card still gets played on occasion. But with white voters receding into the minority in so many jurisdictions, the race card is increasingly viewed as not just an unfair play, but an inefficient one as well (as Hillary Clinton learned).

The preferred ploy of Democrats these days is the “class” card. Democrats have increasingly tried to redefine the “them vs. us” struggle in terms of class rather than color. As they tell the story, economic prosperity is a zero-sum game. Income gains attained by the “rich” come at the expense of the “poor.” Corporations bestow lavish compensation on executive insiders while cutting salaries, benefits, and jobs for hard-working Americans. A massive flow of campaign contributions assures that elected officials will protect and serve the rich, while simultaneously cutting holes in the social safety net. Tax cuts for the rich not only fuel conspicuous indulgence among the elite, but diminish spending on health services, school, and the safety of the poor. It all boils down to “them” (the rich) vs. “us” (the poor and middle class).

All three candidates for the Democratic party nomination played the class card. John Edwards was the most blatant, enshrining his “Two Americas” vision as the central platform of his campaign. That vision became blurred in the glare of his multi-million dollar mansion and $400 haircuts. Hillary Clinton picked up the Two Americas theme, tirelessly railing against the Bush “tax cut for the rich” while bemoaning the stagnation of the working class. Even though she donned working-class duds and even sipped beer in a tavern, her credibility as the standard-bearer for the middle class was not helped by the revelation that she and Bill had taken in over $100 million in just five years. The “class card” has been passed to Barack Obama. He has used it relentlessly to enlist and energize his supporters. In fact, he has made the Bush tax cuts one of the central contrasts between his and McCain’s policy platforms. Ending the Iraq war and reversing the Bush tax cuts, Obama promises, will cure all of America’s problems.

Republican rebuttals

The republican rebuttals to the “tax-cuts for the rich” charge have been anemic. President Bush himself has emphasized that the 2001–03 tax cuts were a timely and much needed stimulus to an economy that was in recession at that time. A “reversal” of those tax cuts would now constitute a tax increase that the macro economy can ill afford. With the economy barely treading water amid vast uncertainty in the financial sector, the weight of a tax increase on aggregate spending could easily plunge the economy into the depths. Even the expectation of a tax increase could put a damper on spending plans, as both Bush and McCain have stressed.

Virtually every economist in the land would agree with these macro assessments. Liberals would have preferred more progressive tax cuts — or even increased social spending — as stimulus tools. But there is no question that the Bush tax cuts were stimulative and that ending them would have a contractionary impact on the economy. Unfortunately, the intricacies of macro theory don’t resonate with the general public. There is still a tendency to view the tax take-back as a free lunch, paid for by the overindulgent and undeserving rich. So the otherwise compelling macro agreement for leaving the tax cuts in place doesn’t win the electoral pr battle.

The second Republican rebuttal is equally true but just as anemic. President Bush has argued repeatedly that the 2001–03 tax cuts were proportionately greater for the middle class than the rich. In percentage terms, he is absolutely right. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Bush tax cuts reduced middle-class tax bills by an average of 15 percent. By comparison, high-income taxpayers — those in the top 20 percent of the income distribution — got only a 10 percent tax break.

Although accurate, this percentage distribution of tax breaks fails to repel the Democrats’ contention that the Bush tax cuts overwhelmingly favored the rich. The Democrats have successfully portrayed the distribution of tax breaks in absolute terms rather than percentages. They note that the rich got an average tax break amounting to $30,000 for the years 2001–10, while the middle class got an average tax break of only $5,400. Low income households got a measly $744. Those are the kinds of statistics that capture voters’ attention.

The simple arithmetic of tax burdens explains the enormous difference in tax breaks. The richest 20 percent of U.S. households pays a whopping 86 percent of federal income taxes. Their average tax bill amounts to $34,000. By contrast, the middle class (middle quintile) pays only 4.5 percent of federal income taxes, with an average bill of only $2,000. Low-income households, on average, pay nothing. Since people who pay little or no taxes can’t really get a further tax break, tax cuts must overwhelmingly favor the rich.

The arithmetic of tax cuts doesn’t get much pr traction. Yet, the Democrats still haven’t won the game with their class card. Opinion polls not only register continued opposition to tax hikes in general, but also substantial skepticism about raising taxes on the rich. Remarkably, the public is even overwhelmingly opposed to raising the federal estate tax — a levy that truly affects only the very richest U.S. households.

The truth about economic class

What frustrates theDemocrats’ use of the class card is the fluidity of class boundaries in the United States. Successful use of a splintering card requires a clear delineation between “them” and “us.” The race card has a physiological advantage in that regard. But the class card has no such evident demarcation. First of all, perceptions of “rich,” “poor,” and “middle class” keep changing. Luxury items that were once hallmarks of the rich often evolve into “necessities” for the middle class (e.g., flat-screen tvs, global positioning systems, even air conditioning). Second, and more importantly, the ranks of the “rich” and “poor” keep changing. With the exception of Michael Jackson, people rarely change their color — or even try to. But people do change their economic status with amazing frequency. So it’s never entirely clear who’s with “them” and who’s with “us.” Which makes it very difficult to wage class warfare.

Escaping Poverty. Democrats want us to believe that a large section of the U.S. population is trapped in poverty and/or toiling at minimum wages just above official poverty lines. This is presumed to be the core constituency of the “us” team — the people who are permanently left behind as the economy grows and incomes of the rich rise to dizzying heights.

Superficially, the notion of a permanent underclass appears to have some credence. When George Bush took office, there were roughly 33 million poor Americans. Since then, the economy has grown by more than 20percent. But the government itself still counts over 37 million Americans as poor. So it looks like all the benefits of economic growth went to “them,” not “us.”

Two out of every three households that fall into poverty in any given year escape poverty the following year.
But this impression is deceiving. First of all, the U.S. population keeps growing. In the last eight years alone, the U.S. population has increased by more than 20 million people. So there are more people at every point in the income distribution, including its lowest points. What really matters is the incidence of poverty in this growing population. By that measure, poverty increased only modestly between 2001 (11.7 percent) and today (12.5 percent).

Any increase in the incidence of poverty is unwelcome. But much of that increase was fueled by immigrants. Every year at least 1 million immigrants enter the United States, both legally and illegally. Most come seeking work and higher pay. Overwhelmingly, they enter our labor markets at the low end of the wage scale. They are “poor” by American standards even if significantly better off than they were in their home countries. Since Census surveys don’t differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants, these immigrants become part of America’s poverty population. As homeland security concerns have tightened border security, these poor immigrants have remained in the United States longer (rather than risk multiple entries). The incidence of poverty among immigrants is about 25 percent higher than among nonimmigrants.

The influx of immigrants into the poverty population creates substantial churn in the “us” ranks. As past immigrants climb out of poverty or return home, they create a net outflow from the “us” ranks. This outflow is augmented by the ever-changing circumstances of the native-born poor. People fall into poverty for a variety of demographic and economic reasons. Job loss, divorce, and injury top the list of poverty-creating forces. Even in the best of economic times, these forces push people into poverty. But they don’t necessarily keep people in poverty. Divorced moms hook up with new partners. Dependent children grow up. Unemployed workers find jobs. Injuries heal. So there is a constant outflow of poverty households as well. In fact, two out of every three households that fall into poverty in any given year escapepoverty the following year. In other words, most American poverty is temporary, not permanent. Less than 2 percent of America’s poverty population is poor for as many as ten consecutive years.

Moving up from minimum wage. Another rallying point for the class-warfare strategists is the minimum wage. Democrats decry the fact that the federal minimum wage stays so far below average wages. Even with the recent wage hikes (to $6.55 this July, $7.25 next year) minimum-wage workers won’t be able to keep a family of four out of poverty. Working long hours at such dead-end jobs supposedly solidifies the position of minimum-wage workers in the “us” ranks.

A subset of jobs in the U.S. labor market will always pay low wages; but few workers get stuck in those jobs.
The assignment of minimum-wage workers to the ranks of the downtrodden is at odds with the realities of minimum-wage experience. Most young people do in fact have first jobs that pay wages at (or below!) the federal minimum wage. Even Brad Pitt started at that level, hawking fast food in a chicken costume. But those entry-level jobs don’t last long. Two out of three minimum-wage entrants are consistently earning wages above federal thresholds within two years of labor-market entry. After three years, only 15 percent of minimum-wage entrants are still toiling away at such low wages. There may be a subset of jobs in the U.S. labor market that will always pay low wages; but few workers get stuck in those jobs. The low-wage entrants into the “us” ranks move out and up. The few who stay at dead-end jobs are by far the exception, not the rule.

Rags to Riches? The relative absence of permanent poverty implies that the “us” ranks are pretty fluid. In extreme cases, people at the very bottom of the income distribution even move to the very top. Horatio Alger stories are more common than most people recognize. Oprah Winfrey — one of Obama’s most visible and ardent supporters — herself rose from the bottom to the very top of the food chain. Bill and Hillary Clinton made a similar move. Obama himself didn’t start so low nor rise so far up the income ladder, but he clearly joined the ranks of “them” when he started collecting million-dollar book royalties. When these self-appointed champions of “us” play the class card, they must be biting their tongue.

Turnover at the top. Oprah’s ascension from poverty to the pinnacle of wealth reveals that even positions in the ranks of the rich aren’t permanent. Every year Forbes magazine compiles a list of the richest 400 Americans. The “Forbes 400” always arouses a lot of envy, energizing class warfare strategists. You needed at least $1.3 billion in assets to join the Forbes400 club this year. With the median U.S. household having net assets of less than $200,000, the Forbes list underscores the gap between “us” and “them.”

But there’s another dimension to the Forbes400 that gets little attention — the turnover in its ranks. Among the top 100 people on this year’s Forbes list, fewer than 50 were on that list at all eight years ago. As in other years, there was a rash of newcomers who had made their fortunes in technology, investments, and entertainment. Some, like Oprah, had roots in poverty; most emerged from the “struggling” middle class that Hillary and Obama bemoan. They switched sides in the projected class warfare.

Mobility in the middle. The most newsworthy team-switching occurs at the very top and bottom of the income distributions. But there is a lot of income mobility in the middle of the distribution as well. The Social Security Administration tracks people’s wages throughout their working life so as to compute an individual’s retirement benefits. Those earnings histories allow one to ascertain where a person resides on the income ladder in any given year and to observe how often people change relative rankings over time. Successful deployment of the class card depends on people staying on the same income rungs over time, thus maintaining a clear delineation between “us” and “them.”

In reality, people don’t stay on the same rungs very long. A great deal of upward mobility accrues to experience. Like the minimum-wage entrants, the typical worker’s productivity tends to increase with experience. As a result, wages tend to increase with age. This age-experience momentum is what transforms a lot of “us” into “them.”

All incomes don’t increase at the same pace, of course. Within any given age group there is another mobility phenomenon. Some people rocket up the income ladder; others take a tumble. Cyclical forces, technological breakthroughs, diverse investments, and pure luck all contribute to this intra-cohort income volatility. Think of successive high school reunions. At graduation, some seniors are picked as “most likely to succeed.” One of the reasons we go to the reunion is to discover who really fared well — and who didn’t. If you go every decade you’ll be surprised how the line-up changes. The quiet nerd who everyone tagged as a loser just sold his hi-tech start-up for millions of dollars. The math wiz is on probation for computer fraud, and that wannabe real-estate tycoon is now working at Wal-Mart. Such dramatic reversals of fortune are witnessed at virtually every reunion. The recent turmoil in financial markets is sure to produce even more reversals of fortune at the next one.

Social Security earnings histories document these intra-cohort changes in income position. Over a 15-year period, 70 percent of the workforce changes relative income position. The average move is 20 percent up or down the earnings hierarchy. Less than half of the workers who are at the top of the wage heap in one year are still at the top 15 years later. The same pattern is evident on the lowest rungs of the ladder: Only 35 percent of the workers who were at the bottom 15 years ago are still in the lowest position now. This kind of musical-chairs mobility is what makes school reunions so much fun. This same intra-cohort mobility further blurs the distinction between “us” and “them.”

Mobility expectations. The phenomenon of income mobility is so pervasive that it is near impossible to rally an army of “us” to do battle with “them.” The task is made even more difficult by even loftier expectations of switching sides. Public opinion polls reveal that a lot of average citizens expect to get rich. According to recent polls, one out of three American adults expects to be rich some day. If the “us” people expect to be among “them” in the future, they are certainly not going to rally to the side of “soak the rich” proponents today. Why raise income or estate taxes that might come back to bite you after you finally make it? This pervasive belief in the American Dream — the notion that everyone has a shot at the brass ring — is the most formidable constraint on the effectiveness of the class-warfare card.

The middle-class “squeeze”? The back-up strategy for playing the class card is to bemoan the economic stagnation in the ranks of “us.” Even if one concedes considerable fluidity across class boundaries, one can still excoriate the forces that depress the well-being for those residing (even temporarily) in the “us” ranks. You can’t win elections without the mainstream, middle-class vote. So promising a chicken in every pot is always an effective strategy. If you can convince voters that the pot will otherwise remain empty, this strategy takes on a sense of electoral urgency. That is why Obama and Clinton regularly depicted the middle class as “struggling.” As they tell the story, middle-class working families (the largest voting bloc) have actually seen their incomes decline in the past eight years. Hillary repeatedly referred to “seven years of stagnant wages, declining incomes and increasing inequality.” Obama echoed this theme by repeatedly bemoaning the “middle-class squeeze.” Voting for Obama, they contend, is the only way to raise working wages, increase health benefits, reduce tuition costs, and maintain home ownership — i.e., reverse the Bush-led economic decline of the working class (“us”).

The current slowdown in the U.S. economy and the crisis in the finance sector has made audiences more receptive to the “struggling middle class” thesis. As gdp growth has slowed, so has wage and income growth. But the economy has not yet receded into recession: Household incomes and wages continued to creep upwards even in this economic slowdown. Over the longer term of the last eight years or so, the economic status of the middle class has risen significantly.

Distorted Census pictures

Obama and clinton scoff at the notion that the middle class has experienced economic gains during the Bush years. In rebutting that claim, they point to the government’s own statistics. Hillary’s favorite statistic is the median household income. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household had an income of $50,233 in 2007 (the most recent year available), only a few hundred inflation-adjusted dollars more than it had in 1998

Household splintering. The statistical foundation for the “stagnation” thesis is not as definitive as Obama and Hillary would have us believe. The Census data originate from an annual survey of households. The data do not track individual households from year to year, but instead just take a snapshot of the households in existence in March of each year. From these annual snapshots, we try to infer what is happening to the typical household over time.

Back in 1970, 71 percent of all U.S. households were two-parent families. Now the ratio is only 51 percent.
The “typical” household, however, keeps changing. Since 1970, there has been a dramatic rise in divorced, never-married, and single-person households. Back in 1970, the married Ozzie and Harriet family was the norm: 71 percent of all U.S. households were two-parent families. Now the ratio is only 51 percent. In the process of this social revolution, the average household size has shrunk to 2.57 persons from 3.14 — a drop of 18 percent. The meaning? Even a “stagnant” average household income implies a higher standard of living for the average household member.

A closer look at household trends reveals that the percentage of one-person households has jumped to 27 percent from 17 percent. That’s right: more than one out of four U.S. households now has only one occupant. Who are these people? Overwhelmingly, they are Generation Xers whose good jobs and high pay have permitted them to move out of their parental homes and establish their own residences. As any parent knows, this transition can bring joy and relief to both parties. But it depresses statistics on average household income. Suppose a 20-year old child leaves the home of a $60,000 family. She moves into her own apartment and takes a $20,000 a year job at Starbucks. Presumably, everyone in this picture is better off, both economically and psychologically. But the Census data won’t reflect those gains. Instead, they will show that the average

The same kind of statistical distortion occurs when Baby Boomers retire. Early retirement is made possible by rising wages, benefits, and asset values: it is a byproduct of rising affluence. Earlier generations couldn’t afford to retire early. In fact, they often worked until they died, “dying with their boots on.” Statistically, working until you expire buoys statistics of median household incomes; retiring early depresses them.

To the extent that retiring seniors flee their extended families and establish their own residencies, the Census statistics on median incomes decline still further, and for the same reasons. All these transitions are evidence of rising affluence, not increasing hardship. Yet this splintering of the extended family exerts strong downward statistical pressure on the average income of U.S. households. Had the Generation Xers and their affluent grandparents all stayed under the same roof, the average household income would be higher, but most of us would be worse off.

Those immigrants again. Another depressant on household income statistics (but not actual incomes) is that continuing influx of immigrants. As noted earlier, these immigrants overwhelmingly enter at the lowest rungs of the income ladder. Although there is an ongoing and intense debate about whether these immigrants take jobs away from American workers, the statistical impact is unambiguous: measured median and average household incomes decline as immigrants enter the country. The same kind of thing happens when Clinton or Obama enters a working-class tavern: The average income of bar patrons goes up even though no one’s income actually increases. Now imagine what happens to the average income of the bar patrons when an immigrant farm worker walks in. With over 1 million immigrants coming in to the economy each year, this statistical distortion is significant.

Rising standards of living

All these statistical complications imply that Obama’s “middle-class squeeze” is substantially exaggerated. The typical American household has in fact experienced a rising standard of living over the past eight years, the current macro slowdown notwithstanding. The total output of the economy — the economic “pie” from which we all draw slices — has grown by over $4 trillion per year since 2000. The Obama/Clinton stagnation thesis implies that the rich got all this added output. “They” got ever-larger slices of the pie while the rest of “us” got smaller portions every year. Were that true, “they” would be phenomenally rich. If all the added output had gone to the top 10 percent of U.S. households, then their incomes would have increased by a whopping $350,000 per household. Yet, the Census Bureau tells us their average income (including recent increases) is closer to $200,000. So “they” didn’t confiscate all the economics gains of the last eight years. A good many of “us” got larger slices of the pie as well.

That broad swath of economic advancement shows up in personal consumption. According to the Labor Department, personal consumption spending has risen by $2.5 trillion since 2000. More Americans own homes and new cars today than ever before, despite slowdowns and financial crises in both industries. Laptop computers, iPhones, and flat-panel tvs are fast becoming necessities rather than luxury items.

Self-assessed gains. The average American isn’t oblivious to these economic gains. In the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan asked voters to decide whether they were better off at the end of the Carter administration than they had been at its beginning. Bill Clinton used that same pocketbook ploy to win the 1992 election. In both instances, a late-term recession turned the answers negative.

Polls now register increasing anxiety about both the future of the economy and personal finances. But even in the midst of this economic insecurity, most voters realize they are better off today than in earlier years. According to the most recent Pew Research surveys, two-thirds of all adults recognize that they are better off than their parents were. A plurality also claims they are better off now than five years ago, despite the current slowdown. A majority of Americans told Gallup they expect to be better off financially next year.

Trumping the class card

The economy iscertainly not a strong suit for Republicans this year. As Professor Ray Fair of Yale University has documented, voters do vote their pocketbooks. Or, as Bill Clinton’s campaign more famously proclaimed in 1992: “it’s the economy, stupid!” According to Professor Fair’s more detailed calculations, only a “Good News” quarter of per capita gdp growth above 3.2 percent can salvage a Republican victory this year. But, clearly, the Democrats are not willing to place all their bets on the (weak) performance of the macro economy. They are hedging their bets by playing the class card — making the election look like an epic struggle between “us” (the vast middle class and poor) vs. “them” (the rich). It is a hedge that so strains credulity that it might just end up costing them the game.


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Bradley R. Schiller is a professor of economics at the University of Nevada-Reno and American University. He is the author of The Economy Today (McGraw-Hill, 2008) and The Economics of Poverty and Discrimination (Prentice-Hall, 2008).

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Basil:

cbeckham

Is your real name Bradley R. Schiller? If not, stop it. Or keep posting mega-spam and see what happens. It's rude, even if you're right.

No offense.

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deeznutsrepubs:

HEY REPUB TROLLS-

TICK TOCK

TICK TOCK

TICK TOCK

TICK TOCK

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common sense:

I think there is one matter that we can all agree upon : CLOSE GITMO ! FREE CARLY FIORINA !

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hou04:

Obama up by 10 points in the coming Zogby poll... see Drudge

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boomshak:

The question is this:

Will Rasmussen have the balls to stand up againts this bullsh*t onslaught of MSM polls trying to tell us this race is over?

3 days ago on Zogby, this was a 2 point race with McCain gaining fast in every group. Today it is a 10 point blowout with McCain getting crushed in every group.

I am sorry, but the electorate does not make a seismic shift like that in 3 days.

Read Zogby's (a Democrat) writeup. He is positively orgasmic over the results.

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dvsc2008:

Obviously no one read the results, this poll was entirely based on a cell phone only crowd. Question 1b in the results listed above.

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BOOMFAIL:

@boombatty
"I am sorry, but the electorate does not make a seismic shift like that in 3 days."

Did you ever hear of Reagan???

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political_junki:

@BOOM"
"I am sorry, but the electorate does not make a seismic shift like that in 3 days."
I agree with you. But you were all for it when you thought it is in McSame's direction, werent you?
The only thing that has happened is Powell's endorsement. I dont think it ca cause such a movement but well there it is.

@BOOM:
Your constant complaiging of MSM is bull****. Grow up man, you sound like a little girl crying and nagging when it comes to MSM.

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