The polls, one week out from the election, show the Presidential Election to be a race.
The surprise? With the press and the broadcast news fawning over Mr. Obama for the past 3 months, we still have a horse race.
We have been told that Mr. Obama will be our next President by Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, etc. in print. On Television we have been told by ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC that Mr. Obama’s lead is so big that Mr. McCain should lose all but about ten states. They continue to talk about the critical issues that the ‘presumed winner’ Mr. Obama will face upon his inauguration. We are told he has twice the money to spend that Mr. McCain has. How, with all these advantages, is it possible that he is not polling with two or three times his current lead?
Gallup shows Obama 49-46 on its traditional poll. It’s new “expanded poll” has Obama 51-44. The expanded poll factors in guesses at how many of the newly registered will vote and what people say is their intention.
Rasmussen today showed Mr. Obama leading 50 – 47.
Zogby/Reuters/CSPAN has Mr. Obama ahead 49 – 44.
Research 200/DailyKos has Mr. Obama by 50 – 44.
GWU/Battleground has Mr. Obama by 49 – 46.
How can it be this close? Could Mr. Obama actually lose?
The answer to the latter question is “yes”. Most polls show Mr. Obama with his smallest lead in over a month and with the gap closing. Most of the polls show no winner if you factor their assumed margins of error. (If you haven’t read my post below on polls, it is worth the time.)
Mr. Obama’s lead as suggested by the polls is so small, in my opinion, due to the following:
1. Mr. Obama is still an unknown. That is uncomfortable for many people. Is he anti-Israel? Is he a closet Socialist? Why has he not allowed the release of his college transcripts? Etc. What does he have to hide?
2. Mr. Obama has repeatedly dodged, ignored, or disingenuously answered the questions about his relationship with Reverend Wright, Tony Resko, William Ayers, etc. This has many fence-sitters worried and uncomfortable. It is sinking in that Mr. Wright is a racist and for 20 years he really was Mr. Obama’s mentor. It is becoming clear that Mr. Ayers was a much closer friend and advisor than Mr. Obama admitted. People begin to wonder if Mr. Resko bought special favors by ‘helping’ Mr. Obama buy a house at under the market price. All these things are cast off by the true believers, but, they give serious pause to people who have not yet been sold.
3. Mr. Obama continues to claim he can offer programs that will help everyone and cut taxes on all but the “rich” and not increase our budget deficit. Many see this as naive or disingenuous.
4. Mr. Obama’s promises are being shown to differ from his votes in very significant areas and people are beginning to learn more about his actions not just his rhetoric. This is bad for Mr. Obama.
5. Large numbers of people who were earlier swayed by Mr. Obama’s eloquence now find him just a bit too slick and even slippery on the questions regarding the economy, taxes, his record. How can he be the candidate of change and the one who will cross the aisle to get things done when he votes with his party 95% of the time?
6. Mr. Obama, himself, acknowledges the closeness of the race by buying 30 minutes of national prime time TV tonight. Had Mr. McCain done this it would have been portrayed as a “desperate move.”
7. People are beginning to realize that more taxes, even if only on the rich, and more government programs can’t help the economy. The people who vote want jobs and opportunities not more government handouts.
8. Large numbers of people who were Hillary supporters moved into Mr. Obama’s column two months ago. No such move happened with the Republicans. Until just the past week, large numbers (many who listen to The Savage Nation, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) held off on backing Mr. McCain because he was not conservative enough. Now they are looking at the difference between an extremely liberal voting record from Mr. Obama vs. a moderate voting record from Mr. McCain and Mr. McCain is looking better. It may be the ‘lesser of two evils’ for many of them, but it still translates to votes for Mr. McCain.
9. The press may be cheerleading for Mr. Obama, but, people have other sources of news today and more people are questioning the credibility of the “mainstream media.”
There may not be a November Surprise for Mr. Obama but I wouldn’t bet on it.
If you disagree or have other reasons in mind as to how it is possible that Mr. Obama could lose, post a comment. Thanks.