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McCain leads by 2.75%…but could he win by 3.74%?

September 16, 2008

Bad news for Obama

My projections are:

John McCain 48.26
Barack Obama 45.51

For the moment the choice of Sarah Palin seems to have worked. Her choice initially lost the GOP some support, but her speech gave the GOP a bounce that peaked at nine points. McCain can also take comfort from the fact that in the past 100 days there has been a long term upwards trend. At the moment McCain’s campaign is above the trend but even if it were at the trend he would still be ahead. Projecting the trend to day 150 (election day) would give McCain/Palin victory by 3.74%. This corresponds with my belief that if the election follows Scenario One (Obama unable to effectively attack Palin, good debate performances from the GOP, no surprises) then McCain has a 75% chance of victory.

However, short of the deus ex machina of another National Enquirer expose of Palin, Obama’s best chance comes from a combination of turning Palin into a negative and exploiting the turmoil in the financial markets. He needs to attack McCain for his vague plans to call an economic commission (which have shades of HW Bush in 1992) and to put forward some sensible proposals for recovery. If he can bring in Palin’s mismanagement of Wasilla and her Libertarian views on economic policy, he should be able to gain the 4-5 points that he needs to win. This also suggests that McCain’s team may have panicked unecessarily, since he could have won the election on his experience and moderation alone without any gimmicks.

There is an interesting article by the pollster Steve Lombardo, who comes to many of the same conclusions that I do.

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One comment

  1. McCain/Palin have pulled ahead because of the libertarian swing vote. Bob Barr, Libertarian for President had been polling consistently 5 to 6% over the summer. Now that McCain has picked libertarian Republican Sarah Palin as his running mate, Barr has dropped down to 1%, and all those libertarian votes have swung over to the GOP ticket.

    Brillant move on McCain’s part.

    In 2006, it was the libertarian swing voters who moved just enough left to give the election to the Dems. This time the GOP recognized the importance of libertarian voters, while the Democrats have been badmouthing libertarian ideals.

    Result: Net pick up for the GOP.



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