Oliver Willis


Michael Barone, August 2008:

Realclearpolitics.com yesterday had John McCain ahead of Barack Obama by 274 to 264 electoral votes, counting leaners. RCP has Obama carrying just two Bush ’04 states, Iowa and New Mexico, with 12 electoral votes. McCain’s lead in two other Bush ’04 states, Virginia and Colorado, with 20 electoral votes is microscopic, but then so is Obama’s lead in New Hampshire, with four electoral votes. And when RCP takes tossup states, with 132 electoral votes, out of the totals, Obama is ahead 228 to 178. Still…

CNN, August 2008:

On the eve of the Republican convention, a new national poll suggests the race for the White House remains dead even.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Sunday night shows the Obama-Biden ticket leading the McCain-Palin ticket by one point, 49 percent to 48 percent, a statistical dead heat.

Guardian, August 2008

What is worrying the Democrats, in spite of all these pluses, is that Obama’s poll lead has remained stubbornly small. A tracking poll by RealClearPolitics published yesterday has Obama on 46.9% compared with John McCain’s 43.3%.

“I think there are a lot of Democrats who are nervous,” said Tad Devine, chief strategist for the Kerry White House bid in 2004. “I think they thought this election would fall into their laps.”

Devine stressed that he was not among the pessimists and cautioned against what he described as “an artificial expectation that he needs to be way ahead at this time”.

But the concern among Democrats is not just over the size of the poll lead but over the impact of negative ads from McCain over the last two weeks that have reawakened bitter memories of Republican tactics in 2000 and 2004.

MSNBC, August 2008

With just days before the vice-presidential announcements, the political conventions and the final sprint to Election Day, Republican Sen. John McCain has cut Democrat Sen. Barack Obama’s national lead in half, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

“Whatever momentum that Obama took into the summer, he really appears to have lost it,” says Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart. “It is not a dead heat, but it is close.”

I’m sure I’ll be writing this come August 2012 as well, but the sense of panic among Democrats is the same old same old August slump we’ve seen before as far as I can see.

I take my life advice from Douglas Adams’ epic, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: DON’T PANIC.