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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

When the Democrat is polling even with the Republican in states like North Carolina, and polling 7-8 points ahead of them in a state like Pennsylvania, that means the Republican is in a lot of trouble. While there are isolated results in this batch of polling that seem decent for John McCain — he may have closed the gap in Colorado a bit — several of these polls have Obama at or near the highest numbers he’s been at all year. Likewise with the national trackers.

If it’s any consolation to McCain, it’s not necessarily clear to me that that the continued movement upward for Barack Obama is a direct result of Friday night’s debate. Obama’s polls yesterday (Sunday) weren’t much better than the polls conducted Friday, before the debate had occurred. On the other hand, Friday’s polls were markedly better for Obama than those from earlier last week. It appears that the principal driving factor is that, with each shock to the financial markets, John McCain has continued to dig himself in deeper. Although the debate and Sarah Palin’s PR crisis may be contributing factors, that portends poorly for him given the news of the day.

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