Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pols and Polls

When Newsweek came out with a poll showing Barack Obama with a 15-point lead over John McCain, a lot of pundits, especially on the right, dismissed it (after they learned how to pronounce it) as an “outlier”; an anomaly, and as soon as the rest of the polls came out, they would show the race as much closer.

And they were right. When the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll came out, it showed Obama with a 12-point lead. Hey, three points.

I’m not a pollster, but I’d say that if one poll is an outlier, then two is a trend, and there’s probably more where that came from.

Of course, the spin is in and the pundits, especially on the right, are saying that it’s only June and that an early lead means nothing at this point; it may even be bad news for Obama; remember how Michael Dukakis had a 17-point lead over George H.W. Bush at this point in 1988?

Yes, it is June; congratulations on being able to read the calendar. And an early lead can evaporate by November, especially if you mount a terror campaign against an unsuspecting candidate who, in spite of his humble immigrant roots, is labeled as an “elitist” by irony-immune toadys. But it’s not 1988 (would that it was; gas was a lot cheaper and my car only had 5,000 miles on it), and the campaigns to demonize Barack Obama are falling flat, especially when they consist of laughable comparisons to a country club elite that unintentionally mocks their own. So if these polls are accurate and they hold, it will be interesting to see what they will use as the summer progresses.