On That New Rasmussen Poll: Don’t Get Cocky
Today Rasmussen has Obama and McCain at a statistical dead heat. Many commentators are making noise about McCain’s slight, statistically insignificant 47%-46% lead when “leaners” are included, which is the first time Rasmussen has had him ahead since Obama won the Democratic nomination.
I don’t think it’s anything to crow about. The one-point lead is not a meaningful description of the real world. That’s what “statistically insignificant” means. The fact that Obama has lost his nine point lead in such a short period if time, however, is noteworthy. Obama has been parading around the world and pretending to be presidential while ignoring serious issues of domestic policy. “Unaffiliated voters”, which I expect actually includes a lot of disgruntled Republicans and former Republicans, seem to have been key:
A week ago today, Obama had a three-percentage point lead and the candidates were even among unaffiliated voters. Today, McCain leads 52% to 37% among unaffiliateds.
It’s not that they’re suddenly ardent supporters of John McCain. Rather, they are getting a taste of just how unimpressive and potentially disastrous a Barack Obama presidency will be.