US election minus 40 days

Gallup‘s three-day tracking poll shows the situation in the US presidential race throughout September as follows:

Barack Obama held a slight lead as the month began, which seems to be the long-term status quo. Then came the Republican convention and Sarah Palin bounce, which briefly put McCain well ahead. This moderated into a slight lead when the dust settled, before being wiped out with the onset of the banking crisis. However, Obama’s six-point lead at the start of this week has narrowed, despite polls giving him a clear lead on economic issues – surely a great boon in the current environment. Much is being said of an ABC-Washington Post poll which has Obama nine points in front, but this appears to be out on a limb. In any case, Gallup’s historical analysis reminds us that a lot can happen in the next six weeks, one way or the other.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,141 comments on “US election minus 40 days”

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  1. [Not at all. Was it on the front page of the NYT?]

    Do you honestly think one of Palin’s gaffes would or has been on the front page of the NYT for a week?

  2. [If McCain had told a paraplegic to stand up]
    I have no idea what context Biden said it, and I doubt you are representing it fairly because of your illiberal bias.
    [or if Palin had not known when TV was invented]
    She doesn’t know when people were ‘invented’, which is much worse.
    [it would have been on the front page of the NYT for a week]
    How do you know this? This is pure speculation. Has Palin’s belief that the earth is less than 7000 years old made the front page of the NYT yet?
    [You are clearly ignoring my comment about Bidenโ€™s FDR gaffe above Adam, which shows you are nothing but a sour graper]
    Are you really surprised by this? All he does is pretend that McCain is some political genius who is going to save the world, while pretending that everyone including The Media (great abstract concept that) think Obama is perfect. Of course Obama isn’t perfect, but nor is McCain, and Obama has the benefit of proposing policies that make more sense at this time in U.S. and world history.

  3. Adam

    Television was invented in 1929. There were several sets built but they were not commercially available yet. It’s hardly a big deal. Probably not as bad as humans and dinosaurs cohabited.

  4. This thread has been a very educational experience, but I think I have now learned from it all I care to.

    Over at the Australian politics threads, I am part of the pro-Labor pack, picking on the few lonely Liberals like Glen and Generic Person, who, dumb as they may be, deserve some credit for coming back day after day to get another bollocking.

    Here I am an (almost) lone critic of The Messiah, and I am in the same position as the Liberals at the other threads (though not as dumb I would like to think). The collective zealotry and arrogance of the Obama pack is rather hard to stomach. I wasn’t actually initially a McCain supporter, just an Obama sceptic. I was, as some will recall, originally for Clinton, although Gore was my first choice. In terms of US politics I am by instinct a moderate Democrat. I have never before had a good word for a Republican presidential candidate. But I have been pushed into more and more extreme positions by the hubris, snobbery, arrogance, malice, sarcasm and downright nastiness of most of the Obama pack here. Yes ShowsOn, that means you – there are others nearly as bad, but none that I can think of quite as dishonest or stupid.

    Anyway, I will try to stay away from this thread from now on, because it is bad for my stress levels to spend so much time arguing so pointlessly with so many people who are only interested in barracking. Also I have other things to do. For the record, I think it probably is true that the Wall St crash has sunk McCain, although he is still close enough to win if he gets a few breaks – and he has had many in his life. I don’t think an Obama victory would be the end of the world, just a big letdown. He’ll probably make Jimmy Carter look good.

  5. ShowsOn @ 1096,

    [ PREDICTION: If Obama wins, someone will say that H Clinton wouldโ€™ve won by more. ]

    That person will be, ahem, Adam. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. ShowsOn @ 1102,

    [ She doesnโ€™t know when people were โ€˜inventedโ€™, which is much worse. ]

    ROTFL …… best line of the day if not week, Cheers

    the best and funniest things are those based in truth ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Speaking about someone with a PhD and a few other degrees I would argue that Mr. Market and the herds of Mr. Market commentators are a stupid lot. Blah, blah, blah blah, blah.

  8. Adam: If Hillary had won the nomination, I’d be supporting her wholeheartedly to win!
    Obama isn’t perfect or the Messiah, but he’s a damn sight preferable to 4 more years of Republican rule!

  9. [Here I am an (almost) lone critic of The Messiah,]

    So why do you pretend McCain is The Messiah II? You’re making the Humanities mistake of assuming that criticism of one position means complete endorsement of its opposite.
    [But I have been pushed into more and more extreme positions by the hubris, snobbery, arrogance, malice, sarcasm and downright nastiness]

    Pushed into more extreme positions! By who!? Don’t tell me “The Media” did it! YOU decide what your positions are. The problem is you can’t BACK UP your positions, instead you just rely on a FoxNews caricature of Obama, instead of actually reading what he says.

    You also seem – like me – to be nostalgic for the year 2000 version of John McCain, but he is long gone. This is obvious because of all his policy flip flopping over the last 8 years, as well as the fact he wasn’t even allowed to choose his own running mate! You know yourself that Palin is a dunce who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the White House. But you are forced into this absurd position where you have to defend McCain for selecting such a completely inappropriate candidate.

    I also note that YOU frequently revert to “hubris, snobbery, arrogance, malice, sarcasm and downright nastiness”. So all you have done here is criticised yourself.

    [ShowsOn, that means you – there are others nearly as bad, but none that I can think of quite as dishonest or stupid.]

    You’re dishonest and stupid about McCain. But the fact you revert to attacking me personally means you realise that you can’t back up any of your arguments with evidence.

    I still have no idea how you think Obama’s trade policies will be bad for Australia when we have a free trade agreement with the U.S.

    I still have no idea why you think it is a good time for McCain to promote putting social security on the stock market.

    I have ABSOLUTELY no idea why you support Labor here, who think everyone should have access to universal health care, but don’t think Obama’s health care policy deserves support.

    I have absolutely no idea why you think McCain’s policy of another round of unaffordable tax cuts is good, when Obama is proposing increasing taxes for the top 5% to pay for tax cuts for the bottom 95%. That’s the sort of progressive policy that Clinton implemented in his first budget!

    Of course you conveniently ignore the fact Obama’s position on Pakistan is more hawkish than even that of McCain, which is why Palin accidentally endorsed it!

    [Anyway, I will try to stay away from this thread from now on, because it is bad for my stress levels]


  10. #1107

    [Here I am an (almost) lone critic of The Messiah]

    Have you heard of the Three Amigos? or the Battles of the Alamo where the 3 Amigos held out against the 30 Obamabots. No? you’re probably too young for that.

  11. Finns

    The Three Amigos copped it an awful lot worse than any McCain supporter has. Those were the days!

    I blame that mischievous marsupial for this latest brouhaha. As soon as he called the election for Obama, I knew we were in for trouble. And when he said that numbers are more important than politics, it was a train wreck waiting to happen.

  12. Diogenes, I think with the trainwreck Washington has already endured under the last 8 years of a Bush adminstration, we are entitled to a little early start on the happy hour ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Diog, yes the young uns just dont know how to take the heat.

    btw: my production crew is working day and night for the Machu Picchu job. It will be bigger than Ben Hur.

    #1118, Juliem, are u sure u are not the Czarina of the G island? you sound awfully like her.

  14. No Finnigans, sorry ๐Ÿ˜‰ …… I was a regular for about the last 6 months or so of last year around the Federal Election but have been lurking since like January or so? Have reactivated myself with the US elections heating up, lots more interesting stuff to read and see ๐Ÿ˜‰ ……

    Who is this Czarina? Sounds like someone I am sorry I missed ๐Ÿ˜‰ ……

  15. Possum

    If McCain wins from here by some act of the Devil, you are going to have to move to a new country. Adam is going to crucify you, psephologically speaking. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ


    Peru is home to the most dangerous terrorist organisation of the 20th century, the Shining Path. I hope your apologia at Machu Picchu doesn’t stir them up again.

  16. [If McCain wins from here by some act of the Devil, you are going to have to move to a new country. Adam is going to crucify you, psephologically speaking.]

    At least it would give him something else to write about other than North Sydney.

  17. Here’s something from The Weekly Standard (a very conservative mag) trying to describe the two major motivations behind the Republicans who voted against the bail out:

    [1) The Mike Pence doctrinaires who welcome a free market curative like a Depression for our current woes. I guess they view it as sort of the economic equivalent of that stuff you drink the night before a colonoscopy. As misguided as Pence and his minions are, they at least have a certain nobility complementing their foolishness. I would be remiss if I didn’t note that a significant subdivision of the Pence camp rejects the counsel of virtually everyone who knows anything about economics and instead believes that our current situation isn’t so dire. Call it conservative magical thinking.]

    [2) A bunch of other Republicans who would have voted for the Paulson Plan had Nancy Pelosi not said some stuff that hurt their feelings just prior to the roll call. They had thought passing the Paulson Plan was an urgent national priority. Then, the Speaker said some stuff that made personal pique take priority. Outdumbing the Pence Republicans was a tall task–this coterie of GOP representatives was up to the task.]

    Curiously Adam is in the first camp! Just let a world-wide recession or depression occur; that’s fine just as long as the world economy is de-Spived – who cares that nearly everyone’s living standards would fall off a cliff.

  18. ShowsOn

    In fairness to Adam, he also made the liberal argument against the bailout when he asked why the tax-payers should have to bail out merchant banks.

  19. [ Surviving Nov. 5 – win or lose

    Wednesday, Nov. 5 will be a fall day much like those that preceded it. The temperature will be cool; global warming hasn’t snaked that deeply into the calendar. A day like any other, except that either Barack Obama or John McCain will be the president-elect. As a public service, I am providing some tips for getting through Nov. 5. Emotions are high; a close race is expected. Ferociously bipartisan, I want to prepare you for either of two eventualities: ]

  20. BTW
    is the palin biden love in this thursday or friday?(our times please)
    has the US press been goading palin?biden?
    is a book running on what time in she starts crying.
    (sorry have been real busy so hoping to save time surfing)

  21. I guess that these 3100 people are vultures circling for the kill ๐Ÿ˜‰ ……


    The Commission on Presidential Debates has assigned 3,100 media credentials for the vice presidential debate โ€” the most ever in the seven vice presidential debates hosted by the commission, the group says. ]

  22. Gusface, thursday night US time, 11am to 1pm our time. ABC1, CNN, FoxNews are the 3 places I know it will be. Beyond that is anyones guess …..

  23. [I guess that these 3100 people are vultures circling for the kill]

    Nah, they’re probably all Fox News reporters hoping to pad out the audience and cheer whenever she says anything

  24. [is the palin biden love in this thursday or friday?(our times please)]

    11 AM Sydney time.

    It will be on SBS and ABC TV, and streamed on the webpage

  25. There’s a new category on Intrade, and NO it’s not whether Palin will cry or run off the stage during the debate. It’s whether there Congress will approve a bailout by Oct 31 and it’s considered very likely at 80% ATM.

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