US election minus 36 days

Either due to the market meltdown, the debate or both, much has changed in Gallup tracking poll land since our last thrilling instalment.

We also have this entertaining survey on Australian attitudes to the presidential race from UMR Research, showing 66 per cent of respondents preferring Barack Obama against 13 per cent for John McCain. Sarah Palin and (especially) George W. Bush also appear to be none too popular in our part of the world.

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.

1,274 comments on “US election minus 36 days”

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  1. Given bailout legislation was formulated in Congress where Democrats hav a majority , vote is 205 for and 228 NO to kill th bailout , meaning only 12 votes were needed from th NO voters to pass bailout Bill

    Only 12 needed to say YES out of 95 Democrats , or 12 needed out of 133 Republicans
    ie. 13% of NO Democrats or 9% of NO Republicans needed to change there vote to YES

    How can one argue that there is not equal Party responsibility when only 12 votes were needed This was an equal failure of both Partys HoR representatives , and th “spin” thats its Republican caused is typical of Obama supporters who can not see th saem Congress of Democrat controlled(2 years) and earlier Republican controlled(6 years) hav irreponsibly been passing monstaous budget deficits

    From memory only , think current budget was set at minus 160 billion and now pre Wall Street collapse is estimate to exceed 430 billion

  2. [How can one argue that there is not equal Party responsibility when only 12 votes were needed ]
    Because that is what PEOPLE ACTUALLY THINK as determined by POLLS, the name of this blog is The POLL Bludger. Why is it that you refer to DATA when it suits you, but at all other times ignore it?

  3. O’Possum Factor

    That line of yours ‘I follow th data when it leads’ certainly got demolished when you chose to ignore it when th credible data I linked was adverse to Obama Now your ever weakening defence relies on a thorough NYT journalistic Report & ABC News Report being prepared by Republican ‘talking points’….its not that your defences ar only going backwards , but additionally also Possum like upside down …perhaps indicating Possums at nite hang upside down creating wishful thinking

  4. I was referring to the congressman from Sarah Palin’s home state and I had a brain freeze and was too lazy to look up Alaska (sorry)

  5. Ron @ 51:

    How many Republicans voted against the bill? I imagine not many. You need to provide the figures to back yourself up if you’re going to run that argument.

  6. Geez. Any chance of a source? Given the tripe (?) I’ve been reading, anyone’d think it was the other way around, three times as much.

    Those liberals are screwing with us for the sake of politics, etc, etc…

  7. The vote against the measure was 228 to 205, with 133 Republicans voting NO and 95 Democrats voting NO The bill was backed by 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans.

    Total Democrats in House 235 Democrats & 198 Republicans Total 433

    Needed 217 YES votes to pass th Bill , there ar 235 Democrats so even IF everyone of th YE voting 65 Republicans had in fact voted NO , th Democrat majority of 235 could hav passed it

    Fact is only 12 of th 95 Democrats OR 12 of th 133 Republicans needed to vote YES rather than NO , and th Bill would hav passed

    ie. out of 228 NO votes , only 12 needed to vote YES rather than NO

    With such a SMALL extra number needed (12) to pass th Bill out of a huge number 228 who voted NO , I apportion blame to both Partys for bailout demise

  8. Daniel B

    “How many Republicans voted against the bill? I imagine not many. You need to provide the figures to back yourself up if you’re going to run that argument.”

    I backed my info up with official full voting figures in #60 what sort of tripe do you believe in

  9. [Okay, I checked my facts, and Republicans are blaming it on a devisive speech issued by Pelosi, saying she was playing politics.]

    Yes, she talked so nasty to those poor Republicans that they changed their minds. What a mean speaker she is!

  10. Daniel B
    you used th word ‘tripe’ first directed at my post , that had already quoted some figures , reasonable first to ask for more info before labelling a post as tripe reely

    DARIO & SHOWS ON and others still blaming Democrats ONLY:

    I will demonstrate th complete absurdity of Obamabot view that Republicans ar to solely to blame for Bailout Bill’s demise

    As preface th actual voting: my #60 post of full voting figures demonstates equal Republican & Democrat responsibility for bail out Bill failing by ONLY 12 votes WHEN 95 Democrats (out of 235) voted NO and 133 Republicans (out of 198) voted NO

    THEREFORE if a further 11 Republicans had voted YES , result would be that th Bill WOULD STILL BE LOST/DEFEATED… BY ONE SINGLE VOTE as demonstrated :

    YES total votes 216 (made of 140 Democrats AND 76 Republicans)
    NO total votes 217 (made of 95 Democrats AND 122 Republicans)

    And you would STILL say th blame for th lost Bill vote was solely th Republicans , yous ar logging absurdities just for th sake of it and incidently your colleagues condone it , Obamarotic nonsense

  11. I find it odd that American politics is different than here where Senate and HOR voting would be as a block following the party platform. In the US it seems they all have a conscience vote?

    But I do see that the blame for the Bail Out not proceeding is being put on the Republicans not withstanding there were enough Democrat votes to get it over the line. The blame is also taken for granted and not many are blaming the Democrats so I assume there is some sort of commonly accepted expectation at work here.

    This kinda tells me that all that what is expected is a majority of each party vote for the bill and when that doesn’t happen the one that doesn’t provide a majority is the failure. Otherwise I can’t understand what is going on.

    Both sides failed as far as I can see as I would have thought it unanimous and those voting against would need to have so valide reason.

    That the Republicans came out immediately on the defensive seems to indicate they are understand that it was their failure – otherwise why have your guys come out and say it was Pelosi’s nasty words that changed the 12 and so you can not blame them blame Pelosi. And what kind of excuse is that anyway.

    It is all very weird.

  12. I have to agree that while I feel sorry for Palin’s position and feel her embarassment I also feel p*ssed that the Republican’s could suddenly force someone lacking the skills to compete at this level in the spot light. Also Palin’s over self confidence? Or whatever made her accept needs to be questioned. But at the end of the the pick for VP has to be someone who can run the country.

    The Sarah Palin pity party
    [I don’t want to be played by the girl-strings anymore. Shaking our heads and wringing our hands in sympathy with Sarah Palin is a disservice to every woman who has ever been unfairly dismissed based on her gender, because this is an utterly fair dismissal, based on an utter lack of ability and readiness. It’s a disservice to minority populations of every stripe whose place in the political spectrum has been unfairly spotlighted as mere tokenism; it is a disservice to women throughout this country who have gone from watching a woman who — love her or hate her — was able to show us what female leadership could look like to squirming in front of their televisions as they watch the woman sent to replace her struggle to string a complete sentence together.

    In fact, the only people I feel sorry for are Americans who invested in a hopeful, progressive vision of female leadership, but who are now stuck watching, verbatim, a “Saturday Night Live” skit.

    Palin is tough as nails. She will bite the head off a moose and move on. So, no, I don’t feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for women who have to live with what she and her running mate have wrought.]

  13. TP @ 67,

    Yup, you pretty much have it. I wouldn’t call it a conscience vote though. Simply that party discipline doesn’t exist the same way that it does here. Over there, the constituents come first, last and always as a motivator behind your vote(s) and the comradeship with your mates is secondary. If people are voting together in a “bloc” it is only because they all had constituents who wanted them to vote in the same way 😉

  14. [Try ignoring the ‘noise’ ShowsOn, it’s not worth it]

    Amigo Ronnie, this new mob of Obamabots sounds and starting to behave exactly like the other mob that has been banished to the G island. Except the older mob had more personality and fun to tangle.

    Kiri – all is forgiven, pls come back.

  15. [Amigo Ronnie, this new mob of Obamabots sounds and starting to behave exactly like the other mob that has been banished to the G island. Except the older mob had more personality and fun to tangle.]

    If you don’t like it – leave.

  16. Finns

    Aww jeez that hurts!

    On KR, I haven’t seen him at 101 for a while. I hope he’s OK. He’s proven to be right about the state of the economy and if he was OK, I’m pretty sure he would be letting us know.

  17. [I still don’t see how having Palin as Deputy President can be a huge deal after 8 years of Bush as President.]

    Consider what’s happened in those 8 years ltep…

  18. The sad fact is that Palin is even less experienced that Bush was in 2000.

    At the time of that election, he had been Governor of Texas (a much bigger state than Alaska in terms of population) for 6 years and had some experience in Washington as a result of his father. He was also the former CEO of the Houston Astros

    Palin has been Governor of Alaska for 2 years, before that being the mayor of some random village/town. She only got a passport 2 years ago and her recent interviews on TV shows her absolute lack of knowledge on foreign affairs (although Bush was notorious for that in 2000, but those were different times)…

  19. I have been following the debate on blame for this and I partially agree with Ron – the democrats share blame for the bailout beind defeated. However thats beside the point – the republican leadership came up with the deal and staked their reputation on it so theya re going to wear the blame for it going down. I still think a (better) deal for a bailout will be done with some amendments in the next few days. There is some urgency to do so.

    Also, the real question is who caused this mess in the first place and on that there is no doubt – it was the stupid republicans. See

    To emphasise that this economic thing isn’t over yet, there is a key date next Tuesday when a lot of hedge fund contracts may become due. They run into the trillions. See

  20. Dario

    Dolly Downer wrote an article in the Tiser on Monday, which they don’t link to their website, blaming Clinton for the Crash. He argued that Clinton forced banks to provide loans to neighbourhoods without discriminating between the individual households incomes. He said this lead to a lot of Hispanics and African-Americans getting loans who couldn’t afford them (I am NOT making this up). He also blamed Bush for having too low interest rates to keep the ecnomy from going into recession. Dolly specifically said the deregulation was NOT the problenm.

    A few letters to the Editor violently disagreed with him the next day.

  21. ltep and Dario,

    Hopefully, the US is better than settling for the lowest common denominator 😉 ….. Just because we’ve had rubbish for the last 8 years doesn’t mean we have to continue to settle for more rubbish going forward 😉 ……. Obama for change 🙂

  22. [Dolly Downer wrote an article in the Tiser on Monday, which they don’t link to their website, blaming Clinton for the Crash. He argued that Clinton forced banks to provide loans]
    Oh, let me guess, Clinton personally aimed a gun at the banks!?


    Good to see that Dolly hasn’t lost any of his ‘charm’, or reasoning skills since he retired.

  23. Diogenes 81

    Downer’s points are precisely some of the republican talking points dismissed by Quiggan in the link in my post 78! Dolly can’t even make up his own spin. Its rubbish of course; sub-prime loans went far beyond what was required by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The real problem was the speculative bubble in house prices which occurred in areas unrelated to the CRA.

  24. I’ve found the Dolly article.

    Here is the relevant bit, just to show I wasn’t making it up.

    [Jimmy Carter was very concerned about the need to extend home ownership to poorer communities. So was Bill Clinton. That’s a laudable enough objective as long as you can find a way of doing it which doesn’t wreck the economy. They failed to find one.

    Carter first introduced and Bill Clinton substantially extended what will become known as the notorious Community Re-investment Act. Under the Clinton amendments in 1995, banks were required to extend home loans not just to prosperous neighbourhoods but to the whole community.

    That is, to extend home loans to the poor who had previously been unable to get home loans because they didn’t have any collateral. Nor, by definition, did they have much income to service the loans.

    Clinton also made two major financial institutions, Fannie May and Freddy Mac, lend more generously to the poor and he reduced their capital adequacy ratios from 10 per cent to 2.5 per cent. That means that, unlike banks, they only had to have enough capital to back 2.5 per cent of all their loans.

    So what happened is exactly what President Clinton wanted: financial institutions went on a wild lending spree to the politically and morally potent poor. Many of the poor borrowers came from so-called minorities; that is, they were African-Americans and Hispanics.],22606,24415873-5013696,00.html

  25. Ron @ 65:

    What I said was, “Given the tripe I’ve been reading…”.

    I.e. before I arrived and commented on your post, I’d been reading some crazy stuff. Not directed at you. Sorry that you were offended.

  26. [Downer’s points are precisely some of the republican talking points dismissed by Quiggan in the link in my post 78! Dolly can’t even make up his own spin.]

    What! So you pay Downer to do an Op Ed piece and all he does is Google!

  27. [What! So you pay Downer to do an Op Ed piece and all he does is Google!]

    Well it worked for Bishop. Seems to be a common theme for the Libs.

  28. What the hell is a “fungible asset” and a “hedge fund”? Perhaps the moderator in the VP debate could ask Palin and Biden to comment on the relevance of the following comment to the Crash.

    [More to the point, given that the market structures in the bubble made mortgages a fungible asset, the CRA was a nonbinding constraint.]

  29. Hehehe I would love to hear Palin try to answer that. On her recent form Saturday Night Live will soon be paying her by the word.

    She will really have to watch what she says in the debate, because with the due date on many hedge contracts coming up next Tuesday, it will be very easy to say something that could be proven spectacularly wrong within a few days.

  30. [What the hell is a “fungible asset” and a “hedge fund”?]

    fungible just means its similar to other asset types or can be easily exchanged for something else, and a hedge fund is an investment fund that literally hedges its bets to try and reduce risk

  31. Hedge funds are also focused on providing absolute (as opposed to relative) returns for their investors.

    As a result, instead of saying that they are aiming for the ASX200 + 5% return per annum, they will instead say (hypothetically) say they are aiming for a 12% return per annum.

  32. [ First, two states that preferred McCain last time around–Virginia and North Carolina–have gone from red to blue. Virginia is no surprise. A prime Obama pick-off possibility, it has switched sides a whopping seven times this cycle, and neither candidate has ever led there by more than three points. Still, it’s significant that Obama now holds his largest average advantage of the year–a still-slim 1.4 percent. North Carolina is more surprising. On Sept. 15, McCain was clobbering Obama 52 percent to 41 percent in the RCP average. But over the past two weeks, a pair of surveys–PPP and Rasmussen–have given him a two-point edge in their latest soundings; other polls show a sudden tie. As a result, Obama now leads in North Carolina by a razor-thin 0.7 percent margin. Of course, the Illinois senator is still a longshot in Tar Heel country. That said, the GOP doesn’t want to be defending a state George W. Bush won by 13 points. ]

    [ The second development may be even more troubling for McCain. According to RCP, every single blue state on the Arizona’s target list has become bluer since the middle of the month. ]

    I especially like the last one 😉 …….

  33. [I especially like the last one 😉 …….

    I think it is even worse for McCain than that map shows:

    1) I think Obama has a better chance of winning Ohio than North Carolina, which means he would net gain 5 more.
    2) Obama is leading in Nevada in the three most recent polls. +5
    3) Florida is still line ball, it seems that RCP is giving it to McCain based on long term trends, but the latest polls are a dead heat.

    So that RCP chart puts Obama on 301, but it could just as easily be 311, or 338. Though my prediction is still 309, but I’ve forgotten exactly how I got to that figure! 😀

  34. ShowsOn,

    Did you enter that contest for the trip to D.C? Or is your prediction of 309 a personal one, not for the contest?

    I will offer to keep track of guesses for PB’rs on this topic. No earthly idea what we can use as a reward for closest guess, other than the pride of having guessed so. I will start the list with yours and mine. I said 338 btw 😉 ……. Up until McCain shot himself in the foot multiple times in the last 10 days 😉 I would have said something on the order of 28* but not any more. McCain thinks he had a gutful with Hurricane Gustav, he hasn’t seen the full force of Hurricane Obama yet

    😉 ……..

    I’m noting the EV guess and the date at which I recorded it. First in, best dressed 😉 ……..

  35. [Did you enter that contest for the trip to D.C? Or is your prediction of 309 a personal one, not for the contest?]

    I intend to enter, but don’t we also have to predict how many popular votes the winner will get? I have no idea how to do that other than just taking a wild guess! Bush got about 120 million last time, I think Obama will get more than that.

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