Why Is Obama Rising This Week?
by Todd Beeton, Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 12:04:03 PM EDT
The other day I posited that Barack would see an uptick in the polls as a result of his debate performance this week and certainly we're seeing some (albeit minimal) evidence that that may be the case in the tracking poll averages. On Wednesday, Obama's average lead in the tracking polls (for the final pre-debate period) was 7%. Today, as Jonathan posted earlier, with approximately 2/3 of the polling taken in the aftermath of the debate, his lead is now 8.5%. Over at 538.com, Nate Silver digs deeper and finds "hints" at a post-debate surge for Obama:
The Zogby-Reuters poll is already out. From reading Zogby's write-up, it sounds like Obama must have had about a 9 point lead in Thursday's interviewing and, oh, a 5-6 point lead in Wednesday's interviewing. This compared with a 2-point lead over the Sunday-Tuesday window, before the debate occurred. (Zogby's party ID weightings are screwy, but we'll discuss that at another time; the poll should be fine for inferring trendlines).
Research 2000 had Obama winning Wednesday's daily sample by 12 points, as compared with 9 on Monday and 8 on Tuesday.
He also sees some evidence of a post-debate Obama surge in the Rasmussen state polling.
But what's perhaps more notable than whether Obama's uptick is a function of his debate performance or not is the fact that he's rising at all, as it's happening in the midst of the escalated Ayers attacks on Obama's character and "associations." It's becoming more and more evident that, to borrow a phrase from John McCain himself, these attacks are about as effective as nailing Jello to a wall.
There has been some discussion of Barack Obama's relationship with the former radical activist William Ayers. Because Ayers is linked to plots to bomb the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol in the 1970s, and because Ayres recently said he wished he had done more, some people say Obama's association with Ayers calls into question his judgment. Does Obama's connection with Ayers make you less likely to vote for him for president or does it not really make a difference to your vote?
Less Likely 32%
No Difference 61%
As Greg Sargent notes, most of those who respond "Less Likely" are Republicans who wouldn't have voted for Barack anyway.
Also, the Fox poll finds that the attacks could potentially be backfiring on McCain.
Meanwhile, the poll suggests that McCain's attacks could be blowing back on him: A majority -- 51% -- say he's running a negative campaign, as compared to only 21% who say that about Obama.
Our handy TPM Election Central calculator tells us that the number of voters think McCain is running a negative campaign is nearly double that of the number who care about McCain's primary attack line right now. Go figure.
Which begs the question of whether we're seeing Obama surge or McCain plunge. Of the 1.5% average net gain Obama has made over McCain since before Tuesday's debate, 1 full point of it is a result of McCain's numbers falling and just 1/2 point is due to Obama's rising.