Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

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.

The ineffectiveness of this line of attack is confirmed in the new FoxNews poll (h/t TPM):

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.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, John McCain (all tags)

Comments

36 Comments

Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

I think decisions are hardening. We're at a tipping point.

by RandyMI 2008-10-10 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

And people are already voting in several key states, like Virginia and Ohio.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-10-10 12:14PM | 0 recs
Insider Advantage

Georgia

McCain 49
Obama 46

by Beltway Dem 2008-10-10 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Insider Advantage

WOW!

by nzubechukwu 2008-10-10 01:50PM | 0 recs
I think it's been that way since the first debate

Although only in hindsight will we be able to clearly identify the moment that the dam broke. But I think it is far to say the dam has broken.

by iohs2008 2008-10-10 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

McCain defends supporters' violent and threatening rhetoric:

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2 008/10/10/1529529.aspx#comments

It's unbelievable!  The campaign has really jumped the shark!  

I guess they are hoping if they stoke racism enough, that there will be a racial backlash against Obama at the polls or something... The George Wallace strategy...

Their desperation is very scary... someone is going to get hurt, soon...

by LordMike 2008-10-10 12:17PM | 0 recs
I agree. Someone is going to get hurt.

I just pray for the Secret Service on the Obama's detail.

by iohs2008 2008-10-10 12:29PM | 0 recs
Yes...

Those guys have to be in our prayers, because those M-fers Palin and McCain put them in Harms Way...

And these are f-ckers that scream at us about supporting the troops...

If I Secret Service man or woman dies defending Barack or his family, we need to make it clear to the country, to the media, to the world.

That blood will be on John McCain's hands.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

Before violence occurs, we will see a serious Republican with credibility speak out against it. When doing so, they will probably lambast Obama's policies, but there are too many men and women of genuinely good moral principle on that side to let it continue.

Bush Sr, Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, Colin Powell, Rick Warren... even William F Buckley's son spoke out today and said his father once told him, "I spent my whole life trying to separate the right from the crazies." Someone will speak up.

by vcalzone 2008-10-10 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

You know what's truly sad? In any other election, the man we could rely on to speak out against this stuff might well be John McCain.

by vcalzone 2008-10-10 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

That man lost his soul in SC in 2000..

It's the Stockholm Syndrome, he became his captors in the party, he became Karl Rove...

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

Bill Buckely's son knows what is right and wrong..

So did his old man, I disagreed with him about virtually everything, but he had ethics.

Not this scum, I would call them animals, but I would never smear an animal by comparision.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?
I would like to believe you are right, but...what are they waiting for? Are they not speaking out because they are not doing the hate mongering? Are they not speaking out because their name is not John or Sarah? I'm not waiting until violence occurs to say all of them are cowards. If they don't already think that what the McCain-Palin campaign is doing is destructive and dangerous and are unwilling to publicly say so they have no honor and they *are* cowards. They will not be able to redeem themselves by saying, 'I was just about to speak out.' Shame on all of them.
by royce 2008-10-10 02:25PM | 0 recs
About Bill Buckley's Kid....

He's endorsed Obama, at any rate:

Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama
by Christopher Buckley

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-s tories/2008-10-10/the-conservative-case- for-obama

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?
Please check out my website as I provide a full discussion on a similar topic.
glenn-young.com
Thank you!
by glenn2 2008-10-10 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

Uh, I believe there have been economic trends this week.

Do you really want to be representing the party that has held the White House for 8 years, and to have recently emphasized the fundamentals of the economy are strong, when the Dow is plunging amidst panic selling, including below 8000 for a portion of today?

That was a wild ride today, a swing of more than 1000 points from high to low.

by Gary Kilbride 2008-10-10 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

Insight on the Republican party's thinking apart from their spin doctors is what I find the most telling:

The National Journal's Political Insiders Poll finds that 80% of Republicans believe there's a high likelihood that Sen. Barack Obama will win the presidential election.

In addition, 67% of Republicans said Obama did more to help himself in the second presidential debate than did Sen. John McCain.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazin e/ip_20081011_4853.php?

by phoenixdreamz 2008-10-10 12:33PM | 0 recs
Fox!

Ayres recently said he wished he had done more

Way to push-poll!  Ayres said he wished he had done more to stop the war, not that he wished he had done more bombings.

by sneakers563 2008-10-10 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox!

Ah, but there will not be enough ZANTAC on the planet for the heartburn those clowns at Faux are going to feel Nov 5th....

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 01:00PM | 0 recs
Hillary

Hillary would not have been able to pull this off. This is a mass movement of people voting for change, not experience.

by Trey Rentz 2008-10-10 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary

I qualify this to mean, change as in - the type of change effected by the leadership of a seasoned community organizer.

Here's the catch: we're not getting a president from a bunch of lobbyists or the clinton's personal campaign backers.

we're getting one from a big giant community of online activists who've figured out whats really going on.

by Trey Rentz 2008-10-10 12:47PM | 0 recs
Sure she would have

She had the support of both Dems and a large majority of the biggest voting bloc - women.

Like Obama, she was also ranked very high by voters on key issues coming into play right now - the economy and the economy.

by Betsy McCall 2008-10-10 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary

God, please make it stop.

by Steve M 2008-10-10 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

his 'coolness,' and his academic background was a liability that needed to be overcome, but now, thanks the the economy, it's a calming feature, that he does get all worked up is calming. And he's running more with his staff of experts, not just his own personality, it's not such a 'cult' thing anymore, he now has a lot of people voting for him who didn't get won by hope, but are getting won by competence and professionalism, and he showed that in the debate.  Plus, McCain is a wacky warrior, a real scary guy, so some may be 'omg we can't elect that crazy man.'

by anna shane 2008-10-10 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

When he actually wins, I hope he makes a speech to reach out to those people. As much as I hate them, we can't survive another eight years divided like we are.

by vcalzone 2008-10-10 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

he's got the ones he can get. HIllary will keep trying, but she can only win him Democrats.  What will work for everyone is when he's elected and shows he's working with her, and taking advice from all the experts, and he's not giving jobs to cronies, unless they're also the best qualified. He did show that in picking Biden, but he'll probably keep showing it, and all the fears will not come to pass, and Hillary won't be 'sidelined' cause she tied him, he won't take 'revenge,' and that'll do it.  It's a show it, don't say it situation.  I think he is already, but maybe it isn't showing enough.  

by anna shane 2008-10-10 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

Obama is rising because he is a natural born leader. An inspiration to at least one generation. And McCain is a fraud. Palin is a joke. And hate isn't selling this year.

by kitebro 2008-10-10 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

Exactly!!!

by nzubechukwu 2008-10-10 02:08PM | 0 recs
Worst Week In Stock Market History

Barack Obama rose in the polls because this was the worst week in stock market history. This week, the Dow Jones fell 18.2 percent. The previous worst week was the week ending July 22, 1933 (Stocks traded six days a week back then) where the Dow fell 17 percent.

This week was worse than the week of October 28, 1929. This week was worse than any week in the 1974 and 1982 recessions. Finally, this week was worse than the week of October 19, 1987.

This week was probably worse than any week during the Long Depression (1873-1896). This week will go down in infamy.

We all know why this week will go down in infamy: The policies of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and John McCain.

by Zzyzzy 2008-10-10 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Worst Week In Stock Market History

I think IF there was a court of infinite justice, THIS MAN would be in the process of being brought up for crimes against the American People:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Gramm

It was this little gem, that he rammed through in the dead of night, that took a conventional explosive and turned it into a nuclear device:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm-Leach -Bliley_Act

This CORPORATE CRIMINAL was one of the most virulent Ideologues that hated FDR and the new deal...

He is the bag man for the biggest theft in the history of the world, and he should spend the rest of his miserable life in jail.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

Just saw John McCain say that when running this campaign, they need to be respectful and his supporters need to be respectful.

To steal Todd's phrase, "More of this, please."

I still won't vote for you, but you'll save your soul if you keep this up. It'd be nice to see this campaign end somewhat more pleasant. Of course, he'll have to smack Sarah Palin's wrist with a ruler to keep her quiet (maybe threaten to whisper in the ears of certain Alaskan GOP lawmakers), but it would be very nice if he could minimize the chaos.

Of course, we all know this is just because he's getting a backlash, but whatever. It's still a good thing.

by vcalzone 2008-10-10 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

McCain's endorsement of a new federal bailout for mortgage holders who are upside down was the last straw for some Republicans.  They can now see upsides to his losing.

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-10-10 02:10PM | 0 recs
Too Good To be True?
All the campaign news this week has me thinking of an old saying: If something looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. For a good read, go to http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12236061 8747721991.html
by sheepherder 2008-10-10 02:54PM | 0 recs
Maybe YOU are Too Good To be True?

Thanks for letting us know your "thinking"...

Your link also appears to be broken.

New around here, are ya?

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?
by sheepherder 2008-10-10 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Obama Rising This Week?

Surge? Plunge?

Splunge!

by QTG 2008-10-10 06:26PM | 0 recs

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