Obama Trending Up in Gallup Daily Tracking Poll

Crossposted at OneMillionStrong

Daily tracking polls haven't meant much before now but are hard to resist in these last days headed into Super Tuesday.  The Rasmussen Daily Tracking polls have often been discussed, and dismissed, in diaries and comments here but the Gallup Daily Tracking seems a horse of a different colour.

The latest Democratic numbers show Hillary Clinton with a 43% to 39% advantage over Barack Obama among Democratic voters nationwide. That four-point lead is the narrowest since early January, and it is a continuation of gains by Obama. The impact of John Edwards' exit from the Democratic race is less clear. Wednesday night's numbers (the first with Edwards excluded from the ballot) show no clear indication that either candidate is benefiting disproportionately. Clinton and Obama will debate in California tonight, which could affect Democrats' support for the two candidates going into the weekend before Super Tuesday's primaries and caucuses.

Jeff Jones - Gallup Daily: Tracking Election 2008

It's encouraging for Obama supporters to see Hillary's historic lead eroding just in time for the twenty-two state caucus and primary circus.  The expectations of her finishing the contest there have been largely forgotten and both campaigns seem prepared to fight on after Super Tuesday.  I believe that the remaining high confidence that Hillary will keep Obama at arms length from winning a threatening number of delegates must now be based solely on her performance in certain Congressional Districts and other demographic minutiae which is beyond my ability to comprehend or analyse.

Some thoughts on the Gallup Daily Tracking poll:

Whatever you think of IVR polls -- and the methodology certainly remains controversial in the survey research world -- the Gallup program is distinct from Rasmussen in other ways than the use of live interviewers. According to Newport, the Gallup Daily uses the "same robust methodology" as all other Gallup polls: live interviewers, a random-digit-dial sample, as many as 5 "call-backs" to those not home when they call, cell-phone sampling to reach those in cell-phone only households (something Gallup also introduced to their standard methodology this month) and Spanish speaking interviewers available for when they reach a household in which only Spanish is spoken.

That "call back" procedure may sound excruciatingly wonky, but it is important and a key distinction from the Rasmussen tracking. So far at least, Gallup has used a procedure that dialed each sampled number as many as five times over successive nights if the initial attempts were unsuccessful (that is, if the number was busy or if no one answered the telephone). They structure their calling procedure so that the sample on any given day is equivalent to a sample dialed for many days. Each day has the same mix of attempts (first, second, third and so on).

The Gallup Daily survey design has two critical benefits, according to Newport. First, obviously, it allows us to attempt to monitor the impact of major campaign events on a daily basis, such as the Barack Obama's victory in South Carolina.

Mark Blumenthal - The Gallup Daily www.pollster.com 28 Jan 08

The more conservative www.pollster.com analysis uses an aggregate of conventional national polls and is much less sensitive to daily variations, but the trend is also starting to emerge pretty clearly, if more slowly.

I am having a bit of trouble synthesising the myriad individual state polls, not to mention prediction markets, headed into this crucial period in the campaign.  The daily tracking results, as a trend, seem to show a significant movement for Senator Obama and are possibly starting also to show the influence of John Edwards' decision to drop out of the race. The longer term analysis actually shows a more pronounced trend but a wider spread.  But I am still unsure of what I am seeing here and perplexed on a number of other points and would welcome discussion of the following questions, among others.

Will Obama peak?  Has he already?  Is this trend too late to make serious inroads into Hillary's long-term lead nationally?  Are we at last seeing uncommitteds making up there mind?  Does large numbers of pre-submitted ballots in key states make these results irrelevant?  Why are the state polls still showing Hillary with convincing margins?  We shall soon see the answers to all of these questions.  This is getting very interesting.  What's the verdict folks, is this looking closer all the time or are we just seeing a smokescreen of irrelevant data?

Tags: hillary clinton;barack obama;election 2008 (all tags)



Re: Obama Trending Up in Gallup Daily Tracking Pol

With the debate last night, I suspect this trend will continue. We can't discountit and it's real. Its heartening to know that everywhere Obama has competed with Hillary his numbers has either rise dramatically in the last few days to make it a close race like in New Hampshire and Nevada or to win like in Iowa and South Carolina. A similar trend is developing nationally.

by Jr1886 2008-01-31 10:57PM | 0 recs
Here is my attempt

to estimate the bounce out of SC and the Kennedy endorsement. Right now it look like its between 9 and 13 points.

Only polls taken after the Kennedy endorsement are included here. It is worth noting that the single night result for Rassmussen showed the race "essentially even" which in their numbers would be about an 11 point shift.


by fladem 2008-02-01 04:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Trending

Wrong.  Clinton will dominate on February 5.  She will win, 55-45% or more nationwide.  You do not need Gallup tracking.  Follow Florida--real people voting.

Most viewers thought Clinton the winner.  If you are a challenger, you must present a reason for voters to turn away.  That did not happen last night.

Bedrock Democrats never will abandon the Clintons.

Obama has won anamolies--Iowa, with bused-in party outsiders and South Carolina, heavily racial.

Otherwise, he has won nowhere else--New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, Florida, all have gone to Clinton.

He has been a MEDIA phenomenon; a darling among the many MSM Clinton-haters.

But this does not translate to bedrock Democrats and Democrats themselves choose their nominee.

The California vote is much more in keeping with Florida's design, and likewise there one half of that electorate has already voted. That half was already very favorable to Clinton, following her three-to-one advantage in polling at the time.

Thus, polling at this late stage would be very deceiving--much of the electorate has already voted, and in many regions that represented the period in which Clinton held a 20-point lead.

Why is Clinton a certain winner on February 5?

One must consider the most applauded line of last night's debate: "It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, it may well take another Clinton to clean up after the second Bush!"

This was gold--no, platinum--for most Democrats, because it represents who and what they are, and a great pride and passion in their history.

The Obama rejoinder, "Right from Day One.," works only for Obama supporters, because for them Iraq was the central issue, and because they view their candidate himself more positively than they view the Democratic Party.

And that is the crucial difference.  We Democrats LOVE our Democratic Party, and we LOVED the peace and prosperity of the Clinton years.

Last night's debate cemented in our minds that Hillary will follow a great tradition.  For most Democrats, there is no reason now to go with the neophyte Obama, whatever his merits.

Go with the Florida actual results--that will mirror Super Tuesday.

Hillary will win easily--and most states, save Obama's Illinois and Georgia.

She will be the nominee after Tuesday, because she will have won most all the states.  Delegates at such a point become superflous.

Heretofore Obama forces dismissed both Michigan and Florida.  They even tried to spin a big loss in Nevada as a delegate win.

Sorry, but the tally on Super Tuesday will reveal an almost full slate of Clinton primary wins, whatever the number differences.

That is a reality that cannot be denied.

Should she afterwards choose Obama, the ticket would be most extraordinary.

But come what may, she will become the first woman President.

John McCain will be most formidable, and will lead in many poll match-ups.

But he has no prayer against her concerning their relative debating skills.

And the Clintons, in tandem, certainly know how to win national elections.

by lambros 2008-02-01 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Trending

Thank you for that long and tortured explanation as to why HRC is so OMGz awesome and will dominate.

by nationatunc 2008-02-01 05:16AM | 0 recs

Is Ted Kennedy one of those "bedrock Democrats" that will never abandon Hillary?

Every analysis that I have read calls the debate a toss-up with a slight edge to Obama.  

by Moonwood 2008-02-01 05:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Trending Up in Gallup Daily Tracking Pol
I am sorry I don't know how to post an image so ... http://www.pollster.com/ADemSuperTuesday .png You can see Clinton is leading by double digits (median) in 9 states, leading by single digits in 3 states while Obama is leading in single digits in 2 states and in double digits in 1 state (IL). Obviously some states have no polling but let's be generous and say Obama wins the 3 states on the above chart plus AL. In this case he would be down about 200 delegates, for a total of about 270 including the super delegates.
by kristoph 2008-02-01 05:38AM | 0 recs
Pollster Feb 5. polls

Thanks for that.  It's an interesting presentation.  One thing it clearly shows is how dynamic this race is.  There are significant events almost every day that have the power to shift poll numbers.  But even this display shows the trends.  Look at how many states have the darkest circle (most recent polls) moving left toward Obama's end.

by Satya 2008-02-01 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Rasmussen new tracking poll

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Barack Obama inching closer to Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. It's now Clinton 43%, Obama 37%. (see recent daily numbers). A week ago, Clinton had an eleven point advantage, 41% to 30%.

Daily tracking results are collected via nightly telephone surveys and reported on a four-day rolling average basis. The last two nights of tracking were the first without John Edwards in the race. For those two nights, it's Clinton 44% and Obama 42% meaning that Clinton's support is essentially unchanged. This suggests that many former Edwards supporters now support Obama, many others have yet to make a decision, and few currently support Clinton.


by BDM 2008-02-01 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Rasmussen new tracking poll

Breathe deeply. Hopefully it will all be over by Wednesday morning :-)

by kristoph 2008-02-01 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Rasmussen new tracking poll

Neither campaign and most experts donot think it will be over Wed. night.

by BDM 2008-02-01 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Pollster Feb 5. polls

Yes, and in fairness, these polls are all over the place.

The MA poll by Rasmussen has a 6 point spread, the SurveyUSA poll a 24 point spread, both taken over the same period.

The fact there aren't any new polls out (other that from less reliable pollsters like PPP and Rasmussen in the large states) so we really have no idea what's going on.

Also, many states have early voting so that's impacting the results.

by kristoph 2008-02-01 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Pollster Feb 5. polls

Yes, I voted today for Hillary.

by reasonwarrior 2008-02-01 07:14AM | 0 recs


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