Everything Sez: “Obama Landslide.” What Gives?

Update: If you're looking for conservative polling, click here.

We all know that national polls tell us nothing about what's gonna happen in November. (See, for instance, this very funny post.)

But still. The national polls seem way out of synch with every other indicator. Obama and McCain have been nearly tied for months (with Obama generally up one to four percent), and some post-Palin polls show McCain with a big lead. (Obama's been leading handily in electoral votes–see fivethirtyeight.com–but even that's getting razor thin.)

What's with that? Everything else says otherwise (most recent that I could dig up quickly):

Party Preferences
Dems rule, 36% to 27%.

Policy Preferences
Even Republicans prefer Democratic policies. As an example, Only 38% of Republicans support Republican tax policies. (Unless you tell them it's a Republican policy.)

Voter Registration
Since 2006, Dem registrations are up by 2 million (in the 28 states that register by party). Pubs are down by 344,000.

As of July, Obama had 2 million donors. McCain had 600,000.

Donations from the Military (>$200)
Obama/McCain Donors: 859 to 558 (61% Obama). Dollars: $336K to $281K (55% Obama).

Donations from soldiers deployed abroad
Obama has a 6:1 dollar advantage and a 5:1 donor advantage. (Obama: 134 for $60K; McCain: 26 for $11K.)

Ground Game/Volunteers
Obama has at least a 3:1 advantage in field offices (338 to 101), and perhaps as much as a 35-to-1 advantage in voter contacts. (This last is the iffiest number reported here.)

56% of voters are "excited to be voting for" Obama, versus 34% for McCain. (Pre-Palin, McCain's enthusiasm number was 12.)

Feel free to list others.

What Gives?
Everything says that Democratic turnout will swamp the 'pubs, and Obama will win this thing walking away.

Except the national polls.

Especially perplexing are the polls that tally both registered and
likely voters, and show a bigger McCain lead in the LV tallies. Per the
above: doesn't everything suggest that a higher percentage of Obama
supporters will turn out? I don't get it.

I can think of two reasons for the big disparity:

Despite the Dem slant in party affiliations/preferences, 60% of American's consider themselves to be "conservative." (PDF) For "liberal," it's 36%.

Obama is Black
Only 84% of Americans say they would be "completely comfortable voting for a black presidential candidate." And you gotta figure that number overstates reality.

Other ideas?


26 responses to “Everything Sez: “Obama Landslide.” What Gives?”

  1. Joshua Barker Avatar

    A few things can contribute to this. I think first off – the young vote isn’t being counted at all. I don’t know a SINGLE person under 40 who has a land-line phone. In fact, the ONLY people I know that has a land-line phone is my Mom and Dad (in their 60’s and 70’s).
    When they do polling – we don’t have a good idea of ages and who answers. So, in the polls before they were contacting the same type of people who either said they weren’t going to vote or weren’t enthusiastic about voting. Now, those same people are excited about Palin – so they are answering the phones and responding.
    I think that things have changed so drastically in the last 8 years – that polls are so hard to rely on. I know 8 years ago when I got my first apartment I had a home phone. Then finally – I figured – why have 2 phones? So I dropped my home and went with my cell.
    I think this is most likely what we are seeing.

  2. M. Ward Avatar
    M. Ward

    I believe Josh has a great point. I dropped my home phone over 10 years ago. Why pay for a cell and home phone when gas is hovering around 5$ per gallon. This election is about more of the same versus a new path towards a brighter and prosperous tomorrow for the entire world. Remember when America was a beacon of hope and security? Let’s regain that status today!

  3. D F Avatar
    D F

    I think the phone thing is key. The pollsters “say” they account for that, but there’s a distinction I think they miss. It’s that many people who are voting at (18 and older) still live at home. I have 3 neighbors within a stone’s throw of my house – there’s at least 7 voting age “kids” that live in those three. Of those, most are over college age, too.
    Think about who would answer the phone if it was a pollster? The parents – not the kids. So the sampling that gets taken overstates the parents’ view, and understates the kids. I don’t mean to knock kids that live at home – it’s a tough economy, and economically, it makes more sense to stay at home than strike out on your own. I think the polls aren’t accounting for this.
    Remember that pollsters account for these things using the LAST elections information, and then can only GUESS at at for the one coming up.
    I think if the youth show up at the polls (which historical trends indicate that if they show up in the primaries, they show up in the general), then it will be an Obama landslide, and everyone will be shocked come November 4th.

  4. Casey Finn Avatar
    Casey Finn

    It is, indeed, a wobbly arguement to point to money as any indication of real support or certain victory. The DNC has been mobilizing for the past four years and with the advent of MoveOn and other partisan organizations, it is of no surprise that Obama is reaping millions. Sheesh, the Dems could have nominated a goat and still be raking in millions. They want to win so bad they can taste it. Which makes it all th emore amusing to see Dems suddenly befuddled. Obama was walking to a coronation and, instead, ran into an election. It has nothing to do with “race,” it has everything to do with issues and policy.

  5. Gary Avatar

    The other likely problem is the sheer number of newly registered voters (like myself) who aren’t in the pollster’s databases yet… With the number of new democratic voters being signed up, yet not being reflected in the polling, it’s easy to see how national polls can seem skewed. Just remember, there’s only one poll that really counts – November 4.

  6. Steve Harris Avatar
    Steve Harris

    I couldn’t agree more– in fact I’ve been saying this for months– glad to finally know there are people thinking on the same wave length.

  7. Jonathan BUrton Avatar
    Jonathan BUrton

    Here is the reality of our election season.
    There is no way to accurately measure the voting populus this election. With too many factors in play, the national polls are “shooting putty at the moon” when it comes to interpreting the data they recieve. This and the media obsession with their “american idol” approach to this election has put a dark cloud over the mainstream media’s ability to properly cover this election. This is highly advantageous for the democratic party, who see polls challenging their confidence in this election, and spurring them to work feverishly to win an election that they may have already won. Thus giving them an overpowering advantage in volunteerism, and fundraising. In addition to this, the republican party is disconnected from the true reality of this election’ overwhelming support for Obama. This creates a lowered sense of urgency in campaigning, which factored in with the false assurances being communicated throughout the party from the polls, spells doom for the GOP.

  8. Tzalaran Avatar

    i think polls are a tool for the media, and that without a close race, viewers are likely to keep a closer eye on other topics. it has been shown that by knowing the sample, you can create polls that tell the exact story you want them to, and i know that Rove is an expert in manipulating everything he comes across.
    The only thing that truly terrifies me is another repeat of 2000 or 2004, and the election falling into vote counters and god forbid the supreme court again. that speaks that our democracy truly isn’t ours anymore, but instead is completely controlled by the power elite from behind the curtains raised by the Bush administration and the closet government.
    i pray that the election results come in in a flood for Obama, because a McCain administration will continue the fall of america and i don’t think that we are able to survive it. Obama shows an ability to make those who don’t agree with him find a middle ground that would be acceptable, highlighted by his tax compromise with Bill O’reiley on that Fox News show. McCain struggled with the ladies on ‘The View’, whom already had spoken with him 4 times in the past, and that doesn’t bode well for being able to find compromises with Medvedev, nor the Iranian or North Koreans whom are tired of our cowboy outlook in foreign policy, nor the leaders of Europe, our only real allies who grow tired of the american hypocracy, nor the leaders of south and central america whom are tired of being third class citizens in the world.
    based on the people that i have talked to in Lincoln, NE, most of them are in the Obama camp, and i know only a few who support McCain. in 2004 this place was awash in Bush/Cheney signs and bumper stickers. i’ve seen 2 yard signs for McCain, and they were in adjacent houses. The largest undercurrent against Obama that i’ve heard revolves on the people who believe the Rev. Wright propaganda put forth by Rush Prothero and have reservations about voting for a black man. Nobody wants to admit it, so they use all of Rush’s liberal hating arguments against him, lying to themselves that they are the unbiased ones and unable to admit that they won’t vote based on issues, but only care about race and abortion.
    There is even talk of Obama taking the Second Congressional district’s (Basically Omaha and the immediate vicinity) Electoral College vote, while McCain will receive the other 4 from Nebraska. i have hope that he might pick up the first district’s as well, based on the younger population in Lincoln and Sioux City/Norfolk getting so much of the Iowa media coverage. i think that Nebraska is a fairly good example of the midwest, and this leads me to hope that there will be an Obama movement here that the media currently isn’t talking about.

  9. Louise Avatar

    I’ve noticed this too and do not believe that McCain is tied or slightly ahead of Obama. I think the election will reveal something closer to the Bush approval rating 67% for Obama; 29% for McCain.
    The only way McCain can win is if he steals the election. If people believe that they were close in the polls it seems more plausible that McCain might win. I don’t believe the polls.
    The White House was stolen in the last two elections. There is no reason to think the False Republicans would abandon a winning strategy. Use fear, lies and a pinch of undetected cheating. With permission to use Diebold cheating machines, they think they’ve got it in the bag, already.

  10. Davy Avatar

    I’ve been blogging about the phone thing for awhile now. There’s no way to accurately quantify the young voter demographic now that cell phones are eclipsing land lines. I think (hope) we’re going to be surprised come November 4th.
    Another thing I noticed: I participated in MSNBC’s poll and was surprised to find how much my predictions meshed with with everyone else. With the exception of Nevada, I picked the same states for Obama as the average of all other participants (he wins). The majority of people who are going to vote in this race have already decided. It’s that small percentage of undecideds and new voters that are going to determine the outcome. So let McSame and Caribou Barbie keep talkin’. They’re just digging a bigger hole in the meadow to be buried in.

  11. Davy Avatar

    Oh yeah, did everyone see Tina Fey’s Palin impersonation last night? If not, google it on utube. It’s freakin’ hilarious (and kinda spooky too).

  12. Katie Avatar

    I agree with the people who’ve said that they’re undercounting younger voters. I literally don’t know a single person under 40 who uses a land line, so my guess is they’re not getting polled. Also, many of the people I know are first-time voters, despite being in their 20s and 30s. Again, they’re probably not being counted.
    For the record, I literally don’t know a single person of any age who’s voting for McCain, and I live in downstate, conservative part of Illinois. Even the people who are otherwise voting Republican are going for Obama. It’s a little surreal, honestly.

  13. Gary Avatar

    Also must watch the money from Wall Street which is a typical conservative industry except for this election… Reports I’ve read is they are giving (65%) to Obama, follow the money……

  14. Dayne Avatar

    BWahahahah, lets put it this way. I travel the country extensively, and our great Americans still believe in small Gov’nt and making the American Dream. Conservative belief is still much stronger than left wing politics. America is still a lifeline of small towns and small town people that cling to their guns, religion, and politics. They will not be voting for Obama and rightfully so. Small and Large owned business owners will not be voting for Obama, and rightfuly so, no taxes for those making under 250K, lmao, ok, so tax the individuals that are being taxed the heaviest already…makes realy good since, by the way, I have an MBA from a realy good school, many of you should try that out sometime. The increase in minimum wage is killing the economy. Figure that one out. So let’s not tax the bottom 40% that pay no taxes already, in fact, lets give them more of my money. You got to love socialistic wealth distribution. Mccain wins 35-40 of the 50 states, bank on it. Politics aside, I realy feel bad for Obama, you can tell he never thought he’d make it this far, and now that he has, he’s doing it for the wrong reasons. Wealth redistribution, Social HealthCare, amazing..Baahahahahha,,sheep,,bahahahahah

  15. Gary Avatar

    PS; I predict the election will come down to Nevada and called at about 2 a.m. giving the election to Obama – sound familiar with the last election on the “West Wing”…

  16. TJ Avatar

    Dwayne – You guys have been redistributing wealth for three decades – from the middle class to the wealthy. You just do it in a more sophisticated way so the average Joe doesn’t understand it. Think the public won’t want “social healthcare” as you call it when the number of under insured people reaches 100 million? Hey only 25 million more to go. When you’re out of work due to a GOP induced economic wreck your MBA from a “really good school” won’t be worth squat. Maybe you will still have enough in the bank to take a trip to several European countries to see what real healthcare systems looks like.

  17. Texasindependent Avatar

    I keep hearing this small govt thingfrom the Repubs but it appears that govt size has essentially increased in the last 8yrs and so has spending. Give me a break, Americans are not stupid. I am quite surprised at some of the poor ignorant people supporting the McCain/Palin ticket. To say “country first” and put your only voice behind McCain/Palin knowing fully well that MCcain has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel is not very patriotic of this great nation. To state all these “evil countries” without mentioning some of the underhanded things this administration is doing to instigate these responses is not being patriotric. We must take this country back to some civility and learn to disagree and not disagreeable. I have heard it said “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer”. Enough said.

  18. Davy Avatar

    An MBA and you can’t spell ‘really’? Man, they must be passing out Master’s degrees at a drive-thru where you went to school.
    TJ’s right. You guys have been trying to get wealthy on the backs of the middle and working classes for too long. That’s about to end.

  19. Davy Avatar

    PS. I’m finishing my Master’s in sustainable supply chain economics this year at the University of Oregon. Where’s your ‘realy good school’, Dayne (heavy dose of sarcasm)?

  20. Jean Avatar

    I sure hope all you young people posting in this are right. I truly believe though it is going to be up to all of you to bring it home for Obama and the country. I fear there are too many out here still full of hatred and can’t let go of it. You really do have your future and ours in your hands with this election. Vote by the millions! A landslide is what this country needs. It would be a total rejection of everything that has been thrown at this country for the last 8 years.

  21. Bernie Avatar

    The thought of this just made me LOL but what if the democrats when polled are just saying they are voting for McCain to make the Republicans think this is close so that on November 4th they will be shocked when Senator Obama wins with a landslide.

  22. D F Avatar
    D F

    Hey Dayne – guess who else has an MBA? George W. Bush. Nice job he did with that, eh? And by the way, I’ve made some pretty good chunks of change with various jobs I’ve had – several six-figure years. I always had so much extra money in those days, I gave thousands of it away to church.
    I certainly won’t feel badly at all for people making $250,000+ if their tax rate goes back to the Clinton-era rate. As I recall, we lowered our deficit in those days, and the economy went along rather swimmingly. Kinda throws a bit of a “Ummm… yeah – NOT” into your argument about “social wealth redistribution” and minimum wage being a problem. Worked great in the 90’s – maybe your MBA school taught you about that? Or not.

  23. A.Brocco, Avatar

    The stuff you wrote sounds to me like it was taken from some rightwing publication. Take a look at what you wrote, nothing in there about why you are going to vote for either of those two liers. I sympathize with you, the only thing Republicans are good at is being in denial and attacking Democrats with nothing to substantiate it.
    By the way,I have a BA and an MA. You write like you have neither. You ought to try getting an AA degree; it is easy and fun!

  24. Steve Roth Avatar

    Geez, Davy, Dayne, I leave the house for the day and come home to find you guys flame-warring in the living room? Lucky I took the dog with me, he woulda chomped your sorry be-hinds.
    The main poll/electoral fact I’m seeing:
    McCain has lots of “wasted” votes, EV-wise. It doesn’t do him any good to get another 5% in Utah. That’s where a lot of the Palin effect went–to red states he already owned.
    That means that McCain needs to be ahead by 1-2% to tie in the electoral college.
    And as Nate Silver has pointed out at fivethirtyeight.com (with statistics and graphs), “convention bounces” usually take two to four weeks to wear off. Since McCain got a bigger bounce (convention + Palin), his decline in coming weeks should be greater than Obama’s.
    It’ll probably put us at or near where we were pre-convention. Obama up in the national polls, and stongly up in the electoral college.
    But then again, whaddo I know?

  25. Davy Avatar

    Sorry Steve,
    Didn’t mean to mess up your living room. I’m a sucker for anyone diametrically opposed to me who calls me out whether they intended to or not. But regarding EV votes (and I think you’re referencing my remark about Nevada and not Utah), yeah, I agree. Utah is red. But don’t count Nevada out. I caucused for Obama there in January. This is definitely a swing state election and as one responder on this blog said (although I didn’t watch the show) it could turn out like an episode of West Wing. Also, I have colleagues who live in Alaska. There seem to be a lot of disenfranchised voters up there. I’m thinking about heading north and doing a little PR work from the head of the vice-serpent since she seems to be energizing the campaign. Dragonslayer, you know? Kinda like when Gore lost Tennessee back in 2000. I also agree that this is a ‘bounce’ and what goes up must come down. But I’ve lived too long on this planet to take any chances. And now I’m a certified policy wonk. I have a duty, you know.
    Change is ‘a comin’.

  26. Steve Roth Avatar

    And given that McCain needs to be ahead 1-2%, these numbers are significant:
    In five surveys conducted September 10-13, the margins were:
    Rasmussen Tracking: McCain +3%
    • Gallup Daily Tracker: McCain +2%
    • Newsweek: Tie
    • Diageo/Hotline: Obama +2%
    • Research 2000: Obama +2% From: http://election.princeton.edu/2008/09/14/national-polls-the-gap-closes/