Readers Believe Obama Polls
It's over except for the voting and almost all polls show Democrat Barack Obama as the likely winner of the presidency. Our Readers Who Comment this morning seem to agree. Democrats are mostly rejoicing; Republicans are mostly blaming the messenger -- specifically The Washington Post -- instead of extolling the virtues of their nominee, John McCain.
Jon Cohen, the Post's polling director, and Jennifer Agiesta write this morning that the Post-ABC tracking poll suggests Obama has "rebuffed recent GOP efforts to label him as 'too liberal' or too big a gamble."
Cohen gets a lot of questions along the lines of "Are You Sure?". He wrote a marvelous piece Sunday explaining how polling works. "We could all be wrong -- at least theoretically, " he said, then enumerated the standard criticisms of polling and explained the cautions that are taken to counteract them.
Our readers raise those criticisms again today. A couple suggest that Democrats should vote for McCain so they could vote for Hillary Clinton in 2012. And many attack the media. We'll start there.
We'll start with bobmoses, who embodied in both tone and substance the views of many McCain supporters in writing, "LOL. What a joke. Obama "deflected" nothing. The media deflected all criticism at the same time it smeared the opposition. The Post is a disgrace."
junglejamm said, "The liberal media..ie WAPO wants Obama to win even if he is not qualified... I wonder what will happen if the Post goes broke in four years because of typing Obamahype instead of the truth."
And nychap44 wrote, "Now that Obama will be president will the main stream media begin to do their jobs obbjectively and report the news again instaed of of being cheer leaders for Obama? I think not..."
But svreader said, "Obama's going to be a GREAT President. Kudos to the WP for seeing his potential so early in the process and bringing him to the country's attention..."
And Kathleen4 wrote, "...the more that I saw of Obama...the more that I liked him...Every time that I'd hear some new, shrill and stupid attack on Obama by either Palin or McCain, I donated money to his campaign..."
AussieFred asked, "What could be more frightening than an incapacitated President McCain, and Moosolini having the nuclear weapon launch codes?" [For more commentary on Palin, see http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2008/09/22/080922taco_talk_coll].
ScottinNC wrote, "This is the problem with the McCain campaign strategy of mounting attack after attack, each more outlandish than the others, without offering a coherent, alternative vision... At this point, Sen. Obama might actually be able to do something seriously wrong and still get away with it, because Sen. McCain has no remaining credibility."
Ciolajr said, "The public is being hypnotized by a guy like Barrack Hussein Obama... McCain has honor and substance to his life. There is still a lot that we don't know about Obama and his past...I can't believe that the public is so taken in by Obama's smoke and mirrors."
waterbirds wrote, "...I voted in the primary for McCain in 2000. I won't vote for him in 2008, no matter how many times someone posts Obama's whole name..."
krishna5002 said, "...McCain has my vote. Here is also an opportunity for Clinton voters. Vote for McCain in 2008 to give Hillary another chance in 2012. If you are concerned about Supreme Court appointments etc., vote for McCain for President and Democrats for Congress."
CCBill wrote, "The unwillingness to tell the truth, the inability to develop any positive message, and the umbilical cord tied to the Bush failures added to McCain's demise. And Palin was a sea anchor. He was too old anyway."
Jihm said, "We know the GOP will try to steal the election again in the "swing states" - especially Ohio & Florida. Hopefully the combination of voter suppression & computer hacking that gave us 8 years of the worst president in history will fail this time. I don't think the nation could survive even 4 more years of Republican rule."
All comments on how Obama apparently deflected McCain attacks are here.
albanyCA said, ",,,In this strange, long intensively polled season I haven't seen much either about the 'gaming' of responses or of non-responses. It's common knowledge that right wingers see polling as an instrument of the evil MSM so why would they cooperate. I do think it's going to be a lot closer than the polls show and even the collective efforts of fivethirtyeight.com and pollster.com do not calm my nightmares this weekend."
jeffl240 wrote, "Several polls of polls (realclearpolitics.com/, Fivethirtyeight.com, pollster.com, election.princeton.edu, etc.) which look at extensive voter data over multiple single state polls indicate Obama leads McCain by about 150 electoral votes. Can Obama lose? Yes, anything is possible, but the odds are strongly against McCain..."
plaza04433 said, "Polls: Candidates and their supporters love them if they show them winning and call them flawed when they show them losing. Its always been that way, always will be...I doubt this time that the polls are very far off..."
But robtr wrote, "Right now you can find a recent poll showint McCain from ahead by one, behind by 2, behind by 3, behind by 4, behind by 6, behind by 9, behind by 10, behind by 14. Now you tell me how you can write an article with a striaght face telling us polls are acurate? Sorry but polling is a joke."
zjr78xva said, "Polls, of course, only establish a probability of getting the same distribution of responses (to incredible trivial questions) from an entire population. What's absurd is our expectation that any methodology can predict the behavior at a give time of 100 million autonomous human beings..."
airslie51 wrote, "The polls are skewed. I live in Maryland and almost everyone I know and friends and work associations know are voting McCain, I am not kidding. I just drove throug Virginia and saw a ton of McCain signs and only a few Obama signs. I don't hear or see any passion for Obama like the press and polls are speaking of. McCain is going to win. People just don't trust Obama, plain and simple."
5280sail said, "First, the Washington Post ( today showing Obama at 9%) has been an Obama cheerleader from the beginning... For Jon Cohen to say the Post's poll is on the mark disregard all the other information available...We don't have to be "scrambling for explanations" for poll differences. The reason Cohen produces the numbers he does are clear."
We'll close with jaysit who wrote, "Thank you, Mr. Cohen. That was an excellent, thoughtful article... Of all the polls taken in the last few days of the  election, all showed Bush ahead by between 1 or 2 points, except for a FoxNews poll showing Kerry ahead by 2, and a Marist poll that had Bush up by 4. The averages even in battleground states like PA, NH and IO were right on the mark."
All comments on the article about polling are here.
November 3, 2008; 7:38 AM ET
Categories: McCain , Obama , Polling , Presidential Politics | Tags: McCain, Obama, Polls
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