Day By Day

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Horserace

This weekend past Dick Morris was all over the tube with a prediction. He noted that for the first time the McCain/Palin campaigns were spending money at a rate competitive with Obama and that this would be reflected in the rolling averages starting today. His prediction: If the polls begin to narrow on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday McCain has a real shot at victory. If, however, there is no tightening, the campaign is essentially over.

This morning the Rasmussen organization reported a five point lead for Obama, down from eight points yesterday. [The bad news is that Obama is over fifty percent.] Zogby reports a much smaller narrowing. Obama’s lead has gone from 5.3 percent to 4.8 percent. [The bad news is that Obama is at 49.9 percent.]

A number of sources have noted over the past few months that Democrats tend to run about five points better in the polls than they do at the ballot box. Some call this the Bradley/Wilder effect and blame it on racism, but that can’t be right because white candidates such as John Kerry have shown a similar pattern. The implication is that if McCain can close to within five points of Obama in the days immediately before the election the race is essentially tied. Interestingly, as of this morning all three major organizations, Rasmussen, Zogby, and Gallup [traditional] have the lead at five points. I know that this is grasping at straws, but those of us who are appalled by the Obama candidacy have to cling to something.