Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama In A Landslide – Finally Someone Is Saying It

I have had this nagging feeling that I have not been sharing around much, mainly because it goes right up against my central tendency, to expect the worst in all cases. So if I were to adhere to basic principles, I would expect McCain to be victorious in November, and be pleasantly surprised when Obama upsets him.

But oddly enough, it’s not that way with me.

But I have an even more unusual stance here. I am looking for a landslide for Obama.

Like I said, I haven’t shared this with many folks, and maybe it’s so I can still look cool, but I have gotten agreement from some. If I’m not mistaken, George Will said as much on a Sunday news program a couple of weeks ago. But Will can say that and while everyone can be shocked, no matter what George Will says, he cannot by the very definition of “cool,” look cool.

But now I find this piece in the Austin American-Statesman. It reports an interview of former McCain operative John Weaver by Texas blogger Paul Burka. Here is the meat of what Burka found:

“The result was a provocative account, including Weaver’s fret that Sen. Barack Obama will best Sen. John McCain by a landslide if McCain’s strategy doesn’t change. . .”

The operative word, friends and neighbors, is landslide.

Now why do I think that it will be Obama in a landslide if national polls have Obama and McCain in a close race within 5 or 6% of each other? Well, basically, the polls are modeling based on the past.

And based on landlines.

National polls rely on data from “likely voters.” It is my contention that we no longer know who the likely voters are anymore, because likely voters are voters who have voted in the past.

It is my contention that we are going to be getting a whole lot of votes from new voters, either newly registered or voters who have been turned off by politics and politicians.

And it is my contention that many of these voters don’t have landlines. They are the cell phone generation, and polling organizations don’t call cell numbers.

That’s my take. John Weaver may have his own take based on “sour grapes,” because, as I said, he is a former McCain strategist. And this strategist is saying McCain will lose if he continues with his present strategy.

So, QED, huh?

Maybe and maybe not. I happen to agree with Weaver that there is a great disaffection with the Republican Party, one that will not be overcome by John “The Maverick” McCain’s apparent political independence. One that may have been true in the past, but is true no longer.

One that is very prevalent among the “cellular set.”

9 comments:

Owen Courrèges said...

And it is my contention that many of these voters don’t have landlines. They are the cell phone generation, and polling organizations don’t call cell numbers.

This has been a factor for a decade now. The major polling firms have adjusted for it.

Obama may or may not win in a landslide, but if he does, the polls will probably predict it one way or the other.

Hal said...

Obama may or may not win in a landslide, but if he does, the polls will probably predict it one way or the other.

You have far too much confidence in the polls, Owen. They have adopted so many "adjustments" that actual data is becoming meaningless.

Mark Bankston said...

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/515/polling-cell-only-problem

Experts say it's an issue, and I trust them.

Furthermore, I agree this new voter phenomenon will not be readily visible in polling. Phone polling dramatically under-predicted the turnout of the March Texas primary, and I feel confident the effect in the fall will be even heavier.

Barring an extremely dirty fight that repulses the first-time voter, I'm seeing a landslide as well.

Anonymous said...

Where do I get some of what you're smokin'? It must be pretty pure stuff!

Paul said...

I know of at least twenty people who have never voted before, that have stated to me that they intend to vote for Obama. I have gotten them all registered to make certain that they can. I am very encouraged by the way he has been able to stir people to action.

Anonymous said...

"I am looking for a landslide for Obama."

God help this country if it is.

Canine said...

Who precisely responds to these so-called scientifically conducted polls? My wife and I have been working Americans, taxpayers and voters for 40 years, and we have never once been polled.

'Course we don't answer the phone for telemarketers either...

Hal said...

Neither do I, but someone near and dear to me once made her living as a research pollster so I generally agree to participate in polls of all kinds.

Maybe you're not on the list.

And then when the Republicans call I get to mess with their minds.

Anonymous said...

Why tax in a soft economy, and install capital gains taxation? Is Obama going to continue to work off of the 9% approval rated Democratic Congress that he was only in for 1 year?

Oh and McCain is now up in the polls. From 4-10%!!!!!!!!!