Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Even I've begun to think this thing's going quite well for Obama, but we really mustn't assume the race is effectively over:

Diageo/Hotline Tracking Poll: The Early Line

Obama-Biden 46%
McCain-Palin 44%
Undecided 9%

-- The race has tightened in the last day. After trailing by 5-7 pts. for the last 10 days, McCain is now just 2 pts. behind Obama.

--One potential reason: Obama's one-time lead on the question of who'd best handle the economy has evaporated. Today, Obama and McCain are tied at 42%. Independent voters favor McCain on the economy by an 8 pt. margin (42-34%)....

Is this poll just an outlier? Most other polls right now are very, very good news for Obama -- though the new CBS/New York Times poll also shows a tightening race, again with some slippage on economics:

Obama has lost some ground when it comes to perceptions of how he would handle the economy, though he still leads McCain when it comes to the issue.

Twenty-four percent of registered voters are "very confident" that the Democratic nominee would make the right decisions on the economy, down five points from before the presidential debate. Forty-one percent are not confident, up from 34 percent.

The press and the blogosphere are paying a lot of attention to the ugly tactics of the Republicans, particularly the work Palin has done to stir up anger among what Jesse Taylor calls her "Moostapo," but it's tax-and-spend tale-spinning, however debunkable, that probably puts Obama most at risk:

"The phoniest claim in a campaign that's been full of them is that Barack Obama is going to cut your taxes,'' said Palin, citing the voting record of the "Chicago politician.'' Obama is "committed now to nearly a trillion dollars more in new government spending, except he never bothers to explain where he's going to get the money for that... To get the money, he's going to have to raise taxes.''

Actually, Obama has said how he might pay for his initiatives - with higher taxes on wealthier Americans, those making more than $250,000, while cutting taxes for the middle class and lower-income, along with a windfall profits tax on oil companies. He also has said he might have to "phase in'' some of this, depending on the condition of the economy after inauguration.

"You can do the math or go with your gut... Either way, you come to the same conclusion,'' Palin said. " Barack Obama is going to raise your taxes.... "

When Republicans say, "The Democrats will raise your taxes," they don't need any more evidence than a bigot needs before saying, "Blacks are lazy," or "Jews are stingy." It's not exactly bigotry-based folklore, but it works essentially the same way -- how do we know it's true? Are you kidding? Everybody knows it's true!


OR PERHAPS IT'S NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT: Gallup Daily: 9-Point Obama Lead Ties Campaign High.


And regarding the "Moostapo," Adam Serwer at Tapped (whom you may remember as dnA) is absolutely right:

The question is not what will happen to Obama. Obama is well protected and will be fine. The question is what will happen to black folks lining up at the polls alongside the very people who have been told with the authority of one of America's major political parties, that the black man running for president is associated with "terrorists." What will happen when one of these people, ginned up with rage and a particular nationalistic fervor, decide to take out their anger on a real person?


MORE EVIDENCE THAT CBS AND HOTLINE ARE OUTLIERS? Obama is pulling away in the Battleground poll -- he's up by 7 (PDF). This was much tighter than other polls last week.

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