June 23, 2008

The Ratings Game

Real Clear Politics is showing Obama with a 48% to 41% ratings lead over McCain. Is this a big deal? I don't think so, it's way to early for these polls to mean anything. Most Americans aren't paying much attention right now, and probably won't really start paying attention until the end of summer or early fall.

According to the New York Times in May of 1988:

Michael S. Dukakis is capitalizing on deep public doubts about Vice President Bush and the Reagan Administration's handling of key issues and has emerged as the early favorite for the Presidential election in November, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

Mr. Dukakis, the probable Democratic nominee, ran ahead of Mr. Bush, the almost certain Republican candidate, by 49 percent to 39 percent among 1,056 registered voters.

In June of 1988, Mr. Dukakis was still ahead in the polls.
A Gallup Poll of 1,210 registered voters, conducted June 24-26, have Mr. Dukakis leading, 46 percent to 41 percent. That was closer than the results of a Gallup Poll two weeks earlier, in which the Massachusetts Democrat enjoyed a lead of 52 percent to 38 percent.

When Americans got to know the ultra-liberal Dukakis, George Bush ended up beating him in the popular vote 53% to 45%, with an electoral landslide of 426 to 111.

During the 2004 election campaign, CNN reported in May:
As Americans express growing unease about Iraq, President Bush's job approval rating has taken a hit, according to a poll released Friday by CNN and Time magazine.

That development appears to be helping Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. He wins the support of 51 percent of likely voters, compared to 46 percent for Bush. In February, Bush was ahead of Kerry by two percentage points.

The moral of the story is that the longer these campaigns drag on the more the American people get to know the candidates. Sure, Bill Clinton was elected, but he was no where near as liberal as Obama, in fact, not a single US Senator is as liberal as Obama. Ordinary Americans are leery of ultra left-wing politicians. These polls are inaccurate and misleading, they make things as clear as mud.

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