Friday, August 22, 2008

He's gonna need a pretty big bounce!

Gallup notwithstanding, Democrats are doing everything they can to tamp down expectations going into next week's convention (or maybe the McCain camp is doing all that it can to raise them.) In any event, it's clear that Barack Obama will need as big of a bounce as he can get coming out of Denver.

This is especially true given the fact that (as Gallup points out) the Democratic advantage in party identification
"contrasts with the close nature of the presidential contest between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain in monthly averages of the Obama vs. McCain horse race since March."

Gallup goes on two give two reasons for this discrepancy. Of the two - Obama's relative lack of Democratic support and the closeness of the race among independents - the former should give the Obama camp the most pause.

Whereas 84% of Republicans polled from Aug. 11-17 say they will vote for McCain in November, only 79% of Democrats say they will vote for Obama. A similar gap in party loyalty has been seen each week since Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in early June. Over this period, Obama's Democratic support has ranged from 78% to 82% while McCain's Republican support has ranged from 83% to 85%.
As much was revealed in this week's Zogby polling, which showed Obama losing support among Democrats. Many of these defections represent factions such as the PUMAs, members of the NObama Network, Democrats Against Obama, etc. But beyond the disgruntled "Hillraisers" who cling to their candidate like a maggot to excrement, the greater affliction for the Left is the fact that the Democratic Party has been and remains a house divided, or as I described it here, "riven over the issue of race"; other Gallup data indicate that McCain remains the candidate of choice for most whites.

All of this is not to say that everyone - Democrat or otherwise - who is not behind Obama is a racist, but simply to suggest that race has been an observable factor up to now. Whatever the case, if Obama cannot secure his base before the Democratic convention (particularly after all of the effort he's expended), he's going to need one helluva bounce afterwards to be competitive after Labor Day.

Four More Years!!

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