Monday, June 23, 2008

Using Caution with Polling Data

The most recent polls suggest that Barack Obama has a substantial double digit lead over John McCain. This is good news, especially when we consider that Barack might be expected to trail McCain at this time given the latter's stronger name recognition.

However, we have to be careful with polling data especially as there is still about four months to until the polls in November. That's a long time in the world of campaigning.

You might remember that there was a time last year, when pundits were ready to stick a fork in McCain's campaign. He was way behind in the polls and was nearly broke. At it was about this time last year, that Barack looked like a young, hopeful guy, but with little chance of beating the 'inevitable' Clinton machine. Some polls showed Clinton having an even wider spread than Obama enjoys now against McCain.

Experts know that many more people will vote in the general election as compared to the primaries. The fact that these folks did not bother to vote in the primaries is pretty good evidence they haven't been paying much attention.

As the general election draws nearer, really in many cases in just the last few weeks, these same people will being to focus on which candidate they want to support. They are typical swing voters. This is a time when polls can change very rapidly day to day.

Much of the effort in the campaign at the present time is in preparation for winning those swing voters over during that crucial end-game period.

Barack Obama at a Working Women Forum today in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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