Peaks and Valleys: The McCain bump coming to a close

Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

If you think college football fans trade in irrational exuberance, and they do, you should also take a gander at the behavior of political junkies since Sen. John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

After the Republican National Convention, McCain got a nice bump, and, seemingly, for the first time in months, his campaign dominated the news cycle for days and days. Alaska moved from Sen. Barack Obama’s column to solidly in McCain’s. He picked up decent leads in North Carolina, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Virginia, Ohio and Montana. According to Pollster.com, New Mexico is a toss-up again.

And, as has been talked about by numerous talking heads, goodly numbers of Republicans are celebrating a little too much and goodly numbers of Democrats are sticking their heads in ovens. In the words of Vierdsen, “Everyone should just chill the fuck out.”

The way it’s gone, the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll has been a leading indicator of how the swing states will go. When McCain had his biggest lead (about seven or so points), Obama was still strong in the swing states. In the past several days, the Republican nominee’s lead has been shrinking, while his leads in the states have been growing.

As of right now, (9/11-9/13), McCain has just a two-point lead, according to Gallup. Diageo/Hotline gives Obama a two-point lead, as does DailyKos/Research 2000. Rasmussen gives McCain a three-point lead. This all means, especially with the Gallup poll, that the race is moving back to the equilibrium it had before the conventions.

It should also be expected, as the Gallup poll has been a reliable leading indicator, that state polling will start swinging back, as well.

It’s a strange truth of politics: it’s unpredictable and predictable at the same time. To know what’s really going on, you have to trust history and trends. History says North Carolina goes McCain. Trends say Virginia is very much up for grabs. History says the conventions always throw polls for a loop, and everything settles back out. The trend, in the latest tracking polls, proves this out.

Let’s just relax, sit back and see what happens. No one’s got this thing yet.

If you allocate the states according to Pollster’s trend estimate, the election goes to the House. Go figure. However, if the swing does go back in Obama’s direction, a 50-50 split at this point, what looks like McCain’s high-water mark, is good news for the Democrat.

U.S. Daily Tracking (9/11-9/13) [Pollster.com]


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