First a tiny bit of good news from Rasmussen, McCain’s slide in the polls has finally stopped, with Obama ahead 51% to 45%. This poll now reflects two days of polling after the the bailout lost on Monday.
Now for the bad news, the economic mess hurt McCain badly. Obama now holds a 51% to 42% lead on the economic trust issue, the highest lead Obama has ever held on this one issue. As long at this bailout remains a front page driver of voter panic, the current shape of the race will remain. Simply put, McCain must get credit for finding a solution to the mess, and get the election focused on his strengths, not the Obama driven negativity.Now some of you (PaRep I’m looking at you) are going to try and argue about the validity of polls and sampling error. If we were talking about any other poll, I would be willing to look at it with a grain of salt. However, we are talking about Rasmussen.
Let me repeat something I said in June. Back in 2006, I was desperately hoping that the polls were wrong. I was very disappointed. Rasmussen showed a consistent trend and was dead right in his call of the final results in the congressional elections. We can wish for things to be different, but that doesn’t make it real.
Rasmussen uses an excellent voter identification model, which he applies to the results of his tracking polls. Every month, he polls 15,000 people on party identification, and uses those results. Right now, he has the most generous party affiliation model toward Republicans in use, with a 39D/35R/26I split. No other poll uses this generous an affiliation model.
Bottom line, if Rasmussen says Obama is leading outside the margin of error, he is.
Now the election isn’t over by any stretch, we still have two debates to go. But unless McCain can find a way to get those swing voters to swing back to him, he will lose in November. He has an uphill climb to do it, given the blatant lack of journalistic ethics by the media.