Defeat from the jaws of victory? I hope not, but…

October 25, 2008 15:23 – 15:23

Trying to find some comfort about the race, I decided to compare where things stood in late October four years ago with how they stand now. While it looks hopeful for Obama, it’s by no means anything approaching certainty. In addition to needing a solid majority, Obama needs a fraud-proof majority. How large is that? Only Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and company know for sure. But, it would be nice to keep the decision out of their hands this time around.

2004 Post/ABC Tracking Poll

Four years ago at this point in the race, it was tight. On October 24, Bush had a slight lead. By two days later, however, Kerry had a slight lead. And things went back and forth between then and the election.

2008 Post/ABC Tracking Poll

Unfortunately, this year’s tracking poll did not start until October 16th, so you can’t judge the volatility. But, here’s what it looks like this year so far. Unlike in 2004, Obama and McBush have not swapped the lead. Worrisome, however, is the fact that Obama was heading down and McBush is heading up. Looking at the raw numbers, Among likely voters, it looks like Obama peaked on October 22 at 54%, and yesterday was 1% lower, while McBush is now 1% higher. So, in the space of a day or two, the gap closed from 11 points to 9 points. If such a trend (if you can call it a trend) continues, then McBush can still win the popular vote. A lot can happen in 10 days.

The margin is a good deal larger than it was at this point in 2004—and it’s in the “correct” direction. But, with 11% listed as “movable”, Michelle Obama should not be picking out an inauguration ball gown quite yet. It ain’t over until the Supreme Court has its say.

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