When I read last week that John McCain erased Obama’s lead in the latest AP-Ipsos poll, I knew that the GOP nominee was well ahead. That poll has a history of oversampling Democrats.
Even this one showing McCain neck and neck with both of the Democratic contenders, surveyed 489 Democrats (49%) and 369 Republicans (37%) (out of a total of 1,005 adults), a 12-point differential in party identification, slightly higher than most serious surveys suggest. Not just that. This one undersampled independents who tend to view the 2008 GOP nominee most favorably.
No wonder Roger Simon asked yesterday, How Much Do We Trust the Polls?
What strikes me when I look at the compendium of national polls on Real Clear Politics is that in each, approximately 10% remain undecided (or favor a third-party candidate). I wonder if those undecided voters are Democrats unwilling to weigh in (as of yet) for the candidate they currently opposed. These voters would be likely to come home in the fall when the acrimony of the current campaign has passed.
Or, are they Independents eager to vote for the party out of power, but not comfortable with either of the Democratic alternatives. These voters may well opt for John McCain when they realize how different he is from the Republican incumbent.
I’m not quite sure what the numbers mean, but as I said in my last post, Democrats should be concerned that neither of their contenders can muster a majority at a time when voters are favorably disposed to their party.
A pretty good sign for John McCain. But, as I said once before, he shouldn’t get cocky.