Monday, November 03, 2008

Obama Concerned About Surprises

According to the vast majority of the polls, this election is over and in spite of my own personal preferences, if I was forced to bet money, I would have to place my money on Mr. Obama. However, many (including the Obama campaign) are not yet ready to call this election in the bag and for several good reasons:
  • The poll that was by far the most accurate in the 2004 election was by Investors Business Daily. In this election, they have McCain and Obama within two percentage points, well within the margin of error.

  • The huge number of undecided, (most surveys have it at 8 percent) is a great concern to Obama. This late in the game, there should be virtually no undecided. When there are, they tend to vote against a candidate rather than for one. In light of the numerous issues being raised about Obama these last few days, most pundits (including Democrats) are projecting the majority of undecided to favor McCain.

  • The way polling is done favors Democrat candidates. This includes many media polls that resemble "push questions" that candidates use (where they favor one candidate over another) and the fact polls tend to favor registered Democrats in their surveys. Furthermore, every poll is done on land lines only, when many of the most affluent don't even have such phones.

  • Many have said that, with this being the largest turn out in history, the odds are in favor of Obama. They said the same about John Kerry in '04 when that campaign broke record numbers, and Bush won.

The Democrats clearly see this race must be contended. Historically, true front runners have spent the last two days doing photo ops. Barack Obama still sounds like an under dog on the stump and is doing serious campaigning through election day. This proves one very important fact -- the only poll that really matters is the vote people actually cast.

Kevin Price articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at PriceofBusiness.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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