A Rising Tide Lifts All Votes

June 14th, 2008at 10:17am Posted by Eli

EJ Dionne notes some very interesting and encouraging poll numbers, which I believe may be even more encouraging than he thinks:

In a report released yesterday, Gallup found that where McCain was winning 85 percent of self-identified Republicans, Obama was winning only 78 percent of Democrats.

Yet Obama led McCain 48 percent to 42 percent in the survey, which was conducted June 5-10. Obama enjoyed a seven-point advantage among independents, but Gallup noted that even when independents were excluded, Obama still had a five-point lead because Democrats now outnumber Republicans 37 to 28 percent. When independents were asked their partisan leanings, the Democratic advantage reached 13 points.

In 2004, Kerry carried 89 percent of the vote among self-identified Democrats, according to the network exit poll, but Democrats and Republicans accounted for equal shares of the electorate. President Bush won with an even larger share (93 percent) of supporters of his own party.

(…)

The good news for McCain is that this year he has consistently run ahead of his party. The bad news is that the GOP is in such a deep hole McCain may not be able to climb out. When voters in a recent NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll were asked, without candidates’ names, which party they wanted in the White House, Democrats had a 16-point lead. But when they were asked to choose between Obama and McCain, Obama led by only six points.

Here’s the thing, though: These polls were taken right at the very end of the primary process, when there were still a lot of Clinton supporters who were pretty much hating Obama’s guts.  While there will certainly be some stubborn diehards who will never vote for Obama no matter what, I think that most of Hillary’s supporters will eventually come around, especially if Hillary works to bring them around.

In other words, I think that 78% number is pretty much the floor for Obama, and it’s going to keep rising as the election draws closer.  If the party identification numbers hold, and if Obama can get close to the 89% range that Kerry got, then Obama should win pretty handily.  Maybe enough to claim a mandate, even…

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Politics,Polls,Republicans


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