Monday, September 08, 2008

A funny thing happened on the way to the coronation

Gallup, among others, has McCain-Palin moving ahead of Obama-Biden.


kycobb said...


Thats known as a convention bounce. Its expected. Doesn't really tell you anything about how the election will turn out.

Lee said...

Traditionally, Republicans don't get a convention bounce, or much of one anyway.

Look, I don't have a horse in this race. McCain lost my vote years ago. He's barely civil to conservatives and conservative causes even when he needs their votes. I certainly don't expect him to come around and be grateful to them once he's in office. I expect more sell-outs on immigration, on taxes, you name it.

But consider...

Aside from committed liberals and conservatives, most of the electorate just tends to lean one way or another, with some portion of them completely undecided until days before the election. And even though there are probably more liberals than conservatives, there are more folks who lean right than lean left, especially during times of political unrest and war on the world stage. The electorate does not trust the Democrats to protect Americans and American interests.

Because of this, ironically, both parties need to present themselves in the general election as more conservative than they really are. To a Democrat, that means posing as a moderate. To a Republican, it means posing as a conservative -- someone who cares about over-regulation, fiscal responsibility, and religious values. We are seeing a lot of both in this campaign.

Now enter the news media. These guys are dedicated liberals who understand they are more effective for the liberal cause by posing as unbiased, impartial observers. They do their best to conceal the fact that the Democratic candidate is actually a liberal, because they know the score. Hence, e.g., with a perfectly straight face, John Kerry is presented as a war hero. E.g., Carter is presented as a Southern Baptist outsider who has conservative leanings.

But elections are the one time that Republicans can go over the heads of the media directly to the voters. The strategy is simple: out the Democrats as liberals. Usually, even with the news media playing interference, that isn't hard to do.

How effective this is in any given election is variable. But for many voters, it's the first time they've heard anything they consider to be even remotely unfavorable to the Democrats, after so many months of press hyping and obfuscation.

So, the post-Democratic Convention bounce is generally the highwater mark for the Democrats. If they're not ahead in the summer, they won't be ahead in November.

Also, generally, the Republicans don't get much of a bounce, unlike the Democrats. They're only starting the long, arduous task of outing the Democratic liberals. When Republicans lose, it's usually to rising poll numbers, i.e., they didn't peak in time.

So my conclusion is that Obama is in trouble. Obama has already peaked, and the more middle America learns about his left-wing views (from the Republicans, since it's a job the media won't touch), the worse it will get for him.

The election is McCain's to lose.