Obama Pulls Within Margin of Error in Gallup Poll


Barack Obama has now moved within the margin of error in today’s Gallup Tracking Poll which follows progress over the past three days. Obama has pulled within three points of Clinton. Gallup attempts to address the effect of Edwards leaving the race:

The data suggest that Obama has gained slightly more — at least initially — from John Edwards’ departure from the race. In the final tracking data including Edwards in all three days’ interviewing (Jan. 27-29 data), Clinton had 42%, Obama 36%, and Edwards 12%. Since then, Clinton’s support has increased two points and Obama’s five. Tomorrow’s release will be the first pure post-Edwards three-day rolling average.

One problem with this analysis is that Obama was moving up and Clinton moving downwards prior to Edwards leaving the race. I find it more likely that this trend would have continued, and that Obama has only moved to within three points because Clinton might have received a larger share of the Edwards voters than Obama did. I doubt things would have remained stagnant with Obama only moving up from a larger share of the Edwards vote. Unfortunately they don’t question those responding to the poll about previous support to answer this question.

Obama has received further good news today, including endorsements from MoveOn, and the California SEIU. The Transportation Workers Union is also expected to change their support from Edwards to Obama. While I expected Clinton to initially gain more than Obama from Edwards dropping out due to more similar pitches towards the same demographic groups, receiving such endorsements from union leaders could reverse this. I’m not sure if the MoveOn endorsement will mean anything, but it is a sign that on line activists overwhelmingly support Obama now that Edwards is out of the race. This is the first time there was a super majority of members supporting the same candidate, allowing for such an endorsement. I’m just glad that this was one on line poll which Ron Paul supporters didn’t manage to hack.

When following these polls a number of caveats must be kept in mind. These are a snap shot at one moment and, as we saw in New Hampshire, can shift at the last minute. Voters change their minds much more easily in a primary campaign between members of the same party than they will change from one party to the other in a general election. It is possible the undecided might split as the other respondents in the poll, or they might break more for one candidate. The polls might not accurately reflect those who actually vote in the primaries. The primaries are made up of individual state races which might differ tremendously from the national polls. Delegate counts might note even correlate with state wide support as winning more Congressional districts could result in more delegates than receiving a higher total vote count which is concentrated in smaller areas.

These polling results cannot predict with certainty what will happen on Super Tuesday, but the trend sure is encouraging for Obama.


  1. 1
    Christopher says:

    Stop it!

    Stop it!

    My heart can’t take it! I think I’ll link to you and the GALLUP poll. I have to calm down.

  2. 2
    rawdawgbuffalo says:

    did u see his wife on cspan. i dont know what to say about her, now this is a real woman. he has a Coretta.

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