Obama Compared to Kerry In The Polls

I have been paying little attention to the polls at this stage in the election as polls before September have little predictive value on the outcome of an election. Unfortunately there are far too many articles recently claiming Obama is not doing well because his lead is not as great as some believe it should be. Josh Goodman has compared where Obama stands now compared to John Kerry at this stage four years ago and the results are encouraging:

The overall picture is very favorable for Obama. McCain is only running ahead of Bush’s 2004 result in four states. Obama is doing at least 2.46 percentage points better than Kerry in 41 states. In 2004, 2.46 was Bush’s margin of victory in the national popular vote.

Another way of thinking about this: If you take the 50 pollster.com figures and then weight them according to the populations of the states (a very crude way of extrapolating a national popular vote forecast from state polling), you end up with Obama 46.4%, McCain 41.6%. In other words, state polling is consistent with the recent Time, AP-Ipsos, and CBS polls that had Obama up by 5-6 points, not with the Gallup poll that gave McCain a four-point advantage. That also means that, nationally, Obama is running a little more than seven points ahead of Kerry.

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