Friday, October 17, 2008

Slight Pullback

Barack Obama's lead over John McCain has narrowed by 0.4 percentage points over the past 24 hours:
Obama's lead is still a formidable 6.2 percentage points. The trimming of his popular vote lead has not affected his Electoral College vote lead:

Although Obama's lead in Florida has fallen somewhat, there has been little change in the other two swing states Nevada and North Carolina:

More importantly, perhaps, McCain's slender lead in four states under threat has grown somewhat:

The current electoral standings map remains unchanged:


Nathan Paine said...

Hi John,

I have read in several places a certain race-related phenomenon that could possibly go against Obama whereby people say they are going to vote for him but don't because he is black. In some instances, it is estimated at up to 6%. Does your model incorporate something to this effect?

John Tofflemire said...


The vast majority of polling in the US is now done by telephone, so there is no face-to-face interaction between the poll taker and receiver. Polling houses like Rasmussen take this concept one step further by using automated polling technology. People responding to their polls hear a digitally-recorded voice asking each question to each participant in exactly the same manner. In such an environment, it would seem unlikely for a voter inclined to not vote for Obama because of a racial bias to lie to the machine. It may be more likely for some bias to exist for standard telephone surveys, but I would expect such bias to be limited.

My thinking is that any hidden polling bias is fairly limited. Remember that polling is suggesting that McCain has a sizable lead among white votes anyway (about 8 to 11 points). If there is any racial bias, it is likely being captured in the polls anyways.