Obama's "Underperformance" in the Polls
9:48 AM, Aug 22, 2008 • By GARY ANDRES
By every indicator, Barack Obama should be doing much better in the polls. Why isn't he? Jeff Jones, who helps write the Editors' Blog over at Gallup, believes that it's not that Obama is underperforming, but that analysts' expectations for the Democrat are too high given no incumbent is running:
Jones notes that despite the treacherous political environment, presidential races featuring no incumbent are almost always close. And, factors such as the economy's strength or current president's popularity are not strong predictors of November results. He evaluates the five elections with no incumbent running since Gallup's been collecting data (1952, 1960, 1968, 1988, 2000) and shows the political environment doesn't correlate with who wins. Jones writes this:
I agree and would add this: Tying John McCain to a bad economy or blaming him for lousy right track numbers is a daunting political task - no matter how often or vociferously the Democrats try. He is a senator - and a pretty independent one to boot. People get that. Accusing him of causing everything that went wrong over the last eight years may energize some Democrats, but it won't win an election.