2012 v. 2008, 2012 v. 2004

Compared to where the race was four years ago today, Barack Obama is out performing himself:

And, he’s only a little bit behind George W. Bush’s pace in 2004:

Draw your own conclusions.

H/T: Andrew Sullivan

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2004, Campaign 2008, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mattb says:

    On thing to note is that, so far, across this entire cycle, Obama is *doing better* than GW did in 2004. Note that for two separate periods during the late spring and summer of 2004, Kerry was polling ahead of GW.

    Romney only held the lead (or at least tied Obama) for the briefest of moments a few weeks ago.

    Of course all of this data is clearly constructed by liberal arts students as part of a complex psi-ops effort to demoralize Republicans.

  2. Jay says:

    The comparison to 2008 at this point is a stretch. It was only 10-12 days after the GOP convention while Obama’s numbers now still reflect some strength from the Democratic Convention. By the end of September in 2008, Obama was comfortably ahead in all polls. In fact, the last time McCain led in the RCP average in 08 was GWU/Battleground poll for 9/21-9/25 and even that appeared to be an outlier. From that point on he never led in a natl poll again. If I see the same thing this time around, I will be extremely nervous but there is no evidence to suggest at this point that Obama is going to start pulling ahead with 5-7 point lead unless you’re polling for Pew.

    The 2004 chart also does not the tell the entire story. Bush’s biggest leads over Kerry were consistently during the latter half of September. In fact, from 9/11 all the way through October 5, Kerry led in exactly one poll. In that race, things tightened quickly in the final week with the RCP final average being a lead of 1.4 points.

  3. Curtis says:

    Trying to compare anything to the 2008 election is just asking for trouble.

    We had the historic candidacies of the first woman and first African-American who could win the election.

    We had a lame duck incumbent whose approval numbers approximated Satan’s.

    We had the greatest financial meltdown of our lifetimes and one candidate suspend his campaign in September.

    We had Palin. We didn’t just hallucinate that, did we?

    We had Will.I.Am, Jeremiah Wright, and a big green screen.

    Just like the Supreme Court said that they would never use Bush v Gore as a precedent, we should agree as a nation never to try to compare anything to the 2008 election.

  4. mattb says:

    @Jay:

    Bush’s biggest leads over Kerry were consistently during the latter half of September. In fact, from 9/11 all the way through October 5, Kerry led in exactly one poll. In that race, things tightened quickly in the final week with the RCP final average being a lead of 1.4 points.

    I don’t really understand your point here. If I’m reading you and the polls correctly, from September forward Bush always held the aggregate lead in 2004. In the end, the race “tightened” with polls showing a 1.4% point lead for Bush.

    The net results of the election showed Bush doubling that lead in the popular vote, ending with a 2.4% advantage. In terms of electoral votes he won 286 to 251. BTW, remember that this was what he referred to as his “mandate.’

    Looking at that history, and the current trajectory and stability of the current polls, it’s hard to see how you see much good news for Romney.

    BTW, for extra points, check out the historical aggregate polling around Carter and Reagan and appreciate how closely Obama’s polling matches Reagan in 1980 (hat tip to our own Eric F. for pointing this out to me… though I don’t think the poll trends said what he thought they said):
    http://themonkeycage.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/trialheats1980.png

  5. Ron Beasley says:

    What it tells me is that Romney is under performing McCain which when you consider how tarnished the GOP brand was in 2008 is pretty amazing.

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Exactly how many layers of irony are there in connection with looped out liberals on the Internet harkening back to (gulp) George W. Bush’s reelection year in order to self medicate about Obama’s chances? Is there even a word for that? Ironicirony??

    Wow.

    In any event, Andrea Bocelli could see the obvious differences between and among the three election cycles. Suffice it to say that incumbents presiding over disastrous economies are not quite the same as non-incumbents running in non-incumbent elections, nor are they the same as incumbents presiding over economies growing at fast clips and creating material numbers of jobs. For reasons so numbingly obvious you’d have to explain them to the likes of Andrew Sullivan, using a puppet show, no less.

    That doesn’t mean Obama won’t win. Certainly he could win. He will after all receive at least 95% of the black vote on heavy turnout along with lock step vote totals from the other Democrat victim and identity groups. But comparing 2012 to 2008 and 2004 is like comparing “The Fumble” to “The Catch.”

  7. Jay says:

    Looking at that history, and the current trajectory and stability of the current polls, it’s hard to see how you see much good news for Romney.

    Stability of the current polls? What planet are you on? Obama’s lead is anywhere from 1-8 points with the average being 3.3 points. From the middle of September to the end of the month in 2004, Bush’s lead was an average of 5.4 points. Both times coincide with the their conventions being around the same time. In 04 the GOP convention was from August 30, to September 2. The DNC convention this year was 9/3 to 9/6.

    Bush was in a much better position at this same point and did not have a crappy economy and a Middle East situation blowing up around him. Yet despite that, he still dropped 3 points.

    I also reiterate my point that McCain got a slight lift from the convention in 2008 and that from about this date going forward, McCain never got close again. So let’s see where we are at in 10 days. If Obama is leading across all polls by 4-6 points like he did in 2008, then I will be the first to say that Romney most likely does not have a prayer. But if it’s the same 1-3 point lead we’re seeing now, then that’s really good for him.

  8. mattb says:

    @Jay:

    Stability of the current polls? What planet are you on?

    Again, look at the polls and note the fact that they have, bounces aside, vasillated no more than ~3 points (from ~49% to 46%) over the course of the ~9 months begin displayed. There have been no inflections. At best Romney came within 1 point/took the lead three times in that time frame and none of them were sustained. If you apply smoothing lines, everything has been relatively flat the entire time. Take a look at how consistent that second line (the difference has been… there’s been no sustained trend other than flat).

    I realize that also means that Obama isn’t pulling away. I never said it did. But every day these lines remain more or less flat is *more* a lost day for the Romney campaign than a lost day for Obama. If things stay consistent Obama wins. And each day passing means that Romney has to work *even harder* to over come the relative stability of the race.

    Compare that to past election polling in the same period where the front runner in the polls changed multiple times throughout the same period.

    Look I know these facts seem to have a “liberal bias” but denying the relative stability of this entire race is to deny the facts. Or, putting it a different way, where’s the large fluctuation that I’m missing Jay?

  9. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jay:

    Bush was in a much better position at this same point and did not have a crappy economy and a Middle East situation blowing up around him.

    Yes, I well remember how stable the Middle East was in 2004, especially the area around Iraq.

  10. Jay says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I didn’t realize the Middle East was comprised entirely of Iraq.

  11. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jay:

    It’s not. That’s why I wrote “especially the area around Iraq” (emphasis added). In common English usage, that means I am indicating both a larger area (“the Middle East”) and a smaller sub-set (“the area around Iraq”).

    To make it a bit clearer to you, I was using deliberate understatement to show the absurdity of your claim that there was no “Middle East situation blowing up” during the 2004 presidential election — Iraq is in the Middle East, and it was literally blowing up during that time. I’m sure you must have heard of it.

  12. jukeboxgrad says:

    matt:

    At best Romney came within 1 point/took the lead three times in that time frame and none of them were sustained.

    It was a tie, not a lead for Mitt. Last time Mitt was leading in the RCP national average: 10/11/11. And the lead lasted less than a week, and had a maximum magnitude of 0.6%.

    There were 3 days early this month (9/3, 9/5 and 9/6) when it was a tie.

    What I find remarkable about those graphs is what can be seen easily if you look at the ‘mountain range’ at the bottom of the image. Kerry had a lead (albeit narrow) for long periods. McCain was leading at an important time: early September. Whereas Mitt has never had a lead (in 2012).

  13. An Interested Party says:

    He will after all receive at least 95% of the black vote on heavy turnout along with lock step vote totals from the other Democrat victim and identity groups.

    Still projecting from that basement in Yekaterinburg, I see…by the way, it’s so cute when conservatives point out how much of the black vote that Democrats get…after all, conservatives have only themselves to blame for that…

  14. jukeboxgrad says:

    The GOP built that.