Obama’s Bounce Redux

Obama Bounce Basketball Photo Conflicting headlines today on the state of the polls and, specifically, whether Barack Obama has gotten a “bounce” after consolidating the Democratic nomination and getting Hillary Clinton’s support.

  • John Zogby: “Reuters/Zogby Poll: Obama Leads McCain, But Wins No Big Bounce — Defeating Hillary Clinton and locking up the Democratic Party nomination fails to propel Obama forward
  • Marc Ambinder: “Here’s Your Bounce: Obama Up In PA, FL, OH

There’s really not much conflict here, just different emphases. Zogby refers to his own national poll of likely voters which finds “Obama leads McCain, 47% to 42%.” Given a +/-3 margin of sampling error and the fact that Obama was already leading, Zogby sees no bounce.

Ambinder, meanwhile, is looking at state polls of likely voters conducted by Quinnipiac:

Florida: Obama: 47, McCain 43
Ohio: Obama 48, McCain 42
Pennsylvania: Obama 52, McCain 40

A look at swing states is much more interesting, given how we select presidents, than a national head-to-head. Whether these results constitute a “bounce,” of course, depends on the previous results. Strangely, no trend analysis is given. The previous polls I found on their site for Florida and Pennsylvania dealt with other issues and did not include an Obama-McCain matchup.

I would be remiss in not adding the usual caveat: While I’d rather that my candidate be ahead than behind right now, polling about November elections done in mid-June is all but worthless in predicting the outcome.

Photo: CNEWS

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Public Opinion Polls, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Scott Swank says:

    Pollster aggregates polls, and to my untrained eye seemed pretty reliable across the primaries.

    Florida
    Ohio
    Pennsylvania

  2. Tlaloc says:

    I would be remiss in not adding the usual caveat: While I’d rather that my candidate be ahead than behind right now, polling about November elections done in mid-June is all but worthless in predicting the outcome.

    Very true, the point of a poll is an instantaneous measure of where we are now. they can do that well when conducted smartly. Figuring out “what will happen later” based on “where we are now” is a hell of a lot more complicated 🙂