US Presidential Polls: Who Is Leading Who?

June 1st, 2008

I HAVE come to my own conclusion after having followed the US Presidential Election for five months. You need a very good brain for math and stats to figure out who is really leading who.


There are so many polls tracking voter sentiments and predicting voting trends that unless your brain works like an Excel spreadsheet, you’ll soon be lost and confused. There are general election polls, party polls, battleground polls, state by state polls. daily tracking polls, straw polls, opinion polls. Surely, the polls will add up to some conclusion. Here is my right-brain snapshot of the latest polls in May:

Poll Headlines


Obama ahead of Clinton 51 to 38 percentage points among the state’s democrats (The San Francisco Chronicle, sample: 914)

Obama ahead of Clinton 52 to 42 percentage points among democrats nationally (Gallup Poll, sample: 1,240)

What the polls are saying: Slightly more than half of the democrats preferred Obama to be the presidential nominee.


Clinton leads McCain 47 – 45; Obama leads McCain 46 – 45 (Gallup Poll. Advantage: Clinton, 1 percentage point over Obama)

Clinton leads McCain 48-44; Obama leads McCain 47-44 (Pew Research Poll. Advantage: Clinton, 1 percentage point over Obama)

What the polls are saying: Clinton or Obama? It doesn’t matter. Both will beat McCain anyway.

Then, came the latest, latest poll on May 31. Rasmussen Report’s daily presidential poll. McCain beats both democrats hands down.

Duh. Now, what?

I think I should just give up analyzing the polls and have another latte.


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