Polls Are Looking Bad for the McCain-Palin Ticket

Polls show McCain trailing far behind President Bush's record from his two presidential races.


The two polls I usually cite did not have their Friday results up as of 10 a.m. EST, so here's the latest from electoral-vote.com. If you scroll half-way down the page, you'll see it reflects results from three state polls, two of which show Sen. John McCain trailing far behind President Bush's record from his two presidential races:

We have three new presidential polls today, two of them surprising. In North Dakota, Barack Obama has a small lead over John McCain, 43% to 40%. This is within the margin of error, so it is a statistical tie. This is a state George Bush won by 27 points in 2004 and 28 points in 2000. It is not supposed to be a tie. It is supposed to be a rout for any Republican. It bears watching. If Obama actually campaigns here, at the very least it will force McCain [to] devote some money and energy to a state he should win on autopilot.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Alaska 35% 54% Aug 30 Sep 02 Ivan Moore Research
Indiana 43% 45% Aug 29 Aug 30 Howey-Gauge
North Dakota 43% 40% Aug 23 Aug 27 DFM Research

The same is true of Indiana. Here, McCain is ahead 45% to 43%, again a tie. Bush won Indiana by 21 points in 2004 and by 16 in 2000. Shouldn't even be on the radar, but it is and has 11 electoral votes. It is hard to tell what's going on in North Dakota (except maybe the people who like small government—except for farm subsidies—are disappointed in the current administration). Indiana is a bit different. The northeastern part of the state is a bit like Ohio, which is a swing state, and the northwestern part is close to Obama's base of Chicago and gets Chicago TV stations. With Palin on the ticket, Alaska is off the table and the Republicans will pick up its 3 EVs as usual.

We have one Senate poll, in Alaska. Indicted senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) seems to be closing the gap with Anchorage mayor Mark Begich (D). Whether this is due to the presence of Gov. Sarah Palin on the ticket or not is unclear at this point."

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Alaska Mark Begich 49% Ted Stevens* 46% Aug 30 Sep 02 Ivan Moore Research

As of yesterday, Gallup.com had Obama 7 points ahead of McCain, with the beginning of the Republican convention, at least, having had no impact on Obama's bounce coming out of his convention. That did include, however, several days of polling after McCain announced the selection of Governor Palin as his running mate.

It is too soon for polls to reflect McCain's convention bounce. That won't be apparent until some time next week. But McCain's numbers in North Dakota and Indiana are ominous for him indeed.