From what I’ve been noticing so far in this campaign season, the Obama poll trend seems to be this:
- Controversy arises about Obama.
- Media hammers him, say that it could end campaign.
- Obama responds quickly and addresses the issue head on.
- Polls dip slightly, but a few days later bounce back in his favor.
So what’s the cause?
Well, Obama seems to be one of those teflon candidates because of his likability and ability to use humor to defuse sticky situations. Reagan had this, as did Billy C. Barack also isn’t afraid to talk frankly, as is evidenced by the race speech.
However, this could be a bit of an illusion since Hillary’s negatives are way up and people don’t seem to trust her. That Bosnia thing was simply beyond the pale and when people ask themselves if they’d really remember if they were under sniper fire, the answer seems to be a resounding “yes.” So a candidate with stronger credibility may have been able to keep Obama down longer.
In any event, here’s more from Gallup:
Obama’s largest lead to date in the Democratic nomination race came less than a week ago when he led Clinton by 11 points, 51% to 40%. However, Obama’s support began to erode slightly even before the highly publicized April 16 Democratic debate in Philadelphia, and fell more significantly in the two days immediately after it. His advantage whittled away to a 1-point deficit in April 16-18 tracking, the first time since mid-March that Clinton’s share of the vote exceeded Obama’s, albeit by a statistically insignificant margin.
In a race seemingly constrained by the laws of motion — “what goes up must come down” –, Obama has for now stemmed the recent drop in his support and is back in front of Clinton, albeit with a non-significant 2-point lead.
I think it’s also important to remember how, even with all of this controversy, Obama has closed a +20 gap on Hillary in Pennsylvania this past month to essentially single digits (47.4% to 42.3%) when you aggregate numerous polls. That seems to put the lie to the idea that white, older voters won’t cross over for him, because a month ago he had the minority and youth vote locked up. And while he won’t win the white, older segment, he seems to be gaining their respect with each passing week in PA and across the country.