Dick Morris on Fox yesterday, doing his best to punch the Dem’s balloon, said he was surprised that Obama wasn’t getting a 10-point bounce in the pools.
He’s got a point. For all the hoopla, you would think that Obama ought to be riding high.
Well, except that today’s Rasmussen data gives Obama a 48-40 lead over McCain, 50-43 if you count “leaners” (link)—so at least a seven point bounce, which is something, if not wonderful. Interestingly, Rasmussen Markets, the in-house bookie joint, shows Obama at 61-36 over McCain. Is this insider knowledge or just conventional wisdom?
I’ve lived through half a lifetime of May-September disappointments in the Democratic Party—hey, I can remember when Michael Dukakis looked good. Is Obama different? The best evidence I can see for the argument that he is different would be this chart reprinted in Jack Shafer’s postmortem at Slate earlier this week. The way I read it,
I take it that most voters didn’t know much about Obama last October, and that a good many don’t know him very well today—perhaps particularly among the older, less-educated, lower-income voters who are said to form the base of Clinton’s support. Yet if this is true, then it seems to follow that once they get to know him, they like him. That would make him one of the rarest of political phenomena—a politician whose standing actually grows on exposure.
I admit, my own enthusiasm for Obama has been, and remains, somewhat muted. It still makes my hair stand on end that we are getting ready to trust our fate to someone unseasoned. And at the very least, he’s got his work cut out for him, getting past the wingnut noise machine (Osama! Muslim! Ghetto street thug! Elitist sipper of chardonnay!). But it is amazing how so far, he doesn’t seem to have put a foot wrong. This may turn out to be a show worth watching.