Powerline’s John Hinderaker has an interesting post up about June presidential polls and how accurate they are compared with election results. John makes this observation:

In other words, the June polls have come closer to predicting the actual result in every recent Presidential cycle.

This may be because improved polling techniques are giving a better read on the electorate, earlier. You could test this theory by checking later poll averages against actual results; I haven’t tried to do that. Another possibility is that our politics have become increasingly polarized, so that fewer voters change their minds over the course of a campaign. Either way, recent history suggests that we Republicans shouldn’t take too much comfort from the memory of Michael Dukakis.

John’s point about Republicans not taking comfort in June polling is worthwhile. My question is whether this year is an anomaly because of the volatility caused by high gas prices.

John’s point that we’ve become a more polarized nation isn’t arguable. That’s certainly happened. That said, I’ve often thought that the energy issue is one of those rare instances that a single issue moves people from the blue column into the red column. It’s an issue that’s changing turnout, too.

2008 isn’t like 2006. In 2006, people didn’t switch from Republican to Democrats as much as Republicans just stayed home. In 2008, alot of Democrats will likely switch their votes simply because they can’t afford to the Democrats’ energy policies. At minimum, that issue has the potential of moving independent voters.

I think it’s also important to note that the polling isn’t the only indicator that this will be a better year for Republicans than first imagined. I’m not predicting retaking the House and Senate by any stretch. What I’m ruling out are the dire predictions that Republicans will lost a dozen seats in the Senate and 40-50 seats in the House. Those numbers are mindbogglingly stupid at this point.

Another indicator that I’m paying attention to is the fundraising numbers of Obama and the DNC. Cash isn’t flowing into Obama’s coffers the way it used to. In fact, it’s been cut in half since his high water mark of $50 million. The DNC has had a miserable time raising money all year long. The DNCC is well behind in its goals.

Still another indicator that I’m watching is how reticent Hillary’s supporters contribute to Obama’s campaign. If those numbers lag, then Obama will be fighting uphill the rest of the way, expecially since he’s spending money at an alarming rate.

This race has a chance of turning volatile for several reasons. The energy issue is heading in the wrong direction for him. Fundraising is drying up, at least to the point where he won’t have a substantial advantage. That’s before we start talking about the poor recruiting year Democrats had with House candidates.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

5 Responses to “June Polls- Will This Year Be Different?”

  • Walter hanson says:

    You know there is one other thing Gary.

    In 2006 those Republicans who stayed home or voted Democrat as a protest vote have seen evidence of what that did.

    On the state level the gasoline tax and other taxes shoved down our throat!

    On the federal level where the Democrats don’t care about the price of oil, wanting to lose the war on Iraq etc.

    They understand the importance of the Supreme Court and how the next appointment will be.

    All of that will drive Republican votes not being measured. At the same there are Democrats and independents who understand that this isn’t what I voted for.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Gary Gross says:

    Valid points all, Walter. I don’t disagree a bit.

  • MPRed says:

    “alot” is two words. “A lot”

  • MPRed says:

    Statement deleted for profanity. The First Amendment gives people freedom of speech. I’ll limit free speech when it’s profanity-laced.

  • Gary Gross says:

    “alot” is two words. “A lot”

    It’s 2 words in modern English but it’s 1 word in real English. Back when they taught the real thing, it was 1 word.

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