October 30th, 2008
08:27 PM ET

Is he ahead or behind??

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/16/10.16.08.mccain.tounge.jpg]
Barclay Palmer
AC360° Senior Producer

The NPOP..known to CNNers as the national poll of polls..today shows Obama 5 points ahead of McCain, versus 7 points on Wednesday.. SO.. if he keeps losing 2 points a day, Obama loses.

But wait! Obama is pulling further ahead in some key Battleground State polls. And that's what matters, right? So that suggests he'll win - big time, if the numbers of people attending Obama rallies and tuning into his half hour commercial mean anything.

Maybe there really is a silent majority of Americans in the "red" states, planning as the McCain camp says, to vote for their man, without talking about it to all those pollsters.

Or maybe the polls are just clues, puzzles pieces, and we just don't know what the big picture really looks like. After all, the primary polls didn't match those vote totals.

So here we all are, like an audience sitting together in the theater at a suspenseful, even scary movie, trying to figure out how this twisted plot will end. We're all struggling to get a handle on what's really going on in this country. And despite watching it closely every day, we have no idea.

As in so many things, the more we know, the less we seem to know. Unless you know something I don't.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Barclay Palmer • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Norma

    I am 56 years old and I just voted. I cannot remember the last time I voted or for whom I voted for. Senator Obama has motivated me to pay attention to listen and to decide. My life is very busy taking care of my ageing mother and growing granddaughter and working so I stay up late at night just to listen to Senator Obama for hope.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  2. Andre´ Mclean

    Will race supersede economics on election day?

    October 31, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  3. Veronique, Bc, Canada

    If John McCain has, as he claims, been "tested" so well, then where was he on 9/11?

    October 31, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  4. Vegas

    Wow... this is a surprise... He's close to Obama than Bush was to Gore or Kerry four days out... good sign for McCain I guess.

    Alec Bogdnaoff... Agree... exactly right... but don't hold your breath.

    October 31, 2008 at 11:00 am |
  5. Bob from Dallas, Texas

    How can you trust the news to tell you anything other than what is on their agenda! Fox reports that Obama threw three reporters off his plane because their papers endorsed McCain. Do you see that bit of news on CNN? Wonder why?

    October 31, 2008 at 10:49 am |
  6. renee

    Just for your info, I voted for Obama with my own research, no one even tried to buy my vote.

    October 31, 2008 at 9:36 am |
  7. ralph

    Make sure you locate the local booth for taking care of PTSD. Political Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:11 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    No matter, polls are polls and the caveats you guys have published demonstrate how much nonsense they are.
    It seems that all agree however the actual voting of younger voters and hispanic vote, ( then the rest) could be key deciding factors in swing states. Everyone seems to agree 85%+ of blacks will vote Obama.
    So maybe they should stop guessing and poll the three/4 groups separately,1000 each at least of each group in swing states including Nevada and Colorado ( has the registration fiasco in Colorado been resolved) and then extrapolate the result. My guess is you would see a clear majority and a more accurate result in swing states provided the correct questions are framed as to who might win.
    Having said that based on existing polls Penslyvania looks out of reach to Mccain and he therefore loses, barring a miracle!!

    October 31, 2008 at 3:59 am |
  9. Sani

    I am tried of the Polls, Pendents, Negative Campaign Ads, Wardrobe Cost Issues, Joe the Plumper, (I am sick of him the most. His 15 minutes has gone on I hour too long.) Black, White, Woman, Man, Old Young,....Ahhhhhh!!! No more talk!! On November 3rd VOTE. for your candidate and let the chips fall where they may. Anyone still not sure who to vote for because they are not sure where the candidates stands or who he or she really is at this point should flip a coin and vote. Because if you are not sure after 2 years of nothing but campaigning, what is going to change your mind just 4 days. Vote enough talk.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:34 am |
  10. rob

    The CNN poll of polls really needs to adjust what polls they include. If there are five polls rangeing from 3/6 points and then one poll with a range of 12 points maybe that poll should be left out. It is some what like a math problem when you throw out the highest and lowest score. It really changes the average and this reflects a margin that may not be true. Just a thought.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:19 am |
  11. Jaime Mesa, AZ

    Gosh, i agree with you, i watch intently because i want SO BAD for somene to tell me what is going to happen tuesday night. But, you, even CNN can not, and i have to wait and sweat it out into the wee hours. i still watch as if at every moment you are going to tell me and i can relax....in fact, in case i miss it, i can even watch ac360 twice here in AZ...but at times instead of a scary movie after listening to the mccain campaign i think i am instead in a wody allen movie. i also am confused about the NPOP. Can someone please explain tommorrow the concept of error and how it affects these polls. i understand error, but what is the errors of the main polls and is it bigger then obama's lead? Also, how can there be no error in the NPOP? And then, how could it be wrong about Obama leading and winning if there is no error associated with it? Thanks so much.

    October 31, 2008 at 12:43 am |
  12. Susan in NC

    Will this madness never stop? Who has run the sleaziest, ugliest, most divisive campaign in American history? John McCain and Sarah Palin and he was the one who promised such an "honorable" campaign – what BS!

    Amd. BTW, where are Sarah Palin's medical records? If she truly might be a heartbeat away from the Presidency – Heaven forbid – do the American people not have a right to know her medical condition? No record should equal no vote!

    And, yes, polls are just polls - nothing more! They're just a before-voting conversation. Happy Voting!

    October 30, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  13. Sara

    How is it possible that Obama's lead in the poll of polls is diminishing, yet his lead in battleground states is growing? Is he falling behind in other key democratic states?

    October 30, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  14. Alec Bogdnaoff (Tallahassee, FL)

    On November 5th, we all need to be Americans and not democrats or republicans. This means that if your candidate wins, you need not gloat. We need to bring everyone together and not push people further apart by once again immersing this country in partisan politics. Once a candidate is elected, that is it! On January 20, 2009, regardless of whom is elected (although I have my hopes) this country will have a new President, our President, MY PRESIDENT.

    October 30, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  15. kathy hakim

    It doesn't matter if John McCain is ahead or behind because Obama will counter with homeless people. He will get Acorn to give out cigarettes to children and homeless and drive them to the polls in order to get their votes. Question: how does the media know and idlely watch as Obama buys or steals the election. Will you be the same peopl who will condemn Obama for his left wing agenda after it is over and will you have a defense for your actions???

    October 30, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  16. Cindy

    I find it funny that pollsters think by only asking a couple of thousand people who they are going to vote for that they can then rationalize who is going to win. I just don't think that can be done. Plus no one tells them the truth...never have. They say what they think the pollster wants to hear. And everyone knows that they slant the result to fit their agenda.


    October 30, 2008 at 8:35 pm |