“A striking feature of the University of Cincinnati’s Ohio Poll, which was released [Sept. 12], was that while McCain is winning the support of 90 percent of Republican voters, Obama is only picking up 82 percent of the Democrats,” Walter Shapiro writes at www.salon.com.
“These differing levels of party loyalty — which might (note the conditional tense) be attributed to Palin for the Republicans and Obama’s African-American heritage on the Democratic side — partly explain why McCain leads 48 to 44 percent in the survey. (A Quinnipiac University poll gave Obama a 49-44 edge in Ohio over McCain, which underscores why slavishly following the gyrating surveys can be an exercise in frustration.)
“But polls, which tend to put the undecided vote in single digits, may understate the volatility of the race. In the Ohio Poll, 19 percent of the state’s voters said that they could change their minds before Election Day and another 4 percent were undecided. ‘I think voters know less at this point about Obama than they do about McCain,’ said Eric Rademacher, the co-director of the Ohio Poll. ‘The people who were saying that they could change their minds are those who normally don’t pay attention to politics until after the convention.’ ”
Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.