Power And Dollar

Very Unconventional In This Convention

When the DNC convention is going on, one would expect Obama would get a better polling result.  This is not quite the case.  McCain is closing in when Democrats’ convention is going on.  When Republicans’ convention starts, will McCain’s rating go down because it will invoke Bush’s image in all the TV sets?  This is the reverse of conventional wisdom, although pundits can attribute the former to Obama ditching Clinton for the VP and the latter to Bush.  If this trend continues to hold, or Obama ties McCain by the end of the convention, then we may be witnessing something interesting in electioneering.


Gallup gave 2 point in favor of McCain, which poll ended on Monday.  Another polling company Rasmussen gave 1 point lead .  Since only the electoral votes, let’s check the electoral votes.  Obama vs McCain is at 273 vs 265, if no toss-up states, and 228 vs 185, if toss-up states are removed.  


The simplest explanation is Biden replaced Clinton and therefore Clinton voters are moving.  Something deeper can be going on.  The institution of political parties has been crumbling over the last decades.  It has been eroding ever since the first TV broadcast of presidential debate.  However, these recent polls are showing the brand, the party brand being symbolized by party convention, is not lifting the polling results for a candidate.  Have we gone to this point in America already?  Especially when we recall how similar Clinton and Obama were, in terms of platform.


Political parties are institutions.  Institutions have memories, financial resources, brands, people network and ideology/organized political thoughts/platform.  Content distribution technology (newspaper publishing, radio, television and now internet) enables individuals to accumulate political capital easier than before.  Obama is the greatest example of that.  Cost of fundraising is lower, especially the start-up cost.  Institutional memory becomes less and less significant when anyone can download voting results for the past century and generate knowledge and actionable information instantly by any undergraduate student.  People network no longer takes decades or even generations to build (look at Bush 2, Bush 1 and Senator Prescott Bush).  


Is this the turning point where the relationship between candidate and voter is direct without intermediary?  That would be analogous to having no store front in business.  We have always been having a store front for shopping.  Then, Sears gave us direct mail orders.  Home Shopping Network gave us TV direct shopping.  Now Amazon, eBay.  What will happen to us when this business model reaches the business of politics? 


August 27, 2008 - Posted by | activism, advocacy, Barack Obama, clinton, Current Events, Democrats, election, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, mccain, nonprofits, obama, politics, Republican, wordpress-political-blogs


  1. royho,
    no polls have yet to take part during the convention. The Gallup poll ended while any Democrats were watching the first speeches of the convention.

    Also, historically, no bounce ever happened until the third day of the convention.

    Just an fyi.

    Comment by Marc | August 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. thank you. Yes, every country is different. I should have checked.

    do you mind sharing the source? Does Gallup keep the polling results that far back public?


    this says the convention is giving obama a bounce:

    Comment by royho | August 28, 2008 | Reply

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