What Early July Says About Early November

Independence Day poll numbers send mixed signals for 2008 race
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2008 1:57 PM CDT
Barack Obama is feasting on high poll numbers now - but will they hold up? History gives some conflicting answers.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Barack Obama currently leads John McCain 47% to 43%, but does that mean anything this early? Yes and no. Early July Gallup polls have correctly predicted the eventual popular vote winner in 10 of the last 15 elections, but they missed the mark in four of the last five. Politico looks back.

  • Kerry 46%, Bush 44% (2004): Before the flip-flopper slam stuck, Kerry looked solid.
  • Bush 45%, Gore 36% (2000): Gore rebounded to win the popular vote.
  • Clinton 51%, Dole 35% (1996): No upset here.
  • Bush 32%, Clinton 31%, Perot 28% (1992): An earlier poll even had Perot in front.
  • Dukakis 47%, Bush 41% (1988): Later that month, Dukakis was up by nearly 17%. So much for early polls.