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As Nate predicted, the latest Quinnipiac poll has been spun wrong in the media (MSNBC). In this case by the character who did the poll!
A salient excerpt:
Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown implies that the movement in the polls reflects a negative reaction to Barack Obama’s overseas trip:
“The $64,000 question is whether Sen. John McCain’s surge is a result of Sen. Obama’s much-publicized Middle Eastern and European trip, or just a coincidence that it occurred while Sen. Obama was abroad,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“While Obama was on tour, trying to show voters he could handle world affairs, voters were home trying to fill their gas tanks,” Brown added.
This might be a perfectly valid point of view — if Quinnipiac had conducted polling 10-14 days ago, immediately before Barack Obama embarked on his trip to Europe and the Middle East. But it didn’t; the last time the Quinnipiac polls were in the field was six weeks ago. In the period intervening mid-June and Obama’s Iraq trip, a number of different things happened: Obama took a lot of criticism for flip-flopping, the McCain campaign began to champion offshore drilling as a wedge issue … the campaigns really picked up their advertising spending. Our model sees some decline in Obama’s numbers over this period. But it also thinks that the decline has halted — and has possibly begun to reverse itself — since that time
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