The Audacity of Daily Tracking

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"The Audacity of Daily Tracking"

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Gallup remarks:

Obama’s particularly large leads over McCain in Friday and Saturday’s tracking suggest that the massive publicity surrounding Obama’s speech at the Victory Tower in Berlin on Friday — the only major public event of the trip — and coverage of Obama’s meetings with the heads of state in France and Germany may have tilted U.S. voter preferences more in his favor.

Maybe. But look, Obama’s been drifting in the 45-48 range and McCain’s been drifting in the 41-44 range and there’s no reason to think that movements within the familiar bands represent anything other than normal fluctuation in a statistical sample. I think the commentary on the tracking polls looks more and more like the silly commentary on the daily fluctuations of the Dow where first analysts look at numbers, and then second they devise post hoc explanations of the movement. Realistically, I don’t think there’s anything worth commenting on unless some much more sustained trend develops.

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