As appeared on Politics and Critical Thinking.
To say the polls and the economy have been anything less than bipolar is an understatement. Fear and concern about the future are driving this election more than in anytime since the 70's, the reasons for all this trepidation is obvious though. What is not, is why the American population’s perception of Obama and McCain is so erratic? Obama’s lead continues to ebb and flow like the tide.
If you believe the lesser than reputable polling sources or the MSM, Obama has the election in the bag. However, what I don’t trust about their information is the margin of victory they are declaring. Here are some numbers from IBD and Rasmussen from the last eighteen days. I chose these two because of their reputation for accurate polling results, techniques, and continuity.
On Rasmussen, from the 17th-26th, Obama did not have much to worry about, IBD has a similar situation from the 17th-21st. Then, things started changing with people’s acuity of the election, what was it? On or around the 15th of this month was when we met Joe Wurzelbacher. The gentleman who, so unexpectedly but graciously, accepted the mission of confronting Obama on his policies. This encounter revealed Obama's true nature concerning; taxes, wealth, and redistribution.
The effect was not immediate as you can see by the polls. But Joe opened the door for the GOP to be able to hammer Obama with vids, ads, and even on some MSM outlets about his platform on taxation and wealth redistribution. This is the only factor I can see that has some legitimacy where the erosion of Obama's lead is concerned.
While the Ayers controversy is important with the Conservative base and purists, it has not been a concern to most Moderates and Independents. Thus, it has been a somewhat ineffective campaign tactic. However, Obama’s proven wealth redistribution philosophy is the common denominator between the above mentioned groups. You might even be able to include some Blue Dog Democrats in that number also.
There is also a fear that Obama and his Progressive cronies are going to increase government spending and raise taxes. This is a legitimate apprehension, with the bail out and the upcoming proposal of ANOTHER stimulus package, the question arises, “Who is going to pay for all of this?” The average American is not ignorant; they may not understand complex macroeconomic derivatives or know what the GCI (Global Competitiveness Index) is. But, they do know that raising taxes and raucous spending during a recession, or otherwise, is tantamount to economic suicide.
Rasmussen now has some interesting poll results out, it seems that the American voter is changing their mind about McCain v. Obama on taxes, “After several weeks of John McCain’s campaign attacks on Barack Obama’s tax plan and idea of “spreading the wealth around”, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds voters trust McCain more than Obama on taxes, 47% to 45%.”
There is also a slight shift in opinion concerning who they trust more on economic issues, “McCain also has gained ground as the candidate to trust on economic issues. Forty-eight percent (48%) now trust the Republican hopeful more than the Democrat while 47% hold the opposite view.”
This has to be the explanation of why the polls are shifting, further closing the gap between McCain and Obama. Keep in mind, these are national polls, they represent voters on a national level, not regional. Internal state polling still has McCain at a severe disadvantage in key areas. Though, as a rule of thumb, when national polls tend to shift, in time the state polls usually follow. The question is, does enough time remain for McCain to recover the ground needed to be victorious?
Either way, win or lose, I am giving Joe Wurzelbacher credit for shedding some light on this issue. We have been so lost in the torrent of economic flooding I think people have forgotten how much taxation and spending actually effects the economy. This is why I am calling this phenomena “The Wurzelbacher Effect.”