Bloomberg News

Gallup’s Newport Says `Palin Factor’ May Close McCain’s Gap

Published on Bloomberg Terminal September 5, 2008

By Ken Prewitt and Tania Haas
Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) — Frank Newport, editor-in-chief at Gallup Organization Inc., discusses the latest political polls relating to presidential candidates John McCain, the Republican, and Barack Obama, the Democrat. He spoke in an interview from Princeton, New Jersey.

On what he is finding:
“It will be several days, maybe even Monday, before we have a clean look at post-Republican convention polling. And that will tell us whether or not McCain got what we call a rebound bounce. Obama got his bounce; did McCain recover ground is the real question. And we’re going to have to wait and see.”

On the effect of the “Palin factor” from McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate:

“Based on history, we would predict that McCain should gain. Mostly, the party that has a convention gains, and the other party gains. Now, it’s rare to have back-to-back conventions, we haven’t had that in decades, so this is a little more unusual. And of course, she was an unusual pick that got
tremendous attention.

“So everything else being equal, we would suspect that McCain would close that gap again. Because when these two conventions started, it was dead-even: 45-45. So, it wouldn’t be surprising if it returned closer to that.
“But again, as I tell people, if I knew that for sure, we wouldn’t bother to poll, so that’s why we poll because sometimes we are surprised.”

–With reporting by Alberto Riva in New York. Editors: Eric Morse, Joe Sabo.