Friday, October 10, 2008


Andrew Rawnsley, Editor in Chief, PoliticsHome

There's a hardening and overwhelming consensus among political experts and insiders on both sides of the Atlantic that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States.

Amidst mixed results from conventional polls and inconclusive debates between the two men, our unique panels which track expert opinion in both America and Britain are now powerfully forecasting that the Democrat will take the White House.

The US Online 100 panel is calling the contest for Barack Obama by a whopping majority. Eighty eight per cent of the American panellists now forecast he will win against just two per cent saying John McCain will be the victor.

The British PHI100 panel is calling the race for the Senator from Illinois by a very similar margin to the American panellists. Eighty nine per cent of the PHI100 now forecast an Obama victory against just ten per cent predicting that his opponent will win.

These panels, composed of people with their fingers pressed to the pulse of power, are uniquely well-qualified to track political sentiment.

Political experts on both panels swing towards Obama

The PHI100 is Britain's most authoritative survey of expert and inside political opinion. Its members include politicians from all the main parties, among them senior Ministers in the Government, including members of the Cabinet, along with leading figures from the Opposition parties.

The panel also comprises senior editors and commentators in the media, key party strategists and the heads of campaign organisations and think tanks.

The US Online panel is composed of one hundred of the most influential and informed online political voices in America. Members of the US100 include Arianna Huffington, Karl Rove, Joe Klein, Andrew Sullivan and Joe Trippi.

On both panels, there has been a massive swing to calling the presidential battle for Obama.

The US panel had the contest on a knife-edge when surveyed a month ago. Panellists then split 49 forecasting an Obama win to 48 tipping McCain. That has now dramatically switched with a massive 88 to 2 forecast of an Obama victory.

Online100 Election Prediction Tracker: Sep-Oct 2008
At this point, who do you think is more likely to win the Presidential Election?

The British PHI100 has tended to be more confident about an Obama win for longer. That panel had the race at 76 to 20 in the Democrat's favour when surveyed in July. That has now swung even more heavily his way with the PHI100 calling it for Obama by 89 to 10.

PHI100 US Election Tracker
At this point, which party do you think is most likely to win the US Presidency in November?

On both sides of the Atlantic, left-leaning panellists have become much more confident about predicting an Obama victory in the November election. So have non-aligned panellists. Not a single American panellist who is left-leaning or non-aligned now forecasts victory for McCain.

Even more striking is the collapse of confidence in John McCain among right-leaning panellists on both sides of the Atlantic. That is the largest thing accounting for the crushing majority of panellists now predicting a victory for his rival.

Just a month ago, the vast majority of right-leaning panellists on the Online100 were forecasting victory for the Senator from Arizona. Eighty two per cent of them expected the Republican to win.

Confidence in John McCain has since evaporated like a snowball in the Grand Canyon. Now just five per cent of the right-leaning American panellists believe that the Republican is heading for the White House.

British unimpressed by McCain

Many UK panellists were scornful of McCain, with one Lib Dem parliamentarian calling him ‘totally uninspiring’.

A right-leaning panellist said that he ‘looks as though he is on his own and becoming everyone's angry old uncle’, while another said ‘the only hope for McCain is scorched earth and hoping that the independent groups can hit Obama.’

Some noted the importance of the economy to the race, with one saying that ‘the economic mess helps Obama.’

Another pointed out that Sarah Palin ‘appears to be irrelevant to the needs of the USA in a time of acute economic difficulty.’

A media panellist said that ‘there is now a real possibility that the Republicans could lose very badly’, although another disagreed, predicting that ‘it will be close’.

US consensus: trends favour Obama

On the US panel, there was a general mood that everything was pointing towards an Obama victory, with a right-leaning state blogger saying that ‘trends are all going his way.’ A left-leaning panellist from a national blog agreed, saying that ‘Obama gets more plausible, while McCain is making people nervous.’

Another left-leaning panellist confidently declared: ‘It's over. The question is whether we're on the cusp of Reagan's 10-point victory of 1980 or Clinton's more narrow 5-point victory of 1992.’

A non-aligned state blogger, however, was more cautious, saying: ‘It's too close to call at this point. Neither has the edge.’


No comments: