Presidential Polls have Little Meaning in the Summer


Some Facts from the website of Gallup Polling:

2012: Today President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 47% – 45%, the lead has changed hands several times

2008: On September 17, 2008 McCain led Obama in the poll by 49% – 44%, Obama won by a comfortable margin

2004: In August John Kerry led President George W. Bush 50% – 45%, Bush won by a small margin

2000: On September 20th, Vice President Al Gore led George W. Bush 51% – 41%, Bush won by a hanging chad or two

1996: President Clinton led every poll by a significant amount and went on to re-election

1992: Candidates President G. H. W. Bush, Governor Clinton, and Ross Perot all enjoyed large leads at some point during the summer, Clinton survived winning with well under 50% of the vote

1988: On July 26th Michael Dukakis led Vice President George Bush by a staggering 54% – 37%, maybe the biggest turnaround ever once Dukakis took to riding a tank

1984: President Ronald Reagan held a double digit lead in all polls wire to wire and was re-elected by a wide margin

1980: President Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan on October 26th by a margin of 45% – 39%, the economy and Iran did not sink in until a few days before the election that Reagan won

1976: President Gerald Ford led Jimmy Carter by 47% – 46% on election day, Carter won a close election

1972: President Nixon lead George McGovern by double digits in every poll winning re-election by a wide margin

For those who are placing November faith in July polls even at the state level the results above should sober you up. Both candidates have plenty of opportunities to defeat themselves with gaffes, bleeps, and blunders between now and November and both have proven they are fully capable of inserting their foot into their mouths already.


  1. It looks like with sitting presidents with the sole exception of GWB in 2004 that they either win by a landslide or get shown the door. That does not bode well for the current president.

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