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New Economist Poll Shows Race Nearly Tied

A poll of nation-wide RV's conducted Sept 6-8 by YouGov for the Economist has Bush leading Kerry 46-45 percent, with 1 percent for Nader.

Comments

Great news.

I'm going to plant this here, because it relates to the polls, the Economist, London oil speculators, and what we have been discussing here the past week.

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I read something online at democrats.com today which raised a good point regarding oil:

What is with the conflicting reports of oversupply, undersupply, etc.?

One day we have a report that there will be plenty of oil, then the next, shortages of US reserves. The current US reserves are lower than they have been in 6 months, and this is cause for concern, which creates an uptick in demand for oil, resulting in a slight increase in price.

Why are there all these competing headlines?

Think of the world's oil interests as 527s that have a stake in the election. They are getting their stories out, and each has some side to pitch. The Saudis are clearly delivering on their promise to help Bush at election time as a reward for helping Saudis, including the bin Ladens, leave on September 13th, 2001, but they can only increase short term production so much, and that can be offset by either speculators who buy more product, or producing countries which reduce production short term.

Is this part of a Bush plan?

Yes. The speculators who sold off Monday were Saudis (and probably connected groups) who were delivering exactly when requested by Bush. The post convention poll play by the right and the Saudi oil promise were both intended to steamroll Kerry. The past 7 days they've been trying to deliver a knockout punch to Kerry. The polls, the Monday speculators selling off to drop oil for the Tuesday opening bell, the Tuesday Saudi announcement to further drive price concerns down, the Fox pep rally on Monday exhorting Wall Street it should be UP - all orchestrated to create an illusion of stampede for Bush.

Fox News was pushing the polls and their expectations of a good market reaction big time. Looking back at this past 7 days, we can say that media manipulation is an epidemic to which Fox is merely Typhoid Mary.

What about the other countries and other stakeholders?

Everyone has a stake in this election, and the oil consuming and producing worlds are most interested. Perception drives market price, and speculation is adding to the cost of a barrel of crude. The Iraq instability is also adding to the price. Energy supplies must be viewed as a stream, like a huge river flowing through the country. If the snow in the mountains is less in winter, we know we're in for a hard spring and summer. Likewise, when there are saboteurs in Iraq and other places targeting oil production facilities, it raises the prospect of interruption.

Where is the price of oil going?

The current price barrel of oil is at least $8-12 a barrel higher than it should be, and the difference is speculation driven by fear of interruption due to terror and/or the war in Iraq and the instability it portends. If Bush gets a second term, oil will go up, up, up. If Kerry wins, it is coming down.

How can I say that?

Because the average price of a barrel of oil for the four years prior to 2004 was barely $28 a barrel. See here http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/chron.html While demand is definitely contributing to the increase in price this year, much of the current price is directly related to the Bush debacle in Iraq.

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Later troops. I have things to do, but I want this out here for whoever needs it and can use it.

But that's NOT the headline my local paper - the Hartford Courant is trumpeting - we are getting "Bush Takes Big Lead" - from the WP poll. Hidden in the article is the important info on battleground stats. (Of course another article talks about fund raising efforts for our disgraced ex-Governor) And Ct is suposedly Kerry territory...

I meant to post this earlier, but this is a better place for it. The Economist and Zogby are examples of internet polling, which has been criticized by some. But this article in the Boston Globe seems to suggest that internet polling is the way of the future. Very interesting.

Excerpt:
Most political pollsters regard online polling as an inherently unreliable way to measure public opinion. For one thing, they say, only between two-thirds and three-quarters of Americans have Internet access. Internet polling "starts out ignoring one of the fundamentals of scientific survey research, which is that everybody in the population under study needs to have a chance to fall under the sample," says Nancy Belden, president of the National Association for Public Opinion Research. Says Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, "We at Gallup do not believe you can generalize to the general population using Internet samplings."

But results, say the believers, speak for themselves. Three years before the California poll, a Harris online poll outperformed most of its telephone rivals in predicting almost exactly the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. And in Britain, online polling outfit YouGov has in four years gone from startup to one of the country's most prominent polling organizations. (The firm's first US poll, which began running in The Economist in July, currently shows George W. Bush and John Kerry in a dead heat.)

As Bush awaits the news on his post-convention bounce, 2004 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for the online polling industry. In the United States several major publications, including the Wall Street Journal, are experimenting with online polls. If Internet-based pollsters match their earlier success, or if beleaguered telephone pollsters misjudge the closely fought presidential race, some say, this year could be the beginning of the end for traditional polling.

Sorry, the link didn't work. Here's the URL for the Globe article. (Also in the url field below - click on my name).

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2004/09/05/poll/