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We hear the term “trajectory” on occasion in relation to polling numbers. And if you think about it, any given poll is but a snapshot of the situation at a moment in time . . . a Polaroid, if you will. And ultimately, this information is useful to us, because the election on November 6th, 2012 represents a snapshot itself. It’s a spontaneous, momentary picture of what voters want at that particular moment in time, so the pictures we take along the way are informative, and give us an idea of what to expect.
But remember when you were a kid, and you made the little cartoon animation flip book, where each successive picture on each page was a bit different from the previous one? As you flip through the pictures, you see a little movie that shows a changing scene. That’s what trajectory is – it’s a little flip-book movie that shows us where voter’s opinions have been, and where they’re going. If you were to look at the flip book starting with the Democrat National Convention, you’d see that President Obama’s trajectory is downward. His numbers have been steadily decreasing, and the latest shows him at a literal tie with candidate Romney – not a statistical tie, but literal. The latest Gallup poll shows them both at 47.
If that same trajectory keeps up, the President will wind up lower than Romney next week, and this is a very real possibility. His post-convention bounce is not just over now, but he’s below where he was before. The little flip-book is telling us the story of Obama’s trajectory, and that trajectory is downward, and this fact puts the president into a position in which he could be beaten by a Ham Sandwich.
Flippin' Through The Book . . .