I haven’t followed all of the details of the “missing bounce” discussion on Obama, so maybe I missed someone else making this point. But, it seems to me that one explanation for why Obama’s not doing better in the polls might have to do with the fact that his biggest strength is among young voters (according to that Washington Post poll, he beats McCain 2-1 in under-30s, while McCain leads by 12 among oldsters generally and by 22 among white seniors).
Couldn’t it be that young’ns aren’t responding to pollsters? They disproportionately rely on cell phones only, are less likely to be home during the dinner hour and unlike the Matlock-watching crowd, may be less tolerant of pollsters generally. I know this is a problem for pollsters, but I have no idea whether they think they’ve accounted for it or whether it might be a big or small factor, if it is one at all. But polls have become less and less reliable in recent years, in part because of issues like this. So it wouldn’t stun me if Obama brought out these shortcomings more than most.
Also, while this may the year I’m proven wrong and the youth vote ends up mattering, I would still rather have a huge lead among older voters than younger ones. We know older voters show up at the polls. You can’t say the same about the whippersnappers.
Update: From a reader:
Not that your analysis is off-base, but I wonder: isn’t is also possible that Obama already has these people? It’s fairly nauseating to see how much the young people are into this guy, but it’s been that way for months and months. He hit the saturation point a long time ago, and I can’t see him going much higher than the 99% he’s got now.