Monday, September 29, 2008

 

Obama Set to Rout McCain

HANOVER, New Hampshire - Senator Barack Obama is set to become the first African-American President-Elect in the history of the United States.  An analysis of polls reveals that Obama will win 52% of the popular vote and 375 electoral votes as compared to McCain's 47% and 163 electoral votes.
Obama will secure victory because of the economy and his successful “get out the vote” effort. According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, he will win a large majority of the 45% of voters who list "worries about the economy" as their top concern. He will also be bolstered by the newly registered voters in key swing states, including over 500,000 in Indiana. Many of these voters belong to Obama’s core constituencies: those under the age of 29, African-Americans, and Hispanics. With these voters coming to the polls, turnout should reach its highest level since 1968 with 58% of all eligible voters casting ballots.
Aided by the record turnout, Obama will win nearly 68 million votes, more than any previous presidential candidate. He will be the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976 to win a majority of the popular vote and become the first Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1996 to win any southern states (Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia) or southwestern states other than New Mexico (Colorado and Nevada).
McCain should maintain most of his base in the South, Great Plains, and Mountain West due to the support of a majority of White voters and those over the age of 65. Unfortunately for McCain, Obama will win all other key demographic groups and regions on his way to a blowout victory.

Monday, September 22, 2008

 

Where the devil is the polling in New Hampshire

Only 4 electoral votes, I grant you, but New Hampshire could hold the key from saving us from an election decided by the Congress. The current polling averages have Obama up 273-265 electoral votes..... if you give him New Hampshire. But if he lost the state and won the others he is leading in the poll averages in, you get a 269-269 tie. Part of me dreams of the possibility and part of me dreads it.

So where the heck is the polling?

We are averaging a new poll every two weeks. Compare this with a state that should be less than decisive, Ohio, that is averaging about a poll a day.

Obama leads by 1.7 points in the polling average.... but that excludes an American Research Group poll (shoddy I know) that had McCain leading in the state.

Can we get some polls? We know New Mexico (a state with three polls in the past week... all with Obama up 7+) is going to Obama.... so let's move on.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

 

Wilder Effect is not that race will cost Obama the election

My father mentioned today that he thought Obama would ultimately lose because of his race. He said something along the lines that this is the Wilder effect. Nevermind the fact that new research bares out what I have long assumed (it is no longer present), but just to clear up this isn't the Wilder effect.

The Wilder effect is when a certain number of white voters say that they will vote for the black candidate but ultimately don't. It is not that white voters say that they aren't going to vote for the black candidate and don't.

Any racism against Obama should be present in the polls.

I don't expect any surprises.

Friday, September 19, 2008

 

Why I believe and have believed Barack Obama will win the election

..... too many good electoral map opportunities and a better base.

Forgetting about the popular vote for a second. Let us talk about the states/district that Barack Obama will not lose (unless he admits to having three kids with Jamie Lynn Spears).

Washington (no this will not flip)
Oregon (neither will this)
California
New Mexico (I'm taking this off the board... the demographics are too good for Obama (Hispanics... going 2 to 1 for Obama))
Iowa (when has Obama been trailing in this state?)
Illinois
Delaware
Maryland
D.C.
New Jersey (yea... no)
New York
Connecticut
Rhode Island
Vermont
Maine (yea maybe that one electoral vote from CD 2 might be an issue... I really doubt it though)

That gets you 202 electoral votes..... now the states that Obama hasn't trailed in the polling average all year

Minnesota (I know the polling average... few who follow politics enough believes this is going to flip unless McCain wins comfortably)
Wisconsin (Same with Minnesota)

That gets you to 222.

Now add the states where he hasn't trailed in the polling average since rapping up the Democratic Nomination:

Michigan (looking more Democratic by the day... Obama has trailed in only one poll since June 1st..... by one point)
Pennsylvania (I'll admit the polls has tightened... but Obama hasn't trailed in a single poll since April)

That gets you to 260 electoral votes. 9 more for a tie and 10 for a win.

The clearest path most would admit is through a New Hampshire (4 electoral votes)/Colorado (9 electoral votes) connection.

New Hampshire is more Democratic than four years ago... Jeanne Shaheen is practically a shoo-in to defeat John Sununu in the Senate race.

But I hesitate because of a lack of polling in the state... the polling there has been good for Obama.

Colorado doesn't suffer from a lack of polls problem. A growing Hispanic is what makes this state competitive.... The state has a Democratic governor, a majority of the Congressional membership is democratic, and soon enough the state should have two Democratic Senators (Udall is slight favorite in his race).

But perhaps more important, Obama holds a larger average lead in this state at the current moment than Pennsylvania, Minnesota, or Wisconsin. Yes, it is somewhat do an outlier poll, but his advantage held through the Republican Convention. It is almost bunkered.

But what makes Obama chances so strong are his opportunities in many other states.

Take Nevada, a growing Hispanic population make this an opportunity for Obama (Bush only won there by 20,000 votes each time)

Virginia has growing northern suburbs that will deliver two Democratic Senators in three years and a Democratic Governor. The polls in both 05 and 06 broke late for the Democrat (Kaine and Webb). Obama actually led the polling average in this state earlier week... before two polls came in with McCain leading by high single digits (granted one of those polls had serious demographic issues...).

And then of course, you got Ohio... which McCain leads in the polling average... right now. I am not of the belief that this will be the ultimate swing state... but it offers another opportunity to Obama.

Then you got Indiana, which polls have tightened in the past few days (actually tighter than Ohio). Does anyone truly know what effect higher turnout among African-Americans in Indy will have? Or how about the 500,000 new registered voters (which can be more than 15% of the electorate)? Or finally, the fact that McCain has no regional offices in the state, while Obama has a ton.

And can someone tell Obama to spend some time and more resources in West Virginia? With few resources, Obama actually trailed by less than 5 in first two polls taken in months (granted, not the major polling firms). Imagine if he visited the state? Dems outnumber Republicans by a ton... a Democratic Governor, two Dem Senators, and 2/3's of the Congressmen?

And of course, Florida. But to me Obama only wins Florida, once he has captured other swing states to put him over 270.


But the fact of the matter is that Obama leads in enough states to win... and has opportunities in many more that offer unique demographic opportunities that make it possible win each individually while losing the others.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

 

Not all pollsters are created equal

My poor father comes rushing in "CNN did a poll and blah, blah, blah". Meanwhile, CNN/Time's poll done by Opinion Research Corp is in the bottom half of pollster accuracy (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/search/label/pollster%20ratings). Of course, CNN is going to use its own poll in its reporting because not only do they have full use of the polls internals (party registration of poll participants, women/men ratio, black/white ratio, etc.), but also because it is their poll.

And of course, many other news outlets will publish the reports (oh CNN did this poll, oh it is from a swing state). About the only thing, the polls have going for them is that they have a relatively large sample size, 800+ voters (reducing the margin of error).

Take for example, a recent CNN poll done in the state of Indiana (http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/17/battleground.poll/). McCain led by 6 (or 5 depending on using third party candidates) points (a reasonable result). But later that evening, a Selzer poll come out in the same state (http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080918/NEWS0502/809180460). This poll.... has Obama up by 3. Any of those that follow politics know that Ann Selzer (based in Iowa) has a record that most pollsters could only dream of (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/search/label/pollster%20ratings).

Question.... which poll do you think will be repeated by the mainstream media?

I thought so.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

 

States to Watch- Five Keep Your Eyes On

With Iowa looking less like a swing state, I believe 5 states deserve the most watching.

In order of importance-
Colorado (9 electoral votes)
New Mexico (5 electoral votes)
New Hampshire (4 electoral votes)
Nevada (5 electoral votes)
Michigan (17 electoral votes)

These states will probably be the five that decide the Presidency in a close election.


You may notice that the only one of these states that Kerry and Gore both carried is Michigan. Deep discontent with Michigan's Democratic Jennifer Granholm opens a door for McCain. Chuck Todd believes that Obama has to get above 48% or above before election day to guarantee victory. Otherwise, some hidden Bubba (aka whites not willing to vote for a Black man) might take place. Combine that with Obama's non primary GOTV operation effort (he had his reasons), and we may, may have a race on our hands in that state. The only problem is that Obama runs well ahead of his national average in the state (a good 2-5 points ahead). Only one poll post convention show a McCain lead (one point) and two polls show a 3+ point lead for Obama.

The one thing you can be assured of is that if Obama loses this state, he will lose the election 999/1000.

New Hampshire is a state that Obama should win. Jeanne Shaheen is running VERY strong in her bid to defeat incumbent Senator John Sununu. She hasn't trailed in a single poll taken this year. New Hampshire knocked out its two Republican Congressmen in 2006 and replace its Republican state legislature with Democrats. YET, YET, Barack Obama lost the primary campaign to Hilary Clinton (still one of the biggest shockers in United States Presidential history). John McCain has run two terrific primary campaigns in the state. He draws support from the state's famous independents.

Obama may lack the necessary support from the population concentrated southeast working class voters. But Obama hasn't trailed in a poll for over 3 months, and this state is turning more Democratic by the minute. Obama can afford a lost in the state, but it makes his route to 270 difficult, if for no reason then a lost here suggests that the demographics may not be on his side in the rest of the country.

New Mexico is just a flat out bizarre state. Many Hispanics (over 30%) and a significant American Indian population combined with a white population that still controls over 50% of the state's voting population. If Obama wins 65% of the Hispanic population he wins. Gore won the state (by less than 400 votes) by doing this. Kerry did better among White voters than Gore, but he lost a lot of ground among Hispanics (Bush reached out to Hispanics). Polling in this state is difficult because of its high Hispanic, but more importantly because of its American Indian population.

Growing Hispanic population = Good News for Obama

This is pretty much like New Hampshire. Obama can afford to lose the state, but if he loses here, he'll most likely lose Nevada and good bye.

Nevada is like New Mexico.... except not. It has a good sized Hispanic population, but it also has a significant amount of retirees (think of it as a quasi type of West Coast Boca). Further, the Mormon population in the northern rural part of the state will deliver large votes to McCain. In the last two elections, George Bush has won by about 20,000. What makes one believe that this state will flip? A higher Hispanic population... and a TREMENDOUS gain in Democratic voter registration (no doubt helped by the contended caucus).

Nevada has a lower Hispanic population than New Mexico. Further, McCain has led in post-convention polling (barely).

Watch Clark County (Las Vegas). If Obama carries by 7-10 points (Kerry carried it by 5, he'll probably win the state.

Colorado is probably the best chance at a Democratic pickup opportunity next to Iowa and maybe New Mexico. It is behind in Hispanic population to Nevada and New Mexico. It was however one of the few states to trend significantly to Kerry in 2004 (about 5 points). Its white voters are environmentally friendly and want government off their back. Colorado has given Democrats the majority of Congressional seats, the Governor's mansion, probably both Senate seats. As its Hispanic population continues to grow, the state grows more Democratic by the day. McCain has seen pretty much no bounce here post convention... Obama leads by about 2 points.

Bottom line is that Obama really needs this state. He can do without it, but polling suggests that this state is easier than Nevada.


The bottom line is the following. Assuming that the map remains the same as it was in 2004 + Iowa-New Hampshire-Michigan, Obama is at 237 electoral votes. He needs 32 for a tie and the election (a Democratic Congress would decide).

Assuming polling holds, Obama will win with 273 electoral votes. He should hold New Hampshire and Michigan and pick up Colorado and New Mexico.

He cannot afford a lost in Michigan.

He can substitute Nevada/New Hampshire for a Colorado lost and can substitute Nevada for New Mexico.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

 

Can you guess date I said this? AKA why the bubbly or moving threats are premature.

Now, all of this doesn't even touch on the closing of the state polling (the one that really matters). All major websites (pollster.com, RCP, and Fivethirtyeight.com) have showed Obama's lead in the electoral college dropping to below 50 and he below 300 electoral votes. In fact, it was for a short time in the past week McCain with the slight lead in the state by state polling. Although Obama has recovered to take a slight lead (mostly due to an Ann Selzer poll in Michigan on fivethirtyeight and a few polls out of Colorado on RCP), the race remains tight.


If I said it was yesterday, you might believe me. If I said it was today, you might believe me.

But you would be wrong.

I actually said this Monday August 25th, 2008. That's right that statement came on the first night of the Democratic National Convention. Before any convention or supposed "Palin" bounce.

It was in response to Keith Olbermann's* making fun of Joe Scarborough for saying that Republicans believed that John McCain had momentum and was closing.

So before all y'all start opening the bubbly or commiting seppuku, just remember that this race in the electoral college is pretty much where it was before the convention. At least in the important swing states.

See the past post:

http://poughies.blogspot.com/2008/08/keith-olbermann-way-out-of-line.html

*I would like to praise MSNBC. As you may or may not know, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews (who is slowly making a comeback in my eye) were removed from anchoring MSNBC primetime election coverage. The two of the mixed like oil and water. Further, the two have such an obvious bent for Obama that it makes them literally non-credible with concern to analysis and controlling election night coverage. Thank God MSNBC removed the two of them from anchoring and placed David Gregory in charge. MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, post debate analysis will be credible once again. Maybe.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

 

Can I float a simple question?

Is it not ironic that Senator Obama succeeded over Senator Clinton in the primary primarily because of differences in personality and now may lose the general election for the same reason?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

 

Watch for State Polls Starting NOW

For all the gaga over national tracking polls (Gallup, Rasmussen, etc.), US Presidential Elections are still decided in 50 different state contests (electoral college anyone).

It will be interesting to see how McCain's new found momentum in national numbers translate to each state.

In the past, McCain's numbers have tended to do better on a state by state basis compared to national numbers. We'll see if that holds.

 

A quick note on not getting press

A little over two years ago, Senator Joseph Lieberman was defeated in the Democratic Primary for Senate in Connecticut by Ned Lamont. Many, including future Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, thought that poll numbers that showed an independent Lieberman leading Lamont in a general matchup would change. Their belief was best exemplified by Hardball Host Chris Matthews who declared "I see dead people" when viewing the first general election ad from Lieberman. The idea was that as soon as Lieberman was seen as defeated, Lamont would climb quickly in the polls. But something happened.

Lamont decided to take a vacation in Northern New England. Lieberman dominated the press in the days following the election. He reestablish his street cred. He remained a "serious" candidate. He went on to win the general election by 10 points.

I believe a lesson can be learned from this incident. A lesson that everyone already knows. Candidates than dominate the press win.

Governor Sarah Palin will have to sit down with the press soon enough (as she will with Charlie Gibson). For if she in anyway cedes press coverage, it could end up hurting the ticket. You might argue that she will always dominate the press coverage (she is after all a star in the making). But I believe that after a while, if she does not stand up to the heat (biased or not), it will come back to bite.

I think we are all looking forward to the Vice Presidential debate.

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