Friday, October 31, 2008

 

Senate and Presidential Predictions Part I

Presidential-
Obama: 353-406 electoral votes.... Target 375.
McCain: 132-185 electoral votes.. Target 163

Tossup states:
Missouri, Indiana, Georgia, Arizona, North Dakota, and Montana.

My belief is that Obama will win the first two, but lose the latter four.




Senate-
Democrats: 58-60, gain of 7 to 9
Republican: 40-42, loss of 7 to 9

Democrats will pick up Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, New Hampshire, Oregon, Alaska, and North Carolina.

Toss up states: Minnesota and Georgia

Minnesota- Three way race between incumbent Norm Coleman (R) and challengers Al Franken (D) and Dean Barkley (I). It will really come down to whether Dean Barkley takes more votes away from Franken than Coleman or it is an even split. Prior=Coleman victory, latter=Franken victory. If either candidate finds their way above 43 percent, they will win. Barkley will take around 10-15% of the vote, with 12-13 being the target.

-Coleman should be considered the slight favorite.

Georgia- Another three way affair between incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R) and challengers Jim Martin (D) and Allen Buckley (L). Racial voting at its strongest. African American turnout will be above the 2004 25%. If it is closer to 30% than 25%, Martin has a pretty good chance. If he can carry 30% of the white vote along with this, he'll have an excellent chance. BUT ALAS, neither candidate is likely to win the Senate seat on November 4th.
Georgia has a built in runoff system if no candidate receives more than 50%+1 of the vote on election day. It is likely that Buckley will pull out 3-7% of the vote and keep either of the two major candidates from winning. Runoffs tend to favor challengers... but a lower Black turnout must also be expected in a runoff.

-Chambliss should be considered the slight favorite.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

 

Time Running Low for McCain and Senate Dems Down South

I don't need to tell you that no presidential candidate has ever come back from such a large deficit this late in the game. The real question is whether this election will be small, but comfortable ala McKinley... large, but not blowout a la Clinton... Very large bordering on blowout like Bush '88... or Blowout like Reagan '80. Based on national/state polling, the best estimate would be Clinton.

Obama will probably win the popular vote by anywhere from 5-10 points.... and have enough states to garner him anywhere from about 360-390 electoral votes (my guess is right in the middle at 375).

But the real question is will the Dems get to 60 seats (they stand at 51)....

The answer seems to be that it will be close...

Seats that polls indicate will almost definitely flip are Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Seats that leaning towards the Democrats are Oregon, North Carolina, and New Hampshire. Though something tells me that John Sununu is due for a comeback.

That gets you to 57.

58 (or 57 (no NH)) might be Alaska.... if and only if Ted Stevens gets convicted... if he doesn't that seat is at best a tossup... and it could be that Stevens sneaks in.

59 (or 58 or 57 if no Stevens (no NH)) is Minnesota. Nobody can call Norm Coleman the favorite. Franken has gained in the polls... and he now has a lead that pretty much agree is about 2 or 3 points... the problem is that he is around 40% with Dean Barkley lurking. Whether he lurks like Perot in 92 (stays in the high teens) or makes a Ventura run (actually getting into the thirties and wins) is something I cannot say. But time is running low for Coleman.

Then 60 (and 59 and maybe 58) are going to need to come from down south.

The best chance is Mississippi where the twins are running against each other. Fmr. Governor Ronnie Musgrove trails Senator Roger Wicker by at most 2 points... and it will all come down whether Musgrove can get about 1/4 vs. 1/5 of the white vote and black turnout is 37% and not 33%. And a race where Obama could have a positive effect, if he changes the electorate that little bit.

Next up is either Georgia or Kentucky. Georgia is basically Mississippi, except that Jim Martin is actually somewhat liberal. Senator Saxby Chambliss has good approval ratings, but the economy is dragging him down. The question like Mississippi is what percentage the Black vote makes up. If Martin gets 30% of the white vote and 30% of the electorate is African-American, he'll win.

Kentucky is just messed up. Mitch McConnell is about as recognizable a brand as it gets in Kentucky. He is also the most recognizable Republican in the senate... being the minority leader and all. His approvals are in the tank... but Bruce Lunsford is not the greatest campaigner ever... what is this his 10,000 run for state office? Personally, I think it will take a huge wave to bring across Lunsford...... but that may just happen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

 

POLL MISSISSIPPI

With the Democratic Party looking like a near lock to pick up the White House, the focus of many is now on earning 60 seats in the Senate. It is fairly easy to see how the Democrats get to 59 seats... Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, North Carolina, and Minnesota.. the Dems lead in the polling average in all of these states.

The question is where they get the 60th seat. The question is where the 60th seat comes... and while many Democrats have an infatuation with knocking off either Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky or Saxby Chambliss (who shamefully placed images of Max Cleland, triple amputee, with Osama Bin Laden in 2002), the best chance is in Mississippi.

In Mississippi, where the last poll was taken in September, Democrat and former governor Ronnie Musgrove is facing off Senator Roger Wicker. This is a special election-Wicker is a midterm filler for now departed Trent Lott. Musgrove is about as conservative as Democrats come... and I can barely tell the difference between the two of the candidates (both are white, in their fifties, and have white hair... and glasses, oh and they were also roommates at one point).

It is easy to see why the netroots are not crazy about Musgrove. That said, the Georgia Senate Race has been polled seven times since September 29th...

The one Mississippi poll taken since that date was taken by Rasmussen, the least favorable to Musgrove this election cycle, showing nine point leads for the incumbent when other firms showed 5 point leads. That poll had only a two point for Wicker.

Fivethirtyeight's regression analysis has Musgrove leading by about two points (Silver's overall projection has a Wicker win by about two points doing to the inclusion of polls that are over a month old).

Can somebody please poll Mississippi?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

 

McCain: “Americans Will Care” About Ayers

reads a post from Mark Halperin.

No, Senator McCain they will not. Nobody, except in your own camp, cares about an old terrorist who is now a mainstay in Chicago's education system. The Dow drops another 600+ points, and all you can talk about is some dude that last mattered when man first landed on the moon.

Talk about out of touch!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

 

All this talk about debates seems eerily reminiscent of 1992

Talk about how McCain (Bush Sr.) needed a game changer and failed to get it.

In that election, Bill Clinton defeated George Bush by 200 electoral votes...

 

Moronic Real Clear Politics Polling Average Decision

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/10/use_of_partisan_affiliated_pol.html



"Starting October 11, and through the final weeks of Election 2008, RealClearPolitics will only be adding non-partisan affiliated polls to the RCP Poll Averages. Polls from PPP (D), Strategic Vision (R), along with any other partisan affiliated polls or pollsters that have been added before October 11 will remain in the RCP Averages until they are rolled out."

This has got to be one the dumbest things I have ever seen. Ever. Unlike, political campaigns' polls, both Strategic Vision and PPP release polling results regardless of the results. Even if it is bad news for their parties candidates.

It cannot be denied that at least Strategic Vision has had a partisan lean in the past. That said, by combining Strategic Vision and PPP, one should theoretically be able to balance or average out the leanings of each pollster.

Further, many non-partisan pollsters have leans built into them in any given election cycle. Rasmussen's weighting system could be argued to have a Republican lean because Obama is likely to bring new people to the polls. Ann Selzer's polls have a definite Democratic lean because of her belief that youth voters and African-Americans will vote in greater numbers than the polls indicate. Scott Rasmussen is known to be a conservative evangelical. John Zogby is a known liberal Democrat who ran for office.

The fact of the matter is that all pollsters have some sort of a "bias". But in the highly competitive world of political polls, partisanship gets pollster nowhere fast.

I have no reason to believe that PPP is less accurate than any other firm.

I think RCP is making a bone headed decision.... especially considering that their polling averages nailed all the senate races in 06 and all but Wisconsin in the 2004 Presidential election.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

 

Could the next senator from Minnesota be neither Norm Coleman nor Al Franken? Yes. - Dean Barkley

Meet Dean Barkley. He is the Independence Party candidate from Minnesota. A Jesse Ventura protege, he ran his successful 98 Gubernatorial campaign. He also took over the seat currently held by Norm Coleman when Paul Wellstone perished in a plane crash.

In a bitter race between Senator Norm Coleman (R) and Comedian Al Franken (D), Barkley has emerged as a man unscathed. A sort of populist/liberal Republican, Barkley is running in a state and on a party line that has broken through the typical Republican/Democratic divide. For those that don't remember, Jesse Ventura won the governor's mansion in 1998 on the same line (then known as the Reform Party).

In that race, he came from far behind to defeat Democrat Skip Humphrey (son of Vice President Hubert) and none other than Republican Norm Coleman (the same Norm Coleman). At this point in the campaign, Ventura was treading water in the low teens.

Today, Dean Barkley is at least in the low teen and probably in the high teens to near 20%. Two polls have come out this week that showed opposite results for Coleman and Franken. One showed Franken in the low 40's and Coleman in the low 30's, and one showed Coleman in the low 40's and Franken in the low 40's. They both showed Barkley in the high teens. Ventura won on election day despite only in the mid 20s in the polls. Although no stat is available for the poll showing Coleman in the low 40's, the other poll has Barkley's name recognition at only 66%!

And with the mudslinging between Coleman and Franken (two Jews who clearly need to have more brotherly love), I urge all to watch the three debate tomorrow night. Americans clearly want to "drain the swamp", but they aren't sure that Franken is up to the job.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Barkley might be and might just shock the world.

 

The McCain Campaign believes they are at 260 electoral votes... are they really?

With McCain conceding Michigan, which I don't have to you is a major concession for a campaign on its way to a blowout defeat, his campaign claimed "[i]f we win FL, MO, NC, VA, IN and OH — all states Republicans have won for decades — that puts us at 260 electoral votes. We need to find 10 electoral votes from CO, NV, NM, NH, MN, WI and PA. Frankly, we have an easier map than Obama, He's on the defense."

So let us take a look at the numbers:
Florida... Obama holds a 3 point average lead according to the RCP average and McCain has only led in one poll over the past week. The state leans Democratic on fivethirtyeight.com with a 2.1% projected win for Obama.

Missouri... McCain holds a 1.7 point average lead according to the RCP average (with one poll from Rasmussen three weeks old) and McCain and Obama split the three polls taken over the past week with McCain leading by 1 and 2 and Obama leading by 1. Fivethirtyeight says the state is a tossup with McCain projected to win by .8

North Carolina... Obama holds a .5 point average lead according to the RCP average with the sudden inclusion of an ARG poll with Obama leading in two polls by 2 and 3 and McCain leading in one poll by 3 over the past week. Fivethirtyeight calls the state a tossup with a projection in flux (they mistakenly put in a poll that made the state more pro-Obama).. we'll call it about even.

Virginia.... Obama holds a 2.4 point average lead according to the RCP average with the sudden inclusion of an ARG poll with Obama by 3,6, and 9 in three and McCain by 3 in two of them over the past week. Fivethirtyeight calls the lean dem with a projection of 4.2 for Obama.

Indiana... McCain holds a 2.2 point average lead according to the RCP average with the two polls this week showing McCain by 3 and 1. Fivethirtyeight.com calls the a tossup with McCain projected to win by .4.

Ohio... Obama holds a 2 point average lead according to the RCP average with Obama leading in two polls by 2 and 8 and McCain leading in two polls by 1 over the past week. Fivethirtyeight projects Obama to win 2.1 and calls the state leans Democratic.

As for the other states which McCain claims to be competing in,
Obama leads by 4.4 in Colorado in the RCP average and projected by 5.4 on 538,
Obama leads by 1.8 in Nevada in the RCP average and projected by 1.9 on 538,
Obama leads by 7.8 in Iowa in the RCP average and projected by 11.7 on 538,
Obama leads by 5.6 in New Hampshire in the RCP average and projected by 4 on 538,
Obama leads by 5 in Minnesota in the RCP average and projected by 6.8 on 538,
Obama leads by 5 in Wisconsin in the RCP average and projected by 9.1 on 538,
Obama leads by 7.9 in Pennsylvania in the RCP average projected by 6.6 on 538

So what does all this mean? In the states that McCain claims to have in his pocket for the most part, he leads by very little in two of them, trails in three of them, and is trailing/tied in North Carolina.

In the states he claims to be competitive in he is trailing in all seven of them, by four or more in six of them, and by five or more in five of them.

Obama is gaining in all of these states. Obama has a better ground operation in all of these states. Palin has negative favorables in most of these states. The economy is the most important issue in all of these states and Obama leads on the economy in all of these states.

I gotta say... that the McCain camp can spin all they want, but at the end of the day, the only people they are spinning are themselves.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

 

A True Test of Obama's coatails- Ronnie Musgrove

Ronnie Musgrove (D) was the Governor of Mississippi from 2000-2004. He was "elected" (selected by the state legislature) a year after many southern Democrats retook the throne of state houses throughout the south (Roy Barnes in Georgia for example). And like all the others, he was kicked out after a term. Though Musgrove was a social conservative by most standards (gay rights (no gay adoption) and religion (see Roy Moore)), he did raise teacher pay and tried to rid the state of the Confederate Flag. It was that latter that certainly played a part in his defeat by Haley Barbour.

But this year, Musgrove sees redemption. He is trying to defeat Senator Roger Wicker in a reelection. Wicker, a former representative, was appointed by Barbour to fill the seat abandoned by former Majority Leader Trent Lott. This, of course, puts Musgrove in an advantage of having better name recognition statewide. At the same time, opinions of Wicker ability as a senator are not fully formed. Mississippians don't necessarily think of him as a Senator, even if they think he is a good guy (most polling says he is). This gives Musgrove and the Democrats a chance to take a Senate seat that they probably won't have a chance at for another 20 years.

Even so, this is the type of race that would normally end up something like 53-45 in favor of Wicker. Wicker would carry 75-80% of the White Vote and 5% of the Black vote (Charles Evers, brother of Medgar Evers, is a Mississippian Republican), and it would be over. This year, however, is different.

Barack Obama is the nominee for the Democratic Party. With Obama on the ballot, you can expect every single Black person to come out and vote. And with African-Americans making up 37.4% of the population, Musgrove really has something.

Obama is going to carry 95+% of the Black vote. Musgrove is probably going to equal that. In fact, the latest Rasmussen polls tells that story. It actually has Obama carrying 98% of the Black Vote (really not that shocking). Though, Musgrove only carries 96% in the poll (statistically insignificant difference), the number is amazing.

If Musgrove carries 96% of the Black vote, and African-Americans make up 37.4% of the electorate, he'll only need about 22-24% of the White Vote. Obama will probably never be able to get to that point. The Rasmussen poll has Musgrove at 21%. He got 22% of it in 2003 (of course Blacks made up only 33% of the electorate in that off-off-year election).

So although Obama won't win the state, he could get the Democrats a Senate seat by providing Musgrove with the extra voters he needs. A seat that could be the Democrats 60th.

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