Articles and Analysis


Morning Status Update for Thursday 10/30

Topics: Status Update

We logged 38 new surveys yesterday. Of these, 20 were updates from surveys conducted earlier in October by the same pollster, and 15 of the 20 showed nominal movement in McCain's direction, while only 4 showed nominal movement in Obama's direction. So if we focus only on the tracking updates, we some evidence of a slight narrowing at the state level.

081030 new polls

However, the most recent tracking updates do not tell the whole story. The new surveys that were not recent updates -- including eight new statewide polls from AP/Gfk -- had a net positive impact on Obama's margins on our current trend estimates in 15 of 17 battleground states.

081030 trends

The bottom line is that with only five days left until Election Day, we have Barack Obama leading by margins big enough to qualify for "lean" status in states adding up to 311 Electoral votes. Obama's support is at or very near 50 percent in all of these states (the "very near" is Ohio at 49.5%). Moreover, Obama's lead is large enough to qualify for dark blue "strong" status in states adding up to 272 Electoral Votes -- two more than needed to win.

The McCain campaign has signaled that it considers Pennsylvania crucial to a winning scenario. Without it, McCain would need to sweep all of the states we currently rate as toss-ups and all of the states currently leaning to Obama and still pick off either Virginia, Minnesota or Wisconsin. Five new surveys released there yesterday show what a difficult task that will be. The five show Obama leading by margins of 11 to 14 percentage points, with Obama's share of the vote ranging between 52% and 55%.

At the national level, the tracking surveys for the last few days do show a slight narrowing that amounts mostly to an uptick of a point or two (on average) in John McCain's support on those surveys (see last night's tracker update for more details). The table below (which shows the most recent track we have logged as compared to the previous non-overlapping sample from that pollster) reflects the same trends. Even if real, the slight trend implied by these national trackers is not steep enough to overtake Obama by Tuesday.

081030 tracker nonoverlap.png



My best guess as to what's going on (some narrowing in the national numbers, but not so much in the state numbers) is the following:

If you look at last week's advertising numbers (sorry, I can't find the link) Obama scaled back his national cable and broadcast advertising quite a bit, while maintaining his spending in the close states. So people in the battleground states (that are polled the most often) so no substantial drop in Obama ads, while those in the strong red or strong blue states did see fewer ads. Since they saw fewer Obama ads, those states tightened (or slipped back toward McCain or regressed toward the mean). Since those states make up most of the country, national polls tightened too.

That's my hypothesis anyway.


Dave Barnes:

"3/4 show movement in McCain's direction"

It's over for Barack Hussein Obama.



@Dave Barnes

Sorry, come Tuesday it'll be over for John Sidney McCain III.



And thank you for your "intelligent and civil comment," Dave "Genius" Barnes.



Seems safe... till you look at the latest NBC/Mason-Dixon poll for PA that says Obama 47-43! Even if Obama picks off IA, NM, CO and VA, he'd have to win NV to offset PA and get to 270.
Time to freak out... or work harder.
I choose Door 2.

Though back to the Mason-Dixon poll - McCain is still at 43%, which is just barely at the upper level of the other polls Mark B. lists here. So is there some softness in his support (not surprising)? How did his infomercial play out among these voters? Wait and watch... and more importantly - folks in PA - GOTV!



Movement for McCain, but too little, too late.

Obama is up in this 270 state, Virginia, by 8.1%. Outside of massive voter fraud, there's little hope for McCain.



@Dave Barnes,
John Sidney McCain III the Panamanian.



Dave the Dillusionist



@Dave Barnes

"However, the most recent tracking updates do not tell the whole story. The new surveys that were not recent updates -- including eight new statewide polls from AP/Gfk -- had a net positive impact on Obama's margins on our current trend estimates in 15 of 17 battleground states."

15 of 17 = 88% in Obama's favor



Not to be overlooked: the first poll in Alaska after the Stevens verdict has Stevens 8 points behind.

Rasmussen 10/28/08 500 LV
Stevens 44 Begich 52



Obama need to hold all the Kerry states plus take Iowa and Virginia. He currently has large leads in both states- then it's all she wrote!



@ Dave

oh, that's right... Barak's middle name is Hussein, hmmm... I guess that means he must somehow be related to Saddam Hussein, hmmm... and so he probably knows where the WNDs are hiding, and definitely wants the terrorists to win, right??? Yes, excellent point, my man!

Dave, in all seriousness... there are now medications that are very effective in treating people with your condition. Ask your doctor.


A few predictions I made the day after the Democratic National Convention and the day Palin was selected:
1) The Republicans would get a nice bump in the polls for the week after their convention [true].
2) Palin would energize 3 million Evangelicals to come out and vote for McCain while losing him 5 million moderates and independents who will at some point conclude that the woman is immensely unqualified [so far so good]
3) The price of oil would suddenly drop as we neared the election as the big oil companies manipulated the markets to make the economy look better for the Republicans [true, but they nor I could see the Wall Street collapse looming just before the election]. Did China suddenly stop using oil....did India send back those three million American jobs last week? Oh, so now it's the looming recession that dropped the price 60% in a month....sure!
4) Obama will win with at least 310 electoral votes [right now he has 311 in strong and lean above 7% in most polls.]

Predictions between now, election day and 1-21-09 [save this and see how I do]:
1) Obama will win in an electoral landslide with over 350 votes including a big surprise in a state like Georgia or North Dakota or Indiana or maybe all three. McCain will win one of the big battleground states but he needs to go 8 for 8 to approach 270.
2) Watch Virginia---if it goes blue early in the evening, right after Pennsylvania goes blue, Obama will be named President-elect within 15 minutes of the polls closing in California...11:15 EST I'd say.
3) The Dems will fall one vote short of the 60 seats they need to stop the Republicans from filibustering 94 times [a record] to block Democratic led legislation.
4) Joe Lieberman will be persona non grata in both parties....he may have to caucus by himself.
5) Sarah Palin will announce she plans to run for Senate in Alaska as her stepping stone to a 2012 bid for president....she started her campaign about a week ago when she started going 'rogue'...and will compare poor John McCain to Bob Dole...elder statesman who had no chance against a young, vibrant, well-spoken Democrat but 'earned' his shot.
6) Obama will name his top Cabinet posts within days of the election and will begin meeting with the outgoing Bushies and the lame duck Congress unprecidentedly early so they can hit the ground running on January 21st. The naming of a good Cabinet will set the stock market back above 10,000 as Americans and overseas investors regain confidence in our (new) government for the first time in years.
7) While an electoral landslide the popular vote will be Obama 52%, McCain 46%, Nader 2%, Barr 1.5%, others .5%....not a popular vote mandate but the electoral map, showing wins in every corner of the country, will end some of this red state-blue state stuff...enough of a mandate to push his agenda ahead.
8) Obama will face a tough road, inheriting two wars, $10 trillion in debt, and an economic mess, but one year from now things will be very much better across the board and hope will be rising. Remember if you're old enough Reagan ushered in "Morning in America" and we all felt better even if we didn't agree with all of his policies...same thing Obama will achieve is a national mood swing upwards.
9) Obama will not be able to push some of his education agenda through in the first two years because the Treasury just ain't got the money but he will get many good balls rolling. Investing in green technology and infrastructure is not just wasted spending like on bomber jets we don't need...build a solid electrical grid, new bridges and roads and railways, broadband networks, etc. and the payback is great and long term. Parts of this country cannot now create new jobs because of sheer lack of infrastructure...their only hope is having the tech revolution reach their small towns and rural counties---you know, where the "real" Americans live...us city and suburban folk are not really patriotic and we have no values whatsoever [according to Palin]. We just create 70% of the jobs and pay 80% of the taxes.
10) Most of the great technological tools we use today---cell phones, mainframe computers, the internet, microchips, PCs, etc.---were first bought by the US government to help guarantee a market when entrepeneurs were first developing the concepts. Obama will make that $15 billion pledge re green jobs actually work...if he does places like Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Michigan will actually see good paying manufacturing jobs return for the first time in decades...and these states may stay blue for decades as well.
11) Eighteen months from now half of the 47 million who lack healthcare coverage will have it. As a small business owner I look forward to Obama's 50% tax credit for paying my employees' premiums. I also look forward to the college tax credit....I'm up to my ears in college loans now so every bit helps....middle class folks will really get a boost.

Insightful replies welcomed.



Dear rdg515

Nothing insightful to add! You've pretty much said it all, about the campaign and the issues Obama will face as President. My fellow expats here in Lithuania are getting ready for a big party. We are getting together at 2am on the 5th to watch returns come in. I was raised in IN, now a resident of VA...I hope by the time they report in we can pop the corks!


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