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Rhetoretician -- Fiction etc.

Another Electoral Map

Another Electoral Map

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Ben Franklin, Organizer

Here's the latest electoral map. (It doesn't take the Vice Presidential debate into account, but then, who cares?)

Zogby has become useless because they don't post their latest poll numbers, so I've switched to the fivethirtyeight.com site, which lists basically every poll for every state for months.  I look at the last two or three polls for each state (if they're recent) and take the median.  The site actually has a complex regression analysis based on the reliability of each polling organization, but I can't follow their logic and so I don't adopt their projections.


A lot more blue. Nearly every shift has been in Obama's direction. McCain has gained some ground in Maine and New Mexico, but he's lost ground practically everywhere else, to the point where he's essentially written off Michigan and is transferring those forces to Indiana and/or Ohio (a very smart move, because he could still win Indiana, and if he loses it he's sunk).

The election is going to be won or lost, I think, in the crescent running from North Carolina to Indiana.

When I run the numbers column-by-column, the states in which Obama is 5 or more points ahead (the dark blue and medium blue) add up to 260 electoral votes, and there are five states (with 69 electoral votes) in which he is 1-4 points ahead (the pale blue).

We still have 32 days to go, and surprises do happen. McCain is a smart man and he's got a professional team. The economy could take a sudden upturn, there could be foreign attack, or Bin Laden could release another tape (I've always believed that his 2004 tape was designed to ensure Bush's reelection). Still, right now it looks like "Obama's to lose."
  • I the vice president "debate" was important. If McCain wins, strong possibility he won't last the 4 years. His health. I think many people watched this. Palin made herself out to be quite compitent. She held her own against a season "debater" Biden. I thought Biden started out weak, but finished strongly. If anything, this was more important then the presidential debate. If McCain croaks (my husband is praying he will) if and after he wins, she's ours. The only thing I dislike is the way she pronounces some words..NOOK UL AR for nuclear (good grief!) and EYE RAN for Iran. Not that hard.

    Any color for Libertarians? Sigh....Republicans and Democrats are too predestrian for me. But for you, I hope it gets more blue.

    • I misspoke. What I meant was, the Vice Presidential debate is not noteworthy so far as the polls are concerned. They never are.

      Because I don't want to engage in actual political debate, I'm not going to address your contention of what Palin's performance meant.
  • The other thing I like about fivethirtyeight.com is their methodology for the probability that Obama or McCain will win: determine individual state win probabilities from the polls and run lots of simulations with those probabilities. Seems more principled than just ad hoc guessing which way the borderline states will fall. Though I guess it doesn't take into account the possibility of big events that will swing the states non-independently (the recent near-meltdown of the economy, an October surprise...)
    • Actually we don't know what all those simulations are, right? I suppose it's possible that a number of them take in to account the probability of unusual events. But of course that's misleading. Once the unusual event actually happens its probability is 100%. Thus, all prognostications suffer from at least some Trelawneyism.

      On the other hand, I just checked my cartogram from roughly this date in 2004; it showed Kerry in the lead (albeit not by very much).

      Fivethirtyeight also points out that Obama outspent McCain on advertising during the last week by about 5:2, which may be, as they drily note, an "underappreciated" source of his surge.
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