Oct 19 2008

The Slow Tightening Of The Race

Published by at 11:53 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

With two plus weeks to go before voting things might finally be turning John McCain’s way. I have predicted this race would go down to the decisions made by voters on election day, and that seems to be the case. However, I am not overly confident at this moment, just noting the data is turning more positive.

I let myself mathematically convince myself the Dems would not take both houses in 2006. For the data I had I was pretty close, but what I did not have was all the data. And so I was convinced the GOP would ride out the storm in one house (the senate). Well I was wrong.

So I do not plan to repeat that mistake this year. WIth that said let’s look at some data. First off, everyone should be reading DJ Drummond, who knows his math, especially his statistics. He has been posting excellent analyses on the polls and his conclusions align well with mine.

And one of those conclusions is Gallup has proven, beyond any doubt, the polls have no idea what is happening. Gallup’s three model results are an indication of surrender – each provide a different result with 95% confidence and a margin of error of +/- 2%. Yet they don’t fall within their own margin of errors! Therefore we have three models which show, with 95% confidence, no one knows what is happening. What is clear is that Obama’s trend is that of a shrinking lead.

First take a look at the wildly optimistic ‘expanded’ model which has given Obama some healthy leads. Obama’s 10 point lead in this model is down to 4 points.  The ‘traditional model’ at one point had a 7% lead for Obama, that is down to 2%. It is interesting that the most optimistic Gallup model for Obama is now tightening – along with most other polls. 

RCP has cleared its poll of polls of garbage like the CBS News/New York Times pol showing a laughable 14% Obama lead. In doing so and sticking with the tracking polls Obama’s one time 8.2% national lead is down to 4.9%.

Now, back to be cautious. There have been some interesting tidbits out and about on the early voting results. As we know Obama did really badly in energizing his new voters in Ohio. But there are reports of Obama doing well in early voting:

Voting in some battleground states, such as Pennsylvania, has been under way since mid-September. That coincides with McCain’s slide in the opinion polls. Florida and Colorado began voting this week.

In North Carolina, which only weeks ago had been seen as a sure bet for the Republicans, Obama had a 34% lead among the 5% of the electorate who took part in early voting, according to exit polls.

The same scenario was unfolding in another state once seen as an unlikely prospect for the Democrats: Indiana. Among the 14% of voters who have already cast their ballots, Obama was leading by 34%, exit polls predicted. In Georgia, seen as a staunchly Republican state, Obama had a 6% advantage among early voters. Some 18% of the electorate had cast their ballots at the time of the survey.

Exit polls, as we know, can be quite dodgy. Just ask President Kerry. On the flip side here are some comments by a person respected by many conservative bloggers (who I do not know at all) supposedly with inside information:

Hah! Of course. Susa is showing a Florida lead for Mac now that they are using the RIGHT turnout model for Florida (GOP+4). Look at the early voters. Mac is getting the early vote in Florida. That’s bad news for Obama because (look at the primaries), Obama relies on the early vote but Mac has an 8 point lead in those that say they’ve already voted! {I am guessing it’s military absentees for the most part}

PA looks very shakey for Obama at least per the campaign sources I am reading (from both parties).


Actually I was able to find a news article confirming the Florida situation:

“We have good people, both staff and volunteers, who have been here before. They’ve been in tough elections, close elections every two years for 10 years,” said Mike DuHaime, McCain’s political director. “(Obama’s) got more money, he’s got more staff, he’s got more offices. We’ve got a better candidate. In terms of the turnout operation, we’ve got better technology and a battle-tested organization.”

“Right now the thing that I feel the best about Florida, we have a pretty sizable absentee ballot lead,” DuHaime said. “When you start looking at the data of real people actually voting, I feel good about it.”

Given Obama’s historic money edge, bringing in as much money in September as twice McCain’s entire public financing budget for the general election. Given that edge and the fact the Political Industrial Complex is lining up behind Obama, one has to wonder why he hasn’t sealed the deal. Are Americans going to go to an untested, inexperienced candidate who has less applicable experience than any of the other 3 candidates.  It may be the epitome of historic irony for the Democrats to finally learn you cannot simply throw money at a problem!

And another history lesson on polls. As Obama himself noted this week polls may be complete fantasies, as he and the nation learned in NH. Obama was up 8-13% in many polls (see RCP average) before the primary. Hillary won by 2.5% – that is a huge shift. Anything can happen.

29 responses so far

29 Responses to “The Slow Tightening Of The Race”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Frogg, the race has been exceptionally stable with very few undecideds in the Rasmussen poll. But I also believe that Palin is mobilizing a part of the electorate that has been pretty apathetic the past couple of elections.

    I also believe there is a certain arrogance to Obama’s planning of his victory celebration, etc. that rubs most people the wrong way. Americans don’t like smug much. Actions like that may do more to sway voters away from him than the criminal activity that surrounds his associations.

  2. Redteam says:

    Game 100% over. [4-5% Powell effect off the top of my head]

    yeah, I’ve been sitting around for weeks wondering who Powell was going to endorse so I would know how to vote.


    Actually I’ve known who I was going to vote for for years. The Republican. How there can be such a creature as ‘an undecided voter’ is beyond me.

    Can you believe that just 7 years removed from the worst terrorist attack on America, by Muslims, that some people are actually thinking of voting for a Hussein for president? Not me, I’m voting for the only one running that I’m even certain is an American.

  3. breschau says:

    Powell looked around at the current state of the GOP, and found that he was not at all pleased with what he saw.

    It would do many of you good to do the same.

    Are you actually proud of McCain’s recent Robocalls in Virginia? The ones done by the same company that spread those vicious rumors about him in South Carolina in 2000?

    Can he possibly be proud of them? Didn’t he denounce them as “hate calls”? Where is his honor now?

  4. ExposeFannyNFreddyNow says:


    The Odinga/Obama connection may be coming to a head.

    Corsi is out with email evidence on the BO’s secret go-between with Odinga. Kenya is now calling on the UN for international tribunals to prosecute the ringleaders of their recent post-election violence, the election Obama traveled to stump for.

    All that and the recent news here and throughout the blogosphere about Michelle Obama’s telephone rant to the AFI and it’s hard to deny things Obama’s Kenya Konnection is starting to add some serious ants in BO’s pants.

    Inquiry calls for Kenya tribunal on clashes


    More footage of Obama/Odinga:

    Obama and Odinga Campaign in Kenya

    Barack Obama & Raila Odinga

  5. Jacqui says:

    I don’t think the Powell endorsement will buy Obama all that much if anything at all. Most people look at it as a racial endorsement rather than a political one…i.e. if Obama were white Powell would probably have endorsed McCain or stayed neutral. He calls Obama a transformational candidate – translates into he wants to see an African American in the White House regardless of what damage this radical politician does to the country.

  6. sbd says:

    “Obama was not friends with Ayers. Ayers did not kick off Obama’s campaign. And Obama was not comparing Ayers’ actions with Coburn. Obama was pointing out that he works with people even when he disagrees with them.”

    Yet, he took the time to review his book and had that review printed in the Chicago Tribune.

    From the Zombie Time Blog

    Barack Obama’s review of William Ayers’ book

    On December 21, 1997, Barack Obama wrote a short review of William Ayers’ book A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court, which had recently been published by Beacon Press. Here’s a photo of how the review appeared in the Chicago Tribune:


  7. breschau says:

    “He calls Obama a transformational candidate – translates into he wants to see an African American in the White House regardless of what damage this radical politician does to the country.”

    The ability to ignore the 8-minute explanation that Powell gave for why he was voting for Obama and simply state this was based on nothing but race is rather staggering in both its ignorance and bigotry.

    You, Limbaugh, and the other racists pushing this garbage should be ashamed of yourselves (if, that was, you were capable of feeling shame).

    Answer me this: if all Powell cares about is an African American in the White House, why didn’t he make this announcement months ago, right after Obama won the nomination?

  8. missy1 says:

    It’s a twofer, an attempt to knock Joe the Plumber out of the news cycle and get a “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” from Obama, aka, a position in his administration.

  9. Cepik says:


    He kinda did. Bill Crystal called him out on it in August (what many had suspected for months) and he didn’t deny it. He remarked that he didn’t have time or need to respond to Mr Crystal. Again, this was not a big surprise just an attempt to knock Joe the Plumber off the news.