Nov 01 2008

Here Comes The Final Wave Of Voters – The Undecideds

Published by at 8:10 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

We come to it at last. The final weekend, the final push, the final group of voters to decide. And the headline news is McCain finally pulling ahead in a national poll (if only for a day).

“Is McCain making a move? The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%. He is beginning to cut into Obama’s lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all. “Obama’s lead among women declined, and it looks like it is occurring because McCain is solidifying the support of conservative women, which is something we saw last time McCain picked up in the polls. If McCain has a good day tomorrow, we will eliminate Obama’s good day three days ago, and we could really see some tightening in this rolling average. But for now, hold on.”

To move from +7 for two days in a row to +5 is pretty good. Gallup saw a mini McCain surge a couple days back when it had McCain only down 2% in their ‘traditional’ tracking poll. To get that close McCain had to have polled 3-4% above Obama one day.

Here is something to know about this election, the polls and the coming exit polls. This is turning out to be an election like none other in perhaps half a century. And it it going to be historic because of the size of the turnout. Some may recall the McCain campaign’s internal polls showing a possible 80% turnout this year!

Public Opinion Strategies has been using a 1 to 10 scale to help look at self-described interest in the election since 1993. In 1996, in our last track, 48% of voters described their interest in the election as a “10.” In 2000, the last track was 54% saying “10.” Remarkably, in 2004, our last track had self-described “10s” at 75% of the electorate.

You need to understand we are witnessing a day-to-day trend of serious magnitude as self-described “10s” increase in every roll.

Last night, 81% of voters described their interest in this election as a 10! Wow.

That is just amazing. In 2004 64% of the eligible voters voted, in 2000 it was 60%. There is no doubt we will be making some records this year, the question is how big:

Voter turnout will be the highest in decades, dwarfing recent presidential elections, experts predict. 

The only question dividing experts is how huge will it be. Will it be the largest since 1968, largest since 1960 or even, as one expert predicts, the largest in a century? 

The McCain campaign released a strategy memo earlier this week, saying “turnout is going to go through the roof,” and predicted that more than 130 million people would vote. And Obama campaign manager David Plouffe on Friday said, “we think turnout is going to be higher than that” but wouldn’t give a number 

Here’s the deal with this kind of tsunami of voters – there are no poll models to predict or measure such a wave. Assuming most people are not responding to pollsters when called (a recent phenomena), then the pollsters could be ridiculously off. For example, here are some fairly clueless folks admiring the Obama numbers:

Pundits who predicted that early voting would favour Barack Obama have been proved right. In both Colorado and New Mexico, about 60 per cent of the vote is already in, and in what is effectively an exit poll, Pure Public Polling gives Obama 10 and 17-point leads over John McCain respectively in the two states – both of which voted for Bush in 2004.

Actually, all that has happened is early voting has already eclipsed the 2004 rate. We don’t know if that 60% is really 50% or 40% of the final vote. And we really don’t know if the exit poll of early voters is even to reality.

Some anecdotal evidence from our Northern Virginia neighborhood: McCain-Palin signs are popping up across lawns like spring dandelions. And a lot of people are surprised at how many McCain-Palin supporters are actually out there, bringing up the intensity level further to get out and vote for McCain-Palin.

What I do know is whoever is elected President will have earned a huge mandate because the people will have spoken loudly when this is over.

Update: Sometimes I am just not sure whether folks understand the information they are spinning. If I told you McCain was beating Obama with hispanics, wouldn’t you say that’s it for Obama? I mean George Bush lost the hispanic vote with a historic 40% of it in 2004. So check out this exit poll from Florida:

— 60 percent of those voting early were Hispanic, in a county with a 55-percent Hispanic electorate.

— Among all Hispanics voting, Obama was favored by 47 percent, McCain 53.

Wow, McCain taking over 50% of the hispanic vote? OK, this is florida, heavy cuban population so it is expected the GOP candidate will do well. But, the McCain numbers are damn close to the Bush-Kerry numbers of 56-44 in Florida in 2004? And if this is just early voting, then there are more votes to come. Not sure how these numbers support the argument of the post that this is good for Obama. Liberals and math – not a good combination.

More here on the matter.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Here Comes The Final Wave Of Voters – The Undecideds”

  1. Birdalone says:

    You should have included the entire exit poll:

    “– 60 percent of those voting early were Hispanic, in a county with a 55-percent Hispanic electorate.

    — Among all Hispanics voting, Obama was favored by 47 percent, McCain 53.

    — Among Cuban-born Hispanics, McCain 69 percent, Obama 31.

    — Among U.S.-born Hispanics, Obama 72 percent, McCain 28.

    — Among white, Anglo voters, Obama 64 percent, McCain 36.

    — Among African-American voters, Obama 98 percent. ”

    This shows a generational split between Cuban-Americans, which is what is “good for Obama”.
    I grew up in what became Little Havana Miami. More Dade County Hispanics have come from Central and South America (Tito the Builder).

    Western state Hispanics mostly Mexican origin. New York is mostly Puerto Ricans into their second generation, lot of Dominicans who trend Republican, and noticeable numbers of Cubans and South Americans.

    In other words, one cannot generalize anything about the Hispanic vote except that I do think Mexican-Americans will favor Obama. Others, not so much.

    Also, exit polling is so dependent on who actually responds. If anyone tries to exit poll me in my Bronx neighborhood, I will just say no thanks. If threatened, will rely on mumbling I am a registered Democrat and we have a secret ballot.

    Too risky since I vote in what could be considered the ultimate swing county in the nation if only someone was paying attention.

  2. owl says:

    I had a good friend for coffee this morning that had previously voted Bush. Came to this country about 25 years ago as an illegal, but has been a citizen now for many years. Mexican, good man, with strong family values. He has family in all camps. A while back, during the destruction of the Party over this issue, he would have voted Dem. I think after a break from it all, good sense has returned.

    Right or wrong, the Republican Party took a direct hit. Those voters are not voting Pug, they are voting AGAINST Obama.

    The story is out over The One’s aunt. I immediately went to see how loud Malkin could gloat. For God’s sake, shut her up for 3 more days. I tell you, they are voting Against………..not For.

  3. crosspatch says:

    Hispanic coworkers of mine were for Hillary. Their opinion of Obama is that they see him as a liar and a cheat and someone whose word can not be trusted. Now the three people of Hispanic origin that I know well enough to ever say anything about politics to are actually pretty against illegal immigration. Their family came here legally. They don’t even speak Spanish all that fluently (learned it in school more than at home). They are Democrats. They go to church on Sunday. There’s no way they are going to vote for Obama.

    I just saw this on another site:

    “SEATTLE’S THE STRANGER publishes addresses and photos of homes displaying Republican signs.”

    The political thuggery is cranking up a notch. The intimidation is something I have never witnessed before. It makes me much LESS likely to vote for them, not more likely. Their tactics are going to blow up in their faces. It is causing them to lose votes, not gain them.

  4. owl says:

    Regardless of how you come down on the illegal issue (I’m for fixing the problems where possible), this is not the time to even whisper it. So who brought it up?

    AP………..AP………….AP???? Then think AZ, NM, CO and NC.

    Since when has AP been interested in shedding any light?

  5. […] not great news. Could be a bump from the infomercial, but the news from Zogby this morning could mean some better polls […]

  6. MarkN says:

    The polls are fixed. For some reason they are in on the Rep supression mode. Everytime they tighten, the Obama people (thugs) make a call and tell them to knock it off and show the landslide talking points. I was thinking that they are so in the tank for Obama that they couldn’t get themselves out. Zogby got the call yesterday and today he warned the bloggers to cool it. Amazing. The MSM will not give up on the Obama landslide story until Wednesday and then I’ll be amazed at their storyline if McCain actually wins.