Nov 05 2008

The Day After

Published by at 8:41 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

It looks like the state polls were more accurate than I had hoped (which brings me to my retirement as a cynic on polls). Drudge has the national popular vote tally as:

OBAMA: 59,524,759
MCCAIN: 53,553,241

I am sure this is not a complete tally, there were a lot of close states, but it is close enough to answer one question: which family of polls was closer to calling the popular turnout? In my last post on polls (hopefully for many years to come) I had estimated the ‘traditional’ poll group was more accurate and would come in around Obama +6.2%. I said the new ‘extended’ poll family represented fanciful turnout models which predicted an Obama win of +9%. The RCP average was coming in right between the two groups (being an average) at Obama +7.3%.

Before I do the math I must admit that what had nagged at me constantly was the fact the ‘traditional’ family had not narrowed to +3% for Obama. It had flirted with +4% before jumping back to +6% in the final two days, which was a bad omen I was hoping was wrong. Sadly, the uptick was correct. 

By Drudges numbers Obama got 52.6% of the vote and McCain got 47.4%, or a win of 5.2%. So my minor vindication in all of this is to have proved the overly optimistic turnout models to be the garbage they were, and to remind RCP that they may want to do some sanity checking or quality control on which polls they include in their averages. My Strata-Sphere Traditional estimate was within +1% of the actual returns nationally.

Now, what happened in the states. To be honest I did not feel like being a harbinger of doom and deflating hope and turnout by harping on how bad the news was when IBD/TIPP and others started moving towards Obama (though they tried a last minute allocation to look like other polls and simply trashed there final call). There was a clear uptick nationally and state polls were trending downward – but simply not fast enough (as I complained regularly). When I saw the uptick I figured the downward trend has stalled, but held out hope that in a sea of outlying polls these were also outliers. They were not. At the time there was no way to know, so optimism seemed to be the best hope of fulfilling the upset verses pessimism which would seal the deal. There was no way to know which way the race would go for sure. I choice to be upbeat to the end. Sue me.

GWU/Battleground was closer too with their final numbers, before being contrary and showing a massive shrinking. Rasmussen was pretty close and I always wanted to put him in the traditional family, and clearly he belongs there since he was right on top of the my calculation. I was hoping that +6.2% in the final Bi-Poller was off, it sadly wasn’t.

The truth is we gave this race a great effort and I believe it will turn out that (when someone does the math) Obama’s EC count is high, but his margins in many states are small. He has a delegate mandate and some very tricky conditions to work in (more on that in a moment).

One big lesson here for the GOP is the RINO-Centrist did not win, but he probably did better than any other further right politicians could have hoped to in this kind of election year environment. By all rights the GOP candidate should have been squashed given the head winds of the war and economic meltdown. The only good news is truly bad news for America, Obama and the Dems will have to right the situation and we know their policies have a better chance of making things worse. That Obama supporter who thinks Obama is going to pay her gas and rent is now facing a rude awakening.

Obama promised to ‘change the world’ and ‘change America’. He set expectations so high he cannot help but fail, given the fact it will take years for the economy even to begin to show a full rebound. 

But even given the fact liberal policies are going to be a painful lesson, the conservative movement has completely lost its connection with too many Americans. We should have been able to stop this. But something about the conservative movement is repulsing voters and we need to fix it. I am not going to point fingers today, it is a waste of time. But when you are not attracting in politics you are losing.

And please, don’t blame Bush – that is one of those idiotic things that repulses a lot of people and garners zero respect. Bush’s remaining supporters (like myself) are definitely not far right, we tend to sit more towards the middle. Blaming Bush because other conservatives cannot attract voters is a lame excuse of denial. There were upsets yesterday, it can be done regardless of Bush. The Dems failed to get their veto proof senate. Moderate democrats are still beating the GOP. This is not a Bush phenomena.

I am not sure how to rebuild a left of center to far right coalition to begin winning again. We came close this election as the walls started to come down with the PUMA alliances. It is a start. The question is whether the GOP is going to go back to their purity wars and shrink their base even more. Purity is a path to the minority.

And we all better start accepting the idea of Sarah Palin for President in 2012 if we have any ideas of beating Obama. As Geraghty said, don’t get cocky when dems begin to flounder. They floundered for two years in this Congress and still gained seats. Not just any old conservative can beat the dems right now.

We need the new blood Sarah Palin and others like her bring. And they cannot be met with resistance by the old guard. Its 1992 again and we have another Democrat novice in the office. But this time Obama did not inherit Reagan’s strong economy or Bush Senior’s national security levels. Which means any bungling will make Hillary Care and Somalia look mild in comparison. That alone will not fix the conservative movement.

24 responses so far

24 Responses to “The Day After”

  1. AJStrata says:


    This is a centrist site – please keep dropping by and sharing your thoughts. How else will we figure it out?

  2. Birdalone says:

    Thanks AJ! I found my voice for a few months inside MyBO, until the far left intimidators started cyber-lynching me. Obama as Chicago politician lost my vote over time, while McCain won my vote step by step. By late September, I found myself agreeing with most of McCain’s policies. I was the rare Democrat who supported the strategy change that included the surge because I was appalled at the near genocide of Iraqi Christians in 2006. Plus, 40 years of trying to heal the disgrace of Vietnam does not bear repeating.

    I have really enjoyed coming here instead.

    Judd Gregg made a deep impression on me after Lehman Bros failed on 9/15/08. His was the clearest voice in the Senate on explaining what was happening. No surprise he replaced ranking member Shelby as the Senate’s GOP point man. Team Gregg up with a same age VP (Hagel abandons Obama administration?) running as a one term president, with Sarah Palin as #2 at Defense, then SecDef, and she is poised in 2016 at 52.

    We know how hard it is to beat an incumbent, though I do not think 2012 will be that hard. The economy is my true area of study, and there is nothing P-O-R helped by Uncle’s Barney and Chris can do in 2009 to offset the now self-sustaining downward spiral in lost jobs and debt reduction. Unless Sheila Bair’s mortgage plan starts working. Bair may be the first female SecTreas – watch the central role she plays in re-regulation in 2009. Her term as FDIC chair expires in 2010.

    If you look at the voter demographics, will the Dems now decide that they have to run an African-American or Hispanic in order to win? What does Obama owe the Clintons? (I still think Hillary will get to the Supreme Court – replacing Stevens, giving Scalia some healthy agita for twenty years).

    Palin (and Huckabee) hit the right notes with so many.
    I like Palin’s pragmatism and working together to find solutions, not worrying about who gets credit. It is so sad she got trashed so unfairly, but I think she exposed the sexism and elitism in the last two weeks.

    I am also a student of history, especially South Asia. Even if I had been tilting Obama to the end, finding out he was only now reading Steve Coll’s Pulitzer Prize winning “Ghost Wars” freaked me out. I read it in paperback in 2004. It should have been REQUIRED READING for EVERY member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee no later than 2004.

    Obama and the Pashtuns will be Obama’s Vietnam, only far, far worse.

    meanwhile, we ned to reverse the de-industrialization of the last 30 years. That is where the new jobs will come from.

    well, thanks again.

  3. Birdalone says:

    My other predictions over next three months: Netanyahu is Israel’s PM again – take that Palestinian-loving Zionist-AIPAC conspriacy believers! I expect a ground attack by a commando coalition (NO Americans) to slow down Iran’s nuclear ambitions before Jan. 20. (Read all of Tom Clancy in sequence, go see Body of Lies, and watch The Unit on CBS, Sunday at 10 ET).

    And everyone push for more civics classes in their local schools.
    Focus on state-level elections to try to get more non-partisan redistricting after 2010. Gerrymandering has greatly contributed to the hyper-partisanship of the past 18 years.

    Maybe we have finally ended the Civil War, but the problems are so immense that whoever won was going to be a one-term president.

  4. Redteam says:

    I feel relatively confident the Repubs will get the House back in 2010, two years of socialism will about sink the Dems.