Tag Archives: Presidential election


2 Nov


The Polls

1 Nov

Drudge has become almost laughable in his ridiculousness. Just about every day, he finds something – anything – to back up the premise that Obama is losing. One day, it’s a tightening of the Gallup “traditional model” poll, which one day had McCain within 2 points of Obama, but now shows Obama expanding his lead to +8. Somehow that poll is absent from today’s Drudge Report.

Today, a Zogby internal shows a one-day one-point lead for McCain! This must mean the voters are breaking for him! This is it! Sirens! Woot woot! One point for one day does not momentum make, and tightening of the polls as election day approaches matters little and is expected to happen. So while Drudge’s influence wanes, let’s look at what’s really going on.

Firstly, Nate Silver at the must-read-brilliant Fivethirtyeight.com explains away the alleged significance of Zogby’s one-day internals:

Firstly, there is a reason that pollsters include multiple days of interviewing in their tracking polls; a one-day sample is extremely volatile, and have very high margins for error.

Secondly, the Zogby polls have been particularly volatile, because he uses nonsensical party ID weightings, which mean that his weighting process involves making numbers doing naughty things that they usually don’t like to do.

Thirdly, Zogby polls are generally a lagging rather than a leading indicator. This is because he splits his interviewing period over two days; most of the interviews that were conducted in this sample took place on Thursday night, with a few this afternoon. The reason this is significant is because lots of other pollsters were in the field on Thursday night, and most of them evidently showed good numbers for Obama, as he improved his standing in 6 of the 7 non-Zogby trackers.

Finally, there was no favorable news for McCain to drive these numbers. Polls don’t move without a reason (or at least they don’t move much).

Take a close look at the party weighting link. Zogby’s party ID model assumes it’s 2004 again, when everyone was just feeling peachy about George W. Bush:

There is one very, very significant concern with Zogby, which is that he has a longstanding rule to set his party weightings based on the exit polls from the most recent election. In this case, that means 2004, when a roughly equal number of Democrats and Republicans turned out. However, according to essentially every available poll, Democrats now have somewhere between a 5-point and a 10-point advantage in party ID.

This particular procedure has bitten Zogby in the ass before. Between 2000 and 2004, there was a shift in party ID toward the Republicans; as a result, Zogby’s numbers were 2-3 points high for Kerry across battleground states.

So, back to reality, from Pollster.com – the tracking composite from September 1 – date:


Pollster says Obama has 311 electoral votes including leaners, while McCain has 142 including leaners. 85 electoral votes are judged to be “toss-ups”, including Florida, Georgia, and Indiana. (There are 10 hour-long lines to early vote in Georgia right now).

RealClearPolitics gives Obama the same strong & leaner 311 EV, while it gives McCain only 132 EV, counting Arizona’s 10 among the toss-ups.

Here’s the RealClearPolitics tracker of all polls from 2004. Note how Bush led Kerry throughout September and October. Anyone who suggests that Kerry was leading in the polls at this point in that campaign is a liar.

Now, compare the 2004 tracker to RCP’s 2008 lines:

No complacency. No sitting back & relaxing. Things are looking good – better than you’ve probably heard – but there are still three long days to go.

Joe the Plumber FAIL

31 Oct

Evidently, Joe the Plumber – who was soooooo angry at the media for finding out what he does, the fact that he’d benefit from Obama’s tax plan, and that he doesn’t pay taxes himself – now has an agent and is looking to get a country music deal.

Wonkette also brought this up, which is dead-on:

As for this clusterf*ck yesterday, one wonders whether McCain’s campaign could have one day done right.


McCain: For “Socialism” Before he was against it

29 Oct


His Choice

29 Oct


The Blogosphere Predicts

28 Oct

From PoliticsHome, which invited me to participate in its Online100 Panel over the past several weeks:

The panel predicts a 5% margin of victory to Obama in the overall voting, and an Electoral win for Obama at Obama 338, McCain 200

The PoliticsHome.com Online100 Panel, the daily poll of leading online voices in the United States, has issued its prediction of the Presidential Election result next week.

Each member of the panel was asked to predict which candidate will win, and by what percentage margin. The average prediction was then calculated at 5%. The panel was also given a list of each of the potential battleground states and asked to predict the winner. The majority winner for each state was taken as the result.

Well known names on the Online100 panel include Arianna Huffington, Karl Rove, Joe Klein, Joe Trippi, Gerard Baker, Mike Allen, Mark Halperin, Mark Blumenthal, Charles Johnson, Dana Milbank, Jonah Goldberg, John Fund, Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd, Marc Ambinder and Andrew Sullivan. The survey is anonymous and PoliticsHome does not release individual results.

The Online100 panel consists of 100 leading online voices, weighted evenly between right-leaning, left-leaning and non-aligned, and contains a spectrum of voices from the online mainstream media, big national blogs, and statewide blogs. PoliticsHome launched in the United States in August in association with Pollster.com.

The Electoral Map: Blogosphere Predicts

The panel sees Obama winning the popular vote by a five percent margin, and it sees him coverting that margin into 338 electoral votes, 68 more than the needed 270, and 52 more than the 286 won by Bush in 2004.

The panel presented a list of 19 contested states and were asked to choose who would win on November 4th: “Toss up” or “don’t know” were not options.

The panel predicts Obama will win 11 out of 19 states still in play, with McCain prevailing in Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri and West Virginia. However, Obama sweeps the battleground states of Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico; five states carried by President Bush in 2004.


Packing them in

27 Oct

A picture from a McCain rally in Ohio today, via Marc Ambinder:

Closing Arguments

27 Oct



Buffalo the Pundit

26 Oct

Today on Meet the Press, McCain called the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee “Joe the Biden”, which inspired today’s pic.

Barack Makes Some Calls

25 Oct


I love the way this is shot – check out when the young woman is talking to the camera, and Obama is pacing behind her on the phone. Very nicely done and you can feel the excitement from the people in the room.