Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Fat Lady is Practicing Her Scales Backstage

I don't trust polls.  There are a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the tendency of polls to be dead wrong.

That said, if the current presidential election polling is correct merely in identifying the trends, our war hero buddy Johnny Drama is fucked.  Clearly, there is a lot of time left on the clock, and this could (and likely will) tighten before voters cast ballots in November. But this is some very, very bad news for the GOP.

Some context for you non-junkies:  Obama is currently leading -- comfortably in many cases -- in Florida (2004 Bush +5%), Ohio (+2.1), Nevada (+2.6), Virginia (+8.2), North Carolina (+12.4), Colorado (+4.7), New Mexico (+1), and Iowa (+1) -- all states won by Bush in 2004 by the margins in parenthesis.  CNN has Obama slightly ahead in Missouri, which Bush won +7.2%; and most polls have Indiana too close to call, a state where Bush won +20.7%.  

This represents an aggregate 123 electoral vote swing in favor of the Democrats. To give you a sense of how bad this is going for McCain/Palin, North Carolina hasn't voted Democratic since 1976 -- not even for Bill Clinton. Indiana hasn't gone blue in the last 40 years.  Bush won in 2004 with 286 electoral votes to Kerry's 252. Assuming the polls are correct and the leads hold (kind of a ludicrous assumption given past experience, but let's go with it), Obama beats McCain in a landslide, 375 to 163.  My own prediction is a lot closer: between 305 and 318 electoral votes for Obama to win the presidency.

Interestingly, the Obama camp said a week ago that the polls understated the power of their ground game. They believe that their registration of new voters (young people, African-Americans) is not captured in the traditional polling.  When this was first reported, it sounded naive.  Now it looks more plausible than ever.

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