Obama's Takes Expected Lead

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 16:56


Over the past week, a series of state polls with extremely positive results for Barack Obama have been released. If these polls are accurate, then Obama has taken large leads in New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, a decent lead in Florida, and even a narrow lead in Virginia. Given earlier polls that showed Missouri to be a dead heat, this all seems to good to be true. After all, I am a Democrat, and so a lead like this makes me feel as though I am about to wake up in bed next to Susanne Pleshette.

Actually, however, this state polling projection is precisely where current national polling would project it to be. Pollster.com's national polling projection, which corrects for "house effects" from different pollsters and takes all polling firms into account rather than just those with the most recently released polls, currently shows Obama ahead by 5.6%.  A 5.6% Obama lead would be a swing of 8.1% from 2004, when Kerry lost the national popular vote by 2.5% (actually 2.46%, but rounding is necessary in this case). If there was an 8.1% swing in every single state from 2004, we would end up with the following electoral college map:

Obama 336, McCain 189, Too close to call 13

With the exception of Nevada, this is precisely what current state polling projects. The two closest states in the above map would be Virginia (within 0.2%) and Missouri (within (0.9%). Remarkably, all polling conducted since Obama clinched the nomination actually shows Virginia and Missouri to be the two closest states in the nation, and all other states, except Nevada, falling into their above projected categories.

So, the state polls released over the last two weeks, which fladem today called "the best day of State Polling a Democrat has had since 1996," are not too good to be true. It is, instead, exactly where one would expect Obama's lead to be given current national polling and 2004 results. Even though Nevada might be out of whack, the above map really is where the election currently stands. We may be Democrats, but at least for now we can rest assured that we are winning.  

Chris Bowers :: Obama's Takes Expected Lead

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"Rest Assured" (0.00 / 0)
"at least for now we can rest assured that we are winning."

Didn't we just say that we cannot "rest" ever?  Keep working to win!


Yes, We Can Rest (4.00 / 1)
Rest breaks are one of the major issues organized labor has struggled over for more than a century.

So, yes, we can rest assured.  For about 15 minutes.  Then it's back to work.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
I propose (0.00 / 0)
we track a new metric weekly: the expected National Numbers based on extrapolating State Polls.

As I have noted before, this method was actually a better predictor of the GE margin than National Polling in 1996.

If I average the national swing in the polls released over the last two days I get the following:

Average swing from 2004: 8.9%
Kerry lost by 3%, So we should expect Obama's lead to be 5.9%.  

This analysis is very usefull in the identification of outliers.  There have been 14 state polls released yesterday and today, and all but one show at least a six point shift to Obama: yesterday's Minnesota SurveyUSA poll (which showed a shift of -1.5).


Nevada (4.00 / 2)
Even though Nevada might be out of whack, the above map really is where the election currently stands.

So I find the Nevada thing interesting. When you say Nevada is "out of whack", what you mean is that if you assume gains in the Democratic brand between 2004 and today are evenly distributed among the states, the one state that doesn't happen to essentially fit this assumption is Nevada. I think that you can basically restate this as "Obama is underperforming in Nevada relative to other states".

So what I want to know is:

- Why is Obama underperforming in Nevada?
- How do we change this?

The polling in Nevada's been pretty close and it seems like it wouldn't be hard to flip it if it were treated like a battleground state. (I'll note that in the primary, the Obama campaign in this part of California actually seemed to place almost more urgency in recruiting volunteers to drive to Nevada and help than they were in recruiting volunteers to do stuff locally.)


Pure hypothetical (4.00 / 1)
Maybe it's because it borders McCain's home state of Arizona.

[ Parent ]
Didn't you hear? (0.00 / 0)
All latina(o) people are racist, and will not vote for a black person.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
Great news, Chris, but... (0.00 / 0)
...you might want to come up with another metaphor for elation. Waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette probably wouldn't be too pleasant, since she died in January.  

Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis, Etc. (0.00 / 0)
Hotness is eternal in the imagination.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I wonder if it was a reference.... (4.00 / 2)
...to the last episode of the second Newhart series.

Where he woke up next to Suzanne Pleshette and we learned it was all a dream.

Just a thought.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, That, Too (0.00 / 0)
One reason that hotness is eternal.  Beatrice and Dante, don'tcha know.  Once committed to the imagination, always committed to the imagination.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Not exactly OT. (0.00 / 0)
RIP Suzanne Pleshette. Just saw her last week in a theatrical showing of The Birds. She may be gone, but long may she live in our memories, our metaphors and our movies.

Florida? but not VA or NC? (0.00 / 0)
I'd think Obama had a better chance of taking NC than FL, though I realize that's not what today's poll said.  If Obama gets one of VA, FL or NC he is solid. If he gets all 3, it is an epic landslide.

I'm still predicting 340--with VA and NC, not FL, but also MT.

Either way, it's lovely.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.


North Dakota's Out Of Whack, Too (0.00 / 0)
But in our direction. It was something like 61-39, but now is toss-up (R+1).

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

Need a new poll there (0.00 / 0)
It's way old.

[ Parent ]
We're Ten Points Down! We're Ten Points Down! (0.00 / 0)

 Just yanking your chain, Chris. I know how much that expression rankles you. :)

 I had an ultra-busy day at work today and couldn't even take five minutes to check the internets, so damn it felt good to come home and see kickass poll after kickass poll for Obama. Wow. Voters really are picking up on the fact that John  McCain has nothing to offer. At least nothing worth having.

  That said, the Democrats can take nothing for granted. Stay focused.

 

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn


Bigger Battlefield (0.00 / 0)
What makes the bigger battlefield so important is that it puts a lot of stress on McCain's meager financial resources and makes him even more dependant on the RNC. Florida, for instance, is a ridiculously expensive state to play in. The fact McCain hasn't been able to put it away early is really bad news for his campaign; like, death knell for his campaign.

Here's an intesting question: will the RNC really push all in for a candidate who is unpopular with conservatives and evangelicals who is trying to beat historic odds in an extremely toxic national environment for Republicans? My guess is no, and if Obama plays mistake free and keeps the pressure on and his poll numbers up the RNC will cut bait on McCain in September or October and push their resources into trying to save their Congressional incumbents.

Here's another interesting question: does this now force McCain to choose a VP running mate based solely on their fundraising ability? From where I sit, that brings only two names to my mind: Mitt Romney (who will kill McCain among evangelicals) and Jeb Bush (who probably delivers Florida to McCain but his brother's baggage gets their campaign wiped out everywhere else). Can you all think of anyone else who would make the big money Republican donors get off their wallets?

It's gratifying to see the campaign unfolding the way I thought it would to this point. As I've been saying: McCain's a tomato can. Now, the biggest thing Obama's campaign needs to remember: no unforced errors. Be aggressive but be smart.

And one other thing to remember, we haven't seen Obama really flex his muscle yet in terms of putting the big aggressive ad buys in all across the map yet. The big guns have not even been pulled out. My expectation is that McCain may slowly chip away at Obama's numbers until the convention, but that may not be the case if the Obama campaign can really hit the airwaves en masse. This should be fun to watch between now and the convention. In any event, I think it's a fair expectation that Obama's going to get a stratospheric convention bounce that is going to put McCain even more behind the 8-ball coming out of Denver. In that format, given that Obama has already shown he can elevate his game when he needs to give a big speech, who here doesn't think he can get a 5-6 point bounce out of the convention and put McCain way, way behind?

Obama's in great shape. Just no unforced errors and sharpen up with a lot of debate prep, and this should be a "W" (the good kind).


You should wear more sweaters! (0.00 / 0)

Can you all think of anyone else who would make the big money Republican donors get off their wallets?

Not that I follow this much, but how about:

Trent Lott  (he's already practicing--so what if he's a lobbyist)
Newt Gingrich
Rick Santorum


[ Parent ]
Romney will be the VP (0.00 / 0)
Romney is the choice of the GOP ' Big Money'. And they won't open their wallets until McCain chooses him.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.  


[ Parent ]
Susanne Pleshette? (0.00 / 0)
Um, is that a good thing or a bad one?  I admit she wasn't a bad-looking woman in her day, but I thought she'd be a bit old for you, just aside from also being dead.

More liberal media at The Sideshow

This is the way they predict general elections in the UK (0.00 / 0)
And more often than not it is very accurate. The ''swingometer'' on election night is a sight to behold and has a legendary cult status.

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