Presidential Forecast, 10/29: 6 Days Left

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:15

Electoral College: Obama 338, McCain 157 Toss-up 43 (270 to win, 269 to tie)
National popular vote: Obama 49.7%--44.1% McCain

Dark Blue (311): Obama +6.0% or more
Lean Blue (27): Obama +2.3%-+5.9%
White / Toss-up (43): Obama +2.2% to McCain +2.2%
Lean Red (26): McCain +2.3%-+5.9%
Dark Red (131): McCain +6.0% or more

Targeting and Swing State Chart
States not shown are 12.0% or more in either direction
State EV's Obama % McCain % Margin Polls Obama EVs
Obama Lock 216 216
New Hampshire 4 52.6% 40.0% +12.6% 5 220
Pennsylvania 21 52.9% 41.7% +11.2% 7 241
Maine-02 1 52.0% 41.0% +11.0% 1* 242
Iowa 7 52.0% 41.7% +10.3% 3 249
Wisconsin 10 51.3% 42.3% +9.0% 2 259
New Mexico 5 53.0% 44.5% +8.5% 2* 264
Colorado 9 51.6% 43.4% +8.2% 5 273
Nevada 5 50.0% 42.0% +8.0% 4 278
Virginia 13 51.6% 44.0% +7.6% 7 291
Ohio 20 49.7% 43.2% +6.5% 6 311
Florida 27 48.6% 45.2% +3.4% 9 338
North Dakota 3 44.5% 43.0% +1.5% 2* 356
North Carolina 15 48.4% 47.2% +1.2% 5 356
Missouri 11 47.5% 47.5% Even 5 367
Montana 3 44.0% 44.0% Even 2* 370
Indiana 11 46.5% 47.3% -0.8% 4 381
Arizona 10 43.3% 47.0% -3.7% 3 391
Georgia 15 46.0% 50.0% -4.0% 4 406
Nebraska-02 1 44.0% 48.0% -4.0% 1* 407
West Virginia 5 41.5% 49.5% -8.0% 3 412
South Dakota 3 41.0% 49.0% -9.0% 2* 415
Arkansas 6 42.5% 53.0% -10.5% 2 421
Mississippi 6 39.0% 49.5% -10.5% 2* 427
Texas 34 42.0% 53.0% -11.0% 2* 461
Lock McCain 77 538
* = Poll or polls more than one week old

Update (2:00 p.m.): Five new Pennsylvania polls, four new Ohio polls, two new Florida polls,  plus one new poll each from Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin added. Obama drops slightly in Florida, holds steady in Ohio, and improves everywhere else.

Update (5:15 p.m.): Five new CNN polls added, plus Rasmussen New Mexico.

As with yesterday, I am posting the Presidential forecast early in the morning, and I will update during the day as new polls come in. Right now, except where you see asterisks, it only includes polls taken entirely after October 21st. I have to say, I have never seen a campaign that has ben tightening for so long that makes me so damn confident of victory.

Analysis and methodology in the extended entry.

Chris Bowers :: Presidential Forecast, 10/29: 6 Days Left
The methodology for the forecast is simple and straightforward.
  1. For each state, all polls with the entirety of their interviews conducted within the last 8 days from publication of the forecast are included in the averages. My rationale for this methodology is based on research I conducted back in June, which you can read here. There are some necessary exceptions to this rule.
  2. Every state has at least two polls. In the event that less than two polls were taken within the past week, the two most recent polls are used. (Note: "Most recent" is determined by the mid-point in the dates of the polls. For example, a poll taken from 9/15-9/17 has a mid-pint of 9/16. In the event that more than one poll shares the most recent mid-point (within 0.5), all polls with that mid-point are included in the average.)
  3. The second exception comes with polling firms that have conducted more than one poll in a state over the last 8 days. Every polling firm only has one poll per average.
  4. All telephone polls are included with equal weight. However, no Internet polls are used.
Obama still goes over the top with states where he leads by 8.0% or more, which is only 0.3% off his highest lead the entire campaign. Texas is closer than New Hampshire. South Dakota is closer than Pennsylvania. Georgia is closer than Ohio. Arizona and Florida are equally close.

Do I really need to add any more analysis than that? Tightening, my ass. State polling continues to show a clear Obama victory.

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Early Voting (4.00 / 1)
Perhaps there might be some way to mark states that have early voting in this chart. These states will be even safer for Obama in case of a last minute surge in by McCain. Part of the reason I think that McCain is targeting PA is that the only poll that matters there is on election day. That is not true for most of these other states! These polls now do matter since people are actually voting now.

I suppose... (0.00 / 0)
That you're now including the states that are -11% because Obama is now winning supposedly targeted states that are +11.2%?

Well, two things are definitely tightening.... (0.00 / 0)
1. McLame's leads in several of the minority of states where he still has one;
2. The sphincter muscles of McLame, Palin, their campaign staffs, and an awful lot of other Republicans.  The acute constipation explains why they're so cranky....

"A fantasy is not even a wish, much less an act.  There is no such thing as a culpable or shameful fantasy."  -----Lady Sally McGee

I still can't believe it (0.00 / 0)
Like many of us, I was burned hard by the 2004 experience. I really thought Kerry would win, I thought there was NO WAY American would actually re-elect Bush after the Iraq war disaster, the total lack of job creation, and his three poor debate performances.

So even when I look at these polls and this map, I still can't allow myself to believe it. I just can't imagine Obama winning more than 300 electoral votes. Heck, getting 270 would be a pleasant surprise.

I know, I'm too cynical. But I could easily seen McCain winning FL, OH, NC, IN, MO.  What gives me some solace is that even if Obama loses all of those states, plus Colorado and Nevada, Virginia would still put him over the top. And I do feel good about Virginia, since McCain hasn't shown a lead there in like a month.

This year I'm determined to be pleasantly surprised rather than crushed. So as of now I still don't believe a blowout will happen.

I am with you (0.00 / 0)
In Nov. 2004, I flew all the way to Florida believing that it was within our grasp. What a joke that was. The field team was adolescent and the final FL blow-out was, well just sad.

I still see a landslide in the making, but I am going to Virginia to knock on doors just in case. The Obama field people are the best I have ever seen and I have been doing GOTV for 30 years. It has to make a difference.

[ Parent ]
You worries can come true, and we can still win (0.00 / 0)
The cool thing about what the map shows is that McCain CAN win FL, OH, NC, IN, and MO, and Obama would still be elected.  All Obama needs to win is the same 19 states that John Kerry won, plus CO, NM and IA -- three states in which Obama has always led, often by wide margins.  That's 273 EVs.  He doesn't NEED any of the states you are worried about him losing!

The only real worry at all is whether Obama can hold PA and NH, and those, as the polling shows, are not threatened in any serious way either.

So you need to be doing two things right now: 1) doing anything you can to support GOTV efforts, so that nobody gets complacent and stays home thinking it's over, and 2) stocking up on champagne, or your other favorite adult beverage.

[ Parent ]
McCain pollster's concern troll email (0.00 / 0)
The lead pollster for their campaign sent out a concern troll email yesterday saying that the race is tightening, all the undecideds are breaking for McCain, blah blah blah.  Despite that attempt at raising the spirit of their supporters, I'm still confident of victory because Obama is polling 50% or higher in enough states to win 270 EVs.  And that's if you assume the polls are accurate, even though I believe they are undercounting Obama's support.

And in response to the commenter above who is cynical because of 2004... well, the national and state polling had Bush winning.  I remember being disappointed, but not surprised. Despite Obama's warnings against last minute complacency, I've actually seen more volunteers showing up at the office.  There are a lot of people who realize victory is hand and don't want to leave anything to chance so they're volunteering for the first time.  I'm confident about Obama's ground game.

Rasmussen is said to be at 3%, according to a headline at (0.00 / 0)
Drudgereport.  Also, RCP will probably take that 10/22-10/23 Newsweek poll out of the averaging, which showed Obama up by 12%.  That will bring the RCP average below 6% until we see other polls come out.   State polls are infinitely more meaningful, but the tightening narrative will be in full bloom today, no doubt.    

Rasmussen has a 1-2% GOP bias anyway ... (0.00 / 0)

Whew! I am glad I learned how to read Opinion Polls from experts like  Chris and Nate Silver!


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