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September 2008
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The Advice from Pollster

Lots of folks online and off are giving their “advice” to the Obama campaign on what they should be doing differently. Of the ones I have read recently, the following from pollster.com had be nodding more than most of the rest. It is worth reading the whole thing in detail. I quote only the major headings below.

50 Days to Go and Obama Hits Back (Softly)
(Steve Lombardo, pollster.com, 15 Sep 2008)

It is noon on Monday, September 15th and things are operating so quickly in the political world that major tactical–and sometimes strategic–campaign changes are happening in minutes (in previous campaigns they used to happen in hours or days). Welcome to politics in 2008. In accordance with the new world order here is our real-time read on what is happening:

  1. Obama is hitting back, and the mere act of doing so says volumes.
  2. But this Obama punch seems like a fairly weak body blow.
  3. We are in a financial meltdown (as of right now the Dow is down 250 points) and Obama is focusing on lobbyists and McCain’s inability to email–this is political malpractice.
  4. Negative political messages must tap into a pre-existing belief.
  5. The Obama campaign has been seriously off-stride.
  6. Obama needs to forget Palin and get back to the economy.

Electoral College: McCain Keeps Bumping

A lot of polls today (as there are most days now) but only one small change in status. Once again it is a move in McCain’s direction.

South Dakota (3 ev): McCain’s lead in South Dakota grows to over 10%, moving the state from “Weak McCain” to “Strong McCain”. South Dakota has been very sparsely polled. Today’s poll is actually only the fifth of this election cycle. So my “last five poll average” actually includes every poll taken in the state this year. But with the data available, it does look like this state is very safe McCain territory at this point.

New Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 319, Obama 219
Obama Best Case – Obama 328, McCain 210

If everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) – 269/269 ELECTORAL COLLEGE TIE

There has been some talk starting to percolate that perhaps McCain’s bounce has peaked at this point, and we’ll start seeing an Obama recovery. There are perhaps some hints at that in the national polling. But with the exception of New Mexico returning to “Weak Obama” status after a brief flirtation with being a swing state, Obama has had no other moves in his direction in my state level classifications since August 25th. A full three weeks ago at this point. If there is an end to the McCain bounce and a move back toward Obama again, it has not yet started to show itself in the state level polls.

Of course, generally with the lower frequency of state polls, it does take longer for changes to show up at that level. At least that is how it HAS been. But as polling levels have increased, that is getting less true, especially for swing states. As an example, for the last 6 days there has always been at least one poll of Ohio each day, sometimes two. With polling continuing at this level (and presumably actually accelerating as we approach the election) we should actually be able to start picking up changes in the state by state situation almost as quickly as the national polls show changes. And of course the state by state view is more meaningful than the popular vote views.

Bounces supposedly usually last around two weeks. We’re now in the second week. If the post-convention changes are going to start fading, we should start seeing it soon.

But we haven’t yet.

Paul in Montana

I’ve been meaning to post this one for awhile, just never got around to it:

Montana Constitution Party Submits Presidential Electors Pledged to Ron Paul and Michael Peroutka
(Richard Winger, Ballot Access News, 5 Sep 2008)

On September 5, the ballot-qualified Constitution Party of Montana submitted its presidential elector candidates to the Secretary of State. The party informed the Secretary of State that its electors are pledged to Ron Paul for president and Michael Peroutka for vice-president. Ron Paul was aware that the party planned to do this, and has said that as long as he can remain passive and silent about the development, and as long as he need not sign any declaration of candidacy, that he does not object.

(via fivethirtyeight.com)

Ron Paul is popular enough in that part of the country that his presence on the ballot may actually make a difference of some sort.