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September 2008
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Electoral College: Three States Move Toward Obama

In the past for my posts on the blog talking about the race, I’ve included the chart or the map, but not both. From this point forward I will always include the chart, as it gives more and better information. I will also include the map whenever it changes.

Today, three states change categories, and all three move in Obama’s direction. In order of electoral college importance:

Michigan (17 ev): After being a swing state for a few weeks, Obama’s lead in Michigan once again goes over 5%, pulling the state out of “Lean Obama” and back to “Weak Obama”. Having Michigan as a swing state was bad news for Obama. Having it back in relatively safe territory again instantly puts Obama once again in a much stronger position.

Arkansas (6 ev): McCain’s lead in Arkansas drops to less than 10%, moving the state from “Strong McCain” to “Weak McCain”. It is however still quite a way from being a swing state, so the impact of this is minimal.

New Hampshire (4 ev): The usual caution applies here. The state moves from just barely on the McCain side of the line, to barely on the Obama side of the line. But New Hampshire did flip in the last five poll average, and Obama is once again ahead. The lead is still less than 5% though, so this is too close to call and still very much a swing state.

New Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 310, Obama 228
Obama Best Case – Obama 378, McCain 160

If everybody gets their leans – 286 Obama, 252 McCain

At this point, all six lines I track peaked for McCain (or bottomed for Obama) and have now started to move in the Obama direction. The dates for these peaks:

McCain Strong States: Peaked 25 Sep 2008
McCain Strong+Weak States: Peaked 19 Sep 2008
McCain Strong+Weak+Lean States: Peaked 18 Sep 2008

Obama Strong+Weak+Lean States: Bottomed 18 Sep 2008
Obama Strong+Weak States: Bottomed 22 Sep 2008
Obama Strong States: Bottomed 16 Sep 2008

I think we can now safely say that on ALL metrics the trends are now in the Obama direction.

At least for the moment. Obviously things change quickly. State polls as of today still have not had a chance to react to the events of the last few days, which have been dramatic. So we have yet to see how the public is reacting to those events.

And of course we have a debate tonight. In most cases debates do NOT make a significant difference in presidential races… unless someone screws up horribly.

So pay careful attention to tonight’s debate and see if one or the other candidate implodes.

I Take It Back

After her speech at the convention, I said some things about how Democrats underestimated Sarah Palin at their peril, and that while inexperienced, she was very good and could be quite a challenge.

After watching her handful of interviews, most recently the Katie Couric one, let me revise those thoughts.

She is as dumb as a rock.

Carry on.

Electoral College: Colorado Moves Toward Obama, Stops Swinging

Four states change status today. Two move in McCain’s direction, two move in Obama’s direction. But only one of those four states is likely significant, and that one moves in Obama’s direction. The specifics, in order of electoral college influence:

Colorado (9 ev): Colorado has been one of the critical swing states. With the exception of a few days earlier this month, Colorado has always been on the Obama side of the fence, but for almost the whole election season it has been just barely on the Obama side. Today, for the first time since March, Obama’s lead in the state moves above 5%. This makes this a “Weak Obama” state rather than a “Lean Obama” state and means the state is no longer too close to call. It might be vulnerable yet to strong campaigning or major events, but at the moment it is safe to color blue.

South Carolina (8 ev): One of the states that a few months ago Obama hoped to be able to turn blue. That has now completely evaporated as McCain’s lead now moves over 10% in the last five poll average. South Carolina is now “Solid McCain”.

Iowa (7 ev): Obama consolidates his lead. The five poll average now has Obama’s lead as more than 10%, so the state moves from “Weak Obama” to “Strong Obama”.

Maine (4 ev): Obama weakens a bit in Maine. His lead falls to less than 10%, moving the state from “Strong Obama” to “Weak Obama”. It is still a long way from transforming into a swing state though, so while this is movement away from Obama, it doesn’t really matter too much to McCain at the moment.

New Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 327, Obama 211
Obama Best Case – Obama 378, McCain 160

If everybody gets their leans – 282 Obama, 256 McCain

All in all, today’s changes favor Obama. But we still have a wide open race with 13 swing states and 167 electoral votes which are essentially unpredictable. At the moment you do have to give Obama the advantage. But it is still a small one. It will take a few more states moving in Obama’s direction for this to actually start looking like a significant Obama lead.

Forget a Mini or a Smart

Perhaps I should get a Peapod…

(via Boing Boing Gadgets)

McCain on Letterman (not)

You have got to be kidding me…

Just got this text message…

CNN Breaking News – John McCain suspends campaigning to work on economy, requests postponing Friday debate; asks Obama do the same.

What a crock… is he really that scared of the debate? Really? What “work” do either of them have to do here other than perhaps vote on a proposal in the Senate when it comes up? It isn’t like either of them are President YET.

Come on…

Curmudgeon’s Corner: If We Need a Great Depression…

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Financial Meltdown
  • Pakistan Bombing
  • iPhone Rumors
  • Election Roundup

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Electoral College: VA Flips to Obama, Obama retakes the lead!

Two states of good news for Obama, but some words of caution on both.

Virgina (13 ev): With today’s polls (including three new polls in Virginia) Virginia moves from “Lean McCain” to “Lean Obama”. This change moves the overall “if everybody gets their leans” view of the race from an electoral college tie to an Obama win. However, as usual with this sort of change, there is a big caveat. In this case we have gone from an 0.4% McCain lead to a 0.6% Obama lead. There is not really a significant difference between those two numbers. What we have is a too close to call race in this state. *All* swing states are almost by definition states where the current polling numbers show a tight enough race that it would be folly to have any confidence in a prediction of which way the state will go. We had a close race in Virginia before, we have a close race now. Which side of the line the state is on this very moment does not actually significantly change the character of the race.

New Mexico (5 ev): New Mexico moves from “Lean Obama” to “Weak Obama”, moving it once again out of swing state status. The caution here is that my boundary between these two categories is a 5% lead by Obama. With each new poll since the end of August, New Mexico has moved back and forth from just over 5% in my five poll average, to just below 5%. It just keeps bouncing back and forth. It appears New Mexico is basically flat, just staying exactly where it needs to in order to hover on the line between my categories and flip back and forth occasionally. I wouldn’t put much stock in the state REALLY being in one category or the other unless it actually stays there for awhile. And once again, with the state being right on the line, there probably is not really a huge difference between where New Mexico was yesterday and where it is today.

New Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 336, Obama 202
Obama Best Case – Obama 378, McCain 160

If everybody gets their leans – 282 Obama, 256 McCain

The lesson for today is just that small basically meaningless changes in individual states can make big jumps on the charts. This is in the nature of a winner takes all electoral college system. So when a state flips categories, great. But don’t trust the sudden changes as indication of a trend… unless they last and are confirmed by other changes.

Having said that, the charts are now starting to look like we really are seeing a full fledged movement toward Obama in all categories… not just movement of “Weak McCain” states to “Lean McCain”. It is still early though, and there is a chance some of these changes are ephemeral. So we need to continue waiting to see if new polls confirm and strengthen this trend… or not.

In the mean time, given the still huge 176 electoral college votes which are too close to call, we still have an overall election without a clear leader.

Paul Retrospective

Damn it, he really should have run as an independent after he lost the Republican nomination. While I think Obama would make a better actual president, I agree with Ron Paul on a much higher percentage of issues. (Of course, on one or two things, he does jump off the deep end…) But it would be great to have his third voice in the middle of an Obama/McCain debate.

And yes, even with some of the obvious flaws he showed during the primaries, I’d have to very seriously think about voting for him rather than Obama. (Although, in the end, I might come back to Obama, because really, it is about more than just issues and positions.)

(via The Daily Dish)

Starting School

I didn’t follow her and take a picture of her heading in with her backpack like I did for Amy (although I was tempted!), but Brandy started school yesterday. Just a few classes to start with. First semester is courtesy of Uncle Sam. Chances are that after that it will be courtesy of Sam I Am. But that is OK by me.