Monday, November 3, 2008

Over The Top; Forget the Polls Get Out and Vote

Things are coming to a close fast in this election, tomorrow is the day it ends. While it appears the National poll average has Obama up 7 points, it also appears these national polls are all over the place. There is a 2-14 point swing Nationally. Bloggers on both sides have been cherry picking which results they choose to believe. There is reason to believe the National polls are wrong.

First look at the final Gallup poll. This poll has Obama up 11 points. However this final poll is by all accounts a prediction (even they say so). They split the undecided evenly and by all accounts the undecided’s very rarely break evenly. They usually swing to one candidate or the other. Another thing about polls is that Republicans do not poll well over weekends. Additionally, it has been reported that as many as 80% of the people called during the polls are refusing to take part in the polls. This is a much higher figure than usual and should be some concern to the Obama supporters. Obama supporters are generally more positive about voicing their opinions. Many McCain backers are less likely to voice that opinion and risk being branded a racist.

Second, look at the PUMA activity. These websites were relatively quiet until this last week and especially over the weekend. Polls have Obama garnering 90% of the Democratic vote. The problem is that most Obama supporters are enthusiastic about their candidate. PUMA’s put direction out to either not participate in the polls or to say they were for Obama. Internal Polls from Republicans and PUMA’s show that Obama generally receives only 80-85 % amongst the Democratic voters. Internals also show Obama losing significant portions of reliable Democratic voting block. The Jewish vote is significantly less than the 80% normally garnered. Obama is losing significant Catholic voters due to his extreme abortion viewpoints. Obama’s infanticide view is not in line with most Americans. Obama is also having a hard time with blue collar “bitter voters that cling to guns and religion”.

Third, look at the Palin Affect. The Republicans were not unified and not energized for this campaign until Palin became the Vice Presidential choice. The Palin choice may have alienated some feminist voters but not all. However, Palin was not a pick that was to pander to Hillary voters. Palin was chosen to rally the conservative base behind McCain. The pick unified the Republican party and did more to energize the Republicans than any other pick could have, McCain was dead in the water with anyone else in a Democratic year. Even after the selection of Palin was made the major pollsters did not readjust their polling methodology. Rasmussen had the best and that had Democrats +8. Other polls to include the 15% Obama PEW poll had 15% Democrats. This is spite of the fact that Republicans overwhelmingly stayed home in 2006 and still the Democrats only outpolled Republicans by 3%. There is no reason to believe that an unpopular Congress that was led by the Democrats would be able to increase their percentage five fold in just two years. In fact, the 2004 election had Democrats and Republicans even. Democrats were only able to pick up three points in party identification between 2004 and 2006. At most I would say there will be a five point difference in party identification at the polls on Tuesday. The energized Republican base due to Palin combined with over polling of Democrats and the PUMA affect in all likelihood appear on election day and make this a much closer race than the 7% average currently shown.

Fourth look at the Coal industry affect. This is going to be played hard in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Nevada, and Colorado. These States have coal related industries. Obama said he will bankrupt the coal industry. This will turn or keep many of these States red on Tuesday. The problem is that Obama needs to win at least two red states and probably three red states and not lose any Kerry States.

Lastly, look at the electoral college and the latest state polls. State polls at this point are much more likely to predict the outcome than National Polls. Today there is a poll out of Minnesota conducted by Survey USA and sponsored by KSTP TV that has the race in the margin of error (Obama 49% McCain 46%). Minnesota is the bluest of blue states. Since 1968 it has been red exactly once. Pennsylvania is closing and the latest coal mine video from last January is not going to play well there. Additionally, there are a lot of PUMA’s in Pennsylvania that will cross party lines and vote against Obama.

So we have to look at the battleground states. Most people have penciled in red States Iowa and New Mexico for Obama. This does not get Obama over the top. This only gets Obama closer and he would still need one more red state. Colorado and Virginia are possibilities. They have 21 electoral votes between them. This is more than enough to carry Obama to victory. But he can not lose any of the blue states that are in the margin of error. If Pennsylvania turns blue it is all over for Obama. There will be no doubt. McCain could lose both Virginia and Colorado and still win the electoral college with Pennsylvania. In the real clear politics Obama right now with leaners is 8 electoral votes over the top. This includes providing Obama with 5 states in the margin of error. McCain only needs to pick off one of the blue states or two of the red states.

Bottom line is both candidates have a clear path to victory. It appears that the eventual winner will receive anywhere from 269-311 electoral votes. This election is not a landslide for anyone and it is anyone’s game to take. The path for McCain is a little more difficult as he does not have as many options. However to use a good sports analogy, last year the New England Patriots had far more options and ways of winning the super bowl than did the New York Giants. The end result was that the Giants executed with their options far better than the Patriots and won as a heavy underdog. The same can be said in this election. It will all come down to who gets their voters to the polls. There is no doubt much of Obama’s luster has worn off. There is also no doubt that Obama built his coalition with young voters. Does anyone believe these young voters will turn out if they believe their candidate is an automatic? Yes it is an uphill climb, but there is little doubt the battle grounds are moving away from Obama and towards McCain. Remember Obama can not win if he loses Pennsylvania. Additionally as long as McCain keeps Virginia, Florida, and Ohio and picks up a Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin it will be even more difficult for Obama to win the Electoral college. I believe this will be a close election and everyone needs to get out and vote their conscious.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Make that 5-14 points...today's IBD/TIPP: Obama +5

Anonymous said...

biggest upset in history coming, but that's because the polls were wrong all along, not because a massive switch of sentiment. obama is an elitist, and 'bitter' american's like me don't like elitist's, and haven't ever.