Oct. 05 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 329   McCain 194   Ties 15
Senate Dem 58   GOP 42  
House Dem 241   GOP 193   Ties 1

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This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (207)
weak Dem Weak Dem (57)
barely Dem Barely Dem (65)
tied Exactly tied (15)
barely GOP Barely GOP (31)
weak GOP Weak GOP (63)
strong GOP Strong GOP (100)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: CO MN RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): FL IA NV NM OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Can Mask Sales Predict the Election? Virginia GOP Worried About McCain's Chances
Bonus Quote of the Day VP Debate Pushed Undecided Voters to Obama
Quote of the Day Electoral Map Now Favors Obama

News from the Votemaster

Obama Takes A Commanding Lead in the National Polls

Open Left has a graph (reproduced below) of Obama and McCain's standing in the national polls over the past 10 days. While Presidents aren't elected by popular vote, this large a difference is going to show up in the state polls in the swing states, as it is starting to do. It is hard to imagine anyone losing the popular vote by 8 points and winning the electoral vote.

nat. polls

New Rasmussen Weighting

For the coming week, Rasmussen will weight national polls with 39.3% Democrats, 33.3% Republicans, and 27.4% independents. These numbers come from 21,000 interviews done during the past 6 weeks. The partisan breakdown is important because self-identifying Democrats and Republicans vote overwhelmingly for their party. In fact, they can't believe anything bad about their party. Rasmussen took a poll asking who won the Vice-Presidential debate and Obama supporters gave the nod to Biden by 81% to 3%. McCain supporters thought Palin won, 76% to 5%. Were they watching the same debate? The CBS poll of undecided voters said Biden won 46% to 21%. The CNN poll gave it to Biden 51% to 36%. The country is so polarized that it is apparently impossible for a McCain supporter to say: "Biden is a much more experienced debater than Palin so he naturally won the debate. By the same token, McCain is a much more experienced candidate than Obama, so I am voting for him." The model is: my party, right or wrong (Version 1.0 was "my country, right or wrong").

Mud Preview

The McCain campaign has said that this week they will begin running ads connecting Obama to convicted money launderer Tony Rezko and 1960s radical William Ayers. Obama, however, is not taking this lying down like John Kerry did in 2004. Starting Monday Obama is running a scathing ad saying: "Three quarters of a million jobs lost this year. Our financial system in turmoil. And John McCain? Erratic in a crisis. Out of touch on the economy. No wonder his campaign wants to change the subject." Both sides will go on the attack much more before it is over. You can count on it.

Obama Breaking Away in Pennsylvania

Muhlenberg College is now running a 5-day tracking poll (done for the Allentown Morning Call) in Pennsylvania. Every day they poll until they get 100-120 likely voters and then average that day's data with the four previous days' data. Below are the results for the 9 days since they started doing this. It is clear that the race was close when the tracking poll started, but Obama now has a commanding lead. Together with the national poll graph above and McCain's decision to pull out of Michigan altogether, it would seem that as the economy becomes the dominant issue, white working-class voters are starting to come back to their Democratic roots. Getting incensed about gay marriage is a luxury they can afford when times are good, but when their jobs, savings, and retirements are on the line, the Democrats are favored.

End Obama McCain Other Undecided
Oct. 3 51 39    
Oct. 2 50 40 2% 8%
Oct. 1 50 41 2% 7%
Sept. 30 48 41 3% 8%
Sept. 29 49 41 3% 7%
Sept. 28 49 42 2% 7%
Sept. 27 48 42 2% 8%
Sept. 26 47 42 2% 9%
Sept. 25 47 43 2% 8%

With Michigan abandoned and Pennsylvania appearing increasingly out of his reach, McCain's state-by-state strategy has to focus on just holding all the states Bush won in 2004. However, Iowa is probably a lost cause and New Mexico almost as bad. With the Kerry states plus Iowa and New Mexico, Obama reaches 264 electoral votes, not quite enough. If McCain can hold the others, he wins. However, Obama is making inroads in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, and Nevada. He only needs one of them to win (if it is Nevada, the election will be decided in the House, where the Democrats will control a majority of the state delegations). McCain has no choice but to defend them all. Obama can choose which ones to go after the hardest. The Washington Post has a good analysis of Obama's choices.

The Economy is Scaring Children

A new poll of 500 teenagers released Friday has some scary findings. Almost 70% expect the economic crisis to have an immediate negative impact on their families. Some don't plan to have kids when they grow up because they don't think they will have a job. Others are worried that their babysitting money will vanish when their bank goes belly up. One offered to sell his iPod so the family could eat. While adults might think these fears are absurd, they are there and can have serious implications for the children's welfare--and possibly also on how the parents vote. Even if you have you have a Ph.D. in history, with a specialization in the business cycle from 1790 to 2000, if your son thinks he has no future, you are going to be very, very focused on which candidate is better equipped to fix the economy.

Today's Polls

We have two presidential polls today. In Colorado, Mason-Dixon has it an exact tie at 44% each. Obama had been leading by a small amount up until now. In contrast, in Minnesota, Princeton Survey has Obama ahead by 18 points. That is hard to believe. These guys had Al Franken ahead of Norm Coleman in the Senate race by 9 points yesterday. Chances are they had far too many Democrats in their sample.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Colorado 44% 44% Sep 29 Oct 01 Mason-Dixon
Minnesota 55% 37% Sep 30 Oct 02 Princeton Survey

We also have two Senate polls. In Colorado, Mark Udall (D) is leading Bob Schaffer (R) as he has been all year. Similarly, Jeanne Shaheen (D) has a solid lead over John Sununu (R) as she has all year.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Colorado Mark Udall 43% Bob Schaffer 38% Sep 30 Oct 01 Mason-Dixon
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen 49% John Sununu* 35% Sep 25 Sep 30 Saint Anselm Coll.

We also have two House polls. In both NJ-07 and OH-02 the Republicans are leading.

Cong. Distr. Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
NJ-07 Linda Stender 39% Leonard Lance 43% Sep 30 Oct 02 Monmouth U.
OH-02 Victoria Wulsin 39% Jean Schmidt* 46% Sep 30 Oct 01 Research 2000

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