by Jerome Armstrong, Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 06:58:30 PM EDT
Back from a week out, it doesn't look like I missed much by not having email or internet for a few days; from what I saw of the debate in a taco shop nearby the Long Beach airport yesterday, it sounded pretty much just like the first debate.In the jump, I'll let you know where I think the race stands at nationally, and how I got there.
After doing the calculations, here's where I think the race stands at, for predicting the Nov 4th outcome:
We have a plethora of polls to pick and choose from nationally, and if you want, you can look at Pollster or RCP or 538 or Chris Bowers or others to see how it might look differently. But given we do have a bunch of polls, I've decided to look at the tracking polls of likely voters only. That means, for now, to ignore Gallup's tracking of registered voters-- when they move to an LV polling I'll include them. I also re-weight the R2K/DailyKos poll numbers according to a more likely turnout model. By my calucations, that moves it +/- 3% for McCain/Obama. Others might want to take them at their face value, but that's my take. Now that Zogby has started its telephone tracking, its a good poll; likewise with Hotline switching to a LV model. Battleground remains the gold standard-- I expect that they, along with Rasmussen, will adjust to nail the final outcome.
I have three measurements of the national outcome above (Low, Med, High), which I'll describe below:
Low-- This is basically the Peter Feld model that I blogged about a week ago. It's a conservative estimate which speculates that if Obama is not breaking out above 50 percent, there is a higher base of McCain than what is polled, which he pegs at 46 percent, and that undecideds break 2:1 in McCain's favor.
Med-- This model takes the McCain average at face-value, but still breaks the undecideds toward McCain by a 2:1 advantage.
High-- This takes the polling averages for both candidates at face-value, and breaks the undecideds 50-50.
I expect the 'other' vote to be very low, about the same as 2004. The range I currently have is of Obama winning nationally by a .35 to 3.4 margin. I'll try and take a look at the states by the end of the week, but 5 days off the net while in disneyland and LA beaches has me behind quite a bit of work.
Of course, this means nothing as its the states that matter in the EV count. Right now, the MyDD EV counter looks solid for Obama, with wins in the toss-up states of FL, VA, OH, CO, and NV. Those are the five states that McCain would have to flip to change the outcome of the election.