Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

In the wake of the emergence of Sarah Palin, one thing becomes clear: we are reverting to an electoral map far closer to that of 2004 than many anticipated a few months ago. At least for now, Palin seems to have singlehandedly consolidated voters in the south and mountain west behind the Republican ticket, drawing the traditional red/blue divides that Barack Obama had threatened to shatter. What we've seen is McCain showing far more Bush-like numbers in states like North Dakota and North Carolina and as a result, the 50 state strategy became a little less so as Barack dispatched ground troops out of Georgia. If this trend holds, one net effect I suspect we'll see is that Ohio -- the state where Joe Biden is stumping today -- may once again be the crucial battleground. And that may not be such a bad thing.

The new Quinnipiac poll (1367 LVs, Sept. 5-9, MOE +/- 2.7%) shows Barack Obama rising in Ohio since their previous poll just prior to the Democratic convention (August numbers in parentheses.)

Obama/Biden 49 (44)
McCain/Palin 44 (43)

If the trend is that Sarah Palin consolidates red states behind McCain, then we can only draw one conclusion from these numbers: despite its recent presidential tendencies, Ohio, at its core, is not a red state. Certainly most observers would have hoped that in the wake of electing a new Democratic governor and senator that Ohio would follow with a vote for the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008 and while some feared the worst after the contentious primary there, the trend throughout the year looks extremely promising.

For me, it's been somewhat puzzling to see evidence of voters switching to McCain because of Palin since my own anecdotal experience is that her extremism is freaking out some Republicans I know into either voting for Obama or not voting at all. The common thread among them though is that they are northeast moderates. McCain clearly made the calculation that the increase in enthusiasm among the base that Palin would bring to the ticket would outweigh any loss in support among moderates, who are largely concentrated in states McCain had already written off. But the one exception -- and this could very well be McCain's downfall -- is Ohio, which has been acting of late more and more like Pennsylvania and its northeast neighbors.

So, is this the reason for Obama's rise in Ohio since Palin? My theory is hard to test since the Quinnipiac poll since doesn't break voters down ideologically, although Palin does seem to have shifted independents to McCain (from Obama up 4 to McCain up 4.) This would appear to be a hole in my theory, although independents and moderates, while often conflated, are not the same thing. I'll be watching for other polls to track this trend.

The reason Ohio is so crucial, of course, is its 20 vote electoral prize. Recall in 2004, John Kerry needed just one of Ohio or Florida to win; George W. Bush needed both. The same essentially goes this year, although the beauty is that Barack really doesn't need either Ohio or Florida. If he wins Kerry states plus New Mexico and Iowa, he'll only need 6 more EVs to win (Colorado or Virginia, for example.) But now that Palin is on the GOP ticket, New Mexico and Colorado are looking more and more tenuous, which brings us to the importance of Ohio: Kerry states plus Ohio alone = victory.

Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain, Ohio, quinnipiac, Sarah Palin (all tags)



he better start spending

there and stop wasting his money in the Dakotas, indiana, montana. Plus, we have a fucking Democratic machine in Ohio waiting to open up.

by Lakrosse 2008-09-11 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: he better start spending

I agree that we should take the Dakotas off the map (thought maybe not Montana.) However, due to Northwest Indiana's familiarity with Obama (because they are part of the Chicago Media Market,) I think it is a bad idea to take it off the map.

by JDF 2008-09-11 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: he better start spending

I live in Ohio and see a steady stream of Obama ads whenever I watch TV.  Some are very good. I think that may be why his numbers are improving here.

by Becky G 2008-09-11 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: he better start spending

Ummm.... Obama has spent more time in this state than any other... last week people were complaining that he was spending TOO much time here!

He is competing VERY hard for Ohio...

by LordMike 2008-09-11 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: We have the money

Apparently not enough money to do both.

From various reports, Obama isn't meeting fundraising targets.

As I've been saying all along, this election comes down to the handful of states that were close in 2004.

Dreaming about Georgia, South Carolina, the Dakotas, and other similar states is hubris, in my opinion.

by Sieglinde 2008-09-11 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: I forgot to mention

Certainly McCain has to now defend more states than Obama, but the election is going to be close that those that Obama is defending have to be won, and therefore I think it's more prudent to concentrate on close states.

The playing defense/playing offense situation really depends on who's on top, or who feels confident enough to throw away money in races that are, for all practical purposes, unwinnable.  This may have been true for Obama in the summer, but after the Republican convention, it seems now that the race is tied, and those solid red states have become hard red, and therefore no additional dollar should be spent there.

by Sieglinde 2008-09-11 02:53PM | 0 recs

Obama's ground game in Colorado has to be pretty good after the convention.

That was a lot of money and pretty good press focussed on the state; by contrast, the RNC might've brought some money to St. Paul & Minneapolis, but the press was mostly bad.

by Dracomicron 2008-09-11 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Colorado

Yes, we're ready.  And I don't know where Todd is getting this "Palin is helping in Colorado" BS.  No evidence of that at all.

by nwgates 2008-09-11 09:53AM | 0 recs
Thought so

Good to hear, all the same. :)

by Dracomicron 2008-09-11 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Colorado

Colorado is still winnable.  Perhaps easier than Ohio.

I think Obama can and will win with three of the four states that Kerry didn't carry in 2004: Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico, and Nevada.

Iowa is the most likely, followed by Colorado.  If the Hispanic communities in New Mexico are mobilized and voter registration becomes top priority, this state will put Obama over the top.

by Sieglinde 2008-09-11 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

IF he gives up on States like Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, Iowa, and even reaches like North Carolina I am going to be a little upset. We need to, for the long term good of our party, expand the map.

by JDF 2008-09-11 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

What's more important?

Expand the map or save our bullets ($$) and win this election.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-11 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

But there's no evidence that Obama is in a position where he's hurting financially.

If the balance sheet says it's time to conserve resources, fine... but we don't have any evidence of that.

All indicators - rumors and statements from the Obama campaign - are that they broke their fundraising record with their August numbers.   I suspect they're waiting for an opportune news cycle to release the actuals.

This isn't Kerry 2004 - where we're stuck with 80 million.   Obama figures to have at 50% more to spend this cycle.

Is GA probably a waste of money right now?  Yes.

Is extraordinarily cheap ND?  No.

Is Indiana?  No.  Fer chrissakes.... we don't have any polls that tell us anything besides good news yet.

Is NC?  No.  SUSA looks like an outlier fueled by a screwy party ID sample.

Is also quite cheap MT?  Hell no - especially not with Ron Paul now officially on the ballot.  A plurality can win MT now.

Now... should the Obama campaign be wise about where they deploy Obama, Biden, and top surrogates?  Absolutely.

But there's no evidence that Obama needs to begin worrying about where he spends his cash because right now, all signs say he can still afford to spend money on what are still longshots.

by zonk 2008-09-11 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

My hope is that they are keeping their power dry for the middle of the month.  There's a WaPo article that alludes to that today.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-09-11 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

The wide sentiment now it that there is financial PARITY between the two campaigns.  Obama isn't bringing in as much funds any longer and with the McCain-Feingold loopholes being exploited effectively multiplies the RNC fundraising and McPalin ($80mill) money.

That means we are in a traditional tit-for-tat, feigning, bobbing and weaving where you try the make your opponent piss away money and resources on states he clearly can't win while focussing your spend on states where you think you have a shot.  Both parties will do this.

Now if we had a warchest many times larger than the other guy, you can pound him everywhere and force him to defend - it's apparent that that's no longer the case so we're back to old fashioned presidential electioneering.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-11 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

How can both be true?

"Obama isn't bringing in as much funds any longer"

"Obama broke his own fundraising record in August"

They cannot both be true.  

Per WaPo

Sure - it's true that we don't have the numbers from August yet, but I do not think the Obama campaign would be going out on a limb if they didn't have the numbers to back it up.

Yes- the RNC continues to pound the DNC, but party numbers are a little hollow because unlike the candidates, the parties regularly go into debt during election cycles.

Might we be at parity when you add McCain+RNC and compare to Obama+DNC?


But again, where are you getting this "Obama isn't raising funds like he used to" crap?

It's simply not true.

by zonk 2008-09-11 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Additionally, the big donors open their checkbooks to the horse that's the favorite.

Intrade has had Obama as the favorite without pause since early on in the Primaries.  This week that has changed with McCain now about 51.5% versus Obama at 48.5%.  The big donors WILL take note of this.

The little donors for Obama may be getting a little tapped out that is why we've seen the rhetoric from his fundraising team this week and I don't think they are playing . . . they wouldn't be using language like "EXTREMELY weak" against fund target goals if they were.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-11 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

I'm sorry, but I just don't know how to discuss this with you...

Obama breaks his own fundraising record and it's bad news?

Let's see what the August numbers tell us... We can be all but certain that they'll be better than 55 million.... Will they be 56 million?  60?  70?

All we know is that they beat July.

by zonk 2008-09-11 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Ok, this is just my plausible assumption of what the media is saying : if conservatively Obama raises $56 million plus whatever Dems raised.

McCain raised $47 million plus got $83 million from the government totalling $130 million.  So what they're saying is that this 130 plus what the Rethuglicans raised is equilavent Obama plus Dems.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-11 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes

But the RNC can raise as much money as it wants until election day.  

That's why the RNC commercials which exploit his own McCain-Feingold bill's loophole is so insidious.  As long as the commercial while totally focussed on McCain/Palin, even fleetingly mentions a different contest then the RNC can pay for it.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-11 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Campaign (party) fundraising usually increases exponentially over August, September, October. Obama budgeted figuring his fundraising would erase the Republican's COH advantage with the $85 million going in to September.

Obama's fundraising will increase month over month, but if he and the DNC fall short of historical growth then he will be not raising funds like he used to. We'll find out in 10 days.

by souvarine 2008-09-11 09:47AM | 0 recs
Checkbook Election Dynamics

Additionally, the big donors open their checkbooks to the horse that's the favorite.

Intrade has had Obama as the favorite without pause since early on in the Primaries.  This week that has changed with McCain now about 51.5% versus Obama at 48.5%.  The big donors WILL take note of this.

The little donors for Obama may be getting a little tapped out that is why we've seen the rhetoric from his fundraising team this week and I don't think they are playing . . . they wouldn't be using language like "EXTREMELY weak" against fund target goals if they were.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-11 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Checkbook Election Dynamics

Again, where is your evidence that they are "tapped out".

Sorry to be so harsh, but that's nonsense -- Obama follows up record-breaking month by breaking his own record again?

As for Intrade... well... Intrade also has HRC trading at 3% to win the 2008 GE.

by zonk 2008-09-11 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Checkbook Election Dynamics

See my response uplink.

3% is a pretty small percentage.  Do you know a person's chance of getting into an accident in the next 2 months is probably around 4%.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-11 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Checkbook Election Dynamics

3% is a pretty small percentage.

And yet you consider McCain's InTrade lead of 3% (51.5% to 48.5%) to be significant. Honestly, why do you derive so much pleasure in spinning everything so negatively?

by noop 2008-09-11 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Checkbook Election Dynamics

I take NO pleasure in the fact that McCain has made up a 30%+ deficit by Intrade oddsmakers in a year in which he and the Rethugs deserve to lose by 30% . . . it DISGUSTS me actually.

The point was that money tends to flow at a quicker pace to a candidate that is leading by whatever margin, however fleeting that may be.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-11 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Obama doesn't have to worry about states like Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin - they are in the bag.

With the 'Palin Effect' and the combined All Western ticket, Montana, Colorado and Nevada are gone for Obama.  He should not waste a cent in these states.

Obama still stands a chance in New Mexico, but it will be a fight and he must win the state in order to win the election.

Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida are gone.  Obama has no chance in these states.

Obama must win N.H., which looks very good, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

He should be throwing every last dime into New Mexico, Michigan, Ohio, N.H.  He has to accept that Palin changed the map are there is very little he can do to stop it, but his path to 270 remains IF he reallocates his resources and just focuses on the above four states.

by oliver777 2008-09-11 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Whoa there. Your suggested maps has all the eggs in one basket again. It would be Ohio or bust all over again. NH and NM would be completely irrelevant if Obama wins Ohio and Iowa -- that would be 270. This is NOT going to be a 2004 repeat. At the very least, a very aggressive effort should still be put into Colorado and Virginia. Unless we really think that $200 million or whatever Obama is raising should all go into Ohio?

by Mullibok 2008-09-11 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

If Obama is lucky, this IS a 2004 repeat.

Get real. The last two weeks has been a collapse of epic proportions. In the most Democratic year since 1964 if the election were held today, McCain would win.  But it isn't today and Obama has time, but he must make choices.

What is he going to do about Palin?  Trying to paint her as some right wing nut? Some earmarks in Alaska?  Flip flop on the Bridge to Nowhere?  Does anyone care? Nope.  She has brought the Christain conservatives home, activating the GOP GOTV operation of 2004, and is bringing white working class women over to McCain. There is nothing Obama can do about this, nothing.

He can still win but only if he gets aggressive and takes chances.  Right now, and throughout this campaign, McCain has been playing to win while Obama has been trying NOT to lose.  There is a big difference.

Now is the time to play to win and the path for winning is there if he chooses it.  Yes, $200 million in Ohio if that's what it takes!

by oliver777 2008-09-11 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Collapse of epic proportions?

I'll give you this, you're well on your way to getting that hyperbole merit badge.

The simple fact of the matter is that unlike the congressional landscape, the Presidential election was simply never going to follow the same model.

What's more, John McCain is the perfect - in fact, the ONLY, GOP candidate that can really run as a 'party outsider'... honest or not, the media narrative was just there for him... but the Obama campaign has been quite good at chipping away at it.

If this 'epic collapse' - which just happens to coincide with the same time we see the standard convention bounce take effect - means we're back to tie game (though, state by state, it's simply not true -- Obama's cushion is gone, but if the election were held today, all signs say Obama still wins a squeaker).... well... I'll take that "epic collapse" any day of the week.

Some folks just don't seem to have the intellectual wherewithal to understand how polling works and see the big picture around it.... Are you one of them?

by zonk 2008-09-11 09:47AM | 0 recs
the data

contradict most of this.

by JJE 2008-09-11 09:34AM | 0 recs
Ohio - McCain Plus 4

Strategic Vision just reported its Ohio poll a few minutes ago:

McCain plus 4

by oliver777 2008-09-11 09:48AM | 0 recs
Strategic Vision is Republican

So you can realistically take at least a couple of points off that margin.

by Davidsfr 2008-09-11 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio
Why on earth are you writing off Colorado?  Ras has Obama up 3 there.  If he wins Colorado and New Mexico, he can afford to lose Ohio.
You're insanely pessimistic and following your strategy is exactly why Kerry lost.
by bottl4 2008-09-11 09:53AM | 0 recs
CO and NV are not "gone"

that is ridiculous--no poll taken since the conventions has shown Obama losing Colorado.

by Davidsfr 2008-09-11 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Nobody's giving up on Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, or Iowa. Obama's leading solidly in Iowa, up somewhat in Colorado, tied in Nevada, and close in Virginia. Those are all major focus areas.

NC is a place where he might scale back. I don't see a full-scale pullout. There'll be some offices and lots of active volunteers; the map will keep being expanded. But, if NC turns out to be just too much of a reach, I'd go for shifting some paid staff over to Virginia.

The Dakotas are out of reach. However they weren't expensive in the first place. Georgia's out of reach. A lot of formerly red, map-expanding states are in play.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-09-11 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

I pray the Quinnipiac Ohio poll is official. I hope it is true. Damn if this Ohio poll is sound, then it's over guys. If Obama can SOME HOW pull of the Buckeye State, GAME OVER. The unemployment rate in Ohio is at 9.1%. God Guns & Gays can't save McCain.

by nzubechukwu 2008-09-11 08:45AM | 0 recs
Back to the Clintons

And let's take a look at the history of Ohio for prez.

1980 Carter - LOSS
1984 Mondale - LOSS
1988 Dukakis - LOSS
1992 CLINTON -      WIN
1996 CLINTON -      WIN
2000 Gore - LOSS
2004 Kerry - LOSS

If it's all gonna come back to OHIO again.  Folks, the Clintons are the only ones in the last 3 decades that know how to win OHIO.  

Obama/Biden team, let's ask them pretty please to get over there.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-11 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Back to the Clintons

It would have taken more than Ohio to save Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis.  And I'm not sure we actually lost the state four years ago, but be that as it may, Ohio was 4.03% more Republican than the nation as a whole in 2000 (Gore won U.S. popular vote by 0.52% but lost Ohio by 3.51%) and 0.35% more Democratic than the nation as a whole in 2004 (Kerry lost U.S. popular vote by 2.46% but lost Ohio by 2.11%) despite the presence of a same-sex marriage amendment that brought the social conservatives out in droves.

Two years ago, Ohio elected a Democratic governor and senator by wide margins, and perhaps best of all, we no longer have Ken Blackwell manipulating the machinery.  It's not over by a long shot, but the trends appear to be in our favor.  Also, the condition of the state's economy (7.2% unemployment, highest in 16 years; over a billion dollars in state spending has been cut due to lack of revenue) should give pause to anyone asking for four more years like the last eight.

by KTinOhio 2008-09-11 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Back to the Clintons

Yes, but not large losses. Very, very close actually.

by Becky G 2008-09-11 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

You are giving McCain too much credit for having a strategy behind the Palin pick -- beyond she is a woman fundamentalist.

The McCain campaign has no focus beyond creating the next manufactured controversy. Their new campaign slogan of Reform is already coming back to bite them in the ass.

They are on the warpath to destroy Obama. I honestly didn't think they were going to do it, but clearly McCain has the arrogance as does Palin to believe they can do no wrong. The Republican brand is badly tarnished and win or lose McCain is going to be hated by nearly half the country.

What a way to run the country and inspire a nation.

by Lolis 2008-09-11 08:46AM | 0 recs
you really

didnt think they would use a scorched earth policy?

by sepulvedaj3 2008-09-11 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: you really

It seemed like a lot of Republicans, Kristol and Limbaugh, had given up on John McCain and thought that he would hurt their party more than help it. It seemed like they were thinking long-term of losing this election and re-grouping as a party. The demographics are changing--even Republicans must know this. Young people and minorities overwhelmingly support democrats, so yes, I thought the Repubs may not go nuclear and risk the future of their party even more.

by Lolis 2008-09-11 09:10AM | 0 recs
CO + NM + IA

Colorado plus the Gore states means victory for Obama, and he pretty much has that.

So Obama has a backup electoral map game plan in the event that the swing state trifecta, Missouri, Ohio and Florida, revert to their traditionalist Southern mentalities and go for McCain.

I'd like to see that because it would that the same ol' states wouldn't be determinative for the president.

But then again, padding our victory margin is not a bad thing either!

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-09-11 08:46AM | 0 recs
NH, too

Forgot that one.

If NH went for McCain under Obama's barebones electoral map, there would be a tie and each state delegation from the House of Reps would have to choose and Obama would eke out a victory there, too.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-09-11 08:49AM | 0 recs
This also applies to Michigan.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-09-11 08:49AM | 0 recs
Obama's economic message is geared...

...toward Ohio, pennsylvania and Michigan. he is, to some extent, sacrificing his chances in Virginia, North Carolina, etc.

I think this makes sense in the long run.

We are all nervous right now, but there may be some method to this madness.

If Obama can force McCain to waste a lot of money defending Florida too, he may pull this one out yet.

Slow and steady wins the race.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-09-11 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Rasmussen and Quinnipiac release starkly different numbers.

Who is right.

Rasmussen sees Mccain expanding his lead while Quinnipiac sees Obama expanding his lead.

I really don't see what Obama has done in Ohio to make him expand his lead in the past two weeks , however I can see a reason why Mccain's lead would be up..

We would have to wait and see other polls..

However I do believe Ohio and Co would decide the election...

by lori 2008-09-11 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

It's not just Rassmussen vs. Quinnipiac.

It's Rassmussen vs. the world.

Rass the ONLY pollster - beyond an old and suspect Columbus Dispatch poll showing McCain up 1 pt - that has shown a McCain lead.

Every other poll has showed, at worst, a tie.  Sure - Q is the only poll showing Obama up outside the MOE.

But this is hardly a case of one pollster being right and another being wrong... It's a case of either one single pollster nailing it, while everyone else has it wrong -- or some degree of being right among everyone else and one pollster being wrong.

by zonk 2008-09-11 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

On the other hand, Ras shows a tie in Florida, and every other pollster has McCain ahead. Not quite sure what to make of that.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-09-11 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Oh sure -

I'm not saying Rass is somehow tricking out their OH numbers at all.  

I'm just saying that Rassmussen clearly has a model and methodology in Ohio that differs from everyone else polling the state.

None of these pollsters are trying to move numbers or relay inaccurate results for partisan gain - they're simply using different models and methods.

All we can do is look at them all relative to each other, note the trendlines, and go from there.

Personally?  I think Obama has a narrow 1-2 pt edge in OH, and probably trails in FL by a slightly larger number.

by zonk 2008-09-11 09:26AM | 0 recs
Regarding Independents

I think that the swing Obama to McCain among independents is the result of two factors.

First, Democratic identification among voters has been trending upward since 2006.  Secondly, Republican identification among voters has been trending downward/static since the 2006 cycle.  

Speaking solely for myself, my voting patterns at all levels, state, local, and federal, has trended from 65/35 Democratic / Republican in 1990 to about 90/0/10 Democratic / Republican / Libertarian in 2006.  I was in Texas in 2006, and there were lots of state races where the only two options on the ballot were Rep and Libertarian.  

Even thought I voted for mostly Democrats, I was still an "independent" the entire time.  I only finally enrolled (in Massachusetts, which has party enrollment) as a Democrat this past winter in order to vote in the Democratic primary.

Since more Democratic-leaning independents have been switching over to actually enrolling as Democrats, and people have been leaving the Republican Party, it seems to me that Republican-leaning Independents make up a larger portion of the overall Independent pool now than prior to 2006.  If that is true, then it makes sense that as the election approaches, more of them will break for McCain.

by Dreorg 2008-09-11 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

I've heard Obama has registered 900,000 voters in Ohio.  Does anyone know if this is true?  I find it hard to believe; too good to be true.

Perhaps new Dem registrants thru priamry?  Very curious.

by GoldLame 2008-09-11 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

I'm not sure Colorado is looking all that tenuous.  PPP has Obama +1, and Rasmussen has Obama +3, in polls immediately following the Republican convention.  

by Mr Sifter 2008-09-11 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

We're in a prime position to win this cycle. We don't need Ohio (but we'd be foolish to concede it). It'll be close regardless, Obama has to look to defend all of Kerry's states, which he likely will and he'll have to get Iowa, Nevada, Colorado in the fold and that I believe will be enough. Iowa seems to be a lock. Add in New Mexico. Should be exciting.

by falcon4e 2008-09-11 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

The dollar discussion is a little misleading. Each Obama dollar is not a stand-alone device. He has built very effective ground organizations in many of the states on the edge, like Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, etc.  To pull out dollars now would mean a huge waste of resources. Where those states, with our ground efforts, can be sustained without a huge detriment to the campaign as a whole, they should stay right in the mix. If you have CO, NM NV, MT, NH, VA, IN, IA all within striking distance right now, the prudent strategy is to keep the operations strong and spend advertising dollars there too, but wisely.  That should still leave ample resources for the effort in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

It just is not smart thinking to panic and pull back a third of your whole operation on the basis of less than one week's national polling.

by anoregonreader 2008-09-11 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Of all the states you mentioned, the only one I could see a pullback in would be MT, except that it's so cheap that you might as well keep going.

We're up in IA, NH, and NM and probably in CO, pretty much tied in NV, and very close in VA. We're trailing considerably in IN, but IN is awfully hard to pick with the Chicago-suburb factor going on, and it's relatively cheap to continue operations in.

There are ample resources left to play offense in Ohio and Florida and defense in Michigan and PA.

Of this set of states, I really don't have any doubt that MI, PA, IA, NH, and NM are going Obama. It'd take a couple home runs from McCain to change that, and Palin's not even a home run. So those are completely off the table for a pull-out. I strongly suspect CO and NV go Obama and at least one of OH or FL. VA's a toss-up. Probably not IN, but who knows?

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-09-11 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Where are you getting the "trailing considerably" in IN from?

The most recent IN poll I've seen - last week of August - from Howey-Gauge has Obama trailing within the MOE.

I'm not saying I think IN is a two pt race, but I haven't seen anything that contradicts the most recent spate of polls.

by zonk 2008-09-11 12:08PM | 0 recs
registration and turnout

Palin Doesn't Matter, Numbers Do
By Bob Beckel

The Sarah Palin "boom" that has so traumatized Democrats and intimidated the press will have little if any impact on the presidential election. People don't vote for vice presidents, they vote for presidents. This race is about John McCain and Barack Obama not Annie Oakley from Wasilla, Alaska. It is also about turnout numbers and the electoral demographics in 2008 which overwhelm any impact Sarah Palin might have on the election outcome.

First the Palin "boom". It is the product of surprise (a short lived but powerful force in politics), an emotional outlet for the GOP Right, and post convention polls. In the intense coverage of politics by the ever expanding number of outlets for political information, what is new and surprising quickly becomes over exposed resulting in a short shelf life. The freshness goes away quickly. So it will be shortly for Ms. Palin. She has had the best week in this campaign she will have and the only direction now is down.

The large turnouts at McCain/Palin events this week are a result of an energized Right (which will vote Republican anyway) and say as much about the lack of enthusiasm on the Right for McCain before he picked Palin as it does about any shift in the electorate. As for post convention polls; they are the least predictive of the eventual outcome as any polls in a presidential election. Of course there was a "bounce" after 3 days of what amounted to an infomercial for McCain and a negative ad campaign against Obama. It will not last.

Despite the best efforts of the McCain campaign to control press access to Palin, they can hold back the press tide only so long. It is simply too big and prolific. McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis said on Fox News Sunday they will continue to limit press access until the media shows some "deference" to Palin. Deference is for dictators and monarchs not for junior governors of sparsely populated states like Alaska who expect to be second in line to the leader of the world's oldest Democracy.

When the press tide breaks over Palin what has been given little coverage will be widely disseminated:

* Instead of being a reform governor who hates federal "pork" it will become common knowledge that she has lobbied for and gotten $770 million dollars in pork projects making Alaska among the top three states per capita receiving government largess.

* Far from opposing the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" pork project, she supported it wholeheartedly only to oppose it when the project became a political bombshell (She kept the bridge money anyway for other Alaskan boondoggles).

* Palin is a right winger. She opposes abortion even in the case of rape, incest AND even if the health of the mother is in jeopardy. She favors shooting wolves from airplanes and has addressed her husband's Alaska Independence Movement affiliation which calls for a vote on Alaska separating from the United States.

And this is only what we know so far. As Barack Obama rightly said stories about Palin's family should be off limits. Besides a sense of propriety, raising her family issues only gives the McCain campaign more ammunition for press bashing. There is plenty of information on Palin unrelated to her family to drive the gender gap back to the Democrats and to ignite the Democratic base.

Now to numbers and demographics (those things that, unlike Palin, really matter in this election year). It has been widely reported that Democrats have a decided advantage over Republicans in voter self identification (from the low double digits to a 20% spread). What has received less attention is the number of newly registered voters in 2008. According to USA Today in the 28 states that register voters by party affiliation the Democrats have added 2 million new voters in 2008 while Republicans have lost 344,000.

Among the states with the largest number of new registrants are Ohio and Pennsylvania, two hotly contested states between Obama and Clinton (yet another reason to debunk the notion that a protracted nominating season hurt Obama). Add to this the vastly superior ongoing voter registration efforts by the Obama campaign which should result in an even greater Democrat to Republican registration advantage by November 4th. Given voter self identification numbers, even if Republicans get organized there are far fewer Republicans to register in 2008.

Demographics also favor the Democrats big time in 2008. It is generally conceded that Obama will win the youth vote by a healthy margin, and if primaries are indicators of fall turnout (historically they are) the youth vote will increase substantially over 2004. Millions of new voters have reached 18 since 2004. Some examples according to the US Census Bureau:

* In Ohio (which John Kerry lost by only 120,000 votes in 2004), 750,000 eligible voters between 18 and 22 who could not vote in 2004 can vote in 2008.

* In Colorado (Kerry lost by 99,000) 293,000 between 18 and 22 have become eligible to vote in 2008.

* In New Mexico (Kerry lost by 6000 votes) 145,000 kids have reached voting age.

* In Michigan 690,000 have become eligible.

* In Virginia 465,000 (Kerry lost by 260,000).

* In Florida alone over 1 million young people have reached voting age since 2004.

Then there are black voters. According to the Census Bureau there are 24 million eligible black voters in America of which 16 million (64%) are registered. In 2004 blacks cast 14 million votes or only 56% of the eligible black population. Blacks are registering to vote at historic rates in 2008 and turnout will soar above 2004 levels. Some examples:

* In Colorado there are 110000 eligible black voters. Only 50,000 voted in 2004.

* In Ohio there are 860,000 eligible black voters. Only 380,000 voted in 2004. (Remember Kerry lost by only 120,000 votes).

* In Virginia, 945,000 eligible black voters, 465,000 voted in 2004.

* Florida; 1,750,000 eligible blacks, 770,000 voted in 2004.

Not to get morbid but there is another statistic that is working against the Republicans. The Center for Disease Control estimates there have been, on average, 2.5 million deaths in America each year since 2005, the overwhelming number of whom were 65 years and older. Since it is generally conceded that John McCain will win the over 65 vote the actuarial tables present a problem. But you say millions have turned 65 since 2004. Correct, but among the people who were 61-64 in 2004 the vote split evenly between Kerry and Bush.

Put it all together and the conclusions are fairly obvious. Sarah Palin may help turnout marginally on the Right but mostly in states that will vote Republican like Alaska. In battleground states, voter registration, newly eligible young voters, eligible nonvoting blacks, and even death rates all favor Obama.

Excuse the pun but Palin's impact on the 2008 election pales in comparison to the Democrats' demographic advantages. In the end all the Palin "boom" you hear today will be a whimper come Election Day.
Bob Beckel managed Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign. He is a senior political analyst for the Fox News Channel and a columnist for USA Today. Beckel is the co-author with Cal Thomas of the book "Common Ground."
Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/article s/2008/09/palin_doesnt_matter_numbers_do .html at September 11, 2008 - 10:33:35 AM PDT

by politicsmatters 2008-09-11 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: registration and turnout
Best article I've read all morning.
by mikeinsf 2008-09-11 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: registration and turnout

Too bad it was written by the guy who managed Mondale's campaign....  of course, I guess he would know best about having a female VP on the ticket!

by LordMike 2008-09-11 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: registration and turnout
Regardless of who wrote it, it was interesting
by mikeinsf 2008-09-11 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Rising In Ohio

One more time:

Obama's Firewall states: OH, CO, VA, MO, NV, FL, IN, NC.

60% of resources should go to those states.

30% to some of the more "reach" states--MY, the Dakotas, Arizona, maybe bold efforts to turn out black and poor voters in the deep south. Seems to me, he should choose between South OR west/prairie--if he does a half-assed job in both regions, he will probably lose both and not even scare McAncient.

10% to the 21 safe states won by Kerry, Gore or both, including NM and any that might become competitive. Most of these states have overwhelming Democratic majorities, and it's up to the state machines to deliver. Obama should NOT spend excessive amounts of time in the safe states, or McCain will get the Bush states for free and the whole game will be played in territory that Obama absolutely must win.

Compete in the eight firewall states, and the game is played in only states that McCain cannot win without.  Win any ONE of those eight, and Obama becomes President. Compete in all eight, and he will win some of them.

by admiralnaismith 2008-09-11 09:24AM | 0 recs
You left out NH

It's a crucial firewall state. It looks likely to go blue, but it's not a sure thing.

by Coral 2008-09-11 10:05AM | 0 recs
Take out MO, NC, IN, FL

add NM, IA, MI, NH.

That is the firewall. Among those Obama can spare Ohio and Virgnia, and NH if he wins NV, but calling NC and MO 'firewall' states is not consistent with current data and the level of EVs Obama needs. If he wins those states he has a cushion.

by Davidsfr 2008-09-11 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Take out MO, NC, IN, FL

Take out those states, and you lose them. Compete in them, and McCain cannot take the battle to the safe blue states.

Seriously, MI, IA, etc., are for the local party machines to pick up the slack. Give swing states like Missouri to the Republicans for FREE, and all the money McAncient would have spent defending them goes to putting safe states like Michigan suddenly in play. Unless you're interested in losing, that's not smart.

We can learn something from Kerry's loss. He lost because he gave up on swing states too early, and decided he only needed 20 states to win.  That way, Bush started out with 257 electoral votes, and because Bush continued to contest all of the Kerry states, Kerry started with ZERO and needed to win every single state that he did not already concede to Bush.

Give McCain Florida and Missouri for free, and you're making the same mistake.

by admiralnaismith 2008-09-11 12:16PM | 0 recs
Don't forget HI. If Obama loses Hawaii, then it's all over
by mikeinsf 2008-09-11 04:29PM | 0 recs
My Theory

Part of the McCain bounce is due to the shrinking Bradley effect. Many voters who were going to vote for McCain said they were going to vote for Obama to avoid looking racist. However, Palin gives these voters enough cover to tell the truth to pollsters.

So far its looking a lot like 2000 and 2004. The good news is that if Obama can win all the states that at least went Democratic once, then the electoral college outcome is 269-269. But because Democrats control the House, Obama should become president. According to the polls, it looks like Obama has every state in that category except New Mexico. However, Obama has a slight lead in Colorado. So Obama still has a very slight advantage in the electoral college.

The election comes down to this: Obama must hold on to Pennslyvania, Michigan and Colorado. If he loses Colorado, he must regain New Mexico. A loss in Michigan must be offset by a win in Ohio.

by Zzyzzy 2008-09-11 09:51AM | 0 recs
He hasn't lost NM

only Ras shows him behind there, by two points. Overall Obama is better off in NM than CO. In fact, McCain is pulling resources out of NM

Colorado is critical, but it is not a Kerry 04 state so don't talk about "holding on to it."

by Davidsfr 2008-09-11 10:03AM | 0 recs
On Colorado

I meant to say holding on to the lead in Colorado.

by Zzyzzy 2008-09-11 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Other polls post Convention from Ohio.

Insider Advantage: McCain 48% Obama 47%
Strategic Vision: McCain 48% Obama 44%
Quinnipiac: McCain 44% Obama 49%
Rasmussen: McCain 51% Obama 44%
CNN: McCain 45% Obama 47%

Average: McCain +1.0%

This will be on hell of a fight. I personally think Obama should pull out of North Carolina and go all in in Ohio. Lets face it, the 50-state strategy is a very flawed plan.

by RJEvans 2008-09-11 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

He needs to hammer home McCain's healthcare proposal is to TAX employer-based benefits, that the vaunted "tax credit" doesn't cover the value of most policies.

He needs to point out its a historical FACT that dem administrations create jobs and reduce debt. The GOP has NEVER made job creation a priority. They increase public debt and protect vast private wealth. Every single surrogate should be shouting this from the roof-tops.

Not to even touch upon the perpetual wars he is itching to start.

What a freaking nightmare McCain has become. His Napoleon Complex is glaringly obvious.

by bird52 2008-09-11 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

I don't think it's just an East Coast thing.

I'm in a large Midwestern metropolis.

Palin's freaking out the Repubs I know--one just told me this morning that he can't support McCain with Palin on the ticket.

(He'll probably not bother voting since we don't have any senate or governor races going on here.)

by Bush Bites 2008-09-11 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

In V, apparently, Obama has improved in the military dominated regions of the state 'cos many military folk cannot see Palin as commander in chief...

by LordMike 2008-09-11 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

I'm hearing the same thing in Texas.

On the other hand, there were a lot of people outraged (or faux outraged, anyway) about lipstick on a pig on the radio this morning. So, on the one hand, I worry that the Republicans are managing to spin that piece of idiocy into taking hold.

But then I look at it and realize this is the best they have, and it really ain't much.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-09-11 11:48AM | 0 recs
can he retool

My question is can the Obama campaign retool for the reality of the usual, close presidential campaign in the usual battlegrounds.

He needs the "old coalition" and early in the campaign he wrote part of it off

The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections, going back even to the Clinton years
and took the rest for granted
Women, loyal to Senator Hillary Clinton, will "get over it," he reportedly told C.B.C. lawmakers, once they learn what Senator John McCain's positions are on women's issues.
as recently as two days ago he was in denial that he has to reach out to women, rejecting bad polls outright
A Washington Post/ABC News survey published on Tuesday found most of McCain's surge in the polls since the Republican National Convention was due to a big shift in support among white women voters.

"The notion that people are swinging back and forth in the span of a few weeks or a few days this wildly generally isn't borne out," Obama told reporters during a campaign stop in Riverside, Ohio.

The campaign is now about those voters. The "new coalition" isn't enough to change the polls and isn't a big factor in the battleground states. The Ohio Democratic party is much stronger than it was in 2004, so Obama certainly has a shot. But Kerry was competitive and bumping into 50% for a lot of 2004 and lost.

by souvarine 2008-09-11 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Ohio is a red state, just one that has been scorned by the Republican establishment that ran it for too long (and still getting scorned, even today).

The other thing to remember about Ohio, is even though it's so red, we have very blue areas (or potentially). Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton have a large African-American populace, so if we can get these areas out to vote this year, an Obama win will not be that hard. That's if the push-polling going on here by McCain doesn't hurt us.

by hovercrafter 2008-09-11 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Let's not forget MO... Ras has him down only 5 there, which is what Kerry was down in MO at the same time in 2004... Had Kerry spend a dime's worth of resources there in October, he might have won it.  Bush only won MO by a razor thin margin!

Remember how Obama pulled out MO hours after everyone called it for Hillary?  He can do it again!

by LordMike 2008-09-11 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

I think many independents are actually disaffected Republicans that left the part, or started self identifying as independent after being fed up with Bush. My anecdotal experience suggests this. Therefore it might be likely that if these indies go anywhere, its back from whence they came--to the GOP.

by bigdaddy 2008-09-11 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

I don't get the defeatism. Sure I understand pulling out of Georgia. It's a relatively expensive market to advertise in and it wasn't realistic at the best of times...

But most of these polls were taken at the absolute height of the RNC bounce... and Virginia is only +1 McCain, North Carolina +4, and now WVa is only +5? These are exceptionally weak numbers for McCain.

by IMind 2008-09-11 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Internals for the Insider Advantage poll show AAs are 23% for McCain, 48% for Obama.  Is this a joke??

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/RCP_PDF /InsiderAdvantagePollPositionOhioGeneral ElectionPoll91108.pdf

by neko608 2008-09-11 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnipiac: Obama Rising In Ohio

Oh jeebus...

Reverse Bradley? ;-)

I'm ready to toss that one out.

by zonk 2008-09-11 12:16PM | 0 recs
Ohio's back red on the map?

And So is Michigan? That doesn't seem right.

by iohs2008 2008-09-11 01:10PM | 0 recs


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