With barely 48 hours until polls all over this country finally close on the 2008 presidential election, I figured it time to make my White House and Senate predications. I'm going to stick them here in the diaries rather than on the front page because my educated guesses are hardly worth that level of attention; all of us are arm-chair prognosticators.
I believe that Barack Obama will win the White House with 364 electoral votes and that the Democrats will pick up 7 Senate seats, giving them 57 (58, but I expect Lieberman to fly the coop). These predictions are based on polls from RealClearPolitics, statistical analysis from FiveThirtyEight, and my own understanding of history, geography, and culture.
I've shied away from posting lately because others are far better than I at statistical election analysis, fundraising, and inspiring folks to act, which is what matters this time of year. But, it is important to step back from the polls and statistics for just a moment every now and again to remember just how amazing this election is. This story from the Austin (TX) Statesman has to be the single most marvelous thing about this campaign. It speaks volumes.
Daughter of slave votes for Obama: 109-year-old Bastrop woman casts her vote by mail
Amanda Jones, 109, the daughter of a man born into slavery, has lived a life long enough to touch three centuries. And after voting consistently as a Democrat for 70 years, she has voted early for the country's first black presidential nominee.
The middle child of 13, Jones, who is African American, is part of a family that has lived in Bastrop County for five generations. The family has remained a fixture in Cedar Creek and other parts of the county, even when its members had to eat at segregated barbecue dives and walk through the back door while white customers walked through the front, said Amanda Jones' 68-year-old daughter, Joyce Jones...
Amanda Jones says she cast her first presidential vote for Franklin Roosevelt, but she doesn't recall which of his four terms that was. When she did vote, she paid a poll tax, her daughters said. That she is able, for the first time, to vote for a black presidential nominee for free fills her with joy, Jones said.
Barack Obama's lead over John McCain in Gallup's traditional turnout model is his largest since the survey has been published, and it matches his largest spread in the expanded turnout model as well. Yesterday's Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll also found Obama expanding on his lead, pushing it to 53 percent to 44 percent over McCain -- or largely in line with both the composite of the polling above, as well as the trend.
But what it all comes down to is this: McCain needs this race to tighten if he wants a shot at winning the presidency, but not only is there no evidence of tightening in the race -- he is still having difficulty crossing the 45 percent threshold in national polling -- there is in fact evidence that the race is one again diverging, with Obama's lead growing.
We are 3 days out from election day. What are you doing to help enact progressive change in this country?
The final numbers are in and a whopping 33.6 million viewers tuned in to watch Barack Obama's prime time broadcast on Wednesday night. For reference, that's more than watched the final game of the World Series later in the evening and more than viewed the finale of "American Idol" last season. That prompts the folks at First Read to ask and answer: "Was the Obama infomercial worth the millions the campaign spent on it? It looks like it."
Rasmussen Reports, which seemed to have mixed up the lede in its coverage of the event, polled voters responses to the broadcast and also found that it was a genuine success. Check out what Rasmussen buries starting on the 15th -- 15th -- paragraph of the write up of its survey.
Fifty-four percent (54%) say the ad makes them more likely to vote for Obama, even though 62% say it didn't tell them anything that they didn't already know about the Democratic presidential candidate.
Twenty-four percent (24%) say the ad makes them less likely to vote for Obama, while 20% say it will have no impact.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of female voters say the ad makes them more likely to vote for Obama versus 50% of men.
Twenty-one percent ( 21%) of GOP voters and 36% of unaffiliateds say the ad increases the likelihood that they will vote for Obama. Thirty-three percent (33%) of unaffiliated voters say they are now less likely to do so, but only four percent (4%) of Democrats agree.
Twenty-nine percent (29%) of voters also say the ad told them something about Obama that they didn't already know, but nine percent (9%) are not sure. Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters ages 18 to 29 and 50% of those who will be voting for the first time in this election say the ad told them something new about the candidate.
Those who watched the ad became significantly more likely to vote for Obama, and a decent chunk of viewers learned something new about Obama that they had not previously known. What more could you ask for from a telecast that reached 33.6 million viewers?
Last night's Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll had Barack Obama's lead holding firm at 52 percent to 44 percent over John McCain, and the Battleground tracker (.pdf) this morning had Obama's lead inching up to 49 percent to 45 percent. All in all, it certainly looks like whatever mini-bounce McCain was enjoying, inching up a point or so in recent days, may have subsided. At the least, McCain is still having real difficulty crossing that 45 percent Mendoza line.
Don't think that McCain is pondering the possibility of losing on Tuesday? Take a look at this:
We are 4 days out from election day. What are you doing to help enact progressive change in this country?