Contrasting Polling In 2008 to 2004 and 2006

Here is an interesting graph showing the RCP tracking poll average from 2004. ntial_04/chart3way.html

For those like me, who are stressing out big time with the election only a week away, it's reassuring to see that Bush's lead against Kerry was consistently smaller than the lead Obama is sustaining over McCain. I haven't seen McCain ahead in a single poll since September. Here is a list of the actual poll numbers leading up to the election in 2004: _kerry.html

With so much divergence from pollsters trying to assess the make up of electorate this year it's also fascinating to take a look at the projections for the 2006 senate races, compared to the final results. Here are the numbers: writeup/2006_senate_realclearpolitics_po ll_averages-63.html

In the 2006 election in Arizona the Republican performed 0.4% better than the RCP average. In Maryland the Democrat performed 5.3% better. In Michigan 1.5% to the Democrat, Minnesotta 3.4% to the Democrat, Missouri 0.5% to the Democrat, in Montana 2.4% to the Republican, New Jersey 1.6% to the Dem, Ohio 2% to the Dem, Pennsylvania 5.5% to the Dem, Rhode Island 5% to the Dem, Tennessee 3% to the Dem, Virginia 1.2% to the Republican, and Washington State 5.7% to the Dem.

It seems as though in the traditionally Democratic states, Democratic turnout considerably exceeded expectations. I think we're going to see something very similar this election. I live in California, and even though this state isn't competitive everyone I've been in contact with is extremely enthusiastic about casting their vote as if it was potentially decisive. One wonders whether the same can be said in traditional red states like Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, etc, where Obama doesn't have a shot. For that reason, based on the numbers above you could safely argue that Obama will poll at least 1-2% better in the nationwide popular vote. Of course undecideds are probably going to break narrowly for McCain so this might end up being a wash.

Additionally, it's good to see that in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Democrats also out performed their polling in 2006. I think this bodes well for Obama in both of those states, but especially Pennsylvania where he currently has a double digit lead in the polls.

The bad news is that in the competitive red states, Montana, Virginia, and Arizona, the swing went in the opposite direction. As Republican's rallied towards the end of that election it was noticeable just how close both Democrat, Jon Tester in Montana (who had been widely favored to beat Conrad Burns) and Jim Webb (who had opened up a decent lead in some polls against George Allen) came to losing their races. From this you could argue that Republican turnout in Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona might be much higher than is expected. Florida is anyone's guess.

The geographic diversity of these trends is what I think has to be taken into account with the current polling. For example Pew has Obama up by 15, Gallup by 7 in their expanded model, Hotline by 8, and Research 2000 by 7, nationally. By comparison Gallup's traditional polling model has Obama up by only 2, and TIPP, Zogby, and Battleground have him up by 3-4 points. Their turnout models are probably all correct, but geographically relative. This is a big country, some parts of which have been harder hit by the economy. I think it's fair to assume we're going to see different things happen in different parts the nation come November 4th.

Obama had a magnificent week by any estimation last week. From Colin Powell's endorsement, to the $150,000 spent on clothes for Palin, the infighting between McCain and Palin, it helped Obama reverse a trend that was heading in McCain's favor. State polling is a lagging indicator of the national mood and I think the extent of the leads you're currently seeing for Obama in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, etc, are as a result of his successes last week.

By contrast, Obama had a poor weekend, and a terrible Monday this week, in my opinion. His campaign have a habit of losing their focus and reverting back to the very general bi-partisan optimism that doesn't translate well into soundbites on the evening news, and it doesn't come close to controlling the national conversation. Obama needs to be on the offense in making focused attacks on McCain. Right now the McCain campaign has free reign to throw their ridiculous bombs at Obama because he doesn't have to compensate for any of Obama's attacks. As far as I'm concerned every sentence that comes out of Obama's mouth from now until election day should include the words Bush and McCain. Obama has earned 50% + support, but now he has to ensure that the right wing attack machine doesn't have the leverage to re-brand Obama as a Marxist, terrorist, muslim, manchurian candidate that is only going to make the economy worse (as if that were possible).

However, today the right were unable to sustain that momentum. A McCain campaign source calling Palin a "whackjob" certainly didn't help. That is a good sign for Obama. Zogby's latest tracking poll will be out very shortly and while this should generally reflect Monday's narrative, if there is no trend for McCain that will be a good sign for Obama. Likewise, watch Gallup tomorrow, the most consistent indicator of the direction of the national mood, in my opinion, this campaign season. McCain's only hope is day in, day out, incessant negativity against Obama. Hopefully Bill Clinton campaigning with Obama in Florida tomorrow and the 30 minute prime time advertisement that airs tomorrow evening will assist Obama in preventing that from occuring.

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McCain and Real Wealth Redistribution

The main reason I'm a Democrat is that Republicans have a sorry record on education.  I'm a teacher candidate at the University of West Georgia and teaching has been a passion of mine for a long time now.  With all this talk about Sen. Obama's "wealth redistribution" tax plan I can't help but think of Sen. McCain's own plan to redistribute wealth:  vouchers.  Vouchers are when the government gives YOUR tax dollars to someone so they can go to a private school, completely unaccountable to you, the taxpayer.  While this is just one of the many flaws of No Child Left Behind (which Sens. McCain and Chambliss support) it's obnoxiously hypocritical for someone to complain about wealth redistribution while at the same time supporting vouchers.

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HELP - Support the Walk Out against Slime Calls

Yesterday the story of 40 call center workers who walked out rather then spread McCain's slime was a big story.

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Today we have the opportunity to HELP the courageous worker who actually walked out.

Lets show people the power of the NetRoots and that if people take a stand we have their back. We set up a fund drive to help replace their lost wages.  Please contribute to "Support the Walkout Against Slime Calls."

40 employees forfeited pay for the sake of cleaner campaigning - now its up to us to stand with them.  A $9 donation makes up for an hour's pay - an hour that won't be spent making attack calls against Obama.


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National Lampoons McCain '08

This isn't much of a diary, I realize as much.  The Diary Police can sue me!

I had to share what I just witnessed on CNN's Campbell Brown.  She was covering the latest brilliant move from Camp McCain, the amazing traveling "Joe the Plumber Bus Tour".  If I were at all a lucky person, this train-wreck would come south. Unfortunately for the rest of the country, this is a treat meant only for Ohio.  

I honestly didn't catch the whole segment; until the end, I was only half listening.  I saw "Joe" speaking to a handful of people at some dumpy bar, declaring his intent to vote for "real Americans".  Nice!  What a gig!  

As the the piece ended, going back to Campbell Brown, she said something like, "Joe on his bus tour." With a very nice smile, Brown looks into the camera and softly says, "Yeah, seriously." I died laughing.  Good for her!

What a joke this has become!  My skin crawls when I see Palin and McCain speak; not like a creepy crawl, its more like toe-curling embarassment.  I honestly experience the feeling of embarassment - sort of like I might seeing a 300 lbs. woman wearing a size four belly shirt.  

I appreciated Brown's moment of honesty.  Its so difficult sometimes watching the news; the talking heads taking all of this so seriously.

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Call to Arms

As you know tomorrow John McCain will be on Larry King. It is time for some accountability. I emailed my question to the show citing facts. Here is the link to the show. Send in your questions, be respectful and cite factual examples. Let us as voters ask for some accountability from this man. lkl.html

Short diary but unlike others I request everyone to take this seriously. This ugly divisiveness has gone way too far. We have to combat the forces of division that this man has engendered.

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