• on a comment on Prediction, or post mortem over 5 years ago

    I didn't mean Bill (in any of that). That was aimed squarely at the McCain camp and their misunderstandings and underestimation.

  • on a comment on Next Day down-ballot over 5 years ago

    Add to your 2009 list infrastructure repair on a large scale; that'll be part of a combined economic stimulus/jobs/energy push (all of those tie together).

    Health care is in the hands of the Senate. Obama will sign what he's given, and the House will most likely pass what the Senate comes up with. If it's just for children, that's what we get. If it's Obama's plan, more or less, we get that. If Hillary gets out in front of it, we get some variation on her plan. Obama's not going to burn a ton of political capital on any particular plan -- that's my prediction, anyway -- but on this issue he doesn't necessarily have to given the amount of Senate Dem support for doing something about health care.

  • on a comment on Next Day down-ballot over 5 years ago

    I agree very much with your last comment. For the first time in a long time, we had a candidate who wasn't completely terrified whenever the words 'liberal' and 'socialist' and 'marxist' and so forth were thrown around. We had a candidate who wasn't afraid of pushing right back when allegations of being 'unpatriotic' were made.

    And we had a candidate who (for the most part) actually talked to voters as if they were adults who could make decisions based on issues and not smears -- and, apparently, voters actually could!

    Maybe, just maybe, the nearly-across-the-board losses in the states McCain roboslimed for weeks may be a beginning to the end of that kind of campaigning. One can hope, a bit, anyway.

  • comment on a post President Barack Obama over 5 years ago

    An amazing moment.

    My kids will never remember living in a world where it was considered impossible for an African-American to be elected President. That's a pretty incredible thought.

    The world just changed. How much, and how far, we don't know... we won't know, for a while. But the world has changed.

  • on a comment on Prediction, or post mortem over 5 years ago

    Some/many of the fiscal/business/moderate Republican coalition isn't voting anyway. I personally know a fair number of them; they never really liked McCain all that much and Palin horrifies them. They're sitting it out. Their well-funded precincts aren't going to be too busy.

    On the other hand, the base is going to turn out. Whether their precincts are good or not depends on the state, most likely.

  • on a comment on Prediction, or post mortem over 5 years ago

    I think there was a fair bit of misdirection involved (some intentional, some not). Obama was out being highly visible, doing huge rallies, going off to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Europe, etc. All the focus of the McCain campaign was on the candidate.

    Meanwhile, quietly, the Obama campaign was putting together the ground-game pieces. It was right there in plain sight, but easy to miss with all the focus on the candidate.

    Secondarily, I think there's been willful underestimation of the Obama ground game. Some of it has been because the Obama campaign has been careful about external message control and not over-promising the ground game (there have been a lot of messages like "we'll see how it runs", etc), which have been conducive to Republicans thinking their ground game was still far superior. Some of it has been because outsiders have equated it with the Dean "red-cap" ground game or other efforts. Some has been simply because, prior to Palin, there was zero enthusiasm on the Republican side, and there was no point getting agitated about something they couldn't hope to match.

    I think the jury is still out on exactly how strong the Obama ground game is (or is not), both overall and relative to the Republican ground game. However, I think it's clear that it's much, much better than any Democrat's in recent elections, and I don't think the Republicans were willing to believe that until it was way too late for them to react.

  • on a comment on Tarrance projects a toss-up over 5 years ago

    Me neither. I've stood in an hour-plus line with two 3-year-olds (and two parents; my wife was there too) for something they actively wanted to do and it was a nightmare.

    However: figure a lot of polling places will have a number of parents with children. What's to prevent voters from organizing ad hoc childcare, with one or two parents' places in line being held while they watch a number of kids (outside, in full view, mind you :))? That's how I'd do it, were it my polling place.

  • on a comment on Tarrance projects a toss-up over 5 years ago

    There's quite a bit of polling indicating that undecideds have been breaking slightly for Obama this far, as well. This 4:1+ split seems extremely unlikely.

    Since there's no detailed data within the PDF, it's hard to otherwise comment on their internals. Color me extremely skeptical, though, when every other pollster (including ones with strong R leans) has this at a 6-point race or wider.

  • comment on a post McCain Reduces Spending in PA over 5 years ago

    I think that's the simple answer. They're running out of money, and to some extent running into Obama's incredible ad buys.

    I'm seeing one or two Obama ads in nearly every show. I live in Texas; it's the national buys, of course. But that means in battleground states there's the national ads plus the local ads. It's pure saturation.

    If they're saving money for a last-minute ad blitz, they may be fooling themselves; it's quite possible there will simply be no last-minute ad time to buy.

  • I agree. I suspect he worries as much as anyone -- he's certainly admitted to worries, doubts, mistakes, etc in interviews -- but he's also got an enormous reserve of calmness and control and he knows to not project the worry, nor act on it without thinking it through first.

  • I'm way removed from being a concern troll, goodness knows -- I see this as finishing no closer than 4% nationally and wouldn't be surprised by 8-9% -- but I'm going to worry all the way until McCain concedes. Every day... probably every hour. Too much rides on this one.

    Maybe I'd be a lot happier if I just avoided the blogs until election day -- but my way of dealing with the worries is to learn everything I can about things and analyze the heck out of it.

    It may well be a Democratic thing; it's certainly a Democratic blogger thing. We know we don't have all the answers, we know we've stumbled before, and we're bad at just taking things on faith.

  • Early voting (nearly everywhere) is overwhelming Dem. That benefits us.

    The key takeaway from this really is that the Republicans, at this point, really -- factually -- have a very poor ground game. It's no longer a hypothesis. They're simply not getting out the early vote; they're not even trying very hard. I know about their vaunted 72-hour plan at the end, but in 2000 and 2004 they voted early. In 2008? No.

    We just got a postcard today from the local Republicans touting their meet the candidate, early voting kickoff. Next Saturday. After a week of voting.

    I'm becoming less and less convinced about that 72-hour push too. There's increasing evidence (as opposed, again, to hypothesizing) that there's very limited volunteerism on their side. Offices are empty (read 538's travel reports; it's possible that they're being punked or that Nate's punking us, but it's looking increasingly unlikely). They're using paid canvassers in battleground states. They're not making a push at all on early voting.

    Look at it this way: suppose the national guesstimates are right and we're looking at 40% of the vote done on election day. If Democrats are voting early at a 60-40 clip over Republicans (which appears to be a conservative measure; in a lot of places we're seeing over 2-1) then in fact we'll have locked in well over 40% of our vote (the math isn't straightforward, because the D turnout is almost certainly higher than R in the first place -- but not 60-40) and they'll have locked in less than 40% of theirs.

    Even with R dirty tricks on election day, that cuts their edge from election day chaos.

  • Someone else said, and I will blatantly steal, that the real polling location was Liberty University.

    They also oversample the south.

  • Oh, on that point we agree. It's the drop-off that sinks Obama to 1%. The groups they choose to drop off are unrealistic, mind you -- but that's how they get that result.

    Nevertheless, the two highlights of this poll for me are:

    1. Among RV's it's a 10-point spread. Since their LV model is almost certainly garbage (and if now I want to see the defense of it), that's a good result.
    2. They achieve a 10-point RV spread while massively oversampling evangelicals (and really, while I agree that Battlefield got the margin right, nothing else shows even remotely a 40+ evangelical number -- heck, someone on NPR was saying tonight that it's more like 10% -- and remember that 40+ evangelicals translates into around 50% R's). That's again huge for Obama; double his worst demographic group and he's still up by 10.

    Or of course, it's just a very bad poll and plucking the good news out of the bad news is invalid :). I don't see it as wider than 10% at the present time, so most likely we should just go with bad poll.

  • I'd argue that that poll (the '04 poll) is similarly an outlier, and I'd go with the nationwide exit polling from 2004 instead, which showed 23%.

    Simple thought experiment: if 44% of the US is born again and evangelical Christians, and if 80% of those vote Republican, the Republican base is 35%. That means all the Republicans who aren't in the born again and evangelical group -- the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, the Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, athiest, etc -- all of them -- are about 2% of the population? Because I assure you that people within those religious groups would not answer "yes" to "are you a born-again or evangelical Christian?". Most particularly, I'm quite familiar with the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church In America) -- which has Evangelical in its name, for goodness sake -- and no one that I know would ever answer that question yes. They might explain why "evangelical" is misused, in their opinion, but they know what a yes means and they're not biting.

    That's clearly an absurd result. The evangelical base is not 35% of the US population; if so, Republican party ID would be more like 50%.

    Both factors are driving that poll. What they're showing is that Latinos and young voters who are in the born again and evangelical category are Obama supporters -- which isn't an unreasonable result.

    It's still a massive oversampling of conservatives and born-again and evangelical Christians -- unless you're prepared to argue that Republican party ID should be more like 50% of the population.


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