Was about to post much the same thing before I read this comment.
We seem to be back to where we were before the debates, wondering if the Tories will have a majority or not (with Lib Dems making gains in the 20ish seat range), instead of where we were at the Lib Dem peak with them making a breakthrough in vote share and wondering if Labour or the Tories will be the biggest party (and both way to far from a majority to just cling to a minority gov't).
Not *all* polls are showing this movement, but too many are to ignore. Plus it looks to me like the poll-of-polls is a lagging indicator here.
Too bad: the best hope for the reformist left in Britian is a change in the voting system, and that could only come is the Lib Dems are in a very good bargaining position. Even then it would be a long way from a foregone conclusion.
The other real question is the undecideds, who are reportedly a much larger share of the electorate than normal at this late stage. I think it's anyone's guess as to how they will break -- very plausible cases can be made in all directions.
At any rate, from a purely elections-as-drama point of view, tomorrow afternoon (California time) should be highly engaging. Should be on C-SPAN from 4:55pm EDT / 1:55pm PDT. Hopefully C-SPAN1. If you've never watched the BBC's election night coverage, you are in for a treat -- much more entertaining than ours over here.
If you look at Democratic primary turnout versus Republican primary turnout, indeed, the highest Dem to Rep ratios were in 1984, 1972 and 2004 when we ultimately got beat in the general; in fact, the year that saw the highest raw number of votes cast in a Democratic primary was 1988 when, again, the Democrat got trounced. Ergo: no correlation.
So you imply but do not explicitly state:
All three years cited in the ratio argument were the years with an incumbent Republican president running for reeelection.
There is simply no modern precedent for both parties having such wide open primaries. Yes, it happened technically in 1952, but that doesn't capture the fact that, frankly, Eisenhower was going to be the next president -- the question was which party's ticket he would join. The last time this really happened was 1928.
I've posted this before, but it may be useful to point it out again:
If you are DTS (Decline to State) and a permanent absentee voter, you needed to request a Democratic ballot quite some time ago (at least in my county). You may be able to exchange it at the registrar of voters (same as if you spoil your ballot), but not many will go to the trouble.
Of course, for many (all?) California permanent absentee DTS voters, it's long since too late to ask for a Dem ballot. You were mailed the generic DTS ballot weeks ago unless you asked for a Dem ballot before that. I supposed it's possible to go to the registrar of voters and switch it out, but realistically, few will bother.
Personally, I am torn about allowing non-Democrats to vote in our primaries. My preferred compromise would be to required Dem registration, but allow same-day registration as a Dem. But, if you wont even check a box, why should a party allow you to vote in party business. In most other countries, you have a pay a membership fee to join a party and have a say in the selection of candidates. I'm not advocating that, but seriously -- if you can't or won't check a damn box...
I've been dabbling in this sort of analysis too. Without even launching a spreadsheet, there is a good rule of thumb (which does not always hold true -- the system is quite complex, but is a good starting point): given roughly the same level of support, the district delegate allocation system favors the candidate with more geographically spread out support.
So far, we have seen this borne out in three places, off the top of my head: In NH and NV, Clinton got more of the "popular vote" (whatever that means in a caucus system like NV), but didn't do as well in delegates because her votes were more concentrated in the cities than Obama's. In IA, Edwards benefited from this effect.
While it diminished the quality of the early debates in certain way, I always felt that the early debates should be more inclusive, then as the process moved forward you could raise the barriers to entry to allow a more concentrated debate between the serious candidates. It's by far the best balance of the competing concerns I've seen.
Sorry for posting this twice -- I didn't see the open thread...
I haven't seen this mentioned here, but my impression of the Democratic "bench" in Kentucky (I grew up there -- moved away 6 years ago or so, so I'm not quite as up to date as I used to be) is that just as significant as electing a governor (and lt. gov.) this time, we have set ourselves up with a strong bench.
The '94 congressional elections and the aftermath of Gov. Patton's (D-Corrupt) adminstation left the Kentucky Democratic Party in a sad state. We had no statewide farm team to groom for higher office.
What a difference now! In addition to electing Steve Beshear governor, new Treasurer Jack Conway and reelected Auditor Crit Luallen will go on to run for higher office. And Lt. Gov.-Elect Dr. Dan Mongiardo (who lost the squeaker in '04 against US Sen. Bunning (R)) has has his political fortunes dramatically revived.
But the most significant of these may be Crit Luallen. To quote the Bluegrass Report (sorry for the lengthy quote -- please go check out BGR):
Senator Schumer spoke about next year's senate races to the 100 or so people attending. He talked most specifically about Kentucky and said that Crit Luallen - he mentioned her by name and the fact that she is now the state auditor - will soon be entering the race against McConnell (I think he said she has "pretty much decided to enter the race" or words to that effect). He noted the DSCC polling showed her trailing McConnell by only three points (46 to 43 - close to the recent public polling). Anything more certain being reported in Kentucky at the moment? Schumer made it sound like it was essentially a done deal, and he added that the DSCC was going to significantly back her.
Make no mistake -- tonight's election in Kentucky is a big deal for the future of the state.