Friday, October 10, 2008

Is that a chasm I see before me?

No wonder they are getting pissed out there--The national tracking polls are now showing a widening for Barack Obama. The Shurkin number (I made that up) went from 5.4 to 6.2 in the last few days. That is the average of three best mathematical averaging websites,,, and, all of which are non-partisan. In other words, I average the averagers. Pollster, which is very well respected, has Obama ahead by 7.4. The Gallup Poll, which is included in all the averaging and is something of the gold standard in these matters, has him ahead by 11.

Fivethirtyeight has the odds of Obama winning at better than 9-1 in 95 out of 100 campaigns. Nate Silver, who runs it, expects Obama to gain during the weekend. He thinks it is clear that everytime there is a debate, Obama's numbers grow. Still one more debate out there, gang. National Journal, also well-respected and non-partisan, did a survey of Republican leaders and found that 8 out of 10 expect an Obama victory in November. The Journal is one of the first to use the "L" word, as in "landslide."

But Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post, suggests things are still not set in concrete, what he calls a contrarian view. Besides the Bradley Effect, which we'll discuss in some detail next week, he suggests that too many Obama supporters think this is a slam dunk and won't show up to vote. I don't think so. Too many are really pissed off.

And speaking of pissed off, the crowds at the McCain-Palin events are really getting scary and John McCain and Sarah Palin are stoking them on. McCain stands to lose twice on November 4. He will probably lose the election; he will definately lose his honor. It is certainly, as Politico describes it, a party in panic.

Do keep in mind, this isn't a popularity contest and while the tracking polls are interesting, we elect Presidents by the states. Pollster has Obama winning 320 electoral votes (see graph to the right). The average winning vote in modern history is 402.6, so he is behind in that regard at the moment.

[That's an AP photo up top]

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