Reasons for Optimism

by Sal on October 30, 2008

in Election 2008,Politics

One can only judge future elections based on trends that have been determined in previous elections.  With five days to go until lection day, I am becoming increasingly optimistic.  There is still a good chance that Barack Obama will win and be our next President (ugh), but there is also reason to be optimistic and think that the election may be a lot closer than anyone in the media has been willing to admit. 

  • Mike wrote last week about the heavy-weighting ofDemocrat respondents in most state polls.  Today, Mason-Dixon (probably the most accurate of the state pollsters) released a poll of Pennsylvania, showing Obama 47, McCain 43, with 9% undecided.  This is a lot closer than anything to date, and it may show Obama’s weakness in a state he lost badly in the primaries and referred to its residents as “bitter clingers.” 
  • The tracking polls have tightened in recent days.  Gallup and Battleground have consistently showed only a 3-point race, while Rasmussen and Zogby have bounced back and forth between 3-7 points. 
  • Early voting trends, as reported by Jim Geraghty at the Campaign Spot, are not at all favorable to Obama.  Consider Florida.  In 2004, Kerry led the early voting by a whopping 56-39, yet he lost the state by a decent margin.  This year, according to one poll, Obama is behind in the early voting 50-48, and in another poll at around the Kerry level, 58-34.  In Nevada, the early voting has not shown a higher-than-normal turnout among the youth vote and Hispanics, two demographic groups that are supposed to turn out in increased numbers this year and favor Obama. 
  • Iowa has long been considered a blue Obama state.  Yet both McCain and Obama are campaigning there this week. 
  • According to the Battleground poll, the gap in the generic congressional ballot has shrunk to 4-points.  There are also some house races that have become extremely competitive for Republicans.  While not an indicator of any specific races, and usually favoring the Democrats, the generic ballot does often measure general trends. 

Could it be that the conventional wisdom and the polls this year are way off, and that this will not be the Democrat landslide predicted?  That is yet to be determined, but there are reasons for some optimism.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike October 30, 2008 at 5:17 pm

I don’t put much stock in exit polls, especially those conducted before election day. The M-D numbers from PA are encouraging though.


rightonoz October 30, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Fingers crossed guys!


Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: