Why Another Blog?

I've decided to set up another blog, (my other one is called Writer's Musings), because there are some topics just too weighty for that blog.

So here it is. In this space I'll explore more serious issues in more detail. I do not expect visitors to agree with me in all cases.
In this forum feel free to take off the gloves, grab a handful of mud and fight for what you believe in.

Simple rules, rather like cage-fighting in the blogosphere:
No direct name calling. No excessive profanity. No whining when smacked in the face with mud.
Sling inuendo. Feel free to ask leading questions even if in a snide tone.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More Reality Check

In her comment to my last post “Tempest in a Teapot” took exception to how I apportioned various states. In my comment on the last post, I explained my methodology, which was far more involved than simply looking at Real Clear Politics’ web site and accepting their numbers at face value.

In this post, I will show why the states to which “Tempest” took exception do not belong where she would like to see them. Wishful thinking and dated average poll numbers are no substitute for analysis.

MD is leaning Obama, a point I already made. MD leans that way predominantly due to Baltimore, but anti-Bush angst isn’t a guarantee this time around, though that's the theme the Obama campaign is trying so hard to emphasize. As I counted MD in my final Obama count anyway, "Tempest's" argument is moot.

ME has no new polling data since 12 August. Gore carried the state with 5% in 2000 and the more reviled Bush lost by 9% to Kerry. Bush is not on the ticket this time around and there is a significant conservative, rural population. Pending a new poll, I’m predicting that Bush’s absence combined with Palin will make this state much closer this time around. As this state allocates electoral votes on a proportional methodology, neither candidate is likely to get all the votes here.

MN was chosen by the Republicans for the convention because the state has been trending Republican the past two elections. Both Gore and Kerry barely won MN, which was a big reversal from previous elections and that was even with Bush being unpopular. Bush pulled more votes in MN than Reagan twice and in 2004, Bush pulled more votes in MN than any Republican has ever pulled. There isn’t a poll available since the conventions, but Obama only had a 2% lead prior to the conventions so it was statistically a dead heat.

PA barely went Democrat the last two elections and has been trending Republican even with unpopular Bush running. Clinton won the state by just below 10% twice. But GW only lost PA to Gore by 4.2% and to Kerry by 2.5 %. In 2004 Bush pulled more votes in PA than any Republican since Nixon in 1972. Western PA is conservative and will turn out in numbers sufficient to swing the state to the Republicans this time around. Don’t think for one moment the Republicans won’t re-emphasize what Obama said about guns, religion and the poor dumb folks in the PA hills during the Primaries…which he lost heavily to Clinton. Obama has a post-convention lead of only 2% (statistical dead heat) down from a 12% advantage.

VT has had no new polling data since February. I’ll concede this one for now, but I suspect Obama’s lead is not the 34% it was back in February.

WA will be closer than the past two elections when the Dems won by 5.5% and 8.2% respectively. Obama’s support in the polls has been dropping steadily in WA since mid-August, but took its biggest tumble this past week. He now only holds a 4% 2% lead in WA where he once had a 12% lead. The last two elections the unpopular GW pulled significantly more votes than any Republican since Reagan in 1984 and he beat Reagan’s total both times. This one is winnable for McCain and now a toss-up.

IL is not a shoo-in for Obama. No polling data for IL since 12 Aug, at which point Obama’s support had dropped 6%. While Obama has what may look like a comfortable lead now, everything depends upon downstate voters who traditionally vote Republican. If they are fired up, and they were not the past two elections, they can overwhelm Obama’s Chicago advantage, which is exactly how Republicans have won the state in the past.

MI has also been trending Republican. In 2004, again with very unpopular Bush as the Dems enemy, he picked up 2% points over what he did against Gore. Current polls have McCain and Obama dead even in MI or within the margin of error. MI is most definitely a battleground and in no way assured for the Democrats. Bush the Lesser pulled more votes in MI than Clinton did in his two terms. In 2004, Bush pulled more votes than Reagan did in 1984. Post-convention polls have Obama up by only 1% (statistical dead heat). Very winnable for McCain.

WI: Gore won WI by only .2% (point two percent) in 2000 and Kerry doubled that to .4% (point four percent) in 2004, with unpopular Bush as the opponent. WI has been trending Republican the last two elections even with an unpopular Republican candidate. WI used to be safe for Democrats. Obama has a post-convention lead of 3% (statistical dead heat as it is within the margin of error), down from a 12% lead before the conventions.

FL was looking like it might go Democratic a month ago, but Obama’s chances there have been erased. When Hillary Clinton was speaking in FL on 9 September, she didn’t mention Obama by name in her remarks. That is not a good sign for Democrats. The unpopular Bush beat Kerry in FL in 2004 by over 5% and that after the angst of 2000. McCain has a post-convention lead of 5%.

NC is most definitely NOT a swing state and never has been. McCain holds a solid lead there and even Bush won over both Gore and Kerry by over 12%. Democrats are delusional if they think NC has become a swing state. The closest it has ever been for Democrats is when there were Southern Democrats running for President (Carter and Clinton) and even Clinton couldn’t take it from Dole. McCain has a post-convention lead of 12%.

NM: Gore won NM by only 366 votes when it was considered “safe” for the Dems given Clinton’s big wins there twice. Bush beat Kerry by about 6,000 votes. NM will go Republican this time by a solid majority primarily because Bush is not on the ticket, but the Palin factor will be significant here too. McCain as a 2% post-convention lead in NM, erasing the 13% lead Obama had prior to the conventions. No longer leaning Obama, NM is now a toss-up.

VA, a state "Tempest" declared a “swing” state, has not voted Democrat in 44 years (Johnson in 1964). And "Tempest" criticizes my analysis on states that haven’t voted Republican in twenty years, even though they’ve been trending that way? Bush won VA by a solid 8% twice. VA was looking like a potential battleground state a month ago, but is now slipping back to McCain. Palin will swing VA for McCain. McCain has a post-convention lead of 2% (statistical dead heat), but given history, no Bush, and Palin factors, McCain’s lead will increase.

Fact is McCain got a bigger bounce than Obama from the conventions. The daily Gallup is not favoring the Democrats (McCain leading 48% to 44% with a margin of error 2%), nor are the weekly tallies (McCain leading 49% to 44% with a margin of error 1%). McCain has recaptured Republican voters (89%), now leads with Independents (52%) and has cut into Obama’s Democrats (14%). The shifts are significant and cut across every major group except race.

As for looking at poll numbers, the most telling statistic is Obama’s softening support. New Jersey was once solid for Obama, now it is only “leaning.” Toss-ups are starting to lean McCain. Michigan, once leaning Obama, is now a toss-up. McCain’s support is solidifying in states that were only leaning a month ago.

And since “Tempest” likes Real Clear Politics, as of today their count is 217 for Obama and 216 for McCain.

1 comment:

Tempest in a Teapot said...

What a difference six weeks makes, eh?

MD: Obama + at least 10 (last data +23 in August)

ME: Obama +15 As a Mainer, I think you should know the state has not split its electoral votes since that system was adopted in 1972. Neither has Nebraska.

MN: Obama + at least 10

PA: Obama +9 or so

WA: Obama + at least 15

IL: Obama + at least 20 (shoo-in, as I said)

MI: Obama + at least 15

WI: Obama + at least 9

FL: still tied (or should I say, tied again) but trending -- your favorite word -- Democrat


NM: Obama +7 or so

VA: Obama + at least 6. I guess you were right, it wasn't a swing state. Ahem.

I love it when my wishful thinking manifests so completely. And I guess the above explains why you've stopped with the so-called analysis, and veered more towards the loony conspiracy theories.