This Modern Age

Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama

Thoughts on Obama-BOOM in Current Polling

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In my humble opinion, the current economic conditions could nearly reset a lot of independent and undecided voters.  So past polls are interesting, but I think they can be heavily discounted at this point.  Which is why I haven’t updated my Electoral College Polling posts recently. 

For the Record: I’m standing firm at Obama 273 and McCain 265, just because there is no reason to change anything yet.  And if I had to change something today, I would put New Hampshire barely in McCain’s column and that would cause a 269/269 split.  That result would make Bush v. Gore look like a tea party.  I digress…

“Ah ha!”, you say.  “But the reset is occuring!  Look at the polls coming out now – the Washington Post/ABC News poll has Obama up 9(!) points!  And, and, and…. the Gallup Poll too! Obama is up 3 points there.  That’s a combined 12(!) point lead! It’s a trend! It’s a boom! It’s a Democratic President! It’s HISTORY!” 

Yes.  Thank you for noticing the obvious (besides the 12 point thing).  But look at the internal numbers on the poll.  (Don’t you come here for the nerdy stuff?)

Jim Geraghty over at National Review breaks it all down pretty efficiently:

Two recent polls that show Obama doing fabulously have some pretty wide margins in terms of party ID in their voter pool. Gallup’s got a sample that is 49 percent Democrat, 39 percent Republican, and the ABC/Washington Post poll that is generating buzz has a sample that, with leaners, is 54 percent Democrat, 38 percent Republican.

Look, if the electorate in November is going to be 16 percent more Democrat than Republican, and 54 percent of the voting public identifies themselves as Democrats, then it’s a foregone conclusion that Obama’s going to win in a landslide, and we can all go home now.

He goes on to reference Kirsten Soltis’ work at Pollster.com.  She walks through the historical prededent for polling spreads:

In 1988, Democrats had a three-point party ID advantage over Republicans (38-35). In 1992, Democrats still had a three-point party ID advantage over Republicans (38-35). In 1996, that advantage increased to four – a shift of one point (39-35). In 2000, Democrats were steady, up by four (39-35), and in 2004 they dropped to even (37-37).

During presidential years, over the last five presidential elections, the biggest party ID gap was four points, and the greatest swing was four points as well.

Arguments can certainly be made that in this environment, Democrats should be expected to have a huge partisan shift in their favor. But note that in 2006, when Democrats clearly found enormous success at the ballot box, that the advantage in party ID was only three points (38-35). Polls leading up to the election showed party ID gaps as big as eleven points (Newsweek’s poll on Oct 5-6, 2006), rarely showing party ID gaps of less than +5 for the Democrats.

So, let the dust begin to settle on the last week of economic news (ignoring, of course, how entertaining Joe Biden is) and watch the debate on Friday night and then let new polling numbers start coming in. 

But one caveat, it’s going to be VERY difficult to get solid state-by-state polling data for the rest of the election period, if there is going to be as much of a shake up as I believe there could be.  

More later… enjoy the ride.

Electoral College Outlook: What Does Lehman Mean?

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For the foreseeable future, the news cycle is going to be all about the economy – Lehman’s $613 billion Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the top bullet of every newscast this morning. 

On the political side of things, John McCain has been surging but the current economic news could lead many swing voters to take another look at the candidates in light of their proposed economic plans. 

Our hypothesis is that voters tend to more comfortable with Democrats on economic issues these days.  But this is largely driven by job concerns and middle class tax cuts.  Once the economic issues begin to focus more on fiscal and monetary policy, voters confidence in Republicans will increase. 

A recent Fox News poll from 9/8 to 9/9 asked, “Which candidate do you trust more to handle the economy?”  Independents favored John McCain over Barack Obama by 45% to 40%. 

Other telling questions in the Fox News poll that may become more relevant; Which presidential ticket do you think:

  • Has more experience combined?  Independents favored McCain-Palin 57%/25%.
  • Has better judgement combined? Independents favored McCain-Palin 51%/32%.
  • Will bring the right change to Washington? Independents barely favored McCain-Palin 36%/38%.

Of course this poll was conducted before the markets tanked on the open this morning, so the numbers could be very volatile over the upcoming week.  But current conditions may favor the McCain-Palin campain.

Written by thismodernage

September 15, 2008 at 8:53 am

Electoral College Outlook: Evidence of Obama Slipping

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A quick update on the Electoral College Outlook. 

In my last post on the Electoral College Outlook (Electoral College Outlook: Obama 273 – McCain 265, but quickly shifting), we conceded that, as things are today, Barack Obama would likely be the next President of the United States.

However, even since Friday, the shift is occurring more quickly than we anticipated. 

The most troubling news to the Obama campaign this weekend has to be the polls coming out of Minnesota.  Albeit close, Democrats won Minnesota’s 10 Electoral College votes in 2000 and 2004.  But a state poll conducted by the Star Tribune of 1,106 Likely Voters from 9/10 – 9/12 has the race a tie 45%.  At the same time, a SurveyUSA poll of 734 Likely Voters has cut Barack Obama’s lead to 49% to 47%.  Prior to these polls, the most recent poll of Minnesota was executed by CNN/Time and gave Obama a 12 point advantage.  With two new polls in, that 12 point lead seems to have evaporated. 

One point is that the McCain campaign could be experiencing a strength in Minnesota similar to Obama’s in Colorado.  The converage of the Republicans being in Minnesota for their convention could actually help swing the state for them. 

If Minnesota shifted to McCain, that would make him the next President of the United States.

Next ‘If’ – If Minnesota is not a state specific issue, but is instead more a part of a larger trend, then Obama is in a lot of trouble.  There are several reasons this could be a part of a larger trend: 1) We are seeing similar shifts in Washington and New Mexico; 2) The latest Rasumussen poll showed McCain breaking through the 50% barrier for the first time. 

Switching each of those states from Obama to McCain would shift the Electoral College Outlook: McCain 291, Obama 247.

Written by thismodernage

September 15, 2008 at 12:00 am

Electoral College Outlook: Obama 273 – McCain 265, but quickly shifting

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2008 Electoral College Map for September 12, 2008

2008 Electoral College Map for September 12, 2008

If everything shakes out in the polls, as they stand at this moment, Barack Obama is most likely the next President of the United States.  But, the election is on November 4 not September 12 and the trends and momentum are clearly on John McCain’s side.

UPDATE: As of the morning of September 15, 2008, we have posted our thoughts on how the current economic troubles, including the Lehman bankruptcy may effect the Presidential campaign, click here

Key Battleground States

In the current condition, Obama wins 273 Electoral College votes.  But a closer look at swing states makes those 273 votes look very shaky.

  • The Big Four: Ohio: 20 votes; Florida: 27 votes; Michigan: 17 votes and Pennsylvania: 21 votes – Recent tradition is for Republicans to win Ohio and Florida while Democrats win Michigan and Pennsylvania.  These states need to stay in their respective parties for either candidate to have a real chance.  McCain looks very good in Florida and Ohio.  However, Obama does not enjoy the same strength in Michigan and Pennsylvania.  Recent polls in Michigan are tight but Obama’s lead on Intrade has widened over recent days there.  Of these four states, Pennsylvania may be the weakest link in the chain.  An early McCain win in Pennsylvania would create an extremely difficult deficit for Obama to overcome. 
  • Colorado: currently 9 votes for Obama – The Democrats hosted their convention in Denver and Obama may have gotten a real bounce from that.  Bush won Colorado in 2000 and 2004.  The polls here are within margin of error and Palin may play well in here over the next couple weeks.  The Democrats are poised to win a down ticket Senate race here as well.
  • Virginia: currently 13 votes for McCain – In the early summer Obama was doing very well in the traditional Republican state of Virginia, but recent polls suggests that this is McCain’s state to lose at this point.  Some point to Jim Webb defeating Mark Warner as a sign of Virginia starting to lean more Democratic but in voters eyes there is likely a large difference between Sen. Webb and Sen. Obama.  Bush handily won Virginia in 2000 and 2004. 

The other swing states are small but with an election this close any one of them may become the deciding factor. 

  • Nevada: currently 5 votes for McCain – A late August CNN/Time poll showed Obama with a lead in Nevada, which should have mortified Republicans.  However, the tide in Nevada has switched back to McCain which is evidenced in the Intrade spread of 58.5-43.5.  Bush won Nevada in 2000 and 2004.
  • New Hampshire: currently 4 votes for Obama – The recent CNN/Time poll done from 9/7 to 9/9 shows Obama over 50% and ahead by 6 points.  New Hampshire is a state that voted for Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 with razor thin margins.  Obama’s Intrade spread has grown recently to 58.0 – 39. 
  • New Mexico: currently 5 votes for Obama – New Mexico should not be a battleground state for Obama.  The recent Rasmussen poll of 700 likely voters done on 9/8 shows McCain with a 2 point lead when the same poll showed Obama up by 9 in May, 8 in June, 6 in July and 4 in August.  New Mexico is in an interesting position with Democratic Gov. Richardson, but also Arizona’s neighbor. 

If the recent Rasmussen polls of Washington are accurate, then Obama could have 11 more Electoral votes at risk.  Rasmussen showed leads of 11 pts, 18 pts, 8 pts and 12 pts in May, June, July and August.  Their most recent Washington poll of 500 likely voters shows Obama up only 2 pts, 49% to 47%.  But we could be looking at an outlier there.

For a quick update, focusing on recent polls out of Minnesota, click here.

Obama Against Born Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA)

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Basically this is passed along without comment. 

But was Obama thinking about these children who survived abortions when he is famously quoted as saying, “We still don’t abide by that basic precept of Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”

Written by thismodernage

August 21, 2008 at 12:36 am

Is Evan Bayh Obama’s VP? Look’s Like It

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Evan Bayh

Evan Bayh, Obama VP?

Of course this could be a mistake.  At this point the story is coming from ShotsOnTheHouse.com

Would liberals accept a man who voted to ban partial birth abortion?  Remember, President Clinton vetoed the ban three times. 

Patricia Ireland, the leader of the National Organization for Women (I’ll spare my comments on the concept of “women’s rights) said of Bayh in 2000, “It would cause a great deal of concern about his commitment to abortion rights. Among our activists, there would be a decided lack of interest in campaigning for him and getting out the vote.”  Opps! 

Does this give Hillary supporters a reason to stay home on Obama? 

UPDATE: Giving everything a second look, there are few typos in the copy that stand out.  The word email is spelled two different ways, one with a typo in third paragraph.  In the second paragraph, shouldn’t the word ‘announce’ be ‘announcement’? 

BTW – This being a fake doesn’t mean that Bayh isn’t Obama’s VP pick

Can Obama Win? Quick Thoughts on Current Polling

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To start – My heart and prayers go out to Robert Novak.  He is a strong man and has been a great patriot.  I am confident that he has courage to face his current trial.

The screaming headline on Drudge recently was Obama’s new growing lead.  Really?  The referenced poll was Gallup with Obama over McCain 48/40.  But there are two obvious flaws with the data:

  1. Gallop polled registered voters.  The most accurate polls are of likely voters, ‘registered voter’ polls always trend favoring the Democrat.
  2. Gallop polled over July 25-27.  Weekend polls also traditionally favor Democrats (care to guess why?).

So, the media got the news they wanted – Obama’s big lead is starting to show. 

USA Today/Gallup, also a weekend poll, shows McCain over Obama 49/45.

Rasmussen has Obama over McCain 45/42.

So it’s a horse race.  After everything positive for Obamahas occurred and McCain can’t find any real traction with conservatives, Obama still doesn’t have this wrapped up in a nice little package. 

As Robert Novak points out in his most recent column, in the summer:

  • Carter had a 33 point lead over Ford, only to finish with razor thin margins.
  • Dukakis held a 17 point lead over George H.W. Bush and lost.
  • Gore and Kerry had leads on George W. Bush as well and both lost.

So why is McCain so close still?  Novak offers up the data point that 10%-15% of the white vote is still undecided.  Fair enough – it might be very difficult for Obama to close that one.

And we still have a long way to go – what about when everyone starts talking about the Induced Infant Liability Act?