Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Just thinking about writing a diary on the US election so this is good timing.

The polling firms have been mucking with their 'screens' to keep McCain in the race.  Gallup in particular. Another firm, can't remember the name, in a state poll decided African Americans are only going to vote at 50% of their turn-out in '04.  One has to dig into the internals of the polls.

Then there is the enthusiasm gap.  Democrats are 82% enthusiastic about Obama while only 37% of Gopers are enthusiastic about McCain.

Obama is carrying Latios in the 60s, AAs in the 98+, in fact he is doing better than Kerry in every demographic except Democrats and that should tighten as November comes nearer.

McCain has already lost two Bush '04 states: Iowa (7 EV) and New Mexico (5 EV.)  And it looks like New Hampshire (4), Colorado (9), Ohio (20), and Virginia (13) are in play.  (There may be others but these everyone agrees on.)

Bush got 286 (270 to win) EVs to Kerry's 251.  Obama is holding all of the Kerry states and has added 13 for a total of 264 while McCain, at best, is carrying 227 with 46 up for grabs.  

At this time, Colorado looks likely to flip and that's the win for the O-man.

Depending on the relative turn-out there is a very real chance Obama will take all 46 EVs.  What I'm thinking is a decrease in Goper turn-out from '04 due to the (lack of) enthusiasm factor and a more-or-less continuation of the '04 turn-out for the Dems.  In 2000 50.4 million GOP votes were cast.  In 2004 62 million voters went to the polls for George versus 59 million for Kerry.  McCain is not going to get that many votes.  If he is lucky he's going to get around the 50 million from 2000.  Obama should get between 55 and 59 million and if the youngsters, Latinos, and Independents break as expected he could go over, well over, 60 million.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 08:07:50 PM EST
I actually think turnout is going to be higher this year than in 2004.  We had about 60% four years ago.  70% isn't unthinkable to me, digging through some data on how motivated people say they are vs other years.  Those numbers -- motivation and actual turnout -- actually move pretty close together, and Pew's last poll on it had motivation jumping from ~60% in 2004 to ~75% this year.  I don't think it'll get that high, but I don't think it'll be far from it.

Remember, too, that Obama and the DNC have registered ridiculous numbers of new voters.

I think the youngsters will show up.  Obama could very well get up to 75% of the Latino vote, close to 80% if everything went perfectly.  At 75% of Latinos, Obama's got New Mexico and probably Colorado and Nevada with relative ease.  Being likely to have Iowa, that's more than enough.

Massive turnout from blacks and urban whites could finish the job in Virginia.  Ditto North Carolina, which is still incredibly tight.  Charlie Cook and a lot of GOP strategists have already moved NC to Tossup status.  (I'm not sure I'll believe there's a real shot in NC unless I see a poll with Obama ahead.)

If blacks and urban whites go sky-high, with a good-sized bump among Latinos, Georgia, which has far more blacks -- 30% vs 20% of the population, with a massive political machine in Atlanta to churn out votes -- and young people than NC and VA, could turn.

I say Ohio's a coin-flip on election day.  Whomever has some momentum will get it.

And don't forget Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, all of which are essentially tied for now.

I don't think McCain has much chance of winning a landslide.  The result on election day, if I had to guess right now, will be somewhere between a very, very narrow McCain win and an Obama blowout.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 08:39:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I honestly don't see a path for a McCain victory as of 8/7/08.  By all accounts he's lost Iowa and New Mexico and losing Colorado to boot.  That's the election right there.  

Granted things could change in 80 something days but the GOP is running out of time.  They took their best shot last week and flubbed the drub, apparently.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 09:31:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see a definite way for Obama to lose.

Let's take the make from electoral-vote.com:

Right now the polling has it at Obama 289 to McCain 236.

First thing.

I don't think that Obama is going to win Indiana.  That's 11 electoral votes from Obama to McCain

So its O 277-M 247.

Second.

I don't think that Obama's going to take Nevada.  

So its O 272-M 253.

Finally.

I think that Obama is going to lose Michigan.

So that's O 255-M 270.

Even if Obama takes Virginia (which is tied he still loses.)

Ohio and Michigan are going to decide the election.  And Pennsylvania and Indiana are going to be important as well.

This election is going to be won and lost in the Great Lakes States.

And I think that its very likely that Obama is going to lose these states, and that he's not going to pick up the difference in Virginia and Colorado.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 10:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you think Obama is going to lose Michigan?  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 10:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Couple of things that are going to work to Obama's disadvantage.

  1. The polling for the state has been tight, and it's going to be close no matter what.

  2. I don't think that Obama is "left" enough on the economy, and I think that his flip flopping on trade is going to really come to bite him in the ass here.  GM is spinning the drain, and I don't see Obama taking that seriously.  A quick check of Austin Goolsbee, and Jason Furman shows why he's got a piss poor economic message. He's being driven by free marketers.  

  3. Kwame Kilpatrick. There's a major political scandal going on right now involving the Democratic (and African-American) mayor of Detroit. Kilpatrick was thrown in jail today (and is likely be removed from office, and his mother narrowly survived a primary challenge last night.

As for Obama, the Republicans are going to nail Obama with this video of Obama endorsing Kilpatrick.  A Democratic candidate needs a large turnout from Detroit to win the state.  All this can have a serious impact on turnout in the city.  And might affect voters in rural parts of the state.

4) Ralph Nader.  Most polls of Michigan don't include Ralph Nader.  Nader is of Syrian descent, and something like 5% of the people in Michigan are of Middle Eastern  descent.  A poll in May showed Nader at 10% in the state.  The incident with the two young supporters who were wearing headcovering being asked to move to not appear in a picture with Obama didn't play well.

Any one of these, little alone all of them have the potential to make Michigan a hard state for Obama to win.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 11:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, somethings to think on.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 10:13:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Polling:  again I say, pollsters base their polling screens on historic data.  If there is historic turn-out patterns in this election then the race is tight.  If this is a 'change' election then the polls are going to be seriously wrong.  I don't know which of those two IF statements are correct; nobody else does either.  We will find-out in November.  

One thing to note: Bush won in 04 by the Fundie turn-out.  They turned-out in record number for vote for Idiot.  If they had turned-out in 2000 numbers Kerry would have won by 9 million votes.  

Economy:  I agree.  Obama is nowhere near Left enough for my tastes.  But he is to the Left of McCain.  You know more about the internal politics of the UAW than I so you tell me if they would rather see McCain than Obama.  

Kilpatrick:  Do you honestly expect AA turn-out in Detroit to be down for the first AA to have a shot at the presidency?  That's just crazy.

Nader:  He should be included in the polls exactly because of his (latent?) potential impact on the Arab-American voting block.  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see a path, although I think MfM's talk about Michigan is more wishful thinking than serious analysis.  (He could lose it, but to put it in perspective, I think it's only slightly more likely than Obama losing Wisconsin, which is highly unlikely.)  I think the election is going to move a bit in our way as the fall arrives.

McCain's path to victory is Bush's '04 path to victory.  I think the talk of McCain in Michigan and Pennsylvania is more a product of the McCain Mancrush of Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, and others from the Rust Belt who grew up with a little too much industrial waste in their water supplies.

Obama has a few paths.  Obviously a win in Florida or Ohio clinches.  If he wins one of those, there's nothing to talk about.  If we assume he gets Iowa and New Mexico, then he only needs one more state with 5 or more EVs.  Nevada would get him to a tie (thus a win since we control Congress).

A combination of two from Montana, the Dakotas and Alaska does it.  Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Colorado, and perhaps a few others would fit the one-shot win, along with Ohio and Florida.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 11:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see a path, although I think MfM's talk about Michigan is more wishful thinking than serious analysis.  (He could lose it, but to put it in perspective, I think it's only slightly more likely than Obama losing Wisconsin, which is highly unlikely.)  I think the election is going to move a bit in our way as the fall arrives.

Wishful thinking?

Whatever.  Frankly, I think that this is more than a bit of projection here. I don't see a single hyperlink in what you've posted here, and that lack is typical of your writing on this topic.

The information that we do have suggest that Michigan is closer than this year than in 2004.  

First, the polling this year shows a very close race. There are a large number of undecideds this year and it's going to matter who they split for.  Obama has broke 50% in the state but once, and even then narrowly.

Second, look back to 2004.  Kerry did much better in
in the state than Obama has this far, and even then the race narrowed considerably as November approached.  Obama also has to deal with he fallout from Kwame Kilpatrick's trip to prison (and likely removal from office, see above) and the unfavorability of Jennifer Granholm, the Democratic Governor of the state.

And then there's Ralph Nader and the Arab vote.  Obama's FISA vote arguably has a greater relevance to the lives of these voters than most others because they are likely to be the victims of it.



And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 11:40:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh.

Here's a hyperlink.  Happy?

Now let me explain what I think you miss: Stop looking at raw numbers, first of all, and start looking at ranges.  What happens with Obama in the state?  He bounces around from the mid- to high-40s (low-50s once), probably dependent upon how hard leaners are pushed combined with the natural back-and-forth of summer campaigning, while McCain has been essentially flat in the high-30s to low-40s the entire time.  Same as the national polls.

Then take into account the fact that McCain is the nominee of the incumbent party, and, while the effect won't be as noticeable as if he were an actual incumbent, consider that the incumbent party typically has a difficult time attracting undecided voters.

I quite agree that Michigan looks to be a little closer than in 2004.  Michigan is one of the states that's becoming more conservative over time (which is why I and others have focused our attention on the more relevant West for the long term).  I just don't agree that it's going to continue down that path as we approach November, at least not in the short term.  (Long-term, Michigan will probably wind up Republican, along with Pennsylvania, just as states like Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Georgia will wind up Democratic.  That's what realignments are all about.)

I'm not sure why Kwame Kilpatrick's idiocy has anything to do with Obama, beyond the fact that both are black.  And, as it is, McCain doesn't seem terribly interested in fighting too hard there.  (Nor does Obama.  What's that tell you?)  In fact, he seems to be more interested in, for example, Sturgis, SD.  McCain's certainly spending a handsome sum here in Virginia.

Now onto Nader and the Arab vote.  (Do Arabs vote for Arabs the way blacks vote for blacks?  Didn't work out so well for Nikki Tinker in Memphis tonight.)  I'm not sure what you're on.  Arabs vote overwhelmingly Democratic, because the Republicans have an apparent desire to, you know, kill them.  In fact, if you'll have a look at the behavior of polls when Nader and Barr are added, you'll note that they actually tend to hurt McCain, not Obama.

Again, not saying McCain can't win it.  Just saying it's not likely.  And what I mean by "wishful thinking" is that you seem to have a very Rust-Belt-centric view of politics and a certain anger over the fact that the center of gravity in American politics is steadily moving away from it to places like Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.  You also clearly have issues with Obama, to such an extent that you'll happily excuse the behavior of people like Clinton.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:23:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now let me explain what I think you miss: Stop looking at raw numbers, first of all, and start looking at ranges.  What happens with Obama in the state?  He bounces around from the mid- to high-40s (low-50s once), probably dependent upon how hard leaners are pushed combined with the natural back-and-forth of summer campaigning, while McCain has been essentially flat in the high-30s to low-40s the entire time.  Same as the national polls.

Then take into account the fact that McCain is the nominee of the incumbent party, and, while the effect won't be as noticeable as if he were an actual incumbent, consider that the incumbent party typically has a difficult time attracting undecided voters.

Yes, I'm familiar with this argument from my time working on campaigns.  It's a symptom of a horrible affliction called TB (True Believer's) most often manifested by the rationalization of any information indicating that your guy is headed into the shitter with a reason why it just ain't so.

I quite agree that Michigan looks to be a little closer than in 2004.  Michigan is one of the states that's becoming more conservative over time (which is why I and others have focused our attention on the more relevant West for the long term).  I just don't agree that it's going to continue down that path as we approach November, at least not in the short term.  (Long-term, Michigan will probably wind up Republican, along with Pennsylvania, just as states like Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Georgia will wind up Democratic.  That's what realignments are all about.)

I'm not sure why Kwame Kilpatrick's idiocy has anything to do with Obama, beyond the fact that both are black.  And, as it is, McCain doesn't seem terribly interested in fighting too hard there.  (Nor does Obama.  What's that tell you?)  In fact, he seems to be more interested in, for example, Sturgis, SD.  McCain's certainly spending a handsome sum here in Virginia.

First, just check out all the things the Kilpatrick is accused of.

Benefiting personally from his office, nepotism, assaulting a police officer.  And then of course the whole mystery with the dead stripper.  A real jewel.

And as for what Obama has in common with Kilpatrick?

Obama is going to have to explain his speech at the Economic Club of Detroit at which he spoke glowingly of Kilpatrick in May, after he had been charged by the DA (and made a death threat against her.)  Here's the tape of Obama praising Kilpatrick.

And, yes Drew.  Michigan matters.

The Wisconsin Advertising Project tracks how much presidential contenders spend in various states.

First, these are the states where both candidates are on the air.  Notice the amount of money that Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania compared to other states. These states are the ones that matter.  The campaigns know this.  

And it's the same story when you look at all campaign spending including independent expenditures.

Let's look at it in terms of dollars per electoral vote.

Dollars per electoral Vote

"Rust Belt"

Pennsylvania (21) $491,381
Ohio (20)         $319,950
Michigan (17)     $353,471  

"New Battlegrounds"

Virginia (13)     $386,769
Colorado (9)      $212,667
New Mexico (5)    $159,800

Virginia's the only state that can claim a place with spending in the "Rust Belt" states.  And that's most likely an artifact of how much tv time costs in DC as anything else.  And again, if we look at the number of ads aired in each market, it's the "rust belt" states that top the list.

You've bought into the media spiel about how the electoral map has changed, and how Obama can win without the "rust belt." But if we look at polls, spending data, and ad volume we see that is not the case.

Obama is outspending McCain almost 2 to 1 in Virginia and the best that he can muster up is a tie in the polls?  $5 million in Florida, and he's down still down  5%+ in the polls?

And the real attack from Republicans haven't even come yet.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:11:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I'm familiar with this argument from my time working on campaigns.  It's a symptom of a horrible affliction called TB (True Believer's) most often manifested by the rationalization of any information indicating that your guy is headed into the shitter with a reason why it just ain't so

Is that the TB that had you predicting a meteoric rise for Edwards in Nevada, while I predicted a crash?  Right.  My predictions are hardly perfect, especially contest-to-contest, but as I predicted in February of 2007 that Obama and McCain would win their respective nominations, saw Obama's win in Iowa coming, etc, I think most would tell you I can read polls just fine.

"TB" -- very cute, though.

Obama is going to have to explain his speech at the Economic Club of Detroit at which he spoke glowingly of Kilpatrick in May, after he had been charged by the DA (and made a death threat against her.)  Here's the tape of Obama praising Kilpatrick.

Meh.  You could be right, but I doubt it.  If Pastorgate didn't kill him off, I have trouble seeing Kwame Kilpatrick doing it.

Fair point about media buys, but these spending figures don't tell us a helluva a lot, first of all.  Note that McCain, sensing the primaries were about to end, went on the air in Pennsylvania and Michigan, presumably hoping to capitalize on supposed divisions with the Democratic Party.

Problem: It, of course, didn't work.  And you'll note that we've gone, in the averages, from a bare McCain lead to a decent Obama lead.  Deduct -- for the record, I'm looking at RCP -- that silly Detroit News poll, since newspaper polls are notoriously bad, and you've got Obama somewhere around 47-48% and McCain somewhere around 42-43%.  McCain hasn't had a lead there since, I believe, late-May.

The figures really tell you that it's incredibly expensive to advertise in the North.  No kidding.

I agree that Michigan matters.  You're right to point out that McCain winning Michigan or PA likely means a McCain win.  We'll see what happens.


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:58:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
but as I predicted in February of 2007 that Obama and McCain would win their respective nominations, saw Obama's win in Iowa coming, etc, I think most would tell you I can read polls just fine.

Wow - there were polls back then predicting Obama and McCain?  The ones I recall had Clinton and Giulliani well in the lead.  Where are they now? :-)

In fairness, I think you read polls pretty well too!

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:07:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

No, the polls weren't predicting Obama-McCain.  They were predicting, as you said, Giuliani-Clinton.  But no sane person believed Giuliani would be the Rep nominee.

I bet on a few things back then: I thought McCain would somehow find his way to the nomination, since it was his "turn".  Betting on the old candidate whose turn has arrived is usually a decent bet with the GOPers.

On the Dem side, I thought Clinton would run a top-down, ad-fueled campaign that would leave her penniless by Super Tuesday.  I figured the grassroots would go with Obama, since grassroots Dems tend to be less than overwhelmingly excited about the Clintons.  (I knew Edwards would appeal to them, or at least the ones who weren't around for John Edwards 1.0.  But Edwards never had much of a shot.  It was "Win Iowa and Hope You Somehow Catch Fire," and little more for him.)  As it turned out, she was penniless right after Iowa.  She held on longer than I thought she would back then.

Part of it was just being a contrarian in the betting with my father, who chose Clinton-Rudy.  But I thought it made sense that Obama and McCain would wind up the last two standing.

In fairness, I went back and forth as the caucuses approached.  I'm a little surprised the Huckster didn't catch on after Iowa, but he lost so badly with fiscal conservatives that he was never able to get over the top..

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:27:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
I think the election is going to move a bit in our way as the fall arrives.

You are also open to the charge of wishful thinking in saying this - what evidence do we have to support this - beyond a general sense that the economy is still going south and this generally damages incumbants?

Obviously, if this trend does materialize, then its a no brainer - Obama by a landslide.  However the point of this diary is to note that it doesn't take much of a contrary trend to put McCain into real contention.  The real clear average lead in recent weeks has been 2-4% not 6 %.

Obama may have a lot of paths to victory, but if McCain focuses a lot on Michigan/Ohio and hangs in elsewhere he could still win.  Sometimes the more focuses approach is the more effective.  The key for McCain is not to be distracted by Obama plays in Alaska, Dakotas etc. and focus on his absolute must have states.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 04:26:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a real difference between McCain and Obama in terms of both money available and on the ground organisation. Obama is a lot more flexible in terms of which states he can move into and put McCain on the defence.

Let's not have this exaggerated anxiety, please. The Republican attacks on Obama have so far been ineffective. It's still Obama's election to lose.

I'd predict the same as Atrios has: Obama will stay in the high forties, while McCain will stay in the low forties, up until the debates. Unless Obama gets trounced in the debates, he wins.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 07:43:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
nanne:
Let's not have this exaggerated anxiety, please. The Republican attacks on Obama have so far been ineffective

Moi?  I'm as cool as a cucumber about it all!

The point of this diary is that the risible McCain campaign to date is still in contention - how much worse can he be in the fall?  What does Obama have to do to create clear blue water between himself and the Republicans so that they lose confidence (and donors)?

How do we create not just an Obama win, but an Obama win backed by a large majority in congress and a clear mandate for radical change?

What we seem to be getting now is Clintonian triangulation with a bit more charm and rhetorical finesse.

Are we not allowed to hope for (and target) a little more than this?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 10:21:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama is running below the generic 'Democratic' ticket (by my guess, mostly because McCain is much more popular than the generic Republican). So I see no reason to worry particularly much about those Congressional majorities either.

McCain has so far failed to find an effective line of attack on Obama. The next two weeks are likely to be quiet, though there could still be a 'swiftboat' like initiative.

Obama will not bring radical change on all topics because that is not what he believes in (or what most Democrats believe in, for that matter). There will most likely be big moves on Iraq and energy/climate change. On the rest, Obama will act in a slow, incremental manner.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 10:45:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So how is Obama going to be different from the Clintons?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 11:12:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Got the answer to the million dollar question:

By not losing the Congressional majority after 2 years.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 11:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shhhhh!  It's such a lovely dream we're all having.  Please don't wake us up.  ;)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 11:47:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the big question.

Obama is Center-Right, from an EU perspective.  The political power in the US is Center-Right shading off to hard-right.  I'd expect him to govern Center-Right: Bush with a Kindlier Face.  

But I don't know.  Nobody knows.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 01:55:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My gut feel is he'll be as left as the situation allows - which may not be v. left from a European perspective but a radically new trajectory for the USA.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more dependent on Congress.  (As always, we overstate the role of presidents on domestic policy.  Congress writes the bills, not the president.)  If he has an ideological majority with 60+ seats (whether 60+ Dems or 50-something+ Dems with some scared Republicans), then I think he'll be fairly progressive.  If not, then probably not.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An even more important thing is holding the majority. Bill Clinton had not too shabby majorities when he began, but quickly lost them and then had to work with Republican majorities the rest of his Presidency.

There were more factors than Bill and Hillary's agenda playing into that, like long-term ideological shifts and (perceived) widespread corruption among the Congressional Democratic leadership. But you can't accomplish many large changes in 2 years.

I think it will play out better for Obama, if he wins.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 04:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinton never really had an ideological majority, because conservatism was rising and many of the Dems were still Dixiecrats.  You're right.  I think Obama is a little more likely to get an ideological majority -- or, like I said, a solid minority mixed with some scared Republicans who'll cave on the big stuff.

If they can get over 60 seats, they'll hold Congress at least until 2012, I'd guess.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 04:42:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i think obama is simply less politically deranged than hillbill inc.

hill would have had to be extra macho to try and get some of the god'n'guns vote, her obliteration comment was the last straw for me.

hillbill are humiliated for all the world to see, confirmation bias for those men-haters that are appalled that even a black-ish man seems preferable to....egads! a woman as C in C....in wartime....

to them feminism is more burning an issue than racism.

obama may be repeating the centrist triangle game, but he's younger, fitter, and a whole lot smarter than the clintons put together, as well as having a huge singularity-appeal. he's millennial in that sense, especially symbolically, especially to the young, and those who want quicker, more radical change, than southern carny clinton machine politics.

shorter answer....barack is less obviously psychotic about power!

dos centesimos

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 04:02:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The RCP average is a little skewed by that USAToday/Gallup poll.  They used the LV outcome -- the one in which almost all of the "unlikely voters" were Obama supporters -- rather than the RV outcome.

Nanne pointed out Atrios's thinking, which is similar to mine.  This smells like the 1980 election to me.  The election "popped" after the second debate, with Reagan having successfully painted Carter as laughable ("There you go again").  And we've seen evidence of a "pop" here and there throughout the campaign for Obama, with nothing comparable for McCain -- after he clinched the nomination, after Berlin, etc, when the race expanded to double digits and then fell back to the typical 2- to 6-point Obama lead (depending on polling methodology).

What those little bubbles tell us, I think, is that the race can easily turn into a big lead for Obama, but that we're simply not far enough along yet for that to happen.  Attitudes haven't been cemented among that group that jumps to him during those rises, and the increase wears off over a few days as press scrutiny ramps up, returning us to a pretty stable 2- to 6-point lead with some statistical noise thrown in.

In other words, I think the evidence suggests the race will "pop" for Obama, not McCain.  The remaining undecideds beyond that "pop" group will likely split about 50/50, maybe even slightly more towards McCain when you account for the Incumbent Effect, Bradley Effect, etc.

(Note to ATinNM: This is what I meant about the Bradley Effect's lack of impact.  I don't believe it's as substantial as it was during Bradley's and Wilder's times, for one thing.  But, anyway, the Effect takes place among undecided voters, not people who've told the pollsters they've made up their minds.)

Certainly Obama has more paths to victory.  The best one, almost without question to me, is the "Kerry States, Plus Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado".  The I'd say "Kerry States, Plus Iowa, New Mexico and Virginia".

MfM might be right about Michigan.  It'd be silly to place it out of the realm of possibility.  I just don't see it happening in the end.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't argue with these numbers, and if the election were held today, Obama would win by a clear margin.  However it doesn't take much of a swing to put nearly all the swing states back into the GOP camp.  Polls are very bad at assessing differential turnout especially so far in advance of the actual election, but this could be the key for Obama - provided he can maintain the enthusiasm edge.

Perhaps you are right about the polls being manipulated to keep the race interesting, but you don't hear anyone complaining that they are different from the private polls being taken.  I still find it extraordinary that Obama isn't 10 point ahead given the performance of the two campaigns.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 08:56:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As someone said, last night on the TV, a 6% lead in national polling translates to a landslide win in November.  

Obama is opening offices in states that Democrats haven't tried to win in 20 years.  There is no reason Obama can't win South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Nevada.  Kerry damn near grabbed a couple of these states by doing Sweet Fanny Adams.  A serious GOTV operation in Los Vegas, for example, could win the state for Obama.  The same is true for the rest of the list.  The key is the big(ish) cities and towns where, in theory, Obama could do well.  Take those & he takes the state.

The GOP has depended on paid staff and lots & lots of fundie and Evangelical volunteers.  They don't have the money advantage they've had and McCain isn't going to get the Christian Right volunteers.  They haven't faced a all-out onslaught Obama is preparing to give them ever.  I mean never, ever.  So they are working with minimal resources against a candidate preparing maximum effort.  Not a good place for them.  (hee-hee-hee)

Polling isn't going to pick any of this up.  They are working, as they must, from historical voting patterns.  Obama may very well be 10% ahead at this point.  We just don't know.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 09:53:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what if McCain gives Huckabee the VP slot?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 04:31:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huckabee brings the possibility of increasing the Christian Right vote.  If I was McCain I'd be doing some heavy polling to see how it plays.

On the other hand, Huck doesn't help outside the states McCain is pretty likely to win anyway: the old Confederacy, Indiana, Kentucky, Arizona (Huck might hurt here,) Idaho, & etc.  Huck might not help or even damage McCain in Colorado, Florida, and Ohio; that's the sort of thing polling is good for.  In the hard-core Kerry States I don't see Huck hurting as McCain has zero chance of taking these.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:06:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huck would at the very least not hurt McCain as badly as Romney in Ohio ... the line of Huckabee about looking like the guy you worked next to rather than the guy who laid you off has a bit of bite to it in the once-proud Buckeye economy.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:26:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's an overstated factor in Ohio.  They voted for Bush and Reagan, despite the fact that the Reps were pretty open about wanting to fuck workers there.  McCain's tied to the loss of those 8,000 DHL jobs, and they're still thinking of voting for him.  They're not terribly bright up there.

Not that people are terribly bright down here in Jesusland, but at least the economy's been alright in the South.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:31:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... voter understands about the Replicants screwing the Ohio economy, and what the typical voter gets through the local media bubble.

But in the middle of a recession, its got the opportunity to resonate even in the exurbs of Columbus.

OTOH, my comment included a qualifier, and its a critical one. The Plain Dealer and Canadian-Bacon Journal might cover the story on their own, but few other papers will ... and coverage in Northeast Ohio is not going to swing many votes that were not already going Democratic. The main difference in votes in Northeast Ohio is in not having the Office of the Sec'y of State run as Republican Campaign Headquarters.

Its in the ORV and the exurbs of Columbus where there are votes that went for Bush that can be shifted in the middle of a recession, especially coming on the back of a recovery with no recovery in it.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 06:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Romney would probably do the most damage to him in Appalachia, where they really hate Mormons (even more than blacks).  Same thing in the South.  With Romney, sure, you might hold onto Montana.  Maybe you even get a slightly better shot at Michigan.  But you might also see your base collapse in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia, either moving to Bob Barr or simply not showing up, making Montana and Michigan irrelevant.

I dunno.  Tough call.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 06:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... Appalachia spills over into Ohio ... the ORV, to be precise.

Heck, Mitt plus a recession unfolding in the last month of the campaign might help put Kentucky into play ... which was supposed to be impossible this cycle.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 06:56:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Getting Mitt would be madness, wouldn't it?

I mean, he's exactly the kind of guy who caused this recession.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Aug 10th, 2008 at 12:52:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They don't have the money advantage they've had and McCain isn't going to get the Christian Right volunteers.

i sure hope you're right on this, but i think they might hold their noses for the sake of the supreme court, which is a whisker away from theirs for a decade or more...

 

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 04:13:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... rather than a categorical on/off of support. Anytime a group has to "hold its nose" to support a candidate for political stratagery, that will depress turn-out ... and if the coalition was relying on them for volunteer support, depress the numbers of volunteers turning out.

As with Bush in 2000, where Hispanic voters supported Gore more than Bush ... but by smaller margins than recent Republican candidates.

Combine weaker support for McCain from the purportedly "Christian" right, and stronger support for Obama from Hispanics as the Know-Nothing strands in the Republican party become increasingly vocal, and that is a decided shift in Obama's favor.

So far the campaign on both sides has been mostly noise and fury signifying little ... the 24 hour news cycles amplifying the volume of the political ephemera of the day, but in reality most people during summer do not have a lot of time to give over to politics. That's why when you look at the 10 day moving average of the tracking polls, there has been almost no movement at all.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 10:17:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BruceMcF:
So far the campaign on both sides has been mostly noise and fury signifying little ... the 24 hour news cycles amplifying the volume of the political ephemera of the day, but in reality most people during summer do not have a lot of time to give over to politics. That's why when you look at the 10 day moving average of the tracking polls, there has been almost no movement at all.

There has been some movement, with Rasmussen's tracking poll giving McCain a 1 point lead today.  His polls have been consistently slightly more pro-McCain, but its nothing for the Dems to get cocky about.

Those events that have dominated the news cycle and achieved traction with a disinterested electorate should have been big positives for Obama - Berlin, McCain going negative, Paris Hilton's riposte etc.

I'm still not convinced Obama isn't following the Dukakis, Kerry script - when you consider all the other positives in his favour - Iraq, Economy, GOP corruption, big oil backing McCain - something isn't clicking into gear here.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 10:41:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A 1% change in a daily tracking poll smoothed across four days is perhaps a 0.4% change in a daily tracking poll smoothed across ten days ... and often is less change than that.

The trip overseas was not to move numbers immediately ... on current biases in the population, any time the focus is on foreign policy, it should rebound to the benefit of McCain.

And the numbers of people who watch something like the Paris video on the internet and are not already inclined to support Obama must be extremely small.

The test of whether Obama is following the Dukakis/Kerry script will be the convention. If there is a well-rehearsed, hard-hitting assault on the McCain that has appeared in the last month of negative campaigning, we'll know that Obama is operating on a different script.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 10:54:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anytime a group has to "hold its nose" to support a candidate for political stratagery, that will depress turn-out

any other group, maybe...

not fundies, sadly, they don't take their eyes off the prize.

the only hope is for the extreme left to get as 'devoted' to a progressive prize, with a similarly monomaniacal zeal, and with a similar focus on the supremes.

which is exactly what's happening, amongst the high-info voters, far out to the left of obama, fueled by the internet.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 01:47:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think they're being deliberately manipulated, with the exception of that one Gallup poll of "likely voters".  ("Yes, Gallup, and if 90% of the electorate were young Democrats, McCain wouldn't win one county.  And if my aunt had testicles, she'd be my uncle.")

I think they might, in the case of the tracking polls, have missed the shift in party ID, or at least not picked up on how dramatic the shift has been.  So a 2-point lead in the tracker could be a six point lead overall.  Six points feels about right at the moment to me.

And, yes, as Chuck Todd said, a six-point margin would result in a pretty big win in the electoral college.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 11:15:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you catch the Cohen-Tinker primary result in Tennessee, by the way?

Cohen crushed her.  79% vs 19%.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 11:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah -- that was pretty funny.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:07:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
great to see that latent racism, sexism, anti-semitism and religious hypocrisies can still be treated with the contempt they deserves.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 09:19:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and very nice to see the "Blacks only vote for blacks when they're on the ballot!" meme killed there.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 01:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series