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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Good News for People Who Like Poll News

posted by on September 17 at 15:35 PM

Report: New battleground state polls!

Florida: Obama 48, McCain 48

Indiana: McCain 51, Obama 45

North Carolina: McCain 48, Obama 47

Ohio: Obama 49, McCain 47

Wisconsin: Obama 50, McCain 47

Theory: The big one in there is Ohio. If Obama stays ahead in Ohio, and if the polling actually reflects reality, then he’s probably got it in the bag.

Prescription: Don’t see how this is good news for Obama, what with him being down in Indiana and only tied in Florida? Electro-College Shock Therapy.


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Wow suddenly the real clear no toss up view is cited to who....things are good?

What the fuck?

Peopple who like polls know they are inherently imprecise indicators so are more useful for seeing trends, which are discernible only if you look at the same ones -- instead of cherry picking, as done here.

Wow, ONE Florida poll shows Obama is tied, is worth noting, but only if you give the context he's well behind in all others. Here they are from real clear:

CNN/Time 09/14 - 09/16 907 RV 48 48 Tie
FOX News/Rasmussen 09/14 - 09/14 500 LV 49 44 McCain +5
InAdv/PollPosition 09/10 - 09/10 511 LV 50 42 McCain +8
Quinnipiac 09/05 - 09/09 1032 LV 50 43 McCain +7
PPP (D) 09/06 - 09/07 986 LV 50 45 McCain +5

Because as we know from GWB, clear cherrypicking is the same as lying, right?

The link to real clear politics no toss up electoral map view is welcome but saying that if Obama gets Ohio "it's in the bag" is a total distortion (a/k/a lie, when GOPsters do it). The link shows an Obama win with 273 to 265 electoral college votes. "In the bag" means a solid, pretty damn sure win, while a no-toss up view (ignoring margin of error) indicating Obama margin of FOUR electoral college voters over the 270 needed to win informs us the race is basically a tie -- not "in the bag."
The same people you cite, real clear, on that Ohio thing -- give McCain an average of +1.9 btw so hard to say Obama a lead in Ohio right now. TAking one CNN poll here, and another realclear electoral map there, you're only making cherry cobbler.

Perhaps things are turning for Obama due to the economic meltdown getting Palin off the front page. Kind of a mixed blessing.

Anyway would suggest citing the same polls with regularity instead of baking cherry pies just cuz readership loves to gobble them up. Esp. when same level of distortion done by the other side is branded as lying.

BTw that real clear electoral map in the non toss up view has McCain 227 with Obama 207 -- so citing real clear to show Obama somehow winning or on an upward trend is, ahem, a bit of a fib. More of a hope than a reality at this point.

Posted by PC | September 17, 2008 4:03 PM

I had forgotten about this web site since the 2004 election (or perhaps suppressed the memory of 2004)

Good that its still active.

Posted by spalding | September 17, 2008 4:15 PM

Eli... You might want to read some Greg Palast and then find out if these polls take voter suppression into account.

Posted by DOUG. | September 17, 2008 4:37 PM

PC, stop being an idiot. "In the bag" doesn't mean landslide. "In the bag" means there is a very high probably of winning, and has McCain winning only 1% of simulated elections where Obama wins Ohio.

Posted by w7ngman | September 17, 2008 4:37 PM

I gotta agree with one of PC's points (altho dude, we're all ADHD on the internets, so brevity is a virtue)

Trends are much more useful than some random number. So Obama has a 2pt lead on McCain in Ohio. What's the margin of error? And what were the numbers last week? And the week before?

Posted by Brad | September 17, 2008 4:45 PM

PC, catch up.

Today's CNN poll in FL shows Obama ahead 48/44. So that's at least two polls, today, that put Obama ahead in FL. I'm guessing all those retired people think Palin is nutty as a loon (which she is). Or maybe Obama is benefiting more from all the bad economic news. Who knows. But the trend is showing Obama coming back after McCain's convention bounce.

I'm gonna chew my fingernails bloody down to the bone, but it would be awesome if Obama could pull off FL and OH. That would totally be in the bag.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | September 17, 2008 4:50 PM

Trends are definitely the most important - and they look like this - Obama was generally winning in the electoral vote (over 270) until just post the RNC, then McCain gained and seemed to take the lead, now things are starting to lean back towards Obama but there is not currnently a clear winner.

Looking at the long term trends, it seems like McCain wins FL, Obama wins PA and the rest of the NE. Obama also wins the West Coast, MN, IA, IL, WI - leaving MT, NV, CO, NM, OH, VA and NC about tied so toss-ups.

now go to and play with the interactive map - I'd give NC and MT to McCain based on the trends. VA to Obama based on the trends and the new voter registrations there, which are reportedly very high and give Obama about a 2% edge starting out. And if that's the case, McCain could win all the others (unlikely) and Obama still wins, meaning Obama can win without NM, CO, NV, OH or FL.

Through OH, NM, NV and CO over to Obama as they seem to be leaning and Obama is looking good indeed.

So really, right now there is no clear electoral vote winner but it looks better for Obama than McCain, though there are scenarios where either could win, and a couple - where the above plus FL, NC and MT go to Obama, where it's a landslide.

God times for polling and web geeks.

Posted by Meinert | September 17, 2008 5:02 PM

I predict a 269/269 tie.

Posted by DOUG. | September 17, 2008 5:49 PM

i don't know enough about how polls are conducted but i'm guessing that pollsters aren't heading into the poor parts of cleveland and accurately polling african american voters. if i'm wrong someone tell me, but i feel like black voters, and young voters also, are going to be a much more powerful voting block than ever before and i have a feeling that their impact is not being properly factored in.

i've spoken to a few people who say their entire families are making it a point to vote for obama, something that they claim has never happened before. i for one feel like the gop ticket is as strong as it can get in this election now that we're post convention and the palin bullshit is over. if obama is still leading or even tied at this point then i think he will win. and i'm usually a total cynic.

Posted by douglas | September 17, 2008 5:53 PM

There are a lot of soft factors in play as well. There is a massive enthusiasm gap that Palin hasn't closed for McCain. The Dems won't blow off voting this year like they did with Kerry. Obama's ground game is the best in political history. This will pay off heavily in purple states (I'm calling Nevada, Florida, and North Carolina for Obama based on campaign organization and new voter registration alone). Obama's campaign is collecting cell numbers for text messaging and the runs the best email database in political history. He's flush with cash. And he's doing it without the Clintons.

Posted by Demolator | September 17, 2008 9:31 PM

all these polls (except IN) are in the margin of error. Why report on them at all? They are all meaningless ties. It is somewhat more plausible to look at trends. To do this, you have throw out all the polls done by partisan pollsters. If you just look at the neutral polling, NM, CO, OH, VA, NH, NV are all tossups still. Trends tell you that McCain will take IN, FL, NC, MT, MO. Obama takes PA, IA of those named as 'tossups'. Obama can win with all the Kerry states plus either OH or VA plus another small state. Oh, don't forget to take into account how WRONG the polls were (well outside the margin of error) in the D primaries, plus how people seem increasingly comfortable lying to pollsters. In other words: complete toss up at the moment; ignore all polls in the 5% margin of error as they tell you nothing.

Posted by thewalrus | September 17, 2008 10:27 PM

Re: Indiana

The Indy Star's poll puts Obama out in front.

Posted by sw | September 18, 2008 6:11 AM

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