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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nail Biting, Fretting, Etc.

posted by on October 23 at 10:44 AM

At this point in the election season, I know that the only thing that matters is the electoral map. And the map says Obama is leading by a wide margin—nay, a gaping chasm.


But I’ll be damned if this morning’s poll of likely voters from Gallup—the same firm that showed Obama ahead by 10 points only two days ago—doesn’t cause me to involuntarily Kegel.


RSS icon Comments


Yes! "involuntarily Kegel" is my new favorite buzz phrase!

Posted by Nay | October 23, 2008 10:46 AM

No need to vote, Democrats.

It's all locked up.


Posted by John Bailo | October 23, 2008 10:47 AM

I think I need to admit to myself that I'm going to suffer some wild mood swings between now and Nov. 4. This Gallup poll has my stomach churning, when just moments ago, I was giddy about Quinnipiac's having Obama up by 14 points in Ohio. I'm a nervous wreck.

Posted by LDP in Cincinnati | October 23, 2008 10:49 AM


Don't let politics get you down.

Go the McCain way.

Country First!

Posted by John Bailo | October 23, 2008 10:51 AM

@2 ... very sadly ... for the win.

Vote early.

Vote often.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 23, 2008 10:54 AM

Um, Dominic? That's called statistical noise. Polls meander randomly from day to day. Look at the trends and the averages over time. is a great antidote to poll anxiety.

Posted by Jay Andrew Allen | October 23, 2008 10:57 AM

We need monthly moving averages for the pussies at the stranger who can't handle a little volatility.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 23, 2008 10:59 AM

A little poll anxiety isn't necessarily a bad thing if it drives turnout. I'm just a little worried that the Republican strategy at this point is to act like they're conceding, because they know that low turnout is the only thing they have left to hope for.

Posted by Fnarf | October 23, 2008 11:01 AM

elections always tighten towards the end of the race. if a 6-point race is troubling you, you'll be kegeling the shit out of yourself over the next couple weeks [not necessarly a bad thing, for reasons i won't get into here].

Posted by brandon | October 23, 2008 11:12 AM

The negative shit works. It just does. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise. Seen it over and over and over again.

Willie Horton. Sex predators. Terrorists. Gay marriage. Fear is the biggest motivator, and the Republicans know how to use it. It's all they have.

Posted by palin sucks | October 23, 2008 11:16 AM

I'll add to what @6 said and add that you should read this specifically regarding "likely voters".

I'll just add that kegels are good for you regardless of whether or not they are voluntary.

Posted by Mike in Renton | October 23, 2008 11:30 AM

The "socialist" crap is gaining traction...make no mistake. Some people are just too stupid and gullible to live.

Posted by Matthew | October 23, 2008 11:31 AM

Elections do not always tighten towards the end of the race, and this election is not necessarily tightening because a three day trend shows the numbers getting slightly closer. Will everyone please stop making up election analysis based upon observations from the last two cycles, and what sounds like it might be true.

And read exclusively. Only go to RealClearPolitics or Electoral-vote to control your giddiness when it gets out of hand.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | October 23, 2008 11:33 AM

Actually, RealClearPolitics has one slightly useful function in this case: Proving that the race has not tightened at all this month. Go to the National Averages page, and look at the squiggly line graph that shows the range between the two candidates polling averages. You can see that between 10.10 and 10.17 was just statistical noise, and that Obama has been sitting at about 6.5 this whole month. If it weren't for that Pew Poll, he'd be there now.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | October 23, 2008 11:40 AM

Don't get worried, (A) go get on a plane to NV or OH and volunteer your ass, or (B) start planning what you are going to do to stay involved after the elction and ensure we totally get everything passed.

Good story in NYT today about Wooster Ohio, GOP office somnolent, Obama/Dems has 100 people (Woosert Ohio!!!) including several folks from other states.

Action is the only way to take charge of history and be the change you want.


Posted by PC | October 23, 2008 11:57 AM

If the unthinkable happens, I say boycott all shopping for the holidays.

Posted by Vince | October 23, 2008 11:58 AM

@13, RCP at this point is if anything more clear than 538 that Obama's lead is unsurmountable.

Posted by Fnarf | October 23, 2008 12:00 PM

Kicked in another $50 to Obama/Biden today.

Posted by kebabs | October 23, 2008 12:01 PM

Polls don't elect, votes do.

So hope that:

1) the electronic voting machine registers correctly (see Virginia this month)
2) the ballot makes it to the post office (see Seattle this week)
3) the polling station lines aren't insanely long due to manipulation of available voting machines
4) the polling station has a correct list of names that haven't illegally purged people (see Florida 2000, and current lawsuits around the US) and has enough ballots for an expected record turnout
5) the racist hecklers don't deter people from voting (see North Carolina this month)

and whatever things we can't anticipate (who expected police roadblocks in Florida in 2000?)

This one comes down to turnout and successful resistance to voter suppression. It's not the polls, stupid. It's the votes.

Posted by Andy Niable | October 23, 2008 12:03 PM

Don't fret, get your ballot into one of the ballot collection boxes today. And bug your friends and neighbors to get theirs in too. The pukes can only steal it if it's close.

Posted by Geni | October 23, 2008 12:50 PM

I have a sphincter loosening exercise for you. Go to one of those online maps that allow you to tally the Electoral College vote by selecting which way states are going to go. There's one at CNN, here:

Take for granted that Obama will win WA and make it blue. Figure that McCain will win AZ and make it red. McCain pulled out of NM and CO? Ok, they're blue. Use a variety of polling maps, like those at fivethirtyeight, to help you pick. You'll find it very difficult to come up with plausible scenario that has McCain winning, plus its good prep for election night in getting familiar with the decisive states.

Posted by blank12357 | October 23, 2008 12:59 PM

Just dropped off my ballot - didn't need some rogue mail carrier disenfranchising my ass.

Posted by Chris | October 23, 2008 1:09 PM

The overall poll averages have had this race at 6-8 points for weeks. The ones that show it at 10-14 points are assuming optimistic turnout for Obama. Those that have it at 5 or less (though none give McCain a lead) are assuming turnout at 2004 levels. Bottom line: unless something big happens, and if the election were held today, Obama wins. Easily.

If you want to worry about the election, worry about Gregoire, Burner, Prop 8 in California, and Prop 1/Mass Transit Now here. The most recent polls are looking up for all of these, but the averages for at least Gregoire, Burner, and Prop. 8 are very worrisome.

Posted by Cascadian | October 23, 2008 1:18 PM

@21, the clickable map at is much better than CNN's. But you're right; even if McCain sweeps the toss-up states, he still loses. He needs to pick off a blue state or two, which ain't gonna happen. FL? Doesn't matter. OH? Doesn't matter. CO? Doesn't matter.

What does matter is humiliating John McCain so badly that the Repubs become even more deranged than they are now, and the party breaks apart. Ideally, we want them to run Sarah Palin in 2012, which would be an opportunity for a never-happened-before 538-0 sweep for Obama's second term, and 70 seats in the senate. Only then will the Republicans be forced to reform themselves and act like human beings.

Posted by Fnarf | October 23, 2008 2:03 PM

The second you get the nerve up - VOTE.

Either early or by absentee ballot.


You'll be glad you did - for one thing, those annoying robocalls tend to end when you do that, cause they know you've voted already.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 23, 2008 2:11 PM

and, like Chris @22, I dropped off my ballot in person at one of the dropoff places for absentee ballots - this one was in the U Dist, think it's 4536 University Ave or something like that.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 23, 2008 2:14 PM

Fnarf @24, McCain needs more than a blue state or two.  To come up with a McCain win on RCP's map, I had to give him not only all of the toss up states, but also every one of the "leaning Obama" states except for NM.

Posted by lostboy | October 23, 2008 5:24 PM

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