Thursday :: Oct 23, 2008

Daily Polling Report 10/23


by CA Pol Junkie

Today's polls would make a McCain supporter want to crawl under a rock and hide until it's all over. Yesterday, we had the CNN/Time series basically report a continuation of an Obama-friendly status quo, but with Obama building up a small lead in North Carolina. Today's Big Ten (University of Wisconsin) polls include what appear to be spectacular outliers: Obama +9.5 in Indiana and Obama +12 in Ohio. Then Quinnipiac outdid them by reporting Obama ahead 14 points in Ohio. The results are outlandish, but Nate Silver points out that if the kind of assumptions that give Obama a 14 point national lead come to fruition, these huge swing-state margins are pretty realistic. In the category of "Other than that, how did you enjoy the play Mr. Lincoln?", McCain continues to do well in West Virginia. In spite of the Mountaineers backing him, McCain sees the writing on the wall and is already planning a bizarre low-key concession speech.

As I watch the early voting tabulations every day, I am struck by the consistency of the results. I expected the percentage of Democrats and African-Americans to be very high initially from a wave of excited voters but then fade to something closer each state's overall percentages of registered voters. That's not happening. In Georgia, African-Americans are maintaining their early voting at a rate of 35% of total voters even though they only comprise 29% of registered voters. The total turnout there is now 27% of the total 2004 vote, so this is a huge group of enthusiastic people. In North Carolina, African-Americans are almost 29% of the early voters even though they are only 21% of the registered voters. Early voting Democrats outnumber Republicans 2:1.

I don't know if it is even mathematically possible for the early turnout rates to continue through election day, but it is indicative of a strong skew toward Obama supporters among people who will turn out to vote. We are witnessing something massive in action, and Republicans should be very, very afraid. Obama is looking like he will significantly outperform the already impressive polls, and bring alot of new Democratic Senators and Representatives with him. Although it would be very difficult for Obama to get much over 400 electoral votes, Republicans may otherwise learn what it felt like to be a Democrat in 1980.

The current prediction is Obama 381, McCain 157. Virginia is the state which puts Obama over 270 electoral votes while Montana is the closest state, swinging to Obama by 0.0025%. Indiana leaps on to the blue team thanks to the huge result in the Big Ten poll.

Obama Base (264 EV): California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, New Mexico, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine

Competitive states, cumulative electoral votes, and new polls:

Virginia (Obama +6.6) 277 EV


CNN/Time/Opinion Research 10/19-21 (10/11-14):
Obama 54 (53)
McCain 44 (43)

Colorado (Obama +6.5) 286 EV
Ohio (Obama +5.3) 306 EV


CNN/Time/Opinion Research 10/19-21 (10/3-6):
Obama 50 (50)
McCain 46 (47)
Univ. of Wisconsin 10/19-22 (9/14-17):
Obama 53 (46)
McCain 41 (45)
Quinnipiac 10/16-21 (9/27-29):
Obama 52 (50)
McCain 38 (42)

Florida (Obama +3.6) 333 EV


Quinnipiac 10/16-21 (9/27-29):
Obama 49 (51)
McCain 44 (43)
Schroth Eldon 10/20-22 (9/14-17):
Obama 49 (45)
McCain 42 (47)

Nevada (Obama +3.5) 338 EV


CNN/Time/Opinion Research 10/19-21 (9/28-30):
Obama 51 (51)
McCain 46 (47)

Missouri (Obama +3.2) 349 EV
Indiana (Obama +3.1) 360 EV


Univ. of Wisconsin 10/19-22 (9/14-17):
Obama 51.0 (43)
McCain 41.5 (47)

North Carolina (Obama +2.3) 375 EV


CNN/Time/Opinion Research 10/19-21 (10/3-6):
Obama 51 (49)
McCain 47 (49)
Marshall Marketing 10/20-21 (10/6-7):
Obama 48.4 (46.0)
McCain 46.4 (47.8)

North Dakota (Obama +1.6) 378 EV
Montana (Obama +0.0) 381 EV


Montana State Univ. 10/16-20:
Obama 44.4
McCain 40.2

Georgia (McCain +5.6) 157 EV


Rasmussen 10/22 (10/7):
McCain 51 (54)
Obama 46 (45)

West Virginia (McCain +5.6) 142 EV


CNN/Time/Opinion Research 10/19-21 (9/21-23):
McCain 53 (50)
Obama 44 (46)
West Virginia Wesleyan 10/20-21 (9/21-22):
McCain 49.2 (52)
Obama 43.5 (41)
Rainmaker 10/20-21?:
McCain 41.7
Obama 41.3

McCain Base (137 EV): Alaska, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina

The poll averages are created by a magic spreadsheet. Self-selected (Internet and mail) polls are ignored; no favoritism is done among the remaining pollsters. Polls are adjusted to today's conditions by shifting them by the amount of change in the average of Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls. The weight of polls in the averages decreases geometrically each day such that 7 day old polls have 1/2 weight and 14 day old polls have 1/4 weight. The weight of state tracking polls is divided by the number of days in the sample. This method is very responsive to recent changes in both state and national polling.

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