Friday, October 17, 2008

Electoral college poll remains solidly in favor of Obama, 364 to 174

As most of us know, the popular vote does not determine who becomes president and the overall national polls map to the popular vote, not to electoral college votes. But RealCearPolitics does have a map of the comparable electoral college vote based on the state-by-state polls. Currently, the map shows Obama with 249 solid electoral college votes and McCain with 140. Obama has 37 leaning votes to McCain's 18 leaners. The remaining 94 electoral votes are toss-ups, including Florida. Excluding tossups, Obama has 286 electoral votes, McCain 158. Including toss-ups, Obama has 364 and McCain 174. Only 270 electoral college votes are needed to win. The bottom line is that Obama has a significant lead in the total electoral college vote tally, but all leaning and toss-ups are subject to change on short notice..

Some people say that Ohio represents the entire country. The map still shows Ohio as a toss-up, but now with Obama modestly ahead by 3.2%.

As far as momentum, both camps are basically stalled at their current levels. The bad news for Obama is that he is no longer accelerating to a landslide and McCain is no longer hemoraging. The bad news for McCain is that he is not changing minds at a rapid pace and Obama is now able to sit back and coast.

The big wildcard is the fate of the economy and financial system. Obama wins if they continue to stagnate, but McCain has a shot to recover if "Hank and Ben" pull a rabbit out of their hat and kick-start the economy and banking system over the next two weeks. Maybe a trillion dollars can shift the dynamics of a presidential election. Maybe not.

The real clear bottom line is that although this election is not a slam-dunk for either candidate, Obama is now quite clearly in the lead. But, it is too early to claim a win based on toss-ups and leaners.

At this stage, I would say that the election is Obama's to lose. All he really has to do is stay relatively positive and look and act "presidential" and avoid making any wild claims or promises that might lead voters to conclude that he is a space cadet. Recently McCain has effectively been asleep at the wheel, but he is now making noises suggesting that he has awakened from his slumber.

There is still a chance that Obama could lose a fair chunk of his "leaning" votes due to "The Bradley Effect" (people reluctant to admit to pollsters that they are racially biased), but that is too difficult to evaluate at this time. Personally, I think the effect is overrated, but it has never been tested before at the national level.

Obama has a potential advantage in that his team is really good at registering new voters and reaching out to young voters, many of whom do not have traditional phones so they would not show up in traditional polling. He may in fact currently have a 2% to 5% advantage that the polls cannot see. Obama also has the advantage of opposing the war in Iraq (and planning to get out ASAP) and a crummy economy and poor financial regulatory oversight. McCain's primary advantage is simply that most sane people do not trust non-centrist Democrats with either defense or the economy. Obama may have plans, but they do not have credibility with many people.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 7:12 PM , Blogger S said...

To make every vote in every state politically relevant and equal in presidential elections, support the National Popular Vote bill.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 21 legislative chambers (one house in CO, AR, ME, NC, and WA, and two houses in MD, IL, HI, CA, MA, NJ, RI, and VT). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.




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