The Liberal Poll of “Poll of Polls” – 22 October 2008

Popular Vote

Obama – 50.4% +6.6%

McCain – 43.8%

Electoral College

Obama – 353

McCain – 185

Well, as I’ve been harping on for the last couple of days, the Electoral Vote did go down for Obama Today (I predicted Wednesday).  There are two reasons for this change.  The first is that The Princeton Election Consortium dropped Obama’s total for EV’s from 362 to 340.  I am actually slightly surprised that we didn’t get more movement downward in some of the other aggregate EV polls.   That has a little to do with my methodology of assigning all 538 votes.  If a state is only 1-2% for a candidate and is really a ‘toss-up’ I still show it for the candidate in the lead.  Florida has definitely tightened in the last couple of days and there is also some chatter with Ohio.  The good news is it doesn’t appear Pennsylvania is moving yet – though there is only poll posted in the last week.  On the popular vote front, things seem to have stabilized after a week of very fluctuating numbers.  That’s always good for the guy in the lead.  When I started this poll eleven days ago, Obama was at 50.6%, today he is at 50.4%.  McCain was at 43.6% and today he is at 43.8%.  A total of .3% change for McCain in the last eleven days.  On the Electoral Vote side, Obama was at 352 and today he is at 353.  So, in eleven days, nothing has really changed in this race.  The Electoral Polls will probably get a bit tighter in the next couple days, a residual of last week’s ‘tightening’.  If the popular vote remains steady, though, we’ll probably see the EV total go back up early next week.

As you’ve probably understood by now, because state polls aren’t taken everyday, effects in the dynamic of the race will not be picked up for a week or so. This isn’t a big deal two months out from the election, but increasingly important as the election gets closer.  For example, if something happened on the Sunday before the election, the EV polls wouldn’t show any change on Election Day.  However, the popular vote would absolutely show that impact.  That’s why the popular vote status is going to become more important as the last 12 days tick away.

I think the drop in McCain support for the last two days was a result of the Powell endorsement.  As I mentioned yesterday, it didn’t provide a boost to Obama, simply a loss of support of McCain.  This is his soft support, and I expect it will come back and close the gap back to 4-5 points (near McCain’s 46% ceiling).  That will leave 4% undecideds.  If you consider Obama’s support relatively static, as it seems to be, then that 4% would have to break totally for McCain – that’s unlikely – to win the popular vote.  It’s becoming clearer, that unless there is an external event or a huge gaffe, McCain will win only by winning the Electoral College, but not the popular vote.

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