The Liberal Crab’s Poll of “Poll of Polls” – 24 October 2008 (Updated)

Popular Vote

Obama – 50.9% +7.7%

McCain – 43.2%

Electoral Vote

Obama – 365

McCain – 173

 **Update – I did a review of the latest polls in all the competitive states, thanks to Nate Silver for making it easy to review.  As a financial analyst, I am more interested in taking away trends.  Look at the mean for the aggregate.  Then look at the trends of each poll – are they tightening or expanding?  Based on that type of analysis and only looking at the most recent polls, I’d put 343 Electoral Votes in Obama’s column.  I wouldn’t take Ohio, Virginia, or North Carolina away from him.  But Florida shifts to McCain, from the general consensus across most aggregate pollsters.  None show very strong trends toward McCain.  Ohio seems muddled.  Some of the pollsters who have been in their show the race tightening, others show the lead growing.  New pollsters in Ohio are showing both McCain and Obama strong.  Very tough to tell.  North Carolina is simply a very close race, but slightly favoring Obama.  Same, as far as I can tell, it’s been for all of October**

At first glance the Poll of “Poll of Polls” shows an improving forecast for Obama, particularly in the Electoral College.  After some fluctuation, the popular vote polls are steadying with Obama at 50% and McCain 43%.  Unfortunately, 7% undecideds remain pegged at that number.  The good news is even if they broke mostly for McCain, Obama would still win the popular vote.  As I’ve said before, Obama will most likely win the popular vote at this point – regardless of winning the Electoral College.  The only real interest in the popular vote is to be a leading indicator of some dynamic change in the race that will toss the Electoral College into a realignment that may favor McCain.  Heading over to the Electoral Vote graph, Obama had his strongest EV standing since the poll started 13 days ago.

Ok, so what’s the down side?  Some of the latest polls in North Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire, and Ohio are showing a very tight and closing race.   This could be the boost McCain may need to get back into the race.  However, before crying the ‘sky is falling’, there are a lot of things going for Obama.  First, he could lose all those states, and still win if he holds the remainder he is ahead. Second, McCain actually needs to win, right now Obama still has the lead or everything is within the margin of error.  Third, he continues to hold a strong popular vote lead and is banking early voters every day.  Add that to his money, and he is still in control.  There were some positive polls for Obama at the state level too.  How this all plays out will take a few days to see. By the nature of my poll, it is very slow to react to new data if it is much different from the norm.  The good part is that statistical noise is minimized and a few outlier polls will not affect the result.

Obama’s position is strong – but the message to vote, volunteer, donate, and talk is as important as ever.  There is only ten day left!!


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