Karl Rove’s Electoral Map

For those who want to see Dr. Evil’s map, I am including it below:



I like Rove’s map because he puts the % that the candidates are up.  You need 270 to win.  McCain needs to win all the ‘yellow’ states and then pick off 41 more Electoral Votes.  If he takes Pennsylvania – he’d still need to get Ohio.  If he gets Ohio, but not PA, he’ll need to take Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.  He could also take  Ohio, Virginia and Nevada.  Here’s the problem, if the polls are correct, he is not going to make up 11 points in Pennsylvania.

There is definitely a doable strategy for McCain – but he’s got to be perfect.  He’s got nine or ten states he is either behind or tied that he needs to win.  And in all the ‘toss-up’ states, except Montana, he is statistically insignificantly behind.

How tough is it to win those states?  Rove’s map matches nearly everyone else’s – including Real Clear Politics (RCP).  In 2004, the RCP map got only one state wrong in their prediction – Wisconsin.  It went for Kerry when they had predicted Bush.  More comparisons.  In 2004, about a week out, the Electoral College was split 234 for Bush, and 211 for Kerry.  McCain only has 157 in his column.  In addition, in every single toss-up state (except Wisconsin), the candidate who was leading – no matter how slightly – won that state.

The question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you believe the polls.  Do you believe in a Bradley Effect?  Do you not believe more Democrats will show up than in 2004? Do you believe that the youth and African American population will increase?  If you do, then the race is over.  If you don’t, then it still is going to be tight.

My theory is based on a finding by Karl Rove on his website:

There has been an explosion of polls this presidential election. Through yesterday, there have been 728 national polls with head-to-head matchups of the candidates, 215 in October alone. In 2004, there were just 239 matchup polls, with 67 of those in October. At this rate, there may be almost as many national polls in October of 2008 as there were during the entire year in 2004.

There are two factors that tend to have me believing the polls.  The first is there are a lot more of them this year.  We do not know the quality of them, as Karl Rove goes on to say in his article, but the fact is they all tend to be in alignment – somewhat.  That is, the traditional pollsters who have good reputations are showing the same basic results as the new ones.  At the National level – McCain has not led one poll in over a month.  That’s 215 polls.  Not one outlier shows McCain with a lead.  Second, there is a little more variability in the state polls, but the outliers are at both extremes and if you go to the mean, I believe you got the right result.  Look, if you have three pollsters who are doing the polling, there’s a good chane their methodology could be wrong.  But when you have 15-20 pollsters in a state, this will reduce variability.  We see some extremes in the state polls, but most are around what the mean ends up being.

The second factor is I believe the pollsters are getting better.  Polling is a science.  The pollsters are learning from each other (e.g. cell phones, etc.) and improving the quality from mistakes they have made in previous elections.  A ‘Dewey Wins’ banner will never again occur the same way it did in 1948 when they stopped polling a week out. They learned.  They learned in 2000 and in 2004.  Additionally, folks like Nate Silver and Sam Wang and Mark Blumenthal have made a science out of projections based on multiple polls.  They’ve also helped keep pollsters honest and throwing out bad polls.

Believing the polls are acurate, means I believe Obama will win this election.  There are too many states that the pollsters would have to be wrong about for Obama to lose.  It’s not like 2000 or 2004 when it was going to come down to 1 or 2 states.  No, for McCain to win, it has to come down to 9 or 10 states.  Thinking of how close Ohio and Florida (and New Mexico) were in the previous election cycles – it’s hard to believe that McCain would come out on the right side of all those close battles.


Keep Donating?

The GOP and main stream media have done a great job of confusing the issue with regard to money being spent by the campaigns.  In actuality, the funds advantage goes to McCain and the Republicans.  As of October 15th, McCain had $84M and Obama had $76M (he spent $105M for the first half of October).  Why are the numbers so different than what’s being reported?  This takes into consideration donations to the National Committees.  While they cannot use the money directly for the candidates, they can make the case and their ads are no less powerful than the candidates.

So believe it or not, please donate (if you can) to the campaign TODAY.  Per the article below, you can see that McCain is committing more than Obama in battleground states for the weekend. A few more dollars can at least keep the advertising equal.  The election is too close in some of these states and the ad advantage may make the difference.

From Jonathan Martin at Politico:

McCain/RNC put more money on TV


Obama still enjoys an advantage on the airwaves, but McCain and the RNC are using the last few days of the campaign to spend their remaining dollars trying to catch up in a handful of key states.   The money is in part being re-allocated from states that are increasingly seen as out of reach.

Brad Todd, who runs the RNC’s independent expenditure arm, told me that they would ultimately be up in Ohio, Florida and Virginia with between 2,000-2,500 points — a saturation buy that ensures voters won’t miss the GOP message.

AP’s Jim Kuhnhenn has more:

After weeks of being out-advertised by Barack Obama, Republican presidential candidate John McCain and the Republican Party are nearly matching the Democratic nominee ad for ad in key battleground markets.

Ad spending and ad placement data obtained from Democratic and Republican operatives show that in the closing days of the campaign the Republican voice has grown louder in states such as Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

For instance, Obama had been scheduled to buy about $2.5 million in Florida ads for the last week of the campaign. McCain is now set to spend about $1.6 million and the Republican National Committee added $1.5 million to their buy in the state this week. Obama appears to have added more weight to his ads since.

The ad war is especially noticeable in Florida’s central corridor, which includes Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach.

Those near-parity levels in crucial states come with a price. McCain has had to trim back his ads in Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, giving Obama even greater edges there.

A map of the states where McCain and the RNC are spending their money also illustrates the defensive nature of their 11th hour strategy. Except for Pennsylvania, the McCain-GOP focus was on trying to hold states that President Bush won in 2004.

Two Great Obama Ads

Credit to diarist Slinkerwink at Daily Kos for posting these two ads.

I concur with his opinion that these are two powerful ads.


Just continues to prove the effectivness of his campaign.  The first ad really bring shome the promise of America.  The second one does a tremendous job of tying Bush to McCain.

The Importance of “Selling Obama”

Tonight’s half hour program ‘presented by BarackObama’ is more than a ‘luxury’ as some have stated (or as Elizabeth Hasslback commented – ‘repulsive’). Some have even argued that it is a risk.  However, this program may go down as single most memorable moment of the campaign.  Not because he will have moved mountains and it’s impact will not be fully realized until after November 4th.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan was trailing Jimmy Carter by 8 points in October.  They had one debate on October 29th (same as tonight).  On November 4th(same date as this year),  Reagan won by 10 points.  With that debate, Reagan was able to sell the American people on his vision and that he was a safe choice for president.  Sound familiar. 

Leaving out the irony of dates, Obama has the same chance tonight.  His campaign is going well, but some have argued that he hasn’t closed the ‘deal’ yet.  Tonight he gets 1/2 hour to make his case.  No direct rebuttal time by the GOP and very little chance of McCain doing the same (although, I wouldn’t be surprised for him to try to pull that rabbit out of the hat).  I’ve been an absolute avid poll watcher. I’ve analyzed every little tick and campaign event.  What is clear is that every time that Obama has a chance to get in front of the American public – he does and extraordinary job of building support. The Democratic Convention and debates are two prime examples.  People want to believe in him and he actually has the qualities one looks to believe in.  However, so much time by the McCain campaign has been spent attacking his character – his campaign gets distorted.

The polls won’t pick up any change in the support levels until at least Friday.  Most likely it won’t be until Sunday. However, this will make a difference.  I do not believe that it will be an 18 point swing for Obama, but it will be 2-3 points.  This will be enough to swing the toss-ups strongly into Obama’s column.  Obama has a knack for getting a bump when he need it.  Tonight will probably bring the same.

Some argue there is risk in doing this event.  Perhaps, but the risk is minimal and the reward could be great.  Some argue that this isn’t 1980 – the candidates are better known, there isn’t an incumbent in office, people won’t watch, and there are many sources for information.  However, because of all the media attention, it sometimes difficult to see who these candidates are – not filtered with the opinion of their rival.  Tonight, Obama will present himself how he’d present himself in the White House – that, alone, will be reassuring.  Beyond that, the ability to consume at least one, if not two, news cycles will be critical in a campaign where McCain needs the attention every day. Finally, the intial network audience might be minimal, however, the replays on youtube and the news sites will be continuous.

Is Virginia a cooked Goose?

Per Politico:

Good Tuesday morning. The Republican National Committee buys TV time in deep-red MONTANA and WEST VIRGINIA, a sign the party is scrambling to stave off a historic landslide a week from today. “Tough environment,” one Republican official says sardonically. The McCain campaign has not officially given up on VIRGINIA but a top official concedes it is LOST, while maintaining that a PENNSYLVANIA miracle can still get Senator McCain to 270. He and Governor Palin will be there repeatedly before Election Day. But should they also be shoring up Nevada, now a must-win?

They basically conceded Colorado yesterday and Today it is Virginia.  Without Virginia, they need Pennsylvania and Nevada – and carry all the other Bush states (except Iowa).  This would include where they are behind in North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Missouri, etc.  Basically – all eyes are fully on PA. I believe McCain/Palin have about 5 or six rallies in PA today.  Considering they were averaging 2 rallies a week up until this weekend, that is a lot.  Obama is back in PA today also.

Dear Senator McCain – Please do not Start Apologizing in 9 Days

Dear Senator McCain,

In nine days, the American people will elect the next President of the United States.  The time after the election is typically a time for healing, a time for unity, a time for Democrats and Republicans to come together and turn the page on the nation.  With President Bush’s 30% approval rating, most of us are looking for the healing to begin as soon as possible.  Regardless of whether you win or lose, please do not apologize for your campaign.  Please do not try to play the role of healer.  It would seem too shallow, too contrived, too unbelievable to be accepted.

You see, regardless of the outcome, we already know who is the real John McCain.  You talk about putting your Country first.  You’ve said that your experience in Vietnam has tested you.  You’ve said that you are a maverick who works across party lines to get things done for the American people.  For the last two months, you have been everywhere – on our computers, TV, radio, in our towns.  We’ve seen as much of you as our friends.  We know your mannerisms, how you dress, how you talk, and much of your speeches- verbatim.  We know who you are.  We also know about your ethics and integrity.  We’ve seen them on the campaign trail.  Your philosophy has been simple – do anything possible to win the presidency.  You’ve lied to us about things like Sarah Palin being against the bridge in Alaska.  You’ve allowed hatred to be spewed against Barack Obama at your rallies.  You have not rebuked this anger in any overwhelming way to stop it from occurring in the future.  You have have showed a lack of sportsmanship and respect to your rival during your debates by refusing to shaking his hand, not looking at him, and calling him ‘That One’.  You utilized the most serious economic crisis in generations solely for political purposes.  You demonstrated your desire to gamble with our nation by choosing a candidate who is absolutely not qualified to be president – solely for political reasons and then lied by stating she is the most qualified vice-presidential candidate in a very long time.  You utilized tactics such as robocalls that you said were wrong in 2000.  You are using loopholes in your own ethics reform bill to stretch your funds.

Yes Senator McCain, we have sufficient exposure to know who you are.  You’d like us to believe you are still that maverick, still the man who puts our Country first, and still a man of integrity.  After the election, win or lose, you’ll apologize and try to heal.  You will claim that it was the heat of battle that caused your actions.  But I thought you were ‘battle tested?’  You might blame your advisers for leading you astray.   But who is in charge of your campaign?  You might even blame Sarah Palin. But who is responsible for that decision?   It is in trying times that we learn the true character of an individual.  It is then when the best or worst comes out.  Unfortunately, the evidence does not present a positive picture.  What it shows is someone consumed with themselves and willing to do anything to succeed.  You’ve talked about how different you are from George Bush, but your actions are no different from his.

You served our country admirably during Vietnam, and for that our Country is indebted to you.  I would not have the fortitude to have endured what you went through.  But that event doesn’t define you as a person.  Your life, and everything you do, defines who you are.  There is much good in your deeds, but your character is flawed.  To apologize after the election, would indeed be too shallow, contrived, or unbelievable.  For the last couple of weeks I thought you might start to show us a different John McCain – the one you showed at the Republican National Convention.  But you didn’t.  See, if you had done during the campaign, even at the risk of not being the politically correct decision, you would have still had my respect.  You always did in the past.  But like the way you ran your campaign, anything you do now will be interpreted as doing it for political reasons.  You have destroyed your reputation.  If you win the election, you will just be a soulless politician that is no different from all the ones you’ve railed against for years.  If you lose, you have absolutely nothing left – no credibility and probably no political career.  No Senator McCain, we will not cry for you.

-The Liberal Crab-

Wow – Am I a Seer? (tooting my own horn part II)

I wrote an article on 13 September that was representative of an article that would be written after the election – November 5th.  I knew the article was holding strong, but I didn’t realize how accurate it still was. Here are some points from the article (written when Obama was down in the polls and sniping had begun):

1) Obama would not get in the mud with McCain, he’d continue to stay on message

2) Focus would be soley on the economy (this was before the collapse)

3) Palin’s star would fall but the GOP would continue to focus on her as the hope

4) Collin Powell would be a supporter of Obama

5) Obama stayed cool and collected and didn’t rush to being ‘erratic’ when things weren’t looking so good

6) Palin would hold her own in the VP debate

The only thing I was really off was maybe Obama was a little stronger in the debates and I mentioned one Palin gaffe – rather than a whole host of them.

Anyway, interesting read:


I also predicted the election wouldn’t be as close as initially expected.  Who knows if that will be true. But six weeks ago, I didn’t hear anyone saying that and today, Obama stands with a 7-10% lead and potentially up to 400 Electoral Votes.  Hmm, I may be right again.