The Liberal Crab’s Poll of “Poll of Polls” – 03 November 2008


Popular Vote

Obama – 51.5% +6.8%

McCain – 44.7%

Electoral College

Obama – 347

McCain – 191


Well here we are, the eve of the election and the final Poll of “Poll of Polls”.  The final popular vote total is 51.5% for Obama and 44.7% for McCain, giving Obama a 6.8% poll lead going into the election tomorrow. Oddly, after analyzing the remaining undecideds and adding the Barr/Nadar/Paul third party factor, my final prediction is – 51.5% Obama, 44.6% McCain, 3.9% third parties.  Am I saying the remaining ‘undecideds’ in my poll are actually voting third party?  No.  I actually gave McCain 62% of the 3.9% of undecideds, based on his performance with them in recent days.  However, he is impacted by about 1% more by the third party candidates based on my analysis of 2-way and 3-way polls.  As a result, the final prediction matches the final Poll of “Poll of Polls”.

There was some odd things going on with the national tracking polls.  Despite the pretty radical differences in each of them over the last few days, they all ended up centering between 5-9 points.  There are some games the pollsters can play to make the results trend to the mean such as changing party ID.  However, the important point is that the pollsters who have a stronger reputation – Rasmussen and Gallup, utilizing their ‘traditional’ belief in who makes up a likey voter still has Obama with a comfortable 5-6 point lead (and some even larger).

As the National vote was tightening, the state polls were increasing their margin for Obama.  Now that the national polls have been increasing their advantage for Obama, ironically we see a tightening at the state level.  While the idea of a lag has been widely discounted, even here, since the polls are coming out more frequently, the fact is that poll trends (which is what the other aggregators use) are based on the current polls as well as some of the older polls.  In effect, there is still some lag.  Since the national polls have only helped increase Obama’s lead over the last three or four days, it’s conceivable the minor tightening is a result of the slight lag.  What would that mean for Election Day?  It probably means Obama’s state leads are a bit larger than being projected.  The aggregators have a mean in their evaluation of 347 Electoral Votes.  Based on the latest national polls, I suspect their adjusted estimate (if given 2-3 more days) would be back in the 355-360 range.  Based on the latest polls and my analysis, my final prediction is Obama 302 and McCain 236.  My map is as follows:


My analysis was based on several factors.  First, the latest polling trends.  Second, only including pollsters with good reputations.  Third, past voting trends in the state.  Fourth, level of support for the candidate above/below 50%.  Fifth, a general thought on the GOTV efforts in the state.  Florida has been trending back to McCain.  Ohio was on the edge.  It’s been trending back, slightly to Obama.  It’s close enough that if there is any impact from Palin’s ‘coal’ comments today, I could see that pushing it over to McCain.  Regardless, it’s within the margin of error and a state the Democrats have previously lost twice.  Missouri is close, but the GOTV efforts by Obama, I think, will make a considerable difference for Obama.  Colorado and Nevada show strong trends toward Obama.  Virginia appears to have stabilized out at about 4-5 points. Obama should be able to hold that lead.

More to come about what to look for tomorrow, as well as additional analysis.

My analysis looked at se


The Liberal Crab’s Poll of “Poll of Polls” – 28 October 2008

Popular Vote

Obama – 51.1% +6.7%

McCain – 44.3%

Electoral College

Obama – 362

McCain – 176

In the popular vote analysis, McCain continues to march – though slowly – up the polls.  He gained another .4%, and broke the 44% threshold.  Obama, on the other hand, has remained relatively flat.  Today he dropped .1%.  That comes after three days at the same level of support.  Since Friday, when Obama’s gap between McCain and him was at it’s zenith, Obama’s gap has closed by 1.2% from from 7.9% to 6.7%.  For Obama, there is still a lot of good news.  First, we expected the polls to tighten and this tightening is so slight that many pollsters are arguing that this is just statistical noise.  I tend to disagree since we’ve seen three days of improvement by McCain.  However, to take a popular vote lead, McCain needs to pick up 1.1% in the polls each day through Election Day.  In the three days McCain has made up ground, he’s picked up .4%/day.  In the three days since he started gaining he’s been able to make up only the amount he needs to close each day.  Again, not impossible, but without a significant shift in the trajectory, he can’t win the popular vote.  Removing my two degrees of separation from the actual polls, the individual trackers have either gone up, down, or remained static.  For the most part, the polls that have had the bigger lead for Obama have tightened (Daily Kos/Research 2000, Gallup) , while the polls with the smaller leads have showed Obama opening up a little more lead (IBD).  And yes, the ones in the middle seem to be relatively static (Rasumssen, Zogby, Battleground).  I continue to maintain that while the polls are tightening, they are only regressing to their equilibrium of Obama at 50% and McCain at 46%.

On the Electoral College, the story remains the same as it has in the 16 days we’ve been running the poll.  However, I am expecting to see a drop from the 360’s to the to the 330’s by the weekend.  North Carolina, Missouri, and Indiana appear to have moved from Obama to toss-up and some polls have Indiana already back in McCain’s column.  But that still puts Obama up by 60 Electoral Votes from what he needs to win.  Obama could still lose two out of the four – Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and win by 12-25 votes.  That would still give him some cushion if he didn’t win all the other toss-up states he is currently winning.  Really, it appears that only North Carolina, Missouri, and Indiana are the only ones really tightening.  Indiana is the only one that is showing some strong leanings for McCain.

Six days out, McCain still needs the same eight states we’ve been discussing for over two weeks now.  That is less than a day’s focus per state – and barely one state/day with Palin and McCain in different states.  At this point, he is putting all his eggs into the Pennsylvania basket.  He will let his ads, surrogates, and robocalls do his work in the other seven states he is tied or behind in – to help win him the election.

Also, please see my post at the Daily Kos on the race tightening.  I got props (not literally) from David Gergen this evening – agreeing with my take on ‘Obama poll bumps’.