What to Look for Today

What to Look for Today November 4, 2008

This is going to be a difficult election to predict at least with a lot of precision.  Questions I have going into today:

1)  How will the large numbers of absentee ballots be handled?  In some places they are transferred to the polling place on election day and included in the precinct counts.  Other places hold them.  Some places allow upwards of two weeks for them to make their way via the postal service.  Without knowing the answer to this question, there will not be much value to knowing the number of ballots cast at various polling spots and comparing them to last year, because like items may not have been compared.

2)  Much has been made of “Likely Voter” models showing an Obama victory.  Likely voter models tend to assume turnout similar to previous elections.  Preliminary indications and people’s “moods” seem to indicate that past turnout won’t be all the determinative in today’s turnout.  As of today, Gallup’s registered voter tracking poll shows a 53-40 Obama victory over McCain.  Gallup’s likely voter model has Obama beating McCain 53-42.  While within the margin of error, an extra 2% points makes places like Missouri and North Carolina probably pushed to Obama.  Conversely, if turnout isn’t as high, places like Ohio and Florida move closer to safe McCain status.  (BTW, please don’t be distracted by Gallup’s actual numbers.  The point here was to compare likely and registered voters.  All polls show a wider electorate being favorable to Obama.)
3)  Related to 2, most likely McCain will have received more votes than any Republican presidential candidate in history, regardless of the outcome tonight.
4)  Indicators one should reach for the hard liquor:
a)  South Carolina isn’t called by 9:00 EST.
b)  Florida is called for McCain at 10:00 EST and neither Pennsylvania or Ohio have been called for Obama.

Final Prediction:
Obama: 414 (includes 2 NE electoral votes.)
McCain: 124


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  • Katerina

    Wow, you gave him Arizona! I wouldn’t give him AZ, AR, GA, MT, ND, IN though… what makes you think he’ll get all those?

  • The latest polling gives McCain a 2% advantage in Arizona. For the map, I gave Obama any place he was within 5 points. Something I didn’t get into on the post was that most polls haven’t been weighting for age, and when you account for age (assuming you have a decent enough sample) younger voters prefer Obama to older voters. In Arizona this doesn’t make a difference, but in NC and GA this could make a big difference.

  • Katerina


    Yes, I have the same suspicion. Most polls don’t account much for cell phones and that’s all some of us have.

  • jh

    Good Grief lol. Where it is a prediction. The Models used in these polls for Dem turnout versus GOP turnout is off and I think people will be shocked

    But it is a prediction.

  • Karl Rove is predicting an Obama landslide victory. Since he’s in the business of fixing elections, I’d trust his opinion.

  • 414? Wow- that’s optimistic. Let’s hope!

  • David Nickol

    Since he’s in the business of fixing elections, I’d trust his opinion.

    America’s finest news source had the story about fixed elections months ago.


  • Catholic4Obama

    While it does look like a blowout for Obama tonite, 414 seems way over the top. Arizona’s tightened but I don’t see it going against it’s favorite son when push comes to shove. And GA? AR? Wildly optimistic to say the least. I’d love to see a high enough tide to sweep Chambliss out to sea decisively, without a runoff.

  • Tim F.

    I haven’t been impressed with Chambliss. He seems like a do nothing Senator, but I do know that Jim Martin is one bastard of a liar. He and the Senate Dems are running ads saying Chambliss wants a 23% sales tax, making it sound as if he wants it on top of the current income tax and other taxes. It’s the “Fair Tax” which replaces the income tax. Same type of lies the Democrats use with Social Security during elections. Imagine having the “scales fall from your eyes” and believing in that crap, as several people in another post have revealed. It makes me sick when people use Biblical imagery to justify their switching of political parties.

  • I can see Georgia going for Obama – I think Blackadder’s going to owe me a 12-pack in a few hours – but I don’t think Arkansas is anywhere near achievable for Obama. I’d love to be proved wrong, but I just don’t see it.

  • Speaking of which, BA – if it turns out I owe you a twelver, you can just email me at mftalbot@hotmail.com with your preferred payment method 🙂

  • That reminds me to pick up some brews on the way home from the library. Thanks.

  • MZ-

    You’re sadly misguided about Georgia. It’s not gonna happen.

  • Policraticus

    Georgia will be close…I can see Obama pulling it off.

  • Tim freaking Robbins had trouble voting today. Did the poll workers not realize that he would go to the press about it?! Idiots.

    Watching election results at democracynow.org. Good commentary!

  • If exit polling is accurate – it tends to be a pretty blunt instrument – it will be close in GA. Some have already projected Arkansas to McCain, and exit polls suggest he will win it by 9 points.

  • In Missouri, under 30 was 21% of the vote. This is higher than 17% most were projecting. Keep in mind though that subgroupings like age can be off upwards of 7% in the exit polling though.

  • Catholics in PA split evenly.

  • Matt,

    Looks like you owe me a 12 pack, though perhaps you should just send it to your local Republican party headquaters. They could probably use it right now.

  • The Great Leader’s – peace and blessings on his name – win was a foregone conclusion. No surprises there. With a total Democrat rule the ways of getting screwed will be an interesting change from the prior ways of getting screwed. Although, this time there’ll be re-education camps. Of course the Great Leader’s – peace and blessings on his name – luster will come off pretty soon, given the messianic expectations among his followers. Since I loathe politics in general, I am not crushed, just wary of what the Great Leader – peace and blessings on his name – might have in store for us, social engineering wise.

    Now I am curious about Prop. 8 in California (constitutional repeal and ban of gay marriage). I was driving around today with giant “Married, Straight, Voting No on Prop. 8” window banners. With my murderous car stereo, I was blasting “Get Up, Stand Up” and “One Love” around the city.

  • BA – Looks like you’re right. Darn it. Name your brand 🙂

  • I thought that the total numbers would be pretty close while Obama would get 350-400 in the Electoral College. Of course, the American election system is about as stupid and rigged – by and for the two parties – as it gets. Then again, such silliness is not surprising in a country that rejects the metric system.

  • Catholic4Obama

    Callin’ out around the world,
    are you ready for a brand new beat?
    Obama won and the time is right
    for dancin’ in the street.
    Dancin’ in Chicago . . .
    Down in New Orleans . . .
    In New York City . . .

    All we need is music, sweet music,
    There’ll be music everywhere
    There’ll be swingin’ swayin’, and records playin,
    Dancin’ in the street

    Oh it doesn’t matter what you wear,
    just as long as you are there.
    So come on every guy, grab a girl,
    Everywhere, around the world

    There’ll be dancin’, they’re dancin’ in the street.
    This is an invitation, across the nation,
    A chance for folks to meet.
    There’ll be laughin’ singin’, and music swingin’
    Dancin’ in the street

    Philadelphia P.A., Baltimore and D.C now,
    Can’t forget the Motor City,
    All we need is music, sweet music
    There’ll be music everywhere
    There’ll be swingin’ swayin’, and records playin,
    Dancin’ in the street

    Oh it doesn’t matter what you wear,
    just as long as you are there.
    So come on every guy, grab a girl,
    Everywhere, around the world

    They’re dancin’, dancin’ in the street
    Way down in L.A., every day
    they’re dancin’ in the street
    Lets form a big strong line, and get in time,
    We’re dancin’ in the street.
    Across the ocean blue, me and you
    We’re dancin in the street

  • We lost, but I told y’all Georgia would not be close. I know my state, folks.

  • :Tip of the hat.

  • Zak

    It was a bad night for pro-life referenda, it looks like.

    South Dakota ban (with exceptions for rape and incest) lost 52-48

    Washington legalization of assisted suicide won

    Colorado define life as starting at conception lost (as expected) by a huge margin

    Michigan support for stem cell research won

    It looks like parental notification will probably fail in California, although it’s not certain.

    When I checked the county-by-county total for the South Dakota abortion referendum, it looked like it failed throughout most of the state. That’s a bad sign. It barely did better than the referendum where rape and incest weren’t included.

  • Zak

    Congratulations to President-elect Obama. Though in the end, I could not vote for him because of his abortion position in spite of his appeal to me on a number of other issues, I think it is a great thing for America that a black president was elected. I hope that his presidency offers substantial benefits to our country on those issues where his positions are consonant with the common good, and minimal problems where they contradict it.

  • Well, I better learn the hymns praising the Great Leader. I don’t want to go to a re-education camp.
    His disciples will be disappointed soon enough, once the thrill is gone and he’s actually done something. The Republicans deserved to lose, but the Dems didn’t deserve to win.

    Prop. 8 in California – looks like the reactionaries will win. Up here in NorCal, they only exist inland, but in SoCal they are everywhere. Another factor is that blacks oppose gay marriage by the widest margin, and Latinos aren’t that fond of gays either.

    On the other hand, 66% of those under 30 opposed Prop. 8, so homophobia’s on the way out. Our Cali Supreme Court can also overturn amendments.

  • Well, I may have to eat my words. It looks like McCain will win Georgia, but that it will be much closer than I thought. Sweet Lord, McCain was an awful candidate.

  • Sweet Lord, McCain was an awful candidate.