Election Day 2008

(Editor’s note: almost every time I make a political post, some yahoo, typically anonymously, suggests that I “stick to technology”. I will remind you, dear reader, that This Is Not A Technical Blog. If you don’t like my politics, you’re free to ignore the political posts or simply unsubscribe from my blog altogether. Anonymous suggestions as to what I should or should not be blogging about will be summarily ignored.)

Jules and I voted this morning, before work and school. Patrick helped Julie vote and Riley helped me vote. I’m assuming regular readers don’t need to be told who I voted for. Riley just wanted to help fill in the bubbles because it’s like coloring. Patrick kinda got what was going on – check out Jules’ post about how they cast “our” vote.

For shits and giggles, I went back and looked at my posts from two years ago. It doesn’t make me Nostradamus, but I did guess we were going to have “a very ugly race, especially from the Republicans” and that “the nomination race will be worse” than the general election. If Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow want to get in on this insightful political analysis, they know where to reach me. 😄

I’ve been obsessed with three polling sites over the past few months:

My wingnut libertarian friend (anyone from my kids’ playgroup who reads this blog can guess who I’m talking about) thinks McCain will win with “295-305” electoral votes. This election is far from being in the bag for Obama, but the suggestion that McCain will come from six or seven points down in the polls to win a 10-20 point bigger EV victory than Bush did four years ago seems like crazy talk. As for me, I’m not willing to make a firm prediction except to say that I think the polls are wrong – I’m just not sure in what direction they’re wrong.

On the one hand, if the polls are underestimating Obama’s support by excluding cell-phone only voters and Obama’s Get Out The Vote effort is as strong as it looks, that could net Obama as much as five or six points on top of the lead he’s already got and we’ll be looking at an epic landslide with Obama maybe brushing up against 400 EV. For example, Pollster.com’s 291 solid/lean Obama EV + 105 toss up EVs would be 396 total EVs for Obama.

On the other hand, if the polls are overestimating Obama’s support due to the Bradley Effect, the undecideds break for decisively for McCain and Obama’s GOTV effort doesn’t materialize, McCain’s might net those five or six points and turn this into a toss-up squeaker decided by less than 35 EV (about the size of Bush’s victory in 2004). For example, if McCain wins all of Pollster.com’s tossups + the lean Obama states, it’s a scant 8 EV Obama victory (273-265). If McCain could also pick off any of New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa or Pennsylvania in that scenario, then he would win by anywhere from 2-34 EVs.

Of course, those effects could cancel out and leave us where we are right now, Obama with a six to seven point PV and low 100s EV victory. Frankly, I’ll be happy to be wrong about the poll inaccuracy since that would give Obama the presidency.

How do you think things are going to play out today?


Hey Harry, I do think that the polls are wrong, but I basically agree with your assessment. The McCain path to the presidency requires a lot more elements to fall in place for him. It will be interesting to see how this comes out though. I won't watching tonight, but only because I have a parent group meeting.