The Road to Sixty Part II

October 14, 2008

The latest projections:

The Democrats are now favored to take over eight seats from the Republicans: Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Colorado, Alaska, North Carolina, Oregon, and Minnesota. If the Democrats win all eight of those races, they will only need one more to achieve 60 seats, and they have good opportunities in Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky.

“It Ain’t Over” Says NYT’s Nagourney

October 13, 2008

The Gray Lady’s Adam Nagourney lists six reasons why the presidential race isn’t over:

1. Still, it is one thing to register to vote; which can often be accomplished by filling out and signing a form provided to you on the street or at your doorstep. It’s quite another to get them to come out and vote. If Mr. Obama’s campaign succeeds at what it has promised, it is possible that Mr. McCain will lose in an Electoral College landslide, winning a bunch of Republican states by slim margins driven by get-out-the-vote operations. Still, first-time voters are inexperienced voters and, Mr. McCain’s advisers are no doubt hoping, less likely to turn out if, say, the weather is bad. (emphasis added)

In a turn of wishful thinking, Republicans now believe Obama’s ground game is less than advertised.  Precisely what they base this opinion on is unclear – all empirical evidence points toward the largest, most effective organization in American politics.  Take this anecdote from 538, on their battleground state tour:

You could take every McCain volunteer we’ve seen doing actual work in the entire trip, over six states, and it would add up to the same as Obama’s single Thornton, CO office. Or his single Durango, CO office. These ground campaigns bear no relationship to each other.

Or look at the primaries, where organization was the X-factor propelling Obama past Clinton.  If Republicans want to take the cross-your-fingers approach, they can prepare to be disappointed on Election Day.

Another one of Nagourney’s reasons:

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Updated Voter Turnout Spreadsheet

October 11, 2008

Some readers have complained about the online spreadsheet lagging, so here’s an updated version available for download (.xls).  There’s one new feature: you can change overall voter turnout and allocate the new voters however you like.

We ran a test scenario: increase turnout by twenty percent over ’04 and give the new voters 2:1 to Obama.  Results after the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

New Voter Registration

October 11, 2008

With get-out-the-vote operations playing a critical role this cycle, we’ve put together an online interactive spreadsheet where you can adjust African-American, youth (18-29), and Republican turnout in eighteen states.  One possibility:

20% Increase Among Blacks and Youth: Shade both Florida and Nevada blue, providing an additional thirty-two electoral votes that boost Obama’s total to 316. Colorado, Virginia, and Missouri – thirty-three electoral votes combined – narrow to within two percent.

Likelihood: This scenario paints an optimistic electoral map, but one maintaining plausibility. If youth turnout jumps to the national mean, the latter half of the model stands fulfilled. And spurred by the prospect of the first African-American president, blacks could turn out at unprecedented rates.

Preventing Another Mortgage Crisis

October 11, 2008

Two Obama advisers apply the principles of “iPod government” in their proposal to mend the lending system:

The basic idea is that for complex financial products, the government should strive for what might be called “simplified transparency.” The Truth in Lending Act, enacted in 1968, was a good start along these lines. That law required lenders to report interest rates in terms of Annual Percentage Rate, so that borrowers could easily compare the costs of different loans.

The problem now is that both mortgages and credit cards have rates that vary over time, and numerous other fees that are difficult to understand. It has now become virtually impossible to offer a simple, one-page, plain-English document that explains all the relevant features of a mortgage or credit card.

The best response would make use of modern technology to create a Truth in Lending Act for the 21st century.

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Behind McCain’s Fall

October 9, 2008

McCain’s tracking numbers against the S&P 500 over the past two weeks, with a two-day lag to let the market results filter through Gallup’s rolling average:

McCain’s floor hovers around forty percent, accounting for the divergence at the end, but regardless, the correlation between the two data sets is a robust 0.77.

As Pollster’s Steve Lombardo says, “The economic situation has virtually ended John McCain’s presidential aspirations and no amount of tactical maneuvering in the final 29 days is likely to change that equation.”

In this election, as in nearly all before, a black swan has shaped the race’s trajectory: one of those unforeseeable external events that pops up in the last month or so, bearing an impact far greater than any of the daily fluctuations dissected by the punditry.  Hanging chads and the ilk brought Florida to a standstill; Osama bin Laden released a tape a few days before the 2004 election; and now, the markets have scrolled red amidst a storm of fear and uncertainty.

The Road to Sixty

October 5, 2008

The Democrats’ Senate prospects brighten:

Overall, the Democrats now project as the favorites in seven seats currently held by the Republicans, with anywhere from 3-7 further GOP seats conceivably in play depending on how generous you want to be.

More from WaPo on the ominous outlook for the GOP:

“If you turn the clock back two or two and half weeks, you could make a plausible argument that if a couple of things go our way we will lose three to four Senate races,” said one Republican strategist. “Now we will lose six to eight.” Polling in most Senate races over the past 14 days has shown a five-point decline for the Republican candidate, the strategist said.

Florida Voter Registration Numbers

October 4, 2008

Even with the controversy-ridden primary, Democrats have expanded their lead on the voter rolls:

Some other points:

*The Dems have picked up 314,404 members this year, while the Republicans added 128,408.  That gain of 185,996 trims nearly fifty percent off Bush’s victory margin in 2004.

*Increase voter turnout by twenty percent compared to 2004, give the new voters 2:1 to Obama, and Florida turns blue.

*RCP has Obama up +3.0; 538 projects an Obama win by 2.1%;

Nevada Trends Dem

October 4, 2008

Buoyed by the January 19th caucus and Obama’s massive voter registration drive, Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the Silver State.  The numbers:

More on the generation gap after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roundup: Full Steam Ahead

October 1, 2008

Ohio started early voting yesterday, giving Obama’s ground game more time to operate.

In the Buckeye State, Obama has nearly twice as many field offices compared to McCain.

A former debate opponent warns against underestimating Palin.

A majority of Americans now say the Alaska Governor is unqualified for the presidency.

Voters consider Obama the safer choice.

Thirty-five days left, and McCain squanders his time in Iowa, where Obama’s up by ten, talking to the Des Moines Register editorial board.

While the RNC drops $5 million attacking the bailout their nominee supports.

Obama campaign officials, citing new voter registration, believe they have a good chance of securing over 330 electoral votes.

A claim supported by the latest figures from 538 and RealClearPolitics.

And a look at a potential Obama Cabinet.


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