Digging Through the Exit Polls

November 10, 2008

Expanding the Electorate: Among the 13% of the electorate that did not vote in 2004, Obama won 71-27, which multiplies out to a 5.72% lead – 87% of his national margin.  Essentially, he built his landslide by rooting out new and sporadic voters.

Party Defection: For all the hubbub about PUMA, perhaps the most over-hyped story of the cycle, Obama captured 89% of Democrats – the same performance as Kerry and Gore.  Clinton Democrats went 83-16 for Obama.

Regional Republicans: Obama swept the Northeast (+19), the West (+17), and the Midwest (+10); McCain won only the South (+9).  On a related note, the Republicans now have zero representatives from New England and are outnumbered everywhere else except in the South.

Battle of the Veeps: 66% said Biden was qualified to be president; only 38% said the same about Palin.  Among those doubting Palin’s qualifications, Obama won 82-16.


Historic Territory

October 21, 2008

The latest NYT/CBS polls uncovers this gem:

Mr. Obama’s favorability is the highest for a presidential candidate running for a first term in the last 28 years of Times/CBS polls. Mrs. Palin’s negative rating is the highest for a vice-presidential candidate as measured by The Times and CBS News. Even Dan Quayle, with whom Mrs. Palin is often compared because of her age and inexperience on the national scene, was not viewed as negatively in the 1988 campaign.

The main reason: Obama’s calm demeanor.

Florida Update

October 21, 2008

Florida early voting stats: Democrat – 56.2%; Republican – 29.3%.

Pollster shows Obama +2.8 in the Sunshine State, while 538 gives the Dems a 75% chance at picking up the state’s 27 electoral votes.

Historic Black Turnout

October 20, 2008

 Here’s a comprehensive compilation of early voting statistics by George Mason Professor Michael McDonald.

What to watch for: So far, blacks compose 35.6% of Georgia’s early voting; for comparison, 25% of the 2004 Georgia electorate was black.  In North Carolina’s early voting, the partisan breakdown is 54.1% Democrat, 29.7% Republican.  Some of this can be attributed to enthusiasm, but these demographic tea leaves are undeniably favorable to Obama

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:

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