Presidential election minus five days

With less than a week ago to the big day, the polls are showing only a fractional narrowing in Barack Obama’s formidable lead. Such narrowing has been enough to move North Carolina to the John McCain column on my polling aggregates while making Indiana line-ball, but Obama is retaining his tight grip on the rust-belt swing states while increasing his lead in Florida. For some local colour, our good friends at UMR Research have produced another poll on Australian views of the contest. It finds Obama’s lead over McCain among Australians has widened still further in the past month, from 66-13 to 72-9.

Obama McCain Sample D-EV R-EV
Michigan 54.7 39.4 3005 17
Washington 54.9 40.1 3379 11
Maine 54.5 40.0 2185 4
Minnesota 53.6 41.3 4128 10
Iowa 52.6 41.7 3530 7
Pennsylvania 52.2 41.7 5505 21
New Hampshire 51.7 41.9 3905 4
Wisconsin 51.5 42.1 3490 10
New Mexico 50.5 43.3 2927 5
Colorado 50.6 44.4 4541 9
Ohio 48.6 42.8 4741 20
Virginia 50.7 45.0 4852 13
Nevada 50.0 45.4 3418 5
Florida 48.0 45.2 5429 27
Missouri 47.4 46.5 4050 11
North Dakota 45.5 44.7 1206 3
Indiana 47.1 47.0 4934 11
North Carolina 47.4 48.4 5466 15
Montana 45.0 48.9 3128 3
Georgia 45.6 50.0 3530 15
West Virginia 42.7 51.0 3622 5
Others 175 137
RCP/Total 49.9 43.9 363 175

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

478 comments on “Presidential election minus five days”

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  1. Hmm good question ask me on November 6…
    If only the Republicans could draft Arnold Vinick for 2012 he’d do better than most they’d put up. Palin and Huck only appeal to the base essentially and Romney is a Mormon nuff said. I guess the only chance the Republicans have is convince Alan Alda to change his name to Arnold Vinick and force a Republican Senator to resign and let him get appointed.

    Really the Republicans should question why they are so far out of touch in many States where they used to dominate…i hope Senator Smith wins in Oregon the last thing the Republicans need is moderates getting voted out.

    West Wing thought wrong no coloured candidate winning the white house but a latino lol!

  2. William

    Any word on what PB will be doing for the US election, or is it just business as usual. There will be quite a lot of traffic I imagine…

  3. OK Julie, here’s my entry: Obama to win with 404 EVs, to win Missouri, & Iowa to put him over the line. Reserving the right to change it on Monday if Louisiana looks like going as well. (How do you put in those smiley faces?)

  4. Grog – like every other news outlet, they’re trying to make it seem really tight on election day. There’s nothing worse for them than a blowout.

  5. Today’s Herald used some obscure CBS Poll that had Obama 11 points in front.

    I wonder on what basis media outlets pick polls. Probably whatever suits their narrative. The SMH had about 400 articles about how Obama is already the President.

  6. Juliem @93:

    We all know Palin is the most brilliant VP choice the Republicans could have made. The Dems haven’t stopped going on about her since the day she was selected. She’s had them panicking all along.


  7. 104, got that too, no worries πŸ™‚ ….. changes allowed as long as they are posted nlt 10pm Canberra time Tuesday πŸ™‚ …..

  8. Charles R @ 104,

    You put in smiley faces with πŸ™‚ ….. which is : – ) without the spaces …

    now what I want to know is how to put in the super smiley faces, like the ones that come out like laughing or super grinning type faces? thanks in advance to anyone who can give me the clue there πŸ™‚ …..

  9. Ok Dio, lets test these and see how they come out …..

    (from the wordpress site)

    ; – ) is πŸ˜‰
    : – ) is πŸ™‚
    : – ( is πŸ™
    : -? is πŸ™

    hopefully I got 4 different ones ….

  10. and I did get 3 different ones, the 3rd and 4th ones are the same, but I didn’t get your “evil grinning type face” that was red like the devil ….. what is the clue to that one? Hmmm?? …. thanks in advance πŸ™‚

  11. πŸ˜‰ …… or πŸ˜€ ….. trying both of these, I’ve read a little bit further along in the wordpress file you gave the URL to … thanks much, Dio πŸ™‚ …..

    (will see if these provide the figure I am looking for)

  12. Gen’l Sheridan in today’s OO on the race for POTUS:

    ‘The selection of Palin as his running mate was a stroke of genius by McCain.’

    His critique is that the race has turned into a race between celebrity rather than a race based on serious intent and a history of policy work. So, Mr Sheridan, Palin’s policy credentials are…?

    Gen’l Sheridan is going cold turkey on his power feeds, and is very grumpy. The US mates who stroked his ego, fed him misinformation, and led him a merry dance are going, going… and so should Gen’l Sheridan. Like them, he too is well past his useby date.

  13. #118,

    zogby got an early start on the party and he’s cheated a little bit …. everything is fine, no worries there πŸ™‚ ….. check back in with us about 2pm on Wednesday afternoon Canberra time, business as usual πŸ˜€ …….

  14. 118 – 538 gives you the run down:

    [Firstly, there is a reason that pollsters include multiple days of interviewing in their tracking polls; a one-day sample is extremely volatile, and have very high margins for error.

    Secondly, the Zogby polls have been particularly volatile, because he uses nonsensical party ID weightings, which mean that his weighting process involves making numbers doing naughty things that they usually don’t like to do.

    Thirdly, Zogby polls are generally a lagging rather than a leading indicator. This is because he splits his interviewing period over two days; most of the interviews that were conducted in this sample took place on Thursday night, with a few this afternoon. The reason this is significant is because lots of other pollsters were in the field on Thursday night, and most of them evidently showed good numbers for Obama, as he improved his standing in 6 of the 7 non-Zogby trackers.]

  15. Sean
    Nate Silver at dissects the zogby poll (and other zogby’s) – yes, he has a bias, but I tend to agree with his analysis overall.

    As for predictions (not that I have any luck these days with these things…) – 353 vs 185. Obama to take FL, OH, VA & NC (plus NM, CO, NV & IA). Don’t feel entirely comfortable with NV & NC, but what the heck!!

    To Ron:
    Do people on here really tell all lefties to back Obama? I back him in a pragmatic kinda way – better than McCain/Palin but actually not covering the policy issues that I would want. As a third party/Green supporter I would normally vote for McKinney – except if I lived in one of the above states when I would vote for Obama. Tactical voting is what is left in FFP elections, and I WOULD vote – “use it or lose it” is how I’ve always viewed voting, even though we have compulsory registration & attendance. I’m always reminded (anecdote 1) of the people who I’ve met over the years at polling booths and at community meetings who haven’t always had the option (or are just discovering what preferential voting is!!). But back to my point – I would not tell people how to vote – just TO vote (anecdote 2: always got annoyed with English friends who complained endlessly about Thatcher but didn’t see the point in voting. Got what they deserved as far as I was concerned…).

    Boerwar 120
    Palin does have policies – just that what I’ve heard of them are scary…and then there’s the fact that she’s apparently Ted Steven’s protege…and now they are talking about her making a run in 2012…

  16. Juliem

    Did you say that you were going to post all the guesses before the election to give us a chance to review what we have submitted? If not, could you let me know what my EV guess was. I’ve forgotten and am too lazy to go back through all the blogs.Thanks.

  17. On Intrade, someone just put a heap of money down on Obama winning Missouri. It was for McCain this morning, but it is now back for Obama.

    Also since this morning, Indiana has strengthened for McCain; Ohio has strengthened for Obama.

  18. Once again, please pay no attention to daily trackers because they will drive you to drink or distraction. Even if Zogby’s latest poll has the slightest chance of not being an outlier, a fair whack of that “swing” is likely to be buried in already deep Red or deep blue states. Case in point: Here’s Zogby’s latest Electoral Vote guesstimate as of 27 Oct.:

    Obama 286
    McCain 174
    Toss-up 78

    Z’s got the same states down for Obama which we see on RCP, Princeton, or 538 as well as usual toss-up suspects of FLA, NC, OH, MO, and NV, with the only “outlier” toss-up being NV.

    Naturally, Z’s pogo-stick daily tracking numbers have negligible impact upon his Electoral College Map.


  19. The best part of Nate Silver’s analysis is that polls move for a reason, and nothing has happened that would cause the polls (or voters) to shift to McCain.

    As Jon Stewart likes to say, unless a tape with BO saying “where all the white women at?” not much is going to change between now and the 4th.

  20. Grog,

    There are now some university math geniuses who have run the magic numbers in their steam calculators and claim it is 100% certainty. Nate Silver’s 97% is good enough for me!

  21. enjayee@128, see #88 THIS same thread for your previous guesses ….. the computer that I had that file saved on has crashed tonight, so thankfully I’ve posted the total here earlier in the day so I know what everyone has guessed ….. I’ll reconstruct it tomorrow on this computer (we’ve two computers in this house) …. Cheers πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  22. StewartJ, I will add your guess to the list in the morning; I’ve written down here tonight – 353/ No Missouri/ ? for which state will put Obama over the top. I’ll be watching CNN on Wednesday with the returns so I’ll use their info. to decide which state puts Obama over the top ….. if you care to add that piece of info. that would be great πŸ™‚ :)…… Cheers πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    I feel sorry for SwingLowe at Grant Park on Election night …….. don’t know how he will manage …. πŸ˜€ ]

  23. And when you figure that on the EV front going by RCP BO would have to lose a quarter of the 363 votes polling his way just to get to 270.

    Brett Lee just bowled Sewag (played on) for 16. 1/29

    A draw as likely as a BO win.

  24. juliem

    Could you please add my guess to you list:

    Obama 271, he gets OH but only after a long court battle, he fails in VA, OH, FL, NC, CO, NV and MO.

    I’m optimistic.

  25. Haha. Joe and Pat Buchanan are talking up Hillary. You know it’s all over when these two divert from the issues by talking up HILLARY.

  26. [NBC/WSJ

    Obama 52
    McCain 42]
    I take it this is the start of the narrowing?

    McCain is going to make up 3% per day from here on in, and win the election comfortably?

  27. It’s amazing watching Chuck Todd talking with Pat Buchanan and Joe on MSNBC. They keep throwing scenarios at him about how McCain can win, and he keeps politely talking them down. He’s trying to tell them that just because some of the polls are coming slightly back to McCain doesn’t mean he will WIN – it will stop a 350+ landslide. And then they just keep talking about all of the Republicans “coming home” in the last few days, Chuck chuckles, then they go to an ad break : – )

  28. [They keep throwing scenarios at him about how McCain can win, and he keeps politely talking them down. He’s trying to tell them that just because some of the polls are coming slightly back to McCain doesn’t mean he will WIN – it will stop a 350+ landslide. And then they just keep talking about all of the Republicans β€œcoming home” in the last few days, Chuck chuckles, then they go to an ad break : – )]
    Then they repeat the process until he is saved by another ad break?

    AHHHH cable news…

  29. Haha, yep ShowsOn. Thing is, this is the first time I’ve had regular access to US cable news… I’m hooked. I can’t believe these idiots.

  30. I’m not sure I understand exactly how describing Obama as ‘liberal’ is meant to turn people off of him? What would they prefer him be?

  31. [I’m not sure I understand exactly how describing Obama as β€˜liberal’ is meant to turn people off of him? What would they prefer him be?]
    Apparently in the U.S. liberalism means Marxism which means socialism which means communism, which means higher taxes.

    It says so in this article with the scary photo of Karl Marx:

    I guess Fox News think voters want illiberal politicians.

  32. 8-10 hour waits in Atlanta, lines are up to 500 metres long, with no access to seats or seated areas. No wonder why so many people don’t vote! What a disgraceful arrangement.

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