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. michael @ 389, do you want into the contest? thanks for the kind words :). I’ve got a Republican relative and have learned to let the right wing comments go through to the keeper …… probably keeps me sane here too as there have been several times I’ve wanted to say something and have typed up words and thought “no I shoudn’t do that” and have deleted it all out before posting it [ William probably appreciates that self control as I didn’t have it in the leadup to the Federal election ].

    anyways, enough from me, thanks for what you said and I love Australia and can’t wait to see the final nail in the triumverate of Bush/Blair/Howard – the Iraq war was NOT necessary …………………….

  2. Dario,

    Posted Monday, November 3, 2008 at 8:39 pm | Permalink
    I bloody wish I had the laptop and could do “live blogging” as the TV was going in the background but it isn’t going to happen at my house on Wednesday

    Buy an extra long LAN or modem cable and move the desktop

    No, I’m home alone and I don’t do computer hardware ……..

  3. What would you say the floor of each parties’ vote is (that is, the absolute minimum vote they’d receive)? Would it be fair to say they’re relatively even?

  4. ltep,

    COOL ….. you are a lot closer to me than I thought …. don’t know why I had you pegged for the “other side” ….. sorry, mate 🙂 …

    what are you doing on Wednesday? 😀

  5. Working and studying (though I presume I won’t be able to resist ‘peaking’ at political websites)… it’s a tough life!

  6. Juliem, Bush didnt get defeated, he won 2 elections.

    But Bush has most likely cost McCain the Presidency twice.

    Blair wasnt rejected by the public and he retired.

    ‘the Iraq war was NOT necessary’ – so it would have been better leave Saddam in power?

    I didnt think we should have had to have gone in in 2003. We should of gone in in 1991.

  7. Dario, it isn’t quite as bad as it might sound though …. the computer and TV are in adjoining rooms and I can and will be able to hear the TV quite clearly while at the computer but I can’t see it so its just a matter of what I want to see visually or not and most of it, I probably will want to see ….. but the TV with the cable and the computer aren’t at different ends of the house nor on different floors or anything …

  8. I hope one day Korea will be one country.

    North Korea

    Are all countries that we all wish had different leaders or better governments but we cant do anything about it.

  9. But Glen you’re saying we (that is, the US and Australia I’m assuming) should’ve invaded Iraq in 1991 due to Saddam. Does that mean we should invade North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia and Iran?

  10. Glen, you need to fish in another pond if you are trolling on the Iraq war … this is not a Bush love-in, in fact it is the opposite 😉 …….

    again, as I’ve noted before in this campaign, nice try 😀

  11. Obama has the least experience of any Presidential candidate since Lincoln.

    Simply because of his age, Obama’s CV is a bit shorter than most, but Garfield and Hoover, for two, hardly had stellar experience and amongst unsuccessful candidates (George McGovern) and unsuccessful primary candidates (Al Gore 1988) there are plenty more of a similar level.

    It simply isn’t as unprecedented as some would like to think.

  12. I am not trolling i am expressing my own opinions, you dont agree with them that’s all. That doesnt equate to trolling unless then you believe your own comments saying ‘the Iraq war was NOT necessary’ was trolling.

    I know Poll Bludger is predominately left wing, i have been on here for some time i assure you.

    I think ill have something to celebrate when Key hopefully gets up in New Zealand on the 8th.

  13. juliem,

    I always disagree with Glen. However, board hoggers like yourself should be looking in the mirror first before they accuse others of being trolls.

  14. glen, since at the moment we are celebrating GB’s political demise, that gives us the freedom to complain about his policies. you are perfectly within your rights to say opposite but I’m not going there to talk about it with you 😀

  15. PPP polls

    Pennsylvania: Obama +8
    Obama 53
    McCain 45

    Virginia: Obama +6
    Obama 52 (52)
    McCain 46 (43)

    Ohio: Obama +2
    Obama 50 (51)
    McCain 48 (44)

    North Carolina: Obama +1
    Obama 50 (49)
    McCain 49 (48)

    Montana Obama +1 (!)
    Obama 48
    McCain 47
    Ron Paul 4

    Obama 50
    McCain 48

  16. Juliem you have a right to complain about his policies and him being unpopular with more than 60% of the populus but he is not and never faced demise, he won 2 elections.

    One thing is for sure George will write a book, but he won’t edit it lol!

  17. One worries about Obi turning out like Carter/Blair – and his biggest challenge will be to not let the Dem Houses of Congress go ballistic… but there’s no reason I can think why Hilary would have been any better at this – in fact, i suspect Obi has a better chance of forging bipartisanship than Hilary could have (for historical reasons).

    Similar fears around Rudd in Aus turning out to be a Blair. But he was a better bet than Beazley, let alone Howard… and likewise for Obi vis-a-vis Hilary and McC (or any repub for that matter). I wonder how many people who prefer Hilary to Obama would have also preferred Kim to Kevin – you’d think the majority? I’m quite happy that both Kev and Obi won thru, and they’ve both done enough reassuring things to give one some confidence. But even if they both turn out to be Blairs, its still better than the alternative… but why not aim high at the outset – these are the right bets to go with if we’re aiming high (within each party and also between parties)?

    Glen – I’ll give you this… the bloodbath that would have been a Hilary-Rudy contest would have been something to behold!!! I think Hilary would have crushed him, but it was not to be… Hilary running her originally crafted campaign against a McCain 2000 would have been quite interesting too, but suspect the economy would have sent things her way in the end as well. She must feel JUST terrible at losing the primary – but its her own fault and Obi deserves the credit for beating her out for it.

  18. Actually it is the media’s fault for her losing the primaries. They were Obama supporters from the get go, she never stood a chance against that sort of opposition.

  19. [the computer and TV are in adjoining rooms and I can and will be able to hear the TV quite clearly while at the computer but I can’t see it]

    Maybe you just need a mirror 🙂

  20. [Actually it is the media’s fault for her losing the primaries. They were Obama supporters from the get go, she never stood a chance against that sort of opposition.]

    Sure Glen, sure

  21. Carter must surely be one of the most unfairly criticised Presidents.

    He was castigated for statements about energy conservation that seemed ‘un-American’ in the 1970s but just look like common sense now, and blamed for international incidents that were essentially out of his control.

  22. [can someone explain how IBD/TIPP actually make a living???]

    What you mean how a poll that seems to favour the right wing side of things makes money off of right wing media outlets?

    Hmmm let me think… 😆

  23. Actually it is the media’s fault for her losing the primaries. They were Obama supporters from the get go, she never stood a chance against that sort of opposition.

    That’s right, all of those articles about how her campaign was unstoppable and her nomination inevitable lulled her into a false sense of security.

  24. I am pretty sure Republicans pay them (IBD/TIPP) to stay afloat somehow, so thier campaign donations don’t dry up completely when things look like they do now.

    I mean, if you had a lazy couple of grand lying around and a conservative leaning, would you seriously waste it on the GOP this election?

  25. [Actually it is the media’s fault for her losing the primaries. They were Obama supporters from the get go, she never stood a chance against that sort of opposition.]

    true but false. Yes the media treated Obama as a bit of a darling – but they were sweet on Clinton as well. The media doesn’t get you home. You still have to get the votes. Hilary would have beaten anyone else were it any other year. But this year, for some reason Obama caught on fire, and it never flamed out.

    The reasons he beat Hilary are PhD length stuff: sexism – I’d say yes; media – yes; but mostly in a year where change from the old was the primary marker, suddenly a Clinton didn’t seem as much of a change as it normally would have.

    Also you could say it was as much to do with how the Dems do their primaries – if the primaries were doen like the General election she would have won. As it was it was damn close.

    Still all fishwrapper stuff really.

    BO in a landslide. The rest is just hypothesis.

  26. In 2004 polls had W behind by 15 points in PA and came within 2-3. But that was 2004, not 2008.

    If you’re going to make these sort of casual assertions, please back it up with some form of evidence.

    Here is a list of polls from Pennsylvania in 2004. I can’t see any that had a 15 point gap, or anything close to that.

  27. I also think you’re revising history a little, Glen. Both Hilary and Rudy ran the worst campaign strategies you can think of (ok JohnnyMac’s general strategy might trump them) and, in Hilary’s case, she made it easier for Obi to garner the support that he did. She had every advantage going into this thing, and she can’t blame anyone but herself and her team.

    Rudy’s campaign strategy was idiotic from the get-go. How he couldn’t go hard in NH, I have no idea. He and McCain were competing for the same pie, and he just ceded it to him. DAFT! Never had a chance – and maybe the base just would never have gone for him anyway (less sure about this). I actually don’t mind his politics, but he was also presenting himself as a national security candidate that was probably going to get swept up in the economic tsunami (though maybe might have argued a better case than Mac has proved to do). He’s no Arnie Vinick!!! Boy, if one likes bloodsport though to see him and Hilary go at it would have been something else, tho…

  28. GG

    [As a Doctor, can you explain why we retain so much trivia. I know I know nothing about many things. Yet, I can pass muster on topics I know nothing about with no more than buzz words and a few connecting homilies.]

    Evolutionary psychology says that it’s because evolution has evolved the brain in modules. There is a differential advantage to each module getting more “space”. There are thousands of modules. Each one will store trivia pertinent to it’s special area eg face recognition. Higher functions join the modules to create “narratives”. It’s the joining that is the hard part and where the main differences between humans come in.

  29. David Walsh

    Reality and facts have a liberal bias. Please don’t try using them on conservatives as they are impervious to them.

  30. GG 415 – “board hoggers” – sounds like what I had last night.

    Greeting to Amigos Ron & GG from Patagonia. The Amigos here are still not keen on Obama, especially the Gauchos, they like to have bbq Obama for lunch.

  31. Diogenes

    “Reality and facts have a liberal bias”

    That’s awesome- that’s going to be my new face book quote in about 30 secs from now.

    I am not a typical well rounded liberal (more centerist), but that does ring sooo true!

  32. Finns

    Great to hear from you. How’s Machu Picchu looking?


    I can’t take credit for that one. Stephen Colbert used it during his Presidential roast. He said that reality’s liberal bias was the reason he and Bush could ignore all the polls saying that Bush was the worst President ever.


    Filing is used in the Memory Palace, which was described by Ricci in the Middle Ages in China. To remember hundreds of facts, you imagine a palace with lots of rooms and boxes etc. You walk into the palace and deposit the fact in a drawer or whatever for later retrieval. That uses the same module principle.

  33. [He said that reality’s liberal bias was the reason he and Bush could ignore all the polls saying that Bush was the worst President ever]

    Man they must have hated him after that 🙂

  34. Dario

    Haven’t you seen it? It’s the most savage attack I’ve ever seen on someone in their presence, let alone to a President. The room goes quiet (it’s a pro-Bush crowd) and you can see him think whether he should continue with the original material and he decides to do it all and ignore the crowd.

    At the end of the speech, GWBush shook his hand but Laura Bush just looked at him and said “Get f#%*ed!”.

    (Sorry William but it was in context)

  35. I can’t take credit for that one. Stephen Colbert used it during his Presidential roast.

    The same performance where Colbert satirised McCain’s maverick reputation. Long before McCain and Palin turned the “maverick” label into an item of self-parody.


    John McCain is here. John McCain, what a maverick! Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you it wasn’t a salad fork. This guy could have used a spoon! There’s no predicting him. By the way, Senator McCain, it’s so wonderful to see you coming back into the Republican fold. I’ve actually got a summer house in South Carolina. Look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University. So glad you’ve seen the light, sir.

  36. 445, 446 pure Gold.

    so many great lines:
    [I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq. ]

    L[ook, folks, my point is that I don’t believe this is a low point in this presidency. I believe it is just a lull before a comeback. I mean, it’s like the movie Rocky. Alright? The President, in this case, is Rocky Balboa, and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world. It’s the tenth round. He’s bloodied. His corner man, Mick, who in this case, I guess, would be the Vice President, he’s yelling, “Cut me, Dick, cut me!” And every time he falls, everyone says, “Stay down, Rocky! Stay down!” But does he stay down? No. Like Rocky, he gets back up, and in the end he — actually loses in the first movie. Okay, doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter.

    The point is it is the heart-warming story of a man who was repeatedly punched in the face, so don’t pay attention to the approval ratings that say that 68% of Americans disapprove of the job this man is doing. I ask you this, does that not also logically mean that 68% approve of the job he’s not doing? Think about it. I haven’t… ]


  37. Juliem

    Glen is pretty much a representative example of the right conservatives currently in control of the Liberal party wrapped up in one little bundle, unfortunately he is not a troll, in fact within that set his views really aren’t that extreme.

  38. Ron Paul is running in Montana? Woo, return to the gold standard!

    Since I’m the only tipping McCain, if he wins do I get crowned King of PB?

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