Presidential election minus two days

Or possibly one day, depending on what time zone you’re in. This will in any case be the final thread for presidential fat-chewing purposes prior to the live blogging of the count, which will begin an hour or two before the first states close their polls. Firstly we have the latest polling aggregate figures, in which McCain has (at the time of writing) taken the lead in Indiana and Missouri and narrowed the gap to various degrees in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania, while losing ground in Colorado, New Mexico and New Hampshire.

Obama McCain Sample D-EV R-EV
Washington 56.5 39.4 3322 11
Maine 56.6 40.3 2185 4
Minnesota 56.1 41.7 3270 10
Michigan 56.4 42.1 3232 17
New Mexico 57.1 43.0 3305 5
New Hampshire 55.0 41.7 3900 4
Iowa 54.2 41.4 3052 7
Wisconsin 53.4 42.1 3003 10
Colorado 54.9 44.5 3248 9
Pennsylvania 53.1 43.1 5479 21
Nevada 51.7 45.2 3168 5
Virginia 52.0 45.6 3382 13
Ohio 50.6 46.1 6490 20
Florida 50.0 46.6 5381 27
North Dakota 47.7 45.7 1706 3
Montana 48.7 47.4 3934 3
Missouri 49.9 48.6 3217 11
North Carolina 50.1 49.1 5582 15
Indiana 48.6 48.7 3834 11
Georgia 47.9 49.9 3248 15
West Virginia 44.0 54.1 3328 5
Others 175 137
RCP/Total 52.0 44.2 370 168

Not sure how illuminating this is, but the following map shows the swing in each state as indicated by Electoral-Vote’s poll averages. White indicates either no change from 2004 or a swing to the Republicans, the latter only applying to Massachusetts where John Kerry presumably garnered a handsome home-state vote. The deepest shade of blue indicates a swing of over 20 per cent. Swing is measured by comparing the vote gap between Republican and Democrats.

This chart indicates how polling in various states has shifted since October 13, as measured by my own polling aggregates. John McCain’s furious campaigning in Pennsylvania has yielded a 7.7 per cent narrowing, which while highly impressive is still nowhere near enough. He has also gained ground in Florida (Obama’s lead is down 4.3 per cent to 3.1 per cent), North Carolina (4.1 per cent to 0.5 per cent), Virginia (3.5 per cent to 5.6 per cent) and Missouri (from 2.3 per cent behind to 0.7 per cent ahead). Barack Obama has extended his lead in New Mexico (up 5.7 per cent to 12.8 per cent), Washington (up 3.8 per cent to 15.7 per cent) and Minnesota (up 3.1 per cent to 9.9 per cent). Ignore Maine, where there have only been a few polls.

Finally, many thanks to reader Viggo Pedersen for compiling this list of poll closing times in Australian Eastern Daylight Time.

State Close
Vermont 1100 3
Kentucky 1100 8
South Carolina 1100 8
Indiana 1100 11
Virginia 1100 13
Georgia 1100 15 58
West Virginia 1130 5
Ohio 1130 20 83
Delaware 1200 3
District Of Columbia 1200 3
Maine 1200 4
New Hampshire 1200 4
Mississippi 1200 6
Connecticut 1200 7
Oklahoma 1200 7
Alabama 1200 9
Maryland 1200 10
Missouri 1200 11
Tennessee 1200 11
Massachusetts 1200 12
New Jersey 1200 15
Illinois 1200 21
Pennsylvania 1200 21
Florida 1200 27 254
Arkansas 1230 6
North Carolina 1230 15 275
South Dakota 1300 3
Wyoming 1300 3
Rhode Island 1300 4
Nebraska 1300 5
New Mexico 1300 5
Kansas 1300 6
Colorado 1300 9
Louisiana 1300 9
Arizona 1300 10
Minnesota 1300 10
Wisconsin 1300 10
Michigan 1300 17
New York 1300 31
Texas 1300 34 431
Montana 1400 3
Nevada 1400 5
Utah 1400 5
Iowa 1400 7 451
North Dakota 1500 3
Hawaii 1500 4
Idaho 1500 4
Oregon 1500 7
Washington 1500 11
California 1500 55 535
Alaska 1700 3 538

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.

587 comments on “Presidential election minus two days”

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  1. [Night all, see you in a new era of democracy :)]
    [I’m off too. Let’s just hope what should happen actually happens.]
    Wow, it’s the quiet hour, should I put on some old Jazz records?

  2. Anyone who thinks that tax:national income % isn’t going to rise in the USA in the coming era is absolutely stupid. Its the legacy of Reagan/Bushism that has to go… the tax revenues in the US are about 3% too low at least, and cannot be sustained at those levels. Doesn’t matter who is in charge.

    I wonder whether the ethos in the US will adapt to this unmistakeable reality, so that the “I will reduce taxes” republican line will not be taken so seriously by 2012?

    I happen to think that Clinton inherited a very good wicket because Bush snr broke his “read my lips” pledge… now, talk about a charmed guy – Cuomo didn’t run (he’s one of those guys probably still whacking his head against a wall), Perot did (and his 19% handed the election to Clinton),… he was blessed in ’02. Even more than Obi in ’08, I reckon.

  3. shows, steady on there old son

    I was born in 62,though my eldest bro was born in 49 or 50.

    my da’s records were of marconi going “check 1,2 check”

  4. shows
    da was a bit of a bastard leaving the pal down the speaker I suppose 🙁

    rover never could figure how to get it out,especially with da’s voice going “dins dins rover”

    (maybe thats why he kept losing weight…..)

  5. Well th amigos ar still here and undeterred by th loving mania , although one is gavalanting around south america doing polling research on this narowing as we speak

    Enemy Marsupial fell out of th tree tinking no narrowing , some tightening has ocured in some key States although quality of e/v polstars varys but National not so but thats spread everywhers , still feel turnout will exceed Pollstars general likely voter expectation rates favouring Obama as a ggreater offset plus to Obama

  6. aussie
    this is a pretty cool site-more for stories as opposed to maps.

    The picture of the guy in the wheelchair sums up this election-what commitment
    “Roger Clark watches as a poll worker hangs signs for his voting precinct prior to opening at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School in New York Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. Clark, referring to Barack Obama’s candidacy, said, “I never thought I would live to see this. It’s a miracle”

  7. Geez, that national vote is blowing out a bit.

    I haven’t made my EV pick yet, so here goes.

    I’m going to pick 315 EV for Obama

    Kerry states plus

    Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa, North Dakota (or Montana, not both) and 1 EV from Nebraska.

    Once we know Virginia and Ohio turn and Pennsylvania holds blue, we will know the result- that will be over the top enough for me.

    Hopefully Arizona is the new Benelong- you remember Benelong don’t your Glen?

  8. Obama filling in his ballot right now. No wonder the lines get so long in the US… they seem to have to fill out so much crap on their ballots… he’s been at it for nearly 10 minutes!

  9. Th reluctance of strong Obama suporters to acknowledge how easily Hillary was defeating McCain on polling at end of Primarys in May hav prevented seeing th game changer of this electon AND to hav confidense in a big Obama win

    Overwhelming % of voters ALWAYS wanted a Democrat winner this year Thosae polls at May end had Hillary 327 e/v’s alreaduy …..EXCLUDING line ball States that since hav got mostly 10% PLUS Democrat leads (MI , WI , VA , CO , IA ..thats another 56 e/v’s to 383) So th sentiment was always there ‘its time’ against Bush

    All that occured for 3 months post Primarys was voters had unease with Obama hence th statstical tie/close McCain lead for 10 days before th Bailout BUT despite that unease with Obama , obviousley voters would not hav changed there sentiment to hav a Democrat and a change for th Republicons

    I suggest th Bailout destroyed McCain both through Bush’s ‘ownership’ of it (read Repblican ownership) and then Mccain’s naive attempt to reeturn to Washington to get it passed (confirming Republicon and his ‘ownership’ of it) Whatever unease there was with Obama was swept aside by greater dislike for th financial ruins “owned” in voters minds by th Republicans (read McCain)….th sentiment for a Democrat was then linked to an over whelming reason , voters & th Countries financials

    Fact that Obama sat pat initially reely confirmed it was not his baby (his fault) as well and Obama’s politcaly clever brief involvement only highlighted where ‘blame’ could be apportioned…and there’s no doubt Pelosi’s team in Washington going on th front foot publicly shrewdley repreating where th ‘blame’ belonged was from Obama Suggested at time electon decider and th Polls trends from bailout out date 20/9/08 immediately reflected this massive shift to Obama

    It was thereafter Obama’s only to lose and since then he has not put a foot wrong in th campaign program and here we ar

    It is selling th US public short that voters did not want a change , afterall why wouldn’t that sdentiment be there with th worst POTUS (Bush) there with Iraq etc going ….th actual polling for Hillary proves it whereas Obama was new so voter unease in comparative polling is quite logical and reasnable lots of swingers people ar reluctant to change into unknown …but th bailout & Wall Street ruins swept that away confirming there pre existing sentiment This gav Obama th lead but as I said a lead that was losable if he st.fffed up big time , well he didn’t even st.ff up small time in last 5 weeks just stayed on general mesage and avoided pottyholes ….but McCain did by changing messages plus with Palin creating a distracton , but reely I don’t tink either McCain’s or Palin’s performanse in th last 5 weeks has had a massive negative effect because voters progressively (some quicker than others) simply took in th financial ruins and bailout implications in th Media confirming there reasonns for there sentimant for a Democrot POTUS AND concurrently saw Obama’s therefore logical same message for change and without making politcal gaffes as further evidence of there wishs & reassurance of there decision IF so , it will be a big turnout and large win

  10. Ron:

    “Th reluctance of strong Obama suporters to acknowledge how easily Hillary was defeating McCain on polling at end of Primarys in May hav prevented seeing th game changer of this electon AND to hav confidense in a big Obama win”

    Mate – this makes no sense whatsoever?

    Obi is going to fulfil his wildest dreams – a whopping victory without having Hilary on his back. I thought he should have compromised/hedged and put Hilary on the ticket… but he stuck to his guns – kudos.

    So Hilary in the immediate aftermath of some redneck primaries was beating McCain in the polls… it is entirely possible that (a) the repub base backlash against Hilary could have been 10x stronger, (b) some more interesting Clinton stuff could have come out in the campaign, and (c) that McCain could have run a much more centrist campaign against Hilary the divisive one instead of what he’s chosen to/was forced to against Obama, (d) might not have picked Palin,…

    The economic meltdown would most likely have delivered a whopping victory to Hilary as well (the circs post Sept trump polling in May in terms of drawable inferences?). But Hilary didn’t get the nomination for many reasons – and in my opinion (note that I’m not stating it as fact) chief among them being running a poor strategic campaign and running the populist/low intellectual road in the face of Obama’s relatively principled campaign…

    The hypotheticals are endless – at BEST your proposition is highly debatable… that you assert it as fact suggests more sour grapes than rational analysis

  11. … further, knowing the financial fallout in hindsight it WAS the Democrats’ to lose – whether Obama or Hilary… the nomination was HILARY’s to lose, and she lost it (plus Obama won it). Glen is right in terms of who is going to feel the worst on Nov 5… having said that, her teamplayer behaviour has been beyond exemplarary since the convention, and she deserves whatever role it is she wants to play (be it SecHealth or Majleader in the Senate)

    as a total aside, very little speculation on whether Pelosi & Reid both keep their jobs after the election – is it that certain? They both suck eggs, in my view, and it would be totally refreshing to replace them with new faces along with a new Prez?

  12. And whilst th Amigos will continue to ride spreading cheer , with FINNS in Venuzuala as we speak , and before excitements of Obama’s win cloud posters thoughts with joys , perhaps a serious tank you to William for his excellent polling aggregate figures , charts & data should not be forgotten

  13. My last comment before taking a break (see y’all in the morning Aussie time)… maybe the most reconciling analogy is that she is like Stuey MacGill to Obi’s Shane Warne – she would have been plenty good, but it just was someone else’s time? Who else… someone who would have been great, but had the misfortune of overlapping with someone greater (that’ll get your blood boiling, Amigos!!): Hopkins to Roy Jones, MHayden to Slater, BHayden to Hawke (a bit of a stretch). Note in most cases, the unfortunate one seems to get their chance at glory at some point… maybe it’ll happen for Hilary too (not sure as Prez tho).

    Until polls close, everyone – looking forward to it!

  14. the most unfortunately, cruelly treated polly I can think of: John Fahey State NSW – he did absolutely nothing wrong, only to have to yield to Bob Carr (who was very good). Boy, I felt sorry for him – was happy when he made Finance Minister, but then he got sick and I don’t know what happened to him…

  15. Expat @ 574
    If it is the same John Fahey, he became a federal member for the libs. He had an operation to remove a lung – cancer – which he survived. He left parliament by choice, I believe. He was recently appointed Head of the International Sports Drug Enforcement Body – whatever its correct title is.

  16. John Fahey now heads the World Anti Doping Authority, I believe…

    I didn’t realise how poorly timed my UK move was – I’m going to be up all night with this bloomin’ election… so I’ll be praying for a quick kill, which may see me get to bed by 3am.

  17. Expat Follower

    You ar showing sour grapes when statistical facts ar presented that you can not refute Fact is th stats prove all year voters wanted to turf out th Republicons whether you like it or not

    You seem to misunderstand th diference between voter sentiment and voter decison to implement that sentiment because of some latent anti Hillary feeling

    Had you followed my post acurately you would hav seen th sentiment obviously was there for BOTH Hillary AND Obama ….and th Bush legacy was th compelling reason To suggest otherwise defys normative politcal voter reaction

    It was ALSO there in 2007 against Howard , that sentament to change , but Rudd like Hillary got quick conversion to voter intent , and Obama delayed & Obama got his from th bailout….but a good politcal campaign was still nescessary for Rudd as it was there to lose like Obama , and Rudd also got an event (APEC & Interest increase) but still could lose without sticking to th messae & no gaffes

    However to convert that sentamant into sufficent decisive swinging vote numbers requires voter confidence in th alternative , lack of gaffes by th politcal alternative and ‘events’ going th alternatives way and against

    My listing of hillarys figures was to simply demonstrate that voter strong majority senttiment was already there by voters to vote for a Democrat (so put your negative Hillary hat away)

    My listing of Obama was to to suggest th same strong majority sentament to vote for a Democrat must hav been there at that time AS WELL , but was not relfected in comparative polling as he was new and voters need confidence etc (as listed above) to switch/convert there sentament Th polls from June show that did not imbededly occur until th bailout Deal with it In fact so uninbeded was it that th electon was effectively a tie beforeahand for th preceding 10 days

    And th bailout & Wall Street financial ruins could not be a greater reason for voters to convert sentament to voting decision

    Then as I said it was for Obama’s to lose …and politcaly its not ahrd to lose politcal campaigns …but Obama’s campaign as I said did not put a foot wrong , it was a clever campaign , did not make gaffes and kept on message …”change”…which then had an even more powerful rreality abou it from th Media storys of th bailout & numerrous Banks collapsing

    My post simply discussed what changed

    Its fantasyland stuff to tink all of a sudden in mid September some mythical Obama speechs cobverted th masses sentament , events and politcal meesages to those events do

  18. I’m a Perthite with a body clock still getting used to eastern states clockshifting. 1.53am ain’t so late to a uni student, and anyway, it’s really earlier. 😉

    I’m cheering for Obama (quietly, I don’t wanna wake the flatmate up), but I’ll only believe Americans will actually vote for a black guy when it actually happens, and not before. Carn Yanks… don’t stuff it up. CARRN.

  19. another voter testimonial 😀 ….

    My grandmother voted today. She is 86 years old. A white woman born to hardscrabble cattle ranchers in the most desolate part of New Mexico. Our ancestry goes back through West and East Texas, through Tennessee, the Cumberland Gap, and Virginia. This side of the family rode in the Texas 2nd Cavalry during the Civil War. A dark reminder for me of my family’s past, she still has receipts for slaves that our family owned. Her first husband was killed in the Battle of the Bulge, sacrificing his life like so many other young men. My mother was two months old at the time. My grandmother has voted Republican her entire life, but today she voted for Barack Obama.

  20. close to 60% of New Mexico has voted early in one way, shape or form ….

    Over half of New Mexico has already voted.

    Early voting was insane in Bernalillo Co. according to the news – CBS, channel 13. That’s the one I watch out of ABQ.

    Close to 60% of the state already voted.

  21. Ron,

    peace dude – sorry if I misunderstood you, but I think you’ve misunderstood me also. I reckon Hilary would crush McCain today because of the same economic winds that have blown Obi’s wet sail. Any generic Democrat would win in today’s environment. Where I thought we disagreed was if one were to delete this factor (this is pure speculation now), who would be in a better position to win the General. You think Hilary, I disagree – for some of the (a)-(d) reasons listed in my reply to you. But its really speculative and not the sort of argument where facts are easily available that are likely to convince anyone who feels differently – would you agree with that?

    Like I suggested in a prior post, we can agree on this much – its a good day for the US and the rest of the world relative to the last 365 x 8. Let us enjoy that – the action is 2hrs away now, I can’t wait.

    Thanks to the others for the John Fahey update. He was the sort of Liberal (in the Aussie sense) that I could easily support… and I hope he is doing well.

    States to watch that close first: Virginia, Indiana & Georgia? Followed half an hour later by Nth Carolina & Ohio?

    WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FOR 2 HRS…. watch a re-run of Law & Order and The West Wing, I guess!

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