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. The vote table does not add up to 100% is the missing data`informal votes? Can you produce a state swing chart/pendulum.

  2. Yo Julie!

    I’ve decided to be the mavricky, roguesque whack-job of your contest and lower my 313 EV’s down to 312: Kerry + IA, NM, CO, VA, NV, OH + Omaha.

    I’ll stick with No in Mizzou and California.

    Muchas gracias, amiga!

  3. If McCain can win Ohio and Florida it wont be much of a win for Obama if he does.

    I suspect McCain will fair well in these States unless it is a blow out.

  4. [If McCain can win Ohio and Florida it wont be much of a win for Obama if he does]

    Sowing the seeds of failure for not getting a landslide eh Glen? A win by 1 EV is still a win 🙂

  5. Oz: How long is a piece of string?

    Ok, less rhetorically…

    What was Sam Seaborn’s (West Wing) politics/baseball analogy? You win one third of your matches, lose one third of your matches and it’s the remaining third that counts.

    Let’s turn that on its head and say that a greater than two thirds win constitutes a landslide. That’s 359 electoral votes.

  6. One thing that I can’t stand is people who carry on discussions from a previous thread. Like I’m about to do.

    Ron @ 462: “Hillary also won ALL of th swing states.” Obama won Iowa, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Virginia, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Montana. I would love to
    hear your definition of ‘swing state’. Presumably no matter what the introductory words are, it will contain the suffix, ‘… that Hillary Clinton carried in the Democratic primary’.

    To appropriately edit you, “some of th[e] posts here today about th[e] Obama/Clinton contest ar[e] absolute contrary to fact”.

    The ‘Obama is only carrying the primary because of the blacks and college-educated liberals’ argument was HRC’s (and her boosters’) ‘electability’ argument: that Obama might be able to cobble together an alliance sufficient to carry a primary but he lacked the broad appeal to win a general election. The events of the next 48 hours (in a Presidential election with high turnout) mean the argument is highly likely to be shown up as nonsense.

  7. Diogenes #468 “No, Obama won the popular vote unless you count MI where Obi wasn’t even on the ballot.”
    False Obama’s name WAS on th MI Ballot Obama later took his name OFF th MI Ballot
    Th polls were showing Hillary 55% Obama 30% Edwards 15% Obama was going to get thrahed in MI …not surprising it was Hillarys demographics
    Th Electoral commission was then forsed by Obama’s action to add a voter called “uncommitted voter Obama then campaigned for th uncommitted voter” …and got just over 30% Please sticjk to facts
    Ps/ Just in case you mention FL incidsently , Obama DID leave his name ON th Ballot Obama did campaign there also on TV adds and got soundly defeated not surprising it was Hillarys demographics
    Even th LATER June 2008 Democrat Executive deciding on MI and FL ruled th delegates won by each Candidate being based based on my figures in both FL & MI Your dislike of Hillary who you call Billary still remainds , stop rewriting history Obama will be POTUS

    SimonH , on previous threads I’ve demonstrated you know little about th electoral map There were swing States at th time including MASSIVE E/V swing States eg FL , WV & OH , PA , MI …all of which Hillary won (and Obama was BEHIND McCain on polling THRN on those whereas Hillary was in fronyt of Mccain then on polling)

    BUT TODAY post bailout , th collapse of Republican brand & McCains woeful campaign what is a swing State now is not comparative if you understood Feb- May electon status what was a swing state then

  8. Did anyone see the Four Corners story on the election tonight. It was focused on Ohio as a microcosm of the election and was fairly obvious IMO, without saying much posters here wouldn’t already know.

    There was one claim which I am curious about though – they said on 4C that they were on schedule to get an 80% (of registered voters) turnout, with 30% early votes. Of these, Obama was averaging 59% to McCains 41% nationally! If thats true then its looking very good 🙂

  9. [with 30% early votes. Of these, Obama was averaging 59% to McCains 41% nationally! If thats true then its looking very good]

    Yes, Lateline mentioned similar figures tonight

  10. “Obama was averaging 59% to McCains 41% nationally”

    Depends on th voter registration dissection but even consevatively its a big margin

    Did not see 4 corners , but OH I beleive was a natural State for McCain to win solidly and was sitting that way earlier in th year , however suspect th economic ruins that State is in has been clearly identified by voters as unambiguouslky to them as Republican caused via th very public “Republicon” Wall Street collapse & “Republican” bailout with a resultant massive shift to Obama since September

  11. Ron

    Yes Ohio is one of the states that has suffered worst from the economic fallout. First it had a large involvement in the sub prime mortgage market. Second its industries are focused heavily on domestic manufacturing (cars, tyres etc) so as the US economy tanks it loses jobs fast.

  12. I also wonder in addition to those causes whether OH is somewhat a reflecton of th old US pre globisation that has graqdually caught up with it ….and needing a period of tramsformaton

  13. No sign of narrowing in the national polls, actually there is a widening.

    If this is an indication of how undecideds will break it might be pushing the 370+ EV mark for Obama on Tuesday.

  14. Ron

    Partly yes. Ohio’s problems have been known for a while – it was one of the areas where the term “rustbelt” was coined before pudnits started applying it in Australia.

    Its a pity for Ohio that Al Gore lost in 2000 – he had policies to get auto makers to invest in new, more economcial cars, that might have saved a lot of jobs in Ohio. But he lost and Bush just kept the current business status quo going, which was really a disastrous steady-as-she-sinks course for them. GM is practically broke now, and can hardly afford the investment to develop a new range of models.

    Its a shame because historically it needn’t be a hick/redneck state. It was once once of the wealthiest states with a high average education level. But it has been on the slide for 15-20 years now.

  15. I am sticking to my earlier prediction but I must admit if I was going to make a late change it would be to revise Obama’s margin up not down. When I did my guess for Julie I first estimated Obamas position from polls I believed then assumed that his lead would shrink by a third as poll day got closer. But with that almost upon us and all indicators steady, I think Obama will be headed for well over 320 EV now, maybe pushing 340.

  16. ltep

    Well see how Ohio was portrayed in the 4C show – not flattering. Ohio hasn’t always been republican either, but it is a fact that, demographically, the past decade has been unkind to Ohio. A lot of the young and educated people leave for jobs in other states (like SA in the 90s) leaving behind an Ohio population that is older and less educated. Comparatively, it is now a hick state.

  17. Are today’s the last polls? If so it’s all good. PA has four polls 6-14% ahead, VA is 6%, NV 8% and OH 2-7% in three polls. NC is a toss-up and IN will stay red.

    And Matty Drudge hasn’t found any new slime for his Headline. 👿

  18. “Its a pity for Ohio that Al Gore lost in 2000 ”

    And also for some of those adjoining States like PA & MI….alot of re long term adjustments needed both econamic & social in those type of States

    But then as I suggested th other day th difference of Carter vs Reagan winning now appears minr compared to Gore vs Bush winning with th multitude of terrible legacys in almost every area Bush has left economic , FA , social , legal , jurasprudence , human rights , wars , renditions , falsified intell to 2002 Senators etc etc…making Reagan look not so bad in comparison (except that Reaqgonomics madness)

  19. Agreed Ron. The money Bush pulled out of health and education will have long term repercussions for the US economy. The poorer states will feel it worst, because they were the ones who could least afford to lose it (they couldn’t make up the difference with their own funds). It really is an amazing failure of rational self interest for poor people in poor states to vote in the Bush republicans. Sure they got the tax cuts but they lost far more ins ervices, becoming worse off. So they save $10/week in taxes, but have to find an extra $20/week to make up what they no longer get from the government. Meanwhile the rich save $30/week in taxes. The real numbers are larger than that, but you get the idea.

  20. Ah yes, Ron @ 19, I remember your arithmetically challenged contributions from months ago as well. Good to see that you’re still running the long-since discredited ‘Hillary won the popular vote’ line (see among many other debunkings). SNIP: Personalised unpleasantness deleted – The Management.

    Suffice to say that you have defined a swing state as ‘those states that were thought to be swing states in Feb-May’. An idiosyncratic definition to be sure, but let’s take you at your word. To pick just one easy example, that definition includes Colorado; always known to be a crucial state the Dems were aiming to flip from 2004. Meaning that you’ve now clarified that your assertion that “Hillary won ALL of the swing states” was false.

    I don’t need to rebut you, when you’re doing such a great job of rebutting yourself.

  21. “It really is an amazing failure of rational self interest for poor people in poor states to vote in the Bush republicans”

    I’ll stay away from my 19 ‘left’ issues with th candidate and just focus on th bnature of th Party system in US Both ar generlly ‘right’ in some respects with Republicons actualy concervative & Democrats centre right generally with US psche for free enterprise business (but with a left wing) There is not an absolute natural home (Party) for them to go to (before religion , north/south historicals , race etc come into play as well)

    Hindsite may prove me very wrong but suspect electoral map with a big Obama win won’t restore th pre LBJ southern Democrat States leaving th new map paretly reliant on voting (with frank respect for Obam) “against” Republicons , against Bush , against Iraq , aginst renditions & most of all against th bailout & ecoanaic managemetn and holding that type of “new” electoral map long term may be diffiult unless Democrats become more centre ‘left’ (which I’d of course luv) but also encompassing ‘independents (to win that vitalvoting sector) in being moderate philosophically & socialy but reflect there US of A psche of nationalism so that Democrats gradualy win “as a norm” what should be a natural ‘poor’ constituncy & thereby such red states

  22. SimonH


    Deal with facts

    Hillary won all th swing States Th swing States were those THEN that would POTUS

    One has to deal with THEN (not as of now) as to what would then deliver POTUS that were swing States in opinion of all pundits not knowing a bailout etc would occur

    I nominated them FL , MI , PA , OH , WV , IN (total 101 E/V’s)
    And what do you nominate Colarado ? ….with a miserable 9 e/v’s

    Now to demonstrate when hillarys Nomineeship campaign effectively concluded 30th May , not only had she wion those all RECOGNISED Swing States (to win th Presidency) in Primarys against Obama

    ….but that all swing State point of mine was ALSO reflected THEN THEN on electoral maps THEN….showing Hillary vs McCain 327/194 whereas Obama vs McCain 266/248….making ALL of th swing States hillary won swing and winning POTUS easily …..vs your 9 e/v Colarado absolutely academic

    Suggest instead of rewriting history , move forward and actualy enjoy Obama winning seeing I’d assumed before your post thats what should hav been ALL that should hav been on winners minds

  23. And to avoid my last post being read out of contest……on th last thread I said up front Obama won th Democrat Nomineeship against Hillary and now would be POTUS I then said th contest was close …it was , Obama won th pledged delegates by a 2% margan representing a close win …..but a win is always a win , and that made Obama th Democrat Nominee I then mentioned Hillary had won all th swing States , that Obama had won ‘red’ States & alot of affluent blue in Primarys etc , and referred also to Caucus results of obama’s ‘red’ states won adding to his pledged ddelegate totals , and finished off restating Obama is th nominee for th Democrat Party having won it in a Democrat race & now will be now POTUS It was a post to corect an earlier posters inacuracy

    However denying Hillary what she won in both winning th swing States and losing by only a close 2% margan is not only inacurate but ungracous , which is why I responded I might add denying what Hillary actualy won ALSO camoflages not just th ineptitude of campaign Manager Mark Penn who was ‘forsed’ onto Hillary by hierachy ‘experts’ BUT camoflages th clever politcal strategy of Obama’s “axel’ in both Caucus’s and ‘red’ States to win actualy very decisive pledged delegates that won th Nomineeship not to mention th new use of th internet employed & many other plus’s and ‘erros’ of that close Primary race which an earlier poster had corectly said needed a PHd writen on it But that is history and tomorrow is for Obama’s supporters

  24. Amid the concerns over vote rigging especially with touch screen voting machines, good to see that some people have not lost their sense of humour. This from a comment on the NYT:
    “I have never received extra money from an ATM. Why is it so hard to make a solid voting machine?”

    Dave, New Orleans

  25. Simon @ 471 (previous thread),

    Posted Monday, November 3, 2008 at 10:56 pm | Permalink
    juliem, I understand that I’ve picked identically to at least one other person. If a tie-breaker is required, I can offer the following in the category of your choice:
    • Al Franken to win in the Minnesota senate race (by a whisker)
    • Septimus in the Cup
    • Geelong 2009 AFL premiers (sure, this option would take a while to break the tie)
    • Scissors
    • Tails.

    Simon, while that is true I don’t think it is going to last to California. If you want something to differentiate between the two of you (Al said CA/OR/WA/HI), then maybe you and he can work something out today? It has to be something that both of you can chose from as if it weren’t, that wouldn’t be fair. Al Franken might work excepting that is a 50/50 proposition and what if you both picked the same? That’s assuming that Al even checks in today too to see this post. If both of you read this, why don’t you post for me (and I’ll use this for anyone wants a 3rd tiebreaker) { it needs to be something political on the day and not one which has a chance of being close } the final percentage of the popular vote that Obama gets? I.e Reagan got 50.4% in 1980 if I remember one of yesterday’s posts correctly. I’ll use that if 311 turns up but only if you can both give me a percentage guess.

  26. William,

    Per several links on the net, first polls close at 6pm EST in Indiana and Kentucky. 6pm on the US east coast is 10am here, check this link They (US east coast) are now 4 hours off and the opposite time of day. Your charts times are all one hour too far ahead. Also, this link
    shows poll closing times too and the order is different from the order in your list, wonder what the URL was for the source data?

  27. Ron @ 19,

    False Obama’s name WAS on th MI Ballot Obama later took his name OFF th MI Ballot

    Whether he was on at one point or not, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that mattered in the primaries (and in any election) is how the ballot reads when it is in the voters hand. I had a Michigan ballot back in December 2007 for the January 08 primaries and Obama wasn’t on the ballot. You can dice words all you want but if I, as a registered Michigan voter, wasn’t able to vote for Obama in the primary, it doesn’t matter to me the convoluted route that it took the political system to get to that point.

  28. The final nail in the coffin, as if McCain needed another one 😀

    Dick Cheney’s Hometown Paper Endorses Obama Today

    By Greg Mitchell

    Published: November 03, 2008 10:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK For the past six weeks, we have chronicled the landslide in newspaper endorsements for Barack Obama (see tally on our site, with an update to come today), now about 250 to 110. Included in this have been well over 50 daily papers that have switched from backing Bush in 2004 to supporting Obama this year. Then there are the embarrassments such as the largest paper in Alaska, The Anchorage Daily News, also endorsing Obama.

    Now comes another signal: This morning, Dick Cheney’s hometown paper in Wyoming, the Casper Star-Tribune, switched to Obama.

    Yes, we said the Casper Star-Tribune, not the Minneaspolis Star Tribune.

  29. I note that at RCP, 3 of the four polls that came out for NC today point to a McCain win….and the only one to point to an Obama win was PPP

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