Posted by: brian | October 13, 2008

Electoral ponderings

For the past few days I’ve been checking to keep up on the latest polls in the presidential race. The site offers downloadable polling data of ALL the polls to date for each state, or just the most recent data (basically, the average of the most recent poll plus any other polls in the previous 7 days). I was looking around at this data, and noticed something interesting: If Obama takes all of the states currently rated as “Strong Dem” and “Weak Dem,” he wins the election with 282 electoral votes. This does not include the states the are considered up for grabs as of today – basically, those where there is a statistical tie (where one candidate leads the other by less than twice the margin of error). These include Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio.

Now, the North Dakota thing has got to be a fluke. The last previous poll was dated September 17th – nearly a month ago – so it’s plausible that the balance has shifted. But for McCain to go from a 13-point lead to trailing by 2 points in a state that has gone Republican for every presidential election in recent history, and where Bush had near-30-point margins in 2000 and 2004? Either that poll is seriously flawed, or McCain is in more trouble than it seems.

But aside from that, even assuming McCain takes North Dakota, Obama doesn’t need to win in Florida, Missouri, or Ohio – states that have been considered vital in previous elections. Unless, of course, something significant happens in the next three weeks.



  1. Okay, I was merely following the race before, but NOW I’m interested.

  2. […] by brain Like much of the country, I’m enthralled by the upcoming election. I pointed out earlier the poll tracking at (see sidebar), and have been fascinated to see McCain […]

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