Sunday, November 2, 2008

Almost Endgame, Minor Changes Today, Final Projections Tomorrow

(Obama down 0.3%, McCain up 0.3%)
TIME UNTIL FIRST (non-early voting) POLLS OPEN: 1 DAY, 13 HOURS

I'm feeling a little nostalgic as this is my next to last post before the election. I wish I had something extraordinary to reveal but I don't. I expect a huge number of polls to be released tomorrow, so some of our battleground states may see some movement, but for now, only minor changes.


Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota and North Carolina remain as key battlegrounds

Florida, Montana, Georgia and Arizona remain as serious battlegrounds

Virginia -- upgraded from fringe to substantial -- polls have tightened a little here
Ohio remains as a substantial battleground

Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico remain as fringe battlegrounds

South Dakota is dropped as a battleground. Looks like Obama's sweep of the Dakotas is spoiled.

Note: Pennsylvania has been closing for the past few days. Obama's projected lead still stands at 8.3%, which is just above the definition that would allow it to be a fringe battleground. Obama was up by about 12% a couple of weeks ago. If McCain continues to close in polls tomorrow, it will be listed as a battleground on our final projection, although McCain has not led in a poll here in months.

This is the last post I will publish on early voting information as it is essentially all completed. As such, I thought I would include all states for which data are available.

Alabama -- absentee only -- no data available
Alaska -- no data available

Arizona -- no data available

California -- 3.3 million votes, 78% of the 2004 early vote total, 26% of the 2004 total vote
Apparently California voters are not over enthusiastic, but I know of no one who thinks it matters -- Obama will win here.

Colorado -- 1.5 million votes, 144% of the 2004 early vote total, 69% of the 2004 total vote, 2% Democratic edge in early voting
Obviously very high turnout here and most of the votes for this state have already been cast. There is no substantial demographic edge for either candidate, but high early turnout presumably helps Obama in that he has been leading in the polls and this has been presumably "locking in" that result.

Connecticut -- absentee only

Delaware -- absentee only

District of Columbia -- absentee only

Florida -- 4.1 million votes, 149% of 2004 early vote total, 54% of the 2004 total vote, 8% Democratic edge in early voting
Clearly early votes in Florida are favorable to Obama. Early voters are 11% more Democratic than in 2004. Republicans will need big turnout on Tuesday to make up the gap.

Georgia -- 2.0 million votes, 298% of 2004 early vote total, 60% of the 2004 total vote, 35% of votes coming from African-Americans

Assuming Obama wins 95% of the African-American vote, McCain would need to win 72% of the white vote to be even here. I think McCain may legitimately be in more trouble than the polls show. Already, if no more black voters vote, they will represent a higher percentage of the vote than in 2004.

Hawaii -- no data available

Idaho -- no data available

Illinois -- data incomplete, but based on the 3 available counties, at least 0.5M early ballots have been cast, 160% of 2004 early votes and about 9% of the total 2004 vote.

I know of no one, John McCain included, who thinks he has a shot in Illinois.

Indiana -- 0.5 million votes, 174% of the 2004 early vote and 18% of the total 2004 vote

No clear advantage to anyone since Indiana doesn't track either party or race of voters in early voting. Clearly, early turnout is up, but the overall percentage is still fairly low.

Iowa -- 0.5 million votes, 97% of the 2004 early vote and 30% of the total 2004 vote, 19% Democratic edge in early voting

Clearly the demographic edge favors Obama, but the turnout is not up versus 2004. Nothing here to change the view that Obama is comfortably ahead in Iowa.

Kansas -- no data available

Kentucky -- absentee only

Louisiana -- 0.3 million votes, 209% of the 2004 early vote total, 14% of the total 2004 vote, 30% Democratic edge in voting, 36% of early voters African-American

No doubt that the early voters are heavy Obama voters in Louisiana. I don't think it will seriously put the state in play, because the number of votes is too small. McCain wins comfortably here.

Maine -- 0.2 million votes, 102% of the 2004 early vote, 22% of the total 2004 vote, 15% Democratic edge in voting

Not much of a bump in turnout here from 2004. No matter, Obama will win handily here.

Maryland -- absentee only

Massachusetts -- absentee only

Michigan -- no data available

Mississippi -- absentee only

Missouri -- absentee only

Montana -- 0.2 million votes, 187% of 2004 early vote, 41% of the total 2004 vote

No data on demographics, so we can't draw any conclusion here except that a lot more people are voting early. Who knew there were half a million voters in Montana?

Nebraska -- 0.1 million votes, 135% of the 2004 early vote, 19% of the total 2004 vote

Nebraska is McCain country. No information here changes that fact.

Nevada -- 0.6 million votes, 127% of the 2004 early vote, 67% of the total 2004 vote, 21% Democratic edge in early voters in Clark County, 12% in Washoe County

Since those two counties (Las Vegas and Reno) have something like 90% of the voters, these stats look pretty good for Obama. That plus the fact that most people have already voted and he has been ahead in the polls.

New Hampshire -- absentee only

New Jersey -- absentee only
(and I REALLY wanted to early vote)

New Mexico -- Regrettably, only data from 1 county, Bernalillo -- in that county, 73% of the 2004 total votes have already been cast. I have no idea if this is representative of the state.

New York - absentee only

North Carolina -- 2.6 million, 235% of the 2004 early vote, 73% of the 2004 total vote, 21% Democratic edge in early voting, 27% of early voters African-American

These numbers would seem to imply that McCain is in big trouble here. Early voters are 12% more Democratic than in 2004, and heavily African-American versus past years. I think we can suspend with the thought that these are just the same voters voting early given the magnitude of the numbers.

North Dakota -- no data available
(no polls, no early voting data, how's an observer supposed to call a winner in this state, anyway)

Ohio -- our incomplete county-by-county data tells us: at least 0.6 million votes, 104% of 2004 early vote, 11% of the total 2004 vote. I suspect total early voting turnout is much higher than this based on the counties we do have, but it would just be speculation. No clear advantage to either candidate.

Oklahoma -- absentee only

Oregon -- all votes are early because all votes are mail-in. The total received so far is about 50% of the 2004 total vote (which was also all mail-in.)

Pennsylvania -- absentee only

Rhode Island -- absentee only

South Carolina -- absentee only

South Dakota -- no data available

Tennessee -- 1.6 million votes, 133% of the 2004 early vote and 63% of the total 2004 vote

John McCain will win here, never mind what Dick Morris says.

Texas -- incomplete data (only 15 counties) available, but at least 3.1 million votes representing 82% of the 2004 early vote and 42% of the total 2004 vote.

Nothing to sway the point of view that McCain will win handily here.

Utah -- absentee only

Vermont -- no data available

Virginia -- data is available from Fairfax County only -- turnout there is 162% of the 2004 early vote and 17% of the total 2004 vote.

Hard to glean much from this, Obama needs big turnout in Northern Virginia and Richmond to win.

Washington -- incomplete data from only 6 counties -- turnout in those 6 counties appear to be relatively low.

Again, hard to learn much from this, but nothing to make me believe Obama won't win handily here.

West Virginia -- 0.1 million votes, 65% of the 2004 early vote and 13% of the total 2004 vote

I guess Appalachia isn't enthralled about choosing between a socially moderate Republican and a black guy. McCain will win here.

Wisconsin -- no data available

Wyoming -- no data available

So, there you have it, the 2008 early vote. In total, 24.1 million votes have been accounted for, but the final total when all the absentee ballots are countied and the unreported states report will be far higher than that. Gallup national polling indicates that 28% of likely voters have already voted nationally.

Trail Dust
(again, our final edition)
McCain hit Pennsylvania (2 stops), New Hampshire and Florida (1 stop each)
Obama did 3 stops in Ohio.
Palin did 4 stops in Ohio.
Biden did 3 stops in Florida.

Tomorrow (the LAST day of campaigning)
McCain has his busiest schedule of the last two years:
1 stop in Florida
1 stop in Tennessee
1 stop in Pennsylvania
1 stop in Indiana
1 stop in New Mexico
1 stop in Nevada
Last stop in Arizona (Prescott)
(I'm tired just writing that, I hope he doesn't hit any traffic or air traffic delays!)

Obama is not quite as busy:
1 stop in Florida
1 stop in North Carolina
Last stop in Virginia (Manassas Park)

Biden is keeping busy too:
1 stop in Missouri
2 stops in Ohio
Last stop in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Palin as also busy:
1 stop in Ohio
1 stop in Missouri
1 stop in Iowa
1 stop in Colorado
2 stops in Nevada (including Last stop in Elko)

So, there you have it -- the end of the 2008 presidential campaign. I'm done writing about upcoming events, tomorrow I'll publish around 8 PM or so, and there will be 4 sections:
(1) Final Projection
(2) Best Case for McCain
(3) Best Case for Obama
(4) How to Watch the Coverage (Poll Closing Times, States to Watch, etc.)

Thanks for reading throughout this election season. Make sure to check back tomorrow to see the final projections and check back election night -- I'll post live blogs as results come in. The week after the election I'll post our scorecard.

No comments: