If you’re a regular reader of Fivethirtyeight, then you’ve noticed the wave-form collapsing… the spread of his 10,000 daily simulations used to have a mode with maybe 300 occurrences (3% of scenarios hitting a single outcome, always a blue outcome). Last week there was a day where over 30% of the outcomes had Obama between 375 and 385 electoral votes. The histogram showed a single spike around 380, with smaller spikes distributed down the line for each state Obama could afford to lose. McCain has to run the table, so any state can ruin his Tuesday.
I’m in one such state right now. At one of seven Obama field offices in Montgomery County PA today, they had a triage station at the front door to separate canvassers into more manageable groups based on the state they were from (PA, MD, NY, and NJ). Those seven offices were working together to send clusters of canvassers to neighboring counties as well. At 2pm on a Friday, I had to wait in line for two or three minutes – about six folks ahead of me – before someone sorted me, at which point it took only about two more minutes to get me my assignment. Think about that: seven offices with so many volunteers (from at least three neighboring states!) that they had filled their rosters for in-county work and were pursuing targets of opportunity… and with a process so well-rehearsed that they were able to assign tasks to unexpected helpers in about five minutes total.
McCain won’t know what hit him. 2008 is going to rewrite the book on turning out the base.
If McCain actually won Pennsylvania, he would not need to sweep all those states. A win in PA allows him to lose NM, CO, Iowa and still even Virginia; with PA, NC and Ohio, plus all other solid reds, he would have 273.
If Obama wins all Kerry states plus Colorado, Iowa and NM, but loses PA, McCain has 286.
But the fact is that McCain won’t win Pennsylvania.
The only thing about the early voting that gives me pause is that if it’s true, as people have claimed in the other thread I opened on the early voting, that the Obama campaign is pushing people to vote early, then the Obama lead could be exaggerrated by self-selection, and on Nov. 4 the voters might be primarily McCain voters.
Yes, this has already been observed; last I checked Obama was +6 with early voters in Alabama, and he has about as good a chance to win there as I do. His margins of victory will be narrowed considerably on the 4th, but I don’t think it’s going to be anywhere near enough to change anything except how many votes more than 270 he gets.
Unless by then the Obama-tide in the early voting, combined with him maintaining a robust lead in the polls through Monday, so disheartens McCain supporters that a significant proportion of them say the hell with it, it’s not worth the hassles and the long wait, and they don’t bother turning out to vote. I’m mindful of the fact that various of the polls have consistently shown a much higher degree of enthusiasm among Obama’s supporters compared to McCain’s.
Indeed. I do not understand the obsession here and elsewhere with pointing out that Obama supporters will suddenly turn lazy and “complacent” and stay home on Tuesday. Obama supporters are not just voting against McCain, they’re voting for Obama. They feel like they have a very real stake in this election. He has literally thousands of volunteers across the country, working hard for him. He’s raised more money than God. He attracts crowds of tens of thousands, and even over 100,000 in a few instances.
And yet, this meme persists that Obama supporters will stay at home on Tuesday, content that, by doing everything except voting, they would have done enough. Quite frankly, it’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. I know Obama has been making the point himself, but it’s not surprising that he wants to keep morale high and keep his troops stoked. “Concern trolls” aren’t really necessary.
Now, I can see McCain voters being demoralized. There’s going to be a minimal GOTV effort on Election day. It’s getting colder. It’s probably going to be rainy and miserable in a few states. They don’t like him much anyway, and I don’t care what Sam Stone says, a lot of Republicans aren’t in love with Palin. Obama is dominating the polls and the early voting. It’s hopeless.
A message of “it’s hopeless” doesn’t demotivate Obama supporters. It makes McCain people feel like they should just drive straight home after work and eat dinner with their families.
I just want to be (far from the) first to say that the Obama campaign has operated brilliantly. In another age Ike would’ve hired him to help plan D-Day and, despite their misgivings about unionization, even WalMart could learn from him. A nearly flawless performance. I guess this is what happens when an old-time American poker player (I’m ignoring that McCain’s choice is craps because craps shooters are beneath contempt), so beloved in fiction, especially Star Trek, goes up against a master chess player. For the former, everything comes down to the next hand. For the latter, the game is longer and everything requires planning and foreseeing your opponent’s next move. McCain is in check and has no idea how to get out of it.
As we used to say back home in Texas, don’t run your mouth on him, meaning don’t hex him, with him being Obama. It was sort of like saying don’t take nothing for granted because it ain’t over until it’s over. I loathe, hate, and despise McCain but he can still win and just might. The best thing we can do is to vote early and get other voters out to vote, at gunpoint if necessary. My Darling Marcie and I have already voted; all we can do now is chew our fingernails until its finished.