Saturday, November 01, 2008
One of those "insidery" things on polling averages
By the way, Gallup tracker Obama +10 in both models?
Palin campaigns without McCain (literally)
Pretty weird considering it's 3 days before the election, and the rally is supposed to be McCain for President.
Picture of the Day
Kinda fell off my picture theme. A relaxed candidate, confident about his chances. (Goofing around with the Secret Service.)
(Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama runs with U.S. Secret Service agents as he enters a rally at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))
Republicans eating themselves
Unbelievable from Georgia
This year, the Sec State is estimating that 2 million Georgians will have voted early. Almost 2/3 of the 2004 turnout has voted early.
Best and worst
It's sad statement that the system is so poor that we end up with a situation like that.
And yes, I recognize that lines will keep many voters away,
But, on the other hand, I gotta pay tribute to those people who did wait in that line.
It's inspirational to me.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Rick Davis has gone Terry McAuliffe
If you're watching the data, you'll know this is all crap, but here are few points.
Major polls last week showed John McCain trailing by double-digit margins - but by the middle of this week, we were within the margin of error on four national tracking surveys.
So, if we cherry pick our polls, showing the highest outliers of one type of poll last week, and another type of low outliers on our best polling day this week, we can pretend that that's progress. (By now, those trackers have moved back up.)
As for states, there's no data to support a surge in Iowa or Colorado, among Hispanics in the west, and you gotta love the fact that they don't even try to argue data in Ohio or Pa.
But, probably the best spin is,
Obama is running out of states if you follow out a traditional model. Today, he expanded his buy into North Dakota, Georgia and Arizona in an attempt to widen the playing field and find his 270 Electoral Votes. This is a very tall order and trying to expand into new states in the final hours shows he doesn't have the votes to win.
Right. Obama is the one running out of states....
I don't know who I'm arguing with here. I just had one of those frustrating "Terry McAuliffe moments" like in the primaries.
(However, the more they lie about data, the better I feel about the outcome, because if they had anything, anything credible and positive, they'd be selling that instead.)
PS. Why do you have to memo, "Our phone centers are full?"
Another "fire up" video (aimed at Obama volunteers)
(A little longer, but I wouldn't link it if it wasn't good.)
One last crazy move
I guess the logic is that "the base" votes anyhow, and if they can't convince x percent of the Obama voters, GOTV won't matter as much, but still, it seems like a pretty risky decision.
(How do you interpret this except that the McCain camp doesn't think it has enough voters even if it turns them all out.)
(And I'm sure all those downballot Republicans just love this idea.)
Related: 538 has a post (and pictures) of their visits to mostly empty or closed McCain offices around the country. (Maybe you just don't pour money into empty offices?)
Duberstein endorses Obama trashes McCain's choice of Palin
(Even moderate Republicans deliver better zingers than the Dems.)
Banking votes in the west
In Colorado, the state had already processed approximately 1.3 million ballots as of Thursday, around 60 percent of the total 2004 turnout. In Bernalillo County (Albuquerque), New Mexico (statewide figures are not available), 145,000 ballots had been cast as of Wednesday, equaling 55 percent of 2004's total..
Quote - Eagleburger, one of those 5 Sec States McCain is touting
"Give her some time in the office and I think the answer would be, she will be adequate," he said, pausing before bestowing adjective. "I can't say that she would be a genius in the job. But I think she would be enough to get us through a four year -- well I hope not -- get us through whatever period of time was necessary. And I devoutly hope that it would never be tested."
Now that's an endorsement.
Picture of the Day - 2
One of those little things - Better polling, properly used, means better results.
Obama campaign officials also appear to have devoted significantly more than Mr. McCain’s organization to polling, about $3.8 million since July, compared with just over $1.1 million for the McCain campaign.
Assuming they're paying about the same rate for their polls, this is 3x advantage so much more than tighter tracking. It allows a lower geographic level of polling, knowing counties and neighborhoods to target and work, but it also allows far more message testing.
Frankly, superior knowledge and implementation is how they won the primary, too. They would lose states, but win the delegate count based on their polling and geographical implementation.
Plouffe and the numbers guys really don't get enough credit. Their ability to efficiently match money with geographic math has put their candidate where he is.
Later: Confident clips from the Plouffe conference call this AM.
Picture of the Day
I think he would be another one of those Obama, really good personnel hires. He fits their "new Chicago way" mold.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
When you run out of facts, argue emotion
What made me laugh is that in his response, McInturff doesn't even try to respond with data. He responds with,
1) John McCain is a hard man to kill and I am the least surprised guy in the country that with even the smallest window of opportunity--as the focus on the financial crisis faded a bit--that he could make up ground and 2) the difference between these two candidates in terms of their preparation and capacity to serve as Commander-in-Chief is profound, to McCain's considerable advantage, and that matters to the remaining voters here in the last few days of this election.
Seriously? That's your last argument from your data guy? He feels?
Picture of the Day - 3
Our photo theme for tonight and tomorrow will be: A candidate who is not worried about the polls.
I've got four in the can just from today.
(He looks so loose.)
(Sen. Barack Obama takes his jacket off after his speech at a rally at the Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater in Virginia Beach, Va., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))
Let's count some damn chickens.....
Just about any one of those ruins the race for McCain. It's very possible that we could have a declared winner before I eat dinner.
(Once again, take just a minute to play with the electoral map.
It'll give you a much better sense of how good it looks.)
North Carolina allows, in essence, same day registration for early voters. What McDonald has discovered is that there are about 100,000 people who have voted early who were not previously on the voter lists.
100,000 same day vote/registrations. (3.4 mil voted in 2004)
(Or the desperately neutral Charlie Crist in Florida worried about his 2006 reelection.)
(Ben Smith) The Black vote is turning out huge in early voting and may matter in states like Fla and NC.
(Ambinder) Early voting seems to favor Dems.
(JMartin) The McCain camp and RNC are aiming for "ad parity" in this last weekend with a "saturation buy" in Ohio, the central corridor of Fla, and Virginia. (Not Pennsylvania?)
Both Rothenberg and Sabato predict about a 30 seat Dem pickup in the House.
And, (ThePage) McCain campaign figure Rick Davis on a conference call this AM, "We're still fighting, we're still behind, we still think we've got plenty of time to close the gap enough to make this election competitive and win it."
(The goal is "competitive," and they're not there yet.)
Picture of the Day
Worth the money
When you've got healthy lead, at least $210 million for 60 days, and 5 days to the election, that's probably a pretty good purchase.
(PS. The 30 minute all network ad cost less than either campaign spent on Olympic advertising, Obama $5 million, McCain $6 million.)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The "It's over" game. Try it.
Here's the RCP state by state polling to help you on your way.
Find a realistic way for McCain to win. I challenge you.
Picture of the Day - Voter Enthusiasm
Working supposition - ground game
I also believe that the McCain ground game is/will be worse than the 2004 Bush ground game.
Please, somebody call him on this.
"The polls could be wrong" - The dog that didn't bark
They feel so secure in where they sit against the polling that they don't feel the need to respond, just sit there and smirk.
(Seriously, their body language tells me that they feel ahead of their expected plan.)
Later: On the other hand, Chuck Todd somewhat endorses the McCain memo. But, Pollster disagrees.
Bottom line: Obama's polling about 50 nationally, McCain is wedged up against his 45 ceiling.
In the states, Obama's lead is strong and confirmed. In all the state polling today, CNN/Time, Q-pac, Rasmussen, AFP-Gfk, Obama still holds significant, steady leads (+8 or more) in NV, Colo, NM, Va, and Pa, more than enough to win the election two ways, but he also leads Oh and Fla and shades NC in all of the polls today.
Barack Obama must be feeling pretty good....
(That's one relaxed candidate.)
Picture of the Day - 3
If you read her energy speech today, can there be any question that she's now running for 2012?
(Tell me how this speech helps this McCain campaign.)
(Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks a Xunlight Corporation in Toledo, Ohio, Wednesday, Oct. 29. (AP/Madalyn Ruggiero))
The polls might be wrong
(WaPo) Accuracy Of Polls a Question In Itself
(CNN) Obama's ahead, polls say, but will the lead last?
And, Ben Smith has the official McCain campaign version of why we can't trust our own eyes. (Short version: They win all of the undecideds and the large turnout is actually comprised of more of their voters.)
Nate Silver picks that apart, projecting undecideds split pretty even.
(And, I'm pretty skeptical of projecting GOP+ turnout.)
On the other hand, Check out the first two graphs of Chuck Todd this AM.
New and lapsed voters skewing heavily for Obama, maybe as much as +3-5% on the polls, and if these voters stick around, Bush/Rove's legacy would be a huge wave of anti-GOP voters.
(PS. None of the McCain info explains how he's supposed to make up 7 or more in Pa or Va.)
Observation - campaigns slash ad spending
Three weeks ago - $1.780 million
Two weeks ago - $1.811 million
Last week - $1.129 million
That about matches the overall scale back, but let's remember that Pennsylvania was supposed to be his path to victory.
(Ohio's down substantially, too, from $966K to $594K. The only two increases were Va and Indiana.)
(Obama's overall spending is down by about the same third as McCain's, but he's still running heavy in Fla, Indiana, Mo, NC, Oh, Pa, and Va. Check it out.)
Later: The NYTimes says McCain "who has redirected dwindling resources to vital parts of critical states like this one."
Picture of the Day - 2
Pretty damn funny.
The GOP civil war will officially begin the day after the election.
Whether the Republican presidential ticket wins or loses on Tuesday, a group of prominent conservatives are planning to meet the next day to discuss the way forward, and whatever the outcome, Gov. Sarah Palin will be high on the agenda.
Also: CNN talks about the civil war.
30 minute ad preview
A very serious story
This study is from the Department of Veteran's Affairs, so this horrifying number is, if anything, likely low.
Nearly 15 percent of female US veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experienced sexual trauma during their military service, the Department of Veterans Affairs said in a study.
The study, based on data from 100,000 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom who used VA health care, found that more than one in seven women reported having experienced "military sexual trauma".
Even with the election, how is that not front page news?
Picture of the Day
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Picture of the Day - 2
Reminder - Palin's relationship with Ted Stevens
The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported that several experts called the group an example of the fine legal line between a legal effort to conduct political activity and then-new prohibitions against raising unlimited soft-money.
I'm just sayin'....
Quote - McCain camp concedes (off the record)
Officials from both the Obama and McCain campaigns tell ABC News they believe there is very little that either candidate can do to change the trajectory of the race..
Unless one of them makes a major mistake, nothing they can say or do will affect them one way or the other.
What the hell are they doing?
Early reads on early voting
That's probably a good sign for the Obama ground game, although it's also possible that this imbalance represents more of an enthusiasm gap than an enlarging of the voter base.
My guess is that it's probably somewhere between the two.
(However, African American early voting is off the charts.)
(And, credit to the politically savvy Charlie Crist for getting the Fla early voting locations to stay open longer, even if he is just hedging his reelection bets.)
Palin v McCain - The only conclusion is that John McCain wants her taken down.
I’m sympathetic to Eskew and Wallace, and not just because they’re decent people. They’ve held their tongue from leaking what a couple of McCain higher-ups have told me—namely, that Palin simply knew nothing about national and international issues. Which meant, as one such adviser said to me: “Letting Sarah be Sarah may not be such a good thing.”
I’ve heard from one well-placed source that McCain has snubbed her on one long bus ride aboard the Straight Talk Express, to the embarrassment of those sitting nearby.
I think there can be no question now that this is going on with McCain's sanction.
Note the sourcing in the first paragraph, "higher ups" than Tucker Eskew and Nicole Wallace certainly means Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, or McCain himself. (and the first two wouldn't be doing this for four days without McCain's tacit nod.)
So, stop for a minute to appreciate that in the critical phase of a losing campaign, John McCain, the Republican nominee, is either actively or inactively allowing his vice Presidential nominee to be destroyed, damaging his own chances, and those of his party, just a week before the election.
So, we've established the what and the who, so I guess the next question is motive.
What affront so offended John McCain that would he pay this big cost to do this now? (Let's remember, he's petty.)
I don't think it was the Couric or Gibson interviews, I don't think it was the debate. I don't think it was simply the polling. Somewhere out there, there was some particular slight that lit the flash paper.
Maybe contradicting them on abandoning Michigan? From the exchanges, she was in contact with those that opposed the move. Maybe contacting the Michigan party chair behind their back?
Later: Maybe there was an internal blowup over Troopergate or some other vetting issue.
Maybe she lied or wasn't candid about Troopergate or Bridge to Nowhere or something in the brief interviews that constituted her vetting?
I don't know, but I think the reason for the falling out is the next step in the story. (We need to find out when the bus ride "snub" took place.)
Later Still: Even more trash talking "leaked" to Jake Tapper.
And, Stephanopolous covers it as well, rementioning that McCain staffers are sending their resumes around.
Palin v. McCain - one step further
***In convo with Playbook, a top McCain adviser one-ups the priceless “diva” description, calling her “a whack job.”
The question again: Why hasn't McCain put a stop to this?
(Conclusion: he must be at least tacitly allowing it thus far.)
Palin and McCain are campaigning together today.
Picture of the Day
If you think the GOP is ugly now......
If some number of these voters stay Democratic in the years/decades ahead, that, coupled with the demographic changes towards more minority voters, that likely reshapes and impacts the Republican/Democratic balance for decades as this voting bloc passes through the age demographics.
(Think about all the Dems who talk about being inspired by JFK's campaign or all the Republicans who talk about Reagan.)
That's also why if Obama does get into office, the Republicans will try even harder to tear him down, to tarnish that experience. For the future of their party, the Republicans can't afford to lose a generation of white kids.
So, if you thought the Clinton stuff was nasty, just wait....
The preponderance of the evidence - The really big map
McCain hasn't had one McCain + poll since....
Nv 9/29, Colo 9/14, Va 10/1, NH 9/23, NM, 9/8, Pa 4/24......
(Obama would still win even if he lost Pa, or Va + Colo, or Colo + NM +NV.....
and all of that presumes he doesn't win Fla or Ohio or Missouri or Indiana or North Carolina when he's tied or leads in all of them.)
Monday, October 27, 2008
Palin v McCain - Chapter 7 (I think)
Here's a question. This has been going on since Friday. Why hasn't McCain called a stop to this?
Either he can't, or he doesn't want to. (He wants Palin taken down with him?)
Quote - John Ensign, head of the Republican Senate campaign
Picture of the Day - 3
"When you're smiling......"
(Democratic party Presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama shares a laugh with 13-month-old Gracie McCormick in between phone calls to prospective voters at his election campaign local headquarters in Brighton, Colorado, October 26, 2008. (REUTERS/Jason Reed))
Thesis: The McCain messaging failed because it lacked cultural reference for the electoral middle.
For instance, "socialist." That seems outside the norm as an attack, especially as it was introduced without preframing and development of the idea. Or even the Ayers attack which was similarly launched without laying the groundwork of definition first. They were suddenly shouting "Ayers" and most of America had no idea what they were talking about.
It's almost like the McCain camp's messaging begins with a reliance that most of America is acquainted with, and accepting of, the right wing radio/FoxNews frame. That we're already aware of the attack lines, and that by simply recalling elements of the symbology, we will all respond in a particular way.
In theory, this could work as a code to the base, but that's not how these attacks were used. They were used as the main theme of speeches, of weeks of the campaign, and specifically targeted to swing voters. No surprise no one got it. We haven't been getting groundwork building viral emails for six months or listening to Sean Hannity.
Throughout this entire campaign they have not been able to damage Obama's "personals." You could attribute that to solid branding and continuity by the Obama campaign, but I think the larger culprit is a detachment by the McCain campaign from cultural references recognizable by the center.
It's almost like the campaign strategists are so far inside that right wing bubble that they don't recognize that they need more than shorthand references to get messaging effect.
More Palin v. McCain (although this time it's McCain v. Palin)
But two sources, one Palin associate and one McCain adviser, defended the decision to keep her media interaction limited after she was picked, both saying flatly that she was not ready and that the missteps could have been a lot worse....
"Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic," said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the "hardest" to get her "up to speed than any candidate in history."
I think this story may be about to break through.
And, CW setter Nagourney furthers the over the table battle, whether McCain should have picked Palin with quotes.
(And, as I said last week, for or against Palin is likely the dividing line in the coming GOP civil war.)
Picture of the Day - 2
McCain's paid canvassers
And, a TimesOnline piece on paid canvassers in Iowa. (The interviewed McCain canvassers plan to vote for Obama.)
This is one of those under the radar stories that may well affect ground game. First, they can't find volunteers for these jobs? Second, How effective do you expect paid canvassers to be?
Palin v. McCain - Or is it Romney v. Palin? (...Or even McCain v Romney?)
Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers, some of whom are currently working for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin's bid for the White House, have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election.....
Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a "diva" and was going off message intentionally. The former and current Romney supporters further are pushing Romney supporters for key Republican jobs, including head of the Republican National Committee.
So, who is telling the American Spectator that? Is it true, or is it simply someone in the Palin camp trying to co-damage Romney?
Later in the same piece, someone (who knows which side) makes sure that we think Romney is the real "diva."
(Romney) has traveled little for the McCain-Palin ticket. "He said the only time he'd travel for us is if we assured him that national cameras would be there," says a McCain campaign communications aide. "He's traveled to Nevada and a couple other states for us. That's about it."
Eight days left in a Presidential campaign. This is just crazy.
Picture of the Day
(With record African American interest, maybe they'll hit Hispanic communities this time?)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Palin v McCain (Updated)
I would assume that, 9 days out, the McCain campaign wouldn't have wanted another day's message to be eaten up by this story, but there's Palin again, off message for her own purposes.
Also, it's very clear that what she's saying is not in the prepared remarks. She went into this of her own initiative, off script. (I imagine aides freaking out backstage.)
(I don't know why I'm finding this fracture so fascinating.
It's kinda like if My Fair Lady ended like Frankenstein.
They lifted Eliza Doolittle up, only to have her later go rampaging across the countryside out of their control.)
Later: Like I said, way off script.
Ensuring that news of the Republican National Committee's sartorial spending spree will remain in the headlines for at least one more news cycle......
A senior adviser to John McCain told CNN's Dana Bash that the comments about her wardrobe "were not the remarks we sent to her plane this morning."
Picture of the Day - 2
Something I never thought I'd say.
Apparently, Rove turned at least two states blue on his map this morning, Ohio, and even more incredibly, "Indiana from "toss-up" to likely Obama state."
(Here's the Rove map. Obama 317-157 with 64 toss up.)
(And if you don't believe me, just look at the McCain campaign's body language, infighting and blame, giving up on critical states, a tiny election night party, and people sending out resumes....)
The real question now will be margin and downballot races, and alot of both of these will be determined by whether and to what degree the Obama machine can deliver the ground game they've been talking about for months.
It's my belief that most of America has decided, (or at least received all the information they want about the candidates,) and that the media has now reasonably moved on to process and horserace coverage. If America's not listening, there's no way for McCain to get message traction, so, short of a meteor, the polls won't be moving too much.
(Although I am finding myself fascinated as the McCain campaign passes through the various stages of losing psychology.)
Picture of the Day
Racebaiting and fearmongering
Then we find out that the Pa GOP party spokesman was not only pushing the story, but also adding politically useful facts to the racebaiting hoax.
Now we find out that this same Pa GOP party is sending out letters to Jewish voters in Pa,
"Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008," the e-mail reads. "Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let's not make a similar one this year!"
I don't even know what to say here.