I haven’t written anything about the US elections yet this cycle. This is for two reasons, first because there are vast amounts of US polling to get on top of in order to say anything sensible, secondly because there are already some very good US polling sites that I couldn’t hope to better. If you want to read wise and sensible analysis of US polling don’t hang around here, go and read Mark Blumenthal and Simon Jackman.

However, since we are now within a week of the election I thought I may as well put some threads up if only for discussion.

First, all things I complain about in coverage of UK polling are the same in US polling. Most notably warnings about cherry picking, comparing like to like and being aware of methodological differences and house effects from different pollsters. For example, I keep seeing people cherry picking out Rasmussen polls and Gallup polls to claim that Romney is doing better. Rasmussen are one of the most prolific polling outfits in the US, but also tend to produce some of the most Republican results. Gallup use a very tight screen for likely voters that also tends to produce favourable figures for the republicans. Look at most other polls and Obama is doing better.

Secondly, remember that the person who gets the most votes doesn’t necessarily win, it is who wins states with enough electoral votes to win a majority (270) of the electoral college. The average picture across all the national polls in the US has Romney and Obama very much neck and neck. However, polls from the key swing states, which themselves have become very regular as the election approaches, have Obama clearly ahead in terms of electoral votes.

There are various US websites (I’ve already mentioned Pollster.com, though fivethirtyeight tends to be the best known these days) that make projections based on state polling, and these all show Barack Obama with large leads in terms of electoral votes.

This has, in turn, produced some (generally pretty poorly informed) criticism of the projection sites, normally based around what sort of weights they give to different polls, what polls they include and so on. I don’t think these criticisms carry any weight, however even if one is sceptical about the weightings, filters, trends, house effect adjustments or whatever that the various projection sites make, the bottom line is that even if one takes just a crude average of state polls, Obama is still ahead.

As I write, Obama is almost undoubtedly ahead in states worth 243 votes. He needs to pick up another 27 electoral votes to win – looking at the recent polling in states that are in play:

  • In Wisconsin (10 votes) Rasmussen has the candidates equal in their last poll, but all three polls done in the last week have Obama significantly ahead
  • There have been four Iowa (6 votes) polls in the last week, three have had Obama ahead, the other had Romney one point ahead (but had a very small sample size)
  • In Ohio (18 votes), which is very likely to be the deciding state, there have been 11 polls in the last week, ten showed Obama ahead, one had Romney ahead
  • In New Hampshire (4 votes) there have been three polls in the last week, all showing Obama ahead.
  • In Colorado (9 votes) the four polls in the last week have been evenly split, 2 showing Obama ahead, 2 Romney ahead (though the Obama polls had bigger leads)
  • In Virginia (13 votes) there have been 9 polls in the last week, 2 showed Romney ahead, 1 a tie, 6 Obama ahead.
  • Florida (28 votes) is really neck-and-neck, the last week had three Romney leads, four Obama leads, two ties

Whatever you think of complicated projections, just on the raw averaged polling numbers Obama would get in excess of 290 electoral votes and win the Presidency. If the polls are correct, then Obama is on the way to winning, with very little time indeed to turn it around.


282 Responses to “US Presidential election”

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  1. Thanks,AW…Obama likely to win with some insurance due to Sandy unless there are lots of shy Republicans out there

  2. From my perspective I very much hope so Anthony.

  3. smukesh:

    “shy republicans” !??!!

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Shy Republicans?
    ——————-
    I should make the effort to check out the level of don’t knows or won’t says but I haven’t the time. I’d be really interested, if somebody has time to provide some info.

    In 2008 & 2012, friends & colleagues in the US were very reluctant to say who they would vote for. Prior to 2008, they were much more open. It would be interesting to know whether the general public is equally uncertain &/or reticent.
    8-)

  5. @PAUL CROFT

    Obama is leading in a lot of the swing states and there is not long to go…So unless the pollsters are missing something,he seems safe to me.

  6. @Amber Star

    There are not shy Republicans as such, but there is a supposed Bradley effect, and possible reverse Bradleys (Wilder/Fishtown effects):

    h
    ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect

    I have a feeling that Obama’s muted first debate performance may have been a nod in that direction. For the majority of the audience it was their first real sight of the older, privileged, white candidate, and he deserved a respectful hearing. That done, Obama was entitled to go on the offensive in debates two and three.

    I’m hoping it was canny for another reason. Romney was bound to receive a wave of support at some point in the campaign, from Republicans who had been little enthused during the primaries, and from others disillusioned with the economy generally. Romney’s momentum has had time to peak, and fizzle out somewhat.

  7. Romney seems a bit shy.
    Obama isn’t shy at all.

  8. Is there a link to the You Gov US polls?

    I am very mistrustful of the US polls for example Ramussen state polls are the only ones showing Romney in the lead in various swing states. Ramussen in 2008 showed a McCain win but as election day approached the poll changed to be in line with the others – they seem to be doing the same this year going from +6 R to +2 R in less than a week. Gallup suspended polling on Romney +5 I can bet when they resume Romney will have lost 3 or 4 points.

    Of course ‘they were right last time’ is used to bolster Ramussen\Gallup and no doubt they will be right this time as well but I am not sure they are of value during the campaign.

    Do anyone know of any unbiased US polls?

  9. @ Billy Bob

    I have a feeling that Obama’s muted first debate performance may have been a nod in that direction.
    —————–
    That’s a good point. It probably was the reason. I had a slightly different take on it, which I’ll offer for people’s general amusement.

    My ‘perspective’ on Obama’s 1st debate performance… he was so caught up in being the President, campaigning & debate prep that he forgot it was the anniversary of his wedding. Michelle was not a happy bunny (maybe they even had a wee tiff about it). Hence the President opening the debate by announcing it was their anniversary & looking a bit penitent during the debate. He may also have been wondering about the impact on his family of another 4 years as President. Afterwards Michelle woud’ve said: You were thinking of us, that’s sweet but you lost the debate: You better win the next two!!!

    Pure speculation by me, of course. ;-)

  10. RICHARDINNORWAY

    I’d say it depends on your view on the role of the US President. Notwithstanding Bill Clinton’s remark, I’m not convinced many US Presidents have a big influence on the economy, partly because the office was created as an elected version of the British monarchy c. 1775 when no government was expected to give a damn about the unemployment rate. Further, personally I’m not sure any government in the world can wish away the economic effects of a global shortage of commodities such as but not limited to oil.

    But the US President does make a difference on foreign policy and defence policy – not least because he’s the CinC – and I feel on that there could be quite a difference between Obama and anyone who can win the Republican nomination.

  11. @BILLY BOB

    “I’m hoping it was canny for another reason. Romney was bound to receive a wave of support at some point in the campaign, from Republicans who had been little enthused during the primaries, and from others disillusioned with the economy generally. Romney’s momentum has had time to peak, and fizzle out somewhat.”

    I agree with this either by accident or design. If by design then the Obama team are far cleverer and braver than most.

  12. @Amber Star

    Michelle rules (Michelle Obama Does the Dougie):

    h
    ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbUcuLywZts

  13. Even if he loses Virginia, Florida, Colorado & N Carolina (Indiana looks like a certain Romney gain), Obama looks very unlikely to lose either Ohio or Nevada. He also looks reasonably OK in Iowa. It’s unlikely that he would lose any state won by Kerry or Gore either, since his lead now seems to be outside the margin of error in all of them, with the sole exception of New Hampshire which doesn’t have many electoral votes. Even Wisconsin seems to have moved a little in his direction of late. He therefore doesn’t seem at all likely to lose now, and seems to have taken a fractional lead in Colorado. Romney may take Florida & possibly Virginia but it still doesn’t look likely to be enough for him. Personally my money would be on Romney taking Florida but Obama holding on in Virginia. I wonder if Obama could retain the one electoral vote he got in Nebraska last time? The last poll in that state suggested he has a chance of doing so.

  14. @couper2802

    Here is one article on the YouGov USA site…

    h
    ttp://today.yougov.com/news/2012/10/31/how-will-undecideds-break-another-take/

    I did list their half dozen most recent polls (for the Economist) a while ago, showing Obama’s lead narrowing from +5% to +1% nationally. I’m not sure if they ever found Romney to be ahead. Huffington Post does list their polls, but quite a few other US polling sites seem to have ignored them. Another article which I found interesting:

    h
    ttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-rothschild/understanding-how-polls-affect-voters_b_2009034.html

  15. Well I’ve just put £30 on Obama winning so if he doesn’t then you can blame me for Jinxing it.

  16. Barnaby iirc its highly unlikely that he will win a Nebraskan district as redistricting has meant that the 2nd district is now much more Republican. Instead of their being 2 districts where Republicans are untouchable and the one where Obama won, it’s now that all 3 are just Solid Republican.

    Obama will win because even if he loses N.Carolina, Florida, Indiana (certainly will) Virginia, and Colorado, Romney still needs Ohio, or two other swing states to win and that just seems impossible right now. As Obama has a 2% lead in all of them including Ohio.

  17. If, as the swing state polls and electoral college vote predictors suggest, Obama wins a second term it will be a quite extraordinary personal and political achievement in my view, as well as a rather damning indictment of the modern Republican party. For, in truth, Obama was a very beatable President, weighed down as he was by the burden of unattainable expectation, hobbled by disastrous mid-term Congressional elections, blighted by an appalling domestic economic inheritance and obliged to govern at a time of unprecedented global economic turbulence. Add to that to a bilious right-wing element of the Republican party and its media allies who, from day one, just wouldn’t accept his legitimacy to be in the White House, plus an element of the electorate who would never vote for a black President, and you start to see what the man has had to overcome.

    Of course, he’s made some mistakes, committed some policy blunders and been disappointingly timid and unambitious in some areas but if, as looks increasingly likely, he wins a second term, I think we need to acknowledge the existence of a quite extraordinary politician and person in Barak Obama. Maybe, just maybe, this recognition of the man’s inherent decency, courage and integrity, despite all the disappointments of his four years in office, has persuaded the US public to give him another shot at it. If they have decided so, and it’s a still a big if, I think they’ve decided very wisely.

    Good luck to the President from this Brit next Tuesday.

  18. I have been away for a couple of days,but I cannot seem to find the YG poll
    Result for last night.Would someone be very kind and tell me what the
    Headline figures are?Sorry to be pathetic.

  19. @Ann (in Wales)

    Con 33%, Lab 44%, LD 9%, UKIP 8%; APP -35

  20. Ann in Wales:

    Headlines are “labour retains lead”

  21. Was just going to add it was 10 or 11 but full figs above.

  22. Crossbat

    I don’t agree with your comment about the US media. I think the perception is that most of the networks lean to the left, only Fox is on the right.

    I think it shows Obama is a great campaigner. When he’s not in the picture ie 2010 the Dems got hammered, and this time last year the polls were showing Obama would easily be beaten by “a generic Republican” I don’t think Romney is a particularly bad candidate, he’s better than Bush, but it does show that Obama is an excellent campaigner. Also that when he does actually talk about his record it shows that in his first 2 years he was able to achieve a lot. (Auto bailout, Obamacare etc) and he benefits from the fact that Osama Bin Laden was caught while he was President (even though I don’t think any President deserves credit for what the military do,)

  23. AW Thanks – my conclusions much as yours having watched this thing and written on it for an year now….

    The Romney problem is that Democrats voters are better located…more where they’re needed and there’s has been a drift in the Electoral College in favour of the Democrats since the 1990s and now its is showing. I think this may be more like 1960 rather than like 2000 – very close but in the Electoral college Obama is likely to have the sort of JFK margin – who won I think by about 319 to 210.

    The problem for Romney is that his path to 270 requires a strong break over all the toss-up states and for that he will need a clearer lead in national polls.

    If Romney hasn’t got that lead now it is difficult to see how he will build it over the next four days.

    But the election will be interesting too in terms of pollsters and their methods. I’ll say no more –

    Goodnight mes amis

  24. Billy,Paul,thank you very much indeed.

  25. those of you who have access to fox news should watch it and you’ll see they paint a very different view of the state of the race which is very much in favour of Romney and whilst their bias is no secret, the polls they come up with and how they spin them is quite extraordinary.

    how i see it is that obama will have done just about enough to win ohio and will win a few others that some are wrongly doubting such as wisconsin, michigan, minnesota, iowa, etc.

    i have a feeling romney will pull off virginia, florida and colorado but i think there’s too much fighting to do and on too many fronts for him to turn around obama’s leads no matter how small in enough states in time for tuesday.

  26. I see I’ve got all those US sites — HuffPo, 538, The Fix, TPM, the Daily beast, Mother Jones, Cook Report, Pollyvote, et al. — on a drop-down menu on the tool-bar. I think I’m a geek or an addict.

    So, I come soliciting enlightenment at the shrine of Antony Wells.

    What surprised me was the comparatively small samples on which many of those polls are based. For example, I see Rasmussen seems to pronounce its daily tracking poll based on a bit over 500 telephone contacts. Some polls are published with a confidence of +/- 3.5% — and then confidently to declare a “lead” of an odd percentage point.

    Am I missing something?

  27. A couple of things I have noticed from reading a lot of US sites. The Republicans are totally illogiocal and a bit delusional. For example a Republican argument:

    “the Democrats lead in early voting but it is the wrong sort of Democrat that is voting – the committed Dem so that means the Dems will have fewer votes on election day and lose ”

    Obama gets very little credit – it reminds me of the Monty Python sketch what did he ever do for us just: End two wars, avoid a depression, introduce universal health care, save the auto-industry and kill Bin Laden ….but apart from that.

  28. Couper2802

    I’m an Obama supporter but don’t think you should get caught up in hyperbole, the Iraq war was scheduled to end when it did, Obama shouldn’t take the credit for that no more than Romney (if he won) could take credit for pulling out of Afghanistan in 2014 (its in the schedule already), killing Bin Laden also I don’t get why it’s considered an Obama achievement, he had to give permission sure, but I don’t really think he contributed much.

    And I agree the healthcare law is great and a big step in the right direction, however its very different from Universal Healthcare. Many on the left are angry at him for that reason.

    Saving the auto industry through the bailout will be what wins him this election. Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania are all within 5% margins, so a 2.5% swing would have meant Romney leading in all of these and becoming President. It’s likely that Obama’s bailout, and Romney’s opposition to said bailout would have caused a swing of 2.5% (probably a lot more) against Romney in those states.

    When Obama doesn’t defend his record he gets hammered (2010 elections and first debate) but when he gets the confidence to actually stand up and speak about his record he gives his opponents a drubbing.

  29. AW

    I too have been looking at the USA polling sites. I find a swift reading of 538 and RCP gives me a very good feel about what they are assimilating and discussing.

    Unlike some here, I am not so concerned about a Romney win, as it happens. He is a lot more level headed than his grass root support and is an experienced administrator. Not only that, but we must also acknowledge that with the Senate dominated by Dem, he will be stymied anyway, as Obama was by the House.

    USA politics is condemned to stalemate and that suits us here fine, is my general thought.

  30. Looks like Obama is set to be re-elected. I’m personally very glad about this.

    The interesting thing is that polls show that most British (and European) people of all political persuasions prefer Obama to Romney. I suspect that’s partly because even many of those on the centre-right of the British political system would be considered left wing in their views in America.

  31. @AMBIVALENT SUPPORTER
    `I suspect that’s partly because even many of those on the centre-right of the British political system would be considered left wing in their views in America.`

    Universal healthcare being a case in point…And to the Tories` credit,their tea party tendencies are minimal though recently they have made noises on abortion

  32. I’ll add another health warning to the ones listed by Anthony: please do not divorce the electoral vote from the popular vote.

    As an example, the CBS News channel reported on a new poll giving Romney a 52%:45% national edge a couple of weeks ago, but the anchorman then went on to say it didn’t matter because Obama was leading in the electoral college. In reality the poll was an outliner but it’s important to understand that you actually do need popular votes in order to make a decent showing in the electoral college.

    No candidate could possibly win the electoral college whilst being seven points behind in the popular vote – it’s just not in the cards. If a series of national polls came out giving Romney 7-point leads then believe me, the statewide polls would soon move in Romney’s favour too.

    As things are, it looks as though the hurricane has made a small but significant difference: for example, Romney was closing in Ohio but the latest poll puts him five points adrift there. One small word of caution, though: in both 2004 and 2008 the polls over-estimated the Democrat vote share in Ohio. It has always, with the exception of 2004, leaned more Republican than the country as a whole. (It might be different this time because of the government bail out of a car company).

    Maybe Anthony would like to put up an open “through the night” U.S. thread next Tuesday, and I will try to grace it with my occasional commentary..? One important tip: don’t assume Obama is losing just because he’s trailing in the accumulated popular vote (as the early closing precincts tend to be in the Republican South). Romney will need to be ahead by at least 55%:45% by the time of the 8pm EST (1am GMT) poll closings if he’s to pull out a victory.

  33. up until quite recently it looked as if Romney might win the popular vote, but lose in the college by a few votes (10-20) thanks to him piling up support in safe states.

    It seems to me that things have rather drifted away from him this last week nationally, Obama now leading by a little. That probably converts the race from super-tight to just slightly looser. Well, it was never going to be landslide.

    Of the 7 swing states mentioned above it looks like Romney will get 2-3 of them, probably including Florida, the biggest. But, he probably needs 5-6 of them, especially if he doesn’t get Ohio. That’s all looking increasingly difficult for Romney.

  34. Ambi

    I thik UKIP would be regarded es suspiciously left-wing in the States.

  35. Polling day itself may be well provoke controversy. A court battle in Ohio has just upheld certain aspects of voter suppression legislation, and David Axelrod has been tweeting about a Romney video (since withdrawn) which was directing poll volunteers to demand photo ID in Iowa and Wisconsin – where there is no such requirement.

  36. Romney’s team for the last week is seeking to ‘expand the map’ they say – this is not because they are losing on the current map i.e. Losing Ohio but because they want 300+ EC votes. It was Winconsin, today Iowa and tomorrow is Pensylvania.

    So I think they know they have lost Ohio – and with early voting the people on the ground will know.

    Also the momentum is now with Obama the poll movement is in his direction.

    All good for my pov – looking forward to Tuesday :-)

  37. Am surprised to hear Romney campaigning in Pennsylvania, would think that was a lost cause. If I were Romney I’d spend half the week in Ohio and the other half in Colorado. Maybe squeeze in Wisconsin or Virginia along the way if I got time. Would not be going to PA that’s for sure

  38. MiM

    Yes he is in Pennsylvania on Sunday. And they are up with lots of Ads in Pennsylvania. Why?

    Either he is coasting and a Romney landslide is on the cards.
    Or he has lost Ohio and needs to find the EC votes elsewhere.

    Looking at the movement in the polls today the probability is that Ohio has gone.

  39. @ COUPER2802

    The reason is that there is no early voting in Pennsylvania – it’s all taking place on Tuesday. So if you’re going to do a rally or put out some TV ads the time to do it is at the last minute. (By the way, there’s a huge TV ad market place in Eastern Pennsylvania in that if you put out an ad there it gets shown across several other states too, New Jersey included).

    Having said that, I don’t really see the point of Romney doing any rallies in Pennsylvania – the state is a lost cause unless there’s a sudden last-minute turn around in the polls. Obama has been consistently up there by 6%+ and that’ll probably increase now. Perhaps Romney’s strategy is not to give up on any state that can be vaguely construed as a “toss-up” for fear of damaging morale (which is the mistake McCain made when he gave up on Michigan in 2008).

    I don’t agree that Romney is targeting Pennsylvania because he thinks he’s lost Ohio. If a Republican cannot win Ohio then they won’t win Pennsylvania. The latter is systemically more pro-Democratic, and always will be.

  40. Well I appreciate all the collective positive comments here, I am taking Tony Blair’s famous comment to heart: “I’m against complacency.”

    Obama’s handling (as would be expected) of the Hurricane and continuing damage has been excellent and he’s getting credit. The thing about these mid-Atlantic political personalities (Chris Christie, Andrew Cuomo, Michael Bloomberg) is that they may be self-adoring loudmouth ego-maniacs but they’re not divas. What that means is that if you move heaven and earth for them, they will give you the credit for it and not simply expect it. They will give you the credit for it as much as they will complain and criticize.

    I think that Bloomberg endorsed Obama for that reason today. His endorsement is something of a big deal, not quite as big a deal as Colin Powell’s but still important.

    PPP’s national tracking poll showed a 1% lead for Obama tonight. Their national numbers have e’d seen shown abysmally low approval ratings for the President but tonight their poll showed a major upswing in the President’s approval rating. And an upswing among independents. They’d been showing that in their key swing state polls but this was the first they’ve shown it in their national polling.

    It amazes me and impresses me (yet somehow doesn’t surprise me) that Anthony Wells has figured out what numerous U.S. news media reporters and U.S. pollsters have not.

    Back to Blair and complacency. The jobs numbers come out tommorow morning. The President already knows them actually. That could have an effect though it never seems to. And the hurricane news will probably overshadow it anyway. Still.

    As Rachel Maddow pointed out tonight, October Surprises are actually quite rare. Hurricane Sandy is probably the biggest October Surprise since the 1956 Suez Canal invasion.

    @ Paul Croft

    There is no such thing as a shy Republican. Trust me. The 10% of African Americans, 20% of Jewish Americans, 25% of gay Americans, 30% of Latinos, and 35% of Asian Americans who vote Republican (and numbers may actually be lower this year) are probably some of the LOUDEST people on the planet. Republicans are never shy about their political affiliation.

  41. @ Man in the Middle

    “(even though I don’t think any President deserves credit for what the military do,)”

    The President is the Commander in Chief of the United States Military. He’s in charge of the military. This isn’t my opinion, it’s specified by the Constitution. And as for the Bin Laden mission, the President had to personally authorize that mission. The military could not have done that on its own and to authorize a mission deep inside another country (Pakistan) who were were not at war with was to risk his entire Presidency. He did it. He deserves the full credit he receives. I might add too that he was intimately involved in the planning of the mission. He was also the one who refocused the mission of the Department of Defense and CIA to go back and look for Bin Laden, something his predecessor had abandoned.

    @ Billy Bob

    “Polling day itself may be well provoke controversy. A court battle in Ohio has just upheld certain aspects of voter suppression legislation, and David Axelrod has been tweeting about a Romney video (since withdrawn) which was directing poll volunteers to demand photo ID in Iowa and Wisconsin – where there is no such requirement.”

    I feel that we’ll be ready for this. I think I’ve managed to recruit at least three others to do voter protection on election day.

    One benefit of all the early voting is that the GOP may find it a lot harder to try and throw wrenches into election day voting by deliberately stalling the lines and making voting take several hours.

    @ Crossbat11

    “Good luck to the President from this Brit next Tuesday.”

    I appreciate that. :)

    @ Couper2808

    I think Pennsylvania may be a ploy. Some have noted that it’s similar to George Dubya Bush’s ploy in 2000 about California. He went out and campaigned in California on the eve of the election, spent millions in last minute ads, and Karl Rove (and some other GOP pundits) confidently predicted that Bush would win the Golden State.

    Then came election day and a lot of buzz. At 11 pm eastern/8 pm pacific, the polls in California closed and news networks immediately projected Al Gore the winner in the Golden State (he won by double digits).

    McCain went to Pennsylvania in 2008 as part of a last ditch effort. It failed.

  42. @ Couper2802

    ““the Democrats lead in early voting but it is the wrong sort of Democrat that is voting – the committed Dem so that means the Dems will have fewer votes on election day and lose ””

    That’s pretty loony. Let me explain the importance of early voting here:

    1. By locking up his key support now, lines are reduced on election day, making it easier to keep wavering uncommitted voters in line to vote.

    2. Early voting really is helpful with voters who don’t have fixed schedules and might not otherwise have the time to vote. This tends to benefit Democrats. You have low wage workers and workers with infrequent hours who tend to vote Democratic (best to have their votes locked up). Busy moms may also get caught up as well.

    3. Early voting is very helpful in terms of maximizing volunteer ability.

    4. But most importantly for this election, early voting is demonstrating that there is huge interest in this election and heavy turnout is a perfectly reasonable expectation. If there is a high turnout, these Likely Voter polls showing a close race are likely wrong and might be off by a lot.

    @ John Murphy

    “The Romney problem is that Democrats voters are better located…more where they’re needed and there’s has been a drift in the Electoral College in favour of the Democrats since the 1990s and now its is showing. I think this may be more like 1960 rather than like 2000 – very close but in the Electoral college Obama is likely to have the sort of JFK margin – who won I think by about 319 to 210.”

    Don’t agree. I think this election will most resemble 1864 and 1936 (though the margin won’t be as big). There hasn’t been a drift in the electoral college and Democrats aren’t better located. The swing staes are swing states because they most resemble the national electorate. Why Obama has done better in certain states than others (like VA and NC) is that certain groups he carries nationwide have particularly large numbers in those states.

    @ Robin Hood

    “Maybe Anthony would like to put up an open “through the night” U.S. thread next Tuesday, and I will try to grace it with my occasional commentary..? One important tip: don’t assume Obama is losing just because he’s trailing in the accumulated popular vote (as the early closing precincts tend to be in the Republican South). Romney will need to be ahead by at least 55%:45% by the time of the 8pm EST (1am GMT) poll closings if he’s to pull out a victory.”

    The reason why early numbers won’t neccessarily be telling (outside of certain counties in states) is that urban areas are always last to report. VA is a good example. People think that state was close. All election night long, Obama trailed McCain there, finally taking a narrow lead with 92% of the vote counted. I think people stopped paying attention then. But Obama won Virginia by 7%. It wasn’t close. It was decisive. It’s just that most of the counties that heavily favored him were last to report.

    I will be putting in a 14 hour shift on election day. But I’ll be glad to share some comments and observations here if Anthony does a thread. Of course, the earliest I’ll be on is 1 am your time (I think….not sure with daylight savings time). And I’ll be dead tired. Also, I’m probably not going to want sit inside to blog the entire night (I’ll probably want to go out to some election night party, eat, see if I can’t hang with some friends). See this is why I need a smart phone because then I could more easily blog and tweet you guys stuff and do all those things. Anyway……I’m tired now and I have work in the morning. (Do you guys really stay up all night to watch the election results? Or are you used to it with your own being that way?)

    As for Romney in Pennsylvania, it’s all a ploy. But, I think two states to watch on election night are Georgia and Arizona. I think both may go for Obama. Missouri should also be watched though I think Romney should win there this year.

  43. Friday

    Con 33
    Lab 44
    LD 9
    UKIP 7
    Approval -34

  44. Socal:

    “Shy”

    Hence my ironice campaign audience:

    “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!”

    They don’t come over too shy at all.

  45. @ Billy Bob

    Just got a late night email on this. Although they didn’t say outright, we’re clearly upping security for election day. So clearly, the Romney KKK Revival attempts are being taken seriously.

    Oh one last thing before I forget. I think there’s a great juxtaposition today between watching former Presidents. Bill Clinton did 4 major campaign events for Obama today. His voice running hoarse at one (he’s picked up the slack while the President handles the Hurricane). Former President George W. Bush is busy in the Cayman Islands today, keynote speaking at a conference the Cayman Islands Ritz Carlton on how Americans can offshore more of their money and avoid taxation. It’s a great optic. :)

    But again, as Blair said, no complacency. :)

  46. Con 33, Lab 44, Lib 9, UKIP 7

    So far this week we’ve had 43, 44, 44, 44 for Lab and 33, 32, 33, 33 for Con
    That’s pretty consistent polling this week.

    Party image –
    Seems old and tired –
    Con – 36 (+2)
    Lab – 26 (+2)
    Lib – 12 (-2)

    Heart in the right place –
    Con – 20 (-3)
    Lab – 31 (nc)
    Lib – 16 (-1)

    Succeeded in moving on –
    Con – 16 (-1)
    Lab – 22 (-1)
    Lib – 7 (+1)

    Seems to appeal to one section of society –
    Con – 53 (+3)
    Lab – 21 (+1)
    Lib – 7 (-2)

    Not any major changes.
    Question is whether the ‘EU defeat’ (which didn’t seem to last in the news very long, given the far more important things going on in the world) has fed in to VI or not yet – I suspect due to minimal coverage it’ll have minimal impact.

  47. I see people are reliably wheeling out the tired old cliche that British politics is a mile away from America, when – beyond a couple of identity politics (religious issues, guns etc) – it’s near identical. Only had to tune into last night’s QT to watch a Tory argue the typical supply-side arguments against Obama and say he’d vote Romney, but of course the Tories would fit inside the Democrats!

  48. “the Tories would fit inside the Democrats!”
    Most Tories (86% when you exclude DKs) would vote Obama – 95% of Labour voters and 96% of LibDems.

    Although the DKs were considerably higher for Con voters (23 vs 16 vs 14) – so in theory it could be as high as 34 for Romney (vs 65 for Obama) with Conservatives.

    Of course, Romney is fairly unknown here while Obama is well known,etc, etc – so perhaps Conservatives would vote Romney if he were running here (given the Romneyshambles, I doubt it, but who knows).

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