Friday, October 31, 2008

The Early Voting (or, why McCain will win)

We talked about the early voting yesterday in Florida and Nevada; let's take a bit of a closer look a day later to see how things are shaking out.

Polling firm DNA - having reached over 12,000 Nevada residents (or, more than 10x what the mainstream media uses for a national poll) has Obama up 52-45. Not a good sign for McCain? Well, think again:

...remember this is in a voter pool that according to the state's numbers, has a Democrat advantage of 53-30 percent in the county that includes Las Vegas and an advantage of 49-34 percent in the county that includes Reno.
The remaining counties make up 12.7 percent of the voters in the state. (Pollster Steve) Nathan said that in recent days, he was seeing increased early voting from the more rural counties, and they were, as expected, heavily McCain.

So John McCain is recieving 45% of the ballot among an early-voting electorate that is only 32% Republican? Either Democrats or Indys are leaning heavily towards him, and that can only be good news...

And about that Democratic turnout advantage that the pollsters keep building into their sample?

....right now, a huge advantage in terms of which party shows up for early voting has translated to a surprisingly modest lead for Obama. Unless there is something glaringly off-base about these numbers, then McCain will carry Nevada on Tuesday...

And why is Obama and Sarah Palin running to Iowa, a state that is apparently solidly in the "pro-O" column, if you believe the polls? Because even Barack Obama doesn't believe the polls:

Survey USA's poll that puts Obama ahead by 15 percent has a sample that is 29 percent Republican, 45 percent Democrat, and 25 percent independent... But in 2004, the exit polls put the state's electorate at 36 percent Republican, 34 percent Democrat, and 30 percent independent. Is this state really going to shift from a +2 advantage for Republicans to a +16 advantage for Democrats in a four year span?

And that's where those BS poll numbers are coming from...but why can McCain think he can win, and why does Obama think he may lose? Look deeper, deeper:

The early voting supports that wild Democratic skew, because as of Wednesday, it was 48.3 percent Democrat, 28.6 percent Republican, 23.1 percent independent/other.
The state has 2,111,809 registered voters. 400,829 have voted early as of Wednesday. There are about 1.7 million registered voters left out there....

Let's do some math. Taking a realistic/negative-case scenaro - all registered party voters voted for their party's candidate, and the indy's split it down the middle, we would have 240,00 votes for Obama and 160,000 votes for McCain (again, assuming the "Nevada/Florida" effect is not taking place in Iowa). That leaves 1.7 million registered voters still out there, with at least a 50/50 Democratic/Republican split (based on the huge Democratic advantage in early voting).

Can McCain get the 80,001 voters he needs? Let's take a look back at 2004:

In 2004, Democrats went into election day with a John Kerry lead of 71,868 votes. But Kerry lost the Election Day vote by 81,920, for a Bush win of 10,052.

Yeah, that's calling it close. If McCain didn't come out against ethanol subsidies (morally correct, politically unsound), it might not even be this tight. But based on recent history, Iowa is now a toss-up, and it appears as if both Barack Obama and John McCain know it....

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