Tuesday, October 07, 2008

More Numbers and Debate Prep

Today, Nate Silver sez: As the political world's focus shifts to the second presidential debate in Nashville, Barack Obama continues to expand his lead upon John McCain in all of our projection metrics, and now rates as almost a 9:1 favorte to win the election in November.

Both state and national polls are contributing to this result... Obama also gets a monster number from SurveyUSA in Pennsylvania, which has him leading by 15 points, up from a 6-point lead two weeks ago. SurveyUSA polls can be a bit volatile, but with that said, we now have multiple polls (Quinnipiac, Morning Call, West Chester/NPR) suggesting that Obama has a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania. We also show Pennsylvania moving back ahead of Michigan, projecting an 8.7-point win for Obama there as opposed to 8.4 points in the Wolverine State. ..McCain needs a game changer. Or two. Or three. Tonight's debate, which features McCain's preferred town hall format, might be his best remaining opportunity.

Yesterday, Nate Silver sez: Are John McCain's negative attacks succeeding in eating into some of Barack Obama's support? They certainly aren't yet. In fact, Barack Obama has had perhaps his strongest individual polling day of the year...

The tracking poll numbers are pretty stable today, but it's the voter registration numbers beginning to come in that are potentially significant. Democrats are registering millions of new and switched voters. In PA, Republicans actually have lost significant numbers.

In Florida, this means that the Dems have about a quarter of a million net more voters this election than in 04. Ohio has registered a half million new voters, but there's no party affliliation breakdown, and it's the one state where early voting (which they did for the first time) doesn't appear to be meeting expectations. Of all the battleground states, Ohio appears the most troublesome. But Obama doesn't have to win Ohio if he wins Florida.

The buzz today, besides being about the economy, is about the campaigns going negative, and in the case of the McCain and Palin crowds yesterday, turning ugly and racist. In terms of the debate, Tom Brokaw apparently was not party to the agreement so he may be asking followup questions. He's been criticized recently for being biased towards McCain.

A quick fact check of McCain's most recent speech by the NY Times shows that it's full of inaccuracies and lies. Joe Klein notes that its "hyperbolic tone" isn't going to help settle down the stock market, and the fear that apparently is motivating a lot of the global nosedive. Will McCain say this stuff to Obama's face tonight? It's going to be fascinating. If McCain believes that going negative is his only chance, he'll be defeating himself as well as possibly tarnishing Obama. But if he maintains a positive tone, what does he actually have to propose, or say?

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