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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

White Sox did get rained out tonight, so I’ve been able to update the charts and graphs on the site. A couple of notes:

1. This includes all polls described in the below thread, as well as the new Washington poll from SurveyUSA (Obama +4, was +7), as well as the ABC and CBS national polls that came out this afternoon.

2. I’ve also tweaked the trendline curve to make it ever so slightly more sensitive during the convention period (defined as the 21 days commencing from the start of the DNC), but it doesn’t make a heck of a lot of difference.

3. From that Washington Post poll: there was a 20-point swing toward John McCain among white women. Is this interesting and relevant? It might be interesting, but I don’t know that it’s terrifically relevant, at least as far as the electoral math goes. If McCain gained 20 points among white women in a poll where he gained 5 points among registered voters overall, that means McCain made hardly any gains with other groups (e.g. men, and nonwhite women) — in fact, he would have had to backtrack slightly with these groups to get the math to work out right. The gender gap is not very interesting to study from the standpoint of the electoral map, since sex ratios are nearly identical in each state (the West is slightly more male, but we’re talking about something that might have an impact at the tenth-of-a-point level). If the white/nonwhite gap has increased, on the other hand, that could potentially be interesting. One thing I’d like to get a sense of is how Sarah Palin plays among Hispanics.

4. Our model does not yet have enough data to conclude that Florida and Ohio have flipped positions in terms of their relative favorability to Barack Obama, although my hunch is that things may be headed that way. But here’s something interesting about Florida. In the pre-convention period, we had concluded that there were 243 electoral votes that were essentially fairly safe for Barack Obama in a close election. Those are the Kerry states, minus Michigan and New Hampshire, but plus Iowa and New Mexico. A total of 243 electoral votes leaves him 27 shy of the 270 he needs to win a majority. How many electoral votes is Florida worth? 27. The potential utility of Florida for Obama is that he could afford to lose Ohio and Michigan (as well as Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virgina etc.) and still have a winning map by bringing home his “safe” states. Of course, some states that appeared to be safe before, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, may no longer be in the post-convention environment.

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