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Sunday, November 02, 2008

11/2 Daily Kos R2K Tracking Poll: Obama 51, McCain 44

Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 04:58:56 AM PDT

[internals and trendlines under repair]

Today's Daily Kos Research 2000 tracking poll has Obama leading McCain 51-44. All trackers are data from three days to five days prior to posting, with the R2K numbers from today (yesterday's numbers in parentheses) and the other trackers from yesterday (previous day's data). Data is updated as new information becomes available. Daily posting is approximately 7:30 am EST (I hope you set your clocks back.) LV=likely voter, RV=registered voter. The last R2K poll of the election will be polled Monday and published Tuesday!

Nate Silver ( wrote up a tracking poll primer covering the eight available trackers. It includes sample size, time of publication and quirks, as well as Nate's opinion of the trackers. Recommended.

Obama McCain MoE +/- RV/LV
Research 2000: 51 (51) 44 (44) 3 LV
Reuters/Zogby: 50 (49) 44 (44) 2.9 LV
Rasmussen: 51 (51) 46 (46) 2 LV D 39.9, R 33.4
Diageo/Hotline: 50 (51) 45 (44) 3.4 LV D 42 R 36

CNN: 53 (51) 46 (46) 3 LV

Gallup: 52 (52) 41 (41) 2 RV LV II is 52 (52) - 42 (43).
IBD/TIPP: 48 (48) 44 (44) 3.3 LV alternate link
ABC/WaPo: 53 (53) 44 (44) 3 LV

CBS: 54 (52) 41 (41) 3 LV

On successive individual days in the R2K poll (different than the topline, which is a combined three day sample), Obama was up +8 Thurs, +9 Fri and +4 Sat with a +5 Wed sample rolling off (rounding can take place.) The Obama video (33.6 million viewers) is reflected today. The +4 (50-46) is the tightest single day sample we've seen in the poll (but one-day samples are very variable.) There has been no major event to change the numbers.

Here's the high sensitivity tracker, showing a stable race. Looks like this cake was baked on 9/15 (Meltdown Monday):

Gallup, Hotline and CBS, reflecting different estimates of the Dem-Rep universe, have different data on early voting, though Obama leads in all three polls. From CBS:

About one in five voters say they have already cast their vote, either in person or through the mail, and these early voters prefer the Democratic ticket by an even greater margin. Obama leads among early voters 57 percent to 38 percent, a nineteen point advantage.

From Hotline:

The number of respondents who have already voted in WH '08 has doubled over the last week. Nearly a quarter, 24%, have now early/absentee voted, compared to 12% a week ago. Among these voters, Obama today leads 52-47%.

From Gallup:

These early voters are more likely to say they have voted for Barack Obama than for John McCain, by a 55% to 40% margin. Among those who plan to vote on Election Day, the spread is much closer -- only a 48% to 45% Obama advantage.

The Presidential race, of course, comes down to the 50+ separate EV contests. Nate Silver on the important states:

This is beginning to look like a five-state election. Those states are Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada. Essentially all relevant electoral scenarios involve some combination of these five states...

The victory conditions for Obama involving these five states proceed something as follows:

  1. Win Pennsylvania and ANY ONE of Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, or Nevada*
  1. Win Ohio and EITHER Colorado OR Virginia.
  1. Win Colorado AND Virginia AND Nevada.

(* Nevada produces a 269-269 tie, which would probably be resolved for Obama in the House of Represenatives.)

Now, suppose you think that Colorado is already in the bag for Obama because of his large edge in early voting there. We can then simplify the victory conditions as follows:

  1. Win Pennsylvania
  1. Win Ohio
  1. Win Virginia AND Nevada

Nate on Pennsylvania:

What Pennsylvania isn't going to do -- at least I don't think -- is move 5 or 6 or 7 points to the McCain side while everything else stays put.

And then there's Florida.

Charles Franklin puts the important states into graphic form (click for bigger picture):

This chart shows where McCain must gain, and where Obama must hold in order to get to 270.

States appear in order of Obama minus McCain margin. Width is proportional to Electoral Vote. It takes 269 to tie, 270 to win. The yellow states are very close and jumping around a bit with each new poll.

Go left, young man.

Added: nice graph from ciphergoth (link, with explanation), similar to Prof. Franklin's.

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