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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Now They Are Channeling Baghdad Bob

Baghdad Rick

::: :::

If you read memos from Rick Davis, or if you consume news reports regurgitating his spin from FOX News or Matt Drudge, you might get the sense that in the last few days, John McCain has finally managed to make some headway against Barack Obama.

But that's just not true. John McCain hasn't gained any ground at all, at least not if you look at the full range of publicly available polling data. In fact, he may very well have lost a little ground over the past couple of days.

Here's a couple of different looks at tracking polls taken over the last five days. Each chart shows a weighted average of the six tracking polls that use three-day samples.

The first chart includes data from Gallup's expanded voter model, which assumes a fairly high turnout. As you can see, McCain may have made some slight headway at the beginning of the week, but by week's end the race was pretty much where it started when the week began.

Trackers Expanded

The second chart uses data from Gallup's traditional voter model, which assumes a lower turnout (and had been Matt Drudge's preferred model). The story here is only slightly different, showing that Barack Obama has gained a little ground during the course of the week.

Trackers Traditional

Finally, here's a look at Obama's net lead in the trackers for both the traditional and expanded Gallup models. As you can see, the biggest change during the week was that the gap between the two different models now makes almost no difference in the tracking poll composite average.

Trackers Obama

These charts are just a couple of different ways of looking at the state of the race. I'm sure all of you check out FiveThirtyEight.com and Pollster.com, and I also recommend Sam Wang's state polling meta-analysis at the Princeton Election Consortium.

Each site shows that Barack Obama has a commanding lead, and if we all do our jobs in the campaign's final few days, then it is an unbeatable lead.

I'm not doing the endzone victory dance just yet, but I hope everybody feels confident and secure in the knowledge that we will win this as long as we don't stop working. And not that you needed any extra motivation, but just think of how spectacular it's going to be on Wednesday morning, waking up with the knowledge that Barack Obama is now the President-elect of the United States of America.

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