Friday, October 31, 2008


You're ALL Joe the Plumber!

So ALL of you, stand up!

It's Friday morning, and good news just about across the board, polling-wise. Today is the last day of October, and Halloween, and a Friday - in other words, probably the WORST POSSIBLE SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES for an "October Surprise."

Not to mention the fact that a whole slew of people have already voted in the key swing states of Colorado, New Mexico, Florida and North Carolina, among others. If you've got something truly nasty to throw at your opponent, it seems foolish to do so at the last minute in this day of early voting.

Four days from now will be pretty great, I'm thinking, but there's still lots of work to do. The Democrats will have have achieved political power across the map, but the canard remains true - with great power does come great responsibility. Ethics and values must continue to drive our politics. A healthy respect for the (happily disgraced) opposition and the (sadly disgraced) Fourth Estate must pervade. What Obama has talked about - how no party holds a monopoly on good ideas - it's true.

And the Constitution must be restored to its place of honor in our nation. In particular, the Bill of Rights must be honored. Liberals and Democrats can not ignore the principles of the First Amendment when it suits them, in our quest for vengeance. The Second Amendment, too, is not to be run roughshod over (although I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me whether "arms" includes nuclear arms and, if not, why not). And then there's the torture stuff.

It may seem like I'm putting the cart before the horse, but really, those rules should apply even if the unthinkable happens and McCain pulls this out. Which he won't.

Because even Joe the Plumber stood him up yesterday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


How accurate are polls? In 2004, VERY

Obama (for whom I voted a few days ago - WOO!) is, as of today, in the lead in every national poll - although by remarkably divergent amounts.

He also is far enough in the lead in various state polls that Real Clear Politics considers him "safe" in states that would give him 259 electoral votes - and "leaning" in another 3 states equaling 27 electoral votes. So before you even look at the "toss-up" states (an additional 6 states with 89 electoral votes), he's up by enough to win the election. And he's leading in 5 of those 6 toss-up states!

So when I saw this excellent video today from Ohio, I got a bit concerned. Was it really true, what they said in their admonition for us not to get complacent (and to give money), that Kerry was up in the polls in 2004?

Well, not really. I mean, yes, he did lead at some point. But as Oliver Willis points out, once the GOP convention happened, Bush never *really* looked back. Yes, the race *did* tighten once October rolled around, and Kerry was ahead in a few polls (and it was a two-point game at the end), the Democrat was always playing catch up.

Check it out:

Now look at this month's polls:

But here's the main point of this post - as 2000 reminds us, the national popular vote means ZERO when deciding who's gonna be the head banana. It's the states that count.

And looking at RCP's state tallies from 2004, some remarkable data comes to light.

In 2004, RCP identified 17 states as "battleground" states. (I'm leaving out Hawaii, which was never really in doubt.) With the exception of Wisconsin, the winner in each state matched the projected winner according to the polls! And Wisconsin, of course, ended up breaking for the Democrat.

Not only that, but state by state, the election results tracked very closely to the polls. In Ohio, they got the margin of 2.1% exactly right. In 9 other states, they got it right to within 1%. And in two others, they were within 2%. The states pollsters were "right" in included OH, PA, WI, IA, MN, MI, NH, ME, and NJ - aka "Northern" states - plus OR, NM and CO (good ol' Western states).

Now, what states did the pollsters get wrong (i.e. 3% or worse difference)? Florida, Missouri, West Virginia, and Arkansas - all of which broke hard for Bush - plus Nevada (a Western state), which went from a 6.3% Bush poll victory to a 2.6% Bush electoral victory. And still *none* of the states broke more than 5% from the polls.

What this suggests to me is that Bush's vaunted "ground game" in 2004 was really only effective in the South - aka his base.

Assuming polls stay more or less stable, and are anywhere close to as accurate as they were in 2004, Obama wins this election comfortably. Even if there's a significant shift of 5% nationally towards McCain in the final two weeks, Obama'll win this. And what if there's a significant shift of 5% nationally - in every state - AND an additional 3% movement in EVERY "battleground" state toward McCain (thanks to a church-based stealth ground game, a la 2004)? This would give McCain FL, OH, MO, NV, CO, IN, and NC. Well, then it would be Obama 264, McCain 261, and a virtual tie in Virginia. And I gotta say, given Warner at the top of the ticket, Webb helping out in his way, and improving demographics for the Dems over the past decade, I like those chances! Oh, plus Nancy Pfotenhauer's "real Virginia" gaffe:

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Friday, October 17, 2008


the big three

Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado

You know what, I'm thrilled that John McCain is spending his time and money in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. That West Virginia, North Dakota, and Georgia are making unexpected appearances on the scene. That the U.S. Supreme Court just overturned the attempt to undermine Ohio's vote, and that the excitement levels in Indiana are as high as they are.

But to me, this election comes down to three states: Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Because if Barack Obama can win the Kerry States (HI, CA, WA, OR, MN, WI, IL, MI, PA, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH and ME) - plus those three, then the election is in the bag. Obama can with this election without Florida OR Ohio OR Virginia OR Nevada.

The 21 electoral votes in those three states would put him over the top. (Note: If somehow McCain is able to sneak New Hampshire into his column, then it would be a 269-269 tie and boy oh boy would some craziness go down!) And I've got some good news:

In Iowa, Obama is *rocking* - with leads between 8%-13%, not going below 50% while McCain is just hovering over 40%. This state is considered 100% safe based on's model based on current polling.

In New Mexico, McCain has yet to poll above 45%, while Obama is consistently above 50%. 538 gives him the state 91% of the time, based on their model.

And in Colorado, pretty much the same story, with a couple more positive results for McCain but never EVER one showing McCain at 50% (and 10 polls since the convention showing Obama at 50% or above). 538 has Colorado at 90% for Obama.

So using my rusty math skills, based on current polls, Obama has an 81.9% chance of winning this election (1.00 x .90 x .91) - even if he loses Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, North Carolina and Missouri - if he wins the Kerry states. And assuming he wins the Kerry states and Iowa, then he just needs *either* CO/NM or MO or OH or VA or FL or NC (or GA or NV+NM or IN). And he's polling even or ahead in each of those states.

We still have 2+ weeks to go. And who knows what the heck is going to happen in that time. But even as national tracking polls tighten - or not - the big three are looking very, very good. As much as I'd like a landslide, how great would it be for the Centennial state to be the one that puts Obama into the White House, and then the convention would be pointed to for years to come as a brilliant move!

Friday, October 10, 2008


little known fact

Alan Keyes is running for president.

And the father of a Columbine victim is his VP nominee.

Is Keyes going for a record of most number of times losing to Barack Obama? Best of luck to him!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


four more weeks

Oh man, this is going to be the longest 27 days in the long, long history of the world.

Here's some TV news bloopers to keep us distracted:

HAW HAW HAW! LOLZERZZ at the last one!!!!

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Palin '12

You know, I *just* realized yesterday that Palin is going to almost certainly be running for president in four years. Frank Rich's column today put that thought into my head for the first time.

Walter Mondale lost the VP in 1980, and four years later ran for prez. Dan Quayle lost the VP in 1992 and four years later ran for prez. Joe Lieberman: 2000 lost the race, ran for prez in 2004. John Edwards.

Now, it's true that only one of them got as far as securing the nomination, and that guy didn't do so hot. But none of them had anywhere near the q-rating that Sarah Palin has.

Is it possible that she'll get the nomination? She'll be spending the next two years being mavericky in Alaska, raising money by the fistful, and then begin her campaign at what will likely be the nadir of Obama's presidency. "We tried the smart black guy, let's go with the (still presumably) cute, if not brilliant white lady!" Plus, she's just about the only one on the Republican bench. Who else do they have - Mitt Romney?? Hee. (I guess there's Bobby Jindal, too.)

Wow, it's kind of amazing to contemplate, but almost assuredly will happen - Obama v. Palin in 2012.

Oh and look - lots of other people thought about this well before I did:

Chris Cizilla
The New York Observer
Tote bag (above)

This woman is far too ambitious to settle for VP (just like Obama is). (Note: 2016 is another possibility, in which case I guess it would be Huckabee or Jindal in '12.)

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deep thought

You don't see a lot of "Barack Obama should........" diaries on Daily Kos these days.

Even though he never actually *did* do what all the diarists said he *should* do.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008



Why do I get the sense that the GOP is more than happy to let Obama win this election, just so he will inherit the increasingly unbelievable mess that is our economy, international standing, environment, infrastructure, and moral well-being? As American empire disintegrates, how nice to blame the fall on the Democrats (particularly one who is America-hating and black and all).

They're just not putting up that much of a real *fight*, from Sean Quinn's account at They're not raising that much money, their ads aren't particularly creative, their Senate candidates are sad (see Schaffer, Bob; Gilmore, Jim). Meanwhile, there's the Rude Pundit's overview of the racist defacing of Obama signs (not to mention the middle school teacher in Florida with his unique take on "CHANGE" as an acronym).

And then, of course, there's Sarah Palin. I guess the word that best describes her to me is indefatigable. Shameless. And it's kind of impossible to tell if she's in on the joke (not that it matters either way -- as Chris Rock would say, she don't give a fuck, in her case what you think about her).

I mean, the Republicans, god love 'em. It's not just that they foisted Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush on us. This is also the party of Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle. And Mitt Romney!!!

Wait, so anyway, I lost focus. Where was I? Oh yeah - they're throwing this damn election because they know the worst is yet to come. I have a bad feeling that President Obama's approval ratings are going to be in the toilet in two years. But I hope his supporters don't give up on what is sure to be a rocky first terms. I have faith that the guy will be able to get things back on the right track by early 2012, and will end his second term with the country in even better shape than it was in 2000. Then, of course, we'll see if America is smart enough to let another Democrat take the reigns, rather than Senator Palin, or Gov. (Jenna) Bush, or (hee hee) Mitt Romney) or whomever...

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