engineer - where have you been hiding?
Hey Nimh; I have a bone to pick with Pollster.com and wonder if you can explain it:
For more than a week now; they've had Texas as Dark Red, signifying "Strong" Support for McCain, while they've had Wisconsin as Light Blue, signifying "Lean" support for Obama. What gives?
50.3 Support for McCain
43.4 Support for McCain
6.9 Is the difference
48.1 Support for Obama
40.4 Support for McCain
7.7 Is the difference
Clearly, Texas is no stronger behind McCain than Wisconsin is for Obama, so what gives?
McCain Gains Not Limited to Red States
Obama advisor David Axelrod is quoted in today's Washington Post article by Dan Balz and Peter Slevin:
"I think one of the things driving the national polls is that the red states are redder," said David Axelrod, one of Obama's closest advisers. "In the battleground states, the race has held pretty firm."
An interesting claim. Let's take a look at the data based on state polls, rather than national.
Among the strong Republican states, McCain has gained more than 8 points over Obama since shortly before the conventions, turning a 14 point lead into a 22.5 point margin, a huge gain.
Among the strong Democratic states, the effect of the conventions is a tiny 2 point move in McCain's direction, from an Obama lead of 12 points before to 10 points now.
But the rest of the states, rated lean or toss up, have also shown movement. These swing states had a 1.5 point Obama lead before the conventions, and that has now turned into a 3 point McCain lead, a 4.5 point shift.
So Axelrod is right that the biggest gains for McCain have come in the reddest of states, and those may influence national polling. But the evidence doesn't back his second claim, that the battleground has held firm, unless of course you mean they are still battleground states. But now battlegrounds that on balance favor McCain rather than favor Obama as they did before the conventions.
One caution: the lean and tossup states are themselves heterogeneous, so a single trend estimate such as the 4.5 McCain lead here is itself a simplification. If you wanted to focus on the six or eight states that probably hold the key to the electoral vote, you could slice this more finely.
We currently rate eight states as pure tossup: NH, VA, OH, MI, CO, NM, NV and MT. (Note the last has few polls and the latest 9/8 shows a 53-42 McCain lead. But it does fit our statistical criteria, and Montana was listed by the Obama campaign as a target state.)
When we fit the data to just these eight tossup states, we see a 3.5 point move in McCain's direction, from a 2 point Obama lead to a 1.5 point McCain lead. Only a point less shift than among all lean and tossup states. [..]
Interesting little thing about intrade today.
Obama is trading at less than 50% but the trading on who will win each state gives Obama enough electoral votes to win.
Sarah Palin Favorability Ratings
Out of curiosity, I made this graph of Palin’s favorability ratings (data here, here, and here; this may not be exhaustive):
This is a nice lesson " e.g., for an undergraduate class " in the process of “opinionation,” where a large fraction of the public suddenly acquires an opinion.
In the last week, Palin’s favorability rating has, well, paled. This demonstrates the consequences of a highly visible campaign: it is difficult for any Republican or Democrat candidate to command sustained attention without attracting roughly equal proportions of detractors and admirers. In a September 4 Rasmussen poll, Palin’s favorability was 1 point higher than McCain’s or Obama’s. Nine days later, according to a Sept. 13 poll by Daily Kos, it is slightly lower than theirs (49% vs. 55%; however, given the margin of error, it isn’t conclusively lower).
Of course, we would expect the usual polarization along partisan lines here, with most Democratic respondents having an unfavorable opinion and most Republican respondents having a favorable opinion.
Posted by John Sides on September 15, 2008 08:01 PM
I posted this graph last night on the Obama thread - it looks like McCain's post-convention bounce is stagnating or maybe even starting to fade away again:
Why is that Cyclo? Millions don't give a flying ****.