Poll Update (9/23)

I have numerous observations regarding today's polls:

 Race Pollster EndDate Obama McCain Other Alabama (9) SurveyUSA 9/17/2008 34 64 2 Arkansas (6) American Research Group 9/22/2008 41 53 6 California (55) Rasmussen Reports 9/22/2008 56 39 5 Colorado (9) Public Policy Polling (D) 9/21/2008 51 44 5 Colorado (9) Quinnipiac University 9/21/2008 49 45 6 Florida (27) NBC News, Mason Dixon 9/18/2008 47 45 8 Kansas (6) Rasmussen Reports 9/18/2008 38 58 4 Kentucky (8) SurveyUSA 9/22/2008 38 57 5 Massachusetts (12) American Research Group 9/22/2008 55 39 6 Michigan (17) Quinnipiac University 9/21/2008 48 44 8 Minnesota (10) Quinnipiac University 9/21/2008 47 45 8 National (538) American Research Group 9/22/2008 48 46 6 North Carolina (15) Civitas Institute (R) 9/20/2008 45 45 10 Ohio (20) InsiderAdvantage 9/22/2008 46 46 8 Oregon (7) American Research Group 9/22/2008 52 41 7 Pennsylvania (21) American Research Group 9/22/2008 50 46 4 Vermont (3) American Research Group 9/22/2008 56 38 6 Wisconsin (10) Quinnipiac University 9/21/2008 49 42 9

First, starting off with an actual look at the polls, none of them (so far) show any support for John McCain. Arkansas is an exception but who cares in this election. After I post the poll I always go and check the map to make sure nothing terrible happened; today the map went from purple to blue. Every Kerry state is some shade of blue with Minnesota and New Hampshire being the outliers. Colorado, New Mexico and Iowa are also blue. John McCain's in trouble if his best chance of stealing a Kerry state (not New Hampshire) is Minnesota because I just don't see it happening.

Second, on the front page where the candidate boxes are I've added a scenario probability. What this does is take the current projection and the flipping point calculations for each state and does a simple statistical computation. Here's a simple example: lets say candidate A is winning two states, X and Y. X has a flipping point of 35.79 and Y has a flipping point of 67.56. Last election B's party won X, Y (so the percents just represent the probability that A will win X and Y) the math is simple; you simple multiply the two percents. The probability of A winning X and Y is .3579 * .6756 = 24.17%. Today's (current) scenario probability is 34.94% for Obama (which is enormous, more on that later) and McCain's is 13.44%. You may wonder why these numbers don't add up to 100. Its simple, our model takes all the information and calculates the most likely scenario based on polling. This literally leaves thousands of possibilities (although less likely possibilities) remaining. So given the most likely scenario Obama has a 34.94% chance of winning. If I were to include all electoral combination's the percentages would more closely represent 100%. I'm working on a full permutations calculation, but I'm running into excessive processing times.

Lastly, today brought the legitimate possibility of a 269, 269 tie. Obama appears to have a lock on all the Kerry States (except MN and NH) + Iowa + Colorado + New Mexico. We'll just assume he also wins Minnesota, although its currently a Toss Up. If this scenario plays out its a tie and it goes to the House where each state delegation has one vote, 26 votes are needed for victory in this scenario. Currently Obama leads in Virginia, but that state could go either way come November 4th. Getting back to Obama's 34.95% scenario probability today; Virginia is the state holding this number so low. If Virginia is just arbitrarily placed in McCain's column Obama's scenario probability rockets to 47.63% while McCain's actually drops to 13.43%. What does this mean? Obama currently has a baseline winning percentage of 47.63% percent assuming the House votes in his favor (which is likely).

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1 Response(s) to Poll Update (9/23)

1
vote smart
9/23/2008 9:58:45 PM CT

Looking at the numbers, I still can't believe that it shows this race close/tied. McCain is so off the chart with his advertising and nasty attitude. All I know is, I don't want him anywhere near the nuclear button!