Friday, October 29, 2004

E-minus 4 days and counting....

Good news and bad news....

Poll Composite: Bush 48.6%, Kerry 46.0% (Bush +2.6 – up 0.2%)

Looks like the collapse of NYTrogate has finally rippled through the polling tract. The question now is whether Bush will rebound to where he was three days ago (and even beyond) or whether the race will stabilize again at this narrower (and far more vulnerable to vote fraud) margin. In which case, for the Times it'll be "mission accomplished."

And yet Team Bush seems bafflingly confident:

"Among early and absentee votes cast already, Bush has huge lead in Florida, bigger than his advantage in Florida in 2000.

"There’s a great contrast in the respective get-out-the-vote operations for Bush and Kerry. Around 25% of registered voters report being contacted by a Bush-Cheney volunteer, most often members of their church or community organization or neighbor. About 19% of registered voters have been contacted on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards campaign, but the vast majority of these contacts are by paid temps of the campaign, the DNC, or a related 527. Will the personal touch have an effect?

"In Hawaii, the Bush campaign has quietly had its eye on this state for a while, and been building a surprisingly strong statewide organization with more than 2,000 volunteers. Kerry put up ad about how bad the economy was, while Hawaii has one of the lowest unemployment rates in country.

"In New Mexico, Bush is only few thousand behind in early/absentee ballots in Bernalillo county, a heavy Democrat county.

"In Florida, the campaign expects Bush to end up with an estimated 100,000 vote advantage among early and absentee voters.

"In Nevada, there is little expectation that this state will be all that competitive. Bush is competitive in Clark County (which includes Las Vegas). Right now Kerry leads 44%-41%. Kerry needed over 50% out of Clark county to win NV. But Bush within a few thousands votes of heavy Dem county.

"Finally, a big point of enthusiasm for the GOP is their deep bench of Bush surrogates who can garner big crowds and lots of media attention. The President is in New Hampshire and Ohio today, vith Ah-nuld. Cheney is going to Hawaii. Tommy Franks is in Florida, as is John McCain and former President Bush. Rudy Giuliani is in Iowa, Mitt Romney is in Michigan, and former President Bush will also be in Pennsylvania later."

To harken back to my verbiage of yesterday, the bleeding has indeed stopped. Now I want to see that "bit of a bump." Perhaps this new bin Laden video, which makes al Qaeda sound like the latest Democrat 527 group, will be of help.

Electoral College: Bush 224, Kerry 174 (tossups 140)

-Nevada moves from tossup to "leaning Bush"
-New Hampshire moves from tossup to "leaning Kerry"
-Oregon moves from tossup to "leaning Kerry"


Popular Vote: Bush 50.5%, Kerry 47.9% (Bush +2.6 - no change)

Electoral College: Bush 281, Kerry 257

-Bush flips Colorado, Kerry flips Minnesota

Both are the result of Zogby's gyrations. Just as he finally moves toward a sane result in Colorado, he has Minnesota erupt seven points in Kerry's direction in the space of 24 hours. Take the latter for what it's worth (which isn't much).

Why, then, do I include Zogby in my state poll averages? How about so I'll look more "objective" when the Gopher state is called for the President?


-Colorado: Bush +1.0
-Florida: Bush +1.3
-Hawaii: Bush +0.9 (Cheney drew the long straw...)
-Iowa: Bush +2.0
-Michigan: Kerry +2.0
-Minnesota: Kerry +0.3
-New Jersey: TIED (advantage Kerry)

-Ohio: Kerry +1.8 (Half a point movement toward the President - thanks to Zogby!)

-Pennsylvania: Kerry +2.9 (Governor Rendell re-enfranchises overseas military voters - but only after the revelation of his GOTV effort in the state prison system.)

-Wisconsin: TIED (Once again due to a big one-day Kerryward Zogby lunge; I still say Advantage Bush.)

Today's bottom line: Same as yesterday, except a Zogby outlier misrepresents Minnesota's leanings rather than Colorado's. Bush sits on 291 Electoral Votes, and the cold logic of the EC numbers points Kerry's rampaging army of Armani-suited Ghengis Khans towards Florida once again.

If Bush can only flip Ohio, this election, as a practical matter, might actually be over on Election Night.

What a concept, huh?