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Thursday, September 11, 2008

As the Election Turns: Episode 2

It's hard to believe that it's been seven years since 9/11, a day that no one will ever forget. I remember getting off the train that morning with a co-worker, where everyone's cell phone was ringing about the horrible news--and I found it so unbelievable that such a thing could happen. But when we got out onto the street and saw the sidewalks filled with people, who were going back home instead of to work, we both knew it was sadly true. I went to work that day for a few hours, where we all stood around and watched television in shocked silence. It was a tragic day in American history, and our country came together as one in the days and weeks that followed as we all mourned for so many lost lives. Unfortunately, this feeling of good will between Republicans and Democrats did not last very long as the Bush Administration led us into Iraq under the false notion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and a connection to Osama bin Laden and 9/11. And now today--as another election looms precariously around the corner--our country is more divided than ever. That's why this election is so important. America needs change. America needs hope. And if we don't get it this time around . . . no, I'm not going there because this time we're going to win. We have to. The future of our country depends on all of us voting on November 4 for Barack Obama and Joe Biden because four more years of the last eight years will take America down a dark road that I do not wish to travel.

Okay, on to the latest episode of As the Election Turns.

There's no need to panic . . . yet. It's still early. We've got 55 days and four debates to go before Election Day. So my outlook is hopefully sunny at this point despite the recent national polls. McCain has received a bounce since his convention, but I believe things will settle back down in the next week or so. "Don't you know that most Americans are idiots?" my outspoken Republican aunt told me yesterday. She's not very impressed with McCain's choice for VP or the recent lovefest Republican rallies that we've seen on TV (for a disturbing eyewitness account of one of these rallies, click here), and I'm happy to report that it looks like she'll be joining my Republican mother and voting for a Democrat in November because of Caribou Barbie. So obviously not all Republican women are thrilled with the Palin phenomenon that's taken this country by storm with her face plastered across all the magazines in the check-out line--while some folks are going gaga over her Japanese designer glasses, which cost $375 for the frames alone. But when you add in McCain and his eight homes, I for one do not need any expensive eyewear to see which political ticket is the real inexperienced celebrity elitist ticket.

When we last tuned in to As the Election Turns on September 1, here's where we were:

Obama had 117 electoral votes, winning California (55), Iowa (7), Maryland (10), Minnesota (10), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), Pennsylvania (21) and Rhode Island (4).

McCain had 86 votes, winning Arizona (10), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Mississippi (6), Tennessee (11), Texas (34), Utah (5) and Wyoming (3).

The following states were a virtual tie: Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

Now let's look at the latest polls:

National Poll (Gallup/Sept. 11): McCain 48, Obama 44 (McCain +5, Obama -5 since last poll)
National (Rasmussen/Sept. 11): Obama 48, McCain 48 (Obama -1, McCain +2)
National (NBC News-Wall St. Jrnl/Sept. 10): Obama 46, McCain 45
National (ABC News-Wash Post/Sept. 9): McCain 49, Obama 47
National (CBS News/Sept. 9): McCain 46, Obama 44 (McCain +6, Obama -4)
National (CNN/Sept. 8): Obama 48, McCain 48 (Obama -1, McCain no change)

So McCain got a bounce--about a 3 point bounce on the average. And Obama has dropped about 3 points. It's interesting that CNN still has the race at a tie just like on Sept. 1, giving McCain no convention/Palin bounce at all. I'm still very optimistic that these national polls will return to the pre-convention numbers in a week or two, with Obama slightly leading. We'll wait and see. However, when it comes to winning in November, the state polls (with their important electoral votes) are the ones to seriously watch. I'm including some older polls from August for states that seem solidly in one camp or another (Illinois, Kentucky, etc.).

Alabama (AEA-Capital Survey/Sept. 11): McCain 55, Obama 35
Alaska (Rasmussen/Sept. 11): McCain 64, Obama 33
Colorado (PPP/Sept. 11): Obama 47, McCain 46 (Obama +1, McCain -1)
Connecticut (Rasmussen/Aug. 4): Obama 53, McCain 40
Florida (FOX News-Rasmussen/Sept. 9): Obama 48, McCain 48 (Obama +3, McCain +4)
Georgia (InAdv-PollPosition/Sept. 11): McCain 56, Obama 38
Illinois (Rasmussen/Aug. 18): Obama 55, McCain 40
Indiana (Howey-Gauge/Sept. 5): McCain 45, Obama 43 (McCain -4, Obama no change)
Iowa (CNN-Time/Sept. 4): Obama 55, McCain 40 (Obama +5, McCain -3)
Kentucky (SurveyUSA/Aug. 12): McCain 55, Obama 37
Louisiana (Rasmussen/Aug. 19): McCain 57, Obama 39
Maine (Rasmussen/Aug. 15): Obama 53, McCain 39
Maryland (Gonzales Res./Sept. 9): Obama 52, McCain 38 (Obama -1, McCain -5)
Massachusetts (Rasmussen/Aug. 7): Obama 54, McCain 38
Michigan (CNN-Time/Sept. 11): Obama 49, McCain 45 (Obama +6, McCain +4)
Minnesota (CNN-Time/Sept. 4): Obama 53, McCain 41 (Obama +5, McCain +3)
Missouri (CNN-Time/Sept. 11): McCain 50, Obama 45
Montana (Rasmussen/Sept. 10): McCain 53, Obama 42
New Hampshire (CNN-Time/Sept. 11): Obama 51, McCain 45 (Obama +4, McCain -1)
New Jersey (Fairleigh Dickinson/Sept. 10): Obama 47, McCain 41
New Mexico (Rasmussen/Sept. 11): McCain 49, Obama 47 (McCain +9, Obama -6)
New York (Rasmussen/Aug. 7): Obama 55, McCain 36
North Dakota (Rasmussen/Sept. 10): McCain 55, Obama 41
North Carolina (PPP/Sept. 10): McCain 48, Obama 44 (McCain +3, Obama +2)
Oklahoma (SurveyUSA/Sept. 9): McCain 65, Obama 32
Ohio (Quinnipiac/Sept. 11): Obama 49, McCain 44 (Obama +5, McCain +1)
Oregon (Rasmussen/Aug. 11): Obama 52, McCain 42
Pennsylvania (FOX News-Rasmussen/Sept. 9): Obama 47, McCain 45 (Obama +1, McCain +2)
Virginia (CNN-Time/Sept. 11): McCain 50, Obama 46 (McCain +5, Obama -1)
Washington (SurveyUSA/Sept. 9): Obama 49, McCain 45
West Virginia (MBE/Sept. 10): McCain 44, Obama 39
Wisconsin (Strategic Vision/Sept. 9): Obama 46, McCain 43

States where Obama has a big FABULOUS lead (10+ points): 10 (including Rhode Island from Round 1)

States where McCain has a big DEPRESSING lead (10+ points): 14 (including Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming from Round 1)

States where Obama has a comfortable lead (5-9): 5 (including California and Nevada)

States where McCain has a comfortable lead (5-9): 3 (including Arizona)

States where Obama and McCain are essentially tied (4 or less): 10

So in Round 2 of our battle, Obama wins 15 states: California (55 electoral votes), Connecticut (7), Illinois (21), Iowa (7), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Minnesota (10), Nevada (5), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (15), New York (31), Ohio (20), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4).

McCain wins 17 states: Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arizona (10), Georgia (15), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (9), Mississippi (6), Missouri (11), Montana (3), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), Tennessee (11), Texas (34), Utah (5), West Virginia (5) and Wyoming (3).

No one wins 10 states: Colorado (9), Florida (27), Indiana (11), Michigan (17), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), Pennsylvania (21), Virginia (13), Washington (11) and Wisconsin (10).

This week's winner is Obama with 212 electoral votes to McCain's 148 votes. Obama lost New Mexico and Pennsylvania, which are now tied in the polls, while McCain lost Indiana. Obama gained New Hampshire and Ohio, where he's now leading by 5 points or more (I know there are a lot of Ohio polls swirling around with varied results, but I'm sticking with Quinnipiac for now).

So what does all this information mean? Seems to me that despite McCain's bounce in the national polls, Obama is hanging in there just fine in the state polls. And it also looks like more undecided voters have made up their minds since the two conventions. Do yourself a favor and click here to see a table of recent registration trends in various states. It will make you smile (from January to June 209,422 people registered as Democrats in Florida compared to only 77,196 new Republicans; from April to August Pennsylvania gained 98,137 new Democrats and only 289 Republicans). And if all these newly registered Democrats come out on November 4, I think we just might be okay.

In closing, let's watch Obama's appearance on last night's David Letterman (I think he rocked the house).

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