November 5, 2012

Monday Morning Line

Sam Smith - While Obama only leads by one point in the popular vote, he continues to lead in the Progressive Review electoral count by a score of 237 to 180, 33 less than he needs to win.

This projection, however, is based on a 4% margin of error. If you reduce that to 3%, then Obama's lead is just 7 votes short, 263 to 197. And if you simply average all the polls without allowing for a margin of error, Obama wins by 295 to 235.

As noted here before, the data is subject to a number of key factors, the principal ones being:
  • How big a turnout will the Democrats manage to get? 
  • How many votes will the Republicans steal or suppress? At the end of this article there are  links to some of these issues.
One fascinating aspect of this is raising its head in Florida even now. For example, the Miami absentee ballot lines went into turmoil over the weekend:
Raw Story - Extended voting hours at the Miami-Dade County Elections Office in Florida led to angry voters when the office temporarily shut down an hour into the four-hour voting window for absentee ballots. According to The Miami Herald, elections officials closed the office, citing a lack of staffers and printing materials, leaving about 180 voters in line by 2 p.m. local time, prompting a chant of “let us vote!” before officials brought in more personnel and another ballot printer and resumed operations, allowing voters in line by 5 p.m. to receive their absentee ballots. Some voters also told the newspaper their cars were towed from a private parking lot across the street from the office; one woman yelled, “This is intimidation!” as a car was taken away....The county opened its office Sunday following a judge’s emergency ruling early Sunday morning. State Democrats filed a lawsuit late Saturday night asking for the extended hours after receiving complaints of abnormally long lines from voters during the day...

Does this reflect the Obama campaign's efforts? Reports Huffington Post: "Obama's team is working hard to get Puerto Ricans to the polls. Along with the Spanish-language ads on TV and radio, the campaign is organizing raucous caravans with decorated car windows and loud speakers on trucks, a tradition in Puerto Rico elections."

Could the Puerto Rican election mystery be changing? Some time ago, Slate reported, "Throughout the late 20th century, turnout for Puerto Rico’s quadrennial elections was 50 percent higher than it was for presidential contests in the 50 states. Even in 2008, when participation increased in the states and dropped in Puerto Rico, the island still turned out at a rate 10 points ahead of the mainland. But as soon as Puerto Ricans come to the mainland, they seem to abandon their enthusiasm for voting. There is no reliable method to precisely measure turnout by country of origin, but results from precincts in Orlando’s Puerto Rican neighborhoods—and interviews with pollsters, academics, and political operatives and officials—suggests that in 2008 Puerto Ricans living on the mainland voted at or below the 57 percent rate for eligible voting-age Hispanics countywide.

What drives Puerto Ricans to vote at such a greater clip than their fellow citizens on the mainland has been a subject of study for election scholars and civic activists for decades. And now that Puerto Ricans are emerging as a crucial bloc in Florida, campaigns are starting to ask a corollary question: Why do Puerto Ricans stop being such prolific voters when they move to the mainland? And what would it take to reactivate them?

Obama blue, GOP red
Note: We have added SC to the GOP column based on 2008. There have been no polls for a long time.
Governors: Democrats stand to win one state with 3 possible gains. GOP stands to pick up one with 4 other possible gains.

Senate: Only four seats need change for GOP to win Senate.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see whether Dem candidates for other offices (e.g., Liz Warren) will fare better than Obama. There'll certainly be one vote fewer for Obama than for Warren in Mass: mine.