Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Where are the candidates today, and what does it mean?

(Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)

You can tell a lot about candidates’ internal polling, which at this point surely involves knowledge of early polling results, by where their campaigns are sending them during the last days of the campaign.  

So without further ado, here are the candidates’ schedules:

McCain plans to rally in Newport News and Springfield, Virginia and later in Perkasie, Pennsylvania:

1.  Virginia has not gone for a Democrat since 1964, and McCain, confident he didn’t need to worry a red, red state, didn’t put together any kind of ground game until late.  Obama has dominated the airwaves with expensive ad buys in northern Virginia and he and Biden have not ignored the parts of the state where they have little chance to win, thus trying to suppress McCain’s voter margins there.  About one in five residents of the Old Dominion is African American.  Obama concludes his campaign on Monday night with a rally in northern Virginia.’s trend analysis currently sees the state at Obama 51, McCain 44.

2.  Pennsylvania has been reliably Democratic since 1992 in presidential politics.  It threw Santorum out of the Senate in 2006.  I heard on CNN last night the much touted internals from John McCain’s camp show that McCain is losing the state by five points.  Keep in mind that Kerry won Pennsylvania in 2004 by three points even though the polls showed him up in the state by just one point on the eve of the election.’s trend analysis sees the state as Obama 52, McCain 43.  Neither Obama nor Biden is currently scheduled to go back to Pennsylvania.

Obama will hold events in Henderson, Nevada; Pueblo, Colorado; and Springfield, Missouri.

1.  Early vote totals from Nevada’s two most populous counties have shown Democrats are going to the polls in droves.  Early voting ended yesterday, and when it ended the state had produced about 60% of its total votes from 2004.  Exit polling yesterday of Nevada’s early voters suggest Obama enjoys a lead of 52.5 to McCain’s 44.5.  Plouffe said yesterday that the voters whom they have gotten to the polls in Nevada have been first timers and sporadic voters; the percentage he cited for this demographic was 43%.  Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas, is in Clark County, the most Democratic part of the state.  CNN moved this state into Obama’s column this week and commented that in making this change, they had interviewed Republicans who believed the state to be out of reach.  Nevada provides something of a firewall for Obama, because he could lose Pennsylvania, and if he won the Kerry states, Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, and Nevada, he has 270 electoral votes.’s trend analysis currently sees the state at Obama 50.3, McCain 44.4.   If those numbers held, it would mean that Tuesday voting in the state will drive down Obama’s lead in early voting, but that early voting provided Obama a comfortable edge.

2.  Obama is headed to Colorado today.  The place where he is going, Pueblo, is a Democratic bastion with a university.  Marist Poll on Thursday said that there had been a slight tightening in the state, but saw the race as 52-43 with an Obama edge in early voting of 51-45.

3.’s trend analysis shows Obama with a marginal advantage in Missouri, 48.6 to 46.7.  The Real Clear Politics average has the state it at McCain, +0.4.  CNN’s poll of polls sees Missouri at 47-47.  This is a true tossup.  Obama is stopping today in Springfield, Missouri, a sign of Obama’s fundamental strength in the electoral map.  Why?  The New York Times yesterday observed, “Mr. Obama is not only returning to Missouri, he is headed to one of the state’s most conservative bastions. Of all the cities that he will pass through in the closing stages of the race, Springfield, Mo., is one of the most reliably Republican.”

The vice presidential candidates are on the road, too.  Palin will tour Florida for the greater part of the day and stops in North Carolina and Virginia while Biden heads to Indiana and Ohio.  

So that happening in Florida?  A Miami Herald story has the following tidbits:

1.  Plouffe observes that in 2004, Republicans won the early vote and absentee vote, but Democrats have turned out 200,000 more voters this year than Republicans did this year.  Plouffe acknowledges Florida is going to be a battle over the last days of the campaign.  To date, 44% of the total voters who went to the polls in 2004 have gone to the polls in early voting in 2008:  In 2004, Republicans dominated early voting 43.5 to 40.7.  This year, Democrats thus far have dominated early voting 45.6 to 38.2.  

2.  Al Gore and Hillary Clinton are campaigning this weekend for Obama-Biden in the Sunshine State.

3.  A new poll with a sample of more than 8,000 Floridian Latinos suggest that McCain is not doing as well against Obama among Hispanic voters as Bush did in 2004.

4.  McCain returns to Florida on Sunday.  Obama is in Jacksonville on Monday.

Both vice presidential candidates are stopping in Indiana today, so what is that about?

1.  Indiana historically is among the most Republican states in the Union.  Utah probably has the edge because of a greater Republican dominance in local elections, but Democrats win in Indiana only by playing the role of blue dogs.  Indiana has not gone for a Democrat since LBJ’s landslide in 1964.

2.  The Indianapolis Star reports that 10 percent of registered voters have cast ballots in Indiana, and early voting continues today.  Like elsewhere in the country, people are waiting in line for hours to exercise their franchise.  Marion County election official expect that 100,000 voters will have voted in Marion County by the end of early voting on Monday.  Marion County is the location of Indianapolis, which Obama must carry disproportionately to have a chance at Indiana’s electoral votes.

3.’s trend analysis gives the edge to McCain by less than one point, 47.2 to 46.6.

What about North Carolina?

1.’s trend analysis shows Obama with the edge in North Carolina, a state that has not gone for a Democrat in presidential politics since Jimmy Carter won it in 1976.  The numbers at are Obama, 48.5 to McCain, 46.7.  Real Clear Politics sees a 2.5% Obama advantage.  CNN’s poll of polls shows Obama by four.  

2.  Early voting in North Carolina has brought 66.2% of North Carolina’s total votes to the polls in early voting.  In early voting in 2004, 48.6% of voters were Democrats, and 37.4% of them were Republicans.  In early voting in 2008, 51.8% of early voters have been Democrats, and 30% have been Republicans.  Black voters represent 26.3% of early voters.  I remember hearing on CNN last week that the Obama campaign anticipated it needed black voters to represent 23 to 24 percent of total voters in North Carolina to carry the state.

3.  AP reports that North Carolina has extended early voting by four hours today and that polls suggest Obama enjoys a 59-33 advantage in those early votes.

What about Ohio?

1.’s trend analysis sees a 49.6 to 43.3 advantage for Obama-Biden (Obama +6.3).  CNN’s poll of polls sees a five point for Obama.  Real Clear Politics calls it for Obama at +5.4.

2.  McCain ended a two-day bus tour yesterday in Ohio.  

3.  Democrats are working Ohio very hard this weekend.  Biden was there yesterday with a campaign stop in a Dayton suburb.  He is in Marion, Ohio at 2:00 this afternoon with a bus tour that ends in Bowling Green, Ohio later today.

4.  Obama has a campaign appearance in Columbus on Sunday.  Hillary is working the Appalachian portion of the state with a visit to Ironton in Lawrence County; she also is appearing in Lake County.  NPR observed about Lake County: “The pressure is on for Lake County, Ohio. The region, which consists of Cleveland as well as a large rural area, has been a bellwether in past presidential elections.”

In summary, though the Wing Nuts are ecstatic about a one day, 400-person sample in a Zogby poll that shows McCain up one point, 48-47, McCain and Palin today are campaigning exclusively in states where all the data suggest they are behind, while Obama and Biden are campaigning in places where the data show that they are ahead or even.  McCain and Palin are trying to make inroads in traditionally red states.  Unfortunately for them, so are Obama and Biden.

What else is there to say about the real numbers in this campaign?


  1. The pattern is all Obama-favorable all day long.  McCain defends while Obama is on offense.

    It’s really too bad Tim Russert can’t be here to say “Florida Florida Florida” again…

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