TN is in trouble for McCain, will be here Monday. I know this sounds like a joke, even stupid, but hang with me. I sh%t you not, he’s coming to Blountville, TN on Monday. Blountville, TN is east of Knoxville in the HEART of GOP land. Now why the hell is he in TN??? Because of this... 1.5 million early voters!!! As of right now 39% of the electorate has cast a ballot.
Tonight in Nashville I got one of those Rev. Wright commercials made by a PAC. (seems like this is a national ad and I don't see how this helps him if all the other negative ads took his numbers down) Anyway back to the stop.... After my week of number crunching, it’s not too hard to believe.
Now TN list county by county break down of all registerd voters, active voters and a break down of early voters by county. State officials believe Dems have the edge in early voting here in TN, and the 2 Democratic strongholds are turning out in crazy numbers, they are also projected to have 73-80% Turnout. I’m talking about Shelby and Davidson counties. Now I am not getting crazy here. My most likely scenario of number crunching has McCain winning by 5-6% so long as his vote comes out. The worst case scenario for Obama has him losing by 14 points, but that model is already garbage because of the turnout and latest county polling that came out last week. The 14 point loss is strictly by 2004 Kerry numbers applied to LV turnout county by county this cycle. My best case scenario for Obama still puts McCain ahead by only 3 points.... But one of my models which I call "A Magical Day," has Obama winning 50% to 49% by 5,000 votes. Now that model has to be a crazy magical Democratic day and it’s chance of happening is very very very slim.
What McCain’s visit tells me is that my numbers are close. If he is to win the state by 5 or 6 points he has to get his vote out. HAS TO! And that means he has to ralley the red part of the state, East, TN... exactly where he will be on Monday. The good news for Obama is that Shelby and Davidson counties are over performing. He is REALLY over performing in Williamson County where Kerry only carried 27% of the vote. Obama is currently polling in the low 40’s. Williamson County is as red as they come and one of the richest counties in the United States. Bad news for Obama is that the amount of red counties far outweighs the Blue states. Harold Ford Jr. Like him or not, introduced rural TN to a national black candidate and lost only by 55k votes. Ford ran largely on his faith and it connected with the rural parts of TN. He CRUSHED Kerry in the counties carried. I was amazed he was able to flip so many. Now Obama hasn’t been here, spent here (except for National Ads which I think connected), but those inroads Ford made because of his faith, may hold because of the economy.
Like I said, TN is a very long shot for Obama, but McCain making a stop in the heart of GOP land to rally them to the polls is a bad sign for him, and if he feels the need to stop here this late in the game that means his camp has a reason to worry and it means my numbers may not be too far off. Obama’s ground game in East TN is being urged to go to NC and the Volunteers in Middle TN are making daily Trips to Indiana and those out in West TN are making trips to Missouri. Despite all those leaving the state daily, there is still a huge ground game here in Middle, TN and in the rest of the state I am sure. It’s encourage and even though I believe this state will turn Red, I will be part of the GOTV effort on Nov. 4th in my quest to turn this state blue. McCain’s stop only helps fuel the desire since I know we might, just might, be closer than most pollsters think.
UPDATE: Through my analysis a lot of the counties in East TN are the ones that have had a low early vote turnout. All democratic counties are way ahead in early voting. Some red counties are also up, but those like Knox and Hamilton have colleges and Ford connected and got his youth vote out in those counties. While they went red, he did very well for a Democrat. A lot of the democratic counties are going to see 70+ percent turnout which is crazy, and that is the conservative estimations.
UPDATE 2: If anyone wants some county specifics in what I have found just ask in comments. It is too huge and complicated to publish the excel model projections but I can give you some tidbits.