Poll numbers, pundits and predictions are relatively unimportant. All that really matters this November, like it or not, is the electoral college. In 2008 Indiana went for Obama. As one of the reddest red states the odds are against that happening in 2012.
I haven't given up. I will vote, I will do all I can to make sure that other people vote too. But Indiana is not a player in the game. No one expects it to swing.
Thanks to our electoral college the states that do are the focus of every election. Both campaigns work to capture the vote of their undecided voters. If you live in Florida or Ohio they have bombarded you with ads, phone calls, letters and probably visitors to your door. And the only real polls that matter are the ones that focus on the voters in those states.
Most of us here have a lot of respect for Nate Silver, and consider his data a reliable compass. So wander over to his page today.
In his main post he mentions the gains Romney has acquired, discusses their possible impact, and whether or not he might maintain them between now and the election.
A 3-point gain for Mr. Romney would be consistent with what candidates received following some of the stronger debate performances in the past. It would also make the national race very close. The FiveThirtyEight “now-cast” had Mr. Obama ahead by an average of about 4.5 percentage points between the conventions and the debate. (This is higher than the average result from the national tracking polls alone, which have been a pinch less favorable to Mr. Obama on balance than the broader consensus of surveys.) A 3-point gain for Mr. Romney would imply that Mr. Obama’s advantage is now only 1 or 2 points, putting Mr. Romney well within striking distance depending on how well the rest of the campaign goes for him and how accurate the polls turn out to be.I mention this because examining polls can be interesting, but their analysis only tells part of the story. As mentioned before, the national race is not the issue. The swing states are the barometer of who will be elected on November 6th. If you scroll down that same page at the NYT and look on the right hand side there is an area where he offers state by state projections on the candidate's chance of winning the competitive states. Here are his predictions:
However, the fact that Mr. Romney did not make further gains in the polls on Sunday can be read as mildly disappointing for him.
Colorado Obama 63% Romney 37%
Florida Obama 55% Romney 45%
Iowa Obama 70% Romney 30%
North Carolina Obama 31% Romney 69%
New Hampshire Obama 86% Romney 14%
Nevada Obama 82% Romney 18%
Ohio Obama 79% Romney 21%
Virginia Obama 66% Romney 34%
Wisconsin Obama 86% Romney 14%
We know that there is no way that Romney can win the election with just North Carolina. The next closest state is Florida, he is down 10 percentage points. With issues like Medicare and Social Security predominating there, it would be startling if he could regain the edge.
So why is everyone so worried? As long as we get out the vote, we have nothing to fear, especially in states already designated Blue.
Other than a cataclysmic event it seems pretty well set that Barack Obama will win.
Is there something I don't understand? Or are we not focusing on what really matters?