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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.
However, the fact that Mr. Romney did not make further gains in the polls on Sunday can be read as mildly disappointing for him.
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:

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?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "I think of the right-wing Republicans as jihadists; they’re as crazy as those people. They want to destroy the country that we want to save." Paul Auster

    by zesty grapher on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:20:56 PM PDT

  •  I was thinking the same thing today after (5+ / 0-)

    digesting today's poll numbers. I think the next debate should be a good nite for Obama since it's a town hall. I expect him to get a fairly respectful reception, as he is well liked and that should come through on tv. He's very good one on one with people.

    Joe Biden isn't going to allow Ryan to get away with much. He has a lot of information at hand showcasing Ryan's record. And Biden hopefully will require concrete answers, instead of sketchy fast talk.

    So I think GOTV is a place we should really be concentrating on as we get closer to election day.

  •  Really strange diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You begin by saying that polls don't matter and then completely buy-into a demographic and statistical analysis of the election by swing state, from which you infer that the whole election result comes down to  GOTV efforts.  What are you missing?  God, I hope you are missing the substance!  I really hope this election comes down to whether or not BHO can defend his record for the past 4 years and present a compelling vision for the next 4.  All the  rest is ancillary -- or I sure hope so.  I wouldn't wantto live in any other kind of country.

    •  The hand-wringers seem to be taking over KOS. I'm (5+ / 0-)

      not willing to just lay down and quit. I think we need to stay in the battle for the White House, even though we may be discourages.  What is the alternative?  Four years of Romney Reign isn't what I want.

      •  Diaries can be hard to write (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah, wishingwell, zesty grapher

        You can have a great point which you want to convey or an admirable sentiment  -- but it can be easily lost in the medium.  I am a terrible diarist, thought my comments sometimes seem to resonate.  Still, I think it is great to try and work at becoming better at it.  I think we overestimate the importance of individual diaries here.  So I'll give the diarist the benefit of the doubt that he / she just missed in conveying the nuaince as intended.  Everybody gets a little nuts around election time too  . . .

    •  I was trying to say that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, pico3

      natipnal polls aren't as important as predictions for the swing states. Perhaps I'm terrible at communicating.
      Sorry to disappoint.

      "I think of the right-wing Republicans as jihadists; they’re as crazy as those people. They want to destroy the country that we want to save." Paul Auster

      by zesty grapher on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:58:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I also did a diary outlining electoral path to (0+ / 0-)

    victory and how the President has more than one route , in fact several and Mitt has few paths to victoryWays to win even when Polls are Lousy

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:05:59 PM PDT

  •  I also think that GOTV and volunteering for the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zesty grapher

    campaign is so vitally important and talking to Democrats. When doing our GOTV, we need to show great energy and enthusiasn.  

    Republicans now feel energized because Mittens lied and bullied.  We need to keep our energy up and get that enthusiasm revved up.

    No matter what the polls end up saying , GOTV is the trick. Turnout is key. We cannot let any stone unturned.

    Remember in 2004 when Bush appeared to be tied in polls or even losing in one or two states he won?  Rove has said that was due to the ground game being very massive and organized. Fundies organized and came out in droves and bus loads.

    We can win the ground game and GOTV , We have triple the number of campaign offices than does Mitt.

    We can do this with a Great Ground Game, that is where the power and the votes are.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:16:26 PM PDT

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