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I've followed with great interest the tremendous work of Daily Kos Elections to figure out the 2012 Vote by Congressional District. The work became final today. Prior to the election, the great folks at Daily Kos Elections did the yeoman's work of calculating the 2008 vote by the NEW Congressional District, which gives us good data for comparison. I don't want to steal any of their thunder, but I thought I might add some value by giving you some facts and figures that I found while I ran through the data.

Biggest 2012 Obama Margin: NY-15 (Jose Serrano). The Bronx district gave Obama a whopping 96.8% of the vote. It was also the most Obama district in 2008, but trended even more blue this time. The district is located in the South Bronx, and is a majority-minority district with lots of Hispanics and African Americans.

Biggest 2012 Romney Margin: TX-13 (Mac Thornberry). This district in North Texas gave Romney 80.2% of the vote, more than John McCain's 76.9% in 2008. Thornberry's district was also the most red in 2008.

Biggest Pro-Obama change, 2008-2012: AZ-7 (Ed Pastor). This Arizona Democrat's district went from giving Obama a 30 point victory in 2008 to a 45 point victory last year. Almost all of the districts that became more pro-Obama were districts with large Hispanic populations. The 2nd highest change came from CA-34 (Xavier Becerra). Next comes New Jersey's 8th (Albio Spires). The largest change among non-Hispanic districts is NY-14 (Joe Crowley), which is located on Long Island. I wonder if Hurricane Sandy had an effect there.

Biggest Anti-Obama change, 2008-2012: UT-4 (Matheson). Not surprisingly, the four districts that changed most toward the Republicans were in Utah, where presumably the LDS population turned out in droves to support Mitt Romney. Matheson's district's distinction is especially noteworthy because Matheson is a Democrat. John McCain won Utah's 4th by 15 points in 2008, while Romney won it by 37 (!) in 2012. Matheson somehow managed to win despite the Romney tide in that district. Besides Utah, the biggest change towards the Republicans was WV-3 (Rahall). He too is a Democrat who bucked the pro-GOP movement. Next on the list was IL-15 (Shimkus), a Southern Illinois district that drifted away from it's native son.

Biggest Obama District Represented by a Republican: CA-31 (Gary Miller). The Democrats screwed up the Congressional election in this district, which went for President Obama 57-40. California's new jungle primary system means that the top two finishers in the primary, regardless of party, advance to the general election. So many Democrats ran for this seat that they split the vote, and the top two candidates were each Republicans. This is THE prime pickup opportunity for House Dems in 2014. Next on this list are CA-21 (Valadao), whose district went to Obama by 11 points, and NJ-2 (LoBiondo), whose district Obama won by 8 points.

Biggest Romney District Represented by a Democrat: UT-4 (Matheson). We talked about this one above. Matheson's victory really was remarkable given Romney's popularity in the district. Next on this list are Rahall (WV-3), and then way further down on the list (in terms of Romney margin) is McIntyre (NC-7). All three of these Congressmen have fostered a brand that's allowed them to get elected as Democrats in Republican districts, but going forward all remain very vulnerable.

31 Districts were won by Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012. That is to be expected since Obama's margin went from about 7 in 2008 to 4 in 2012. 3 districts actually went for McCain in 2008 and Obama in 2012. Those were FL-26 (Garcia-D) and FL-27 (Ros-Lehtinen-R), which are South Florida districts with heavy Cuban populations, and NY-11 (Grimm-R), which covers Staten Island and a small part of Brooklyn. Sandy certainly could have been a factor in the latter district.

Overall, Mitt Romney won 9 districts represented by Democrats:

AZ-1 (Kirkpatrick)
AZ-2 (Barber)
FL-18 (Murphy)
GA-12 (Barrow)
MN-7 (Peterson)
NC-7 (McIntyre)
TX-23 (Gallego)
UT-4 (Matheson)
WV-3 (Rahall).

Barack Obama won 17 districts represented by Republicans:

CA-10 (Denham)
CA-21 (Valadao)
CA-31 (Gary Miller)
CO-6 (Coffman)
FL-13 (Young)
FL-27 (Ros-Lehtinen)
IA-3 (Latham)
MN-2 (Kline)
MN-3 (Paulsen)
NV-3 (Heck)
NJ-2 (LoBiondo)
NJ-3 (Runyan)
NY-2 (King)
NY-11 (Grimm)
NY-19 (Gibson)
VA-2 (Rigell)
WA-8 (Reichert)

Bellwether Districts: The two districts that most closely mirrored the national popular vote were NY-18 (Maloney-D) and the aforementioned NY-11 (Grimm-R). Obama won each of those districts by about 4.2-4.3%, which closely matched his 4.3% popular vote victory over Mitt Romney. Just for kicks, the districts that would have been bellwether districts in 2008 (remember, most of the district lines have been redrawn since then) were PA-8 (Fitzpatrick) and PA-6 (Gerlach).

Thanks again to jeffmd and the rest of the folks at Daily Kos Elections for compiling the data. Look forward to doing it all over again in 2016!


I'm thinking of writing a Top 10 (or 20?) worst political media figures. I'd love to solicit some nominations. I know others, like Atrios, have done similar lists, but I think it could use an update, and include some of the more lesser known, but influential political media figures, especially those on Twitter. I would love some suggestions!! Please leave them in the comments.


The Huffington Post is reporting that Senators Reid and McConnell have agreed to a scaled-down filibuster reform proposal. Scaled-down is generous. This proposal not only does nothing to reform the broken filibuster, but could make the Senate even worse.

This proposal, which sadly will probably be enacted today or tomorrow, would make only the most minor changes to Senate rules. Forget removing the undemocratic 60-vote requirement for all pieces of legislation. That wasn't even in the most ambitious reform proposals. The idea, proposed by Senators Merkley and Udall (NM) that Senators should be forced to hold the floor and hold Jimmy Stewart-style filibusters? That's gone. How about the very modest reform of putting the burden on 41 Senators to sustain a filibuster, instead of the current requirement of 60 Senators to defeat a filibuster? That too, has been abandoned.

So what does this proposal contain? The motion to proceed can still be filibustered, but debate can end on it immediately if Mitch McConnell and 8 minority Senators sign on. Once cloture has been invoked on the motion to proceed, the motion itself must be voted on immediately. The post-cloture debate time for most Presidential nominees has been cut, as has the debate time for district court judges. There have also been some modifications to the rules about motions to go to conference. Finally, Republicans, in exchange for approximately nothing, will get the opportunity to propose two amendments on all bill.

This all leaves reformers like myself mystified and disappointed. Basically, it came down to the fact that some Democrats, and most notably Harry Reid, don't really want to change the rules of the institution. They are basically fine with the way it is working, apparently. Either that, or they're too afraid that the rules will come back to bite them when they're in the minority. I've always said, in the long-run progressives generally want action from government, conservatives generally want stasis. The filibuster, therefore, is a long-term impediment to our goals. Other great Kossacks like KagroX and Chris Bowers have pointed out that this deal is better than nothing, and that progress takes time. I get that, I just expected better.

Finally, I should just mention how absurd it is that we're making deals with and trusting Mitch McConnell, the man whose number one stated goal was to make Obama a one-term President. The principle of negotiating with him is almost as bad to me as the final result.


Are you satisfied with the Reid/McConnell Filibuster Deal?

5%4 votes
94%74 votes

| 78 votes | Vote | Results


To a certain extent, I've come to expect shoddy work from a group I call the "Looks." I call them the "Looks" because they're constantly telling us, in a condescending voice "Loooooooook, (progressive thing) can't happen because (conventional wisdom/incorrect analysis/faux centrism) reasons."

The Looks are out in full force today telling us that gun control laws can't happen for a variety of political reasons, so this whole "gun control" thing is just a waste of time by liberal elites. Leading the charge this morning is Josh "Romney will win Minnesota and an electoral landslide" Kraushaar, who tells us that gun control won't be a winning issue for Democrats in 2016. Fair enough, that may or may not be true. Certainly for a guy who terribly screwed up the 2012 election the weekend before it happened, it takes some brass to be making 2016 predictions right now. He then goes on to say that efforts by Democratic Governors like Cuomo (NY) and O'Malley (MD) are just transparent ploys to gain a temporary political advantage. He says that Cuomo, who managed to enact gun control legislation this week, is engaging in a "cat fight" with O'Malley about who can be more progressive on guns. Certainly there is nothing in this "analysis" about why we need sensible gun laws, how many lives could be saved, the devastating cost of the gun violence epidemic etc. I'm sure the families of the Newtown victims will be happy to go without gun control legislation because they don't want to see two potential candidates in an election 4 years from now try to score points by actually doing something!

We also get this doozy from the great purveyor of conventional wisdom, "The Fix" himself, Chris Cilizza. On the day of the Newtown shooting, Cilizza implored "the haters" on Twitter to leave him because the tragedy had so personally affected him. Apparently those feelings have dissipated, as he's out with a piece today telling us that President Obama shouldn't pursue any executive action on guns because it will harden GOP opposition to a more comprehensive bill. First of all, how about ignoring political strategy for five seconds and thinking about the tangible impact these executive orders may have on saving people's lives? There's nothing in this piece on that. But perhaps even more importantly, the whackos who think the government is coming to take their guns will be knee-jerk opposed to anything the President opposes on guns, probably enough to derail even a moderate bill in the House of Representatives. It won't take an executive order to poison the well with the nutjob NRA crowd. Given that intractable opposition, shouldn't we do whatever we can to prevent gun violence right now? The Chris Cilizza who told his Twitter trolls respect the moment after Newtown may even agree that we should do SOMETHING, anything at all, to prevent children from dying.

I understand that The Looks are paid to write about the horse race (even though they're both terrible political prognosticators). But for once, how about showing a bit of a human side and recognizing the seriousness of these issues.


Two things I love the most in the world, besides my family and fiancee, are hockey and progressive politics. Generally, besides Sean Avery cutting an ad for marriage equality, or the great work being done by the You Can Play Project, these two interests do not intersect. But as the NHL lockout stretches into the new year, my political demons have been awakened.

First, a little history. 8 years ago, the owners locked out the players for an entire season. April and May felt very empty without the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and I feared that hockey may never recover. During the Summer of 2005, the players pretty much gave everything to the owners to get a deal. They agreed to a salary cap, which they had previously said they would not agree to under any circumstances. The NHL owners' cruel persistence paid off. Hockey came back, and amazingly, it came back stronger than ever. The league instituted new rules that opened up the game. They eliminated ties, and cracked down on the neutral zone trap (non-hockey fans, don't ask) that had bogged the game down in previous years. The NHL created the Winter Classic, an outdoors New Years Event that has drawn high TV ratings and rave reviews. The reality program 24/7 on HBO, which gave a behind-the-scenes take on the Winter Classic teams was superb television, and attracted non-hockey fans to the game. Ultimately, the Salary Cap seemed to work. In the 8 post-lockout seasons, there have been 8 different Stanley Cup champions, including ones from Raleigh, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles (sadly none from my underachieving San Jose Sharks). The sport's questionable TV contract with the Versus network (now NBC Sports) even seemed to play dividends. The NHL had an American network committed to showing national games several days a week, and the league had put the network on the map.

Off the ice, the NHL was making lots of money. They used that money to dole out some ridiculous contracts. Defenseman Shea Weber, a good, but relatively unproven player, was offered $110 million over ten years by the Philadelphia Flyers, and the offer was matched by the small market Nashville Predators. This happened this past summer in July. By September, the previous CBA was due to expire. Even though the NHL had cancelled a season eight years ago to get pretty much everything it wanted, it threatened to lock the players out again. When the clock struck midnight on September 15th, the lockout began.

The owners were angry that the players were getting 57% of "hockey related revenue." (HRR). So they proposed that instead, the players take 43% of the revenue. Yes, the very owners doling out $110 million over 14 years, were saying that the players were making too much money. These same owners, the ones giving out 14 year contracts, wanted to limit all contracts to 5 years, and wanted to lock in this owner-friendly system for 10 years. The players rejected this offer, but have so far agreed to reduce their portion of HRR to 50%, have agreed to an 8-year CBA, and 8-year contracts. The NHL has offered the players $300 million to cover preexisting player contracts.

Even with massive concessions from the NHLPA, the NHL has thus far cancelled half the season, and the league has lost an estimated $20 million per day. But here's the thing: the owner's don't really care about losing this money. They're billionaires, and mostly make money through non-hockey ventures. The players are losing about $8-10 million per day. These guys don't have other sources of income. Many players have played in Europe, but many of them are starting to get desperate for a pay check. The owners know this full well, and that's why they're doing everything they can to extract every last dollar from the player's pockets.

So how does this have to do with progressive politics? I know it's hard to sympathize with millionaire players, but what the NHL players are going through is part of a systematic problem for American workers. Players are the ones making the product. They're the reason fans put their butts in the seats. They're the ones that are marketable. But the owners, just like the "job creators" in the rest of the market, have figured out that the players eventually will be desperate enough to work for less. It's no skin off the owners' backs, just as it is no skin off the backs of the Bain Capital-types negotiating collective bargaining contracts. The owners hold all the cards, and with unions weakening dramatically over the past 30 years, especially in the private sector, owners almost always hold the cards. As a result, workers take-home pay has steadily declined in real terms, even though their productivity has increased.

I suppose my interest in labor-manager relations should have been piqued during other disputes, perhaps those that don't involve millionaire workers. But I don't sit by idly every night waiting to watch the auto assembly line. I want to watch hockey again, and I hate to see the "job creator" class ruining something in a realm I thought they couldn't touch.


Who do you blame for the current NHL impasse?

6%15 votes
93%229 votes

| 244 votes | Vote | Results


Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM PST

The Fix is In

by Barnaby Tucker

I know it doesn't really matter that much in the grand scheme of things, but I came across a stunningly stupid article this afternoon from our favorite purveyors of Beltway Conventional Wisdom, Chris Cilizza's blog, The Fix.

So the premise of the article is that Republicans are gaining politically from Libya. The crucial evidence of this is that one CNN poll showed that 54% of people disapprove of Obama's handling of Libya, and 40% of people think there was a cover-up.

First of all, is it really that surprising that a bare majority disapprove of Obama's handling of Libya? Fox has made this into a huge scandal, talking about it ad nauseum for three months. Most people really have no idea what happened, or whether there is an actual scandal here. They just generally pick up the notion that Obama did something bad.

Second, there's a pretty good way to determine if this story would pay political dividends for Republicans. It's called a national election. It happened three weeks ago. Obama won convincingly. There is nothing that has come out since then that has changed this story.

Third, what sort of "dividends" is The Fix referring to here? It's certainly not electoral dividends. Embarrassing Obama? Is that a real dividend right after his reelection, considering he's never running for office again? Did it get them leverage in fiscal cliff talks? Did it make them seem a little less crazy? No.

Something really bad happened in Libya, and there are legitimate concerns about our security and intelligence there. But the GOP has turned this into "ZOMG Obama didn't say teh terrorizms!" I still haven't figured out what the scandal is. This is just a thing that Republicans have decided needs to be a major scandal, and without any evidence, the Fix is letting us know that it is working!!


Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:35 AM PST

Filibuster Reform: The Strategy

by Barnaby Tucker

One of the biggest battles early next year will be over much-needed filibuster reform in the Senate. Unless we reform the filibuster, the Senate will continue to be a useless, dysfunctional mess that makes a mockery of the democratic process. Before I lay out a proposed strategy, I want to address two concerns I hear from fellow progressives about the filibuster:

1. "Who cares about filibuster reform right now? The far-right controls the House!"

First of all, filibuster reform can help us with a lot of stuff in the near term, like judges (!) and other nominations. These things don't require concurrence from the House. Also, we need to take a long view. Eventually we'll have a Democratic House and Senate again, and we need to remove all impediments to progress.

2. "We can't get rid of the filibuster! We need it for when we're in the minority!"

A couple things here. In the long-run, Democrats generally want to do more things (progressivism!) while Republicans want to do less (small government!). So even if we suffer some setbacks, we'll benefit in the super long-run. Also, if Republicans regain the Senate with a favorable map in 2014 (no guarantee), Obama will still be President. In 2016, Democrats will have an awesome map and would probably regain control. So we're not likely looking at a doomsday scenario in the foreseeable future.

Finally, on the big picture level, we are the party that wants an effective, competent government. The Republicans want to make the government stagnant and ineffective so they can sell their small-government agenda. The filibuster, no matter which party uses it, makes the government stagnant and ineffective.

The two-part strategy for filibuster reform should be as follows:

1. Get 51 Senators to sign on to a very strong proposed reform bill. At least 50 Senators have committed to reform in one way or another. Let's get them on record as supporting something strong and perhaps more importantly, threatening to GOP interests. As a reminder, you only need 50 Senators to enact filibuster reform. The constitution says that the Senate gets to determine its own rules. Basically the way the "nuclear" or "constitutional" option would work is that presumably Harry Reid would ask the chair (presumably Joe Biden if he wants to participate as President of the Senate) what the rules are for filibusters. Biden would claim that the rules are what Reid proposes. Republicans would then have the right and would seek to appeal the ruling of the chair. But, of course, to appeal the ruling of the chair, you need a majority vote, something the Republicans are not anywhere close to having!

Here's what the strong proposal should be:

a. No more motions to proceed. These motions, which can be filibustered waste up to 60 hours and allow Republicans to kill unseemly amounts of time. They basically ran out the clock using this tool during the 111th Congress. A motion to proceed should not be debatable and should be presumed adopted.

b. 41 Senators should be required to vote against cloture. Currently, rules require 60 members to vote FOR cloture, but not 41 to vote AGAINST cloture. This means that Republicans couldn't cop out by being absent or voting "present" so they can say they didn't vote to filibuster.

c. Similar to the proposal from Senators Udall (NM) and Merkley (OR), 10 Senators should be required to sign a filibuster petition, and at least one of them must be on the floor debating at all times during the filibuster. This would stop the current practice of just standing up and saying you'll filibuster, while then going to hang out at the Capital Hill Club or something. We need to make filibusters hard, not easy.

d. At least 10 Senators would also need to sign a public petition to put a hold on a nominee or bill. Gone will be the days in which one Senator holds the entire body hostage to get what he wants (lookin' at you Coburn and DeMint!). This would also put an end to secret holds. (SEE UPDATE)

e. After cloture is invoked, all post-cloture debate time should be yielded back. If 60 Senators have voted to block a filibuster, that means there should be an immediate up-or-down vote. There would still be plenty of time to debate the bill pre-cloture.

f. After two weeks, the cloture threshold moves from 60 to 55, and after one full month, a simple majority vote is required for passage of a bill. This would restore the filibuster to its original function, which was to foster debate. If Republicans really thought a bill was worth debating for that long, then fine. But filibusters can't last forever. Eventually, the Senate should have to have an up or down vote.

2. Once you get Senators to sign on to this proposal, you offer Mitch McConnell a one-time deal. If he agrees to support clauses a-e of this plan, you will abandon the most ambitious clause, clause f. Therefore, either McConnell gives bipartisan approval to significant filibuster reform, or we've gotten rid of the filibuster entirely. It's win-win!

After this election, Democrats have the leverage and the power to enact rules reform. Now is the time to get something done. Otherwise, we'll be stuck with a completely dysfunctional institution for the foreseeable future.


Should Senate Democrats enact permanent filibuster reform at the beginning of the next Congress?

94%92 votes
5%5 votes

| 97 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:14 AM PST

Concern Trolling Time

by Barnaby Tucker

I don't know about you guys, but it's been hard to avoid some schadenfreude these past couple of days. We beat the Republicans badly in the election, and in doing so, shocked not only Conservative elites (and unskewers) but also much of the mainstream media, which was convinced that we couldn't possibly reproduce our 2008 winning coalition. To rub it in even more, I'm gonna pretend to care about the future of the Republican Party and give them some advice about how to not lose elections so badly.

1. Stop hating on gay people. It is no longer politically advantageous to demagogue the LGBT community. Gay marriage won in all 4 states it was on the ballot yesterday, and the trend against bigotry is getting pretty darn obvious. It not only turns off gay people, but also their straight allies (mostly young people) who might be swayed by the Ayn Rand libertarian stuff but can't be swayed to vote for a party that hates their friends.

2. Stop treating minorities like a bunch of lazy moochers. Bill O'Reilly, Limbaugh and co. seem to be blaming Romney's election defeat on lazy minorities who "want stuff" from government. The view is not only offensive, but also comically false. Bill-O and Limbaugh spend a couple hours a day sitting around and talking at people. This is not very hard work. They make millions doing it. The people who build stuff, who provide us services at the hospital, who prepare and serve our food, who teach our kids...those people are the ones that actually work hard and struggle to get by. They're not asking for "stuff" from government, just a little bit of security so that their hard work can be rewarded.

3. Try a little less Fox Business/Ayn Rand conservatism, and a little more Timothy Carney conservatism. Of all the conservatives I follow on Twitter, Tim Carney of the Examiner is perhaps my favorite. I disagree with him on almost everything, but he's no hack, and he's done some very good pieces on the corrupting power of corporations on government. He wrote a piece today on a new GOP message intended for the working class. Essentially, the message is that big government and big business are stacking the deck against you, and free market solutions will set you free. I obviously think this isn't actually the case, but it's way more politically appealing than constantly defending the wealthiest people as "job creators" and disparaging everyone else as lazy moochers.

4. Along those lines: Go back to pretending you give a crap about the poor and working class. George W. Bush only lost narrowly in 2000, despite a booming economy, because of his message of "compassionate conservatism." The agenda was tilted toward the rich, but serious lip service was paid to the poor and working class. And in fairness, some of his policies were as well, like expanding the earned income and child tax credits. Romney and the current Republicans didn't even try this approach. In fact, most Republicans now argue that the tax structure is TOO generous to the poor and working class and should be shifted to further benefit "job creators."

5. Grassroots conservatives: Stop believing the conservative media. They're doing you a disservice. I think one of the reasons conservatives are so despondent about the election this time is that they were CONVINCED they were about to win. Who was telling them? Everyone! Karl Rove, Dick Morris, Unskew the Polls guy, Michael Barone, George Will. These are the guys that make up the conservative echo chamber. They conned you into a false sense of confidence and made you ignorant of what was about to happen. And to the conservative media: You can still be a good conservative without spewing total BS all the time. For instance, it would have been far more valuable for Jen Rubin at the Washington Post to express her concerns about the Romney campaign (so that there would be pressure to correct them) than to be a pure Romney campaign shill.

So there you have it conservatives. Now that I've pretended to want to help you, I leave you with a sincere message.


It's that time! We're just over 24 hours for finding out who has won the Presidential election, and it seems like everyone is making their predictions either based on data (most people) or "feel" (a lot of conservatives). It's time for me to join the fray. The bottom line:

Popular Vote: Obama 50.5, Romney 48.5
Electoral College: Obama 303, Romney 235
Senate: Democrats 53, Republicans 47 (0 net gain for either party)
House: Republicans 235, Democrats 200.

Details after the jump if you dare!


Who will win the Electoral College in tomorrow's election?

91%91 votes
9%9 votes

| 100 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:11 PM PST

Weekend Poll-o-Meter: 9

by Barnaby Tucker

Google Chart

I was busy doing some field work in Virginia this weekend, so I didn't get around to the poll-o-meter until tonight. The bottom line is that there have been hundreds of polls this weekend, released from many many different sources. Combined they show a very coherent story.

Nationally, Obama has regained a slight, but discernible lead. If you take a straight, unweighted average of all the national polls released today, as TPM did, Obama leads by 1.25. The great Nate Silver estimates that 1 point popular vote win for Obama gives him a 90-95% chance of winning the electoral college. I'll also note that it will be super funny to see what Gallup spews up tomorrow. They went on a week long hiatus after Hurricane Sandy hit, and I would not be surprised if their numbers reemerge miraculously close to the national mean.

In the swing states, the picture is even brighter. Obama has lead in all of the Ohio polls released today, and perhaps more amazingly, in all of the Virginia polls. I'm somewhat, minorly worried that two Pennsylvania polls released today show Obama tied and up 3, but one of those was the right-leaning Susquehanna polls. I just don't think Mitt has a chance there. It's always a Republican pipe dream. Obama also sports small, but consistent leads in Iowa and New Hampshire, and now leads in the RCP average of Colorado. If he were to win all of the states he's currently leading, he'd get a comfy 303 electoral votes, and that's without Florida, which is very close but probably leaning slightly towards Romney.

As many others have said, the state polls would have to be systemically biased for Mitt Romney to win. "Smart" pundits are still predicting a Mitt victory, and I'll name a few so that we can call them out on Wednesday:

Jay Cost, Josh Kraushaar, George Will, Michael Barone, Karl Rove, Dicky Morris and, of course, the Unskewed guy.

Tomorrow I'll be back with one final Poll-o-Meter, and my official predictions for the Presidential race, the Senate, and the House.


How would you rate today's polls for President Obama?

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5%6 votes
13%15 votes
28%31 votes
31%34 votes
15%17 votes

| 108 votes | Vote | Results


I thought I'd give a brief overview of what I saw doing GOTV for Obama and Kaine this weekend in Virginia. I went yesterday to Falls Church and today to Leesburg, which means I got a closeup look at the ground game in two very different places. Obviously, this is anecdotal, but what I did see made me extremely confident that the Obama team knows what it's doing.

I started each day at the local OFA office. Both offices were full of helpful, friendly staffers who were very quick in getting us processed and ready to go to the staging area (someone's house) to canvass. I should also mention that each OFA office was bustling with loads of volunteers. New ones were walking in every second.

When we got to the staging areas, even more volunteers were ready to help us get on the streets. We were very promptly checked in, and got trained within minutes. We got at our site yesterday at around 2, and every route had already been walked, so we were sent to go back and knock on doors of people who had not been home. The key instruction was to ask voters what their plan was to vote on election day. Studies have shown that just thinking about a plan is far more likely to get people motivated to go vote.

We got to the staging area today at around 1, and again, the route had been covered yesterday. At our staging area in sparsely exurban Leesburg, there were about 20 volunteers. The best part of the whole weekend? I didn't see a Romney/Ryan volunteer once!


Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:23 PM PDT

Friday's Poll-o-Meter: 9

by Barnaby Tucker

Google Chart

I wanted to wait until the midnight release of the new NBC/WSJ Ohio and Florida numbers before I cranked up the meter, and I'm glad I waited. These two polls capped off an excellent day for the President. Unless you believe the "gut" of people like Dick Morris, Karl Rove, and the insanity of Michael Barone instead of actual data, then the President is well-positioned to win another term.

Let's start with the state polls today. As "wizard" Nate Silver points out, 19 swing state polls were released today, and Romney lead in exactly one of them. ROMNEY LANDSLIDE COMING! (derp). In the most important battleground state, Ohio, Obama had leads ranging from 6 (in tonight's NBC poll) to 3 (CNN poll) to 4 (from GOP polling outfit We Ask America). Even Rasmussen couldn't produce a Romney lead, as they showed the race tied. A hell of a lot of state polls, including some non-Democratic ones, would have to be pretty darn wrong for Romney to win Ohio, and if Obama wins it, it's pretty much over for Mitt.

State polls today also showed Obama leading in 2 out of 3 surveys in Colorado (the other had him tied), both surveys in Virginia, both surveys in New Hampshire, and by 7 points in Wisconsin. What is Michael Barone smoking? He does realize that a lot of state polls have been released making his prediction seem pretty ridiculous?

The one state I don't quite have a read on is Florida. A reason today wasn't a 10 was that a Mason Dixon/Tampa Bay Times poll showed Mitt up 6 in the Sunshine State. At the same time, NBC/WSJ tonight has Obama up 2. The truth is probably somewhere inbetween. With a gun to my head, I'd say Mitt wins narrowly, but with Obama's leads elsewhere, it really doesn't matter at this point. The fact that Mitt hasn't locked down Florida (he's campaigning there this weekend) is all you need to know.

Another reason today isn't a 10 is those stubborn national polls. We're still in a post-Sandy lull for national polls, but the data today offered a mixed message. Rasmussen moved from Romney +2 to a tie (setting the stage for his miraculous falling in line with other pollsters by Tuesday). PPP continued to show the President up 1. Oddly, ABC/WaPo, which had Obama up 1 yesterday, had Mitt up 1 today. In the past, ABC has released decimal points showing that a one point lead is usually more like a fraction of a point, so maybe that was the case over the past two days. Either way, the national numbers still don't conform to the state numbers. I do think Obama will win the popular vote, but I think it will be by a pretty thin margin. PPP polled Massachusetts and Connecticut and saw that Obama's 2008 leads have shrunk significantly in those deep blue states. Perhaps that is a bit of an explanation as to why there's the current PV/EV split.

Overall, though, if you look at the electoral map and see a Romney victory looming, you're either a partisan hack, or some sort of sage who foresees that most state polling is incorrect. As long as we GOTV, President Obama is going to be just fine.


How would you rate today's polls for President Obama?

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| 150 votes | Vote | Results

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