So what's going on? Like I said, I don't know. However, there's no way that the polls are right. If Obama were actually up by 7%, the candidates wouldn't be campaigning where they are. McCain would be in Florida (27 Electoral Votes), not Pennsylvania (21 E.V.). Obama would be on a tour of Georgia (15 E.V.), North Carolina (15 E.V.), and Virginia (13 E.V.).
So what is the Borepatch take on events?
1. The pollsters have doubled down. The election results will be nothing like what is being shown. Prediction #2: Pollster reputations will be in tatters tomorrow night. Maybe I'll foodblog some recipes for crow ...
2. Tomorrow evening election coverage will be very, very confused. The talking heads will blather even more inanely than usual, because exit polling will not give reliable information to explain what's going on. The reason is that many, many people - including Blue Collar "Joe the Plummer" types and Hillary-supporting PUMAs - will reply "Take a hike, Scooter" to any pollster they see. Prediction #3: When the dust settles, it will be the disaffected Hillary voters and Blue Collar Democrats who made the biggest difference in the outcome. This means that McCain is probably the only Republican who could have won this year.
3. If the pollsters can go All In on what's essentially a wild guess, so can I. Based on nothing but gut feel, here's Prediction #4: McCain 281, Obama 257. Here are the specifics:
A. Start with Election Prediction's current Map showing 353 E.V. for Obama, 185 E.V. for McCain.This would translate to 50.2% of popular vote (plus or minus; I didn't add it up state by state) for McCain, vs. 47.8% for Obama. Interestingly, Obama didn't do better than this in the last 6 months of the Democratic primaries.
B. Scroll down to "State of the States." Now add together: 3 points for pollster weighting screwups (party affiliation and demographic), 1 point for PUMAs crossing over to vote for McCain (about 3% of registered Democrats), and 1 point for actual McCain momentum (net undecided vote deciding for McCain). Add this 5 points to McCain's total for each state.
C. This moves all the "Weak Obama" states as shown on the Election Prediction map from the Obama column to the McCain one. Florida (21 E.V.), North Carolina (15 E.V.), Ohio (20 E.V.), and Virginia (13 E.V.) go for McCain.
D. Everything up until now has been based on my take of fundamentals, rather than my opinion (OK, it's all opinion, but it's based on a quantifiable algorithm). I'm now going to lurch into pure WTF opinion, and call Pennsylvania (21 E.V.) for McCain. The reason is that Obama has run a simply terrible campaign there. From Joe the Plummer to his "bitter clingers" comments to his views on gun control (the NRA will be very damaging to him here by publicizing his record) to his unbelievably inept off-the cuff comments on bankrupting the coal industry. The MSM can no longer keep news like this from getting out, and this comes just as a large group of undecideds are making up their minds.
No idea what will happen in the Congressional districts. It certainly will not be like 2006 - Congressional approval ratings are in the single digits, so this doesn't bode well for Democratic sweep. Yeah, yeah, it all depends on vulnerable (as opposed to Gerrymandered) districts, but I don't see super majority (D) plus POTUS (D).
Both my regular readers are invited to leave comments on my keen insight (or utter insanity).
UPDATE 3 Novemner 2008 21:45: Can't argue with these headlines from the future. Heh.
UPDATE 4 November 2008 11:20: More on the polls here plus a very interesting analysis of the states here.