Monday, April 21, 2008

Pennysylvania Preview

Today's the big day. Polls close at 8pm Eastern. That means those of us on the West Coast will start seeing results around 5:30 or so. Wait until at least 20% of the precincts have reported before jumping to any conclusions, more if the results are close. So, it may well be 6:00-6:30 Pacific before we have real clarity about the outcome and what it means.

Easiest place to check for nearly up-to-the-minute results is the NY Times home page. If you want to dig into county by county results go here. And, if you want to watch on TV, go with CNN, not because of the analysis but because of their amazing mapping tool.

Here's a run-down of the polling released in the last 24 hours or so:

Zogby: Clinton +10
SurveyUSA: Clinton +6
Suffolk: Clinton +10
Quinnipiac: Clinton +7
Strategic Vision: Clinton +7
American Research Group: Clinton +13
Mason-Dixon: Clinton +5
Public Policy Polling: Obama +3

And, here's the best analysis of that polling that I've seen (btw, Survey USA's final robo-poll has been the best predictor of final results this primary season).

My prediction? For a while last week, I thought Obama might actually pull off an upset and win this thing. That's almost certainly not going to happen (almost - I'll come back to that in a second). I'm having a hard time seeing Obama doing any better than the Survey USA poll, especially given the overall consistency of the polling and because voter movement has rapidly diminished over the last few days.

But, here are a few reasons why it could be even closer: The Obama campaign registered a lot of new Democrats in this closed primary, at least 60% of the late Democratic registrations. That, along with the Obama campaign's superior field effort could well translate into turn-out that surpasses what's predicted by the polling. And, finally, this film from Bill Maher's show may indicate a much better performance by Obama with those gun-clinging, bitter heartland Pennsylvanians than anyone would have guessed (go to the film about 1:30 into this recording).

One more reason why Obama could do better than expected -- if any of you saw him on the Daily Show last night, Hillary's continued participation in this race is starting to turn into a joke and no one wants their vote to be in furtherance of a joke.

With all this, I'm predicting that Obama comes within 5 points. With the media laying down 10 points as the spread, that would be perceived as a big win for Obama and help close the deal in Indiana.

No comments: