3 May

You don’t need to pay much attention to the Electoral College right now

The bloggy thing to do this morning would be to link the results of the new Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll of FL, OH and PA, toss in today’s media focus on VA from ABC News and others, then do some analysis of the strategies the campigns might be to pursue some given set of swing states.  Indeed, I have done posts in that vein before (albeit with some nuance I won’t get into here).  But today I feel more contrarian and nitpicky.

First, these polls and media stories merely confirm what we would have surmised a year ago: FL and OH are going to be close, PA remains a tough get for the GOP, and VA has been trending Democratic but not a sure thing for Obama in light of the 2009 and 2010 elections there.

Second, as Nate Silver notes, state polling is still noisy at theis point in the campaign.

Third, as political scientist Andrew Gelman notes, the past several decades have seen a steady decline in the variation of statewide vote swings.  Come November, the swing in the swing states will likely mirror the swing nationally.  Electionate makes a similar point, although I have some disagreement with the underlying reasoning:

There’s a growing chorus arguing that Obama has an electoral college advantage. The underlying assumption is that the race is close nationally and yet Obama seems poised to secure well over 300 electoral votes. In my view, that argument is misguided for a simple reason: the race isn’t close nationally, and the electoral college consequently reflects an Obama advantage.

Electionate’s claim that the race isn’t close nationally is based in large part on the argument that Rasmussen and Gallup are skewing perceptions of the race.  I will not rehash the claims against Rasmussen; some of them are quite reasonable, others less so.  Gallup defends its polling here and here.  Rather, I will note that Electionate’s plot excluding Gallup and Rasmussen tends to show a slowly tightening race, which is what you see with Gallup and Ras in the mix.  Eyeballing the plot suggests Obama currently has an edge of a bit over 4% — but today’s RCP average gives Obama an edge of 3.6%.  That’s not much a difference, particularly when considering that head-to-head polls at this point in the election cycle explain less than 50% of eventual results. [Note: Electionate does not name RCP as an offender on this score.]

However, this is another reason to focus more on Obama’s job approval number than any Electoral College map at the moment

Read more

       

About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

5 Responses to You don’t need to pay much attention to the Electoral College right now

  1. Nan G says: 1

    You need to pay attention to the nominating convention.

    Satan the Devil, I mean Ron Paul, has thrown a monkey wrench into the nominating process.
    As predicted he set this up during the straw votes and caucuses.
    Knowing many caucus-goers leave once they’ve voted, he ordered his peeps to stay til the end and smooze with the organizers, making friends.
    At the end is when delegates to the convention are picked.
    Many Paul supporters were picked to be delegates bound to Romney, Newt, Santorum and others.
    These delegates are only bound for the 1st round in the convention.
    After that, they may revert back to supporting Paul.
    For instance, in Nevada, Romney should be awarded 20 of the state’s 28 delegates, based on his dominating win in the state’s primary, but it’s possible that Paul supporters could get named to some of those 20 delegate slots.
    Paul’s supporters are now saying they will refuse to be bound to support anyone other than Paul even on the 1st ballot.
    Iowa is another problematic state.
    Paul was on Bloomberg TV yesterday saying he expects to win Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, Nevada and Missouri.
    And that’s just for starters.

    ReplyReply
  2. Greg says: 2

    Rachel Maddow, on the Ron Paul strategy. The republicans are going to be having a very interesting national convention.

    ReplyReply
  3. I hope the RON PAUL SUPPORTERS KNOW WHAT IS AT ODDS IN NOVEMBER
    and hope they know when to fold, if they don’t want AMERICA TO FALL INTO
    THE SAME PRECIPICE IT’S IN NOW,
    THEY BETTER KEEP IN MIND THE END MORE THAN THEIR CHOICE INDIVIDUAL,
    WE HAVE TO REMIND ALL THIS ELECTION IS THE AMERICA TOTAL ELECTION,
    NOT ONE FOR ONE, BUT ALL FOR AMERICA THE ONE AT THE END,
    IT SHOULD BE APPARENT ENOUGH BY NOW, TO ALL THE GOOD AMERICANS,
    YOU ARE AGAINST THE BAD AND THE UGLY, AND THERE ARE MANY WHO FIT THE NAME.

    ReplyReply
  4. OBAMA STILL PROMISING WOMAN WHAT HE CANNOT DELIVER,
    and to bad some of them believe they will have it all to protect them on his term,
    they fail to see what he did delivered in theses years, nothing,
    it’s like a battered woman saying to the JUDGE, YOUR HONOR, GIVE HIM A CHANCE,
    HE TOLD ME THESES LAST 4 YEARS THAT HE WILL CHANGE, HE TOLD ME EVERY TIME
    AFTER HE BEAT ME, AND I BELIEVE HIM NOW.

    ReplyReply
  5. Sid says: 5

    You need to pay attention to the various state legislatures that are trying to pass the National Popular Vote bill. Here in Louisiana they’re at it again. It was dropped last year but they’re back at it again. They are trying to sneak in the back door because it will not pass on a national level.

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>