Monthly Archives: October 2012

Three-in-a-Row in Washoe County for Team Nevada

Another strong day for the GOP up north casting 3128 ballots compared to 2841 for the Democrats.  Total ballots cast were 7679, down about 1300 day-over-day supporting the evolving story that the expected second week blow-out was not in the cards after the strong first week performance. Despite the muted second week performance thus far the final two days should will almost certainly see a nice pick-up in activity.  Most concerning is the Democrats performance since this is their strength and enthusiasm questions continue to mount.  Although in my count, today’s net gain for the GOP only shrinks the Democrat lead to 830 for in-person early voting, this net gain nearly erases the overall lead Democrats held going into today when including absentee and mail-in ballots.  An all-around great day for Team Nevada in Washoe County.

Big contrast in the running tallies

2012 thru Day 12 2008 Through Day 12
Dem – 36271 (41.3%) Dem – 38329 (48.89%)
GOP -35441 (40.3%) GOP – 26913 (34.37%)
NP – 16082 (18.3%) NP – 13161 (16.79%)

We see the election over election change in Democrat turnout is DOWN -2058 while the change in GOP turnout is UP +8528, a net 10,586 gain for the GOP versus 2008. Do you know what an enthusiasm gap looks like? Well now you do. Having erased Obama’s early vote advantage, this type of swing will go a long way to erasing Obama’s overall ~23k vote Washoe County win in 2008, half of which came from the early vote.

Early Ballots, Youth Vote and Cannibals

Karl Rove has his usual data driven column in the Wall Street Journal that sheds great light on both the national picture and most importantly the Battleground State of Ohio.  Since this blog is all about the Battlegrounds and only the Battlegrouds we will focus on that portion of the column. Rove hits on three key issues that will likely decide the Ohio vote. First, in 2008 President Obama lost the election day vote in Ohio to John McCain but banked so many votes in early voting he carried the state by solid margins. For the final two points it is important to recall that nearly all Obama/Biden campaign stops are on college campus.  This is designed to achieve two important goals.  First, engage a key demographic for Obama whose support has flagged this election cycle.  The second is to energize this low-propensity demographic to cast their vote again for Obama without cannibalizing votes the campaign was already certain to gain.  In each one of the above facets in the Ohio vote, President Obama re-election effort is failing miserably:

Early voting

Adrian Gray, who oversaw the Bush 2004 voter-contact operation and is now a policy analyst for a New York investment firm, makes the point that as of Tuesday, 530,813 Ohio Democrats had voted early or had requested or cast an absentee ballot. That’s down 181,275 from four years ago. But 448,357 Ohio Republicans had voted early or had requested or cast an absentee ballot, up 75,858 from the last presidential election. That 257,133-vote swing almost wipes out Mr. Obama’s 2008 Ohio victory margin of 262,224. Since most observers expect Republicans to win Election Day turnout, these early vote numbers point toward a Romney victory in Ohio. They are also evidence that Scott Jennings, my former White House colleague and now Romney Ohio campaign director, was accurate when he told me that the Buckeye GOP effort is larger than the massive Bush 2004 get-out-the-vote operation.

The youth vote

Democrats explain away those numbers by saying that they are turning out new young Ohio voters. But I asked Kelly Nallen, the America Crossroads data maven, about this. She points out that there are 12,612 GOP “millennials” (voters aged 18-29) who’ve voted early compared with 9,501 Democratic millennials.


Are Democrats bringing out episodic voters who might not otherwise turn out? Not according to Ms. Nallen. She says that about 90% of each party’s early voters so far had also voted in three of the past four Ohio elections. Democrats also suggest they are bringing Obama-leaning independents to polls. But since Mr. Romney has led among independents in nine of the 13 Ohio polls conducted since the first debate, the likelihood is that the GOP is doing as good a job in turning out their independent supporters as Democrats are in turning out theirs.

Romney +1 in Iowa — The Hawkeye Poll

A tight race with plenty of Undecided voters show how Iowa is clearly up for grabs based on the latest University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll.  Obama leads by 2 with Independents, 41.9 to 40.2:

Romney leads among likely voters, though, with 45.2 percent of the vote compared to 44.4 percent for Obama, with 6 percent undecided and 4.3 percent preferring a third party candidate. The margin of error for the survey of 320 Iowans is 5.6 percent. “Our results show Romney making advances and perhaps taking the lead in Iowa, and that the race continues to be close and within the margin of error,” says Frederick Boehmke, associate professor of political science in the UI CLAS and faculty adviser of the Hawkeye Poll. “It appears that the final result will be determined by each campaign’s ability to turn out supporters and to capture the votes of those last few undecided voters.”

While both candidates show strong support among their respective bases, Obama has a slight lead among self-described independent voters with 41.9 percent of independents supporting him compared to 40.2 percent who back Romney. “Iowa remains up for grabs and it’s understandable and worthwhile for both candidates to continue to spend time here in the remaining few days of the campaign,” says Tim Hagle, UI associate professor of political science.

The race stays tight across different sectors of the electorate as well, with Romney leading among men by 46.3 percent to 43 percent and Obama leading among women 45.9 percent to 44.1 percent.

Superman (It’s Not Easy) — Five for Fighting

I’m as shocked as you are:

And talk about hooking a brother up; for “Three Strange Days” (School of Fish) they ran a link to my piece on the Folly of David Axelrod’s Turnout Model … I don’t have the words:

Democrats Rebound in Tuesday Early Voting in Clark County

Week 2 early voting in Clark County continues to tell very different stories.  Estimates on the large pick up in early voting have mostly proved to be unfounded.  Democrats, the regular leaders in this area, have failed to even match their weekday average in either of the first two days. And Republicans came out of the gate flying but settled back to only slightly outperform the prior week’s average turnout.  Overall turnout is only marginally higher than the first week average giving rise to concerns that Democrats lack enthusiasm and Republicans may have cannibalized some early votes during their week 1 pick-up.  Today should be of great interest.  The early voting sites change locations around the state and Democrats have en enormous advantage today.  If they do not annihilate Republicans in this last big opportunity for them Thursday and Friday could be Republican turn-out efforts we’ve never seen before.  On the day, Democrats cast 13,002 ballots and Republicans cast 10,100 ballots for a 2898 net gain. The Independent/Other group continued their steady march upward garnering 20.7% of the overall ballots cast.

Under-reported on this site is the combination of absentee ballots and early voting elsewhere in the state.  Absent Hurricane Sandy, I fully intended to incorporate those results to give a better state-wide picture.  But lacking my original models and a host of other data, it has become too much to recreate with everything else going on (like rotating between the 2 sets of clothes I am living out of…good times).  That said, there is plenty of important information in the aggregate data such as the spread between the two parties in overall ballots cast state-wide is only 6% in favor of the Democrats far less than their lead in 2008.

Romney Path to Victory in Iowa

When media outlets like NBC moved Iowa to lean Obama in mid-September I was beyond dubious.  The race in the Hawkeye state looked air tight to me and I expected it to remain that way through election day.  This intriguing piece indicates Iowa was slipping out of reach for Romney until the first debate. Plenty of interesting nuggets in this great Scott Conroy piece over at Real Clear Politics:

A month ago, as Mitt Romney’s campaign appeared to be foundering on just about every front, even allies of the Republican nominee believed his hopes for recovery to be particularly grim here in Iowa. At the time, he was failing to generate much enthusiasm in his western Iowa stronghold, and President Obama’s vaunted ground game in the state — which had launched him toward the Oval Office in 2008 — was humming along with an efficiency that threatened to put the state out of reach.

Failing to mind the gap

Particularly concerning for the Romney camp was the extent to which its internal polling showed the challenger getting blown out in Obama’s eastern Iowa strongholds of Black Hawk and Linn counties, which encompass the population hubs of Waterloo-Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids, respectively. Romney did not have to come close to winning in either of those counties, his team had calculated, but in order to have a shot at the Hawkeye State’s six electoral votes, he needed a respectable showing in each.

The debate that changed everything

Just when many Republicans here were about to give up hope, the former Massachusetts governor squared off against Obama in the Oct. 3 debate. Overnight, this traditionally Democratic-leaning swing state became one of his most inviting targets. “A month ago, I could hear the sounds of the Obama train steaming up and leaving the station. He was poised to pull away, which would have had impact up and down the ballot,” said longtime Iowa Republican strategist Bob Haus. “Then, a debate happened and the race was recast in 90 minutes. It’s hard to tell you what an impact it had.”

Minding the gap and then some

Since his commanding performance in Denver, Romney has not only closed the gap somewhat in Black Hawk and Linn counties, he has seen a significant boost in the intensity of support in the dark-red, soon-to-be liquidated 5th Congressional District represented by Steve King. In the 2012 caucuses, Rick Santorum dominated that deeply conservative western section of the state, while Romney struggled to connect with the heavily evangelical and rural population (just as he did in his 2008 caucuses loss to Mike Huckabee). But the Republican nominee now appears to have built a comfortable, double-digit lead over Obama in most of those counties, and his campaign expects turnout there to be sky-high on Nov. 6.

Expanding the Iowa map

Perhaps even more important for Romney, internal polls have shown him closing Obama’s narrow advantage in swing voter-heavy Scott County, where the GOP standard-bearer held a rally Monday in Davenport. In his remarks introducing Romney at that event, Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad noted that he had won the county in each of his five gubernatorial campaigns and suggested that the candidate’s economic message would produce similar results on Tuesday.

Driving the base

Additionally, the Romney campaign believes that it is outperforming its goal in the heavily white, blue-collar counties that dot southeastern Iowa, an encouraging sign for any statewide Republican candidate. “Our state Senate tracking polls are moving [Romney’s] way in swing districts, and the sweep of endorsements over the weekend gives him a sense of momentum,” said Iowa GOP operative Steve Grubbs. “I predict he wins Iowa.”

Reaching new voters

Indeed, The Des Moines Register’s backing of Romney this past weekend came as a surprise to just about everyone in Iowa politics. In spite of the kerfuffle that resulted from the Obama campaign’s original stipulation that the paper’s editorial board interview the president off the record, there was little reason to believe that the state’s most widely circulated newspaper would back a Republican presidential candidate for the first time since 1972. The endorsement came as a pleasant shock to Iowa Republicans…[D]espite the Register’s reach and the high regard with which its political coverage continues to earn, there is little question that its influence has waned. But taken in combination with endorsements by Iowa’s three other major dailies — The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Quad Cities Times, and Sioux City Journal — Romney’s ability to win over top opinion-makers in the state is emblematic of a remarkable turnaround, especially given the tsunami of positive media coverage Obama enjoyed here four years ago.

Polk County FTW?

Perhaps the area of the state that each campaign will pay closest attention to heading toward Election Day is Polk County — the most populous of Iowa’s 99 counties and home of the capital, Des Moines. Romney strategists believe that the Republican can lose Polk County and still carry the state, but they must keep Obama’s margins down in the capital region. That’s one reason they dispatched Ann Romney to Des Moines on Tuesday evening, where the former first lady of Massachusetts hosted the first Romney rally since the campaign suspended all of its overtly political events in light of the devastation from Hurricane Sandy in the mid-Atlantic area. Vice President Joe Biden will be close on her heels when he arrives in Iowa on Thursday for rallies in Muscatine and Fort Dodge.

Non-Political Post to Family and Friends


BREAKING: Limited LIRR & Metro-North RR service will begin at 2PM More info:

Gov. Cuomo: No subway service below 34th street in Manhattan due to lack of power. #Sandy

— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) October 31, 2012

I have some family and friends that read the blog so I’m taking this opportunity to update those who I haven’t been able to communicate with.  I am safe, sound, showered but unshaven, and well fed.  The same cannot be said for everyone.  People are missing relatives they haven’t heard from in days including my aunt.  Those who could leave lower Manhattan have left.  This is not your usual power outage. Stop lights still are not working in the busiest city in America below 39th street in Manhattan.  Traffic in midtown with electricity is at a standstill as cars grind into the lower Manhattan “wasteland.” Gothamist has an incredible, though accurate, report of the complete mess that is everything below 39th street right now:

I just returned from Manhattan. I ran for 5 hours with stops, covering 12 miles in total, scoping the island from west to east. You will not hear these stories from the Mayor or Governor; these are my observations, informed by discussions with real people who live in lower Manhattan:1) Virtually every retailer, restaurant and grocery store south of 38th street is CLOSED. This is in an area covering 8 square miles. I only observed a handful of bodegas in Soho and the East Village, along with Ben’s Pizza on W3rd and MacDougal serving customers. Whole Foods Union Square had a sign reading “because there is no electricity, we cannot open.” There is no food, other than what you have in your refrigerator.

2) To that point, there are close to 400,000 people living below 38th street without power. The mayor earlier said it could be 3 days without power; some Con Ed guys I spoke with in the East Village think it could be longer. Nobody knows.

3) No working traffic lights in this region (drivers are generally being cautious and appropriately yielding to pedestrians). Apartment stairwells are pitch black. High rises have no elevator access.

4) For now, this is an economic crisis – hourly workers cannot be paid, freelancers have no clients, small businesses have no sales, office buildings are shuttered. In my estimate, the lost output is $1 billion dollars EVERY SINGLE DAY that goes by without power for lower Manhattan. Included in this number is the shutdown of our major airports and transportation system. (Note that NYC’s economy generates $2.8 bn daily and over $1 trillion annually – which makes it the world’s 17th largest economy, if it was a country).

5) There is no running water or flushing toilets for people living in the Jacob Riis Houses and surrounding NYCHA buildings on the Lower East Side. In my estimate, this is roughly 20,000 people. One family I spoke with is packing their bags and moving to Brooklyn until services are restored. But it did not appear that all residents were evacuating, even as their toilets did not flush.

6) I did not witness a single Red Cross Truck or FEMA Vehicle or in lower Manhattan. Recall the assistance these agencies provided after 9/11 – this is NOT HAPPENING. There are bound to be hundreds of elderly people, rich and poor, who live on the upper floors of buildings with elevators that are now disabled. IF POWER IS NOT RESTORED, THIS WILL MOVE FROM BEING AN ECONOMIC DISASTER TO A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER.

7) If you think Chinatown normally has an unpleasant odor, imagine what it smells like 24 hours following no refrigeration. Street vendors were trying to unload perishables at bargain prices. I saw a fish weighing roughly 20 pounds and spanning 3 feet from head to tail go to a buyer for $1 dollar. $1 dollar!!!!! [Here’s video he sent us.]

8) The substation responsible for the outage is a huge facility. It spans an entire avenue from Avenue C to D and a length of street from 13th to 14th. If crews have to inspect every coil and wire, it might be MORE THAN THREE DAYS UNTIL POWER IS RESTORED. Additionally, the site did not appear staffed with many Con Ed workers. As a note, the 2003 blackout lasted 15 hours.9) The water from the storm surge was invariably contaminated – floating garbage, wood pieces from the dock, and possibly sewage. One Nuyorican woman who lived on Avenue C near 12th street noted the water level peaked above her waist. She was still visibly shaken this afternoon. She also recalled a huge noise at 8 pm when the substation failed. The sky, in her words, turned from black to green

10) There were some very generous things. Northern Spy Food Co. served lunch to everyone who lined up outside their restaurant at Avenue A and 12th street – polenta, pork buns, chicken, biscuits and freshly baked cookies. They get props in my book; all this food was served to locals at no charge.

I’ll do my best to keep the content high while operating from the remote location without all the data on my home computer. Stay safe everyone.

Release the Kraken: Romney campaign to hit the road with 100 surrogates

There are only 6 days left to campaign and following the Hurricane Sandy pause Team Romney is gearing up for a final push to close out the cycle that would dwarf any prior campaign’s effort.  According to CNN, Team Romney will hit 11-states with all-stars from the GOP’s deep bench, Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin:

Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, will kick off a four-day tour starting Friday, where they’ll be joined by their wives and 100 surrogates in the final days of the White House race, his campaign announced Wednesday.

The tour starts off with a rally in West Chester, Ohio, the hometown of House Speaker John Boehner. Aside from Boehner, featured guests that day include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Boehner will depart on his own bus tour in Ohio from Saturday to Monday.

In the four days before Election Day, the surrogates will fan out across eleven battleground states: Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

A campaign source confirmed that Romney will be at the Verizon Center in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday night, and Kid Rock will perform, as well.

On Wednesday, Romney and Ryan resume the campaign trail after canceling some events due to conditions related to Superstorm Sandy. Romney will travel to Florida for three campaign events, where he’ll appear with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Senate candidate Connie Mack. Ryan, meanwhile, will make stops in Wisconsin.

Romney +5 in Virginia, Romney +26 with Independents — Roanoke College

In the latest poll of Virginia from Roanoke College, Mitt Romney leads by 5-points, 49 to 44 with 5% Undecided. Among the Undecided, 27% are leaning towards Romney and 9% towards Obama.  The party ID is D +4 (Dem 35, Rep 31, Ind 30). This compares to 2008 of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27) and 2004 of R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26). Maybe a shade towards the Democrats but at least it is between the past two elections.

Interesting how Roanoke has a similar lead among Independents as Quinnipiac, but a 7-point swing towards Romney.  Did they not get the memo to cheerlead their lungs out for Obama? Oh wait, Roanoke isn’t party to the DC cocktail circuit so they will have to rely on their reputation which makes the play it straight and this is an awful poll for the President.

From the at the cross-tabs:

  • Each side locks down its base with ~95% support
  • Romney leads with Independents by +26 which explains the lead in the poll
  • Obama support among Whites is an awful 33%
  • Obama support among Blacks is 89%, approximately the historical norm for a Democrat but well-off his lofty 2008 levels of ~96%
  • Obama leads by only 1-point among women 48 to 47
  • Romney leads among men 52 to 39
  • Obama job approval is at 44%
  • Third party candidates get 4% of the vote but when pressed to pick Obama or Romney, Obama leads 56 to 37 among these voters
  • Obama is viewed favorably 48 to 46
  • Romney is viewed favorably 49 to 39

CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac Survey Narnia, Find Obama Leading

We’re six days out from the finish line so there’s not much time left for the press to get in their final push for their preferred candidate. Lucky for the Left there is the wonderfully incompetent trio of CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac to rush into the fray and magically find polls with Obama winning just close enough that when it flips on election day they can shout “Margin of Error!” and head back into their cocoon.

The economy remains the paramount issue in this election with ~50% saying it is the top priority and ~20% saying it is the #2 priority across all three states polled.  No other topic is even close.  Despite this the lead questions in the survey were “which candidate cares about the needs and problems of people like you?”, “who cares about the middle class?” and “who cares and understands the needs and problems of women in the workplace?”  I’m not making this up. These are straight out of Obama stump speeches. For the uninitiated, polling is as much art as it is science and question order greatly affects responses of those surveyed.  PPP does this in a very biased way all the time which which is among the countless reasons I will never blog them. In the Q-poll, even in their pro-Obama wave of questions, when they get to whether candidate X is a strong leader, Obama still solidly lags Romney polling at ~56% while Romney polls ~64 across the 3 states.

After 9 straight ostensibly pro-Obama questions, they ask about the economy which again is the TOP issue in everyone’s book and happens to be THE issue in every Romney stump speech.  With 9 questions ramping up good feelings about Obama, Romney barely leads on this issue in Florida and Virginia and trails by one in Ohio.  Well done Quinnipiac. Now, if you’ll just survey far more Democrats than have ever shown up at the polls in these state the Death Star may finally be fully operational and Obama can pull out an election that he is almost assuredly losing right now.  On to the states!

Florida: The Lion

  • Obama leads +1 at 48 to 47 with 3% Undecided; Romney leads with Independents by 5
  • Party ID wasD +7 (Dem 37, Rep 30, Ind 29). In 2008 it was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29). In 2004 it was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23). Good show Quinnipiac!  In a state with a GOP governor and massive increases in congressional delegations, popular GOP Senator, and strong state house swings to the GOP since 2008, you found Democrat strength equal to 2008 while Republican flight since 2004 continues unabated. You found the Democrat identification advantage in your survey more than doubles the advantage they enjoyed in 2008 despite a nearly net 300,000 swing towards Republicans in voter registrations. Your Florida poll is unassailable…at least in Narnia.
  • Obama job approval +1 at 49/48 … if Quinnipiac surveyed only Dade County and even there I’d double check the numbers

Ohio: The Witch

  • Obama leads +5, 50 – 45 with 4% Undecided; Romney leads with Independents by 6
  • The party ID was D +8 (Dem 37, Rep 29, Ind 30). This compares to D +8 in 2008 (Dem 39, Rep 31, Ind 30) and R +5 in 2004 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind 25).  There is no chance the Democrat turnout advantage will meet Obama’s 2008 best in a generation turnout which we write as D +8 based on the CNN party ID generally used.  This is even though the actual 2008 party ID was really only D +5 making this D +8 that much more implausible. How many statistics on changes in enthusiasm favoring Republicans, unrealistic Democrat demographic assumptions and elimination of Obama’s early vote advantage do you need to see before they start polling an electorate dissimilar to 2008 when their dream candidate fulfilled their liberal inner guilt and healed a nation or whatever BS they were peddling at the time? Quinnipiac is not going to let silly facts get in the way of its mission to buck up the Lefties and turn this contest into a horse-race. One more piece to the puzzle before the Death Star is complete.
  • Obama job approval +3 at 50/47 — Can you imagine what it would be if they surveyed Ohio?

Virginia: The Wardrobe

  • Obama leads by 2, 49 – 47 with 3% Undecided; Romney leads with Independents by 21
  • The party ID is D +8 (Dem 35, Rep 27, Ind 35). This compares to 2008 of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27) and 2004 of R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26). Who knew the blue wave continues so far South of the DC Beltway?  Certainly not Virginia and certainly not Governor Creigh Deeds. Just because Virginia flipped its state delegation dramatically in favor of Republicans doesn’t mean the voters turned their back on Democrats, it’s just there must have been a good TV rerun of Martin Sheen spouting non-sensical liberal tripe on the Left Wing that distracted Democrats from voting.  Good thing Quinnipiac found these ultra-micro-targeted hidden Democrats only Project Narwhal knows about because otherwise, without those gnomes (Step 1: Call random #s only in Fairfax County, Step 2: ???, Step 3: Obama wins!) I’m not sure we’d have a fully operational Death Star. Come November 6, we’ll see how well those gnomes delivered for this survey of a fantasy electorate.
  • Obama job approval flat at 49/49 — Really?  49% with a D +8 turnout in a state closer to even D/R?  Suuuuuuuure.

Franklin & Marshall Wastes Your Time With a Registered Voter Poll

It is one freaking week before the election, why is Franklin & Marshall releasing a poll where they have the likely voter data, but only provide breakdowns of the registered voter segment? WASTE. OF. TIME.

Obama leads +4 in Pennsylvania and Romney leads +16 with Independents. That’s about all you need to know. Everything else wastes your time so I stopped breaking down the poll after Independents. Hooray for Franklin & Marshall!

Franklin & Marshall have regularly polled the Pennsylvania Presidential contests and always with interesting results. President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 4-points among likely voters, 49 to 45. There are a few odd numbers within this result though. First President Obama has a 4-point lead among registered voters as well as likely voters which seems a little since Democrats polls as much as 4-points above the typical like likely voter result. Additionally, the likely voter screen was extremely strict shaving off 36% of the registered voters. This would normally bode well for Republicans yet there was no change in the result.


Mitt Romney leads by 16-points among Independents, 48 to 32. Curiously although both sides lock down their bases Mitt Romney trails overall by 4 despite that enormous margin with Independents.

Another Solid Washoe Early Voting Win for Republicans

For the second straight day during the most important time of early voting, Republicans notch another victory expanding on yesterday’s win.  In Tuesday early voting Republicans cast 3700 ballots versus Democrats 3360, a 340 ballot margin. Aggregate ballots cast were 120% the 2012 weekday reflecting the expected week 2 turnout, unlike Monday.

Other than the odd spike on Sunday (the lowest turnout day of 2012), the contest has been largely evenly matched after the typical strong start by the Democrats.  Early voting has been a back and forth battle in Washoe County but during the most important time period Republicans have greatly stepped up their game. The Independent/Other turnout remains an important segment in the 2012 early voting and remains the great unknown whether they will fall to Romney or Obama. The strong reversal in Republican fortunes the last two days show has increased the growth rate of Republican turnout versus Democrat turnout to 3.2% versus the models 2% heading into this week.We are working without our models for now (I’d ask for a Hurricane Sandy exemption) but between the turnout below expectations thus far and the increased growth rate, Republicans are poised to meaningfully turn the tides on Democrats in Washoe early voting this year. The gains of the last two days continue to eat into the Democrats ballot advantage that stands as 1117 ballots.



Obama +3 in Michigan — Detroit News

It is so on in the Great Lakes State.  Obama remains under 50%, leading 47.7 to 45 with 4% Undecided:

Mitt Romney is within striking distance of Barack Obama in Michigan in the final days before the election, buoyed by more who are convinced the Republican is a viable alternative to the president, with the ability to turn around the economy. Obama’s lead over Romney has shrunk to just under 3 points, 47.7 percent to 45 percent, with 3.8 percent undecided, according to a new Detroit News/WDIV Local 4 poll of likely voters. Obama’s lead was 6.7 points earlier this month and has eroded to within the poll’s 3.8 percentage point margin of error. It’s the smallest advantage for the Democratic president during the Michigan campaign.

“Mitt Romney’s numbers … are where they would need to be if he hopes to pull off an upset next week,” said Richard Czuba of Glengariff Group Inc., which conducted the poll. “But the question is: Is there enough for a final push?”

The Obama campaign Tuesday announced its first network TV ads will begin airing this week in Michigan. Neither candidate had bought airtime here, but earlier Tuesday, Romney’s super PAC launched a $2.2 million advertising final blitz in Michigan. That brings Restore Our Future’s investment in Michigan post-primary up to nearly $10 million, according to the PAC — which until now had been unanswered by the Obama campaign.


Join Mitt Romney in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday!

This is the final rally before election day, so if you’re in the area welcome our next President on his last day as candidate Romney:

How serious is Romney in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan?

Mark Murray of NBC has the ad spending numbers from the Romney campaign and his SuperPAC supporters:

Plenty of this money is the SuperPAC moreso than the actual Romney campaign, but the point stands that in these outer Battlegrounds Team Romney is committing serious dollars at a 3:1 pace over Obama.

Obama +7 in Minnesota — KTSP/SurveyUSA

Don’t have the cross-tabs yet but this was the firm that had a D +9 poll two weeks ago with Obama leading by 10. The 2008 party ID was D +4 and in 2004 it was D +3. As soon as the details are released I’ll be certain to break down these results.

From Tom Hauser, Chief Political Reporter for KSTP-TV, St. Paul / Minneapolis:

KSTP/SurveyUSA: Obama 50% Romney 43% Other/undecided 7%. Obama had 50% to 40% lead two weeks ago. Margin of error +/-4.2

Party ID

This poll was D +7 (Dem 37, Rep 30, Ind 28). This compares to 2008 of D +4 (Dem 40, Rep 36, Ind 25) and 2004 of D + 3 (Dem 38, Rep 35, Ind 27).


Tied 41-41 among independents.

When you adjust for the unrealistically high Democrat turnout and an even split among Independents, this race is highly competitive, consistent with the actions of both campaigns sending top surrogates to the state and putting ad dollars to work.  This is going to be a fun state to watch on election night.

Double Your Pleasure

I know they ran it yesterday, but if they thought it was good enough to run twice, who am I to complain? Words really can’t tell you how much it means to me that even one of my posts ran on Real Clear Politics.  And if today was a mistake, just don’t tell them 🙂

Nashua Telegraph (New Hampshire) Endorses Romney (Endorsed Obama in 2008)

Another Battleground State makes the switch:

Mitt Romney for president

Four years ago, with little hesitation, we endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama to become the 44th president of the United States, saying it was a time for “new leadership, a new approach to governing, a new way of conducting the people’s business.”

So the basic question facing The Telegraph editorial board when it met last week came down to this: Did the former Illinois senator do enough to live up to those admittedly high expectations to warrant a second term?

After several hours of spirited debate, not unlike conversations taking place in kitchens and living rooms across America, we reached a consensus that he had not. Perhaps more importantly, when we identified the key challenges facing the nation – jobs, the economy and the national debt – we concluded he was not the best candidate to meet them.

That person is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and we hereby endorse him to become the 45th president of the United States.

During his many years in the private and public sectors, Romney has demonstrated the critical leadership skills necessary to bring people together toward a common goal.

He did it when he founded a successful investment firm at age 37. He did it when he helped rescue a scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. And he did it when he worked with an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature after being elected governor of Massachusetts that same year.

As we noted when we endorsed Romney for the GOP nomination prior to the New Hampshire primary in January, Washington is broken. In order to fix it, it will take a strong leader willing to roll up his sleeves and work directly with the heads of both parties to carve out the best possible solutions.

We believe Romney has demonstrated that he can do that; the president has had four years to demonstrate that he can’t.

Continue reading

Are Democrats Cannibalizing Election Day Votes?

One of the key distinguishing advantages to early voting is the ability of political parties to get their low-propensity voters to actually cast their ballot.  Every election, though, the question remains whether these turnouts in early voting are cannibalizing election day voters of each side.  The GOP ran a study on this concern and the results bode ill for what had been a key strength to Obama’s 2008 victory:

Democrats more than Republicans are getting their most loyal supporters to vote early, but with polls showing a close race among those who have voted so far, concerns are being raised about a GOP tsunami on the actual Election Day, next Tuesday.

According to a GOP analysis of early voting and absentee ballot requests provided to Secrets, the Democrats are turning out their most reliable, or so-called “high propensity voters” than Republicans, leaving fewer for Election Day. The GOP is pushing weaker supporters to vote early, expecting high enthusiasm to drive their regular supporters to the polls next week.

For example, in Ohio, the Democrats have turned out 43 percent of the most loyal supporters to vote, compared to just 27 percent of the GOP. In Iowa, the difference is 43 percent to 29 percent.

Even with the difference in turnout of loyal supporters, Gallup finds that among early voters, Romney is beating Obama 52 percent to 45 percent, though some state totals show an Obama advantage. Plus in states like North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa, the GOP has seen huge requests for last-minute absentee ballots this month.

Obama Ads Going Up in Michigan

Expanding the map … which is of course a sign of weakness in the Romney campaign according to Jim Messina. The final tweet below by Rick Wiley is important because look at what’s happening: Obama playing nothing but defense looking to hold FRINGE Battlegrounds while Romney is on nothing but offense. If you can’t tell which way this election is likely to fall, you’re not playing close attention:

From Mark Halperin:

Both sides have enough money for these end-game ad forays. The real issues remain candidate time/visits, the psy-ops involved here, and the belief of some Republicans that a combination of Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania could surprise on Election Day.

Crushed By Your Policies — New Romney Ad in Pennsylvania

Mark Halperin: Obama Campaign Worried About Pennsylvania

Paul Ryan to Campaign in Minnesota TODAY!

I has gotten this rumor earlier today but checked the official site and found nothing. But now this…

From the Associated Press:

Paul Ryan coming to MSP airport, Hudson event today

Paul Ryan will make a stop at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this evening. He is scheduled to arrive at 4:15 p.m.

He will then head for a storm relief and volunteer appreciation event in Hudson, Wis. The Romney-Ryan campaign will be collecting supplies at their campaign offices to deliver to those affected by the East Coast storm.

Minnesota poll tonight:

That’s 7pm ET. I’ll do my best to break the poll down. Last time Survey USA’s awful poll inspired me to write that Minnesota would be this year’s election night surprise, so who knows what’s in store for us with this result.


Pennsylvania In Play — Romney Ads Going State-wide

Thanks to “Tone Loc” for the tip, Romney ads going state-wide:

Mitt Romney is launching a statewide advertising campaign in Pennsylvania. The Republican presidential candidate is making a final-week bid to defeat President Barack Obama in territory long considered safe for Democrats. No Republican presidential candidate has carried the state in nearly a quarter century. Recent polls suggest the race there is close.

Republican officials with knowledge of the plan report that Romney’s campaign will begin running ads statewide as soon as Wednesday. The buy includes the expensive Philadelphia broadcast market, where Romney’s campaign was reluctant to invest earlier in the month. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss campaign strategy.

Strong Monday Early Voting for GOP in Washoe and Clark Counties

Washoe County (thanks to Paul8148 for the data)

A Washoe County win for the GOP casting 2859 ballots versus 2705 for Democrats achieving a net 164 ballot gain. This is huge for the GOP as they needed to reverse the slide in Washoe and they did so with gusto. The overall turnout was below our expectations but that is more concerning for Democrats as questions regarding voter enthusiasm have continued to creep into their early vote results.

Clark County (thanks to vnClark for the data)

The gap in all-important Clark County narrowed dramatically on Monday with Democrats casting 14,113 ballots and Republicans casting Republicans 12,492 — by far the best comparative for Republicans in 2008 or 2008. This performance compressed the % contribution to 42.8% for Democrats and 37.9% for Republicans.  The two day move for Republicans is fantastic news for Team Nevada and bodes well during this big final week of early voting. The turnout was below our model’s expectation but the steep climb from Republicans would give a strong boost to expected growth that we will update after Tuesday’s numbers.

Charts expected later.

The escape to freedom (and by that I mean electricity) is complete

After hailing a private car service and being rescued on the 21st floor of a 30 flight stairwell climb, I am safely in the confines of the satellite offices of CKC Capital. Electricity did not begin in Manhattan before 42nd street, so choose your local travel accordingly.

Special thanks to KC and Elizabeth for providing Red Cross services to your weary and world-worn blogger.

Will resume auxiliary blogging once we are fully operational.

UPDATE: We now have security camera footage of the rescue operation on the 21st floor:

About to go on AM 1130 in Twin Cities, Minnesota. Tune In!

The power is out in Manhattan for me but it is only annoying. Please keep those less fortunate in your prayers As the power outage is causing many problems for those that live closer to the water.

Tune into the Late Debate with Jack and Ben (10pmThe ET) for our chat on Minnesota turning red this year!

Lightning Crashes: ABC News Moves Pensylvania, Minnesota from ‘Safe’ to ‘Lean’ Obama

I can feel it coming back again, like a rolling thunder chasing the wind:

With one week to go, states that were once considered Obama strongholds now look less solid. Republican groups are putting resources into Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Team Obama brushes off these incursions as wishful thinking by Republicans, but noticeably they are putting money and muscle into both states. Minnesota has been added to Bill Clinton’s schedule. And, Obama campaign officials admitted that they will once again start running ads in Pennsylvania.

So, what is happening in Minnesota? Demographics. As our ABC/Washington Post poll has shown, Romney has a substantial lead among white men. Minnesota is one of the least diverse states in the country with 90 percent of the electorate in 2008 made of white voters. In other Midwestern states with small minority populations, like Iowa and Wisconsin, the Obama campaign has flooded the airwaves for months with anti-Romney ads. They have done nothing of the sort in Minnesota.

Moreover, the airwaves in states like Ohio and Virginia are already heavily saturated. The ground game is the name of the game now in those places. That means that SuperPAC’s with lots of money can get a better return on their investment  on the airwaves in places like Pennsylvania and Minnesota than in the  eight battleground states where the campaigns have been most heavily engaged.

Feels Like The First Time — Foreigner

You Don’t Get Days Like This Too Often

Another recommended read: The Folly of David Axelrod’s Turnout Model

— Karl Rove (@KarlRove) October 29, 2012

I’m beside myself.