Nate Silver

Today's Polls: By Process Of Elimination, Mccain Needs Pa
October 31, 2008

Is Pennsylvania John McCain's last, best hope?Perhaps it is. But that speaks as much to McCain's problems elsewhere on the map as any success he has had in the Keystone State. Pennsylvania does seem to be narrowing a bit: the Muhlenberg / Morning Call tracker is now down to "only" a 10-point lead for Senator Obama, while a Strategic Vision poll puts the race at O +5. Strategic Vision has had a Republican lean and some very erratic polling in Pennsylvania all year, so our model treats that result as the equivalent of a +7 or a +8.

Irrational Exuberance In Arizona?
October 31, 2008

In contrast to what most candidates do in the closing days of a race, Barack Obama is expanding his list of targets, making an ad buy in Arizona as well as Georgia and North Dakota: YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — In a bold move brimming with confidence, Democrat Barack Obama broadened his advertising campaign on Friday into two once reliably Republican states and further bedeviled rival John McCain by placing a commercial in the Republican presidential nominee's home state of Arizona.Obama's campaign, capitalizing on his vast financial resources and a favorable political climate, announced that it was go

Mccain's Mountain Of A Problem
October 31, 2008

Our model does not make any specific adjustments for early voting, but it is presenting a major problem for John McCain in three states in the Mountain West region, where Barack Obama has a huge fraction of his vote locked in.In the wee hours of this morning, Public Policy Polling released data from Colorado and New Mexico. The toplines are strong for Obama, giving him leads of 10 and 17 points, respectively in those states.

Today's Polls: No, It's (still) Not Tightening
October 30, 2008

Man, I thought I trained you guys better than this.There is a lot of consternation in my e-mail box about two polls. One, from Mason-Dixon, shows John McCain just 4 points down in Pennsylvania. The other, from FOX News, shows McCain down just 3 points nationwide.Let's start with the Pennsylvania result. Mason-Dixon is a pretty strong pollster. So, however, are many others from among the literally dozen or so agencies that have conducted polling within Pennsylvania over the past 72 hours.

Today's Polls: What Mccain Needs To Do / What Mccain Isn't Doing
October 30, 2008

We're getting to you a little bit late tonight, so let's keep this short and to the point...With no fewer than 45 polls released since our last update, covering essentially all of the major swing states, we have a pretty good idea of where this race stands -- a far better idea than you'll get by trying to discern the meaning of John Zogby's divining rod or paying any attention to what you see on the front page of Drudge Report.

The Myth Of The 'lag'
October 29, 2008

One of the most bizarre but oft-repeated myths about polling is the notion that state polls 'lag' behind national polls, and particularly lag behind national trackers. This is largely a relic of a bygone era in which newspapers might commission a poll in their state, and then sit on it for several days until their Sunday editions or some other ebb in the news cycle.

The Black Turnout Surge, Already In Progress
October 28, 2008

According to Michael McDonald's terrific website, there are three states in which early voting has already exceeded its totals from 2004. These are Georgia, where early voting is already at 180 percent of its 2004 total, Louisiana (169 percent), and North Carolina (129 percent).Hmm ... can anybody think of something that those three states have in common?The African-American population share is the key determinant of early voting behavior. In states where there are a lot of black voters, early voting is way, way up.

Today's Polls: Same Old Story
October 28, 2008

Stop me if you've heard this one before. Although the national trackers look slightly stronger for John McCain than they did a couple days ago, Barack Obama once again had an exceptionally good day in the state-level numbers.To review the national polling situation briefly: Gallup and Research 2000 moved toward McCain, and IBD/TIPP moved toward Obama; the other five trackers were essentially flat.

Should Mccain Be Rooting For Bad Weather?
October 28, 2008

How you know you're close to the election: has forecasts ready: Denver, CO Sunny, 60FLas Vegas, NV Sunny, 75FAlbuquerque, NM Sunny, 65FBillings, MT Scattered Showers, 49FKansas City, MO Sunny, 64FSt.

Today's Polls: Obama Steady In Battlegrounds, Running Up Score In Blue States
October 27, 2008

John McCain is making no progress in his pursuit of the White House. Our model now projects Barack Obama to win 351 electoral votes to John McCain's 187, and to win the Electoral College 96.7 percent of the time to McCain's 3.3 percent. Both numbers are unchanged from yesterday.Let's take a look at the polls, and then run through a couple of big-picture themes:Theme #1.