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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

Has McCain actually already LOST?(Yes he has)

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Coyote
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 10:19am 

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Recently, I posted a subject on McCain pulling out of Michigan, which was already posted in the "Has McCain already WON?" thread. The subject was locked, but there was concern expressed over the 20-page thread becoming unwieldly.

Following last nights VP debate, coming within a few hours of McCain effectively conceding Michigan. maybe it is time to ask about this reversal of fortune and posit -- has McCain really begun the long, slow slide to losing this election?

Let's face it, the bar was set so low for Sara Palin last night that as long as she walked off the stage with a pulse, she "won". But that's not much of a victory, even by a stretch.

According to Slate online, the winners were Biden (for doing extremely well) and Palin (for not melting down). The loser, however, was John McCain, who was torn down by Biden, left undefended by Palin, and came across looking like a bozo for putting this deer before the headlights.

Quote:
Champ vs. Doggone
The debate's winners: Palin and Biden. Its loser: McCain.
By John Dickerson
Updated Friday, Oct. 3, 2008, at 12:48 AM ET

Sarah Palin and Joe Biden
The puzzle of the vice-presidential debate looked as if it was going to be relatively easy. We knew the words we would use to describe it—embarrassing, gaffe, and twaddle. All that was left was to figure out which candidate to fix them to. Either Joe Biden would fulfill his role as the man known for producing word clouds before that became an Internet term or Sarah Palin would produce one of those fearless answers that proved the topic she was certain about was one with which she had only passing familiarity.

It turned out to be harder than that to score. Those words will sit unused. People watching for a car crash were disappointed. Palin did well, and so did Biden. He was the winner by my standard—he knew his brief, he kept himself in check, and he was commanding. The CNN and CBS post-debate polls called it for Biden. The Fox focus group (not an exact comparison) called it for Palin.

But regardless of who won or lost, a vice-presidential debate doesn't matter unless it produces a major gaffe. This one didn't. So, people will vote on the person at the top of the ticket, and by that criterion, even if you think Palin won the debate, it's hard to see how she changed the race much. That's not great news for John McCain. Both national and state polls are going in the wrong direction for him.


More at the website.

Huffington Post has similar points of view, summed up by Arianna Huffington herself:

Quote:
VP Debate: McCain's Big Gamble Comes Up Snake Eyes

I watched the vice presidential debate in a ballroom at the Four Seasons hotel in Aviara, just north of San Diego, along with a couple of hundred women attending Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit -- a receptive audience, you would think, for a debate featuring a woman who might become the most powerful in the land. It was an ideologically mixed crowd, including representatives of ExxonMobil, a major sponsor of the conference.

If the reaction of the Republican women in the room is any indication, it was not a very good night for Sarah Palin. The only noises heard during the debate were groans when Palin turned her folksiness meter up to 11 (which was often), and applause when Joe Biden delivered his best moments of the night: making personal his understanding of the plight of single parents sitting around their kitchen tables, looking for help; and his impassioned pushback on Palin's endless description of John McCain as "a maverick."

The loudest ovation of the night -- at least in that ballroom (granted, not the most representative-of-America crowd) -- came when Biden said that Dick Cheney was the most dangerous VP in history.

After watching this debate, I am convinced that if the country somehow has a collective mental meltdown and elects Sarah Palin, she will be even more dangerous than Cheney. Not only does she want more power for herself than the Constitution grants -- or than Cheney took for himself -- but she is so obviously not equipped to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, it takes your breath away that McCain picked her. He claims to be putting his country first, but the debate proved beyond any doubt that he has actually chosen to put his country on the betting line and roll the dice. And they've come up snake eyes.

Friday morning, Meg Whitman, the co-chair of McCain's campaign, will be on a panel with Penny Pritzker, Obama's national finance chair, discussing the campaign. After the debate, I asked Whitman what she thought of Palin's performance. "Good enough," she said.

But good enough for what, exactly? After Thursday night, the only thing Palin proved herself good enough for is starring in her own reality show.

Watching Biden and Palin on the same stage was like watching a tennis champion walk onto Centre Court at Wimbledon only to find himself facing an over-eager amateur from the local high school. Or as Pat Mitchell told me, "Biden was taking part in a vice presidential debate; Palin was taking part in a junior high debate."


More at the site.

Basically, McCain needed a game-changer, and Palin could not provide one. Biden expertly avoided playing into the trap of attacking Palin as a peer, which would come off as a sexist bully for Republican spinmeisters, and stuck to attacking John McCain. It seems as though the Republican handlers for Palin did not expect that-- they wanted a "picking on a girl!" headline for this morning.

Is John McCain pretty much over and done with? If not, why not?
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CmdrWilkens
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 10:24am 

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Is it over? Hard to say because there could always be a game changing event on the order of the Wall Street meltdown BUT with 32 days to go before the election there isn't a lot of time for any such event. Right now McCain needs to essentially run a flawless campaign and STILL get an assist from Obama.
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Rye
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 11:16am 

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Joined: 2003-03-08 08:48am
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Given how prone republicans are to cheating, and how prone the democrats are to letting republican shit slide, don't accept that he's lost until it's all official. By all rights, the general opinion should've been that he'd lost before it had even started, however, that was just as, if not more true of G W Bush the first time, let alone the second. Bush wasn't a war hero, the country was doing well enough, he had a string of managerial failures behind him, and he had a series of gaffes like dissing reporters when he didn't realise his mic was on.

At least one terrorist in the US has blamed all the current problems on "liberals", and they even tried to spin republicans not voting for the $700 billion bailout on Obama and the democrats. The fact they are stating such absurd, blatantly false, futile exercises in mendacity and not getting absolutely roasted for it in public opinion makes me wonder what the fuck is going on. So again, see my prior stated conclusion: only trust Obama's the next president when all is said and done.
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CaptJodan
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 11:29am 

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John McCain has lost only when the score for Obama is higher on November 4th. Not before. There's still plenty of time for shit to happen. I think people forget just how much even one terrorist attack might well shift things back to McCain, if it were to happen. Now, do I think the probability of a McCain victory at this point is greater than an Obama one? Absolutely not. But if the title of this new thread is any indication, we see how things can shift, especially if the media somehow decides again that they like McCain and want this to be a close race.
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Tribun
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 11:33am 

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Do you think the terrorists will try something big, so that they get McCain, who would contine to serve as the big enemy? And, how big this had to be so that it would shift the game for a McCain win?
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General Zod
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 11:40am 

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Tribun wrote:
Do you think the terrorists will try something big, so that they get McCain, who would contine to serve as the big enemy? And, how big this had to be so that it would shift the game for a McCain win?


It'd have to be at least on the scale of another 9/11. Since nothing happened during the last election cycle, I'd sincerely doubt the chances of anything happening this time around without something more than fear mongering.
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Superman
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 12:02pm 

Pink Foamin' at the Mouth


Joined: 2002-12-16 01:29am
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My prediction: Obama will be our next president.

Everyone remember that I called it! :mrgreen:
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ray245
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 12:19pm 

Sith Acolyte


Joined: 2005-06-10 11:30pm
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Superman wrote:
My prediction: Obama will be our next president.

Everyone remember that I called it! :mrgreen:


At this stage?

Although looking all the way back in 2007, Obama pulled off a hell out of a campaign.
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CaptJodan
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 12:39pm 

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Tribun wrote:
Do you think the terrorists will try something big, so that they get McCain, who would contine to serve as the big enemy? And, how big this had to be so that it would shift the game for a McCain win?


Depends largely on the intelligence or the overall goals of terror here. Obama might well be better for the terrorists than another GOP candidate, especially one with a propensity for loving the war "let's not even talk to our enemies or allies" option. But if you're looking to have America continue to fall into instability and have its political power and military might stretched, then you goad the GOP back into office with a less-than-9/11 attack (to avoid a large rallying behind the US), but something to remind the voters that John McCain is the only one that can protect them from the bad boogie man. Make the attack look as if it came from Iraq, and you secure support for continuing the fight in a country that, at that point, would have (or would appear to have) attacked us.

Obviously these opinions I don't share. I don't actually think the terrorists want another 4 years of the US military in countries they want, but we've seen how badly this war and this administration has hurt the US in many ways.
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RedImperator
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 01:04pm 

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Joined: 2002-07-11 07:59pm
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Obama is obviously in good shape, and if today's date was 3 November, I'd probably be out buying party hats, but it's not 3 November. There's a month to go and still two debates coming down the pipeline, and even with the electoral math as it stands, there are plausible paths to victory for McCain. We're not even sure right now if Obama's numbers are a bounce or a surge. The Wall St. meltdown has spooked everyone, but if it slides out of the headlines, Obama's lead might decay, too. And even if Obama's numbers hold, nobody knows if the Bradley effect is in effect or not. There are encouraging signs that it isn't (for example, robo-polling outfits like Rasmussen are largely in line with the pollsters who use live callers), but I'm not about to write it off.

And don't forget, as nasty as the McCain campaign has been, they haven't broken out the big guns yet. Be prepared to see Reverend Wright clips all over the TV for the next month. The Obama camp has some cards it hasn't played yet, either (hello, Charles Keating), but given how devastating Wright was the first time around, don't underestimate his potential impact now.
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Tribun
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 01:30pm 

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Can nasty attacks on Obama also hurt McCain instead, you know "why is he doing this shit in these dire times?". So is it possible that McCain throwing around with dirt could only hurt himself?
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General Zod
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 01:36pm 

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Tribun wrote:
Can nasty attacks on Obama also hurt McCain instead, you know "why is he doing this shit in these dire times?". So is it possible that McCain throwing around with dirt could only hurt himself?


I don't think it'd be terribly likely that it would hurt him any worse than it has so far. Karl Rove flat out said McSame's attacks went too far, but it still didn't affect his percentages all that much. Hell, the Veep debate has probably done more in terms of impacting his image than anything as far as negative attacks go. I'd say letting Palin off her leash would be the single most damaging thing McCain could do.
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Tribun
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 02:11pm 

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Btw., I found this chart from 2004, with the graph of the race Kerry vs. Bush.
Compare it to this years' graph, and you can see the differences. Also interesting how things went in the last month.

The Graph
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The Spartan
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 03:29pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2005-03-12 06:56pm
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Tribun wrote:
Btw., I found this chart from 2004, with the graph of the race Kerry vs. Bush.
Compare it to this years' graph, and you can see the differences. Also interesting how things went in the last month.

The Graph

What really stand out to me in that graph is that though Kerry made gains towards the very end, once he lost the lead in late August, he never regained it. Which says to me that McCain is likely behind permanently.

...I hope.
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CmdrWilkens
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 04:21pm 

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Again it comes back as a matter of time. Just recently read a bit of study that was done on the 2000 and 2004 elections. In both those cases roughly 90-95% of voters claiming they would vote for Kerry/Gore in September did so in November while 5-7% defected to Bush...however Bush only held on to 90-95% of his likely voters with a similair percent peeling away to Kerry/Gore. Simply put the state of the race in early October tends to be very consistent through until the end of the cycle. Right now polls are spitting out 5-6% undecideds/3rd party voters. With 1% or so sticking with 3rd party andidates there aren't that many undecideds which means that for McCain to gain groudn he has to peel away soft suport for Obama while ALSO not losing soft support of his own.

I certainly don't want to say that this is a lock but McCain simply doesn't have as many resources as Obama. For all the hype about the wierd and possibly unlawful joint fundraising/expenditure with McCain and the GOP there are still sharp limits to how much they can shell out in running operations in all the various states. Almost universally Obama has a better and stronger ground game which means the more McCain has to do things like pull out of Michigan the more Obama can concentrate resources elsewhere and he has more resources to begin with.

Simply put if there are no MAJOR events between now and November 3rd then Obam has this in the bag. McCain doesn't have the time or the money to launch a full throated hyper-negative campaign to try and chip away at Obama's soft numbers so he HAS to have a big event. The problem is that it would be hard to imagine what such an event would be and if it happens there is no way to be certain that obam wouldn't be able to control the story enough to either make it his advantage or at least a tie (which goes to the person in the lead). Yes there are paths to a McCain victory but they get fewer and further between by the day. Right now he almost HAS to flip PA. If we conceded OH and FL (which I don't but just for argument's sake) Obama still has the election won. Even if McCain flips PA there are plenty scenarios (take both VA and NC for one) for an Obama victory that are highly plausable right now.
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Uraniun235
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 04:27pm 

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I will only celebrate once I read/here "McCain has conceded to Obama". A McCain victory is still all too plausible.
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Coyote
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 04:33pm 

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"Wrinkly & Winkly" may have to abanodon Pennsylvania, now, as well...

Second swirl around the bowl?

Quote:
McCain Could Be Forced Out Of Pennsylvania Too, Union Chief Says
October 3, 2008 11:51 AM

Democrats cheered on Wednesday when news broke that John McCain's campaign was abandoning Michigan, pulling down its ads and sending staffers to other states.

Almost immediately, an organization called Progress Michigan let loose with a taunt, demanding that McCain keep pouring resources into the state in order to explain to voters his "support for outsourcing" and the "failed economic policies" of the Bush administration.

Many speculated that McCain would now turn his focus to Pennsylvania. But United Steelworkers International president Leo Gerard tells the Huffington Post that the state could soon go the way of Michigan.

"We're seeing -- from the several hundred of our people working every day, hand-billing at the plants -- the last two weeks have really been breaking Senator Obama's way," Gerard said over the phone from his office in Pittsburgh. "In particular, I think folks are sort of not taking John McCain as serious as they were, when they see his vacillation last week. 'I'm not going to debate. I'm going to whip House Republicans into shape. Not."

Gerard also said that the bailout bill is hurting McCain disproportionately. "There's lot of anger at this bailout bill, even though people recognize we have to do something. But our people think it's directly tied to Bush, and they tie bush to McCain. That's the sense of what I've heard back from our people, that the race is breaking out."

A sharp turn toward Obama hasn't been reflected in the polling thus far. However, even as McCain surrogates have repeatedly touted Pennsylvania as a possible pick-up state, Obama has maintained a stubborn lead over the last six months, according to Pollster.com's best-fit line of all surveys taken.

All told, the consistency of Obama's lead in Pennsylvania is not too terribly different from the steady advantage that compelled McCain to bail out of Michigan this week....



More at HuffPo.

Pennsylvania is not something to walk away from. You walk away from Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana... you don't just blow off Pennsylvania and retain hope of being competitive. This is a dangerous tactic to pull in Primaries, but in the end-run to the Big Election, it's suicide.

True, it is speculation by a Union boss, but just the idea, voiced aloud, is going to shake people up.
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CmdrWilkens
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 04:45pm 

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Uraniun235 wrote:
I will only celebrate once I read/here "McCain has conceded to Obama". A McCain victory is still all too plausible.


I would say its plausible but "all too plausible" suggests that it is in some way likely. I may be a bit of a 538 junkie but with Obama sitting on a win percent of 80% plus (inlcuding winning in more than 60% of scenarios even conceeding OH). The trends make a McCian victory plausible but barely so I woudl go so far as to call it possible but not likely.
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Kanastrous
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 04:47pm 

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I've started implementing plans based upon a McCain win, on the principle that on the last two go-rounds the public put the worst possible choice in office and Americans are nothing if not consistent. The fact that Palin's performance has been publicly described as anything but a humiliation, tells me more than I want to know about the reliability of the electorate when it comes to making non-moronic decisions.

If I'm lucky, plans can always be shelved at this stage.
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RedImperator
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 05:56pm 

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McCain can win without Pennsylvania, but he needs to carry every swing state to do it. Even if just Nevada flips, that's enough to throw it to the House of Representatives, which is a win for Obama.
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Lord of the Abyss
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 06:41pm 

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General Zod wrote:
Tribun wrote:
Do you think the terrorists will try something big, so that they get McCain, who would contine to serve as the big enemy? And, how big this had to be so that it would shift the game for a McCain win?


It'd have to be at least on the scale of another 9/11. Since nothing happened during the last election cycle, I'd sincerely doubt the chances of anything happening this time around without something more than fear mongering.

As I recall, Osama Bin Laden did release his speeches on a schedule that the CIA decided was timed as an attempt to help get Bush re-elected with the backlash. And certainly any smart enemy of America is going to want the Republicans in charge.
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CmdrWilkens
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 07:24pm 

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RedImperator wrote:
McCain can win without Pennsylvania, but he needs to carry every swing state to do it. Even if just Nevada flips, that's enough to throw it to the House of Representatives, which is a win for Obama.


I don't think so. Lets take the most likely base map which would be 2004 with NH flipped to McCain and Co/NM/IA flipped to Obama. Right now those later three are solidly or heavily enough leaning Obama that McCain isn't likely to mount a comeback and NH is McCain's one bright spot in the NE though it could stay blue. THAT map is 269-269. Any flip at that point is an automatic Obama win and virtually every opportunity is an offensive play for him (NV, VA, NC, IN, and MO were are red states in 2004). Conversely the only flip that Mccain seems likely to make out of that group is MN. So that would be Obama on offense in 5 states and defense in 1 (2 if you count NH) which is a far superior position to be in. For that matter flip MN red and flip any of those Obama states (except NV) and he still wins so he could play pure offense and leave MN uncovered yet STILL be more likely to win.

Again that is with taking about the most conservative base map I can imagine and Obama still ahs a distinct advantage if McCain can't flip PA. Simply put if McCain can't do that he would need to flip one of three states (CO,NM, MN) AND defend against Obama winning in IN, VA and NC. Is it doable? Sure but its a hell of a lot harder if Obama doesn't have to play defense in PA given the disparity in resources.
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Fire Fly
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 07:54pm 

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Tribun wrote:
Btw., I found this chart from 2004, with the graph of the race Kerry vs. Bush.
Compare it to this years' graph, and you can see the differences. Also interesting how things went in the last month.

The Graph


This is a better site to compare Bush/Kerry to McCain/Obama.

At this stage, I'm not even remotely ready to call it for Obama; things look good but a lot can happen in four weeks time in politics. Desperate people will go to desperate lengths to win.
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Asst. Asst. Lt. Cmdr. Smi
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 08:09pm 

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I would wait until after the debates before coming to any conclusions. Debates are only game-changers in extraordinarily close elections like 1960 and 2000, but if expectations for McCain are low enough where he can be considered the winner of the last two debates by virtue of not having a "hey, kids, get off my lawn(s)!" moment, that combined with perhaps a major gaffe by Obama or an effective attack ad campaign could tilt the election toward him.

My biggest concern for the Obama campaign is Colorado. Polls show him ahead there and he's made inroads registering new voters, but I'm under the impression that the evangelical population there is going to nullify that with a Palin-induced get-out-the-vote effort.
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CmdrWilkens
PostPosted: 2008-10-03 08:24pm 

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Again the chart in this item from Pollster is part of the reason I'm very hopeful. If you scroll down past the chart of undecideds you run in to a rather simple bt very telling chart.

  • Of those who said they would vote for Kerry in September 94.5% did so, 4.2% voted for Bush, and 1.3% voted for someone else.
  • Of those who siad they would vote for Bush in September 95.7% did so, 2.8% voted for Kerry and 1.4% voted for someone else.
  • Of those who said they would vote for Gore in September '00 93.5% did, 4.9% voted for Bush and 1.6% voted for someone else.
  • Of those who siad they would vote for Bush at the same time 94.2% did, 5.3% voted for Gore and .5% voted for someone else.

What this means collectively is that support at the end of September tends to be pretty darn firm. Yes we get the 5% of total voters (roughly 5% from each side who hold roughly 50% of the total vote) plus the total number of undecideds moving for roughly 10-11% of the electorate which can break but it won't break in only one direction. With a 7-10pt lead nationally Obama could lose all the undecideds, swap the leaners (as history suggests might happen) and STILL be ahead by a few points. Moreover it also means that the vast majority of Obama's support is now just about locked in. There are only 2 debates left and while the media narrative can turn on a dime it still takes time (of which there is less and less) to have an impact nationally.
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