Thursday, September 16, 2004

Who's polls are you following?

On the one hand, it looks like Bush is gaining in Democratic strongholds like New York. On the other, it looks like his post-convention bounce is over. Who can you trust on this? Democrats are fretting over it.

A basic question here regards the mind of the voters. Does a strong showing in the polls by one size energize or demoralizes the other? For example, will a Bush surge bring more or less Democrats to the voting booths? Alternately, will it bring less or more Republicans to the booths? By my read (and as a centrist, I have to admit to some bias here), people are still sitting in the center, almost equally divided. Sure, some states are leaning more to one side or the other but it looks like this election is still a draw at this point.

Examine closely: Gore lead the West Coast in the last election, and Kerry has the leads in the polls in those states. Apart from Colorado, the same is true of the states in the middle of country. The south went Bush and polls show that this will happen again. With the excepting of Wisonsin, the mid-west looks like a replay of 2000, as does the Northeast, with the exception of Pennsylvania. So it technically rides on those 4 states? Not so fast. Colorado was carried by Bush but there is a ballot initiative that would assign the delegates proportionally. This means that, if that initiative passes, the state would go about half and half. Gore won in Wisconsin by .2%, hardly something you can consider a heavy lead. A Bush lead there would hardly be surprising. This leaves us with Pennsylvania, which is still a big piece to the puzzle.

Basically, it looks like things have not moved much since 2000. My guess is that we will see pretty much a replay of 2000. If that's truly the case, the winner in Pennsylvania will be the next occupant in the White House.

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