Chill, guys. The McCain camp is in a death spiral. A reader writes:
Like many Obama supporters, I’ve been in a poll-induced funk recently. So I went to the Obama HQ in downtown Orlando looking for a t-shirt, a bumper sticker, something, anything, to make myself not feel so damn worried. Here’s what I found:
1. A brisk campaign operation staffed mostly by 25-35 year olds, all at computers, all analyzing data on GOTV operations.
2. After speaking with my precinct captain who was present, she told me that since August 1, the downtown HQ has registered 80,000 new voters. Let that number sink in. In the last 40 days or so, they’ve registered an average of 2,000 voters per day.
I know they probably won’t keep up that pace, but even half that is good.
3. Consider that Florida was won by Bush in 2004 by 380,000 votes. Nader got 33,000 votes. I don’t even think he’s on the ballot in Florida this year. Assume that most of those go to Obama. The margin, to beat the Bush turnout in 2004, is 350,000 (give or take 50,000 votes.)
4. To win Florida, Obama needs everything Kerry got plus 400,000 votes.
5. Of those 80,000 newly registered voters (whose info won’t be available for pollsters for weeks, if not ever, before the election), the campaign has identified over 80% as Obama supporters. That’s 64,000 new Obama votes since Aug 1.
6. Assume they decrease their registration by 50% in September, and 50% in October. After all, there are only so many people not registered to vote. That would be another 60,000 voters, with approximately 48,000 new Obama votes, who can’t be polled. All together, that’s 112,000 new Obama votes. In Central Florida alone. Since Aug 1. 25% of the 400k to get Florida’s 27 electoral votes. Since Aug 1.
7. Of course, you have to get people to the polls. However, the precinct captain said that the 80% support of the newly registered voters has a built-in no-show formula.
8. I mentioned my worry over the polls. Without condescension, without a dirty look, or a snide quip, she said, calmly as possible, “we aren’t running the Florida campaign based on polls, we’re running it based on votes. There are so many people who have signed up to vote that pollsters can’t even reach, that the only thing the campaign is looking at right now is the GOTV operation and their own internal polls which are run much more specifically than, for instance, the state Mason-Dixon polls commissioned by the Florida newspapers.”
Patience and steel.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.