Monday, November 3, 2008

Talking myself down

I'm trying to convince myself that everything will be OK tomorrow. Looking at all of the polls (and believe me I feel like I've viewed a billion of them) I just can't see Obama losing, but I feel like I've been down this road before. Last election day, I sat down to watch the returns come in sure that Kerry was going to win, and I was very disappointed.

So yeah, I'm nervous.

In an effort to talk myself down, I decided to go back to last year and look at the polls and returns. What I found was comforting. Looking at the Real Clear Politics averages of the polls in last year's race, it turns out that the polls were right nearly all of the was me who was wrong. Specifically, look at these 2004 projections, both of the national polls and the battleground states:

Nation-wide Bush +1.5 Bush +3
Electoral Vote Bush +54 Bush +38

Florida Bush +0.6 Bush +5
Ohio Bush +2.1 Bush +2
Pennsylvania Kerry +0.9 Kerry +2
Wisconsin Bush +0.9 Kerry +1
Iowa Bush +0.3 Bush +1
Minnesota Kerry +3.2 Kerry +3
Michigan Kerry +3.5 Kerry +3
Missouri Bush +4.2 Bush +7
New Mexico Bush +1.4 Bush +1
Nevada Bush +6.3 Bush +3
Colorado Bush +5.2 Bush +5
New Hampshire Kerry +1 Kerry +1
While this poll or that poll may have been wrong, the averages were very much on the money. Only two of the states (Florida and Nevada) were more than three points off their averages. Only Wisconsin went against the candidate projected by the poll average. In other words, the polls predicted the result almost perfectly.

So unless all of the polls are particularly bad this year, we should see Obama win the overall vote by around 7.3 percent and by a 338-200 electoral vote margin.

That's a little better, but I'm still nervous.

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