October 29th, 2008



Ever since mid-March, when it became clear that Barack Obama would be the Democratic nominee, I've been cautiously confident that he'd be elected. Today, I think it's time to change that to "confident".

It's now less than a week before election day, which means asking people "who would you vote for if the election were held today?" in a poll is relevant to predicting how people will actually vote next week. Currently, there are 286 electoral votes in states where Obama has led by more than 5% in multiple recent polls and has been over 51% in the pollster.com average for at least a week. (It takes 270 to win)

Obama can afford to lose up to 16 EV worth of states from the "over 51%, greater than 5% margin" set and still win. And that set of states does not include Ohio or Florida. The only state in the set that's large enough that isn't really safe is PA, where Obama leads by only ~9%-11% in recent polling averages; other than PA, he'd have to lose at least two states from that set to go under 270. And of course winning Ohio or Florida would make up for it, and he's been leading in polls in both of those. But Obama wins without either Florida or Ohio as long as he holds at least all but one of the states where polls show him stable at above 51% and more than 5% above McCain (as long as that one isn't PA).

Also, of course, this confidence presumes:
- No completely unexpectable major event happens in the next few days (chances of that: very low)
- Obama's campaign continues at the pace it's set so far, including fieldwork (I'm confident of that)

If neither of those changes, I think it very likely that he will win.

P.S. Of the "above 51% and margin over 5%" states, CO is the only one where the stable margin is below 8%. If you only count states where Obama has been above 51% and has more than an 8% lead in stable poll averages recently, that's 277 EV.