Here's the headline from a Hot Air post today:
Well, here's Obama campaigning in Michigan:
Looks like some Obama supporters know they're on defense.
With that, we can do an apples-to-apples comparison between 2012 and 2008. All numbers below for both 2012 and 2008 are through one week of in person early voting, and have been pulled from the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.
Number of votes cast is up +30.6%
Number of votes is up 54.2%
Number of votes is up 17.0%
Number of votes is up 39.9%
2008 vote percentage by party registration:
2012 vote percentage by party registration (net vs 2008):
Rep: 30.5% (+4.7%)
Dem: 50.7% (-5.9%)
Oth: 18.6% (+1.4%)
Democrats *do* have a 20 point lead over Republicans at this point. But that compares to a 31 point lead at this point in 2008.
BOTTOM LINE: Republicans have gained a net 10.6 points compared to 2008.
But as I’ve cautioned before – the results released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections only tells us the party registration of the person who cast the ballot. We do not know who the person actually voted for.
Obviously there will be some Republicans voting for Obama, some Democrats voting for Romney, and there is no indication from these statistics that tells us for whom those not affiliated with either major party voted.
However, we can build a model that allots those votes to tabulate a likely scenario of how the race stands, and how it compares to the likely state of the race at this point in 2008.
I am going to do two things. First, I will take the 2008 early voting totals through the first week of in person voting by party registration and allot those votes based upon the 2008 North Carolina exit polls. Second, I will take the 2012 votes and allot them based upon the most recent Rasmussen poll.
Off we go.
In 2008, the exit polls showed the following:
McCain: 94% | Obama: 4% | Other: 2%
McCain: 9% | Obama: 90% | Other: 1%
McCain: 60% | Obama: 39% | Other: 1%
So for example, we are taking the 25.8% of early voters who were Republican, and allocating those votes such that 94% went to McCain, 4% went to Obama and 2% went to Other.
Weighting all votes in that manner, the state of the race at this point in 2008 looks like this:
Estimated Vote Totals:
McCain: 303,137 | 39.9%
Obama: 446,546 | 58.8%
Using this methodology, in 2008 Obama held at 18.9 point lead, or 143,509 votes, over McCain after one week of early voting in North Carolina.
Rasmussen’s latest poll in North Carolina asked responders who they intended to vote for – and asked them which party they belonged to. His results show the following:
Romney: 94% | Obama: 4% | Other: 2%
Romney: 17% | Obama: 82% | Other: 1%
Romney: 59% | Obama: 36% | Other: 5%
Weighting the votes by how each category is likely to vote using Rasmussen’s survey, the state of the race at this point in 2012 looks like this:
Estimated Vote Totals:
Romney: 479,899 | 48.4%
Obama: 491,500 | 49.6%
Using this methodology, in 2012 Obama holds a 1.2% lead, or 11,600 votes, over Romney after one week of early voting in North Carolina.
With an 18.9 point lead at this point in 2008, Obama ultimately won 50.2% to 49.8%.
With an estimated 143,509 vote lead in 2008, Obama ultimately won by a 14,177 vote margin.
Obama is now leading by 1.2 points and 11,600 votes.
The big advantage Obama had after even just one week of early voting in 2008 more or less has been cut down to less than his razor-thin margin by the end of the election.
From this point forward in 2008, McCain gained 129,232 net votes over Obama in the remainder of early voting and on election day. Even if Romney’s strength and Obama’s weakness so far in early voting is not carried through, and Romney only equals McCain’s performance the rest of the way, Romney would win North Carolina by about a 2-3 point margin.
If Romney continues to outperform McCain, even modestly compared to what he has done so far, that margin of victory is easily pushed to something approaching a 8-10 point win.
There is a reason that the rumors have flown around about Obama pulling resources out of and ads off the air in North Carolina. First the polling began to swing away from Obama and toward Romney, and now the results of early voting have begun to confirm that polling. While Team Obama has gone on record denying that they are abandoning the state, one gets the feeling that this is more an attempt to keep up appearances so that the narrative of a campaign that is reeling does not take hold.
If I had to call this race today – which I don’t, but I will because that’s how I roll – I would predict the final outcome a 54-45 win for Romney.
In 2004, there were 7 polls in the Real Clear Politics average of polls between 10/15 and 10/22.
In 2008, there were 14 polls in the Real Clear Politics average of polls between 10/15 and 10/22 (removing outfits that had multiple polls during that timeframe to only show the latest).
But let’s have some fun with the state’s early voting so far. This means only absentee votes at this point.
These numbers were pulled from the NC Board of Elections, and are current as of Sunday, September 14. The 2008 numbers I will be using are from George Mason University’s United States Elections Project.
Off we go!
Total Votes: 50,674
Dem: 13,887 - 27.4%
Rep: 27,455 - 54.2%
Unaffiliated: 9,255 - 18.3%
Libertarian: 77 - 0.2%
Compare that with 2008:
The 2012 numbers are breakouts by registration, not by vote cast (of course, you can't vote for unaffiliated!). But certainly if some assumptions are made -- it appears there has been a complete flip of the parties, at least at this point. But we are in the early part of early voting.
Notably, the black vote makes up 7.1% of the 2012 early vote total -- 23% of the Democrat vote and 0.2% of the Republican vote. In 2008, they were 27% of the total early vote.
It remains to be seen if this is evidence of blacks staying home, or if they are less enthusiastic to get votes in early but will still vote when all is said and done.
One interesting contrast specifically is Cumberland County. Cumberland was a 52-48 state for Bush in 2004, and a 59-41 state for Obama in 2008. In fact, in 2008 Obama picked up a net of 26K more votes in Cumberbland County compared to Kerry in 2004. And remember, North Carolina was a state Obama won by only 14K votes statewide.
The registration breakdown for early voting in Cumberland County so far is...
And another interesting contrast between 2012 and 2008 is Durham County. This is the home of, well, Durham which is home of Duke. It's a Democrat stronghold.
Durham is the 6th largest county in NC by population. In early voting, it's 17th in terms of ballots cast.
In 2008 Durham County went 74% Obama, 26% McCain
Early voting so far...
And finally, Iredell County is the 16th largest county by population. In early voting, it's 8th in terms of ballots cast.
In 2008 Iredell County went 62% McCain, 37% Obama
Early voting so far:
How fun was that? The numbers look good for Mitt Romney and rater dire for President Obama.
However, let’s be clear that we can't claim these numbers as predictive. The comparisons I am making are between absentee ballots cast by party affiliation at this point in the election versus all early voting in 2008 by actual votes. Professor McDonald at the US Elections Project site does a much more thorough job of not only tracking the early numbers for this and past elections, he is able to do a “on this date in 2008” comparison. I would strongly suggest anyone wanting a real comparison between elections to go to his site.
That said, having seen the news yesterday that Obama is likely shifting resources and efforts away from North Carolina – numbers like these become another data point to consider that reinforces the idea that Mitt Romney is increasingly likely to win the state.
I wouldn’t mind not being one of the hotly contested battleground states, and I certainly would have no beef if the unrelenting number of campaign ads were trimmed as a result. Then again, if Obama wants to continue pouring money into a state he has a diminishing chance of winning at the expense of more time in states more closely contested, well, I will bear that burden for the cause. Besides, I know how to operate a remote control.
Who knew they were such big fans of Clint Eastwood's Empty Chair speech at the Republican Convention.
"When somebody doesn't do the job, you gotta let them go."
Obama got crushed in the first debate. Everyone...left, right, center, up, down and diagonal knew it. Some of Obama's biggest fans were screaming at him for how bad he was, or practically crying uncontrollably as a result.
And yet, Obama walked away thinking he had won.
Now he's been told how thoroughly he was trounced -- so here come the excuses:
“I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite, because it’s hard to sometimes just keep on saying and what you’re saying isn’t true. It gets repetitive." ...President Obama said
Ace calls this the CritiBrag, which he describes this way:
...the claim of self-criticism which, oddly enough, winds up being a brag on one's virtue -- is kinda sorta complete 100% bullshit. Every time you've told a prospective employer that your "greatest failing" was that you "are too details-oriented" and "can't learn to separate myself from my work" you've deployed the CritiBrag.
Ah yes. As fate would have it, Obama actually called out Hillary and John Edwards for CritiBragging in 2008:
Obama poked fun at John Edwards and Hillary Clinton for their response to the "what is your weakness" question at the MSNBC debate. Obama said that he answered the question as an "ordinary person."
"Folks, they don't tell you what they mean!" exclaimed Obama.
"I thought that they meant 'what's your biggest weakness?!' So I said 'well you know I don't handle paper that well, you know, my desk is a mess, I need somebody to help me file and stuff all the time.'"
"So the other two they say well my biggest weakness is 'I'm just too passionate about helping poor people.' I am just too impatient to bring about change in America.'"
Obama joked, "If I had gone last I would have known what the game was. I could have said 'well you know I like to help old ladies across the street. Sometimes they don't want to be helped. It's terrible.'"
Back to Ace, who tells us the natural result of CritiBagging in an interview:
And your interviewer rolled his eyes. If not his visible ones, then internal one called the pineal gland.
Which -- and again, look at the fate -- agrees with how Obama viewed CritiBagging in 2008 as well:
Obama ended by calling Clinton's comments "tricks" and said voters will stop listening to politicians because of them.
2008 Obama was speaking that as a theory. 2012 Obama is learning it in practice.
When he was flustered by Mitt Romney's answer on the topic of taxes, President Obama reached out to debate moderator Jim Leher to save him by saying, "Jim, I — you may want to move on to another topic."
UPDATE: Via Instapundit, we have a video of President Obam-uh from the debates. I decided to go back and adjust the transcipt and the resulting word cloud based on including several previously omitted words: