Landslides, post-mortems and tightening races

28 Oct

This time next week … yep, the finishing post is in sight and there’s just one more week of hard campaigning left before we get to the fun part where we get to count the votes. But isn’t it already over and the in-fighting already starting or is there a genuine tightening of the race?

In general the candidate that is ahead at this point should go on to win the Presidency, but that does not mean a late surge cannot happen or has not happened in the past. The Gallop Poll takes us through some examples from history and looks at how Late Upsets are Rare but Have Happened perhaps most famously in 1980.

Talk of landslides is really ridiculous – try perusing this timeline of US Presidential Election maps and see that there will have to be a major implosion of the Republican vote to be in the same ballpark as the virtual Electoral College wipeouts of 1984 or 1968.

While post-mortems in to the McCain campaign are probably premature, the question of damage limitation is important in terms of stopping Democratic momentum that could lead to a filibuster proof margin in the Senate, if they secure 60 seats – the Republican cause has not been helped by the conviction of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens on corruption charges.

The narrative from the McCain campaign appears to be that the race is tightening, but this does not seem to be backed up by the polls. It has been pretty much dismissed by Nate Silver at 538.com and my own examination of the poll of polls data at Electoral-Vote.com shows the gap growing rather than tightening in the last week.

Getting back to how the campaign is playing out on the web – TechCrunch reports on a make-over for Politics.com which seems a little late in the day and Mashable highlights a few election poll and projection sources, which should be largely familiar to long time readers of this blog.

If 2004 was the blogging election, then it could be argued that 2008 is the YouTube election – or at least the election where online video came to the fore. TechPresident ponders How Much YouTube is Worth to Obama and McCain? before coming to the conclusion that it could be millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of free video views.

Intute: Social Sciences features more Internet resources on the issue of the US election.

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