Nine days. Really, that's all the time that's left.
Okay, it's early Sunday morning, and we probably won't know until late evening on Tuesday a week from now, so maybe it's more like ten days, but still, we can count the days on our fingers. Yay!
Oh, yeah, I forgot. Daylight savings time is next weekend, so there's an extra hour. Yeesh.
Let me type a few words guaranteed to make anyone to the left of George W. Bush grind their teeth.
In both of those states, polls have swung around a lot this week. Some polls have had Obama leading and others showed McCain with a lead. Same thing has happened in Nevada, where the median poll is a flat-footed tie, 47% to 47%.
Here's something to calm down those nervous people who don't want to see four more years of Republican rule. McCain could win Ohio, Florida and Nevada, and Obama could still have more than 300 electoral votes.
Strong for Obama (90% confidence of victory or higher): DC, HI, CA, VT, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, ME, CT, OR, DE, MN, WI, MI, PA, WA, OH, IA, NM, MO, VA, CO
Leaning Obama (confidence of victory between 51% and 89%): NH, IN, ND, NC, FL
Total for Obama if the election were held today: 373 electors
Toss-up states: NV - 5 electors
Strong for McCain (90% confidence of victory or higher): WV, TX, SC, AK, MS, KY, KS, LA, TN, SD, NE, AZ, AL, WY, OK, AR, ID, UT
Leaning McCain (confidence of victory between 51% and 89%): MT, GA
Total for McCain if the election were held today: 160 electors
McCain needed to follow up on the momentum he had last week and make it even bigger. Instead, things are churning around, and the general direction is for Obama. One could argue that the news story that helped him most early this week was the endorsement from Colin Powell, but really, that was ages ago. What are we talking about now? Sarah Palin's wardrobe and make-up, a crazy girl beating herself up and blaming an imaginary big scary black guy, who is not only a mugger but politically involved.
And, oh yeah, Joe Biden told us a terrible crisis awaits Barack Obama as soon as he gets in office. Thanks for the heads up, Joe!
Besides the tally 373 to 160 with 5 toss-up, there is also the expected value. Right now, because Obama has more states in the leaning category, his lead in the expected value is only 357 to 181, or about 2 to 1.
Here's where I'm supposed to write about there still being time and this thing isn't over.
Honestly, I'll leave that to the campaigns and the news media. Obama's people won't say it's over because they still want contributions. McCain's people won't say it's over because conceding would kill the chances of other Republicans running. The media won't say it's over because they love the horse race aspect of the thing, and will over-report anything that makes it look close. But if numbers mean anything, it's not close and it's not getting closer.
I always write "if the election were held today". In some ways, with early voting and voting by mail, the election IS being held today. No matter what happens in the next nine days, there are folks like me whose vote will not change, because I've already signed the envelope, stuck the stamp on it and put it in the mailbox.
If the numbers alone were not enough to convince me, the press reports coming out of the Palin-McCain camp make me think that they have some math nerd inside their team, and he or she is telling them the same things I'm telling you, or the same things you can read on any of a number of electoral college sites. The New York Times is reporting on the chaos inside the Republican camp, and we are seeing sniping and back-biting that usually doesn't happen until after the votes are counted, especially from McCain staffers about the "diva" Sarah Palin. The Telegraph U.K. has senior Republican officials talking about a civil war inside the party if this thing is a rout.
Don't stop working. Don't forget to vote. If Barack Obama has given you hope, that's a good thing, because there are plenty of reasons to have hope.
Last report on this blog is seven days from now. Election Day is two days after that.
I can't wait, though I suppose I'll have to.
This blog is still alive, just in semi-hibernation.
When I want to write something longer than a tweet about something other than math or sci-fi, here is where I'll write it.