Things to look out for tonight

I’m going to a party tonight for the US election, and the idea of hiding buried in a laptop instead of talking to people is not hugely appealing. But I did want to put together a quick crib sheet of numbers that might prove significant if we are going to be keeping an eye out for the big waypoints on the night.

So here are some figures:Overall turnout – 2004, 56.7 per cent [1]
The highest turnout in recent times was 1960, when more than 63 per cent of Americans voted. Will that record go tomorrow? Some people are saying so, but it is a big ask.

Youth turnout – 2004, 51.6 per cent (18.4 per cent of the electorate) [2]

If this figure goes up much, Obama will surely be in the White House with a big margin. We also need to remember to play the expectations game here. If youth turnout goes up 10 per cent, that is a huge increase.

African American turnout – 60.6 per cent [3]
We would surely expect a huge African American turnout tomorrow. However, if Obama is to carry states like North Carolina, it will have to be off the scale.

During the primaries, Obama had an undecided problem. People just weren’t breaking for him if made their mind up at the last minute. Could this save McCain? Doubtful, but it is pretty much his last hope.

It’s the economy stupid
This might be a very different election, if it weren’t for the complete collapse of the US economy over the past six weeks. Imagine if that had been delayed by a couple of months. Obama and McCain might have been level pegging, and we’d be talking about the Bradley effect and the electoral college. The more people who go into the booth thinking about the economy as the top issue, the better for Obama.

Key states
This is my checklist:

Pennsylvania. Obama, doesn’t need it. McCain does. If the Democrats win this one, it is surely curtains for the GOP.

Virginia. Another huge one, not only because it has significant in this election cycle, but because it signifies huge demographic changes in some parts of the country.

Florida. If you sat up all night in 2000, this one will mean a lot, however it falls. If the Democrats win, it will also prove that conventional wisdom is crap – if you remember, when the primaries were over, Obama was supposed to have problems winning the support of older people, Jews and Hispanics.

Nevada. Not just because it decided the dress rehearsal of this election on the West Wing. This state could really go blue, but it will very close, I suspect.

North Carolina. Surely it couldn’t happen? However, don’t forget that Southern states have a long tradition of populist politics and the economy has been front and centre fro the past couple of months. Stranger things have happened.

Missouri. The famous bellwether state. We’ll see if it keeps its record up.

What are you going to be looking out for?

  • William

    You don’t have to research the internet much to find that Obama is a Socialist….it is strange? that the Main Street Media couldn’t find this out.


    Will MSM Report on Obama Membership in Socialist New Party?
    By P.J. Gladnick (Bio | Archive)
    October 8, 2008 – 15:15 ET

    The mainstream media thought that the membership of Todd Palin, who is not a candidate for any office, in the Alaska Independence Party important enough to report in such outlets as the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, and the New York Times, among others.

    So now that Barack Obama’s membership in the far left New Party has been unearthed, will they report his membership in that Socialist organization?

    Proof of Obama’s membership in the New Party was discovered by the Politically Drunk On Power blog:

    Story Continues Below Ad ↓

    In June sources released information that during his campaign for the State Senate in Illinois, Barack Obama was endorsed by an organization known as the Chicago “New Party”. The ‘New Party’ was a political party established by the Democratic Socialists of America (the DSA) to push forth the socialist principles of the DSA by focusing on winnable elections at a local level and spreading the Socialist movement upwards. The admittedly Socialist Organization experienced a moderate rise in numbers between 1995 and 1999. By 1999, however, the Socialist ‘New Party’ was essentially defunct after losing a supreme court challenge that ruled the organizations “fusion” reform platform as unconstitutional.

    After allegations surfaced in early summer over the ‘New Party’s’ endorsement of Obama, the Obama campaign along with the remnants of the New Party and Democratic Socialists of America claimed that Obama was never a member of either organization. The DSA and ‘New Party’ then systematically attempted to cover up any ties between Obama and the Socialist Organizations. However, it now appears that Barack Obama was indeed a certified and acknowledged member of the DSA’s New Party.

    On Tuesday, I discovered a web page that had been scrubbed from the New Party’s website. The web page which was published in October 1996, was an internet newsletter update on that years congressional races. Although the web page was deleted from the New Party’s website, the non-profit Internet Archive Organization had archived the page.

    From the October 1996 Update of the DSA ‘New Party’:

  • William

    2nd PART


    “New Party members are busy knocking on doors, hammering down lawn signs, and phoning voters to support NP candidates this fall. Here are some of our key races…

    Illinois: Three NP-members won Democratic primaries last Spring and face off against Republican opponents on election day: Danny Davis (U.S. House), Barack Obama (State Senate) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary).”

    You can find the above quote from the scubbed New Party web page at this Internet Archive Organization link. More confirmation of Obama’s membership in the New Party can be found at an article in the November 1996 Progressive Populist magazine:
    New Party members and supported candidates won 16 of 23 races, including an at-large race for the Little Rock, Ark., City Council, a seat on the county board for Little Rock and the school board for Prince George’s County, Md. Chicago is sending the first New Party member to Congress, as Danny Davis, who ran as a Democrat, won an overwhelming 85% victory. New Party member Barack Obama was uncontested for a State Senate seat from Chicago.

    The Democratic Socialist Party of America also reported on Obama’s New Party membership in its July/August 1996 edition:
    The Chicago New Party is increasely becoming a viable political organization that can make a different in Chicago politics. It is crucial for a political organization to have a solid infrastructure and visible results in its political program. The New Party has continued to solidify this base.

    First, in relation to its infrastructure, the NP’s membership has increased since January ’95 from 225 to 440. National membership has increased from 5700 in December ’95 to 7000. Currently the NP’s fiscal balance is $7,000 and receives an average of $450/month is sustainer donations.

    Secondly, the NP’s ’96 Political Program has been enormously successful with 3 of 4 endorsed candidates winning electoral primaries. All four candidates attended the NP membership meeting on April 11th to express their gratitude. Danny Davis, winner in the 7th Congressional District, invited NPers to join his Campaign Steering Committee. Patricia Martin, who won the race for Judge in 7th Subcircuit Court, explained that due to the NP she was able to network and get experienced advice from progressives like Davis. Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration. The lone loser was Willie Delgado, in the 3rd Illinois House District. Although Delgado received 45% of the vote, he lost by only 800 votes. Delgado commented that it was due to the NP volunteers that he carried the 32nd Ward. Delgado emphasized that he will remain a visible community activist in Humbolt Park. He will conduct four Immigration workshops and encouraged NP activists to get involved.

    Kudos to Politically Drunk On Power for digging up this information about Obama’s membership in the socialist New Party. The question now is if the MSM will deem his party membership important enough to report on. They sure didn’t hesitate to report on Todd Palin’s membership in the Alaska Independence Party.

    UPDATE: Yet more proof of Obama’s close involvement in the socialist New Party from NewsBusters’ Hermano who provided this link to the Chicago Democratic Socialists of American September-October 1995 New Ground 42 edition:

    About 50 activists attended the Chicago New Party membership meeting in July. The purpose of the meeting was to update members on local activities and to hear appeals for NP support from four potential political candidates. The NP is being very active in organization building and politics. There are 300 members in Chicago. In order to build an organizational and financial base the NP is sponsoring house parties. Locally it has been successful both fiscally and in building a grassroots base. Nationwide it has resulted in 1000 people committed to monthly contributions. The NP’s political strategy is to support progressive candidates in elections only if they have a concrete chance to “win”. This has resulted in a winning ratio of 77 of 110 elections. Candidates must be approved via a NP political committee. Once approved, candidates must sign a contract with the NP. The contract mandates that they must have a visible and active relationship with the NP.

    The political entourage included Alderman Michael Chandler, William Delgado, chief of staff for State Rep Miguel del Valle, and spokespersons for State Sen. Alice Palmer, Sonya Sanchez, chief of staff for State Sen. Jesse Garcia, who is running for State Rep in Garcia’s District; and Barack Obama, chief of staff for State Sen. Alice Palmer. Obama is running for Palmer’s vacant seat.

    So Obama signed a contract with the New Party? Verrrry interesting.

    —P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.

  • William

    #1 – Apologies: should read: ‘Main stream media’

  • Eunice

    For some reason, I see Obama winning NC but not Virginia. No idea why.

    745 EST morning of the election: weather in Rhode Island, at least, is gorgeous. It’s going to be a long day.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Thanks for that William, but can you at least make an effort to stay on topic? And a version of any external links would be more useful than cut and pasting whole articles.

  • Dewi

    nick – can’t get the lionk to work – does the 60.6% African American turnout refer to last time?

  • Hi Dewi,

    Yes, sorry that isn’t clear. It is 2004 and the link is to this WSJ article that cites the figure:

  • Dewi

    Thanks Nick – not ceratin that the % quoted applies to African Americans – for the AA turnout in 2004 to be greater than the non AA turnout appears counter intuitive to me……I’ll do some digging.

  • I’ll be interested to hear what you find. Although, I wouldn’t be that surprised. AA actually have a very high turnout in recent elections, certainly relevant other minority groups (Hispanics, most notably).

  • dosser

    Hey, Eunice where in the Ocean State are you?

    I suppose one thing about living in Rhode Island at election time is that none of the Presidential candidates are going to bother you. The smallest state and circa 90% Democratic means that few care about you Rhodies.

    Mind you, the fact that Hilary came to Rhode Island as part of her campaign for the nomination iluminated how desperate she was.

  • Dewi

    “In 2004, turnout rates for citizens were 67 percent for non-Hispanic whites, 60 percent for blacks, 44 percent for Asians and 47 percent for Hispanics (of any race).”

    From the census

    Now it makes sense to me – terrible Hispanic and Asian turnout.

  • Eunice

    Ha! So true, dosser. I’m in Providence, and the last poll here says the students at my school are 86.1% for Obama. Shock. The interesting thing will be the substantial part who are voting absentee, some in swing states, and the part who are appallingly lazy/too apathetic to vote (which I really hope will be a very small percentage).

  • Greenflag

    One result already in for New Hampshire is the little towns of Dixville Notch and Harts location . (They vote from midnight Monday night ). In both towns Obama outpolled McCain by 17 to 6 in one and 17 to 10 in the other .

    These ‘towns’ voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 .
    New Hampshire is ‘independent ‘ strong and about 98% ‘white’ .

    This election is ‘over ‘

    Good ole Yankee common sense will win NH and the country for Obama/Biden


  • During the primaries, Obama had an undecided problem. People just weren’t breaking for him if made their mind up at the last minute. Could this save McCain?

    No, as Obama is consistently polling over 50% now, even in the least favourable polls for him (TIPP).

    The smallest state and circa 90% Democratic means that few care about you Rhodies

    The most Democratic state – although DC kind of wallops it in those stakes – even it failed to break 60% for Kerry. It is actually much harder for Democrats to achieve a true landslide than Republicans, given the number of small, strongly Republican states.

  • Whoops – and also, i think one oversight; there are two real ground zeroes in this election – Virginia and Colorado. If it really is a squeaker, these two states will decide it.

    But I do not expect it to be a squeaker…

  • Hey Sammy,

    Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think it is terribly likely. But if I were in the McCain camp a looking for straws to clutch at, that would be the one I’d go for.

    Obama might regularly be over 50 per cent but not by more than the margin of error. Also winning the majority of the vote doesn’t guarantee you the White House. If McCain can get within one point, the electoral college might just work its magic for him.

    As I say, hardly likely, but it is about the best the GOP can hope for, I would suggest.

  • Greenflag

    nick ansted

    ‘.If McCain can get within one point, the electoral college might just work its magic for him. ‘

    It’ll be more than three points minimum overall so no electoral college magic this time as per Bush in 2000

    ‘As I say, hardly likely, but it is about the best the GOP can hope for, I would suggest.’

    Any other candidate apart from McCain would have resulted in an even bigger loss for the Republicans -imo .

    McCain probably would have done better running as an Independent such is the anti GOP /anti Bush /Cheney mood among USA voters this election .