Team McCain conference call: polling

posted at 12:10 pm on October 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

With a mere four days left, the polls have begun to tighten in the presidential race.  Pennsylvania appears within the margin of error, and a last-minute surprise could turn the race in McCain’s favor — or so they would like to think.  Team McCain held a press conference today with campaign leaders Rick Davis, pollster Bill McInturff, Mike DuHaime and Christian Ferry to discuss the latest in national and state polling.

Davis says we’re witnessing one of the greatest comebacks in political history, or at least since McCain won the primaries.   Crowds are huge, and energy is high.  Sarah Palin is electrifying crowds and bringing people back into the game.  They feel they have the momentum, increasing polling in every battleground state over the past week, and have gotten past the effect of the financial collapse.

Team McCain says they have Iowa as a dead heat, and Obama seems to confirm that.  He’s going back to Iowa over the weekend.  If Iowa was not in play, Obama wouldn’t bother.  Team McCain seems to believe that more than a few Obama states may be heading back into play.

McInturff says that intensity is increasing among core Republican coalitions, and that has brought a narrowing of the gap in party identification.  He predicts a final gap of 3-5 points.  McCain has always run ahead of party ID, and they see this as a big plus.  He also sees Obama’s numbers dropping in battleground states, and thinks Obama will have a tough time getting to 50%.

Turnout models show a big response from Republicans as well as Democrats.  He thinks this will be closer to 2004 than 2000, and it may improve even more over the weekend.  McInturff says that this will be a close election, but that McCain is very much in it.

On the GOTV efforts, they say that they have spent more money on turnout in the past two months than any other election.  The RNC’s ability to raise money has given the GOP parity on GOTV and in advertising.  Their turnout efforts grow week-on-week, and may be the most underreported aspect of the campaign.  The microtargeting, VOIP efforts, and analytical models continues to improve the GOTV efforts.  They’ve made 5.3 million targeted calls and doorknocks in the past week, and 1.3 million yesterday, to persuadable voters, and 24 million to date.  That’s a major improvement over 2004 and 2006, and they expect to make 17 million more in the next 72 hours.

On absentee and early voting, they are seeing big increases in the number, but not much different in the party-ID gap.  In Florida, McCain has an advantage in the total number of both.  Nevada has about the same breakout as it did in 2004.  Pennsylvania gave the GOP a lead on absentee ballots, 56-44, and younger voters are in roughly the same proportion as they had been before.  New Democratic registrants this year actually make up a somewhat lower proportion of early voters in PA.

They polled the viewers of the Obamamercial to see whether it convinced people to vote for him.  They claim that the “less likelies” slightly outpolled the “more likelies”.  Team McCain also noted that the money they spent on that infomercial would have bought a week’s worth of advertising in all of the battleground states.

The McCain campaign says they will outspend Obama over the next 72 hours by $10 million.  If so, that would be a remarkable change.


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Obama’s been running ads heavily in TX the whole time.

He has ads in California too. That really amazed me. California is not a battleground state. It’s solid blue. What the hell is going on?

clemycali on October 31, 2008 at 1:41 PM

clemycali on October 31, 2008 at 1:41 PM

$500,000,000 is what is going on.
If he wins he wants a mandate, and if he loses he wants the popular vote…

right2bright on October 31, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Exit polling shows McCain Palin tied with the 0B0mber in California even with large Dem voter advantage as early as 4 days ago.

dhunter on October 31, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Exit polling shows McCain Palin tied with the 0B0mber in California even with large Dem voter advantage as early as 4 days ago.

Is it true? How do you know this? Do you have a link?

clemycali on October 31, 2008 at 1:45 PM

I live in an upper-middle class suburb of Denver in unincorporated Jefferson County (you know, the CO county that supposedly has a roughly equal distribution of Reps, Dems and Indies) and the “O” signs definitely outnumber the McCain signs… :(

CliffHanger on October 31, 2008 at 1:46 PM

dhunter on October 31, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Prove it, you tease! :)

CliffHanger on October 31, 2008 at 1:47 PM

One thing I do know having grown up in CA, absentee and early voters tend to be Republican.

CliffHanger on October 31, 2008 at 1:48 PM

It is not the polls that tell us what is going on, it is where the candidate are at. Their internal polls are much more accurate.
This race is close, not one of your friends should not vote…get everyone out.
McCain and Palin are making a push to the finish line…and with any surge, momentum is key.
It will difficult for Obama to stop the surge in the next 72 hours.
We own the weekend…McCain/Palin, what a winning team.

right2bright on October 31, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Saw this on strata-Sphere 4 to 5 days ago ! I meant to put a question mark at the end of that post as a question not a statement. I don’t have a link but read it on a strata-Sphere.com blog or link>

dhunter on October 31, 2008 at 1:49 PM

McCain is all about the Surge strategy, isn’t he…?

CliffHanger on October 31, 2008 at 1:50 PM

My “first cut” at an electoral map came out with McCain and Obama in a dead tie at 269. I think that is a very plausible outcome and if so, it will be another all-nighter because the outcome may hinge on Nevada.

rockmom on October 31, 2008 at 1:07 PM

My “first cut” shows we need PA for the “smoother” road to victory——if Obama wins PA, it’s a tougher road but still doable by winning in VA and sweeping the west.

Or, if the polls are upside-down, (like many have suggested) it will be a McCain/Palin blowout just as ManlyRash has told us all along.

Rovin on October 31, 2008 at 1:51 PM

My “first cut” shows we need PA for the “smoother” road to victory——if Obama wins PA, it’s a tougher road but still doable by winning in VA and sweeping the west.
Or, if the polls are upside-down, (like many have suggested) it will be a McCain/Palin blowout just as ManlyRash has told us all along.

I don’t know what to say about the polls. They are strange at best.
I am still a little worried about VA and I don’t think the west, meaning Co and NV look very promising for McCain. So he needs Virginia and Pennsylvania and Ohio or Florida to win. My take.

clemycali on October 31, 2008 at 1:56 PM

On the GOTV efforts, they say that they have spent more money on turnout in the past two months than any other election. The RNC’s ability to raise money has given the GOP parity on GOTV and in advertising. Their turnout efforts grow week-on-week, and may be the most underreported aspect of the campaign. The microtargeting, VOIP efforts, and analytical models continues to improve the GOTV efforts. They’ve made 5.3 million targeted calls and doorknocks in the past week, and 1.3 million yesterday, to persuadable voters, and 24 million to date. That’s a major improvement over 2004 and 2006, and they expect to make 17 million more in the next 72 hours.

Or, y’know, not so much:

The vaunted, 72-hour plan that President Bush used to mobilize voters in 2000 and 2004 has been scaled back for McCain. He has spent half as much as Obama on staffing and has opened far fewer field offices. This week, a number of veteran GOP operatives who orchestrate door-to-door efforts to get voters to the polls were told they should not expect to receive plane tickets, rental cars or hotel rooms from the campaign.

“The desire for parity on television comes at the expense of investment in paid boots on the ground,” said one top Republican strategist who has been privy to McCain’s plans. “The folks who will oversee the volunteer operation have been told to get out into the field on their own nickel.”

More from Ruffini.

Karl on October 31, 2008 at 2:03 PM

Later: I want to emphasize that you can make calls from the comfort of your own home. This is so easy to do, there’s just no excuse for not helping.

http://www.johnmccain.com/dashboard/

funky chicken on October 31, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Thanks funky chicken. I make dials for a couple of hours a day from my (free) broadband phone. I’d be honored to help participate in the effort send Senator Obama back to Reality School. I’m signed up.

smellthecoffee on October 31, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Karl on October 31, 2008 at 2:03 PM

Palin.

Jim Treacher on October 31, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Rush just pointing out that Obama is running ads in California…??? Yikes!

CC – BHO: “my Muslim faith”

CapedConservative on October 31, 2008 at 2:26 PM

NRO points out that because of “exit poll” error, at least one network may call Virginia and Indiana for Obama VERY early because of “bad exit polls”. Personally, I think any network that makes and early call where the exit polls are closer than 10-12% in favor of Obama will be doing so in an effort to keep turnout down further west.

http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MDFlZjI0NjEyNzYzZjFhODY4OTg3ZjAwNjM3NjRhMmI=

BHO: “my Muslim faith”

CapedConservative on October 31, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Exit poll in Calipornia even? The Audacity of Hope for McCain to win that state. I would buy the first round of drinks for that.

la.rt.wngr on October 31, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Ed, did McCain’s campaign also ask if anyone wanted to purchase a bridge in NYC for cheap?

jim m on October 31, 2008 at 3:12 PM

I live in an upper-middle class suburb of Denver in unincorporated Jefferson County (you know, the CO county that supposedly has a roughly equal distribution of Reps, Dems and Indies) and the “O” signs definitely outnumber the McCain signs… :(

CliffHanger on October 31, 2008 at 1:46 PM

I live in the solid red state of Idaho and the “O” signs outnumber the McCains, as well. If my experience is any indication, I think people aren’t putting up McCain signs out of fear of vandalism and theft. I’ve lost two and the local RNC has run out of them.

Remember, Obama and his supporters are like Las Vegas: it’s all about the show.

Ace ODale on October 31, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Michigan has a huge GOTV push going on until Tuesday. Lots of volunteers for phone and banks door to door. Last I hear McCain was down 10 points.

Bullhead on October 31, 2008 at 3:34 PM

I live in the solid red state of Idaho and the “O” signs outnumber the McCains, as well. If my experience is any indication, I think people aren’t putting up McCain signs out of fear of vandalism and theft. I’ve lost two and the local RNC has run out of them.

Remember, Obama and his supporters are like Las Vegas: it’s all about the show.

Ace ODale on October 31, 2008 at 3:33 PM

I have not been able to get a sign.

la.rt.wngr on October 31, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Exit polling shows McCain Palin tied with the 0B0mber in California even with large Dem voter advantage as early as 4 days ago.

What I’d heard was that the Parties were nearly tied in the number of ballots submitted by absentee and early voting, but I’ve seen nothing about an exit poll of early voters here. It wouldn’t surprise me too much, since I think California hides a large PUMA vote, but I would think news of a survey showing a near tie in votes would have hit the blogs by now.

irishspy on October 31, 2008 at 4:06 PM

I seriously hope Florida holds for John. I heard on the radio this morning that exit polling suggests that he has a lead thus far.
btw the way, down here in Miami I have seen McCain signs outnumber Barry’s signs by almost 10 to 1 in my neck of the town..

Keeping my fingers crossed…

DRod on October 31, 2008 at 4:09 PM

McCain EVEN in Cali?!?!

I’ve almost written off that state as another country!!

DRod on October 31, 2008 at 4:11 PM

Here in central and western PA, it’s a sea of McCain signs. And the polls are skewing to the Dems because they expect a huge Dem and small GOP turnout. I don’t think that’s going to happen, based on what I’ve seen on the ground here. I think the campaign is right, and we’ll see a huge GOP turnout. As for McCain being within the MOE here, Obama’s actions seem to bear that out: He’s back in PA campaigning, though in the cities. McCain and Palin have been campaigning here almost constantly since she was announced.

Like I said, if there’s a big turnout at our poll, that means a huge GOP turnout. Vote, and make sure everybody you know votes. Go to party headquarters if you can on Election Day and work the phones, or pick people up to take them to the polls and vote. That’s how we won in 2004. We can do it again.

Intermission over. Back to the hockey game.

rightwingprof on October 31, 2008 at 5:07 PM

McCain EVEN in Cali?!?!
I’ve almost written off that state as another country!!

I find it hard to believe. Regardless, I am voting. There’s a lot of propositions to vote on too – can’t suppress my vote!

InCali on October 31, 2008 at 5:49 PM

I hope this post is right. I hope I hope I hope.

Terrye on October 31, 2008 at 8:25 PM

Yeah, California’s early voting has the Republicans close, but that might just be motivated Prop 8 (marriage amendment) voters.

Damian G. on October 31, 2008 at 8:45 PM

Prop B is good for McCain in California.

It brings in people who disagree with Obama on the issue

entagor on October 31, 2008 at 9:02 PM

Saw this on strata-Sphere 4 to 5 days ago ! I meant to put a question mark at the end of that post as a question not a statement. I don’t have a link but read it on a strata-Sphere.com blog or link

Ah, okay. I saw that same post. It was definitely number of ballots turned in by party, not any sort of exit poll. Still, it’s impressive to me that Republicans here seem enthused.

irishspy on October 31, 2008 at 9:54 PM

Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but, I’m in California and I can’t imagine it going for McCain. We can wish, though…

trigon on November 1, 2008 at 12:33 AM

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