Final Mason-Dixon battleground numbers: dead heat

posted at 7:45 am on November 3, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Jonathan Martin notes at Politico that the battleground states appear to have all reached a dead-heat conclusion — with lots of undecideds — in the last Mason-Dixon polling.  M-D did a credible job in the 2004 election, and this could mean either candidate could sail away with this election.  In fact, Obama hasn’t hit 50% in any of these polls (via Gateway Pundit):

Colorado: Obama 49, McCain 44, Undecided 4
Florida: Obama 47, McCain 45, Undecided 7
Nevada: Obama 47, McCain 43, Undecided 8
Pennsylvania: Obama 47, McCain 43, Undecided 9
Virginia: Obama 47, McCain 44, Undecided 9
Ohio: McCain 47, Obama 45, Undecided 6
Missouri: McCain 47, Obama 46, Undecided 5
North Carolina: McCain 49, Obama 46, Undecided 5

As Brad Coker, who runs the Mason-Dixon poll, notes, the vast majority of the undecided voters in these states are whites.

I believe that other polling shows Florida and Nevada as close but relatively reliable McCain wins.  If McCain can’t carry Florida, then he probably loses the election no matter what anyway, unless he figures a way to lose Florida but win every other state on this list.  Colorado probably goes to Obama.

That leaves Pennsylvania and Virginia, and it looks like McCain could win them both.  Both have high percentages of undecideds, and both are within the margin of error.  If McCain wins both, he has 281 Electoral College votes even without Nevada.  If Obama wins both, he has 276 EC votes even if he loses Minnesota.  In a split, Pennsylvania would win McCain the election, or a combination of Virginia and Minnesota or perhaps another blue state looking to go red.

Coal could win or lose this election in both states.  Team McCain needs to push that issue hard in the final hours in the Rust Belt region.  Undecideds will almost certainly fall his way in the final hours of this election, as long as McCain can convince them to actually vote.

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Obama’ll have to lead by 5 points in the polls to win. His supporters are not going to turn up, and people’ll change their minds when they stand in the booth and think:”what the hell, should I really vote for this creepy, unexperienced guy?”. I just hope no republicans are discouraged from voting because of the polls.
Conspiracy theory. Polls are biased so republicans don’t think there’s any reason to go vote, and Obama wins. Or another scenario: Polls are biased, so when Obama kicks in the voter fraud in every battleground state a’la Acorn, no one will be surprised.
It’s going to be priceless to see the faces on all Obama lovers when McCain wins

ricardoz on November 3, 2008 at 9:46 AM

I have mixed emotions about all this.

On the one hand I’m glad that McCain is within striking distance of a great victory. On the other hand I’m very disturbed that the voters of this great nation would even consider placing Barack Obama in the Whitehouse; in a rational time he would have been finished back in the Iowa caucus.

Makes you wonder what has happened to the good sense of the American electorate.

johnsteele on November 3, 2008 at 7:52 AM

30+ years of Liberal control of the school systems and University system.

Trust me, I know. I live in the Peoples Republic of New Jersey, where all sorts of unions, including the teachers’ union, rule the roost.

worlok on November 3, 2008 at 9:46 AM

I think Iowahawks’ essay nailed down the polling issue. I have 30 credits in statistics after my Master’s. (Didn’t realize that stats was for smart people when I signed up)..

Anyway, we had one course where the prof spent the majority of the course showing us (1) how polling and sampling gets accidentally screwed up and (2) how polling and sampling gets intentionally distorted.

Anything can happen but I’m inclined to think McCain-Palin can pull it off. It’s probably going to be another long night like 2000 and 2004.

My wife, son and I will be working the polls for McCain-Palin and our repub congress candidate.

Best wishes to all.

bullseye on November 3, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Mark Garnett on November 3, 2008 at 9:38 AM

Welcome Mark,

Hope you can excuse my ranting at times on here. Been very scared knowing our Country is going to be lead by a crazy. I don’t think BO will win. I pray that we are more for a Freedom instead of a policed Country. We don’t need Hitler. Even is that nut wins. I will never support him as a President. Never.

sheebe on November 3, 2008 at 9:47 AM

sorry about the typonese

sheebe on November 3, 2008 at 9:48 AM

If this thing were in the bag for BO there wouldnt be so much shenanigans being pulled to boost him. I got nothing but freakin robo-calls yesterday at home and was ready to rip my phone wires out. There’s no dem even in my friggin house.

What? Obama robo-calls? That can’t be. We have been told that only McCain is using robo-calls. What a bunch of hypocrytes.

joest73 on November 3, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Mark Garnett on November 3, 2008 at 9:38 AM

Welcome from Long Island. The Texas folks on this site are routinely the best! They are smart, funny, welcoming, cordial and good people. So I am returning their many good wishes to me with one to you. Sorry you have to now face the crazy political realities in your new home, but hope you enjoy the beautiful greenery and opportunities to easily visit the mountains and seashore.

JiangxiDad on November 3, 2008 at 9:54 AM

I’m left wondering whether our side is engaged in wishful thinking about the accuracy of polls. I recall prior years (Reagan/Mondale 1984, for instance) where the Dems/left kept repeating in their echo chamber that “it’s really close, just wait ’til the undecideds show up.” It didn’t happen.

I hope that this is different. But, I’m afraid that 18 months of warm-and-fuzzies nonspecifics about Obama, coupled with 30 years of statist indoctrination, is about to result, to quote someone, in “America’s chickens coming home . . . to roost.”

FiveG on November 3, 2008 at 9:54 AM

I am in the oil fields in Alaska and I can let you know that the emails about “Barry’s Coal plan” have been shooting around from Alaska to Wyoming to Colorado. I have people in not only oil and coal but other industrial jobs that are scared to death of him. The leadership of the unions are voting for Obama but I would wager a lot of the non-leadership just cant handle is views. Stay Strong and keep faith

akoilfieldtrash on November 3, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Here in Florida, I am trying to maintain my ‘hope’ is that the GOP voters will show up in masses tomorrow.

Repubtallygirl on November 3, 2008 at 9:57 AM

joest73 on November 3, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Oh yeah, not one GOP call, but I’ve had 3 robocalls in the last 4 days here in Southern VA, all for the Dems.

The most obnoxious was the night of the infomercial, because it was a recording of Biden. Talk about feeling violated.

Marine_Bio on November 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Sorry wrong thread

akoilfieldtrash on November 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM

McCain was not my first choice to represent the Republican ticket. Heck, he wasn’t even my second or third. But, I will be voting for him and I would like to tell you why:

Virginia Shanahan on November 3, 2008 at 10:02 AM

My projections

McCain 278
Obama 257


McCain 318
Obama 217

Cheer up folks, the White House is going to be occupied by the mavericks

julian on November 3, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Khalidi tape update

Go to

Turns out a children’s dance troupe (Sanabel AlQuds Dabka troupe) performed at the event; this dance troupe does a very interesting simulation:

a mock beheading of children draped in US, UK, and Israeli flags!

In the simulation, the children swing fake swords and the flags fall to the floor and the dancers stomp on them.

Debbie Schlussel does not know if the troupe did the simulation during the event but she infiltrated the group at a later date and saw the act at subsequent performances.

Can you believe a newspaper covering up for this!!!

ejfrench on November 3, 2008 at 10:09 AM

McCain/Palin have no chance of winning my state, it’s as blue as blue can get. Obama will get our EVs. But it won’t stop me from casting my vote for Mac and Sarah. It’s up to you folks in the battlegrounds to Stop Obama Now! God bless your efforts.

predator on November 3, 2008 at 10:12 AM

Colorado: Obama 49, McCain 44, Undecided 4
Florida: Obama 47, McCain 45, Undecided 7
Nevada: Obama 47, McCain 43, Undecided 8
Pennsylvania: Obama 47, McCain 43, Undecided 9
Virginia: Obama 47, McCain 44, Undecided 9
Ohio: McCain 47, Obama 45, Undecided 6
Missouri: McCain 47, Obama 46, Undecided 5
North Carolina: McCain 49, Obama 46, Undecided 5

Now let’s look at those numbers including the people that won’t admit to voting for Mccain because of the fear of being accused of being racist. (There are no undecideds at this point..if they have not been brainwashed by the media pumping Obama for two years, they never will)

Colorado: Obama 49, McCain 48
Florida: Obama 47, McCain 52
Nevada: Obama 47, McCain 51
Pennsylvania: Obama 47, McCain 52
Virginia: Obama 47, McCain 53
Ohio: Obama 45, Mccain 52
Missouri: Obama 46, Mccain 52
North Carolina: Obama 46, Mccain 54

SaintOlaf on November 3, 2008 at 10:17 AM

I like your way of thinking, and I sure hope you’re right!

predator on November 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

McCain will win, his mojo is too powerful.

nevada56 on November 3, 2008 at 10:42 AM

This would be one of the reasons that I dislike early-voting. By the time the news (for example) of Obama’s “Bankrupt the coal industry” comments come to light, a huge proportion of the electorate is already committed.

Of course if they were dumb enough to vote for Obama in the first place, then they are probably immune to logic anyhow…

Falshrmjgr on November 3, 2008 at 10:58 AM

joest73 on November 3, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Marine_Bio on November 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM

I just spoke with a coworker, who was inundated by Obama supporters on Halloween. He said the previous record for his house was 9 visits in 3 days, but he got 9 visits that night alone!

He asked if they talked to each other, because these visits were getting tiresome and a bit confusing. They just thought he would somehow forget to vote if they didn’t visit him 9 times the Friday before an Election…

What idiots!

Miss_Anthrope on November 3, 2008 at 10:59 AM

I am calling it for McCain/Palin.
Not only do the polls tend to over sample democrats but most people I know tend to either not talk to pollsters or will tell them what they want to hear or what is PC. I think Obama will win the popular vote based on his vote totals in large urban areas, solid blue states like Californa, New York etc will inflate his vote totals with out having an effect on the Electorial College.
Obama will win my state based on the King County effect ( about 1/3 of the states population lives in King County which is solidly Democrate).
People tend to be PC to avoid hassle in public situations but once in the privacy of the voting booth they will do what they feel is right.
As far as why Obama won the Democratic primary..look to the cacus states..the fear of being labeled racist played into those open debates as opposed to a voting type primary.

Kidd on November 3, 2008 at 11:01 AM

New Europe hopes you are right too. Here in Lithuania (troops serving with the US in AFG), where a new Conservative govt was just elected, the choice is stark. McCain, defender of Georgia and (little known fact) Chairman of the International Republican Institute, which promotes democracy in Belarus, Europe’s last dictatorship vs. ?

BalticWildboar on November 3, 2008 at 11:07 AM

In the primaries Obama never exceeded his poll numbers at the voting booth. I don’t believe there was any weighting to help him. Sooo.. what do the raw numbers say?

AlexJ on November 3, 2008 at 11:08 AM

ricardoz on November 3, 2008 at 9:46 AM

I know two.

I’ll make sure to take pictures of their mugs and send them. ;)

Ryan Gandy on November 3, 2008 at 11:12 AM

This is exceedingly good news. I am much more optimistic about seeing this. With the exception of my state, Colorado, in every battleground state listed he is not only failing to hit 50%, but he’s no higher than 47%.

If he hasn’t closed the sale by now with the allegedly “undecided”, it’s not going to happen. I’m predicting that McCain takes every battleground listed, with Colorado being a razor-thin margin.

There have already been dozens of articles on why the “undecideds” are likely to break very heavily towards McCain… and the fraction of hangups and refuse-to-responds in polling this year are staggeringly high. This provides another indication about an unaccounted-for distortion in the polling. I believe O supporters are much less likely to refuse to respond to polling.

If every poll accurately reported how many calls went unanswered, how many were hangups, and how many refused to respond, I think it would be much easier to see what a small fraction of total data these decisions are being made upon.

In the world of today’s technology, it’s much easier to “opt out” of putting your opinion into the polling mix. We have no reason to assume that those who opt out are demographically and politically identical to those who choose to share their opinions to pollsters.

VekTor on November 3, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Last Friday when I was working. There were Obamabots everywhere in the parking lots. A few came up to me. But I told them to stay back. I cannot take that chance. I pick deposits up and am scared all the time. They weren’t pushy and apologized. I was surprised. I told them I was a McCain woman. They said nothing. So I was happy that I didn’t have to get mean. Would be so cool if CA. actually got pis*ed and tons of people voted McCain. I know I am dreaming. He has my vote and my hubby’s vote.

sheebe on November 3, 2008 at 11:53 AM

If an “undecided” voter hasn’t swallowed the Kool-aid by now, he NEVER will.

I can well imagine an “undecided” voting for McCain, but all gullible people have already been counted in the Obama column.

fred5678 on November 3, 2008 at 1:28 PM

I agree. Obama supporters are such arrogant twits. They cannot hide their adoration of him to a pollster or in an exit poll. Obama is a frontrunner who is not the second choice of many. What you see, in terms of his projected vote count, is what he’s going to get, as been often commented on by political junkies. McCain should pick up the bulk of the undecideds, but will it be decisive in his favor? i don’t think anybody truly knows the answer to that question today.

technopeasant on November 3, 2008 at 5:51 PM

I can never understand why someone would be discouraged from voting because of an exit poll.

Are people sitting there watching TV and saying to themselves: “I guess I shouldn’t bother driving 8 blocks and pulling down a lever.”

casel21 on November 3, 2008 at 10:00 PM