Tuesday, January 29, 2008


When I made my last post on the race in Flordia six days ago, I predicted McCain would win by 10 points but made it clear that that was not my final prediction. I was expecting the race to narrow and even saw the potential of Romney pulling into first place. I think that the endorsement of Governor Charlie Crist (UPDATE: And Sen. Mel Martinez, a Cuban-American who will move a lot of voters among that active Republican voting bloc) for McCain will hold him in the lead and by a fairly comfortable margin.

My final prediction:
McCain 34
Romney 27
Giuliani 19
Huckabee 15
Paul 5

In terms of the South Carolina race over the weekend, it seems to me that I had the essence of it right in predicting a clear win for Obama. I was correct to predict a lot of strength for Edwards, however, I underestimated his weaknesses. Indeed, the exit polls reveal that Edwards won non-Black voters over the age of 29 by a margin of 41 to Clinton's 38 with Obama trailing with only 20. Among the full age spectrum of non-Blacks, Edwards still won with 39-37-24. I had routed my prediction in the assumption that Edwards would take 40% of the non-Black vote so I had that right. The shocking figure was the Edwards received only 3% of the Black vote which is what pulled his numbers way down. Talk about a racial divide!

UPDATE: I read a very interesting factoid which could change everything in terms of how things turn out tonight. Apparently, about a third of Florida Republicans have already voted by means of absentee ballots or advanced polls. Until a few weeks ago McCain had zero (paid) organization in Florida. Thirty-plus percent of voters don't vote early on their own; those numbers were driven by organization. I think it would be fair to imagine that the results of the advanced voting could be, roughly, 35 Giuliani, 35 Romney, 15 Thompson (who had a strong organization in the state) and about 5 each for McCain and Huckabee. I am not going to cop out in the middle of the day and attempt to revise a prediction, but, assuming my numbers above (in my original prediction) are correct of the two-thirds of people voting today and that my rough estimate of advanced voters is also correct, today's results would actually be as follows:

Romney 30
Giuliani 25
McCain 25
Huckabee 12
Thompson 5
Paul 3

Very interesting. If the results do turn out to be about as above, it will just go to show how important organization can be in politics. Today, a plurality of voters may well prefer McCain but, because a few weeks ago that was not true and some folks did some good organizing to get the vote out then, he could place third.


CH Truth said...

Two problems with your theory:

1) Already voted is weighed accordingly by the pollsters. When one in 10 has already voted, you are going to see significant amounts of these people in the surveys. While that cross section might be less accurate due to polling size it isn't like there is going to be some huge surprise.

2) When early voting started, it was Giuliani and McCain who were leading in the polls. Polls from earlier in the month showed Romney with numbers in the middle teens. Organization or no... people went to vote for who they wanted to vote for at the time... and logic dictates that it would have been Rudy and McCain, not Rudy and Romney.

nbpolitico said...

Well we'll see. As I said, I standby my original prediction of a McCain win, but that was some interesting food for thought.

Anonymous said...

In Florida six days ago, the first session of counting between the McCain-34, Romney-27, Giuliani-19, Huckabee-15, Paul-5. The first session leading is McCain. Then the result is McCain-25, Romney-30, Giuliani-25, Huckabee-12, Paul-3. The interesting is no one got high position of counting. So the leading of this session is Romney.
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