Friday, October 17, 2008


In general the polls look good for Obama -- but I have doubts about Ohio. I'm struck by the fact that, in Politico's new poll of four key counties in swing states, Obama's doing much better than Kerry in three (Bucks County, Pa.; Prince William County, Va., where there's a huge turnaround from GOP to Democrat; and St. Louis County, Mo. -- but is lagging Kerry in Franklin County, Ohio:

In Ohio’s Franklin County, the state’s second-most populous county after Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County, Obama leads by a narrower 45-40 percent margin. Kerry carried Franklin County 54-45 percent in 2004.

Add this to the GOP's apparent success in voter suppression...*

More than 200,000 registered Ohio voters may be blocked from casting regular ballots on Election Day because of a federal appeals court decision on Tuesday requiring the disclosure of lists of voters whose names did not match those on government databases, state election officials and voting experts said.

Experts say a federal order in an election-law suit could result in the casting of more provisional ballots....

... and to the tight polls (Rasmussen currently has Ohio tied and Zogby gives McCain a 4-point lead, while most other polls give Obama a slight lead) and I find it baffling that Intrade gives Obama a 74% chance to win the state and Nate Silver's at 76%.

The electoral map says that Obama can win without Ohio. (In fact, he can win even if he loses all of's "Barely Democrat" states, the others being Florida, Nevada, Missouri, and North Dakota; Rasmussen, by the way, shows him gaining ground in Missouri, up to a 6-point lead.) So I suppose I'm just wringing my hands for no good reason. Still, it would be a sweet victory, and I'm not sure it'll happen.


*UPDATE: Or maybe not:

The Supreme Court is siding with Ohio's top elections official in a dispute with the state Republican Party over voter registrations.

The justices on Friday overruled a federal appeals court that had ordered Ohio's top elections official to do more to help counties verify voter eligibility....

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