"I am Trying to Break Your Heart" - JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
Fabulous cover of a great song -- like Otis Redding wrote it. Let's undress just like cross-eyed strangers indeed.
- I promised I'd try to avoid too much election speculation, but sometimes I can't help myself. I found it interesting reading Nate Silver's latest post and looking at the state by state electoral map he has at his site. You have the paradox of an election in which national polls are quite tight, but state by state races yield little in the way of excitement. In forty states, either Obama or Romney have a better than 80% chance of prevailing. In two others, Pennsylvania and Missouri, Obama and Romney are thought by Silver to have a 79% chance of prevailing. So basically the election comes down to eight states in which the odds are narrower: Obama is favored by Silver in six of them -- Nevada 72.8%, New Hampshire 65.9%, Virginia 64.9%, Iowa 64.6%, Colorado 64.2%, and Ohio 60.8% -- and Romney in two, North Carolina 73% and Florida 51.6%. Now obviously there are months to go before the election and unforeseen events can occur. Still, one gets the sense that a huge amount of the electoral map is absolutely locked in in a way that is unlikely to be changed. We appear to have arrived at a 2004 style electoral situation, only this time the Democrats have the edge and the Republicans have to fill in an inside straight to win, i.e. sweep Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina in order to get to 272 electoral votes. It is certainly possible, but it seems remarkably similar to the task that Kerry faced against Bush. (I tend to take Silver's prognostications as being as good as they get -- he is one of those rare people who does not let his biases color his analysis and his methodology is rock solid.)
One of the interesting things will be to see how effectively all of the money raised by both sides can be deployed in a fairly small number of media markets - Las Vegas; Boston (for New Hampshire); DC (for northern Virginia) along with Richmond, Norfolk, and Roanoke; Des Moines; Denver; Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinatti, Toledo, and Dayton; Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham; and Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Miami. I think there is likely to be a law of diminishing returns at some point -- really how many thirty second spots can people endure?
Anyway, I continue to think it that as tight as the race might be that if Virginia gets called for Obama early on it will mean he has won.
If that happens we can then obsess about the Senate, which continues to worry the hell out of me.
What do you all think? And what else is grabbing your attention?
Post Script: I wanted to address the tone of some of the comments in one of the most recent posts, which have caused some upset. I know that this is a place where people have strong opinions and a forum in which they are free to express them. But I would really urge people to use some care in attacking fellow members of the community here. I value all of your contributions and don't relish the thought of refereeing disputes that become personal. So please, if you disagree with someone, by all means say your piece, but let's try and give everyone the benefit of the doubt about being good-faith actors and think a little bit before hitting the old post button. Thanks.