I filled out my absentee ballot yesterday and will mail it a few hours from now. I voted McCain/Palin. I would have voted Constitution Party if I didn’t think the election would be decided by just a few points — if that much.
It’s the first time since 1988 that I did not support the Constitution Party candidate, although I supported Frank Zilaitis, an independent running for U.S. Congress in my district. So you can put me in the column of millions of undecideds and independents who have suddenly shifted for McCain in the last week. I’ll explain more about that shift the day after our stunning victory next Tuesday.
The 2004 Indepedent Business Daily/TIPP poll was by far the most accurate indicator of the presidential election, having accurately predicted the election to within three-tenths of a point.
Here is the most current IBD/TIPP polling data:
Not Sure: 9.2%
Spread: Obama +3.0
What is remarkable about this poll is that it shows a 3 point swing from just eight days ago.
Not sure: 12.1%
While a three point swing is within the margin of error for most polls, what is remarkable is that it shows Obama’s support remaining constant while McCain has shifted all three points from the undecideds into his column. Nine percent of likely voters still remain undecided. That is unheard of this close to an election. In 2004, no poll showed more than four percent undecided with a full week to go.
In light of the huge number of undecideds, the race may easily end up one or two points in McCain’s favor and moving upward. Here’s why: The average of all polls in October have shown that Bob Barr (1.4 percent) and Ralph Nader (2.6 percent) have a consistent 4 points between them. This support seems constant although third party support is notoriously hard to gauge.
If we give a generous 4 points to the various independents, then that still leaves 5 points to be divided between Obama and McCain. It’s likely that Obama has peaked at 47 percent of the vote. Those who will vote for Obama have already decided to do so. Those undecideds who will still change their mind will break toward McCain. Few McCain supporters will shift to Obama.
McCain will probaby finish a point or two above Obama according to this model, but if some Obama supporters switch to McCain at the last minute, it could be a shocker of an election and over faster than anyone imagined. I remember 1980 when I was a freshman at the very liberal UMASS/Amherst. Ronald Reagan had trailed Jimmy Carter by 6 points just the week before, but Reagan won me and millions of others over in his last debate. It was over before most Californians has a chance to vote.
Last week, I changed my support to John McCain and I believe millions more will follow that pattern. If I am right, then it is going to be a lot of fun watching liberal commentators announce blue states such as New Hampshire and Pennsylvania turning red early in the night. That could tilt the election and we could see McCain picking off some unexpected blue states in the west.