Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama Fever among the Young!

I think the colleges and universities in the battleground states hold the key to this election!
by Charlie Leck

Recently, in St. Louis, a crowd of about 75,000 people (official police estimates) came out to listen to Barack Obama. Yesterday, in Fort Collins, Colorado, the home of Colorado State University, the estimates were that 45,000 turned-out to see Obama. In Denver’s downtown Civic Park, the police estimates ranged from 75,000 to 100,000 people. [see story in the Rocky Mountain News] A few weeks ago, Obama also drew crowds like these in Portland, Oregon (80,000 by police estimates).

I’ve told a friend that the election is Obama’s if he carries Colorado. If he adds Nevada and New Mexico to that, it will be a landslide. The most recent poll by the Rocky Mountain News and the local CBS affiliate in Denver (October 21-23) has Obama up by 12 points.

I don’t care how good your advance-team is, drawing crowds like this to a political rally and speech is virtually unheard of. Among young people there is unbelievable energy to elect Obama and photographs and videos of these crowds show them to be made up mostly of young supporters.
What must it be like to speak to such large crowds? (That’s a blog I’m trying to craft for tomorrow.)
The media was raving about the vast size of Sarah Palin’s crowds when she went out on the stump. They sometimes exceeded 10,000 people. For Obama that’s a disappointing turnout.

I have said for months that this (these young people) is largely unpolled support. Vast numbers of these youthful supporters don’t have land-line connections and they don’t have listings in phone books. Sometimes they’re counted by those polling organizations that work the streets and survey people on the side-walk. Those kinds of polls are vastly inferior, however, and politicians don’t count on them.

Obama’s campaign organization has targeted the college and universities in battleground states (Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Missouri, Virginia). Registrations among this age group have been nothing short of sky-rocketing and breath-taking.

In Ohio, the latest poll numbers come from Rueters/Zogby and show Obama with a 5 point lead. Big Ten Battleground polls have Obama with a 10+ point lead. That’s an interesting difference and I think it comes about because the Big Ten polls are much more connected to the major universities in the Midwest.

Rueters’ very recent numbers in Virgina give Obama a 7 point lead. In Missouri, all the polls show it to be a squeaker. Reuters has Obama up by 2 points and that’s within the margin of error so you have to call it a tie. There are several major colleges and universities in Missouri, however, and they may provide the votes that tip the scale. In Florida, Reuters’ polls through yesterday call it a tie. How many huge universities are there in Florida?

McCain’s organization claims to be closing the gap. There is some evidence of that in national polls; however, polls in key states show Obama to be holding steady or gaining in support. In places like Pennsylvania and Virginia, Obama’s lead has increased. Obama keeps pushing further in front in Colorado and Nevada. I’ve tabbed Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada as indicator states. As they go, so goes the election. The numbers, indicating very close races, haven’t changed in Missouri, Ohio or Florida.

Remember, 270 electoral votes [ev] are needed for election. Obama has 255 dead-solid votes from states he won’t lose unless there is some kind of vicious scandal in the next week. There are another 5 states leaning toward Obama. If he gets all of them he’ll have 306 electoral votes.

McCain has a difficult hill to climb. He showed come-back power in the primaries. He’ll need a tremendous kick-finish this time.

Let’s watch.

Obama needs to get 15 ev out of these 5 states that are leaning toward him:
New Hampshire (4)
Ohio (20)
Virginia (13)
Colorado (9)
New Mexico (5)

Or, he can get those 15 ev out of these states that are undecided (tied):
Florida (27)
Indiana (11)
Missouri (11)
Nevada (5)
North Carolina (15)

So, there are 10 states listed immediately above. In some cases, one state can give Obama the win – or he can win with any combination that adds up to 15 ev.

Just for the record, Montana and North Dakota are also listed as undecided, but they’ll go for McCain.

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