Three Weeks

Jeff Alworth

A couple of line graphs tell the whole story in the election right now, as we hit the three-week mark.  The good folks at have made it easy to see.  First, here's a nifty graph that shows which shows which direction the McCain campaign is headed.



This next one is more pedestrian, but shows the same trendline for a certain western senator.

It's not over yet, but things are looking good.

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    There's an interesting analysis of Oregon on

    It praised our voting system -- suggested that Obama might visit here to help Merkley. Trying not to jump up and down at that idea....

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    If comes to Oregon, one of two things is happening:

    • Either he's losing in a state he should be winning (and is likely sliding badly nationwide)

    • Or, he's winning by such a huge margin that he's shifted to helping House and Senate candidates.

    Obviously, I'd prefer the latter - but I'm not holding my breath. He oughta spend his time in the states still hanging in the balance.

    There are plenty of high-profile surrogates headed to Oregon for Jeff Merkley. Today, Russ Feingold in Eugene. He ain't no Obama, but he ain't chopped liver, either.

    And I'm sure there will be others...

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    Yeah -- I think Obama should set up camp in the battlegrounds...I'm not sure if Merkley is going to need him, anyway. His current place in the polls plus some nice coattails may just do it.

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    Heck, I thought Obama was rootin' for Smith!

    Check out the NYT article.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Obama crushing McCain by 14 pts. nationally!

    Just in from CBS/NY Times poll, Obama 53-McCain 39:

    And this is in line with other polls today, slightly better.

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    Remind me now, Bill, did CBS ever get its credibility back by dumping Dan Rather? I hope that poll is right, but this is no time to let up.

    The final debate this week would appear to be McCain's last chance, but Obama's opportunity to seal the deal. Get the pop-corn ready; should be a good one.

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    Obama can help Merkley most by ensuring that young voters come out. In the Fivethirtyeight analysis, the thing that leaped out at me was the age disparity--we're a much younger state (18-29) than elderly (65+). If the youngsters vote in anything like their proportion and move down-ballot to vote for Merkley, the poll numbers may be understating his advantage.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    @Jamais Vu

    You can diss CBS if you like, but this poll is only slightly higher than a number of other national polls in the last couple of days. It's not an outlier!

    LAT/BLoomberg - +9 Gallup +10 GWU +13 Res 2000 +11 ABC/WAPO +10 Newsweek +11

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    That's great news, Bill. (And that was a serious question about CBS!)

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    From the NYT article linked above:

    The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has spent heavily on the race, and a consultant to Mr. Smith’s campaign said the Republicans had been outspent on television advertising by about $13 million to $7 million.

    Is that credible? A few months ago we were wincing about Smith's $7 million or $8 million war chest, with either Jeff or Steve N. way in the hole, comparatively, and even recently folks around here whom I'd expect to know saw Jeff as playing catch-up. Or is this the consultant lowballing by comparing DSCC to RSCC/RNC and leaving out Smith's own funds? And isn't the cited total astronomical for Oregon, historically speaking, and bigger if Smith's own money is left out?

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    Nice graphs Jeff, I hadn't seen those before.

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    Chris Lowe, you're right to be skeptical about the money numbers being thrown around. No way is Jeff M. outspending Gordon S. on television. In fact, I had to read that NYT number twice to make sure it wasn't the other way around - Smith - $13 mil and Merkley - $7mil.

    Anecdotally, lots of people trying to buy television time for the ballot measure campaigns have been told there's no time to sell them. That the Smith Campaign locked up most of it months ago.

  • Steve S (unverified)

    He should have saved some of the money he's spending on TV time to buy a message.

  • Dan L. (unverified)

    Common wisdom I've heard is that despite it all, Gordon Smith has won in the past because he is perceived as a Republican that Democrats can vote for. I wouldn't be surprised if moderate D's who like to be 'non-partisan' still break strongly for him: if the recent thinking about him is to believed, then he's super-lame (read: bi-partisan by virtue of not doing anything), not a super-toxic "ofmg-aR!!!!". So, I'd be curious to see what polling of D's alone are on the race.


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    If this was any other even-numbered-year election I think you'd be right about moderate Dems, Dan L.

    But this election is different.

    I think those middle-of-the-road Dems have had it with the GOP. They're not looking for a Republican they can vote for. They're looking for a Republican they can vote against.

    Jeff Merkley's making them feel it's ok not to vote for Gordon Smith.

  • LT (unverified)

    As a moderate Dem. who grew up in a Republican family, I want to agree with this:

    "I think those middle-of-the-road Dems have had it with the GOP. They're not looking for a Republican they can vote for. They're looking for a Republican they can vote against."

    I admire St. Sen. Frank Morse (R-Sen. Dist. 8) for his hard work on the Public Comm. on the Legislature and recent legislative sessions. I admire Cong. Pete Hoekstra and to some extent Roy Blunt for their hard work and even handedness (solving problems rather than just blaming Democrats) in recent weeks. I heard a couple farm state Republicans on an Ag Comm. hearing on CSPAN recently asking some interesting questions.

    Period. End of discussion.

    I'm tired of hearing that tax cuts are somehow part of the Holy Trinity. As EJ Dionne said, "my copy of the New Testament doesn't have a cut in the capital gains tax anywhere I can find".

    I'm tired of "...but the Democrats" as if Republicans are infallible and everything wrong with this country started in Jan. 2007 or when Clinton was President (or, with some people, when Carter was President).

    I'd love to get back to the days of Tom McCall, Clay Myers, Gerald Ford, progressive Republicans in general, and before that Republicans like Charles McNary. How many folks here know that McNary was 1940 Republican VP nominee?

    I was very active in 1984 and remember how the Mondale campaign felt the last few weeks of that campaign. That's what the mood feels like now.

    The "silver lining" of the Mondale defeat was soul searching among Democrats and some very healthy internal debates and changes (like the Dean vs. McAullife debates recently, only over many more issues).

    Maybe if Republicans lose big this year they will do the same sort of soul searching. The arrogant, sarcastic, "we are better than you and we know what people want more than you do, so just shut up and quit asking questions" attitude is never very appealing, no matter who does it.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    Interesting NYT article here about race in the presidential election in the South. Example:

    "Whether Mr. Obama is black, half-black or half-white often seemed to overshadow the question of his exact stand on particular issues, and rough-edged comments on the subject flowed easily even from voters who said race should not be an issue in the campaign. Many voters seemed to have no difficulty criticizing the mixing of the races — and thus the product of such mixtures — even as they indignantly said a candidate’s color held no importance for them."

    Another indication, in case we needed one, that the Dixiecrats who morphed into Republicans over the last 40-some years haven't changed too much.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    You know you have a "branding" problem when ALL of the Republican literature and commercials do not wear the GOP label.


    Kinda like Nike without the swoosh.

    It's your move, America -- will you vote for the black friend or the white enemy?


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