Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Reading The Runes On Election Night

Election fatigue has turned into election fever as attention nervously switches to how to read the runes. The Orange Party's advice is to get an early night and in the morning blame it all on the media, the polls and some very slick marketing - or be thankful to them. If you do play Wee Willie Winkie - watch out for the 'call'.

The tracking polls, so favoured by the media, have now closed, with the previously accurate IBD/TIPP closing at Obama 51.5%, McCain 44.3%, a 7.2% lead. (RCP Average 52% Obama, 44.2% McCain, lead 7.8%). 

Neither is a double digit lead which would ensure an out and out Obama victory in the popular vote. 

As was pointed out here yesterday, these are just snapshots of opinion. This popular vote is not how this election will be played out. 

Many are issuing warnings about the exit polls, those supposedly secret polls, skewed to the Democrat's advantage and readily leaked. 

Bill McInturff, has issued a McCain campaign memo on reading the exit polls. He says they should be treated with a pinch of salt. These exit polls do, however, fix the news agenda for the TV networks.

If you must take note of the exit polls, swing over to Drudge. He has the ear of the Republican Party, so if he links to anything positive about Obama from any leaked exit poll - it must be true!

All that matters is the electoral college votes in the individual States and the magic 270. Obamakins and McCainites should keep an eye on the 'call' from one of the networks for the president-elect. 

For election junkies, AP points out the first clues will come early, in Georgia, Indiana and Virginia. If Obama wins any of these three, he's on his way to a possible landslide. A clean sweep for McCain and he's the comeback kid. 

If any one of these three are just too close to call quickly, then it's a long night ahead and down to the wire.

Because of the time zones, a candidate can reach the magic 270 electoral college votes before all the polls have closed. 

There's a tremendous temptation by media networks  to make that call once it hits anywhere near 270. And one of them will try to be first. Then it's all over bar the shouting, legal wrangles and a long haul to January. 

Yesterday the Orange Party threw in its one cents worth with a warning to hang onto your seats as this was going to be a roller coaster of a ride. Obama is media favourite but McCain could win. That prediction still stands.

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