I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Some Notes on the State of the Race

I was curious what actually looking at recent polls in the battleground states would show.  I spend a fair amount of time reading Nate Silver’s 548 site, as I did four years ago.  He’s built a model that incorporates polling data and some economic data, and attempts to project from present conditions to electoral college and popular vote results.  Silver explains the components of his model, and that he’s developed it using Bayesian statistics, but you can’t really tell what is going on under the hood.  He’s consistently shown Obama ahead, and recently has shown that Romney’s brief surge (or the polls’ reversion to the mean, you pick) has ceased and things have reached some sort of plateau:  A very close race with Obama slightly ahead.

So I looked at some of the state polls.  41 states and the District of Columbia seem to me to be locked down: They’re pretty certain to go to either Romney or Obama unless something (completely unpredictable) happens in the next week or so and makes this a landslide.

Of the states that seem in play, in Florida, Romney has lead in three (Rassmusen, Susquehana, Angus Reid) and Obama in two (Grove, Gravis Marketing) and there’s one tie (Mellman). That is pretty close to toss up level, but I’ll give that to Romney.

In Wisconsin Obama has lead in every poll in Wisconsin since mid-August except one poll yesterday, where Rasmussen (which leans Republican) shows a tie. That suggests an Obama win there.

Give Romney North Carolina, although in the last week there’s been a tied poll and the other three are split 2 to Romney and 1 to Obama.

At that point, the electoral college vote is Obama 247 and Romney 235, with 56 votes in play.  Obama needs 23 of them and Romney needs 35 of them.

That leaves Colorado (9 votes) , Iowa (6 votes), Nevada (6 votes) , New Hampshire (4 votes), Ohio (18 votes), and Virginia (13 votes).

It seems clear from the polls that Obama has the advantage in Colorado, Ohio, and Nevada, which would give him 33 votes and a clear electoral win. If Obama gets Ohio, Romney has to take away both Colorado and Nevada, plus both Virginia and Iowa, to win. If Romney takes Ohio, Obama is still short 8 votes with Colorado and Nevada.

Here’s why it seems Obama has the advantage in Colorado, Ohio, and Nevada.

Continue reading Some Notes on the State of the Race

Chris Offut talks about writing for Treme

Friend of the Blog Chris Offutt and Ole Miss writing professor Chris Offut talks to the Washington Post about leaving behind writing for televison:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chris Offutt doesn’t have HBO, so he’s going to head over to a neighbor’s house Sunday night to watch “Treme.” It just might be his last chance […]

NMC re-emerges, sort of but not really

I’ve been in trial out of town all week, not really able to read anything on the blog (I saw at least one comment demanding I respond about something, a demand that evidences a complete understanding of the reasonable expectations for those commenting on internet blogs).

I may catch up tomorrow, although I’m still […]

Scoring the debates as if they were boxing

I’m going to score it like boxing:

Debate One:  Romney wins in a walkover.  For reasons I don’t fully understand, Obama just didn’t show up.  He seemed tired and disengaged, but there was more to it than that.  Romney blew past him, and Romney’s new positions threw Obama totally.

Debate Two:  Obama wins on […]


Adventures in Vote Suppression

The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer explores the creation and development of “The Voter-Fraud Myth” in this profile of  the creator and architect of the national vote suppression movement, Hans von Spakovsky.

Interesting reaction to Neil Young memoir from the New Yorker

Good blog post on the New Yorker site about Neil Young and his memoir.

I was a little surprised when Neil Young published his memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace,” because he is the only artist I have ever encountered who is proud of not reading. Reading would distract him from writing songs, he once […]

Get the details of the Romney tax plan.

They are right here.

Yes, the South is a different country (evidence from a northern grocery store)

From a grocery story in Northern Illinois, a photo by friend-of-the-blog Bill Gregg.

2nd debate in a picture.

I think pretty much everyone, right and left, agreed that that New Yorker cover summed up the first debate.

The photo below pretty well sums up the second debate, although I doubt there will be an objective reaction from all political spectrums to that conclusion, or even an agreement about what “objective” means.

For […]