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

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


Mark Newman’s Presidential Election Maps by County

Mark Newman at the Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan has done national maps showing election results in various ways at least for the last two presidential elections to my knowledge.  Two of my favorites are below:  First, one showing results for each county […]

The error in some national polls was the opposite of what the pundits thought…

The image above shows how the national polls did in the election, with their margins of error.  The right (blue) side represents error to the Obama side; left and red is error to the Romney side.  Only three polls had the result outside their margins of error.  The worst was Gallup, next Rassmussen, […]

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

Mark Halperin speculates: Will Barbour run or not?

In a Time Magazine piece headed “GOP Kingmaker or Candidate,” Halperin writes:

Among the totems in Haley Barbour’s office in Jackson, Miss., is a cheeky sign that reads, “Power corrupts but absolute power is kinda cool.”

In this season of broad conservative ascent, Barbour is approaching absolute power. As chairman of the Republican Governors […]