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Current Obama Ohio pWP: 82%

No graphic, this is just a quick update. A PPP poll was recently posted on RCP; Obama has a 82.3% chance of winning Ohio, based on every publicly available poll released in November. No poll has shown Romney ahead in Ohio since October 28th. Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have similar enough polling histories (this year) that we can treat the entire region about the same (i.e. they’re not independent of each other, an outcome in one is likely to be indicative of all of them, which is why I haven’t been posting pWP numbers for those other states). It’s practically impossible for Obama to win without Ohio, so I would put Romney’s chances of winning the election right at 20%. In fact, you could probably cut that in half too, as Romney has to win Ohio and one other state, and that state is likely Colorado, where pWP numbers have the race as a coin flip. So let’s call it a ten percent chance Romney wins. Or, every poll done by all the major polling agencies are completely wrong, and Romney will win in a landslide. But I’d start selling those Romney Intrade contracts and buying Obama, if I were you.


Current Obama pWP: 46%

Here’s Obama’s pWP for the last 11 polls taken over the previous week (the data overlaps so you don’t see all the dots), with a linear trendline:

And here’s the table of rolling averages:

I don’t feel comfortable predicting who will win the popular vote, but I would feel especially uncomfortable with the way the race is shaping up if I were Mitt Romney.

Current Obama pWP: 43%

The pWP spread continues to shrink:

And Obama’s moving averages are slowly moving up:

As a general rule, I consider any pWP between 40 and 60 to be a coin flip. And, barring a surprise, it looks like predicting who will win the popular vote in this race will require a fair coin toss, not a collection of polls.

Current Obama pWP: 42%

Obama’s numbers are consistently ticking up, bit by bit:

Also, I’ll be keeping track of all the nationwide polls as they’re posted, and I will be giving two and three-day rolling pWP averages:

I think I’ve approached the limit of my OpenOffice spreadsheet abilities, as I won’t be able to graph the rolling averages they way I’d like to. However, this should be fine, I’ll just have to publish a bar graph every day.

Who’s Ahead?

Polls are being posted everyday, and the data is coming hard and fast. As my previous two posts have suggested, it’s not entirely clear who, between Romney and Obama, is going to win the popular vote. So let’s take a look at the data, first Obama’s:

The numbers are showing quite a bit of spread, but it’s getting better. Over the last week or so, Obama looks to be polling between 45% and 48%.

Here’s Romney’s graph:

As you can see, there is a much greater range when it comes to the GOP nominee. The graph shows a hammerhead-like formation as we enter the final week of the campaign. Pollsters are having a [more] difficult time finding the electorate’s propensity to support Governor Romney. Maybe it’s because of Romney’s chameleonesque political liturgy or just because he’s not the incumbent with four years of apocalypse-free stewardship.

Still, there’s a strong level of support at the 49% mark. If Obama is at the top of his range, the race is 49-48.

In terms of pWP, Obama has 32% chance of winning the popular vote, assuming undecideds break proportionally. But, this is not normally the case. There are a few general rules when it comes to predicting how a race plays out in terms of turnout: 1) Undecideds break away from the incumbent, unless the economy is really rocking; 2) Democrats do better in POTUS election years; 3) The base of the party out of power has a stronger turnout.In this election, the economy question is open, but most people are unhappy with Obama in this category. Point 2) favors the Dems, and point 3) favors the GOP. Things look pretty good for Romney again. Of course, Ohio is where all this really matters. And Obama is still in control in Ohio.

Current Obama pWP: 77%

The preliminary pre-debate pWP numbers are in, and right now Obama has a significant lead of 77% pWP:

Economic Myths Debunked Debunked V

Penultimate Myth from Mother Jones:

Myth #5 Obama is Debasing the Dollar

There’s just no basis to the claim that Obama has debased the currency. And that’s unfortunate. As economist Dean Baker is fond of pointing out, if we want to get our national savings rate up and our long-term budget deficit down, there’s only one way to do it: by fixing our massive trade deficit. We have to import less and export more, and one way to make that happen is with a weaker dollar. A weaker dollar makes foreign goods more expensive, so we’ll buy less of them, and makes American goods cheaper, so others will buy more of them.

There are two arguments here, firstly, that the dollar has not been debased, and secondly, that our currency should be debased to make our manufactured goods more attractive internationally.

Money supply is a very complicated subject and one I really don’t want to tackle in this series. There are arguments for and against a weakening American dollar. The primary argument for a debased dollar stems from an increase in m1, m2 and/or currency supplies, as measured by the fed (which could be meaningless, or not) and the huge increase in gold, silver, wheat, corn, copper and other commodity prices. It appears the US Dollar has lost some ground (i.e. been debased) and it is likely the result of the Fed’s quantitative easing.

However, should the US be actively debasing the Dollar? To explain exactly what is going on here, I suggest going through the Khan Academy Currency playlist that should illuminate the subject a bit better. The primary point I would want to make here about purposefully debasing your currency to support your manufacturing sector is: there is no free lunch.

Destroying your currency helps manufacturers, but it hurts everyone else. Wealth is basically stolen. Everyday, the currency in your pocket will be able to buy fewer and fewer goods. All of the evils of inflation eventually surface. It’s even possible world banks will turn away from using the Dollar as a reserve currency. It’s not something you should take lightly. There’s a lot of hubris at work in even suggesting the road to prosperity starts with a weakening dollar, and a weakened dollar is something that might have contributed to the premature end of several presidencies since Nixon decoupled the dollar from gold.


I was thinking about Obama and all the Keynesians in power right now. Not just that all their ideas have failed up to this point. Not that, despite hundreds of billions of dollars being pumped into the economy artificially, we still can’t reduce unemployment in a significant way.

But that, what are they going to try next?

Are we going to see the broken window fallacy? (I mean again, the cash for clunkers deal is basically of this flavor.)

Will Obama start suggesting we destroy millions of homes in order to balance the economy, to put people back to work? It can’t be far off.

And these people are in power?

It’s so depressing to think about, it’s hard even to find the energy to write a few passing words on the topic.

Futures Market

Intrade, a futures market which allows users to buy and sell contracts for specific events, is a great tool for political pundits. The theory is a futures market works better than either polls or “fundamentals” because people, when wagering their own money, tend to be much more mindful of “reality.” Also, polls and “fundamentals” can be merged in a futures contract.

Two contracts which interest me right now are the “2008 McCain to Win” and the “MN Senate GOP to Win” contracts.

McCain’s contract is selling for a paltry 17 bucks (to earn 100)

While I like using Intrade as another tool punditry, I will say this contract is undervalued. I would be long this contract and I would expect it to move into the $35 range and I would probably sell it at that point.

No matter what, this contract’s price paints a very bleak picture for November’s general.


Over a year ago I said the Coleman to Win contract was too high and I recommended selling. Now, at 47-49 bucks, I think the contract is properly priced. What’s interesting is the Dem to Win (Franken) contract is very expensive. It’s in the $ 60 range. When summed together, the costs of the various MN Senate contract total over 108 bucks (to win 100). There is some obvious inefficiency in the market. The first obvious culprit is the $60 Franken contract.

But, based on the polls I’ve seen, Coleman is the underdog in this race. Right now, I don’t want to be in either the Franken or Coleman contracts. The next round of polls might completely push the Franken contract over $70. Just as likely, Coleman could close the gap. And remember, with the Independence Party candidate polling at nearly 20% right now, it’s very likely between now and election day those voters are going to break in Franken’s direction.

The situation in MN is very complicated. If forced to buy one contract or another, I would buy the Franken contract, even though it might be overpriced.

The bad news continues

Liveblogging the Last Presidential Debate

I’ll be liveblogging the Prez debates today, and all are invited to join the discussion. Click below to access the liveblog when the debate starts or sooner to receive an emailed reminder

Update: The liveblog was a lot of fun, thanks to Sequel and Kermit from the Anti-Strib for making me look like a thoughtful, contemplative moderate. Also, Thanks to Spurringrl and “SvE” for their contributions (and several other anonymous commenters).

Click Here

Update: Results of the liveblog after the jump
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