Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who Gets Undecideds?

Jim Geharty is posing undecideds in the last few polls break for the challenger or third parties. We're still two weeks out and there is plenty of time for Jim to be right.

I wanted to see how undecided in close races broke two weeks out.

The data I have doesn't indicate whether the 8% not committed to the two candidates two weeks before were undecided or third party. What we do see is that 5.1% did go with the major parties and, of that, 3.2% went to the incumbent. So, the incumbent does pick up late votes at a better pace. Gaining 1 point at this late stage doesn't help you win.

In cases where there was a 4%+ swing, the incumbent was the gainer 5 times to the challenger's 4. Six of the biggest swings were in races where the leader was ahead by 8% or more. The leader had those gains in 5 of them. The one time the challenger closed was only by 4%. It's telling that no race that had more than 1 point separating the leader and the challenger was won by the challenger.

So let's put North Carolina, Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, Missouri, and New Hampshire in the Safe GOP column. I think you can put Wisconsin in there too. One poll does have it a 2 point race, but the average is Johnson by 6. You can also throw Connecticut in the Democratic column.

Democrats definitely have 48 seats to 44 for the Republicans. That leaves 8 races that could go either way. Despite recent closer polls, I doubt Kentucky is going to flip. Conway has only been ahead in one poll all year.

The other seven are real toss-ups. All of them have had polls in the last two weeks that have favored each candidate. Most of the other polls are very close. The two recent Pennsylvania polls are a bit perplexing, since Toomey was ahead by 5-10 points in every poll since July. Sestak could win, but such a win would be unusual.

No comments:

Post a Comment