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Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Wrap Up and Prediction

Tomorrow we actually have some important local news that we have to cover, so today is going to be our wrap up of the election coverage from the past few days.

So here's what we want to know today, predictions, post them in the comments section and then debate them out.

Electoral college: Does anyone think that McCain will win tomorrow? How many electoral votes do you think that Obama will get? Does he get over 350 electoral votes?

Senate: Do the Democrats get to 60?

Measure W: Does it get to the 66.7% it needs to pass?

Measure N: Does it get 40% of the vote?


Really just going to focus on two...

Proposition 8, Same Sex Marriage: Does it pass?

Proposition 4, Abortion, Parental Consent: Does it pass?

That should keep people busy.

In case you missed it, here is our wrap up coverage.
Measure W

There is really no issue that the Vanguard has covered more than Measure W, here is the latest coverage that we have had on that issue.

Last we argued that if Measure W fails, Emerson closes. We also argued that if Measure W passes, Emerson likely but not certainly stays open. The basic reason for this is logistics. The logistics for closing Emerson are just too tricky.
On Friday, we covered a story on the Measure Q oversight committee, interviewing Bob Schelen, who argued pretty convincingly that the district has been very transparent in their process to the oversight committee. Moreover individuals can come in and ask questions of the district as well.

We also found out from Bruce Colby that the district does pay for cooking lessons to their staff. The only cost to the district is the employees who take the lessons. He calls it a low cost employee professional development program. And of course the main goal is to provide more healthy food choices for the students that they will eat.

He suggested that he would sit down with anyone who is interested and go over the budget.

Finally, he suggested that after the election there could be a Vanguard sponsored Q and A with him and the Superintendent.

The big news for the week came from Dweezil. Dweezil came out and endorsed Measure W yesterday.

And if you missed it, the Vanguard posted a late update with the full letter she submitted to the Enterprise.
Measure N

As many know, the Vanguard has come out against Measure N. Our view is simple. I would be supportive of a city charter that is properly written and narrow, but I think this charter is too broad. It would allow too much power to future city councils. I would like to see this charter get voted down and a committee formed to draft a new one that is much more specific.

We have also provided somewhat balanced coverage on the issue alloting space to both sides.

I accidentally omitted Rick Entrikin's name yesterday when I was mentioning this piece, so my apologies...

The big news on this yesterday was Mayor Asmundson's short letter to the editor changing her position:
"On further consideration, I now believe that Measure N is not in the best interest of Davis voters. Please vote no."
In addition, we posted from Nancy Price's letter to the editor, also in opposition.
"My objection to Measure N is that there has been virtually no communitywide presentation and discussion of what is allowed under a general law city or a charter city. Yet, we are asked to vote on a fundamental change in governance that will have far-reaching consequences."
Proposition 8

I was not originally going to talk about this Proposition today. The Field Poll released last week showed it failing by a very small plurality 49-44. This is getting particularly nasty with ads going back and forth, including some pretty nasty ones on both sides. We were watching the TV coverage in Roseville where street protestors have lined the streets with signs--because that is going to matter for a statewide iniative. I have no idea which side is going to win, but I suspect it will depend on who turns out to vote.

Polling in 2008

In fact, all of the polling in general is going to depend on this. This is an interesting year if you like to watch polling as I do. This year more than any, the model for voting matters.

There has been a systematic difference in the polling for the Presidential race based on assumptions. Those polls that have shown the narrowest leads are the ones that have most closely adhered to a traditional voting model resembling 2000 and 2004. But will the electorate look like that where Democrats and Republicans were even in 2004?

I doubt it. Gallup has tried to bridge the gap by having two likely voting models, one based merely on past behavior, the other based on voting intentions.

But there is something else going on and the polling site has captured some of it. How many African-Americans who have been apathetic in recent years will come out to vote for the first African-American President? And how many young people.

Looking at youth dominated sites, one example is Facebook where Obama has like a 70%-24% lead among those who have mobilized to get out the vote. If you do not use Facebook, you may not understand what this means, but there is an application that allows people to set their "status" to get out the vote, and by a huge margin most have mobilized for Obama rather than McCain. That is a snap shot, but a telling one.

Here is what has shown, there is a gap between those polls that poll cellphone-only voters, who are most likely to be younger voters and those who do not. Those in bright contact cellphone-only voters and there is a noticeable gap there.

What does this mean? Depending on youth turn out, the Obama lead could be understated even in the more generous models.

We just do not know. And that's why they vote.

So we'll find out tomorrow. In the meantime, tell us what you think.

---David M. Greenwald reporting