Monday, November 3, 2008

Could Coleman Eke One Out?

The final round of Senate polling before the election was completed over the holiday weekend. While little kids were learning the finer points of bartering and Halloween tricks were being played (or turned), the rest of MN was getting sampled.

The results of the these final polls show a shift toward Coleman. There have now been a total of 49 polls conducted since last year. Although the results of the final few polls show that there is a statistical tie between the two candidates, there are a few data points that suggest Coleman may eke out a victory tomorrow.

First off, here is the line graph of all polls.

Coleman has come back from mid-October lows. Franken has hovered around 40% pretty consistantly.

Looking at the overall trends, Coleman has taken a minute lead, but because of variation in the data these trends are too close to call. The take away point, however, is that Coleman has made a come back and Franken has stagnated.

Looking at spread advantage (the difference between poll numbers), the trend line has broken in favor of Coleman for the first time since mid-September. Again, this is too close to call, but trends have shifted in Coleman’s favor.

Finally, looking at average highs and lows for all polls, Coleman has a 3-point advantage. This advantage is again within a statistical margin of error, so the race is still a toss-up, but considering the overall data trends, Coleman appears on the verge of eking out a victory.

Poll Averages .......High .....Low .....Total
Coleman..................48....... 40......... 44
Franken.................. 45....... 37......... 41

In races this close, campaign organization become the key to winning. The election will be decided on who has the best behind the scenes operation. Who knocked on more doors? Who had the most face to face contact with voters? Was it the GOP or DFL?

If you’re a Franken fan, you hope to God that Franken has hitched his wagon onto the organizational juggernaut that is Obama. The GOTV effort from that campaign may push enough DFL minded folks out to the polls to vote for Franken giving him the edge.

If you’re a Coleman fan, you hope that the storied GOP voter mobilization efforts of the last few presidential election cycles still work. MN is clearly going to fall in Obama’s favor, but will the GOP mobilize enough people to come out for Coleman? We will know shortly.

If you’re a Barkley fan, you are justifiably bitter. The political egos of Franken nd Coleman dominated an election season that should have been a policy wonk’s wet dream. Instead of measured responses to very serious issues, you got a high school pissing contest.

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