Take a look at this really interesting graphic on the electoral college calculator by votemaster. It tracks the electoral college count based on most recent polls over the course of the campaign going back to May. The graphic marks important events. Obviously the events are selected based on the assessment of the votemaster and are somewhat subjective. But there is remarkable correlation between events and changes in the graphic. By the way, there are similar graphics for each state on the electoral college calculator main page. The state graphics indicate which polls are which so you can identify any with apparent bias.
When I look at the graphic, several things jump out at me:
1) The two events that seem to have had the biggest and most durable effect on the electoral college count predictions are Reagan's funeral - which led to a week long love fest for Republicans and conservatives, dropping Kerry's support in the electoral college count and putting him into a rough tie with Bush for about 2 weeks - and Kerry's selection of John Edwards as his VP candidate (possibly confounded with opening of Fahrenheit 9/11) - which caused a large jump in the electoral college numbers for Kerry that lasted for about 3 weeks.
2) The DNC seems to have lead to a sharp spike in electoral college support for Kerry that rapidly dropped again.
3) The swift boat ad backfired and seems associated with something of a renewed bounce for Kerry. This dropped off a week or so later (possibly due to the ads showing Kerry testifying about war crimes in 1972 which ran after the original swift boat ads, possibly due to the Kerry campaign's suspension of TV adds to save money) .
4) August was a month of serious erosion for Kerry.
5) The RNC represented the bottom of Kerry's August plunge. As as soon as the RNC happened, Kerry started to recover. Two possible explanations: either the RNC made Bush really unpopular or this is because Kerry started campaigning again after taking August off. I suspect the latter explanation is more likely.
I suggest keeping an eye on this graphic as the debates come along. Kerry's campaign staff shake up would get marked just before the current end of the graphic as of Sep 11.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 11:08 PM