Projected Electoral College Vote: Swing States, 8/23/04


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Chart courtesy of WSJ

Yet another fascinating poll, courtesy of WSJ. The recent SBVFT commercials seemed to have had an impact nationally, narrowing the gap between the challenger and the incumbent. According to this most recent WSJ/Zogby poll, conducted Aug. 16-21, there seems to be little impact in the Battleground States. Kerry now leads in 14 states (up from 13 early August). President Bush leads in two states.”

Here’s the Journals take on the polling data’s internals:

The contest for the White House remains tight, according to the latest Zogby Interactive poll of likely voters in 16 battleground states. Although the map is awash in blue, with President Bush leading in only two of the battleground states, down from the three states he held three weeks ago, the results in three-quarters of the states in the survey are within the margin of error — meaning those states remain very hotly contested. Mr. Kerry holds the top spot in 14 of the 16 polled states, up from 13 in the previous poll.

Mr. Bush’s lead is outside the margin of error in one state, but it’s a key one: Ohio. Only two 20th-century presidents have been elected without carrying the Buckeye State, and no Republican has won the White House without Ohio’s support since the party was founded in 1854. Mr. Kerry has top spots outside the margin in three states: Oregon, Washington and electoral-vote rich Pennsylvania.

In addition, several states continue to switch their allegiances. The survey results were closest in Florida and Missouri, where the margins between the two candidates are less than one percentage point. Both states, with their total of 38 electoral votes, have flipped between Messrs. Bush and Kerry more than once, most recently landing in the Democratic column. Similarly, the two states Mr. Bush leads in this poll, Ohio and West Virginia, have been led by both candidates at different points in the poll series. For further analysis of how these results could play out in the Electoral College, view this article

RNC in NY in one week . . .

Battlegrounds States Poll – August 23, 2004

Interactive version

Here’s the rest of the excerpt:

The latest poll, conducted Aug. 16-21, comes a few weeks after Mr. Kerry formally received the Democratic nomination. Mr. Bush and Vice President Cheney, as well as Mr. Kerry and running mate John Edwards, crisscrossed the country in early August, as the Democrats built on their convention gains and the Republicans worked to minimize the bounce. Mr. Bush hopes to get a boost from the GOP convention, to be held in New York Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

Ralph Nader, whose supporters are continuing to angle for ballot positions, received the backing of less than 1% of voters surveyed in most states, with his strongest showing by far coming in Nevada, at 2.3%. Nevada elections officials have confirmed he will be on the ballot in the state, but his presence or absence doesn’t seem to be making a difference: Mr. Kerry drew 47.9% without Mr. Nader as an option in the recent poll, and 47.7% with him included.

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  1. David commented on Aug 24

    Great blog. Every day read. 1 question for the pollsters (and us) to ponder: which way are the polls biased? i.e. will the ACTUAL vote fall more to JFk or W? Also, funny almmost every poll show JFK w/ a narrow lead – why is no one saying he is winning (when it seems kinda obvious that he is)

  2. Dan Wever commented on Sep 17

    President Bush’s soft underbelly is EDUCATION. He and his Secretary of Education Ron Paige cannot stand real honest probing. No Child Left Behind is nothing more than a sound bite.

    I saw a program a couple of weeks ago on a 60 minutes program about how Houston cheated on their drop out results in order to help Bush win the election by keeping the Texas Miracle alive in Texas. I remembered I wrote this article a couple of months ago. For what it is worth you can use any part of it you like. The treatment of Hispanic students in Texas is a much greater hoax than the dropout rate that the program concentrated on.

    Dan Wever

    133 Calle Olaso

    El Paso, TX



    George W. Bush’s victory in the presidential election of 2000 was in part helped by his claim that the “Texas Miracle”, the improved test scores on standardized tests in Texas, a large multi-cultural state, was his doing while he was governor of Texas.

    The public believed him.

    CBS Evening news with Dan Rather 10/24/2000

    “Just about every day George W. Bush boasts of boosting test scores of Texas public school children and says as president, he’d do the same for students nationwide.” @1 Bill Whitaker, CBS Correspondent (voice over).

    “I’m going to challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations.” George Bush.

    The start of the story on CBS asked whether it was a Miracle or a Mirage.

    What is the true story and how did it affect many thousands of our Hispanic students then and is continuing to influence their lives today.

    I have lived in El Paso, Texas all of my life and retired from AT&T in 1990. I got interested in Education after retirement but had never been able to afford to teach since I had three of my own children. My wife however did teach for 25 years in El Paso. I had been studying the results of the Texas standardized test TAAS (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills) for many years and did not like what I was seeing. I ran for the school board, won, and became President of the Board of Trustees of a school district with over 64,000 students of which 77% were Hispanic. I soon found out that being on the inside does not mean that you will be able to change anything and I was not able to help or improve what I thought was wrong with the Testing in Texas. The main idea behind “standardized testing” is the concept of ACCOUNTABILITY. You cannot have ACCOUNTABILITY by not testing or not counting the test results.

    Let me start my story in 1992-1993. The new TAAS test was going to be administered and counted for real. Many times before a test is implemented it has been “benchmarked” or checked out in previous years to see how it is going to work. This was the real thing and people in education including our two large school district superintendents had petitioned the Commissioner of Education to exempt the LEP (Limited English Proficient) students from the test. The Commissioner at the time refused to give the exemption saying we needed to find out where our students were. We did find out, the roof fell in on the results. El Paso ISD had 7 low performing schools and Ysleta I think had 11. All over the state Chicken Little was running around crying the sky is falling the sky is falling. My alma mater Alta Vista elementary was one of the “low performing” schools in the El Paso ISD. Both Superintendents threw money and programs at the offending schools as had never been seen before. I remember a woman was flown in to teach our teachers how to teach our Hispanic children the proper way to take the test. Little test tricks and test taking skills were what was stressed. I think she cost $2,500 a day plus expenses. She had been a teacher with a 100% Hispanic class somewhere in East Texas and all of her students had passed the test. This was considered so unusual that she wrote a book, quite teaching, joined the lecture tour and became a millionaire.

    The next year’s test rolled around and again our Superintendents again asked the Commissioner of Education to exempt the LEP students from the test. This time he gave in due to political pressure and besides a low base had been established with the previous years scores so showing improvement would be much easier. It did not look good to have so many Texas schools labeled “Low Performing.” The results of the test came back and guess what. The 7 El Paso ISD schools all came in as ACCEPTABLE and all but a couple came back OK in the Ysleta ISD. Everyone was happy that we had conquered the “low performing” demon and we had prevailed in our fight for education. The two Superintendents became overnight educational gurus with the increase in test scores and both parlayed this year into long term assignments in the El Paso Districts. Light bulbs went off in the heads of the testing people and politicians with the realization that the test scores could be manipulated. The passing of the TAAS test became the overpowering central focus of education not only in El Paso but in the whole state. The next year 94-95 the LEP exemption was still in effect and my school, Alta Vista exempted 47.8% of the students for LEP and another 2.5% for ARD (Special Education). Understand that these student exemptions are not for students from Mexico but rather mostly native born American citizens. The ability to exempt students was not very well controlled and many teachers, I am sorry to say, went ahead and exempted their students when they thought they might not pass. Better to not take the test that to take it and fail. There was also a tremendous amount of pressure on the teachers for their children to do well. This is where it started to push the Hispanic LEP children to the back of the educational bus. With the pressure put on the teachers it is just human nature to not worry or teach the students that are not going to be counted in the results as much as those that are. This is the same school year that George Bush became governor of Texas. It became imperative that the testing in Texas continue to improve as the long range planning would be of course to use the “Texas Miracle” as yet to be born, as an Educational plank in Mr. Bush’s bid for the presidency. 95-96 was more of the same except the exemption were tightened up and the people in charge not longer were able to exempt just anyone. There were rules established because the press was getting wind of what was going on and starting to ask questions. At Alta Vista only 21.8% were exempted however the ARD had risen to 6.5%. I mention this because in other parts of the state this figure became the central exemption especially around Houston. When I first saw many of the ARD exemptions around Houston I thought there must be a bad gene in area because their ARD exemptions were as high as our LEP exemptions. Of course they did not have this number of ARD exemptions until pressure was put on everyone to pass at any cost. Districts and schools were caught cheating by the TEA (Texas Education Agency) but most were hushed up throughout the years. Something had to be done to keep the public creditability alive. Along comes the Spanish test. It was decided to give the 3rd and 4th graders who might or might not be LEP the tests in Spanish this year 96-97.

    What a great idea, the LEP exemptions dropped to zero this year at Alta Vista. We are finally going to test all of our students except for the ARD exemptions and we can tell how they are doing. Right? Wrong! The tests given in Spanish this year will not be counted in the Accountability ratings given to the public. Of course the public is never told this and they think that the good ratings are great and really are a “Texas Miracle.” The scores on the test are given to the public as a percentage of students that passed the test. Of course they do not tell you what percentage of students took the test or are counted in the public results. In the meantime many of our Hispanic students are still being pushed to the back of the educational bus because if they are not going to count why bother with them. I knew one teacher in South El Paso, (The Barrio) that wanted to test her whole 4th grade class in English, she was overruled by the Principal who said “test them in Spanish.” The principal was not willing to run the risk of some of the students failing and being counted against the school. The 5th and 6th grades are added to the Spanish Test the next year. Same thing neither the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders that were tested in Spanish were counted in the Accountability ratings given to the public.

    Of course the presidential election is getting closer and it is imperative that the “The Texas Miracle continue. In 1998-1999 they finally started counting the results from the 3rd and 4th graders who were tested in Spanish in the Accountability ratings. Of course this is the year that the LEP exemptions start to go higher again. The hoax had thus been carried on long enough not to cause any negative press for Governor Bush in his quest for the presidency. Texas changed their test during the first 4 years of President Bush’s first term. The change meant that no new results were taken for a couple of years and this year again just before the election the Texas Miracle continues. The Texas Education Agency sent out a press release that announced that 72% of the 11th grade students passed the tests necessary to graduate from High School. “These results are awesome,” said Commissioner of Education Shirley Neeley. “What a way to end the school year! Students and teachers worked hard all year and these results confirm the progress our schools are making.”

    I can still hear George Bush’s statement “I’m going to challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations.” The truth is that the Texas Miracle was made using hard bigotry, smoke and mirrors and a true lack of caring for our students, especially our minority students. The passing scores on the 11th grade test this year that everyone is so proud of are as follows: Math 40, Science 43, Social Studies 40, History and English Language Arts 49. That means that the Texas Education Agency’s own self-serving press release says something quit different than was intended. It says that 28% of the Texas 11th grade students could not pass the test with these low standards in place. The students that take the test in Spanish do not have to score as high as those that don’t, I guess the people in charge of test making think Spanish speakers are not as smart as their Anglo cohorts. “TEXAS MIRACLE”, hardly, it should be called the TEXAS NIGHTMARE!

    If you look at these figures remember that they can change slightly depending on the results and if 55% of the students pass using these scores then the district is considered ACCEPTABLE. Can you imagine if 55% of the students score more than a 40 on a math test then they are ACCEPTABLE. Also with the new test the passing rates are not known until after the test. It seems that in order to insure that the test difficulty is the same from year to year they wait to see how many students passed. If too many fail they say the test was harder and lower the standards to match the results. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. Hispanics helped elect George Bush in 2000 more than anyone realizes. The only problem was it was not voters but rather children who today will probably ask the question. Porqué se supone que tengo que viajar en la parte trasera del autobús?, as they flip the burgers or clean the rest rooms.

    No child left behind? George Bush doesn’t even want, and hasn’t even paid for the bus ride to school!

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