Polls, polls, polls

I’ve become addicted to checking three election poll sites: Pollster, RealClearPolitics, and FiveThirtyEight.

I’m not sure why I keep checking them almost every day. I think I just want to know what the outcome will be before I get my hopes up too much. This is probably partly because of the heartbreak of 2004, when I was certain Kerry was going to win. I wasn’t even that nuts about Kerry; I was just convinced that he would defeat Bush. I spent the day of the election joining the “get out the vote” campaign in Pennsylvania—I took a bus there with Allison Amend and Amy Sickels, and we’d convinced ourselves Kerry was the winner; we were sure of it. When the returns started coming in and it began to look a little bleak, I still had hope, and I kept hoping—one might say audaciously hoping—until the next morning when he officially conceded, and then I cried. I cried a lot. It was as if I’d fallen in love with a guy who I knew wasn’t even right for me, but I wanted it to work out so much that I’d pinned all my hopes upon him.

So this time, as much as I like Obama, I’ve been unable to let myself get too attached. I just want to know what might happen, to prepare myself, so I won’t get as heartbroken again. Hence the incessant poll-checking.

(Which makes me think, when I look back on my single days: wouldn’t it be nice if when you’re dating someone there was a website where you could check the probability that it would work out? If they just told you, “This relationship only has a 28.5% chance of working,” you would save yourself a lot of heartbreak.)

Anyway. I’ve decided that the coverage at FiveThirtyEight is my favorite of the three sites, and I also really enjoy their commentary, particularly their posts on the Bradley Effect, or lack thereof.

According to their poll results today, Obama has a 61.2% chance of winning. So maybe I will fall in love with him yet….

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