Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Stay Up-To-Date With PollTrack in 2009

Posted Oct 30, 2008 at 6:16 AM
PollTrack Election Watch, New York, New York

PollTrack will be offering a range of features in 2009, including essays, analyzes, photos, and videos as well as polling averages and our political director's blog for elections and special elections to be held next year. To receive our newsletter, alerting you to new races and features, send your E-mail address to us through our submissions form on our Voices on the Ground page (let us know that you want to be included in our E-mail list in the body of blog post" box or E-mail us directly to: We will not share your address with anyone.


Posted Oct 30, 2008 at 3:01 AM
Marvin Heiferman, New York, New York

© Marvin Heiferman

POLLTRACK in 2009: What Lies Ahead On Our Website

Posted Oct 29, 2008 at 3:08 AM
PollTrack Election Watch, New York, New York

Election 2008 was just the beginning of our new website. In the two weeks following the election, we will provide comprehensive analysis on how things turned out and why as well as voter, political, and cultural reaction to the election. Starting in mid-November, we plan a range of coverage--including continuation of Voices on the Ground, our page where voters speak their minds and serve as our eyes and ears, and Writing on the Wallour page for analysis, opinion, and debate in both national and local contexts. On these pages we will cover the transition of the new president and congress, inaugural events, and local reactions to the new president as well as the way political and cultural events of 2009 impact on voters. Tracking the Nation on our homepage will continue to chart a range of data about the state of the nation. And on our new page, Tracking the Nation Map and Blog, PollTrack Political Director, Maurice Berger, will offer daily updates on voter reactions to the transition and inauguration of the new president and administration as well as local initiatives, referendums, elections, and special elections (e.g. vacated congressional seats) of 2009--providing analysis of the state of these races on the ground as well as ongoing poll averages, from the campaign for mayor and other citywide offices in New York City and Los Angeles to the Governor's race in New Jersey. This page will also have a national map and chart that will allow visitors to track analysis for each state as well as the polling averages for 2009 races and ballot initiatives. We will look at the approval ratings, the implications of special and scheduled elections, and other "on the ground" markers of success for the new administration. And next fall, PollTrack will be up and running with our comprehensive coverage of the national cycle in 2010, US Senate Map and House Chart Map and Blog--with maps, polling averages, charts, and an ongoing blog by our political director on all of the key races, including all competitive US Senate and House elections to Governor's races and other local elections.


Posted Oct 29, 2008 at 2:20 AM
Mel Rosenthal, New York, New York

Joe and his wife just got back from a union rally in Pennsylvania for Obama. © Mel Rosenthal

Just Say No to Socialism

Posted Oct 28, 2008 at 9:38 AM
Rose the Registered Nurse, Garland, Texas

Coming from Socialist Canadian medicine to the USA in 1992, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  There is almost a sense of impending euthenasia in Canada as 65 yr olds are no longer eligilbe for dialysis.  Can you imagine a cut off age of 55 years for a hip replacement?  Today I hear the liberals ( I can't call them democrats) are going to do away with our 401 k's.  What is happening to this country that I dearly love?  Democracy for socialism sucks.

Yes Senator Obama

Posted Oct 23, 2008 at 1:21 AM
Mel Rosenthal, New York, New York

The papaya/hot dog store --  "YES, Senator Obama, We are ready to believe again." Amsterdam Avenue and 72nd St., New York City August 2008. © Mel Rosenthal

The battle for Virginia, Presidency 2008

Posted Oct 21, 2008 at 5:41 AM
Mel Rosenthal, New York, New York

Opening of the Democratic Office in Madison Heights-Amherst,VA

"The battle for Virginia is crucial in the 2008 election. This was the cutting of the red ribbon opening it." -Mel Rosenthal


Road into Lovingston Nelson County, VA


At Charlottesville, VA's Democratic Office

"I am enthusiastic about Obama. First, because of his breathtaking intellect. But even more important, because of his capacity to inspire people to be unified." -David Slutsky, a worker for Obama.

"I've always been a democrat, but I've have skepticism about both sides. I originally believed in Hillary Clinton, but I moved to Obama. I see him as a powerful unifing force reminiscent of FDR." -Anonymous


College Professor working to make Obama President


© Mel Rosenthal

New York City, October 2008

Posted Oct 21, 2008 at 5:41 AM
Jeff Mermelstein, New York, New York

© Jeff Mermelstein

Making Choices

Posted Oct 20, 2008 at 8:34 AM
Marvin Heiferman, New York, New York

Linlithgo, NY, October 2008 © Marvin Heiferman

On the Ground in Central Virginia

Posted Oct 20, 2008 at 4:57 AM
Mel Rosenthal, New York, New York

Obama Booth at the Apple Festival In Amherst County, Virginia. She is working hard to recruit voters for Obama in conservative central VA. © Mel Rosenthal

She calls her car Obama girl and she is for Obama for President. © Mel Rosenthal

On the Ground in Wilkes-Barre, Part 2

Posted Oct 19, 2008 at 1:50 AM
Mark Cohen, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

© Mark Cohen

Red, White, Blue, and Black

Posted Oct 19, 2008 at 1:50 AM
Oliver Wasow , New York, New York

© Oliver Wasow

Missed Trends

Posted Oct 19, 2008 at 1:50 AM
Robert Martinez, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Well here in New Mexico we are 50% dem. I think we are over looking the fact that New Mexicans do not turn out at a 50% cilp. I really do not know what to call it except that some of us here in New Mexico are either not interested or we are just plain lazy... Come on!! Not only New Mexico but this goes out to the whole nation Let's get up and get out and VOTE!!!

                       OBAMANOS AMERICA...

Gun Owner for McCain: Putnam County, NY

Posted Oct 17, 2008 at 7:51 AM
Mel Rosenthal, New York, New York

© Mel Rosenthal

Harlem Parade, Oct 2008

Posted Oct 17, 2008 at 6:40 AM
Mel Rosenthal, New York, New York


© Mel Rosenthal

Brooklyn, New York, 2008

Posted Oct 15, 2008 at 6:29 AM
Jeff Mermelstein, New York, New York

© Jeff Mermelstein

At The Mall: Kingston, New York

Posted Oct 13, 2008 at 7:29 AM
Marvin Heiferman, New York, New York

© Marvin Heiferman, 2008


Posted Oct 12, 2008 at 7:55 AM
Oliver Wasow , New York, New York

© Oliver Wasow, 2008


Posted Oct 11, 2008 at 11:01 AM
Michael, Johnson City, Texas

While the Federal Government is bailing out individuals and banks that are unable to make sound financial decisions, let's make some laws governing how credit card companies and banks give credit cards to people they know are unable to pay off the debt they will create. Let's set banking standards to limit the credit any one person or couple can create to say 70% of their income. Something as simple as this will stop rampant bankruptcies and people living outside their income levels.

On the Ground in North Carolina

Posted Oct 11, 2008 at 2:26 AM
Theresa C, Statesville, North Carolina

I know the map says North Carolina is leaning, but the only people I've heard say they are voting for Obama are black.  Most people I've talked to are definitely voting for McCain.  They think Obama is too risky and too inexperienced and don't want their taxes raised.

For McCain, he is respected and they want to know about Obama's past, but they want to know specifics not generics on what he will do for the economy.  Most seem to feel he will reach out to both parties and Obama will only deal with Democrats.

That's why I'm voting for McCain.

ReConstitution: A live remix of the 2008 Presidential debates

Posted Oct 09, 2008 at 9:07 AM
Sosolimited, Cambridge, Massachusetts

ReConstitution 2008 - Live Presidential Debates Remix by Sosolimited from Sosolimited on Vimeo

Sosolimited, a three man audio-visual ensemble, has written a suite of software that analyzes the spoken words, gesticulations, and cadences of candidates throughout the presidential debates. Statistics on what words candidates use, how positive or negative their speech is, and how often they blink are presented alongside live debate broadcasts. This election season, Sosolimited has presented their real-time data analysis at performances in Boston and NYC. Their final performance is at the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington, DC.


You, Me, & The Other Guy (ReConstitution 2008) from Sosolimited on Vimeo.

Witness Protection (ReConstitution 2008) from Sosolimited on Vimeo.

Them's Countin' Words (ReConstitution 2008) from Sosolimited on Vimeo.

ReConstitution 2004 - Sosolimited from Sosolimited on Vimeo.

 © Sosolimited, 2008

ReConstitution 2008 - photos of Sosolimited

Posted Oct 09, 2008 at 9:06 AM
Photos Courtesy of Chris Teague, Boston, Massachusetts


 © Chris Teague, 2008

On the Ground in Pennsylvania

Posted Oct 08, 2008 at 1:47 AM
Jon-Marc Seimon , New York , New York

I did a weekend of campaigning in Pennsylvania. Here is my favorite picture.

Yard Sign Politics

Posted Oct 08, 2008 at 1:43 AM
Don Engel, Houston, Texas

One thing I haven't seen coverage of (and that I have conspicuously noticed) is the relative numbers of Obama versus McCain ticket paraphernalia on display. In 2004, the prevalence of Kerry/Bush yard signage was absolutely choking here in Houston. However, this year I can go days without seeing a single expression of support for the McCain ticket - no yard signs, bumper stickers, nothing. In fact, it is exceedingly rare to see a McCain/Palin pronouncement. However, I see Obama merchandise everywhere.

I think there are two likely causes of this: One, the lack of a serious primary season for the republicans did not generate merchandise related to inter-party warfare. It was a foregone conclusion that McCain would be 'that one' for the republicans, so the base just didn't bother getting the brand out there.

Secondly, I feel that there is genuine embarrasment among the non-frothing members of the GOP regarding their candidates, particularly the vapid VP choice. Essentially, saying that you're for McCain/Palin is like saying that you're on your way to see Winger in concert. Putting up a M/P yard sign is like buying the Winger tour t-shirt and wearing it to work the next day.

In the end, Texas will go to the GOP for obvious reasons. But here in Houston, where Bush was very strongly represented (even in the liberal leaning area where I live) McCain is now nowhere to be seen. It can't just be confidence that they'll win Texas - they were confident of that in 2004, too, but I passed hundreds of ads on the way to work each day.

That's because signs and stickers are something that a voter has to do - the GOP and Dems can't just throw signs in yards or sticker cars. It requires that the voter get excited enough to take action on behalf of a party that they want to identify with. Seeing the poor performance of the McCain marketing machine, sales of the GOP product don't look so good for Q4 - I think that come the 4th of November there will be a significant reflection of that lack of interest at the polls.

Biden Won!

Posted Oct 07, 2008 at 3:17 AM
Shara, Orono, Maine

I know Biden well having grown up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  And although the debate wasn't one of his best performances, imo, still he was more informative, logical and coherent than Governor Palin. Her refusal to respond directly to almost every question put to her combined with her attempts to seem folksy and "one of the people" amounted to a really weak performance. I felt like she came in with a script that she had memorized and stuck to, even when doing so made her sound disjointed and unresponsive. And her failure to show the slightest sign of sympathy when Senator Biden choked up describing the accident that killed his wife and daughter and injured his sons spoke voulmes to me about who she really is.

Who Won the VP Debate?

Posted Oct 06, 2008 at 4:26 AM
Beverly Jackson , Tyler, Texas

Joe Biden.  Sentaor Biden spoke directly to the concerns of the voters.  Gov. Palin basically acted out what she was trained to say and do - similar to what an actor will do with a movie script.  It was entertaining but the antics are not useful in convincing me that McCain/Palin are honorable in their sales pitches.

Who Won? Who Cares -- Who's qualified for the big chair?

Posted Oct 06, 2008 at 4:26 AM
Jake Winograd , San Jose, California

Whose debating skills are better or whose charisma is stronger is irrelevant in the decision to elect a VP.  The only proper question is who's better prepared to step into the role of the president immediately if the occasion demands.  This year, the answer couldn't be clearer: Joe Biden.

Vice Presidential

Posted Oct 03, 2008 at 7:48 AM
Marvin Heiferman, New York, New York

© Marvin Heiferman, 2008

Less is not more

Posted Oct 03, 2008 at 7:07 AM
Dawn, Madison, Wisconsin

I have to admit that Sara Palin actually sounded like she had studied for the debate. Unfortunately, she doesn't know anymore now than she did five weeks ago. She continues to hammer home talking points without the understanding behind them that would allow her to respond to questions or requests for clarification.

I was offended that she was unable/unwilling to answer the questions as asked by the moderator. Just pushing your own agenda and answers you have memorized does not make you a wise statesman, it makes you a myna bird.

I was leaning towards the Obama/Biden ticket before, but I will now help get out the vote for their ticket.

Nothing is more frightening than the thought of Sara Palin in charge.

On the Ground in Wilkes-Barre

Posted Oct 03, 2008 at 2:17 AM
Mark Cohen, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania



I took these photographs on September 25, "on the ground" in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden was campaigning . . . along with his secret service detail.

© Mark Cohen, 2008

On Polling

Posted Oct 03, 2008 at 2:17 AM
Oliver Wasow, New York, New York

Sharon Begley has an interesting piece on the science of polling in this weeks Newsweek.  She addresses an number of issues, including cell phone polling and the difference between Likely Voters and Registered Voters. What I don't understand is who makes up theses "undecided" voters?  I've been doing some phone calling for my candidate this past week (Obama, if you must know) and I haven't come across one person who hasn't either decided -with a passion - whom to vote for, or has decided that the whole system is corrupt and has no plans to vote at all.  I did have a long talk with one Vietnam vet who wants to nominate Ted Nugent, but that's a story for another day....

McCain and the Wizard of Oz

Posted Oct 02, 2008 at 7:32 AM
Ronald Heiferman, Banford, Connecticut

As I have observed John McCain over the past several weeks, it occurs to me that he  looks increasingly  like a political Wizard of Oz.  Speaking for myself, I prefer Frank Morgan, the original Wizard, who had the good sense to stay behind the curtain and pretend to control the levers of power in the land of Oz before he was unmasked by Dorothy and her friends.  McCain, on the other hand, likes to make brief appearances in front of the curtain, utter some banalities, and disappear.  He is as vacuous as the Wizard, but at least Frank Morgan had a kind demeanor and a smile on his face.  Where is Dorothy when we need her?


Posted Oct 01, 2008 at 6:44 AM
Marvin Heiferman, New York, New York

Shot in Ellenville, New York on 17 August 2008.

© Marvin Heiferman


Posted Oct 01, 2008 at 6:39 AM
Joyce Kozloff, New York, New York


This photograph was taken at an Artists Against the War rally. Protesters used banners from a 2004 event, stenciling the name, "McCain" over "Bush."

© Joyce Kozloff, 2008

Nobody won, Nobody lost

Posted Oct 01, 2008 at 6:38 AM
John Lyrla , Chicago, Illinois

As much as I would like to have seen Obama make a fool of himself, he did quite well and so did John McCain. No winner. No loser.

The Body Language of McCain

Posted Oct 01, 2008 at 6:38 AM
Therese Lichtenstein , Sag Harbor, New York

What lingers in my thoughts and feelings after the debate were not the words spoken but McCain's body language. I was extremely disturbed by the lack of eye and body contact by McCain toward Obama. It came across as hostile, rude, condescending, arrogant, and filled with contempt. McCain's rage was evident throughout, especially when he tried to conceal it in those mechanical smiles. This is a man who is seething with anger and is on the verge of losing control. Where will McCain's disdain lead? Do we want him making decisions as president? No.

The Nader/Barr Factor?

Posted Oct 01, 2008 at 1:17 AM
Oliver Wasow , Rhinebeck, New York

I have been doing a little research into the effect, if any, that the candidacies of Nader and Barr are having on the Obama and McCain campaigns but haven't really been able to get a handle on it.  Today I noticed that the Wash Post/ABC news poll, factoring in the third part candidates, give Obama a slimmer lead than other national polls, only 3 over McCain.  Nader has 3 percent and Barr 2 in their poll. Wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this?  Seems to me in an election that is, at this point anyway, still almost statistically a draw, these third party candidates could be a factor. Or perhaps they cancel each other out? Thoughts?