Friday, August 8, 2008

On VP Announcement Timing and Graphic Naming -- Some Housekeeping

There are a couple of unresolved issues that I've been meaning to address but haven't found the time to do so this week.

1) Graphic Naming
I promised that I'd put the names for the new electoral college graphic up for a vote, but in true democratic fashion have tentative adopted a name -- the victory line -- for the state where 270 electoral votes are achieved. This seems strange without exhibit A, so here it is:

The Electoral College State Rankings
HI-4
MA-12
NH-4
FL-27
KS-6
VT-3
MN-10
PA-21*
AK-3
ID-4
RI-4
DE-3
NV-5
SC-8
NE-5
MD-10
OR-7
OH-20
SD-3
WY-3
IL-21
NJ-15
VA-13
TX-34
AR-6
CT-7
IA-7
ND-3
GA-15
TN-11
NY-31
WI-10
IN-11
MS-6
KY-8
CA-55
NM-5
MT-3
WV-5
AL-9
ME-4
MI-17
MO-11
AZ-10
UT-5
WA-11
CO-9
NC-15
LA-9
OK-7
* Pennsylvania is the state where Obama crosses (or McCain would cross) the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election.

There are a couple of things at stake here: the name of the graphic in its totality and the name of the state in yellow. The latter has been discussed a bit more than the former, but here are the choices so far for each:
The Graphic Choices:
a) Electoral College State Rankings
b) Electoral College Spectrum
c) ??????

The Yellow State:
a) The Cutting Edge
b) The Breaking Point (Yeah, I'll include this because I've been using it out of habit lately.)
c) The Finish Line
d) Checkers
e) The Victory Line
f) ??????
The comments section is open for voting and further suggestions. I think I'll cut this off at 5p this afternoon and make a decision then. If there are additional names suggested that catch my fancy, I'll put them in above in an update.

2) VP Announcement Timing
Last week's post and subsequent comments discussion had readers speculating on when Obama would announce his vice presidential selection. Here's where that ended up:
Allen: Aug. 14-19
Josh: Aug. 4-5
Rob: Aug. 5-7
Scott: Aug. 7

Mean Date: Aug. 8-9
Median Date: Aug. 6-7
Allen pretty much nailed this one, saying that Obama would vacation first and then name his selection. I'm still moderately surprised that the Obama campaign didn't move prior to the Olympics (He's still got a few hours before the opening ceremonies are televised on tape delay here though. Online video coverage doesn't kick off until 6:30p EST and then it is mostly just badminton, shooting and handball. I'm not saying Obama's going to announce within that window. I'm just saying.). Had I (and Scott and Rob) bought into the momentum of Obama's VP red herrings the last two weeks? No, not the increased chatter among the chattering class, but that it had combined with fairly specific speculation --centered on one person each time -- and a timing constraint represented by the games in Beijing. Last week it was Tim Kaine. This week it was Evan Bayh.

I'm still less concerned with who the choices are on either side than I am with how these things are being timed. So, now that we know Obama's choice likely won't come this week, when does everyone think these choices will be made...now? Allen has won phase one and is owed several rounds of drinks because of it. There are now 19 days between today and when the vice presidential selection speaks at the Democratic convention on August 27. When will Obama move on this and why is that time optimal? Feel free to weigh in in the comments section.


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The Electoral College Map (8/6/08)

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11 comments:

Robert said...

I vote for (a) Electoral College Spectrum and (e) The Victory Line. As far as the VP timing, I think it was James Earl Carter who started the process of a throrough vetting and selection before the convention. Before that you did not find out before the convention and it was usually a hurried thing without much deliberation. Paul my be able to shed more light on this matter. 1976 also saw Ronald Wilson Reagan select Richard Schweiker before the convention to try to wrest the nomination from Ford.

Jack said...

On the yellow state, I also vote (e). On the graphic, I will vote "present."

Robert, didn't you mean Richard Schultz Schweiker?

Robert said...

Ouch! Got me! I didn't know his middle name.

Jack said...

Nor did I (thanks, Wikipedia!).

In fact, I must confess to not having even heard of him previously.

Robert said...

Wikipedia! Why didn't I think of that? It was a very interesting week. I remember it well. I was in graduate school.

cbsmith42 said...

I guess I'm past the deadline but I second (a) Electoral College Spectrum and third (e) The Victory Line.

Jack said...

Just got an email from the Obama campaign. The subject was "Barack's VP: Be the First to Know," and states:

"Barack Obama is about to make one of the most important decisions of this campaign -- choosing a running mate.

"You have helped build this movement from the bottom up, and Barack wants you to be the first to know his choice.

"Sign up today to be the first to know."

I wonder if this means anything in terms of when the announcement will be.

Josh Putnam said...

Thanks for putting this up, Jack. I got that email last night as well (For the record, I get the same sort of emails from McCain's campaign as well. Though, none of the Arizona senator's messages have contained any VP hints...yet.). Here's the take on the Obama camp's email from The Fix.

Since last week passed with no announcement, I'm of the opinion that Allen is (and has been) right on this one. We'll see.

Jack said...

I agree that it's not something that means a choice is imminent since the next few days would be a very odd time to make an announcement. But I wonder how this could be used "to harvest thousands of email addresses and cell phone numbers" since those receiving this email must have submitted their email address and probably also their phone numbers.

Josh Putnam said...

Ooh, good catch. I read that way too early (ie: pre-coffee) this morning to have caught that detail. How indeed. That Argentina trip must be catching up with Mr. Cillizza.

cbsmith42 said...

For what it's worth, the email also contains:

"Once you've signed up, please forward this email to your friends, family, and coworkers to let them know about this special opportunity."

and I think that's the idea... send to the list you have and ask them to tell two friends, so they can tell two friends... and so on... and so on... Funny how often that Breck commercial has real-life applications :)

Not to diverge too far from the topic at hand. I say Obama waits until the convention to announce. He'll let the anticipation go as long as possible.