Well, I was wrong. I was expecting Obama not to perform as well as Kerry, especially in Pennslyvania (which Obama did perform better coming out of Philly), and for McCain to perform slightly better than Bush in those areas.
Political analysts will be crunching the post-election data for quite some time. In the end, I believe it will come down to people seeing Obama as a ‘fresh face’, McCain being totally inconsistent on message (when you think of Obama, you think ‘change’. When you think of McCain, you don’t think of a slogan). In the end, you must have people vote for you, not against another guy. McCain gave plenty of reasons to vote against Obama, but not too many to vote for him. I figured Palin would have solidified the Republican base enough but that didn’t occur. The old saying appears true: people only vote for the top of the ticket. (Do you think people voted for Quayle when voting for Bush senior? Of course not.)
Pennslyvania was far, far closer than people gave credit for. It is quite annoying when networks project states based on 1% of voting.
The PUMA factor looks like it was well overstated. PUMAs were loud, but they didn’t exist in any sizable numbers.
Anyway, playing the contrarian can make you very right and, alas, very wrong. But if you don’t play a game and make a prediction with reasons why, then what’s the fun? :)