Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Predictions

Good morning sports fans, today is a big day. Barring another Florida scandal, my bet is that we’ll have a clear presidential election winner by midnight. A friend in Arlington, VA told me he waited in line for 70 minutes to vote this morning, and a friend here in St. Louis told me he showed up at 7 AM to a 30 minute line. I voted by mail a few weeks ago in my native Washington State with the hopes of swaying a tight gubernatorial race there. I’m predicting a relatively close popular vote and an Electoral College blowout, both for Barack Obama, but I wanted to go on record with exact numbers before the ballots were counted to see how well I could do.

Let’s talk popular vote first. Rasmussen Reports, run by Scott Rasmussen, has historically been one of the better indicators of actual Election Day results. Mr. Rasmussen has an extemporary polling machine, and two years ago (if memory serves) added the very smart Rasmussen Markets where people trade stock in candidates. These two indicators, taken in parallel, were very accurate in the 2006 Congressional races. Rasmussen has the general vote pegged at 52% for Mr. Obama and 46% for Mr. McCain. I’m going on record saying those numbers will tighten. I believe race will be a factor, although in the long-run it will help Mr. Obama more than it will hurt him as we will see astronomical black turnout that will overcome the effects of racism. Rasmussen’s poll shows 2% undecided, and I’m going to give those to Mr. McCain. My prediction: 52% Mr. Obama to 48% Mr. McCain.

Now let’s turn to the Electoral College. This is where it gets complicated, because while the popular vote will be close, this one will not. It is looking like there are 8 legitimate toss up states: Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and North Carolina. Giving Florida, NC, and Ohio to Mr. Obama and the rest to McCain, I’m predicting 336 EC votes for Mr. Obama, well past the 270 needed to win, and 202 for Mr. McCain. The only way that Mr. McCain even starts to plays is if he takes Florida, Ohio, and NC, who collectively represent 62 EC votes, and keeps the remainder of the toss ups. This, though, still leaves him 6 shy of the 270 mark with Mr. Obama at 274. In order to cover the spread, he would ideally take Colorado’s 9 electoral votes, where Mr. Obama currently has a 4 point lead. His other most realistic options are New Mexico (5 EC votes) and Iowa (7 EC votes). Winning Florida, North Caroline, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, and either Colorado, New Mexico, or Iowa would an Election Day miracle for the GOP this year. My prediction: 336 Mr. Obama to 202 Mr. McCain.

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