Wednesday, October 27, 2004


A lot of people have been talking about 'Red-State-Blue-State', as if the race has been an even tie all these months. That's just not so.

Kerry started, effectively, where Al Gore left off, with 20 states and D.C. to think of as his turf, worth 267 EV in 2000 but only 260 today (after the Census redistribution). So, in order to be President, John Kerry has had to chase down all Gore had in 2000, plus another 10 EV somewhere from Bush territory. The starting lines then, were not even, but 278-260 Bush.

Kerry has managed to put Florida, Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, West Virginia, Colorado, and Arkansas in play, of the 'Red' states. That's 8 Bush states, worth 87 Electoral Votes. Bush's 'safe' tally drops from 278 to 191 EV. We'll come back in a minute to look again at these states.

But Bush has managed to put Pennsylvania, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine, and Hawaii into play, of the 'Blue' states. That's 10 'Gore/Kerry' states, worth 100 Electoral Votes. Kerry's 'safe' tally drops from 260 to 160 EV, so as we prepare to look at these states a second time, that puts Bush still ahead of Kerry by 31 EV, 191 to 160.

Taking the RCP averages in hand, here are how the states stand:

Maine: Kerry + 8.5
Oregon: Kerry + 4.5
Michigan: Kerry + 4.0
New Jersey: Kerry + 4.0
Pennsylvania: Kerry + 3.2
New Hampshire: Kerry + 2.4
Florida: Bush + 0.5
Ohio: Bush + 0.6
Hawaii: Bush + 0.9
Minnesota: Bush + 1.0
Arkansas: Bush + 2.0
Wisconsin: Bush + 2.0
New Mexico: Bush + 2.7
Iowa: Bush + 3.3
West Virginia: Bush + 4.0
Colorado: Bush + 4.4
Missouri: Bush + 5.3
Nevada: Bush + 5.4

Of those 18 states, Kerry leads in 6, Bush the other 12 states. If I also look at the Average Variance (or bias) I identified in an earlier review of state polling, the simple fact is that Kerry is in big trouble. The net effect of all of this, is that President Bush is trending stronger, gaining every week. If Kerry cannot win Florida or Ohio, he cannot win. Since the overall race is so close in many Blue states, the last few days will have to be spent travelling to all close contests, meaning Pennsylvania-Ohio-Iowa-Wisconsin-Minnesota will be the dominant circuit. It also shows, that if the present trend continues, the chance of a Bush win remains strong and the chance of a Bush landslide is getting stronger every day.

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