Friday, October 17, 2008

Where Things Stand

I try not to get into predictions, seeing as I argue so much that you cannot do that sort of thing accurately without the help of God, and while the Lord gives me many blessings for which I am grateful and try to note, I am pretty sure that foretelling the future is not in my package. However, I am still seeing a lot of talk about how we cannot win, or on the other hand how McCain is going to crush Obama, and I do have some information which could help put some perspective on those points.

Before I go into it, I will have to make clear that this projection is not based on any information not available to the public, and that the conclusions here – while I believe them to be sound – are my opinion of things right now, and there is a lot which could change between now and the end of the election (I use that phrase because early voting has begun in many places). It’s intended to correct what I believe in an inaccurate portrayal of the election due to over-weighting of democrats in the state polls, and reweights those polls according to the actual participation from 2004 and 2006.

First, the states where Obama’s lead is significant (10 points or greater), alphabetically:

Connecticut (19.71 pts)
District of Columbia (82.00 pts)
Delaware (14.84 pts)
Hawaii (35.86 pts)
Maine (10.00 pts)
Maryland (16.57 pts)
Massachusetts (14.285 pts)
Rhode Island (50.925 pts)

That’s 7 states plus DC, for 47 EV for Obama. Now McCain’s states where he has a 10 point lead or more:

Alabama (22.40 pts)
Alaska (25.73 pts)
Arizona (13.505 pts)
Arkansas (21.14 pts)
Georgia (14.34 pts)
Idaho (42.78 pts)
Indiana (12.28 pts)
Kansas (17.75 pts)
Kentucky (19.44 pts)
Louisiana (22.72 pts)
Mississippi (20.30 pts)
Montana (10.06 pts)
Nebraska (28.71 pts)
North Dakota (17.39 pts)
Oklahoma (36.81 pts)
South Carolina (11.42 pts)
South Dakota (22.02 pts)
Tennessee (25.39 pts)
Texas (25.305 pts)
Utah (49.475 pts)
Wyoming (48.14 pts)

That’s 21 states for 169 EV for McCain. Moving now to states where Obama has a lead of 6.00 to 9.99 points, what I call ‘double margin’ leads:

California (9.98 pts)
Michigan (9.21 pts)
Minnesota (7.82 pts)
Oregon (7.44 pts)
Washington (6.315 pts)
Wisconsin (9.87 pts)

That’s another 6 states for another 110 EV, bringing Obama up to 13 states plus DC and 157 EV. Now, the double-margin states for McCain:

Vermont (7.945 pts) yeah, I know that won’t really happen, but that’s what the numbers say

1 more state for 3 EV, bringing McCain’s total up to 22 states and 172 EV. That brings us to the ‘single margin’ states, where Obama has at least a 3.41 point lead (outside the 3.4 percent MOE), but no more than a 5.99% lead:

Illinois (5.53 pts)
New Jersey (5.01 pts)
New Mexico (5.46 pts)
New York (4.785 pts)
Pennsylvania (5.785 pts)

That’s 5 more states and 93 more EV for Obama, bringing him to 18 states plus DC and 240 EV. For McCain, he can add one more state to his tally as a single-margin state:

Ohio (4.380 pts)

That brings McCain’s total up to 23 states and 192 EV.

The remaining 9 states are within the margin of error:

Colorado
Florida
Iowa
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
North Carolina
Virginia
West Virginia

There we are; McCain has five more states, but Obama has a 48-point electoral vote lead if things played out this way, with everything riding on how those last nine states are decided.

Playing a bit with the numbers, if McCain were to lose 5% of the support he has now, Iowa would move to clear Obama, Ohio would move to within the MOE, Virginia would move to clear Obama, creating a 260-172 Obama electoral lead. On the other hand, if McCain were to gain an additional 5% support, then Colorado would move to clear McCain, Florida would move to clear McCain, Illinois would move to within the MOE, Minnesota would move to within the MOE, Missouri would move to clear McCain, Nevada would move to clear McCain, New Hampshire would move to clear McCain, New Jersey would move to within the MOE, New Mexico would move to within the MOE, New York would move to within the MOE, North Carolina would move to clear McCain, Oregon would move to within the MOE, Pennsylvania would move to within the MOE, Virginia would move to clear McCain, Washington with move to within the MOE, and West Virginia would move to clear McCain, creating a 286-120 electoral advantage for McCain. As we have seen in past elections, a five-point movement in one week is very doable, so such movement in the remaining 18 days of this election must be considered well within the range of scenarios.

2 comments:

Lea said...

Thanks for the update. This is the site I keep coming back to in order to continue to have hope. We still have a chance and, with the way things have played out in the past few days, we may win yet.

Deep Throat II said...

The electoral college business is much overrated,

A simulation of 70,000 elections showed that Obama could only win the presidency 4% of the time if he won the electoral college but lost the popular vote.

It is all about the popular vote and right now McCain is in much better shape with that metric than he is with anticipated divvying up of red and blue states.

I don't know why this fact isn't out there. 270 isn't the magic number; it's who gets the most votes and 30%-40% of voters still haven't committed themselves to a candidate no matter what the fictions the pollsters are trying to peddle.