Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Fourth Quarter Has Begun

It’s three weeks until the 2008 Presidential Election. John McCain said this week that he has Obama right where he wants him. If six to ten points down is "exactly" where he wants to be, I'm wondering how he would define his position if the polls were reversed. I really can't imagine a football coach say that his team is "exactly" where he wants to be if his team is losing by three touchdowns midway through the fourth quarter. Polls may not vote, but to paraphrase Ronald Reagan's quote on "facts," polls are stubborn things.

We have added another category to our electoral predictions. In addition to the Toss Up category, we now have Safe, Solid, and Leaning. Safe is defined as an average poll lead of 10.0 points or more, Solid is a poll average of 5.0 points to 9.9 points, and Leaning is defined as 3.0 to 4.9 point average lead. Toss Up states are defined as a state which either candidate leads by less than a 3.0 poll average. For those of you not as electorally savvy as Buzz or me, the magic number is 270 electoral votes.

We have also added our 2008 Presidential Election Prediction, where we will pick both the electoral vote total and the popular vote total.

Safe Obama (239)

California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), Iowa (7), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Michigan (17), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (15), New York (31), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (21), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Washington (11),

Solid Obama (25)

Minnesota (10), New Mexico (5), Wisconsin (10).

Leaning Obama (69)

Colorado (9), Florida (27), Ohio (20), Virginia (13).

Safe McCain (140)

Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arizona (10), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (9), Mississippi (6), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (8), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (34), Utah (5), Wyoming (3).

Solid McCain (18)

Georgia (15), Montana (3),

Leaning McCain (5)

Indiana (11).

Toss Up (42)

Missouri (11), Nevada (5), North Carolina (15), West Virginia (5).

Solid Obama and Safe Obama (264) Solid and Safe McCain (158)

Obama with Leaners (333) McCain with Leaners (163)

The national and state numbers continue to trend towards Obama. As the numbers harden, McCain is running out of time and voters. Obama’s national average is hovering around 50 percent. McCain is mired in the low 40s. As far as the states go, McCain’s chances of winning any of the states Kerry won in 2004 are very slim. Obama, on the other hand, leads by 3 or more points in six states Bush won in 2004, totaling 81 electoral votes. Two of those states (New Mexico [5] and Iowa [7]) sees Obama consistently ahead by 5 or more points.

Since Kerry won 252 electoral votes in 2004, the addition of New Mexico and Iowa puts Obama at 264, six votes shy of the 270 number. What this means is that McCain must hold all the states in which he has a lead and win every other state where Obama is leading. With the exception of Nevada, an Obama win in any one of these states means Obama will be taking the oath of office on January 20th. (Winning them all and losing Nevada would mean a 269-269 tie.)

If there is a tie, the Presidential election goes to the newly elected House of Representatives, with each state getting one vote. Twenty six votes are needed to win the election. It appears that the new House will have 27 delegations with a Democratic majority, and thus Obama should win if it goes to the House in an unlikely electoral tie.

Now here’s the three week out prediction Obama 349 electoral votes, McCain 189 electoral votes. Our prediction on the popular vote is Obama 53 percent, McCain 46 percent, Others 1 percent.

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