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November 01, 2004

Election Prediction.

From a business associate in Colorado:

Two weeks ago I would have said Kerry is toast but now Im not so sure. As Ive never seen before, the tactics employed by the democrats appear to be different than in the past. The dems' effectiveness is not about the ubiquity of their banners, bumper stickers, print, radio or TV ads. This time its all about the personal connection. Democrats have been combing through neighborhoods, knocking on doors, personally calling on the phone asking if they can count on your vote, and offering directions and/or rides to the nearest polling station. Ive heard about such efforts before but only with respect to the dems getting ethnic minority voters to the polls. I can say this is the first time my wife or I have ever been hit like this. This amplified up-close and personal approach has revealed traits that I previously did not think existed in the democratic bloodline: aggression and discipline.
To be sure, volunteerism runs high in Colorado culture, so maybe this effort is an anomaly that may not apply to other political battleground states. But if the democrats are putting in the effort elsewhere as they are doing here in Southwest Colorado, you can look to a Kerry victory tomorrow.

I guess we'll find out Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

November 1, 2004 in Politics | Permalink


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Here's how I score the upcoming presidential election. The folks at www.dataseers.com have conducted a rudimentary meta-analysis of the most recent state-level polls. This approach has the advantage of removing many states from the "battleground" column into relatively safe states for one candidate or another. For example, this meta-analysis puts Pennsylvania solidly in the Kerry column and Florida solidly in the Bush column. It has the disadvantage of possibly missing very late trends in the polling data. This approach puts all states but five solidly (85% chance or more of winning) in one camp or another. Of those five states, I don't believe that three (Arizona, Hawaii, and Michigan) are really in play. Arizona will go for Bush, Hawaii and Michigan for Kerry. That leaves only two states really in play: Iowa, with seven electoral votes, and Ohio, with twenty.

An appendix with how I call the states is listed at the bottom. But the real bottom line is that Bush has 259 safe electoral votes, and Kerry 252. That makes Iowa irrelevant, and Ohio the state that will make a big difference. (Unless, of course, Hawaii really is in play, in which case Bush could lose Ohio, but win, with 270 electoral votes, by carrying Iowa and Hawaii).

If you're looking for an early indicator, check New Hampshire. Kerry should take this one; if he doesn't it's going to be a long night for Democrats. There probably isn't a good early indicator for Bush. Florida would be, of course, but after what happened in 2000 the networks are going to wait forever to call that one.

So, the election really is too close to call, but saying that is the coward's way out. Who's really going to win? The Democrats could win if they dramatically increase voter turnout, but I don't believe they really have the troops to do that. Blame this on Tony Coelho and his inheritors. Failing sharply increased turnout, the election will turn on late trends. So how will the late deciders break? They're going to break for Bush. The one issue on which he has consistently led Kerry throughout the campaign is ability to fight the war on terror. (I'm not saying he is better, just that he's consistently perceived to be better, and by a large margin). With Friday's release of the Osama bin Laden tape, that issue is going to have more salience in voters' minds. Hence, Bush wins.

As for the Senate and House, don't sweat it. They're both staying Republican.

Happy election! Vote early and often!

BUSH STATES (electoral votes in parentheses)
Alaska (3)
Alabama (7)
Arkansas (6)
Arizona (10)
Colorado (9)
Florida (27)
Georgia (15)
Idaho (4)
Indiana (11)
Kansas (6)
Kentucky (8)
Louisiana (9)
Missouri (11)
Mississippi (6)
Montana (3)
North Carolina (15)
North Dakota (3)
Nebraska (5)
New Mexico (5)
Nevada (5)
Oklahoma (7)
South Carolina (8)
South Dakota (3)
Tennessee (11)
Texas (34)
Utah (5)
Virginia (13)
West Virginia (5)
Wyoming (3)

California (55)
Connecticut (7)
D.C. (3)
Delaware (3)
Hawaii (4)
Illinois (21)
Massachusetts (12)
Maryland (10)
Maine (4)
Michigan (17)
Minnesota (10)
New Hampshire (4)
New Jersey (15)
New York (31)
Oregon (7)
Pennsylvania (21)
Rhode Island (4)
Vermont (3)
Washington (11)
Wisconsin (10)

Iowa (7)
Ohio (20)

Posted by: Michael | Nov 1, 2004 5:25:37 PM