My Guess on Tomorrow Night

At the end of the evening tomorrow, this is what I expect the electoral map will look like:

Note that I think this is a fairly conservative map, which is to say that when in doubt I’ve given McCain swing states. That said, I think it’s entirely possible that Obama will pick up Florida and/or North Carolina. I also think it’s possible that Ohio will go to McCain. I don’t think it’s likely Obama will pick up Indiana and/or Arizona, and I find it equally unlikely McCain will take Pennsylvania. I think the upper range of Obama’s electoral count is 353 (that’s him taking North Carolina and Florida along with everything else here), and the lower range is 291 (if he loses Ohio). Any of these gets him a win.

Discuss.

(Incidentally, I made this map using Real Clear Politics’ electoral map maker.)

89 thoughts on “My Guess on Tomorrow Night

  1. I agree with all that plus I’ll add Missouri and Florida.
    In any event, it’s going to be a complete electoral spanking.

  2. Personally, I don’t care much whether it is a “complete electoral spanking” or not, since the first one of those I remember was Nixon vs. McGovern. And we all know how *that* ended up. A simple victory will do, thenkyewverymuch.

  3. Is there some way to produce a map so that the states are sized proportionally to the number of electoral votes they have? Because the plain geographic map drowns Democratic states in a sea of Republican red, which is kinda scary (also, it still seems weird to me that America has reversed the red=Left, blue=Right scheme used by the rest of the world).

  4. Fletcher, is that really so bothersome, that vast swaths of unpopulated desert “look bigger” on a map than the northeast corridor? Like many geographically massive countries (see: Russia, Canada, Australia), there are parts that are either difficult or ecologically unfit for human residence. It’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s too barren. I’m sure there’s a graph out there that can break it down by population.

    Something like this?

  5. MO isn’t going Obama. Too many people here are proud to be racists and very open about it as well. I suspect that’s going to be a factor tomorrow.

  6. Somewhat OT, but great banner pic! This is the first time in a while I have visited the site since I usually read the RSS feed.

  7. Diana @ 7: When the subject of a map is geographical, I’m all for geographic accuracy. But in this case it’s political, and the size, shape, and relation of the states doesn’t really matter – what matters is the number of electoral votes each one has and which way it swings. You could present the same data in a table with two columns, except it would be hard to interpret. That’s the problem here; the varying geographic sizes of the states make the data harder to interpret.

  8. Oops – profuse apologies, all – my connection was lagging and I missed John’s post. Yes, that’s perfect!

  9. I’d just like to point out that there’s a chance–a slim chance–that Obama will pick up one EV from Nebraska.

    NE is one of only two states in the union that are not “winner-take-all.” The second congressional district is basically the city of Omaha, where you’ll find the strongest Democratic contingent in the state. Obama, well aware of this fact, has two campaign offices here.

    I cling to the faint hope that my presidential vote will actually count for something this year.

  10. Wow, that electoral map pretty matches my prediction. And I also think Obama has a shot at picking up Florida and/or North Carolina.

    What will 538 junkies do to procrastinate after this week? The horror!

  11. Here in Atlanta, I’m actually holding out some hope for Georgia going for Obama. This hope is based mostly on early voter turnouts that have been huge (nearly 50% of total voter turnout in 2004) and huge for demographics where Obama does well. Still, I understand that this is a long shot. And, if Obama does take Georgia, we are looking at a true electoral spanking.

  12. While, if I had money to bet, I’d bet on an Obama win, it is by no means a sure thing. Here are a few factors which I think true:

    1) Nobody is sure which turnout model is correct. The “generic preference” for Democrat versus Republican has varied wildly
    2) None of the polls factor in their rates for “refuse to answer”, which may have a partisan breakdown.
    3) In a media environment where Obama has received mostly positive coverage, it is possible that any “undecided” voters will break disproportionately for McCain.

    If you can agree that the above is plausible (although probably not likely), then consider the latest polling from Mason-Dixon:

    Colorado: Obama 49, McCain 44, Undecided 4
    Florida: Obama 47, McCain 45, Undecided 7
    Nevada: Obama 47, McCain 43, Undecided 8
    Pennsylvania: 47, McCain 43, Undecided 9
    Virginia: Obama 47, McCain 44, Undecided 9
    Ohio: McCain 47, Obama 45, Undecided 6
    Missouri: McCain 47, Obama 46, Undecided 5
    North Carolina: McCain 49, Obama 46, Undecided 5

    If the M-D poll is correct, and if undecideds do break for McCain (say 2-1), then McCain wins or is statistically tied in FL, PA, NV, OH, MO. If McCain wins those, with no other changes from Scalzi’s version, then that is 271 EVs. there are other scenarios that are within the margin of error that can yield even higher McCain totals.

    Final thought. MOE is only useful if you have a sample that is randomly drawn from the group of interest (in this case, actual voters). It has no validity if there is any sort of systemic bias in the sampling.

    Again, Obama will _probably_ win, but don’t do printing those Dewey-Beats-Truman-esque headlines just yet.

  13. A very likely map, indeed.

    And for those losing sleep over “Republican Red”, imagine what it’s like for the Red State folk to be at the mercy of the Left Coast, the Great Lakes States, and the New Englanders.

    I would say the “fear” is mutual.

  14. If Obama takes Arizona, I’ll count that as a spanking. Then I will laugh SO hard.

    As an Arizonan, I’ve already done my duty and voted for Obama. Have you?

  15. Jennifer@15: “What will 538 junkies do…after this week?”

    Mid-terms! Among those on-deck in ’10: Boxer, Brownback, Dodd, Feingold, Grassley, Leahy, Reid, Schumer, Voinovich and (depending…, of course) McCain.

  16. My projection is fairly close to yours, except I think McCain has Nevada (he’s got everywhere other than Clark County by far, the question is how many people actually get off their ass and vote in Clark), Colorado, and Ohio (both states have had unusually high anomalies in polling and I think the polls are not accurately reflecting support levels for either candidate).

    Virginia is I think a tossup state at this point. Again, there have been some major irregularities in the poll data, and the weighting model used by the polling companies seems to be invalid at this point.

    Realistically, I don’t think we can trust any of the poll results that show either candidate within 6 points of the other.

    I’m fairly certain PA is going to break for Obama, by maybe 2-3 points.

    It’s coming down to PA, VA, and OH. Win 2 of the 3 and you’re president. Otherwise, sorry.

  17. Double Oops,

    I flipped VA, too.

    My point, unchaged despite my difficilty with clicking the mouse over an electoral map, is that there are still plausible ways for Mccain to win: FL, OH, MO and then any 2 of 3 of NV, VA, and NC.

    I’ll go back to my day job now.

  18. I’m not sure I really trust in Ohio, despite its seeming blueness in recent polls. But otherwise, yeah, that’s a reasonable map. That’s pretty much mine assuming that the young voters don’t turn out (since, well, they always say they will and then don’t), and that the ground game doesn’t make much difference.

    If the new voters turn out and the ground game *does* make a difference, there’s a bunch more than could fall, NC and Florida and Georgia and even Montana and ND, but I don’t really trust in that.

  19. Don’t discount North Carolina. I’ve seen enough here to make it a better than even possibility. Despite that ass of a cousin who says he doesn’t like either one of them. But he’s still voting McCain.

  20. There’s a party at my house on Wednesday. Champagne to celebrate or vodka to drown sorrows. The champagne is chilling and the vodka is still in the bag, so you can guess which way I think it will go.

    I’m hoping it’s more 311/197, with Obama taking ND and FL. I think we’ll know which way it’s gone by the time the central time zone polls close. I’m willing to bet the BBC calls it by 10pm eastern time.

    I’m supposed to be writing, not blogging, but I’ve had almost a dozen political calls this morning & I can’t turn off the phone while the kids are at school.

  21. 20: If Obama takes AZ, that means so many things are breaking his way that he’s likely to also take 400 electoral votes. I know the latest poll say that he’s close, but fortunately, Obama doesn’t need AZ for a win.

    18: I don’t understand how your comments relate to anything. The people talking about “Republican Red” were talking about how the geographical map overstates Republican support because the red states of the mountain time zone look large on the map but don’t have a large population. Are you saying that there are Republicans who lose sleep because the geographical map understates Democratic support?

  22. I will be ecstatic if Obama has his 270 locked up before crossing the Mississippi. There are many scenarios that have him doing just that…

    And I say that as a Colorado voter thrilled to hopefully help elect the first black president by flipping our state solidly blue.

  23. Wednesday everyone wonders who will be appointed to the appropriate seats (either 2 senators or 1 senator+1 governor). Then mid-term and 2012 speculation will commence.

    Dr. Phil

  24. I’ve been remiss on reading your blog, John, but having caught up today inspires me to thank you for iterating what mere mortals, such as I, could not describe so eloquently about how we’ve approached the election. About why we support Obama, about why we’re scared to bits of the adulation of Palin, about everything sane and sensible in a world still reeling from the shitstorm of the last eight years.

    Thank you. Your awesomeness eclipses the measurement techniques available to mankind.

    And in an optimistic spate, I guesstimated this result:

    Obama 358, McCain 180

  25. Well, I sincerely hope all you Democrats get what you wish for…… I’m a Labour-supporting Brit who has been desperately disappointed with his Labour government since 1997…..

  26. Chu,

    I think it boils down to the middle of the country being told what to do by the edges.

    Geographically. Ideologically.

    I spent my first 19 years living in Utah, then the next 14 years living in Washington State, and now I am back in Utah again.

    I think it’s safe to say I’ve seen both sides on this one, and believe me, the “middle” of America is as paranoid about the “edge” as the “edge” is about the “middle”.

  27. Random Michelle K @33

    I hate the fact my state is red. We shouldn’t be, except for the fact that 1 in 5 residents are ignorant hicks who think Obama is a Mulsim terrorist.

    I sympathize completely.

    I hate the fact my state is Blue. We shouldn’t be, except for the fact that 1 in 5 residents are ignorant hicks who think Bush is a terrorist.

  28. 36: (BTW, I dislike being referred to solely by my last name. My first name is there for a reason. Thank you.)
    How does someone tell someone else what to do geographically? If you see a map of MN turn left, but if it’s a map of MD turn right?

  29. It is something of a long shot, but there is a possibility that my state (montana) could go for Obama. He’s actually made some effort to campaign here, while McCain has not. We only have 3 electoral votes, so generally most candidates don’t pay any attention to us at all.

    It is worth keeping in mind that right now, we have a Democrat governor and one of our senators is also a Democrat. So the state is not really as full-on red as most people believe. More of a shade of purple.

  30. As my wife said this lunchtime, after the reporter on the news had pointed out that for the first time ever ALL indicticators were for an Obama win (that’s political scientists as well as pollsters):

    “I can’t believe Obama will actually win. I feel like the Republicans will fix the vote or somehow steal the election.”

    I personally keep expecting to see the headline “Obama Assassinated” every time I log on the BBC news website.

    I know it’s not directly our election (although in the UK we get to live with the results!) – but if anyone who hasn’t voted feels a bit yuck tomorrow or feels that the election is in the bag anyway – GET OUT THERE AND VOTE ANYWAY.

    A low turnout (not that it looks like there will be one) and a smaller number of votes are far easier to fiddle than a large number. (Flashbacks to 2000 *shudder*)

  31. David@17:
    That PA poll you reference showing Obama with 47% is from 10/28. All the polls conducted in PA on 10/29 or later* (and there have been quite a few) have shown Obama with 51% or more. At this point, I really don’t see McCain winning in PA unless all the polls are just plain wrong or the Obama campaign manages to somehow self-destruct in the next few hours.

    That’s not to say I think an Obama win is inevitable. Over at FiveThirtyEight.com, Nate Silver what a McCain win might look like. Basically, he says that according to his model the most like McCain win scenario involves McCain winning all the Bush states except IA and NM. Obviously, this is still a long shot for McCain, as it involves picking up pretty much every state where the race appears to be close, but it’s probably still more likely than a McCain win in PA.

    *Or at least all the polls listed at fivethirtyeight.com and electoral-vote.com

  32. Jonah @42

    Obviously, this is still a long shot for McCain, as it involves picking up pretty much every state where the race appears to be close, but it’s probably still more likely than a McCain win in PA.

    From my years of experience, I would say that McCain has an even shot at PA.

    I also do not believe that Obama will win NC, Virginia, Florida, or Nevada.

    I think Indiana, Ohio, and Colorado are unlikely Obama wins but I suppose it could happen.

    I’m having an election night party with Chili and beer (as I do every two years) and it’s looking like it will be more fun than 2000 when we all had to leave without knowing.

    It’s much more fun when it ends on election night.

  33. Since Fivethirtyeight.com has already been mentioned, I’ll point out that they define a “Complete Electoral Spanking” (a.k.a Landslide), as 375 electoral votes. That is roughly 70% of the EVs. I’ve seen others with a lower threshold – 350, or 65% of the EVs.

  34. I think it’s entirely possible that MT will go for Obama, which would be almost shocking, except Montana has a demo governor and Max Baucus, despite being a pretty red state. I know that it won’t be a McCain landslide, whatever happens.

  35. Please don’t discount Indiana. We’re working our asses off here to try to get Hoosier voters to wake up and vote blue. It’s going to be close. We’re trying!

  36. David @17 mentioned undecideds – I heard a radio interview recently that addreses this:

    According to Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center, 63 percent of undecided voters are female. Twenty-seven percent are age 65 and older; many tend to be less well-educated and more religious than voters who have already picked their candidate.

    In the end, Kohut says, Pew’s analysis shows that undecided voters are going to divide up fairly evenly — although they may be slightly more supportive of McCain than voters who have already made up their minds

    source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96403104

  37. I used to live in a very concentrated area of super duper conservatives in southern VA. If Virginia goes blue I am going to cackle like a madwoman. mahahaha!

    Oh and for complete electoral spankage, look up Mondale vs Regan, Regan carried 525 electoral votes to Mondale’s 13. (that was also the election where Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro in part for media attention)

  38. I’m betting it falls around 353.. in that I do think he’ll take North Carolina and Florida.

    I also think there’s a 40-50% possibillity of taking Missouri and Indiana–which would give obama 375 and create the “Landslide” of 200+ electoral vote victory.

    From my constant attention to Nate silver–I also think that there’s a much smaller chance for a more substantial landslide where Obama not only takes everything above, but also sneaks in Georgia and maybe North Dakota and Montana.. which would give him 396.. but I think that’s a real long shot..

    I’d agree that 311 is a pretty safe bet.. but I think that the electorate is rather more angry than people let on.. when the head of the American Nazi Party claims to be voting for Obama.. the Republicans are going to have a hard time…

  39. Schafer @ 35

    It’s been the attention I’ve paid to international politics that makes me so cynical about the “change” that Obama promises to bring. I wish more progressives would learn the lessons that Blair and the new Labour have had to teach us…

  40. SO @ 36: Just how, precisely, are the residents of Utah (or anywhere else in the “middle of the country”) being told what to do by the East or West Coasts ?

    Methinks you are confusing being persecuted with simply being disagreed with…

    Note: I’ve lived for many years both “out West” in southwestern Colorado, and in various parts of Texas. And the idea that them durn libruhls have any appreciable effect on the day-to-day life of people in places like Texas or the Mountain West is ludicrous. What ? Are Californians walking around Salt Lake City, guns in hand, making people agree not to be homophobic ? (oh wait, it’s LDS members from Utah that’re pouring tens of millions of dollars into “Yes on Prop. 8″ campaigns in Calif. – nevermind)

  41. I’ll do my damnedest to make you right on VA, John. So glad my vote actually matters for my first election.

  42. David H: “SO @ 36: Just how, precisely, are the residents of Utah (or anywhere else in the “middle of the country”) being told what to do by the East or West Coasts ?”

    I’ve been kind of scratching my head over this, and this is the best I can come up with, using the issue of same-sex marriage as an example:

    The way we lefties look at it, what we’re asking for is a “live and let live” attitude. We’re not telling conservatives they need to actually marry members of the same sex, just that the accept that other people may do so. As far as we’re concerned, that’s a neutral effect on conservatives — nothing changes for them — and a positive effect for people who want to be able to enter into same-sex marriages. So from our perspective, we’re not telling them how to live — while conversely, if they’re in charge, they do try to tell us how to live, by trying to prevent us from allowing gay marriage.

    From their perspective — and I confess it’s very difficult for me to try to adopt it even temporarily, so this may be wrong — same-sex marriage hasn’t traditionally been legal in America, so continuing to disallow it is a neutral effect. Passing laws that allow it, on the other hand, supposedly has some sort of nebulous negative effect on society at large, and thus by changing the social environment in which they exist, we are telling them how to live.

  43. Frank@43: I think Indiana, Ohio, and Colorado are unlikely Obama wins but I suppose it could happen.

    If you think Colorado is an *unlikely* Obama win, you are seriously, seriously not paying attention to this election.

    Early voters by registration:

    Dem: 37.7%
    Rep: 35.9%
    No/Oth: 26.4%

    Current total, 74.0% percent of 2008 vote.

    Polls of early voters — not maybe voters, but people who have *already voted*.

    Public Policy Polling (Oct. 28-30) (65% of sample)
    Obama 58% (+17)
    McCain 41%

    Marist (Oct. 27-28) (44% of sample)
    Obama 59% (+18)
    McCain 41%

    Roper (Oct. 22-26) (59% of sample)
    Obama 57 (+23)
    McCain 34

    The election in Colorado? It’s already three quarters over. And the Republicans are ridiculously, ludicrously far behind.

    Sheesh. “Unlikely”.

  44. imagine what it’s like for the Red State folk to be at the mercy of the Left Coast, the Great Lakes States, and the New Englanders

    The Great Lakes States voted for Bush last time, as I recall. People keep forgetting that the Rust Belt is really more concerned about economic issues than abortion – if McCain had announced his undying opposition to NAFTA, Michigan would be his plaything.

  45. What I really find disturbing is that Alaska, with roughly 0.22% of the United States population (or about the same amount of people as the city of Memphis) gets even 3 electoral votes. California has 60 times the population of Alaska but only gets 18 times as many EVs.

    I get that for congressional representation it is important not to completely handicap states with low population densities (their infrastructure costs are per capita much greater than the average, and thus a certain amount of federal aid, and thus federal representation, is important- bridges to no where not withstanding), but I don’t think it follows that they should get the same bump when it comes to presidential say.

    (please don’t confuse this as griping about disproportionate support for Sarah “batshit loco” Palin, whom I may not particularly like, but who happens to be incidental to my annoyance at uneven mapping of population to EVs)

  46. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Montana went blue. It’s been filling up with retired Californians. (Like my very, very Democratic grandparents, who them turn around and complain about all the Californians moving in.)

  47. I don’t think this is going to be settled tomorrow night. I want it to be, but I think the lawsuits will start flying thick and fast in Pennsylvania around 3pm EST and things won’t clear until Friday.

  48. tavella,

    You may be right, but with a near 50-50 split in party ID, I’d be skeptical that the sample that was polled to produce the large Obama margin was really random.

    As a ferinstance:

    120 are polled
    100 offer an opinion
    in reality, voting was 60-60
    Obama supporters are 3x more likely to respond (15 McCain don’t answer, 5 Obama don’t answer)

    The measure spread is 55-45.

  49. mythago @56: The Great Lakes States voted for Bush last time, as I recall.

    Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Pennsylvania went for Kerry in 2004. Indiana and Ohio were the only red states on the Great Lakes that year.

  50. Bill @ 54, Yeah, that’s pretty much how I read it, too. Which means that really, no one in Calif. is telling anyone in Utah “how to live.”

    As a counter-example to SO’s assertion, being the age I am, I remember the Civil Rights days of the 1960′s pretty well. The gov’t was doing a fair amt. of what conservatives howled was “telling them how to live.” But you know what ? Despite all that, do you think, for example, the day-to-day life in any small, rural, Texas town changed very much at all for any non-white citizens unfortunate enough to be living there ?

    Uh – no. It was still just as dangerous and racist the day (weeks, months, year) after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as it was before.

    Kinda makes a lie of this persecution complex so many “conservatives” whip out at the least provocation, don’t it ?

  51. Uh – no. It was still just as dangerous and racist the day (weeks, months, year) after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as it was before.

    Decades.

    I lived and taught for a year in the early ’90s in a smallish city north of Houston. I had students from every socioeconomic class, from the rich kids living in big houses* on the lakeshore**, to ranch kids who were already tired when they got to school because they’d been feeding and watering the livestock for hours, to the poor kids (mostly, but not entirely, Hispanic or African American) who were doing well to have windbreakers on chilly winter days.

    In one of my classes, I was having a spot of trouble with one of my African American students — nothing extraordinary, just typical teenage mulishness. One of my other students pulled me aside later and said (and this is a direct quote), “Mr. Hackard, I’m sorry that those niggers keep giving you trouble. We’ll take care of it if you want.” I assured him that I wasn’t in need of rescue, and he looked a little disappointed and went back to what he was doing.

    So yeah…no matter what the government does, the real change is going to be a slow process.

    * Amusing and very telling note: many of these impressive mansions were one room thick. The big, two- or even three-story facade was actually the entire house.

    ** Artificial lake. After the previous footnote, I hope this doesn’t surprise you.

  52. From Fletcher, way back in #4,

    Is there some way to produce a map so that the states are sized proportionally to the number of electoral votes they have?

    I am pleased to note that electoral-vote.com has a nice one.

  53. I’m hoping that NC (where I live) and CO (where I’m from) both are blue tomorrow night. It’d be especially nice if Elizabeth Dole — who acted if she’s entitled to her senate seat; until recently, when she panicked and tried to portray her Christian challenger as an atheist (though there shouldn’t be anything wrong with being an atheist).

  54. My two cents:

    1) I hope John Scalzi’s map is correct, but I agree with others that at least CO will be Obama’s Here on the left coast (Oregon) we hope the whole thing is over after 6 PM our time, with FL and NC going for Obama. But, I am not holding my breath.

    2) Several people have mentioned fivethirtyeight.com, and I really think that Nate Silver created one of the most informative, attractive and accessible websites of the election. His state by state travels were interesting and illuminating. I hope he goes on to good things.

    3) To all of you religious types: Please invoke any gods/goddesses/flying spaghetti monsters or whatever deities you think will help to get Obama elected. As an agnostic, I have a couple of rabbits’ feet, a lucky quarter and several dried up four-leaf clovers bulging my pockets. And, I have studiously avoided stepping on sidewalk cracks, walking under ladders and breaking mirrors.

    Whatever it takes!!

    Rick York

  55. Frank,

    That wasn’t particularly amusing.

    I love West (by God) Virginia) but the racism here, both subtle and overt, is extremely upsetting.

    If people want to vote for McCain because they dislike Obama’s politics, that’s fine. But the fact that a full 20% of my neighbors believe specious lies is extremely upsetting.

    Obama signs have been repeatedly stolen even where I live, including a sign from my yard. We have not had anything as horrific as the signs being replaced with confederate flags, but that doesn’t make it any less disturbing.

    My town had a black female mayor in the 80s and 90s, and that woman is now one of our state Reps. The incongruity of her repeated election and the ignorance about Obama continues to astound me.

  56. tavella @55

    If you think Colorado is an *unlikely* Obama win, you are seriously, seriously not paying attention to this election.

    Hmmm. Not many have accused me of that

    Early voters by registration:

    I know it may be hard to believe, but not every registered Democrat always votes for Democrats.

    One of the big things screwing up the poll predictions, in my mind, is the normalization by registration. I think it is least reliable this year. From ACORN to Chaos, a prudent person would avoid using this metric.

    Polls of early voters — not maybe voters, but people who have *already voted*.

    Similarly, I am leary of exit polling because of how unreliable they proved to be in 2000 and 2004. Not to mention the Democratic primaries.

    The most recent Rasmussen poll of 1000 Likely voters in Colorado gives Obama a 4 point lead with a +/- 3 point MOE.

    And it is a demostrable fact that Obama overpolls. In fact, the Obama campaign itself doesn’t feel compfortable with anything under a 6 point lead.

    So you could be right, but I stick by my analysis.

  57. I know it may be hard to believe, but not every registered Democrat always votes for Democrats.

    Given how many registered Democrats there are, it’s not hard at all to believe that a few may break ranks. However, I have talked with quite a few Democrats in my Colorado precinct, and have yet to meet one who has voted, or expects to vote, for a Republican. And the early voting / mail-in turnout has been phenomenal.
    So, Frank, if you really believe that Colorado is an “unlikely” win for Obama, you would do well to hustle (in both senses) on over to Intrade, where you can get 8-to-1 odds against just that prediction! But it’s the opinion of this precinct worker that you are going to lose your ass if you do.

  58. My prediction: Obama 341, McCain 197. Obama teaches GW Bush what a mandate really looks like, and takes all of the states John has, plus FL and ND (or MT). He loses NC, IN and MO, plus all the usual red-state suspects. I figure this scenario +/- 5 EV (could lose FL and take NC and MO, and ND isn’t essential to the scenario) is about a 50% chance.

    Senate: Franken gets carried on Obama’s coattails to make it Democrats 57, Republicans 41, Independents 2. No surprises in GA, KY, or MS (or AK for that matter).

    I would dearly love to see Obama get all of the battelground states (including MT) AND flip GA and AZ, but I doubt it. He pretty much has to flip both GA and AZ to get to 400.

  59. *sigh*

    Frank @72:

    If it were anyone other than you posting that, I’d take your “demonstrable facts” at face value. But given the repeated ability of yours that I’ve observed on pretty much every political topic over the last year to ignore and/or twist those demonstrable facts that don’t suit you, I will take what you say with a giant grain of salt.

    Plus Obama underpolled in at least the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. So does demonstrable fact really mean a statistically meaningful pattern? Or does it mean conveniently cherry picked isolated examples?

    Doesn’t mean you’re wrong, of course, but I’d rather listen to Pollster/538/RCP/Karl Rove (!) who all say Obama is going to win the election. And, indeed, win Colorado.

  60. I think FL is more likely than OH, and it comforts me that John thinks the opposite.
    I think IN is more likely than MO. The GOTV up here in the northwest corner is scary awesome.

  61. Random Michelle K @70 said
    My town had a black female mayor in the 80s and 90s, and that woman is now one of our state Reps. The incongruity of her repeated election and the ignorance about Obama continues to astound me.

    IMO, I think the answer to your confusion lies in your own word “ignorance”. Having grown up in West Virginia, I am aware that there is some racism there, but I don’t think that is the cause for the negative behavior of some people toward Obama as much as the flood of Rove-like propaganda to which they are being exposed.

    I have an older female relative who is a good-hearted soul that would be horrified to think that she might be considered a racist, and she has been forwarding me at least a half dozen of the “smear Obama” e-mails every day for months. When I point out how Snopes has shown that a given e-mail is fabricated, she apologizes for sending it and says that it came from a friend, so she assumed that it was true – and forwarded it to all of her friends and relatives.

    In regard to the black female state representative, that is not a unique case in West Virginia. When I was at Worldcon in Denver last August, I was having a chat with Eric Flint (the author of “1632“) about how some Californians with whom I am acquainted think that his characterisations of West Virginians are unrealistically flattering. He commented that when he was a union organizer in Mannington, WV (the town on which “Grantville” is based), the local chapter of the United Mine Workers had only one black member – its President.

    With best wishes,
    – Tom -

  62. -et-

    I’m not going to disagree with you here. Because I think you’re right in some aspects. And I also agree that the Rovian e-mails have been thick and fast in rural areas.

    But there is also a willful ignorance. Even when told that Obama is a Christian, even recognizing that there are a surprising number of Muslims in the state, many prefer to accept what they have been told by their friends and family (via forwarded e-mails or however) than acknowledge the truth.

    And to be honest, these lies have been floating around since the primaries. Perhaps they stem from Rove and his ilk, but that’s a lot of pre-planning on their part, if so.

    And Mannington is just down the road from me. I remember hearing an interview in which a miner said something along the lines that when everyone is covered in coal dust it’s hard to tell skin color.

    But it’s still distressing when lies are believed solely because someone is an outsider.

  63. Tudor Lewis @ 66: Thanks for the link.

    BTW, the photo of those houses? I drive by them every day on my way to work. Just sayin’.

    I’m not optimistic about Obama’s chances in Omaha, but I’ll certainly do my part.

  64. Frank @# 72:

    The most recent polls from CO (per fivethirtyeight.com) range from Obama +4 to Obama +10, with an average of Obama +6.6, if you want to discount all the fancy high-falutin’ mathematricial modeling that the baseball geek does. If you want to trust the mathematical model, it has a trend-adjusted snapshot of Obama +6.5 and a projection (based on allocation of undecideds and other factors) of Obama +5.9.

    Rasmussen also showed Obama +4 in their 10/26 poll and Obama +5 in their 10/19 poll, so it’s not like they’re showing any appreciable tightening.

    Taking your statement that “the Obama campaign itself doesn’t feel compfortable with anything under a 6 point lead” as a given fact, and assuming that every state which the fivethirtyeight.com snapshot shows as less than a 6-point lead for Obama goes to McCain (basically, every single state on the RCP map as of 11/3 that’s considered a toss-up – ten states – plus Nevada), gives Obama 273 electoral votes .

    So in other words, if McCain wins ten toss-up states, holds onto three states that are “lean McCain”, plus grabs Nevada away from Obama – he still loses.

    I don’t make predictions, but this sounds to me like a lot of optimism on your part.

  65. DG Lewis

    I don’t make predictions, but this sounds to me like a lot of optimism on your part.

    Yes, I am optimistic. But I also realize that Obama is likely to be the President-elect come tomorrow morning.

    But that doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless.

    If Obama does win, the best scenario for me would be that he wins the electoral vote but loses the popular vote. The irony of the situation would just make my heart sing.

    Especially if no one complains about it….

  66. Oh, and one more thing. I think it will be an early night. The East coast races will be decisive.

    If Obama does win all of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, he’s toast. And we’ll know that soon enough.

    Pennsylvania and Ohio will come in early as well. He doesn’t have to win both, but he has to win one (along with the above).

    If McCain passes that test, then we’ll know for sure that the pre-election polling will have been worthless.

  67. If Obama does win, the best scenario for me would be that he wins the electoral vote but loses the popular vote. The irony of the situation would just make my heart sing.

    Yes, all of the Democrats would enjoy that as well. Someone would have to drive a stake through the zombie of James Baker, though.

    Especially if no one complains about it….

    Gosh, all those good little Republicans, soldiering on despite how badly they’ve been treated? It brings a tear to the eye.

  68. I think we’re going to surprise you in Missouri. I would bet real money on it, mind you, but St. Louis county turnout as of this morning is not merely unprecedented but actively insane, and that’s what the Obama campaign needs. I’ll be more sure when I get an early estimate of the turnout downstate, but for now I’m cautiously optimistic.

  69. Austin @ 51 My inner cynic agrees with you entirely. My inner optimist, who more rarely gets my ear, let alone my typing fingers, hopes otherwise. The inner optimist had also been hoping that the illustrious Mr Brown would make more of a difference than Blair ever did, so that was another black mark.

  70. John’s prediction has turned out to be not too bad. With the exception of Indiana (which surprised me, too), this post called ‘em pretty well.
    For completeness, let’s check the predictions of this thread’s loudest conservative voice against events:

    From my years of experience, I would say that McCain has an even shot at PA.

    Pennsylvania was a blowout: 55% to 44%, and called in the first minutes after polls closed.

    I also do not believe that Obama will win NC, Virginia, Florida, or Nevada.

    Obama won Virginia, Florida, and Nevada. North Carolina is still counting.

    I think Indiana, Ohio, and Colorado are unlikely Obama wins but I suppose it could happen.

    All three went to Obama.

    I know it may be hard to believe, but not every registered Democrat always votes for Democrats.

    [A] poll … in Colorado gives Obama a 4 point lead with a +/- 3 point MOE.

    And it is a [demonstrable] fact that Obama overpolls. In fact, the Obama campaign itself doesn’t feel compfortable with anything under a 6 point lead.

    Colorado went to Obama 53% to 46%, and Obama met or exceeded his projections just about everywhere.
    In the actual event, Obama underpolled substantially.
    Come next election, Frank, you have one helluva deep credibility hole to climb out of before anyone takes your predictions seriously.

    Yes, I am optimistic. But I also realize that Obama is likely to be the President-elect come tomorrow morning.

    But that doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless.If Obama does win, the best scenario for me would be that he wins the electoral vote but loses the popular vote. The irony of the situation would just make my heart sing.

    And Obama won both electoral and popular votes by decisive margins. Did you see him deliver the best goddamn victory speech in history? Be optimistic. Let your heart sing a little. Barack Obama will be a great president, something even his detractors — those who can just unclench and quit their bellyaching — will see in time.

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