March 24, 2008

Long-Range Forecast

Take these results with a grain of salt, but the end result is plausible enough. Rasmussen took two separate polls in each state, one with Clinton agianst McCain and the other with Obama against McCain, and simply averaged the results from there. The data also relied on the Intrade Prediction Market, which I have come to believe is really an Immediate Past Events Valuation device. And it's not even April. It's a long, long haul until November. But, like I said, the end result is plausible enough to pass the giggle test.

Here, after a surprising amount of wresting around with my graphics programs, is my own graphical representation of the projection:

As has become traditional, red is for Republican and blue is for Democrats, and the darker the color, the more solid the trend is. So Texas is dark red and is a "safe Republican" state; North Carolina" is a "likely Republican" state and Florida "leans" Republican. So too does New Mexico "lean" Democratic while California is a "safe" Democrat state. Interestingly, of last cycle's three battleground states, Pennsylvania now leans Democrat and Florida now leans Republican. Ohio, however, remains too close to call, as do the other Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, and Nevada.

Add up the "Safe" and "Likely" states for each column, and you get Republicans with 189 electoral votes and Democrats with 200 electoral votes, with 149 being in significant contention. If the "leaners" go as currently predicted, that makes it 229 Republican, 247 Democrat, with five states making the difference. Of the five "toss-up" states, the Republicans would need to win four if they lose Ohio; or Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, and one of Missouri or Michigan; or Ohio, Missouri, and Michigan. Pretty much all other combinations would go to the Democrat.

Advantage: Democrats. But it's not a huge advantage by any estimation.
UPDATE: gives you an interactive map to play with. Running the Rasmussen numbers reveals Democrats with five winning combinations: Ohio and Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, Ohio and Colorado, Michigan and Colorado, and Michigan, Colorado, and Nevada. Republicans win with one of three combinations: Ohio and Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and Colorado, and Michigan, Missouri, and Colorado. Nevada is not important to any of these combinations. The site also estimates that with these five states up for grabs, the Republicans have a 86% chance of winning (allegedly based on an Obama-McCain contest; you can read about how they got those numbers here).
I also note that if the Democrats get Colorado and Michigan, and the Republicans get Ohio, Missouri, and Nevada, that results in a 269-269 tie. Which, of course, would put the whole thing in the House of Representatives, meaning that (in all likelihood) the Democrat would win.
None of which affects my bet for a bottle of good scotch -- a bet dependent entirely on the popular vote.


Michael Reynolds said...

I think if we have McCain vs. Obama we'll have a significant problem identifying likely voters. McCain turns off the GOP base, and Obama seems able to generate new voters.

Also, I think McCain is riding his highest point right now. No one is trying to "define" him, no one is attacking, while the Dems hack away at each other. If it's this close now, and using data that doesn't try to come to grips with new voting patterns, I think it bodes well for the Dem.

Burt Likko said...

Agreed that McCain turns off the RR base -- but notice how they're still beating on the Jeremiah Wright horse? It's almost as though they're trying to convince themselves that they need to mobilize against some sort of an enemy. It's obviously incorrect but being correct has nothing to do with it.

And I've always thought that a candidate's highest point of interest and acceptance is typically during and just after the party convention -- because the convention is a four-day love-fest for the candidate. That may not happen for the Dems this year because their convention will be brokered and therefore the story will not be what a great guy (or gal) the candidate is, but rather "who's gonna win?" But McCain gets a coronation, so he'll get at least back up to this level again later this summer. And he's taking heat (not big heat, but some) for disregard of economic issues right now.

But agreed that Obama seems to be pulling people out of the woodwork who normally would not have voted at all.

zzi said...

I can't do justice to your map. I would just do a Bill Murray and move all the states off the board and leave this one up.

and maybe Florida

zzi said...

Ted Strickland (D-Governor of Ohio)

Got ONE vote!