Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I am totally obsessed with with the electoral college maps on Yahoo! You can play around with different scenarios to see how each candidate gets to 270. The really fun part is that there is no realistic way for John McCain to reach 270! The McCain campaign is pretending Pennsylvania is still in play but they are just fooling themselves. The only way for McCain to win is if he wins Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. Seeing as Obama is ahead in all those states, that will be quite a challenge. McCain could easily win most of those states. But all of them? I don't think so.

Just because I'm feeling generous today, I'm going to give McCain all the states where Obama is leading by less than 8 points. So we'll give him Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida. Obama still wins! New Mexico? That's pretty safe for Obama but, just for the sake of argument, McCain can have it. Sorry; not enough! McCain wants part of New Hampshire? Fine. We'll give him two points there. He still loses!

To me, the exciting state to watch on election night will be Virginia. Obama has an 8 point lead in Virginia. If he wins the state, the election will be over early. Once he wins Virginia, he doesn't need any other battleground state. Obviously, Florida would do the job, too, and if he wins Virginia and Florida, it will be a landslide. If Obama loses Virginia (and Florida), it will be a longer night. We may have to wait to see what happens in Colorado.

So, the point is, I don't think McCain has much of a chance. He has to win 8 states where Obama is now leading. Many of them are close and if he worked really hard he could erase Obama's lead in most of them. But I just don't see how he could win them all. For instance, if he spent all his resources in Virginia trying to convice people that Obama is in favor of murdering babies, he could probably win that state. But then he would end up losing Colorado or some other state so it wouldn't do him any good.

Finally, just a quick comment on the Bradley effect. The Bradley effect is a horrible racist relic brought to you by the beautiful state of California. You're welcome! In case you aren't familiar with it, it refers to a black Los Angeles mayor who lost his bid for governor even though he was ahead in the polls. Apparently, people said they were voting for him because they didn't want to seem racist but then ended up voting for the white guy. This was decades ago and I don't think it's as bad anymore. Some people mentioned it when Obama lost New Hampshire in the primaries but I think that was just because people changed their minds. I don't think we've seen much other evidence of it. Still, some analysts suggest it could account for as much as a six percent discrepancy in polling. Fortunately, even if you factor in six points, Obama still wins!

But, as Michelle Obama pointed out, a black man running for president will be the underdog until he is actually sitting in the Oval Office. So don't take anything for granted! Make sure you vote!

11 comments:

Cliff O'Neill said...

Honestly, we must be related or something because I've been similarly obsessed with these maps (mostly at http://electoral-vote.com/ ).

And, yes, I have had enough with this blather about the Bradley effect.

I just want Ohio to break for Obama. Desperately. The geography here makes it really odd in that the cities are all pretty clearly Obama, but the countryside isn't.

But if it's any help, I was in the extreme hinterlands Monday where four years ago I would have seen every single home and business with a Bush '04 sign and the notable thing was that so many homes had no signs at all. Oh, there were a few McCain signs, but they were rare. And, in the midst of it all, there were a couple Obama signs, including one handmade 6' x'12' one on a major street corner in front of someone's home.

Fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm obsessed with the electoral maps on the New York Times website...

If you like things like this, another fun one on the NY Times is the debates... you have the video on the left with transcripts on the right and as you click on different questions in the transcript it automatically jumps to that part of the video, and next to each answer on the transcript is a fact checker's response to it. Hours of fun.

Kat

eric3000 said...

Cliff and Kat,

Thanks for giving me even more ways to spend my time instead of doing real work! Ha ha!

Yeah, Cliff, I'm thinking any possible Bradley effect will be erased by the fact that young people with only cell phones are being underpolled.

Good luck with Ohio!

desertwind said...

Eric, apparently, when studied, The Bradley Effect has proved to be a myth.

I recently heard Deukmejian's campaign manager (on Warren Olney, I think) say that what really happened is that they ran a blitz of crime-in-LA TV ads during the last week of the campaign. They think that's what turned the tide from Bradley to Deukmejian.

So, cross fingers!

We did our mail-in votes. My husband said he just regrets we can't vote against Bush again! (Amen to that.)

PS - Are you familiar with the FiveThirtyEight blog? Hours of fun! (hey, it beats watching my IRA tank)

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know it isn't only about urban areas voting for Obama--this past week I drove through farm country in Central Wisconsin and farm after farm had Obama signs in their yards. This is amazing because I assure you they voted for Bush the last two times and were very anti-Clinton too.

Aimee said...

SO glad you posted this. Obama is up in all the polls, but I'm still scared in the run up to election day. But you've pretty much laid it out for me - there are a LOT of variants that need to fall into place for McCain to win, most of which seem unlikely.

SO hope Obama takes it! He was speaking in colorado on sunday and I watched it on CNN. It was amazing - I heart him!

Linda Merrill said...

It's funny about the lawn signs. Here in MA, there are very few signs for either candidate. Lots of local candidate signs, but not national. Same with bumper stickers - there aren't many. But, of the ones I've seen, I'd guess it's 50/50 Obama/McCain. This could be because it's fairly common for MA Democrats to assume everyone thinks like them (and in truth, most do), so there's no need to advertise for their candidate - they assume everyone is voting for him already.

I'm voting for McCain (no egging me, please!) and I actually think the counting will go late into the night. But, I believe that Obama will win and I kinda hope if he does, it's by a decisive amount so we can all just accept it and move on.

eric3000 said...

Yeah, I don't think we have many yard signs for presidential candidates here in Los Angeles. I guess because we aren't a battleground state.

OK, Linda, I won't give you too hard a time about voting for McCain. As I've said in previous posts, I used to like him, myself. I think the country would be much better off if he had been president the past eight years, instead of Bush. And I would have voted for him for vice president on a Kerry/McCain ticket in 2004. But I think he has proved to be a much different person over the past year of campaigning.

But, even if I thought McCain would be a decent president (which I no longer do), there are two important issues that should prevent moderates (which includes most people) from voting for McCain: The next president will probably replace the three liberal justices on the Supreme Court. McCain's picks would have to be more moderate than Bush's because they will have to be confirmed by a Democratic senate. But they will still be conservative and that would leave us with a 100 percent conservative Republican-appointed Supreme Court! 100 percent! Possibly for the next thirty or forty years!

And, of course, the possibility of Sarah Palin running the country is absolutely horrifying.

But I agree with you in hoping Obama's victory is decisive so we can move on to fixing the country's problems.

eric3000 said...

Oh, by the way, in case you thought it didn't make any sense when I mentioned McCain getting two votes from New Hampshire, you're right. I was confused. It's Maine that splits its votes, not New Hampshire. Oops. Even more reason McCain should not be wasting time in New Hampshire, where Obama has a double-digit lead.

wildflower38 said...

We are all thinking a like. I think Obama will win Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina. I have internet buddies that have been registering voters and pushing for Obama in those states.

My buddies in other countries the sarah Palin is a joke. They think McCain will die in office if he wins and we'll be stuck with the crazy book banning extremist.

I voted yesterday. I was beaming when clicked on Obama/Biden.

Anonymous said...

I'm obsessed with the close polling for Prop 8. My guy for 17 years and I got married last Saturday, and a yes on Prop 8 next Tuesday will place us and many others in legal limbo. There's a rally downtown this weekend: http://www.outindowntownlosangeles.com/