Monday, November 01, 2004


Predicting the Electoral College outcome

I see no reason why loyal readers of Simply Appalling should go to bed tonight worried about the election outcome, so I've decided to consult my tea leaves and publish the results. That way everyone can get a good night's sleep.

Well, why not? That's what the media have been doing all along—from the newspapers and network news organizations down to the cable-news trash. Every time they talk about a poll—which is about all they do talk about—they're implicitly telling you the election results. It can be very discouraging for Democrats.

Since I've been following the Rasmussen Electoral College projections all along, I'll use their latest as the basis for a forecast. Their projection is from last Thursday, October 28. They've projected 222 votes for Bush, 203 for Kerry with 113 "toss-ups." The winner needs to take 270 votes.

First, we need to remove some votes from the "Red state" column. There are several that don't belong there.

Let's begin with Arkansas (6). A state poll shows the race tied. The Dems are advertising there. And Bill Clinton is going to bring home the Razorback bacon. That brings Bush's total to 216, Kerry's to 209.

Next comes Colorado (9). This is a toughie. If my tea leaves make a mistake, I believe it will be here. But Ken Salazar for Senate is looking awfully good against Pete Coors. Pete Coors is pro-gay when he's selling beer and anti-gay when he's selling himself. Coloradans trust Coors beer more than they trust Coors politicians. Salazar is leading in the SurveyUSA poll 49% to 47% with 3% undecided. Once Coloradans vote Democratic for Salazar, they're on a slippery slope and could easily vote for Kerry. It just doesn't make sense to do otherwise. Bush 207, Kerry 218.

Now for Rasmussen's "toss-up" states.

First, let me deal with the "big three"—Florida (27), Ohio (20) and Pennsylvania (21). Florida and Pennsylvania are in the bag for Kerry. That's Bush 207, Kerry 266.

Since Ohio is generating the greatest Republican angst (you know, "no Republican has won the Presidency without carrying Ohio"), it is also generating the greatest Republican effort to intimidate the voters. Instead it has pissed them off. Oh, and did I mention too many jobs lost in Ohio? Bush 207, Kerry 286!

That puts Kerry over the top, but let's see if it gets any better.

I've tried everything to drum up a state for Bush, but I just can't do it. So going into the Kerry column will be Hawaii (4), Iowa (7), Minnesota (10), Nevada (5), New Hampshire (4), New Mexico (5) and Wisconsin (10).

So that gives us the final tally:

Kerry 331, Bush 207.

So get a good night's sleep!

I should mention that my results come very close to those of Princeton professor Sam Wang's "meta-analysis." His predicted outcome, as of noon today, is Kerry 323, Bush 215. Unfortunately, Prof. Wang relies upon polling data rather than my patented tea-leaf method, so you should probably not give his "meta-analysis" too much credence.

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