Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Election Scenarios and Prediction

I've been maintaining my electoral vote tracking spreadsheet since May 22nd, and so I feel arrogant enough to make an prediction as to how the election will turn out.

First thing to note is which way the undecideds will jump. Historically, undecideds tend to break away from the incumbent and support challengers. It could be argued that McCain is the incumbent in this race, but I think it's best to assume that this won't be a factor. A more damaging issue is when you study voting trends of the undecided when it comes to African American politicans. On the whole, undecided whites tend to break away in large numbers from African Americans when casting their vote. I don't know how much that will be a factor with Obama, however I think it's safe to assume that some of it will transpire, given how the majority of some key swing states (Ohio, etc.) are white. IMO, McCain will probably gain at least 80% of the undecided vote.

Additionally, there is the chance that the polls will continue to shift. The race hasn't been fluid for weeks, as it appears that it's been slowly crystalizing into place, with only some slow shifts in direction in these past few weeks. Given that it takes a day or two for polling to trickle out, current polling is showing us how people felt on the weekend. So, I'm going to assume that the polls could potentially swing another two percent or so.

So, where does that leave us?

Scenario A
Candyland (polls swing 2% to Obama w/ Obama getting 100% of the undecideds)
Obama 402, McCain 136

Scenario B
Overly Optimistic (polls swing 2% to Obama w/ 50% split in undecideds)
Obama 378, McCain 160

Scenario C
Optimistic (current polls w/ 50% split in undecideds)
Obama 338, McCain 200

Scenario D
Realistic (polls swing 2% to McCain w/ 50% split in undecideds)
Obama 331, McCain 227

Scenario E
Pessimestic (current polls w/ McCain getting 100% of the undecideds)
Obama 291, McCain 247

Scenario F
Worse Case (polls swing 2% to McCain w/ McCain getting 100% of the undecideds)
Obama 235, McCain 303

On the whole, I think Scenario E is the closest to what is going to materialize tonight. That I think that Obama will keep all of the blue "Kerry" states (including Pennsylvania), as well as picking up at least Virginia, Iowa and Colorado. That puts Obama at 281 to McCain's 257, and everyone will be calling Barack Obama the 44th President of the United States of America.
At least, that's what I'm praying for.

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