Archive for the ‘Electoral College’ Category

1 Day to Go: Final Presidential Election Prediction: Obama 291, McCain 247

November 3, 2008

Alright, so here’s my final prediction for the Presidential elections. None of my state-by-state predictions from last time changed, other than a percentages or for 2 states (Indiana and Montana).  I’ve also done predictions for the Senate and Gubernatorial elections.

The maps are provided courtesy of Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas (and you can find the most updated version of my prediction on that website here). The colors on this website are switched from the normal colors (and I’m too lazy to switch them back to the normal colors – but back in the 1980s, these colors were the colors that the media used).

Alright, on to the predictions…

Obama – 291
McCain – 247

So, the states where you might disagree with my position:

  • Ohio: As the current trand of the past week keeps up, it’ll come out right about tied. I think McCain’s last minute blitz campaigning will help him pull out just BARELY on top.  Maybe I’m just too optimistic, but I see McCain winning here.
  • Misssouri, McCain has been leading recently, baring a few polls.
  • North Carolina: I was unsure last week, and I’m still unsure this week. I really haven’t changed my opinion on this.  I had been hoping to be able to take it out of the toss-up category, but I can’t do it for either McCain or Obama.  I really struggled with this one.  It could honestly go eiher way.
  • Florida: Despite Obama’s recent lead in the polls, McCain has come back, and is trending toward taking the lead by tomorrow (and he’s already taken the lead according to some polls).
  • Indiana: I know some polls have shown Obama leading, but I just don’t see it happening tomorrow.

Now, the map indicating the confidence that I have that my prediction is right:

Obama – 291
McCain – 185
Tossup – 62

Now, how has this map changed since my last map? Here’s a chart of the changes:

State

Previous

Current

Reasoning

IN

R40L

R50L

It looks like McCain will reach 50% here.

MT

R50S

R50L

Obama is catching up here, but I don’t think he’ll pull off a win.

So, again, at this point, I think it’s gonna take a small miracle for McCain to win, and I don’t see a small miracle happening tomorrow. All of the states that are toss-ups, I have going to McCain, so, in theory, if the toss-up states go to Obama, Obama would win 353-185.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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4 Days to Go: My Presidential Election Prediction: Obama 291, McCain 247

October 31, 2008

Alright, so last Tuesday, I did a prediction for the Presidential election, predicting an Obama with victory of 286-252, and said I’d update it this Tuesday.  Well, I got a little busy, but here’s my updated prediction.  I’ve also done a prediction for the Senate and Gubernatorial elections.

The maps are provided courtesy of Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas (and you can find the most updated version of my prediction on that website here).  The colors on this website are switched from the normal colors (and I’m too lazy to switch them back to the normal colors – but back in the 1980s, these colors were the colors that the  media used). 

Alright, on to the predictions…

Obama – 291
McCain – 247

So, the states where you might disagree with my position:

  • Ohio: As the current trand of the past week keeps up, it’ll come out right about tied.  I think McCain’s last minute blitz campaigning will help him pull out just BARELY on top.
  • Misssouri, McCain has been leading recently, baring a few polls.
  • North Carolina: I was unsure last week, and I’m still unsure this week.  I really haven’t changed my opinion on this.  I’ll make a hopefully more final decision when I do my final prediction on Monday.  As of now, I think it’ll just barely go to McCain.
  • Florida: Despite Obama’s recent lead in the polls, I think McCain will come back and win here, but if Obama continues to increase his lead, I’ll switch it over to him.

Now, the map indicating the confidence that I have that my prediction is right:

Obama – 291
McCain – 185
Tossup – 62

Now, how has this map changed since my last map? Here’s a chart of the changes:

State

Previous

Current

Reasoning

AK

R60S

R50S

Doesn’t look like McCain will reach 60%.

AZ

R60S

R50S

Doesn’t look like McCain will reach 60%

CA

D50S

D60S

Looks like Obama will manage to reach 60% here.

DE

D50S

D60S

Looks like Obama will manage to reach 60% here.

IN

R50S

D40L

More and more polls are coming out showing that Indiana is going to go to Obama.  I’m not exactly 100% sure yet, but it’s looking like it’ll be decently hard for McCain to come back and be able to win here.

NV

R40T

D50L

Again, like Indiana, the polls just don’t look like McCain will win here.  Originally, I was predicting a declaration of Obama’s victory early in the night and thought that less Obama supporters in Nevada would show up, but Obama has now garnered enough support here in Nevada, that an early victory declaration won’t give McCain a victory in Nevada.

PA

D50S

D50L

Originally, this looked really strong for Obama, but then all 4 candidates (President and VP) headed to Pennsylvania to campaign, which made me suspicious as to Obama’s strength there.  Combined with a blitz of campaigning here on McCain’s part plus Representative John Murtha’s comments about West Pennsylvania, I’m switching this over to the “Lean” category, but I’m still confident that Obama will win.

TN

R60S

R50S

Doesn’t look like McCain will reach 60%.

ME CD1

D50S

D60S

Based on recent polls that broke down demographic areas of the state, it looks like Obama will reach 60% here, but I don’t think he will in District 2 or on a statewide level.

So, at this point, I think it’ll take a small miracle for McCain to win.  All of the states that are toss-ups, I have going to McCain, so, in theory, if the toss-up states go to Obama, Obama would win 353-185.

I’ll do a final prediction on Monday, so check back for my final prediction.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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2 Weeks Away: My Prediction for the Presidential Election: Obama 286, McCain 252

October 21, 2008

Alright, I’ve decided that I’m going to do a prediction at least each Tuesday before the election (and then a final one on Monday the 3rd).  Here’s my prediction as of now.  The first map will be a prediction of the percentage points, and the second map will be my confidence in who will win that state.  Now, I know that my map has Obama lower than a lot of the maps circulating right now, but here’s why.  I question the number of Obama supporters in states like Ohio and Nevada that will actually come out.  I tried to leave as few toss-up states as I could, but there are just some that I’m not confident enough to call.  The maps are provided courtesy of Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas (and you can find the most updated version of my prediction on that website here).  Alright, on to the predictions…

Oh, one other thing I forgot – the colors on this website are switched from the normal colors (and I’m too lazy to switch them back to the normal colors – but back in the 1980s, these colors were the colors that the  media used).

 

So, the states that differ from current polls:

  • Nevada: I don’t see it going for Obama.  I just think that as the media shows Obama taking Virginia, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, it’ll become pretty apparent that Obama has won, and less of his supporters will come out.  McCain supporters, still hoping for a miracle will turn out.
  • Ohio: Looking at trend lines, McCain should pull out ahead by 1%-2%.
  • Missouri: Same as Ohio.
  • North Carolina: Of all the states that I may switch by next Tuesday, this is at the top of the list.  Right now, I just don’t see North Carolina voting for Obama.  I think some racism will come into play, and I think McCain may sqeak through.  Again, if I had to pick one state to change, it be North Carolina.
  • Florida: Also trending McCain.

Now, my confidence:

Alright, so even though I have Obama winning by only 34 Electoral Votes, the final result could be anywhere between Obama  286-353, McCain 252-185.

Most likely, if my prediction does change, it’ll be North Carolina which would bring the total up to Obama 301, McCain 237.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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Holy Crap! This Election Could Get Weird: An Electoral College Tie? Acting President Pelosi?

September 25, 2008

So, I’ve been looking through polls lately, and the way it stands now, if Obama holds all the states he currently has, and McCain picks up all the tossup states, we’d have an Electoral College tie (assuming that all the electors keep their promise to vote for their party).

Let’s look at the map (courtesy of my favorite election website, the U.S. Election Atlas) of the current polls (note, that first link may be different than the image below.  That link goes to the updated version of the polls.  The image below is an image that I created inputting the different numbers):

Electoral Votes:
Obama: 269
McCain: 212
Tossup: 57

Now, these are the averages of the last 3 polls.  I have a couple disagreements with the polls:

  • Pennsylvania is not slight Obama.  I think it should be Lean Dem.
  • Michigan is not Lean Dem.  It should be slight Dem.  There was a recent poll that had Obama way more ahead than he really is, and I think it’s skewing the results.
  • Florida isn’t Slight Rep.  I think it’s Lean Rep.
  • West Virginia isn’t Slight Rep.  It should also be Lean Rep in my opinion.
  • I don’t think Minnesota is Slight Dem.  I think it should probably be Lean Dem.
  • Montana should be Strong Rep not Lean Rep, but there were a couple polls throwing that off.
  • Nevada should probably be Slight McCain in all honesty, but I’ll talk about that later.

Other than that, I agree with this map.  So, let’s take a look at the tossup states:

  • Nevada: Although it’s close, most recent polls have shown McCain with a slight lead here.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that switches over to slight McCain in the next 3 days (whenever a poll comes out).  It’s really only a tossup because of an ARG (American Research Group) poll, and they’re a pretty crappy polling firm.  My call: McCain +5.  That puts him at 217.
  • North Carolina: Freakishly close lately, and it’s a state that we wouldn’t expect to be close.  However, I think this’ll trend back toward McCain as we get closer to Election day.  My call: McCain +15.  That puts him at 232.
  • Virginia: Similar to Nevada, most polls have shown McCain with a lead here.  I think we simply have some outliers, and as more polls come out, we’ll see that swing back to Slight McCain.  My call: McCain +13.  That puts McCain at 245.
  • New Hampshire: Most polls have had Obama winning, but recently it’s been trending toward McCain, and then McCain took the lead (granted one of those was an ARG poll, so we can ignore one of the three that had McCain winning).  This may be more of a gut feeling than actual math, but I think New Hampshire will go for McCain.  My call: McCain +4.  That gives him 249.
  • Ohio: Now, here’s the exciting one.  This has been by far the closest state in this election.  Polls have had Obama and McCain ahead of each other, as well as simply tied.  Trying to call this right now is really probably a shot in the dark, but because McCain has an ever so slight lead here, I’m going to make my call: McCain +20.  That would give McCain 269.  And the two are now tied.

I think we need to talk a little more about one last state: Michigan, my home state.  Although it’s not this way on the map, I said that I think Michigan is the only Slight Obama state.  I think it’s the only current Obama state that could be in play.  With a rough economy, a lot could happen, and the economy has been effecting Michigan the worst.  If Michigan were to go for McCain, McCain could then afford to lose either North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, or Nevada and New Hampshire.  If he won Michigan, but lost Virginia and New Hampshire (also a very good possibility), we would once AGAIN have a tie.

So, what’s my honest prediction?  I’m glad you asked.  I’ll show you (since this’ll get outdated, I’m sure, here’s a link to my prediction page, which will have my latest prediction on it):

Percentages:

Electoral Votes:
Obama: 269
McCain: 269

 

Confidence:

Electoral Votes:
Obama: 252
McCain: 227
Tossup: 59

 

So, what would happen if my prediction comes true?

  1. Assuming that we don’t have any faithless electors (electors who don’t vote the way they’re supposed to), and I don’t think we will–any faithless elector is pretty much asking to be assassinated: The vote would go to the House of Representatives.  But they do things kinda funky when they vote.  They don’t vote individually, they vote by state delegation, so it’s winner take all, but the Representatives decide, not the voters.  Here’s a map of the current House:

    The Republicans hold 21 of those, the Democrats hold 27, and 2 are tied.  You need 26 to win (50 states, so 1 more than half).  Obama wins, right?  Well, hold on a minute.  There’s a couple of things we have to keep in mind:

    1. Alaska could easily be won by the Democrat this year.  That’d be one more for Obama.
    2. Arizona, a tied state, could easily go to the Republican side.  Even if it doesn’t, a Democrat may be swayed to vote for the “home state boy.”  I’m pretty confident that we can add Arizona to McCain’s pile.  McCain has 22.
    3. Indiana could easily go over to the Republicans.  For now, I’ll keep Indiana in Obama’s pile.
    4. So, we have Obama with 27, McCain with 22, and 1 tie.  I think Kansas would go for McCain, making it 27, 23.  Obama wins, right?  Again, slow down.
    5. 4 of Obama’s delegations are in the south.  I don’t see the Tennessee, North Carolina, or Mississippi delegations voting for an African American.  That makes it Obama 24, McCain 26.  McCain wins.  However, there are enough Democrats in Mississippi that there’s an EVER SO SLIGHT possibility that it’d go for Obama.  That leaves us at 25-25.
  2. If we get to 25-25, they’d keep voting.  If they never break the tie…
  3. While the House was voting on President, the Senate would have elected the Vice-President, and we’d have acting President Biden/Palin.  As it stands now, it’d probably be a tie.  You have 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans, plus Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT).  Sanders votes with the Democrats (he caucuses with them, so he would vote with them on this).  Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats votes for McCain.  I don’t doubt this, he’s endorsed him.  That gives us 50-50. 
  4. We then have acting President Nany Pelosi, since Speaker of the House is next in line.  Scary, I know.
  5. One litle note I forgot to put in here – the House has until March 4th to come up with a President.  If they don’t by then, then the acting President (whether that be the VP choice that the Senate made or the Speaker of the House) becomes the President.

Not only is this scenario extremely complicated, it’s historically unprecedented, but it actually has a decent chance of happening.  I shudder to think that Pelosi could be President, but this would be one heck of a story for the history books.

I’ll hopefully becoming out with Predictions once a week, as more polls and details come in, and as we get closer to the election.  I’ll also be covering the debate tomorrow night, live, so come back here for lots more election fun.

Done Hypothetically Situating,

Ranting Republican
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Ron Paul Will Be on the Ballot for President in Montana

September 9, 2008

A website called Ballot Access News has reported that Ron Paul will appear on the ballot for President in November.

The Constitution Party of Montana, which broke off from the national party back in 2006, decided not to stick with the national party’s nominee (Chuck Baldwin for President/Darrell Castle for VP), but rather nominate Ron Paul for President, and 2000 Constitution Party nominee, Michael Perutka, for Vice President.

Paul did not actively campaign for the nomination, but he also did not oppose it.  He has said that he will not object as long as he does not have to sign any declaration of candidacy and as long as he won’t actually have to do anything formal for the campaign.

Paul’s campaign manager in Montana, David Hart, told reporters, “Here in Montana, I think it’s pretty much sealed the deal that McCain will not win Montana.  If he doesn’t win, Ron Paul will probably be blamed for it.  They only need to look in the mirror and blame themselves for nominating someone who doesn’t represent true Republican values and causes like Paul. … [Paul may take some of Obama’s votes becaue Paul] is really unifying in terms of liberty and freedom and that goes across the party lines. … It’s an exciting development.  People will have an opportunity to not vote for the lesser of two evils.”

However, Montana Republican Party Chairman Erik Iverson isn’t so worried.  He told reporters, “I’ve got all the respect in the world for David Hart and Ron Paul.  But I think the only candidate in Montana that it hurts is Bob Barr.  Montana voters who would vote for him (Paul) on the Constitution Party ticket are folks who probably wouldn’t have voted for John McCain anyway and they certainly wouldn’t have voted for Barack Obama.”

Personally, I think that this is going to hurt McCain more than Obama, but I’m not ready to call the state one way or another yet.  I think this definitely puts the state into play, and this could be an election where 3 Electoral Votes makes the difference.  This state has been close in the polls lately; however, all of those were pre-Palin, and Palin is going to help McCain in Montana, so I’m really undecided as to how much of a hit McCain will take here (but if Paul wasn’t running, I’d definitely call it for McCain).  I do know that Bob Barr (Libertarian) will suffer here in Montana now though.  Some time soon I’ll be putting out my prediction for the general election (I may do a weekly prediction or something like that).

I’ll keep you updated with anything more that happens regarding Montana and Ron Paul.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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A Political Analysis of the Movie Swing Vote

August 2, 2008

Alright, so tonight I saw Swing Vote.  I liked it.  Although it had a LOT of swearing (which added some humor at times, but was a little over the top at others), I’d give it a 9 out of 10.

First, we’ll look at how the election could’ve happened (spoiler alert – I eventually get into details, and a few things about the ending).  This is not a map they showed in the movie, I made it myself – it’s a believable hypothetical that adds up to the numbers they give in the movie:

The movie shows a hypothetical race where the Republican, President Andrew “Andy” Boone (Kelsey Grammer – a real Republican), has received 267 Electoral Votes, and the Democrat, Donald Greenleaf (Dennis Hopper), has received 266 Electoral Votes.  New Mexico (5 EVs) is tied, and Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) has to cast the tie vote (perfect electronic ballots, and his machine was unplugged.  But actually, his daughter tried to vote for him, so he never should’ve voted in the first place, and NM’s EVs would’ve been split with 2.5 going to each, and Boone would’ve won).  Here’s a possible map:

Boone in red, Greenleaf in blue.  New Mexico is tied, and it’s never revealed how Bud votes.

Now, on to the characters:

Don Greenleaf (Dennis Hopper) is essentially McCain as a Democrat.  Here’s some similarities:

  • His slogan is “Greenleaf Express,” similar to the “Straight Talk Express.”
  • In the beginning part, he says something that kinda makes him sound like a senile old man (you have to admit, McCain doesn’t always sound with it).
  • His mannerisms, holding his arms up sometimes when he speaks, and the way he talks, mimics McCain somewhat.
  • He switches from being pro-illegal immigrant to anti-illegal immigrant (and does a HILARIOUS campaign ad against the Republican, showing a bunch of immigrants running across a field).
  • He switches from being pro-choice to pro-life (ok, McCain’s been MOSTLY pro-life, but it still applies).

Martin Fox, Boone’s campaign manager (Stanley Tucci), is Karl Rove.  Here are some similarities:

  • At the beginning, he’s talking about strategies involving getting religious voters out to vote.
  • He’s shown as somewhat of a do-what-we-must-to-win kind of guy.
  • He’s won all 7 elections he’s worked on.
  • He kinda resembles him physically, with the bald head.

President Andrew Boone (Kelsey Grammer) doesn’t resemble anybody in particular, but toward the beginning of the movie, he talks about whoever controls the Nuclear Football as being the most important issue, and talks about the dangers of North Korea.  It portrays him as being a stereotypical Republican War Hawk.  It’s probably the most stereotypical moment in the film.

Both Fox and Art Crumb (Nathan Lane), Greenleaf’s campaign manager, are shown as trying to manipulate Bud Johnson, and having their candidates switch their stances on issues just to get his vote.  It differs from the movie where the politicians are the evil liars, and makes the campaign managers the “bad guys.”  Although both candidates flip-flop on various issues to appeal to Bud, they ultimately turn good and realize what they were doing was wrong, ticking off their campaign managers.

One other stereotype was John Sweeney (George Lopez), the local FOX news reporter, is shown as just wanting to get massive media attention, and FOX is mocked a couple of other times throughout the movie.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie.  It was fair and balance, and made fun of both sides, and shows them ultimately realizing their wrongs.

The movie never shows how Bud Johnson votes, but that could be a bonus part of the DVD.

So, now that I’ve ruined the plot for you, go out and see it!

Done Rating,

Ranting Republican
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Minneapolis Teen Tries to Sell His Vote on Ebay, Now Faces Charges

July 7, 2008

Well, here’s a story you don’t hear too often.  A 19-year-old from Minneapolis (a student from the University of Minnesota) has been charged with a felony (bribery, treating, and soliciting) in the Hennepin County District Court on Thursday for putting his (presidential election) vote up on eBay.  The bidding started at $10, and he would vote for the candidate of the winning bidder’s choice, or he would not vote at all if that’s what the winner wished.  He said that he would take a picture of his ballot to prove it.

Posting under the name zeprummer612, Max P. Sanders wrote “Good luck!  You’re [sic] country depends on You!”

The Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office received a criminal complaint, and reported the issue to prosecutors, who in turn subpoenaed eBay for the information that lead to Sanders.  Sanders is being charged under a law from 1893 which makes it illegal to offer to buy and/or sell a vote.

John Aiken, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office told reporters, “We take it very seriously.  Fundamentally, we believe it is wrong to sell your vote.  There are people that have died for this country for our right to vote, and to take something that lightly, to say, ‘I can be bought.’  It’s a real shame.  I can imagine the conversations being held in American Legion Clubs and VFWs about whether this is a joke or not.  There are two things going on here in terms of why it’s a crime.  One is the notion that elections should be a contest of ideas and not of pocketbooks — at least not in the sense of straight-out ‘I can buy your vote.’  The second notion is that everybody gets one vote and you don’t get to buy another one.”

Sanders has claimed that it was merely a joke, but I doubt this.  It goes into too much detail about proving that he voted the way the bidder would want for it to be a joke.

Sanders faces a maximum of 5 years in prison plus $10,000; however, the prosecutor’s office has said that they will not push for jail time.  This is actually one case where I do not advocate for the maximum penalty.  I think he should be fined, and possibly jailed, but for no more than a few months.  I would support a ban on him voting however, but Minnesota law does not ban ex-felons (felons who have served their sentence – technically that felony is still on the record) from voting.

At first, I had to debate with my libertarian side if this should be legal.  Then I came to the conclusion that if we allowed for this, it would corrupt the election process.  Of course, that is the reason that we have the Electoral College, and cases like this are prime examples of why we still need it.

The listing got no bids, and Sanders has since removed the listing.

For reference, here’s a map of states and their policies on felons voting (I wanted to do a post on this months ago, but it got caught up in the qeue and I just scrapped the idea for the time being):

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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