erik lundegaard

270 to Win: Vote

I leaned heavily on Nate Silver this past month. While the right-wing had their narratives of 'Mittmentum,' and Gallup was claiming a national six-point Romney advantage, Silver gave Romney, on Oct. 12, only a 38.9% chance of winning the electoral college. And that was his best showing. Since then, downhill. This morning's numbers give Romney a 9.1% chance of winning the electoral college. But that's still a chance. At some point, maybe this evening, all the possibilities and probabilities will be reality. We want that reality to be good. So get out there and vote.

Why do I follow Silver? Why do I believe him? Because he got every state right in the 2008 election except for Indiana, which went for Obama. He also predicted the correct outcome of every Senate race that year. In 2010, he predicted 34 of the 36 Senate races correctly, missing only Colorado and Nevada, both of which went Democrat. So: 1) he's usually right, and 2) hardly leans left in his prediction model. Plus he's a sabremetrician. He's a Jamesian. He's a baseball guy. If he were a football guy, no chance.

According to both Silver and this great interactive feature on the NY Times site, there are nine potential swing states, with 95 electoral votes: New Hampshire (4), Nevada (6), Iowa (6), Colorado (9), Wisconsin (10), Virginia (13) North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), and Florida (29).

With the states Obama's presumed to win, including Pennsylvania, he starts with 236 electoral votes.

These are Silver's probabilities for each of these states (sans North Carolina, which I didn't bother to track) over the last week and a half:


Oct 26 Oct 28 Oct 29 Oct 30 Oct 31 Nov. 1 Nov. 4 Nov. 6
WI 85.7% 86.8% 85.7% 88.1% 88.0% 91.2% 94.5% 96.7%
NV 78.8% 80.5% 79.7% 82.8% 85.2% 87.7% 90.0% 93.4%
OH 76.3% 74.9% 73.3% 77.6% 79.9% 80.5% 86.8% 90.6%
IA 72.1% 72.7% 70.9% 74.4% 78.4% 78.8% 81.2% 84.3%
NH 69.7% 71.5% 70.3% 75.4% 75.2% 77.8% 80.0% 84.6%
CO 57.3% 58.2% 55.4% 60.7% 62.6% 64.6% 69.7% 79.7%
VA 54.1% 59.9% 57.8% 61.8% 61.3% 66.4% 72.6% 79.4%
FL 37.1% 37.5% 35.3% 40.7% 41.2% 44.6% 44.5% 50.3%

And here are Obama's electoral college chances. It's 270 to win, kids:


Oct 26 Oct 28 Oct 29 Oct 30 Oct 31 Nov. 1 Nov. 4 Nov. 6
>90 236 236 236 236 236 246 252 270
>80 246 252 246 252 252 270 280 280
>70 276 280 280 280 280 280 293 302
>60 280 280 280 302 302 302 302 302
>50 302 302 302 302 302 302 302 331

A lot of it falls upon Ohio again. There's a kind of “As goes Ohio, so goes the nation” tendency even as the state has shed electoral votes as it's shed population. No Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio, and, since 1900, only two Democrats have: FDR (once) and JFK (in 1960).

But Obama can still win without winning Ohio. He can still win without winning Ohio and Florida. And Virginia. He just needs Wisconsin, Nevada, Iowa, Colorado and New Hampshire.

I'm nervous, of course. But I'm less nervous than I was a week ago; and a week ago I was less nervous than I was two weeks ago. Back to that first debate.

I'm expending my nervous energy by helping get out the vote in First Hill, Seattle. My neighborhood. Washington state is a mail-in only state now, which is a bit of a bummer. I like the community act of voting. I like the civic-ness of it. I like talking to the old ladies at the church or school. I like talking to people in line.

But at this point it's GOTV. Gotta be postmarked today, kids. So if you haven't mailed it in yet, bring it to the post office. Watch them postmark it. Or bring it to a drop box. Here's a list of ballot drop boxes in King County.

Final thought. For the longest time I've heard from right-wing blabbermouths about how Obama's supporters are less enthusiastic than they once were. How he's got an enthusiasm gap, whlie all the right-wingers are crazy, yes crazy, for Mitt. Here. Here's how I've demonstated my lack of enthusiasm: I've given him $3,000 and the last three weekends of my life in GOTV efforts. Plus this morning.

Let's do this.

I've got his back: Obama 2012


Posted at 08:49 AM on Tue. Nov 06, 2012 in category Politics  
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