Sunday, April 25, 2004

Tracking Electoral Votes

I read all sorts of groupings of what constitutes the "battleground" states for 2004. It seems the number of states changes from as few as 7 up to twice that number. Whenever someone changes a definition like that, I always suspect ulterior motives. Remember, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that they are not watching you ...

I think a fair way to group the states is to define the "battleground" states as those won by either W or Gore by 7% or less of the popular vote. This definition includes 18 states representing 191 electoral votes in the 2004 election. The states are AR, AK, FL, IA, ME, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NM, OH, OR, PA, TN, WA, WV, and WI.

In 2000, the split was rather close - 97 to 90 electoral votes (advantage W) - so any major swing in these states would have a profound impact on the outcome of the election. Also, to set the proper baseline, due to the reapportionment as a result of the 2000 Census, the same results in 2004 would result in a division of 99 to 92, ad W.

The other two groupings, then, are those states won by W by greater than 7% of the popular vote - AL, AK, CO, GA, ID, IN, KN, KY, LA, MI, MT, NE, NC, ND, OK, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, and WY. In 2004, these states represent 179 EVs.

Gore's greater than 7% states are - CA, CT, DE, WDC, HI, IL, MD, MA, NJ, NY, RI, and VT. These states bring 168 votes to the 2004 table.

Here is where I see it today. Of the 191 Battleground EVs, the split is 142 to 49, ad W. I see Kerry fumbling away NM, OR, PA, and WI - a total of 43 votes changing columns.

The W>7% EVs stay the same. I suggest Kerry will drop NJ, worth 15 EVs.

Today's count is 336 to 202, ad W.

Short-term knowable issues that could change things - Arafat's dirt nap (ad W in FL, MI, and NY); UN Oil-for-Bribes scandal (if Kofi's son is implicated, the complete gig is up - new SG, capitulation by France and Germany)(ad W in CA, FL, NJ, NY, PA, and WV).

Wild-card issue - Afghanistan, people expect Iraq to be difficult, but if Afghanistan melts down, a lot of public reassessment will occur (ad Kerry).

Non-issues - Iraq, it won't be totally solved or go into total chaos; Air America, nothing they do will affect the election, I just wanted to say they were a non-issue.

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