Saturday, November 1, 2008

Presidential Predictions

While I'm putting this up later than I had planned, here are the Lomperian Review's first quadrennial electoral vote predictions.

First of all, while there's been lots of speculation about many states potentially breaking with long-established partisan alignments, there have remained many that each camp has been able to easily count on without spending a dime, with interesting regional concentrations:

Obama's base = California, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont (200 electoral votes),

McCain's base = Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wyoming (104 electoral votes, about half of Obama's starting point)

Now comes the prediction for the states that have ever been considered swing-able in the Obama-McCain contest.

Obama gets:
CO - the polling consistent showing Democratic wins here for President and the open Senate seat are remarkable for a state that in 2004 had two GOP Senators and supported Bush over Kerry
FL - though I would have initially thought McCain would have a natural advantage in a state whose primary he won while the Democrats didn't campaign there. By now he may be kicking himself for not asking the GOP Governor there to be his running mate.
IA - McCain's strong opposition to ethanol subsidies led him to sit out the famous caucuses of this purplest of states
ME - (including Maine's contested rural Congressional district)
MI - the McCain campaign's early pullout spelled end of story there, Palin's protests notwithstanding
MN - the GOP could probably get this bipartisan state with a strong national wind, but no such wind is in sight this year
MO - "As goes Missouri, so goes the nation" has held true for over a century with only one exception
NH - this last bastion of New England Republicanism shows no signs of stopping its decisive blue-state conversion since 2004
NE's 5th congressional district, which basically gets its own electoral vote - I read Obama had 15 paid staff on the ground to seek this single electoral college vote, and there've been signs it may be paying off
NM - despite the GOP's nominating its most pro-immigration candidate possible, the overall Tancredo-driven tone of its primary seems to have had a terrible effect on the entire GOP brand name, driving away this Hispanic-heavy border state
OR/WA - I've never been able to tell these Pacific Northwest states apart, but in either place McCain's hopes of reversing the GOP's decade of decline seems to have been dashed fairly early
PA - dumb comments by Obama and Murtha about "bitter" and "redneck" voters notwithstanding, for the forseeable future this seems destined to be one of those states that the GOP keeps trying really hard to get, only to come up short
VA - the state infamously divided between its "real" and "unreal" zones has a Democratic trend going back at least to 2001, which exploding growth in its most liberal areas outside of DC
TOTAL = 295 electoral votes

McCain gets:
AZ - It's not common to lose your own state unless the candidate and the state are on far opposite ends of America's political spectrum (think Romney-Massachusetts, Gore-Tennessee)
GA - Former Georgia Republican Congressman Bob Barr's Libertarian Party challenge seems to have faded; see also SC comments about galvanized African-American voters
ID - remember that talk about how as the provoker of the largest political rally in the potato state's history, Obama may be the one who could convert this one party state? Me neither.
IN - I predict this GOP-leaning state will be close but no cigar for Obama
MT - I initially had this in the Obama column, given decisive Democratic statewide victories in the last three election cycles, and Obama's radio dominance in this driver-heavy state, but then concluded that this election is not dramatic enough to completely erase the roughly 20-point GOP advantage from 2004 in a state where the Democratic Governor has to run on things like bipartisanship and NRA support
NC - surprisingly close in the polls, but I doubt that as liberal a Democrat as Obama can win a state where even Democrats like John Edwards feel the need in their statewide campaigns to promise to not be too different from Jesse Helms. See also comments about that other Carolina.
ND - Obama may get so close, yet so far away
SD - ditto
NE (minus one - see above)
SC - I've seen punditry saying that this could be tipped simply by Obama galvinizing the state's significant black population. But the simple fact of the matter is, African-Americans constitute nowhere near to a majority of the population of this deep-red state, whose statewide Democrats of recent years have been notably to the right of the national Party mainstream.
WV - very Democratic state, but if Gore and Kerry were far too socially liberal for its voters then Obama should be as well
TOTAL = 243 electoral votes

Only time and Tuesday will tell how good of a political-crystal-ball-reader I am.

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