01 November 2008

Taking a stand

Okay, pure horse-race politics here. It's just three days away (finally) and it's time to put my chips on the table. Here's my predictions for Tuesday night. I may be hysterically wrong, or prophetic, but's that's the fun of predicting, right?


  • Obama-Biden 379 EVs
  • McCain-Palin 159 EVs
Popular vote:
  • Turnout: 130,000,000 votes
  • 70,000,000 Obama
  • 60,000,000 McCain
  • or Obama 54%-46% (neglecting third parties)

State-by state results:

Obama keeps all the other Kerry states and wins the "battleground" states of: FL, NC, VA, GA, OH, PA, MI, WI, MN, IA, MO, CO, NM, NV
GA is my long-shot pick. CW is it's out of reach, but turnout there may surprise us. Obama has made plays for IN, WV, AZ, and has a chance at LA, MT and the Dakotas, but I predict all of those will narrowly stay in the McCain column.

Here's my predicted map:


Dem 58
Rep 42

This includes Lieberman and Sanders in the Dem caucus, for the sake of argument.
Dem Pickups:
  • VA Warner (open)
  • NH Shaheen (Sununu)
  • NM Udall (open)
  • CO Udall (open)
  • AK Begich (Stevens)
  • OR Merkley (Smith)
  • NC Hagan (Dole)
I predict that Franken will fall short in MN, and none of our outside-shot seats in GA, KY, or MS will materialize. Landrieu in LA seems safe, and there are no other pickup opportunities for the GOP as far as I know. Note that I am contradicting myself a bit: if Obama does pull off the upset in GA, then Martin will probably also beat Chambliss. Bah. Who needs consistency?


Let's say a net Dem pickup of 20 seats for a Congress composed of 256 Dem to 178 Rep. That's a conservative estimate, but there have been a few setbacks in the House races recently. A big Obama night could conceivably run the Dems up to as much as 270 seats. That really would require running the table.


The cool map up there is courtesy of the Daily Kos Political Scoreboard. I don't care if you think DKos is a bunch of lefty haters, you've got to go check out the scoreboard. It's the coolest toy ever for a political junkie. You can of course play with the EV map, but you can also drill down to the state level, graphically looking at county-by county results, or individual congressional district results historically, all of which will be updated in real time on Tuesday. It's very very cool. Also, 538.com has a wealth of data on the current state of the races, and NBC's political guru Chuck Todd has a nice state-by-state walkthrough as well.

Okay, there it is. Now you all know that I am terribly, terribly wrong. Tell me where, and why. And be nice about it. We're all grown-ups here.


  1. I think Hillary jinxed us by mentioning that magical 60th seat, is what I think.

    Was that 359 electoral votes? Seems a little high, but I like it.

    Was that civilized enough?

  2. Pardon me, 379 EVs seems really high.

  3. Yeah, 379 EVs is high, but remember, Clinton got over 370 twice, and his wins were not huge (he never got more than 50%, for that matter). In fact, the seven presidential elections preceding the Bush era averaged 429 EVs for the winner.

    The point there is that even a relatively narrow election in the popular vote can result in an electoral blowout.

  4. Hey Shadowfax, how about us Washingtonians? What's the prediction for the Rossi/Gregoire race? I'm afraid it's going to be Rossi, but that has me shaking in my boots.

  5. Chambliss is even more of a scumbag than your standard politician, and frankly I find them all contemptible. I'm strongly hoping to see him embarassed. That being said, Georgia will be for McCain, narrowly, if you want a local's opinion (Albeit one who doesn't vote).

  6. I agree on Georgia, even though Obama's picked up some ground there since October 25. If you factor out Atlanta, most of Georgia is "deep South" Republican.

    I'm going with 364 EVs.

  7. LOL. Stop it, please. You’re killing me.

    The polls with the best historical records of accuracy all show Obama below 50%, with a lead of 4 to 5 percent, and undecideds at 8 to 10%. Even with no Bradley Effect, “the One” can still lose if the undecideds break for McCain in the battleground states.

    But there probably will be a Bradley Effect. In fact, the very states Obama needs to flip are states in which the BE has already appeared. In VA, for example, Wilder overpolled by 8%. In NC, Harvey Gantt overpolled by 10%. In OH, Blackwell overpolled by 4%.

    And the despite delusions of Nate Silver, et al, the world hasn’t changed that much since these elections. People still lie to pollsters, particularly when there is social pressure to produce a politically correct answer.

    Obama may well win, of course. The Obots have certainly been ginning up plenty of vote fraud (and vote suppression in VA) on his behalf. But, if he does, he will flip only two or three Bush states, and it’s VERY unlikely his EVs will exceed 300.

  8. How much will you donate to Shadowfax's favorite charity if you're wrong, Catron?

  9. I've already donated to his favorite charity (when he got his head shaved). However, I'm willing to bet a blogroll link.

    If I'm wrong, I'll put "Movin Meat" on my blogroll. Will Shadowfax take the bet and put a link to HCBS on his blogroll if Catron is right?

  10. Done. I'll go a bit further, and commit that if I lose, HCBS will be in the blogroll and the placement in the blogroll will be commemorated by a brief front-page article praising the author and his perspective on the healthcare system. I like these stakes.

    What shall the "spread" be? 270 is a low estimate based on current polls. It's like picking last year's Patriots to win by a field goal. My 379 is a best-case scenario. Shall we split the difference and say if Obama nets 324 or fewer EVs, Catron shall win. If Obama hits 325, he shall have covered the spread. Sound fair?

    I'll go with whatever spread you like.

  11. Then it's time to start the over-under on the Obama presidency.

    Anyone can play. Here's the table:

    ______ weeks until Obama loses the war.

    ______ months until people making $40k realize their taxes are going up

    ______ days until Iran nukes Israel.

  12. Anonymous 8:57:
    Please tell me what your definition of "losing" the war is? What is your definition of "winning" the war? Do you think we are "winning" now?

    People making under $40k a year will not be subject to a tax raise under Obama's tax policy. Please go to http://alchemytoday.com/obamataxcut/ to compare the 2 tax plans.

  13. Yes, we're winning the war. Obama will lose the war by leaving Iraq too early and in disgrace.

    I think it's guaranteed that $40k will see a tax increase. BO promised to roll back GWB's tax cuts and increase capital gains taxes. I know how much Bush's tax cuts saved me--and now I'll pay more.

    BO's promise of $250k as the threshold has already fallen, you know. It went to $200k, then Biden said it was $150k, now Bill Richardson said $120K. BO hasn't protested, and I'm sure he's heard it. He's not even elected, yet! How low will it go? Maybe that could be another over-under!

    Here it is:

    _______ as the real threshold of tax increases under Obama (my guess--$38k)

  14. From The One:

    "You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers."

    That's not exactly a tax...but it's going to cost the $40k people a lot of money they can't afford. And this is the stuff BO admits to.

  15. Shall we split the difference and say if Obama nets 324 or fewer EVs, Catron shall win. If Obama hits 325, he shall have covered the spread. Sound fair?

    You're on!

    I'll prepare a particularly reactionary post for the edification of my new readers.

  16. I won't hazard any guesses re numbers.
    What I WILL predict is that if Obama wins, we will ALL se our taxes rise, gov't get bigger, and our position in the world fall. I sincerely hope I am wrong on all counts, but I fully expect it from one who dumps on the comnmon man who dares to ask a question, and who promises to redistribute MY money.

  17. Did your map get hijacked? Because it certainly is showing a different outcome than you predicted.

  18. yeah - weird. The map changed. Don't know why. It's showing a bizarre map now, in fact.

  19. I kinda like the new map.

  20. catron-
    I hope your concession speech is as good as McCains.

    Congrats to Obama, the United States, and the World.


  21. Its now at 364 EV for Obama, you were close. And still waiting on two states + it seems like one of them will be headed in Obama's favor.

  22. Dang, Shadowfax, that was some pretty good predicting! GA was indeed too long a shot and MO is still pending, but nice work!


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