My final 2008 election predictions (Nevada decides)

It is one week from that fateful morning where we will all know who the next President will be (baring a repeat of the 2000 election). Here are my final predictions about the Presidential Election.

I still reserve the right to adjust my predictions as new information comes available, but that will probably only find its way into the “tossup” and “surprises” sections. This total electoral count for each candidate is my final prediction.

********** OBAMA: 370 **********

Hawaii (4)
Washington (11)
Oregon (7)
California (55)
Nevada (5)
Colorado (9)
New Mexico (5)
Montana (3) ***
North Dakota (3) ***
Minnesota (10)
Iowa (7)
Missouri (11) ***
Wisconsin (10)
Illinois (21)
Michigan (17)
Ohio (20)
Pennsylvania (21)
New York (31)
Virginia (13)
New Hampshire (4)
Maine (4)
Massachusetts (12)
Rode Island (4)
Vermont (3)
Connecticut (7)
New Jersey (15)
Delaware (3)
Maryland (10)
Washington D.C. (3)
Virginia (13)
North Carolina (15) ***
Florida (27)

********** MCCAIN: 168 **********

Alaska (3)
Idaho (4)
Utah (5)
Arizona (10)
Wyoming (3)
South Dakota (3)
Nebraska (5)
Kansas (6)
Oklahoma (7)
Texas (34)
Arkansas (6)
Louisiana (9)
Mississippi (6)
Alabama (9)
Georgia (15)
South Carolina (8)
Tennessee (11)
Kentucky (8)
Indiana (11) ***
West Virgina (5)

********** TOSSUPS: 43 **********

Montana (3) – Called for Sen. Obama

Montana has a proven track record of reflecting the national vote rather accurately (1996 aside). The independent Constitution Party of Montana went to great lengths to get Ron Paul on the ballot despite his request to be removed. This is symptomatic of a large wing of the Republican party which dislikes Sen. McCain enough to never vote for him. My guess is they will all stay home on election day, show up for Sen. Obama, or vote 3rd Party easily throwing the state to Sen. Obama.

North Dakota (3) – Called for Sen. Obama

In general, traditionally Republican voters in the northern states are more libertarian leaning and dislike the new brand of neoconservationism McCain is represents. Also, many staunch conservatives up north don’t trust Sen. McCain’s conservative bona fides. It just so happens that in North Dakota, these voters probably represent enough votes to swing the election either way. Therefore, North Dakota will also go to Sen. Obama.

Missouri (11) – Called for Sen. Obama

Missouri has an interesting history in Presidential elections. With one exception, since 1900, they have consistently voted for the winner (Adlai Stephens in 1956? What was up with that?). As Missouri goes, so does the rest of the nation? It went very strongly in favor of President Clinton in ’92, but less so in ’96. In 2000 President Bush barely won Missouri, but despite sinking popularity, he pulled out a stronger victory in ’04. My guess is that Missouri hasn’t actually been trending more Republican – but that Democrats in Missouri have been trending more apathetic. Despite poll numbers of “likely” voters showing a dead heat in the race in Missouri, my guess is that Democrats in Missouri are finally going to wake up and go represent for Sen. Obama on Election Day.

North Carolina (15) – Called for Sen. Obama

Similar to Missouri, this race appears to be in a dead heat with Sen. Obama trending up and Sen. McCain trending down. Similar to Missouri, I think unlikely voters (and therefore un-polled) will show up in droves to support Sen. Obama. Not similar to Missouri is the issue of the unpredictable effect of black voters (who trend Democratic) turning out in greater numbers for Sen. Obama in this election. In my opinion, these factors are sure to Obama over the top in North Carolina.

Indiana (11) – Called for Sen. McCain

This was probably the hardest call for me to make. I want to think that Indiana will tell a similar story to Missouri and North Carolina. Still, the state went to President Bush in 2004 with a 20% margin. I think it is going to be uncomfortably close for the Republicans, but in the end Sen. McCain will pull it out.

338-381 – Obama – winner
157-200 – McCain


Nevada (5) – Called for Sen. Obama

Nevada is always a tossup state. There was strong disappointment over Sen. McCain getting the nomination over local favorites Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul. The Nevada Republican Convention started to elect a full slate of Ron Paul delegates to the National Convention so the neocons adjourned the meeting and held an illegal phone-in selection behind the the state delegates backs. There are a lot of pissed off Republicans in Nevada who want to see Sen. McCain go down. That, combined with the “enthusiasm for Obama” factor is why I think Nevada is a lock for Sen. Obama. Still, the McCain campaign could pull off a stunning get-out-the-vote effort and pull this one out. I highly doubt this will happen.

Louisiana (9) – Called for Sen. McCain

Similar to Montana and Nevada, many Republicans in Louisiana are very disgruntled over Sen. McCain taking the nomination (his winning the primary there was also very controversial within the state and involved several shady backroom deals). Also, considering New Orleans’ anger with the Republican party and the expectation that un-polled black voters will turn out in droves for Sen. Obama means this state could be a huge surprise this year, even though it looks as if Sen. McCain will has it safely tucked away under the great Republican Southern Belt.

Mississippi (6) – Called for Sen. McCain

If Louisiana goes for Sen. Obama, then really every southern state is on the line. Although highly unlikely, who knows? Stranger things have happened.

Georgia (15) – Called for Sen. McCain

Same story here as in Louisiana and Mississippi, although I think this is more than Mississippi to wind up surprising pollsters (although less likely than Nevada).

West Virgina (5) – Called for Sen. McCain

I tend to think that West Virginia will remain a strongly Republican state for a very long time, but this state is somewhat of a mystery to me. For a brief while, some pollsters were calling it for Sen. Obama or indicating that he was surprisingly close. Then, as quickly as that news came it disappeared, and West Virginia was polling very favorably for Sen. McCain again. Is there something else going on here with a mass of “considered unlikely” voters waiting in the wings to show up for Sen. Obama on election day? Who knows? This election may have many surprises in store for us.

******* WHAT ABOUT…? *******

Florida (27) – Called for Sen. Obama

Every since the 2000 election, all eyes will be on Florida for a very time. Fortunately, it will report its results rather early, and I’m pretty sure these results will be in favor of Sen. Obama. I tend to think Florida is Republican leaning, although polls indicate Sen. Obama is picking up momentum and pulling away here. The key is that the organization of the Obama campaign is unrivaled and their pockets are deep. They’re dumping massive amounts of cash into Florida and will have an amazing get-out-the-vote drive on Election Day, spearheaded by volunteers from all over the nation. Pollsters say this state is close. I say, on election day, polls don’t mean a thing: all that counts is who actually shows up, and I’m betting the Obama campaign will have every last Obama supporter in a voting booth before the day is over.

Ohio (20) – Called for Sen. Obama

This is almost the exact same story as Florida. Obama is pulling away in the polls. The Obama campaign is making this a central front. This Obama campaign has more money, is better organized, and far more effective than the McCain campaign and therefore will execute a better get-out-the-vote drive. And finally, polls generally only indicate how “likely” voters will vote. Sen. Obama will surly pull in more “unlikely” voters than Sen. McCain because of the enthusiasm factor. Just like Florida, I think this one will be obvious before you go to bed on Election Night, and I think it will be bright blue.

Pennsylvania (21) – Called for Sen. Obama

The McCain campaign seems to think this is the key state that will lead them to victory. However, ever since capturing a polling lead in May, Sen. Obama has been consistently polling further and further ahead of Sen. McCain here – most recently with a 10%+ lead. I doubt the win will be that big, but I do think the McCain campaign is dreaming on this one.

******** A FINAL WORD ********

Even if Sen. Obama loses all of his tossup states (32 electorates), and Nevada (5), Ohio (20), and Florida (27), this still leaves him with a lead of

286 – Obama – winner
252 – McCain

Now, let us suppose that the McCain campaign pulls out a miracle win in Pennsylvania (21) as well. This is the ONLY scenario through which Sen. McCain can defeat Sen. Obama, and it will only be with a narrow margin of victory:

273 – McCain – winner
265 – Obama

However, in this scenario, if Nevada (5) still comes through for Sen. Obama, Sen. Obama will win the election. Remember, Mitt Romney won Nevada caucus and even Ron Paul finished well ahead of Sen. McCain. Even though the nomination was a lock for Sen. McCain Nevada went on to almost elected an entire slate of Ron Paul delegates to the national convention and then were shut out by some very shady proceedings which even the National Republican Party said were illegal… I’m almost certain that plenty of Nevada Republicans can’t stand Sen. McCain and therefore Nevada will go to Sen. Obama.

270 – Obama – winner
268 – McCain

If any state will decide the election this time around, it won’t Florida, it won’t be Ohio, and it won’t even be Pennsylvania… it will be Nevada. If Nevada goes to Sen. Obama, all the rest of the tossup states don’t even matter.

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