Sunday, August 26, 2012

Election Analysis

Let’s take a look at the Electoral College forecast. From the states that are not seriously being contested, Obama gets 226 votes, [fn. 1] and Romney gets 183. [fn. 2] There are 133 votes from states that can be called toss-ups. Although toss-ups by definition are states where the popular vote is close, Nate Silver is able to calculate the odds of a state going one way or the other.  Of the so-called toss-up states, consider only the ones where Nate Silver gives Obama a better than 2-1 chance of winning.

Here they are with their electoral votes: New Hampshire (4), Nevada (6), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), and Wisconsin (10) for a total of 58 electoral votes. When added to his safe votes, he has a total of 284, fourteen more than necessary for a victory. In other words, he must win Ohio, Pennsylvania, and either Wisconsin or Nevada

To deny him victory, Romney needs to  take North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes and he has a 70% chance of doing so. He also needs to win Florida’s 29 electoral votes. He is has a little better than 50-50 chance of winning there: 51-49.   But Florida and North Carolina only bring him to 226 Electoral Votes. 

To get the other 44 needed to win he has to pick up votes in other states where Obama is predicted to win but with a less than 2:1 probability. Here are the three with their Electoral Votes and the odds of an Obama win: Colorado, (6; 63-37), Iowa (6; 65-35), and Virginia (13; 64-36). That will get him part of the way there, but still 16 votes short of a victory. Turning Wisconsin – Paul Ryan’s home state  and New Hampshire won’t do the trick. So, again, if he can’t win Wisconsin, and Nevada, he has to beat the odds and win either Ohio (68-33 for Obama) or Pennsylvania (89-12 for Obama).

And thats why I am not scared out of my mind about the prospect of a Romney presidency. But it only works if Democrats go to the polls.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

[1] CA 55, CT 7, DE 3, HI 4, IL 20, MA 11, MD 10, Me 4, MI 10, MN 10, NJ 14, NM 5, NY 29, OR 7, RI 4, SC 9, VT 3, WA 12, DC 3.

[2] AL 9, AK 3, AR 6, AZ 11, GA 16, ID 4, IN 11, KS 6, KY 8, LA 8, MO 10, MS 6, MT 3, ND 3, NE 5, OK 7, SD 3, TN 11, TX 38, UT 6, WV 5, WY 3.

No comments: