October 21, 2004

State by State

There are a raft of state-level polls out today to mull over.

Florida: Bush 48 - Kerry 47

Light-red Mason-Dixon:
Colorado: Bush 49 - Kerry 43
Missouri: Bush 49 - Kerry 44
New Hampshire: Bush 48 - Kerry 45
Ohio: Bush 46 - Kerry 45
West Virginia: Bush 49 - Kerry 44
Nevada: Bush 52 - Kerry 42

Light-blue Mason-Dixon , according to unofficial reports:

Pennsylvania: Bush 45 - Kerry 46
Oregon: Bush 45 - Kerry 46
Iowa: Bush 49 - Kerry 43
Wisconsin: Bush 45, Kerry 45
New Mexico: Bush 49 - Kerry 44
Michigan: Bush 46 - Kerry 47
Minnesota: Bush 47 - Kerry 45

Let's experiment, for a moment, with the "Incumbent Rule" theory, that Bush's level of support is the one to pay attention to. As Mark Blumenthal puts it, "If the average result of all the final polls (including undecided) puts Bush's percentage at 50% or higher, the President will likely win. If Bush's percentage is 48%-49%, the race is headed for a photo finish. At 47% or lower, the President will likely lose." There are still 12 days to go in the race, which is to say these aren't final polls, and there's no clear pattern in how undecideds break prior to the final polls. So let's relax the standard by a point: if Bush's support is at 49% or higher, give him the state; 46% or lower, give Kerry the state; 47-48%, call it a toss up-- for the 2000 blue states. The profile of the undecided voter presumably varies by state, so for the 2000 red states, let's relax the standard by two points: if Bush's support is at 48% or higher, give him the state; 45% or lower, give Kerry the state, 46-47%, call it a toss-up

That gives Bush Florida, Colorado, Missouri, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Nevada, Iowa and New Mexico, and gives Kerry Pennsylvania, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Now go to the LA Times interactive electoral college map, and give Washington and New Jersey to Kerry and Arkansas and Virginia to Bush. Then assign the states mentioned above as indicated. Regardless of the result in Ohio, Minnesota, and Maine, Bush has already won.

But wait: Now apply the tighter standard that we used for the 2000 blue states to the 2000 red states. Kerry gains Ohio, and Bush loses New Hampshire and Florida. All of a sudden, Bush needs to pick up Florida and at least one other state. Anything less, and Kerry wins.

Conclusion: a tiny shift in assumptions can turn the meaning of a data set around nearly 180 degrees. Remember this when you hear voices on either side of the fence taking any particular comfort in the polls.

Posted by John Tabin at October 21, 2004 03:49 PM

Another point which I believe figured into the 2000 race is vote fraud. Massive vote fraud led to the photo-finish then, and the Democrats are gearing up for even more fraud in this election. I think any assessment of the point spread needs to consider this to make an accurate prediction. I don`t think it makes sense to relax the rule for the President-he will have to make up for the fraud. President Bush needs over 50% to win this.

Posted by: Tim Birdnow at October 21, 2004 07:03 PM

I find it amusing that the Dems are howling about fraud. The fraud in the United States over many years has been almost always in big cities which are controlled by DEMOCRATS. I hope the Dems miscalculate and sue over nonsense and alientate everyone.

Posted by: ltabin at October 21, 2004 09:43 PM

haha yeah Lee that would be great.

Posted by: aoeuo at October 22, 2004 01:23 AM

I live in St. Louis, which is an entirely Democrat controlled city. The election of 2000 was the dirtiest, most fraud-ridden election I have ever seen. The Democrats had BUSSES going from polling place to polling place to allow their people multiple votes. Congressman Lacy Clay obtained a court order from a judge his father had appointed to keep the polls open late (this was overturned, but after the polls remained open an extra hour.) Every polling place in the city had operatives yelling and screaming and generally causing chaos. These people weren`t arrested because the polls were controlled by the Democrat machine in St. Louis.

The vote fraud alone accounted for Jim Talent losing the governorship, John Ashcroft losing the Senate, as well as a number of minor state races. You liberals can accuse Republicans of fraud all you want-to see the real thieves you need to look in the mirror. Where were all the problems? Isn`t it strange that they were all in Democrat controlled areas.

I stand by my prediction-the Democrats will try all possible avenues to steal this election. The President will have to overcome an extra deficit to win.

Posted by: Tim Birdnow at October 22, 2004 07:58 AM

speaking of fraud --- I was wondering if the voters in NJ would let the Democrats in their state steal another election and they did.

No public outcry and no serious demands for his imediate resignation so there will be no special election for the disgraced governor.

What a joke.

The worst fraud of all in 2000 were those ( insert very bad word here) voting officials throwing out all those military ballots.

I would like to see those people go to prison for that.

Some have no shame what so ever.

Posted by: John McCommas at October 24, 2004 06:16 PM