Thursday, October 28, 2004

My Fuzzy Math

Wrote my election prediction for the Standard. Here are my Electoral College totals: Bush 271 to Kerry 267

Of course, it would take only a medium-sized news story over the weekend to cause an electoral landslide. A shift in voter sentiment worth less than 5 points could allow either candidate to take off like a struggling kite that finally catches some wind.

However, I’m calling this small win for Bush in the belief that no new vote-killing stories—like Bush’s DUI or anything from the Kerry Vietnam and/or antiwar files—are left to break. My operating assumptions buck only the conventional wisdom that late undecided voters break for the challenger.

In my electoral tally, I award Pennsylvania and Ohio to Kerry, the latter because he has more intensity there—more campaign and candidate presence and more voter-registration workers. Michigan, too, goes for the senator. When I was in Detroit a few weeks ago, the local radio station was running a contest in which, instead of direct cash prizes, winning callers would see their worst household bill paid off by the radio station. To me, that says "Democratic territory." Also, the Dems’ get-out-vote efforts in Michigan in 2000 were impressive and made all the difference. Kerry’s pander on the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste controversy in Nevada, I am guessing, will work. And Minnesota, where the polls seem to favor Kerry, seems ripe for an anti-Bush vote.

Inversely, I believe the hype about Bush taking Florida. Where security issues and terror get big play, I think Bush enjoys an advantage and I’m heartened by the importance the good citizens of Florida have attached to the issue of Sami Al-Arian.

So, Kerry gets Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, Maine, Minnesota, Ohio. Bush gets Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nevada, West Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. I think I’ve counted correctly, though my sloppy notes make me wonder. The margin of error might in my own bad handwriting.

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