Who Am I?

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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

ELECTION PREDICTION, ELECTION DAY 2012






Obama
Toss Ups
Romney
263
69
206
315.2
0
222.8
201
146
191
290
57
191
201
146
191
303
0
235
294
24
220
271
70
191
243
89
206
237
95
206
253
0
285




EASTERN FOUR
EVs
538 odds Obama win %
Poll Tracker
Real Clear
Florida
29
53.1
Romney +1.2
Romney +1.5
North Carolina
15
72.5
Romney +1.2

Virginia
13
81.4
Obama +1.8
Obama +0.3
New Hampshire
4
86.2
Obama +2.8
Obama +2.0



BIG TEN
EVs
538 odds Obama win %
Poll Tracker
Real Clear
Pennsylvania
20
98.8
Obama +3.8
Obama +3.8
Ohio
18
91.8
Obama +2.4
Obama +2.9
Michigan
16
99.5
Obama +4.8
Obama +4.0
Minnesota
10
99.8
Obama +9.1
Obama +5.2
Wisconsin
10
97.2
Obama +5.3
Obama +4.2
Iowa
6
86.0
Obama +2.3
Obama +2.4



WESTERN TWO
EVs
538 odds Obama win %
Poll Tracker
Real Clear
Colorado
9
81.8
Obama +3.1
Obama +1.5
Nevada
6
94.4
Obama +4.7
Obama +2.8



WILD CARD
EVs
538 odds Obama win %
Poll Tracker
Real Clear
Arizona
11
97.9
Romney +7.4
Romney +7.5


This is Election Day. The candidates are scrambling for the last undecided voters in the states of Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Virginia, New Hampshire, and…. The big one: OHIO!

President Obama has seen a rebound in his polling numbers since that disastrous Denver debate. Nate Silver’s numbers show Obama’s re-election chances north of 85%, their highest since the Democratic National Convention. A series of swing state polls over the last couple of days show that Obama is the favorite.

Meanwhile, the momentum that Romney had after the first debate appears to have stalled if not completely grinded it to a halt. Even though Romney is reverently campaigning in Ohio, it is reported that his campaign pursued ads in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Romney even made a campaign appearance in Pennsylvania over the final 48 hours of the campaign.

Me thinks that the Romney campaign knows that they are in trouble in Ohio. If Obama wins Ohio, Mitt Romney better start writing his concession speech because Pennsylvania and Minnesota are long shots for the Republicans.

Again, let’s see what The Whiteboard says…



And it’s not just the Electoral Math, but the odds of Ohio being the deciding state are pretty good. Again, Nate Silver puts Ohio’s chances of being the deciding state at 49.8%. The next deciding state is Virginia with a 12.4% chance of being that state that puts a candidate over the top. Obama’s overall re-election odds are at 92.0%; Obama’s chance of winning Ohio is at 91.8%.

“As Ohio goes, so goes the nation.”

Another thing I find interesting is the disappearance of Rep. Paul Ryan from the campaign trail in October. Ryan was attending Republican fundraisers in Texas and Georgia. The Texas event featured Glenn Beck (there’s a name you haven’t heard of in a while) and former Vice-President Dick Cheney. Texas is not even a swing state…. Yet.

Hey, if you want to go and campaign in states that will not swing the Presidential Election, go on ahead. I think it is just a ploy to try to motivate the Republican base because remember the primary was not decided until late May with Romney’s victory in the (re-scheduled) Texas Primary. And even that had some dubious results… the Iowa Caucus, the rise and fall of the overtaking of the party by Ron Paul supporters which had some spillover into the convention, and the constant changing of positions.

Speaking of Rep. Ryan, the Associated Press put out a story about his plans after the election. Funny that none of them include Vice-President. I think it is important to see what the campaigns are NOT telling us. Both campaigns are saying they are going to win, but the Obama campaign has the Math on their side as shown in the tables and will be explained later on. I’m not going to argue Math (again, that is still my major to this day). With the election so close to concluding, the chances of there being a huge swing towards one candidate is very slim at this point.

Hurricane Sandy was the October Surprise that showed the President as someone who is willing to work with members of the other party in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) in order to solve the problems facing this country. Mr. Romney is an opportunist; his relief rally was a staged campaign event. His food collection drive was a disaster in that the Red Cross told him “We don’t need food; it just creates more work for us. Tell your supporters to donate money.”

Romney knew that if he didn’t do something while the President was tending to Sandy he was going to lose. At the same time, campaigning while the President was assessing relief efforts would cost him. Talk about a no-win situation.

You can probably tell that I have changed the names of my categories and re-arranged some states. In an election, you have to be willing to evolve your tactics and strategy. The Eastern Four is now Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Hampshire. The best chance Romney had of winning a New England state is now all but gone. New Hampshire was looking like it was trending Romney, but after the second and third Presidential debates, those chances are now gone.

Virginia looks like it is back in Obama’s category. North Carolina and Florida might be breaking for Obama. Florida more likely than North Carolina. It all depends on turnout and the Obama campaign has an excellent GOTV effort. Florida is a state to watch due to Governor Rick Scott’s (R) efforts to curb early voting and make it much more difficult to vote. During the brief early voting period in Florida, there have been reports of waits longer than 4 hours. When the time for voting ended on Saturday in Florida at 7, some voters were still in line. The rule is if you are in line when the polls close, you can still vote. All those voters that were still in line were not processed until 1 AM. Efforts were being made to extend Florida’s early voting to Sunday, but Governor Scott said no. I expect Election Day in Florida to be chaos.

And it’s not just in Florida where there are voting issues to watch for: North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, and Ohio also have some issues with voting. Hmmm… why those states… perhaps those are states where the Presidential Election will be decided. There are reports of various Secretaries’ Of State purging the voter rolls and provisional ballots are being thrown out.

Gotta love democracy, am I right?

The next category is the Big Ten. But there are only six states? These are states with colleges in the Big Ten Athletic Conference, which has twelve schools. Why don’t they call themselves the Big Twelve? Because there is a conference called the Big Twelve and it has ten schools. I know, confusing. We’ll talk sports another day; politics is the game here.

Anyways, six states are in the Big Ten category. Romney knows he is in trouble here. Polling in these six states are trending Obama. For starters, Romney’s lie about Jeep moving their factories from Ohio to China is not working. Ohio is doing better than the national unemployment of 7.9% and they follow the auto industry better than some people follow their fantasy football team. In fact Chrysler called Romney out on his lie. If a car salesman is saying you are lying, that’s something.

A pattern I have noticed that Nate Silver’s Ohio Obama odds are close to Obama’s odds nationally. Say it with me again: “As Ohio goes, so goes the nation.”

So… what is Romney to do if Ohio is not in play?

Michigan… oh wait a second: “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”

Iowa, but that has an affinity towards President Obama due to how his campaign in 2008 got started. Plus it only has 6 electoral votes. Romney can win the state, but still lose the Electoral College. Wisconsin, the home state of Paul Ryan, is not looking good.

How about Minnesota? I laughed when George Will of ABC’s This Week said Romney will win Minnesota citing the marriage definition bill that is on the ballot and the presidency on the recent broadcast. Opinions towards LGBTs have changed in the last 10 years; as a matter of fact, Gallup’s polling states that support for gay marriage is now in the majority. Oh and the latest Public Policy Polling information shows Minnesota rejecting the marriage definition bill 52-45.

George Will: probably great to go to a baseball game with, terrible when it comes to predictions.

Pennsylvania? It has 20 electoral votes and a good substitution for Ohio if things don’t go their way…. Problem is that the Romney campaign pulled out of The Keystone State a LONG time ago. You can’t expect to win a state where you suddenly re-start your state’s campaign operations THE WEEKEND BEFORE THE ELECTION!

Also, polling is showing that Obama is favored in the state and Silver shows Obama has a 98.8% chance of winning the state. Since 1992, Republican Presidential candidates have gone to Pennsylvania hours before Election Day. No Republican has won Pennsylvania from 1992 onward. The ploy to put Pennsylvania in play is a tell that the Romney campaign knows their paths to 270 are narrowing.

Winning the Big Ten will put Obama back in the White House.

PREDICTION TIME…

The best way I can describe my prediction is again falling back on Nate Silver’s probability numbers. Many people on the Right have accused him of some bias (and as the article points out, he faced this criticism when he started analyzing Baseball Stats in 2003), but you can’t deny that in 2008 he only missed one state in the Electoral College (I think it was Indiana, did anyone expect that state?) and correctly predicted every Senate Race.

In 2010, Silver correctly predicted that the Republicans would gain 6 new seats in the Senate (they got 7) and claim the House with 54 new seats (it was 60). In addition he was correct in 36 out of 37 gubernatorial races that year, which is a clip of 97.3%. I think in the post-mortem, Silver said that he UNDERPREDICTED the influence the Tea Party had on Congressional races which was why his numbers were lower than expected.

Silver places his emphasis on state polling which is the correct way to determine who is going to win the Presidency. National polls are great, but the problem with them is that you could end up over sampling a certain group of voters. If you focus on voters on the coasts, more than likely it will be skewed to Obama. Conversely, sampling a heavy number of voters in Texas and other southern states would probably skew the poll towards Romney.

Silver recently wrote a post that both exercised caution to his supporters (like myself) AND criticized his detractors. It appears that Silver’s data is proven true by the trends according to Talking Points Memo and Real Clear Politics which takes an aggregate of the polls. Silver in his methodology not only averages the polls, but also weighs the polls and sees when the poll was most recently conducted, which are most important in making these observations.

The way that I come to my conclusion is this. I start with states ≥ 90% chance of a candidate winning, then ≥ 80%, 75%, 70%, 60%, 55%... until I get to > 50%.

Here it is:


OBAMA
TOSSUP
ROMNEY
≥ 90%
271
76
191
≥ 80%
303
44
191
≥ 75%
303
44
191
≥ 70%
303
29
206
≥ 60%
303
29
206
≥ 55%
303
29
206
> 50%
332
0
206

I was typing this last night when I saw Nate Silver’s numbers showed that Florida is now in the Obama category and Ohio moved into the greater than 90% category.  If you go in descending order of probabilities, after you get through the 100% likely states, then Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Oregon which are in the greater than 95% range, Nevada is at 94.4%. Obama is at 253 electoral votes. Next is Ohio with its probability of 91.8%.

253 + 18 = 271. And 271 > 270, therefore Obama is re-elected President of the United States of America.

Proof over.

I really want to put Florida on our side… but I can’t. Too much craziness there. I think it is going for us. If it does, call it a nice surprise.

I had a feeling about 303 before I started making this prediction and I am sticking with it.



ELECTION 2012, PRESIDENT (PREDICTION)
EVs
Obama
303
Romney
235

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