Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election prediction

By Infidel753

If pressed to give my best guess as to what the election result will be, here's what I'd come up with.

First, it seems that the conflict between state polls showing Obama ahead in most swing states, and national polls showing a tie or a slight Romney lead, is being resolved in favor of the former. The Rasmussen and Gallup national polls are shifting toward Obama. So I feel confident that Obama will win New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, where his polls leads, small or large, have been consistent.

I feel equally confident about Nevada, and almost as much so about Colorado. As I pointed out here (4th paragraph), there's empirical evidence that conventional polling in the Southwest undercounts Hispanics, and therefore understates Democratic support.

That leaves Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida, which look too close to call according to the data we have. However, based on the momentum being in Obama's direction in the last few days, I'm going to go out on a limb and call all three of them for Obama, though I expect his margins in those states to be narrow.

Arizona is intriguing. It's been a red state, but the latest poll shows Obama behind by only 53%-46%, and the under-polling of Hispanics in the Southwest could mean the real gap is quite a bit narrower.  Some polls have shown the Arizona Senate race very close. The fact that the Democratic Senate candidate is himself Hispanic could increase Hispanic turnout. I think Romney will still win the state, but the margin might be close enough to throw a scare into the Republicans.

So here's my prediction:

This yields an Electoral College landslide of 347-191. Note that even if Obama loses Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida -- the three states I'm least confident about -- he would still win 290-248. So even if Florida delivers another hanging-chad 50-50 nightmare like in 2000, the national outcome won't depend on it.

I know that 347-191 is a bigger landslide than almost any serious pundit is predicting, but this is my honest sense of where things stand. I expect Obama's popular-vote margin to be smaller than in 2008 but still big enough to quell credible Republican claims of having been robbed or cheated in some way.

In any case, we could know the outcome pretty early tomorrow evening. If Florida is called for Obama, it's game over -- Romney has no chance. If Florida is called for Romney or is too close to call right away, it will take longer to know the national winner.

For the Senate, Baldwin and Warren will win in Wisconsin and Massachusetts, giving us our first openly-LGBT Senator and an intelligent, outspoken populist who fully understands the urgent problem of the financial parasite class and skyrocketing economic inequality, and isn't afraid to speak bluntly about it. Akin and Mourdock will lose in Missouri and Indiana, despite their presumed lock on the rapist vote -- once again the teabaggers will have thrown away what should have been easy Republican wins, as they've already brought down Richard Lugar, a survivor from the old days when the right wing still produced intellectual heavyweights. Nelson will win for us in Florida.

I don't think Kerrey can win in Nebraska, unfortunately. He's done superbly in such a red state, but it's just too red.

Heitkamp and Tester do have a real chance in North Dakota and Montana respectively. Heitkamp has run a great grassroots campaign and some polls have shown a tie, while the latest from Montana actually shows Tester ahead two points. Too close to call, but if we achieve an Obama landslide, his coattails just might pull them over the top.

In Arizona, Carmona is behind by only four points; if Hispanic turn-out far exceeds expectations (see above), he might just win this one for us.

The bottom line: Our Senate majority will increase.

I haven't been following any of the House races closely enough to say anything intelligent about them.  It sounds like we'll make gains, but not quite enough to take back the majority. Booman Tribune, whose opinion I respect, thinks there's a chance.

So there you have it. Only a fool would claim certainty, and complacency would be positively dangerous, but my expectation is a big win. In about 12 hours, we should know.

Update : Republican site Race42012's map looks like mine except that it gives those three toss-up states -- Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida -- to Romney, still leaving Obama with a winning 290 electoral votes. See also this analysis of Romney's fading chances. 

(Cross-posted at Infidel753.)

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