Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Rant Wraith Prediction: Bush Wins

Rant Wraith is non-partisan. I'm a single issue voter who views the War Against Jihad as the number one priority and the candidate who can convince me that he is the best on this issue wins my vote. But as a former campaign staffer and ex-political science grad student I am fascinated by the electoral college strategies of the two campaigns. Basically I don't get the Kerry campaign strategy. How do they plan to win? Let's go to the map.

The LA Times provides an interactive electoral map for you to test your own ideas. Here's how I have it figured.

Bush wins the following states: AL, AZ, AK, AR, CO, GA, ID, IN, KA, KY, LA, MI, MT, NE, NV, NC, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WY for a basis 221 electoral votes. Bush won all these states in 2000, except Wisconsin which has 10 electoral votes this year.

Kerry wins the following states: CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, IA, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA, WV for a basis 221 electoral votes. Gore won all these states in 2000 except NH and WV which have 4 and 5 electoral votes respectively.

This leaves 5 states up for grabs: Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and of course Florida. These states are the whole race. In 2000 Bush won Missouri, Ohio and of course, Florida. Gore won Pennsylvania and Michigan. If this pattern continues Bush wins 279/259.

Bush seems to be ahead in Missouri for 11 electoral votes. And in Ohio for 20 electoral votes. And in Florida for 27 electoral votes. Pennsylvania is dead even as of August 26th. Kerry is ahead in Michigan for 17 electoral votes.

This puts Kerry in a very tight situation. If Bush holds MO and FL, and loses Michigan then he need only win either OH or PA, whereas Kerry would need to win all three. Bush could win PA, lose Missouri and Wisconsin and still win.

Let's give Missouri to Bush, Michigan to Kerry and focus on 3 tight states (FL, OH, PA, and MI). If Bush wins Florida (he is currently leading and the state has gone Republican in 3 of the last 4 races) and Kerry holds Pennsylvania then it's a tie at 259 and Ohio is the whole race. But Bush is leading in Ohio as of last week.

However, a 269 tie is a possibility. Bush wins Missouri, Ohio and Florida. Kerry wins PA, Michigan and Wisconsin. This sends the vote to the House where Bush wins. Ouch!

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