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View Diary: Electoral Vote Math: Obama 193, Romney 0 (106 comments)

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  •  I prefer this kind of analysis. makes everything (6+ / 0-)

    Clearer.

    •  On the other hand (20+ / 0-)

      the media's attempt to make this look like a really close horse race actually helps us make sure we can turn out our voters to win down ballot races.

      Winning the White House isn't enough. We need to take back the House and hang on to the Senate, too. And there are plenty of state and local races around this country that need a boost, also.

      •  The media always do that (6+ / 0-)

        And something like this points up that national polls are pretty much junk.

        Our presidential elections aren't won at the national level. They're won state by state. As was shown in 2000, winning the popular vote nationwide isn't what's important. It's how many states you win.

        If all that was important was the national overall totals, presidential candidates would concentrate on winning huge majorities in California, Texas, the mid atlantic states, and maybe Illinois and the surrounding states.

        Win huge majorities there, and nothing else matters.

        The way it is now, you have to win a majority of the STATES, not the popular vote.

        I think that's better.

        •  A majority of the states (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE, sidnora, elwior, pademocrat

          doesn't necessarily even translate into a majority of the electoral votes, either.

        •  Also, the way it is now is worse: (0+ / 0-)

          The notion that a candidate could focus on a handful of populous states is not realistic.  Simple reason:  Most states don't have large majorities.  

          Ironically, what you describe is possible in the electoral college system, where you can win 11 states by one vote and take home the prize (CA, TX, NY, FL, IL, PA, OH, GA, MI, NC, and NJ).  

          The way things are now, candidates ignore states like Texas and California.  Not because they're out to win Delaware's three votes, but because the outcome is predetermined.  If you win by one vote, you get 55 electoral votes in CA, and 38 in TX.  If you lose by one vote, you get zero.  If you lose by a million votes, you also get zero.  One reliably votes Dem, the other Rep, so there's no point wasting your time or money.  

          The same goes for smaller states--- those where it's close get attention, the others are ignored.

          I can tell you from experience:  I've lived in Oklahoma (7 EV), Massachusetts (11), Texas (38) and now in Kansas (6).   Presidential candidates ignore all these states because the outcome is decided in all of them.  I can count the number of Presidential campaign ads I've seen on my hands, apart from the Republican primaries in Texas.  

          In none of these states did my vote for presidential electors have a chance of making a difference, and in none of these states did a presidential candidate bother to make an effort.  That's the cost, and the benefit, if such exists, does not go to the smaller states.  It goes to the undecided ones.

          Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

          by nominalize on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 06:10:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nate's overall simulations give Romney a 27% (7+ / 0-)

        chance of winning, which is the more relevant number.  A 1 in 4 chance of Mitt Romney is too high for comfort, IMHO.

        •  Yes, but "one in four" is not quite exactly (0+ / 0-)

          like rolling dice. There are probabilities and then there are probabilities, IMO. Seems to me that the electorate do not vote like dice, i.e., completely randomly. They vote (if they vote) in very predictable patterns, and only very infrequently cross over. I really think more needs to be said about "probabilities of winning" when persons with history and political persuasion are concerned. Dice have no memory.

          •  Nate's model doesn't assume people are (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            scottsvine, docmidwest

            quite as random as dice.  They're weighted dice, dependent on conditions in the US that have effects on other dice.

            The fact is that if the unemployment rate starts to rise drastically, or Romney manages to Swift Boat Obama, or there's some other upset for some reason (Like the dead rising again - I'm sure Nate's model accounts for this), people's votes may change in large enough numbers to affect the election.

            Also, there are still some people, shockingly, who may not have decided who to vote for, or who may change their mind based on the most recent events, or who may stay home, unhappy about both candidates.

            All it takes is a 2 or 3% shift of the votes of the right voters in the right states, and Romney could very well still win - while the aggregate polling has been remarkably stable for the last 3 month, there's no guarantee it will continue to be so in the next two.  Look at how things shifted in the Republican primary - admittedly, shifts are more common when candidates are not as well known, and have more similar positions, but polling in the presidential race has been unusually stable this year.  There's no guarantee that won't change.

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