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View Diary: Second-to-Last Electoral College Analysis (171 comments)

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  •  FL, IA, MI, OH (none)
    Just under a week ago, WI looked like the closest state, and Bush's best chance.  In the last few days polls, it looks like Kerry has pulled away.  

    Bush's campaign in MI has cut Kerry's lead some but really hasn't increased Bush's totals there. Kerry still wins MI, with a bit of effort.  

    Ohio had been trending Kerry, but recently has moved back toward Bush.  Perhaps the diversions into MI and WI have helped him more in OH.  

    The early voting allowed in IA and FL helps increase turnout, and helps make Kerry competitive in those two states.  If either candidate wins both FL and OH, it's game, set, match.  But I wouldn't count on it; it will be close.

    The problem with ignoring Nader votes and others, is that you then end up overestimating the undecideds.  Nader won't get the 2.8% he got last time, but still could poll near 1%.  And "others" will poll another 1%, as in 2000.  The undecideds will break more in favor of Kerry, but there aren't nearly as many of them as there were in 2000.

    Kerry's strategy in the last two days should be to close the deal in MI, OH, FL, and IA.  Since half of the voters in FL or IA may have already voted by Tues., he should probably wrap it up in OH.  And he ought to pay a bit of attention to both Hawaii and New Hampshire.  Tracking polls are showing a late move toward Bush in NH; I doubt it will swing as it did in the last days of 2000, but it's not safe enough to ignore either.

    I think turnout will be good, but not that much more than 2000.  The state polls at this point in 2000 were generally accurate in every state except FL (and I think the polls there, which showed Gore winning, may have been more accurate than the official results).  

    This is my forecast from 2000.  Note that in FL, ARG had Gore up 49-44, while Zogby gave him a 6 point lead.  A large turnout may not help Kerry in every state.  Since I'm not convinced even a large turnout will deliver FL, that's even more reason I think Kerry needs to throw everything he's got at Ohio.  

    Safe/Lean Bush - AL AK AZ AR CO GA ID IN KS KY LA MS MO MT NE NV NM NC ND OK SC SD TN TX UT VA WV WY - 232

    Tossups - FL IA OH - 54

    Safe/Lean Kerry - CA CT DE DC HI IL ME MD MA MI MN   NH NJ NY OR PA RI VT WA WI - 252

    The Math here is simple, folks.  Bush needs both OH & FL to win.  Kerry can lose FL & IA, and still win if he can win OH.

    This may be why Bush has been running around lately trying to pick off unlikely states like MI or HI.  But that also may be a distraction.  I'd bet his gameplan is still to win OH, as well as FL.  The forecast of early in the campaign, that Ohio could be this years Florida, remains valid two days before the election.  

    •  One Flaw (none)
      In your logic is that you list Wisconsin as safe for Kerry.
      If you move Wisconsin to the Tossup column, then Bush can win without Ohio, by winning Iowa and Wisconsin along with Florida.  
      Or he can win Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and lose Florida and it would be 269-269, which would be a Bush win in Congress, unless one of the Bush electors didn't vote.

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