Alright folks, I’m about to sit down and decide who is going to be our next president. Yes, that’s right… when none of the news networks or even their pollsters have the balls to make the call, I’m about to do just that. And mark my words: I’ll be correct. Watch me.
No, I’m not going to make a random call. I’ve spent a couple hours reviewing every fucking poll I can find for each of the battle ground states and now I’m prepared to play out a couple of scenarios.
Before I can create any scenarios, I have to make several assumptions with regard to states that everyone seems to feel pretty confidently will go one way or another. I’ll start with the most obvious and work my way down. It’s a given that Kerry will take California, Connecticut, DC, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. That’s 146 electoral votes for Kerry. It’s a given that Bush will take 18 states of his own, which I’m not going to list out here. This gives Bush 144 electoral votes. Pretty even ground so far. Kerry is damn likely to take Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Washington. That’s another 33 for Kerry. Bush is just as likely to take Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Virginia. 49 for Bush. Here’s where things get a bit iffy. Maine, Michigan, and Oregon are all leaning towards Kerry. That’s 28 for him. Colorado, North Carolina, and West Virginia are all leaning towards Bush. So, 29 for Bush.
Now… based on all of the above, which is an almost, kind-of, but not really safe bet, Kerry has 207 and Bush has 222. Keep in mind that it takes a majority of 270 to win.
Here’s where the fun begins. There are 9 states left that represent a whopping 109 electoral votes. They will be the ones to decide the election, but the pollsters are all too pussy to call them because they know that if they’re wrong, it’ll look like shit. Well, I don’t give a fuck how I look… So, based on all the poll data I could find, here’s how I’m calling them… Zogby, Research 2000, ARG, and Gallop all give Iowa to Bush by a margin of approximately a single point. Not much of a margin, but since they all agree, 7 for Bush. Zogby, Rasmussen, and Research 2000, and some radio polls give Nevada to Bush by a larger margin. Another 5 for Bush. UNH Tracking, Franklin-Pierce, Rasmussen are giving New Hampshire to Kerry. 4 more for Kerry. I’m tired of listing specific polls. Bush gets New Mexico… that’s 5 more. Kerry gets Pennsylvania in several polls by a margin of 3 points. Score 21 for Kerry.
Now… after all that… Bush is at 239 and Kerry is at 232, and 4 states are still left. This is so close it’s fucking ridiculous. The states I haven’t called are within a fraction of a percentage, which is so close that no polls agree. The problem is that none of the states are small. Minnesota and Wisconsin are both worth 10 votes, Ohio is worth 20, and the bastard state of Florida is worth 27. These states can’t be ignored. So, here’s where the scenarios begin.
My first scenario is – and at this point I’m basically just guessing – Kerry takes Minnesota, Kerry takes Wisconsin, Kerry takes Ohio, and Bush takes Florida. This would result in a win for Kerry. However, if Bush wins any of the three that I just gave to Bush, he takes all.
There are two more complications to keep in mind. One is that a lot of the polls I considered tend to lean liberal. If that holds true this year, Bush will win one of my four true battleground states. Second is that these polls do not include cell phone users. That means that a lot of kids my age, who have completely abandoned land lines for cell phones, have not been included in the polls. K5 had a good article about this. Kids my around age (19) tend to lean liberal. So, this could mean a surprise bounce for Kerry.
One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet, which happens to be one of the most important things to consider, is the incumbent rule. The Incumbent Rule, as I understand it, basically states that in an election involving an incumbent, people tend to consider whether or not they want to keep the incumbent before even beginning to consider the possibility of voting for the challenger. If voters think both candidates suck, they tend to break for the challenger at the last minute. I’ve heard a lot of people say they hate both candidates *cough* Michael Moore and followers *cough*, so this could result in the jump Kerry needs to take a majority of the final four. A better explanation of the incumbent rule and evidence to support it can be found here.
All in all, this is the closest race I’ve ever heard of and will probably be the closest race all of us will live to see. All things considered, unless a major news event occurs, which is *very* possible, I’m betting that Kerry will win.