Friday, October 08, 2004

Poll pot discussion

The latest from Zogby (in WSJ online) is that Kerry has managed to take the lead in several key battleground states. In fact, only West Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri are Bush's (and within the margin of error). My favorite of all of these is the 6.6% lead Kerry has in New Hampshire. Poli sci majors will always tell you that New Hampshire always goes to the winner, so that is very encouraging. The electoral college is what counts though. If Zogby's numbers are on the mark (and they usually are) and the election were held today, Kerry would win.

To analyze Zogby's results, we begin by assuming that the District of Columbia and the 34 states that aren't in the battleground poll will vote for the same political party this November as they did in the 2000 election. Thus, Mr. Bush starts with 189 electoral votes and Mr. Kerry with 172. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.

To those numbers, we add the electoral votes from the latest poll, regardless of the margins of error or the spread between the candidates. Mr. Kerry's 13 states have 150 electoral votes, while Mr. Bush's three have 27 votes. The bottom line: Mr. Kerry would have 322 electoral votes and the president would have 216.

Super duper cool. A lot of things could happen between now and Nov. 2, but it looks like Kerry's reputation of being a good closer is in no danger of being proven false.

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