Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wild-ass guess

Guessing the number of electoral votes in the coming election is like guessing the number of jelly beans in a big glass jar at the county fair. Televised pundits do it in self-serious tones that suggest they get paid waaay too much. Bloggers have a lot more fun with guessing, for instance, this contest (now closed) at KnoxViews.

Since I was slipping in my own silly guess at the last minute, I was out of time to try to figure an advantageous guess in the contest, and I just said what I thought. Using the CNN electoral map calculator, here are the states and how I called them:

That's 353 for Obama and 185 for McCain. I awarded Obama all the big toss-ups - Florida (27), Ohio (20), and North Carolina (15), but I just couldn't see him taking Indiana (11) or Missouri (11) even though he may, and North Dakota (3) - are you kidding me? Even if McCain takes all six of these, he loses unless he turns around Pennsylvania (21) and another state.

The last is no doubt why Nate Silver at is so optimistic:

The mode of his simulations is about 380! This is so optimistic it scares the hell out of me.

I only realized this morning that my Obama total of 353 is one of Silver's model's most likely outcomes.

In any case, this looks like an election that's not close enough to even try to steal.

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