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Polls Show Obama Victory Beyond Margin of Error
By Andrew First
UPDATE October 31: Colorado moved to solidly Obama, and therefore White House solidly Obama.
2008 Presidential Election Analysis, November 4, 2008
Introduction: On December 6, 2008, 538 electors will cast their votes for President and Vice President of the United States. A candidate must receive 270 votes to win. These electors will be chosen on November 4, with a popular vote within each state, with a winner take all system in 48 states, and the District of Columbia. Maine and Nebraska award 2 electoral votes to the winner of the state at large, as well as one vote for the winner of each congressional district. Although in about half of the states, electors are bound by law to vote for their chosen candidate, electors in other states face no such constraints. Occasionally an electoral vote is cast for someone other than the candidate, however, this is very rare, and is always done to make a statement. No elector would take such a risk in a very close electoral contest.
States and DC that were blue in 2004 = 252 electoral votes
Obama has leads in the opinion polls well outside the margin of error, and in most cases a double digit lead.
Iowa and New Mexico = 12 electoral votes
Obama has leads in the opinion polls well outside the margin of error.
Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina = 152 electoral votes
McCain has leads in the opinion polls well outside the margin of error, and in most cases a double digit lead.
Obama Winning Scenarios:
Toss Up - These states have all voted Republican in recent presidential elections, with some not voting blue since Johnson’s 1964 landslide win.
Obama could win one of these states:
Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, or Colorado.
Obama could win both of these states:
North Dakota and Montana.
Obama and McCain would tie* if Obama wins
Nevada or West Virginia (and no other toss up states).
* If no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes (a tie), the House of Representatives chooses the president with each state delegation getting one vote. Currently 27 states have a Democratic majority House delegation.
Caveats: There are caveats that may affect the outcome of this election.
1.Potential disenfranchisement of voters: Voters in poor urban areas are much more likely to vote for Obama than McCain. These voters are also most likely to fall victim to efforts to challenge voter eligibility.
2.Election result integrity: In several jurisdictions, the majority of votes will be cast on electronic machines leaving no “paper trail”. In Ohio in 2004, the exit poll results did not match up with the official vote total. Without a “paper trail”, there is no way to verify the official vote if there is a discrepancy with exit poll results.
3.Under representation of probable Obama voters: One third of Americans aged 18-25 have no land line, thus would not be in the pool of probable voters that the pollsters sample from. Additionally due to the tight primary race between Clinton and Obama, the Democrats registered many more voters than the Republicans did this year. These new voters will presumably vote heavily for Obama, but will not show up as a “probable voter” according to the pollsters. [See data on cell-phone users here and here.]
[NOTE: This report will be updated in the coming week if one or more states change in the polls.]