Sep 25, 2008

Presidential Election: plausible outcomes

    1. Accept today's (9/25/08) predictions from the Princeton website.
    2. Accept the site's 95% confidence predictions (dark red, blue) and give all the lighter red and the undecided (North Carolina) to McCain. Result: Obama 237, McCain 236 electoral college votes: needs 270 to win.
    3. All the states in doubt have a "winner take all" rule. Maine (4 votes), Nebraska ( 5 votes) are more complicated: initally assume they cancel each other out!
    4. Consider the 4 Obama-leaning states (PA [darker blue], MN, IL, VA). Obama needs at least 2 of them to win. First guess he takes PA, then guess he doesn't.
      1. Obama takes PA, VA: 271 votes: WIN
      2. PA, IL: 279 votes: WIN
      3. PA, MN, 268 votes: LOSE
      4. IL, MN, 268 votes: LOSE
      5. IL, VA: 271 votes: WIN
      6. VA, MN: 260 votes: LOSE
    5. The smart money is on an Obama win, but the admitted uncertainties still allow for McCain!
    6. Uncertainties in Maine (4 votes), Nebraska ( 5 votes) could lead to a 269: 269 DEAD HEAT (Temporary President Pelosi).

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