Friday, February 08, 2008

Election 2008: Fourth Forecast

My eighth forecast is here.

The Presidency - Method 1

Intrade posts State-by-State odds odds on the outcome of the presidential election in November. I assign all of a State's electoral votes to the party whose nominee that is expected to win that State. Where the odds are 50-50, I split the State's electoral votes between the two parties.

As of today, the odds point to this result:

Democrat, 300 electoral votes

Republican, 238 electoral votes

The Presidency - Method 2

I have devised a "secret formula" for estimating the share of electoral votes cast for the winner of the presidential election. (The formula's historical accuracy is described in my second forecast.) The formula currently yields these estimates of the outcome this year's presidential election [UPDATED 02/09/08 02/11/08]:
Democrat nominee -- 261 to 302 EVs 228 to to 269 EVs 261 to 310 EVs

Republican nominee -- 236 to 277 EVs 269 to 310 EVs 236 to 277 EVs
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Both methods afford a better outlook for the GOP than the one given in my third forecast on December 12. [Today's update of method 2, in fact, puts the GOP nominee in the lead.] The gain, I believe, is attributable mainly to John McCain's success in the race for the GOP nomination; that is, McCain is perceived as the Republican most likely to beat the Democrat nominee. The gain is attributable, also, to the strong (if no longer overwhelming) possibility that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee. Clinton, in spite of her strength within her party, probably would be a weaker nominee than Obama. The update of 02/11/08 reflects Obama's strong showing over the past weekend (sweeping four Dem primaries/caucuses) and the expectation that he will do well in tomorrow's "Potomac primary" (i.e., the primaries in MD, DC, and VA).

I believe that future forecasts will become more favorable to the GOP nominee (i.e., McCain). The current forecast doesn't take into account the damage that the acrimonious race between Clinton and Obama will do to both. If Obama sweeps tomorrow's races and soon thereafter becomes the "presumptive" Democrat nominee, Democrats may quickly unite behind him. Moreover, [T]he ugly reality of a[n] Clinton or Obama presidency will should offset the present disaffection for McCain among some conservatives. As conservatives "return to the fold," McCain's chances will rise. But Obama is looming as the man to beat in November 2008.

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UPDATED 02/09/08: Democrats will pick up four Senate seats, one each in Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Virginia. The gain will change the balance from 51 Democrats (including Lieberman and Sanders, both nominally independent) and 49 Republicans to 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans.

The House? Later.

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How did I do in 2004? See this and this.