Sunday, March 09, 2008

Election 2008: Seventh Forecast

UPDATED (03/12/08)

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 -- 306 302 electoral votes (EVs)

Republican -- 232 236 EVs

That's a loss of 7 EVs for the GOP candidate since my sixth forecast, which I issued 18 days ago.

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 of this year's presidential election:
Democrat nominee -- 286 to 333 226 to 263 EVs

Republican nominee -- 205 to 252 265 to 312 EVs
That's a loss for the GOP nominee of 8 or 9 EVs since my sixth forecast. Methods 1 and 2 are tracking well with each other have diverged. I suspect that the betting at Intrade doesn't yet reflect the swing toward McCain. That swing has been precipitated by the Clinton-Obama mud-fest and, for many white Democrats, the prospect of Obama at the head of the ticket.

U.S. Senate

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.