Monday, November 3, 2008

Though Dixville Notch has given Barak Obama an overwhelming victory, the Presidential State Futures markets suggest the election may not be an Obama landslide in the rest of the nation. Though Obama is predicted to win enough states to win the election, trading in eight states is still too close to call. Unfortunately for John McCain, even if he picks up all the undecided states, the total number of Electoral College votes would not be enough for him to win the election.

Nevada and Virginia are the two Obama-predicted states that have the least amount of Obama trader support. For John McCain to win, he would not only have to win all the states which are still too close to call, both Nevada and Virginia, and at least one Obama-held state that has a minimum of six Electoral College votes. States to watch would be some combination of Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Pennsylvania, or New Hampshire.

Not impossible, but as we say in Iowa, it would be a "long row to hoe."

The time for voting has begun, and the Senate races in 2008 appear to be a mixed bag. Of the 31 races this year, the Intrade 2008 Senate race markets predict Republicans should win 14 races, while the Democrats are predicted to win in 19 states. The races in Georgia and Minnesota are still too close to call. Finally, Intrade traders predict Libby Dole will lose her Senate seat in North Carolina.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Spike's Predictions

Upholding the tradition of my political campaign research colleagues, based on the state-by-state results of Presidential Futures market, I pronounce the following:

Senator Obama, the data suggests you will be the next President of the United States.

Based on the most recent trends in those states which are too close to call, it appears Senator McCain will capture all of them but Ohio. However, even if he would win Ohio, it would still not be enough for him to win the election.

Senator ___, the data suggests...

There is a ritual in Presidential campaigns that goes widely unnoticed by both the press and the public. Late in the night on the Saturday prior to a Presidential election (or the following Sunday morning, depending on the candidate's schedule), the candidate and his/her national campaign leadership team meet with the campaign's polling team to learn the fate of the election. 

This ritual, beginning in the late 1970s, crosses party lines and is one of the most sacred in all of research. The polling team assembles with the campaign staff and awaits the arrival of the candidate. When the candidate enters the room, all rise until motioned to seat down by the candidate.

The head pollster then utters one of two phrases:

"Senator ___, the data suggests that you will not be elected the next President of the United States," or

"Senator ___, the data suggests that you will be elected the next President of the United States." 

Regardless of which sentence is uttered, if it looks to be a close election, each candidate's schedule is reviewed and adjusted to emphasize the states that need last minute support. If it looks to be a blowout, the losing candidate typically will begin scheduling states where Senators or Congressman need help. 

Though there has been an aura of confidence surrounding the possibility of an Obama win in 2008, the data suggests it could be closer than what many people realize. The bottom-line, however, is that even if McCain were to win all the states that are currently "too close to call," he would still not receive enough Electoral College votes to win the election.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Race Tightens a Little More

The Intrade Presidential Futures Market Race by State tightened again this week, with just five days until the election. With Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Nevada still up for grabs, Barak Obama still does not have a lock on the election. However, traditionally-Republican states have begun to soften. Georgia,  North & South Dakota, and Montana -- all states that are typically solid Republican strongholds -- have drifted from solid Republican predictors to "too close to call." 

This may be bad news for John McCain, but the trends so far don't suggest an Obama "mandate" like some have previously predicted.  As the vast majority of voters traditionally decide their Presidential choice no later than three days prior to the election, we should know something more definitive Sunday morning. As an early read from the campaigns, watch for John McCain to start touting down-ticket races as a sign they believe they have lost. On the Democratic side, watch for the Obama campaign to start adding additional campaign stops, especially in Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, or Florida if they think the race is going to be close.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Race Agains Tightens (a little)

The Presidential Futures Market data suggests the Presidential race tightened a bit this week. Even though the markets are still predicting an Obama victory, Florida, Nevada and Virginia moving from a tenuous Democratic lead, North Dakota (traditionally a strong Republican state) moving into toss-up territory, and Montana moving back into Republican hands suggests the race may be closer than some analysts are currently predicting.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama Goes Over the Top

With Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, and Virginia moving into the Democratic column, and Georgia, Montana, and South Carolina moving from the Republican column to "Too Close to Call," the Democratic Party appear poised to win the Electoral College on November 4th. Coupled with Barak Obama's probability-of-winning moving over the 80th percintile, the Presidential race is beginning to look like a convincing win for the Democrats with just three weeks to go.