Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Final Presidential Election Forecast - Obama Will Win

The final polling numbers are in and Barack Obama is on track to win the US Presidential election today. My final popular vote percentage shares are unchanged from earlier in the day:
And my final electoral vote figures are unchanged as well:

Here is the final electoral map showing my forecast for each state:

Below is a state-by-state presidential election race forecast of the popular and electoral vote. Click on the image to get a larger view in your computer:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Final Election Forecast A

The polls in the US will open (in the Eastern time zone) within an hour or so. Although there are a number of final polling results that will be released in the next few hours, I would like to offer my initial presidential election forecast. I will be modifying this initial forecast as the final polling numbers come in; however, I do not expect a substantial change in the figures I am giving here.

Barack Obama, the likely President elect, continues to consolidate his popular vote gains of the past 48 hours:

He appears to have also gone into the lead in Florida, thus increasing his electoral vote lead:

The resulting national electoral map is as follows:

There are a number of changes in the national electoral map. Florida has gone into the Obama camp while Montana, South Dakota and Indiana have gone into the swing state category. Should Barack Obama carry these states colored pink, he will gain a substantial Electoral College vote victory.

I will be updating the above forecast before the first polls close. That will be my final presidential election forecast.

Some Confusion on November 3rd

With only 24 hours to go, today's polls offer a curiously mixed picture of where the election is moving. The national tracking polls are telling us that Barack Obama is putting more distance between he and John McCain, suggesting that Obama may win going way. The state polling is telling a completely different story, a story of tightening, competitive, exciting races in Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina and Florida and close contests in Virginia and Colorado making for a potentially entertaining election evening tomorrow. This contrast is even more curious since these national and state polls have been done over virtually the same period, namely October 30th to November 2nd. All we can do is input the numbers and let the model crank out the results. The overall movement towards Obama has been about 0.8 percentage points:

However, because of the state level polling results, we show no movement in the Electoral College vote distribution over the past 24 hours:

There has been one change in the current national electoral map though. Virginia is once again out of the swing state club. Otherwise, there has been no change:

The swing state table shows that John McCain is hanging on by his fingernails in Florida:

My model suggests that Missouri and Ohio are reasonably comfortable for Obama:

There should be one last day of polling coming up. I am going to take these results, update the model and release my state-by-state election forecast. That should be available in time for the first polls closing at 7:00 PM Eastern time (9:00 AM Tokyo time on Wednesday for those of you following in Japan).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Shifting Breezes

The winds seem to have shifted back towards John McCain over the past 24 hours but at this point they are little more than a gentle breeze that will still leave he and his crew watching Barack Obama's boat sail across the finish line first next Tuesday:

Of course, we are likely to see more movement over the next 48 hours than we have seen over any equal period during the campaign. If it is towards Obama, he will be heading for a significant win in the Electoral College; if towards McCain, it may be some hours before the outcome on Tuesday is clear. The current standings in the Electoral College vote remain unchanged:

The national electoral map has changed a bit over the past 24 hours. Virginia has shifted back into swing state mode; as we shall see in a little bit, Ohio and Missouri are not far behind:

North Carolina has seen a 0.6 percentage point shift towards McCain over the past 24 hours and he has seen his lead over Obama in Florida grow by about 30,000 votes. McCain still faces an uphill climb to overtake Obama in Virginia and Colorado:

McCain's fortunes in the Bellwether states have improved a bit since yesterday:

At this pace though, McCain is running out of time. Below is the estimated breakdown in the popular and electoral vote by region (as identified in earlier posts in this series):

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Coasting to the Finish Line

Barack Obama is coasting towards the finish line next Tuesday. The Saturday polls suggest a fraction of popular vote movement in his direction:

The Electoral College breakdown remains stuck at Obama 322-McCain 216:

The national electoral remains unchanged from the previous day:

The swing states showed a very slight movement towards Obama over the past 24 hours:

Curiously, there was a very slight, insignificant movement in John McCain's direction in the Bellwether states over the past 24 hours:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Momentum Obama

Barack Obama has taken back the momentum in the presidential election and now looks on the verge of winning the presidency next Tuesday. According to my model, Obama's lead jumped by 0.8 percentage points during the last 24 hours and now stands at 6.0 percentage points:

There has been no change once again in the Electoral College vote breakdown:

However, there have been changes in the current national electoral map. Virginia has once again moved out of the swing state column and has been replaced in the list by North Carolina. Indiana, South Dakota and Montana remain near swing state territory:

John McCain's lead in Florida has been sliced to only 0.4 percentage points. Any further movement towards Obama and Florida will likely slip away to the Democrats. McCain's lead in North Carolina only stands at 3.2 percentage points in a state that Obama would dearly love to win. Colorado and Nevada do remain close, but with the momentum running towards Obama he looks increasingly likely to hold these Outer West states:

Not surprisingly, Obama has made solid gains in the Bellwether states:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frozen Market and Pacific Overview

Not only are the credit markets frozen, the presidential election markets have frozen up as well. The latest updated polls show no change in the national popular vote:

And neither in the Electoral College vote:

And not even in the current national electoral map:

Forget about any significant change in the swing states compared with yesterday:

At least there was a tiny bit of movement in the Bellwether states:

Our regional series concludes with an overview of the Pacific region. [Note: This detail was added later.] This is another familiar region in the US for myself as I lived in California as a youngster and in Washington state as a young adult.

California and Oregon had joined the Union by the piviotal election of 1860 and both states voted narrowly for Abraham Lincoln by narrow margins in that election. Being that both states were originally settled by people from the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, it is not surprising that both states voted like Republican northern states between 1860 and 1888. From 1892 (when Washington state joined the Union) to 1960 the region leaned very slightly Republican (and Oregon more so). The region (including Hawaii which joined the Union in 1960) has tilted Democratic since the pivotal election of 1964, especially Hawaii and Washington. From 1992, the region has voted Democratic as a bloc and it appears that this region is poised to do the same in 2008:

The Race Tightens Further and Outer West Overview

[Note: Text was added to the original graphs and tables.]

John McCain's modest recent momentum continued over the past 24 hours as he reduced Barack Obama's lead in the national popular vote by 0.4 percentage points:

However, the electoral vote distribution remained unchanged with Obama continuing to hold a solid lead:

Although there was no change in the Electoral College vote, the national electoral map continued to show some movement towards McCain as Virginia slipped into the swing state category:

Among the swing states, McCain further consolidated his lead in Florida and crept closer to Obama in Nevada. The race continued to tighted in Colorado while, as I noted above, Virginia joined the swing state club over the past 24 hours:

In the Bellwether states, McCain inched closer to Obama in both Missouri and Ohio. However, Obama continues to lead in both states and McCain has a considerable uphill climb to capture these two crucial states:

We continue our regional series with what I call the Outer West. These states surround the Lower 48 Inner West states of Idaho, Wyoming and Utah and they include (going clockwise from north to west) Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.

These mountainous and far-from-heavily populated states have an electoral history not dissimilar to that of the Inner West states. The Populist candidate James Weaver carried Nevada and Colorado in the 1892 election while the populist Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan carried the region with more than 80% of the vote (note that Arizona and New Mexico did not become states until 1912). The region voted Democratic as a bloc in the three-way 1912 race and in 1916 and the region leaned Democratic through the 1948 election. Although Outer West has leaned Republican since the 1952 election the region has become more competitive in recent elections. Bill Clinton carried four of five states here in 1992 and three states here in 1996 and although George W. Bush carried every state in the region in 2004, his margin of victory was 5 percentage points or less in three of these five states. There is every indication that the Outer West will be among the nation's most competitive in 2008:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Bit Tighter and Inner West Overview

[Edit: The written material here was added later in the day]

John McCain has trimmed another 0.2 percentage points off of Barack Obama's popular vote lead, which now stands at 5.6 percentage points according to my model:

There is no change in the electoral vote breakdown compared with the previous day:

The current electoral map remains unchanged from the previous day:

Among the swing states, McCain has made solid gains in Colorado over the past 24 hours and he has narrowed Obama's lead in Nevade to 1.0 percentage points. Meanwhile, Florida has seen little change since yesterday:

Among the bellwether states, while McCain made some headway in Missouri over the past 24 hours, reducing Obama's lead there by 0.8 percentage points, there was virtually no change in the Ohio figures:

Our regional series moves west to what I call the Inner West states which include Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. I have some familarity with this region as I lived for a time in Idaho when I was young.

This mountainous, sparsely populated part of the US is conservative and throughly rock-ribbed Republican and it is easy to imagine that these states have been Republican forever. In fact, Idaho voted for the Populist candidate in 1892 (when Idaho and Wyoming joined the Union) and all three Lower 48 states voted for the populist Democrat Bryan in 1896 (when Utah became a state). In the 14 presidential elections between 1896 and 1948, Idaho voted Democratic nine times while Wyoming and Utah each voted Democratic seven times. The region began to trend Republican beginning with the 1952 presidential election and, with the exception of the pivotal election of 1964, the region has voted as a Republican bloc in every election (Alaska joined the Union in 1960). This election will be no exception:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some Tightening and the Mid-America Overview

The race has taken a turn for the tightening one week before Election Day. Polling over the past 24 hours suggests that Barack Obama's popular vote lead over John McCain has shrunk by 0.6 percentage points:
Obama's lead in the Electoral College remains solid and unchanged from the previous day:

However, the national electoral map shows more change over the past 24 hours than we have seen for some time. Colorado has rejoined the swing state club while Indiana's sojourn in the clube turned out to be rather brief indeed:

McCain has opened up a bit of space over Obama in Florida over the past 24 hours, although the race there does remain tight. He's also closed the gap in Nevada and is within striking distance in that state. Obama however continues to lead in the bellwether states of Missouri and Ohio:

Our regional attention today turns to what I call the Mid-America region highlighted in the map below. The states are, in descending order from north to south, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and spawling Texas:

This region had a strong populist streak in the late 19th century. The Populist candidate James Weaver finished either first or second in every state in the region in the 1892 presidential election (with the exception of Oklahoma which did not join the Union until 1912). This region was also fertile territory in 1896 for the populist Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan and both the Progressive candidate Teddy Roosevelt (except in Texas and Oklahoma) and the Socialist candidate ran well in the region in 1912.

Texas was an exception since it was, of course, part of the Confederacy while it and Oklahoma voted like Deep South states until 1952 when both states became Republican leaning. The other states of the region had turned solidly Republican by 1940. Texas is the only state in the region that has not voted Republican in every election since 1952 and the region has voted as a Republican bloc since 1980. This is likely to be the case in this election as well: