Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Prognostication whithers

I have a piece in Front Page Magazine reporting on the state of the race in Wisconsin. My sense is that the race is very close.

The conundrum, of course, is this. The national polls are dead even. The coin, as it were, is still spinning on its edge.

But the state polls seem to favor Obama. Let's look at RCP's analysis. It has 201 electoral votes for the Democrats and 191 for Romney. States with 146 electoral votes are called "toss-ups." But, RCP says, the poll averages in states with 102 of these 146 votes favor the President.
How likely is this to happen? Are almost all of the states on the knife's edge likely to fall off in the same direction?

One argument for that to happen is that the Obama campaign has played the swing states well - "poisoning" each of them with its early surge of negative ads.

Another would be to look for some campaign dynamic moving the vote in the same way. Sandy is the logical candidate, although a dismaying one. Anyone who decided to vote for President Obama because he did what any other President would "do" - really there is very little for a President to "do" - in such situations, i.e., turn on the money spigot and pose for holy pictures probably shouldn't vote.

But Sandy may have run its course, now that the relief efforts are - as they often will be - far from perfect.

We see predictions of electoral totals of over 300 for both Romney and Obama. Both are plausible. I think that Romney's edge in enthusiasm will carry the day. But no one knows.
But, now about this for an outcome, Romney's 191 electoral votes are augmented by Florida and North Carolina bringing him to 235. He takes Virginia to reach 248. He then wins Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa (or loses these but wins Pennsylvania) and is at 268. He carries Maine's second district (not expected but we're playing here) and the election is ... an electoral tie and goes to the House.

Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin


Anonymous said...

Your scenario is, of course, pure fantasy. But, as Rachel Maddow recently pointed out, in your hypo, the "election" doesn't go to the House: the election of the president does. Per Article II, Section 1, the election of the vice-president goes to the Senate. Presumably the Democratic-controlled chamber would elect Biden, and Pauly D. goes back to the House (unless Rob Zerban wins).

Thus we end up with President Romney and Vice-President Biden, even in your tie scenario.

Anonymous said...

205-333. Obama takes every swing state except North Carolina, and he takes Omaha.

Anonymous said...

How'd that work out for you tonight?

Anonymous said...

he professor said, "How likely is this to happen? Are almost all of the states on the knife's edge likely to fall off in the same direction?"

And the answer is a resounding yes. Meaning that the MODERATES demand that the Republicans work with Obama rather than stonewall legislation.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if Willard wasn't an out and out liar (i.e. jeep production moving to china) or a flip flopper (I'm Pro Choice, no wait I am Pro Life), the election last night might have turned out differently.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I was a little optimistic about Omaha. When Florida finally reports it should be 206-332.

Anonymous said...

What??? No posting by the Shark AFTER the election??? Perhaps he is sitting in front of his computer in total shock?!?!? See, Shark, can't listen to what is 'reported' on Faux Newz leading up to the election.

Anonymous said...

You're doing a heckuva job, Reincey.

Anonymous said...

It sure does appear that the right was in total shock that all the numbers & data available (Nate Silver, etc.) were actually accurate, and that their self-created reality failed to translate.

I wonder if this will cause any of them to ask, "I wonder what else I've been wrong about".

But I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

I would like to take a class with you next semester (I'm a 3L at MU) but I'm worried about how your views on this blog will be carried over into class. Are you a by-the-books rule of law professor, or is your personal opinion part of the curriculum? 2. On your blog, you call out a DOJ employee who is a close relative of mine; will that impact your treatment of me in class?

Anonymous said...

I would think the professor, if he observes the ethics of teaching and his purpose as an educator, would offer his opinions as one of may positions that can be entertained. I believe if there were papers to write as part of the evaluation process that he take an objective point of view when looking at how well you explained your position with evidence and not downgrade you because your position runs counter to his own line of thinking.

Then again, with the professor's knack for making unfounded generalizations and rarely acknowledging that his own logic can be flawed, he could freaking fail you. I suggest you ask his former students who are not ideologues in assessing his teaching and grading style.