Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday numbers, Volume 1: Sept. 7, 2008

Welcome to the Sunday Numbers. From now until election day, every Sunday I will give the running electoral college numbers as they stand if the election were held today. The probabilities given again assume the "if the election were held today" proviso. I get my numbers from My confidence of victory method for the probabilities is explained here.

My numbers may be slightly different from other numbers being tossed around the Internets because of the Confidence of Victory method I employ, which only considers a race a 50-50 tossup if the polling data says it's a flat footed tie. Also, the Confidence of Victory method is only employed if the poll has more than 85% of the respondents preferring either Obama or McCain. Large amounts of undecided make it impossible to make a prediction using this method.

Solid lead means a state where the candidate has a 90% chance of winning or better. Leaning means the odds are between 50% and 90% for that candidate.

If the election were held today, Barack Obama would be the 44th President of the United States. The expected value of the electoral college is 303 to 235.

States strong for Obama: CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, MA, MD, ME, MN, NJ, NY, OR, VT, WA, MI, WI, PA

States leaning Obama: NM, VA, NH, OH

States strong for McCain: AZ, FL, GA, TX, AK, AL, AR, KS, KY, LA, MO, MS, NE, SC, TN, UT, WY

States leaning McCain: IN, NV, NC

Tossup state: MT

Undecided states with Obama tendencies: DC*, RI, CO, ND

Undecided states with McCain tendencies: SD, WV, ID, OK

*I actually haven't been able to find a presidential poll for Washington D.C. yet. If I don't find one by next week, I think I'll go way out on a limb and declare a 99% chance for Obama to win D.C.

Next update next Sunday.


Anonymous said...

I look forward to these weekly posts. I can't follow this day by day or I'll go nuts, but checking in once a week will be perfect.

Karlacita! said...

My inner metrician asks - How reliable has this polling data been in the past? And how reliable has the Confidence of Victory method been?

Me wantz to know!

I think you've explained the validity well, though!

Sank U!

Matty Boy said...

2004 it said it was Kerry to win, until the last weekend when it looked like a toss-up. Ohio looked liked Kerry in the late polls, but SURPRISE! It wasn't, or so goes the official story.

Ed said...

I heard a guy speaking on our local listener sponsored radio station and he made the following points:

1) Most polls are conducted over the phone. They don't call cell phones.
2) Most people under the age of 30 don't even have land lines. So voters under 30 aren't being accurately represented in polls.
3) People under 30 are even more likely to vote for Obama than other age groups, so the polls make it look closer for McCain than it actually is.

I don't know what to make of his claims, but I found it to be interesting.

I'll be curious to see what happens with your weekly numbers. Hopefully, the first week is a sign of things to come.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Fran sent me. I like your numbers, they seem pretty much what I am seeing too, however the regular polls are driving me insane. I'll add your feed and add you to my blog roll next update. Good job.

dguzman said...

Your math-fu skee-ulz are showing, Matty Boy.

dguzman said...

And me likez dem!

(sorry for the double comment; I hit Enter too quickly!)

BobManDo said...

Matty Boy, Before you run your next analysis you may want to read this article:

"Poll Madness: McCain Takes Lead Even As Democrats Out-Register Republicans?"

Also some interesting comments...

"Here are a couple of things, both from RealClear Politics, that tell me there is something seriously wrong with these polls......

1. Look at the lower chart here and note the depth and length (over time) of the Obama lead vs. the McCain blips:

2. Now check out the "Electoral College Map" with no toss-up states:

The long-term trend from the first chart is strongly and unmistakenly in Obama's favor over the entire year. And, keep in mind, McCain HAS NEVER HAD the lead in the Electoral College. Still doesn't, even with the newest poll numbers.

People, the trend is there. McCain's temporary lead in the overall numbers is just that. And, it doesn't really matter because the Electoral College decides the Presidency. Obama has never surrendered that lead.
Posted 06:37 PM on 09/09/2008"

Thanks for your work on this.

Matty Boy said...

Thanks for the pointers, Bob. Interesting stuff. There is still a long way to go, and I hope the focus goes back to the top of the ticket, to McCain's poor judgment and bad temper, as well as his career long sucking up to lobbyists.

John Sidney "More War, I Promise" McCain would be a disastrous choice.