Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Numbers 2012, 5a: The presidential race begins.

Now that Romney has announced his running mate, the race begins in earnest. Following the lead of one of the candidates, I'm going to go all Etch-A-Sketch and pretend the data I collected up until this time doesn't even matter. I use Excel to collect and sort data, but I've written a C program to get to a lot of important information. 

Here is the state of the presidential race according to recent polls as of August 12. Remember that any polling data information should be introduced with the phrase "If the election were held today". The two letter state abbreviation is followed by the number of electoral votes and then, if necessary, the four digit decimal representing the Confidence of Victory number, given as a probability greater than or equal to 0.5.

Solidly Republican.
AK 3
AL 9
AR 6
AZ 11
ID 4
KS 6
KY 8
LA 8
MS 6
OK 7
SC 9
TX 38
UT 6
WV 5
WY 3
EV total = 129

Leaning Republican.
IN 11    0.9998
ND 3    0.9995
NE 5    0.9995
GA 16    0.9978
MO 10    0.9905
TN 11    0.9804
SD 3    0.9285
MT 3    0.9820
NC 15    0.8772
IA 6    0.6814
EV total = 83

Coin flips.
CO 9    .5000
EV total = 9

Leaning Democratic.
FL 29    0.6190
VA 13    0.6777
NH 4    0.8147
NV 6    0.8747 GOLD
MN 10    0.9362
MI 16    0.9397
NJ 14    0.9736
OH 18    0.9839
OR 7    0.9858
CT 7    0.9893
WI 10    0.9898
WA 12    0.9937
EV total = 146

Solidly Democratic.
CA 55
DC 3
DE 3
HI 4
IL 20
MA 11
MD 10
ME 4
NM 5
NY 29
PA 20
RI 4
VT 3
EV total = 171

The Golden Spike is currently in Nevada, which means that if Obama can win Nevada and all the states easier than Nevada, he retains the presidency. The Confidence Of Victory number is currently at .8747 for Obama in Nevada, so as you might expect, Obama is currently the favorite to win.

Note: In North Carolina today, Romney said: "If we win North Carolina, we win the presidency." Instead of calling him a liar, I'll just say he's ignorant. Probably, he has some number cruncher like me in his camp who knows that claim is bullshit, because right now, Romney is a prohibitive favorite in North Carolina and he is still a massively prohibitive underdog nationally.
This first chart shows the median electoral college result as of today. The numbers are Obama 309, Romney 229. This is not the most likely result, but there is about a 50% chance Obama would hit this number or better if the election were held today, and Romney has a 50% change to be at 229 or worse. Since 270 is the winning number, Romney has his work cut out for him.

This big fat column shows the current probability of victory. Obama wins in 98% of the 8,388,608 possible simulations my program ran.

There will be new polls this next week and the numbers will change.  Romney faces long odds and has to wrest several swing states from Obama to have a chance, while not letting any of his swing states slip away. There very well may be a Paul Ryan bounce next week. After all, there was a Sarah Palin bounce in 2008, but it was short lived. Palin really was an outsider, but anyone worthy of the name "political junkie" knows Paul Ryan's record, and the Democrats are positively gleeful to tell the numerically accurate facts about Paul Ryan's budgets. The first big salvo is that under Ryan's plan, Mitt's federal tax rate would be less than 1%. Now, Romney gets to run away from his own record and Ryan's record at the same time.

While the margin of victory was not as lopsided, I thought McCain ran as bad or worse a campaign as McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis or Kerry.  Romney has a real chance at being a worse candidate than any of them.

And let me give some credit to Team Obama. I like Barack, though I think Michelle is a little scary in a Tiger Mom kind of way. The girls are adorable.

But the people who run Obama's campaigns are ruthless. Ever since they turned golden boy Jack Ryan into roadkill in the Illinois senate race by finding out his gorgeous actress wife Jeri divorced him because he was insistent about threesomes, they have turned opposition research into war the way General Sherman liked it. To quote Tracy Morgan's character on 30 Rock, for these people, every week is Shark Week.

We will see how the next week goes.


Karlacita! said...

I'm glad you're weighing in with the Confidence of Victory program. #mathisbetter!

namastenancy said...

I hope you are right. I am hopeless with numbers but wonder if Obama wins, whether he will be able to do much more - given the make up of Congress.

dguzman said...

I'm just glad to see you're still calling PA and ME as blue. Now, we just have to get up to Maine and register ASAP.

Matty Boy said...

New numbers published tomorrow, a week of improvement for the Republicans, who still trail.