Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election day predictions

By Rick Morris

On Sunday night's 37th edition of THE FDH LOUNGE on SportsTalkNetwork.com, my fellow Dignitary Burrell Jackson and I predicted the presidential race on a state-by-state basis. We used our Electoral College game that we developed for a little competition and we also tracked the results by straight-up Electoral College votes.

My final prediction was 291 votes for Obama, 247 for McCain, as I believe that most of the traditional red states will break late for the Arizona senator. Burrell sees a landslide at 394 for Obama, 144 for McCain. In terms of our game, I have it scored at 187-165 for Obama and Burrell has it 337-113 for Obama.

McCain would still need to "flip" Pennsylvania and either Nevada, New Hampshire or Colorado (in order of plausibility) to get to 270 according to my estimation. I see the popular vote shaking out at about 51% for Obama, 47% for McCain and about 2% for third-party candidates.

As of the moment this column is being posted, McCain is trading at about a 9.6% chance of winning according to Intrade. I see his odds of drawing to the huge inside straight as slightly better than that, but probably by about only 3-4%.

Because the national polls have had a consensus of an Obama lead ever since the "ships passing in the night" moment in September when the economic crisis exploded, I believe that McCain's chances of winning the popular vote are about nil -- which leaves the 2000 scenario of "popular vote loser, Electoral College winner" as just about hs only real hope. That would be pretty ugly for the country because of the racial tensions that would explode, leaving the rampant bitterness of 2000 looking tame by comparison.

I believe the Democrats will gain about 25-30 seats in the House and get to about 58 or 59 seats in the Senate -- leaving them just shy of the upper chamber "supermajority." That would frankly be the best of both worlds for the Democrats, leaving the boogeyman of "evil filibustering Republicans" on the table with the squish RINOs in the Northeast ensuring that the GOP can't really stop anything of consequence.

I mention here at the end in passing that as a subscriber to a certain set of public policy ideals, I fervently hope that everything I predicted above will be false and too pessimistic from my point of view. I just don't think that it will be. Prove me wrong, America. Please!

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