Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Democrats back in the lead again in the Presidential Electoral Vote Simulation

This week's simulation of the electoral votes based on the InTrade Prediction market data once again shows a Democratic victory in 63% of the simulations, with a median Democratic electoral vote count of 281. Today, FiveThirtyEight.com has the Democrats even further ahead with 312 electoral votes and a Democratic victory 74% of the time, but he uses a less transparent simulation using polling numbers for his simulation.

This is an upswing from last week's prediction of a republican victory and probably represents the inTrade prediction markets digesting the bump in popularity that Senator Obama has gotten due to the recent crisis in the financial markets. The candidates seem to trade the same few states back and forth as before. This week Colorado and New Hampshire are weakly Democratic, and Ohio and Virgina are weakly Republican. Nevada is essentially tied in the Intrade data. Losing Nevada would still leave the Democrats with 273 electoral votes.

Intrade has jumped on the visualization bandwagon with a graphic on their front page showing the electoral college results based on their prediction data. They join Yahoo's election dashboard, who was already using the Intrade data, as well as poll data. Truthisall has his own simulation in which he thinks Senator Obama's chances are even better than my results or 538's results. He thinks that there has been systematic election fraud for decades so I invite you to interpret his results yourself. 270towin has their own simulation based on the polls. They predict the Democrats have a median 276 electoral votes and a Democratic win 60.2% of the time.


Susan said...

The real issue is not how well Obama or McCain might do state-by-state, but that we shouldn't have battleground states and spectator states in the first place. Every vote in every state should be politically relevant in a presidential election. And, every vote should be equal. We should have a national popular vote for President in which the White House goes to the candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral vote -- that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Because of state-by-state enacted rules for winner-take-all awarding of their electoral votes, recent candidates with limited funds have concentrated their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. In 2004 two-thirds of the visits and money were focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money went to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential election.

Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes-- 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

Richard said...

The electoral college exists specifically to cause there to be 51 elections and not just one. It causes candidates to have to campaign in all 50 states and Washington DC and not just run a national campaign to get the popular vote. For the same reason we have two houses in the Congress, the House of Representatives to be proportional to population, and the Senate to be represent each State equally.

These systems were put in place because, at the beginning of our country, the less populous states were concerned that their desires would be superseded buy the wishes of the large states. Back then the large state was Virginia, now it would be California or New York. A popular vote based election wouldn't eliminate "battleground" and "spectator states", it would just change which ones were which.

The winning candidate must win 270 electoral votes from many different states. This year's "spectator" is next year's battleground. I even disagree with this nomenclature. As a resident of a smaller state I think the electoral college system strikes the right balance between pure Democracy and Republicanism or Federalism (those words in their technical meanings, not party denominations).

nancan said...

I've just discovered your blog and find many interesting things here. I'm impressed by this political piece. I do hope that Obama will maintain a lead; indeed increase it substantially. The CNN reports seem to only quote polls showing the two pretty much even.