Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's the Electoral Map, Stupid!

As all the pundits, newspapers, blogs and know-it-all hyper-opinionated cable TV "political strategists" continue to argue for the next 4 months about tax returns, birth certificates, private equity firms, the unemployment rate, Iran, the war in Afghanistan, same-sex marriage, racial overtones, Mormonism, Islam, Shariah Law, immigration, abortion, "ObamaCare," voter ID laws, offshore bank accounts, Super PACs, the Supreme Court, tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for the middle-class, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, VP selections, women's issues, Latino issues, Black issues, White issues, white-collar, blue-collar, 99%-ers, 1%-ers, swing states, and all derivative arguments associated with all of the above, they are missing the one thing that makes all of these discussions irrelevant: the electoral map.

In short: it's the electoral map, stupid!

According to several respectable analysts including Moody's (which has been accurately predicting the electoral map down to the state since 2000) and statistician Nate "Nostradamus" Silver of the Blog (who correctly predicted the electoral map down to the COUNTY in 2008 with the exception of a few counties in Indiana (the state went for Obama by 1%); he also correctly predicted the winners of all 35 Senate races in 2008), there is an extremely HIGH probability that the map that you are about to see after the jump is what we will all see on Tuesday, November 6, 2012:

You heard it here first, folks. According to the experts, the final electoral vote will be Obama 303, Romney 235 (270 electoral votes are needed to win the Presidency).

In 2008, President Obama defeated Senator McCain with an electoral vote tally of 365 to 173.  This year, it looks like despite all the sideshow distractions entertained by the media, Obama will still defeat Governor Romney on the electoral vote at the end of the day 303 to 235.

It is notable to observe that the electoral map still favors Obama even though he will lose 62 electoral votes during this election that he enjoyed in 2008.  That 62-vote deficit largely comes from Obama losing three states that he carried in 2008: Florida (29 votes), Indiana (11 votes) and North Carolina (15 votes).  According to, the only state among these three that could possibly go either way is Florida; current projections show a mere 51.6% chance that Florida will go for Romney.  Other than Florida, the probability that any of the other 49 states will change course between now and November is slim to none (which, you could argue, is kind of a sad state of affairs).

And there you have it.

So as the so-called political "experts" spend countless hours over the next 4 months talking about the same old two-step that we hear every 4 years, be sure to remind them of one thing: it's the electoral map, stupid.

Do you think the statisticians have it right on the 2012 map above?
Besides Florida, is there any other state that you can see switching teams between now and November?
Is there anything that Obama or Romney can do to change this map between now and November? 
What does it say about our country that so many states are this predictable?
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