States for Kerry, in approximate East to West order: ME, NH, VT, NY, MA, CT, RI, NJ, DE, MD, DC, FL, PA, OH, MI, WI, IL, IA, MN, NM, CA, OR, WA, HI.
State for Bush in approximate East to West order: VA, WV, NC, SC, GA, AL, TN, KY, IN, MS, LA, AR, MO, TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, ND, MT, WY, CO, AZ, UT, ID, NV, AK.
Kerry EVs: 311
Bush EVs: 227
Rational: I looked at aggregate state polls since Oct. 30 in states I considered close (PA, NJ, NH, FL, OH, MI, AR, TN, NM, AZ, CO) and I corrected slightly for the Strategic Vision polls (which are done by the GOP) and the Gallup Polls that are based on an assumption of LOWER turnout amongst mioriities. I gave Kerry the win in most states where he was generally within the margin of error. Why? Because all indications point to this election having a monumental turnout. This means that both more Democrats and Republicans will vote, but the fact is that there are more Democratic voters to turn out than Republicans. That is why Republicans are doing all they can to “challenge” new Democratic voters (while also making an earnest and decent effort to get their voters to the polls).
In 2000 Al Gore basically gained 3.5% points of the national vote on election day, despite not having enough money to mount a challenge in some states (Ohio especially), having a stronger Nader campaign that threatened to sap his strengthand enthusiasm in several states and having less than enthused backing amongst supporters. Did he get the big election day bounce becuase of the Bush DUI story, was it because of his ground game, or some combo of both? The last option is probably true (along with some last second changes of heart by Nader voters). This year Kerry has a much weaker challenge from Mr. Nader and record numbers of canvassers and an enthusiastic following – if they are more for Bush’s defeat than Kerry’s victory, it makes no matter.
Another factor that favors Kerry is early voting. Early voting has already ameliorated problems like the 60,000 “missing” absentee ballots in Florida. It has given voters who are most likely to be disenfranchised a better shot at having their vote count, that is not to say that all voters who voted early are Democrats, but the Republican early-voters were going to have their votes counted no matter what, that is not the case for the Democrats. This is why I have moved FL to the Kerry column after feeling for weeks that the Bush Junta would be able to steal it once again. Also, expect Tennessee – which has had a surge of early voting – to be surprisngly close.
Finally, there is the youth and college vote. The writers of The Note said that any campaign that counts on youth votes should be terrified, and they are generally correct. As I have written several times before, however, this year is unpredented. Young people are taking the resurrection of the Draft much more seriously than the Baby Boomer media. There has already been a surge of registraion and voting on college campuses where more people are voting early now than they did at all in last election.
Switching Ohio and Florida would change this election to Bush. Expect both races to be tight and for the GOP to challenge several thousand votes immediately after the polls close.
Also, expect Kerry to win Oregon by about 9%.
Here is a final predictive element. Approximately 50% of registered voters cast a ballot in 2000. That number is expected to rise to 55% in this election. If over 58% of all eligible voters cast a ballot, expect Kerry to win, if it is under 58%, odds favor Bush the further the turnout is away from 58%.
A final post-script for this election:
“America is not a wicked country; we cannot abide a wicked government.”
– Frank Church (D-ID) 1972.