Monday, November 03, 2008


Like most of the folks round these parts, we will be glued to the TV Tuesday night with giddy (or if you voted for the losing candidate, dread) anticipation. As of this moment, Obama seems to have a pretty sizable lead in most of the important tracking polls in the critical swing states. Of course, that don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing... er... that is, if people don't go out and vote.

Iowa and Virginia are the two big keys to an Obama victory at this point. These two states, combined with the states that Kerry, er, carried in 2004 would be enough to secure a victory. Everything else would be gravy.

Much has been made about McCain trying to take Pennsylvania, but we seem to be firmly enough in the Blue column. We don't think that he'll make a dent in the Commonwealth, barring some sort of shenanigans.

Here's what we'll be looking at over the course of the evening:

During the 7 PM hour, we'll see the results of Georgia, Virginia, and Indiana coming in. Virginia should be an Obama win, Georgia should be a McCain win, and Indiana would usually be a McCain win, but has vacillated back and forth. The way we see it, if Obama wins Virginia, we're going to relax for the rest of the evening; again, if you take all of Kerry's 2004 states plus Virginia and Iowa you have an Obama victory.

Indiana, as everybody has said, should be a reliably red state, but over the last few weeks, it has gone back and forth. If the folks in Lake County (who are primarily Democrats) turn out en masse and the Republicans in the state pretty much stay home, you could see this state swing blue. We think the state will go red ultimately, but if it doesn't or if it is close, Obama will ultimately win the night. We'll crack open another beer.

Now, Georgia should be a reliable red state, but if you have a very high African-American turnout, you could have a swing to blue. We doubt that this state's going to swing, but in the unlikely even that it does go, the evening is over. We're opening up a case and coming in to work sometime next Wednesday.

Officially, if things go badly and Obama loses most of his swing states, we won't find out until after 11 PM when California puts him over the top. If things go well (and Indiana is in the blue column), we'd have an official win around 9-9:30 EST when Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and/or Rhode Island gives him +270. Without Indiana, Wisconsin is needed to go over 270 between 9 & 10PM.

Chances are you're not going to hear a real announcement declaring a winner until after 11 PM EST, after California closes

We'll be watching the Coleman/Franken, Chambliss/Martin, Dole/Hagan, and McConnell/Lunsford Senate races. Wins here would pretty much guarantee a 58 Democrats + Sanders + Lieberman majority.

Of course, locally we'll be looking at PA-18 (Murphy), PA-3 (English), and PA-12 (Murtha). Murtha's going to be the tough one. Personally we think, if you're a strategic voter and if you really want to bring home the bacon to your district, you may want to opt for a very senior Congressman in the majority over a very junior Congressman in the (presumptive) minority. Of course, you could also be a bitter redneck outside of Johnstown.

So, those are our hotspots.

Our final electoral vote prediction is 338 Obama and 200 McCain. We're giving McCain Indiana and North Carolina. We're giving Obama Ohio, Virginia, Florida, and, of course, Pennsylvania.

In 2004, we were wrong: we had Kerry taking Ohio, probably out of some sort of misplaced optimism. We hope our predictive prowess is better this time around.

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