Archive for 2008 Presidential Election

Presidential Election – Live Blog

Posted in Politics with tags on November 4, 2008 by Jamie

12:26 – After a very long day, I’m exhuasted so its time for bed. Good night, and check back tomorrow for more election updates, including postings of the final results. Thank you for your support today.

11:30 – I was actually very moved my John McCain’s concession speech. He said what he needed to say and united the party, choosing his words very wisely. Onto Obama’s acceptance speech…

11:09 – Gonna go watch his acceptance speech. Thanks for visiting The Blender and check back later for more analysis.

11:03 – Obama is now projected to win Washington, Oregon, and California. Game over.

11:00 – OBAMA WINS VIRGINIA!

10:52 – Virginia and Florida still way too close, with Obama leading 51%-49% in both states with almost all (over 75%) precincts accounted for in each.

10:47 – “The fat lady hasn’t sung but she’s got her costume on.” Wow, I love CNN radio.

10:38 – Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Missouri are all insanely close, within 2 or 3 percentage points max. Because of this, even though polls have been closed for hours, no winner can be projected. If Obama wins California, he needs ONE MORE STATE to clinch.

10:25 – McCain has won Mississippi.

10:22 – John McCain has won Texas. Big deal. That’s like throwing a hail-mary pass when you’re down by 35 with a minute to go.

10:21 – McCain aides have been quoted as saying they see “no path to victory based on the results for tonight.” Sucks for him. Obama is virtually guaranteed to win California, so he just needs one more state.

10:08 – Obama has earned another vote from the state of Maine (they don’t have a winner-take-all system.) Eight more…

10:06 – CNN projects that Obama will win Iowa. His real magic number? 215. When he hits that it’ll be recognized by almost everyone that he has one, because he pretty much has California in his pocket.

9:56 – My newly updated predictions, click to enlarge:

9569:50 – OBAMA WINS NEW MEXICO! GAME OVER! (Not officially…)

9:44 – The race is pretty much over. California, Oregon, and Washington, which have a combined 73 electoral votes, are all very blue, meaning they will more than likely vote Obama. Though the results for these west coast states won’t come in until later, we know that if and when Obama wins then, he will be merely 3 electoral votes away from the magic number: 270.

If Obama wins just ONE of these remaining states: Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, in addition to the three west coasters, it’ll be curtains for McCain. And those are all states where either Obama is projected to win, or in a very close race.

9:36 – Obama wins Ohio! Game, set, and match.

9:32 – Obama has leads )albeit small ones,) in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. This could get ugly.

9:24 – McCain won West Virginia.

9:14 – John McCain has won Georgia.

9:09 – So where do we stand right now? Obama has won Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New York, for a total of 174 electoral votes.

Meanwhile, McCain has won Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama, Wyoming, and North Dakota, for a total of 49 electoral votes.

If Obama wins four of the west coast states he should win (Washington, Oregon, California, and New Mexico), he’ll be just 14 electoral votes away from clinching the presidency. McCain cannot afford to lose Virginia, Florida, or Ohio, or else the election is pretty much going to be official.

9:02 – Rhode Island, Michigan, Wisoncsin, Minnesota, and New York will go for Obama and Wyoming and North Dakota will go for McCain.

9:00 – Alabama will go for John McCain.

8:58 – Most of the Midwest are closing polls in a few minutes, and some big states (New York, Texas, etc,) will officially be awarded (almost 100% likely to be Obama, McCain, respectively.) expect a bunch of announcements soon.

8:55 – Not too much is happening that I haven’t stated already, but Elizabeth Dole, the wife of former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, has lost her bid for election in North Carolina. Can that state swing over to Obama’s side? We’ll see…

8:42 – Obama wins Pennsylvania.

8:41 – 54%-46% for McCain in Virginia with 43% of precincts reporting.

8:31 – Obama wins New Hampshire.

8:25 – Arkansas’ polls close in five minutes. Woo-hoo!

8:22 – McCain is winning 56%-43% in Virginia, with 26% of precincts reporting.

8:19 – Obama has a 54%-46% lead in Florida, with 24% of the precincts reporting. McCain has a 52%-47% lead in Indiana, with 34% of the precincts reporting. Other states are still too close to call, and even these two are still too close.

8:12 – It’s still a bit early to make any more projections, but personally, I project CNN will show the crowd in Chicago (who have gathered in extremely large numbers in anticipation of an Obama victory,) at least 100 more times tonight.

8:05 – Obama has a big lead in Florida, which would be great for his chances. It’s still early though.

8:03 – Barack Obama is now projected to win Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and Illinois. While McCain is projected to win Tennessee and Oklahoma. This is in addition to the previous projections.

7:58 – John McCain is projected to win South Carolina’s eight electoral votes, despite being down in the current polls.

7:55 – “If John McCain can’t carry Pennsylvania, he’ll have a tough challenge ahead of him.” – Wolf Blitzer. He is so right… if McCain loses it, he’ll need to perform extremely well in the other states, including Florida, where winning by 16 percentage points, 58-42, with 11% of precincts reporting. Please feel free to comment by the way.

7:53 – Polls are closing at 8:00 pm in 15 states, including battlegrounds Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, and Missouri. We should get some detailed results soon.

7:30 – Polls closed in Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Not enough data is available to predict a winner in either of these states.

7:24 – Polls getting set to close in Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina. A projected win for Obama in Ohio would be devastating to McCain’s chances.

7:02 – Polls close in those six states. CNN projects Obama will win Vermont and McCain will win Kentucky (no surprise here.)

6:47 – A number of states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, Indiana, and Vermont, end polling at 7pm. Stay tuned. These results could be big…

6:45 – Check out the “pages” at the top of the blog for various election material.

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Election Special: What To Expect

Posted in Politics with tags on November 4, 2008 by Jamie

I’ve been very busy lately, so I haven’t had much time to update the blog with some new stuff.

But because today, (well probably, tomorrow or even later,) a new president will be elected, choosing a new president for the next four years, I figured I needed something.

Sometime today, before polls being to close (around 7) I will submit my last election preview. In addition to that, I will have a live updated post, stating and discussing each result as it comes in. You can go to my blog, and keep refreshing every few minutes for brand new updates.

Enjoy.

How To Teach Quantum Physics To A Monkey

Posted in Politics with tags , , on October 22, 2008 by Jamie

If you arrived at this post expecting me to actually answer the question in the title, than you have even less of a clue than a monkey. Today, during a break from school, I tried to explain the Electoral College to a friend of mine, who most people agree isn’t the smartest person around.

When a passerby noticed this, he laughed, saying my efforts were like “teaching quantum physics to a monkey,” and that’s where I got my title. But in reality, it was a lot easier to explain the Electoral College, and how the U.S. runs their election, then I assume it would be to teach Quantum Physics to a monkey. If you have a general knowledge of quantum physics, and happen to own a monkey, I urge you to try it, and get back to me with your results.

Anyways, my friend, whose name I will not say for his own confidentiality, has a much higher brain capacity then a monkey. And the way the U.S. runs their presidential election is a lot easier to explain then quantum physics, whatever they are. The guy, and a group of his friends who were near enough to hear my attempt at the explanation, were all interested to eavesdrop and add their input.

Just thought I should note that they are all Canadian minors, so even if they did live in the U.S, they couldn’t vote. And I guess it’s good they couldn’t, because in just a few minutes statements like “no chance any rappers are voting for McCain,” and “Sarah Palin is more qualified than Obama to be president.” While I am a supporter of Obama, and I don’t pretend to know everything about politics, I know those two statements are wrong.

What I told my friend, who asked me if Obama was going to win the election, is not necessarily how the Electoral College works, nor what it is, but how and why Obama will be elected. As a service to you, my readers, I will explain how the election is decided, and using surveys and math, why Obama will win.

Each state is designated with a certain number of “Electoral Votes,” which is equal to its number of Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress combined. The most populous states have the highest number of Electoral votes. Click here to see how many electoral votes each state has. Anyways, with each election, many news sites like to put out their own electoral predictions. Slate’s is the most informative (providing you with recent polling data for each state, and using that to determine who will win,) and USA Today’s is the most interactive, allowing you to look at all elections since 1960 and see how they worked out.

There are a total of 538 electoral votes up for grabs, from all 50 U.S. states plus Washington D.C., and a total of 270 is needed for election. States that are “Safe Obama/McCain” are almost guaranteed to vote for that specific candidate, and in some cases (McCain in Michigan) candidates have completely given up trying to “win” that state. Aside from special cases in Maine and Nebraska, if a candidate wins the popular vote in a state, he receives all of the state’s electoral votes. Here’s a breakdown (using Slate’s data) of how the election will likely play out, with the number of electoral votes that state has in brackets:

Disclaimer: The classification as states “Safe,” “Leaning,” or “Tossup,” were made by Slate based on scientific polling. It does not mean those states are guarantees in any way.

“Safe Obama” states (states that are almost guaranteed to vote Obama):

California (55), Oregon (7), Washington (11), Iowa (7), Wisconsin (10), Illinois (21), Michigan (17), Virginia (13), Pennsylvania (21), New York (31), Maine (4), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Connecticut (7), Vermont (3), New Jersey (15), Delaware (3), Maryland (10), Washington DC (3), Hawaii (4).

“Safe McCain” states (states that are almost guaranteed to vote McCain):

Alaska (3), Idaho (4), Utah (5), Arizona (10), Wyoming (3), South Dakota (3), Nebraska (5), Kansas (6), Oklahoma (7), Texas (34), Arkansas (6), Louisiana (9), Mississippi (6), Alabama (9), Tennessee (11), Kentucky (8), West Virginia (5), South Carolina (8).

“Lean Obama” states (states that are likely to vote for Obama, but where the race is close enough that McCain could still win):

Colorado (9), New Mexico (5), Minnesota (10), New Hampshire (4).

“Lean McCain” states (states that are likely to vote for McCain, but where the race is close enough that Obama could still win):

Georgia (15).

“Tossup” states (states where the race is so close, they could vote either way, also called “swing” states or “battleground” states):

Nevada (5), Montana (3), North Dakota (3), Missouri (11), Indiana (11), Ohio (20), North Carolina (15), Florida (27).

If both “safe” and “leaning” states for those candidates, Obama is projected to get 286 electoral votes, McCain 157, and 95 remain tossups. Because this result would give Obama the majority (270) he needs to win, McCain needs to work hard to win states that should be his in the first place.

Winning Florida and Ohio are crucial to McCain’s chances. It’s likely that if McCain ends up winning, it’s due in part to his winning of those two states. In addition to winning all, if not most, of the remaining tossup states, McCain will have to win states that generally vote republican, but are shifting towards Obama.

He’ll likely need to win Virginia, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, North Carolina, Indiana, and the previously mentioned Flordia and Ohio. A scenario like that would net Obama 273 votes and McCain 265. This situation would still give Obama a victory, but it would make McCain much closer.

So in addition to winning all those states, McCain will have to pry one from Obama’s grasp. If this were to happen anywhere, New Hampshire or Pennsylvania is probably his best chance. Pennsylvania’s 21 electoral are extremely valuable to either candidate, and if McCain can pry Pennsylvania from Obama, as well as win the states in the previous paragraph, McCain will win the election. If McCain can’t get Pennsylvania, but manages to win the states in the previous paragraph as well as New Hampshire, a very unique situation would occur. There would be an electoral tie (269-269), in which case the House of Representatives would decide who’d win.

Even though McCain is making gains in Pennsylvania, it still seems likely that state will vote for Obama. Recent Slate data has Obama with a big lead, 53.7% to 38.4%, but anything can happen between now and election day (November 4th.) As the election nears, expect a lot more politics-related posts, as well as new electorla updates next Monday, as well as the Monday after, the night before the election.

I hope this explanation helped, and even though most of my readers are Canadian and therefore ineligible to vote, I still think (and hope) you will find it interesting and informative.

Albums listened to while writing/researching this post:

“Across The Universe Soundtrack” – Various Artists

“After the Gold Rush” – Neil Young