Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Definitive, concise election watching advice from Nate Silver

Nate Silver is the smartest person in the world right now. He has run his election polling aggregate site fivethirtyeight.com for months now and has developed some seriously pointy-headed algorithms for averaging dozens of polls to produce overall numbers for the presidential contest as well as congressional races.

I don't understand half the stuff on his site, but here's his easily digestible take on how it goes down tonight (via fivethirtyeight.com):
It appears almost certain that Obama will capture all of the states won by John Kerry in 2008. Pennsylvania, while certainly having tightened somewhat over the course of the past two weeks, appears to be holding at a margin of about +8 for Obama, with very few remaining undecideds. Obama also appears almost certain to capture Iowa and New Mexico, which were won by Al Gore in 2000. Collectively, these states total 264 electoral votes, leaving Obama just 5 votes shy of a tie and 6 of a win.

Obama has any number of states to collect those 5 or 6 votes. In inverse order of difficulty, these include Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri and Indiana. Obama is the signficant favorite in several of these states; winning any one of them may be fairly difficult for John McCain, but winning all of them at once, as John McCain probably must do, is nearly impossible.
There you have it folks. Get your tequila ready. It's gonna be a hell of a night...

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