Intrade Predictions

For those not familiar, there is a website (actually a few of them) that is a cross between the stock market and a gambling website.  It’s called Intrade.  Basically, the way it works is they are an electronic exchange for buying and selling shares of different events.  One event that is particularly popular is the Presidential Election.  The site shows how ‘trading’ is going at the Electoral College level and the popular vote.  Obama is ahead 364/174 in Electoral Votes and a 93% chance of winning.

I really like this site as an indicator how the election is going.  It’s been a place I’ve turned all election season for a calibration of the races.  What I really like is the agreement between ‘investors’ to find the equilibrium in the chances of a candidate winning a state.  I believe investors are probably the most accurate predictors of the future outcome and the significant number of investors should do a good job of focusing to a reasonable percentage.  In fact, some of the aggregate pollsters use the results of Intrade to help determine the outcome of their polls.

The stock market sensitivity to events is usually extremely fine and relatively accurate as to where the economy or world events are going.  The Electronic Market extension (as is Intrade is considered) is a great way for cutting through Parisian rhetoric and getting to a real idea as to where the election stands.  I don’t have the stats from four years ago, but I believe the site was relatively accurate.  As the day and night drag on, I would suggest popping over to Intrade to see how they are projecting the different states.


The Liberal Crab’s Poll of “Poll of Polls” – 03 November 2008


Popular Vote

Obama – 51.5% +6.8%

McCain – 44.7%

Electoral College

Obama – 347

McCain – 191


Well here we are, the eve of the election and the final Poll of “Poll of Polls”.  The final popular vote total is 51.5% for Obama and 44.7% for McCain, giving Obama a 6.8% poll lead going into the election tomorrow. Oddly, after analyzing the remaining undecideds and adding the Barr/Nadar/Paul third party factor, my final prediction is – 51.5% Obama, 44.6% McCain, 3.9% third parties.  Am I saying the remaining ‘undecideds’ in my poll are actually voting third party?  No.  I actually gave McCain 62% of the 3.9% of undecideds, based on his performance with them in recent days.  However, he is impacted by about 1% more by the third party candidates based on my analysis of 2-way and 3-way polls.  As a result, the final prediction matches the final Poll of “Poll of Polls”.

There was some odd things going on with the national tracking polls.  Despite the pretty radical differences in each of them over the last few days, they all ended up centering between 5-9 points.  There are some games the pollsters can play to make the results trend to the mean such as changing party ID.  However, the important point is that the pollsters who have a stronger reputation – Rasmussen and Gallup, utilizing their ‘traditional’ belief in who makes up a likey voter still has Obama with a comfortable 5-6 point lead (and some even larger).

As the National vote was tightening, the state polls were increasing their margin for Obama.  Now that the national polls have been increasing their advantage for Obama, ironically we see a tightening at the state level.  While the idea of a lag has been widely discounted, even here, since the polls are coming out more frequently, the fact is that poll trends (which is what the other aggregators use) are based on the current polls as well as some of the older polls.  In effect, there is still some lag.  Since the national polls have only helped increase Obama’s lead over the last three or four days, it’s conceivable the minor tightening is a result of the slight lag.  What would that mean for Election Day?  It probably means Obama’s state leads are a bit larger than being projected.  The aggregators have a mean in their evaluation of 347 Electoral Votes.  Based on the latest national polls, I suspect their adjusted estimate (if given 2-3 more days) would be back in the 355-360 range.  Based on the latest polls and my analysis, my final prediction is Obama 302 and McCain 236.  My map is as follows:


My analysis was based on several factors.  First, the latest polling trends.  Second, only including pollsters with good reputations.  Third, past voting trends in the state.  Fourth, level of support for the candidate above/below 50%.  Fifth, a general thought on the GOTV efforts in the state.  Florida has been trending back to McCain.  Ohio was on the edge.  It’s been trending back, slightly to Obama.  It’s close enough that if there is any impact from Palin’s ‘coal’ comments today, I could see that pushing it over to McCain.  Regardless, it’s within the margin of error and a state the Democrats have previously lost twice.  Missouri is close, but the GOTV efforts by Obama, I think, will make a considerable difference for Obama.  Colorado and Nevada show strong trends toward Obama.  Virginia appears to have stabilized out at about 4-5 points. Obama should be able to hold that lead.

More to come about what to look for tomorrow, as well as additional analysis.

My analysis looked at se

Great Men?

Bill Clinton, George HW Bush, James Garfield, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Barack Obama/John McCain and The Liberal Crab.  What do these men have in common?  They are all left handed!  That’s right, three out of our last four (including Tuesday’s election) will have been leftys.  Some claim Reagan (he converted) and Herbert Hoover were also leftys.

Why do I bring it up? Well, first it’s a light hearted turn from every day political discussions, it’s an odd fact, and (as stated before) I am left handed!  Want another interesting nugget?  This year’s two candidates do not top the race for most lefty’s in a General Election.  Nope, that distinction goes to 1992 when Perot, Bush, and Clinton were all lefty’s.  Us leftys have it tough.  We live in a world made for rightys and who do not realize how much is geared for the right hand.  There is pride in being a lefty and little nuggets us lefty’s live for.

Just a fun fact to take some of the penultimate election night stress off.  Enjoy.

Perhaps the Most Important Reason I am Voting for Barack Obama – My Children

Before you have children, you live your life for yourself.  The decisions you make are based in what’s best for you.  But that changes when you have children.  I should know, my wife and I have three beautiful young children.  Once you have them, everything changes.  Your life is not your own.  This isn’t simply about losing freedom for eighteen years why you raise your family.  It goes to the decisions you make.  All of a sudden you want to save the environment because you are worried about your children’s world.  You save more money because you want to make sure they have everything they need growing up.  You change the way you live your life because you want to make sure you are there for them and give them everything you can.

You also look at elections differently, particularly in the world in which we are living today.  Rather than look at the short-term, your view becomes longer.  Who is the candidate that is going to protect my kids the best – with social programs, preserving the environment, defending our home land, and ensuring that the next generation grows up with better opportunities than we had.  If you have kids, you understand where I am coming from.  If you don’t, trust me, when you do – these are the things you will think about when you vote.

I’ve always been a Democrat.  My hero when I was ten years was John Kennedy.  When I was 16, I remember listening to Mike Dukakis the morning before the election talk about moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and watching him lose the next day and being devastated.  In 1992 after Bill Clinton won, I remember taking a solitary walk on campus to ponder what it mean that Clinton won.  And in 2000, the last election before I had kids, I was beyond devastated after Bush stole the election.

But in 2004 and now in 2008, the election has meant so much more.  I am willing to cross party lines if it meant the best future for my children.  Voting for George Bush was not an option four years ago.  The ire the world had for his politics, the dangers he created, and the disregard for the condition of the planet made my decision easy to vote against him.  As a Democrat, Kerry also shared my core values that added to my convictions.

With this election, I was a Hillary Clinton supporter.  I believed she presented the best policy positions for this country.  It was a difficult decision, as I watched people I respected like Ted Kennedy and Bill Richardson support Barack Obama.  When Hillary lost, I finally found the time to get to know Barak Obama.  Looking back, I wished I would have supported him from the beginning.

This election and this time is very different from most of our history.  With the possible exceptions of 1860, 1932, and 1940, this might be the most important election we face.  Our challenges are daunting, the morale of the Country is down, and our respect around the world is at an all-time low.  It scares me that my children are living in a country that has fallen so far over the last eight years – further than anyone could have imagined when they said, “So Bush won.  How bad can he screw it up in the next four years?”.  We now know the answer to that question.  We need a president who not only can speak to policy, but can give us hope while we spend years repairing the damage that has been done to our Country.  This is not the time for a Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, or Lyndon Johnson – or my hero Bill Clinton (the White House version – not the ‘on the stump’ version).   This is a time for a Ronald Reagan or John Kennedy.  We need a president who can uplift us, sell us on our future, and bring people together.  At the same time, we need a president who can progress policy to fix this country.

Barack Obama is that man, John McCain is not.  For the moment, leave policies aside.  John McCain, while he may have made a decent president in the mold of Johnson, Nixon or Carter eight years ago, he does not have the ability to unify and transcend politics and policy.   His speeches on the stump are not awe inspiring, they are not positive, and they do not talk to the greatness of the American people or the country.  Yes, he talks about his love for the Country and that our best days are ahead.  But do you feel moved when he talks?

Obama has the ability to inspire, to give us hope, and make us believe that our future can still be bright.  This is the gift that Kennedy and Reagan had, and this is what the country needs now – more than ever.

A 47 year-old man with two young daughters provides me clear evidence his priorities are the same as mine.  A 72 year old man at the end of his political career does not provide me any belief that he’s got my interests (or my children’s) at heart.  I know why Obama wants to be president, I am not sure about McCain.

Looking at the policies of the two candidates, I can very much say that Obama’s take a much longer-term view.  He does not want to fix the economy with quick solutions that create more debt and problems that are pushed to our children.  Obama doesn’t believe in ‘drill baby drill’ as a quick solution.  He believes in an energy solution that fully frees us from foreign dependence and protects our environment.  It’s clear our allies around the world believe Obama will restore the good name of the United States. In a world that is becoming more interdependent, that is important.  His belief that we should talk to anyone and find a diplomatic solution verse McCain’s belief in hawkish foreign poicy is the right choice to protect my children.  Obama believes strengthening our aging infrastructure so that the next generation is safe and secure.  He believes in maintaining the social programs that protect us and have given millions of people (including my grand parents) the ability to live the American dream. 

To me, the choice is clear.  It’s time to make a change. It’s time feel like there is hope again.  It’s time to give my children the gift of an America to be proud of.  It’s time to elect Barack Obama as our 44th president.  One more day and our future will be bright again.

The Liberal Crab’s Poll of “Poll of Polls” – 01 November 2008

Popular Vote

Obama – 50.9%  +6.2%

McCain – 44.7%

Electoral College

Obama – 354

McCain – 184

McCain and Obama both gained in the polls today, but McCain’s gain was slightly better, but nothing that changes the dynamic of the race.  The biggest change, and one that is extremely positive for Obama, is that undecideds dropped by 1% since yesterday.  The drop went 45% to Obama and 55% to McCain.  If you extrapolate that across the remaining undecideds, McCain would pick up a net gain of only .5%.  Accounting for all voters and using the algorithm just described, the vote total would be Obama 52.8% and McCain 47.1%.  That would still give Obama a 5.7% margin of victory.  However, Bob Barr and Ralph Nader will take votes away.  The analysis from reviewing Real Clear Politics from about a week ago, would take about 2% from Obama and 3% from McCain.

My best guess for election night, based on the latest information is – Obama 50.8%, McCain 44.1%.  That would give Obama a 6.7% win margin.  That is a significant win.  Keep in mind, if there is still a Bradley Effect, the pundits believe it would be a 2-6% effect.  Obama’s win margin would still be above that number.  Interesting, and perhaps giving credence to my current projection, this is about where the race stands right now.  Obama right at the 50% threshold and McCain still not breaking through the 46% ceiling.  Just for the heck of it, there are two days left – McCain needs to make up 3% per day to close the gap.

But that’s the popular vote.  It really doesn’t matter.  What matters is the Electoral College.  Depending how you define ‘tightening’, there may or may not be tightening in the Electoral College.  If you consider tightening states changing columns (e.g. from Obama to McCain or Toss-up), there hasn’t been any tightening.  If you consider tightening races getting closer, then there has been some tightening in Pennsylvania.  The state is still strong for Obama, but McCain has definitely made inroads and perhaps cutting Obama’s lead in half in the last week.  The good news is the state is strong for Obama and, if it took a week to get this close, he should still win it relatively easily.  The bad news could be if the polls are even a little tighter than they’ve been projected.  Keep in mind, in the Real Clear Politics final poll for 2004 Obama was up .9% and won by 2.5%.  Obama is up in their poll by 7.5%  Pennsylvania is polled every day so these results are current.  It’s very difficult to see how he’ll cut that lead close enough to make a difference in two days.

Now the real good news?  McCain still needs to win the following states, even with Pennsylvania (Obama’s lead follows each state): Florida (+4.1%), North Carolina (+1.3%), Ohio (+5.6%), and Colorado (+6.2%).  Those are very tough odds.  If he loses Pennsylvania, I believe it’s over.  If he loses Pennsylvania and Virginia (+6.0), it is over.  Keep in mind, he still needs to win a host of other states where they are still considered ‘toss-ups’ – Indiana (-.5%) and  Missouri (-.6%). There also a couple of states that are ‘leaning’ McCain, but McCain’s lead is still smaller than Obama’s in the States McCain is trying to win – Georgia (-3%), Montana (-3.8%), Arizona (-3.5%).  My best guess for election night, based on the latest information is – Obama 338 McCain 200.  Although, my brain and my heart are telling me that Obama will not win both Ohio and Florida.  So, I believe Obama’s range will be 311 to 338.

The last two lingering item is how Obama’s Aunt story plays out and the final smear assult.  There are vastly different opinions on the Aunt story, ranging from no effect, effecting Obama, to even effecting McCain (if GOP is implicated).  This story appears it might be even more dangerous to McCain, judging by the fact his campaign will not mention it.  As for the smears, it probably will affect those with a choice by a minimal amount and a little more with the undecideds.  I can’t imagine that it will shift the election more than 2%.

Bad News – Big Time Endorsement for McCain

McCain received the endorsment of Dick Cheney Today.

I’d like to congratulate Senator McCain on this endorsement because he really earned it. That endorsement didn’t come easy. Senator McCain had to vote 90 percent of the time with George Bush and Dick Cheney to get it. He served as Washington’s biggest cheerleader for going to war in Iraq, and supports economic policies that are no different from the last eight years. So Senator McCain worked hard to get Dick Cheney’s support.

But here’s my question for you, Colorado: do you think Dick Cheney is delighted to support John McCain because he thinks John McCain’s going to bring change? Do you think John McCain and Dick Cheney have been talking about how to shake things up, and get rid of the lobbyists and the old boys club in Washington.

Ok, just having a little fun with it (as was Obama).   But seriously, does Dick Cheney want McCain to lose.  Are Republicans such as Bush, Cheney, and Palin so dillusional about what the rest of the Country thinks of them?  This might play to the base, but enough of that with Palin.  This just drives home the point of linking the current administration with McCain.

Oops – How Embrarrassing

I don’t know if I’d chalk this error up to tiredness.  I think it is a campaign that has poor communication.  Keep in mind, after Joe’s rants over the last couple of days…the McCain campaign may want a lower profilefor the actual ‘Joe the Plumber’