The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

Final Election Report

Disclaimer: This final election report is the conclusion of a series of looks at the 2008 Presidential Election. From analyzing the delegates in the primaries, to starting to pick apart the competitive states in the general election back in June, I have been covering all aspects of this year’s election process. This article includes all of the previous information in one final review.


John McCain is not running in the 2008 Presidential election simply against Barack Obama. Any casual political observer would tell you that an enormous part of his campaign thus far has been distancing himself from the incredibly unpopular Presidency of George W. Bush. To a certain extent, this entire idea is the framework for the rest of my report: John McCain is at an extreme disadvantage in this election because of conditions well beyond his control. As Alexander Mooney at CNN writes, “Amid a failing economy, a Republican party in tatters, and a rival who has presented himself as an acceptable alternative, McCain’s fate may ultimately be out of his hands.”

In addition to the fact that George W. Bush has been one of the most unpopular Presidents in the modern era, the size and power of the Democratic Party has grown substantially since he was re-elected in 2004. However, the question of whether Democratic nominee Barack Obama has had a tremendous impact on this rise in party identification is not a direct issue in this election, as both candidates will have to make do with the current political nature of the United States. What is important to note is that it is a given in this year’s election that there will be more identified Democrats voting than identified Republicans, and from that information the only thing that can be altered is the rate of return on those Democratic or Republican voters, along with the tendencies of Independent-leaning individuals.

All of those factors would already lean towards a heavy Democratic advantage in this November’s election, but there is one other x-factor to the success of Barack Obama’s campaign: community organization. From the University of Dayton’s massive canvassing operations to the overwhelming flow of personnel in St. Louis, Missouri, it appears that Obama and the Democratic National Committee are running the largest grassroots campaign in history. One can only expect that within the final two weeks of the election, this party will not back down just yet and will march on with the largest “Get Out The Vote” drive ever. Reports are only starting to come in from these operations, and I can report first-hand here in Dayton that the organization is unlikely anything ever from a politician.

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October 23, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , | 1 Comment

The Boots (October 14, 2008)

Boot Up: Ohio State’s Upcoming Schedule – After back-to-back ugly victories, the Ohio State football team finds itself at 6-1 and as the #13 team in the nation. Are they deserving of such a high ranking this week from the Harris Poll after failing to produce an offensive touchdown against Purdue? That is debatable, but the important aspect of the Buckeyes so highly ranked is that they have two extremely important games in the next two weeks. This week, the Buckeyes take on #18 Michigan State, a team that is 6-1 thus far this season mostly because of the incredible talent of Dayton Chaminade-Julienne graduate Javon Ringer. Their star 5-9 senior running back already has 1,112 yards and 14 touchdowns in seven games this season, and could very well be the first running back selected in the NFL Draft next year. He ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns last week in the Spartans victory over previously unbeaten Northwestern, and had a ridiculous 282 yards in a game against Florida Atlantic earlier this season. This will not be a very easy road game at all for Ohio State, and they must be able to get their offense back on track if they are going to contend with Michigan State for a full 60 minutes. They will not be able to rely upon a “bailout” from Terrelle Pryor as they did in the game against Wisconsin.

After that game this week in East Lansing, the Buckeyes have the extreme pleasure of hosting the #3 Penn State Nittany Lions. Joe Paterno’s crew is standing tall at 7-0 this season, and they look like the most logical team to stop Ohio State in their path to the Rose Bowl in 2008. I know it is not wise to overlook the road game this week against Michigan State, but this one should not be a walk in the park at all either. Senior Derrick Williams was one of the top recruits in the nation coming into Penn State four years ago, but has only just started to blossom for the team this season. In addition, it looks like this team utilized addition by subtraction through the graduation of Anthony Morelli, who had a less than stellar two full years as the starting quarterback. This game will make or break the Ohio State season, as a win in this game could easily propel them back on the national championship radar, along with putting them in line to win the Big Ten. Continue reading

October 14, 2008 Posted by | The Boots | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outside of Ohio Version of The Boots (October 7, 2008)

Boot Up: Mountain West Conference – This past Thursday night, the #13 team in the nation (according to the Harris Poll) Utah Utes defeated the Oregon State Beavers by the score of 31-28. Senior placekicker Louie Sakoda hit a 37-yard field goal, his third field goal of the night, just as time expired to give Utah the win. Utah managed to come back in this game despite trailing Oregon State, who defeated Southern Cal at home last week, by the score of 28-20 with only 2:18 remaining, and despite producing only 30 yards of offense in the third quarter. After the game, senior quarterback Brian Johnson, in his third full year as the starter, said that, “hands-down, the biggest win of my career.” Jacquizz Rodgers, the outstanding 5-6, 180 pound freshman out of Richmond, TX who punished Southern Cal just last week for 186 yards and two touchdowns was able to gather another 177 yards of total offense with a touchdown, but it was not enough for the Beavers who fell to 2-3 on the season while Utah improved to 6-0.

Why does this game matter in the world of college football? The most obvious connection is that Utah, who will certainly move up in the polls this week because upsets always happen, is right now the second most logical BCS buster. They are flying high at 6-0 with wins over Michigan, UNLV and now Oregon State, but all of their hard work must go into their season finale on November 22 against current #9, and Mountain West leading BYU. In addition to the strength of these two teams, it is important to note that the Mountain West improved to 6-1 this season against the Pac-10. That is not a misprint. Here is the proof: Continue reading

October 6, 2008 Posted by | The Boots | , , | Leave a comment