The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

Election Night Live Blogging Experiment

Here is a look at my thoughts during the course of Election Night 2008. I decided just today to update all of the final results and organize my updates all into one post. Hope you enjoy!

Update #1 (as of 7:15 PM):

Just to let you know what races I will be watching tonight. Expect a new update about every hour or so tonight, as I will be crunching numbers in the biggest races:

Presidential Races:
Colorado (polls ranging from 4 to 6 for Obama)
Florida (polls ranging from -1 to 2)
Georgia (polls ranging from -7 to -4)
Indiana (polls ranging from -3 to 0)
Montana (polls ranging from -5 to -2)
North Carolina (polls ranging from -2 to 1)
North Dakota (polls ranging from -6 to -2)

New Hampshire (polls ranging from 5 to 9)
New Mexico (polls ranging from 6 to 9)Nevada (polls ranging from 1 to 4)
Ohio (polls ranging from 1 to 3)
Pennsylvania (polls ranging from 6 to 9)
Virginia (polls ranging from 2 to 5)

Senate Races (all states with an incumbent R)
Alaska – Stevens (R) vs Begich (D)
Georgia – Chambliss (R) vs Martin (D)
Kentucky – McConnell (R) vs Lunsford (D)
Minnesota – Coleman (R) vs Franken (D)
North Carolina – Dole (R) vs Hagan (D)

House Races (Schmidt and Turner are incumbents, Shuring and Boccieri are aiming to succeed retiring R Ralph Regula)
OH-02 – Schmidt (R) vs Wulsin (D)
OH-03 – Turner (R) vs Mitakides (D)
OH-16 – Schuring (R) vs Boccieri (D)

Issues
CA-08 – Proposition to ban gay marriage

Update #2 (as of 9:32 PM):

Here is my analysis from the earliest polls:

– Obama has a commanding early lead thus far in Florida. With 26% of the precincts counted according to ABC News, he is leading about 54 to 46. This means that for the rest of the 74% of the precincts, McCain must win by 2.7% across the entire state. If Obama wins Florida, this thing is pretty much over.

– Many cable news networks, including ABC, are starting to call Pennsylvania. I am not sure why this is happening, but I would hesitate to call this state just because of the late push the Republicans made here. I will be checking up on the numbers as they come in there.

– Results are slow in Georgia, but early indications show that it is not likely for Obama to pull off the big upset here. McCain is up huge through only 4% of the precincts, but I think this race will be over before Georgia even matters.

– Keep an eye on the early Republican tilt in Virginia. Sure the networks calling Pennsylvania for Obama is a big boost for the Democrats, but Obama pretty much needs Virginia, as it has been leaning pretty heavy towards him recently. With 27% of the precincts counted, McCain leads about 56.5 to 43.5. This means that Obama would have to win the remainder of the precincts by a margin of 4.8%, not a very good start here.

– Indiana was looking closer earlier, but is starting to tilt over to McCain. With 35% of the precincts counted, McCain is up 52 to 48, meaning that Obama must win the remainder of the precincts by 2.2%. This should still remain close, but I doubt Obama will win this one by much, if at all.

– Keep an eye on that Senate race in Kentucky between Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and challenger Bruce Lunsford. McConnell leads just slightly right now with 30% of the precincts counted, and if the Democrats pull off this upset, then you can really trust that they have had quite a successful election.

– New Hampshire was just called by CNN. Under my numbers, this means that Obama will likely be at 264 electoral votes. He only really needs Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, or any one of those toss ups to win. Could this one be over early???

Update #3 (as of 10:27 PM):

Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Hampshire and Georgia are the biggest states to be called thus far. No big surprises from those four states, and it definitely looks like Obama will win in the 318-338 range, if you ask me:

– With 62% of the precincts reporting in Virginia, McCain leads by 2.2%, meaning that Obama would have to take about 3.7% of the remaining precincts. Results are coming in from this state in a pretty constant format, but the numbers are not adding up for me. I doubt that actually 62% of the total vote is counted, and thus expect a flow of Obama votes to start to come sometime soon.

– With 47% of the precincts reporting in Florida, Obama leads by 4.3%, meaning that McCain would have to take about 3.8% of the remaining precincts. This is huge, especially combined with the results coming in from North Carolina. An Obama win here makes it seem illogical for McCain to win, a trend that might be starting to emerge across all of the toss-up states. No possible way McCain wins without Florida.

– With 37% of the precincts reporting in North Carolina, Obama leads by 4.1%, meaning that McCain would have to take about 2.4% of the remaining precincts. With CNN and several other networks already calling Kay Hagan to upset Elizabeth Dole in the senate race here, it looks like Obama has accomplished his turnout goals. This should remain close, but the results from Florida look much more convincing and meaningful, and will probably be called much faster.

– These three states indicate how Obama is starting to build upon his big lead nationally. Ohio results are just starting to come in, and then after that a bunch of states out west (New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada) will close up their polls. These results will probably be more favorable than the numbers Obama is currently getting in Virginia, and all along I was saying that Colorado was the key in this race. Colorado will decide it in the end probably, but there could be a state or two (North Carolina and/or Florida) before that could technically decide it.

– O shucks, it looks like McConnell will actually win. Now keep an eye on that senate race between incumbent R Saxby Chambliss and challenging Martin in Georgia. The winner must have 50% of the vote, otherwise there will be a heated run-off in December. This would be huge as the Democrats would have a ton of momentum headng into such a run-off.

West Virginia was just called for McCain by CNN. Nothing too surprising there once again, just keeping with all of my numbers really. I expect in the end that Obama will take Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina which means a blow-out of 353 electoral votes.

Post-Election Mayhem (final polls as of 5:00 PM on Thursday, November 6):

Presidential Races:
Colorado (polls ranging from 4 to 6 for Obama) – final result Obama 53.0% to McCain 45.3%
Florida (polls ranging from -1 to 2) – final result Obama 50.9% to McCain 48.4%
Georgia (polls ranging from -7 to -4) – final result McCain 52.4% to Obama 46.9%
Indiana (polls ranging from -3 to 0) – final result Obama 49.9% to McCain 49.0%
Montana (polls ranging from -5 to -2) – final result McCain 49.7% to Obama 47.2%
North Carolina (polls ranging from -2 to 1) – final result Obama 49.9% to McCain 49.5%
North Dakota (polls ranging from -6 to -2) – final result McCain 53.3% to Obama 44.7%

New Hampshire (polls ranging from 5 to 9) – final result Obama 54.3% to McCain 44.8%
New Mexico (polls ranging from 6 to 9) – final result Obama 56.9% to McCain 41.8%
Nevada (polls ranging from 1 to 4) – final result Obama 55.1% to McCain 42.7%

Ohio (polls ranging from 1 to 3) – final result Obama 51.2% to McCain 47.2%
Pennsylvania (polls ranging from 6 to 9) – final result Obama 54.6% to McCain 44.3%
Virginia (polls ranging from 2 to 5) – final result Obama 52.3% to McCain 46.8%

Before the polls started to roll in, I stated that John McCain would have to win one out of Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina and Missouri. It looks like he will only win Missouri out of these states, and Obama absolutely dominated out west in Colorado and Nevada. The results from Indiana, North Carolina and Missouri have been slow to trickle in, and pretty much only Missouri and one electoral vote in Nebraska are truly toss-ups at this point in time. It looks like Obama might take that one electoral vote from Omaha, along with all but one of those toss-ups, leaving him with a grand total of 364 electoral votes to John McCain’s 174. Once Ohio came in on Tuesday night around 9:45, I knew it was way over.

Senate Races (all states with an incumbent R)
Alaska – Stevens (R) 48.2% vs Begich (D) 46.7%
Georgia Chambliss (R) 49.8% vs Martin (D) 46.8%
Kentucky – McConnell (R) 52.9% vs Lunsford (D) 47.1%
Minnesota – Coleman (R) 42.0% vs Franken (D) 42.0%
North Carolina – Dole (R) 44.2% vs Hagan (D) 52.7%

These turned out to be the most entertaining senate races of the night, and three are still left to be decided. Over in Alaska, felon Ted Stevens proved the pre-election polls entirely wrong and it looks like he will beat Mark Begich. This seat, however, will not be out of the spotlight as it appears that even Republican leaders are calling on Stevens to step down. If he is forced out, it will be very interesting to see what Governor Sarah Palin does to occupy the seat. In Georgia, incumbent Saxby Chambliss did not win the required 50% of the vote, and thus there will be a run-off in four weeks. Democrats will be all over this seat, and since turnout is usually way down in run-offs, I would not be surprised at all to see Jim Martin make up his current deficit. In Minnesota, comedian Al Franken somehow tied with moderate incumbent Norm Coleman with the help of independent Dean Barkley. The two candidates are within 600 votes last time I checked, and this one could get very interesting over the next few weeks…

House Races (Schmidt and Turner are incumbents, Shuring and Boccieri are aiming to succeed retiring R Ralph Regula)
OH-02 – Schmidt (R) 45.0% vs Wulsin (D) 37.3%
OH-03 – Turner (R) 63.9% vs Mitakides (D) 36.1%
OH-16 – Schuring (R) 46.0% vs Boccieri (D) 54.0%

Not too many surprises here as incumbents Jean Schmidt and Michael Turner won quite handily. I thought that from the constant blogging on The FDH Lounge that the race in OH-02 would be closer, and I thought that the intense advertising for Jane Mitakides would show up somehow in the polls…. Guess not. In Stark County, John Boccieri got a big win for Congressional Democrats by winning over the seat formerly occupied by very popular Ralph Regula. This is one that Democrats circled on the map back in February or so, and I am impressed they were able to get an 8% victory.

Issues
CA-08 – Proposition to ban gay marriage (52.5% yes to 47.5% no)

This is sad to see, I believe, as only Connecticut and Massachusetts permit gay marriages anymore. There will be some fierce battles in the future at the state-wide level, as 30 states now have a specific ban on gay marriage.

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November 4, 2008 - Posted by | Politics | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. take a look at the Columbus Congressional race of Stivers v. Kilroy
    by the way, winner in Ga needed 50% not 49%

    Comment by Dad | November 7, 2008 | Reply


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