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) Continue reading

November 4, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , | 1 Comment

The Boots (November 4, 2008)

Boot Up: Cavaliers + Hornets – The Cavaliers lost in New Orleans the other night as Chris Paul had yet another amazing night, but you will be hearing about these two teams well into the NBA Playoffs this season. Simply because LeBron had an off shooting night on the road against one of the top teams in the Western Conference, does not mean that Cleveland will trail behind Boston, Detroit, or Orlando again this season. This was not supposed to be a very easy game for the Cavaliers, and I expect within the team’s record to start to bounce back within the next week or so. The Hornets on the other hand, should continue to be a force in the Western Conference with stud-muffin Chris Paul and free agent pick up James Posey. In the next Boot Down about the most recent big trade in the NBA, I will analyze the rankings of the Eastern Conference, and here is my analysis about the West:

Western Conference Preview:

The LA Lakers are the top team in the NBA without a doubt. A healthy Andrew Bynum playing alongside Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Kobe Bryant means that the Lakers have the best starting lineup in the entire league. As is well documented on The Wages of Wins blog, it seems like that Lakers will be the top team in the league for quite some time as well. Continue reading

November 4, 2008 Posted by | Politics, The Boots | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Continue reading

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

Fuzzy Election Math

It has been a while since I reported on the ongoing events in the political polling world.. So today I have decided to finally announce one of my biggest spreadsheet innovations in a very long time. For the last week, I have been editing a small program published on Nate Silver’s amazing Five Thirty Eight blog that automatically computes the winner of the popular vote based on input information for party identification, and retention rates.

If Obama wins Democratic ID voters by a margin of 73.5... What would McCain have to do?

If Obama wins Democratic ID voters by a margin of 73.5... What would McCain have to do?

Without any further ado, take a look at the graph on the right side of this page. Taking given information from Rasmussen and Gallup in terms of independent voter preference and party identification breakdown, I have analyzed what a typical election situation could look like. The key problem to understand in this graph, is that if Obama wins the possible democratic electorate (minus given points to Ralph Nader, the independent candidate,) by a certain margin, and with everything else held constant, what would McCain have to do in order to tie? (Recent Gallup weekly averages have Obama winning the democratic electorate by about a margin of 73.5, and that is why I have that in my this breakdown.) My conclusion to this problem is that since the democrats are expected to have such a huge advantage in terms of identification, and since Obama is currently winning independent voters, McCain would have to win the republican base by a nearly impossible margin of 82.33%.

Continue reading

September 11, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , | 2 Comments

The Boots (September 2, 2008)

Boot Up: Cleveland Indians recent play – The Cleveland Indians recent ten-game winning streak is a certain sign that things are sure to improve n 2009 for this very young team. Despite this past weekend’s three-game sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners, the Indians have played above average baseball throughout the second half of the season. When the Indians traded C.C. Sabathia just after their game on Sunday, July 6th, they had just lost to the Minnesota Twins and fallen to a record of 37-51 in the days before the All-Star break. Since that time, and despite the fact C.C. Sabathia may be a possible Cy Young candidate in the National League (which could include a no-hitter, pending an MLB report on whether or not a lousy infield single is ruled an error from Saturday’s game) the Indians have been 29-19. The Milwaukee Brewers, on the other hand, were 49-39 before the trade, and have been 31-18 since. This shows that since losing their best pitcher, the Indians have played right on track with one of the best teams in the National League: a team that currently has a 94.6% chance of making the playoffs according to Baseball Prospectus.

Continue reading

September 2, 2008 Posted by | The Boots | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Electoral College Breakdown

Using tools from, and, I have expanded upon my research that I used to breakdown the electoral map a month, and a half ago. With Barack Obama vs. John McCain as the match-up for the election set for just about 16 weeks from now, the state-by-state polls are starting to become a bit clearer. Most websites (Five Thirty Eight, and currently show that Obama has about a 65% to 70% chance of winning the election, as of right now. While that number could drastically change over the next few months most notably because of the impending selection of vice presidents from both campaigns, that number is a rough estimate based upon the current state-by-state totals.

In this article, I want to breakdown the states that will decide the election this coming November. To find the states that will be most crucial to this election, I compared the election results from the 2000, 2004, and then looked at the most recent four-day average from the polling estimates on Five Thirty Eight. All states that have consistently voted for one particular party, and look to vote for that same party by a margin of at least 7% in 2008, are placed into the easy point column. In terms of easy electoral votes, Obama leads McCain by a total of 183 to 154, with 201 toss-up electoral votes remaining.

Continue reading

July 14, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , | 1 Comment