Monday, January 28, 2008

Predictions: Where Obama Stands

I have run the numbers, juggled the variables, adjusted for change, and this is what I've come down to. On February 6, this is where the delegates will stand (minus Superdelegates):
2025 - Needed for the nomination
1114 - Hillary Clinton
_971 - Barack Obama
_139 - John Edwards
Okay, obviously this is a wild-ass guess. Bill might end up so alienating people that Obama wins California--who can honestly say at this point? However, I did actually dig into things pretty seriously, and came up with totals based on current polling. You know, the polling that served us so well in NH and SC. But hey, in the absence of anything more accurate, it's all we've got (except in the eight states where's it's not available).


Methodology
I calculated the proportion each candidate would receive based on these totals. (All Democratic primaries are proportional.) In some cases where earlier polling was available and a trend was evident, I adjusted accordingly. Finally, I docked both Barack and Hillary 5% each and gave them to Edwards, who apparently plans to stay in the race through Feb 5. He received 10% of the post-Iowa states, and my hunch is that his voters are about split between Hillary- and Obama-leaners. Unlike the major media outlets, I excluded Superdelegates, which are highly unpredictable (see here) and mutable.

Of course, all of this will change each day as we get closer. Those Massachusetts numbers, for example, may well come down. But, since everyone keeps wondering what will happen on Super Tuesday and where we'll stand and (most pointedly for Obamaniacs like me) what Obama can expect even if he doesn't get a bumb from SC, it's a reasonable place to start.

Thoughts?

4 comments:

Chuck Butcher said...

I'd bet at this point Hillary is over polling, seriously. If Obama makes one slip, it will hurt beyond belief. Here is my reasoning:
People are shifting to him despite their "better" judgement, on the basis of hope. That is a powerful draw, but it is incredibly fragile.

Dismissing Edwards with Industrial states coming up could be a mistake. Who he'd draw votes away from is an open question. In Iowa it looked like it was Hillary. given her politics that's odd, but rational hasn't defined politics for some time now. Your assumption that he hits both equally may have some validity in an irrational way. By politics he should hurt Obama, but I don't think it'll play that way. Anger isn't hope and it may go to Hillary's weaknesses. She just flat wears people out and this delegate thing could blow up in her face, especially if Edwards works the snot out of it. People who feel screwed don't like break the rules break the deal crap.

Cap'n Cyber said...

This certainly begs the question regarding whether or not Edwards is holding on in order to play "king-maker" (I say king and not queen because I don't think that's going to happen, although it feels like Edwards could endorse Obama at some point). If your prediction numbers are correct, and Edwards sends his delegates to Obama, that should just about do it. We can hope that Obama would offer Edwards the VP position or another influential role in his administration. Edwards' campaign platform is comparitively progressive and it would be good to see him get to include his constructive spirit and energy in Obama's administration. The polls are terrifically off (e.g. NH & S. Carolina). The latest polls were actually even more mistaken in S. Carolina than they were in New Hampshire in terms of by how many percentage points they were off (in this case re Obama's victory over Clinton & Edwards). Lots of younger people are voting and more and more people use cell phones exclusively. The polls say Hillary's ahead, but she's really only winning with retired senior citizens, the last demographic group who are still reliably answering land line phones at home about how they plan to vote. This method no longer generates an accurately representative sample for the presidential contest. Obama and Edwards will do better than polls say, and Obama does have Oprah, his "The Next Kennedy" excitement, and momentum from S.C. on his side. In 2004, 290,000 S. Carolinians voted in the Democratic Primary. This year, over 500,000 voted in it, and Obama alone received over 295,000 of those votes cast! Obamania indeed!

Jeff Alworth said...

I'd bet at this point Hillary is over polling, seriously. If Obama makes one slip, it will hurt beyond belief.

I agree tentatively with the first statement and decisively with the second. It panics me. He almost lost the entire election with his "You're likable enough" comment.

Chuck Butcher said...

Man, I've taken on your main opponent with no gloves, I may be real lukewarm on your guy, but I'm doing your heavy lifting.

Thanks for the link on BO, doubt it'll do much, there's been a fairly serious out-migration