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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Turnout Scenarios to Beat McCain

Dems interested in the outcome effect of voter turnout scenarios for key constituencies should check out Josh Kalven’s excellent summary of an interesting study by “Poblano” an anonomous statistician/analyst who blogs at FiveThirtyEight.com. Kalven’s Progress Illinois post describes Poblano’s study as “a sophisticated regression model that uses state-by-state polling data to assess possible general election outcomes in individual states.”
Poblano has an impressive track record. He predicted Obama would win NC by 17 points (He won by 14) and he nailed the Indiana primary as 51-49 for Clinton, outperfoming five major national polling firms, according to Pollster.com‘s Mark Blumenthal. He comes up with some interesting findings for the nomination scenarios. On Obama vs. Clinton:

Poblano’s simulation engine has produced some fascinating results. According to his current data, the model predicts that Clinton would win four states against McCain that Obama is favored to lose (FL, AR, WV, OH). Meanwhile, Obama wins eight states where Clinton would likely fail (MI, WI, IA, CO, NM, NV, WA, OR).

Regarding the African American vote with Obama as nominee, Kalven writes of Poblano’s study:

With each 10 percent increase in black turnout nationwide, Obama gains an average of 13 electoral votes, while his chance of winning jumps by about eight points…Examining the full results, you can see a handful of states turn from red to purple – or from purple to blue – as African-American turnout increases…if 2008 turnout levels mirror those in 2004, McCain is predicted to win Ohio by 1.6 percent. But when you increase African-American voters by 20 percent, the state tips towards Obama, giving him a 0.3 percent margin of victory. Push that up to 30 and 40 percent and his edge increases to 1.2 and 2.1 percent, respectively.

Poblano finds similar results for PA, NC, VA, SC, FL and GA. Regarding the youth votes, he finds, according to Kalven:

Poblano found that increasing the youth vote by 25 percent would give Obama 16 additional electoral votes and boost his chance of beating McCain by nearly 7 percent (assuming that this group breaks 70-30 towards Obama):

And, for Hispanics:

Poblano’s baseline assumes a 60-40 split in Obama’s favor and each 25 percent increase in turnout boosts his chances of beating McCain by a little under 3 percentage points

Poblano finds a series of even more optimistic outcomes, when increased turnout of all three key Democratic constituencies combine in varying percentages. Says Poblano “…it’s a very robust scenario for him with a lot of Plan A’s, Plan B’s, and Plan C’s to win the election.”

One comment on “Turnout Scenarios to Beat McCain

  1. MadamMijanou on

    “Never under estimate the power of a woman scorned”!
    Personally, I will write in Hillary Clinton’s name on the ballot in November should she not get the nomination.
    I do not want a one term president this time around. The problems this country faces are monumental. Experience in and around the White House and DC is paramount.
    Perhaps this will be another first in history. The First President to win by Write In Vote.


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