DV Archive

Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

A Second Look at the Numbers

with one comment

I have taken a step back and looked at my statistical analysis of the impact of registered voters for the upcoming election. With the help of some e-mails and comments, I thought that it was prudent to point out a few variables that could sway the vote. Let me also point out that my goal was simply to offer a theory as to the impact of the newly registered. It was presented as an opportunity to start a discussion, and I welcome all suggestions to improve upon my thoughts.  

Left-over new voters- One commenter accurately pointed out (albeit rudely) that I did not take into account the 40% of likely voters who won’t vote for Barack Obama. If we gave Obama 60% of those voters we do need to account for the other 40%. It would be wise to assume that the lion’s share of that leftover group of voters will cast a ballot for John McCain. Of the total pool of 352,209 voters, I am predicting that Obama will capture 211,685 of the votes. That leaves roughly 141,000 votes. There will be some that vote, but not for anyone and a small group of third party voters. But based on historical trends it will be only about 1% of the vote. (It was actually less than 1% in 2004.) If we give McCain 39% of the leftover voters that provides him with 137,361 votes that weren’t available to George Bush in 2004. 

That actually leaves Barack Obama with the task of convincing more than 190,000 Bush voters to change their minds in 2008. 

Here is where we get into muddy water, which I guess I chose to wade into. These numbers are based on the principle that everyone that showed up in 2004 shows up again in 2008. Voter fatigue could keep people on both sides home. 

Energy and Enthusiasm– The biggest difference between 2004 and 2008 is that Democrats are actually competing for this state. In 2004, John Kerry spent hardly any time or money here in Virginia. Barack Obama has dozens of offices, has spent millions of dollars and will make his 7th trip here today. 

That can also be said on the Republican side. Even though Bush won comfortably, the state was not contested, so McCain is spending more time and money here and that could lead to a higher level of participation. Voter turnout in 2004 was just over 70%. That is the turnout number I based my assessment on. The intense focus of the battleground, could incline more voters to turnout. That would change everything. 

Independents- Once again it could all come back to independents. Based on exit polls, both parties did a good job of getting those who identify themselves as Republicans or Democrats to vote for their candidates. You can track almost to the percentage point, how independents have swayed hotly contested state-wide races in Virginia. Dr. Palazzolo pointed this fact out to me this morning: In 2004, Bush defeated Kerry with Independents 54%-44% and won the state. However in 2006, Jim Webb defeated George Allen with Independents 56%-44% and went on to win the race. In both elections, Independents constituted 26% of the vote. Which way will they go this time? If 75% of Virginia’s 5 million voters come out to vote, and independents hold at their traditional percentage, they could mean as many as 975,000 votes. 

The point I was trying to make is that the raw polls tell us very little about the race for Virginia. The goal was not to make one side or the other seem more encouraged or discouraged about their prospects. The purpose was to show how and where these voters come from and what both campaigns have to do to solidify their support in order to be successful come November 4th.

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 17, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is the best future leader for this nation, not Senator Barak Obama. Our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is also would be better at leading our nation in the future after a McCain Presidency than Senator Barak Obama would be in leading our nation in the future starting in January 2009. There are great reasons our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin would be a better future leader than Senator Barak Obama. The greatest reason for our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin’s is ideology. Our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is conservative in that she is pro life, marriage, guns, low taxes, low government spending, small government, unintrosive government, traditional and judeo Christian values, Bible reading and prayer in our public schools, and military spending. Senator Barak Obama is a liberal who is anti every thing that I have described that our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is pro about or for. A second reason that our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is superior is because of experience. As a governor she has two years of executive administrative governing experience that Senator Barak Obama does not have. A final reason that our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is superior is because of political accomplishments. When our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin came to office she accomplished 3 major things which are as follows: she showed great leadership in the 3 following areas: government reform, the state budget and the economy, and wise use of natural resources. She reformed government by standing up to the big oil companies by breaking up the monopoly on power and resources. She insisted on competition and basic fairness which ended the control that the oil companies had on the state, and thereby returning control of the state back to the people. She also stood up to the special interest and lobbyist, and produced major ethics reform. She lead well in the state budget by generating a surplus which came about by vetoing a half billion dollars of wasteful spending, ending the abuses of earmark spending by congress, and by getting rid of the private jet, the chef, and the chuffer. Economically under her leadership she brought about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history. She also suspended the state fuel tax, and when oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, she sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged – directly to the people of Alaska . On natural resources she has shown great leadership by beginning a nearly forty billion dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence. When the last section of the pipeline is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart. Senator Barak Obama has done nothing, so please vote John McCain for President and give to our beautiful soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin the opportunity that she deserves leading the nation into the future after a John McCain presidency. When our soon to be Vice President does lead the nation as President after a John McCain presidency,she will be the greatest President that we have ever had. Finally she is smarter than Senator Barak Obama

    Thank You

    John Warren

    John Warren

    October 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm


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