Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2012 Electoral College Projection

   First, thank you for reading this blog. It has been a very fun and fascinating last couple of months watching the political landscape and being able to offer a different kind of insight. Every page view is greatly appreciated. However, this exciting close of a cycle is not the end! Plato said, "Man is by nature a political animal" and The Edwards Analysis will continue to cover the grizzly scenery.

   Today is Tuesday November 6, 2012, THE BIG DAY! It's important to remember the popular vote will be important, but what will be more important will be the electoral college. 270 electoral votes is the magic number to become President of the United States of America. Here is a quick look at the Edwards Analysis projections.

Definite Obama States (electoral votes):
California (55), New York (29), Illinois (20), MICHIGAN (16), NEW JERSEY (14), Washington (12), Massachusetts (11), Maryland (10), MINNESOTA (10), Connecticut (7), Oregon (7), New Mexico(5), Hawaii (4), Maine (4), Rhode Island (4), Delaware (3), Vermont (3), Washington D.C. (3)... 

For a grand total of 217 electoral votes. Michigan, Minnesota, and New Jersey were all done in caps lock and bold because the majority of opinions out there see them as toss up states. All three of these will almost definitely go for Obama, if they do not, then this is going to be an ugly short night for the President. A special note on Minnesota: Michael Barone, Dick Morris, George Will, and Kevin Koffler all think that Minnesota will go Romney. These are very, very smart guys, and come tomorrow morning, they may be correct.

IF any of the states on the Obama list come in for Romney, you can go ahead and change the channel because it is a done deal. 

Definite Romney States (electoral votes):
Texas (38), Florida (29), OHIO (18), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Arizona (11), Indiana (11), Tennessee (11), Missouri (10), Alabama (9), Colorado (9), South Carolina (9), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Oklahoma (7), Arkansas (6), Iowa (6), Kansas (6), Mississippi (6), Utah (6), Nebraska (5), West Virginia (5), Idaho (4), New Hampshire (4), Alaska (3), Montana (3), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), Wyoming (3)...

Here are the surprise Romney States
Pennsylvania (20), Wisconsin (10), NEVADA (6)

For a grand total of 321 electoral votes. Ohio is in caps and bold because it is the state of states in the mind of many pundits, and it is being called as a toss up currently by the majority of opinions out there. Nevada is in caps and bold because only Kevin Koffler and the Edwards Analysis see it going Romney... And it will probably go Obama. 

In sum, the Edwards Analysis is projecting that Romney will take 51-54% of the popular vote, and will win the Presidency with 321 electoral votes. Worst case scenario? Romney slightly over 50% with 295 electoral votes. To say it another way, Romney will win by 295 electoral votes or more, and this blog sees it as being a likely 321 electoral votes.

Here are some other predictions:

Karl "The Architect" Rove - Romney 285 electoral votes

Dick Morris - Romney 325 electoral votes

George Will - Romney 321 electoral votes

Kevin Koffler - Romney 321 electoral votes

Nate Silver - Obama 313 electoral votes AND a 90%+ chance of winning (this links to a Slate article that cites his projections as of this morning)

Rush Limbaugh - Romney 300 plus electoral votes

Michael Barone - Romney 315 electoral votes

Larry Sabato - Obama 290 electoral votes

Jim Cramer - Obama 440 electoral votes

Here is a more complete list of predictions from Ezra Klein.

One last thing to mention, on August 18, 2012 The Edwards Analysis made an appraisal of 322 electoral votes for Romney, and has maintained a 320 stance ever since.

Now go out and vote!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lockheed - Interesting To Know

   This is pretty low. According to The Hill, and other reputable outlets, The White House asked Lockheed to delay layoff notices until after the election. Since it is illegal to not give 60 days notice, they even offered to cover the legal fees for doing so. If this story is accurate, the letters should have gone out yesterday. It will be interesting to watch and see what happens, IF in fact it DOES happen. When Romney wins, will President Obama allow the sequestration to happen so that Romney has to immediately deal with ANOTHER leftover headache? Will President Obama allow it to happen just because? Will a then President Romney be blamed for something that happened before he took office, and that he challenged directly during the debates?

Check out the story here.... http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/industry/259517-graham-says-hell-block

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nate Silver - An Example of Polluted Punditry

   Nate Silver, a baseball statistician, accurately predicted the 2008 election. He was correct in 49 out of 50 states. The one state where he was wrong was Indiana, which was the first time that state voted for a democratic President since 1964. So, it is fair to excuse him for that, but it is also important to remember that 2008 was the easiest election to project since 1984. This is a clear example of how polluted the analysis pool is in political punditry.

   Nate has made a prediction for 2012: Obama will take 300 electoral votes and that there is a 79% chance of him winning (NOTE: this measure on his site is active and may change). Nate is a very, very bright man, however, would you want Bobby Fischer to perform your bypass? The point here is that some skills do not apply across the board. Politico posted a good article about how Nate may be a one term celebrity, and even though Nate is going to be wrong in 2012, they probably will be too. The main stream media loves this guy, because he says what they want to hear. Thus, they will continue to promote him as the sage of their beliefs that he is.

   This is a premium example of an uninformed opinion. Has Nick ever ran a campaign? No. Has he ever conducted a poll? No. Does he understand statistical models, proper weighting, or trends? Probably not. So what does he bring to the table? He is well known in baseball for using Sabermetrics. Basically this is the practice of using "objective statistics" to measure the performance of baseball players, and now he is using similar methods in analyzing politics. Part of his system is feeding his database every poll possible. That system in and of itself is flawed. Bad numbers never help yield a more accurate number. Sabermetrics by its function assumes the law of averages over the season of a player. These principles are not applicable to an election that is essentially a one game season. Then there is the keyword "objective statistics." Objective is the rarest thing in politics. A batting average is objective, over a certain amount of attempts, a batter will hit the ball a certain number of times. In a game a batter may face a pitcher four or five times. In politics there is only one election day.

   The problem is not the tool being used (Nate Silver), it is the machine (main stream media) promoting the tool that is polluting what little scientific method there is in the field. Out of emotional self interest, the machine continues to promote the product validating its emotion, instead of producing the best product. This is something important and fun to watch, during the current election cycle, so that accurate assessments can be made in the next election cycle. Unless of course the goal is to be a one term accurate prognosticator in tandem with a one term President.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Final Presidential Debate

   So very often political punditry suffers from "group think", which in turn leads viewers and voters into a group think mindset. Voters who have decided on their candidate are susceptible to this, as they are already part of a group. Undecided/swing voters by their very nature are disparate from this. The topic of "who won the debate" is a question that hinges upon this difference.
   In the last two debates, Ryan vs. Biden and Obama vs. Romney Part Deux, the contests were close. Both were close enough that fans of either side could claim a win for their guy. The pundits and useless score keepers could even break it down into a more useless point scoring system. "Biden won here, Ryan won there." This is mostly, if not completely, frivolous. Scoring a presidential debate like a college debate is asinine.  In principal, that is treating the debate as if it happened in a vacuum, which it most certainly does not. All of the news and cable channels are guilty of this fallacy. 

   The first Presidential debate was bound to the trappings of the months of previous campaigning and events, the Vice Presidential debate was captive to all of the preceding, as was the second Presidential debate, and so shall tonight's debate be shackled to the confines of the antecedent history. Additionally, the main concern for debate success must be voter persuasion, and not some puerile pundit points scored that make Chris Matthews or Sean Hannity happy. How did the debates in sum affect the opinion of the precious undecided voters? In all three previous debates that has been a resounding win for the Romney/Ryan ticket.

   The first Obama/Romney debate was an Obama trouncing. The Biden/Ryan debate was exactly what both sides needed. Biden rallied the base and Ryan showed that he was well informed and ready for the job, but it would be Ryan win. Why? Because Joe, despite being more lucid than at any point in recent history, completely alienated many of the swing voters. The laughing and interrupting was a huge turn off to the undecideds who wanted to hear both opinions, and it was especially a turn off to the female undecideds who saw it as rude, childish, insecure and not becoming of a statesman. So the net result was Biden winning the battle (rallying the base), but losing the war (turning off undecided voters). Tactically Vice President Biden committed two big errors: first, "I always say what I mean" and second "we did not know they wanted more security" in response to the death of the American ambassador to Libya. Biden makes so many gaffes, such as "for the last four years the middle class has been buried" that having the sound bite of, "I always say what I mean" is damning. The VP candidate must show that they are ready for the job and not completely out to lunch. In regards to Libya, that was a bold face lie, and the avalanche of facts is showing it. Eroding trust is never beneficial to a candidate, especially in this economic climate. Of course many of these pundits continue with, "however most voters don't vote for a president based on the VP candidate." True, the VP debate only factors in for about 18% of voters, but here is the catch: that segment heavily overlaps with undecided voters. This means that the group of voters who will decide this election have been exposed to a decisive Romney win in the first debate, and a polite, knowledgeable and capable Ryan versus a bombastic, belligerent and bad-mannered Biden. All before going into the second Obama/Romney debate.

   By last Tuesday when Obama walked into Hofstra Hall, he was already facing alarming deficiencies. President Obama had to assuage the damage from his first debate, rally his base on top of what Biden did, win back undecideds whom Joe alienated, and begin to add new voters to his count. He succeeded in only the first two measures. Directly after the debate, focus groups for MSNBC and Fox gave the win to Romney. Why? Because Romney showed up very well again. Voters just needed to see him again to show that the first time around was not a fluke. Most importantly is this aspect: very few if any voters make a decision on the entirety of a debate, or a series of debates. The vast majority of people making up their mind are waiting to hear an answer on one to five topics. With the economy in it's current condition, the two most imminent topics are jobs and taxes. When Mitt gave his answers on tax REFORM, in which he included job creation, he won the election. It's that simple. Currently that leaves the debate tonight, and 15 days until voters go to the poll. What must President Obama and Governor Romney do tonight?

   For Governor Romney it is simple. He must show up, show that is he the same guy from the last two debates, that he has a solid grip on basic diplomacy, and go after the middle east failures. There are many ways he can highlight the foreign policy failures of this election, and as long as he does not go full tilt Biden, most of them should work. The task for President Obama is much more difficult. Having already lost concerning the dialog of economy and jobs, he must, MUST make a huge statement concerning the United States' place in the world. Mitt will definitely bring up China and how they are manipulating currency. This will be the President's opportunity to make up ground in foreign policy and economics. There are a lot of opinions on China, but the fact remains that they mine 95% of the rare earth minerals (and possibly up to 97%) responsible for computers, smartphones, MRI machines and so many of the things Americans take for granted. Yes, mining can start here, but at what cost or benefit? Diplomacy is paramount in dealing with China and that is likely Mr. Obama's biggest opening. What will he do with it?

   In the end will it even matter? Every candidate that has been at 50% or higher in the Gallup likely voter poll in mid October has won the race for President, every time. Mitt has been at or over 50% since the 10/9-15 rolling average Gallup poll. Furthermore, President Obama has not broken the 50% barrier at any time, and in the last few days he has held steady at 45%. What's more, the undecideds always break heavily for the challenger.

   At this point every last one of the lifeboats has departed, and it is all over except for the crying.

For debate analysis this evening, follow The Edwards Analysis on twitter tonight, www.twitter.com/edwardsanalysis

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Obama and Romney Second Debate

The Edwards Analysis will have live commentary during the debate tonight on twitter, you can follow here: http://twitter.com/edwardsanalysis for the raw feed of insight.

The format tonight will be much different from two weeks ago. This is a town hall meeting where citizens will ask questions and the candidates will get two minutes each to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town hall citizens will be undecided voters chosen by the Gallup organization.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Post Biden/Ryan Debate Ads Have Started

The boring debate last night will be analyzed later, for now, enjoy these examples of post debate ads. Whose do you prefer?

Pro Ryan

Pro Biden

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday Notes 10/11/2012

Happy Thursday, it is the vice presidential debate night. You can catch it on your channel of choice at 6PM (PST) / 9PM (EST). The Edwards Analysis will have live commentary during the debate tonight on twitter, you can follow here: http://twitter.com/edwardsanalysis for the raw feed of insight.

A few articles for you today:

#1. Jack Welch wrote a great article about the unemployment numbers released Friday 10/05/2012. In it he mentions the "Labor Force Participation Rate" which is the closest thing to a "Total Number of Working People" mentioned in the Edwards Analysis: Campaign Finance Terms post. He also points out that the numbers are just a survey and not a full accounting.

#2. If you are wondering about California gas prices, and other economic issues in the Golden State, Victor Davis Hanson has something to say here: http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/329772.

#3. This is probably one of, if not the, most accurate polls out there: http://news.investors.com/special-report/508415-ibdtipp-poll.aspx