The Concurring Opinions Watching Election Results (COWER) Guide

Thanks to Dan & the gang for inviting me back. For my first post, I’m keeping it light: to help me make sense of the election returns, I’ve tooled around the web to gather state poll closing times, which I’m listing below along with each state’s recent polling average (from Pollster.com) and number of electoral votes; below that I’ve posted lists of which Senate races have a decent chance of yielding a party switch. Basically, you can make this the home version of the red/blue map game that Chuck Todd, John King, et al., will be playing all night; see if Obama is or isn’t picking up the electoral votes (EV) he needs in the first hour or two or three of poll closures. (Disclaimer: Because I’m not a profrssional at this, I may well have gotten some of the below wrong; please post any corrections in the comments, and I’ll try to get on it — though I’ll be pretty swamped all Election Day, so I can’t promise a promt fix to any errors, sorry.)

Electoral Vote Counts:

• Obama’s EV from the Kerry ’04 states: 252 (includes PA but not Bush ’04 states Obama may win)

• Obama’s EV from the Kerry ’04 states plus IA+NM (the Bush ’04 states Pollster is listing as “solid blue” for Obama): 264

• 11 possible “Bush ’04 swing states,” ones Obama has a shot at picking up: CO,FL,GA,IN,MO,MT,NC,ND,NV,OH,VA

• Obama needs 6 more EV from the 11 possible Bush ’04 swing states (above), or 27 more EV if McCain wins PA

Poll Closing Times for the key Bush ’04 states and PA:

(all times Eastern)

7:00 pm:

• Indiana (M +0.5): 11 EV

• Virginia (O +5.7): 13 EV

• Georgia (M +2.9): 15 EV

7:30 pm:

• North Carolina (tied): 15 EV

• Ohio (O +3.8): 20 EV

8:00 pm:

• Pennsylvania (O +7.7): 21 EV

• Florida (O +1.8): 27 EV

• Missouri (O +1.4): 11 EV

• North Dakota (O +3.1): 3 EV

9:00 pm:

• Colorado (O +6.7): 9 EV

• Nebraska (?): divides its 3 EV by Congressional district; Obama may have a shot at the 1 EV in the Omaha district (no recent polling I know of that district)

10:00 pm:

• Nevada (O +6.8): 5 EV (may count quickly b/c over 70% of state already voted)

• Montana (M +1.9): 3 EV

Senate Races: Possible D Pickups, with recent poll data in parentheses (all are R seats that could switch to D; there are no D seats in which the R is within 10 points in the polls)

• Almost Certain Switches: VA (D+28.2), NM (D+16.4)

• Very Likely Switches: AK (D+4.9), NH (D+7.7), CO (D+10.4), OR (D+5.9)

• Possible Switches (slightly better than 50/50 shot): NC (D+4.1), MN (D+1.9)

• Iffy (slightly worse than 50/50 shot): MS (R+5.0), KY(R+3.1), GA (R+3.8)

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2 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    Thanks for laying this out so succinctly, this is helpful. I think I will close my eyes and peek at 9 PM…I can’t handle suspense, and I don’t think much will be said by then.

  2. Danielle Citron says:

    I second Brian! Thanks for this–I have promised not to look at anything until 9. Wishful thinking! Best, Danielle Citron