# Presidential election 2008

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## Who will win the General Election?

• ### McCain by under 15 Electoral Votes

• Total voters
32
Mentor
Ok, we have Obama and McCain. I've been hearing about Hispanic votes and New Mexico as a key State for Obama to win with Hispanics. Uhm, New Mexico only carries 5 electoral votes. Also, has anyone looked at the numbers of eligible black and Hispanic voters?

They're negligible.

Total eligible Hispanic voters in the US 17,315,000

Total eligible Black voters in the US 24,115,000

Total eligible White Voters in the US 151,110,000

52% of white eligible voters are women

48% of white eligible voters are men

http://pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/34.pdf

I want to throw out the numbers and see what everyone thinks will be key to a victory for Obama or McCain.

http://www.fec.gov/pages/elecvote.htm

Another good website for reference as we head to November is

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/throw_out_the_maps_in_2008.html

Lots of good statistics. All of the best polls shown and most up to date. Not biased.

I'd like to see this thread as a reflection of what is happening in the following months and as a way to help us all make informed choices. So much happens, many of us simply cannot take the time we'd like to stay on top of everything and wade through the "mud" that will no doubt be slung. Feel free to post political speeches, articles and things of interest.

You are welcome to add your views, but please NO TRASH TALK. I WILL delete posts that are just venemous spewings or that have no merit.

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Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
More polling data, giving electoral vote predictions:

1. RCP Electoral College Map

Currently: Obama = 228, McCain = 190, Toss ups = 120 EVs

2. Electoral-vote.com

Currently: Obama = 287, McCain = 227, Ties = 24

3. http://www.electionprojection.com/index.shtml [Broken]

Currently: Obama = 293, McCain = 245

To see the individual polls that go into the composite in all of the above, click within any state on the map.

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Ok, we have Obama and McCain. I've been hearing about Hispanic votes and New Mexico as a key State for Obama to win with Hispanics. Uhm, New Mexico only carries 5 electoral votes. Also, has anyone looked at the numbers of eligible black and Hispanic voters?

They're negligible.

Total eligible Hispanic voters in the US 17,315,000

Total eligible Black voters in the US 24,115,000

Total eligible White Voters in the US 151,110,000

52% of white eligible voters are women

48% of white eligible voters are men

http://pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/34.pdf

The numbers for blacks will very likely go up and are probably already higher than when that data was gathered. Unfortunately blacks and latinos don't necessarily get along well. Unless Obama has a hispanic running mate or he starts taking on immigration policy (which would likely be a shot in the foot) I don't see him rallying the hispanic vote in any significant way.

Mentor
The numbers for blacks will very likely go up and are probably already higher than when that data was gathered. Unfortunately blacks and latinos don't necessarily get along well. Unless Obama has a hispanic running mate or he starts taking on immigration policy (which would likely be a shot in the foot) I don't see him rallying the hispanic vote in any significant way.
But would it be worth it for Obama to take on a VP just for the Hispanic vote? How much would it gain him overall?

Mentor
More polling data, giving electoral vote predictions:

1. RCP Electoral College Map

Currently: Obama = 228, McCain = 190, Toss ups = 120 EVs

2. Electoral-vote.com

Currently: Obama = 287, McCain = 227, Ties = 24

3. http://www.electionprojection.com/index.shtml [Broken]

Currently: Obama = 293, McCain = 245

To see the individual polls that go into the composite in all of the above, click within any state on the map.
Thanks Gokul!

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But would it be worth it for Obama to take on a VP just for the Hispanic vote? How much would it gain him overall?

I don't think it would really help. More than likely the rabid anti-illegal alien people will see a hispanic in the white house as a sure sign of impending open border policies and turn out in force to vote "against" Obama. It would possibly be even worse than if he had Hillary on the ticket with him. But it's one of the only ways I can see him rallying hispanics. I think he'll just have to settle for making them comfortable and not pissing them off. Maybe workers' rights would be a good platform?

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Don't know how reliable this is, but these articles have some maps and data on the primaries & caucuses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)_presidential_primaries,_2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2008_Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries
Includes discussion of popular vote with various ways to compute it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States)_presidential_primaries,_2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2008_Republican_Party_presidential_primaries

I think the VP candidates will be fairly, perhaps strong, influence on the election.

cristo
Staff Emeritus
I don't really know enough about the electoral college, or even how the US elections work, but I think it'll make a difference who Obama chooses as his VP won't it?

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Each state is assigned a certain number of electors to the Electoral College, based on representation in Congress (House + Senate).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Electoral_College
The Constitution allows each state legislature to designate a method of choosing electors. Although not originally the case in a majority of states, at present, 48 states and the District of Columbia have adopted a winner-takes-all popular vote rule–– . . . . Two other states, Maine and Nebraska, use a tiered system where a single elector is chosen within each Congressional district and two electors are chosen by statewide popular vote.

So a VP may affect the popular vote in any one state.

CA (55), TX (34), NY (31), FL (27) are the Big 4, followed by PA & IL (each 21), OH (20), MI (17), NC (15), . . . .

I'll wait until November to vote. In my opinion, McCain's chances of winning are about 000000000000000.6

Mentor
I don't really know enough about the electoral college, or even how the US elections work, but I think it'll make a difference who Obama chooses as his VP won't it?
Yes Obama's VP will be critical, not so much for McCain.

turbo
Gold Member
But would it be worth it for Obama to take on a VP just for the Hispanic vote? How much would it gain him overall?
That's too narrow a reason to pick a VP, but added to Bill Richardson's diplomatic credentials, his experience as secretary of energy, his record of bipartisan cooperation, and his popularity amongst governors, he would be a VERY good choice. He might pull some Hispanic votes that might otherwise have gone to McCain, but his heritage alone should not be the deciding factor. The guy is smart and experienced and would bring a lot to the table. He's no flashy extemporaneous speaker like Obama, but that's not a negative in my book because Obama has that covered and Richardson would add age and experience to the ticket. The fact that Richardson has negotiated the release of captured soldiers and political prisoners held by some of the very nations that Bush refuses to talk to would put some teeth in Obama's claim that he wants to beef up US diplomacy and pursue diplomatic channels to resolve problems instead of rattling swords and applying sanctions as first options, as the Bush administration tends to do.

lisab
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Yes Obama's VP will be critical, not so much for McCain.

I think McCain's choice will be equally as critical. Not to be morbid, but his age is a factor. From the Social Security actuarial tables, for men:

Age Chance of Chance of
Dying in 1 year not dying

72 0.033 0.967
73 0.036 0.964
74 0.040 0.960
75 0.043 0.957

Chance of not dying in 4 years = (0.967)(0.964)(0.960)(0.957) = 0.856

Chance of a 72 year old man dying within 4 years = 14.4%

(I included the math because it's been a while since I've taken statistics - please check for accuracy.)

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html

Of course, SS stats are based on the larger population, and include the infirm. He's a tough guy, no doubt about that, and his chances are likely better than what's calculated here.

Mentor
I think McCain's choice will be equally as critical. Not to be morbid, but his age is a factor.
Good point.

lisab
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I think McCain's choice will be equally as critical. Not to be morbid, but his age is a factor. From the Social Security actuarial tables, for men:

Age Chance of Chance of
Dying in 1 year not dying

72 0.033 0.967
73 0.036 0.964
74 0.040 0.960
75 0.043 0.957

Chance of not dying in 4 years = (0.967)(0.964)(0.960)(0.957) = 0.856

Chance of a 72 year old man dying within 4 years = 14.4%

(I included the math because it's been a while since I've taken statistics - please check for accuracy.)

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html

Of course, SS stats are based on the larger population, and include the infirm. He's a tough guy, no doubt about that, and his chances are likely better than what's calculated here.

DOH! Sorry, my post got sort of garbled! It looked fine in the edit window...

First column: age
Second column: chance of dying in one year
Third column: chance of not dying in one year

turbo
Gold Member
I don't wish to be morbid, either, but both presidential candidates need to pick someone who can slide right into the top spot if needed. There are white-supremacist groups loaded with people who will bear an irrational hatred against Obama just because of his skin color, and that's got be giving his SS detail fits. Obama would be the ripest target since Lincoln.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I don't wish to be morbid, either, but both presidential candidates need to pick someone who can slide right into the top spot if needed. There are white-supremacist groups loaded with people who will bear an irrational hatred against Obama just because of his skin color, and that's got be giving his SS detail fits. Obama would be the ripest target since Lincoln.

I agree. There is still enough of a racist undercurrent in this country that this is a valid concern. This is going to be an election where the VPs really are going to be a factor in the voting decisions.

Obama doesn't need to worry so much about the Hispanic vote in this election as he does the blue collar labor groups as a whole. He's ticked off a lot of them during his campaign, and those votes are ones he needs to win the swing states. While the media plays that off as a "white" population, I think that's an error too. The person working for housekeeping down at the Motel 6 can have any color skin and they're going to have trouble relating to someone who is worried about the price of arugula at the Whole Foods store. They're worried about the price of ordinary bread and milk at the Safeway.

I think Obama may run into the same problems Kerry ran into with those populations, and some of it may have nothing to do with his positions on issues, but just how he comes across in demeanor. He has that tall, thin, good posture, aristocratic look that will leave the working class distrusting him. McCain has more of the soft, rounded, jovial, let's listen to Grandpa talk about his war stories look.

I do think it's going to be a close election again, mainly because neither of them really inspires great confidence in a large enough segment of the population to stand ahead as a clear leader.

russ_watters
Mentor
But would it be worth it for Obama to take on a VP just for the Hispanic vote? How much would it gain him overall?
The way I see it, close elections (assuming this will be one) are won on the margins. A few tens of thousands of votes gained or lost in key places is what swings them from one to the other.

Hispanic votes are key in a key state (Florida), so yes, they are important.

This is also why I see Obama's race as an electability problem. The democrats are virtually guaranteed 90+% of the black vote, regardless of who they put up for office, so there isn't much benefit to appealing to black votors unless they can increase black votor turnout. But if his race is a problem for some (and Hillary was right - lower class whites liked her a lot better than him), the democrats stand to lose a lot of votes in their core constituency.

This is also why a half-decent or better black republican would be virtually guaranteed a landslide victory against a white democrat.

russ_watters
Mentor
I'll wait until November to vote. In my opinion, McCain's chances of winning are about 000000000000000.6
So..... that's 60%, then? I think McCain's chances are even better than that. I think the laundry list of electability problems that Obama has are going to be a serious problem. The most important is the militant black nationalist image.

turbo
Gold Member
McCain's ratings among Clinton's core constituency has fallen of late, though, and if he has to stand up to Obama in town-hall type discussions, he is likely to drop like a rock. His lack of understanding of the complexities of the societies, alliances, religions, and traditional rivalries in the middle east is going to make him look pretty flat-footed compared to Obama. He makes at least a gaffe a week on this one subject alone, and now that it's a general election race, the press may stop giving him free passes on these.

Edit by Evo: The Huffington Post is a biased blog and is not acceptable per the guidelines.

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russ_watters
Mentor
While the media plays that off as a "white" population, I think that's an error too. The person working for housekeeping down at the Motel 6 can have any color skin and they're going to have trouble relating to someone who is worried about the price of arugula at the Whole Foods store. They're worried about the price of ordinary bread and milk at the Safeway.

I think Obama may run into the same problems Kerry ran into with those populations, and some of it may have nothing to do with his positions on issues, but just how he comes across in demeanor. He has that tall, thin, good posture, aristocratic look that will leave the working class distrusting him. McCain has more of the soft, rounded, jovial, let's listen to Grandpa talk about his war stories look.
You may be right, but I don't know what would make Hillary seem more down-to-earth (if that's the right term) than Obama. That's the main reason I think there must be somewhat of a race issue there, but I'm really not sure - I tend to be a little more optomistic about the [lack of] pervasiveness of racism than that.

BobG
Homework Helper
So..... that's 60%, then? I think McCain's chances are even better than that. I think the laundry list of electability problems that Obama has are going to be a serious problem. The most important is the militant black nationalist image.

I think that's very optimistic. McCain has some advantages, but he's also following a Republican President that hasn't seen job approval ratings over 40% since Sep 2006. This should be a landslide for any Democratic candidate vs Republican candidate. I think McCain's individual advantages just make the election reasonably close (and not even close if things in Iraq go south).

If McCain does win, it's going to be a victory in another incredibly close election.

So..... that's 60%, then? I think McCain's chances are even better than that. I think the laundry list of electability problems that Obama has are going to be a serious problem. The most important is the militant black nationalist image.
I hope the election will hinge on something more substantial than that.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I think Obama may run into the same problems Kerry ran into with those populations, and some of it may have nothing to do with his positions on issues, but just how he comes across in demeanor. He has that tall, thin, good posture, aristocratic look that will leave the working class distrusting him. McCain has more of the soft, rounded, jovial, let's listen to Grandpa talk about his war stories look.

I agree. And Obama has this funny lip thing going that makes him appear snooty in profile. But Obama has two things going for him as compared to Kerry: Firstly, he can excite a crowd to a lather in stump speaches. Unlike Kerry, Obama is inspirational. Kerry was completely uninspirational - a piece of stale bread. Also, Kerry was a dork, but Obama can be cool as long as he doesn't bowl.

Probably his strongest suit is his ability to get-out the vote. He has an army of youth that have probably already hit the streets.

And of course he is a Democrat who has among others, the Clintons campaigning for him.

Poor people generally don't vote for Republicans, and those that did have probably been transformed for life by Bush.

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Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I never knew this until just the other day, but when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, he predicted that he has just signed the South over to the Republicans for the rest of the lives of everyone present.

This may be the first election since not bound by LBJs prediction.

Another factor: Displaced Katrina victims may have shifted the demographic in Texas enough to throw the election there. But, likewise, it is argued that New Orleans could swing Republican.

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Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I agree. And Obama has this funny lip thing going that makes him appear snooty in profile...

And, if we are to be completely honest about appearances, everytime McCain smiles and bears those yellow teeth for the camera, it puts a smile on my face. And although his posture results in part from the torture that he sustained while a POW, his hunched profile makes him look old.

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Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I thought this quote from RFK was rather timely:

There's no question about it,' the attorney general said. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has.' ... Kennedy said that prejudice exists and probably will continue to ... But we have tried to make progress and we are making progress. We are not going to accept the status quo.'"
- Robert F Kennedy, 1968
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25044937/page/6/

In spite of the apparent contradiction, it would seem that LBJ and RFK could both be proven right; almost down to the day.

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