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From My Election Day Blog: A Final Election Analysis

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Message Bill Wetzel

Ok everybody. Here is my final analysis of the race. I will be doing a blog all day on the election you can keep posted on the presidential race and all of the Congressional and state races as well.

View blog here:

Specifically I will be looking at the key senate races like Kay Hagan vs. Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina, Al Franken vs. Norm Coleman in Minnesota and Bruce Lunsford vs. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, among others. I will also be sure to be looking at what looks to be a close governor’s race in Washington state between incumbent Christine Gregoire and her GOP challenger, Dino Rossi. They went into several recounts and court decisions 4 years ago before Gregoire emerged as the winner.

As for the presidential race, it’s about how I’ve been saying for the last few months, this is Barack Obama’s race to win. It looks like he’s had an excellent ground game and GOTV (get out the vote) apparatus in place. In Tucson (Pima County) I have gotten several calls in the last day to vote, had placards and pamphlets left on my door. Obama’s people seem to really be turning it on. They are highly organized and efficient. I also heard from somebody in Pennsylvania that Obama’s ground game there has been awesome too. As for more on Arizona, I’ve even heard from a few people that Obama’s ground game in Maricopa County, a McCain stronghold, is so good that that country is now a tossup. So basically, Obama has a good shot here. I also would like to say that traditionally, Republicans have a better GOTV operation than Democrats, and Dems often rely on voting demographics, like young people, who end up not voting in as high numbers as expected.

But even this early I have seen that turnout records are being broken. Even in traditional GOP states. That’s probably good for Obama, more so than McCain. Probably, I can’t say that 100 percent right now. According to yahoo report from this morning places like North Carolina, Virginia have had big turnout, and it even looks like Tennessee and South Carolina will have record breaking turnout. Judging by early voting, absentee ballots and registration numbers, this will be a record breaking day for turnout. McCain might get more votes than Bush’s all time record from 4 years ago and still lose pretty big, that’s how large turnout could be.

I would say this. I think Obama should get about 320 electoral votes. In that ballpark at least. He could get as high as around 350. McCain, on the other hand, has a tough road to win this thing. He probably will need to turn Pennsylvania his way, and that will be tough. Then he’d need to run the table on the remaining battleground states, plus hold all of Bush’s states -outside of New Mexico and Iowa which he’s most likely going to lose- and that is going to be difficult.

But the states you want to look for in this race will be Virginia. North Carolina. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Indiana. Florida. Colorado. Missouri. And Nevada. Then to another extent, you’ll want to keep an eye on Iowa, New Mexico. Georgia. Montana. And North Dakota.

All of those states, John McCain needs to win, outside of Iowa and New Mexico, which will be tough for him. Obama doesn’t necessarily need to win all of those. He needs Pennsylvania, Iowa, and New Mexico, for sure, but then if he picks up say Colorado and holds all the Kerry states from 4 years ago, he’ll win. But if McCain starts holding traditional red states like Virginia and North Carolina, Indiana and then he scores an upset in Iowa or New Mexico or Pennsylvania and stays close in the big battlegrounds like Ohio and Florida, this will be a race.

A few things you will want to know. If Obama wins Virginia, which we might know very early in the evening, you can be certain he will win the presidency. If he picks up North Carolina, which we should know early as well, this race will be a landslide and Obama might totally rewrite the map for future races. Nate Silver at gives the best analysis and projections on polls, and he has the final electoral college stats going 346.5 for Obama to 191.5 for McCain. Intrade the major prediction market is selling futures on Obama winning at almost 92 percent, while McCain, obviously, is about 8 percent.

With that being said, it looks like for McCain to win it would be the greatest upset in U.S. presidential race history. But don’t think that it can’t happen, I’d be surprised, just not THAT surprised.

The most interesting race of the day, might be if the Dems can get to a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate. Right now they have no Dem Senators in real trouble of losing their seat and expect to pick up a good 6-9 seats. I am wary of them getting the 60 seat majority. That’s a tough chore, but we’ll see. As I said earlier, I will be covering the most important races, all the close ones for sure. Will there be any big upsets? Maybe Mitch McConnell, GOP minority leader and massive obstructionist. If you remember in 2004, Democratic Senate leader, Tom Daschle was defeated by his Republican opponent, John Thune. Dems look to return the favor this time around. It all should be fun to keep track of and watch unfold.

Well today, I’ll be blogging the whole day, and performing my election day rituals. I watch the political documentaries “The War Room” about Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential run and “Primary” which is about the 1960 Wisconsin primary between JFK and Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey. And I plan to buy a beer and a cigar to celebrate if Obama wins. If he loses? I’ll probably buy a bottle of tequila and drink myself into oblivion for several days. J

I’ll be blogging all day, so if you want to check out information and results, I’ll have it all.


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Bill Wetzel is Amskapi Pikuni aka Blackfeet from Montana. He's a former bull rider/wrestler turned writer and a coauthor of the short story collection "The Acorn Gathering." His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from the American Indian Culture (more...)
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