What I am going to predict is that Obama will do better than the polls show. I predict he will win the popular vote by greater than 7% or about 53-46. A landslide would be if Obama won by 10 million popular votes. This would require a huge turnout. I predict that the polls are underestimating the enthusiasm of the Obama base and the effectiveness of the Obama campaign's ground game for the GOTV effort.
It is all turnout, turnout, turnout!!!!
I predict this for the following reasons:
1. Obama is a better candidate than both Kerry and Gore and they kept it close.
2. Obama has run a better campaign than the Kerry and Gore campaigns and Kerry and Gore kept it close.
3. McCain though a better candidate than Bush has run a worse campaign than Bush. McCain has not shown any discipline with respect to message. He has shown no elegance as a candidate. Worst of all, McCain has not run a campaign with enthusiasm for his own vision and ideas.
4. McCain has not generated enthusiasm amongst the great silent moderate majority.
5. Barack will win the following Bush states: North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, New Mexico. That is 59 Electoral College votes. McCain can really only take Pennsylvania and I think he might take Pennsylvania because Pennsylvania does not have early voting. OK..the big one to look at I think is Georgia. If Obama wins Georgia, this cycle represents a total democrat landslide. A win in Georgia would mean that African-American turnout substantially changed the outcome of not just Georgia but the whole nation.
6. The African-American vote is going to be relatively huge!!!! In 2004, 15 million African Americans voted. Overall, the enthusiasm for Obama will inevitably increase turnout of African Americans to levels of 120% of the 2004 number for an increase of 3 million votes.
7. Overall voter turnout has been growing: 100 million in 2000, 122 million in 2004, and a projected 135 million in 2008. These extra voters are going to turn out for Obama at least 60-40 for an extra margin of victory of 5 million total popular votes.
8. Youth are traditionally the lowest turnout. This stat will change and break heavy for Obama.
9. The Obama campaign has pushed early voting far more than McCain. This just adds to the tactical advantage of Obama.
As this all begins to add up, could it be that Obama wins by 9-10 million votes with these margins leading to a landslide of the swing states as well.
Some election watch hints just to help your viewing pleasure:
1. If Indiana goes to Obama, we are seeing an example of a phenomena of political execution and the mobilization of an entirely new segment of the population that has changed the demographics of the electorate significantly.
2. Missouri: When I look at polls, I always just assume McCain will take Missouri. If Obama takes Missouri, this points to a toss-up landslide.
3. New Hampshire: This is McCain's favorite state. If Obama wins, I think this means there is no room left for republicans in the intellectual east.
4. Ohio: I mentioned above Ohio as a Obama state. Basically, if we don't have to wait all night for an answer to Ohio then Texas becomes the last republican machine in the country.
5. North Carolina: Bush won North Carolina by 12% in both 2004 and 2000. Obama may not win but if it is close that will be a sign of the power of his GOTV work and the African American vote especially via early voting. I think a good way to look at this is that the Obama campaign has tried to win this thing one vote at a time. If it goes well, this is a great testimony of the reality of grassroots democracy. I think this will restore American faith in the process. BUT the opposite is true if Obama loses. This is the worst case scenario and we all know what that means.
6. The Impossible: South Carolina (see video)
Overall, I understand how McCain is trying to sell the idea that Obama is measuring the drapes. The race feels like the wait and see is not who wins but by how much will Obama win by. If instead McCain wins...I will not even for a second try to explain such a culturally bizarre outcome.