Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Paths to the White House in the Electoral Framework

The New York Times has made some really interesting calculations regarding the possible combinations of states that could lead to different particular outcomes.  Specifically, Obama has some 431 (84%) different combinations that might result in a win, Romney has 76 (15%), and there are 5 (just under 1%) different routes that might lead to an electoral tie and, as a result, a vote in Congress.

This legitimates two pretty significant assumptions: (1) that the election is highly unlikely to result in an electoral tie though it does remain in the realm of possibility and (2) Romney has to tread a much thinner line than Obama - again, turn-out looks more and more and more like the critical factor.

ADDITION: I played with the protocols a little bit - NYT seems to indicate that if Obama can win Ohio and Florida the election is essentially a done deal.  Worth noting for us election watchers.


  1. Did you check out the FiveThirtyEight blog on the NYT site? Nate Silver has Obama at 90.9% chance to win. In 2008 he only missed one state in his predictions, but that was not near as close an election as this one.

    1. I haven't in the last couple of days but I'll be sure to on the bounce, sir!

    2. He's a really cool guy. He was really into poker and baseball statistics and then started applying them to polling trends by different firms. So now he does polling aggregations by weighing each firm's "house effects."


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