Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Election Prediction

Having spent more time than is healthy in the past 9 months studying polling data, reading first hand accounts of volunteers and browsing political blogs, the following is my electoral prediction for tonight...

Barack Obama: 382 (53.5% of vote)
John McCain: 156 (45.5% of vote)

This is based on:
Obama retaining all the Kerry states.
Picking up now near-certainties in Virginia, Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada.
Winning surprisingly handily in Florida.
Squeezing through in Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina.
Causing an upset in Georgia and Montana.

The last two may be a little far-fetched but it is my guess that rather than seeing a 'Bradley effect' of white voters changing their minds in the booth to vote for a white candidate, the pollsters will suffer an 'Obama effect' of overwhelming turnout amongst African-Americans and harder to contact young voters. This could even lead to Obama topping 55% in the popular vote which would be an extraordinary achievement.

Uganda is certainly abuzz with talk about the election at the moment. In two different Makerere administrative offices today I was asked if I had voted - all looked disappointed when my nationality was revealed - and in one whether I could 'lend' my vote to him. It is the way that ordinary Ugandans feel the American President will have an impact on their lives that makes it an election like no other. And although I find the 'who the world would vote for' polls a little insulting to Americans who will have to live with the domestic policies of the next President, there is of course absolutely no doubt who Uganda would be voting for today.

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