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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Final Predictions for Tuesday's Election

After months of campaigning and speculation, after millions of dollars spent, after all the debates, commercials and bickering of pundits on both ends, the Presidential Election of 2012 is about to come to an end (thankfully!).  It has been a close race.  At times, Obama looked like he would sail easily into a second term.  But just when the race looked over before it started, Mitt Romney made a game of it and began to contend (and even lead) in a number of important states.  Bottom line: this has been a close and entertaining race for quite some time.  Both candidates have a decent shot of walking away with this thing.

With that being said, all good things must come to an end.  Come Tuesday, America will either have a new President-Elect, or will be looking forward to another four years with Barack Obama at the helm.  So, without further delay, here is my FINAL PREDICTION for Tuesday's presidential election:

***This is an hour-by-hour breakdown of how I believe the night will go.  All times are Eastern Standard Time***

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7:00 p.m.:
Polls close in six states (Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont, and the first battleground state of the night: Virginia).  Five of the six states will be declared almost immediately, giving Romney the early lead.  Virginia will take a while before a winner is declared.  It will also be our earliest indication as to how the night might go.  In the end, I think Romney will win the state, but if he wins by more than a few percentage points it might be an indication that he could have a big night.  If, however, Obama wins Virginia, I think it might foreshadow bad news for the GOP. 

After the first hour, I have Romney leading 44-3, with Virginia still yet to be decided.  Too close to call.

7:30 p.m:
Polls close in three states (North Carolina, West Virginia, and the ALL IMPORTANT Ohio). West Virginia will be the only state to be called right after the polls close (for Romney).  North Carolina and Ohio will still be too close to call.  It will take a while before a winner is decided.

By 7:30, I still have Romney leading 49-3.  Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina still too close to call.

8:00 p.m.:
This is the hour when we will finally get a good idea of what things are going to look like.  Polls close in sixteen states, including the important swing states of Florida and New Hampshire, thereby giving us at least 1/3 of all the Electoral College map.  Romney will easily grab Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri, while Obama finally takes his first "real" bite of the map, grabbing Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and (perhaps a bit late) Michigan.  Obviously, Florida and New Hampshire will be too close to call at this point.

At the close of the second hour, Romney still leads 130-107, with Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Ohio all too close to call.   

8:30 p.m.:
Polls close in Arkansas, adding to Romney's lead.  136-107 Romney at this point.

9:00 p.m.:
Polls close in 14 more states, including swing states Colorado and Wisconsin.  Romney snags Kansas, North and South Dakota, Arizona, Louisiana, and Wyoming, while Obama closes the gap by winning Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin (which may be a bit late). Colorado is still too close to call. 

At the end of hour three we have a virtual tie, Romney leading 170-169. (Or Romney 170-159 if Wisconsin is still too close to call -- but will eventually go for Obama in my opinion).

10:00 p.m.:
Polls close in six more states, including swing states Iowa and Nevada.  Romney easily takes Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, and Montana, while the President wins (albeit a little late) Nevada and Iowa (which also may be too close to call for at least a while). 

In addition, I believe that by 10:00 we will have Virginia and North Carolina declared for Mitt Romney, while Obama will claim New Hampshire.

We are late into the evening and Mitt Romney still leads 216-203.

11:00 p.m.:
The final states of the west close their polls, all going for Barack Obama.  California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii aren't even contests, and Barack Obama takes his first lead of the night, jumping ahead 263-216.

Key swing states: Florida, Ohio and Colorado are still too close to call, but it is getting close!

12:00 a.m.:
The final state (Alaska) closes its polls, giving Romney 3 more votes.  Obama still leads 263-219.

And finally, late into the evening, the three remaining and all-important swing states (Colorado, Florida and Ohio) are declared. Mitt Romney claims Florida, while Barack Obama takes Ohio and Colorado.  The night is over, and Barack Obama wins reelection, 290-248.

Interestingly enough, if we gave Mitt Romney Ohio, Barack Obama would still win (272-266).  In other words, if Mitt Romney is going to win, he better take some additional states earlier on in the evening (perhaps Wisconsin, Iowa or New Hampshire?).

There you have it.  It takes the whole night, but I am predicting that Barack Obama wins a second term in the White House.  He edges out Romney by 42 electoral votes (and an even closer popular vote).  It will be a close night, but unfortunately for Mitt, I don't see him coming out on top.  Maybe I will be wrong, but I think he has a tough road to the White House.  Close isn't enough.  But if he does win, it will be because Romney picks up a couple of additional key states.  Those key states, in order of importance (bold states I am predicting for Romney), are:

1.) Ohio
2.) Florida
3.) Colorado
4.) Virginia
5.) Wisconsin
6.) Iowa
7.) New Hampshire

Romney MUST pick up at least a couple of the states (not bolded) on this list. If he doesn't, Obama is virtually guaranteed the White House.  The easiest scenario: Romney wins Ohio and New Hampshire.  That would give him 270 exactly. 

In addition, I believe there are two states to watch that could serve as a "barometer" of sorts for how the night might go: Pennsylvania and North Carolina.  N.C. is likely to go for Romney (it is the most conservative of the swing states), but Obama carried it in 2008.  If Obama wins N.C., it could indicate that the night is likely to go his way big time.  Pennsylvania, on the other hand, could be a good indicator for Romney.  The state hasn't gone red in almost 25 years, but Romney has made things competitive there over the past couple of weeks.  If he were to somehow win (though unlikely) that would be a huge (death) blow to Obama.  But if he is even relatively close (within a couple of percentage points) it could mean that Romney will be a bigger competitor than previously thought.  Keep your eyes on those two states for sure.

So, with all of that said, enjoy election night!  There really is nothing like watching history unfold before your eyes!  And make no mistake, that is what Tuesday is all about.  Take it all in and enjoy it!   
And now...finally...NO MORE CAMPAIGN ADS!!!!!

At least for a little while.

50 days until CHRISTMAS!!!

1 comment:

Brian Tubbs said...

Very good analysis, Brad.