A Prediction Report: Obama 339 Electoral Votes, McCain 199

William Arnone, author of previous reports on the key states in the primaries and the electoral vote, has prepared his final assessment of who is likely to carry each state in Tuesday's Presidential election. I am publishing the report with his permission.

His summary:

The final assessment shows that the Democratic ticket of Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Joe Biden of Delaware will win 27 states (including the District of Columbia) and part of one state (Nebraska) with 339 electoral votes.

The Republican Presidential ticket of Senator John McCain of Arizona and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska will win 23 states and parts of one state (Nebraska) with 199 electoral votes. The number of electoral votes needed to win is 270.


This final assessment represents a shift of two states (Florida and Ohio) and part of one state (Nebraska) for a total of 48 electoral votes from the Republican ticket to the Democratic ticket since the last October assessment. A detailed analysis of the shifts in these two states and one Congressional District is included.

Since the initial assessment was conducted in August, which showed that Senator McCain would win 30 states with 291 electoral votes to Senator Obama's 21 states (including the District of Columbia) with 247 electoral votes if the election had been held then, there has been a dramatic shift of six states (Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia) and one Congressional District (Nebraska's 2nd CD) totaling 92 electoral votes from the Republican to the Democratic Presidential ticket.

With hours to go before Election Day, the likelihood of the results changing depends on the possibility of one or more new intervening variables. Among them are:

  • A domestic or international incident that disrupts voting or changes the focus of voters from the economy to national security.
  • A new eleventh-hour revelation about one or more of the Presidential or Vice Presidential candidates.
  • "keep-down-the-vote" effort in key states, including new-voter registration purges and activities designed to discourage turnout or challenge the voting results. There is already evidence of such destabilizing activity in six states (Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia). Should these six states with 107 electoral votes go Republican, then the result would be a 307-231 McCain-Palin triumph.

Do Arnone's predictions match your's?

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  • Display: Sort:
    OK, let me be outlandish (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:09:45 PM EST
    I think Obama sweeps with 381 Electoral Votes. He wins in Montana, North Dakota, and Indiana, but not Georgia. The hardest calls are Missouri and North Carolina, but I give both to Obama.

    I'm probably wrong, but let me be optimistic for once!

    Knock yourself out (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:23:31 PM EST
    I am so glad to have 0 more nights of polls and predictions.

    That is outlandish ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:24:51 PM EST
    I think Obama's ceiling is 375.

    Seems the middle ground most people are predicting is 338.  

    I'm going with 306 because I think McCain will win FL, and pull out a squeaker in NV.

    PV will be about 6% on election night, but when all the votes are counted on Wednesday it will be closer to 4-5%.

    Dems will pick up 7 Senates seats, and 26 house seats.


    I think there aren't enough votes left (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:27:30 PM EST
    in Nevada for McCain to win there. Florida, OTOH, I'm always wary about. I'd say Obama has a 60% shot of winning there. Likewise Ohio.

    North Carolina and Indiana are, it seems to me, 50/50.


    I think very well tooled ... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:35:17 PM EST
    GOP GOTV in NV will pull it out in a squeaker.  And I mean SQUEAKER.  Under 5,000.

    PPP sez (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:39:47 PM EST
    that with 71% having already voted, Obama is ahead 57/43. That's devilishly hard to overcome, unless the GOP produces voters from somewhere that no one is expecting.

    I think it's just as likely ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:46:33 PM EST
    that they've run out of Obama votes.

    But it's just a prediction.  We'll know tomorrow.

    He'll probably get the 338 that everyone else is predicting and we'll both be wrong.


    I never thought that the Democrat (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:49:11 PM EST
    would have so many votes banked before election day.

    Keeping Obama infrastructure in place for 2010 could reap immense dividends.


    Is that an exit poll? (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:16:16 PM EST
    or real results?  I thought it was taboo to release results until everyone had voted.

    It's just a poll (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:18:47 PM EST
    They spoke to a universe of likely voters, 70% of whom claim to have already voted. It's all right there in the PDF.

    Thanks. I thought this line in the PDF (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 05:40:00 AM EST
    was a little misleading:

    Most of the state's voters report already having cast their ballots.

    Usually such lines in poll reports read 'most of those polled' or something to that effect. That's why I wondered if they were talking about a different data source there.

    Doesn't matter - real results tonight!


    I think Obama carries NV. It's the economy. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Angel on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:40:10 PM EST
    The Reason (none / 0) (#10)
    by zvs888 on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:29:59 PM EST
    I think North Carolina is easier for Obama than Indiana or Missouri due to the AA vote.

    AA's should be able to hold at least 22% of the vote in NC compared to the polls predicting 20% which should be able to swing it to Obama.

    That kind of swing won't happen in Indiana and Missouri which should leave them slightly in McCain's lane.

    All just my guess.


    22% in NC would do it (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:33:10 PM EST
    I think 21%, which is just barely enough.

    We are going to have a lot of close states this year, because Obama didn't leave anything on the table.


    Tight races (none / 0) (#34)
    by joanneleon on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 09:36:25 PM EST
    I also think we are going to have a number of states with really tight elections.  I wonder how many recounts there are going to be, and how long it will take to call some of those states.  There may be enough really close states that it could hold up calling the winner for a couple of days (but probably not - Obama will likely have enough EVs because the close ones will be the ones McCain needs).

    At this point, I feel certain Obama has the win, so the most interesting things I'll be watching are the states I think will be really close, like VA, GA, NC, AZ, CO, MT, OH, MO) and I can't wait to see what the overall turnout percentage will be.


    the "aa" vote? (none / 0) (#31)
    by skippybkroo on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:57:51 PM EST
    i think north carolina is easier for obama than indiana or missouri due to the aa vote.

    the alcoholics anonymous vote?


    I'm Thinking (none / 0) (#2)
    by zvs888 on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:13:32 PM EST
    353: Obama gets Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida.

    McCain gets Indiana, Missouri, Georgia.

    Missouri will go to McCain very narrowly.

    Still not a bad day if Obama gets 353.

    I disagree with (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:23:12 PM EST
    the Nebraska district prediction. Otherwise, looks reasonable.

    How can Omaha not go for Obama? (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by steviez314 on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:24:35 PM EST
    It's almost the same word.

    Heh. (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:25:35 PM EST
    Do you expect him to get Alabama? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:27:06 PM EST
    I know, voters are so irrational! I can't figure out why the Lions don't beat the Cowboys every time either.

    My crazy prediction: 382 (none / 0) (#14)
    by steviez314 on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:38:42 PM EST
    America finally makes the Republicans OWN THEIR FAILURE, and Obama takes Kerry + IA, CO, NM, NV, VA, NC,IN, MO, MT, ND, Omaha, FL, OH and just misses GA and AZ, which aren't called until Wednesday at noon.

    And no, I'm not drunk, just a crazy optimist for once.

    I think that's the number Obama wants ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:48:59 PM EST
    so he beats Clinton's '96 electoral college victory.

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Lil on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:04:02 PM EST
    I think he wants a win, not to rub it in Clinton's face; that'd be dumb, imo.

    Gov. Sarah Palin (none / 0) (#20)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 07:59:55 PM EST
    cleared of ethics charges.

    Too little, too late.

    It will help the QVC T-shirt sales! (none / 0) (#22)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:08:08 PM EST

    Wet T- Shirts? (none / 0) (#23)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:13:26 PM EST
    with two arrows; left,"too little"
    right, "too late."

    O.K. I'm a pig


    It's unanimous (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:18:25 PM EST
    I predict server loads ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:14:40 PM EST
    on political blogs will drop dramatically on Thursday.


    I think that the shock (none / 0) (#28)
    by white n az on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:30:52 PM EST
    of early voting in some of these states (Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Colorado) is so overwhelming that I don't see how the Republicans can recover.

    Obama was never my first or second choice but I stand in awe with the way that his campaign has clearly changed the way politics is done in this country.

    Needless to say, it will be a landslide that is certain to go way beyond 339 EV's when the final tally is established...and it will be at least Wednesday if not Thursday because many of these states don't have automation to tally the early/absentee voting that has swamped them.

    Hate the electoral college (none / 0) (#29)
    by Saul on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:40:59 PM EST
    When will it be abolish.  At a minimum if it isn't abolish  the Electoral votes should be given out proportionally to the amount of popular vote.

    That is the only true way and fair way of who the people really want as their president  

    wave election (none / 0) (#30)
    by deminma on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:44:55 PM EST

    I think he takes everything close,  all of the state polls are missing this last little uptake and the pollsters are undercounting cell phones and youth turnout.   He ends up with 397  including one nebraska vote,  he loses AZ.   Georgia,MT and ND are the suprises.    53-45

    Well lets all hope...

    my prediction (none / 0) (#32)
    by skippybkroo on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 09:00:16 PM EST
    obama 5,000 evs

    mcmuffin 2

    Cautious Prediction (none / 0) (#33)
    by joanneleon on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 09:14:46 PM EST
    Obama gets 27 states, 332 EV:

    McCain gets 23 states, 206 EV:

    David Sirota isn't counting his chickens (none / 0) (#35)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 10:38:45 PM EST
    just yet. See Open Left: he's written a thoughtful, reality-based column.

    He says in part:

    Like most of us, I'm experiencing a very weird cocktail of emotions: Excitement for a potential win tomorrow; fear of a potential loss; and preemptive disappointment that a win could mean an Obama presidency that doesn't seize the moment or that a loss could mean no moment at all.

    I want to believe we're going to win tomorrow, and I want to believe that a win tomorrow will be the first step in true transformative change in this country - universal health care, new trade and energy policies, an end to the war in Iraq.

    For my part, I find this point most salient: I'm having "preemptive disappointment that a win could mean an Obama presidency that doesn't seize the moment". Maybe that partly accounts for the prevailing atmosphere of muted celebration.