Here are my predictions for 2004, with the assumptions that nothing funny takes place. It’s my opinion, though, that the Kerry GOTV team will motivate enough voters that such things won’t be an issue in most places. Call me an optimist.
Kerry: 279 – Bush: 259
In the battleground states…
Bush. In the Senate race, Salazar is doing well against Coors, but I think it’s the ballot referendum which is my indicator for Bush. That’s divided somewhat along party lines, and the most recent polls on that seem to indicate that support for it is faltering.
Florida: I think Kerry wins, based a lot on this Herald/Zogby poll, but also because I can’t imagine the same thing happening again… and because the fudge factor is going to go Kerry’s way, I think.
Iowa: Kerry, but too close to call. I think the fudge factor may again pull this one out, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go Bush.
Michigan: Bush. I just don’t see Kerry winning MI. It’s a jobs state, and Kerry has been polling well, but something about it rubs me funny… maybe it’s just the 12 visits that Bush has made there, to date.
Minnesota: Bush… Minnesota is still such an independent state, and most recent polling has Nader there at 5%, despite everything, so I think that will hurt Kerry.
New Hampshire: NH is more conservative than the rest of the Northeast, but, I also think they’re a little smarter than a lot of the country, too .
New Jersey: It will stay Kerry. I don’t really think this was much of a swing, but I am including it because some have. Kerry is currently up by 7% in the newest poll, but it was as high as 10% a week ago. This is only a “battleground” because at one point it was seen as Bush having a bit of a surprise lead.
Ohio: Kerry, but I don’t have any concrete reasons why I think so, other than the fact that Ohio has, for the most part this year, been pretty strong for Kerry, except for a couple of flips. This is also a jobs state, and I think that may hurt Bush, at least here.
Pennsylvania: Kerry. I don’t think this was ever close, to tell you the truth. People have been saying for months that it will be hard for Bush to win PA, and with all the new registrations going on in the Philly area, I think this will be too much for Bush.
West Virginia: Bush, but that still stymies me. It’s a jobs state, as well as a steel state, so it kind of surprises me that Bush would win there, but he’s doing well. No reason to think he wouldn’t continue this.
Wisconsin: Kerry, but another one too close to call, I think. It could go either way.
For what it’s worth, you can create your own test scenario courtesy the L.A. Times.