Gray Flannel Dwarf

10/27/2004

Will Virginia go Kerry?

The Virginian-Pilot: “Bush maintains 6-point lead in Virginia poll”

Bush led Kerry, 50 percent to 44 percent, in the poll of 625 registered voters who said they are likely to cast ballots Tuesday. The survey was conducted Friday through Monday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc.

Personally, I am not going to place money on Kerry winning, although I will, of course, push for it. If conventional wisdom suggests that the state will vote Republican for the 10th consecutive time, though, I say it will be by less than 75,000 votes — if not fewer — which would be a pretty interesting move for VA.

I’ve gleaned some information from various sites, and while I am not much of a stats wizard, I came up with some numbers, albeit they may well be overly optimistic.

From the Michigan GOP site:

Statistics have shown that 70% of new registrants vote in the next general election.

If the GOP wants to spot me 70%, that’s fine. Next, we have this, from Hampton Roads News Channel 3, 4-Oct-2004:

Election officials say nearly four-and-a-half million Virginians were registered to vote as of September first. That’s up about a half million from the last presidential election.

Ok, so that’s (possibly) half a million new voters — this stat doesn’t indicate whether this count includes new residents of VA, as opposed to new registrations. In any case, if those are new regs, 70% of that is 350,000.

Let’s make some further, rash assumptions.

* I’m supposing that, despite Virginia being a red state, 60% of the new registrants who vote, will do so for Kerry. That’s 210,000.
* Nader got about 59,000 votes in 2000. Another supposition is that 75% of 2000 Nader voters will vote Kerry. That’s 44,250.

In this perhaps best-case scenario, then, one could see Kerry getting a net increase of 254,250 votes in VA this year. Not taking into account any negligible votes for other third party or write-in candidates, the remainder of those votes would then result in a gain of 154,750 for Bush. That comes out, in the end, to an estimated net gain of 99,500 more votes for the Dems this year than last.

Bush won VA in 2000 by 210,560 votes, gaining 52% of the vote, versus 45% for Gore; to reiterate, the most recent poll shows Bush/Kerry at 50/44.

Even if you water down those percentages a fair amount, it still looks to be interesting stuff going on here indeed, even if Bush wins the state as expected. Personally, I think that things will edge up slightly better for Kerry than I have suggested, if only slightly so.


cswiii @ 3:06 am

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