Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Our [Insert Adjective Here] Democracy
Election geeks and other concerned citizens: If you haven't hooked into it already, get on over to the Electoral Vote Predictor for the latest on the state of the presidential race. Niko and I check it daily (you should have seen the excitement in the lad's face when some outfit finally did a new poll in New Hampshire and the state tipped from its perpetual tied status to the Dems. "Barely Kerry!" he shouted, noting the Granite State's newfound blue outline).

The site's formula makes for some big swings in the total electoral vote count. If the latest poll shows a candidate with a lead in a state, no matter how small the lead or how consistently the poll has been out of whack, the state goes to that candidate. But over time you do see trends emerging. And the happy trend in recent weeks is that many of the swing states seem to be going Kerry's way. Michigan and Pennsylvania now look pretty solidly blue. What's clear, still, however, is that this thing is very, very close. Ohio and Florida, the big enchiladas, remain up in the air (Can you picture the hovering enchilada?). And Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, the aforementioned New Hampshire and a handful of other less-populated states could be pivotal as well.

One other thing about the Predictor: Don't forget to read the text, updated daily The writer offers important insights into the poll updates, and his dry, straight-ahead commentary often turns quite funny. This morning, I got a kick out of this passage:

"In South Carolina, Republican senatorial candidate Jim DeMint has apologized for saying that gays and unwed mothers should be forbidden from teaching in the public schools. But he didn't retract the statement. His race there against Inez Tenenbaum, the state's school superintendent, is also surprisingly close. In Oklahoma, Tom Coburn has repeatedly tried to unsay things (such as his supporting the death penalty for abortionists -- and this coming from an obstetrician who has personally performed abortions). Finally, In the Illinois Senate race, Marylander Alan Keyes has opposed gay couples raising children saying: "If we do not know who the mother is, who the father is, without knowing all the brothers and sisters, incest becomes inevitable." Republicans are a lot livelier this year than usual. And the liveliness seems to be working. My current projection shows the new Senate with 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats (including independent Jeffords) and 2 tossups, but 8 or 9 races there are very close and change from day to day."

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