Thursday, October 30, 2008

List of States I'll be watching next week

After wasting a lot of time on,, and a couple of others, I decided to organize my own list of "swing" states that I will be watching as I pray for an Obama victory next week. If you think this election is over, YOU ARE WRONG. There are a lot of ways McCain/Palin can win. I for one think that polling is not entirely accurate. Polls are all we have at this point (even with some early voting going on) - so we can use them, but it is too early to celebrate.

The criteria for this list is as follows: 1) States are listed here with the most generous definition of "swing" possible. So don't freak out because Minnesota is there - this is a very generous listing, because I am trying to be as conservative as possible going into election night. 2) States are listed in order of importance, coupled with how realistically "swing" they are. For example, a highly ranked state on this list is a combination VERY important in the election AND highly volatile for some reason. A state ranked low on the list is either NOT that important to victory or unlikely to really swing one way or ther other. So here goes:

  1. Pennsylvannia - If Obama wins PA, it is VERY difficult for McCain to get to 270. Obama had a large lead in polls up until today, when an new NBC poll had Obama up only 4 points. Many pundits said that McCain should have given up PA, but he couldn't really, because he almost HAS to win here. Example: If you are a Republican and you take a REALISTIC view of the electoral map (Obama is VERY likely to win MN, IA, NM, and NH) then losing PA means McCain needs to win every other state on this list except for NV. Considering that McCain is behind in the polls in most of the states on THAT list, if you are a Republican you are stocking up on Budweiser or Jack Daniels or whatever, and you are making your drinks stiff early in the night should PA really go blue.
  2. Florida - If Obama wins PA and FL, it's all over but the crying for McCain. In almost any scenario, FL is pretty much a must win for McCain. All the polls really tell us about Florida is that it is close and don't watch the local news in Orlando.
  3. Virginia - I heard there are commies in Virginia. Well, if there are enough of them and this state votes Obama, again, McCain's electoral math becomes very dificult. Also, I think that Republicans would probably start to give up hope at this point. Realistic electoral math puts Obama over the top with PA and VA - the rout might be on.
  4. Ohio - If Joe The Idiot (Plumber) doesn't symbolize many of the things that are wrong with America, then nothing does. Again, PA and OH put Obama over the top no matter what else happens.
  5. North Carolina - In a way, winning in the late Jesse Helms' state would be piling on - talk of 370+ electoral votes would follow any media declaration that Obama has won here. But I think it is important psychologically for Obama to win NC, to show he has appeal in "Red" state America. Also, it would mean that Liddy Dole probably loses her bid to be re-elected to the Senate. That's a race near the top of my list - posting on that sometime soon.
  6. Colorado - I believe that there is a semi-realistic 269-269 scenario out there. If Colorado goes blue, that scenario is no longer possible. If you start with the 2004 final map, change IA, NM and NV from red to blue, you end with a 269 tie. That's not that far fetched. Colorado voting for Obama makes a tie almost impossible.
  7. Missouri - Obama drew 100K+ at a rally there last week. Polls say that it will be close and impossible to pick a winner. But the results from other states above may have already decided the race. If they haven't, it will be a MUST win for either side. There is a way to view this state as the Florida of 2000 in this election.
  8. New Mexico - Polls have this state firmly blue, which is why it is low on my list. Plus it is out west, and the election may have been decided before the polls even close there.
  9. Nevada - Same as NM.
  10. New Hampshire - Probably gos for Obama - BUT: As an early closer out east, look for a lot of momentum should McCain be declared a winner there. It's always been an INDEPENDENT loving place. If they are buying it still from McCain, it could be a sign of good things to come for the Republicans.
  11. Minnesota - This really has to b considered over, but I am still seeing ads here. The MPR poll out today has Obama up 19. The only thing a McCain victory here would mean is that someone screwed with the election.
  12. Iowa - Obama won the caucus here. Should be firmly democratic.

I left off Montana and North Dakota. They would be nice to win but not crucial. As we are watching on election night, these states listed above will tell us who is going to win.

UPDATE: Apparently I didn't get all the information on that NBC Poll from PA. According to Glenn Greenwald at, that same poll had Obama up only 2 points a month ago. So that's actually a net gain in one month. Better news than I thought. However, I am still not bringing out the champagne...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

270 To Win

If you haven't been there - I cannot recommend it highly enough. Just a fascinating way to waste A LOT of time. My thoughts:
1) Look back in history at California's electoral votes since the 1950's. Just an amazing population growth there.
2) LBJ absolutely SMOKED Goldwater in 64.
3) Vermont and Maine voted against FDR in 1936 (start of his second term). There's just no excuse for that. I definitely lost some respect for those guys today.
4) I would have guessed that the 1988 election was a lot closer than it was.
5) Do not, under any circumstances, click on the 2000 election. You will be reminded that Bush won that election in spite of the following:
a) Al Gore received 500,000 more votes than Bush.
b) The electoral college ended 271-268. Florida takes all the blame, but New Hamshire was the lone bit of red in the blue Northeast, and Bush would have lost without New Hampshire.
c) Gore "lost" Florida in the official final count by 537 votes. Out of nearly 6 million cast. That's remarkable.
d) Ralph Nader received 97,488 votes in Florida that year. I know times were different then, and that it really is only with the benefit of hindsight that we see how exceptionally the Bush/Cheney administration has performed. And this is a free country, and I think people should be allowed to vote for whomever they choose. But for me, personally, I would feel a lot better if I knew that Nader was having a little more trouble sleeping at night than he appears to. He was never going to win anything that year. At least Ross Perot actually had a chance to win something in 1992 (less so in 1996). But the only realistic outcome of the Nader campaign was to take votes away from Al Gore. Indeed, he did accomplish that. Imagine if only a quarter of the people who voted for Nader in Florida had voted for Al Gore. There's no Supreme Court case, no chads, no nothing. They would do a recount, and Al Gore would have been President. I also think the Republicans would have tried to impeach Gore after 9/11, but that is a different story.
6)Having looked at lots of polling data and playing with the site quite a bit, it is very difficult to imagine McCain winning at this point. Something really odd would have to happen to even give him a shot. Which of course will make it all the more devestating if Obama loses. But still, this is as close to in the bag as a close election can be.
7) I am a nerd.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I think I figured it out

I've thought about doing a blog before, but never really felt like I had a reason for one. After the Hamilton's came over the other night. and after seeing some of Jonathan's entries on HIS blog, I thought I would give it a go. But still - there has to be a purpose, a focus, otherwise, it's just a waste of time. Now, I love to waste time, but still, I already have a lot of ways to waste time, and I don't need another one. 

Then I made my weekly (daily) stop at the liquor store on my way home from work on Friday. Now, here is the situation: Nicole is pregnant. I like to have a couple of drinks, especially after work on Friday. But I can't buy a bottle of wine, because I have to drink it all myself, and well, I just try not to do that very often. I could have some booze, and while I know that even I will not try to finish a whole bottle of booze, it's not like you can buy a different kind of booze every time you go to the liquor store.

So we are left with beer. Sweet, delicious, beer. Which is good because I really like beer.

One of the things I like about beer is that there are so many different kinds of beer, and each one can stand on its own. It's like a never ending adventure of new tastes, smells, colors, and therre is always a payoff in the end. So basically, someone who likes to drink, but has the attention span of a two year old, can find enjoyment in a different way whenever they want.

So yesterday's stop at the Tonka Bottle Shop on 101 and Minnetonka Blvd may prove to be a watershed moment. As I bought my Boulder Brewing Company Mojo India Pale Ale, the guy rining me up asked me if I liked really hoppy beer. He also asked if I was a "Hop Head". I didn't respond to that question. But I did tell him that I like to try lots of differenet beers. "Kind beers" would be how I would refer to them - especially when I wanted to sound like a real dork. But I am always interested in new beers. I feel like I have had every kind of beer offered by my local liquor stores - or at least most of them. I have my favorites of course, but I am always into trying new ones. And boy, did he show me a new one. More on that in a later post.

Then it hit me. A beer blog. An idea that is so good, it has probably never been thought of before. A google search for beer blog yielded only 3.1 million possible web pages to visit. So I am definitely breaking new ground here. Now I know how Christopher Columbus and Jackie Robinson must have felt. What form will this take? What will the ground rules be? Is "beer blog" really an acceptable answer to any question relating to purpose? I DON'T KNOW. But I do know that I will be retiring both my Nerd and Wife thinks I am wasting time meters if this goes on very long.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This is the First Post

So it can only get better from here.

After going 0-2 in Fantasy Football this weekend, I am definitely going to start playing the martyr card. And yes, I know that no one cares about anyone else's fantasy teams. That's why I put it in a blog you fools!

I am trying to decide what picture to use at the top of this page. I am going to put a few of them up and then vote on them by myself. Here's entry #1: