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.

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