Skip to comments.FOOD FOR THOUGHT ON UNDECIDEDS AND FIRST-TIME VOTERS (how the undecideds have to break for Bush)
Posted on 10/27/2004 12:25:22 PM PDT by Cableguy
Sometimes, two fascinating pieces of information come to the Kerry Spot e-mail box almost simultaneously.
Kerry Spot reader Steve, a fountain of fascinating information, broke down the numbers of how the undecided voters would have to break to give each swing state for Bush or for Kerry.
Using the most recent averages of the Battleground polls found on RealClearPolitics.com I created a table that determines the number of undecided voters from each state that would be required for either Bush or Kerry to win. This is done by assuming that 20% of the overall ranks of the undecided won't vote at all and then arriving at the majority point by reducing that non-voter number as well as the numbers of third-party candidates (Ralph Nader plus an assume 0.5% for other third-party candidates) and dividing by two. The results are as follows:
Florida - Bush 23.78%, Kerry 56.22%
Ohio - Bush 37.87%, Kerry 42.13%
Pennsylvania - Bush 96.76%, Kerry -16.76%
Wisconsin - Bush 27.80%, Kerry 52.20%
Iowa - Bush 2.22%, Kerry 77.78%
Minnesota - Bush 34.55%, Kerry 45.45%
Michigan - Bush 79.62%, Kerry 0.38%
Missouri - Bush -8.96%, Kerry 88.96%
New Mexico - Bush 17.97%, Kerry 62.03%
Nevada - Bush -13.06%, Kerry 93.06%
Colorado - Bush -20.26%, Kerry 100.26%
New Hampshire - Bush 58.46%, Kerry 21.54%
Maine - Bush 110.83%, Kerry -30.83%
West Virginia - Bush -4.44%, Kerry 84.44%
Oregon - Bush 89.02%, Kerry -9.02%
New Jersey - Bush 84.44%, Kerry -4.44%
Arkansas - Bush -20.00%, Kerry 100.00%
Hawaii - Bush 35.91%, Kerry 44.09%
If Bush gets a third of the undecideds to break his way (as Dick Morris and John Zogby insist is the historical norm) then the president wins the following Battleground states and ends up with 276 Electoral Votes: Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, West Virginia and Arkansas (as of today's polls).
At 35% Bush gains Minnesota and his Electoral Vote bumps up to 286.
At 36% Bush gains Hawaii and is up to 290 EVs.
At 38% Bush gains Ohio and is up to 310 EVs.
At 59% Bush gains New Hampshire and is up to 314 EVs.
At 80% Bush gains Michigan and is up to 331 EVs.
At 85% Bush gains New Jersey and is up to 346 EVs.
At 90% Bush gains Oregon and is up to 353 EVs.
At 97% Bush gains Pennsylvania and is up to 374 EVs.
Anything less than 27% of the undecided vote (as of today's polls) tips the election to John Kerry (by tipping Wisconsin back into the Democratic column).
There's no guarantee, of course, that the undecideds will break uniformly from state-to-state, but I found the trends interesting nonetheless for those who believe the late-deciders will break for Kerry.
Im sure a lot of people could quibble with an assumption here and there, but that seems like a good back-of-the-envelope calculation. If Kerrys advantage among the late-deciding voters is greater than the traditional 2:1 challenger advantage, then Teresa can begin thinking about how she wants to decorate the Oval Office. If its around 2:1, then its probably a close win for Bush. If Bush does better than the traditional 2:1 split, he should win with some breathing room, and/or a mandate.
Then forwarded by Ramesh, a message about the Pace poll of first-time voters.
Among first-time voters, President George W. Bush seems to be gaining ground as the campaign proceeds. He has a statistically insignificant lead over Senator John Kerry (48% favor Bush in a head-to-head race, and 44% favor Kerry). Bush's support in this group has climbed 8 points since the previous Pace Poll/Rock the Vote survey in July (from 40% to 48% now). Meanwhile, Kerry's support has slipped 6 points (from 50% in July to 44% today). Seven percent remain undecided.
Like the old song goes, these are the kinds of things that make you go 'Hmm.'
What an awesome post.
Historically undecideds are supposed to break for the challenger, but hey, the Red Sox curse was broken and President Bush has miraculously evaded Tecumseh's curse.
|Year||Race||1 Month Out||Next To Last Poll||Result||Verdict|
|1936||Incumbent FDR vs. Landon||FDR 51, Landon 44||FDR 54, Landon 43||FDR 61, Landon 37||Broke towards incumbent.|
|1940||Incumbent FDR vs. Willkie||FDR 51, Willkie 42||FDR 51, Willkie 42||FDR 55, Willkie 45||Broke evenly.|
|1944||Incumbent FDR vs. Dewey||FDR 47, Dewey 45||FDR 47, Dewey 45||FDR 53, Dewey 46||Broke towards incumbent.|
|1948||Incumbent Truman vs. Dewey||Dewey 46, Truman 40||Dewey 50, Truman 45||Truman 50, Dewey 45||Broke towards the incumbent.|
|1952||No incumbents. Democrats the incumbent party. Ike vs. Stevenson||Ike 51, Stevenson 38||Ike 48, Stevenson 39||Ike 55, Stevenson 44||Broke evenly.|
|1956||Incumbent Ike vs. Stevenson||Ike 51, Stevenson 41||Ike 51, Stevenson 41||Ike 57, Stevenson 42||Broke towards incumbent.|
|1960||No incumbent President. Incumbent VP Nixon vs. Kennedy||Kennedy 49, Nixon 45||Kennedy 49, Nixon 45||Kennedy 50, Nixon 50||Broke for incumbent VP.|
|1964||Incumbent LBJ vs. Goldwater||LBJ 64, Goldwater 29||LBJ 64, Goldwater 29||LBJ 61, Goldwater 38||Broke towards challenger.|
|1968||No incumbents. Democrats the incumbent party. Humphrey vs. Nixon||Nixon 43, Humphrey 31||Nixon 44, Humphrey 36||Nixon 43, Humphrey 43||Broke towards incumbent party.|
|1972||Incumbent Nixon vs. McGovern||Nixon 60, McGovern 34||Nixon 59, McGovern 36||Nixon 61, McGovern 38||Broke evenly.|
|1976||Incumbent Ford vs. Carter||Carter 47, Ford 41||Carter 48, Ford 44||Carter 50, Ford 48||Slight break towards incumbent.|
|1980||Incumbent Carter vs. Reagan||Carter 47, Reagan 39||Carter 47, Reagan 39||Reagan 51, Carter 41||Broke strongly towards challenger. So did some of the decideds.|
|1984||Incumbent Reagan vs. Mondale||Reagan 58, Mondale 38||Reagan 56, Mondale 39||Reagan 59, Mondale 41||Broke evenly.|
|1988||No incumbent President. Incumbent VP Bush vs. Dukakis||Bush 49, Dukakis 43||Bush 53, Dukakis 39||Bush 53, Dukakis 46||Broke evenly from a month out. Broke slightly towards challenger from the 2nd to last poll.|
|1992||Incumbent Bush vs. Clinton||Clinton 47, Bush 29||Clinton 43, Bush 36||Clinton 43, Bush 38||Broke towards incumbent.|
|1996||Incumbent Clinton vs. Dole||Clinton 48, Dole 39||Clinton 52, Dole 41||Clinton 49, Dole 41||Broke evenly.|
|2000||No incumbent President. Incumbent VP Gore vs. Bush||Bush 48, Gore 43||Bush 47, Gore 45||Gore 48, Bush 48||Broke towards incumbent VP.|
"Historically undecideds are supposed to break for the challenger,........."
Actually not true. Just another false notion put out there by the Democrats, hoping to influence voters.
see post #5
Wow! Thanks for the detailed analysis!
|Year||Race||1 Month Out||Next To Last Poll||Result||Verdict||On-Going War or Conflict|
|1940||Incumbent FDR vs. Willkie||FDR 51, Willkie 42||FDR 51, Willkie 42||FDR 55, Willkie 45||Broke evenly.||WW II|
|1944||Incumbent FDR vs. Dewey||FDR 47, Dewey 45||FDR 47, Dewey 45||FDR 53, Dewey 46||Broke towards incumbent.||WW II|
|1952||No incumbents. Democrats the incumbent party. Ike vs. Stevenson||Ike 51, Stevenson 38||Ike 48, Stevenson 39||Ike 55, Stevenson 44||Broke evenly.||Korean War|
|1960||No incumbent President. Incumbent VP Nixon vs. Kennedy||Kennedy 49, Nixon 45||Kennedy 49, Nixon 45||Kennedy 50, Nixon 50||Broke for incumbent VP.||Begin Cold War|
|1968||No incumbents. Democrats the incumbent party. Humphrey vs. Nixon||Nixon 43, Humphrey 31||Nixon 44, Humphrey 36||Nixon 43, Humphrey 43||Broke towards incumbent party.||Vietnam|
|1972||Incumbent Nixon vs. McGovern||Nixon 60, McGovern 34||Nixon 59, McGovern 36||Nixon 61, McGovern 38||Broke evenly.||Vietnam|
|1980||Incumbent Carter vs. Reagan||Carter 47, Reagan 39||Carter 47, Reagan 39||Reagan 51, Carter 41||Broke strongly towards challenger. So did some of the decideds.||Height of Cold War|
|1984||Incumbent Reagan vs. Mondale||Reagan 58, Mondale 38||Reagan 56, Mondale 39||Reagan 59, Mondale 41||Broke evenly.||Cold War|
|1992||Incumbent Bush vs. Clinton||Clinton 47, Bush 29||Clinton 43, Bush 36||Clinton 43, Bush 38||Broke towards incumbent.||Post Gulf War 1|
Just show the beheading videos to them.
Someone should do a state by state to see how undeciders break. That is a key also.....In Minn in 2000 they broke towards Bush (He was down 5-7 in most polls and lost by 2%), and in 2002 broke for Colemen and the Republican Gov who won.......
A state by state would be very tale-telling to information gathering concerns and companies, on many levels, for many issues/understandings "demographic."
I think the assumption here that the polls are accurate reflections of reality is unwarranted. Of course, it assumes away sampling error, usually 3% to 4%. But the polls also generally make assumptions about party affiliation, and many of them reweight their answers to match 2000 party affiliations of exit polls. This may or may not be a good idea. I think there actually are more people identifying as Republicans since 9/11; as Dick Morris has written, party affiliation is not a fixed demographic. Also, the decreasing response rate to telephone polls (well under 50% I understand, even for 3-day polls with callbacks) and the uncertain demographics of cell-phone-only households and households that screen their calls, also make polls close to useless.
Undecided, undeschmided...they won't determine the course of the election. Nope, the election will be decided on Sunday, when the Foreskins, errrr, Redskins play the Packers. If the 'skins win, so does GWB.
Normally, I rather despise the DC football franchise. However, this time I can honestly say GO FORE, uh, REDSKINS!!!!
"Historically undecideds are supposed to break for the challenger,........."
Not true as the chart shows AND backed up by what I heard recently on both Fox and MSNBC. It seems that is mostly true in congressional races where most people haven't a clue who their state reps are and when forced to choose a name they simply go with the name they recognize.
I stand corrected. I don't think it matters anyway, because it's pretty obvious President Bush will get a 2nd term. I just hope that this time around he will seriously do something about the illegals, because I feel they are a security threat. I also want a payroll taxcut. So that's the end of my Xmas list.
The one exception is Presidential races. In these the undecideds break for the incumbent, 2 to 1. As the author points out, if that margin is reversed and Bush gets 1 out of 3, he wins 276 EVs. If Bush gets 38% we get Ohio and a total of 310 EVs. If he gets 2 out of 3, Bush picks up New Hampshire and 314 EVs.
Note that Zogby is saying that the undecideds are leaning 4-3 for Kerry, with a third still completely undecided. Let's assume the rest of the undecideds break down the same way or sit the election out. At that margin, Bush gets 42% of the undecideds, and that (as I mentioned) gives him 310 EVs. If all the remaining undecideds swing to Kerry, then he'll have around 70%, and he needs a 73% swing to carry Wisconsin.
Now, these numbers are fuzzy, they don't count vote fraud, etc., etc. But it looks to me that unless the undecideds swing toward Kerry disastrously, the worst we will have to put up with is a relatively close (6-10 point) EV victory.
Stay confident, stay busy, and we'll win this thing, folks!
I hereby nominate for Quote of the Day.
Nope. The Pack will win, and so will Dubya.
Well, I guess that'd break quite a streak...which seems to be the in-thing in sports this week, what with Bahhhhhston winning the Series [spit]. All things considered, I'll take Boston winning the Series if Kerry stays on as the liberal Senator from Assachusetts.