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Probability of McCain Win (Vanity)
09/14/09 | Tom Ewall

Posted on 09/13/2008 10:21:03 PM PDT by TomEwall

I considered the states that Rasmussen has listed as leaning or toss-ups and used the "Last" values for Intrade to determine the probability of a given state being won. Doing a weighted average, I came with McCain's expected value to be 268.74, which is just under 269, a tie.

Doing a Monte Carlo simulation I came up with the probability of a McCain win being 49.4%, a similar result to the weighted average.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: electionpresident; mccain; mccainpalin
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What sparked my interest in doing this was from analyzing the Electoral College, it seems to me that the easiest path for Obama to win would be to flip Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico. Assuming Obama wins Iowa, and all other states hold to the 2004 election (excluding Colorado and New Mexico) this comes down to Obama wins if he can win both Colorado and New Mexico, and McCain wins if he can hold either of these two states.

Intrade has Obama as having a bit less than a 60% chance of winning each of these states. If the chance were exactly 60% for each state, then Obama would have a 36% chance of winning both. In this scenario, McCain would have a 64% chance of winning the election, and Obama a 36% chance.

This got me interested in what would happen if I considered more states. So far I'm just considering 12, which are CO, FL, IA, MI, NH, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, VA and WI, the states which Rasmussen has as either "Leaning" or "Toss-Up".

Considering the probabilities of these states, the race is extremely close to dead even (which surprised me, as I was expecting McCain would be the more likely winner). McCain winds up with a 49.4% chance of winning.

1 posted on 09/13/2008 10:21:03 PM PDT by TomEwall
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To: TomEwall
Intrade has McCain up 51.4%. I think it'll be a lot higher probably 53-54%. That tracks with the inverse percentage of the vote Obama is getting nationally 46-47%. So McCain should get a comfortable electoral college majority.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

2 posted on 09/13/2008 10:23:53 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: TomEwall

Honestly...I’m a union guy....there are alot of union people they are counting on that wont vote for a black man....ever....for any reason...they all yell “hell yea”...until they get in the voting booth...

I’ve been reminding guys that Todd is a stealworker, oil work is union work...etc etc..

Think being a union guy on FR is hard?...try being a conservative in a Union...

*grin*


3 posted on 09/13/2008 10:27:09 PM PDT by Crim (Dont frak with the Zeitgeist....http://falconparty.com/)
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To: Crim

You are definitely on the front lines of the conservative movement. I grew up in Michigan and I agree with you, a lot of UAW workers will never vote for a black guy, especially if they tired to get a son in the union and saw the spot given to someone else for “diversity”.


4 posted on 09/13/2008 10:29:53 PM PDT by Conservative Actuary
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To: goldstategop

I know this may be a dumb question, but how in the heck do I change my screen name? I like Bush and all, but I would like to change it.


5 posted on 09/13/2008 10:31:43 PM PDT by Bush Revolution (McCain/Palin Revolution 2008)
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To: Bush Revolution

Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know I have a poll that needs some input. Thanks and please leave comments.

http://poll.pollcode.com/LoC_result?v


6 posted on 09/13/2008 10:33:44 PM PDT by Gator_that_eats_Dems
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To: Crim

Have you heard of the “Bradley effect”? This refers to just the behavior you’re describing, where a person will say he will vote for a Black candidate, but doesn’t actually do so, leading to Black candidates polling better than they actually perform. Wiki has an interesting article on this.

According to the Wiki article, this effect is more pronounced in states where the Black population is smaller.


7 posted on 09/13/2008 10:34:36 PM PDT by TomEwall
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To: Gator_that_eats_Dems

sorry here is the link.

http://poll.pollcode.com/LoC


8 posted on 09/13/2008 10:34:49 PM PDT by Gator_that_eats_Dems
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To: Conservative Actuary
We are stationed in Hawaii and being in the military you obviously meet people from all over. That being said. a friend of ours came over from Ohio and said there is no way Obama can win Ohio (speaking about Ken Blackwell running for gov). I can see McCain winning PA. Blue collar voters don't trust him.
9 posted on 09/13/2008 10:35:14 PM PDT by Bush Revolution (McCain/Palin Revolution 2008)
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To: TomEwall

I hope it has to do more with the fact that he is a very scary candidate more than his race.


10 posted on 09/13/2008 10:37:26 PM PDT by Bush Revolution (McCain/Palin Revolution 2008)
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To: Crim
Think being a union guy on FR is hard?...try being a conservative in a Union...

*grin*

Been there, done that (actually, still there, still doing that...)

the infowarrior

11 posted on 09/13/2008 10:37:49 PM PDT by infowarrior (“Let the voters decide if Palin is laughable.”-Tublecane)
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To: TomEwall

For what it’s worth, I talked to a woman today who has a daughter at the University of Colorado, and her daughter told her the women on campus are huge fans of Palin. This is not exactly what you would expect to hear from college girls. They love her. And that crowd at their rally at the airport was enormous.


12 posted on 09/13/2008 10:38:27 PM PDT by FrdmLvr ("I don't know of a single thing Obama has done except talk and write". -- Newt Gingrich)
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To: Bush Revolution

Not a dumb question

You can FRmail Jim Robinson and ask him if he can do it for you, or just create a new name


13 posted on 09/13/2008 10:39:10 PM PDT by IncPen (We are but a moment's sunlight, fading in the grass ...)
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To: Bush Revolution

I know this may be a dumb question, but how in the heck do I change my screen name? I like Bush and all, but I would like to change it.

_____________________

MarrymeSarah is already taken.

:)


14 posted on 09/13/2008 10:41:03 PM PDT by volunbeer (Dear heaven.... we really need President Reagan again!)
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To: Crim
You go Crim! :-). Thanks for the post. Sounds as though the Bradley effect is alive and well going into this election.

I am curious if there is a percentage factor to figure in when calculating polls for the BE, but I guess we will find out on election day.

Great news about Todd and you reminding fellow union workers. What an interesting mixture of real life the Palins bring to us :-).

15 posted on 09/13/2008 10:41:44 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: TomEwall

I think McCain will end up winning by a much larger margin than expected. I say this because Palin has changes the dynamic of the race. I think it is safe to say there has never been an election quite like this one. Given this, any algorithms used to predict the outcome of the election, if they are based on past results, would be flawed. That just my opinion, I don’t know how exactly you calculated your result.


16 posted on 09/13/2008 10:42:24 PM PDT by chaos_5 (See my profile for cool McCain/Palin "lipstick" stickers!)
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To: TomEwall
This election is likely the most ideterminate we've ever had, regarding polling.

The veracity of polling answers is highly unstable as many of the polled are not likely to reveal their true choices.

Obama is very culturally imbued with "neighborhood" Blacks, as compared to say a Colin Powell for instance. That will cause a lot of jitters with most older Whites and Hispanics.

Women are the most under-served constituency in America. Not choosing Hillary will be seen historically as the turning point in Obama's loss.

The privacy of the voting booth will tell all, and deep seated fears of Blacks and anger about the disenfranchisement of Women are likely to be revealed.

17 posted on 09/13/2008 10:42:24 PM PDT by gandalftb (America's highest office.....Patriot)
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To: Crim

I have this argument with a buddy at work all the time.

I agree that there are certainly a percentage of yahoos who just won’t vote for a black man (although for the record, I was born in Africa and I’m darker than Whitney Houston). I find that pretty disgusting since I would vote for Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams in a heartbeat.

However, we disagree on the percentages.

I put it at 4% max. He says it’s higher, closer to 20%. There is no denying that there is a Bradley effect in the polling that even the drive bys acknowledge. Nobody is going to tell a stranger on the phone in a poll that they have reservations about voting for a _______ (fill in the blank)

In answer to the question posed in this vanity, I would say the odds of Obama winning are 100:1. This will be a landslide McCain Palin victory.

The MSM will blame it on racism. That’s nonsense.

It has everything to do with this particular candidate being unqualified and a closet Saul Alinsky style America hating Marxist.


18 posted on 09/13/2008 10:43:27 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shouldn't be a federal agency...it should be a convenience store.)
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To: infowarrior

Try this. Hubby is a Licensed Nuclear Operator and stuck in the union. The IBEW comes down every election trying to get them to vote dem.

Pretty pathetic for union officials to try and get a bunch of nuclear workers to vote for a candidate who’s completely against nuclear power....


19 posted on 09/13/2008 10:47:29 PM PDT by Brytani ("The First Amendment doesn't say anything about giving you a hug if you're offended.")
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To: Conservative Actuary
Toledo is still a union town...and work is good right now...

Trying to educate a tradesman into the realization that his employment is directly tied to capitol investment in property is a chore sometimes....but most guys get it after a while....not the rabid ones though...

This IS still Ohio...

Most union guys here are ....

Pro-gun

pro-life

Anti-terrorist

Anti-appeasment

Proud Americans

But many of them are also busy and only get news from TV or the Union...thus many suffer from BDS (bush derangement syndrome)...

I've even seen the conspiracy movie “loose change” floated around the hall ( I raised holy hell)...

Our union monthly regularly posts pics of serving union members and are VERY pro troop...

These are the very people Alinsky (oh-bama mentor) talks about...the working class....

The only way for the left to gain control is to artificially created the conditions of hopelessness and disaffection...

The wild card here is patriotism, real emancipation or working women/mothers and an undercurrent of racism for a black canidate...

IIRC the Bush cross over votes for union members was 40%?

I suspect...what ever it was....it's going to be higher in this election...

Just my amateur opinion...

20 posted on 09/13/2008 10:47:58 PM PDT by Crim (Dont frak with the Zeitgeist....http://falconparty.com/)
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To: volunbeer
MarrymeSarah is already taken.....LOL! ....darn.
21 posted on 09/13/2008 10:49:57 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (If you aren't "advancing" your arguments,your losing "the battle of Ideas"...libs,hates the facts 8^)
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To: chaos_5

I used the probabilities from Intrade and did Monte Carlo simulations, a million trials at a time, which showed a 49.4% chance of winning, based on the 12 states I used.

Intrade is just what people’s expectations are, so can be wrong. For example, for a long time they had Obama as a favorite to win in Ohio, even by over 60%. That never made any sense to me. If I were a betting man, I would have taken that, because at no time, in my opinion, did McCain ever have less than a 40% chance of winning Ohio.


22 posted on 09/13/2008 10:50:11 PM PDT by TomEwall
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To: Crim

“Honestly...I’m a union guy....there are alot of union people they are counting on that wont vote for a black man....ever....for any reason...they all yell “hell yea”...until they get in the voting booth...”

Crim - SO interesting that you said that - just tonight, I heard a panel on a CNN panel special with Roland Martin about how people feel about “issues” such as gender, race, age, etc. - and there was a union person saying that he felt certain many union members will undoubtedly, despite what they say - in the booth, vote for Obama.


23 posted on 09/13/2008 10:50:14 PM PDT by llandres (I'd rather be alive and bankrupt than dead and solvent)
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To: TomEwall
One thing that can't be ignored in Obamawinsphobia is the lack of the full democrat machine behind him. Not all of the main dem dirty tricksters will be on board for him. Many will say in public they will but are closet PUMAs. Expect historically low voter fraud effect in this one.
24 posted on 09/13/2008 10:51:22 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: TomEwall

Not to ruin your calculations but a new poll out of MN has them tied

http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/president/28353589.html?elr=KArks:DCiUBcy7hUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU


25 posted on 09/13/2008 10:53:16 PM PDT by flyfree (Biden is no Palin and Obama is no McCain)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

I think the election will be close. I’m more optimistic than I was, but Obama could easily win. It’s been a good last couple of months though, so hopefully the trend will continue.

Palin has helped so much, it’s unbelievable. Even if McCain lost, she still would have helped the party by making the situation in the Congressional races much better.


26 posted on 09/13/2008 10:53:45 PM PDT by TomEwall
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To: Bush Revolution

Even though I’m still a newbie here, I think you should just ask Jim Robinson to help you with that.

However, it’s not such a bad screen name. W is one of the Good Guys.


27 posted on 09/13/2008 10:53:52 PM PDT by llandres (I'd rather be alive and bankrupt than dead and solvent)
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To: Bush Revolution

The Bradley effect has little to do with race. It is not that a voter won’t vote for a black candidate, but rather they wont tell a pollster if they plan not to vote for the black candidate.


28 posted on 09/13/2008 10:54:02 PM PDT by JLS (Do you really want changec being two guys from the majority of Congress with a 9% approval rating?)
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To: TomEwall

It’s not even going to be close. Obama won’t win more than 10 states.


29 posted on 09/13/2008 10:56:26 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shouldn't be a federal agency...it should be a convenience store.)
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To: flyfree

This doesn’t have anything to do with my calculations, which were taken from Intrade, not from polls.

Anyway, that’s great news! You saw a couple of days ago there was a Michigan poll that had McCain ahead by 1?


30 posted on 09/13/2008 10:56:53 PM PDT by TomEwall
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To: Brytani
Pretty pathetic for union officials to try and get a bunch of nuclear workers to vote for a candidate who’s completely against nuclear power....

Can you say, "Pwned"? I knew you could!!

the infowarrior

31 posted on 09/13/2008 10:57:09 PM PDT by infowarrior (“Let the voters decide if Palin is laughable.”-Tublecane)
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To: Eric Blair 2084
It has everything to do with this particular candidate being unqualified and a closet Saul Alinsky style America hating Marxist.
bingo! ....race unimportant...Col. Allen West / Herman Cain / Blackwell / Steele...all much more qualified than Zero OBambi / OBiden

32 posted on 09/13/2008 10:57:22 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (If you aren't "advancing" your arguments,your losing "the battle of Ideas"...libs,hates the facts 8^)
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To: Bush Revolution

” hope it has to do more with the fact that he is a very scary candidate more than his race.”

Oh, AMEN to that. Not his race - it’s about all the other things he is, stands for, and plans for this country.


33 posted on 09/13/2008 10:58:17 PM PDT by llandres (I'd rather be alive and bankrupt than dead and solvent)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

I think the actually number of people who would “never vote for a black guy” is actually very low.

But I do think there are a certain number of people who only needs one good reason to not vote for the black guy. The don’t want to be racist, so they need that one good reason with which they can rationalize to themselves that the reason they aren’t voting for the black guy is something other than racism.

How big this group of people are differs depending on whom you talk to.


34 posted on 09/13/2008 11:00:16 PM PDT by Truthsearcher
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To: llandres

I agree too. Mostly the plans to raise taxes and increase the size of Government concerns me.


35 posted on 09/13/2008 11:00:42 PM PDT by TomEwall
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To: llandres

I think that union rep is delusional.


36 posted on 09/13/2008 11:00:53 PM PDT by snarkytart
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To: TomEwall
I've used Monte Carlo methods for rendering fractals.
http://chaos5.deviantart.com/gallery/#Fractals

As for the Intrade, I trust that more than MSM opinion polls. Before Palin, no one could have predicted the swing McCain has taken. To be fair thought, it isn't over yet, and anything can still happen. I think the closer we get to the election, the less likely we are to see a major shift.

37 posted on 09/13/2008 11:01:27 PM PDT by chaos_5 (See my profile for cool McCain/Palin "lipstick" stickers!)
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To: Gator_that_eats_Dems

Now I can vote


38 posted on 09/13/2008 11:03:21 PM PDT by OKIEDOC (The Difference Between Palin and Obama is Common Sense, She's GOT IT, He DOESN'T)
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To: TomEwall
The problem with using Intrade to predict is that people invest in Intrade for the short term as well as the long term. From what I have been able to tell, Intrade is fine at reflecting how people feel at the moment, but is a lousy predictor of the future.

I could have made a fortune on Intrade voting for McCain and against Romney.

39 posted on 09/13/2008 11:05:16 PM PDT by flyfree (Biden is no Palin and Obama is no McCain)
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To: TomEwall

Well...he said he was in it to win it.

Lord love the ATTACK pilot!*

*Attack...as in what McCain actually did.
He wasn’t a fighter pilot.


40 posted on 09/13/2008 11:08:10 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Sarah'cuda Rocks)
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To: chaos_5

“I think McCain will end up winning by a much larger margin than expected.”

Oh please, God. Because electoral vote count, so far, looks scary when the networks show it - a frightening spread between the two thus far. Guess I’m just nervous - I realize none of this is set in stone yet.


41 posted on 09/13/2008 11:08:25 PM PDT by llandres (I'd rather be alive and bankrupt than dead and solvent)
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To: llandres

Let me rephrase. McCain had better win by a landslide or the losers will make the LA riots look like a bar fight!


42 posted on 09/13/2008 11:10:52 PM PDT by chaos_5 (See my profile for cool McCain/Palin "lipstick" stickers!)
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To: skinkinthegrass

I’m stealing that cartoon.


43 posted on 09/13/2008 11:12:02 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shouldn't be a federal agency...it should be a convenience store.)
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To: Truthsearcher

I agree with you. If the orange, green, red, or blue candidate was a strong, experienced candidate who was at least a centrist if not a conservative, he could win a general election today.

Obama has no chance. He’s a scary leftist. It’s back to the drawing board for the 60’s radicals who have cut their hair and gone into journalism and politics.


44 posted on 09/13/2008 11:19:04 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shouldn't be a federal agency...it should be a convenience store.)
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To: Eric Blair 2084
enjoy...turn-about is fair play....I stole it from another FReeper.
45 posted on 09/13/2008 11:19:41 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (If you aren't "advancing" your arguments,your losing "the battle of Ideas"...libs,hates the facts 8^)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

“I find that pretty disgusting since I would vote for Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams in a heartbeat.”

Eric - thanks for your post - and I’d add Michael Steele to that - he’s a straight-up, good conservative guy!!! (and a credentialed politician, who happens to be black)

I really hope and pray you’re right in your predictions.


46 posted on 09/13/2008 11:20:10 PM PDT by llandres (I'd rather be alive and bankrupt than dead and solvent)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

I agree with everything you said, except I think the odds of an Obama win are much higher, certainly not 100:1. He is within a few percentage points, which means a few small unforeseen problems and things could swing back the other way. I would put it at 2 or 3 to 1. Still good odds for our country, but sad that such an anti-American could have any chance at all.


47 posted on 09/13/2008 11:21:19 PM PDT by Defiant (I prefer a Lewinsky in the White House to an Alinsky. The first blows, but the latter really sucks.)
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To: Eric Blair 2084
"... It’s not even going to be close. Obama won’t win more than 10 states."

California and New England is my guess.

48 posted on 09/13/2008 11:22:38 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid
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To: TomEwall

I know a considerable amount of people who have never voted for a Republican president who are either votig for McCain or not voting. I live in MD and would not be that surprised if McCain wins. I know that sounds unbelievable, but I am confident it will at least be close.


49 posted on 09/13/2008 11:23:01 PM PDT by John Robie
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To: llandres

I’m not a Michael Steele fan. He strikes me as a big tent GOP party hack. Not a conservative.

I am on a roll though with my predictions. I predicted Sarah Palin as the VP nominee.

The bad news is that much like my golf game, I can’t hit 3 good shots in a row.


50 posted on 09/13/2008 11:24:04 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shouldn't be a federal agency...it should be a convenience store.)
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