Pre-Election 2004 Wargaming
Just for the fun of it, here are a few Nov. 2nd scenarios based on the latest Real Clear Politics polling data.
(*** Remember that based on the 2000 census data, we start with a electoral vote count of Bush (278) Vs. Kerry (260) if both candidates were to both take the same states that Bush and Gore did in 2000 ***)
Group 1: Bush 2000 states in play for Kerry
New Hampshire: 4
Group 2: Gore 2000 states leaning Bush
New Mexico: 5
Group 3: Gore 2000 states still in play, but leaning Kerry
Minnesota: 10 (close)
— Bush takes Ohio & Florida: He wins
— Kerry takes Ohio: Bush is likely to win by carrying Wisconsin and Iowa from Group 2.
— Kerry takes Ohio & New Hampshire: Bush is likely to win by carrying Wisconsin and Iowa from Group 2.
— Kerry takes Florida: Bush still would probably win by taking Wisconsin, Iowa, & either Hawaii or New Mexico.
— Kerry takes Florida & New Hampshire: Bush has perhaps a bit less than 50 chance of winning because he’ll need all of Group 2 or most of Group 2 + a Group 3 State.
— Kerry takes Florida, Ohio, &/Or New Hampshire: Bush is highly likely to lose. To win, Bush would need either Pennsylvania or Michigan & probably Minnesota to go along with his Group 2 wins.
Summary: The election looks to be centered around Florida and Ohio right now. The latest Zogby Poll (and I think Zogby polling leans left) has Bush at +3 in Florida and +5 in Ohio. That’s bad news for Kerry. I also think Minnesota is close to being a Bush leaning state.
On the other hand, Arkansas may be coming into play for Kerry (although there hasn’t been a poll showing Kerry ahead in that state since August) and although Bush has had tiny leads in the last two Hawaii polls, it’s hard to count on a state that leans to the left that heavily going for Bush. Furthermore, Kerry seems to be pulling away in Michigan.
So with a week to go until election day, Bush is in significantly better position than Kerry, but Kerry is still within striking distance…