# Outside the Beltway

## PROJECTIONS

Dodd Harris presents a red-blue map gleaned from Election Projection showing Bush winning 56.59% of the popular vote to 42.41% for his yet-unnamed Democratic opponent, resulting in an Electoral College blowout of 449-89. The projection is amusing but highly improbable.

The fellow behind the site is an unabashed Bush enthusiast with no obvious credentials, but his methodology is interesting. The flaw would seem to be this rather odd initial assumption:

Start with a baseline figure of 49.5% Bush, 49.5% Dem, 1.0% third party – obviously this calculation assumes Nader won’t run in 2004.

So, we start with the assumption that Bush has equal chances to win in Utah and the District of Columbia?

James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

1. Maybe he’s a Bayesian who believes in incredibly uninformative priors. ðŸ™‚

2. Earl Sutherland says:

In general if a Republican presidential canidate gets close to 55% of the two party vote, he will win over 400 electoral votes. (see e. g.; Eisenhower, 1956 or G. H. W. Bush, 1988) Based on the recent head to head polling results that would be the outcome at present.

My own sense is that in the end Bush will get 330 to 350 electoral votes by winning all, or nearly all, the states he did in 2000 and adding some marginal states such as Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

3. “So, we start with the assumption that Bush has equal chances to win in Utah and the District of Columbia?”

Oh, but you misunderstand the formula! The baseline assumption is that, given strictly equal positive and negative sentiments concerning Bush, he’ll win an equal amount of the national vote. I go on to determine an adjustment factor based on the polling data. This adjustment is added to Bush’s total from 2000 for each state. That’s how I project who will win each state and by how much.