Tuesday, October 05, 2004

 

Will new registrants make a difference?

I think it will be close.

In 2000, Gore lost by 176,426 votes. How can that difference be made up?

It currently appears that there will be at least 600,000 new registered voters in Ohio. Typically, somewhere between 40-50% of new registrants actually vote. Let's make a conservative assumption of 40%.

It also appears that the majority of new registratants will vote for Kerry. A conservative assumption is that they will split 3-2 for Kerry.

So, if only 240,000 (40% of the 600,000) actually vote, the new votes split this way:
Kerry: 144,000
Bush: 96,000
Difference: 48,000

At that point, Kerry still falls short by a net of about 129,000 votes

But there are a many wild cards here.

Not the least of which is that Nader sapped 3% of the vote in 2000 or 114,482 and other independents took 42,762 votes. That's not going to happen this time. I think the independents will take at most 1.5% or about 50,000. I think those might split 2-1 so that could swing a net of about another 33,000 votes. Whether Nader stays off the ballot will be a big concern.

Thus, Kerry's victory in Ohio rests on 1) getting a voter turnout among new registrants that is much higher than 40%, and moving about 1% (50,000 but a total difference from one side to the other of 100,000) of the swing voters from 2000 into his column. Thats's why the debates are so key. Right now, it appears that Kerry can bring enough swing voters, but that assumes no major inroads or gaffes by this campaign for the next four weeks.

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