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November 03, 2008

Election night: Make sure you get home early

My old friend and co-émigré Bruce Nash has put together a great presentation about how tomorrow’s election will unfold, in terms of when the TV networks will call each of the states. From Bruce’s model, it looks like it’ll be all over bar the shouting by around 8pm Pacific – so if you’re on the West coast, best get in front of a TV set early if you don’t want to miss all the action. You can view the presentation below (jump to around 6:30 for the meat):

The only beef I have with Bruce’s predictions is that he models the poll-to-result swing (the difference between the final poll result and the actual result) for each state using the values from the 2004 election – and there are many reasons (new voter registrations, a different profile of voter turnout, the Bradley Effect) why the swing could be different this time around (to be fair, Bruce does acknowledge this).

But since Bruce’s model predicts that Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia will lock up for Obama pretty early on, leaving McCain with very few options, it’s hard to imagine that the outcome won’t be fairly clear by the time folks on the East Coast (and my three-year-old daughter) need to go to bed. In fact, it could even be the case that the result is pretty much known before the polls actually close on the West Coast. Kinda crazy, if you ask me ;-)

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