Projected Electoral College Vote, 2004

Wednesday, March 03, 2004 | 06:41 AM


One of my favorite things about the weekly financial Barron's (sister publication to the WSJ) is their unpredictibility. On more times than I can count, a Barron's article has made me stop, reconsider the so-called conventional wisdom, and rethink my own views and prejudices.

Incidentally, Barron's on-line, the net companion to the print edition, is one of Dow Jones best -- if least known -- properties.

So I am not really surprised by a rather intriguing analysis in Barron's online recently, titled, Why the President May Be Running Scared. With Kerry locking up the Democratic nomination, political strategist's on both sides have started adding up the electoral college votes. What they find may surprise them:

"There's been an unusual defensiveness at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue these days. First came the report by chief weapons inspector David Kay that Saddam Hussein probably didn't have weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war. Under pressure, President George W. Bush appointed a commission to probe the apparent intelligence failures that preceded the war. Then came the astonishing release of controversial records about the president's service in the Alabama National Guard during the Vietnam War. The usually quiescent White House press corps was suddenly barking like a pack of attack dogs, demanding answers.

Meanwhile, Democratic primary voters, abandoning their usual self-destructive fractiousness, united early and have virtually anointed Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts as their nominee.

Kerry and his straw man adversary, Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, have had a clear field attacking President Bush's performance on Iraq and the economy. So, it's no surprise that for the last three weeks, the president's approval rating has hovered below the key 50% level in a Newsweek poll.

But I'll bet none of this is what really keeps Karl Rove and the president's other top political advisers awake at night.

As we all learned in 2000, the only thing that really counts is the Electoral College. Anachronistic as it might be, it's still the constitutionally mandated way of electing a president of the United States. And talk of repealing it after the 2000 fiasco went nowhere. So, how does the electoral vote look as of today?"

Here's the electoral college table, as compiled by Zogby International:

Projected Electoral College Vote, 2004 (as of February 26, 2004)

Blue States Electoral  Red States Electoral  States in Electoral
(Kerry) Votes   (Bush) Votes   Play Votes
California 55   Alabama 9   Arizona** 10
Connecticut 7   Alaska 3   Colorado** 9
Delaware 3   Arkansas 6   Florida** 27
Distict of Columbia 3   Georgia 15   Minnesota* 10
Hawaii 4   Idaho 4   Missouri** 11
Illinois 21   Indiana 11   Nevada** 5
Iowa 7   Kansas 6   Ohio** 20
Maine 4   Kentucky 8   Oregon* 7
Maryland 10   Louisiana 9   Tennessee** 11
Massachusetts 12   Mississippi 6   Washington* 11
Michigan 17   Montana 3   West Virginia** 5
New Hampshire** 4   Nebraska 5   Wisconsin* 10
New Jersey 15   North Carolina 15      
New Mexico 5   North Dakota 3      
New York 31   Oklahoma 7      
Pennsylvania 21   South Carolina 8      
Rhode Island 4   South Dakota 3      
Vermont 3   Texas 34      
      Utah 5      
      Virginia 13      
      Wyoming 3      
Total 226   Total 176   Total 136

*Was Blue state in 2000
**Was Red state in 2000
Table: Zogby International

The operative issue is electoral votes: if Zogby's estimates are accurate, Kerry needs only to take Ohio and Florida to get the 270+ electoral college votes necessary to win the presidency.

Howard R. Gold explains why the incumbent, President Bush, faces a surprising uphill battle for reelection:

"Only four of the states that we list as "in play" (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington) were Blue states in 2000, when they delivered a majority for Vice-President Al Gore. The other eight states that are "in play" now (including Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Missouri), with a treasure trove of 98 electoral votes, were part of Bush Country in 2000. That suggests the Democratic presidential candidate is holding his base of support better than the president is, allowing Senator Kerry to peel off a couple of the paler Red states from the president's column.

"National poll numbers are irrelevant," Zogby says. "What is relevant is how the president plays in the Red states, and how the Democrats play in the Blue states."

A surprising revelation, courtesy of the provocative contrarians at Barron's. Of course, November is 8 months away, and anything -- anything -- can and will happen between now and then . . .

Why the President May Be Running Scared
Barron's, Thursday, February 26, 2004,,SB107783389537540398,00.html

Projected Electoral College Vote, 2004
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2004 8:09 p.m. EST,,SB107783488497040429,00.html

Wednesday, March 03, 2004 | 06:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (52) | TrackBack (6) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Projected Electoral College Vote, 2004:

» Early State-By-State Numbers from Outside the Beltway
Barry Ritholtz analyzes a recent article in Barron’s ($) that shows Kerry in a strong position vis-a-vis Bush in the state by state voting. It’s... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 3, 2004 9:34:09 AM

» Bush Trails in Electoral College Projections from JunkieWire - The Joe Hill Dispatch journal of news for political junkies.
Barry Ritholtz at the Big Picture has a nice pick up from a Barron's column looking at Zogby's newest electoral college projections. These projections, as compiled by Zogby International, shakes out as follows Kerry has 226 locked up, Bush has... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 3, 2004 11:03:58 AM

» Why Karl Rove Is Worried from
From some random ex-lawyer and arbitrage-gamer named Barry L. Ritholtz who somehow got the idea he should drop links to... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 3, 2004 12:01:23 PM

» from Remaindered links weblog
Projected Electoral College Vote, 2004... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 4, 2004 3:25:18 AM

» Electoral College count from Govind's Stochastic Remarks
This is an intriguing map showing the projected electoral totals for Kerry and Bush. They make the important point that national polls are *irrelevant* because the Electoral College is what matters and that is determined by state. As 2000 showed,... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 4, 2004 6:52:07 PM

» Zogby's Electoral Vote Predictions from
Zogby’s electoral vote predicitons, found at The Big Picture: Projected Electoral College Vote, 2004, paint a surprisingly cheerful picture for Sen. Kerry.... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 6, 2004 4:21:36 PM


The notion that Bush faces an uphill battle surprises you? If you'd quit watching the stock market for a minute it wouldn't be so shocking. He's been awful. Why should he win? What's he done that's been so great for the country?

Posted by: Chibi | Mar 3, 2004 2:51:11 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

Recent Posts

December 2008
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      


Complete Archives List



Category Cloud

On the Nightstand

On the Nightstand

 Subscribe in a reader

Get The Big Picture!
Enter your email address:

Read our privacy policy

Essays & Effluvia

The Apprenticed Investor

Apprenticed Investor

About Me

About Me
email me

Favorite Posts

Tools and Feeds

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe to The Big Picture

Powered by FeedBurner

Add to Technorati Favorites


My Wishlist

Worth Perusing

Worth Perusing

mp3s Spinning

MP3s Spinning

My Photo



Odds & Ends

Site by Moxie Design Studios™