For those of us who toiled in front of the television set in 2000 only to wait several weeks before the “winner” was finally selected by the United States Supreme Court, election night can be a long, frustrating drag. But for those of us who need our sleep, there is a sure-fire method of picking the winner even before the networks anoint a victor. The formula for 2008 is quite simple and quite certain. Here goes:
There are several key states in the East that, if they go in a particular direction, will determine victory for one of the candidates. Being in the East, these states will likely report results early and allow us to pick the winner in time to catch David Letterman’s monologue. So all you have to do is look to Florida (27 electoral votes), Pennsylvania (21), and Ohio (20). Add North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13) and if four of those states go to one candidate – he is the winner! For security, take a look at New Hampshire, not for its four electoral votes, but for its indication of the direction in which the night’s results will go. All those states are presently “in play” and if they begin to fall for one candidate, we can put a fork in it, ‘cause it’s done.
If you are a real election nerd, pay attention to the exit polls for the following: turnout (high turnout will favor Obama); youth vote (if the kids vote, Obama gets a huge boost); women (is there a “gender gap” and does it go to Obama?); and finally, white guys (expected to go overwhelmingly for McCain; if he does not get these votes, he is toast).
OK, so you can sit back and really enjoy election night, plus get a good night’s sleep. That is, unless your preferred candidate loses, then I suggest prayer and martinis . . . and not necessarily in that order.
By Michael Genovese, Loyola Chair of Leadership