October 31, 2004

Adding up the Electoral College votes and really caring about Hawaii.

I'm looking at the averages on the polls in the battleground states at Real Clear Politics and plugging the results for each state into the calculator here. Bush has 290 electoral votes to Kerry's 248. That's giving Bush Ohio, by breaking the tie and averaging the four most recent polls (which show Bush 2.9 percentage points ahead). But let's take away Ohio: Bush still wins with 270. And that's giving Kerry Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The shockingly decisive factor: Hawaii! But why is the most recent poll for Hawaii (showing Bush up by 1 point) over 10 days old? With all this polling madness, you'd think someone would take a poll out there. And to think Hawaii will be voting ever so much later than everyone else, when we will already have heard announcements of who has won Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. If Kerry wins Pennsylvania and Ohio, but not Florida, it seems to me that Hawaii will be monumentally important. How strange! If Bush wins Florida and Ohio, Kerry is lost.

The Republicans are sending Cheney
out to Hawaii today, and maybe the state will appreciate the high level attention. The Democrats have only sent Al Gore and Alexandra Kerry (1,000 people turned out). Not that I want to help Kerry win, but don't you think they'd better jet their man Edwards out there tomorrow? They do have Clinton appearing on Hawaiian TV by satellite. In a classic example of micro-campaigning, he pitched Kerry's "support for the Akaka bill that brings federal recognition to native-Hawaiians and compensation for Filipino war veterans."

But judging from the "Campaign 2004" page for the Honolulu Advertiser (the state's biggest newspaper), they don't look that excited about the attention. The big feature is the mayoral election (and the big issue is the one local politics issue that I get excited about: light rail).