2012 Election Post-Mortem

Another election, and plenty of opportunities lost.  First, with the Presidential race I got 44 out of 50 states right, which is my worst call yet.  But, I was far from alone on that one and people far smarter and more prominent than I got it even worse.  At the time of this writing, Florida still hasn’t been officially called, but I assume Obama will get it and a final tally of 332-206, although the popular vote was much closer than that Electoral College number looks. Continue reading…

Brandon Shaffer’s Electoral College deception

The following was pulled from the old Wrongmont site and appears to be written around 2007.  Unfortunately, most if not all of the hyperlinks are broken as those sites either don’t exist anymore, or the articles were just removed.  But the information is still relevant and helps give full context and perspective on one of the more disturbing activities of State Senator Brandon Shaffer (Dem-Longmont).  Now he wants to be the U.S. Congressman for Longmont. Continue reading…

Pommer, fellow travelers continue disdain for Electoral College, U.S. Constitution

It’s baaaack. Once again our elected representatives at the state capitol have decided that your vote and your voice comes second to theirs. For the umpteenth time, they want to get Colorado out of the business of having to deal with the Electoral College system and go along with this “National Popular Vote” movement. It’s a “movement” alright, if you get my drift.

This years model is House Bill 1299, sponsored by Longmont’s own John “Jack” Pommer, Democrat – District 11 (pictured). He also was onboard with the earlier versions of this nonsense, as I’ve written about extensively. This time though it didn’t originate in the State Senate like the past versions, usually sponsored by Brandon Shaffer (another one of our illustrious local representatives), and I hope he’s seen the light on this issue – but I doubt it.

Ironically, the House is usually where the previous Senate bills went to die. Hopefully, one of our other local representatives Paul Weissmann will reprise his role and put this in the political graveyard where it belongs.

I’ll remind again that a similar measure went before the voters in Colorado in 2004 and was soundly defeated, rejected by 65% of the voters. But the main sponsor Andy Kerr, Democrat – District 26 (pictured), similar to other pushers of this idea (Brandon Shaffer, Ken Gordon, etc) thinks the legislature should overrule you, even though a vast majority of you voted against this.

So far only a bare handful of states have gone along with this scheme, equaling a whopping 50 Electoral votes. It wouldn’t kick in until enough states approved this scheme equaling 270 Electoral College votes. But these types have a long view of things with their systematic watering down and killing of what they call a “living Constitution”. But that aside (and that’s a lot to put aside) it’s just plain ridiculous for some states to use one system for electing a President, and others to use some half-baked scheme as the other.

Think it’s so great? Put it to the voters, again. Why don’t they? Why do they circumvent the voters and pass this as quietly as possible in state legislatures? Because they know what will happen, the 2004 vote is proof.

Election Night Scoresheet


Like I’ve said before, I enjoy predicting elections, and usually do fairly well at it. This one though? The variables involved and combinations of possibilities are nearly too mind boggling to nail it down one way or the other. I may tweak a few numbers here and there right up to Election Day, but for now I see more combinations of Electoral College Votes (ECV’s) for Obama to reach the magic number of 270 than for McCain. My initial guess is for Obama to end up with either worst case 273 or best case 311 ECV’s.

But how and when will we know? The networks are already saying they won’t be in any great rush to declare a winner. They are also gun-shy over relying too much on their exit polls, which in 2004 gave John Kerry false hopes during the afternoon on Election Day. The networks also don’t want people tuning out too early, so they’ll likely drag this out as long as possible. In Colorado’s case, we might not have a clear vote count until after midnight, if we’re lucky. So, again, what’s the best way to gauge what’s going on?

I put together a scoresheet of when each state’s polls close, how many ECV’s they are worth, and indicated in bold the important ones to watch. Some states straddle more than one time zone, but the times given (all Mountain Standard Time) are usually when each given state concludes the majority of its voting. So, here they are.

————————————————————————-

5:00pm VT(3) / VA (13) / SC (8) / GA (15) / KY (8) / IN (11)

5:30pm NC (15) / WV (5) / OH (20)

6:00pm ME (4) / MA (12) / NH (4) / CT (7) / NJ (15) / PA (21) / DE (3) / MD (10) / DC (3) / FL (27) / TN (11) / AL (9) / MS (6) / IL (21) / MO (11) / OK (7) / 6:30pm AR (6)

7:00pm KS (6) / MI (17) / NY (31) / RI (4) / WI (10) / LA (9) / MN (10) / TX (34) / NE (5) / SD (3) / NM (5) / CO (9) / WY (3) / AZ (10)

8:00pm ND (3) / IA (7) / MT (3) / UT (5) / NV (5)

9:00pm CA (55) / ID (4) / WA (11) / OR (7) / HI (4) / 10:00pm AK (3)

—————————————————————————

How crucial states go between 5pm and 6pm will pretty much decide who the winner is, that is IF the networks show the tallies in a timely manner. If Obama wins VA and OH, it’s pretty much over for McCain. If these are split or if McCain wins both, it’s going to be a long night, and the next two important states to watch will be NH and PA. Considering the idea of a split (or else why even go any further in this discussion?), if McCain were to win OH, then that might point to strength in PA, especially western and central PA. If McCain were to win NH, that would indicate weakness for Obama in some of the supposedly locked up blue states down the line. I tend to think McCain would win neither of these states.

So if it’s still a race by the time CO’s polls close, it then all comes down to three states: CO, NM, and NV. There’s little doubt that Obama will win the west coast and HI, equaling 77 Electoral votes. In just about any scenario, these will be the states that put Obama up over 270 EV’s. If Obama hasn’t reached 192 ECV’s before the west coast polls close, he won’t reach 269 (a 269-269 tie would go to Obama through the House of Representatives).

And here is where the dreaded slow counting expected for Colorado comes in, if it comes to this scenario. If either candidate is 9 shy of 270, Colorado will be under the microscope and attorneys will be flocking to our state in record numbers, a few per county, and we may not know the final results for a day or two.

So, I hope that helps you in weaving through the multimedia nightmare that might be awaiting us on Election Night. The eventual winner may not appear that way (based on ECV’s) for quite a while, but the keys to watch for above should give you a clue of how it’s going along the way.

Brandon Shaffer: Not a voter’s best friend

How would you feel if you, along with almost 700,000 other Colorado voters (equaling 65.9% of the voters), voted one way but a newly elected representative tried to overturn that result, more than once? Worse yet, how would you feel if that representative voted to take away the right for you to vote on that issue again?

That’s exactly what current State Senator Brandon Shaffer did with Senate Bills SB06-223 and SB07-046. These two bills, which Senator Shaffer co-sponsored and voted in favor of, would’ve effectively overturned Amendment 36 (this amendment would have changed the way in which the state apportioned its electoral votes). The latter senate bill had an amendment to it that would “refer to people under referendum”, Senator Shaffer voted NO. Bottom line, he wanted to undo the voters will in 2004 and not give them a chance to be heard again on this issue.

Why would he do this? These bills were the brainchild and pet projects of Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon. You didn’t think Mr. Shaffer moved up the ranks to Assistant Majority Leader in the Senate so quickly just on looks, did you? When you’re a good soldier for your leader and your party, there are perks. I asked the question, but didn’t get an answer, as to how often Senator Shaffer voted against his own party. On all the important bills that I looked over he towed the party line straight down the line. Even if that meant undoing and silencing your vote.

Bipartisan? Independent? Hardly. Tell Mr. Shaffer you don’t like your vote played with and vote NO on retaining him in his State Senate District 17 seat.

Other local representatives of note on this issue: Representative Jack Pommer (Dem-11) voted similarly to Senator Shaffer, and is running for re-election. Representative Paul Weissmann (Dem-12) should be commended on this issue for killing it in his committee.

LA021: Meddling in Firestone Union annexation, and 2008 election predictions

LA-w-ChrisSeptember 15, 2008 Show

Even by Wiser Time

Testing Your Meddle” about Firestone
and Lifebridge Union annexation Continue reading…

Election Prediction Update

Every six weeks or so I like to go back to Intrade (www.intrade.com) and see how people are placing bets on which way the election is heading. The last time I checked it was back in the first week of August, with the Democratic nominee (Intrade just lists DEM and REP in the state-by-state picks) was up 311-227 (Electoral College Votes – need 270 to win). I personally put it closer than that, putting the Democratic candidate up 279-259. Needless to say, a lot has changed since then.

According to the latest numbers, things have tightened up considerably in the race. They have the Democratic nominee winning 273-265, I have the Republican nominee winning 274-264 (for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just say Obama(Dem) and McCain(Rep) from this point on). The difference? One state. Colorado.

Last time around, “Unaffiliated” had the highest amount of registrations in the state. According to a recent AP article, Republicans now hold that edge, which means the majority of those registered in Colorado are either Republicans or Unaffiliated, which could be important swing voters. But on the Democratic side, it shows their Senate candidate (Mark Udall) with a 73-26 advantage over Republican Bob Schaffer. I think it will boil down to how much early voting there is, and the many ballot initiatives and who they bring out to vote. With a glance at some of these (TABOR-killing initiative, definition of a “person”, and ending race preferences) I give the edge to Republicans showing up more, which should amount to more McCain votes. The polls, which had Obama up by as many as 9 points, have gone back and forth on who is leading, amounting an average of an ever shrinking Obama lead that’s less than most margins of error.

Besides Colorado, which is the closest on Intrade (54-45 Obama), there are a couple other states that are close, a couple are surprises and weren’t in this category 6 weeks ago. New Hampshire is the next closest with it now 56-45 Obama. I left this in the Obama category, but there is something for Democrats to be worried about here: the last time I checked registrations, “Unaffiliated” held the lead at 44%, second place was Republicans with 30% and then Democrats with 26%. This was a surprise, and may have changed some since, but these numbers don’t usually jump up or down more than a few percentage points over the span of a few months.

Next is Nevada at 58-45 McCain, where registrations are nearly identical between the two parties, I expect McCain to carry this state. Then New Mexico at 60-45 Obama, which is a 13 point drop in the last 6 weeks, but many more Democratic registrations, so even though this is right in McCain’s backyard, I still give it to Obama. Then Virginia, which shows 61-42 McCain (registration numbers weren’t available), and while this may get close, I still think McCain will carry it. Lastly, Michigan, which I never guessed would make this list, is showing 62-40 Obama. While it may get some attention, the only way I see McCain winning this state is if there’s some unforeseen landslide. The rest of the states have larger spreads than this, including Ohio and Florida (McCain), and Pennsylvania (Obama).

Lastly, Intrade has a Presidential Election Winner betting option. The last contracts were 52.4 McCain to 47.1 Obama. If there truly is a greater than 5% gap in the popular vote like this, there should be an even greater gap in the Electoral College totals. But it’s not all gloom and doom for Democrats: Intrade shows them keeping control of both houses of Congress, and it’s not even all that close.

Electoral College Scam

See updates in highlighted text

This takes a while to set up, bear with me.

I usually only make comments about Longmont and the local community on this website. When I want to step into the larger state and nationwide issues, it’s usually in the form of a letter to the paper. But this subject crosses over and is important, and I feel, so far, it hasn’t gotten the needed attention locally. For the most part, us “political junkie” types are the only ones paying more than a passing interest to this kind of thing.

Some background: In 2004, there was a Colorado Amendment 36, it would change the way Colorado allocates its Electoral College votes in a presidential election. Prior to that election I submitted the following to a few papers:


Make Colorado Matter©

Amendment 36, or as it’s called “Make Your Vote Count” from its supporters, has a couple serious flaws with it. First, unless it’s a landslide vote in the state, the allocation of electoral votes will almost always be 5-4. That means Colorado will basically be worth 1 electoral vote, less than the District of Columbia and 7 other states that have the minimum 3 electoral votes. Talk about making your vote completely worthless. Colorado would be the most ignored state in presidential politics, and that has local and regional ramifications.

The “winner-take-all” concept could be improved on, say, by allocating votes by congressional districts won. At least that could open the possibility of 7-2 or 6-3 splits, and make politicians pay attention to areas other than Denver and Boulder. To get an idea of how this might break down, I invite your readers to look at the following page on USA Today’s website http://www.usatoday.com/news/vote2000/cbc/map.htm, it shows vote by County unfortunately, and not by District. But it makes the point that if a candidate can just carry a large city or two, the rural areas can be ignored and the candidate can take the state. Is that really what we want? In reality, this amendment should be called “Make Your Vote Count – if you vote a certain way”.

Secondly, and most importantly, ALL of the states would have to use this process to make it fair to ALL voters. Colorado could become the unfortunate national embarrassment Florida was in 2000, as everyone waits for us to count the votes for and against this amendment, and settle the court challenges sure to follow. As much as I think ALL states should reform the allocation of electoral votes, or do away with the Electoral College system altogether if that is the feeling of the majority, this amendment smells of partisan politics. Look again at that County map, especially the West Coast states; it’s obvious who benefits from metropolitan areas deciding for entire states. At the very least, it’s disingenuous by the amendments backers to claim it’s not partisan. This is the brainchild of a Brazilian-born Californian using Colorado as his guinea pig. To use this format for California would be disastrous for his candidate. It would mean instead of winning all of their 55 electoral votes, it’d be a 28/22/5 split amongst three candidates based on the most recent poll. Colorado with its mere 9 votes is a safe place to test this idea.

The anti-amendment slogan of “Coloradans Against a Really Stupid Idea”, is negative and, well, stupid. Is that the best you can come up with? I’d probably let you use my idea above.

The real winner in a system like this is the candidate that receives fewer votes. Instead of zero electoral votes, he’d get probably 4. Colorado is still too close to call, so that could help or hurt either presidential candidate. This November, send a strong message that votes outside Denver and Boulder should matter. That we are not guinea pigs for others and their partisan political games. Regardless of who you are voting for, vote against Amendment 36. It’s the only way to make your vote really count.


This amendment failed by an almost 2-1 margin. The voters sent a pretty strong message, or so it seemed. Fast forward to 2007 and the Majority Leader in the state Senate, Ken Gordon (D) (pictured below)

(303)866-3341 ken@kengordon.com http://www.kengordon.com ) sponsors SB07-46, a bill to once again play games with Colorado’s Electoral College vote allocation. This time around, it’s a multi-state pact where Colorado would allocate all of its 9 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of how the state’s residents voted. This would only take effect if enough states signed on that equaled a majority of the Electoral College votes needed to win an election. It’s a cute way around amending the U.S. Constitution without actually going through the “hassle” of a national debate to amend it.

Seems Mr. Gordon also sponsored a 2006 version of this bill (SB06-223) which died a needed death. He was on the Senate Committee on Judiciary, where he brought in some hired guns to speak on behalf of this scam, no dissenting speakers allowed here, and moved that it passed, and voted for it. A one man constitutional wrecking crew. If there’s any justice, he came up a wee bit short in his bid for Secretary of State. Oops, the voters spoke, darn them voters. All they do is get in the way.

But regardless of how you feel about the idea, the bigger problem, as I see it anyway, is the way these people are trying to go around the voters. So not only are they attacking the U.S. Constitution, but also democracy and the way this republic has operated, pretty successfully overall I’d say, for over 200 years.

Here’s a follow-up article I wrote that the Daily Times-Call recently ran:


In the article “Electoral College bypass approved”, the AP left out a little, but extremely important factoid. This scam was attempted in the 2004 election in the guise of Colorado Amendment 36, it lost 65% to 35%, that’s not really very close. Now, whether you are in favor of such an idea, or which side of the political spectrum you sit, sneaking around the voters like this should never be tolerated. It’s one thing if our “representatives” were doing just that, representing those who elected them. It’s another thing altogether to disregard 65% of the voters on a state amendment, and it’s only been 2 years. Ken Gordon’s statement “It makes every person’s vote, every human being’s vote, equal” sure sounds noble. So what about all of those people who voted against this scam? They must not be human beings, or not worthy of equal treatment. Welcome to Colorado’s, and a few other misguided states, version of democracy. Where, regardless of the voters and that little thing called the U.S. Constitution, it’s the “we know better” mentality that wins out. Our new governor has a choice to make whether to sign or veto this nonsense. Let him know what you think, although I thought we did that 2 years ago.


The Longmont Connection

Much to my disappointment, the House sponsor for this bill is Representative Jack Pommer (D) (303)866-2780 jack.pommer.house@state.co.us (pictured at left). I met and spoke to Mr. Pommer at a candidate forum, and even voted for him, twice. Seemed like a decent enough guy, and he shouldn’t be judged on one issue. But he obviously feels pretty strongly about it as he’s a sponsor. I feel pretty strongly about playing games with the will and voice of the voters. Just because your party has a grip on both houses and the governorship, doesn’t give you the right to pull a fast one on us. Last years version of this bill, SB06-223, was laid over (means: make dead) by request of the House’s sponsor. This years sponsor, Mr. Pommer, should follow suit. No reply to initial email.



Next up, Senator Brandon Shaffer (D) 303-866-5291 brandon@brandonshaffer.com http://www.brandonshaffer.com (pictured at left). He voted for this bill, not a surprise, nearly every Democrat did. But it was something else he voted against that bothers me more. In SB46 there were the following lines:

16 SECTION 2. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds,

17 determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate

18 preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.

What is this garbage? I have a life, so maybe I don’t know the finer points of legalese when it comes to bills, but this has a funny smell to it. Then I found the following:

Senator Mitchell moved to amend the Report of the Committee of the Whole to show that the 26 following Mitchell floor amendment, (L.002) to SB 07-046, did pass. Amend printed bill, page 7, strike lines 16 through 18 and substitute the following:

“SECTION 2. Refer to people under referendum. This act shall be submitted to a vote of the registered electors of the state of Colorado at the next biennial regular general election, for their approval or rejection, under the provisions of the referendum as provided for in section 1 of article V of the state constitution, and in article 40 of title 1, Colorado Revised Statutes. Each elector voting at said election and desirous of voting for or against said act shall cast a vote as provided by law either “Yes” or “No” on the proposition: “SHALL THE STATE OF COLORADO ENACT AND ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT AMONG THE STATES TO ELECT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BY NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE?” The votes cast for the adoption or rejection of said act shall be canvassed and the result determined in the manner provided by law for the canvassing of votes for representatives in Congress.”.

Summary: A fellow senator wanted to strike that odd “Safety clause” and bring this to a vote of the people. Keep in mind, we already voted for something similar to this. Senator Shaffer voted NO, along with Bacon, Boyd, Fitz-gerald, Gordon, Groff, Hagedorn, Isgar, Keller, Morse, Romer, Sandoval, Schwartz, Takis, Tapia, Tochtrop, Tupa, Veiga, Williams, and Windels – all Democrats. Not one voted opposite. This group, in my opinion, stands for meaningless and questionable language in an already questionable bill, and against the voice of the voters. They not only want to ignore how you already voted, they want to go about something without giving you a chance to be heard again.

Mr. Shaffer not only voted for SB06-223, last years version of this scam, but also was a co-sponsor! Form letter reply to initial email.


Longmont’s other representative is Representative Paul Weissmann (D) – (303)866-2920 reppaul@aol.com http://www.paulinthehouse.com/

Mr. Weissmann is the Chair on the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, which is where this bill is right now. He was on this committee last year as well for SB06-223, which is where the bill died. So far, Mr. Weissmann has been the only one to respond to initial emails, which I appreciate.


The point is to call or email your representatives. I’ve made it painfully easy to do with all of their contact info and a brief tour of this subject. Also, since this is now in a House committee, here are the specific members you need to contact:

Chair: Weissman / Vice Chair: Todd

Members: Cadman, Carroll T, Casso, Gallegos, Jahn, Labuda, Lambert, Liston, Lundberg. Dems=7 / Reps = 4

There is much more on the internet about this, just do a Google web or news search using “SB46″ or “SB07-46″ or “Colorado Electoral College”. Here is a link to the Colorado General Assembly website, look for SB07-46 and click on the links involving it. Here are some links to articles you may or may not find interesting and/or educational. It’s a story that’s getting state and national attention. Hopefully I somewhat brought it all together for you. Now do something with it.


A shout out goes to my friend Chuck who brought it to my attention as it was a topic on the Mike Rosen show on 850 KOA. If you are still unclear what this all meant, this show can be listened to (after you sign up, which is free) at this link (Select Rosen Replay for 3/12/07 Hours 2 and 3) It’s well worth a listen for educational purposes no matter what side you sit on this issue.

This is not the first time this idea has come up, and probably won’t be the last. The two smiling faces above are your representatives, State Senator Brandon Shaffer and State Representative Jack Pommer (the bills co-sponsor). Mr. Pommer never even responded to my emails (or the Times-Call’s inquiries I’m told), and Mr. Shaffers aide wrote me what was not much more than a condescending form letter. Credit is given though to State Representative Paul Weissmann, who answered promptly and reasonably.

Here’s the point: This was a big waste of time and potentially taxpayer dollars (well, not completely potentially, their time is our taxpayer money), and a strong message needs to be sent to knock this nonsense off. You’d think the repeated NO votes and killings in committee would put an end to this coming up every year, but no. State Senator Ken Gordon is on this Electoral College destruction crusade, and if our Longmont reps want to go along with him, they will be held accountable. In the final committee meeting on this bill, Mr. Pommer heard from experts that this bill violates both the Colorado and U.S. Constitution, need to read that again? Mr. Gordon probably knew this as well, did Mr. Shaffer? If not, what kind of attorney is this that either doesn’t know the law or will knowingly violate it? And have the gall to not allow voters to have any say on it! Given all that, Mr. Pommer continued supporting the bill in the meeting until it’s needed death.

Here is a link to the committee report I will ask each of the three above, and you should as well, to take a hint and pledge to not sponsor or vote for any similar scam like SB46.

If they won’t, then you know all you need to know about how they serve you as your representatives: Voters, committees, and their repeated messages be damned, we’ll be renegades and do what’s best for our party, not our state or country. Which pledge will it be?


Longmont Daily Times-Call

Electoral College bypass approved (link no longer valid)

Rocky Mountain News

Don’t Neuter Electoral College

Electoral college bill ignites partisan fight

Electoral College dropout

Denver Post

Electoral-vote change gains

Under the dome, 1/19

There’s a lawmaker in my soup (link no longer valid)

Hands off Electoral College

Boulder Daily Camera

One person, one vote

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Cutting Colorado’s clout (link no longer valid)

The Pueblo Chieftain

Still ill-conceived (link no longer valid)

Colorado Springs Gazette

Senate OKs bill to make state bypass Electoral College

CBS4 Denver

State Senate backs Bypass Of Electoral College

Denver Daily News

Colorado ignored? (link no longer valid)

The Independence Institute

Memo to the General Assembly: No means “NO!”

All American Patriots.Com

Colorado Attorney General Urges Colorado Legislature And Governor To Oppose National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (link no longer valid)

By Senators Request

I always encourage constituents to contact their representatives. In an editorial by State Senator Brandon Shaffer, he asked for his constituents to “engage in a dialog” with him on issues in the upcoming legislative session. Here’s one, don’t waste time playing games with the Electoral College (EC). It was attempted in 2004 with a ballot initiative that would split up the EC votes by statewide popular vote, and lost. It’s been tried behind voter’s backs in the Senate, throwing all of our EC votes behind the national popular vote, and lost. Senator Shaffer co-sponsored this and even voted to keep it off the ballot.

Are his constituents clamoring for this change? Or does he give more of his considerations to Majority Leader Ken Gordon, who usually spearheads this pointless, and yearly, exercise?

California is considering changing how their EC votes are split up, in this case by congressional district. To be consistent, Senators Gordon and Shaffer should throw all of their support behind this, why do I get the feeling they wont? Does it not benefit them or their party? What’s good for the goose and all that, right?

It doesn’t matter if California’s idea isn’t the same as what’s been tried here. Two other states, Nebraska and Maine, already apportion their EC votes by congressional district, how many do it the way our Senates tried? (Answer zero). We should all do it the same way, whether that’s abolishing the Electoral College, or some other idea. Cherry picking states for political gain, no matter who’s doing it, is not acceptable. But more to the point, why does Senator Shaffer continually beat this drum and who’s asking for it? Who does he really represent?

Senator Shaffer said he hopes he’s proven he’s “always ready and willing to listen to constituents.” I know, I’m nobody, but this is an important issue, all that’s been proven to me is that he has staffers who can throw out talking points. I know everyone has staffers and they are required, but we didn’t vote for them. If their words are representative of his words, and if his votes on the tough issues, not the feel-good issues he often raises in his editorials, kowtow more to the senior leaders in his party instead of his constituents, then he shouldn’t get any of our future votes.

Predicting Elections

As I stated in an earlier post, I like to handicap and predict Presidential elections. Until the field is narrowed, it’s still too early to do much more than guess. Also, state referendums have a tendency to bring out a certain electorate, and make some others sit it out. There’s one in particular that isn’t actually during the general election that could have huge implications on who is the next president, regardless of who the candidates are.

First off, there are plenty of other websites that do this, with maps and trends, but also some wishful thinking. Last time around they did a pretty good job and I expect them to repeat that, I called 49 out of 50 states. There’s also at least one website that allows you to gamble on the election, Intrade, and currently they have the Democrat winning 288-243 in Electoral votes, some votes were too close to call. By my own numbers, I currently have the Democrat winning 284-254, but with several too close to call, or “in play”. Those would be Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, and Ohio. Intrade has the percentages very close on these states as well.

Here’s where my numbers and Intrade’s differ: Iowa, Colorado, and New Mexico I put in the Dem column (21 votes). Nevada and Ohio I put in the Rep column (25 votes). Intrade goes the other way on those, except for Iowa, which is currently a statistical dead heat. Once again, the state that could decide it all, and has been trending Democrat in the last few months is…….drum roll….. Ohio. Adding or subtracting those 20 Electoral votes makes all the difference in hitting the magic number needed to win.

Now here’s the kicker: There is a possibility of a ballot measure in California to split up the Electoral votes by congressional district. This would go to the voters in June ’08 during a probable very low turnout primary election, since the Presidential primary for California has been moved up to February ’08. How it would work is that 2 Electoral Votes would go to the statewide winner, and the rest ( 53) would be given to whoever won each congressional district. For example, in a 60% to 40% election, it would be a 32-21 split, currently it’s a winner-take-all whopping 55 Electoral votes. The most in the country, and usually a guaranteed 55 votes for the Democrats.

So with my numbers, the final tally would be Rep= 275 Dem= 263, Intrade’s would be Dem= 267 Rep= 264 with Iowa providing the missing 7 votes and the tiebreaker. I’ll dig deeper into this possible ballot issue in a future story, including Colorado’s attempts to change how we hand out our Electoral votes and where our local representatives weigh in on this. In review,they wanted to split up our Electoral votes in a somewhat similar way, or base it on the national popular vote, but I’ll bet money they sure don’t want this California idea to come anywhere close to reality. More political double standards.