11/04 Final Projection
Popular Vote
Obama51.1%
McCain44.5%
Other1.3%
Undecided3.1%
Electoral Vote
(270 needed to win)
Obama Solid249
Obama Likely32
Obama281
McCain Solid117
McCain Likely17
McCain134
Toss Up123
Probability of
Victory
Obama 270+:99.9647%
McCain 270+:0.0284%
269-269 Tie:0.0068%
 

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  • Assign states to each candidate.
  • Define your own Battleground states.
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  • Using our powerful calculation model, calculate the probability of victory using your assumptions.
  • Follow the election returns and update your map. Always know the probability of victory for your candidate and the probability of a 269-269 tie!
November 4, 2008

Based on the latest state polls, the probability of a Obama win is currently 99.9647%.
According to the latest poll results ,

  • Obama has 19 "solid" states and D.C - representing 249 electoral votes.
  • McCain has 15 "solid" states - representing 117 electoral votes.
  • There are 16 "battleground" states representing 172 electoral votes.
A state is considered "solid" for a candidate if the lead in the latest poll indicates that the probability of winning that state is at least 97.5%. A state is considered "likely" for a candidate if the probability of winning that state at least 85%. The probability of winning a given state is calculated based on the polling results and the sample size from the latest poll in that state.

Observations:

11/4 update: The FINAL pre-election polls are in - let the counting begin!

  • IN moves back to "likely" McCain - lead is 5
  • NV latest poll is "likely" Obama - lead is 5
  • Most likely outcome: Obama 329, McCain 209

11/3 update:
There are 15 states with newer polls today, many in "battleground" states: McCain now leads by 1% in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. Missouri and Ohio are tied with McCain and Obama each polling 49% in both states. Obama has a 1% lead in Montana and Indiana - each poll from PPP - a Democrat pollster. Also, Pennsylvania has moved to "solid" Obama and Virginia has moved to "likely" Obama. There has been slight but noticeable decline in Obama's lead since Saturday. If this momentum continues, it is reasonable to expect that McCain will win in the battlegroud states he's currently leading and should give him as well as in Montana and Indiana. These 11 states: AR AZ LA FL NC GA ND MO OH IN MT would add 130 EV's to his "solid" 117 for a total of 247 vs Obama's "solid" 249. It should be noted that these 11 states were all "red" states in 2000 and 2004. Should McCain capture the 11 states, the 5 states of VA(13) MN(10) CO(9) NV(5) and NM(5) will determine the election. Obama leads in each of these states by 4,3,4,4 and 7 percentage points respectively. If McCain fails to capture the 11 states, it's likely the end of the road for him.

11/2 update:

  • NH and VA move to "solid" Obama.
  • MN and OH move to "toss-up."

11/1 update:

  • The "Kerry" states, representing 252 electoral votes, are all "solid" Obama with the exception of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire which are both "likely" Obama.
  • Current polls indicate that Iowa which narrowly went for Gore in 2000 (0.32%) and Bush (0.67%) in 2004 is "solid" Obama giving Obama an additional 7 electoral votes for a total of 259.
  • In early September, after the Republican convention and before the stock market slide and economic "bailout", McCain was ahead in all other "red" states - though Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico were essentially toss-ups.
  • Not counting these three states and without Iowa, McCain would have 260 electoral votes.
  • For Obama to reach 270+, he only needs to pick off ONE big "Red" state such as Arizona(10), Florida(27), Georgia(15), Indiana(11), Missouri(11), North Carolina(15), Ohio(20), or Virginia(13). The latest polls in these states show Obama is "likely" to win Ohio and Virginia and is leading in Florida and North Carolina.
  • In the western states, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico are all "likely" Obama.
  • For McCain to reach 270+, he needs to take all the "red" states (minus Iowa) and capture at least 2 of the 3 western states.
  • Current polls indicate that the most likely electoral vote outcome is Obama 364, McCain 174.
  • Prediction: We continue to predict that whoever wins two of the three western states: Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada will likely win the election.

Probability Analysis:

All possible outcomes for the "battleground" states are evaluated. "Battleground" states are those which are not rated as "solid" for either candidate. There are 16 "battleground" states with 172 Electoral Votes. There are 65,536 possible combinations (2^16) of how these states could vote. Each of these combinations has a specific electoral vote value. From each of the 50 states' (and DC) latest poll information, specifically, the reported % for each candidate and the poll's sample size, we calculate the statistical probability of victory for each candidate for the state. The probability of each of the 65,536 possible outcomes is then calculated and grouped by electoral value.

Example:
Calculate the probability of a specific electoral vote scenario, for example a 269-269 electoral tie:
Of the 65,536 possible outcomes, there are 24 possible scenarios whereby Obama would receive exactly 20 electoral votes from the "battleground" states to go with the 249 electoral votes that he has from his "solid" states. McCain would receive the remaining 152 electoral votes from the "battleground" states to go with the 117 electoral votes that he has from his "solid" states. The electoral votes would be tied 269-269.

The most likely possibility for a tie is:

Obama wins MN, NM, NV
McCain wins AR AZ LA FL NC GA ND MO OH IN MT CO VA

The probability for this scenario is 0.0038%. The probability of a 269-269 electoral tie is the sum of the probabilities of each of the 24 possible tie scenarios.

Currently, the probability of a 269-269 electoral tie is 0.0068%

Assumptions:

  • Each state poll sample is an unbiased representation of the state as a whole.
  • All states considered "solid," are actually won by the candidate to whom they are assigned.
  • The winner of the popular vote in Maine also carries both congressional districts. If the districts are split, 3 of Maine's electoral votes will go to Maine's popular vote winner; the other candidate would receive 1 electoral vote.
  • The winner of the popular vote in Nebraska also carries each of the 3 congressional districts. (This seems highly probable.)
  • All electors to the Electoral College will vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged.
Methodology:
  • Only polls released to the general public are included. (no subscriber-only polls)
  • No online or interactive polls are included.
  • Polls must include polling dates, percentage values for each candidate, and sample size.
  • Polls without "Likely Voters" results are not considered.
  • A poll is listed only if the mid-point of the polling period is more recent than the mid-point of the currently listed poll. If the mid-point of two or more polls is identical, non-partisan polls take precedence. The poll with the largest sample size will be used.
This site is updated as the latest poll results become available - the site is being updated daily.
Data for this site is compiled using the latest poll results from each state and the District of Columbia.

The Popular Vote is determined by taking the latest poll results of each state and weighting the results of each state according to its percentage of the total vote in the 2004 Presidential Election.

Contact us with comments or for a customized analysis:
Email: steve@LatestPollResults.com