Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kentucky and Oregon

My predictions for West Virginia underestimated by a considerable margin the amount of the vote Clinton would win and I didn’t do nearly as well as some other prognosticators. A variety of factors that I didn’t consider in my estimates worked in her favor. First, West Virginia has a less educated population than any of the states with recent primaries. Obama does better with the college educated crowd than does Clinton. I really don’t think this is the direct reason why my estimates were off, however. I think that the real reason was that West Virginia’s population is older than most other states. Older folks tend to have less education, turn out in large numbers at the polls, and vote for Clinton.

Kentucky’s population more closely resembles that of Ohio or Indiana in terms of age and it falls somewhere between Indiana and West Virginia in terms of the educational attainment of whites age 25+. This leads me to expect that Clinton will not do quite as well in Kentucky as she did in West Virginia. All in all I expect her to get about 56% of the vote in that state – a solid win, but not as much as what is currently projected by
polling data and not enough to change the outcome of the nominations process.

Figuring out Oregon is much more difficult. There haven’t been many recent primaries in the West, few of these primaries were accompanied by exit polls, and clearly the West votes differently than
Appalachia. In short, I lack any useful data. It seems like recent polls indicate that Obama will win 50-55 percent of the vote. I don’t think it will be that close. Obama won 61 % of Wyoming, 68 % of Nebraska and Washington State, 66% of Minnesota and 80 % of Idaho. He did lose in neighboring California, obtaining only 41% of the vote there, but county maps suggest he did better in the northern part of that state. My rough guestimate is that Obama will win at least 64% of the vote in Oregon.

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