Pumas 4 Palin

How many PUMAs does it take to Change ..

Posted on: November 4, 2008

 .. an electoral vote?  No, this is not a joke about  light bulb, but reference to a post I just saw at Hillbuzz, a favorite site of mine.  They feature a post by MarstonChronicles who pose the question How big a factor is PUMA?

So, how many PUMAs does it take to defeat Obama? 

Only 938,161 PUMAs are needed to defeat Obama.

As we have all learned by now, it does not matter what happens in the popular vote because only the electoral votes count. So it all comes down to the effect that the PUMA Factor will have in the battleground states. By knowing the size of the PUMA Factor in those eleven states, we can determine who will win and by how many electoral votes. By looking at the No Toss Up States electoral map on http://www.realclearpolitics.com, we see that at the moment, Obama-Biden has 353 electoral votes and McCain-Palin has 185 votes. Now look at the RCP average for the battleground states further down that page. Let’s arbitrarily decide that there is no way the PUMA Factor can make up a deficit of 13 or more points in the RCP average for a state.

Beginning with such a premise, the blogger goes on to construct a cogent and conservative argument, you can read it here.  This is the resultant chart, the numbers under the column Pumas needed is “the light bulb number” of pumas needed to vote for McCain!


Marston is very methodical, logical and factual in constructing the argument. Is he correct?  Well, this is not a prophecy, but a presupposition. Actually, a series of them. If they are correct, then the conclusion is correct. You still ask, but is he correct, does McCain really have a chance?

McCain’s chances tomorrow depend entirel on the tunrout.

More from MarstonChronicles

Now you can see why the McCain-Palin campaign says that this election is not over. There is nothing like a numerical analysis to allow you to see what it would take to turn this election around. Now before you McCain-Palin supporters think this is a piece of cake, let’s have a reality check. You cannot count a voter as a PUMA unless the Democrat voted for both Gore and Kerry. Democrats who did not do that are already accounted for in the polling models. This analysis assumes a uniform turnout across the country which is not going to happen. That means that it could take more PUMA voters if the turnout is higher than the average in any of these states. Likewise, if the polls have underestimated the Democratic turnout, then more PUMA voters will be required to offset that. Another assumption is that the number of Republicans voting for Obama-Biden does not exceed the usual percentage of Republicans doing that.

This is giddy, intellectual speculation with a lot of grounding in numbers, but the only number that counts is the turnout!

Which is why I say, go out and vote for NObama!


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