Tags: @W@ | Landslide: | Results | Predicted!

@W@ Landslide: Results As Predicted!

Monday, 06 November 2000 12:00 AM

On October 19, 2000, the final presidential results were predicted in this space, as well as the pollsters' numbers as of that date.

However, this scenario was also foreseen by this column back in March:

Here, on the eve of the election, is the "Final Predictions" column as originally published

Here is my prediction of the actual popular vote results for president on Election Day, November 7, with analysis following. Also included are the numbers shown today by the pollsters, some 20 days out:

.................Vote .............Percent

Bush..........59....................52

Gore..........48....................42

Nader..........4...................3.5

Buchanan....3..................2.5

There are a number of assumptions upon which the above is based, using the past five presidential elections as a historical foundation. This is essential to any predictive analysis, and is something that none of the current polls employ in their reporting.

First, begin with the current voting age population, which is 204 million.

Next, establish the number of registered voters, currently 153 million.

Now it is necessary to develop the percentage of registered voters who will actually vote, known as the "turnout." The best method for determining turnout this year is to look at the actual turnout in the past, then to assess how those figures relate to the tone and tenor of this election and, finally, to use judgment to arrive at this year’s turnout.

It is important to note that in each of these past elections, the Democrat ALWAYS garnered some 23 percent of the voting age population. That represents an amazing consistency in the Democrat vote. It is virtually a straight, static line.

What is dynamic and which therefore changes from election to election is the support for the Republican candidate, which is clearly reflected by the turnout that year. Support for the Republican varies based upon the votes of the conservative base, which moves in one of three directions: with the Republican candidate, a shift to a viable third party candidate, or simply not voting at all.

With this in mind, a review reveals that turnout in the past five elections has varied greatly, with the lowest in 1996 at 65 percent and the highest in 1992 at nearly 78 percent. (1980 = 76 percent, 1984 = 74 percent, 1988 = 72 percent)

In reviewing these campaigns, the dynamics and personalities involved, and the popular public perceptions of each, it is possible to reason why the turnouts resulted as they did.

For example, in 1980 – a high-turnout year – the Carter/Reagan election was perceived to be close and circumstances were such that voters were motivated to make a change.

In 1984, turnout was down somewhat, due primarily to the fact that the Reagan/Mondale race was thought to be one-sided, with no real doubt as to the outcome. The result was as high as it was, though, because many voters were thought to have voted as a means of expressing their pleasure with the first Reagan term.

In 1988, turnout was down even further in the Bush/Dukakis race, with conservative voters less motivated by Bush, resulting in lower turnout.

The reason for the very high turnout in 1992 was based on two factors: the general perception that President Bush had lost touch during a period of perceived economic contraction – as well as his having reneged on his "no new taxes" pledge – and the major shift away by conservative voters who gave their enthusiastic support to Perot.

The election in 1996 saw turnout drop to its lowest in recent memory, with Dole turning off conservative Republicans and Perot drawing only 40 percent of his ’92 support due to great disillusionment with his stability among his previous supporters.

Given the above, then, what do the dynamics of this election seem to indicate?

First, the Republican base is highly motivated. The record-breaking turnout in the primaries this year clearly demonstrates that sentiment, with intensity strong among conservatives.

Second, George W. Bush has a solid, credible conservative agenda and an engaging persona, yielding confidence in the messenger.

Third, the past two elections have shown that votes for a third-party candidate, or staying home and not voting, have twice resulted in the election of Clinton-Gore. This lesson has been learned.

Fourth, the antipathy felt toward Clinton by conservative voters is at a fever pitch.

Considering all of the above, turnout this year will be on the high side of the range. Perhaps not the 78 percent of 1992 or the 76 percent of 1980, but close. This year a turnout of 75 percent is quite likely.

So, arriving at the vote totals is a simple function of applying the constant percent of voting age population for the Democrats and then subtracting the result from the number of registered voters expected to vote.

Thus, the final popular vote numbers indicated above are easily determined:

Gore’s vote should be the standard 23 percent of voting age population, but let’s give him a bit more just to be conservative. So assume he gets 24 percent of the 204 million, which equals 48 million. There it is; that’s what he will receive on Election Day.

Now figure the number of voters casting ballots this year, which is derived by multiplying our 75 percent turnout to the number of registered voters, 153 million, yielding 114 million.

Subtracting the 48 million Gore votes from the 114 million total votes leaves 66 million votes other than those for Gore. At this point, allocate the 66 million among Bush, Nader and Buchanan and forget about all of the other minor candidates, as they are mathematically insignificant.

There you have it. It’s rather simple. And this analysis provides for the dynamic nature of presidential races from year to year based on the voting behavior of conservatives.

The major problem with polling is that there is an implicit assumption that the pie is fixed and that for one candidate to win, votes must come from the other. This is not the case. When turnout increases, the size of the pie grows, and it is from there that the Republican margin of victory comes.

Just for fun, take note of where the polls are today, along with our results:

(Percentages for pollsters derived by dropping "undecideds" and applying remaining candidate percentages on the basis of 100 = total.)

.....................Us...Zogby..Gallup..Portrait..Btlgrnd

Bush.............52......48........51........50.........47

Gore.............42......47........45........46.........45

Nader..........3.5........5..........4..........3...........6

Buchanan....2.5........0..........0.........1...........2

Be sure to print this out and save it. It will be interesting to see how close we are to the actual results, some 20 days prior to the election, compared with the wizards of polling.

Of course, these numbers assume events between now and Election Day won’t yield any major shifts. What the heck, it beats breathlessly reviewing polls every day, and at least provides a rational basis from which to prognosticate about the possible results. And it certainly beats how slavishly beholden the media are to polling, as they apply their leftist spin to the very poll results they pay the pollsters to produce!

E-mail Dan:

Dan Frisa represented New York in the United States Congress and served four terms in the New York State Assembly.

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On October 19, 2000, the final presidential results were predicted in this space, as well as the pollsters' numbers as of that date. However, this scenario was also foreseen by this column back in March: Here, on the eve of the election, is the Final Predictions column...
@W@,Landslide:,Results,Predicted!
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Monday, 06 November 2000 12:00 AM
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