If you’re a politics junkie you’re probably a) addicted to polls and b) becoming increasingly concerned about the ultimate nightmare in presidential elections, the electoral college tie. If you care about one or both, check out fivethirtyeight.com.
Fivethirtyeight.com is another one of those sites that aggregate polling, however they use a much different methodology from most of the others, including simulating the election 10,000 times (based on the latest polling) before updating the site. While it remains to be seen how ultimately reliable it will be, it provides a wealth of info, charts and numbers for your late-night poll junkie fixes.
Today they published a new article about the statistical likelihood of an electoral college tie. To see how easy it would be to happen consider the following scenario. Obama wins every state John Kerry won in 2004 (pretty likely) and wins Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado as well (states he has been consistently ahead of McCain in). If that happens you get a 269-269 tie and the election is thrown to the House of Representatives, where Obama would almost certainly be elected President. Of course the partisan uproar, bickering and gridlock that would ensue might make the 2000 election look like a fond memory.
Jared Seltzer, founding partner of Rad Campaign, LLC.