Analyst Sam Wang’s final projection: Obama has virtually a mortal lock on victory

Neuroscientist Samuel Sheng-Hung Wang (above), a 45-year-old polling analyst for the Princeton Election Consortium SEES a whopping 99-percent likelihood that Barack Obama will win re-election with between 303 and 332 electoral votes.

Wang also says Florida and North Carolina are close calls. 

In the 2008 presidential election, Wang predicted that Obama would win 364 electoral votes. He got 365.

Meanwhile, Drew Linzer, a political science professor at Emory and Standford universities, PREDICTS today that Obama will win 332 electoral votes, but he also affords himself a little wiggle room, one way or the other:

With the last set of polls factored into the model, my final prediction is Obama to win 332 electoral votes, with 206 for Romney. This is both the median and the modal outcome in my electoral vote simulation, and corresponds to Obama winning all of his 2008 states except Indiana and North Carolina.

The four closest states – and therefore the most difficult to predict – are Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado. Of these, my model only expects Romney to win North Carolina; but Florida is a true toss-up, with just a 60% chance of Obama victory. I would not be surprised if Florida ended up going for Romney. If that happens, Obama would win 303 electoral votes, which is the second-most likely scenario in my simulation. The third-most likely scenario is that Obama wins 347 electoral votes, picking up North Carolina in addition to Florida.



  1. Nice to be optimistic but it ain’t over til it’s over.

  2. Here is some fascinating reading while we wait.


    For the head of Libya’s national election commission, the method by which Americans vote is startling in that it depends so much on trust and the good faith of election officials and voters alike.


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    “It’s an incredible system,” said Nuri K. Elabbar, who traveled to the United States along with election officials from more than 60 countries to observe today’s presidential elections as part of a program run by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Your humble Cable guy visited polling places with some of the international officials this morning. Most of them agreed that in their countries, such an open voting system simply would not work.

    “It’s very difficult to transfer this system as it is to any other country. This system is built according to trust and this trust needs a lot of procedures and a lot of education for other countries to adopt it,” Elabbar said.

    The most often noted difference between American elections among the visitors was that in most U.S. states, voters need no identification. Voters can also vote by mail, sometimes online, and there’s often no way to know if one person has voted several times under different names, unlike in some Arab countries, where voters ink their fingers when casting their ballots.

    The international visitors also noted that there’s no police at U.S. polling stations. In foreign countries, police at polling places are viewed as signs of security; in the United States they are sometimes seen as intimidating.

    Sara Al-Utaibi, IFES deputy country director in Jordan, said that the fact that voting is done differently in different U.S. states is highly unusual. In Maryland, for example, electronic voting is common, whereas in Washington paper ballots predominate. If there are different voting procedures within another country, someone assumes fraud or abuse, she said.

    “What’s very unique about the way the Americans do it, it’s not the process, it’s the confidence that’s placed in the process,” she said. “This is what lacks in other countries. They say if this would happen in Arab countries it would not work the way it does in the United States.”

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