The 2008 Election Model (EM) and the Election Calculator (EC) consist of three basic components: recorded (“official”) data, assumptions and methodology. The recorded, official vote data and calculation methods are easily verified; it’s the estimates for the base case assumptions that are the subject of debate. This comprehensive summary will show that the assumptions are based on the best available data. The base case assumptions are best estimates derived from the following data sources: 2004 and 2008 official recorded vote, pre-election state and national polls, unadjusted state and national exit polls, voter mortality tables, historical returning voter turnout, Census total votes cast. Because of the margin of error in the polling data and other assumptions, a sensitivity analysis (”stress-test”) was provided in both models to examine the effects of changes in the assumptions and determine which of the assumptions are most critical.
The preliminary May 2008 model projection indicated that Obama would win by 12 million votes: 71-59m (54.1-44.7%). The number of returning 2004 voters and vote shares was determined by adjusted the 2004 recorded vote for a 4.8% voter mortality rate and 3.45 million uncounted votes. An estimated 95% of these voters turned out in 2008. The projected Obama and McCain vote shares of returning and new voters were close to the preliminary, unadjusted 2004 National Exit Poll estimates for Kerry and Bush, respectively.
The model exactly matched the electoral vote and was within 0.2% of the popular vote share. But a post- election sensitivity analysis using Final 2008 NEP vote shares with a plausible returning voter mix indicated that Obama’s True vote share was 2-4% higher than the recorded share.
A one on one discussion highlights the statistical anomalies. The Final 2008 National Exit Poll, like the 2004 NEP, provides the primary “tell”. It’s standard procedure for the Final NEP to “adjust” demographic weights and vote shares and force a match to the recorded vote. But an impossible mix of returning voters was necessary in order to force the match – just as it was in 2004.
The True Vote Election Calculator (TVEC) was designed for a state-based analysis of the 2004 and 2008 elections. An important feature is the calculation of the true vote for each state. The prior election returning voter mix is based on mortality and turnout rates applied to Census total votes cast in each state. If votes cast exceed the recorded vote, the difference (uncounted ballots) is allocated and added to the recorded votes. If the recorded vote exceeds votes cast, the difference (“stuffed” ballots) is deducted. Shares of returning and new voters are calculated by adjusting preliminary and Final National Exit Poll (or user entered) vote shares. The ratio of the recorded state vote share to the national share is a key factor in the vote share adjustments. The TVEC automatically calculates a popular and electoral vote sensitivity analysis over a range of assumptions.
For the 2008 election, two scenarios were analyzed. In the first, Kerry was assumed the winner in 2004 by the aggregate unadjusted exit poll (52-47%). The model indicated that Obama had a 57.5% true vote share and won by 21.8m (75.5-53.7m) with 431 electoral votes. In the second scenario, Bush was assumed the winner by the recorded 50.7-48.3% vote share. Obama had 55.2% and won by 15.8m votes (72.5-56.7m) with 414 electoral votes.
Using the preliminary 2004 NEP vote shares, Kerry had 53.3% and won by 67.0-58.0m with 360 electoral votes. Based on the Final NEP, he had a 52.2% share and won by 65.6.0-59.6m with 336 electoral votes.
Proving that Obama and Kerry both did much better than the official recorded vote is really a straightforward exercise in logic. The key measure is turnout of prior election voters in the current election. When reasonable, plausible estimates are made for returning (and new) voters, the resulting Obama and Kerry vote shares are 4% higher than the recorded shares. A plausible voter mix is derived by adjusting the 2000, 2004 and 2008 recorded votes for a 1.2% annual mortality rate and assuming a 95% turnout of prior election voters still living.
From 1992-2004, the
Democrat won new voters by an average 14% margin. Registered voter (RV) polls
include new voters – mostly young Democrats. Likely voter (
A good approximation of the number of returning voters can be calculated based on a 95% turnout of 2004 voters net of 4.8% mortality. There were approximately 110m returning voters, therefore 21m (16% of 131m) were new.
analysis shows that the final pre-election likely voter (
The tremendous Obama GOTV and new voter registration effort did not produce the expected numbers of votes. The nine million net increase in the 2008 recorded vote was dwarfed by the 17 million in 2004. An analysis of uncounted votes and exit poll discrepancies in the 1988-2004 presidential elections revealed some very interesting information. In the 4 elections from 1988 to 2000, the average unadjusted state exit poll aggregate was within 1% of the recorded vote - after the uncounted votes were included. But 2004 was different in kind and scope: including the uncounted votes did not make up the difference. HAVA (Help America Vote Act) was passed during the first Bush term.
The National Exit Poll “Voted in 2004” returning voter mix (46 Bush / 37 Kerry / 4% Other) implies that Bush voters comprised 46% (60.3m) of the 131.37 recorded 2008 vote. If the election was fraud-free, Bush had 62.0 million recorded votes. Approximately 3.0m died, so at most only 59.0m could have voted in 2008. Assuming that 95% turned out, about 56m voted. Where did the 4.3m Bush voters come from? If the 2004 exit poll reflected the True vote (Kerry by 52-47%), then Bush only had 57m votes and about 51m returned to vote – a 9m discrepancy. The NEP also implies that 5.2m (4%) were returning third-party voters, but there were only 1.2m third-party votes in 2004. Where did the extra 4m third-party voters come from? One can only conclude that since an impossible Final 2008 NEP was forced to match the recorded vote, the recorded vote was also impossible. It is interesting to note that the National Exit Poll indicates that new voters comprised just 13% (17m) of the electorate and returning third-party voters 4% (5.2m). But 4% is impossible because only 1.2m third-party votes were recorded in 2004. If the third-party percentage is changed to the true 1%, then the other 3% applied to new voters raises the percentage to 16% - where it should be. It means that there were 21m new voters, not 17m as the NEP indicates.
The 2008 Election Calculator model determines the True vote based on the number of returning 2004 voters and Final 2008 National Exit Poll vote shares. It indicates that Obama’s True Vote was more than double his recorded 9.5m vote margin. Anomalies abound in the state and national pre-election polls, exit polls and late vote shares. The number of uncounted votes is still unknown.
The 2008 National Exit Poll Bush/Kerry (46/37) returning voter mix, like the 2004 Bush/Gore (43/37) mix, was mathematically impossible. In order to match the recorded vote, both required more returning Bush voters than were still living. The 2008 return voter mix anomaly is further confirmation that Kerry won. An impossible high returning Bush voter turnout and low Kerry turnout were required to match the 2008 recorded vote. Like Gore and Kerry, Obama’s True vote far exceeded his recorded vote.
In order to force a match to the recorded 2008 vote, the 2008 NEP implied that Bush won in 2004 by 53-43%. He won the official vote by 50.7-48.3% (62-59m). Because the NEP returning voter mix was mathematically impossible, the 2008 Election Calculator revised the mix assuming two scenarios: the recorded vote and the unadjusted exit poll. It determined that the vote shares required to match the 2008 recorded vote were implausible in both scenarios. Furthermore, the returning 2004 voter mix required to match the vote was impossible.
The National Exit Poll asked respondents whom they voted for in 2004 as well as in 2008. Respondent vote shares, in combination with a feasible returning voter mix, did not match the official count. But the Final NEP must always match the official vote count- come hell or high water. How do the pollsters adjust (force) the mix and/or the vote shares to achieve the match? The Excel Solver program used a “goal-seeking” search algorithm to automatically adjust the returning voter mix and vote shares to match the official count. But the mix was impossible: it required more returning Bush voters than actually were recorded for him.
Obama’s vote was a function of his share of returning Kerry, Bush and new voters. The Final NEP vote shares were 89%, 17% and 71%, respectively. Due to the margin of error, it is instructive to view the effects of incremental changes in these shares on the total vote. The Election Calculator sensitivity analysis showed that Obama did much better than the recorded margin indicates and may have won by as many as 23m votes. In order to derive a plausible returning voter mix, two scenarios were analyzed: a) the recorded 2004 vote (Bush 50.7-48.3%) and b) the unadjusted 2004 exit poll (Kerry 52-47%). The mix was calculated for both scenarios using identical voter mortality, uncounted votes and turnout rates. Obama won the recorded vote (unlikely) scenario by 17.6 million: 75.4-57.8m (55.7-42.7%). He won the exit poll (most-likely) scenario by 22.6m: 77.9-55.3m (57.5-40.8%).
All models consist of recorded data, assumptions (parameters) and calculations. Given that the Election Calculator (EC) model computations are correct, the only uncertainties are the input base case assumptions. These are estimated from voter mortality tables, historical returning voter turnout percentages, Census votes cast, and 2008 National Exit Poll vote shares. Due to the margin of error inherent in these estimates, the model examines the effects of changes in the base case assumptions via a comprehensive set of sensitivity analysis tables. Each table consists of 25 combinations (scenarios) of two input variables. The purpose is to gauge the impact of each combination on Obama’s vote share and margin. A very close approximation to the True Vote is somewhere in the table; the most likely, base case estimate is the central cell. The range of plausible vote shares can be narrowed from 25 to 9 by focusing on the combinations that lie within the margin of error.
How does one explain the discrepancy in the Democratic vote share between the initial votes recorded on Election Day and the millions of votes recorded later? On Election Day, 121.21m votes were recorded and Obama led by 63.4-56.1m (52.3-46.3%). As of Jan. 5, 131.37m votes have been recorded. Obama leads by 69.5-59.9m (52.87-45.62%). He has a 59.2-37.5% share of the 10.16m votes recorded since Election Day, a 7% increase in vote share and 15% increase in margin. Gore and Kerry also had late vote margins that far exceeded their Election Day margins. In the last 3 elections, the average Democratic late vote share was 7% higher than the initial share.
Apparently, adjusting the returning Bush/Kerry voter mix to an impossible 46/37% was not enough to force the 2008 National Exit Poll to match the recorded vote. Exit pollsters also had to adjust Obama's share of new voters (first-timers and others who did not vote in 2004) from 73% to 71%. Add this anomaly to the impossible mix of returning Bush and third-party voters and we have hit the 2008 Election Fraud Trifecta. The Obama True Vote Landslide was denied. It made sense to adjust the returning voter mix AND the vote shares to get the match. Adjusting the mix or the shares (but not both) would have been too obvious; that would force exit poll deniers to jump through even smaller hoops to explain the numbers. On the other hand, a combination of changes to the returning voter mix as well as the vote shares minimizes the radical surgery required to force the National Exit Poll to match to the recorded vote.
Who still believes that elections are fraud-free? The Final National Exit Poll (NEP) is always forced to match the recorded vote and therefore has assumed zero fraud in every election since 2000. Since there was fraud, the Final NEP voter demographics cannot be accurate. If you believe that 2008 was fraud-free and that Obama won by the official recorded 9.5 million votes, then you must also believe the following statements…
Most election forecasters, media pundits and academics fail to apply basic probability, statistics and simulation methodology in forecasting the electoral vote and corresponding win probability. A meta-analysis or simulation is not required to calculate the expected electoral vote. Regardless of the particular method used to forecast the winner of each state, the corresponding state win probabilities are necessary in order to calculate the expected EV and win probability.
The expected state EV is the
win probability times the electoral vote. If the probability is 50% and the
state has 20 EV, then each candidate gets 10 electoral votes. The Total Expected EV is the sum of the
products for all the states. The math is exceedingly simple. The tough part is
accurately projecting state vote shares. The Election Model uses the latest
state poll average and allocates undecided voters to derive the projected
2-party vote. The state win probabilities are used in a 5000 election-trial
Includes the following:
. Time-series regression models vs.
. Final 2004 state and national projections confirmed by the exit polls
. Analysis of 2004 registered voter
(RV) and likely voter (
. Basic Polling Mathematics
. Overview of