Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate Bingo Cheater Card

Today Vox posted some Bingo cards to use with tonight's debate, but their cards are reasonably fair, so I modified one of their cards that you can give to your opponent to rig the game in your favor just like the two major parties have done.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

My Vote Counts Part 5: Solid States

The states from the last two installments are beyond solid. Most of them have historically gone to the same party except in unusual circumstances like the party realignments during the Civil Rights Era, the Reagan Revolution, or the elections where there was a third-party candidate who actually got enough votes to play the spoiler. This time around, we'll look at the states that are solidly but not suicidally loyal to one party or the other. These states have won by an average margin of 10-15% in the last five elections, so if both of the third party candidates with some name recognition get votes consistent with their poll numbers and most of the votes going to both Stein and Johnson are siphoned off from a single party, there's a chance the state can flip. We'll start with the solid blue states, since there are fewer of them.

Solid Democratic States

New Jersey
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 14
Average Margin: 14.76%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 13.7%
Flips: New Jersey was mostly a Republican state from the 1948 to 1988 (except for 1960 and 1964, when the state went blue). Since 1992, it's gone to the Democrats in every election. 

Maine
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 4
Average Margin: 13.5%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 11.8%
Flips: From before the Civil War until 1988, Maine was a reliably red state, only going to the Democrats in 1912, 1964, and 1968. Since 1992, the Democrats have taken the state in every Presidential election. 

Washington
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 12
Average Margin: 11.48%
Current Prediction: Clinton was up by 15% when I made my spreadsheet. 
Flips: Washington's history is similar to New Jersey and Maine: Red from 1952 to 1984 with only two exceptions (1964 and 1968), blue from 1988 on. 

Solid Republican States

South Dakota
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 14.84%
Current Prediction: Trump by 7.6% 
Flips:  Since 1892, South Dakota has gone to the GOP in all but 5 elections. Teddy Roosevelt took the state as a Progressive candidate in 1912, the Democrats won it in 1896, 1932, 1936, and 1964. 

Kentucky
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 8
Average Margin: 14.58%
Current Prediction: Trump by 10.2%
Flips: Kentucky is another of the old "Southern Democrat" states, but it flipped to the GOP a little earlier than most. Since 1956, it's gone to the Republicans in all but 4 elections: 1964, 1976, 1992, and 1996. Unless Ross Perot decides to run, it's unlikely Hillary will repeat her husband's wins here.  

Mississippi
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 6 
Average Margin: 13.28%
Current Prediction: Trump by 4.7%
Flips:  Like most southern states, Mississippi loved the Democrats until LBJ came along. Since 1964, Carter is the only Democrat to win the state's Electoral Votes (though George Wallace did win the state in 1968 as an Independent candidate). 

Montana
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 12.86%
Current Prediction: Trump by 6.8%, though this is one of the states where Johnson is polling above average (13.8% when I looked all these numbers up). 
Flips:  Montana kind of waffled back and forth for its first 60 years, but since 1952 the Democrats have only won it twice: 1964 and 1992. 

South Carolina
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 9 
Average Margin: 11.66%
Current Prediction: As of about a month ago, the polls only showed Trump up by 1.9%, so there's a decent chance that Trump's unpopularity may outweigh historical trends here. 
Flips: It's the south, so with the exception of 1976 South Carolina has gone to the GOP in every election from 1964 on. 

Tennessee
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 11
Average Margin: 10.24%
Current Prediction: Trump by 10%
Flips: Like Kentucky, Tennessee turned it's back on the Democrats earlier than most southern states, going the Republicans in the 1952 election. Since then, the Democrats have taken the state 4 times: 1964, 1976, 1992, and 1996. Clinton's success in the state didn't carry over to his VP, who lost Tennessee in 2000 despite it being his home state. 

Indiana
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 11
Average Margin: 10.2%
Current Prediction: Trump by 5.9%
Flips:  The Democrats have only taken Indiana 14 in the state's history, and only 5 times since 1900: 1912, 1932, 1936, 1964, and 2008. The Republicans have won Indiana in every other election since 1860. 

Support me on Patreon!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Suicide Squad Review

Just posted my Suicide Squad review on the kingyak site. You should read it and save yourself $8.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Vote Counts, Part 4: Really Red States



A couple weeks ago, I went through the states that are extremely unlikely to go Red this year without some kind of major Democratic Party defection. I was planning to go through the states that are almost certainly going to the GOP last week, but didn't get around to it because I was working on my new book of movie reviews (which you can buy here!), so I'm doing it now. Below I'll go through the states that have gone red by an average margin of 15% or more in the last 5 elections.

Once again, here's the format:
State 
Favored Party: This is the party the state is expected to go to. 
Electoral Votes: How many electoral votes the state has. 
Average Margin: This is the average margin of victory for the last five elections (including negative margins for losses, if applicable). I went with 5 elections because it's the number that www.270towin.com lists on each state's history page and I'm not getting paid enough to dig deeper than that. It gives us a metric for seeing how the state has voted over the last 20 years, so it should at least give us some idea of the current trends.
Current Prediction: This is the current margin of victory according to www.fivethirtyeight.com's predictions (as of August 11)
Flips: Notes on when the state has flipped. Since the parties traded sides on civil rights and some other issues in the 1960s, I'll mostly focus on flips from the 70s on unless there's anything particulary interesting about the state's earlier voting history is especially interesting or easy to summarize.

Utah
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 6
Average Margin: 36.82%
Current Prediction: Trump's not polling well in Mormonland. He's only polling 7% higher than Clinton (45.8 to 38.8). Gary Johnson polling at 13.5%
Flips: Utah's gone Blue 8 times since became a state in 1896: 1896, 1916, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948, and 1964. Since 1968, it's gone to the GOP every election.

Wyoming
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 33.2%
Current Prediction: Trump's up 24.7%
Flips: Wyoming's been a state since 1890, and like Utah it's only gone to the Democrats 8 times: 1896, 1912, 1916, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1948, and 1964. 

Idaho
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 4
Average Margin: 33.22%
Current Prediction: Republicans by 18.4%
Flips: Idaho went to the People's Party in its first election as a state (1892), and went to the Democrats in the next two elections. After that, it followed a pattern similar to Utah and Wyoming, going blue in 1912, 1916, every election from 1932-1948, and 1964. 

Oklahoma
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 7
Average Margin: 25.16%
Current Prediction: Trump by 21.3%
Flips: Oklahoma mostly voted for the Democrats up until 1948. Since then, it's gone to the GOP every election except for 1964. 

Nebraska 
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 5
Average Margin: 23.52%
Current Prediction: Trump 12.4%
Flips: Nebraska became a state in 1867 and has gone to the Republicans in all but 7 elections: 1896, 1908, 1912, 1916, 1932, 1936, and the ever-popular 1964. Since 1992, Nebraska has had the possibility of a  split Electoral Vote: the overall winner gets 2 votes and 1 vote goes to the winner of each of the state's 3 Congressional Districts. The only time the vote has actually split was in 2008, when Obama won one district and got one Electoral Vote (McCain got the other 4). 

Alaska
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 21.9%
Current Prediction: Trump by 8.1%
Flips: Alaska's first election as a state was 1960, and it's only gone to the Democrats once (in 1964, if you couldn't guess from the previous states). 

Kansas
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 6
Average Margin: 20.2%
Current Prediction: Trump by 8.1%
Flips: Kansas has gone to the Republicans in all but 7 elections since it started voting in 1864. It went to the People's Party in 1892 and the Democrats in 1896, 1912, 1916, 1932, 1936, and 1964. 

Alabama
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 9
Average Margin: 18.26%
Current Prediction: Trump by 17.9%
Flips: Alabama was a solid Democratic state back when the Democrats were racist as hell, but they turned red in 1964 when the Democrats started supporting Civil Rights. Except for 1968 (when Alabama went to George Wallace) and Carter in 1976, Alabama has been reliably red ever since. 

North Dakota
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 18.02%
Current Prediction: Trump by 8.8%
Flips: North Dakota's history follows the same pattern as many of the other reliably red state. The state's first election was 1892, when North Dakotans voted for the People's Party's James B. Weaver. After that, they've gone to the Republicans in most elections, with Democrats only winning the state in 1912, 1916, 1932, 1936, and of course 1964. 

Texas
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 38
Average Margin: 15.36%
Current Prediction: GOP by 4.5%
Flips: With only 5 exceptions (1964 and 1968, when Texas didn't vote; and 1928, 1952, and 1956, when Texas went red), Texas went to the Democrats in every election from 1848 to 1968. Being LBJ's home state kept them from turning red in 1964 with most of the other southern states, but they voted for Nixon in 1972 and the Lone Star state has gone to the Republicans in every election since then with the exception of 1976.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Vote Counts, Part 3: True Blue States

Third parties probably won't play a big role in the election this year. Gary Johnson only took 1% of the vote in 2012 and is polling at an average of 9%. Jill Stein only took 0.36% of the vote in 2012 and isn't on the ballot in all 50 states and therefore isn't even included in most polls. Even if you give her the same increase from 2012 voting to current polls that Johnson is showing, she's in the 3-4% range. Even if all the third party voters "steal" votes from a given state's favored candidate and the third parties do better than they're currently polling, they're unlikely to take more than 15% of the vote in a given state. In 10 states and the District of Columbia, the Democrats have won by an average margin of 15% or more in the last 5 elections, so unless Johnson or Stein turns into a 1992 Ross Perot kind of candidate in the next few months, these 149 Electoral Votes are Hillary's.

Here's the format for each state.

State 
Favored Party: This is the party the state is expected to go to. 
Electoral Votes: How many electoral votes the state has. 
Average Margin: This is the average margin of victory for the last five elections (including negative margins for losses, if applicable). I went with 5 elections because it's the number that www.270towin.com lists on each state's history page and I'm not getting paid enough to dig deeper than that. It gives us a metric for seeing how the state has voted over the last 20 years, so it should at least give us some idea of the current trends.
Current Prediction: This is the current margin of victory according to www.fivethirtyeight.com's predictions.  
Flips: Notes on when the state has flipped. Since the parties traded sides on civil rights and some other issues in the 1960s, I'll mostly focus on flips from the 70s on unless there's anything particulary interesting about the state's earlier voting history is especially interesting or easy to summarize. 

Solid Blue States

District of Columbia 
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 80.3%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 73.3%
Flips: None. D.C. has gone to the Democrats every year since its first inclusion in the Electoral College in 1964. 

Hawaii
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 4
Average Margin: 28.1%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 38.1%
Flips: Hawaii's first election as a state 1960, and only 2 Republicans have ever won the state: Nixon in 1972 and Reagan in 1984. 

Rhode Island
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 4
Average Margin: 27.6%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 22.2%
Flips: Rhode Island has been a reliably blue state since 1928, only flipping 4 times: 1952, 1956, 1972, and 1984. 

Massachusetts
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 11
Average Margin: 27%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 24.9%
Flips: Like Rhode Island, Massachusetts became a reliably Democratic state in 1928 but liked Ike in 1952 and 1956. Reagan took the state in 1980 and 1984.  

New York
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 29
Average Margin: 25.6%
Current Prediction: 21.7%
Flips: New York didn't become a reliably blue state until 1932, flipped back to red in 1948, 1952, and 1956, went to Nixon in 1972, and was part of the Reagan Revolution in 1980 and 1984. 

Vermont
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 25%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 25.2%
Flips: With the exception of 1964, Vermont was a solid red state from 1856 to 1988. Since 1992, it's gone to the Democrats every time. 

Maryland
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 10
Average Margin: 19.4%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 31.3%
Flips: Maryland has historically gone mostly to the Democrats with 2-3 election GOP runs breaking up the monotony. In the last 40ish years, it went to Nixon in 1972, Reagan in 1984, and Papa Bush in 1988. 

Connecticut
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 7
Average Margin: 17.1%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 12.9%
Flips: Historically, Connecticut seems to change its collective mind about which party it likes every 20 years or so. From 1972 to 1988, it was a Republican state. Since 1992, it's gone to the Democrats.  
Illinois
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 20
Average Margin: 16.4%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 17.8%
Flips: From 1968 to 1988, Illinois was a Republican state. Since 1992, it's gone to the Democrats every time. 

California 
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 55
Average Margin: 16.3%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 22%
Flips: Like Illinois, California was a red state from 1968 to 1988 and has gone to the Democrats since 1992. 

Delaware
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 15.9%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 15.3%
Flips: Delaware has flipped back and forth a lot over the years. It went to Nixon both times he ran, went to Carter in 1976, voted for Reagan both times and George H.W. Bush in 1988, and has been blue since 92.