Best of luck to Barack Obama as well. However, the truly momentous and inspirational aspect of yesterday’s result was my almost perfect prediction of it, as published in Crikey last Friday. Obama has carried the erstwhile red states of Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, Florida and Indiana, with two states coming down to the wire: Missouri, where McCain leads by 5868 votes (0.2 per cent), and North Carolina, where Obama leads by 14,053 (0.4 per cent). I tipped Obama to gain all of these states and no more. I gather late counting of declaration votes is unlikely to change any leads, so it appears those 0.2 per cent of voters in Missouri have stood between me and my moment of destiny. Better luck next time, I guess. To those who tipped McCain victories or record-breaking Obama blowouts and find themselves wondering what my secret is, one simple piece of advice: believe the polls (or Intrade if you prefer it will usually tell much the same story). They may not be perfect, but they will outperform your own informed conjecture well over 50 per cent of the time, no matter how clever you think you are.
If the last two states play out as expected, the final result will be 364 electoral votes for Obama against 174 for McCain, pending one complication: Nebraska, which along with solidly Democratic Maine divides its college votes by congressional district. Two of the three districts have stayed Republican, but in a third Obama trails by just 569 votes, and thus stands a chance to make it 365-173. In any event, the joint winners of the informal Poll Bludger tipping contest (thanks to Juliem for conducting this) will be David Walsh and Ron, who I gather will win a tie-breaker ahead of fellow 364 Club members Grog and Peter Fuller.
Finally, our good friends at UMR Research have published qualitative polling on Australians’ attitudes to the President-elect. Those who harbour an unfashionable element of cynicism about the great man might want to keep a sick bag handy.