Monday, March 01, 2004

The home state effect 

In this post I'm going to estimate the "home state effect" of the major vice-presidential candidates. This measures the total number of electoral votes the VP candidate would likely deliver to the nominee. Note: this is intended to account for geographical effect only (effect in the VP's home state and nearby states) and does not include the effect of the VP's resume, experience, or stances on the issues.

Edwards: would not significantly increase Kerry's chances of taking North Carolina or any surrounding states; +10% chance of taking NC (15 EV's) plus minimal effects in the rest of the south for a total expected value of +2 EV's

Graham: helps in Florida, but even so FL would be tough going. +15% chance of taking FL (27 EV's); total expected value +4 EV's

Nelson: ditto Graham but not as popular in Florida; +10% of taking FL; total +3 EV's

Richardson: big help in New Mexico, but we already have a fairly good chance of taking NM even without Richardson on the ticket. Would also help with hispanics in Nevada and Arizona. +30% chance of taking NM (5 EV's), +10% in each of NV (5 EV's) and AZ (10 EV's); total +3 EV's

Gephardt: some help in Missouri, but MO would probably still go to Bush. Slight help in Iowa. +10% chance of taking MO (11 EV's), +5% in IA (7 EV's); total +2 EV's

No big winners in this contest. Surprisingly, Graham comes out the best. Even though he could not guarantee Florida, it just has so many electoral votes that his effect there is worth a lot. Richardson did not come off as well as I expected, mainly due to the small number of EV's at stake in the southwest.

It would be worth adding Wesley Clark and Evan Bayh to this list. I didn't include them because I'm not sure how to estimate their home state effects. Would Clark on the ticket be likely to guarantee Arkansas? Would Bayh, who is extremely popular in his home state, put Indiana into play?
Back to the Odd Hours main page
© 2004 Odd Hours
Reproduction permitted provided Odd Hours or the author of the quoted post is credited.