Election Day Forecasting

If you’re looking for predictions from me (I can’t imagine why), sorry to disappoint.  This post is about a much more conventional type of forecasting: the weather.

It’s a well-known fact that voter turnout often suffers when the weather sucks.  Does that seem an awfully shallow reason not to vote?  Well, perhaps.  But the facts are the facts, and it is also a fact that Republicans tend to fair better in depressed turn outs.  I’ve not heard a good explanation of why that is, but my theory has always revolved around cranky old guys.  I’m still fleshing it out, I’ll get back to you.

But if we take it as a reasonably reliable theory that bad weather means low Democratic turnout, it might be worth it to examine the long-term forecast for the various battleground states and see how this eventually translates into Democratic losses and victories.  Sound good?  Let’s play.


The weather looks positively balmy for the coming week throughout the state.  From Canton to Cleveland to Dayton and Akron, looks like the weather will be between 65 and 70 and sunny all day long.


The weather here looks more intemperate, though mildly so, with rain throughout the state and temperatures in the low seventies in the northern Jacksonville.  Tampa however looks relatively nice at 81 degrees.  And don’t you wish you were there?

How ’bout that all important Florida Jewish vote in Miami?  Well, unless you have an aversion to partial cloud cover at mid-eighties, you’ll have no meteorological reason not to vote this coming Tuesday.  Or at least, so it seems.


Neighboring both Ohio and New York state as it does, it’s not surprising that this state is looking at roughly the same beautiful weather as the Empire and Buckeye states.


I guess I was surprised to find that the temperature ever falls below a high of 100, but Reno NV looks like good weather to me.  Maybe a little cold for those folks, I don’t know.


Not really a battleground, except to the extent that John McCain is doing so badly there.  It’s going to be 76 and sunny on Tuesday, so if you’re planning on voting in Arizona, bring your parka.

So, based on nothing more than the weather model, I’m going to say Ohio and Pennsylvania are looking good for an Obama win.  Florida is – as in all things – on the bubble here.  Nevada and Arizona look like losers for Obama, based on what little I know about weather in those states.  It just seems cold enough that some may stay home.

Oddly enough, these predictions actually match the national polling data and extrapolations thereof quite well.  So, what the hell!  It’s Halloween night and I’m laying my marker down on these five races: Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio for Obama, the other two to McCain.  Let’s see how close I get to the truth using my weather model.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.