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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Calling the Race for Jeff Merkley

Posted by Amy J. Ruiz on Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Long story short: I'm predicting a win for Jeff Merkley, based on highly scientific number crunching.

Bear with me for a minute, while I walk you through my geekdom.

County by county, I calculated the number of outstanding ballots (the total number of ballots received, as reported to the state, minus the ones already counted, as reported in the county's current unofficial results). Then in each county, those outstanding votes were multiplied by Smith and Merkley's current percentage. So the 158,498 left to count in Multnomah County are split, with Smith getting 29.31 percent and Merkley getting 66.52 percent.

Adding those future estimated votes to their current tallies, here's the result I get:

Merkley: 866,430
Smith: 807,148

The potential flaw in my calculations: Either candidate could trend significantly better or worse than they're currently doing. In other words, Smith could take 32 percent of the outstanding Multnomah County votes instead of matching his current 29.31. I don't have the data to calculate their possible trends.

But! I'll keep updating my geektastic Excel spreadsheet as more votes are counted. Meanwhile, 60,000 votes would be a hell of a surge for Smith.

(P.S. - what's up with some Oregon county websites? I'm looking at you, Sherman county. Post your damn elections results! In cases like that, I presumed there were no outstanding votes.)

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