The Predictor
Tue October 14, 2008 6:51 pm

I learned today about a method of analyzing House races that may be able to predict winners (no warranties, expressed or implied) in close races for the Texas House of Representatives. The idea is to determine whether Democrats have a chance to win certain races, based on primary turnout of the two parties and Obama’s percentage in the presidential primary.

Take Michael “Tuffy” Hamilton.
Republican primary turnout in the district: 4,714 = 6.2% of registered voters
Democratic primary turnout in the district: 25,465 = 33.4% of registered voters

Looks pretty good for the Democrats, right?
But: only 22.9% of Democrats voted for Obama in the presidential primary
Conclusion: mostly white conservative voters. Hamilton wins.
(Hamilton is an icon in his community. We didn’t need a formula to tell us he is going to win.)

R primary turnout (rounded) 9,600
D primary turnout (rounded) 16,900
Obama %: 61.6
Big trouble for Zedler

R primary turnout (rounded) 13,000
D primary turnout (rounded) 14,000
Obama % 52.
Too close to call

R primary turnout (rounded) 4,800
D primary turnout (rounded) 7,300
Obama % 57
Could be trouble

It doesn’t work for all districts. In Dan Branch’s district, R’s cast 5,300 primary votes, D’s 8,400. Obama got 53.5%. But some of those votes were from moderate/disillusioned R’s. Branch isn’t going to lose.

R primary turnout (rounded) 7,500
D primary turnout (rounded) 8,800
Obama %: 55
Could be trouble

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