With 15 hours until the first polls close in the States, these are my final predictions. About seven states have no reliable, recent polling data — in these cases I've tried to go on demographics and media/advertising exposure, but my numbers could be, you know, way out.
I've definitely factored in an Obama surge, expecting he will pick up a lot of the undecideds. So if you're looking for a way to contextualise my prediction, I would say it's slightly (but reasonably!) optimistic for Obama.
The two states to watch, I believe, are the ones where I've indicated a dead heat: Missouri and Arizona.
These states will report results well into the day, so if you're looking for early indications, watch the two eastern strongholds for Hillary: New York and New Jersey. (Update: actually, Missouri begins reporting at 12noon, and New York not til 1pm — so disregard the whole 'early' thing!) If Obama is a couple of points higher than my predictions after at least 30% of the vote is counted in these states, the surge is bigger than I expected, and he might well carry the day in delegates. If several points lower, the day is Hillary's — although how the US media will spin that is anyone's guess. She could win by anything up to 150 delegates and they might call it a photo-finish. Obama only needs one more delegate than Clinton for a famous victory.
Such is life and politics.
Joseph | 5 Feb 2008