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Election Day Weather Assessment: Advantage Kerry

Jason Samenow @ 1:28 AM

I had planned to do a rather extensive analysis of how weather may affect today's election. But, the truth is, there isn't much weather to analyze.

Of the 15 or so swing states, we're only looking at a couple that will deal with inclement weather. Weathernews, in its swing state weather analysis, concludes Ohio is the only swing state where weather may discernibly affect turnout. Says Weathernews regarding Ohio:
Good chance of rain, with some counties having potentially heavy rain. Heavy rain does not look as widely scattered now. There could be a moderate impact on turnout where rain is the heaviest.
Some of this rain will also affect western Pennsylvania--but shouldn't have a significant impact on turnout according to WeatherNews' analysis. So Ohio looks like the only swing state where weather may affect turnout--but it's not crippling inclement weather--so I don't think it's a big deal.

Let's go with the assumption that this statement printed in a Roanoke Times column is correct:
Conventional wisdom is that bad weather runs off weakly committed voters, tilting the election in a given area to whoever has the strongest core of avid supporters, or against the candidate who has the deepest core of avid detractors.
If the converse is good weather encourages turnout of weakly committed voters (which seems logical), then forecasts of a very large overall voter turnout will likely materialize. The political pundits have tended to argue a large voter turnout favors John Kerry in this election.

So my conclusion is that this Election Day's benign weather conditions will benefit John Kerry.

What's my overall election prediction? (This is a forecast, and does not imply my candidate preference.)

Swing state projections--
  • Bush wins Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Arkansas, Ohio, West Virginia
  • Kerry wins Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Florida
Overall electoral vote: Kerry 279, Bush 259

DC Area Votecast

Mostly cloudy skies will be the rule for election day as a marine layer influences our weather. It's not a particularly strong marine layer, so some sun could break through -- allowing temperatures to get up near 70, or a little higher.

8am: Mostly cloudy, 56
10am: Mostly cloudy, 61
Noon: Mostly cloudy 64
2pm: Mostly cloudy, 68
4pm: Mostly cloudy, 66
6pm: Mostly cloudy, 63

Photo taken yesterday, courtesy Kevin Ambrose. The high reached 70 degrees at Reagan National, under partly cloudy skies.

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