Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How to Be the First to Know Who’s Winning Tonight

The “experts” will tell you that the swing states will decide the winner of tonight’s election.

And that’s certainly true.

But don’t make the easy mistake of following their faulty logic that since the swing states will decide the winner, results in other states are irrelevant.

In fact, results in other states can tell us early whether or not the polls this year are accurate, as liberals hope, or skewed with oversampling of Democrats as many conservative pundits believe.
Tonight I’ll be using a spreadsheet where I’ve entered the “tipping point” for each state, as a value between -77.8 (District of Columbia) and 41.2 (Utah), representing the percentage margin Romney would be expected to be ahead (positive values) or behind (negative values) Obama in each state, if the election was a dead heat.

As results come in, if Romney is significantly outperforming these numbers, I’ll know he’ll probably win the election.  If the current polls are right, Romney will be underperforming these numbers by a couple percentage points, and I’ll know Obama will probably win.  If the race breaks either way and isn’t “too close to call”, I suspect I might be able to predict that a bit earlier than the media will be willing to do, because they will rely solely on swing state returns.

If the race remains “too close to call”, I’m expecting that results will be mixed, rather than a trend. Returns in some states will show Romney slightly outperforming the tipping point, while in other states he’ll be slightly underperforming. That’s where instead of looking for a clear winner, I look for what is the percentage chance of each candidate winning… is it really 50/50 or maybe it’s actually 60/40 and trending. So that’s where my spreadsheet comes in… I weigh returns with more value given to the closest states, and more value given to returns with the higher percentages of precincts in.

So how can you play along at home?

The easy way is to just compare returns as they come in to the tipping point numbers for each state. If the returns consistently fall either above or below the tipping point, you’ll notice, and know who is winning. Here they are, by poll closing time:

7:00 EST
GA 12.1, IN 8.8, KY 21.5, SC 16.5, VT -26.9, VA 2.3

7:30 EST
NC 6.7, OH 1.9, WV 20.4

8:00 EST
AL 27.4, CT -12.5, DE -17.5, DC -77.8, FL 4.1, IL -16.2, ME -9.1, MD -18.3, MA -17.8, MS 20.7, MO 9.7, NH -1.2, NJ -8.6, OK 33.8, PA -1.8, RI -19.3, TN 21.7

8:30 EST
AR 28.6

9:00 EST
AZ 13.0, CO 0.0, LA 25.4, MI -5.4, MN -1.9, NE 19.1, NM -6.4, NY -20.7, SD 13.3, TX 20.0, WI -1.6, WY 39.7

10:00 EST
IA -0.7, KS 25.1, MT 10.3, NV -3.3, UT 41.2

11:00 EST
CA -14.2, HI -31.0, ID 35.8, ND 17.4, OR -6.1, WA -10.4

1:00 AM EST
AK 29.0

If you want to reproduce my entire spreadsheet, to follow along if it’s really close, here’s how to do it:

Put the names of the states down one column, and the associated tipping points down the next column.

In column three, importance, assign each close state (tipping points between -10 and 10) a value of one. For tipping points between -20 and -10 and between 10 and 20, assign a value of one-half. For tipping points between -30 and -20 and between 20 and 30, assign a value of one-third, and so on.
Columns four and five are where you will enter returns as they come in.

In column four, precincts, enter as a percentage, the percentage of precincts in so far. In column five, margin, enter the margin of the current vote (Romney’s percentage minus Obama’s, as a number with zero or one decimal points depending on how precise you want to be. Don’t enter a percentage here—it should match the way you entered tipping points.)

Column six, points, is a formula. It should be: =(Col 5 – Col2) * Col 3 * Col 4. It represents the points you will award to Romney (if positive) or Obama (if negative).

Columns seven, Romney, and eight, Obama, are also formulas to assign the points. Column 7: =if(Col6 > 0, Col6, 0). Column 8: =if(Col6<0, abs(Col6), 0)

Then all you need is a total for columns seven and eight at the top or bottom of your spreadsheet, and you can compare those two totals to each other to approximate the chance for each of them to win based on results so far.

Have fun! (By which I mean I hope Romney wins!)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The ABC's of the 2012 Presidential Election

So we've heard that Mitt Romney isn't a huge fan of Big Bird, and maybe that means Big Bird is supporting Barack Obama this time around. But I got to thinking that there still might be a large cartoonish animal who helps kids learn to read and supports Romney. Sure enough, I found one.

The ABC's of the 2012 Presidential Election
with apologies to Dr. Seuss

by Rick Hatch

little a
What begins with A?
America’s A A A-rating is now just double-A.

little b
What begins with B?
How ‘bout Benghazi?

little c
What begins with C?
C . . . . c . . . . C

little d

A B C D E . . e . . e

little f
F . . f . . F
Four more years?
F ! ! !   F ! ! !    F ! ! ! ! !

A gallon of gas
G . . . g . . . G

little h
But homeless have hipper healthcare.
Hooray !?
Hooray !?

Little i
i . . . . i . . . . i
to Mr. “I …”, “I …”, “I …”.

little j
What begins with j?
begin that way.

little k
We’re not the KKK.
We don’t all think you’re Kenyan,
but lying ain’t OK.

little l
What begins with L?
L . . . . L . . . . L

little m
Militant Muslims, normally nice
make movie-maddened mischief
in the moonlight . . .
just ask Rice.

little n
What begins with those?
that is never
on the nose.

O is very useful.
You use it when you say:
“Obama’s out of office

L M N O . . . . . P
Presidential policies.
With sugar, pretty please.

Little q
What begins with Q?
The quick
quakes of al-Qaeda.
just for you.

little r
What begins with R?
Remember Reverend Wright?
So: “Romney’s much too white!”

little s
Super Sandy slick
slammed six swing states
so polls may
stick stick stick.

T . . . . . T
t . . . . . . . t
What begins with T?
Team Obama tries
a tired strategy.
Takes to trashing Mitt
on national TV.

little u
What begins with U?
under-employment, too.

little v
voting to virginity.
very sad.

little v
Another verse for V!
A very vigorous vote
could make
Paul Ryan our VP.

W . . w . . W
Wisconsin Waterloo?
Washington ain’t
What would Romney do?

X is very useful
if you’re watching
news on Fox.
It also
comes in handy
spelling “Ex-“
and ballot box.

Little y
Y . . . y . . . Y ?
yearn for four more
years, but why?
His first four years were yucky.
“Yes, he needs another try!”

E F G . . .

L M N O P . . .

T U V . . .

W . . X
Y . . and . . . .


little z
What begins with Z?
I do.
I am a
whose vote is
plain to see.

Thanks to my brother Jeff for contributing some incorporated improvements, and to Eric Bolling of “The Five” for inspiring the whole thing with the essence of the “B” verse.
© 2012, Rick Hatch.

Introducing “Preaching to the Choir”

Hi, I’m Rick Hatch, and this is my first blog post ever.

Yeah, I’m late to the game, but I really intended to be later.

You see, I intend to entertain and inform you with a few blogs on different topics that interest me, and I meant to kind of coordinate and pre-plan their launches. And I most definitely wasn’t planning on starting with my most controversial one, the very opinionated and ideological one on politics.

But there’s this pesky little thing coming up called an election. And it just so happened that I couldn’t help myself and sort of wrote something. And this thing I wrote, the entertainment value of it kinda expires after election day. So I’m sorta stuck with working overtime to publish it.

But that will be my second blog post ever.

I’ve chosen the title “Preaching to the Choir” for this blog for a handful of reasons. I like metaphors. I have an evangelical Christian background. But mostly I’m tired of writing good stuff for poor audiences. I don’t require that my audience agrees with everything I write, but I’m looking for at least one group of people to write for who will have an open mind and not reject everything I write out of hand. So I only require that you agree with some of what I write. :-)

The subtitle/description for “Preaching to the Choir” is “The political blog of shallow humor and deep, original thought, for conservatives only.”

My primary goal is to entertain you so that you’ll keep coming back for more. But beyond that, I hope to inform you and to provoke you to think a lot—maybe to look at some things in a slightly different way than you did before. Even though there are lots of conservative voices out there, most of them are saying the same things most of the time. For some reason, even though I share their general outlook, I often view things slightly differently, so expect some original thoughts and ideas that you've only seen or heard discussed rarely, if at all.

This blog will mostly be about politics, political analysis, current events, national and international issues, and that sort of thing.

Humor is subjective. I have no idea whether or not you will find my humor to be shallow, but being modest about my humor-level helps me get away with bold claims about my thought-level. (And sometimes it really is shallow. I’ve laughed at fart jokes. Though I can assure you I have no plans to include fart jokes within this blog, providing this parenthetical comment doesn’t count.)

Now we come to the part about “for conservatives only.” I’m sure we’ve got a few non-conservatives who have made it this far, so conservatives, you can skip to the section below with the “>>>Conservatives” marker to show you where I’m back with you again, while I speak directly to the dissidents.


I'm not even slightly interested in arguing with you here. You're not the intended audience for these posts, you won't enjoy them, and my audience isn't here to hear from you. I won’t publish your comments. So please go away and let us make fun of you behind your backs, and eventually I plan to have a separate blog where you will be welcome to tell me how stupid and bigoted I am, and how much you hate me and every other conservative in the world.

If you absolutely must stay and lurk, then I request that you kindly fume silently and refrain from tracking me down with death threats and whatnot. As I write this there are probably a couple million, or at least thousands upon thousands, of conservatives with far more power and influence than I have. Even if this blog is successful beyond my wildest dreams, odds are extremely good that there will still be hundreds upon hundreds of conservatives with far more power and influence than I have. So you see, going to all the trouble of killing me would really be a waste of your time, what with so many better targets out there and all.


We won't agree on everything, but we'll agree on a lot, and best of all, you guys usually play nice. So you're very welcome here.


This blog may not be right for some of you, too. Every now and then, I may get a teeny bit brutal when I mock the left, even though I’m generally not a horrible person and wouldn’t mock a person’s beliefs like that to his face. See, now you know why I need a space “for conservatives only.” Anyhow, if that kind of passive-aggression makes you uncomfortable, this probably isn’t the blog for you. On the other hand, if you giggle because you’ve secretly been thinking exactly what I just said, welcome!

This blog also may not be for you if you’re a person who is easily offended. Some issues in our world today involve things like human sexuality or the horrors of violence, and if I write about those issues, I won’t be sugar-coating what I write. I don’t anticipate using R-rated language myself, but I don’t plan to censor reader comments unless they’re really over the top. I’m not offended by rare use of a bad word for comedic effect or dramatic emphasis, and might possibly even do it myself if it seems like the only way I can communicate something the way I want to, but only very, very rarely.

As a guideline for those of you to whom this is useful, my favorite television show is Fox’s “RedEye with Greg Gutfeld.” I love its wit, its humor, and sometimes its sheer brilliance. But at times it comes really close to being too over the top for me. If you love that show, I hope you’ll find some of that same wit, humor and sheer brilliance here, even though I might not have as much “edge” as that show. If you find that show completely repulsive and offensive, you probably wouldn’t find my blog to be quite so bad, but you’re not likely to fall in love with my blog either. If you’re like me and enjoy Red Eye even though it sometimes crosses your own personal line between good and bad taste, then I suspect you may enjoy my blog and that it will cross that line less frequently than Red Eye does.

Oh, so parents, the above two paragraphs also mean that this blog is for you, not for your kids. If you think this blog is appropriate for your very mature teenager, that’s your call, but these days I question the maturity of most college kids, let alone teenagers. (No offense intended to my anticipated hundreds of extremely-mature college-age readers!)

OK, I hope that covers everything.  Here goes nothing.