5 of 6 SMCM PoliSci Professors Predict Obama Win

ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. (Nov. 3, 2008)—The six members of the St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) Political Science Department made presidential and congressional predictions Friday, Oct. 31. The majority predicted a win by Sen. Barack Obama by differing electoral percentages, with one respected member of the faculty predicting an upset by Sen. John McCain.

Michael Cain, chair of the Political Science Department, director of the Center for the Study of Democracy:


"Obama will win the election with 333 Electoral Votes to McCain's 205. He will not take OH or IN but he will take NV, CO, and NM along with the southern states of VA, NC, and FL. Missouri will get it wrong for the second time since 1904. The popular vote will be closer with Obama getting close to 52 percent of the vote to McCain's 47 percent. The Senate will not become 'filibuster proof' with the Democrats reaching 59 seats. Say 'goodbye' to Sen. Joe Lieberman, who will join the Republican caucus after the election. Big surprise of the night: We will find out that Joe the plumber is not only not a plumber but that he could not vote because he did not register in time."

Todd Eberly, assistant professor of political science, coordinator of the Public Policy Major:

McCain ("Someone had to!")

"I continue to think that this will be a close election and the polls have certainly tightened in recent days - and I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb. I expect Obama to win the popular vote by a margin of about 52 percent to 47 percent (the remaining split among the minor party candidates), but in the only tally that matters, the Electoral College, I see a different result. I predict that McCain will lose the following states won by Bush in 2004 - IA, CO, NM, and VA - a loss of 34 votes from Bush's 286, dropping McCain to 252 Electoral Votes. But in the surprise upset of 2008, McCain will win Pennsylvania's 21 Electoral Votes and the Presidency with 273 Electoral Votes to Obama's 265."

"In the Senate I expect the Democrats to gain 5 seats but fall short of a filibuster proof majority. In the House, the Democrats will make significant gains but unlike 2006 they will also lose a few seats as well. My congressional 'upset' is that 17-term House incumbent John Murtha (D-PA) will lose his seat."

Susan Grogan, associate chair of the Political Science Department:


"I think that the election will be close. I expect Obama to win the popular vote by 51 percent to McCain's 48 percent (the remaining split among the minor party candidates). In the Electoral College, Obama will win with 278 votes to McCain's 260. (Chuck Baldwin's Constitution Party attempt to win one Nebraska Electoral College vote will not succeed.) I expect VA, FL, and OH to stay in the Republican column."

"In Congress, I think that the Democrats will increase their seats in the House by about 15. They will also increase their Senate majority to a 56-44 split-still not filibuster proof."

Walter Hill, professor of political science:


"I can think of two scenarios, one is that there truly is a Bradley effect. In this case the election will be very close, but Obama wins. Early evidence for this on election evening would be a very close race in Pennsylvania."

"A second scenario is that the true spread is really larger than what we see in the polls. Perhaps explaining the reported disputes within the McCain/Palin campaign and their decision to pull out of states that were once considered toss-ups. In this case, I don't expect the election to be close, and Obama's Electoral College vote may exceed 370. Early evidence for this on Tuesday would be a Republican loss in Virginia. I consider the second scenario to be more likely, but cannot exclude the first scenario."

Sahar Shafqat, associate professor of political science:


"I expect Sen. Obama to win both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote. The final popular vote will be closer than the polls, and there will likely be a Bradley effect which means that Senator Obama's victories will be by smaller margins than predicted. The final Electoral College vote will be 310 for Senator Obama to 228 for Senator McCain."

My 'upset' predictions for the election: Sen. Elizabeth Dole will be defeated in North Carolina. Sen. Ted Stevens will be re-elected in Alaska, despite being convicted on felony charges this week."

Fevzi Bilgin, assistant professor of political science:


"I think this will be a good year for Democrats and they would have won the election regardless of the current financial crisis. I believe that the key factors in this election are the ideological shift and the demographic change the U.S. is experiencing today; both factors essentially favor Democrats. The crisis, however, helped solidify the Democratic support. I do not expect a close race. My prediction is that the Obama-Biden ticket will win the popular vote by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent. I also think the Democrats will carry all the battleground states resulting in an Electoral College tally around 381 to 157, in their favor. I think the election results will be a mirror image of the 1980 results."

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