# The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

## Friday, August 29, 2008

### I love the smell of caucus in the morning!

I've been waiting to do this for over a year and a half now, and now that both Barack Obama and John McCain have both announced their running mates, I can now apply the Algorithm for Determining the Winners of U.S. Presidential Elections, which was created prior to the 2004 Presidential elections and managed to predict correctly the winner in 2004.

Enough with the introductions, on with the data. The formula, from the paper in question:

Presidential Electability = 5×(years as President) + years as U.S. Representative + 11×(years as Governor),

• +110 if the candidate has been a four- or five-star general officer in the United States Armed Forces,
• +110 if the candidate has been a college or university president or chancellor,
• +110 if the candidate is the child of a U.S. Senator,
• -110 if the candidate has been divorced,
• -110 if the candidate has been a special prosecutor,
• -110 if the candidate was the first adherent of a particular religion (e.g., Protestantism, Deism, or Catholicism) to be a major-party candidate for President,
• -110 if the candidate was an officer of a lobbying organization at the time of the election.

Vice Presidential Electability = 4×(years as Vice President) + years as U.S. Representative + years as Governor,

• +110 if the candidate has been a corporate banker,
• +110 if the candidate has been a college or university president or chancellor,
• +110 if the candidate is the child of a U.S. Senator,
• -110 if the candidate was the first adherent of a particular religion (e.g., Protestantism, Deism, Catholicism, or Judaism) to be a major-party candidate for Vice President,
• -110 if the candidate was an officer of a lobbying organization at the time of the election.

Total Electability = Presidential Electability + Vice Presidential Electability.

And the results (candidates) …

Presidential electability of the candidates for President in 2008
Party Names P/VP Rep. Gov. Other Total
Party Names P/VP Rep. Gov. Other Total
Democratic Barack Obama / Joe Biden 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 †First adherent (-110) / — (0) 0 (†-110)
Republican John McCain / ‡Sarah Palin 0 / 0 4 / 0 0 / 2 Divorced (-110) / — (0) -104
Constitution Chuck Baldwin / Darrell Castle 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 — (0) / — (0) 0
Libertarian Bob Barr / Wayne Root 0 / 0 8 / 0 0 / 0 Special Prosecutor (-110) / — (0) -102
Green Cynthia McKinney / ‡Rosa Clemente 0 / 0 13 / 0 0 / 0 †First Adherent (-110) / — (0) 13 (†-97)
Peace and Freedom Ralph Nader / Matt Gonzalez 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 Lobby organization (-110) †First adherent (-110) / — (0) -110 (†-220)

†Score using a loose interpretation of “the candidate was the first adherent of a particular religion to be a major-party candidate for President or Vice President.” See below for more details.

‡Even under the relaxed interpretation of the “first adherent” rule, this doesn't apply since Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman to run for Vice-President back in 1984.

Interesting results, and it really comes down to an unstated assumption in the paper, and what the authors really meant by “the candidate was the first adherent of a particular religion to be a major-party candidate for Vice President.” If I go by a strict interpretation of “first adherent,” then this predicts that Cynthia McKinney wins and becomes the 44th President of the United States.

Heh.

Seriously, if we take into account the unstated assumption that no one in a minor political party will ever win and with a strict interpretation of “first adherent,” then Barack Obama wins.

But really, what is the purpose of the “first adherent” rule? Well, up until this election, all presidential nominees have been white males (with the exception of Geraldine Ferraro as a Vice-Presidential candidate, but she was a white woman). It may be that the authors found the only major difference between the parade of rich white males was their stated religion, and therefore, this can be interpreted in a wider context as “first major difference in a candidate from those that came before.”

So with this “looser” interpretation, we now have the First Black (or First Mulatto if you want to be pedantic) for a basis of differentiation, and in that case, McCain/Palin win over Obama/Biden -104 to -110.

Okay, so this endless election is still up in the air.

Sigh.

I can't wait until November 4th.

## Obligatory Miscellaneous

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