A Voter Suppression Model

I've already discussed various electoral scenarios associated with the Bradley Effect, but I have yet to look at voter suppression. Using foreclosure data from 2007, the only data set I could find, a suppression model was devised.

It's quite simple, but gives a good result; I take the number of foreclosures in 2007 and divide that by the 2004 popular vote total in a given state. The result represents the percentage of eligible voters [based on 2004] under foreclosure. The table below illustrates the ten states with the greatest percentage of foreclosures relative to the 2004 turnout:

State Status 2004 Votes Foreclosures %
Nevada (5) Weak Dem 825,899 66,316 8.030
California (55) Safe Dem 12,419,857 481,392 3.876
Florida (27) Core Dem 7,609,810 279,325 3.671
Arizona (10) Weak Rep 2,012,585 69,970 3.477
Colorado (9) Weak Dem 2,130,330 71,149 3.340
Georgia (15) Toss Up 3,298,790 99,578 3.019
Michigan (17) Safe Dem 4,839,247 136,205 2.815
Ohio (20) Core Dem 5,627,903 153,196 2.722
Indiana (11) Weak Rep 2,468,002 52,930 2.145
Texas (34) Safe Rep 7,410,749 149,703 2.020

Using this foreclosure percentage allows us to model a potential source of voter suppression. If we assume that all people currently under foreclosure are voting for Obama, we can simulate what would happen if these voters were suddenly prevented from voting in their home state. I've taken the current projection for Obama and subtracted from that the foreclosure percentage in the given state. The result of this calculation projects the following electoral outcome:

Suppression Model

Notice that Ohio, Nevada, Colorado and Indiana all shifted towards McCain, which is to be expected given that we subtracted from Obama, but the model serves to verify the affect voter suppression could have on this election. I should also mention that this "foreclosure effect" will be larger in theory than in practice due to the likely increase in voter turnout over the 2004 result.

While I was messing with the model I went ahead and ran the current Bradley Effect and Independent Slide scenarios. We'll start with the Bradley Effect model:

Bradley Effect

This week Obama gained 14 Electoral votes over last week's Bradley Effect model. Moving on to the Independent Slide model; if all currently undecided voters suddenly moved to McCain en masse:

Independents Rush to McCain

Obama still wins, just like last week but this time he's added 77 Electoral Votes to his total. Its starting to look more and more like voter suppression is the only avenue by which McCain can win.

Update: A reader asked what would happen if the Bradley Effect model were to be combined with the suppression model. Here's the result:

Suppression And Bradley Effect

Any other suggestions?

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6 Response(s) to A Voter Suppression Model

10/30/2008 6:33:39 PM CT

That's right
IA Resident
10/30/2008 7:59:23 PM CT

Is there any scenario under which MnCain can win? This is all good news for the USA!
10/30/2008 10:16:01 PM CT

So what would happen with the Bradley effect AND voter suppression (since both are likely to happen)?
Osborne Ink
10/30/2008 10:47:28 PM CT

"Rational exuberance." Say it early, say it often.
10/31/2008 12:31:35 AM CT

I still think the big problem is the electronic voting machines, and votes being flipped. I've already read it's *happening* again.
I don't suspect, there's some kind of model that could be created, which takes into account what States use these *mistake* prone machines?
10/31/2008 11:21:30 AM CT

Thank you so much for putting my mind (more or less) at ease... (To the commenter Linda above: see the map at the bottom, that's the one.) 'll bite my tongue andI won't be asking for the dead girl, live boy results. I'll just have to breathe deep for the next five days.

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