The Guilfoile-Warner Papers

Nov 4

I'm not even sure it's a matter of probability at this point, since your poker analogy relies on random chance and there doesn't seem to be that much chance left in the equation, particularly considering almost a third of people have already voted and Obama has a significant lead. It's like he's up 21-0, midway through the second quarter and his defensive line has already sacked the quarterback six times. I have yet to vote, but will be heading out before the lunch rush. There's already many anecdotal reports of long lines which suggests further good omens for Obama. I'll be curious to see what's going on inside of my very red county in a rather red non-swing state (South Carolina). I'll report back after the experience. I thought that maybe prior to the results rolling in we could have a little fun with predictions. I'm going to go on a limb and say that Obama will win 371 electoral votes, essentially all the democratic and toss-up states on Pollster's final map, except Georgia and Indiana, and including one EV from Nebraska, because that's how I roll. For even further fun, I thought I'd offer a hastily-arranged ill-thought-out contest/giveaway. I've got a bunch of copies of recently released titles from TOW Books, including: I'll send a full package of these books to the person who correctly answers my "Third Party Candidate Quiz/Guessing Game." Here's the challenge.
  1. In rank order, list the top five third party vote getters in terms of percentage of the popular vote since 1960. (Including 1960, in case that's not clear.) Express this in a list with year and candidate.
  2. Predict Ralph Nader's share of the 2008 popular vote. (% of popular vote) Closest, including those who go over, (and answer question 1 correctly) win. Please express within 1/100th of a percent.
All entries must be sent to the email address accessed quite easily from the link to the right there. All entries must be received by 7 p.m. EST. Only those residing in the 50 states are eligible since it gets pricey to ship overseas. I will not be able to acknowledge all entries, unless the only readers of these letters are, as I suspect, my immediate family members, in which case, I'll give you a call.

TMN contributing writer John Warner’s first novel, The Funny Man was recently published by Soho Press. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books. More by John Warner

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