50 Questions to Understand the US Election

There’s a great post over on the FirstRead blog on MSNBC – 50 Questions for 50 Days.  They’ve listed out fifty questions, the answers to which will tell you who wins the US election.  Some highlights:

  • Can Sarah Palin look as engaged as Joe Biden in the debate and can Joe Biden not look condescending to Sarah Palin?
  • Does McCain go the next two months without any health scare?
  • How many people will vote for Mark Warner and John McCain in Virginia? (I’ve a personal interest in that!)
  • Can Obama win this election by winning big among blacks, Hispanics, young voters, and intellectual elites but lose blue-collar whites, Catholics and married women?
  • Will the debates decide the election and if so, then what’s the final two weeks post-October 15 going to be about?
  • How many newly registered voters will ultimately show up at the polls?

All of them interesting, and none of them easy to answer.

By the way, my personal interest in the Virginia race is that I’ve got some friends over there, and I’ll be over myself to volunteer with Governor Mark Warner’s Senate campaign in late October.

In other news, Obama pulled in 500,000 new donors and US$66m in donations in August.  To give you an indication of scale, a normal General Election campaign in Ireland spends about €35,000 (at least officially).  The 500,000 new donors in just one month is probably the more important figure.  Even if they only give ten dollars each between now and election day, that’s an extra $5m to spend on ads in battleground states.

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