Barack Obama Will Win the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election

Now that both major political parties have announced their nominees for president and vice president, the Annals of Improbable Research U.S. Presidential Election Algorithm (Debowy and Schulman 2003) can be used to predict the results of the upcoming November election. The algorithm was developed based on the experience of the major party candidates for president and vice president in each of the 54 U.S. presidential elections between 1789 and 2000 and correctly predicted the outcome of the 2004 election.

According to the algorithm, being a United States Senator does not contribute to one’s electability for president or vice president, so the Obama/Biden ticket has a total electability of zero. In addition to his 22 years in the Senate, John McCain spent four years in the U.S. House of Representatives, giving him 4 points of presidential electability. However, he divorced his first wife (-110 electability points), so he has a total presidential electability of -106. Sarah Palin has been governor of Alaska for two years, which means she has a vice presidential electability of 2 and the McCain/Palin ticket has a total electability of -104.

The algorithm thus predicts that the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden will win the election in November. The fact that both major political parties chose candidates with low electabilities when candidates with high electability were available suggests that the validity of the Annals of Improbable Research U.S. Presidential Election Algorithm is not yet accepted by most major party primary voters in the United States, despite its 100% rate of successful predictions.